STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

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STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Rogue 9 » 2020-11-21 08:37pm

In space, no one can hear you scream.

Begin.
It's Rogue, not Rouge!

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VX-145
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by VX-145 » 2020-11-22 11:36am

"Come on, come on, change already," Alice muttered at the stubbornly-red traffic light ahead of her. As was ever the case, she'd gotten to it just as it changed, and for some reason it favoured the other lanes. This run was already late, as well, damn it all.

It finally cycled amber, then green, and she punched the throttle wide open. She rolled her ship onto its back, pulled hard on the stick, saved a second or two pitching the usual way, and just about managed to avoid some absolute fucking idiot who had tried to run the light. When she calmed down from that, she was getting close - to another traffic light.

Maybe the next run would be a long one, outside of the belts and habs, where the space was open and she could just fly in any direction without being constrained by lanes and lights. That thought occupied her until this one, too, changed, and then of course the parking area was full, so she had to carefully land at the very edge of the pressurised area. She popped the hatch, and dragged the sealed bag out of the cargo bay on the underside.

Which, of course, meant she had to lug the heavy bag all the way to the inner airlock, and naturally no-one was waiting for her there, noooo, she had to lug the bag even further to the reception desk. The grey-maned pony there then called for the customer, and Alice waited. And waited. They finally appeared a few minutes later, red-faced and flustered.

"So sorry for the delay," the cat-eared woman said in a surprisingly clipped accent, "This vote has been rather contentious."

"It's fine," Alice said, unloading the pizza from the bag and handing it over. "How's it leaning?"

"I can't tell you that," said the woman, smiling. "Thanks for the food."

With that out the way, it was a short walk back to the ship. Time to get back to the shop and see where she was off to next.

-

Victoria Carver carried the stacked pizza boxes back into the Parliament Hall, where the debate continued to rage.

"We have no idea how many threats are out there!" a representative from the Miho Nishizumi was shouting, "Without a strong Line Fleet, how are we supposed to meet them?"

That caused a clamour of voices, long enough for Victoria to make the rounds and get back to her seat. "The Line Fleet is already most of the navy!" one of the representatives from the frozen resort world of Biry called back. "We have twenty-one capital ships - thirty-four if you count cruisers - and twenty-five escorts. Ten, if you discount the stealth ships and scout frigates!"

This was the big debate, of course. Now rumours that there were other polities (besides Amazo-X which didn't count) out there had turned out to be true, what was Endeavour going to do? Going isolationist was out of the question, there were too many denizens of Endeavour who wanted to travel and see the galaxy, so some sort of exploration/diplomatic mission had to be arranged. That had turned into "but how do we make sure they're not all slaving genocidal fascists who want us dead?" about an hour ago and had yet to turn back.

"The Army could be bigger?," said one of the few representatives of said army in the chamber; there simply weren't enough soldiers for there to be more than the twenty or so present. "You know. If you want to make it bigger."

Another voice piped up. "We could use use more scout frigates," they said, "We only have the three and there's far too much space to cover."

Eventually, as the hab's lighting cycle changed to night-time and the pizza was consumed, there was a vote. It was agreed that more escort and scout vessels would be produced, and the army would be expanded with the addition of a new Magical Girl team.

"That being resolved," said the Sovereign Protector, letting out a deep sigh, "The orders will be take some time to fulfil. I would like to ask the chamber's opinion as to how to deploy the fleet we have, bearing in mind our current deployments. Right now, the Line Fleet - consisting of all ships heavier than a cruiser - is in this very star system. The remaining forces are spread out throughout the other systems roughly equally."

"Enough of the exposition!" cried one representative. "We know all this already!" shouted another. A third was a bit more direct: "Get to the point!"

Sovereign Protector Ayanami stared down the chamber until it quieted down. "We need to send ships to explore the galaxy," she continued, "What form that takes - that is what needs to be determined."

There was no doubt in the chamber that the scout frigates would be sent - one each roughly to the galactic north, west and north-west, where transmissions indicated the presence of starfaring polities. One of the stealth ship captains proposed to shadow them with one stealth ship each; the remainder of the stealth fleet would fill in the gaps, so to speak. Some would also explore the east and south, just in case. This proved acceptable, with minimum modification. A proposal to escort the scouts with the full Line Fleet was shot down, and then amended to sending the two Glory-class Battlecruisers - white elephants, really, since they could neither out-shoot nor out-run the cruisers they were meant to kill - with the Astra going north, where it was suspected Amazo-X lurked. The other two would be followed by a cruiser group - one Kitsune cruiser and three Endeavour destroyers apiece - at some distance.

That discussion took far less time, thankfully, and Victoria was able to place her votes and get out. Her Caterina Klaes would be part of the exploration force, shadowing the ESS Rick Astley, and she needed to get the crew ready.

-

Not long later, the three Astra-class scouts, Rick Astley, Psy and Bach, began making their way out of Endeavour space. This would be the furthest any Endeavour ship had travelled by a long margin, and they were laden down with supplies and spare parts. While possessed of an extremely fast hyperspace drive, they would take their jouneys slowly; navigating unmapped systems could be a hazard, after all.

-----

TURN 1 PRODUCTION

10x Endeavour-class Destroyer
3x Astra-class Scout Frigate

102 points of Army (representing one Magical Girl team)

The OOB spreadsheet has been updated accordingly.


MOVEMENT

Approximate routes taken by the scout fleets. They are moving at about 1 hex every 2 days, and are not travelling directly - in other words, they come in to contact with your star nation when you want them to.

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Elheru Aran
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Re: STGOD 2020/21 Main Game

Post by Elheru Aran » 2020-11-26 10:05am

XV Iounios

She was in a war zone, her nerves thrumming like taut lyre-strings. Lights flashed above her and sound crashed in her ears. Bodies milled, colliding and whirling in the pandemonium before her. This was not where she wanted to be in the least. Could she extract?

Too late. A hand thrust itself into her field of vision, provoking an instinctive tightening of her shoulders and a twitch towards hips empty of their customary armament. The chinless monstrosity before her warbled, “My lady? Another canape?”

Iohanna vir Kharon II tou Galaad, Klironoma soi Chelonis, forced a grimace that she thought might pass for a smile and nodded at the noble creature before her as she plucked the overly saccharine treat from the princeling’s hand. It wittered something and she nodded, barely noticing what it said in the noise of Scharan soi Geraki’s monthly soiree on the Mitra tou Theouautokrator. Apparently considering her vague gesture to be approbation, the child of some genis or other pranced off to find more comestibles.

“Ipolchagos? There isn’t any chance we can shoot our way out, is there,” she whispered to her bodyguard-escort lieutenant, Atsali. The robust woman in her dress uniform flashed a thin smile and shrugged. Mokhanda vir Daxa II tou Galaad soi Chelonis (apo Fylachto), her mother, had commanded her to attend this gathering of the genia children. A suitable mate would be found, and children would be had to ensure the continuation of soi Chelonis.

She thought back to when the Megakolymvitis had finally found itself in approach to the Mitra. Their craft, mighty as it was, was dwarved by the monstrous Thorikto dreadnoughts of the Imperial Protectors, twenty-kilometre-long cylinders literally shadowing her ship as it passed between them at their anchor points-- but even those giants of ships were insignificant besides the Mitra tou Theouautokrator. Rainbow light, like an oil-slick, sheened the space around it, and the untold square miles of gold leaf upon it reflected all light out into the void, making it glow in space like nothing else she had ever seen. A monstrous door, many kilometres wide, cracked open… a small dot of light on the surface of Mitra.

The Megakolymvitis swam through the hangar entrance. The huge void within had a multitude of ships, great and small-- the genia craft of the Adelig. As it sidled up to its docking position, tenders already swarming about its airlocks, her bridge crew bustled, making idle conversation about the pleasures of Mitra’s port-cities. She slouched in her command throne, flicking through the daily log on a screen in her hand when a message notification flashed in its corner.

Tapping on it brought up an ologramma, shining blue in miniature projection above the hand-screen. Her father’s face. Khouras spoke in Chelonis argot as was his habit in messages, drilled into him by his paranoid grandsire. “Iohanna. I am pleased that you have found your way here. Your mother has asked you to visit her at the Geraki soiree this evening. Minimal escort. Dress uniforms.”

He paused and continued, “Daxo and I are concerned about what you have been doing with the Megakolymvitis lately. I would appreciate a debriefing after the soiree. You know your way to the genis compound. Kindly escort your mother back. You know how she can be at these events. And I know how you can be as well. Please don’t start any fights.”

The ologramma blinked off abruptly. Kharon sat back, consciously trying to relax suddenly tense muscles. Soirees and dress uniforms. Some of her least favorite things. And her mother’s company.

There was nothing to do about it, though. She thumbed the screen and muttered, “Ipolchagos Atsali. You have escort duty tonight. Detail ten Lakai [footmen] for the purpose, draw a makrysofas [longboat]. We’re going to the Geraki compound. And for the love of the Emperoress, make sure they know to behave tonight.”

An acknowledgement sigil burned immediately; Atsali was a very competent officer. She sighed and heaved herself out of the commodious seat. Flicking through the screen, she saw the invitation attached to her father’s message. Less than two hours away, and the Eugenis compounds were at least an hour's travel through the provasis [access] tunnels. She let slip a foul curse and the remaining crewmen on the bridge stiffened, but as they looked nervously over their shoulders all they saw was her turning on her heel and stalking down the gantry.

Now they were here. She didn’t think she was expected to dance, not that she would have anyway, but she had to tolerate the attentions of the dribblings of the various genia in attendance. When you tended to have four or five heir-children, and about a dozen-odd concubine-spawn, that meant a lot of marriages to arrange. Easier to just let them mix and work these things out themselves; the only ones the Adelig would not allow to choose their own mates were the klironomonae [heirs]. And that meant her.

That did not mean, however, that imbeciles like Agron soi Hapax or Feda soi Foinix wouldn’t try to catch her eye. For all her genis was a very minor one, soi Chelonis still carried some notoriety within the Epimelitirio for its birth and the very Megakolymvitis itself. Bringing that ship into their fold would be a great prize for any genis, and in fact she knew that massive dowries had been offered to Khouras for her hand; before he joined the Protectors, Daxo had turned down offers from nearly every genis.

But Khouras was not traditional. He believed in allowing his children to choose their own mates, and he was not interested in allowing any of the Eugenis to have a claim upon soi Chelonis. So she had been unattached for quite some time now; by genia standards, she was practically a decrepit spinster. No matter. She was happy with the current arrangement. Her mother, less so.

Daxa swept up to her through the milling nobility, face cold above thick robes. “Iohanna,” she peremptorily requested, “shall we meet Ivoran soi Raubvogel? He is very interested in you and all your… stories. He seems very nice.”


Kharon reached out without looking and snagged a goblet off some passing menial’s tray. Her response was to toss the drink down her gullet, then stare at her mother. “You know how I feel about all that. If he wants war stories, he can go bother the Wachters. And don’t call me Iohanna.”

“It’s your name,” Daxa huffed. There were indeed Protectors present, Wachters standing at precise intervals along the walls; but this was Mitra, there were Wachters everywhere. The whispers had it that some of them weren’t even human, but who could tell under the omnipresent layers of warsuit? Her mother continued, “Raubvogel has pledged independence for the house. They would disassociate Ivoran, but he would be well supported. You know they would--”

Cutting her off, Kharon snapped, “Enough. I’m not here for the gamimenos [motherfucker]. I’m here because you and Father told me to. No more, no less.”

At the obscenity, her mother’s eyes widened and then narrowed, her lips pursuing. Kharon sighed and muttered, “Me synchoreite [pardon me]. But I mean it. I’m not going to talk to anybody that I don’t have to. I’m not going to dance, I’m not going to talk, I’m absolutely not going to sleep with anybody here, much less allow them to court me. You have--” she checked her chrono-- “half an hour, and then we’re going.”

Daxa lifted her chin and stared coldly at her daughter. Kharon didn’t budge, crossing her arms over her ample chest. For a long moment the two opposite figures, the tall robust daughter in her trim dress uniform and the petite, heavily clad mother stood there, and then with a taut flick of her hand Daxa turned and strode away.

Kharon let out a breath she hadn’t realized she was holding. Right then, a heavy hand fell upon her shoulder.

Without thinking she twisted and shoved, but she was rocked backwards by her own push against a nigh-immobile object-- a tall warsuit-clad figure. The visor clattered as it folded back into the collar, and her brother’s grinning face looked out at her.

“So rude, Sister. Didn’t you know I would be here?” teased Daxo.
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 » 2020-12-01 01:05pm

Endeavour Protectorate Exploration Service Report

Report No.:
69420 [ERROR: Report already exists with that number. Please select a different number.]

Report No.: 42069 [ERROR: Report already exists with that number. Please select a different number.]

Report No.: 4208008569 [ERROR: Oh whatever, just type the damn thing already, I'll pick a number for you.]

Report Classification: who cares lol

Subject: Out-System Debris Analysis - Summary

While the debris - defined as the non-natural asteroids, comets and other uninhabitable artificial bodies - filling most of the star systems inside Endeavour space has been thoroughly picked over, less attention has been given to the debris between those systems. This is partially because until recently, it was difficult to detect that debris. Moreover, the most interesting pieces of debris are on complex, fast orbital trajectories few civilian ships can currently match. With help from the Fleet - specifically the destroyers ESS Endeavour and ESS Endeavour, along with the cruiser ESS Haruhi Suzumiya - The Science Team was able to get close to, obtain samples of, and where possible, board the seven most interesting pieces of debris.

I'm getting tired of typing the word "debris" now.

On to the list! This is organised by discovery date:

1) Artefact "XC-1", a curved section of hull plating. It spins in space at approximately 4 degrees per second, measures approximately 50 metres by 10 metres by 1 metre, and follows a helical path around and between Endeavour and Neos. The artefact seems to have been blown off from a larger vessel; there is significant energy weapon scoring and impact damage, notably along the edges of the plate. There are marks on both side of the plate which may have been signifiers of some type - writing, numbers, heraldry, decoration - but they could also be impacts from an as-yet unknown weapon. Various dating experiments have been carried out, and it is estimated that the artefact is about 2000 years old. See Report "XC-1 Study" for detail.

2) A skull-shaped rock. This was neat, looked like a human skull scaled up to the hundred-metre scale. It was composed of silicates, with a small quantity of nickel-iron located just above the left nostril. It is trailing the Gotobe system by about half a light year. It is not natural; it appears to have been carved by hand using a hammer and chisel. Its provenance is otherwise unknown.

3) Artefact "Gordon", a steam-powered railway engine in 4-6-2 configuration. All Endeavour-produced examples of such devices have been accounted for, and the artefact's origin is unknown. It could be from Old Earth, a prank by an Endeavour citizen (or another party), or an Amazo-X plot to impose their will upon us through the medium of trains. That last one is unlikely. Attempts to date the artefact have been difficult, as different parts are different ages. The oldest part - the firebox - seems to be about one thousand years old. The engine has been recovered and is in the process of restoration; see Report "The Big Engine" for details.

4) The wreckage of ESS Friar Tuck, an Archer-class destroyer lost twelve years after the end of the Quite Frankly, Terrible War. It appears to have fallen into hyperspace by unknown means; without shielding, the hull was immediately breached. There are no survivors, and how it re-emerged from hyperspace is unknown. Whether or not to recover the wreck - located halfway between Endeavour and Tigo - is currently being debated, but the remains of its crew were brought back aboard the Haruhi Suzumiya.

5) Artefact "Dyson-1", a curved 8 kilometre by 9 kilometre by 15 kilometre section of what seems to be a Dyson Sphere. There are solar collectors on the "inner" side of the piece, and the "outer" side consists mostly of armour plate (composition: aligned carbon) with a few openings. The interior of the piece may have once contained habitation areas, or maintenance facilities, or just spaced armour; nothing remains inside. The estimated age of the artefact is one million, six hundred thousand years. It is located in a 1.4 million AU orbit around Endeavour.

6) A set of six relativistic kinetic impactors, each roughly 100m in length and composed of aligned carbon. They were travelling at approximately .9c through the middle of Endeavour space. No star systems were found on either end of their flight path - yes, we accounted for stellar drift - but they were recovered as per Article 5. One had to be destroyed during the operation. They have been dated to about 2000 years prior to the present.

7) The remains of an as-yet unidentified planet, approximately 10,000km in diameter before its destruction. Tests of the debris indicate that it was destroyed by pure energy transfer, which would require more energy in a second than the Fleet could put out in a decade. Dating experiments indicate the planet was destroyed eight hundred thousand years ago, so hopefully we won't need to worry about whoever did it.

No traces of Amazo-X involvement was found at any of these sites.



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




"Alright, let's take a break before we move on to the Submergence Test," Nefertiti said, wearily settling into an armchair. Getting the complex stealth systems of a Nothing Personal, Kid-class Stealth Destroyer was difficult at the best of times, and this was most emphatically not the best of times. The Netherdimensional Submergence Array she and the rest of the team had been working on was fitted to the Black Adder, which was in for refit following an accident in Netherspace. Just getting the array out had been a nightmare, and building a replacement had taken days even before they had to go through the finicky process of installing the damn thing. But, now the destroyer was theoretically ready to go out into space again. All it needed was some testing.

Said stealth destroyer sat in Cradle 17, just outside the bay window; Nefertiti took the opportunity to indulge in a bit of ship-watching while the rest of the team had their break. Two skeletal frameworks, Endeavour-class destroyers under construction, sat either side. A dozen workers were laying in the "plumbing" - the complex network of pipes and boxes that made up their autologi system. And, to the port side of the left-most cradle, slowly being lowered into her own cradle, was the immense dreadnought Akko Kagari.

Nine hundred metres from bulbous, constellation-emblazoned bow to curved stern, she wasn't the largest ship in the Fleet, that spot was reserved for the truly massive AI-driven 4B-class carriers, but she was by far the most beautiful; her hull swept, her superstructure imposed, and her triple-barrelled hypervelocity turrets displayed grace and menace in equal measure. Her single particle beam lance, recessed under the constellation crest on the tip of her bow, was just in view from this angle, oddly normal-looking for such a destructive weapon.

Nefertiti was a little biased, since she'd built that ship. Alongside two hundred other workers, yes, but still - she'd built it.

But there was no further time to admire her handiwork; the Black Adder needed to get back out there by the end of the day, if at all possible. The team re-assembled, drifting back out of the breakroom into the main bay, and boarded the destroyer. Captain Blake met them at the airlock. "Engineering tells me we're ready for the test," he said, ushering them up to the bridge. "How long will repairs take if it doesn't work this time?"

"Two, maybe three days," Ryuko - one of the other dockworkers - replied. "Longer, if we have to take the whole ship apart to find out why."

Nefertiti gravitated over to the NS Array control station, standing just behind the seat. The spacer occupying the station muttered something about not looking over their shoulder, but she ignored them, instead focussing on the readouts.

"Dock control has given clearance to launch," the Helm-spacer called.

"Very good," said Captain Blake, "Begin launch sequence."

"Begin launch sequence!" Helm repeated.

There was a feeling of being pulled upwards before the ship's inertial dampners kicked in, and the Black Adder slowly began being hauled up the launch tube, its cradle rotating so it pointed "up" out of the bay. The great armoured doors opened in front of them, and the destroyer slotted into place. "Ready for launch!" Helm called.

"Launch!" ordered the Captain.

"Launching!"

That call was followed by a sublte kick as the Black Adder was magnetically launched out the tube, clearing the kill-zone around the Shikinami Naval Arsenal in less than a second.* "Helm to full, set course for the testing grounds," was the next order, repeated by the Helm.

On the way, Nefertiti continued to monitor the NS Array, making sure it played well with the engines lit and weapons armed. Other workers were hovering near different stations - Zeppeli doing so literally, showing off - occasionally suggesting changes and chatting with the spacers. Her spacer was quiet, laser-focussed on their screen, which was good. A single mis-alignment of the NS Array could mean the difference between life and death - not just from being detected by a hostile force, but from being lost in the Netherdimensions.

Everything looked okay as they reached the testing grounds, so the Captain ordered the Array to be brought up. A civilian ship had volunteered to play hunter - and, if something went wrong, search and rescue until Interplanetary Rescue could arrive - and they stood just slightly off to the starboard bow.

"Deploying Netherdimensional Submergence Array!" the spacer in front of Nefertiti called, and wide gossamer strings unfurled from the ship's bow and stern. "Ready for submergence!"

The order was immediate; "Commence submergence sequence!" At those words, the bridge shutters closed; the space between realities/dimensions** was not pleasant to look upon.

"Submergence sequence engaged! Submergence in five..." the strings became connected with subtle octarine light, "four... three..." the light intensified, brighter and brighter, "two... one..." and suddenly consumed the whole ship for a second, before fading, "Submergence... successful! We are holding at D minus one, current realspace ratio is point five to one."

Nefertiti let out a breath, and so did the rest of the crew. The first and most dangerous hurdle had been cleared; even better, the NS Array station showed a marked improvement in energy efficiency.

"Good work, everyone," Captain Blake said. "Time for phase two. Helm, descend to D minus three. No fuck-ups this time, eh?"

"Descend to D minus three, aye!" repeated Helm, apparently ignoring the last comment, and there was a feeling of being stretched out and compressed suddenly, settling into a feeling of being crammed into a tiny space.

That was actually sort of what was happening; the ship was following "gaps" between sub-planes of reality, descending into realities where the speed of light was much lower and the distance between atoms was much higher, where energy could be dissipated far more secretly than if the ship remained on "the surface". It would take high-resolution sensor equipment to even detect the light from the ship's engines from the surface, after it had been refracted nine times over.

Of course, it was also nearly impossible for the ship to move this far "down", and its weapons would be nearly useless. The enemy would face no such constraints due to the strange nature of Netherspace.

The shutters re-opened, now they were at a stable "depth". This far down was... beautiful, in an odd way. Nefertiti supposed it was one of the perks of working with the damned stealth ships. A blue orb span gently off in the distance, rings of magenta light spinning slowly around it; the local equivalent of a star, or an atom? It was hard to tell; expeditions down here were nearly impossible, given the difficulty in moving a ship. Special shielding was all that allowed the crew to walk around the ship - and that, just barely, every movement becoming tiring in this energy-leeching reality. Other spacers reported feeling strange down here, hidden and paranoid - but Nefertiti never had, only wonder at this strange corner of reality.

"Holding at D minus three," the NS Array operator called. "Realspace ratio is point nought nought five to one." They looked up at Nefertiti. "Any problems?"

She scanned the screen, reaching over and flicking through some options. "None that I can see," she responded. "Yeah, looks all good here."

"Very good," said Captain Blake. "Helm, Netherspace, take us back up."

The shutters closed. Slowly, the feeling of being squeezed receeded, replaced slowly with normality, and then they were back at the surface.

"Hail the Baluster of Spring," the captain ordered, "Ask them if they saw us." The whole trip would be useless if a civilian-grade sensor array could spot them - which could easily happen if the ship's other stealth systems weren't working properly.

"Captain Hollister reports no contact," Comms replied.

"Excellent," said Captain Blake. "Helm, take us home."



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

*There were two reasons for the launch system; the first was so that ships could sally rapidly if the Arsenal was under siege without interfering with the Arsenal's own defensive guns. The second was that it was cool. The second reason was much more important than the first.

**The author is not confident enough in their ability to speculate about physics (read: technobabble) to pin down exactly which. Endeavour scientists continue to debate which term is more accurate - or if either of them are.

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