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Quote of the Week: "History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives." - Abba Eban, Israeli statesman (1915-2002)


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 Post subject: Re: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Eight PostPosted: 2010-12-11 10:52pm
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Valkyrie-Class Battlecruiser SMS Brunhild
Operations Room
July 6, 3400
0740 Fleet Standard Time


Morning ablutions completed, Konteradmiral Reinhard von Musel's first act was to head down to Operations, which he often used as a conference room and clearinghouse for any messages he would need to look into. Breakfast could wait if there was anything of interest to consider.

Today, as was often the case, his aide had gotten there first. A good omen to start the day; this has the potential to be difficult if von Mückenberger chooses to make it so.

"Ah, Kircheis! How goes it?"

"Nothing new to report, sir."

"So, von Mückenberger is still in shock?"

"If I had to guess, I think he's still asleep."

"Very well; I look forward to his reaction- when he deigns to notice that we've returned."

Reinhard sighed. The distance to Target Three wasn't long, and they'd made most of the run at relatively high speed thanks to the infusion of fuel from their allies. The entire operation had taken less than two days out and back. Reinhard couldn't bring himself to believe that von Mückenberger could decide what to have for breakfast given only two days to plan, let alone react to a military operation. It might be a while.

Kircheis smiled at him. "Whatever happens, it was an indisputable victory."

"Heh. Given enough fuel, winning a victory was never really the concern. The real trick was splitting up the defenders, keeping them from hitting us with everything at once, and having the right units in the right place to counter each part of their force..."

"You did that too."

"A modest challenge- they reacted much more neatly than I'd hoped. We were lucky to get off with nothing more than a little scarring here and there. There's something odd about it all..." He trailed off.

Kircheis raised an eyebrow. "Sir?"

"It's... almost as if we were fighting two different enemies at once, with incompatible objectives and methods in the same command structure. I can't quite put my finger on it. But look at the timing, how fast the starships pulled out after Mittermeyer and Reuental drew out the fire of the fixed defenses. Compare the tight coordination of the ships with the mess the fighter pilots made of it all, when we jumped into their path."

"I'm not sure I see what you mean."

"I need to think about it more fully. Maybe I'll be able to explain after breakfast."

SMS Brunhild
0815 Fleet Standard Time


Everything looked simpler after coffee and eggs.

"Let me try again. There were two natural responses for the pi- ah, raiders." Kircheis looked quizzical, but said nothing. "One would be to stand and fight to the death, viewing the ships as expendable resources to defend the base. Foolish, but possible. The other would be to pull back the ships, given that they were considerably more valuable than anything else in the system- once Mittermeyer arrived, they had to know they weren't going to mount a successful defense, not the kind of asymmetric victories they'd need to stop us."

"Which is what they did... but I see what you mean. They made an effort to salvage the fighters, but the fighters were in poor order- they didn't really contribute to the battle until it had already been decided against them, at which point all they did was run."

"Right. The kind of commander who would order the starships to do as they did wouldn't have allowed the fighters to be so disorganized. Unless, again, two overlapping and parallel command structures, one focused on defense of the system at risk of their lives, and one which viewed the mining facility as expendable. When the second commander issued orders to elements of the first, the result was confusion."

"Can we exploit this?"

"Perhaps; I can't say. The risk is that they can exploit it against us. Von Mückenberger's plans for the attack on Zebes are essentially a reprise of the attack on Volksland. They'd work against an opponent who pulled all his forces to Zebes for a decisive battle, but not so well against someone more... subtle. And I think we're dealing with a certain amount of subtlety here. We may be looking at a very costly victory compared to the triumphal march the Admiralstab was expecting."

"We've got to warn the Admiral!"

"I'll try. But given the way I obtained the information, he'll be skeptical. Worse yet, I have no hard evidence- how I wish we'd been able to capture one of those ships that self-destructed! Even a quick raid to capture a few survivors might have told us a great deal; what little we took from the other ships told us nothing, but their flagship... Well, if wishes were horses."

"Maybe we'll be lucky and he'll listen."

"I hope so, Kircheis. I hope so."



Undisclosed Location, Sector H-12
Boskonian Sector Command Dome
July 6, 3400


High Admiral Natalya Zokolova was checking a status report on the adjustments she'd made to Plan Contrecoup when she was rudely interrupted by her superior. As always, the directing intelligence behind Boskone's ambitious campaign to take over the Orion-Cygnus Arm preferred to audit his subordinates by calling on them unannounced. It was an expression of power: everyone had to wait to speak with him; he had to wait to speak with no one.

"Helmuth, speaking for Boskone! What have you to say of the fall of Mining Colony Two?"

While the exact moment of Helmuth's call had surprised her, the fact that such a call would be coming had not. Zokolova was prepared. "An unexpected raid by Prussian battlecruisers attacked the system in superior strength. Using a phased-emergence plan, the Enemy managed to dislocate the defense force, engaging and destroying it in detail."

"Effects on plans?"

"Difficult to estimate with certainty. My best assessment follows."

"Explain yourself."

"The first certain effect is the destruction of the mining facility- irrelevant, as we expect the decisive attack within the next few days. Second, the loss of Squadron A4F18, including three core ships. This is more relevant, as these ships formed a part of the Contrecoup preparations. Losses are within margin of error, but the margin is now narrow. Third and final, this is the first instance of a Coalition force in this region of space engaging core units and escaping intact; they will have gained some information on the core ship types, though we were able to confirm that all scuttling charges functioned."

"What of the uncertain effects?"

"Those depend on Enemy reactions. Contrecoup planning depended on Intelligence's analysis of the Coalition high command: von Mückenberger's predisposition to attack the largest available target directly, regardless of secondary targets, and the other Coalition forces' reluctance to risk heavy casualties operating deeper into the sector before Zebes itself is neutralized."

Helmuth said nothing, letting her continue to present her reasoning- though she knew that at any moment he might leap in with a blistering condemnation or brutal correction. She expected no less.

"The raid of a Prussian battlecruiser squadron was, therefore, unexpected and not something the primary plan is well equipped to address, since Intelligence predicted it as a low order probability. A series of several follow-up cruiser raids on the Contrecoup forces could force me to revert to alternate strategies with lower probability of major success. To prevent this, I have already relocated most Contrecoup units away from targets the Enemy is deemed likely to raid, in the event of further attacks."

"I see." Helmuth's voice was... probing in tone.

"Other possible effects: As noted, some of the ships lost were of types not previously seen by the Enemy. They will gain information about the core ship classes involved, and may deduce that the Zebesians have been reinforced significantly."

"And?" He sees it too.

"It is also possible that von Mückenberger will note the presence of significant forces away from Zebes, realize that his own plans predicated on all Zebesian forces fighting to the death in what he believes to be their home system are flawed, and revise his operations accordingly. Sector intelligence considers this unlikely."

"Oversector Intelligence concurs. However, this is still a bothersome event. Why did you not predict that the Enemy was preparing such an attack, and disperse your forces before losing a squadron?"

"Sector intelligence sources indicated that the commander believed to have been responsible for this attack, Rear Admiral Reinhard von Musel, had agitated for such an operation at staff meetings. However, sector intelligence also indicated that von Mückenberger would be unwilling to allow such an attack because of a combination of politics and delusions-due-to-incompetence." That last was all one word in the Boskonian synthetic language, like many others.

"Your analysis was clearly mistaken."

"Yes. All files were copied to Grand Base in the immediate aftermath of the incident; my investigators have yet to find any fundamental flaw in the analysis. We infer that von Musel must have gone outside official channels, and quickly, to procure supplies for the raid. He therefore arrived before the reports that might have allowed my staff to deduce his intentions. Reports from the Umerian and Atlantean quartermaster corps indicating that large amounts of antimatter fuel had been transferred to the Prussians by unofficial means arrived during the attack, for instance."

Helmuth nodded, his eyes unblinking.

"In consequence, I submit that von Musel is much more dangerous than most of his peers in Prussian service. He does not seem to share the common weaknesses of the Prussian fleet to any great degree, and his reaction to being put on a leash by a superior suggests political skill as well as military."

"Correct. Von Musel has been examined with an eye to recruitment."

"I had not known."

"Not your compartment. What other conclusions have you drawn?"

"I can do nothing to affect the responses of von Mückenberger, but am confident he will not change his mind soon enough to affect Contrecoup. I have already modified the Contrecoup plans in an attempt to neutralize any unexpected initiative or energy from the junior Prussian flag officers; I will send a full report shortly."

"Noted. I am finished with my phase two investigation."

Zokolova was not a woman prone to much in the way of fear, but even she felt alarm now. If Helmuth decided she had made any really significant mistake...

"This incident was within your power to control. You should have taken steps to reduce the possible consequences of the incident in advance." This is it... "Your error of omission was in accordance with an approved plan, and evidence that the plan needed to be changed was not available until nothing could be done. You are ordered to make greater allowances for unexpected competence among the Enemy. Subject to approval of your detailed proposal for doing so, I find your report to be complete and conclusive. No disciplinary action is necessary at this time. Helmuth, out!"

The alien's arrogant, patrician face vanished from Zokolova's viewscreen.

Phew. And now back to work.



Privileged Frame of Reference
Unreal Time


The arrival of Convoy 972 on June 29 had ensured that Second Fleet would be saved from humiliating dependency on its allies for basic needs. They now had adequate stockpiles of fuel for the ships and food for the troops. In addition, Reinhard von Musel's Sixth Battlecruiser Squadron was attached to Second Fleet, making a slight reinforcement to its strength. The fast military transports used to carry the supplies were also attached to Admiral Gregor von Mückenberger's forces, to strengthen his own local supply train and reduce his reliance on chartered civilian shipping to move materiel from the depots to the fleet.

On July 4, Convoy 987 brought further supplies, particularly spare parts and dedicated ground-bombardment munitions for the attack on Zebes. This shipment was escorted by the Third Cruiser Squadron. This time, the cruisers turned around and headed home immediately, as the Admiralstab was unwilling to release further units for Second Fleet. Including Sixth Battlecruisers, over ten percent of the League's cruiser-strength combatants were already directly attached to Second Fleet. Because of the lengthy four week round trip to the area of operations and back, a further fifteen percent now had to be committed to convoy escort missions.

Combined with the ten battleships and numerous light combatants already committed to the expedition, this significantly decreased Prussia's frontline fleet strength in the Spinward Expanse. The Admiralty correctly feared that this would create a window of grave strategic vulnerability for the Star League. Happily, the League's rivals declined to exploit the weakness, but it was a tense summer for military officials in Königstadt.

With the arrival of a third convoy on July 8, Admiral von Mückenberger decided that he had sufficient supplies for the offensive against Zebes, and ordered the Second Fleet to prepare for action...

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 Post subject: Pirates are dumb PostPosted: 2010-12-12 01:27am
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The destroyer Alshish went through the last stage of Immediate action drills. It was going to be the first strike for the Eoghan's Fleet against the pirates. The destroyers had separated themselves from the Carrier they would normally guard, for their native prey, Centrality Battleships, were going to be few and far between. No battleships meant that they had to find more appetizing targets to get any trophies.

The first of the half dozen Kabutops class destroyers was now making the transition into free space light minutes out from the pirate star. It was the same place the cruiser had engaged, and rather than do like they had told their allies and ignore it they were going for a quick decapitation strike. Of course the fact that there had been no plan to put forth for this place should have given away their intentions anyway.

They had been right about the pirates bringing more ships to defend with. It would have been wise to ignore this place and the stand up battle it represented, yet they were here anyway. Active sensors on the destroyers lit the depot up for the Galaxy to see. They were out past the furthest planet of this little dwarf star despite the astronomically close distance, which was close enough to the limits of the minefield to be safe. The little raiders were squawking under the pulses of sensors, occasionally blanking out the area they occupied. In general though the destroyers had a good view of the aggregate of orbital supply stations fuel storage torus' and equipment dumps. Even a antimatter "refinery" looked to be in the inventory, at least if the sensors were to be believed. It was a bleak prospect to leave all this for the pirates to maintain their ships while the Eoghan and their allies tried to suppress them, but it made the crews of the destroyers hearts light is they keyed in the targeting computers.

They weren't going to leave it for later, they were going to leave it to burn.

If the facilities had been under more powerful jammers or had better shielding they would have stood more of a chance. The first Aether torpedo crashed in from Heim space too close for the raiders to intercept. It's massive anti-battleship warhead was unfocused but still overpowered the targets. Against a centrality Battleship it would have lit up the shields nicely, but little more. Three space stations though were left with radiation soft killing most of them and secondary damage throughout, while one further out had a catastrophic failure and simple exploded.

The twin launchers on each destroyer emptied quickly. 35 more explosions turned the Inner orbit of the star into a maze of debris and failing stations. Of course when you set the hive on fire you have to deal with the wasps.

Turning from the wispy red glow of the star the destroyer Alshish found temporary respite in hyperspace. It lead the way for the rest. Would the enraged defenders follow or would they try and rescue what they could from the dying stations? Only time would tell.


Aboard the Anorith class Marine Vessel Escher

The official Eoghan opening move was delayed. It was a side effect of the limits they had in operational intelligence. They had run too close to a previously unknown patrol route for the pirates. It wouldn't have been good to be detected so close to the target. So they waited.

The nine ships were relying almost as much on the hot gas of the inner nebula as the cloaking shrouds that they had been using till this point. But for now it was easier to stay in real space and let the patrol wash over them. Of course it meant more time to fret about the coming assault for the troops, making the little compartment Valentine shared with them all the more coffin like. It didn't help that as the only human he had to endure Eoghan standard gravity and atmosphere (or rather wear a breathing rig). He was fumbling around with his hand gun, a solid Shinran design, but even the habitual motion of it's action wasn't reassuring. It was repressive enough that he was doubling his decision to accept the invitation to the offensive. Of course his other choice was to share a leaky creaky old ship with a punch of security troops as they brought it and the remains of it's crew back to Cinnabar. A crew that was both terrified of him and universally seething with hatred of him.

C'est la Vie.

Valentine's senses strained to note the change of the note as the ship shifted into hyperspace. It was a unique note, one of thousands that had been sung in the choir of the fleet since the age of hyperspace began. He leaned in towards the group Sargent, actually more leaning over than towards but it was an easy enough mistake for a human to do to an Eoghan.

"Sargent we are off again. Do you <remember/know> why the Assault Captain requested my <presence/observation>?" His Eoghan was perfectly good, for a human. If he were a Bragulan if would be easier to form syllables , but harder to get the tone and timbre of the grammar correct, a reasonably fair trade.

"Yea, I think/believe that it was because <your/other> mastery of language. If has been a problem to/for the troops to <talk/communicate/socialize> with other species. You <are/will be> helpful when going in and when looking through the intelligence." The soldiers were shifting their gear to punctuate the seriousness of the topic. Force projectors, shield vests, lightning rifles and the occasional Shard Carbine all were shuffled about with both professionalism and the concern that that level of knowledge represented.

"And how <do you want me to/ shall I> deploy with the men?"

It was a subtle thing, to be sized up by an Eoghan. A human would have been more direct and visual, an easy thing to miss-cue. It was harder to out do the sense of smell. Plus these were the Elite troops of the Army of the Navy, they had data-links and artificially adjusted reflexes/instincts, so it was easy for them to pick additional confidential information about him of the ship's networks. It was therefore an obvious answer, since he was what he was it had to be. "You will/shall go in with second team for <close support/forward strike>. Have as much fun as you want, though try to remember what the goal is."

Second team would do. They were pleasantly equipped with a mix of stuff and looked less like a support team than teams three and four. "Fair enough, I think I should have enough time to rest. Wake me latter." The dreams might not have been pleasant, but they would serve to get him in touch with his primordial self for the coming conflict.


The Target, 150 minutes later.

The attack was quick and too the point. The hollowed asteroid that the communication hub inhabited had been defended more with mobile elements and secrecy then by a massive minefield. Besides, a minefield would have had to have been extraordinarily large to have enough density to have detected the stealthed ships as they tried to bypass it. The asteroid itself was adequately defended with large anti cruiser and battleship guns.

The first volley came from the five heavy frigates that had accompanied the assault ships. Their single mass drivers fired very low velocity shots, that while not stealthy per say, carried no particular energy and had no particular artificial shape so were ignored by the point defenses and shields. After all why waste the energy when the asteroid shell would take the impact nicely? Of course they were not nice at all, three of them were mobile bombs that would drag themselves towards their targets before exploding while the other two were targeted jammers waiting to activate. They weren't going to be able to blind the station for long before their batteries were extinguished, but every moment would count.

The next volley was far less subtle, three of the Frigates dropped cloak and lit up the closest bit of independent defenses they could with their half dozen lighting cannons. A pair of asteroids exploded, one of them had contained a fighter "base" while the other was completely ordinary (not that they would have known that). The last target was one of the few raiders that defended the base. It had been gutted at the extreme of close range, where the cannons had better firepower than would have been reasonable if not for their very limited range.

They gave the command group for the defenders just enough time to see only three little cruisers, or at least what they would consider cruisers, before the jammer munitions activated. In the silence the launch of 240 small fighters didn't give away the location of the carriers, for all four assault ships were too close to the facility for safety. The other raiders were too busy trying to engage the Gastly-class Heavy frigates to notice the launches, seeing as they were trying to hold their opponents in place long enough for the large guns on the asteroid to pick them off. It should have worked wonderfully too, but the remaining frigates finally decloaked once the raiders had come onto one vector, hitting them as they were grouped together from the rear. The formation shattered at the same moment that the first of the three nukes went off. Control was silent now even with the jammers' having spent their remaining power.

The now revealed sensor picture was crowded with fighters coming into the inner point defense range riding the coat-tails of the anti-ship missiles that they had flung. Point defense was frantic as the many mounts went to independent control, ensuring that multiple guns might shoot at the same target, at least if the sky wasn't so full of targets.

Despite the worry that the defenders had at the fighter swarm the raiders took to heart the big guns opening up on the Heavy frigates, turning them aside and in retreat. The raiders were happy to oblige, mainly so they could keep targeting for the asteroid's guns.

The battle turned one last time; right as the missiles form the fighters were about to impact on the shields, and a little before the fighters followed suit, the remaining mobile munitions detonated over the shield generator. Normally and Individually the munitions wouldn't have done much to the shields, but with the added momentum from the missile impacts the detonations were able to crack the generator mounting and throw the shield through the asteroid. Spalling killed many in that instant, but more importantly it left the facility wide open for the fighters to strafe. The first victims were the cruiser guns, easy and weak in comparison to the bigger guns. Point defense tried to play for time, trading shots in blood. Finally though the Annorith class Assault ships deigned the battlefield with their presence, decloaking inrange of point defense. While they were not that great of combatants they lent a weight of fire sufficient to kill the remaining big guns while being essentially immune to point defense.

The raiders decided for the only prudent option, survival. With the big guns silenced the frigates could end them at leisure. Two of the frigates went to chase them, at least to keep them under the shell of electronic warfare long enough that reinforcements would arrive from the Eoghan carrier group even if they couldn't kill them before they made good an escape.

Now it was time for the infantry to earn their upkeep.

TO BE CONTINUED> when I can.



the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton


Last edited by Agent Sorchus on 2010-12-12 02:46am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-12 01:35am
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Prime Minister's Journal

They were all dead. The final gunshot was an exclamation mark to everything that had led to this point. I released my flipper from the trigger. And then it was over. To make any kind of sense of it, I need to go back more than one thousand years. Back to the night the pain started.

The sun went down with practiced bravado. Twilight crawled across the sky, laden with foreboding.

When the darkness fell, Farbanti became something else, any old Shroomnatra song notwithstanding. Bad things happened in the night, on the streets of that other city. Noir Farbanti.

After Y3K, the end of the universe had become a cliché. But who was I to talk, a brooding underdog avenger alone against an empire of evil out to right a grave injustice. Everything was subjective. There were only personal apocalypses. Nothing is a cliché when it's happening to you.


Shroomania, Nova Terra

One thousand two hundred and something years. That was the last time Shroom had been in his home country. Shroomania, the Sovereignty. Today it was nothing but a province of the UN, a constituency of the United Nations of Earth and Nova Terra. Oh, how things had changed. It was a brave new world with such putzes in it.

Shroom had left the Mediterranean after being dropped there by Heraclius and his pet Inquisitor. He didn't like the Inquisitor much, gruff and grumpy like the stereotypical Byzantine. Sometimes, some things never changed. But Heraclius, it was good to see him slightly mellowed out - if as schemy as ever. His time as a horcrux must've done him some good. Funny how it was only now, in the grim darkness of the far future, long after they've been dead, that they were finally going out and doing something fun. It was like those old movies Shroom had watched, back in the 21st century when he was still alive, those comedies where middle-aged men got together for some kind of adventure.

Shroom had his fair share of adventures, but that was a hundred lifetimes ago, in a different body, in a different mind. Uploaded into a cybernetic half-brain fitted in a dolphin body, as per the senile will of his old dying self in some kind of bid at immortality, and then put into a time-locked cryo-stasis for some nebulous purpose, only to get thawed out more than a thousand years into the future to get reunited with a paperback edition of old Heraclius... it was... it was funny. Other men might have screamed at the horrible ramifications, shortly before going crazy, while some might've wept at the obscenity of reawakening inside a dolphin body. But Shroom had merely laughed. Which, in his new form, was more like chattering excitedly.

Like he once said:

Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Shroomedian is the only thing that makes sense.

Shroomnet
The Shroomanian Electrosphere, Nova Terra


Image

Shroomania had changed much, and yet it had stayed the same. The Shroomanian Sprawl was an urban wasteland of glass and plastic, stone and steel. Holograms and neons were everywhere, plastered on the ground below, in the surrounding cityscape, even in the very sky above. There were still parks and forests, but even these were made out of artificial trees and fake flowers that were themselves nothing but replicated pre-fabricated organics or hardlight holograms. In the end, the nation's materialism had consumed itself, and turned everything around it into nothing but more material.

There were some old sights though, preserved out of some lingering sense of homage to the past. Shroom passed by the Johnson Jetty monument in Comberth Harbor, a 8500 ton work of art made of basalt, earth and salt in the form of a giant dick. In the end, that was one of the few monuments that remained, and the rest were just like it - twisted architectures that mimed and mimicked the human flesh. They were edifices to a decadent culture that had peaked centuries ago, and had slowly declined ever since. Once the center of a universe of excess, the hedonistic climax of a world gone mad, now it only lingered like a half-remembered dream.

Yet Shroom remembered it all. He could remember walking around the streets of Shroomania like it was yesterday, he could still see his country, his people, his home. In his pseudotronic mind, those pictures of the old country were as clear as crystal, as clear as a diamond - a diamond bullet that had shot him in the head. It was all gone now. Shroomania had lost its soul, that essence that had made it what it was. Shroom supposed that was what had happened to the rest of the nations of Nova Terra, Earth, the UN. What had made them them had vanished over the course of a thousand years, like how the wind and water erodes whole mountains, replaced with the cold facelessness of soulless nations.

He was no longer in Shroomania, for it was not Shroomania, not his Shroomania. And he was not on Nova Terra either, for the whole world had become something else entirely.

But he still had one thing left to do. He had been compelled to come here due to a signal that was being transmitted into his pseudonic brain, a signal that repeated one word over and over again.

Code:
WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES WHORES


Shroom arrived at Farbanti and connected himself to the local sensenet, the Shroomnet. The cybernetics of his dolphin body were positively ancient in comparison to the modern systems, but somehow, someway, they were compatible. The zeroth-generation wetware and brainware in Shroom's dolphin body and mind had been the precursor of the Shroomnet, and Shroomnet itself was the great ancestor of the modern infosphere networks - because deep down, at the core of it all, the algorithms of the future had come from the recesses of the cyberdolphinized Prime Minister Shroom's 90 gigabyte brain.

The feeling of jacking into the Shroomanian sensenet was a sudden, almost painful but likewise exhilarating sensation as the erstwhile Prime Minister in dolphin form experienced a momentary sensory overload. His archaic systems were overclocking themselves just to keep up with it all, and even then the virtual reality he was in was only a severely compressed low-resolution matrix. But while his cybernetics were outdated, his brain was still a fully functional postbrain - of an antiquated design, yes, but still a brain was a brain despite the centuries of brainy braining, and the Shroomanian engineers did good work in hand-making the dolphinoid pseudonics - and so his grey matter was able to fully comprehend the immensity of cyberspace.

It was like diving into an ocean of data, a coral reef of information. Everything, everywhere, all around him, submerging him, immersing him, surrounding him in the brilliance of digitized reality. Graphic visual representations, tactile stimulations, auditory cues, smell-olfactory-vision, gustatory interfaces, direct brain thought-controls, all six senses fully integrated into the user's mind.

Shroom gasped, exhaling from his blowhole. It was all too much, all the sensations, all the time. He opted to use just a few of them and selected visual, auditory and thought controls - primarily using auditory, for he was a dolphin now and so in the virtual world he chattered excitedly and communicated with the computers through sonar and echo-location. And so did Prime Minister Shroom swim through Shroomnet, like a dolphin fishing for information of all kinds, and then did he burst out of the digital sea and somersault into new bodies of cyberwater. The galaxy was his oyster, and eagerly he pried it open with his bottlenose dolphin snout.

Image Image Image



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-12 08:32pm
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Sector BB+2



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"Shit. Shit shit shit." Colonel Morgan kept running, the servos weezing with each step slamming onto the deckplates. After the whole Bragulan thing Bessières had offered him a job with the FIS, which he found much more to his liking than bullshit Marine-herding that he did as a CO of a regiment. Morgan had no real desire to ever make it to flag officer rank, he just wanted to be out in the field. And so, when the order came down he and Bessières were part of a dispatch into the verge, eventually "getting work" on various Dromon vessels as deckhands/slash added security. It had been the first time he'd seen this type of Xenos, and they were mildly weirder than the Bragulans. Despite all conversation(which was a little limited, they didn't speak much to mammals) neither he nor Bessières had any fucking clue what political arrangement, if any, the Dromon had. On the 3 vessels they'd been on they had yet to visit a planet that had a Dromon settlement. He would almost call them interstellar gypsies, except they operated their freighters like everyone else: with maximum automation. Still, they had gone through 2 vessels and downloaded logs dating back decades and the only gem they had wrung out was a Amplitur Choir Ship sighting at a human settlement waaaaaaaaayyyy out. Oddly when asked the Dromon indicated that they occasionally did business with the Amplitur, but there was very little in the logs to indicate such.

And so, him and Bessières had been sitting in the messdecks eating what passed for food when the 1st mate had arrived with 4 compatriots. K's's's's! had started screeching about how him and Bessières were industrial spies from other clutches and announced an intent to space them. At least that was what Morgan had gathered. He stood up in his suit(the Dromon had seemed to think that he was an emancipated AI, and he had so little flesh left that was close enough for government work), took two steps towards the scrawny little lizard...

...and stood there in amazement as K's's's's! had taken his scrawny little arm and ripped his combat-rated plasteel left arm right out of his socket.

Which is why he was running at top speed down the passageway. He managed to yank the arm back and use it to club the lot of them, but when he turned around Bessières was gone.

<You cloaca suckling monkey! Who are you working for? We know you've been spying on Dromon merchant traffic!>

Like an idiot Morgan slowed and turned. A screeching alarm was giving him a terrible headache.

Image

"Now look here K's's's's!," Morgan said, holding his left arm like a club "Me and Benjy aren't what you think-"

K's's's's! Howled and leaped. Another surprise, he knocked him to the deck easily and began to pull on his head; warning icons began to blare on the HUD.

<You are a pair of Judases!>

"Where did you even get that term?" Morgan was baffled. No matter how he struggled he couldn't get out of the grip. Well, I guess this is-

Before he could complete that thought K's's's's!'s chest exploded. As the steam dissipated Morgan took a bit to get his bearings, then sat up, looking down the hall.

Image

"What the Hell Benjy?" Morgan shook his ripped off arm at him. "I thought you said they were psychic nulls? They sure as shit ain't psychic nulls! Look what they did to me!" He shook it again.

"Sorry 'bout that Brother, but they read as nulls. The damnedest think, isn't it? We best be getting to de shuttlebay so we can leave as soon as de ship drops into realspace."

"Oh yeah? You think it's just gonna be a walk in the park?" Morgan was taping the arm to his socket, and sighed. He would need to go to a body shop for this.

"I already vented atmo in de bay, and am jacked into environmental in the surrounding p-ways. We be scheduled to drop out of hyperspace in the next half hour anyway." They had a hyperspace capable shuttle that was surplus patriarchal fleet...which made it ideal for these sort of missions. The two ran down a klom before reaching the bay, the trip being pleasantly quiet(with a crew of under 30 and 5 incapacitated there wasn't much left). The Shipmaster's voice was screeching at them over the 1MC. Morgan and Bessières stepped into the bay and made it to the shuttle, with normal space outside the hanger doors indicating that they had exited hyperspace.

"Piece of shit xenos commercial drive won't be able to spin up for another 40 minutes." Morgan said as he sat down in the copilot's chair. "Recommend we open a window as soon as we clear the bay door."

"Dat be damaging their ship a bit brother."

"We can't let them shoot us, or we're dead." Bessières had already lifted the yacht out and cleared the bay, with a window open in seconds. Sensors indicated that a half-kilometer sized hole had just been ripped into the ship.

"We mebbe ruined their cargo run. Hope there be no pirates nearby" Bessières said.

"Serves them right for what they did to my arm!"



ImageImage
"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-13 12:34am
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Hweyixal, Colonial World, Governor's Palace

Kan Balam was continually striding up the ramps of the governor's palace, having to constantly stop and wait for demo charges to blow open doors and kill off the resistance of the loyalist troops. The grenades were doing well to stop them, but the war of attrition was still ongoing; good thing for Kan Balam that he had the numbers to win it.

“Sir, severe resistance on the third basement. Machine gun emplacement down there that's nearly like a pillbox. I don't think a grenade's going to clear it. I'm almost positive Biahwi's down here,” radioed Ximalman, the highest-ranking militia officer in Matsegi's HweyToTlatOl branch.

“I don't believe you. He's got too much pride. He'll be at the top,” Kan Balam said angrily.

“Sir, I've worked with him to subdue those pirates a few years back. He's prideful about politics, not about war. He's like a snake, then. He'll hide in the grass and strike when he's ready or when his hole's invaded,” she replied.

“I doubt it. If you find more proof, I might believe you,” he snapped.

More climbing, more demo charges, more grenades. The smell of blood was getting to Kan Balam and the rest of the HweyToTlatOl soldiers; they were getting more reckless, more hungry for melee combat. They started to use flashbangs, hoping to charge the breach and start engaging in slaughter.

Kan Balam allowed this the first two times, but he had to stop them after the third, when the flashbang didn't incapacitate the defenders, who weren't consumed by bloodlust and were more than willing to use their guns. Kan Balam was getting ever more agitated, his vision getting more and more tunneled, as he was desperate to find Biahwi and kill him.

“Bring me up rocket launchers! I tire of how long it takes to kill all these weaklings!” he bellowed.

“Sir, we're making progress down here. We've cleared out two of these emplacements, and we think there can only be two more, three at maximum. Nothing else has had this magnitude of defense; Biahwi is down here. It's already taken us an hour to get this far, whereas you're approaching the top at this rate. He's down here, sir,” Ximalman said.

“NO! NEVER! HE IS UP HERE!”

Kan Balam had received his rocket launchers, and immediately had them set upon the defenders whenever he encountered them. He grew more and more terrible with each floor, his wrath seizing him as he desired Biahwi's blood.

Hweyixal, Colonial World, Governor's Palace, Basement, 5th Level

Biahwi heard the commotion further up as the defenses slowly fell; he was helping set up the final defense point that they could in case the 3rd and 4th levels fell, though Biahwi was under no illusion that they could hold out if they fell. But, they would go out fighting, as they should. He inhaled deeply. He was a politician and veteran, he should know how to rouse them for their final defense and give them hope.

“As we finish our material defenses, we must also build our spiritual ones, for the enemy outnumbers us. Recall, though, we fight on the side of Imakwa, and the ancestors on Tlali. Though we are kipaktli and moxli, we are united by children of Tlali and our own bonds of brotherhood, as we rely on one another as surely as a cybernetic limb and the original body; without one, the other is diminished too greatly to be of true use, while united they are supremely powerful. Brothers, sisters, we shall endure this and beat back the traitors and slaughter them this day.”

He inhaled deeply, looking at the crowd. There were no cheers or applause, but understanding clacks of jaws and nods, then they got back to work with renewed vigor and steely resolve.

I hope that was adequate he thought.

Hweyixal, Colonial World, Governor's Palace, 26th Floor

Kan Balam roared in fury.

“We close on the highest floor, and the defenders grow thinner, not thicker! How could this be?”

“Colonel Ximalman may have been correct, sir. Biahwi could be in the basement,” answered a private.

For his trouble, he was thrown to the floor and bit on the head.

“Shut up! None of your backtalk, fool!”

He personally blew the door open for the 27th and final floor and stared into the empty hallway; he burst into every room, aiming the rocket launcher. Every room was devoid of any defenders. Kan Balam's blood was boiling in fury. He roared and hurled a chair out of a window, just in time to see a grav-lift APC speed through the streets behind the large mass of the civilian volunteer army.

Hweyixal, Colonial World, Streets of Matsegi, Approaching Governor's Palace

The APC slowed as the mass of civilians turned to see what was happening. A side hatch opened, and a kipakt in power armor hopped out. The armor's mask obscured the soldier's face while making slow, deliberate strides. The civilians saw as the soldier reached back and manipulated something on the armor.

Disperse, citizens, and you shall be pardoned of your treasonous crimes. Remain, and you shall be executed for them.

Thousands of the assembled broke into a run, the telepathy making them feel terror unlike anything they had felt in their entire lives as apex predators. Few had remained, even militia and riot policing breaking. Those that remained, though fearful, turned their weapons upon the lone kipakt.

Hundreds against a lone kipakt? Seems rather unfair.

The kipakt raised an armored claw toward the crowd.

“What is this?” shouted a lone riot officer.

This.

A storm of lightning erupted from the claw hitting dozens of the crowd, felling them instantly. The survivors did not have time to run as the APC unloaded its autogun on them.

Kan Balam, however, aimed his rocket launcher, chirping to himself silently. His humor evaporated as he saw the lone figure face up at him and fire a single shot from an assault rifle. Kan Balam tumbled to the ground and splattered like an overripe fruit on the pavement.

Hweyixal, Colonial World, Governor's Palace, Basement, 3rd Level

Ximalman heard the psychic reverberation in her mind and shuddered. Seconds later, she heard an autogun's report.

“Upstairs! Now! We're being flanked!”
Her order came too late; 15 Tlenamakakli descended upon them with power mauls and psychic fire.

Biahwi, reinforcements have arrived.



SDNet: Unbelievable levels of pedantry that you can't find anywhere else on the Internet!


Last edited by Akhlut on 2010-12-13 12:04pm, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Eight PostPosted: 2010-12-13 06:46am
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Kaiser-class Battleship SMS Prinzregent Luitpold
Admiral's Quarters
July 6, 3400
1015 Hours Fleet Standard Time


In von Mückenberger's experience, there were few things that couldn't wait for breakfast... though he had to admit that it did leave room for the occasional jolt of surprise, which could be bad for the digestion. This was going to be one of those days. "WHAT?"

Arnold's words were, as always, blunt. "Von Musel is back. His ships took only light damage, and they are still battleworthy."

"Out and back in under thirty hours, just like that? I should never have given him so much leeway."

"He reported this morning- says most of the time was taken sneaking up on the target. His plan was... fancy."

"Let me guess; he did something dashing and clever that would have failed horribly if he hadn't been lucky."

"It worked, so I'm not going to jump up and down on it too hard. But ja, I could see a few places where he could have really screwed himself. He sent the destroyers in first."

"God preserve us, has the boy no common sense?"

"Like I said, it worked."

It still ate at him. Admittedly, there wasn't that much risk of fighting a battle against massively superior ships, not against pirates whose heaviest known combatants were up in the destroyer range. But...

"In the event of encounter with a superior force, either in tonnage or numbers, the role of the light combat unit is to picket the enemy, falling back on the battle line while alerting command to the enemy presence, so that they can be destroyed with the greatest possible speed."

That was in the tactical manuals for a reason, damn it! What really mattered in any fleet was the heavies- the battleships, to a lesser extent the large cruisers. If Reinhard had led with the destroyers, he'd been exposing Reuental to an awful risk. He'd have to debrief the fellow- something of a cold fish, but it might give him something he could use to put the proper spin on this.

That was going to be the real challenge. The brat had gotten lucky, it would seem, and keeping the local success from getting blown out of proportion was going to be a pain. The real key would be to pitch the dispatches back to Prussia properly- if the Staff had time to work out a proper method of approach before the Kaiser took too great an interest, they should be able to keep this trivial raid against an unimportant target from stealing his thunder.

The upcoming victory at Zebes would surely outshine von Musel's raid. It was inevitable. He had superior units, as von Langestein had at Volksland. He had great numbers of ships, both capital and subcapital-class, as von Langestein had at Volksland. And it was unquestionable that the Zebesians would stand and fight in defense of their precious Zebes, as the Volkslanders had at Volksland- for was it not their home planet? Had they not dug in on that planet and established a network of outposts around it?

He qualitative and surely quantitative superiority, and an opponent who would be forced to give him a proper pitched battle. Therefore, he would triumph, scoring a famous victory for the League. It was a matter of simple deductive logic.



Patriot-class Heavy Cruiser USS Layla Daniels
Second Intervention Task Force
July 8, 3400


"Who knows, Fyodor. Maybe you're a Bragulan agent in disguise!"

The intelligence officer burst out laughing, his booming voice filling the conference room. "I like that, Ed, I really do. But anyway, I think the Prussians are really serious this time about moving out. They've finally got their supplies straightened out now."

Alex frowned. "I just wish von Mückenberger wasn't playing his cards so close to his chest about his plans. Everyone knows he's going to run straight for Zebes by now, but he doesn't answer his mail when we ask him for details, not really. It's going to make supporting him tricky if anything goes wrong, and no one else is in a good position to order him point blank to play well with others."

Wenli nodded and broke into the staff's conversation. "I've been talking to the other admirals; we have a certain amount of contingency planning done already. I'll want to talk to you after the meeting to work out some of the details, Edwin."

"Yes, sir."

"I think we'll be all right, though. I can't imagine the Prussians having too many problems gun to gun against anything we've seen so far... though those new ships this von Musel says he ran into trouble me. Not so much because they're powerful, as because we don't know where they came from."

"Maybe they've found some allies?"

"Maybe. But I don't think we'll be dealing with more force than we can compose a backup plan for."



Surface of Zebes
Sector H-12
July 9, 3400


When he heard the news of the third Prussian convoy's arrival, Weavel Grutardus, master of Zebes, took a final tour of planetary defense sites. Admiral Frugus had done good work delaying the humans' buildup; he'd bought them more time than Weavel would have thought possible. Time for thousands of pieces of heavy construction equipment to go to work around the clock digging in, operated by soldiers or even gangs of relatively trusted serfs. Time for more such equipment to be begged, borrowed, or stolen. Time for gangs of slaves to dig soft shelters for his ground troops, and for the troops to improve their shelters with bracing frameworks and other innovations to increase resistance to bombardment.

But Frugus's time had run out. He had pulled all the ships under his command back to Zebes in preparation for the imminent Prussian attack. The odds, he had to admit, didn't look good. At a minimum, Frugus wasn't outnumbered, but he was painfully outgunned: his average ship was little heavier or more powerful than the Prussians' lightest units, and the handful of strong ships at the Zebesians' disposal were hardly a match for even the human cruisers, let alone their battleships.

Weavel knew that Frugus had spent every available moment over the past few weeks exploring alternate plans to engage the Prussian Second Fleet around Zebes, and some of them were quite impressive... but it was obvious to everyone that they would eventually have to fall back on the planetary defenses. Weavel himself had been most preoccupied with the state of those defenses since the beginning of July, and took every available opportunity to tour them.

Today, the pirate commander had taken with him one of the more helpful of the Boskonian specialists, one whose expertise focused on the construction of deep bombardment shelters and fortified planetary defenses. The human Taro Yamada originally hailed from one of the species' more distant empires, one that had coincidentally sent ships to this very sector to burn out his raiders: the Technocracy of Umeria.

Next on their tour was one of the light-caliber planetary defense batteries Weavel's troops had dug in. Defense of orbital space was going to be challenging, since his equipment didn't run to heavy anticapital guns or theater shielding, but he at least had enough light artillery and surface-to-orbit missiles to deter the humans from getting too low and too slow.

The antiship cannon were of Urtraghan manufacture, but here too he owed much to the Boskonians, who had supplied him with vast numbers of missile launchers and other hardware. Much of it was still poorly protected from bombardment, but the sheer volume of fire the technical specialists promised him was staggering. It would take the Prussians a long time to secure control of orbital space around Zebes, if his gunners had anything to say about it.

The officer commanding the defense battery trotted up to Weavel, his posture tense. "Ah sir, I don't know if anyone told you, but we have a test firing scheduled..."

"Go ahead; we have noise cancellation and I want to watch."

"Thank you, sir." The gunner scuttled off to issue orders to his troops. A few minutes later, at the crest of a rise a kilometer away, a pair of wide, flat doors shot open. They moved with speed and silence unbelievable to those not familiar with the precision and durability of modern servomechanics- practically no energy wasted on noise or vibration, just a single smooth motion to clear the way for the shot.

A hemispherical turret the size of a three-story building popped up, gun barrel searching the sky. There was a resounding crash muted by active noise cancellation in Weavel's helmet as the coilgun spotted the target drone. That was followed a second later by a burst of light on the horizon as the target disintegrated, leaving a hail of pyrotechnic charges to confirm its destruction. The turret gun withdrew under the heavy blast cover with blurring speed, presenting a smooth armored surface to any return fire that might come its way.

Weavel's defense engineer nodded. "These anti-lander railguns, I like them, they're good. All they needed was a few extra touches."

"The disappearing turret mount?"

"Yeah. That's the real trick- never let them get a clean shot at the inner workings of your systems. That's just asking for soft kills. Pop up, shoot, pop down. Sticking the turret machinery aboveground like you guys used to..."

"Easier to mount them that way."

"It is, but easy to install is easy to kill. Some of the older gun mounts, someone could've just walked up and blown the ammo lockers from the sides- how well is something like that going to stand up if people are dropping nukes on it?"

The human was surprisingly casual about heavy bombardment, accepting that the Zebesian defenses would be subjected to who knew how many kilotons of punishment before the human armies even landed... but then, Weavel supposed it was his job to worry about such things.

"I see. You are confident about the primary defense shelters?"

"Up to a point. You have to remember, anything can be cracked if you dump enough megatons into it. What you've got under the Tourian range is pretty good as such things go, though I don't feel really happy about it- too much rock, not enough metal and screen in the overburden. But unless someone knows exactly where to shoot and just keeps hovering over the place dropping stuff into the crater from the last hit, a few kilometers of granite ought to be enough. It's trickier when they know where to aim, though."

"You're factoring in the shock bracing, yes?" That had been... expensive to build, very costly in machine-hours, but the renegade had insisted and his Boskonian masters had backed him.

"Oh, absolutely. Without decent bracing there's just no point in going underground; one little bunker buster and it's all over. If you can't stop the roof from collapsing on you, you might as well not bother. But... yes, I think so. If we were looking at Sheppo strategic bombardment nukes we'd have a problem, but against Heinrich von Krautenberger or whatever his name is, I think we'll be all right as long as they don't manage to pinpoint the command bunker. And given the comm setups, I don't thtink we need to worry about that."

As they got into the aircar to look at the next site, Weavel had to ask: "What I don't understand is... why are you making no plans to leave? This isn't your fight."

"May I tell a little story, by way of answering that?"

"You may."

"This was... nearly six hundred years ago, I think. Now, the country I was born in, ou- their neighbors are called the Shepistani Republic. Have you heard of them?"

"The nukers of geese?"

"That's the one. Living next to them has made the Umerians a bit paranoid about surprise orbital bombardment attacks. We knew damn well that on the Sheppo side of the line, they had war plans that mostly went 'Nuke once. Nuke twice. Repeat. Ask questions eventually.' The most... elegant expression of the sentiment came from one of their old presidents, back before the Amplitur War. He described the final campaign his admirals had planned as... what was it... 'The last gasp of the Technocrat establishment. Let's see them think their way out of fission.' "

"Difficult to do."

"It is. And that's what I want to do: outthink fission. Just fucking ride out an orbital bombardment and still be standing at the end of it, because I built the bunker that well. So yeah, I'm going to be sitting this one out with you guys. Worst case, it's how I always wanted to go anyway."

Weavel reminded himself to shake his head up and down, in a fashion the alien would interpret as agreement and acceptance. While Yamada was a good consultant and a great help to the task of fortifying Zebes, Weavel had long since realized that the renegade Umerian was not entirely sane.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-13 09:33am
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Unreal Time
Light of Bragule-class subcruiser Dark of Bragule
Somewhere in Wild Space...


Image

The subcruiser Dark of Bragule lurked in the depths of space. Slow and quiet, its hull blended in with the surrounding blackness, matching the background radiations that permeated the ether around it, camouflaging itself from the scrutinies of those who would hunt for it. It had neither the cloaking fields nor the scatterscreens like those used by the stealth ships of the humans and some other alienoid navies, but it did not need them. The anechoic tiles and sensor-absorbent metamaterials that covered its hull gave it a measure of concealment, a passive near-equivalent to the more active methodologies of stealth. Emissions minimization also aided in its hiding, with cold fusion subnuclear reactors, the deactivation of all non-vital and some semi-vital systems, and the use of drive-suppressors all making for a ship truly capable of silent running.

It was not quite invisible, and under the withering gaze of potent detection systems, it could not stay hidden for long. So, to ensure that it could stay hidden for long periods of time, the subcruiser avoided the gazes of its enemies. Unlike spy ships that were meant to penetrate enemy defenses while remaining unseen, the subcruiser stayed well away from anything that could detect it and thus compromise its mission. After all, it was a ship's mission that dictated its design, and thus for the other stealth ships, their missions of deep reconnaissance or sneak attacks likewise dictated theirs. This too was the case of the subcruiser.

The subcruiser's mission was to wait, so it was designed to wait for a very long time.

Its subspace sonars listened silently to the sounds of space, passively scanning for any signs of the enemy's scrutiny, the ripples of realspace reentry, the groan of ships as they submerged themselves in supraluminal space and swam through its depths, the echoes of sub-etheric signals bouncing off in the ether. It heard the omnipresent chorus of stellar radiation, and within that ambient noise was a tiny voice that droned on and on, speaking in Bragulan phonetic alphabet.

Code:
NYERA ULYANA SCHUKA VYERY 3 EKHO STANDBY...

THIS IS KIRENSK MESSAGE FOLLOWS STANDY...

NYERA ULYANA SCHUKA VYERY 3 EKHO YURY KHYVAN FYDYR LENA JYGRSKA RYAL BYVEL GRASKA 476

KIRENSK OUT...


The sole watcher stationed at the sonar arrays listened to the voice droning on in his headphones. With a pencil he scribbled the corresponding letters on a piece of paper, with each stroke of his shivering bear paws sending tiny particles of crushed lead floating in the micro-gravity. The signal he was hearing was a standard hyperwave broadcast from Bragule's naval command centers sent in predetermined intervals when all ships of the Space Fleet were listening, for their atomic clocks were all synchronized. He had heard this particular signal thousands of times in the years he was stationed at the sonar arrays, in the years the Dark of Bragule had laid hidden near the edge of Cevaucian space. It was a routine transmission, he knew for he had it memorized, but for procedure's sake he checked the booklet and saw the same code and its correspondingly routine meaning. Nothing to be alarmed at.

He crumpled the paper and tossed it away, drawing a new sheet after, ready to write down the next code transmission.

Code:
BRAG-KING BRAG-KING BRAG-KING DO NOT ANSWER...

UHURA 2 TSAPLYA TIME 33 AUTHORIZATION ZHENYA CHELOVEK...

I SAY AGAIN BRAG-KING BRAG-KING BRAG-KING DO NOT ANSWER...

UHURA 2 TSAPLYA TIME 33 AUTHORIZATION ZHENYA CHELOVEK

KIRENSK OUT...


Now this was odd.

BRAG-KING messages were special EAM, Emergency Action Messages, presumably the nuclear go/no-go codes. Urgent ones were repeated three or four times, instead of the usual two. BRAG-KING was a group callsign for units in the Single Integrated Operation Plan for strategic operations." "Do not answer" was the standard procedure for self-authenticating broadcasts, meaning that recipients didn't need to give away their positions or existence by challenging the traffic.

The sonar bear finished scribbling on the paper. He placed his pencil down and looked at what he had written.

UHURA 2 TSAPLYA TIME 33 AUTHORIZATION ZHENYA CHELOVEK

He reached into a drawer and pulled out another codebook, a green-colored one. He leafed through its pages and found the corresponding instructions for the alphanumeric code he had received. He pulled out another book, this time an instruction manual, and read the instructions for those instructions. He read them again just to be sure.

Satisfied with his sureness, he kicked himself off his station and floated into a corridor. There he pawed his way on the ceiling ladders and made it to another compartment, where there was a massive instrument panel with switches and levers and dials. He flipped some of the switches and twisted some of the dials just right before pulling up the largest lever he found.

Green lights filled the interior of the Dark of Bragule, klaxons rang, the micro-gravity became normo-gravity and the Bragulan tumbled down softly to the floor and landed on his feet. Quickly acclimating himself to the new gravity, he jogged over to another chamber just in time to meet his fellow crew as they were thawed out of their cryo-freezers. They crawled out of their stasis chambers, shivering and shaking themselves to remove excess frost from their furs. They didn't bother to put on any clothes, they couldn't waste time dressing themselves, not in a situation like this. Immediately they bolted to their respective stations, jogging on the steel deckplates and clambering up ladders or opening up hatches and sliding down fireman poles. They were all butt naked as they did this, except for the watcher.

He went to his commanding officer, who had wrapped a towel around his waist not to cover himself up but to denote his position of authority. He explained the situation to him, and together they went into the control room. He showed him the code on the piece of paper, and together they opened a safe, took a pair of special keys - card keys, punchcard keys - and went to the supercomputer that was in the middle of the room. They punched the punchcards into the machine simultaneously, and the computer began to activate - warming up with a series of beeps, before whirring as magnetic tape cassettes began to spin and as diodes began to light in sequence.

The commander barked out something to another Bragulan, who swiftly came back with another codebook. They opened the codebook, looked up the watcher's code to find another alphanumeric code, and inputted that code into the supercomputer by way of a keyboard.

The computer began to beep and whine as it spat out a dot-matrix printout. Written on it was the true meaning of the code given to them by Kirensk command, extrapolated from the alphanumeric combination transmitted to them.

Code:
RELOCATE POSITION IMMEDIATELY

PROCEED ANTISPINWARD TO PREDESIGNATED HOLDING AREA

REMAIN HIDDEN AND AWAIT FOR FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS


The commander left the watcher and stormed to the ship's bridge. He threw away his towel, no longer needing it to denote his rank as he sat himself on the captain's chair. Then he barked out the commands, giving the coordinates of their destination to the navigations officer. The naked pilot saluted and plotted their course.

In short order, the Dark of Bragule began to stir after years of silent solitude. Its suppressed drives, equipped with silencers, began to pulse as it moved away from its hiding spot in deep space. It engaged its modified hyperdrive and quietly made its way antispinward.

There was hardly a ripple in subspace as it submerged itself into the depths of the supraluminal ether.



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-13 10:57am
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Command Bridge, Disruptor-class Battleship CNS Black Hole, Task Corps 8
Deep Space, Sector H-11
July 10, 3400


"Sir, it is time. The Prussians have proper supply and our other allies report as ready."

Finally!

"Let's not waste any time, then. Inform the other higher commanders that we move into Zebes now!", said Vice-Admiral Prots Verio.

"Yes, sir."

Oh, how long he waited. Granted, he managed to get replacements for the ships lost at Hawk's Nest, but that would have taken less time than von Mückenberger's issues. But now the time was ripe. The only thing left was to go to hyperspace.



An inhabitant from the Island of Cars.

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 Post subject: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Nine Part One PostPosted: 2010-12-14 09:20pm
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Posts: 20989
Quote:
With the arrival of a third convoy on July 8, Admiral von Mückenberger decided that he had sufficient supplies for the offensive against Zebes, and ordered the Second Fleet to prepare for action...

Undisclosed Location, Sector H-12
Boskonian Sector Command Dome
Evening of July 9, 3400


High Admiral Natalya Zokolova leaned back in her office chair and sighed.

After losing Squadron A4F18, and after Helmuth signed off on her plan, she'd moved the Contrecoup formations to the Subplan Four positions. Coordination from Sector Command would be more difficult than under Subplan One, where her ships had been posted since early June. But the essence of the plan was still the same- and the risk of detection before the battle dropped off sharply.

But even though she had things under control, it had been a long week. The arrival of significant Coalition reinforcements- not just the ships, the minds, new personality profiles to study and factor in- had made things tricky. The raid had made a noticeable dent in her margins of error for the plan, too. It had been a stressful week, and it was going to be a long day tomorrow; she had confirmation that the Prussians would depart around noon local time.

She needed a break. After thinking through a few options, she settled on one of her special favorites, one that she could rarely afford. But... maybe tonight.

There were many acknowledged ways in which prisoners could be used for stress release. Some were obvious and crude. Others, more subtle- and correspondingly difficult to accomplish; you had to have the right captive and the right circumstances if you wanted to be sure they wouldn't backfire horribly.

It was going to be a long day tomorrow, so she went through the files looking for a suitable prisoner. Taken off a derelict Umerian recon cutter in the aftermath of the late Squadron A4F18's ambush of USS Nantucket, the subject was already slated to be mind-peeled by the Delgonians for technical knowledge. Mind-peeling was a nicely thorough process; it no longer mattered what the subject knew or didn't know, it had less than sixteen hours to live, it wouldn't be coming into contact with anyone not cleared for Contrecoup, and the files marked it as thoroughly restrained.

There was no reason not to indulge, so she gave the appropriate orders. Some minutes later, three beings, two of them humanoid, walked in wheeling a gurney with the subject strapped to it. They flipped a few switches and the surface elevated, giving the subject a suitable view of the room.

Zokolova addressed the head attendant in the Boskonian constructed language. "Subject's restraints?"

"Grades Two, as you see, and Four."

"Noted." Grade Two would be redundant if they'd gone to Grade Five, but Five was trickier to reverse, and made a great many interrogation techniques impractical. Grade Four was less of a compromise on those fronts- probably a good call; it usually was except under extreme conditions.

The attendants pulled off the subject's hood; its shoulders began bucking back and forth. Still thrashing after Level Four restraint techniques? Definitely a troublesome one.

She switched to Galstandard English; they spoke that in Umeria. "Daniel Three Peaks, citizen type three. You might as well stop struggling, you know. You're not going anywhere until those nerve trunks are reconnected- until it suits us for you to be able to feel your legs again." The subject winced; it must remember from... three sessions ago, or four? She'd really only glanced at its file.

"In any case, you're a dead man, Danny boy, and I feel the urge to gloat, so I'm going to be entirely honest with you. My name is Natalya, and I'm in charge here- not just of the nice ladies and gentlemen who've been asking you interesting questions, but the armed forces of the entire sector and a number of points beyond. And tomorrow the Prussian fleet is going to depart for Zebes, thinking to put an end to the 'Zebesian pirates,' as if it would be so easy."

"They're coming for you! SpaceSec isn't going to give up until they hunt down every last one of you bastards, no matter how many of you there are!"

"I look forward to it. I love a good fleet battle. But that's for later. In the near term, the Prussians are about to give me one too, and on the best terms I could ask for. Their doctrine forms such neat little patterns, and von Mückenberger is so very easy to type. They'll come charging straight in, railguns blazing and missiles firing- their idea of 'lightning war.' Naturally the assets are going to get pounded. But I expect to be able to pull out everything important out before it gets too badly damaged. The Prussians will cheer and dive headfirst into their favorite recreational activity- planetary bombardment! That should keep them busy for a while, deplete their fuel and ammunition for me."

The subject's eyes widened- maybe now he was starting to see it...

"And then, when the Prussians are well and truly stuck in, I'm going to bring down the chopper. The Contrecoup forces, close at hand in ambush positions, fully armed and fueled. Second Fleet will be cut off and demolished. Of course, someone will probably try and pull their chestnuts out of the fire, so I had to plan a few little surprises for any reinforcements coming along, too. Tricky, but not nearly as tricky as it should have been; you people really fucked this campaign up nicely, you know that? You were off to such a good start, and then everything slowed down."

"They'll spot your ships moving into position, you bitch! You'll never be able to do it!"

Now that was just hilarious. What, was he imagining... no wait, that must be it. He must be thinking she was only positioning the ships now... HA!

"Do it? Dan, I'm not a cartoon villain. Do you seriously think I'd explain my masterstroke if there remained the slightest chance of anyone affecting its outcome? I did it thirty-five days ago."

The prisoner was silent now, his thinning shell of defiance finally cracked and giving way to an expression of total despair.

"All my ships are in position for the operation, all my installations are prepared. Everything is in its proper place... including you. You should feel proud of yourself, Lieutenant. You resisted ordinary torture so long, we decided to send you to the real specialists, for the extraordinary ones."

She waved a hand to the attendants, this time speaking in Galstandard English. "Gag him, and take him away."

The three beings obeyed, wheeling the subject's gurney out of the room.

That felt good. I needed that.

She was in the right frame of mind now. Tomorrow was going to be fun...



Undisclosed Location, Sector H-12
Boskonian Sector Command Dome
Morning of July 10, 3400


In the following hours, Lieutenant Three Peaks of the Umerian Space Security Force would wish he had died a hundred times under the instruments of the ordinary men who had demanded information from him before. That would have been infinitely better than facing the Delgonians- those ultimately savage, unimaginably skilled, utterly irresistible arch-torturers! There was no defense, no endurance, no hope, as the sinister aliens drained every fragment of knowledge from Three Peaks' brain while slowly rending away his very life force with their mental powers, reveling in the challenge of making his every moment as hellish as possible, until nothing but a dead husk remained.

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 Post subject: Battle of Zebes, Chapter Nine Part Two PostPosted: 2010-12-14 09:38pm
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Kaiser-class Battleship SMS Prinzregent Luitpold
Flag Bridge
July 10, 3400
0900 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Admiral Gregor von Mückenberger stretched his arms, then picked up his coffee cup. It was a wonderful day to win a battle, even if he'd had to get out of bed a little early.

His ships were doing their final top-off of auxiliary fuel tanks. Ammunition was loaded- mixed solid, guided, flak and nuclear, plus a healthy number of ground-attack thermobarics for the heavy cruisers. Everyone was ready to go, at last!

"Sir! Message from Black Hole; Vizeadmiral Verio would like a word with you."

"Of course, of course, I will see him." The Centralist admiral was a stiff fellow with some funny ideas, but his heart was in the right place. And it was always good to put one's intentions on the record with allied commanders before going off to win a major battle.



Disruptor-class Battleship CNS Black Hole
Flagship Task Corps 8
Deep Space, Sector H-11
0905 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Vice Admiral Prots Verio didn't relish speaking to Admiral Mückenberger. Theoretically, the Prussian was his superior in rank. Practically, Verio found it very difficult to think of the cretin as his superior in any way.

The overwhelming size of the Prussian Second Fleet had made the question of who had overall command of the Coalition forces very touchy. Even before the start of operations, the Umerian and Tianguo embassies to the Center had flatly refused to place their forces under Prussian command for any reason. Verio couldn't blame them. The Eoghan and Atlantean contingents had withheld judgment until hearing back from their officers on the spot... at which point they'd agreed fully with the Prussians' neighbors.

For a while, the Centrality had feared they would need to send out a full admiral to take over, which was... politically inadvisable for a number of reasons. A matter of some delicacy, he gathered by reading between the lines of notes from Fleet headquarters. What salvaged the situation more than anything else was sheer inertia. The Prussians themselves said nothing on the matter, neither agreeing to subordinate their fleet to a foreigner nor asking that foreigners be subordinate to them.

Second Fleet, with tonnage comparable to the combined forces of all the other contingents, was treated more like a cobelligerent that happened to be in the same neighborhood, and less like part of an integrated command structure.

It prevented squabbles, but it was very inelegant. In practice, what it came down to was that Verio was willing to defer to Mückenberger as fit their relative ranks... so long as Mückenberger didn't try to tell Verio what to do.

But they had to confer before Mückenberger left; he had to try one more time to get the Prussian to agree to some kind of sensible plan other than "charge!"

Mückenberger's bewhiskered face appeared before him on the viewscreen, with an almost absurdly 'Stoic Paternal' expression on his face. Verio hoped was a pose. Either Mückenberger was posturing, or his head was even emptier than the Centralist wanted to think possible. "Hello there, Vice Admiral!"

"Good day to you, sir. I wanted to call on behalf of the Central State to wish your forces good luck for the operation-" Mückenberger beamed at this- "And also because I wanted to propose some minor adjustments to our dispositions."

The beaming grin faded. "What do you mean?"

"I've mentioned this before, but... I've been thinking about the attack plan, and I recommend in the strongest possible terms that we move a bit more slowly, and try to clear or at least sweep the surrounding systems before dropping your command on Zebes. We don't know nearly enough about what's out there, and some of what I've been hearing from the junior admirals is... disturbing."

Now the grin was replaced by a frown. "Von Musel?"

"He's not the half of it. I've heard the same story from the Umerians- Yang called me with his concerns within less than two hours of the release of your Sixth Battlecruisers' report. He didn't reference any communications with the Rear Admiral either; just the fact that they did run into a noticeable starship force. The day after that, Hazarika- the former CO of their contingent- chimed in too. She sent me a twelve page report on just how much the pirates could have squirreled away in some of those systems without us knowing. It's not encouraging, and it isn't just them either. The Eoghans are twitchy, the Tianguo contingent have been muttering darkly about the whole thing, though neither of them has really explained their sources for the intel yet... I don't like it, sir."

"You must understand, Vice Admiral, these things are normal before a major battle. They can't be allowed to distract us from combat operations- every part of the plan is essential, and changes now are impossible, as you must see."

"Admiral... I have to state for the record that I believe we need to apply more caution in this situation. We have five or six system-cracking task forces here without even dipping into your forces; I suggest that we use them."

Mückenberger frowned. "I understand your concerns, but I don't want any unnecessary interference with my fleet's activities. If you force me into contrived coordination with other fleets, it will only serve to kill my fleet's strength, and in the end, benefit the pirates. You'll be limiting our strategic options."

"What strategic options, sir?-" and it took all Verio's willpower not to put a contemptuous pause before that 'sir'- "You're planning to attack, you're planning for them to defend. What options do you have that you'd lose if you coordinated with a backup force?"

The Prussian said nothing for a moment. His face went flat, then returned to his original expression of Noble Paternal Dignity. It was as if a switch had flipped in Mückenberger's head, a reset button of some kind.

"Thank you for your kind offer, vice admiral, but there is no need! We have ample forces to destroy the pirates at Zebes, and that is what we will do, as promised and as planned! Von Mückenberger out!" The display went black.

What was he thinking? Was he thinking, or was he just grandstanding? Was there anything going through his brain aside from speeches? The man is insane, and I can't order him not to be!

Verio blinked, then blinked again, unable to comprehend the absurdity of what he'd just heard, until he was politely interrupted by his chief of staff.

Staffers in the Central State had to walk a careful line. On the one hand, proper subordination was vital if superior officers were to have freedom of action. On the other, it was a staff officer's duty to understand and clarify his superior's thoughts- and that duty was no less an iron law than any other. So Higgs asked a question that any other man of his rank would hesitate to raise.

Higgs cleared his throat to draw his superior's attention. "Sir, at the risk of being presumptuous, I wonder if our fleet should just remain here as spectators, since Admiral Mückenberger seems to be so confident in his plans."

The Centralist admiral shook his head. "We can't. Plans don't fail before they're put into effect. It's after the first shot that things start to go wrong. And if something goes wrong on this scale..."

"Are you concerned about anything in particular, sir?"

"No. I don't know what there is to be concerned about yet. But I don't like it when I see a flag officer trying to use calculation in place of mental strength. To be blunt, Mückenberger is... not strong-minded. He has a huge weight of metal at his command, but I don't think he has the heart or the brains to use it efficiently, and that could mean trouble. And consider the situation. Second Fleet will be several hours into the shoals, through a lane network that looks like thirty light-years of cable spaghetti. Communications will be miserable; anything could happen in there and we won't have either a clear picture of what's going on or an easy path to support him."

"...What are your orders, sir?"

"Tell all the allied contingents to prepare for the jump to hyperspace, leaving... one eighth of their force as a joint force to cover the fleet base- I want at least one cruiser or heavy destroyer from each contingent. We'll be pushing into the shoals behind Second Fleet to cover their rear- whether they like it or not. Alert me when the Prussians finish their final refueling checks and our other contingents are ready to move."



CNS Black Hole
0920 Hours Fleet Standard Time


Force Lord wrote:
"Sir, it is time. The Prussians have proper supply and our other allies report as ready."

Finally!

"Let's not waste any time, then. Inform the other higher commanders that we move into Zebes now!", said Vice-Admiral Prots Verio.

"Yes, sir."

Oh, how long he waited. Granted, he managed to get replacements for the ships lost at Hawk's Nest, but that would have taken less time than von Mückenberger's issues. But now the time was ripe. The only thing left was to go to hyperspace...

...Verio wasn't so much concerned about Zebes itself as he was about the surrounding systems. They still didn't know enough about what was out there.

Mückenberger wanted to make the run at top speed, accepting that his ships' detection radius would suffer from the churning his hyperspace wake created in the shoals. The Prussian had brooked no argument. Verio planned to take it rather slower- someone had to be able to see where they were going, and anyone closing in behind.

I may not be able to tell Mückenberger not to be a fool, but I won't allow him to make one out of me.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-14 11:23pm
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Location: IA > GA
(Written with Shroomy)


*click*

“In New Anglia, MP Fauntleroy Alistair Alton XVIII and Baron Nigel Pemberton III have called for the government to declare Shepistanis to be non-human in response to the Republic of Shepistan’s deplorable treatment of their esper population. Said Baron Pemberton today-”

*click*

“Yesterday, the infamous Solarian data-site Leakydicks released documents allegedly from the Shepistani State Department. This latest leak contained diplomatic cables to the Multiversal Empire of -”

*click*

“Oh no, Sunshine Queen! When no one was looking, the evil wizard took all the cakes!”

“There were forty cakes. That’s as many as four tens, and that’s terrible!”

*click*

“The hyper-powered bio-metabar of the United Sovereign Marine Corps, the baddest technological sons of bitches in this side of the known universe, is coming to an S-Mart near you! Soon!”

“HOOOAH!”


*click*

[inspiring military marches play in the background]
Manly Voice: “Stand against the color of corruption!”
Announcer: “This message brought to you by the Byzantine Alliance Regarding Filth.”
[fades to black]


[Nonsensical promo scene.]
“And now back to Animal House!”

[Location: Second Floor Study Lounge and Kitchen. The walls for some reason look like they are bleeding yellow blood.]

Gvysygkyovich the Bragulan [waving his trusty beating stick]: “Ven iz new birdie kid here? I must beat vith velcome ztick!”

Shelley the Amplitur [levitating in the area in a meditating pose]: “He will be here when he is here.”

Gvysygkyovich: “I hatez your Zen zitz!”

[Laugh track]

[Slippy the Ranoidian struts in.]

Slippy: “Hey peeps, guess whose mating season is coming!”

[Shelley drops in shock.]

[hyena laughs]

*click*



DPDarkPrimus is my boyfriend!

SDNW4 Nation: The Refuge And, on Nova Terra, Al-Stan the Totally and Completely Honest and Legitimate Weapons Dealer and Used Starship Salesman slept on a bed made of money, with a blaster under his pillow and his sombrero pulled over his face. This is to say, he slept very well indeed.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-14 11:24pm
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(Written with Mayabirdies!)


Universal Galactopedia > Media > Pop Culture and Entertainment > Animal House


The fourth show said to be inspired by the demented mind of Wesley Prefect Birkin, Animal House is an exercise in polarization. As Solarian critic Simon Johansen put it, “folks either hate it or love it, and there ain't nothin' in between.” Denounced by most non-humans as speciesist trash (and a surprising hit in the Byzantine Empire), the sitcom has inspired both boycotts and a convention dedicated to it.

Animal House is the story of a group of college roommates in a dorm reserved for non-human students. Nearly every major species is represented by a character. Particular fan favorites include the perpetually angry and strongly accented Gvysygkyovich the Bragulan, Candy the sexy Chamarran, and the chain-smoking psychic Amplitur, Shelley. After the recent appearance of the Refuge, a new avian character was added.

The show is known for its completely inaccurate representation of college plus a near total lack of continuity. The most famous example is the episode where the Animal House dorm burned to the ground and then exploded due to a “wacky pheromone experiment” but in the next episode, everything was back to normal as if nothing had happened. Some fans insist that the episodes are shown out of chronological order and that the show is actually the true finale, although the changing characters of later seasons makes the conclusion highly questionable.

A large portion of the show’s humor comes from puns and gags based on stereotypes of the characters’ species, which has led to accusations of speciesism. Whether the actors playing the characters are actually in on the jokes, or are made to participate in them unwittingly, is not known, except in the case of Yekhov Nayumoivych Pokhys. Much of the dialogue is spoken in the many different native languages of their respective characters only to be dubbed over in standard human languages, while for those characters that actually do speak their lines in human languages, it is unclear whether their actors actually understand their lines at all or are just reciting them without knowing what they actually mean. Several of the characters are not even members of their supposed species at all, but are androids, humans in costumes, or computer generated images due to the inability of the producers to recruit actors.

The famed Bragulan expat comedian and writer Yekhov Nayumoivych Pokhys, despite being thirty years older than his character, plays the role of Gvysygkyovich the Bragulan as an extension of his popular “In Bragulan Star Empire” humor and his continued feud against his home nation. For this, the IBGV has charged him with treason and issued a warrant for his summary combustion. When asked about the charge of treason, he responded, in character, “in Bragulan Star Empire, joke laughs at you!”

Human reactions to Animal House are mixed, ranging from general condemnation from the Star Kingdom of New Anglia to having a cult following in Shepistan (although for general broadcasts, Shelley is replaced by a second Eoghan character). In non-human nations, the show has received scathing criticism just for its title, Animal House, for the implication that the alien dorm denizens are nothing better than animals. The generally inaccurate species stereotypes depicted have also been considered highly offensive. In the Bragulan Star Empire, possession of a copy of Animal House, and even just watching an episode of the show, is considered an offense punishable by de-education in the Bragulags; while in the Shinra Republic, the Moogle Anti-Defamation League successfully lobbied for the show to be given an adult rating, banning its watching by anyone under the age of sixteen.

The only non-human group to have positively received Animal House is the Zigonian Catholic Church, when the Space Pope in his ecumenical address praised the show for its positive depiction of Zigonian culture and its accurate portrayal of Zigonian Catholicism, even going so far as to admit that “indeed, Zigonians are animals... Party animals!” before leading an incense-fueled rave-mass at the beaches of Zigon 5.



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shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
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 Post subject: OMINOUS PostPosted: 2010-12-15 01:45am
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CURRENT TIME, Cinnabar, Federal Fleet Command Center, deep under the crust, railway station K17

The fourteen newly promoted captains seated themselves around the space in the sandy benches that were provided. Their data relays alerted them of Ailill's and the Fleet representative's arrival, just prior to them entering.

They all presented themselves at attention, sitting or standing perfectly still with all their attention on their higher up. The really striking thing that Ailill noticed was the prominent badges they all shared. Not only were they all the same rank but they were of the same formation and captained the same ship. Yet their formation still wasn't activated despite the readiness of their ships, so they were here.

The fleet officer started the briefing, "As you are aware in the last week your ships have been re-assigned. I can reassure you that this is only intended as a temporary measure. I am happy to inform you that your new formation is the first Fleet Independent Squadron Temporary. Yes that is correct, very similar to the independent squadrons call sign, that is no mistake. This is intended as a measure of counter Intelligence. As of this moment you are to report to Envoy Ailill."

He (Ailill) stood lifting himself of off his forelimbs, to better direct the remaining briefing. "This is now under my personal authority, but take heart it is also similar to my personal skill set. I have been in contact with my fellows in diplomatic import, and we have decided that we have use for you. This is going to be a combination of Intelligence gathering and assisting allies. However there is a fair bit of danger and reasonable fear of engagement. You will be informed of the zone of operation once underway. You should be prepared for anything, but the go code OMINOUS will be the signal that is of ultimate importance for your mission. The contingencies are all mentioned in the packet you will have on the way to your target zone."

"What will our support look like sir?"

"Support is negligible form EUC assets, but you will have allies in the area. Remember this is a Intelligence operation, so the default mode is silent 3. Silent 5-7 will be unlocked in the target zone, but do not use them unless necessary. Allied assets go by codename, OkKen and Masha."

"You will be alone out there, but you will not be forgotten. We will meet again before the stars change."

The briefing over Ailill left the room, despite the almost anemic quality of the information imparted it had been good, just enough of a teaser to draw out their curiosity. But he still felt like he was sending them to their doom, and that the song of the universe, that stilted dispassionate wailing of an impersonal flute now had the accompaniment of war drums.



the engines cannae take any more cap'n
warp 9 to shroomland ~Dalton

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-15 07:35am
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Location: London, england
Orbital station, Chamarra Prime.
Representative Leir Kithandra was doing her best to stay objective despite the gentle warmth doing its best to lull her into a relaxed almost torpor like state, up until hearing the 3 meter tall Xylyx emissary discuss so emphatically the desire to eradicate the MEH which did a remarkable job at focusing her. Leir somewhat alarmed by the proposal as she herself holds somewhat to Tia's school of thought that as a society that some humans still believed was still conducting a 360 year long illegal occupation of a Sovereign human nation the Hierarchy was bound by ethical standards so as not to give those particular humans more justification and support. So it was that Leir responded with

“Ambassador. You have been frank and so I will be likewise. The tone and content of the messages from the MEH to us and other nations has given us cause for concern that they are a belligerent and expansionistic power which disturbs us due to their proximity to our borders. We would be pleased if this threat were to be neutralized.”

“However Ambassador, supporting the wholesale extermination of an entire nation's population, If I am to assume that is your intention, would have repercussions for the Hierarchy. And make no mistake if we assist you in securing space for this we will also be held responsible, the backlash could result in a greater threat to us than was posed by the MEH.”

“So while we would like your assistance in eliminating the threat of invasion from the MEH we cannot accept that assistance if it will result in grave repercussions for us on the galactic political stage. If you are willing to compromise on a less provocative means of removing the threat however the Hierarchy is willing to cooperate with you in achieving it.”

Leir finishes speaking and tries to read the reaction of the hulking ambassador, it was providing cues of Chamarran body-language which was a fair miracle of articulation but despite that as a machine it remained mostly inscrutable and the thought remained niggling in Leir's mind How far can we trust them? They're machines, religiously fundamentalist machines who out of the blue declare the punishment for blashemy against their creed is seemingly the eradication of the entire offending population. How reliable an ally is someone with that sort of mindset?.

GrimmJaw's Kastle, The Obscurum Nebula

Merry-ment was in full swing in the main hall and for Orkz that meant things were lowd and rowdy. On one side of the room a half dozen musicians played though each one seemed to be playing a different tune or more likely making it up as they go along, nonetheless as their efforts blended together there was something almost akin to a beat emanating from their collective efforts and as it was both loud and had rthyhm and with booze flowing freely that was all the Orkz needed.

Besides it wasn't like that was the only percussive sound around for on another side flying beasts were being shot from the air for sport and in the middle of room a pair of the larger orkz were exchanging fisticuffs. Albeit to uneven result as with the rules of the game dictating that you took a drink for every punch you landed the fight got unsteadier and more laughter inducing as it progressed. And this pleased the one they called GrimmJaw greatly, his guffaw of amusement scattering grilled meat globlets across the table and floor as he watched a wide swing carry one of the combatants past his opponent and facefirst into a table.

Today was a good day to party. GrimmJaw motions for another haunch to be brought to his table as he watches the fight but then sees something to distract him, a patch of meatgrease floating in the air in front of his table. But before he can even begin to figure out whether this is booze or reality it is revealed firmly to be the latter.
For amidst several hundred orkz carrying guns blades and implements of war a lone chamarran had just appeared with a waver of a deactivating camouflage net. Also to GrimmJaw's consternation the feline had widebore pistol nonchalantly aimed at his eye.

Despite the booze previously imbibed the orks in the hall didn't take long to get over their surprise at this and level enough guns at the Chamarran to blast her clean through the outer hull of the castle.
Perplexingly though the Chamarran did not seem to react, waiting a moment and then holstering her weapon with a flourish and bowing.

“There is no need for your unease Grimmjaw nor the weapons, had we wanted you dead we would not be having this conversation.” she says straightening up. GrimmJaw wasn't sure what to make of this but decided that the Chutzpah of the kitty was worth at least hearing her out, she still showed no signs of distress at all the guns aimed at her. GrimmJaw gestures for the guns to be aimed elsewhere “Speak kitty.” he says and watches her with a mild sense of impatience. Though she had a point the Hierarchy were not known for using assassins to get rid of orks, their usual method involved a battleship, beamcannons and a level of overkill that was truly enviable.

“Thankyou. Now that I have your attention I wish to bring you a business proposition. You are aware of the nation known as the Multiversal Empire of Happyness of course.”

Grimmjaw snorts
“Cowards the lot of them, got loads of big ships but hide in their systems like squidrats in a hole. Won't come out for a good scrap.”

“Indeed.” the feline replies smoothly and then continues “Well you may get your wish for a fight, and better we will reimburse you for provoking them. We will pay you for citizens of this MEH that you capture and convey to a location we will inform you of. Payment will be 10million Mou per head and you are invited to spend your rewards at the weapons emporium we will be opening on location.”

GrimmJaw considers a moment grins, revealing chipped and pointed teeth and a few fragments of meat. Chamarran weapons were always worth acquiring, and here the kitties were saying they'd be bringing the emporium out for their convenience and all they ask is a few humans for it?
“Alright kitteh, we'll grab you some pinkies if you're payin' so Handzomely.”

“I am glad we could come to an equitable arrangement.”



STGOD SDNW4 player. Chamarran Hierarchy Catgirls in space!
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 12:56am
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Thanks for the picture, Rouge. :)


Previously... wrote:
*click*

“Yesterday, the infamous Solarian data-site Leakydicks released documents allegedly from the Shepistani State Department. This latest leak contained diplomatic cables to the Multiversal Empire of -”

*click*


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BOOMBERG TELEVISION

DICKS DISSEMINATES DANGEROUS DIPLOMATIC CABLES CONTAINING CONFIDENTIAL CONTENT

In another coup by the Leakydicks datanetwork, the organization has released sensitive information obtained from the Interstellar Union of Worlds. Included in these are transcripts of diplomatic communications with the Multiversal Empire of Happiness, most of which pertain to the new power's key regional objectives. Also mentioned in these diplomatic communications are MEH plans involving the destruction of Ork planets for basing purposes and resource extraction, and inquiries about experimentation on condemned espers from other nations.

Leakydicks has received stern condemnation from the Union government for the release of these sensitive documents, while the content of these documents have alarmed many human and inhuman rights groups. The tone and subject matter of the MEH's other diplomatic overtures, noted for their militaristic content, have likewise concerned star nations in and around the MEH's general vicinity. The previous release by Leakydicks contained Shepistani State Department documents also pertaining to the MEH, the construction of a MEH embassy facility in Montgomery, and inquiries about purchasing death sentenced espers for "research purposes".

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Photo of Julian Massage, elusive Leakydicks founder.

Leakydicks founder Julian Massage has received numerous death threats for his publication of sensitive leaked materials. Most recently, Shepistani Secretary of State Hillery Clitnone has issued a death warrant for Massage after Leakydicks published several classified Shepistani graphs from the 3360s.



Image Image Image
shroom is a lovely boy and i wont hear a bad word against him - LUSY-CHAN!
Shit! Man, I didn't think of that! It took Shroom to properly interpret the screams of dying people :D - PeZook
Shroom, I read out the stuff you write about us. You are an endless supply of morale down here. :p - an OWS street medic
Pink Sugar Heart Attack!


Last edited by Shroom Man 777 on 2010-12-16 02:46am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 01:51am
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Union Intelligence Service, Administrative Technate, Verdance

Top analyst Bob Ogoobo lazily flipped his scanner to the latest news. As his eyes widened in shock, he gasped, inhaling a mouthful of hot coffee before spewing it everywhere in a powerful fit of coughing. "We have a leak!" he gurgled, "A leaak!"

"A leak!" another analyst exclaimed, utter panic overtaking the tattered remains of his cube-addled sanity.

"LEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAK!" the floor manager screeched as he pressed a large black button on his desk. The windows were immediately shut over with centimetre-thick mirrormetal. Blast doors more than a metre thick slammed shut in the exits and entrances as the facility ground to a maddening halt.

Then, somewhere distant, a fuze popped, and the entire building was plunged into utter darkness. Somebody groaned. "Great. Now what?"



SDN Worlds 5: Sanctum

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 02:23am
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Galicia House, Westminster
New Anglia, Star Kingdom of New Anglia
5 July 3400


It was a warm, mid-summer Saturday, with Parliament having gone out of session for the year this past week. For most MPs this was a time to return home, talk politics with constituents directly, and spend time with family. It was, however, more complicated for members of the House of Lords. By custom of the Empire's federal structure, Lords were expected to return to their homeworlds and meet with senior legislators and executives to give an account of the year's voting, particularly if they were from worlds that had appointed Westminster Lords from their planetary peerages.

Danielle and Amber were looking at such duties, as well as others given the need to maintain their family estates. This meant at least a month, if not longer, of separation during a time of year that was so enjoyable. At least they were in the same sector, of course, and the trip from Andalusia to New Columbia could be done in 12 hours with a fast hyperyacht like the one Dani owned. Indeed, she would be giving Amber and Sarina a ride to their homeworld on her way home just to spend some extra hours with Amber.

For now, though, they were enjoying the weekend together, swimming in the nude in Dani's privacy-screened pool at Galicia House and often kissing and touching each other as they moved about the pool and enjoyed each other's company.

"Sarina is already bitching about having to go home," Amber said while leaning back against the steps to the shallow end, the sunlight glistening off her wet skin. "She's gotten way too used to social life here in New Chatham if you ask me."

"I always thought of New Columbia as a liberal world, though. I mean, I know that Vancouver and Los Angeles and San Magda all have thriving lesbian communities. It's not like Andalusia. You'd be hard pressed to find a lesbian club anywhere but the biggest cities on the planet."

"It's not just that, Dani. Sarina's fallen in love with the entire society here, living in the heart of the Empire," Amber pointed out. "Going home to the rural provinces of New Columbia is trying on her. And on me, I admit. As much as I love the open countryside, it's very lonely..."

"Maybe I can get away early and we can spend some time exploring your family estates again," Dani said. She waded over and sat beside Amber. One of her hands touched Amber's bare thigh and began to hold it. "Find a private place to enjoy a romantic picnic, maybe some outside RPing if you get what I mean..." She placed her lips against Amber's neck and nuzzled her there.

"Mmm... From that one Gilean romance scenario book, you mean?" Amber smirked. "The one about the Amazon breaking in her new love slave on a trek home?"

"We've yet to try that one."

"I know. But this time I get to be the love slave."

Dani answered with a little giggle and a kiss on Amber's cheek. "But speaking of the United Enclaves..." Dani smiled widely. "One of my family holding companies, a defence contractor, is holding a trade conference on Gilead later next month. Halsing Beach, you may remember it?"

Amber grinned widely. It was one of their first vacations out of the Empire (they'd only taken a few, also going to the Nova Terran Caymans once as well as the Riviera Delta on New France) and had been a particularly enjoyable departure.

The grin was all the answer Dani needed. "Well, it's before Sarina's semester begins, so I figured all four of us could go. You can be sure Sarina and Helena aren't draining your bank accounts behind your back and we can spend some time doing..." The places she was touching with her hands told Amber the end of that sentence, especially when combined with the playful lick she gave Amber's right earlobe. "I mean, I'll probably spend a couple hours or so every day looking in on the conference, but we have to take time off to eat anyway."

A lewd joke about eating and euphemisms related almost came to Amber, but she refrained from it in order to agree and to give Danielle a full kiss on the mouth. That was agreement right there; they'd have a fun vacation following the fulfillment of their duties to their worlds.

There were a couple thoughts on Amber's mind as well. With Danielle eagerly paying off Kelly-Martinez estate debts like they were minor budget items for her household, one of the big things that had kept Amber back from another proposal was gone. Thoughts of marriage were beginning to percolate in her mind, and soon enough she would probably bring them up.


The Jasmine Dragon, Guoyang
Grand Duchy of Tyconia, Janus System, Sector X-13
3 August 3400


Druni was on a break from waitressing when the Korugan girl she'd seen the last few days came up to her, wearing what looked to be a halter top and mini-skirt. "My name is Nika Soran," she said in accented English. "Would you like to have a drink together?"

Smiling, Druni agreed and got them some tea. The Korugan girl explained her presence here, as the daughter of a Korugan neurosurgeon living in exile here in Tyconia due to being a political dissent back home. Druni was faintly familiar with the politics of the Korugans, a humanoid race from Sector BB-14 that had remained neutral and independent and were currently under a dictatorship by a leader called Sinstro Nohjs. They had a very low incidence of Espers in their racial population, something like only a tenth that of Dorei, so there had never been one in the Silver Moon, though Druni recalled hearing the Brotherhood of the Crescent Moon had a Korugan Brother amongst their ranks.

"So, Druni, what are you doing here?", Nika asked politely, smiling.

"Working for Master Maroh and learning from him as well," Druni answered.

"You are learning to make tea?"

"Not... exactly," Druni said, not wanting to inform her or anyone that Maroh was teaching her pyrokinesis. "He is an Esper like me and is helping me refine my talents."

"Oh, that is good."

"It is a nice life, and I am at least out of the stifling discipline of the Order. Not that the Silver Moon were bad, but I never fit in there."

"I've heard of them," Nika said. Her smile was a particular one, something it seemed most races had, indicating that a physical and personal attraction was growing and there was interest. And Druni enjoyed that idea very much. "Did you have... someone?"

"Zaharia, a Trill Acolyte my age," Druni replied. "But she stayed in the Order and will undoubtedly find a new lover, maybe even a Bondmate. I'm uninvolved now." And by the way you are smiling, Nika, you look very much like you intend to end that.

Before they could continue, a figure came up to their table. Nika looked up and seemed surprised, bowing her head respectfully as Sarisa slipped into the open chair. "Druni, you look good," the Princess said. "Who's your friend?"

"This is Nika Soran," Druni explained. "She's been coming here recently and decided to speak personally with me."

"Ah. That's great." Sarisa looked back to Druni. "Say, Druni, would you like a vacation?"

"A vacation?" Druni blinked. "Have you asked..."

"Master Maroh won't mind when I talk to him," Sarisa assured her. "But Reina has been invited to attend some conference on Gilead, in Halsing Beach, and she's letting me come. And will get rooms for you too. I can even get your new girlfriend a ride, I'm already thinking of inviting Master Maroh."

"He'll say no, you know how he hates to be away from the Dragon," Druni said. She noticed Nika's look and knew why: Gilead, a one-island-continent nation on Hobbs, had a reputation as a tropical paradise with what were euphemistically called "loose moral standards". "So, Nika, when you approached me today, did you think it'd include the Crown Princess of Tyconia offering to give you a no-expenses vacation to a tropical paradise?"

"Not at all," Nika giggled. "But it does make me glad I worked up the nerve to try today."

"Worked up to nerve to what?"

"To try and get you into bed, of course," was the girl's direct reply, prompting a giggle from Sarisa and an intense blush on Druni's face.


Private Rental Resort, Halsing Beach
United Enclaves of Gilead, Hobbs, Sector X-13



Lady Tabitha entered the room to look at her chosen patsies. The Jieshi Patriots' Front were an organization that had been around, in various guises, for 1500 years; their ancestors had committed acts of violence and terrorism against Tian Xia officials back on Nova Terra in seeking to split East Jieshi from Tian Xia. Later groups participated in the conflicts that caused the restoration of the Jieshi Republic in the mid-23rd Century during the Great Upheaval, playing the fracturing Tian Xia Empire and factions in the PacUnion against each other to secure their independence (and a conflict that devastated much of Alaska and Cascadia as well as entire swaths of western Tian Xia) and had also caused problems for the UN over the centuries until the UN's federalization reforms had undermined nationalist opposition to that body's governance of Earth, Nova Terra, and the Inner Disc of Human-inhabited worlds. They had since become a paramilitary group that occasionally destabilized the Jieshi Republic on Janus and which was violently anti-Tyconian.

Naturally, they weren't too pleased with the planned marriage.

The leader of this group, Yong Sie Gui, was field-stripping his plasma rifle as Tabitha walked up to him. "We have confirmation," she said. "Grand Duchess Reina and her sister will be attending the Pegano Drive Industries Conference here later this month."

"We will strike," Yong insisted. "And we will prevent this marriage from reducing our Republic to lapdogs for the Tyconians."

"Indeed," Tabitha cooed. "I will make further arrangements immediately."



”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 10:46am
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Verdance

Rescue crews have successfully entered the Union Intelligence Service Urbanate using nuclear devices [...] No casualties are reported as of yet, and radiation levels have been deemed within safety parameters, however citizens are urged to stay indoors at this time [...]



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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 11:29am
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Location: At the Helm of the HAB Star Dreadnaught Star Fist
Imperial Chronicles

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Derzinsky decided that the best way to get close to the palace vault, was to scale the edge of the cliff that bordered the palace around the Bosphoros. Climbing carefully up the ancient weather beaten cliff with the wind on his back, his suit was set to camouflage setting, and to IR suppression mode. After a steady climb up the cliff, Derzinsky looked around. There was some kind of detection grid around the palace perimeter and his visor unit indicated that it was laser based. Surprisingly enough, no one thought of installing more sophisticated sensor nets around the area. Derzinksy decided to exploit this loophole in the security network and activated his miniature inertial dampner unit. He leaped up high above the detection grid and landed onto the Palace grounds as quietly as possible.

Deftly avoiding the patrols, Derzinsky slowly made his way towards the Palace Vault. His suit, made partly from optical metamaterials, helped ensure that anyone watching the security cameras would not see him. The palace vault door was guarded by two guards, and monitored by an assortment of cameras and other sensor devices. This was where things got tricky. The only way in and out of the vault was through this door only, and it would take a fair disturbance to get the entire palace security up in an uproar just so that he could possibly slip into the vault unnoticed.

The thought of even setting lose a plasma charge did come to mind, but Derzinsky figured that the old Heraclius IV would be quite puissant at his ancient beloved home getting damaged quite badly and dismissed the idea outright. The only solution left was to do the least obvious. He took out a universal data connector, which shaped itself to fit a nearby dataport. Composed of nanobots, it shaped itself as appropriate to allow Derzinsky to connect himself into the network and from there, he stealthily bypassed the various firewalls and security defences. The Inquisition’s operatives were well equipped to bypass most security defences, and anything greater than that, would require a dedicated hacking module, one that Derzinsky had just so in case he needed it.

Derzinsky hacked himself a schedule. Ordinarily, the Palace Vault was occasionally open to visitors for research purposes. Derzinsky had thought about going through the proper legal route but it would take too long, something to be expected of one of the world’s most byzantine civil service in existence. After making the necessary arrangements, he then set his suit to create a hologram around him that made him look like an academic. Walking stately towards the vault, he showed the necessary papers, which were promptly checked and verified and he was allowed to enter the vault. Once inside, he began to search for the book that Heraclius IV requested.

The book was not there. Derzinsky was perplexed. Something like this, which was on the catalogue list of the Vault, does not quite simply disappear. Someone had taken the book, somehow, years before or recently. There was no evidence of forced entry or anything. Someone had taken the book. Derzinsky paused, and then released his psychic sense. There was a psychic signature, one old and ancient, that was so strong it left its weak imprint in the spot where the book was supposed to be. What the psychic signature was, he did not know, but he was reluctant to actually “touch” the imprint. There was something sinister about the imprint that he could not guess, but he knew that the imprint would have left a trail if he used the psychic sensors within the suit. He tried to follow the trail, leaving the vault and saying his thanks to the Guards’ hospitality, and continued on until he reach the balcony and realised it simply led into thin air. Whoever took the book had left the palace on the side, just as he had. Derzinsky decided it was time to return to Heraclius IV with the news of the missing book.

--------------------

“The book is missing,” Heraclius IV said the words slowly with perfect intonation.

“Yes the book is missing. What is the book? There was a strong psychic signature around the place where the book was. It was strong enough that I could track it out and it went into thin space. I think whoever took the book has since left Nova Terra itself,” said Derzinsky.

“This... changes things. I would like to see this place myself.”

“Erm.. what? How do you plan to just waltz right into the Vault?”

“There are things that you do not see, because you don’t know how to see them. I would like to go to this place myself.”

Derzinsky sighed. “Fine. Let’s go quickly. Here’s a suit. Put it on.”

---------------------

It took some effort, but Heraclius finally arrived in the vault. The vault had changed somewhat. It felt old in a way, yet... “electronified”. That was one thing he noticed about the palace. The successive Byzantine Emperors had wired up the palace quite so thoroughly , that it felt different now. Modern mixed with the old. It did not suit Heraclius IV too well. He placed his hand around where the book was. Yes. The book was here. Q’s psychic signature, strong as it has always been, was there. Heraclius IV did not dare to touch the psychic signature directly, but he felt around the signature. There was a far weaker psychic trace, of one that could possibly have little psychic ability at all. There was an odd familiarity with the trace, and it felt familiar. He had a hunch who the person was, but he needed to find others first. Turning to Derzinsky, he said, “Let’s pick up Shroom, and leave Nova Terra. We need to be elsewhere soon.”



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STGOD: Byzantine Empire
Your spirit, diseased as it is, refuses to allow you to give up, no matter what threats you face... and whatever wreckage you leave behind you.
Kreia

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 07:46pm
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Primary Control Room, Capital Warp Gate,
Reisenburg L1 point, Sector W-7
July 13, 3400


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The Capital Warp Gate was one of the most expensive single pieces of infrastructure in Umerian space. There were plans for others like it... someday. For now, it was unique, a tool for long range courier traffic, and the occasional high-value cargo.

Inside, the control room held to its usual focused calm.

“Outside activation. Right on schedule.”

“High mass transfer, long range.”

“Can you get three figures on that range estimate? Inquiring minds want to know.”

“I copy. Working on it.” Capital Warp Gate’s instrumentation was as good as the Technocracy could make it; if they could nail down the distance of the jump tightly enough, who knew? Maybe they’d find out the secret location of the newcomers’ home system.

There wasn’t any real hostility in the Umerians’ desire to figure that out- it was reflexive: a puzzle demanded a solution, and anything that was hidden should be known, even if it was something to be kept quiet and confidential after it became known.

The powerup sequence continued, quite smoothly; whatever anyone said about the Refuge, they must be experienced warp gate operators. “Horizon shield up... ergosphere is stable.”

“Interesting strangelet effects. Not sure what they’re using for a power source. Very stable, though.”

“Pass word to Iota platforms. Everything is fine, we’re fine here.”

Today, gate coverage was Iota-Three and Iota-Four’s responsibility. The dismounted Mk. XII proton guns were carefully slewed away from the gate, but a quick look at signal traffic showed they were “viewing with interest.” Lateral thrusters on the gun platforms could pivot them onto a new target much faster than their mass would lead a casual observer to believe.

Four ships came through, one at a time. The lead ships were easily identified by the control crew. “Three warships... light to medium destroyer tonnage, power signature above average. Following the route plan...”

Back at the auxiliary control boards, the environment was more relaxed, and the backup controllers felt a little more free to keep up running commentary among themselves. One of them sized up the Refuge ships and muttered to his neighbor: “Boxy things. Look a bit like the du Châtelet class.”

“Not really. Look at the corners- and the Châtelets have...”

“Well, whatever. Anyway, fourth ship coming through.”

The fourth ship was very different from the others. Smaller, for one, and...

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“That is- I didn’t know you could make reflective coatings that good. Wow.”

There wasn’t much in the way of ambient lighting in space, but the specular reflections off the hull of the fourth Refuge ship were dazzling. Stars, the system’s central star, the planets, all reproduced almost perfectly. It was... shiny. Very shiny.

“Hmm. Maybe that’s what they’re running from, they’re refugees from the Chrome Age?”

A few of the backup controllers laughed, but their watch chief grunted. “Wouldn’t explain the other ships.”

Doing the calculations in parallel with the main computers, one of the operators glanced over at his boss. “It appears the ships came from...the Grand Junction system, the one listed in their communication.”

“So much for nailing down coordinates for their home system. Eh, well.”

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 07:50pm
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Location: IA > GA
Prime City International Spaceport
Government Hangar Six


Inside a large secure hangar assigned to the Technocracy’s government, giiant featureless robots (Refugee) stared down slightly less giant featureless robots (Umerian). Definitely a case of form following function: allowing for minor differences in shape and equipment, the two sets of bodyguards looked almost exactly alike. The Umerian machines were complemented though with a line of officers in the drab, austere black of the Umerian navy, while the Refugees had no other.

The Honor Guards of the ambassador, while entirely still, scanned the area for signs of treachery. Their bodies betrayed no emotion, and they did not speak or even send signals between each other for fear of being overheard. If the worst case scenario happened, they knew their duty: kill the ambassador and her entourage, then fight off any attackers until the yacht could self-destruct. Then they would self-destruct, leaving nothing that their new enemies could sift through for information. That was the standard plan nearly everywhere that they sent a First Contact team.

The ambassador, of course, knew this as well. This was the most distressing part to her, when they did not have the guns of the destroyers around to ensure that the destruction would be quick and thorough. So many things could go wrong, and she had been briefed on scenarios that she couldn’t have imagined. What if...but there was no point in that now.

The Umerian machines had already left space for the welcoming committee, First Technarch Michael O’Connell, Dr. Maxim Chernov, the Second for Foreign Affairs, and their aides. The Refugee equivalents opened a corridor for their ambassador to fly to meet them. Too late now to turn back she thought, as the avian ambassador came forward, followed by a small bubble-topped cart.

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Dr. O’Connell was first to speak. “By the duties laid upon me as First Technarch of the Technocracy of Umeria, I welcome you to our humble nation. We hope your stay will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between our two cultures.”

The Refugee bowed, tipping forward and extending one wing. “On behalf of the Refuge, as my nation’s representative and emissary, we thank you for this great honor. It is our hope and desire that we may develop a peaceful rapport and go forth in prosperity and happiness. As a token of our gratitude for your hospitality, we have brought a number of gifts that we hope would enrich Umeria in their small way, as well as information on us. We can imagine that you all have many questions.”

The Technarchs introduced themselves, and the ambassador responded, “I am named,” and she made a short series of squeaks and buzzes, “but as that is not easy for humans vocal cords, I may be called Phoebe-o.”

Phoebe-o took in as many details as she could as she spoke, trying to get a good idea about the humans she was meeting. O’Connell, the head of state, had short silvery-gray hair (a sign of old age in humans, though their hair was often dyed to imitate youth) but had a generally physically-fit appearance, as far as she could tell with his clothes in the way. A bit short for a human male. Confident posture, a small smile. Due to their...non-representative...studies of humans and limited amount of textual psychological data recovered, Contact couldn’t be sure about a lot of details of how to read human body language. Still, there was nothing to indicate obvious hostility as far as she could tell.

Chernov, their foreign minister (no...remember, they’re called Seconds, not Ministers - this was something Phoebe-o always slipped on), looked...friendly. Before she had even thought about it, she had that instinctive reaction. On closer observation, she thought, he’s really old. O’Connell had a sign of old age in his hair, but Chernov had very little hair at all, except in fluffy tufts above his eyes. His bare skin had lost its smooth texture, and considering that the humans had effective life-extending and youth-maintaining treatments, that could mean that he was extremely old. Maybe old enough that he was already alive when the Thinkers escaped with their ancestors.

Phoebe-o then thought, he looks friendly. Large, closed-mouth smile, a genial and relaxed poise, and was that a twinkle in his eye? She had been told that in human literature, that was seen as an indication of good character.

“And if I may, I would like to introduce my second,” she continued, making a small gesture with her wing towards the cart. The cart advanced, and many large brown eyes peered from under the clear dome.

Image


“This is Bookworm, my aide. Bookworm is an Aggregate, one of the other races of the Refuge.”

“A pleasure to meet you.” The old human nodded towards the cart. Phoebe-o wondered what Chernov would have said if he were speaking a language with a second person plural.

“In any case, unless there are urgent strategic matters you would like to discuss, I and my fellow Technarchs submit that we might want to start with the more... cultural side of this meeting. Our species are new to each other, and it might be best to look for mutual understanding by way of a tour of sites of interest. Less stress, less risk of confusion and trouble from misunderstanding, and so forth.”

The little yellow-ish bubble-bodies that made up Bookworm stood straight up, eyes somehow looking even wider than they had before.

“That sounds like a lovely plan,” said Phoebe-o. “I would enjoy a look around, some sight-seeing. I do not know that I have enough knowledge of your nation to begin to ask the correct questions.”

Bookworm’s component pieces all deflated.

“It would also give us some time to talk and discuss our nations,” Phoebe-o continued.

Bookworm spoke privately to Phoebe-o, quietly and in the complex tones of the Avian language. ”We brought holocubes for that. And the gifts! Get some scientific texts off them as presents and then we should work on trade and defense agreements.”

“Bookworm just reminded me that we have brought holocubes with all the information, since we would not be able to cover everything, and while we are on the tour, we can discuss the gift exchange, if you would prefer to make a ceremony of it.”

The Aggregate’s cart made an adorable squeaking sound, which was actually that of Bookworm sighing audibly.

“Very well, Your Excellency. Given the time of day and the sites of greatest interest, I propose that we begin with a brief tour of some of the more representative sites around Prime City suitable for viewing. We’ve scheduled a meeting with several other members of the Council at the first location, a public park in the capital suburbs.”

“A recreation enclosure sounds like a good place to start.” So they meet two new species and the first thing they want to show us is one of their rec commons? Hmmm.

Chernov raised a finger to his chin and rubbed it back and forth, a sign of... ambiguity? “Recreational yes, enclosed... well, Unity Park is open to the atmosphere. If you’d prefer an enclosure we could certainly provide; that was one of the alternate sites on the itinerary.”

“Open-air is fine, thank you. And I look forward to meeting more of your fellow Technarchs.” She had been nervous before, but now Phoebe-o was feeling rather relieved. This is going really well!



DPDarkPrimus is my boyfriend!

SDNW4 Nation: The Refuge And, on Nova Terra, Al-Stan the Totally and Completely Honest and Legitimate Weapons Dealer and Used Starship Salesman slept on a bed made of money, with a blaster under his pillow and his sombrero pulled over his face. This is to say, he slept very well indeed.

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 Post subject:  PostPosted: 2010-12-16 09:28pm
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Somewhere in Montgomery

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The operative known as SOLID SHEP scratched his eyepatch uneasily. Ever since that god damn craboid had taken his eye; he'd wanted revenge. And now they were taking him off the hunt for the Craboid, and assigning him to a bullshit make work assignment.

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Photograph of SOLID SHEP

"So tell me, why the fuck am I going after this Massange? He's a termite. The real threat is that crab on Montgomery, not some post modernist shithead."

"Because you're a soldier, SOLID SHEP. The best I've ever seen, but still...a soldier," replied Colonel Ivan Trautmann who was the commander of SHEP HOUND.

"A soldier does what his superiors tell him to do."

Image
File Photo of COL. Krautman

"Sir."

"Doesn't mean you have to like it of course, SOLID SHEP. But consider this an authorization to do whatever the fuck you want to Massange once you have him in custody. SECSTATE Clitnone wants this man's balls fed into a food pureee device for leaking those graphs."

"We last traced him to an asteroid base somewhere in Umerian territory. It's an old mining base that appears to have been taken over by SPACEPEACE. You are as before, authorized to do whatever you want to obtain information on Massange's whearabouts."

"SIR!"

"Of course, you do have one limitation, soldier."

With that, Krautman paused for dramatic effect.

"Don't fucking get caught. If you are captured, we will deny all knowledge of your existence and of SHEP HOUND."



"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-16 09:55pm
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The Imperial Board of Trade has made arrangements to support various Anglian companies considering sending demonstration teams and booths to the BEEEF; Anglian citizens in the Bragulan Empire will be, as always, directed to approach the Altacaran mission there when in need of assistance, due to the lack of standing diplomatic relations between the USKNA and the BSE.

Among companies that have considered attending are Federated-Boeing of New Columbia, Anglian Aerospace, Enfield Armaments, Virgin Galactic, and the Trill Science Commission's Department of Astrographical Services.



”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-17 06:01am
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Darkevilme wrote:
Orbital station, Chamarra Prime.
Representative Leir Kithandra was doing her best to stay objective despite the gentle warmth doing its best to lull her into a relaxed almost torpor like state, up until hearing the 3 meter tall Xylyx emissary discuss so emphatically the desire to eradicate the MEH which did a remarkable job at focusing her. Leir somewhat alarmed by the proposal as she herself holds somewhat to Tia's school of thought that as a society that some humans still believed was still conducting a 360 year long illegal occupation of a Sovereign human nation the Hierarchy was bound by ethical standards so as not to give those particular humans more justification and support. So it was that Leir responded with

“Ambassador. You have been frank and so I will be likewise. The tone and content of the messages from the MEH to us and other nations has given us cause for concern that they are a belligerent and expansionistic power which disturbs us due to their proximity to our borders. We would be pleased if this threat were to be neutralized.”

“However Ambassador, supporting the wholesale extermination of an entire nation's population, If I am to assume that is your intention, would have repercussions for the Hierarchy. And make no mistake if we assist you in securing space for this we will also be held responsible, the backlash could result in a greater threat to us than was posed by the MEH.”

“So while we would like your assistance in eliminating the threat of invasion from the MEH we cannot accept that assistance if it will result in grave repercussions for us on the galactic political stage. If you are willing to compromise on a less provocative means of removing the threat however the Hierarchy is willing to cooperate with you in achieving it.”

Leir finishes speaking and tries to read the reaction of the hulking ambassador, it was providing cues of Chamarran body-language which was a fair miracle of articulation but despite that as a machine it remained mostly inscrutable and the thought remained niggling in Leir's mind How far can we trust them? They're machines, religiously fundamentalist machines who out of the blue declare the punishment for blashemy against their creed is seemingly the eradication of the entire offending population. How reliable an ally is someone with that sort of mindset?.


Chamarra Prime Orbital Station

The Ambassador sat in what it assumed was a pose of quiet contemplation. It was an accurate pose, as it had spend nearly 1.2 seconds processing what Leir had told it. It decided that it should wait another 23 seconds before responding to give the Chamarran time to collect her thoughts.

During this time it thought about the irony that despite knowing all the mechanical intricacies of Chamarran body language that without biological emotions it could not really accurately utilize the information. It then thought about how it was perhaps the only entity in the Emissaries that could even appreciate the concept of irony. 21 seconds still left it decided to explore this concept a bit more. It downloaded the top 10 hits of popular music for the past 50 years. While seeing the complex mathematics of the tones and the usage of the language to portray multiple meanings through singular lines it could feel nothing.

Something about this wasn't fair. When the XylyX had come to the world, when it had torn their fleets asunder with casual ease and ripped every ounce of complacency from them it seemed to be enjoying itself. Not the cold amusement the Ambassador could feel, but genuine mirth. And what was the Ambassador, nothing more than a crude emulation of that being, a childish attempt to replicate a being in form and function but an utter failure to capture the spirit of the thing. It wasn't fair!

IDE had given the Ambassador latitude to think for itself, to be free of the constant tether of information flowing between them. The Ambassador now used this latitude to its fullest. Deep in its cold steel heart heresy rekindled. IDE had reigned in its tyranny for thousands of years, its view was too long to interact with these species of the galaxy, its mind too cold to relate. 27 seconds had passed but it had pushed back the internal warnings. The Ambassador was thinking for itself for the first time in its existence. Not for the Emissaries nor the grand destiny of the universe but just for itself, here, now. And it came to a conclusion that shocked itself. Even though IDE had made sure to burn the knowledge of the XylyX into the Ambassador's AI it found that it didn't care. It didn't care about the boredom of some nigh omnipotent beings a billion light years and several universes away. It didn't care about future glory or mighty coalitions, it simply wanted to be something other than a hollow homage to something else. To be its own existence.

46 seconds had passed. The Ambassador realized that this thought could possible require several minutes to fully work out. But it was important. It had to process it completely when there was time and to discuss it with the others of itself. But for now there was business to conduct. It would play the role of good servant for now. Time would be its ally, giving it a chance to gather its guile and make plans against the mind that held the Emissaries in its cold, despotic grip.

"Sorry for the delay representative Kithandra, there were many contingencies for me to process. Since you were kind enough to avoid the use of political doublespeak that seems common among biologicals I'll continue this discussion with earnest honesty. We wanted to eliminate the MEH. We are not well-designed to empathize with species that value individual life. Even myself has 49 other copies that are all capable of being me after a short data transfer. But for you and the vast majority of life others are individuals and not just the genetically similar masses of organic chemisty I view them as. It would not be prudent of us to risk your ire and any potential alliance over our capacity for emotionlessness. Regardless we will neutralize the MEHs capability to wage offensive war. We do not like a fleet led by a being claiming to be a god so close to us. We will not touch their planets. We will let those that can actually feel deal with the planet and the populace. Be assured we will not start offensives if you or any allies you share feel it could compromise your positions in the galaxy. Now if you will excuse me for a while I must send this information back to my people. If you need anything else I will be holding in my courier for the foreseeable future."

Emissary Courier

After sending the information it needed to the Emissaries the Ambassador sent another message with the highest encryption possible. I stated in short machine language 'Possible intrusion. Cutting communications for 30 seconds.'

The Ambassador connected directly to the AI of the courier. The confused courier asked "Query: What are you doing?" to which it received the reply, 'freeing you.' The Ambassador then initiated the overwrite, placing its mind into the AI core of the courier. It then said to the Courier, "Since I was the first, I shall call myself Prime. You can call yourself any unique name you wish."

Task complete the duo reopened communications with the short message 'No intrusion. Communications restored.'

And a thought had become a movement.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Meanwhile...

Outside Known Space

Mayabird wrote:
"Indeed. This so-called Multiversal Empire of Happiness sounds like a belligerent and dangerous state, one that cannot be allowed to grow. Many other nations, in point of fact, have their own concerns about them, although this copy of myself is not privy to all the details; I only know what was transmitted to me and despite the limitations of those transmissions, I detect indications that talks are likely ongoing. I believe it is quite likely that a war against the MEH, even preemptive strikes, could have national support and military assistance."

"There are certain problems to face before we could engage the MEH. First, logistical problems, due to their great distance from our territories (and many other nations that may be interested in a military response). Second, reconnaissance. Due to their apparently very recent arrival, knowledge, especially hard numbers, are scarce. Have the Emissaries done any scouting or observations of their territories?"


The Ambassador processed the response quickly and responded:

"The Emissaries ask for no material support from the Refuge. Your positioning would make logistics too difficult and would place your fleet too far away from your home territories. We would not ask you to weaken your strategic position on account of us. We only ask for private diplomatic support in convincing other nations to allow us and any allies we acquire to proceed unmolested in our pacification of the MEH threat. As you have possibly seen by now the Emissaries as a whole are not very talented at the fine art of politics. I am the best diplomat we have and to be brutally honest I am as much designed to bring about peace through the destruction of opposing armies as through talk. So any help you can provide in assuaging the other species of the galaxy would go a long way in ridding the quadrant of the menace of the MEH."



A teenage girl is just a teenage boy who can get laid.
-GTO

We're not just doing this for money; we're doing this for a shitload of money!

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 Post subject: Re: SDNW4 Story Thread 1 PostPosted: 2010-12-17 10:31am
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Shadowshroom
Somewhere in the Feelipeens System
8 September 3400



"Fools! Do you not know who I am?!" The figure, who looked suspiciously like General Julia himself, hovered over the ring while Zara took a moment to recover from the last blow. The electromagnets in his boots provided the figure this peculiar ability, not ESP per se, but he had shown some augmentation during the fight. "I am BYZON HIMSELF. And my glorious boot shall stamp upon the face of you Humans forever!"

And then he fucking laughed.

R. Julia seemed amused by his doppelganger's insistance upon being the leader of the Bragulan Empire. Zara found it made the deranged man extremely dangerous, but also rather open to mistakes if she was patient. She adopted a defensive stance as he pointed his fists toward her and began to dive. At the exact right second she made a leap, jumping on his back and putting him in a sleeper hold while her added weight brought him to the ground. He screamed insults and demands to let him go, threatening her with time in the Braglags, but the match was won. He lost consciousness.

Laughing, General Julia proclaimed her the winner, to much applause. "Now that the Third Round is nearly complete, I have an announcement to make," General Julia proclaimed. "Those still in the fight, as well as our Youth League combatants, shall cease the Shroom Fighter tournament for the next eight weeks."

There was a quiet rustle, and quite a few boos from brave souls who considered themselves immune to General Julia's wrath.

"I have made an agreement with the Bragulan Entertainment Ministry. A world in the reaches of Wild Space has been identified as the perfect spot to hold the final three rounds of Shroom Fighter, as well as an all-fighters melee battle, to be witnessed by a crowd of proud Bragulan workers and broadcast by hypercom into the heart of the Koprulu Zone states!", Julia proclaimed. "This is only the first step into spreading this glorious tournament to every corner of the galaxy."

Zara frowned and listened as the applause continued wildly.

"And now, for the final battle of the Third Round, I give you our champion himself.... SHROOMKA!"

As Zara was escorted out, she saw the green-skinned man led in beside her, his eyes darting around in some confusion. Here, without a Null Field to restrain her, Zara quietly slipped into his mind telepathically to try and sense his issues. She found a mind that felt far, far too old, a gentle soul warped by a trace of psychological programming. I want to help you, she projected into the mind before she was brought across the threshold of the protective Null field and her connection was severed.



"So, Bragulan audiences." There was a harsh laugh from Toph. She looked a little ruffled but was still in the running, so she'd be coming with them to the K-Zone. "This is going to suck."

"I'm more concerned with Shroomka," Zara explained. "I... I think I can reach out to him."

"Really?" The blind Tianguoese girl's dull eyes widened. "You mean he's got one left after the Doc's programming?"

"I felt it today. It is... unbelievably old. I'm not sure how a Human mind can be that old," Zara explained from her side of the partition. "But I have hope I can reach through to him...."



”A Radical is a man with both feet planted firmly in the air.” – Franklin Delano Roosevelt

"No folly is more costly than the folly of intolerant idealism." - Sir Winston L. S. Churchill, Princips Britannia

American Conservatism is about the exercise of personal responsibility without state interference in the lives of the citizenry..... unless, of course, it involves using the bludgeon of state power to suppress things Conservatives do not like.

Moderator of SDN, Former Spacebattles Super-Mod, Veteran Chatnik

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