STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

Desota Class Command Cruiser “ThunderBird”
[40+3C3+4H+3I] [minus the fold drives]

On the bridge, once the initial shock of what had happened wore off, the bridge crew erupted into a flurry of action as the realization of the ships status began to be felt.

“Forward rotation is leveling out, adjusting trim by 17 degrees, bringing us back into level with Galactic plane.
“Med bay so far reports seventeen casualties, no injuries life threatening currently.”
“I repeat UISC Command on Zozo please respond, this is Command Cruiser [Thunderbird] do you copy.”
“Several navigational anomalies are being reported, still attempting to ascertain position captain.”
“Organizing damage reports, all decks have reported in except decks two and six. Captain Engineering says that conventional drive should be back up shortly, but the Fold drive is going to require significant reapirs.”

Amidst all of this, Captain Moz sat and tried his best to keep himself level headed. As a veteran ship captain from the Tajlan war, and from even further back, he fully understood that there were plenty of times when the most important thing a Captain needed to do, was nothing. Trust in your crew, trust in their training, trust that they know what needs to be done and best to avoid making a tense situation worse with a lot of shouting.

The chaotic din of dozens of individuals talking to dozens of others slowly began to even out and then begin to die off as crisis and emergencies were dealt with one at a time. A message going off on the Captains personal com channel brought him back into attention.

“Com-channel-opened-ident-received-give-report” Moz said flatly as he began to read over the information now being handed to him.
“This is CID Unsceut, reporting for engineering sir. Plasma drives back online and we can move again soon Captain, though until we get a signal through to Command our FTL is out of service.” Moz, who knew the emergency shut down procedures himself, bit down hard on his pipe.
“Spare-Drive-Manifolds?” He asked guessing he knew the answer.
“Yes sir, we have the needed parts but both manifolds fused tight in the shutdown. We are going need a blowtorch a great deal bigger than what we have laying around to cut them out and replace them” The CID reported. Moz gave a sigh and nodded his head [or what would be considered the “head” for a Quatonian”]
“Youv-done-work-excellent-standard-put-feet-up-for-now-and-keep-posted-Captain-Over.”


The ship gave a gentle shudder as the main reaction drives came back online. A moment of calmness seemed to finally come over the bridge crew. They weren’t out of the woods by any means, but they felt they could see the light at the far end of the forest. That was until the light at the end turned out to be a forest fire.

“Ssssiiiir………”

This was said by one of the crew on sensors. Also a Quatonian, there was a certain harmonic that Moz immediately picked up upon. It was one that Moz remembered from long ago as a drill instructor. It was the subtle harmonic of someone who was desperate not to have to be the barely of bad news, yet realizing that there wasn’t anyone else they could push the job on.
Moz turned in his chair, not turning his chair directly, but slowly standing up and turning around on the chair. His short stature meant that, as he did so, just the very tops of his eyes could be seen peeking out over the top, glaring daggers of death to the luckless monitor.

“FROOM – Yousayasirlikethatyougottahepabadtroubledonotshortmeyoungsterwhatsthedamage”

The sensor monitor, one Thaddeus Fonz, did the Quatonian equivalent of the comedic “Ulp” sound from deep in his throat before gathering himself.

“Icheckeditfirstnotwronghtoughtwasfogcloudslonglongwayoffsirbutitsashipsbigbigshipsgonegetsqueashedbigships!”

He gabbled back, not even trying to speak at a pace the others could hear, or those that didn’t speak Quatonian. There was another moment of silence as glares were exchanged, Moz gave a subtle nod to the cadet, and a moment later on the main display was an image that made everyone else on the bridge go “Ulp”.

At first glance, it looked like a series of blobs, very fuzzy and very very slowly moving blobs. But these “blobs” were being imagined by the ships metallurgical long range scanners. An imager specifically designed to scan for artificial metals and alloys that would indicate another space ship. The scan was being taken at the very limits of the device and the shapes were impossible to make any details out, but, if they were showing up under this scan it meant only one thing. In the immediate local grid of space, currently sat over a dozen spaceships, many of them dwarfed the [Thunderbird].

Am incoming signal broke the moment of shared terror as Moz turned to coms. The Tejlini officer at the station tore his gaze from the view screen to his equipment.
“Incoming message Captain, it’s coming in as UISC Ident!” A brief glimmer of hope came up in the others on the bridge, Moz just forming the worlds “let me hear it” before the hope was put out. “Ah Captain, the message is coming in as classified. It says it is to be received only by yourself.”

A brief moment later, Captain Theodor Moz found himself in his cabin. A bit over sized for his stature, but none the less quite comfortable. Unlocking the secured communications terminal, he entered the required codes to bring the device to life.

An imagine began to form in the view-screen, and Moz sighed.
“Ahwellfiguresthatiwondereditsyou”

The figure smiled.

“Greetings Captain Theodor Moz. If you are receiving this message it means that the ship has encountered multiple unidentified vessels and as of this moment, first contact protocols are to be instituted. Which means good captain, please listen very carefully to me, and you may all get out of this alive.”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Listening post Gamma, "Farpoint" deep space listening array

Post Gamma was, at current orbital rotation, oriented towards the nebular cluster, which meant it was normally a boring posting this time of year. Not because there was nothing there to find, but because nebular interference meant that something had to be extremely noisy to attract attention - sustained energy weapons discharge, for instance, or some sort of massive EM burst. Pirates dodging the navy and sneaking up on merchant voidships weren't in the habit of doing either, so the monitor crew was playing cards when the alarm went off.

All three jumped up and ran to their monitor stations. "What have we got, Lieutenant," asked the station commander as she hurriedly sat in her chair and began to bring up the deep space array results.

"Some sort of massive EM burst, Commander Pritchard," responded Lieutenant Ash from his station at the primary monitor, military precision replacing the comradely game they'd been at moments before. "I'm not making any sense of it, it's too small to be a stellar event. Could be some sort of weapon."

At the analytics computer, the station's engineer, a Ronoghan by the name of Nog-Inosh, turned a shade remarkably close to hot pink, something that Pritchard had learned to equate with a human's sharp intake of breath - a sign of shock. "Commander, I cannot believe what I am seeing," he reported in the slightly singsong tone that Ronoghans employed when they used human speech. "This looks like multiple near-simultaneous events, and they match the pattern of a brute force spacetime warp drive."

"I thought nobody used that anymore."

"Nobody until now, Commander. Slipspace drives are much more efficient. But it could be someone who does has come knocking, or perhaps some thrice-accursed Black Star pirate has discovered that the EMP they generate can be used as a shock weapon against the unprepared."

"We have to kick this up the chain. Lieutenant Ash, relay the findings to the central hub. Command will want to know about this."

"Aye, Commander."

NRS Nightstalker, North Reaches of the Cradle of the Stars, Suddenly Not-So-Routine Patrol

Captain Hrolfrrask snarled an oath in his native tongue, something roughly translating to, 'What the hell was that,' in English, as the viewscreen automatically dimmed to shield the bridge from the EM and visual spectrum burst.

"Conn, Operations! We have just been hit by the outer edge of some type of massive EM pulse. Systems are operating nominally, but the interaction may have momentarily compromised the stealth systems."

"Ops, Conn, aye," responded the captain rapidly regaining his composure. "Helm, alter course fifteen degrees starboard plus twenty vertical and begin spinning up the slipspace drive. Sensors, report if the unidentified ships begin to react to our presence. Ops, drop probes, full spread aft. Comms..." he paused. "Comms, stand by to transmit distress signal if we're compromised. All stations, maintain silent running." He leaned forward, primary arms on the arm rests of his command chair, secondary arms cupping his chin as he examined the sensor readouts. "And now we wait."

Half a dozen stealth-plated sensor probes drifted out of their launch tubes and began to spread out in a 180 degree arc oriented around the frigate's aft. No matter what happened, it would maximize the chances of whatever followed being observed and, in the case of the Nightstalker's destruction or capture, recovered by the Republic.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Megakolymvitis bridge, two watches (approx. twelve hours) later

Kharon stifled a yawn. She hadn’t slept well in between the constant buzz of activity aboard and her excitement over the first contact. But for all that, she had managed to rest some, and her crew had kept busy. The tireless technognostiki, discarded stim-chem flasks cracking under their metal feet, broke down every message as they came in to analyze them any which way and then decoded the binaric scroll. From that they took the resultant words and scoured their extensive archives to find matches in the various languages of Old Earth.

They had managed to figure out that the stranger was using two different languages, and for simplicity had requested they use the tongue closer to Cominversal. A basic vocabulary had begun to be established, and with that some discoveries.

The stranger was called sneaky snek. This seemed to be some kind of reference to an ancient Terran animal; certainly the name seemed appropriate for a spacecraft that despite their less frequent sensor pings, they still couldn’t locate. They weren’t sure who it belonged to yet, but they had confirmed it didn’t belong to Amazo-X; it hadn’t tried to sell them anything yet. But they had managed to figure out that it told them it had reinforcements en route. Vitally, these were humans they were dealing with; at one point they had asked directly, are you human from Terra Eld and received the answer that’s a strange question but yes. Mostly.

The latter addition had raised questions, but Kharon overruled any objections. The Theophanic Empire wasn’t here to be xenophobic. She didn’t care whether these were bug-eyed green space-men or giant spindly zero-gravity-adapted humanoids or… whatever. The important thing to her was that they weren’t about to start a shooting fight with the Empire and that, as far as they could tell, this ship didn’t have a claim to the world below.

Naukalee, one of their Neokastro cruisers, had been sent from the fleet to reconnoiter the planet. Nothing exceptional on the electromagnetic spectrum radiated from the world below, suggesting that any beings living there weren’t advanced enough to be creating technology capable of using wavelengths of one sort or another. There were some ruined structures big enough to be visible from orbit, and surveyor satellites had been deployed around the planet.

She sat back in the enormous embrace of her command throne, sipping her fourth cup of hergo-root tea and scanned the scrolling input from the satellites on her hand-screen. Land masses generally suitable for human habitation in a reasonable degree of comfort, nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, roughly equal amounts of land mass to ocean, said oceans being hydrogen-oxygen water, slightly less saline than Terra Eld’s oceans had been… unless they found out that there were enough sentients on the world below to object to colonization by the Theophanic Empire, it looked promising.

A less pleasant duty awaited her, and she sighed and dropped her cup into the disposal alcove beside her throne. It disintegrated with an abrupt fizz, but she was already walking away, her escort falling in behind her, fully equipped in their formal class-three warsuits.

Minutes later they boarded a makrysofas in the disk docking bay and jetted towards Keravnos. Stefon soi Drakon had invited the Commodore to brunch, and to brunch Kharon would go… though she wasn’t looking forward to it. Brunch wasn’t the soi Chelonis way.

The fifty-metre-long makrysofas drew closer to the Thorikto dreadnought. It kept getting bigger and bigger in the viewscreen, and behind her, Kharon thought she could hear one of her escorts mutter the old verse, “yea, behold, ‘tis no moon.” A seemingly miniscule docking bay glowed in the equatorial belt running around the dreadnought, but as they closed she could tell it was at least a couple hundred metres wide; it was only cracking its airlock partially enough for the longboat to enter.

Kleptoi-craft lined the docking bay, dwarving the makrysofas in their blunt efficacy. They were designed to close quickly with other ships, blow holes in their hull, and if necessary withstand incoming point-defence fire but to avoid being picked up on sensors… none of which lent themselves to being particularly graceful looking craft.

As Kharon and her escort debarked the longboat, they were greeted by a platoon of soi Drakon household troops. The Drakons, quite aware of their position, hadn’t bothered to clad their troops in warsuits-- because behind them loomed a small squad of Imperial Protectors in class-five warsuits. The leading Protector, a stratiotikos (major) by the markings on its armour, saluted and clumsily the Drakon troops stood to attention-- though she carefully ignored the hissed profanities of the genis noncoms, both at their men and at having to pay respect to a lower genis.

She strode forward and crisply returned the Protector stratiotikos' salute as the ancient pipes sounded on the docking-bay tannoy. Their helmet smoothly folded away from their face, revealing a battle-hardened face; perhaps a veteran of one of the last expeditionary fleets. Unlikely since those fleets had been a long time ago, but you never knew with the diarkis [perpetual] treatments of the Technognostiki that they shared only with the Emperoress and her most loyal corps.

“My Archioploiarchos. Wachter Stratiokos Ilias apo Aftokratoria, by your command,” he rumbled in a surprisingly deep voice, “Welcome aboard the Thorikto Keravnos. I have been assigned to escort you to Kapetanios soi Drakon. She has been expecting you.”

“I should think so,” Kharon responded, trying to keep any artificial haughtiness out of her voice. Apo Aftokratoria? This Protector was sworn directly to the service of the Empire and had been born into it; his parents weren’t genia stock. Perhaps he had been born on this very Thorikto vessel. Her thoughts returning to the matter at hand, she continued with due respect, “Shall we proceed directly to the Kapetanios?”

He nodded. The plates of his helmet folded back up out of his warsuit gorget and clicked quietly into place about his face, and the soi Chelonis escort closed in about her as the Protectors about-faced with robotic precision and started marching. Kharon didn’t bother looking behind, but from what her lightly augmented senses could pick up she could tell the soi Drakon troops were caught off guard and rapidly trying to follow.

The massive hall they passed through from the docking bay opened up into an enormous space that almost took her breath away, though she knew it existed. Thick cityscape spread before her; overhead was a verdant green field with a bright blue stripe of water running through it. The kilometre-wide interior of a Thorikto dreadnought was designed both to accommodate the higher ranks of colonist and the Protector troops, and give them a place to recreate and train. Lower classes lived in the deep interior layers of the dreadnought’s hull; they saw this view only rarely.

The balcony plate they stood on smoothly slipped sideways from the hall exit and started ascending; it was taking them to the transport trains running on frictionless maglev tracks through the center core of the Thorikto to the distant bulk of its command sphere. A thought occurred to her as they boarded one such train and she sidled over to the Protector-- Ilias, she reminded herself, was his name-- and asked in low tones, “Is there anything that I should know before I go in to be received by Kapetanios soi Drakon?”

The blank face-plate of his helmet turned to look at her for a pregnant moment and then the warsuit’s external speakers blurted in low electronic tones, “Only that lady soi Drakon is not alone in her authority. I do not understand everything in my orders, Commodore, but I am trying to follow them to the best of my ability.”

She nodded. “The Empire expects no less. I thank you.” Behind her back, the sergeant commanding her escort tensed as he saw her hand go through a few quick gestures. Possible danger. Stand ready. On me.

They swayed to a halt and she jumped internally as the doors slid apart abruptly. Beyond the train stood neatly dressed ranks of soi Drakon boarding troops, household guard units in their class-three combat warsuits. She knew this was nothing but cheap intimidation. Why all the effort, though?

She passed through a verdant courtyard, the Wachters remaining outside but the stratiokos Ilias accompanying her. They paused a moment at great doors in a monumental wall and the Protector’s warsuit slowly came apart at its seams, Ilias painstakingly stepping out of its thorax. His control interface skinsuit glistened with impact gel as he sketched a nod to her and turned around to lock the warsuit back together. The gates snapped open and Ilias and her entered the Thorikto kapetanios quarters, her troops remaining outside, instinctively deployed in a protective cordon around the gate.

The answer regarding all the Drakon troops came soon enough. It wasn’t for her, it was for the thing in Stefon soi Drakon’s apartments. Chitinous (or was that some kind of metal?) limbs clicked together as it turned an empty visage towards them and tilted its cowled head quizzically. Immediately she and Ilias fell to their knees and bowed deeply, hands on the wood-covered decking.

A throat cleared awkwardly, and Stefon nervously called from the other side of the chamber, “My lady Kharon? Wachter-stratiokos? There’s no need to stand on ceremony. Eulogia tous [Their Blessing] is here but to observe in the name of our God/dess.”

INDEED. BE NOT AFRAID, CHILDREN. The voice, as much felt as it was heard, made both Kharon and the veteran Wachter flinch. It continued, I AM MURIEL. I AM HERE TO WATCH AND PROTECT THE CHILDREN OF THE EMPERORESS.

Kharon cast a mildly alarmed look at Ilias, who returned the expression. The angeliforos had a name? But beyond that, there was another in the fleet beside the one on Megakolymvitis, which now that she thought about it hadn’t appeared in quite some time? Was that even still there? Could this perhaps be the same one?

It laughed. Of all things, it laughed. Stefon gasped. Beside her, Kharon could hear Ilias muttering invocations under his breath. CHILDREN, THE GREAT MOTHER-FATHER ONLY WISHES TO ENSURE ALL GOES WELL. MY SIBLING IN-ASDRUBAL PREFERS SECLUSION. I LIKE TO EXPAND MY CONSCIOUSNESS OF YOUR KIND. YOUR GREAT MOTHER-FATHER IS… EXCEPTIONAL, BUT THEY ARE FAR FROM YOU. SPEAK UNTO ME, CHILD OF THE TURTLE AND CHILD OF THE EMPIRE. I WOULD KNOW YOU AND I WOULD KNOW OF THESE NEW CHILDREN OF THE CRADLE YOU WERE BORN FROM.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

"This is highly irregular."

"No, highly irregular is the time we spotted a Collector Monolith hanging out in the middle of a Karlack hive fleet. This is just odd."


Once the initial disruption of the EMP had passed, the ships of Destroyer Division Three could see it, clear as day. No amount of nebular interference could hope to conceal the presence of the behemoths of the Theophanic Empire, though sheer distance still prevented DesDiv Three from getting a more detailed look. There was still an abundance of caution as DesDiv Three altered its course to meet the new arrivals, as other threats could still lurk within the nebula... such as the Black Star Consortium pirates occupying the nearby asteroids, driven into a panic by the sudden intrusion of the Theophanic colossi right on their doorstep. If the brigands were to lash out against the closest target they saw, it would certainly spell chaos for all involved, and DesDiv Three had no intention of getting into a shooting war. At least the Theophanic Empire was willing to openly broadcast its desire for peaceful contact... in a tongue that was simultaneously familiar yet alien to the Haruhiists.

No matter what universe the Holy Empire found itself in, it seemed as if it could not escape the specter of hyper-religious Greeks.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

Wendee Lee-class destroyer HSS Cherami Leigh
North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars

Shinn Langley Soryu wrote: 2021-01-18 12:22am At least the Theophanic Empire was willing to openly broadcast its desire for peaceful contact... in a tongue that was simultaneously familiar yet alien to the Haruhiists.

No matter what universe the Holy Empire found itself in, it seemed as if it could not escape the specter of hyper-religious Greeks.
"Eímaste ta Paidiá tis Theouatokrátoras, i Aftokrátora, o Theós / Theós pou perpatáei anámesá mas. Sas férnoume tin agápi tous. Sas férnoume ti sofía tous. Ankaliáste tous."

And so the prolegomenon, the first contact message of the Theophanic Empire, kept droning on. Within the combat information center of the destroyer HSS Cherami Leigh, Operations Officer LCDR Lucy Midford supervised the cryptologic technicians brought in to assist the operations specialists in deciphering the prolegomenon.

"Are you sure the translation software is working properly?" LCDR Midford asked.

"Yes, ma'am. We've fed the transmission into it three times already, and it keeps returning the same results," one of the cryptologic technicians replied. "Whatever language they're using is apparently most similar to Byzantine Greek, but it's still different enough from standard Byzantine that the translator's having issues. It also detects traces of several other languages, most notably a German dialect."

"Byzantine Greek mixed with German?" LCDR Midford said. Many SOS Imperial Navy personnel still retained a working knowledge of the Byzantine dialect, a legacy of the Holy Empire's long history of cooperation with the Byzantine Imperium in their old universe. None of them were expecting that knowledge to still be somewhat useful in their new universe. "Even if the translation isn't perfect, it'll make communicating with them much easier than it would be otherwise. Transmit the following message, translated into Greek: 'Attention, unidentified ships. This is the destroyer HSS Cherami Leigh, leader of SOS Imperial Navy Destroyer Division 3. We are not hostile. Our intentions are peaceful. Please continue transmitting.'"

With that, LCDR Midford reached for her comlink and contacted the bridge. "Conn, Operations. Our translators have determined that the language that the unidentified ships are broadcasting in is closest to Byzantine Greek. We're using that as a basis to facilitate communications with them, and we have just sent a message to them. We are currently awaiting their reply. Over."

"Ops, Conn, aye," the HSS Leigh's skipper, CDR Shana Thompson, replied via comlink. "Very good, Lieutenant Commander. Keep me appraised of further developments. Conn, out."

If the Theophanic Empire ships were listening in, they would have heard the following: "Prosochí, ágnosta ploía. Aftó eínai to antitorpilikó HSS Cherami Leigh, archigós tou SOS Imperial Navy Destroyer Division Three. Den eímaste echthrikoí. Oi prothéseis mas eínai eirinikés. Synechíste ti metádosi."
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Uncharted Star System 20649, ESS sneaky snek

Despite sharing the same basic hull as the old-pattern Archer destroyers, the Endeavours and NP,Ks were much improved in almost every aspect; thrust-to-weight ratio, armour, shielding*, weaponry, and, most importantly, crew habitation. The old Archers had the crew bunks open to the passages running along the ship's sides fore and aft, providing no privacy and less comfort. That had made sense when the whole population of Endeavour was contained in a space less than a single cubic AU in volume, but was a little insufficient for the present era. The modern ships actually had individual cabins for each crew member, along with the usual emergency bunks scattered about various duty posts - which were a damned reisent miracle on voyages like this one.

It was in one of these cabins that Captain Miyasawa was trying to sleep in, turning over the events of the past day or so in her head. Had she made the right choice? Was she getting everyone at home involved in something dangerous? Was this really worth the risk?

This was just her nerves, she knew that, but even so - that big dreadnought was a match for the OAR dreads back home, and who knew how many more they had? They were clearly somehow still an aristocracy, the sheer list of titles presented to the snek made clear it was that or an extremely severe case of irony poisoning and... well, of the two, she'd prefer the unironic aristos. She'd been around for the Meme War**, and had no intention of seeing another. Still, there could be friction there, or if there was life on the world below - it had been made clear that this was a colony fleet, and they would pull back if any native life decided they didn't want to be colonised to-day, thank you very much, but that could be a lie, or someone could decide that yes, the natives did want a spot of the ol' colonisation, or...

Damn it, she hadn't even nominated herself at the last election; Ludvig had put her name forward and she'd been too shocked to refuse. She'd been in Engineering before that, then at Sensors... never once had she really thought about being Captain. Now here she was conducting first contact with what seemed to be a lost offshoot of humanity, with maybe a half-century in the Protectorate under her proverbial belt.

Maybe she should make that a literal belt. These guys seemed the sort to like people wearing swords and pistols, and there had been badly-translated murmurs that the Empire would very much like to host the captain of the little stealth ship that could.

She worked through plans, coming up with contingencies in case things went the shape of the pear, until she finally drifted off to fitful sleep.

----

Even asleep, her mind worked away. Designs for clothes to wear if an invitation was forthcoming, plans for a new sidearm, feeds of information to and from Endeavour space - apparently work on the hyperspace line between Tigo and Neos had been completed yesterday, which was nice - all taken care of by the more mechanical parts of her brain. Other parts accelerated the sleep process, cutting down the human sleep cycle from "barely working after four hours of sleep" to "being comfortable after two".

Which, of course, meant she wouldn't be getting two hours of sleep.

A message came through from All Bus - who had emerged from Engineering to cover the bridge watch, seeing as he'd gone full-cyber and didn't need sleep - and woke Miyasawa up. "Got a message from the turtly-boy," his voice replayed in her head, "relaying it through now."

"Hail, sneaky snek this is Megakolymvitis, over," crackled the strange electronic-yet-human voice of the Imperial ship. That modulator would probably be a big hit back home.

Miyasawa groaned, rolled over, and pulled on a headset - yes, she could do the whole conversation in her head, but having something physical to talk into just felt better. "This is the snek, Captain speaking," she said.

"We would like to extend an invitation from the Commodore soi Chelonis to you to come aboard with escort for dinner, over,"

"Copy that," she said, realising that an appropriate-sized "escort" would end up being the whole damn crew, "We accept your invitation and will send meeting co-ordinates." With a motion of her hand, she opened a text channel to All Bus and told him to figure that out; he'd been Captain six elections ago, he knew what to do.

"Understood," came the reply a few moments later, "Monitor visual sensors for pilot craft to lead you to our docking bay in three hours, over and out."

Well, then. Sleep, then it would be time to settle on something to wear, in that case. She wondered what sword she should carry, and oooh she could take a revolver...




----------

*in that the later ships had shielding at all.

**thankfully, no-one died during the Meme War, which became a meme in and of itself. Then, some joker made a meme of the meme, proving the age-old adage that some leopards just did not change their shorts - which was a much more hygenic idea with the advent of cleaning nanobots than previously.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Nebula formation called the Cradle of the Stars, galactic Northwest
Approximately three hours post-translation



...please continue metadosi,” the message ended. Startled faces looked at each other around the bridge of the Dikaiosi. Justinian slapped the sprechanlange button on the arm of his command throne and snapped, “Frater Inwit! Your presence, or another kyria at least, is required at the bridge, on the double!”

h̶̞̬̔̏̆̾̐̌e̷̥̙͑͊̇̾̑͝á̴̧̳͎́̂̇͗͂̅ͅͅŕ̴̡̡̰͍̊̽̍͜͠ͅd̴̡̺̗̟̫̟̘̑̀̄̔͜ ̴̧̙͙̻͇̳̿̓̑a̷̗̬̖̯͎̞͆̔n̶̗̄̂̿̏̏̓̕d̷̡̟͍̹͓̺̣̼̈͆̇̅͘̚ ̷̛̜̅̓̓͆̚ǔ̸̩̫̠̬̥̈́ǹ̵̢̰̲̲͉͖̰̘̆̊ḑ̸̛̙̲̈̄͊͛͆̀ȩ̷̤̞̙̰̠̽͌͆r̴͓̰̭͈̿̄̌̈́̑͝s̷͔͕̳̊́͗̈́̄̕t̶̨̘̬͉̏͜ő̵̡̽͊͒̾̕o̴͖̞̫̠̗̬͒͘d̶̪̙̹̏̍̒͋̐͘ ̵̻̱̙̘̺̱̳̽̾̈́̚m̶̯͕̦̼̣̫̼̋ỷ̶́̌̈́͑̀̈́ͅ ̶̞͖͈͒̓̾̽̉l̷͔̾͌̐̈́̑͜͝o̶̩͔̘̠̤͛r̶̝̱͉͒d̵̨͕̻͙̰̲̋̉͊̊̇̀͗͜ ̵̬̯̺̖̌͆̈́̒͜͠͝I̶̧͔̮̺̼͊̓̓̔̚̚̕ ̷͔̥̦̹̉̉̊̕c̸͇̉̑̐̀͛̊́̃ơ̵͉̰͔̤̫̽̓̑͐̆͘m̸̫̮̖͇̰̀̉́ͅȅ̵̡̧̛̳͈͍̙̮͆͋͂͆͗͝ ̵͈̰̖̗̩̠̿̾͝

Minutes later the technognostiki was on the bridge listening to a loop of the message. Its face showed no expression-- not that it could show much of *any* expression with most of its face being various tubes and conduits, ocular implants glowing under a thick black rubber hood. Eventually Justinian couldn’t stand the pregnant silence and asked, “Well? Do you have any explanation for how they were able to use Comniversal?”

Ì̷̡̛̼̻̖̪̥̺̱̣̿͐͗̂́͘̚ͅ ̶̡̧̧͚͕̦͈̮͔͎͓̝͚͙͍͈̍̾͗̓̕̚h̸̛̺̺͙̯̮̰͖̮̙̼͂͐̄͋̔͌̋̒̒̌͝a̷̜͈̠͈̤̭̋͆̐v̸̘͇̭͍͍̮͈̻̮͚̻͈̹̉͜͝ȩ̶̹͙͍̲̫͌ ̷̢̛̛̥̬̹̮̯̥̝̗̠͖̘̣͋̇͗̊̽̆͝ͅṇ̸̢̻̻͇̻͖͙̥̪̍ơ̴̰̪̹͒̀̓̉͛̊̔̏̀͒̚͘̚͝͝n̷̠̺̗̳̯̈́̌̃̿̔͜e̷̢̨̙͖͔͙̥̱̲̘̘̠̤̤̐̔̀̑̍̂̏̃̈́́̚͜,̵͓̺̠̻̪̝͕̪͇̙̬̃͋͑̍͋̕̚͜͠ ̵̙͔̯̭͙̤̰͎̞͒͐m̸̰̓̉̐̒̃́́̾̕͜ý̸͙͌̒͐̈̔̚ ̷͕͍͇̱͑̃͋͌̇̋̕͝l̸̡̧̢̡̛̼̳̠̯̘̟̲̺̠̮͎̪̗͗̎̊͌̂̀͊͊̆͌̎̉̋͒͗͠ơ̷͉̭̍̈́̽r̴̢̨͈̳̱̻̬͔͈͓̙̰͕͓̠̋̾̿̏͘͘d̶̜̈́͆̀͂̇͒̓̄̐̔́͠͝.̷̨̦̥͌̌ ̵̧͎̯̼͇͓̬̭̆̂̒̈́̀͆̓̈́̑͐̽Ḭ̶͍͔̘͈͚̥͖̭͉̒̉̕ ̶̺̫͙̬̻̦̟̤͝s̶̠̜̘̮̯̹̗̮̲̹͔̯̾̔̽̐̓̂̚͠ͅu̵̹͓̹͔̬͑̽̾̔̅̒̓͌̚͜͝g̴̖̒͐̎̏ģ̸̤̝̫͕͇̇̌̈́̔̿͗̕͝ȩ̸̨̰̹͎͍̞̠͈͂̍͆̅̆̊̚ͅs̴̡̨̛̝͙̰̥̗̠͎̠̞̲̭̤̰̓͊̊̍̀̐̊͒͒͌́͒͜t̵̏͑̈́͛̿́̈́͑͒͆͊̿̀͘͝͝ͅ ̵̯͇̬̦̤̉̈́̈̌̆̀̊̓͑͋̐̃̾͐̒w̷̢͉͖̱͍̬̘͔̋̿͐̅̚̚e̷̡̥̖̤̰̰̰̫̝͔͗̅͛̾́͐̈́̓́̒̈́͛͘͝ͅ ̸̢̨̢̨̢̻̭͖̠̼̠̳̰͙̲̰̅͂̊̂̈́͊͜a̴̩̭̣͎̍̈́̄s̷̙̹̝̪͍͓̟͎͆̿͑ķ̴̩͎̦͉̼̜̜̙̘͈̻̼̍̍̌̈͑ ̴̡̢̡̧̙͕͈̲͉̳̗̠̼̒̋̅̄͐͂̎̾̚̕̕͜͝t̴̪̝̋̍̈̒̽́̌͌͗̓̄͘h̶͎͋͐̂͗̌͊̅̚ḙ̷̬̮͚̰̊͑̎̑͂̽̈́̃͑̈́͐̑̓͋̕̚͠m̷̡̩̈̆̄̏̈̑̃̏̈́̓̀̓́̕̕͝͝.̷̢̡̮̘̬̬̲͛̏̓͛͂̍̑̈́̋̂̃̓͆̉͛̿̾ ̶͓͚̯̒́

“Thanks for the answer, O archigos profanis. Comms? Open a channel.”

At that officer’s nod and gesture, Justinian steepled his hands before him and began, “Hail, Cherami Leigh. This is the Theophanic Empire Magnatrabes Dikaiosi. I am Justinian soi Foinix, Archiploiarchos Seventeenth Expeditionary Fleet, Kapetanios Dikaiosi. We are pleased to hear the mother tongue this far away from home.We have had a rough translation and we have lost contact with our primary colony craft, the Thorikto Dystropos. You may approach to two hundred kilometres’ distance. Maintain communications. We would understand more. Dikaiosi out.”

As he concluded, with excellent timing the red alert alarm went off automatically, and the sensors officer shouted, “Translation incoming! The Unseen is opening proximate to the asteroids!”

Lightning erupted and aurorae flamed. Space-time convulsed, sending impossible waves of gravity outward. The hardened circuits of the Theophanic Empire fleet withstood the electromagnetic convulsions that accompanied the birth of a ship from nullspace.

Many of the smaller craft clustered about the asteroids that had started tentatively investigating the Theophanic fleet were less fortunate and either went black or started careening about space, their controls sent haywire.

Dikaiosi shivered as the gravity waves hit, and Justinian watched the bridge ologramma display tautly. The tear in reality began to capture the asteroids around it, and they started fragmenting, sliding into the nullmatter surging out of the hole in space. Slowly, painfully slow, like a massive infant being breech-birthed, the vast hulk of Dystropos heaved itself out, streaming great gouts of plasma and spewing vaporized air from massive tears in its thick shell.

Realspace asserted itself over nullspace once the Thorikto finally emerged entirely. The gravity waves stopped flowing through the ether, but the dreadnought didn’t stop moving… not under power, at any rate; it slowly wallowed and started yawing about its center of gravity. The asteroids that had been in the path of its emergence were mostly gone or shattered, the remains of habitation that had been built into them streaming in the vacuum.

One of the craft that had been keeping station around the asteroids, somewhat larger than the rest, reactivated and strobed on the Dikaiosi’s display, sending messages to its brethren. They set new flight paths to converge upon the dreadnought, and he realized what was happening. It had destroyed their base… so they were looking for a new one… and it had literally fallen into their laps.

Without looking, his eyes fixed upon the scene before them, Justinian gestured vaguely and murmured, “Comms, channel to the Dystropos. Now!”


Aboard Dystropos

Wachter-Fylakas [Sergeant] Erhard apo Aftokratoria blinked as he returned to consciousness. Then he promptly coughed and waved his hands in front of his face, it was far more smoky than ship air should be. He sat up, and his class-five warsuit followed suit, as would be expected with him in it.

The ship was trashed. There was no other word for it. He didn’t know what could possibly have happened. The last thing he remembered was the tannoy telling the crew to secure for translation, and he took his squad-- his squad?!

He spun about and they were behind him… what was left of them, anyway. Ventor was mostly under a massive chunk of building; Katrin twitched feebly at the end of a huge girder protruding from the bulkhead; Dave’s warsuit was simply crushed and missing its legs. Owain was the only one apparently intact, leaning against its transport rack-- but the squad vitals in his helmet HUD told him Owain was dead inside the warsuit.

There was nothing to do about it. He stood up and stared for a moment. Slowly his training asserted itself. He turned his back upon the remains and started striding away in the direction of the bridge sphere, flipping through the comms frequencies on his HUD as he went. He picked a general shipwide frequency and called out, “Wachter-fylakas Erhard calling. Is anybody else still alive? I am heading towards the bridge. Wachter-fylakas Erhard calling--”

“Wachter? Dokimos [cadet] Arthouros soi Fylachto here. I’m glad to hear your voice. Translation went bad. Everybody’s dead.”

“Dokimos soi Fylachto, switch to channel three. Let’s keep this open so we can contact anybody else alive on this ship. We had half a million complement and three million colonists aboard, at least some of them must be alive.”

“Yes sir. Switching now…” he heard static and then the cadet’s voice returned,”I’m on the bridge, I’m the third sensors officer. Lord Betor… Lord Betor is dead, sir.”

So the Kapetanios was dead. Shit. Chain of command. Somehow, the cadet outranked him, barely, though he sounded a snivelling child, but that wasn’t important right now. “Dokimos, you don’t call me sir, okay? I call you sir. Is anybody else of greater rank alive or otherwise able to assume command on the bridge, sir?”

“....no, sir, err, Wachter-fylakas, I think I’m the only one alive up here. Wait, there’s a kyria walking in!”

Erhard sighed. A technognostiki was good, but not chain of command good. Even so, perhaps he could be useful. He keyed the comm and asked, “Dokimos, can you put me in touch with the kyria?”

F̸͕̳͙̭͓͙̻͖̩̈́̽̏̑͌̽̈́̃͒r̴͇̲̥͖̖̣̦̗̻̠̐͒͜ͅá̷̟̬̪̼̯̤̑̽̿͌̕͝ẗ̸̬̦͗̅̈́͂̂̈́͆͐̈́̕̚͘̕͠͠e̷̖͓̟̎ŗ̷̨̡̜̦̲̞̝̳̥̈́͋̀̈́͜͝ ̷̡̧͎̠̖̳͚̗͎̭̞̖͎̠͉͇͆̔̚L̴͎̗̺͍̞̩̻͇͓̃̎͂͗̄̍̔u̸̻͆͐͛̿̀̾͗̋̅ͅk̸̰͐̏̇͗̆́͗͗̌̓̈̈̃͘͝ẫ̸̠̾̉̊̽̈́̍̽͌͋͘ ̷̨̧̠̲̘̱̞̞̠̜̋͑̿̌̈́̂̚͘à̶̢̡̢̛̝̰̫̬̬͕͚̙̥͉̤̥̐̆̄̓̀̈́́͛̂͐͘͘̕̚ͅẗ̷̪́̌̔̌ ̴̨̡͈̼̟̪̟̓̌͗y̷̢̗͇̗͚͑̃͋͐̚ͅơ̴̻̰͎̪̤͇̐̅̉̎͐͐̑̑̄͐̈͛ṵ̵̲̹͙̗̲͉̘̣͇̟͛̓͜͜ͅr̷̺͎̳͖͚͙̭͈͇̼̭͓̼̐͌̓͛͘͜͜ͅ ̷̹̪̼́͋̀̎́̂͆͒̈́͜͝ͅs̵̛̗̞͔̪̟͔̘̯̼̜͙̠̏̓̍͂͑̽̏ẻ̶̢̨͖͉͎͓͚̃͋͆́̍̚͘͜͠r̵̭͊̌͊̍̐̑̇̆̎̕͝v̶̢̜̺̥̻̠͖̞͔͇̜̺̣̯̜̼̇͗͜ĩ̶̢̛͙͚̞̪͎̫̫̺̘͙͎̠̈́̂̏͂͗͗̀̏̀͗͗͘͘͝c̷̨̧̨̛͚̦̣̥̙͇̖̩̺͙͙͂͂̾͌͌͗̀̊̀̍͂̚͘̕͝͠e̷̲͍̱̥̞̯̭̲̩̙͙̤̅̐͛̈̔́̽ ̶̯̲̮̜͖̩̪̓̂̓̏͋̓̕͝ͅf̴̙̼̺̜̝̪̒͒̅͗̐̃̽̃̋̈́̍̎̉̏̊͠y̴̡̨͖̩̮̟̥̒̈́͌̓̄͛̒̂̐̓̀̌̚͜͠ͅl̵͕̤̃̒̑͂̊̈́̀͑͝a̶̛͈͍̯͈̥͈̱̐͆̔̍́̓͐́͆̑͒̎̑̂̄̚k̴̢̳̭̇̎͒͘ḁ̸̡̢̟̦̩̹͈̣̟̙̜̣̻̿s̴̡̤̱̰̭̘̜͉̘̱̉̆̈́̍̇̈̔̎̐́̇͛͑̐̉͘͜͝

“Great. Frater, can you man the internal sensor feeds and start searching for life-signs? Dokimos, can you help us out and man the sprechelange board? We need to coordinate any living crew and start damage control and disaster recovery. At your soonest convenience, sir!”

Ǐ̸̪͐͜ ̷̌̀ͅh̵̨̰́͘á̷̦̀v̵͉̗́̇e̴̱̟͂̓ ̷̺̃d̶̫̃a̶͔̱̚t̷̨͓̑͘a̵͙̬̋͌ ̸̲͉̚f̸̹̉̽o̴̢͌r̵͎̖̕ ̷͚̦̒y̵̻̜̔͝ö̸̫̰ụ̸͍̔,̵̘̫̔͘ ̵̮̋f̵̼͘y̵̻̖̽l̷̖̊͒ạ̵͗̀k̶͚̀à̷͇͉͌s̶̗̘̏̆.̷̼̈͝ ̶͉̊W̸̡͗̂e̶̬͊̋ ̷͇̯̀ẖ̷̀á̴̖v̴̧̯̂e̸̹͔͑̕ ̴͕̆̃l̸̯͈̾̂ó̵̲̝s̶̹͋́ͅt̵̘͗͒ ̶̺͉̋̐m̶͙̔͛ȏ̶̺̯r̷̳͑͂e̶̗̾ ̶̛̼t̴̡̹̓͝h̷̥̊͜͠ḁ̸̰̋ñ̶̩͊ ̸̡̢͝h̶͍͇͆͋á̶̠͉ḽ̸̹̐͆f̵̪̽̈́ ̵̠͌͑o̸͖̽̾u̵̦͒̾ṟ̴̭̐ ̷̫̳͝c̴̼̺̔ṟ̴̌e̵͋ͅẃ̶͌ͅ ̴̰̒̕f̷̫̽r̸͔̊o̶̼͛m̴̜̍̾ ̷͕̓͒ẅ̴̙͈́h̷̰̗̎a̸̮̅͠t̷͚͆̂ ̶͔̜̈́͝I̵̢̩̊ ̸̍ͅa̷͙̚͝m̶̛̯̠̃ ̷̳̈́ṣ̴̽̀e̶̪͎͆̕ė̵̯i̴̢̱̾͒n̷͚͊̑ģ̴̈́.̶̦̜́̀ ̴̤̉M̴̯͊̌ȍ̷͔̼́ś̴̨̄t̷̨̛͓̅ ̶̺̿ơ̷̤͋f̵̞͋ ̶͓̌t̵͚̺͂͝ḧ̷̜͉́e̴̬̤̽̈́m̵̨͑͠ ̷̦̦̽̚w̸̼͍̔́e̸̪͗̅r̴̭̺̊e̸̻̱̔ ̵̥͐ĉ̷̢̅ô̶̩n̵̝̈́̓c̸̰͙̋e̵̤̍̊ň̴̮̔ţ̸̛̜̄r̵̹͐̍ą̸̟̅t̸̺̆ẹ̵͖̑d̴͇̄͌ ̵̗́̀i̶͚̾n̶̺̐ ̸͚̀t̷̮̓h̸͇̒͗ȩ̶̎̇ ̶̬̩̈́f̴͕̰́i̸̮̠͊̈́r̷͖̲̂͝s̵͚̰̽ť̷̪ ̷̼̑h̵̛̼̼̚ā̶͉̑l̴̘͚͋f̴͕̜͑ ̷̢̡̎͒ȯ̶̧̓f̴͍͉̾́ ̵̭̑t̴̺̕h̴͚͎͑e̵̪̓͆ ̵̨̯̓s̶̗̓ḫ̸̓̿i̷̗͓͆̀p̵̗̆͌,̶͚̫͝ ̵͇̃͌t̵̨͇͠h̵̦̯̓e̶̢̟͆ ̵̘̙̑s̷̪̲͌̈́t̶̨̐e̷̫͎͂̓r̴͈̈̿n̵̤̠̊̎ ̷̣̱͛͠c̵̦̹̃r̷̯̒e̷͕͎͂͂ẇ̸̼̙ ̶͕̏̈a̴̡̗̾n̶̰̺͑͝d̷̦̜̓̇ ̸̭̜̌m̴̢̚o̸͔͋̾s̴͍̰̍t̴̤̟̃̕ ̴͍͎́o̶͚͑͛f̶̭͌̕ ̸̢͌ṯ̸̬͑h̷̩́ĕ̸̞̺ ̷̮͍͌t̶͖̀̊e̷͇͂c̴͙̥̃ḧ̶̫́n̴͈̆̔ō̵̧͕g̸͉̙͛n̶̼̓ó̸̙̋s̵̗̍t̷̹̱͒i̴͋͋ͅk̸̯̩̊i̵̖̖͝ ̴̙̋͘s̴̹͐u̶͐͜r̸̼̓͜v̴̝͖͂̽í̷͈̹̀v̶̼̋̈́e̵̼̭̒̕d̶̨̔̆.̶̬̌ ̶̲̂

Erhard nodded thoughtfully and asked, “And what of the colonists?”

T̸̛̯̝̳̞̈́͊͜h̵͕͕̰̀̄͂e̶̤͋̅y̸̛̳̑ ̴̟̥̣͖̱̔̽a̸̝̦̩̣̰͌͑̉͠p̸͓̯͚̈́̌̋ͅp̴͖͚͉̐͠e̷̫͈̭̙̯͘a̶̪͂͑̉̕r̸̨̟̲͋̔̉̉͗ ̶͍͕̹̤̎̄̉̕͝ṯ̶̡͖̦̭͌ó̵̢̬̬̱̪̎̀ ̷̡̮̪͛̽̎͜ͅb̶͕̣̦̒̎̉͘͝e̶̩͙͋̇̋̚ ̶͙͊͗̽́̿m̵̮̥̭͉̤͛ȍ̴̡̺̭͘s̵̰̼̠̾t̵̡̤̑l̶͇͗̾͠y̶̜̒̃̉͊́ ̸͓͙̪͛̒i̸̺̜̿̏̕͠n̷͚̬̂̓̽t̵̰̲͈̿a̸̡͋̂̀͛̈́c̶̹̅̚t̵͕̮̑ͅ ̶̨̡͙̜̮̌̓f̸̢͚̀̅ͅr̵̪̣̋͝ͅŏ̶͖͉̤̃̑ͅm̵̗͙̻̦̞̀̃̇̄ ̵̗̹̆͌̒͐w̷̩͎̌h̷̼́͊̈́͋ͅa̵̺̻͇̽̓͌͑t̶̯̭̪̻̊̈́̓͘͝ ̷̗͍͚̫̂̇̌͜Į̴̥̖̘̆̌̽͌ ̷̖̇̈͋a̵̟͎͍͐̀̋m̶͓̞͇̓̌̎ ̷̹̏s̴̛̱͖͇͎͉̅͠e̸̺̎̇e̵̘̥̠̎i̸͔͈͋͆͜n̵̪̰̯̘͙̄͗̉g̴̙͙̅̈́̃͠.̶̪̦̙͉̱̈́̊͊̆ ̸̖̻̯̻́̃͌̉͒Ŵ̶̨̛̲̏̕ẽ̶̼͓̣̦͒̍͆ ̶̥͙͔̫̈͐m̷̛͇̈́̄͝a̶͈͔͙̱̲̋ÿ̵͖̺̝́̈́̆͐̒͜ ̷̨̺̖̜̆̑͆̓ͅh̷̛̙͇͒̈͠ȧ̶̲̹̠̘͜v̷͔̼̟̼̏͜ë̷̡̝̠͓̝̏ ̷̠͔̿͒̂̒l̸͇̲͍͉̲͝o̶͔̻̺̻̞̍̇̆̈́̚ŝ̶̬͖͐͝t̵̹̮̥̥̋͝ ̸̪̲̥͉̆̅͝ͅą̶͈̮̗̿b̴͇̎́̋̅õ̷̧̧͎̥͔ų̶̮̤̎̒̄͠t̴̺͓̹̀̍ ̵̨͖͖͓͕̍̾ã̴̙̮̘̯̃͗́͝ ̵̢͍̲̤̝̿q̷̙̣̠͕̅̏͌ű̷͖̮̱̓̑â̴̳͍̬͔͈̕͠r̴͖͕̱̻͒́̀͐̚t̶̛̗̞̾̂e̷͇̤͇̊̊̇͘̕r̷͍̎̎̆ ̷̬̖̼̈̒t̶̺̤̳̏o̸͉̦̘̔́͝ ̷̡̦̗͕̬̐͊̋̾͋a̷̼̠̔̄ ̴͔̣̃́͜t̷̩͌h̵͖̜̃̇i̴̪̾r̶͓̪̱̐̃́̍͜ͅd̵̬̎̚̕ ̴̹̔o̶͕̓f̸̘̦̿̌ ̸̝̣͙̍̀͗ţ̵͓̙̝̀̈͠h̶̢̛̖̺͌̆e̵͕͈̻̯͖͊m̴̢̛̝̋̄̔͘.̵̭̭͍̃̉ ̵̮̙̇͐͠;̶̣̯̙̖̑̊̀̋̚

He cursed quietly under his breath. Then his comms crackled and instinctively he answered, “Wachter-fylakas Erhard, speak, over.”

“Fylakas, this is Genikos [General] Moameth from the stern barracks. In place of Lord Betor soi Fylachto, Emperoress rest his soul, I will assume command of the Dystropos. Proceed to the bridge and stand by.”

He nodded (and reflected immediately on the silliness of doing so, encapsulated inside a class-five warsuit, a dozen kilometres away from the man) and altered his path, jumping from building to building to save time. His comms crackled suddenly with an alert from the dokimos, “Wachter-fylakas? Arthouros here. Err, the Frater pointed it out, but err, we seem to have incoming. They aren’t answering hails and he just noticed they’re running out their guns…”

“Dokimos, this is Moameth of the Protectors. Stay at your post, I will be there forthwith.

“Wachters and crew of the Dystropos! We have precious cargo, citizens of our Empire, subjects of our Theouautokratora. Preserve them! Stand to and prepare to repel boarders!”


Erhard grinned and started sprinting. His suit started dripping adrenaline into his system, his HUD automatically highlighted a route across the Thorikto dreadnought’s interior to the bridge, and he leaped high into the air. The jet booster on his suit’s back flared to life as wings telescoped out, and he darted into the microgravity zone at the heart of the dreadnought’s cylinder.

Whatever might come through the hull, he would be able to see it from where he was. And then they would suffer retaliation for what had happened to his ship…
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Pinnacle Base, Nashtar
Day 2, Week 2, Turn 1


"I understand operational procedure is to dispatch a cruiser squadron, Commodore, but if the readouts are correct we are dealing with a potentially substantial unknown force. That we haven't heard from Nightstalker or Rraskantha means they're either destroyed or deem it unsafe to transmit. We go with the fleet."

"Aye, Admiral. Fearless is ready to move on your order."

"Very good." Admiral Greeley stood from his command chair on the flag bridge of the NRS Venture. "Comms, Flag. Signal the fleet. Battlegroups One and Two form up on the command group for immediate jump to the provided coordinates. Battlegroup Three under the Mendel will maintain the garrison. Weapons tight on arrival. Jump in five."

"Flag, Comms, aye," answered the lieutenant at the communications console before setting about implementing the admiral's orders. The massive bulks of the Venture and Fearless began to boost out of orbit, their attendant Kensington class cruisers close at hand with lighter, nimbler warships fanning out ahead for the standard screening formation around the fleet's core. The five minutes elapsed, and over two thirds of the Fourth Main Battle Fleet disappeared into slipspace rifts.

Force Declaration
One Intrepid class fleet carrier - NRS Venture
One Dauntless class battleship - NRS Fearless
Two Kensington class heavy cruisers - NRS Galileo, NRS Copernicus
Two Guardian class light cruisers - NRS Galatea, NRS Audacious
Four Polaris class destroyers - NRS Alphard, NRS Canopus, NRS Luyten, NRS Arcturus
Four Bandit class frigates - NRS Doc Holliday, NRS Will Scarlet, NRS Wyatt Earp, NRS Queen Anne's Revenge
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

It was less than ten minutes that Captain Theodor Moz was in his quarters while the rest of the crew waited. For those at the ready stations watching events unfold out in the nebula, it was a very very long 10min. A number of the crew at less important duties had actually got up and were huddled around the Sensor pit crew. Many of them craning their necks [Or Head-bodies in the case of the Quatonians] to see the dim, fuzzy signatures of what had so far been identified as three different forms of ship construction. The sensor readings from one of the groups in particular making them exceptionally nervous.

The huddle was broken by the sound of Moz returning, a Ping announcing Captain on the Bridge.

The various bridge crew all scattered back to their respective areas and immediately tried to look busy. Moz give a slight glance here and there, filing the names for later, there was no sense in making a fuss now. Now, there were much bigger concerns at stake. After taking a moment to climb back into his chair, he once more pulled out his pipe, clamped it squarely in his jaw, and waited just long enough for his anxious second in command to begin to ask what the message was about.

“Orders-From-Top-Top-Wait-Listen-Observe” he said before turning to Kletania Tethlala, a Tejlini that had been serving with Moz for almost three years now.

“Just to observe? No action to engage in contact?” Moz snorted, clearly itching to do so, but gave a grunt in acknowledgment.

“No-Point-Just-Yet-Cant-Talk-Dont-Know-What-To-Say-Stumped-On-Lanaguage-We-Got-Zippo” His voice picking up only slightly before turning to Klentania.
“Orders-To-Let-Mr-Computer-Crack-The-Code” Moz said, and that seemed to make things much more clear. Everyone tended to know who ‘Mr.Computer’ was.

On top of the ship, a series of long range high gain antenna moved and intensified the monitoring of various ‘alien’ channels. If one were to have a mind to, one could almost say they moved like someone’s ‘arms’ back and forth, as though someone where conducting an invisible orchestra. Deep inside the ship, RUDI smiled.
HUMANS! He had always wanted to meet Humans. Or at least MORE Humans. There was of course the one living on Trathala. He had visited him many times over the years to learn what he could of Earth culture. But sadly he had realized [that] Human most likely traveled through Time as well as Space, and cultural information, was rather a bit of out date. Still it helped to give him a basis for at least one human language. He had suspected that a great deal of the other powers in the local galactic sector were human, or ‘human-ish’ and was so far finding it quite enjoyable to see how much they had evolved.

A sudden rise in gravity distortion and a rupturing of various things involving the word “Quantum” alerted him to the arrival of yet another ship. Turning his ‘gaze’ and focusing in on the area, he saw it close to the vessels that, so far, he had nicknamed as “The Bruisers” and had already made a note to look into their ship constructions much more closely. A moment later the ship emerged, or, mostly emerged. RUDI did the equivalent of making an inward hissing sound with his non-existent teeth as the ship came in. That certainly could not be good for the ship, or any of those on board.

And no sooner had the ship lurched back into reality that RUDI came to a very quick and definite summation.
“There’s going to be a fighter about salvage rights” he mused and then sighed deeply. RUDI took a very, very brief time to recalculate the offensive power of the ship he currently sat in, and then the ships even now gathering far off in the distance.

“I think we will sit this one out”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Bridge, NRS Audacious. Nearing slipspace reversion, north reaches of the Cradle of the Stars
Day 3, Week 2, Turn 1


"Conn, Helm. Reversion in thirty seconds at mark. Mark!"

"Helm, Conn, acknowledged. Tactical, ready the ship for combat." Captain Nashor-Ogn turned a slightly darker shade of red in anticipation.

"Conn, Tactical, aye." The human tactical officer keyed the shipwide address system. "General quarters, general quarters, all hands man your battle stations."

"Conn, Helm. Reversion in five... four... three... two... one... Mark!"

The white of slipspace flared at the bow of the ship, to be replaced by the starfield as obscured by the nebular gas cloud. Klaxons blared as the Venture's massive active sensor array lit up the void, cutting through the static and typical nebula-induced false returns as the sensor data was shared across the fleet's battlenet. "Conn, Sensors. We read several groups of ships, the closest two hundred K clicks away bearing 315 mark 3 negative. Unknown configuration, but they're huge sir. One appears heavily damaged."

Before the sensor chief could elaborate further, the comms array lit up with a broad-spectrum general hail from the Venture. "Unidentified ships, this is Admiral Greeley commanding Fourth Fleet, Nashtar Space Command. Seems like an awful lot of ruckus this close to the border, thought we'd drop in and see what all the fuss is about. Please identify."
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Some time later

Justinian paced up and down the thin aisle at the heart of his kleptoi-craft, fuming. It had taken the Dikaiosi entirely too long to get all its kleptoi-craft launched, being the last in the flotilla to try and reinforce the stricken Dystropos. Heads would roll for this failure.

He could grudgingly admit that perhaps it was on him for demanding that he lead the Dikaiosi’s contingent in their landing on the Thorikto dreadnought, and then he’d got hung up trying to get his warsuit on. Apparently he’d gained weight since the last time he wore one. But they had gotten it bolted around him at the last minute, albeit with a quick change of some of his ornate plating for a larger size they cribbed off a passing trooper who was now unhappily missing his fellows back on the Dikaiosi. He was a mismatched mess, but he was going to defend the Empire’s property, damn it!

His helmet HUD strobed. “Kapetanios, we have a sensor ping at range. Do you want to see it on the pilot deck or we can send it to your suit ypologisti [computer]?”

Annoyed, he grunted and started heading amidships to the ladder leading up to the heavily armoured pilot-deck. As he pulled himself up the ladder, he could hear chatter among the pilot crew crescendo, and he snapped as he topped the ladder, “Belay that jabber. Report!”

A crewman with the pips of an ipolchagos on his shoulder turned nervously and told him, “Uh, we have a translation, much closer than the first one. Multiple ships. Still smaller than ours, but well armed from what we’re reading. They’re broadcasting in the open. Do you want to hear it?”

“Why are you asking? Of course I do” he responded irritably, and crossed his arms as the audio played. It was obvious the language was as much of a mystery to everybody on the deck as it was to him, but it sounded serious. He made a snap decision.

“Ipolchagos, raise Taxiarchos [brigadier-general] Varro. Inform him that he is now leading the Dikaiosi complement and that we are breaking off to investigate the new contacts. When you are done with that, have comms maintain constant contact with the flotilla. Whatever ship is closest. Keep a running commentary of what happens as we approach and make contact.”

He turned his attention to the pilots, “You know where they are. Turn us and have us approach. If they hail us, slow down. Otherwise maintain a distance of twenty kilometres and we’ll observe.”

The kleptoi-craft, all black-armoured eighty metres of it, veered off from the flotilla closing on the dreadnought and started heading in the direction of the unknown unit. As the ipolchagos and the comms officer concluded their notifications, Justinian raised his voice again. “Comms, start hailing them on the same spectra they used. Message follows:

“This is Lord Justinian soi Foinix of the Seventeenth Expeditionary Fleet. We come in peace. We request assistance in this fight. If you can read us, do not fire. We repeat, we come in peace.”

Aftós eínai o Lórdos Justinian soi Foinix tou Évdomou Évdomou Ekstrateftikoú Stólou. Erchómaste en eiríni. Zitoúme voítheia se aftón ton agóna. Eán boreíte na mas diavásete, min pyrovolíste. Epanalamvánoume, erchómaste eiriniká.

Aboard the Dystropos

“Stand fast!” bawled Erhard, amplified by the heavy-duty speakers mounted on his warsuit. He crouched somewhat improbably behind a two-story building as a motley complement of Protector troops, Fylachto troops and even a few colonists undoubtedly feeling naked without even class-one warsuits on likewise took cover. The massive airlock facing them, the final ingress portal from a primary docking bay along the Thorikto dreadnought’s equatorial trench, started glowing and smoking around its edges.

He switched the public-address channel off and went back to suit radio. “Stratiotes [troops], you know what to do. These are no fellow Empire citizens we face. No mercy, for they will give us none. Shoot not with your hand but with your heart!”

Suddenly a convulsive spark ran around the perimeter of the airlock, and slowly, it began falling outward into the dreadnought’s interior until it landed with a muted clang. Almost before it touched down, a ragtag assortment of… they weren’t all human, but he didn’t have time to pay attention to that. What they were, right now, was only an enemy. And they would pay for boarding his ship.

“OPEN FIRE!” he roared on the PA, causing some of the closer troops to flinch. He hefted a massive rifle firing twenty-millimeter rounds and followed his own directive, sending explosive ammunition into the mass flooding through the airlock. The front rank of boarders disintegrated in the volley of fire that came their way, but their brethren behind took warning from their fates and scattered into the cityscape lining the inside of the dreadnought.

Erhard lumbered to his full four metre height and surveyed the scene before them. Boarder bodies laid scattered in front of the airlock, while the airlock itself was mostly empty, cutting equipment laying discarded inside it where the boarders had dropped them in their haste to attack. There couldn’t have been that many.

He turned around as his radio crackled, “On your left, fylakas!” to see welcome reinforcements striding up the main avenue behind his unit. A platoon of class-four warsuits hefting heavy boarding shields advanced in front of fresh troops bearing the sigil of Dikaiosi. He nodded in their direction and as he stepped to greet them, he quietly changed his channel. “Bridge, this is Fylakas Erhard reporting we have reinforcements from Dikaiosi.”

“Noted, fylakas. We have more incoming, but the enemy ships are still coupled to our airlocks. Reinforce all entrances in your sector and send all remaining troops to reinforce citadel.”

He nodded and signed off, then sighed. Their work wasn’t done yet.

++++++++++++++++++++++

Note for clarity:

As of right now, the Theophanic Empire is busy trying to evict uninvited guests from their wrecked Dreadnought. They have begun communication with the Haruhiists. Justinian soi Foinix is approaching the Nashtari flotilla to petition them for assistance... if he can make himself understood. The Sector's lone ship is observing but not getting involved at the moment (yet). The Endeavour flotilla is presumably en route.

Carry on!
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Shikinami Naval Arsenal, Endeavour, Endeavour Space

Strangely, to an outside observer, there were nearly two hundred people waiting for the Glory and company to descend. Strange, because there were few mechanics or other technical personnel amongst them, and because a fair few were civilians. Not that an outside observer would be able to tell the difference; some civilians wore severe uniforms, or powered armour, while there was no discernable uniform amongst the soldiers.

Also rather odd was the way none of them seemed to care when the great doors above them opened, exposing the docking bay to the infinite emptiness of space. The four ships of the northern expidition descended, borne on docking cradles. The two Glory battlecruisers, oddly slender and curved for Endeavour ships, dwarfed their charges. They were nearly eight hundred metres long, festooned with gun batteries and missile ports - and entirely useless for the single role they had been concieved for. Too slow to catch even the largest of cruisers, less well-armed than a dreadnought, without any of the advanced communications equipment that made battleships and carriers so useful; there would only ever be two built.

Sovereign Protector Ayanami had won an election on that particular note, in fact; her predecessor in office had been enamoured with the concept of the battlecruiser to the point of neglecting the rest of the fleet. She was not a political animal - like many Endeavour officers, one of her qualifications was explicitly not wanting the job - but apparently pointing out that the fleet's destroyers were literally centuries out of date was enough to secure her a solid fan-base. Well, that and her identity, but dozens of Reis Ayanami had been - and still were - put forward as candidates, so it wasn't like she had a monopoly on that particular demographic. Indeed, at least a dozen of the people scattered around waiting for the ships to finally get down to the catwalks* were Reis. And one other person, who wore the same face but did not carry the name.

"You're not waiting for the feed?" Ayanami asked, grabbing the girl's attention. Quite literally; there was a small ambience ball floating on a string off of her, labelled "attention".

The girl - one day Rei'd have to get her to give herself a name - shook her head. "Too important," she said, and that was probably all Rei would get out of her. She'd once had a two-minute conversation with the girl, and she counted it as one of her most hard-fought achievements yet. Original Generation Reis** tended to be quiet, sure, but not that quiet.

Luckily, she was spared the awkward silence as the ships finally clang'd their way onto the ground, and their boarding airlocks extended. There was no stream of disembarking crew; most of them would remain aboard for another few hours, waiting for a train to take them to the main hab blocks. Some disembarked just for a change of scenery, but a small knot of people were the main focus of Rei's attention: the bridge crew of the Glory, along with the captains of the Implacable, Bach and the OwO What's This?. There was an ambience-only presence with them, an AI.

Information was traded and votes were taken through the ambience in the half-minute it took for the group to come within not-awkward speaking distance; enough so that the ensuing discussion was in some ways pointless. In others, it was essential.

"Report," Rei ordered, and Alexi stepped forwards.

"We discovered eighty-six new star systems, ranging from star-only to non-habitable rocky planets," he began, "but did not make contact with the presumed civilisation along our route. The eighty-seventh and final star system we came across..." a dramatic pause, or perhaps Alexi was just preparing himself, "was formerly the site of Amazo-X HQ." There was a bit of a racket at those words, as the people in the crowd murmured to one another. It was traditional, after such a dramatic pause.

"Formerly?" asked one of the representatives of the Naval Arsenal, a canine-headed man with eight arms.

"It was destroyed at most a day before our arrival," Alexi answered. "We performed SAR duties, recovered one thousand, eight hundred and ninety six survivors, and also retrieved [The Great Beholder]." Images of the ruined planet floated up through the ambience, along with estimates of the planet's pre-destruction population and required energy to inflict such horrific damage. "We believe Amazo-X has established a new HQ elsewhere within the same local area, but they will likely go dark for a while."

"What did this?" the girl asked, touching one of the pictures of the holed planet.

Alexi nodded to the AI - [The Great Beholder] - who floated forwards. An image appeared, a very familiar one to anyone even slightly awake over the past week. A giant cylinder, almost a perfect copy of the dreadnought/colony ship just a few short sectors away to Endeavour's south-east. It ignited its engines, going far faster than such a ship should be capable of going (beside Rei, the girl stiffened, and Rei could almost taste the flow of extra information flowing past), plunging into the planet and through an Amazo-X ambush laid on the other side. "We initially suspected the unidentified local civilisation, but none of the signals put out by this craft matched the ones Endeavour received from that civilisation. Moreover..."

Audio began to play. " Maleldila, we come," - just before the ship began to accelerate, then a repeating broadcast: "THUS TO MALELDILA. WE WILL FIND WHAT IS LEFT OF AMAZO-X AND CAST THEM UNTO THIS HELL. AVE EMPERORESS. AIYA ELDILA."

"That was a Theophanic ship," Rei muttered, her mouth suddenly dry. "What the bloody hell have we gotten into?"

She accessed the main military feed through the ambience. New orders had already gone out to the fleet reinforcing the sneaky snek, along with the sensor feeds that had been used to assemble the video; they'd pass them along, and be ready for... well, eventualities. Even so, she found herself on the verge of ordering the Line Fleet to mobilise, to burn the Theophanic fleet from space and break that genocidal empire over their knee - and hesitated. What if that had been a splinter faction, or some sort of ancient American-style black operation? They didn't have enough information.

The video had made its way across Endeavour space, dissected and reported on several hundred times within the space of the three minutes the discussion had taken. Votes would have to take place - but had already been scheduled for the day after the snek's reinforcements arrived. Somehow, that was what made the whole thing seem serious; it was rare for an Endeavour vote on something important to be delayed so long. Rei would have to get ready, and just hope that war wouldn't break out***.

Beside Rei, the girl uttered just two, terrifying, words: "That's interesting..."



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



ESS Caterina Klaes, Cradle of the Stars

"Transition... now!" Rei Ayanami (helm) called, and the ship slowly kissed the surface of realspace... only to suddenly pitch up, flipping end-over-end.

"Damn it, Astley, you better not have fucking infected us with your bullshit!" Victoria Carver yelled through the open comms, trying to make sense of the sight through the bridge window. There was an asteroid, and what looked like a damaged cylinder-style hab, then there was the soup of the nebula, then there were more ships, then the asteroid again, then the soup-

luckily, she was very good at not throwing up. The comms came alive with the traditional fanfare of the Rick Astley, which she realised was being broadcast on the general frequency... and thus probably annoying everyone for a good light-year or two.

"Jam them," she ordered, and the music cut off. "Report?"

Her tactical officer - another Rei, weirdly enough, it was rare to have two on the same ship - called back: "No major damage to ourselves or the fleet. There are a number of vessels attempting to board and damage the..." she paused, and looked confused for a second - another rarity. "...Theophanic Empire dreadnought?"

Okay. What? "Those guys one of the stealth ships found?" Victoria asked. "What're they doing out here?" She shook her head, they weren't exactly close to home either. "Stabilise our spin, and start transmitting something friendly. Any other contacts?"

"One fleet of fourteen ships nearby, they look real professional," said Muffins, the pony at sensors, "Two capitals, four sub-capitals, eight escorts. Four more escorts at middle distance, they look like they taste different," which probably meant they gave off different-enough energy signatures that they were likely from a different navy to the first group, "More Theophanic ships headed this way at high speed, wait, no, I missed the ones on the dreadnought, also there's another... maybe sub-capital? ship out there. I'm sorry, I can't see too well in this nebula." Victoria resisted the urge to pat the pony on the head. She would ask later, when they weren't in danger of being caught in a five-way crossfire. "Oh, and the little guys... wow, one of them is locking onto us!"

A transmission Victoria could not understand but grasped the meaning of perfectly came across the comms. She'd heard it a million times in films, video games, live-action and anime series... well, that wasn't the point. The point was that it sounded an awfully lot like a bandit trying to shake them down. "Ping them back, show 'em what we've got," she ordered.

One of the Klaes' twin dual-purpose hypervelocity cannon turrets swung out to track the offending ship, launch rails crackling with electricity****. The ship turned away, back to the stricken Theophanic ship.

Well, Victoria thought to herself, That's one problem dealt with. Now... just to deal with being in an active warzone with two-to-three unknown factions and one group I don't know very well at all...

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

*They were slow to descend for reasons ranging from "we don't want multi-million-tonne warships crashing through the floor" to "it makes things more dramatic".

**I.E. the Reis born as Reis, not the Reis who chose to be Reis. Both are... weirdly common.

***"hoped", not "prayed" - Reis tend to not be religious, as the main Endeavour religion was centred around the story of the Original Reis Ayanami - the ones from the show. It was, of course, rather awkward to worship oneself.

****this was un-necessary for the operation of the weapon, but looked really cool and was quite intimidating.
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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Megakolymvitis, Kapetanios quarters

A tone blared from the sprechanlange panel on the wall and Kharon soi Chelonis jerked awake. She regretted it immediately, having fallen asleep sprawled out in the tall backed armchair in her quarters. It was a comfortable chair for sitting, but not so much for sleeping.

She heaved herself to her feet with a few low grunts and slapped the sigil. “Kapetanios. Report.”

Kapetanios, you asked us to notify you when the sneaky snek is within visual range. Shall we dispatch the pilot-ship?” came the response from the bridge. She sighed, nodded and answered, “Hold the pilot-ship for a moment. Please announce a reminder to the ship’s complement that all hands not assigned to essential tasks are to report to the disk diplomatic docking bay in full uniform and ready to review by unit. Have Yparchigos [second-in-command] Alessia review them after we greet the snek and have the… Endeavour crew brought directly to the Eugenis quarters for reception. Inform the mess that we expect dinner to be laid on no later than half of six bells.”

“Understood, kapetanios. Any further instructions?”

“Have we informed the rest of the flotilla of our visitors yet? Are they going to send any smallcraft for a fly-by?”

“Yes, kapetanios. They all are. That reminds me, Wachter Ilias apo Aftokratoria conveys his regards and says that he will bring a platoon of Protectors.”

Her mind was cast back to brunch yesterday. Stefon soi Drakon’s unnaturally pale face. The chitinous angeliforos with the strangely musical voice, as much felt as heard. The gaunt looking technognostiki in the corner with the strangely human face and the fixed grin. They had spoken of the Empire and what they knew of it to the angeliforos. Strangely its questions weren’t like a teacher drilling his students on their catechism, but more out of genuine curiosity. How did a servant of the Emperoress not understand the Empire?

She put it out of her head, though a lingering sense of unease hovered around the memory of the technognostiki, briefly introduced by Stefon as Frater Randyl, the chief kyria of the Keravnos. The cyber-ecclesiastic’s expression never wavered, thin pale fingers interlaced before its chest as it sketched a half-bow in their general direction.

“Inform Wachter-Stratiokos Ilias that his presence at the reception would be welcome. If he likes, he may accompany the snek into the hangar. Any other news?”

“None at the moment, my kapetanios. Off duty and light duty crew and troops to diplomatic bay for welcome formation and review after, snek crew to Eugenis quarters for reception, Wachter Ilias to accompany. If any further notifications come up, we will inform you forthwith.”

“Good. Kapetanios out.” She turned to her closets and sighed deeply. There were only like… three or four civilian robes suitable for her genia rank. Most of her attire was back home on Erepia.

Enough reflecting. She would have a briefing the next day, she decided, and just set her mind at rest then. For now, focus. Full fig? Nay; that was too many gamimenos layers for anybody but Yperochi-Mitra, and she reflexively genuflected at the sacred title. Dress uniform, class two would do.

That entailed quite enough as it was. Tall collared tunic in the nearly-black-green of soi Chelonis, trimmed out in red and gold. Attendant fancy cordage. Massive gorget plates, nearly a full breastplate, around her shoulders and hanging upon her chest, with her various decorations on it. Below, black trousers with a gold stripe down the seam, tucked into shiny black boots. On top of all that, a brilliant light blue satin sash with more medals on it,, buckled about her waist a dark burgundy belt with polished steel buckle holding up a photon-saber capable of slicing through hull plating and her trusty sidearm, a sixty-five-caliber revolver created by the Gunsmiths of Issher in Gilead. A cape, metallic red cloth of gold shimmering under the lights overhead, went about her shoulders, but she turned away the mechanical wardrobe’s offer of various canes or batons of office.

It was time. She sighed, waved away the hats being proffered, and pressed the sprechenlange sigil again. “Kapetanios to bridge. You may dispatch pilot-craft.”

As she strode the massive sculpted halls of Megakolymvitis, her mind ran through the possibilities. A first contact. She was going to be the first Empire citizen to officially greet humans from another state. Her stomach clenched and under all the layers of her uniform, she began sweating. To distract herself she began visualizing the next few steps in what was happening.

The pilot-ship, a minuscule boat at only twenty metres long, darted forth from one of the smaller hangars of Megakolymvitis, towards the tiny light in the distance that was the sneaky snek. Communication warbled between the two craft briefly, and the pilot-ship flipped end over end till it pointed back at its mother-ship. Arms extended from its amidships and two brilliant lights illuminated at either end, then began spinning around the ship till they almost described a strobing circle.

As the formation of two craft started towards Megakolymvitis, lights began orbiting the greater ship Visual magnification reveals they are kleptoi-craft and makrysofas, flying in formation to honour their guest. A pattern breaks away from the craft fly-bying Megakolymvitis and approaches the sneaky snek at speed. Concerned signals emanate from the Endeavour ship, and the lights turn into class-five warsuits with void gear, in the ivory and gold of the Imperial Protectors.

The warsuits gracefully circle the snek, pass by its bridge, each suit saluting with its left manipulator over its chest and right manipulator before its face, and settle in to escort it. The lead suit opens a channel to the snek, apologizing gracefully for the shock of their approach and extending an official escort to their destination. This is accepted with some awkward grace, and they slip through massive hangar doors.

As the
sneaky snek settles upon its landing gear, cheering erupts across the cyclopean space from around fifty thousand-odd crews and troops, lined up in formation to greet the strangers. The snek’s crew emerges as the Protector suits gracefully land in formation around their ship, goggling slightly at the scale of their welcome. Ilias apo Aftokratoria emerges from his warsuit, bows slightly and then turns to the soi Chelonis escort bustling up. In the lead are a pair of technognostiki, Frater Obryn and the skinny one she had never managed to find a name for, the two of them practically vibrating with excitement. They stop, bow awkwardly, and from the depths of Obryn’s robes it produces a small floating orb that settles above the head of the Endeavour captain… Miyasawa?

She speaks. “Ah, thank you very much for your kind welcome.” And looks up, startled. The orb spoke a nearly-perfect Comniversal translation of her words. She shrugs, accepting it quickly enough. Obryn and the other technognostiki stand aside, almost puffing their chests out with pride in their achievement. The defteros [second] officer, Geraint, salutes crisply, welcomes them briefly (his words being rendered deftly, if occasionally haltingly, in their tongue by the hovering orb), and holds his hand out from his side in the general direction of ‘away’ towards the interior of the disk cityscape. The body language of ‘this way, please’ is apparently universal as the snek’s crew follow his cue agreeably enough. After a moment turning away to issue quiet orders, Ilias apo Aftokratoria and the technognostiki follow.

They vanish into the heart of Megakolymvitis, entering an mass-transit-size conveyor-cell. Quietly and efficiently, it swoops through airlocked tunnels until it emerges into the cityscape atop the Disc, tall pyramids rising above the variegated metal landscape. The more militarily inclined of Endeavour’s crew don’t fail to notice massive gun-turrets quietly concealed within the cityscape, ships disguised as buildings, or vertical-launch silos under what appear to be massive stone pavers. He is an incongruous craft, but one made to hold its weight in a fight and then some.

They enter one of the more ornate pyramids near the heart of the cityscape, stop, and the doors hiss open smoothly to admit them into a chamber more akin to a temple or cathedral than a spaceship. Nearly every surface is elaborately wrought; the floors are covered with detailed mosaics or thick woven rugs; and the furniture is likewise extremely expensive-looking. They are ushered through a great hall until enormous doors, of real wood, are opened to show them a massive dining hall the length of the
sneaky snek.

At the end of the hall, Kharon stands up from the massive wooden throne and rests one hand on the butt of her saber, the other slipping between two buttons on her jacket. She pauses a moment as the guests approach her, racking her brain. What does one say at a moment like this?

“Welcome aboard the Megakolymvitis, my friends. I am Iohanna Kharon soi Chelonis. In the name of the Theouautokratora, the Emperoress, the God/dess Who Walks Among Us, I greet you in the name of the Empire.”

She holds out her hand to Kapetanios-- no, Captain-- Miyasawa, and waits, feeling the moment crackle…
It's a strange world. Let's keep it that way.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Uncharted Star System 20649, ESS sneaky snek

"Pilot craft on approach," Ludvig reported. "Looks like they've rolled out the red carpet." Needless to say, there was a slight edge in the man's voice; stealth ships like the snek survived by not being the centre of attention. The collection of firepower on display from even the fighter craft would probably be enough to turn the ship into a cloud of debris.

Not like it was worth worrying about that now. The pilot ship - about the size of a light freighter back home - was within visual range. "Hail, sneaky snek," blared a new slightly-distorted voice from the pilot ship, "Please maintain position astern while approaching the Megakolymvitis."

"Acknowledged," Miyasawa replied, "We're ready to approach." Cutting off the open channel, she gestured to Ayanami at the helm. "Take us in."

The pilot ship deployed a visual guidance system - arms, ending in bright lights, set to spin to provide a target for the snek to follow. Almost imperceptibly, the helms-woman bristled at the insult. "It's their ship, it's only polite to let them guide us in," Miyasawa said. That seemed to mollify the woman, which was, of course, when a few of the fighter craft began to break off and head towards the snek - at combat speed. Skywalker pinged them with the targetting system - a short "we see you're on an intercept course, please stop" burst - and the incoming shifted into an escort formation. One flew past the bridge window, to the assorted gasps of the crew.

"That's a mech!" Sadie spoke up for the first time in a while, having been pre-occupied with some strange-but-minor interference in the Hyperdimensional and Netherdimensional bands. And, sure enough, it was indeed a mech - surprisingly similar to some of the models back home, if they'd been covered in gold and ivory, carved more appropriately for a statue or display piece than a weapon of war. There was no doubt they'd be effective, if the exceedingly-large gun held casually in one hand was anything to go by.

"IFF identifies them as "Class-Five Warsuits" from the "Imperial Protectors" off the Keravnos," reported Ibuki after a moment. Getting the IFF data from the Theophanic ships to work with Endeavour computer systems had been difficult, but well worth it. "I'd hate to see a class-six."

"That's called an "Evangelion"," Miyasawa retorted. "They're an honour guard, most likely. Keep an eye on them." Not that anything could be done if anything went wrong now, Miyasawa tried not to think.

That was confirmed as the lead suit - which was the one that had strayed so close to the bridge - opened up a channel. "Hail, sneaky snek," came the usual opener, "I am Wachter Stratiokos Ilias apo Aftokratoria." As per usual, Miyasawa could barely tell where the titles ended and names began - if there even was such a difference. "My apologies for startling you. May we escort you to the Megakolymvitis?"

"Miyasawa here," she replied, "We accept your offer."

The formation proceeded, slipping along the immense hull of the turtle-ship, coming to a gigantic hangar bay - large enough to fit a Kitsune-class cruiser, easily. A small cradle was waiting for the snek, as the rest of the formation broke off; the pilot ship to a different bay, and the warsuits down to the reception deck. Miyasawa blinked - the deck was covered with people, more than she'd ever seen in one place at a time. they cheered as one as the ship settled, loud enough to be heard even through the bridge's thick armoured windows. "Well," she said lamely, "time to go say hi."

The bridge crew made their way to the airlock, and met up with most of the snek's crew - All Bus and second shift would stay behind in case of trouble. That still left an eclectic mix of about thirty people; here, an insectoid-looking person whose mouth drooled acid* with a small, furry jewel-eyed person riding their shoulders, there, a small cloud of scuttling robots deftly avoided the hooves of one of the pony crewmembers. Even amongst the human-formed crew there was an incredible amount of diversity on display; from uniformed** baseline humans to casual-clothed spacers, strangely cartoony-looking people in school uniforms, people hidden inside full armour, and the two Reis on board. Everyone was armed in some way, of course; lightsabers, pistols, carbines, here and there someone hefted some heavier weapons - she almost told one spacer lugging a full-size laser cannon to take it back to the armoury before deciding to just let them.

Overall, it was a crew she couldn't be prouder of. "Remember," she said, "there won't be a native ambience out there. Keep it to point-comms only, it's not nice to pollute someone else's information space."

She was the first out the door, after waiting awkwardly to make sure neither group was going to infect the other with some incredibly-deadly plague, and the cheering seemed to somehow get even louder. Despite that, there was some sort of music playing - pipes? - audibly over the crowd. She suppressed a shudder, and tried not to pat the armour plating under her shirt for reassurance***.

"There must be at least fifty thousand here," Ludvig subvocalised at her. That was barely a fraction of the life-signs they'd picked up on this simply-too-big ship, and she'd known the reception was likely to be huge... but knowing something and seeing it were two different things. Two robed cybernetic individuals approached at the head of a veritable army; the warsuit commander - sans suit, the man was reasonably attractive - from before amongst them. The senior-looking one produced an orb, which immediately began to float over Miyasawa's head; she queried it, and it returned that it was a translator. She'd downloaded the latest translation package, but it'd be more polite - and probably easier - to simply use their device.

"Uh- We appreciate the warm welcome," she said, stumbling over the words a little, and the orb spat out something in the language of the Empire - she'd have chosen slightly different words, herself, but on reflection the orb was probably more accurate. It was, after all, their language. She shrugged, and the two robed people stepped aside looking extremely pleased with themselves. Another person stepped up, this time dressed in what was obviously some sort of naval uniform.

"Greetings, Captain and Crew of the sneaky snek," the man said, his words translated into Eigo by the orb, "On behalf of the Emperoress and the Captain, I welcome you to the Megakolymvitis. Please, follow me." He gestured into the bowels of the ship, and began to lead them inwards. Some of the welcoming committee - including the warsuit commander and the two robed people - fell in behind the crew.

The ship was... well, baroque was a good word. Ostentatious? Blinged to fuck? Gold was in abundance, as were statues - statues of humans, and of strange creatures, of turtles and tortoises. They were led to what looked like an elevator, large enough to fit eight times their number, seats fashioned out of - turtleshell? Synthetic, part of her noticed. How odd. Then again, there was a lot odd about this ship, including something she couldn't quite put a finger on.

The elevator moved rapidly, both laterally and vertically - Miyasawa couldn't recall the word for such a conveyance, so "elevator" would have to do - until it breached the giant disk on the back of the Megakolymvitis. Every building in the city upon the disk was as richly-decorated as the interior of the ship had been - moreso, in fact. More gold, and statues, and turtleshell, and paintings, and tapestries, and columns... it was like the builders of the ship had decided that there could be not a single square inch of undecorated space. Even so, she could make out gun turrets and concealed missile launchers. There were even a few auxilliary craft acting as buildings themselves.

"A Kitsune could probably take her," Ibuki commented - making sure to use the more discreet channels.

"We don't have a Kitsune," Miyasawa replied, putting an end to that train of thought. She had to agree, though; there was no sign of any sort of energy shielding, with the ship relying on metres-thick armour plating for survivability. That would certainly suffice, but left the ship's weapons vulnerable to erosion. Moreover, while those weapons were certainly impressive, they didn't look as though they compared to the heavier class of hypervelocity cannon. Of course, there were rather more weapons on this ship than hypervelocity cannon in the entire Endeavour fleet, but that was a feeling Miyasawa was getting very used to.

Honestly, though, she actually kind of liked the Megakolymvitis; it felt like a place people lived. She'd been vaguely dreading the sort of overly-regimented militaristic look one got from watching old media, and so far... there'd been some of that, but not too much.

The elevator finally swept into one of the pyramids and came to a halt, and the crew decanted through one gigantic chamber into another gigantic chamber - large enough to have fit the entire snek inside. This last room was laid out like a dining hall, with doors made out of wood (natrually-grown, impressively enough), and with numerous doors for servants and the like to enter and exit. That's when the slight nagging feeling at the back of Miyasawa's head coalesced: there was no autologi system on board. She was so used to seeing yellow-edged access points every few metres, dispensers at every crew station, and the occasional exposed pipe, that the lack of them had made the whole Megakolymvitis feel strange.

There was a high-backed wooden throne at the other end of the room, with a regal-looking woman sitting on it. She stood as the group approached, one hand tucked into her jacket with the other on the hilt of what looked like a lightsaber - wow, that was a pose and a half. Miyasawa pushed that feeling away as they ascended the steps to meet the woman - who was obviously the captain-or-equivalent of this ship.

There was a brief moment of very awkward silence, neither captain wanting to speak first out of sheer... well, awkwardness, until the Theophanic captain managed to get her act together: “Welcome aboard the Megakolymvitis, my friends. I am Iohanna Kharon soi Chelonis. In the name of the Theouautokratora, the Emperoress, the God/dess Who Walks Among Us, I greet you in the name of the Empire.” With that, Kharon**** held out a hand.

Miyasawa was still trying not to get a crush on the cool sword-armed lady captain, so it took her a moment to realise exactly what she was supposed to do. She shook the other captain's hand. "Miko Miyasawa," she said, "On behalf of the people of Endeavour, I greet you." That was... pretty bad, but she'd already said it now. "...how about that dinner, then?"

Damn, she was bad at this.



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

* Which, out of politeness and consideration for other people, was a) only a pH of 6.9 and b) immediately reclaimed by special-purpose nanobots before it could hit the floor.

** Which is not to say, uniformly uniformed. There were at least twenty-eight different styles on display, not to mention the dazzling array of colours.

*** She had eventually settled on a a school-uniform style outfit over an armoured plug suit, with a lightsaber at her left hip and miniature hypervelocity pistol at her right. She considered all of that to be reasonably representitive of Endeavour culture.

**** One of the pieces of information exchanged before the dinner was arranged was that the Theophanic captain much preferred the use of her middle name to her forename.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Bridge, NRS Venture. North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars

"Flag, Comms. We're receiving a transmission from one of the unidentified ships. Language is unknown, but analysis indicates likely Terran origin. Working on a fix."

"Conn, Sensors! The transmitting unknown has assumed an intercept course for the battlegroup. We're reading what appear to be two Amaranth Tide class cruisers close athwart the disabled unknown contact, likely engaged in boarding."

"Acknowledged, Sensors," Captain Nogoroth responded. "CAG, Conn, scramble." The Ronoghan captain turned to the admiral. "Orders, sir?"

Admiral Greeley frowned. "Comms, Flag. Put through the transmission from the unknown vessel."

"Flag, Comms, acknowledged. Playback commencing."

"Aftós eínai o Lórdos Justinian soi Foinix tou Évdomou Évdomou Ekstrateftikoú Stólou. Erchómaste en eiríni. Zitoúme voítheia se aftón ton agóna. Eán boreíte na mas diavásete, min pyrovolíste. Epanalamvánoume, erchómaste eiriniká."

Admiral Greeley frowned. "Sensors, Flag. What is the disposition and armament of the incoming vessel?"

"It's a big, honkin' bruiser, Admiral, looks to be on par with a Dauntless in weapons and much larger in hull. Engine power is extremely high."

"Well, Captain, we can't ignore it, but we know they're under attack by the Black Star."

"Concur, Admiral. What are your orders?"

"Send the aerospace wing to strike the Black Star vessels and fade the carrier to the rear of the battlegroup." He considered. "Comms, Flag. Signal Battlegroup Two. Audacious will take operational control of the battlegroup's escorts and move to engage the Black Star assets with support from the Venture's aerospace wing, avoiding the operational unknown vessels if practical. Copernicus will stay with the command group to screen the Fearless. Let me know when we've worked out what language the unknowns are speaking."

Bridge officers began executing their orders with efficiency, and within minutes the fleet's heavy cruisers and half its lighter elements were flanking the Fearless as roughly a third of the fleet surged toward the stricken Theophanic vessel and its attackers.
It's Rogue, not Rouge!

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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

Wendee Lee-class destroyer HSS Cherami Leigh
North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars


"Chairetismós, Cherami Leigh. Aftó eínai to Theofanikís Aftokratorías Magnatrabes Dikaiosi. Eímai o Justinian soi Foinix, o dékatos évdomos ekstrateftikós stólos tou Archiploiarchos, archigós tou Dikaiosi. Eímaste stin efcháristi thési na akoúsoume ti mitrikí glóssa makriá apó to spíti. Eíchame mia trachiá metáfrasi kai échoume chásei tin epafí me tin protévousa apoikía mas, to Thorikto Dystropos. Boreíte na plisiásete se apóstasi diakósia chiliométron. Diatiríste tis epikoinoníes. Tha katalávame perissótera. Dikaiosi, éxo."

Upon receipt of the message from Dikaiosi, a second EMP heralded the arrival of Dystropos. Once the sensors cleared up (as best as possible, given all the nebular interference), the ships of DesDiv Three could spot the stricken Thorikto floundering within the nearby asteroid field. Even if nebular interference masked the presence of the significantly smaller Black Star pirate craft now converging on Dystropos, DesDiv Three could still sense that the Theophanic fleet still needed whatever assistance could be offered.

"Conn, Operations," LCDR Midford said into her comlink, calling up the bridge. "We've received a reply from one of the unknown ships. From what we can discern, the ship hails from a polity calling itself the 'Theophanic Empire.' Its captain is apparently quite pleased to know that we can understand his dialect and wants us to maintain communications. He has lost contact with one of his fleet's colony craft, which I assume is the massive contact we're now picking up on our sensors. Please advise. Over."

"Ops, Conn, aye," CDR Thompson replied as she glanced over at her own tactical displays on the bridge. "If that's their colony craft in that asteroid field, then it's only proper that we render assistance any way we can. Relay our intent to the Theophanic officer while I order the rest of DesDiv Three to advance. Conn, out."

With that, LCDR Midford went back to work coordinating HSS Leigh's response to the crisis now unfolding in front of them. "Send the following message to the Theophanic fleet: 'Destroyer Division Three acknowledges. We are prepared to render whatever assistance is necessary to reestablish contact with your wayward colony craft. We will approach to within the mandated distance of 200 kilometers while maintaining open communications channels. HSS Cherami Leigh, out."

"Destroyer Division Three anagnorízei. Eímaste diatetheiménoi na prosféroume ópoia voítheia eínai aparaítiti gia na apokatastísoume tin epafí me tin apomakrysméni apoikía sas. Tha prosengísoume entós tis entolís apóstasi diakósia chiliométron diatiróntas parállila anoichtá kanália epikoinonías. HSS Cherami Leigh, éxo."

The ships of DesDiv Three made their approach, keeping their comm channels open for further replies from the Theophanic fleet. The entrance of the Nashtari Fourth Fleet, heralded by ADM Greeley's open transmission to every ship within range, came as a bit of a surprise. At least the officers aboard HSS Leigh didn't need to muck around with cryptologic technicians and translation software in the CIC in order to formulate a proper response to these new arrivals. From her station at the bridge, CDR Thompson chose to reply to ADM Greely directly: "This is Commander Shana Thompson, captain of HSS Cherami Leigh, flagship of SOS Imperial Navy Destroyer Division Three. We have no hostile intent toward you or your fleet. We have established contact with a colony fleet from a polity calling itself the 'Theophanic Empire' that requires assistance in reestablishing contact with its lead craft. We can help in facilitating communications between you and the Theophanic fleet, as we have some knowledge of their dialect. We are also prepared to offer additional assistance in any rescue and recovery efforts."
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Crossroads Inc. »

[MEANWHILE In Unreal Time...]

Shortly after the “ThunderBird” had gone missing...

On the outward edge of a curling peninsula, at the coast of a vast natural harbor sat the relatively newly constructed UISC Command station on the surface of Zozo. A vast amount of activity was currently happening in a highly ‘excitable’ atmosphere. Much of this was naturally due to the arrival of the convoy from Jahlin. Colonists were disembarking from a steady stream of shuttles and smaller craft at the spaceport near the outskirts of what, was so far, the ‘capital’ of the newly minted UISC Colony. Machinery and larger goods was being hoisted in heavy lift vehicles and carted off as vast amounts of consumables, supplies, fuels, and other essential goods were in the middle of being unloaded from the Cruisers that had arrived and were currently parked in lower orbit.
Two Cruisers that is, not three as there should have been.

And this was the cause of the rest of the ‘excitement’ currently going on in the Command Center.

“Once again, please enlighten me on how a heavy command cruiser, at over 900 unites long, carrying over 20,000 tons in cargo, AND I may add the very, very expensive new computer core for the colony. How all of that goes “missing”

In the middle of the complex, was the primary Traffic and control tower, and just below the very top of that was the command office of one Alyeena Kelonoa, Tejlini overseer currently in charge of administering logistics on the Colony.

Alyeena, was perhaps ‘average’ for a Tejlini of her age. Just about 5 and a half feet tall, the velvety fins going down her head and spine were largely covered by the long flowing hair which was certainly NOT military regulation, but someone of her standing could afford such indiscretions.
The helmet she wore of course certainly was. Naturally specifically tailored for a Tejlini, her top most ears were gently pushed back and guarded by two round bumps at the top of the helmet. Her face partially obscured by a rather antiquated and over sized pair of glasses that rested over the more flattened ears on the side of her head. The glasses were not strictly needed, but had belonged to her grandfather and were a treasured item in the family.

Currently, she was using them to great effect by glaring over the top of them at the two commanding officers from the Cruisers that had arrived.

“All we know for certain is the last direct communication was a message saying they were having engine problems and were going to drop out of Fold, directly after that, the ship accelerated out of control and was lost from our scanners.” This was conveyed by Tlasoni Renolwan, the XO from the Cruiser “[Saffron]” an Octona whom had thankfully had experience with the oft fiery temper of Alyeena. The other XO, another Tejlini, but one new to the position, cowered behind the tablet he had written up his own report on as she turned her attention.

“Ok, no signs of debris, no energy signatures consistent with a core overload, and also no emergency transponder signal. So we are looking at...” She said, leaving the end of her statement hanging while she gestured toward the other XO now.

“Both the CID’s from the [Saffron] and the [Wings of Calinoss] (that would be his ship) agree it was most likely a power surge that hyper accelerated the ship before it could power down. They say it is probably intact, but if the safeties on the drive were damaged, it could be anywhere up to 20 and 200 light-years from us.” And then because he couldn’t help himself, added “Sorry, that is really all we have to go on right now.”

Alyeena sighed and rubbed the bridge of her nose.
“It’s not your fault, we at least have something, I would much rather be telling the Council that the ship and crew are most likely alive and intact, even if we don’t know where they are. I appreciate your report, good job on keeping things from a full on panic given the circumstance. You may go.” The Tejlini XO seemed to beam from ear to ear to ear to ear at this glowing praise and gave a very enthusiastic “YES MA’AM!” and all but floated out of the room.
After exchanging a glance between them, Alyeena leaned back in her chair.

“And with that settled what is the other emergency you have for me today.” She said, once more glaring over her glasses. Tlasoni said nothing at first, handing over his own tablet before speaking up.

“Manifest of the colonists that came over and are disembarking. You’ll see the two I have highlighted? Names are mostly likely forged, we naturally screened every colonist upon disembarking and after running a couple of facial checks.” A pause, and Alyeena could tell he wasn’t wanting to continue, but a tap from her hands on the desk urged him forward.

“We are pretty certain it’s Jakenenth Kejtala.” And almost instantly Alyeena swore under her breath, and then, seemed to go very very quiet.
“Who besides you knows?” she said, her voice raspy all of a sudden.
“Just me and two cadets doing the screening at the time he passed by. I do not think we have to worry about them. They are also Octona as well, youngsters probably do not even know who he is, only that his recognition needed them to tell an officer on duty.” Alyeena nodded.
“Lucky it was you then.”
“Yes Madam,” he said simply as he watched Alyeena stare at the picture captured, as though trying to will it to go away. After the silence seemed to pass a bit longer than expected, he gave a polite cough and added.
“He is [technically] still branded as a traitor by the Tajlan Imperial Council” Tlasoni said, knowing the information was redundant to her, but unable to help himself.

“The Imperial Council can go fornicate themselves” She said without looking up as Tlasoni tried very hard to keep a straight face. “I work for the UISC Defensive Force, Tajlan is my home but it doesn’t mean I serve those ancient decaying despots. How old is His Lordship anyways, 122? 123?”
“One hundred and fifteen I believe, and spends most of his time in a medical support pod.” Tlasoni added dryly. Now it was Alyeena who looked up and cracked a smile, though it faded as fast as it appeared.
“Tlasoni, I salute your knowledge on all but forgotten Imperial war criminals, but, how is your knowledge on Imperial cover-ups, specifically, one that is known as ‘The Dregmaw Incident’” She said, gently lifting an eyebrow. Tlasoni swallowed, feeling suddenly more than a bit put on the spot.

“Official, a military base on a small island on Jahlin had been used to store Atomics for decommissioning. There was an accident and one of the atomics was detonated.” A brief pause “Unofficially, it was an Imperial research center conducting biological experiments. There was a containment breach, and the scientist activated the facilities fail-safe, detonating atomics built into the island.” He said, almost in a whisper now as if someone might hear him.

“That is certainly the most widely held ‘rumor’ of what happened. Or, may have happened. But how about I tell you another ‘rumor’ one that I can tell you is certainly not true in any way.” She said as he sat down now, his heart pounding. He was a respected, if bookish officer, and for an Octona, had managed to distinguish himself even amongst his peers in various knowledge tests and knowing the rules and operations of the UISC inside and out. But, he had always considered his biggest strength was in being ‘bland’ in doing things by the book and by the letter of the law. Hushed conversations about dirty and not discussed secrets was something he was not at all accustomed to. Perhaps it was exactly because of this that Alyeena felt she could trust him.

“My Grandfather was at this facility you know, when I was in the academy, he told me about the atomics, and I remember being fearful they could accidentally go off. In some misguided way to ease my fears, he told me that the contingency atomics could only detonate if everyone at the facility, was already dead.” Tlasoni eyes boggled at this, but she just kept going.
“Someone killed every last living person at the island and it wasn’t some nerve agent or biological, it was someone. And I know this, because shortly before I left Tajlan I tried to uncover the truth and I found one singular bit of evidence that you may if you wish choose to believe, or not.” Another pause “After the atomics, a surveillance satellite in orbit took an image of something leaving the island at high speed.” She said, her voice like ice now.

“Leaving the island, after, the atomics.” He said and she nodded.

“The residual radiation made the image distorted in places, but you could quite clearly see some sort of robotic construct flying away, and in its arms, it is holding a Qwintoni.” And here, she stopped in her story and seemed to gather herself. And for the first time since he had known her, Tlasoni realized that she now looked ill at ease. She reached into shirt and fished out a necklace she wore. Opening it up, she pulled out very tightly folded and much worn document and slowly passed it over to Tlasoni who began to read.

“Priority Alert: Request for additional security forces to be sent immediately to Dregmaw Island. Have acquired weapon system of unknown construction and will need security for its protection in excess of current facilities. Additional have also apprehended Jakenenth Kejtala and request transportation for trial.” He looked up suddenly.

“Jakenenth was there? That is impossible, how, he would have been.” Tlasoni stuttered at the implications of the report. The time stamp on the document was less than 2 hours before the island was destroyed.

“Jakenenth Kejtala was at that island where something killed every last person, except Jakenenth whom was then protected from a ten kiloton atomic detonation. In case it isn’t clear by now, aside from obviously not informing the Imperial Council, I have no plans on informing ANYONE. If Jakenenth has decided to relocate to Zozo, his anonymity is now in my opinion, the single biggest concern of this colony. As of now I am re-assigning you from command of the [Saffron] to permanent security duty here on Zozo. I am sorry Tlasoni I consider you a good friend, but I cannot risk anyone knowing he is here and possibly coming after him.” Tlasoni felt as if the world had just been pulled away from him.

In one moment he saw his plans for career advancement and eventual command of a ship vanish into nothingness, he wanted to be angry, to yell, to beg Alyeena to reconsider. And after he ran through all these emotions in his mind, he realized that with the information he now possessed, he would have given the exact same order to someone else in his position.

“I, I understand Madam. I cannot say I will enjoy it, but, I understand your order.” He said before once more looking at the worn document. Whatever, thing, had protected Jakenenth from the atomics could still very well be linked to him in some way. If it protected him from a nuclear explosion, who knew what it was capable of if someone tried to come after Jakenenth. “As of this moment, the secrecy of this individual is my new priority in the service of the UISC.”
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Bridge, NRS Venture. North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars
Day 3, Week 2, Turn 1


"HSS Cherami Leigh, NRS Venture acknowledges your transmissions. Please stand by." The comms officer turned. "Flag, Comms, the destroyer flotilla on the far side of this furball has made contact. They identify themselves as an element of the... SOS Imperial Navy, and inform us that the large vessels identify as from the Theophanic Empire."

Captain Nogoroth turned to his admiral. "I have not heard of either polity, Admiral," he stated matter-of-factly.

"Neither have I, Captain, but we'll play it by ear," answered Admiral Fisher. "Comms, Flag, patch my station through."

"Flag, Comms, aye." He worked his controls for a brief moment, and a replay of the message preceded a beep at the command station. "You're on, Admiral."

"Commander Thompson, this is Admiral Greeley, commanding Fourth Fleet, Nashtar Space Command. Your designation is unknown to us. Be advised that the stricken Theophanic vessel is under attack by local pirates, elements of a large band known as the Black Star Consortium. I have detached a squadron to deal with them. If you have contact with the Theophanic vessel, please advise them that help is on the way and we will give assistance in recovery once the threat is dealt with."

Bridge, NRS Audacious. North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars
Day 3, Week 2, Turn 1


"Tactical, Conn, load Mk 4 kinetic penetrator in the spinal mount and get me a firing solution on the closer cruiser. Comms, open a channel."

A pair of ayes answered the orders. The captain stood.

"Black Star vessels, this is NRS Audacious, Captain Nashor-Ogn commanding. We have you in our sights. Power down at once and prepare to be boarded or we will open fire."
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

Wendee Lee-class destroyer HSS Cherami Leigh
North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars


"NRS Venture, HSS Leigh acknowledges. We will inform the Theophanic fleet accordingly. Commander Thompson, out." CDR Thompson switched over to her comlink to contact LCDR Midford in the CIC. "Ops, Conn. You've already received the Nashtari transmission. Inform the Theophanic fleet that the Nashtaris are friendly and that help is on the way."

"Conn, Operations. Already on it, Commander," LCDR Midford replied. She went over to dictate another message to the Theophanic fleet: "Nashtar Space Command Fourth Fleet is friendly. The pirates operating in this region are known to them. Fourth Fleet will help you fight the pirates besieging your ship and will offer additional assistance in recovery efforts once the pirate threat is neutralized."

"Nashtar Space Command Fourth Fleet eínai filikó. Oi peiratés pou drastiriopoioúntai se aftín tin periochí eínai gnostoí. Fourth Fleet tha sas voithísei na polemísete tous peiratés pou poliorkoún to ploío sas kai tha prosférei próstheti voítheia stis prospátheies anákampsis mólis exoudeterotheí i apeilí ton peiratón."

As DesDiv Three approached closer to the Theophanic fleet, they could get a better view of the Black Star pirate forces attacking Dystrophos. While the smaller pirate craft were still able to hide within the nebular interference to some degree, the two Amaranth Tide-class cruisers stood out far more clearly, the emissions from their sublight engines lighting them up quite prominently on sensors. "Picking up two cruiser-weight vessels next to the stricken Theophanic craft. Looks like they might be attempting to board," one of the operations specialists in HSS Leigh's CIC announced.

CDR Thompson could also see the Black Star cruisers on the tactical displays on the bridge. Her next course of action was clear: "This is not a drill, this is not a drill. General quarters, general quarters. All hands, man your battle stations. Helm, flank speed."

The other ships of DesDiv Three also went to general quarters upon picking up the Black Star cruisers on their own sensors and accelerated to flank speed as they followed HSS Leigh into the breach. What was supposed to be an uneventful scouting mission was about to turn into the first major shooting action of the SOS Imperial Navy in this new universe.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Megakolymvitis, Eugenis Quarters Reception Chamber

[Editoral note: Any awkwardness in dialogue in this record of events can be chalked up to prototype auto-translation apparatus.]

Kharon grinned and nodded. “Dinner indeed. We are informal this evening”

She gestured widely at the tables around the reception chamber and stepped down herself, holding Miyasawa’s hand in the usual manner of friendship among the genia. The crowd, mainly Megakolymvitis officers (both naval and infantry) but including officers from the other ships in the flotilla, parted before them. Out of the corner of her eye as they approached the first table, she noticed a gaggle of technognostiki kyria heading in the direction of the snek crew, and she caught Ilias apo Aftokratoria’s eye. She jerked her head in the direction of the snek crew, and he comprehended the situation instantly.

Thus reassured, she reached out and plucked a pair of goblets from the first table they reached. A crewman, looking uncomfortable in a domestic uniform, proffered wine, but she considered a moment and turned to Miyasawa to ask, “I beg your pardon. Do you imbibe alcohol?”

Miyasawa looked at her, obviously a bit surprised by the question. Kharon cleared her throat and was just about to offer water when her counterpart said hurriedly, “I’m on duty but, uh, a cup would be just fine, thank you very much.”

She nodded and held the goblets out for the temporary domestic to fill.That done, she turned back to Miyasawa and offered one, which the other woman took somewhat awkwardly. They turned and looked at the crowd as they sipped, at a lack for words again. She turned back to Miyasawa and was amused to see her doing the same, both opening their mouths to ask the other something, and that set off a round of ‘pardon me, no, you go’ which ended with Kharon asking, ‘So you have seen our Megakolymvitis. How do you like him?”

Miyasawa took a long sip, appreciating the wine (a very fine vintage from Foinix vineyards, which the Megakolymvitis had, ah, liberated some time ago during a bout of unpleasantness between soia Chelonis and Foinix). She cleared her throat and responded, “I think it’s safe to say I’m used to much smaller craft. Even our largest battleships in Endeavour aren’t the size of your ships. The closest things I’ve ever heard of are the Amazo-X factory ships, and well…”

A broad gesture from her encompassed the chamber they were in, and Kharon understood. She picked up on a thought and asked, “Amazo-X. Have you encountered them yourself?”

“Not I,” Miyasawa answered, “but some of my crew have in the war we had with them some time ago. You?”

Kharon’s face darkened slightly. “Yes. They tried to spread a filthy cult worshipping their overlords as deities. With that and how they enslave people, we purge them wherever we find them.”

Miyasawa took a sip to smooth her expression out. Apparently any initial doubts about the Theophanic Empire’s relations to Amazo-X were misplaced, and there was bad blood there. As they passed another table, Kharon absently but gracefully accepted a plate held out by another crewman in an ill-fitting costume and handed it to Miyasawa, taking another for herself and plucking a few comestibles off the display on the table. This one was cheeses and cold cuts with slices of fruit, most of which Kharon ignored. She wasn’t here to eat.

Miyasawa likewise took a few items off the table, awkwardly waving away that table’s attendant’s efforts to serve her with an extended pair of tongs. She took a bite of the cheese-looking substance and her eyes immediately watered; this one was highly spiced. A gulp of wine didn’t settle the fire descending down her throat, but another domestic was at her elbow with a pitcher to refill her goblet before she realized it. She coughed, and mumbled a quick thanks before trying to step away, Kharon remaining at her side.

Kharon lifted an eyebrow and asked quietly, “I see you prefer to serve yourself?”

“Ah. Yes. Is that okay?” Miyasawa responded uncertainly.

She shrugged. “There’s nothing wrong with that. They all volunteered so they could see you and your crew up close. I was going to ask, do you think…” she struggled for a pronoun and settled on, “they will be okay, over there?”

Miyasawa looked quickly in the direction Kharon indicated and cringed internally. Fluttershy was surrounded by a bunch of technognostiki, all of whom were avidly asking them questions from the look of it (what she could make out from the staticky crackling of their speech,which was dimly audible even at the distance between them). Fluttershy seemed to be over their initial shyness and was batting their wide eyes at the cyber-liturgists, answering their questions sweetly. She looked back at Kharon and grinned. “She looks like she’s holding her own.”

Kharon nodded thoughtfully. Ilias apo Aftokratoria stepped to her side and sketched a half bow, resplendent in his cream-colored uniform with gold details and a shimmering deep grey, almost black, satin sash across his chest. Somehow on the way from the hangar to the reception, he’d found a cape in a lustrous red material, edged with glorious dark fur, clasped loosely about his shoulders. “My ladies. I’m pleased to report I managed to avert the tech-cenobites’ attentions from completely crushing your crew.”

Miyasawa blinked and had to clear her throat. His eyes were very dark. She cleared her throat again and answered, “Thank you, er, Wachter Stratiokos.” Damn it! she thought as she ended with an unconscious squeak.

Glancing at her, Kharon half-smiled and then turned her attentions back to Ilias. “We appreciate your assistance with the socializing. Do you foresee any difficulties?”

He shook his shaven, dark-skinned head, but leaned in and lowered his voice. “I must say, Captain Miyasawa, we were somewhat… surprised to notice an aetheric-based visual comms network relaying between your crewmen and your ship. Naturally the technognostiki are very curious about that.”

Shit. Is he talking about the ambience? she thought.

She framed her next words carefully. “Yeah. We use a native visual augmented reality system with a wide variety of uses. Almost all Endeavour citizens are ambience-capable… I’m sorry, we call it the ‘ambience’. I can’t talk about everything about it in depth, of course, security concerns and all that, but I can answer some questions about it. If you have any, that is, er, Wachter Stratiokos.”

Ilias smiled smoothly and responded, “Not from me. Keep your secrets, my lady. We have our own, we know how it is.” And before she realized it, he relieved her of her plate and bowed with easy grace over her hand before returning it to her, nodding with easy assurance to Kharon and striding away.

Kharon smiled, noticing how flustered Miyasawa was. “Men. I suspect they’re much the same where you come from.”

“...er, not quite. Some of them are, I suppose.”

Miyasawa heard a low, almost inaudible, beep and Kharon frowned. She dug a small device with a screen out of a pocket somewhere under her layers of fancy dress, and with a quick ‘excuse me’ moved a few steps away. She asked in Chelonis argot, “Kapitan zdes', chto eto?” [Kapetanios here, what is it?]

“Datchiki soobshchayut, chto s Keravnosa priblizhayetsya shattl Drakon. Skoreye vsego, ledi Stefon sryvayet vecherinku." [Sensors report a house Drakon shuttle is coming over from the Keravnos. Best guess is Lady Stefon is crashing the party.]

She swore under her breath then brought her handscreen back to her face and muttered, “Pozvol'te im sest' i srazu zhe naprav'te ikh syuda, no ne pozvolyayte im bluzhdat'. Soobshchite mne, kogda oni syadut. Kapitan vyshel.” [Allow them to board and direct them immediately here, but don't let them wander. Notify me when they have boarded. Kapetanios out.]

Miyasawa had been keeping Kharon in the corner of her eye while she nibbled at another cheese-looking thing, this one thankfully less spicy than the first. Kharon was speaking a different language-- how many did they have here?-- and looked vexed. That was quick, don’t look like you were trying to eavesdrop-- and she stuffed a bite of what looked to be some kind of sausage but turned out to be some peculiar confection of fruit and nuts in her mouth as Kharon returned to her.

“My apologies, Captain Miyasawa,” she remarked-- Miyasawa picked up on just a bit of strain behind her words, but thought better of asking, her mouth was full anyway, damn thing was chewy-- “we are about to have further visitors. Do you wish to withdraw to one of the observation galleries?” She indicated upwards, and when Miyasawa looked, she realized that the stained glass lining the walls above roughly the first story and a half had halls or rooms behind it.

She took a quick sip of wine to swallow down the persistent petit-four and answered, “If you don’t mind I might actually like to stay here and get to know you and your people a little better. Your visitors won’t be inconvenient, will they?”

That beep sounded again and Kharon pulled out her phone-- Miyasawa filed that away in the back of her head, the Empire definitely had something like smartphone technology-- and glowered at it for a second before wiping her expression away and smiling graciously. “Of course. Is there anything in particular you were curious about?”

“You know what, actually I’m curious about you. How did you end up here?”

Kharon had to take a minute to parse that. “Pardon me. Here as in this system, or…?”

“Sorry! I mean, where did you come from, how did you end up with the Megakolymvitis, all that?”

Ah. One of those ‘it’s a long story’ conversations. She took a thoughtful sip of her wine and asked, “How much do you know about how our Empire works?”

“Not much,” Miyasawa responded honestly, her eyes wandering over the crowd. Her crew hadn’t started any fights, though the spacer with the laser cannon-- it was now propped somewhat precariously against a slender statue-- was starting to arm-wrestle… “I know you lot have nobles and an Emperoress, and just that is plenty different from us. I mean, we know a decent amount about how feudal societies work and all that, but that isn’t something we really do…”

Kharon nodded. “So, soi Chelonis was founded very recently, only three generations ago, by my great-grandsire.He was… quite simply… insane.”

Miyasawa didn’t quite know what to say to that so she just blinked, nodded, and drank a little more wine. Kharon continued, “He had a vision of a great turtle swimming through space, with a world upon its back. He believed it was a message from the Emperoress, and he left his place on a soi Fylachto ship when it was docked within Mitra tou Theouautokratora. Somehow, he bypassed the Protectors, and approached the Emperoress themselves within their private gardens. Thankfully, They were highly amused by this turn of events, and promptly lifted my grandsire to the Eugenis. The rest of the Epimelitirio were far less amused, but they couldn’t do anything about it. The last Expeditionary Fleet had just concluded, and Erepia was removed from the hands of soi Fylachto and given to Chelonis, named after the Turtle Ma’tuin of my grandisire’s vision.”

“That… is a lot,” Miyasawa had to say. Her attention was distracted, one of the black-robed mechanical engineer guys was hovering (literally, he appeared to be legless and floating on suspensors) by Heavy’s laser cannon, poking at it with a metallic tentacle-like manipulator. But that became immaterial when Kharon straightened up suddenly at a tintinnabulation of obnoxious music outside the reception hall.

Great doors, mirroring the ones they had entered the hall through, opened slowly, and the first thing she saw was smoke. Miyasawa tensed for a moment, as did everybody in the hall, but in the corner of her eye she could see Kharon was just crossing her arms and waiting impatiently. If this wasn’t a threat…

It turned out that the smoke was rather choking quantities of incense, but it was quickly followed by what appeared to be half a regiment worth of red-armoured troops marching in stiff formation, weapons held at port arms. The colours shifted to red with gold accents and heavier armour (Miyasawa noticed the officer who had welcomed them waving the first rows of troops to exit through the other doors, looking rather annoyed).

Behind all the troops came… a palanquin? An enormous platform of some kind, being carried by headless quadraped automatons of some kind. When it emerged fully from the massive doors, it stopped and two robed attendants stood up from seats alongside the red silk pavilion atop to open its curtains.

From within stepped a figure that made Miyasawa forget to breathe for a second. A tall (at least six-foot-two) woman, staturesque, in thick layers of gold robes with red accents, no weapons that she could see (but there could well be a whole arsenal under all those layers). Some kind of electronic static created a prismatic field around her shoulders and head, and the music (presumably emanating from speakers on the palanquin) crescendoed as she stood boldly atop the platform.

Kharon called out in tones that made Miyasawa jump (she had forgotten for a second that she was standing besides her), “Cousin. You were unexpected.”

A flight of stairs extruded from the front of the palanquin and Stefon extended long legs to descend until she stood directly before Kharon. She sketched a bare half-bow, just low enough to not be outright disrespectful, and looked directly at Miyasawa with penetrating grey eyes while speaking in velvet tones, “My cousin. I had heard we were expecting visitors. I had to come see the excitement for myself.”

“You’ve seen, Stefon. Now what more do you want,” Kharon responded coldly, “you can afford your own banquets so I know you aren’t here for the free food.”

Stefon smiled languidly, showing just a hint of teeth as she stepped closer to Miyasawa. “Forgive my cousin. We have our differences but of course we are all one under the Great Mother/Father. I am Ekaterin Maximiliania Gerhard Maria von ten Raab, Kapetanios Keravnos, Archagos Fifth Genis Drakon Corps, Bearer of the Seal of Ihvon, Rittergrafin Thastathei, Kinder Tertial, hochHerzogin-Prim Stefon IV soi Drakon.”

With a broad gesture, presumably intended to seem benevolent but coming off vaguely arrogant after that laundry list, she continued, “You may call me Stefon. And you are?”

Kharon cleared her throat, but before she could say anything, Miyasawa found her voice. “Miko Miyasawa, Captain of ESS sneaky snek. Pleased to meet you,” and she stuck out her hand more boldly than she felt.

Stefon stared at her and then at the hand offered. Kharon coughed loudly and then, holding her hand over her mouth for a moment longer than necessary, informed her, “Now, cousin, that is what we call a ‘hand’. You take hold of it and you move it up and down briefly, and then you let it go. Or would you like to instruct her in the forms of proskynesis?”


That earned her a cold glower from those grey eyes. So cold… Miyasawa stifled an involuntary shudder, brought her hand back to grab her goblet awkwardly balanced upon her plate and took a quick chug of wine, as Stefon responded frostily, “I’m sure you’re aware as I am that guests from outside the Empire are not expected to understand court protocol. I am but surprised you haven’t already gotten in bed with the lot.”

“Oh, no, Stefon, I haven’t gotten to that point yet. We haven’t all managed to fit a Thorikto up ourselves yet,” was Kharon’s crisp response.

Stefon’s lips firmed in a thin line and those eyes narrowed. Before Miyasawa was able to decide how to react to the exchange, she saw an urgent strobing notification in the corner of her ambience with Sadie’s name by it. With a brief mental probe she toggled it.

urgent! our backup just came out from hyperspace you need to see this ASAP!

Attached was a video. An all too familiar looking spacecraft (she knew one exactly like it was hovering some tens of kilometres away outside the Megakolymvitis), plunging into a planet (the spatiogegraphical tag suggested it was one deep within Amazo-X territory), and for lack of a better term, completely destroying it. She looked, startled, at Kharon and Stefon, who had simultaneously pulled out their own phones.

Kharon spoke first, “Friend Miyasawa? Your brother-ships have arrived. They will find that everything is in order so far, I hope?”

Her mouth suddenly dry, she had to clear her throat a couple times before she could answer. She could see her crew suddenly looking more wary and defensive in the great crowd, starting to pull back together, eyes scanning all the people around them. Alarmed notifications started scrolling at the bottom of her vision, and it took her a minute to respond, “I don’t know. I think you may have some explaining to do.”
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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran »

Nebula formation, galactic Northwest

“Kapetanios, we have a third party on the comms,” the officer called out as Justinian brooded leaning against the access ladder of the kleptoi-craft’s bridge. He looked sharply at the comms man and that unfortunate continued, “I believe it’s the… Haruhiists? From earlier. They’re offering assistance translating with these newcomers.”

He snapped, “well, don’t sit about listening to them! Tell them we’ll take them up on that. Ask them to tell these people we’re friendlies and that we’re asking for help.”

“Er, sir, I think they’re called Nashtar.”

“What’s that?”

“The guys we’re approaching. Nashtar Space Command. The Fourth Fleet of same.”

“Yes, yes. Just get on with it. Tell them we’re needing assistance and ask them to close on those two cruisers trying to hide behind the Dystropos. Get on with it, man!”

Thorikto Dystropos

Wachter-fylakas Erhard apo Aftokratoria cracked open the cockpit of his warsuit, and just sat there, savoring the feel of unprocessed air on his face. His suit stood in a repair cradle, and he quickly noticed the smell of ozone as mekanikals started mending his armour. He’d been through what felt like three days’ worth fighting, but in reality it had only been a half day, if that. A couple of mekanikals bustled up the catwalk of the repair cradle and handed him a towel and a nutrient bar, and he started wiping himself down and crunching the bar. One of them asked him, “W̸a̶c̶h̵t̴e̷r̸,̴ ̶d̸o̵ ̶y̶o̷u̵ ̵r̶e̷q̷u̴i̸r̶e̴ ̵d̸e̸c̵a̵n̵t̴i̴n̵g̸ ̵o̷f̸ ̵y̵o̷u̵r̶ ̴w̷a̸s̶t̸e̴ ̸p̶r̶o̴c̶e̵s̵s̴e̷s̴?̸”

“Please,” he responded and the tech-acolyte nodded and disappeared behind the bulk of his suit’s body. Within moments he felt his flesh-body lighten. He was one of the Protectors heavily modified for warsuit use, and rarely left his suit entirely. As he chewed, an optic notification blinked in his visual HUD and he engaged it with a quick jab of his finger.

“Wachter-fylakas, this is Genikos Moameth on the Bridge. We have managed to get enough external sensors functioning that we have some idea of our situation. Less reinforcements have come from the flotilla than expected due to interference from two opfor ships, cruiser strength. After the initial incursions from individual opfor small elements, which you have our gratitude for in helping forestall, they have changed tacks to hold their beach-heads and are currently attempting to crack the ventral landing-craft bay. Taktiki [tactics] projects that they will use the ventral bays to gain direct access to engines. What they may do there, we don’t know, but we cannot allow this to happen. Understood?”

Erhard swallowed and nodded. The motion of his body toggled an ‘acknowledged’ signal, useful as his mouth was full of suddenly-dry nutrient bar, and Moameth continued, “You are hereby breveted Ypolchagos. Fourth Section, Third Battalion are on their way. You’re in charge. The taktiki suggest going EVA on the hull and seeing what they’re doing before you initiate any action, but I’m not going to hold you to that. Finish your relief rotation and Fourth Section should be there by the time you’re done resupplying. May the Theouautokratora smile upon you this day, Wachter-Ypolchagos. Moameth out.”

He sighed. Nothing for it. He rotated his head, stretched his arms out to the sides and twisted his torso. Something cracked somewhere in his back and he sighed. Better. One hand reached out, tapped a screen, and he felt cold run briefly through his veins as combat-stims were injected through the ports in his side. A glance at his HUD told him that Fourth Section were approaching at speed, sixteen class-five warsuits with various gears equipped. He queried the mekanikals, and was apprised that it would take a few more minutes. He sighed, looked at the nutrient bar in his hand and shrugged. Might as well finish it.

The welding arms recoiled from his warsuit, and with a quick salute to the mekanikals his cockpit closed tight about him again. The cradle opened and he stepped out, left-turned, and sprinted down the wide corridor before him before deploying his wings and jumping.

He was joined in midair by Fourth Section leaping from the cityscape beneath, ivory and gold armour streaked with carbon scouring and bearing signs of battle as his own did. It had been a long day. He sighed and switched to squadron channel, already matched to the section’s spectra. “Good day, Wachters. Who’s your noncom?”

A warsuit flanked him in midair and saluted. “Wachter-fylakas Phan, at your service.”

“Well met, fylakas. Do you know our mission parameters?”

“No, sir. We were ordered to report to you and perform whatever mission you had for us.”

“Quite right. What’s your total complement and equipment?”

“Including myself, ten suits. Mongke has a heavy cannon, but he’s only got five shots left for it. Yaakov has a shield. Everybody but Mongke has standard sidearms and we just loaded up before we were sent your way. Oh, Jeramine has an antipersonnel klamor launcher. Baatar has a supplementary sensors suite.”

Erhard nodded thoughtfully. This was about as he expected. But they were almost to the gate between fore and aft sections, where the bridge sphere divided the two halves of the ship. Gracefully, they swooped down to the curved armour-plate covering the bridge sphere and scuttled across it till they reached one of the massive amidships gates.

Instead of going through to the aft of the ship, Erhard took them outwards to the external airlock. He could feel the questioning glances of his section, but carried on, a blurt of identifying information from his logic-engines permitting the airlock to cycle. They turned the magnets off on their limbs and allowed the evacuating atmosphere to waft them out into the vacuum, where a slow spiral gave Erhard a massive view.

Immediately by them was the enormous bulk of the Dystropos, inhumanly huge this close. So large they could barely see its curvature from where they were, but hot metal still glowed in spots along the ship where they could see it had suffered in its rough translation through nullspace. Not so far away, he could see the familiar, reassuring shapes of Neokastro cruisers and Magnatrabes battleships, makrysofas longboats (invisible at this distance other than the bright light of their drives) busily shuttling back and forth between them.

Further away, blinking lights to the naked eye-- he switched on his high-zoom vision mode-- became warships of unfamiliar design. A kleptoi-craft (he had to struggle to make it out) approached the biggest one.

There was no time to lose. He fired a brief burst of his retro-jets and set a path towards the ventral hangars, easily visible from glowing spalls of armour plate flying as two ships barraged the thick doors. One of the Wachters-- tagged Baatar in his HUD-- called urgently, “Break, break! We’re being pinged by targeting equipment!"

The warsuits immediately peeled off to either side and went to ground on the vast hull of the Dystropos, bright flashes of gunfire strobing past them. One warsuit went tumbling, and a red light blinked by the section roll on Erhard’s HUD. He called, “Yaakov! Shield to the fore!”

The named Wachter stepped forward, warsuit arms reaching down to its waist to grab a massive disk. It stood and braced itself at the head of their squadron, and the disk shimmered, then with a low rumble it expanded abruptly until it was almost the warsuit’s six-metre height and the same in width. Phan stepped forward and braced his suit’s hands against the back of Yaakov’s suit, and Erhard went to stand behind Phan, the other warsuits falling in behind him. Slowly, Yaakov began stepping forward, everybody following in a line. There was no sound in vacuum but Erhard fancied he could hear gunfire slamming into the shield. He gestured silently and abruptly two of his men ran sideways, laying down suppressive fire as they distracted the enemy.

With a shout, Mongke jumped away from the hull, aimed his massive cannon and fired. A glowing bar of fire connected him to the gun firing at them on the cruiser, and it rocked under a huge explosion as the gun was destroyed.

Practiced reflexes had Mongke burn his flight-pack as he fired, and he wasn’t thrown back too much by his shot. Yaakov retracted his shield in an instant and Fourth Section sprinted forward across the hull plating, not wasting their fire on the ship any further. Even class-five-scale weapons couldn’t hurt a ship, Mongke’s cannon aside-- their mission was to observe and if necessary, board and destroy.

Suddenly the Dystropos shook, and air gushed forth from the ventral hangars as a massive section of armour plating fell away, pushed by the escaping air. Retros blinked upon one of the enemy cruisers as it began jockeying into position. Erhard swore in helpless fury.

Ypolchagos?” he heard Baatar whisper over the section channel. He snapped, “Yes? Report!”

“I’m reading a new nullspace translation in the distance… there,” and he followed the pointing warsuit’s line of sight. His warsuit automatically zoomed in, and he saw what appeared to be a rough entry into realspace, ships tumbling. A strange snatch of song reverberated in multi-spectral comms before being abruptly jammed in static. As the warsuits hunkered down on the hull plating, Erhard saw a small craft approach the new flotilla and then abruptly turn away.

He whispered, “Baatar. Are you able to contact the Dikaiosi from here?”

“Unsure, but I can access military spectra and attempt to redirect our broadcast through that external antenna over there. What do you want to tell them, sir?”

“I have an idea…”

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Situation update:

Justinian soi Foinix, in a kleptoi-craft (boarding-craft), is approaching the Nashtari Fourth Fleet to request assistance. The Haruhiists are about to render assistance, both to the Dystropos and in translation. The Endeavour flotilla has just now shown up, rick-rolling all the ships in range in the process (not that anybody actually understands what that is, but you know, principle of the thing and all that). The Sector ship is still sitting aside, but a certain extremely powerful artificial intelligence aboard may be up to something...
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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

Megakolymvitis, Eugenis Quarters Reception Chamber

"-explaining to do."

Miyasawa's words echoed a bit in the suddenly-silent hall, and there was an awkward moment as the two Theophanic captains shared a look. Did they not know? How could they not know? The ambience shifted - in both senses of the word - as her crew linked up and readied themselves for combat. She could suddenly see behind her, from thirty-odd different viewpoints, in standard visual, thermals, higher-EM, and of the closest nether/hyperdimensions, and felt her blood change from standard humanoform to hypercoolant as her body auto-adjusted to keep up with the influx of information. Or, in other words, she felt her blood freeze in her veins. With a thought, she marked out positions for the crew - giving them cover while putting Theophanic officers between them and the side doors, where Stefon's over-the-top escort had been escorted out. Potential threats were tagged, and she sent out a message to her crew and the snek: Be alert. Will get answers. Stay calm. She also fired off a message to Captain Hirasawa of the Hirasawa*, senior captain of their reinforcements telling her not to worry or start shooting just yet.

"...what do you mean, Friend Miyasawa?" Kharon eventually asked, a look of uncertainty on both the captains' faces.

By way of explanation, she held out her arm and projected the video from her wrist - while Ludvig did the same at a large enough scale none of the assembled hangers-on could miss it. "I'm talking about..." the great dreadnought in the video completed its plunge, "that." She kept her tone level and slightly airy; "Would either of you care to explain just why what looks to be very much like a ship of the Theophanic Empire decided to, and I quote the report from one of our eyewitnesses, "yeet-" I'm sorry, that means "throw"- "itself through a planet"?" She left the video paused on the last frame, of the planet looking decidedly like a donut somone had set on fire. "Bearing in mind that the planet was, at the time, inhabited by nearly a million people?"

To their credit, the two ladies at least had the decency to look shocked. For a moment, the newcomer's mask of aristocratic arrogance fell - and then it was back, but before she could say anything Kharon spoke up: "I... this is the first I've heard of this. It's unheard of. We were at war with them, but that doesn't justify this. I would have to ask why it was done, if they were indeed Maleldila..." Even saying that, the woman looked uncomfortable. Perhaps that word had religious connotations, or something? A pretty piss-poor excuse for terracide.

"Not that it matters in either case," Stefon spoke up, "Amazo-X has been a plague upon this galaxy for longer than I can remember. Good ridd- is there something wrong?" Miyasawa had gone perfectly still, staring calmly at the taller woman. "You were at war with them yourselves, surely you can't be too upset?"

"Oh, no, I'm perfectly fine and dandy," Miyasawa snapped, "It's just that, on top of literally killing an entire planet, the Theophanic Empire seems to have decided to place an unthinking Hapsburg in charge of one of their other planet-killing warships. Do you really think this actually hurt Amazo-X? The company with multiple gigantic factory ships, whose leadership definitely evacuated long before that-" she pointed back at the video- "happened? That was a bloody resort planet! Whoever did this killed nearly a million people and destroyed, utterly, the second inhabitable planet Endeavour has ever found - to maybe make the Amazo-X board of directors a little sad they can't go skiing next weekend." She took a breath. "Don't think it would have been justified if they had, by some utter miracle, bagged anyone of import, either - how many bloody soldiers do your dreadnoughts carry? They could have achieved the actual result they wanted without nearly so many innocent deaths, but nooo, they had to go take the core out of a planet, sending the people they wanted dead into hiding in the process!"

There was another moment of awkward silence, and Miyasawa realised a little belatedly that the cooling system was making her look like she was very nearly literally incandescent with rage. Her hair in particular was on the verge of catching fire, and was... yeah, it was glowing red. She took a breath, and waited with a cheerful smile.

"...Hapsburg?" Stefon asked, out of shock more than anything else. Miyasawa brought up a picture of the Spanish King Charles II. The aristo lady's face flushed, finally getting the insult, "Well-"

"I think," Kharon cut in, much calmer, "That you should return to your ship, Stefon." Without another glance at the tall lady as she retreated, she turned to Miyasawa. "Are those ships going to attack the Empire?"

Miyasawa shook her head. "Not unless you fire first or say something spectacularly stupid. There'll be... questions, I'm sure, but if you're not directly responsible for this there's no point pushing the issue right now." No soldiers seemed to be coming to arrest them, which would have been... unfortunate. She slowly guided Kharon back to the buffet, and took a few more of those fruit sausage things as well as a handful of something that looked like those foam bananas that didn't taste like banana. Her head felt a little fuzzy, but a quick diagnostic told her she was fine. Or maybe the diagnostic was broken, but that road led to endless circles. "Right now, they're making sure that the snek and her crew are fine, which I've told them - you can thank me later, I didn't want to see what a particle beam lance would do to this big boy - but we'll need to physically go over and debrief."

"And then?"

Miyasawa shrugged, popping one of the hopefully banana-y things in her mouth. Wow, they tasted... exactly the same. "There's a vote tomorrow," she said with a calmness she only half-felt, "But most of the day will be taken up with discussion. Until then, we'll probably still be here; the cruisers have the equipment to make our comm-link real-time."

"A vote on whether or not to go to war?" Kharon pushed, and Miyasawa felt a little bad. On reflection, the woman must have been out of the loop.

She shook her head. "It could go that way, but it's a general "what do we do" sort of thing. Honestly, I don't know. The last and first diplomatic contact we had was Amazo-X, and they just turned up and started throwing their weight around. In the meantime..." she produced her flip-phone from her skirt pocket. "I hope this isn't too forward, but I'd like your phone number."**



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



ESS sneaky snek, some time later

Disentangling from the buffet had been slightly awkward, but the crew had eventually made it back to the snek. Amusingly enough, one of the turrets was turned on a knot of those weird tech-guys, the casual air of a few Theophanic Marines(as Miyasawa called them) lounging underneath said turret confirming that the tech-guys were being kept from swarming the ship and no more diplomatic incidents had happened. A few Theophanic spacers were hanging out by the airlock, chatting away to Mark Marksson (who had been left on guard), but they dispersed to let the rest of the crew board.

There was a slightly stiff fanfare as the snek lifted off, and exited the bay on its own power. A few other ships had been docked, making the egress a little more difficult - for any pilot who hadn't grown up weaving through asteroid storms that made that one asteroid field from Star Wars look like open space. Miyasawa had to place one hand on Ayanami's shoulder in order to prevent the blue-haired girl from exiting at full speed; while flashy, it would have certainly been unwise.

From there, it was a relatively short journey to the waiting reinforcement fleet, and Miyasawa didn't know whether to feel relieved that it was no longer her poor, defenceless snek out here alone or angered that they'd been the bearers of such news. They were beautiful nonetheless; just under twice the length of the stealth ship, the two cruisers were angular, bristling with hypervelocity cannons, their single Particle Beam Lance jutting slightly out from the bow like an ancient ram - and yet, they were brightly painted, with ident-paint across the sleek bulges of their hangar bays and small pictures of their namesakes emblazoned just beneath the bridge windows. The Katra had the words "Endeavour Welcomes Careful Drivers" just beneath a small dent on the bow, where a helm-spacer had managed to clip the corner of the Shikinami Naval Arsenal on a docking approach. And, of course, there were the four nearly-identical destroyers, whose lines - if one squinted past the gun turrets and torpedo launchers - followed the same curves as the snek's.

There was one surprise: the Pylon of Summer held position at the centre of the fleet. It had been a long time since Miyasawa had seen her, and she felt a slight pang of nostalgia.

A brief flicker indicated they were now in range of the fleet's collective ambient network, and the captains of the assembled vessels appeared on the bridge. Yui Hirasawa of the Yui Hirasawa, Rei Ayanami of the Katra, Darth Vader of the Endeavour, David Farquaad of the Endeavour, Michael Mitchell of the Endeavour, Blaaarg'Footh of the Undertaking , and last but not least, the captain of the Pylon, Anne-Maria Baker. All of them decent captains, not that a less-than-decent captain would have survived long in the service, and all of them waiting for her report. Worse: her advice. Well, it wasn't like this was any less awkward than a semi-formal dinner with literal bloody aristocrats.

"So," she said, stalling a moment to get her thoughts together, aware this was likely being broadcast real-time to all of Endeavour and suddenly wishing she wasn't aware of that. "I trust you've all caught up on recent events?" A chorus of nods and slight verbal acknowledgements confirmed that, yes, they had, would she kindly get on with it? "Right now, it seems clear to me that the destruction of the as-yet un-named planet was an act performed without the knowledge of at least some sections of the higher echelons of the Theophanic command structure. I can't tell you if it was some sort of black op, someone going rogue, or if the Theophanic Imperial communications network simply hasn't had time to update the Megakolymvitis and his expeditionary fleet. However, I can tell you that the captains of both the Megakolymvitis and the Keravnos - the large colony ship slash dreadnought slash planet killer - were as shaken by the destruction of a planet as any of us were. The impression I got was that the tactic was previously considered either impossible or an act of last resort - but I cannot speculate as to why they would break that taboo for Amazo-X of all places."

The assembled captains took in her words attentively. That... was not a good feeling.

"Putting that to one side," Farquaad said, making a motion of setting a box to the side with his hands, "what was your impression of their... society?"

Miyasawa shrugged. "Brief, and mostly them putting on their best side. Reading between the lines, though, it looks like it's on the better side of an aristo-state. No visible malnutrition, and while there was certainly a hell of a lot of decor, they certainly have the resources available to bling out every spaceship they have and still provide a decent standard of living. Some small social mobility, too, if the story the Megakolymvitis' captain told me of her family's origins had any truth to it." She noticed Mitchell looking a bit dubious, so she clarified: "It was recent enough that I doubt it's been distorted too much, and I don't think she was lying. On the other hand, her family's ascent seemed to come at the expense of another's downfall. They're still, y'know, aristos. Just, ones we might be able to leave alone, if not work with." Left unsaid was that her crew felt much the same way - they'd already recorded their own testimonies of the past few days, and the other captains would have had ample time to review them.

"If your faith in them is not misplaced," Vader's voice boomed. Miyasawa nodded, conceeding the point.

"And if the worst should come to pass - can we fight them?" Blaaarg'Footh asked, voices overlapping from multiple mouths.

"Their ships are large and well-armoured," Miyasawa answered, "But they are apparently expensive and difficult to build. Tactically... they lack shields, and are less well-armed than an Endeavour Protectorate ship for their size. They rely mostly on boarding tactics, which I'm sure you all already have countermeasures for, but those are backed up by real-spec mecha. Individually, our capital vessels are likely superior to theirs, aside from the Thorikto dreadnoughts." A picture appeared to clarify exactly what type of ship she meant. "That is not to say they are not a threat: an engagement between a Protectorate and Theophanic captial ship would likely leave ours heavily damaged and theirs destroyed." She based her analysis based off the tour of the Megakolymvitis and the snek's sensor readings of the other Theophanic ships. Or, to put it in simpler words: it was an educated guess.

"And strategically?" Captain Ayanami spoke up, louder than an OG Rei would have been - probably someone who liked the form.

Miyasawa brought what little data she had up. "The technical answer to that is "fucked if I know"," she admitted. "I said their construction of new ships is likely slow, but they could have hundreds of Thoriktos for all we know - or only the two we know of. The only good news there is that they're likely as in the dark as we are." She leaned back in the captain's chair. "I wouldn't recommend a declaration of war, on both sociological and military grounds. The average Theophanic citizen - even the nobility - is about as responsible for what happened to Amazo-X as the average Amazo-X employee was for the Quite Frankly, Terrible War."

Thankfully, the assembled captains looked as though they agreed. "The vote's tomorrow evening," Hirasawa said, cheerful as ever, "You should get some rest, and see if you can't get more info out of them in the morning."

There were some pleasantries, and Miyasawa took the opportunity to catch up with Anne-Maria about what the Pylon was doing all the way out here - apparently being a troop ship for an actual honest-to-Rei Evangelion, which was neat. Said Eva was curled up in the hangar bay Miyasawa had flown out from all those years ago.

It was on that thought she tried to focus on as she went to sleep, instead of the idea that she was possibly responsible for either starting or averting a war.



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



ESS Caterina Klaes, Cradle of the Stars

Victoria's left ear twitched as she studied the sensor screen projected onto the bridge window. The situation was complex, to say the least; contacts blurred into one another, Muffins had run out of shades of unknown-IFF-yellow to paint the different fleets in, and to make matters worse, all three other fleets seemed to want a piece of the action... but on which side?

At least they'd gotten the spin stopped.

Space was practically seething with transmissions, mostly from the stricken giant, and it was hard to pick out- wait a minute. Was that Eigo?

"Sully, play that back," she ordered. Her comms specialist fiddled with his console for a moment, and a short status update - cut off by another voice screaming at the first to use proper comms discipline - played over the bridge speakers. In Eigo - strange Eigo, way too mil-speak, but understandable. "Well, this just got a whole lot weirder," Victoria muttered. "Where'd that come from? It wasn't one of ours."

"Looks like... contact A-F-33," Sully reported after another moment's fiddling.

"That's a fighterweight craft from one of Group A's carriers," Ayanami added, highlighting it on the screen. "They switched to an encrypted channel after that." She frowned, forestalling Victoria's next order. "The hangar bay on that dreadnought just blew out," the screen zooming in on the now-gaping hole in the ship's ventral hull. "Looks like... Group C's ships are trying to get inside." Her eyes met Victoria's. "If the data from the snek is anything to go by - that's a colony ship as much as it is a warship. If those ships get inside..."

They'd be safe from the Theophanic ship's weapons, and able to pick apart its internal defences. To say nothing of the potentially-millions of civilians on board; they'd be utterly defenceless, hostages - which is probably why those ships were tying so hard to get in, to use them as human shields against the oncoming storm. She flashed that information, and what she planned to do, to the rest of the fleet - and received a response that was unanimously along the lines of "Do it".

"Transmit the following in the clear, Eigo and - we have a Theophanic translation package?" A nod from Sully and a brief flash of information on her HUD told her that she did, but it was only rated at about 68% accurate. Good enough. "Eigo and Theophanic. Message follows: "This is the Caterina Klaes, flagship of the fleet which just exited hyperspace. Please be aware that we are about to engage the two ships currently besieging the Theophanic Empire vessel. We believe they may be attempting to use the vessel and its civilian occupants as a shield against your fleets. We are not hostile to any polity that is not attempting to harm civilians."

Aftí eínai i Caterina Klaes, i navarchída tou stólou pou mólis vgíke apó to diástima. Lávete ypópsi óti prókeitai na desméfsoume ta dýo ploía pou símera poliorkoún to ploío Theophanic Empire. Pistévoume óti boreí na prospathoún na chrisimopoiísoun to ploío kai tous amáchous tou os aspída enántia stous stólous sas. Den eímaste echthrikoí se kamía politeía pou den prospatheí na vlápsei tous polítes.***

That was all well and good, but how to go about doing that? Groups A and B, along with the Theophanic Empire ships, changed to "tentatively-friendly green" on the tactical display, while Group C was rendered in "probably-unfriendly orange", which made the whole thing easier to read. Only problem was, if they advanced to engage at close quarters they'd risk getting caught in the fire from A and B, while if they stayed back they risked catching A and B in their own fire. Endeavour hypervelocity cannons were normally accurate enough for that to not be a problem, but between the jamming coming from nearly every local ship and the pea soup of the nebula, she couldn't risk it. Which left...

"Grit, do you have a firing solution for the lance?"

The weapons-spacer shrugged, as casual as if she'd asked him to pass the salt. "Sure, boss. Which ship?" Wordlessly, Victoria tagged the further of the two ships - the closer being too heavily engaged by Theophanic mecha for her liking. "Alright," Grit continued, "Gettin' us into position now."**** The ship slewed around, and the vast bulk of the Theophanic dreadnought came into view. "Gonna need you to give the order."

Victoria swallowed, her throat suddenly dry. So far as she was aware, she was about to fire the first shots in anger from an Endeavour ship in just under a century. She flicked the MASTER ARM switch on her command chair to "on", and quadruple-checked the firing solution. It checked out.

"Fire when ready," she ordered.

"Aye-aye," came the acknowledgement. Inside the Klaes' citadel, the reactors spun up to one-half power, feeding energy into the vast particle accelerator mounted just behind the lance's barrel. A low thrum echoed through the decks as matter was twisted into anti-matter, building to a high-pitched scream as the anti-matter was spun up to near-lightspeed velocity and the turbolaser array charged up. A bright blue light built at the end of the lance's barrel-

and then Grit pulled the trigger.

There was a soft click, then a long, droning choom as the lance sprang forth, a single, long bolt of brilliant blue crossing the span between the Klaes and the unlucky target in less than a second. A slight flash told Victoria the beam had hit, before she had to look away or be blinded by the bright light.

When the blast faded, the entire rear half of the enemy ship was gone, and the front half was spinning off into deep space - away from the dreadnought. The beam had actually overpenetrated, travelling another second or so before turning in on itself and annihilating a patch of nebula dust.

"Good shot," she congratulated the gunner.

The other ship, however, was now too close to the dreadnought to repeat that trick...



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

*The first, and so far, only case of a ship being captained by its namesake.

**There might be some confusion as to why Endeavour and Theophanic phone networks are compatible - luckily, both networks are designed to be incredibly flexible, for situations very much like this. And nothing more will be said on that front.

***This translation was, of course, written using out-of-date software, and only barely managed to avoid saying that the Endeavour fleet intended to join the Black Star ships. [No joke, Google translate nearly rendered it in that way]

****Since the main weapon of the Klaes was a fixed-forward mount, the weapons officer had access to the ship's helm controls. Then again, so did every other spacer - leading to the occasional practical joke.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 »

Task Force 4-2, North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars
Day 3, Week 2, Turn 1


"SQUADRON, BREAK AND EVADE!"

The fighter/bombers of the 151st "Black Aces," in the vanguard of the carrier strike group accompanying the task force, peeled away and hit burner as the lance strike faded, leaving the rear of the Adventure Galley, as they'd just tallied the first cruiser (making its pair almost certainly the New York Revenge, thought Commander Braxton) upon close approach at the head of the strike package, a blasted wreck, bulkheads and pieces of hull spinning off in all directions. "The hell was that?" The commander keyed over to the task force comms net from squadron only. "Audacious Tactical, this is Black Ace Actual. Request mission status update, over!"

"Audacious reads, Black Ace. Re-task to Sierra 112. Priority: Prevent the target from effecting further boarding. New arrivals identify as non-hostile."

"That blast sure as hell looked hostile, Audacious. Orders acknowledged, we'll flush 'em out." Braxton keyed his mic back over. "All right, Aces, you heard him. Let's get around this giant son of a bitch and bag ourselves some pirates."

The Venture's strike and bomber squadrons followed the Aces in as they skimmed around the bulk of the stricken Theophanic vessel toward the hull breach that the Revenge was currently making bigger.

Bridge, NRS Audacious

"If they can do that to the Adventure Galley they can do it to us, Captain," said his XO, a brown-furred Zambaran, grimly.

"I realize, Commander Krassknar, and don't intend to give them a reason to," Nashor-Ogn responded in a calm tone of voice, but his skin color gave away his feelings. "Tactical, Conn. Stow the spinal mount, we are not going to need it now. Comms, Conn, acknowledge the newcomers' transmission and inform them of our intent. Then order Wyatt Earp to follow the strike package at best speed, and Arcturus to commence SAR operations on the wreckage of the Galley. Remainder of the task force will pace with the Audacious. Helm, bring us athwart the hull breach Sierra 112 is using at best speed."

The wedge-like form of the Wyatt Earp surged forward, its drive flare lengthening as it followed the strike craft, most of the rest of the task force trailing behind at the more sedate pace of the cruiser.
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Shinn Langley Soryu »

Akira Kurusu-class technical research ship HSS Haru Okumura
Oort cloud of unnamed Amazo-X HQ system
T minus 24 hours before Kriegsgott impact event


"Sassanids? Really?" executive officer LCDR Erica Hwang remarked as she scrutinized the readouts on the tactical displays in the combat information center of the euphemistically designated "technical research ship" HSS Haru Okumura.

"That's the closest match we can find in the identification database," one of the intelligence specialists remarked. "Of course, any similarities this mystery ship may have with the original Sassanid Heighliner are purely visual." He tapped one of the displays, bringing up preliminary weapons and engine data that HSS Okumura's sensors were able to glean from scanning the behemoth holding its vigil in front of them. "The Sassanids never armed their Heighliners even as an emergency measure, and they devoted so much space to cargo that they didn't even bother to install sublight engines."

LCDR Hwang ran some rough calculations in her head as she scanned the display. "If my math's right, just going off those passive engine emissions, that tube can pick up quite a bit of speed. If those weapons batteries aren't sufficient enough to destroy a foe, a ramming attack would definitely do the trick," she said as she reached for her comlink to contact the bridge. "Conn, Operations. You wanted to know what it is we're looking at? It's a Heighliner. A Heighliner with enough weapons to make a Byzantine jealous and enough engine power to just throw itself at an enemy and destroy it through sheer momentum. It's just sitting here like a dead log, though."

"Ops, Conn, aye," HSS Okumura's skipper, CDR Marianna Uy, replied. "Continue monitoring the Heighliner and log all data you gather. Check status of the active stealth systems at regular intervals. If it moves, we follow. If it looks at us, we're gone. Conn, out."

LCDR Hwang sighed as she and the other personnel in the CIC went back to continue their own vigil, dutifully logging everything they saw and heard down to the last detail. Even from within the system's Oort cloud, the crew of HSS Okumura could still pick up Amazo-X civilian signal traffic, which they found particularly disconcerting. While the Haruhiists certainly had experience with the depredations of megacorps in their old universe, even the worst of them were not as cartoonishly blatant as Amazo-X apparently was.

When Kriegsgott finally awoke, HSS Okumura was there to observe as the Thorikto embarked on its final voyage. Amazo-X's normal signal traffic soon gave way to cacophony punctuated with the ominous phrase "Maleldila, we come." Kriegsgott itself was charging into the system at a truly prodigious rate of speed, well in excess of even the highest-end estimates LCDR Hwang and the operations specialists came up with. Even though HSS Okumura could not possibly hope to keep pace with Kriegsgott, CDR Uy and her crew still had an excellent view as the Thorikto crashed into the Amazo-X headquarters with extreme prejudice.

After gathering additional data on the immediate aftermath of Kriegsgott's kamikaze run, HSS Okumura prepared to depart only when Frater Einstein arrived in system. The last thing HSS Okumura's crew heard before they left was the message transmitted by the Theophanic messenger buoy: "THUS TO MALELDILA. WE WILL FIND WHAT IS LEFT OF AMAZO-X AND CAST THEM UNTO THIS HELL. AVE EMPERORESS. AIYA ELDILA."



Wendee Lee-class destroyer HSS Cherami Leigh
North reaches of the Cradle of the Stars


LCDR Midford and the operations specialists aboard HSS Leigh were playing telephone with the Nashtari and Theophanic fleets, translating and passing along messages between the two forces. Hopefully too much wasn't lost in translation, but at least the Theophanic forces now understood that the Nashtaris were friendly and very willing to offer their assistance against the pirate scum. The arrival of the Endeavourite scout fleet came as a bit of a surprise, especially considering what they used to announce their arrival.

"Did anyone else hear that?" an operations specialist asked.

"Yeah, we all heard it," LCDR Midford replied. "Certainly an... interesting choice for fanfare. We got a read on these new arrivals?"

"Can't get anything more specific due to nebular interference and ECM, but it looks like they dropped in near the Nashtari fleet."

"Picking up transmissions from the unidentified ships, ma'am," another operations specialist chimed in. "Broadcasting simultaneously in both English and... Theophanic Greek?"

"They also speak Theophanic?" LCDR Midford remarked as she reached for her comlink. "Conn, Operations. You're picking up all of this as well, right?"

"Ops, Conn, aye," CDR Thompson replied. "I'll deal with these new arrivals personally. Continue relaying messages between the Nashtari and Theophanic fleets as before. We may be a bit far from the action ourselves, but we can still lend a helping hand to those who are in the thick of it. Conn, out."

Just then, Caterina Klaes fired its particle lance, chopping one of the Black Star cruisers besieging Dystropos in half. Even from far away, CDR Thompson and the crew of HSS Leigh could clearly see the bright flash of the lance making contact with its target. "Most impressive," CDR Thompson said to herself as she saw the sensor contact of what used to be Adventure Galley fade out from the bridge tactical display. She then readied her reply to the Endeavourite fleet: "Caterina Klaes, this is HSS Cherami Leigh, flagship of SOS Imperial Navy Destroyer Division Three. Destroyer Division Three acknowledges your intent. Since you apparently also display familiarity with the Theophanic dialect, it would be much appreciated if you could also assist in coordinating Nashtari and Theophanic actions against these pirates. Good hunting out there. HSS Leigh, out."

As the ships of DesDiv Three kept charging forward, additional orders went out: "Approach to within 200 kilometers of Theophanic fleet as previously instructed. Run distraction for Nashtari and other friendly fleet elements by engaging pirate targets of opportunity. Take care to avoid friendly fire."
I ship Eino Ilmari Juutilainen x Lydia V. Litvyak.

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The Yosemite Bear: Obviously, which means that he's grounded, and that she needs to go back to sucking Mr. Coffee's cock.

"d-did... did this thread just turn into Thanas/PeZook slash fiction?" - Ilya Muromets[/size]
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 »

ESS Caterina Klaes, Cradle of the Stars

Victoria had expected some sort of acknowledgement in English - and had recieved a remarkably terse one from what was now being identified as the Nashtari fleet. She hadn't expected the other new fleet to also send a message in English.

"The fuck is going on here?" she asked aloud, and shook her head. The... SOS? and Nashtari fleets had probably had some prior contact, and both seemed like offshoots from Old Earth. Hell, wasn't Cherami Leigh supposed to be a voice actor from way back then? "Confirm recipt of both messages, interlink our IFFs with theirs, and try to send them our sensor data." There was a slim chance of the other fleets being able to make any use of that data, but it felt like a nice gesture. The IFFs, on the other hand, were designed for these exact circumstances.* "And tell Destroyer Division Three that we do not as yet have a full translation package for Theophanic, but offer to send what we have anyway."

She studied the tactical screen, mind racing to come up with a plan. Two of the Nashtari ships had broken off from the detachment heading into combat - one heading for the wrecked cruiser, and the other for the gaping hole in the side of the Theophanic dreadnought (which, after a brief relay of information from Muffins to Rei, became tagged with the name Dystropos), along with what looked to be the Nashtari equivalent of a fighter wing. There were still a fair few pirate craft outside the dreadnought, ranging from fighters to gunships, but the only major pirate ship left was the one gently drifting into that damn hole.

Well, she couldn't stop it from getting in, but she could sure as hell make sure it never came out again. "Globbiz, _lim, Lily - go to full speed, plug that hole up. Provide support to the friendly forces if at all possible. "Scarlet, detach and burn with them. I'm designating you as forward AWACS, get a comms specialist to build a tactical net for the friendlies." Acknowledgements came before she'd even finished - the verbal orders being preceeded by orders over an ambient tactical network - and the fleet's three destroyers lit their drives and rocketed off into the fray.

The scout frigate took a moment longer to leave - partially because they still had to undock, and partially because they really didn't want to take such a fragile ship into a battle. Then there was the stealth destroyer, which was even less suited to combat - but that, at least, had an easy way out.

"Xx_sHaDoWmAsTeR_xX, go to full stealth and watch our backs. I don't want someone to drop on us like we did this clusterfuck." That just left her own ship, which would take some time to get into safe hypervelocity range. The lance, of course, would be entirely useless unless the pirate heavy destroyer - scratch that, apparently it was a cruiser - popped its head out. They'd been moving at full speed towards the battle since firing the lance, but there wasn't much else they could do. They were still too far out to send any marines over - though, luckily, the Klaes had an entire smattering of scientists, diplomats, engineers and, yes, marines on board to fulfil its expeditionary duties. She pinged the leader of that team - another Rei - to get anyone useful into the shuttles anyway. Including Cure Team 12.

Other than that, all she could do was hope the pirates didn't know what to do once they got inside the great Dystropos...

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

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A group of Black Star fighters and gunships make an attack run on the Katerina Claes.

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The Claes returns fire. No pirate ships escaped.

[These aren't necessarily "canon", but it's been too long since I shoved a picture into a post]



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

*Well, not these exact circumstances - no-one had predicted first contact with two, maybe three different polities at once.
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