For House & Dominion: Eye of the Storm (3)http://houseanddominion.wikia.com/wiki/House_%26_Dominion_Complete_Archivehttp://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dominion+questhttps://twitter.com/ThatSlowTypingGYou are Sonia Reynard, Viscount of Rioja and a member of House Jerik-Dremine! With the end of the Dominion Civil War your planet and House are once again safe. Now you've turned your eye towards unfinished business: Planning an expedition to the Dyson Sphere.A nearly perfect sphere containing a smallish yellow dwarf star, it has a radius of roughly 140 million kilometers. Seeming to violate physical laws, it should just fly apart under its own weight. Whatever it's made of most conventional weapons aside from antimatter have proven next to useless against it.The presence of an energy drain on any electronic devices that get near the interior surface is yet another problem. It seems to be nearly identical to what the hostile Neeran Empire uses against enemy boarding teams on their big ships to limit their effectiveness. Too many unanswered questions point to this place. Even more so since the Empire captured that section of space early in the war.A team of specialists has been assembled that should be able to cover any eventuality you may encounter. Nearly a dozen scientists will remain aboard ship to support operations, through some may be called on to assist in the field. Members of your personal guard have made sure they'll be fit enough to keep up if necessary.Your first task after arrival was recovering sensor and communications logs from an old science station the enemy now occupy. With these your team was able to locate a long missing escape capsule and eventually find marines from your old attack wing. They've been stranded on the sphere for ten years.
Expedition Dramatis PersonaeSonia Reynard [Human Female] ViscountCommand Crew - Hidden DaggerArron Westrate [Human Male] COLinda Travers [Human Female] Chief NavigatorMaybourne [Dro'all] OperationsReynard Personal GuardElla Rufaro [Human Female] (Bodyguard & body double)Valeri Fusaro [Human Male] (Bodyguard)Dave Kárpáti [Human Male] (Bodyguard)Emor Kozan [Dro'all] (Bodyguard)Knight Ilya [Human Male] Senior Knight - Thule's Prism contingent(4 other Knights from Thule's Prism)Lt Arif Sayadov [Human Male] -Former Kharbos special forcesJarato Eldal [Krath infiltrator]Estavan Risto [Krath infiltrator] (Protectorate) RTS intelDr Seays [Rovinar] Krath bio weapon program (Suit)"Dave" -Light Neeran- Detection & Engineering"Sam" -Light Neeran- Combat & DetectionDyson Exploration Sciences FoundationJennifer Alam [Human Female] Chief Science officerEsibe (Akyarres) [Rovinar Male] AssistantDarweg Attir [Shallan Male] Shallan science instituteRhistel Taraman [Hune Male] Republic Research oversight committeeMarine SurvivorsSgt Thecla Shelby [Human Female]
>>2179769FOR HOUSE AND DOMINIONMerry Christmas and congrats on 6(?) years of quest run.
The stone structures of the village are hard to see from anywhere but between them. From anywhere else in this valley or from above it blends into the terrain. Your buggies are hidden among a stand of trees that have been cleared out enough for storage.People from your expedition are either hard at work on vehicle maintenance, trading stories with the survivors, or trying to shoo away overly curious children."How did people ever manage back when batteries only lasted a few hours?" complains one of your personal guard, working to clean the bright markings off the hood of your buggy. "You could stay here awhile and see how these marines survived with no electricity." Rufaro suggests. "I think I'll pass.""Status report?" you ask.Rufaro informs you that the vehicles still have plenty of range left in them, though the output from the RTG's are not as high as expected. Despite this they've held up well to your cross country expedition. "We can be ready to signal the ship for pickup shortly." Getting Shelby's people and their children off the surface is a priority but you might want to hold off until you're finished in the area. No point risking detection by departing early if you still plan to poke around. "You're thinking about going back to the cave aren't you?" says Shelby. It's clear she disapproves of the idea. You don't blame her since the last time her unit attempted to get near it one of their people were killed. Then again they didn't have a Neeran from the isolationist faction backing them up. [ ] Signal for recovery, look into the cave later[ ] Investigate the cave[ ] Have Shelby's people recovered then visit the cave
>>2179846Ask Sam if he can make any sense of what's going on with the Neeran in that cave.
>>2179846>[X] Have Shelby's people recovered then visit the cave
>>2179851"Whoever is in the cave is clearly insane and arguing with themselves. What I could pick up seemed like the argument was from two or more points of view. Based on what these survivors have said the Neeran inside may be hostile to any approach if they're willing to kill people from both sides." Knight Ilya approaches. "If they're as dangerous as you say might it be better to use rockets to attack from a safe distance?"That would be one way of solving the problem
>>2179882What if we have the ship that picks up the survivors bring in a shipment of stun grenades? Would the power cells last long enough to stun the Neeran?
>>2179882Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure.
You look to your people. "What if we have the ship that picks up the survivors bring in a shipment of stun grenades? Would the power cells last long enough for us to get back to the cave?"One of your guards briefly attempts to check a pocket for a datapad then curses. Rufaro checks her mechanical watch. "I think we could make it.""Or we could have the LST drop a resupply drop pod when we get there." Valeri helpfully suggests.
>>2179930Thanks. I'd suggest we:1. Move towards cave2. Have our LST drop supply pod with stun grenades, launchers, and a Neeran sized stasis unit with lots of batteries3. Pick up the survivors while the team deals with the commando4. Pick up the away team
[ ] Signal for recovery, look into the cave later[ ] Investigate the cave[ ] Have Shelby's people recovered then visit the cave[ ] Nuke it from orbit ( >>2179918 )[ ] Investigate cave, LST drop supply pod with stun grenades ( >>2179947 )Any other votes?
>>2179973For House and a salvaged Dyson Sphere![ ] Signal for recovery, look into the cave laterThat cave and the Neeran inside there have been there for several years already. We can come back later. We found our lost marines, and learned our space wizard isn't here. So now we need to look elsewhere.
>>2180010The guy does have Svidur's artifact staff, though.
>>2180012I may have forgotten that fact. And with the Neeran in this area likely to learn of our presence in a week or so. I'd assume they would bring enough Neeran to subdue/ kill this one to ensure we don't get it.>>2179973Change my vote: [ ] Investigate cave, LST drop supply pod with stun grenades ( >>2179947 )
>>2179973>[x] Nuke it from orbitI just want to highlight we're making the same mistake we made before with this guy.We know he's a powerful commando, and last time we met we just poked him with an x-ray laser and got our arm shot off in response.We need to go for a decisive kill-strike all at once.
>>2180039I'm mostly worried we'll destroy or damage the staff if we use too much firepower. Stun grenades should allow us to to simply saturate the cave with indirect fire. If it doesn't work we can hopefully just leave and try to come up with a better plan.
>>2180087>destroy or damage the staff if we use too much firepower.That's really not something we should be concerned with, I think. The staff is, if I remember Svidur's words, entirely useless for us and nothing more than a curiosity. Plus, that scientist we gave the blueprint plates to seemed to think they'd stand up to a nuclear blast so if they're made of something similar then I hope it can stand up to a small amount of punishment.
>>2180012>>2180028>>2180039"We'll go check out the cave and signal for for a drop pod full of stun grenades. After the drop the LST and swing around and evacuate the village.""What if this enemy is more powerful than we're prepared for?" asks Ilya. "Then we have the LST prep a drop pod with plasma warheads and a launcher." says Valeri. "If that doesn't work we have full size nukes."Against anything else that might be over kill but it might just take a mini nuke to get the job done in a worst case scenario.The next morning you head out. One of your people remain behind at the village to signal for recovery. It takes hours to trace your trail back through the narrow mountain pass. Without the maps it would be easy to get lost. Sam continues to update you as the team closes in on the side path you avoided before. "This is it."The drop pod plummets towards the surface. Even with the retro repulsor it hits the ground solidly enough to send rock and debris flying everywhere. The pod was constructed sturdily enough to survive and its contents are intact. "I think that would be much quieter landing in soft soil." Rufaro points out.You promise to keep it in mind for next time.The small washed out section of valley leads nearly due north from here. Outcroppings of rock and stone provide plenty of cover for the approach except for the last 100 or so meters. You signal for the vehicles to stop and dismount, approaching on foot and moving cover to cover. "How are we doing?" you ask Sam."I've managed to shield our approach but they may be aware someone is headed in their general direction. Did you want to listen?"
>>2180115>Did you want to listen"Sure. Do you think there might be any chance we could actually convince that guy to stand down by offering help? I'm not too keen on this fight if it can be avoided."
>>2180115Pass, though if he hears something important to alert us.
>>2180115>Did you want to listen?Just focus on keeping us shielded.
Given what happened last time you're understandably reluctant given your close proximity."Just keep us shielded. The less warning they have the better."Moving in closer teams take up positions on either side of the cave entrance, careful not to allow yourselves to be visible to any inside. Sam signals you're still good, sort of."What do you mean sort of?" you whisper."Getting suspicious. We don't have long, I'm already at my limit."The stun grenades can be set to fire off a stun pulse in all directions and keep going off at regular intervals until their power cells are expended. It could make things a bit more hazardous for your people if you decide to lob in a few more. Or if the Neeran inside decides to attempt a return to sender. It is possible to overload them to either create a slightly more powerful pulse or intentionally burn out the weapon.[ ] Set for single pulse[ ] Multiple pulse[ ] Single pulse overload[ ] Other
>>2180257>[x] Set for single pulseand set 10% to>[x] Single pulse overload
>>2180257[ ] Single pulse overloadEveryone throws in one set to full charge, then right after throw in a couple more, then move in and ready to disable or kill the Neeran.
>>2180257>[x] Single pulse overload
Rolled 89 (1d100)>>2180267>>2180268>>2180278"I know it's going to cost us grenades but I'd rather not have them sailing back at us later. Set them for overload. Be ready with a second set."Roll 4d20
Rolled 20, 16, 20, 15 = 71 (4d20)>>2180281I hope we have Fusion rounds loaded.
Rolled 16, 7, 8, 8 = 39 (4d20)>>2180281Set phasers to stun.
Rolled 2, 10, 4, 7 = 23 (4d20)>>2180281>Roll 4d20We're gonna save you from yourself, Mr Commando!
>>2180282>>2180284...you have 12.7mm firearms with splinter ammo and a number of other specialist rounds.
>>2180295I'm aware, just throwing in extra in the hopes of appeasing dice gods.
"Let's do this." Using hand signals to start the countdown everyone gets ready. Sam is looking unwell but is still holding it together.The first group primes and throws their weapons then gets out of the way for the others. Pulse waves flash outwards from the cave entrace followed shortly thereafter by the sharp noise of the weapons burning out or exploding. You're starting to wonder if the cave is deeper than the weapons can reach when you see Sam suddenly react as though he'd been injured. A second set of grenades are tossed in a few seconds after the first as planned. Two or three of them seem to bounce off an invisible wall and back outside the entrance. Fortunately all or most of you are in cover and only two people are stunned by the blasts. Sam despite having been in cover collapses. "Shit. Sam, are you alright?!" you shout."I'm fine! You got them, they're unconscious." Quickly waving to the others towards the cave entrance you rise from cover and move up."Move! Move! Get in there and tranq him for good measure!"The Knights are quick to charge in. Valeri recovers the Neeran's dropped staff which seems to have rolled away from the body."Surface burns from multiple weapon stuns but they're alive." reports the medic. "Can you keep him sedated?" you ask."I believe so sir. At least long enough to get back to the ship and properly restrain them.""Good."The LST is still loading up the people from the village and it takes a few more minutes for it to arrive. Four team members have already fallen back to the vehicles and move them up to the extraction point. Landing in the narrow valley isn't pretty for such a large vehicle so its a good thing the loading ramps have artificial gravity. Sam has recovered enough to ensure you'll be shielded from detection during the flight back to the ship, but he'll be out of action for a day or two after that. Shelby is extremely displeased to have her people aboard the same LST as a hostile Neeran. Even a sedated one. Many of the former marines would have preferred to wait on the surface for another flight but it's too late to get off now. As soon as you're in range to open secure communications you signal the ship and have them begin work on a holding cell for the prisoner. Dave requests components including parts from a teleport capsule. There aren't enough spares aboard for what he needs so one will have to be taken offline.Approve this? Y/N?
>>2180508Would it be possible to place the neeran in stasis instead?
>>2180508I'm with >>2180521 can't we put the thing on ice for now? While it would be good to interrogate them and find out what they know. It would be safer to do that from a place not filled with Empire Neeran. Also if it's possible to remove all those bio enhancements they had gotten by ripping off of light neeran, if I remember correctly.
>>2180508Do it. If we're in a situation where we need to actually use a teleport capsule in a stealth ship, something has failed spectacularly.
>>2180521>>2180523Yes they can be put in stasis. >Also if it's possible to remove all those bio enhancements they had gotten by ripping off of light neeran, if I remember correctly.Possible but none of your people believe it can be done with your ship's facilities without causing severe injury. "Easier to plug in than to take out."
>>2180538Are there any crashed ships on the surface where we could loot teleporter parts? There must have been significant losses during the neeran attack on the fa garrison.>stasisI'd very much prefer to place the commando in stasis. If we're out of neeran sized storage units, having one of the regular dudes from the shuttle walking around seems preferable.
>>2180538Then throw them into a stasis pod with a label warning to not open it until back with the Alliance or some place safe.
>>2180538How many capsules will remain functioning on the ship?
>>2180545>Are there any crashed ships on the surface where we could loot teleporter parts?No. If there were any the Neeran seem to have looted them long ago.>>2180550>label warning to not open it until back with the AllianceDone.>>21805679 multi-occupant capsules.With the expanded crew size for this mission there really weren't enough to begin with.
>>2180538>Easier to plug in than take out.What about disabling them?
>>2180575Dave was planning to use neuro isolators to block signals to or from them. He's working on the design of restraints for whoever plans to interrogate the prisoner.
>>2180581It's probably a good idea anyway. Did we find anything of interest in the cave?
Docking to the ship the prisoner is whisked to a holding cell fitted with a stasis field where the sedatives are double checked again before the field goes up. That should keep them contained barring any serious damage to the ship.Once that has been taken care of your crew gets to work finding room for the families rescued from the surface. The already cramped conditions aboard ship are not exactly helpful in this regard. There is discussion about some of the crew hot bunking but that wont solve everything and might impact morale.One of the crew has a suggestion. You and Arron could give up your comparatively larger quarters and make use of both the Captain's ready room and another office closer to the bridge. Do so?
>>2180609I'm okay with Sonia moving out of hers. Let Arron decide if he wants to or not. He's the captain of the ship, so it's his decision.
>>2180609I'm okay with moving to another room. But let Arron decide if he wants to move out of his.
>>2180609Yeah, alright. This is a non-standard mission and non-standard arrangements need to be made.Need to teach those dyson-born kids the glory of the Dominion and Jerik-Dremine personally though.
"You realise that with you being a superior officer moving out of your quarters... I'll look like a dick if I don't as well?""That's not my problem Arron. This is your ship." "God dammit. I really like my quarters!"Uh-huh." "I don't want to move, but I'm going to feel really bad about this if I don't.""Right.""Are you actually listening?"You turn and grab his shoulders."Arron. Your ship. Your choice." you tell him, lightly shaking him for emphasis."Alright, alright. I'll figure something out."After this you check in with those on the bridge."Once we've settled in and the teams are rested I want a full report from the science team on everything we've found so far. They're not going to be allowed to just lock themselves away while they pore over data."The next morning ships time you arrive in the main science lab. Darweg Attir has uploaded information recorded from the trip to the surface. Included are markings on the walls of the cave where you caught the mad Neeran. "These look like an attempt to record information similar to what we have on your maps of the sphere. We think they detail how to gain access to the sphere's transit system. Or they would if the person who made them weren't equally determined to destroy those same markings.""They do seem to match up to a few parts of your maps." agrees Jennifer Alam."Any progress with the maps and sensor readings?" you ask next.Alam calls up a wire frame map of the sphere dotted with red blinking points, then zooms in on a few. She adds several more layers of information the last being storm patterns."Based on the combined data we believe the sphere caretakers have hidden parts of the transit system." "Possibly they've been moved or retracted somehow." Taraman adds."Yes, but they've been further obscured by electrical storms disrupting sensor readings. According to the sensor logs the Neeran have investigated some of these regions though they don't seem to have found anything at the time.""False leads?" asks Eldal."Perhaps there are further countermeasures that hide them from view?" suggests Dave. "Our people have plenty of experience with holographics.">Anything you wanted to ask while everyone is here?
>>2180746Do we have anything to negate holographics on board the ship?The idea that the creators of this thing having weather control systems does not seem outlandish. But does sound like a Factions Treaty violation waiting to happen or a means to improve terraforming worlds. I'd like to see if we can't find those weather machines. Make everyone in faction space want improved terraformers. And if we find the transit system while looking for the weather control system, all the better!
>>2180778>Do we have anything to negate holographics on board the ship?Landing an LST nearby and deploying ECM might do the trick but it also runs the risk of giving away your position. Dave also believes he might be able to deal with the holographics himself, or that he might have better luck contacting nearby caretakers. "That's assuming they don't mistake me for one of the Imperials."Ilya unsheathes his sword. "They may also respond favorably to those bearing their weapons and artifacts."He momentarily studies the weapon then, realising everyone is staring, quickly puts it away again before clearing his throat. "Hopefully they do not take us to be grave robbers."Looking back to the displays you take a closer look at one of the storms. Your interest in improving House terraforming technology is never far from your mind. Improving weather control would certainly be useful."While we're here, any chance we could get scans of the weather control systems to allow us to duplicate them?"The others look doubtful."There are pylons that we believe to be related, and in fact could be part of the transit system. They're heavily shielded, you would need to conduct close scans that might compromise your camouflage."You'll have to add it to the list of reasons to come back here in peace time.
The scientists have located a few locations where the Neeran forces on the surface have been obviously been looking for the transit system but for one reason or another keep missing it."These three here they've missed it or went around for whatever reason. They would be a good place to look first."As Darweg points out however there is still significant enemy activity in the surrounding sectors. "Maybe we should go after locations where there is less chance of being discovered?""I would agree, but there could be hundreds that are innactive or unoccupied." counters Taraman. "I believe these ones are occupied by caretakers. That's what's confusing the enemy."[ ] Investigate enemy occupied region[ ] Investigate quiet areasSee you in the morning!
>>2180962[ ] Investigate enemy occupied regionAs with our last trip to the surface. Lets get some observations of local traffic. See if there are patterns for us to use so we can get down safely without alerting them. Maybe even check to see if there are settlements in the area that we should be aware of so that we can avoid. Unless the storms are preventing us from getting a clear view of anything below the energy drain layer.
>>2180746>>Anything you wanted to ask while everyone is here?Who can use the staff? Does it boost Neeran abilities? Do they have any idea what caused that commando to go insane?>>2180962>enemy occupied regionRoughly the same enemy presence as in the last area or more troops?
>>2180746As captain, Arron does have a valid excuse for bigger private quarters as he's expected to hold private meetings with various people on the ship. I have no idea how it's handled on Dominion ships but aren't the captain's quarters also his office on smaller present day ships? In contrast, Sonia doesn't really need the bigger living space to do her job properly.
>>2180962Investigate enemy occopied territory. Need to find the caretakers and if we get confused trying to find it this all but confirms their presence. Curse work for blocking 4chan so I have to use the phone.
>>2180962If we went to an inactive hub, could we reactivate it?
>>2181243While a captain's quarters can serve as you've described, there are also often a number of offices and briefing rooms just off the bridge. In practice Arron rarely uses his quarters for ships business. >>2181198>Who can use the staff? Sam is still resting but Dave is experimenting with it when not working on other projects."I'm still learning how to use it. This weapon is very complex. If there was an elder who could share some of their experience with it I'd have it within the day. At present? It might take weeks."So, the staff, does it boost Neeran abilities?""More like providing a host of offensive and defensive options I wouldn't be able to do on my own. Not without carrying an armory. If I've determined correctly it should be able to do a wide variety of weaker attacks. But if further augmented with some of the artifacts of yours that damage would be greatly multiplied.""And the one we captured didn't have any other artifacts?""No, none.""Do you have any idea what caused that commando to go insane?Dave thinks it over."If I had to guess? According to your reports the commando was using the staff to its full potential right away yes?""That's right." It fired a beam at least as powerful as a Neeran plasma weapon. Strong enough to blow through your armor. You look down at your artificial arm and clench your fist."Judging by the time requirements needed to familiarise themselves with the staff they may have tried to copy memories from one or more of the elders aboard that ship."Eldal catches on to what he means."Telepath problem." "Telepath problem? Remind me again." you ask."It's the same issue my people can run into when taking on too many memories from a target. Too much of a more powerful memory or force of personality can start to overwhelm you. In a worst case scenario? It can start fighting you for control of your own body. It's part of the reason I don't like to take the memories of too many enemy combatants on a single mission."
>>2181599Would it be possible to separate the memories of the elder from the commando's once we're back? We could stuff them in a cloned body if they're relatively complete, unless Neeran have a problem with that kind of thing.
>>2181599Well, Svidur is missing and this commando was doing some weird shit at the time.We should just ask. Is there a Svidur fragment in this guy?
>>2181579>If we went to an inactive hub, could we reactivate it?Alam shrugs. "Unknown. We'll have to see what we find when we get there and if anything matches up to the maps we have. There is still some data that doesn't seem to line up with anything.">>2180968>Lets get some observations of local traffic. See if there are patterns for us to use so we can get down safely without alerting them.>>2181198>Roughly the same enemy presence as in the last area or more troops?The three transit system access points are located in the human inhabited sectors. Enemy presence is slightly heavier overall but fortunately are operating in larger groups so they cant be everywhere at once. There are much larger numbers of enemy ships present at altitude. At least three heavy cruisers. According to the scans there are gaps in their coverage that would allow landings but they don't appear on a regular basis. Sometimes it's many hours between windows. Fortunately the LST should be able to last on the surface long enough for subsequent windows. "Recovery time for surface teams will be much longer once you signal for evac." Arron warns.There is also a good chance they'll figure out your retroreflector signal and put it together that someone besides them is operating on the surface. "Each of the ground forces operations area are wide enough apart that it should take them quite awhile to get word if you tip off local populations." Rhistel Taraman believes."How long?""Two or three weeks in places."That should give the ground teams some breathing room.
>>2181698Do they have any data on the locals that would allow us to blend in and avoid prime directive problems?
>>2181620"Would it be possible to separate the memories of the elder from the commando's once we're back?"Dave shakes his head. "No, not if it hasn't resolved itself after so many years. It might be possible to suppress one of more of the existing personalities temporarily.">We could stuff them in a cloned body if they're relatively complete, unless Neeran have a problem with that kind of thing."We would need to talk to a specialist but I'm not sure how well cloning someone in this state would work. The result might be a person with an even more mixed up memory or personality.">>2181695"Is there a Svidur fragment in this guy?""Neither of us were really familiar with him so we wouldn't know. The only way to be certain is to wake them up. AFTER we have sufficient restraints in place and they've been properly drugged."Investigate sites in the enemy occupied region? Or attempt interrogation before that?
>>2181599>"Telepath problem." That's actually terrifying when you think about it.>Investigate sites in the enemy occupied regionI am not all that interested in waking up the homicidal killing machine capable of butchering hundreds of people on it's own. At lest not until we've made contact with the caretakers of the sphere.
>>2181717Let's investigate the sites.
>>2181713>Do they have any data on the locals that would allow us to blend in and avoid prime directive problems?Absolutely. The scientists have adequate clothing and gear ready in addition to the translation memory imprinting you each received."Step one is not letting them see your buggies. Gas or RTG powered." Alam informs you.Guess it's a good thing you brought a few horses for scouting?
>>2181740Neat. We should bring a few trade goods but not too many to draw attention.
>>2181740Time to retire the torpedo trader for a wandering shiny stone trader?
>>2181774Unbelievable Sonia's Upscale Uranium Depot, selling the premier solution to hair in unwanted places.
>>2181753>>2181774>>2181729Who do you want on the ground team? You have 4 buggies and 4 horses allowing a max team size of 24 if you wish to move at speed. Sam is fully recovered but will be remaining aboard ship as it is Dave's turn for field work.
>>2181792Can the hune pass as human if he covers his ears with something?
>>2181802He believes so and should be able to collect whatever scientific data is necessary.
>>2181809>Sonia + human guard (4)>Dave (1)>Medieval Knights (5)>Scientist (1)Do any of the survivors want to participate? Opinions on bringing the Kharbos guy?
>>2181792Sonia, Rhistel Taraman, Jarato Eldal, Valeri Fusaro on horses to infiltrate. The others can remain geared with the buggies in case we need something fast and hard?
>>2181792Is there any reason to keep one of the krath on the ship?
>>2181820>Do any of the survivors want to participate? Not at the moment. They're familiarizing themselves with the expedition weaponry. For now they're ready to help defend the ship and their families. Some may be ready to assist at a later time.>Opinions on bringing the Kharbos guy?Valeri believes he could be valuable but wants him kept far away from you if possible.>>2181857>Is there any reason to keep one of the krath on the ship?Nothing in particular. Just the old "all the eggs in one basket" concern.
>>2181876>krathGuess we should bring the one who is better at infiltration and nows more about neeran and their technology.Can they turn into a fifth horse?
>>2181931>Can they turn into a fifth horse?No, but either of them could take on a form that could allow faster movement. Not something you want the locals spotting though.Team 1 (Scout)Sonia, Rhistel Taraman, Jarato Eldal, Valeri Fusaro (on horses)Team 2 (Buggies?)Dave, Rufaro + guards [B1]Medieval Knights (5)[B2]Guards + additional gear [B3]Team 2 will follow at a safe distance to ensure they stay out of contact. Is this acceptable? Y/N?2) The storms near the suspected transit system locations could interfere with the camo on the LST. Did you want to land as close as possible to try and use the LST's sensors? Just outside the storm radius to cut down on travel time?Or farther away to make doubly sure the ship's approach cant be detected? You'll probably run into more of the natives in the case of the latter.2a) As close as possible2b) Outside the storm2c) Farther away
>>2181939>YLet do it motherfuckers. Sonia gonna cosplay n shit.>2b) Outside the stormWe aren't THAT pressed for time but I'd rather not waste to much of it
>>2181947>>2181950>>2181960And we'll need a tie breaker for question 2.
>>21819392b) Outside the storm
The LST heads in, aiming for just outside the edge of the storm that seems to block one of the regions from detailed sensor scans. On atmospheric entry you notice stronger than usual turbulence for a moment before things smooth out."Reynard to flight, what just happened?""We've lost an engine and the subsequent restart failed. Once your team is down the other LST will have to take over for your extraction.""Any chance we've been detected?""Slim, but non-zero. Engine may have spat out debris before it went offline."https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk5Q7ALNQpc [SotC - The Farthest Land]You pack a communicator and order them to let you know of any signs of enemies investigating after your drop. It's not much but some warning while you're still near the LZ could help. Landing goes off without incident and soon the ship heads off none the worse for the offline engine. "Let's get out of the area as quickly as possible just in case." A few hours later the team stops to rest. So far no signal from the ship indicates increased enemy activity and power on the communicator is running dry. Your scout team it turns out is a slight bit on the inexperienced side when it comes to handling horses. "Nothing like the real thing right?" says Taraman, patting his horse. "I always wanted to try this out at some point but never had the chance with all the wars.""If you're ever in House J-D space you should look up Troy Harmen. He's supposed to be really good." You tell him. "It's too bad I didn't think to invite him along until it was too late.""The ship was a bit full already." Eldal points out.Terrain around the suspected location of the transit system access point looks like it will be a bit rough. There may be additional reasons the Neeran went around. "Why couldnt we tell this from orbit?""Too much interferance."As if to punctuate that point lightning arcs between the clouds and the surface in the distance. "Yeah, right."Taraman points off to the east at a small settlement just within the area darkened by cloud cover. "We could ask the locals, see what they know. We do have trade goods like you wanted."[ ] Avoid the village, head straight in[ ] See what the locals know
>>2182076>[x] See what the locals know
>>2182076[ ] See what the locals knowAlso see if we can get a map. Maybe even a guide? Though I would guess that would be risking to much.
>>2182076>[ ] See what the locals knowTime to show everyone why Sonia is the best at improvising
>>2182076>[x] See what the locals knowIf Taraman knows about the customs or proper interaction with the locals let him lead.
What if Svidur was a caretaker
>>2182189What if we were the Caretakers all along?
>>2182195Everyone would be dead.
You double back and warn the vehicles then decide on a place for them to wait for you. "If we havent heard from you in 5 hours we'll move in on foot to get you." promises Rufaro.Not a lot of time but hopefully enough to learn anything valuable and get out. The four of you look like quite the motley crew arriving in town. Taraman assures you that the clothing is appropriate. "We're going to stand out regardless. This way we should just appear to be travellers from far away."A few guards armed with spears and crossbows halt you at the entrance to town. Taraman works through a few languages until he finds the right one for this area and you're allowed in."It looked like you were having trouble." says Eldal once inside."Most missions into a settlement usually had more time to work out just what languages were common before actual people were sent in. It just took me a moment is all."You soon set about locating merchants to trade with to keep up with your cover. Valeri stays with you while the others split up. Hopefully they wont get themselves into any trouble. While tempted to go full crazy has-anne you keep it dialed back to not leave too much of an impression. Roll 1d100 for frontier merchant skill.
>>2182195The sphere would be mostly covered in oceans and host a civilization of shark people?
Rolled 75 (1d100)>>2182208Time to get scammed by the primitives...
Rolled 97 (1d100)>>2182208Here, take these shiny beads and firewater.
Rolled 24 (1d100)>>2182208Crazy Hassan's Camel Emporium for all your Camel needs!
>>2182216>Here, take these shiny beads and firewater.>97Clearly the beads must come from far away. Or they think they're pulling the same scam on you.
>>2182237>Hah, we traded those worthless diamonds for priceless artifacts>Hah, we traded that ancient stuff somebody found while digging on his farm for priceless jewelsSometimes it works out for both sides.
>>2182237You know what would be hilarious? If we had a book laying out how great the Dominion is, and how to build your own Dominion. Very heavy conquest themes.Then we freeze ourself in a stasis chamber for 1000 years and come back to a Dominion-sphere.
Still here, just trying to figure the next bit out.
>>2182417I'm sure you'll come up with a way for Sonia to safely store the warrel puppy she just acquired.
>>2181740> Guess it's a good thing you brought a few horses for scouting?My suggestion was useful! Thank Heinleins "Tunnel in the Sky" for the idea though.>>2182237> We use these devices to make Greenhouses to grow cash crops out of seasonPersonal energy shields. Locals have no use due to a lack of energy weapons, and instead modulate it to "block" heat transfer while letting light in. Probably used as an engineering tool.And other possible mundane wonders.
>>2182417Sonia falls down the well in the middle of town and discovers it's the maintenance access for some kind of subway?
>>2182466What's that Lassy? You say Sonia fell down a well?
>>2182417Sonia accidentally overpays a trade from a mistranslation and ends up buying herself several wives/husbands.
You manage to pull off the act of a mad merchant with Valeri playing the part of the imposing looking protection. Your inexperience with the language only seems to help play up the idea that your trade goods have come from distant lands. Despite this you keep a sharp eye out for those trying to take advantage of the different values of items. "I've visited hundreds of outposts. I know what these are worth!" "Fine, fine! You mad hag, take them but not one more!" "Good doing business with you."Within two and a half hours you've sold as much of the trade goods as you wanted to and have picked up valuables in return. "Do we have enough local currency to buy a few drinks?" asks Valeri."Probably. Let's meet up with the others." Heading to the main bar near the center of town you see that Eldal has just arrived and your Hune team member has been here for some time. Taraman has fallen back on the time honored tradition of getting people to talk by buying them drinks. He's too busy to break away at the moment to join you so Eldal brings you up to speed on his own investigation."I found records in what may have been the mayors office indicating when Neeran units have passed through the area. They stopped to show the flag, requisitioned supplies and moved on. Locals aren't happy about it.""Can't blame them." says Valeri. "There were regular records dated to before the war of visiting merchants and such but sections of them are missing." "That is because they were visited by caretakers back then." Taraman whispers to the three of you as he sets down a few drinks at your table. "Healers visiting villages were a regular occurrence before the war. Once the Neeran Empire showed up they've all gone missing like we'd heard.""So nothing new?" you ask. "The nearby storms? They also started to appear on a more regular basis after their arrival. Locals think the Empire brought the storms with them, or the healers leaving are because of it.""They may be right." "I also found out there used to be a tower in the direction of the storm, though only a few people have ever seen it. They were a little unclear.""Drunk?""A little drunk yes. It seems like the tower was only there some of the time and then rarely."That sounds like a lead the Neeran wouldn't ignore."How many people know about this?" you ask him."I don't know. A few people went with the Neeran as paid guides but not all of them came back. Since then most people have tried to stay quiet about it or left town if the Neeran were nearby."You're about to ask about other potential leads when you notice a few people nearby that seems to be paying too much attention to Taraman.[ ] "Maybe we should get out of here." (Leave town)[ ] "Let's check a few other places in town."[ ] Wait to see what they do
>>2182649Ask Taraman if he insulted anyones wife on accident. And indirectly inform him people are paying attention to him. If it looks like a fight might be brewing, have one person leave with him and if the group follows him we follow after them and take care of things outside the settlement.
>>2182649If there are other towns near[ ] "Maybe we should get out of here." (Leave town)And we can try another town.Otherwise >>2182657They're probably rebels or something looking to attack the Neeran.
"Taraman, any chance you accidentally insulted anyone's wife while you were asking these questions?""No, why do you ask?""People seem to be paying attention to you and that might not be a good thing."The Hune surreptitiously glances out of the corner of his eye. "That doesn't look good.""Eldal get him out, we'll cover his tab and run interference.""Got it."Leaving some currency on the table Eldal rises and pulls Taraman along with him. "You're drunk. If you're not going to quit I'll dunk you in the watering trough."The scientist gives only halfhearted protests allowing himself to be pulled along back towards the horses. Two people start to move as if to follow then think better of it and return to a nearby table. A few glances are sent your way but less than your departed team members were getting. Finishing your drinks you settle up the bar tab then head for the horses as well."That could have gotten ugly." A few minutes later the four of you are riding out of town towards your rendezvous point. You're just out of sight of the town when Eldal signals you to slow down. "I think a few of the people from the bar may have followed us."[ ] Set up an ambush[ ] Get to the vehicles, worry about them then
>>2182826If It's a small group I say we setup an ambush and find out what they want. We can try and work this out, if they think we are part of the group who scared away the 'healers' and brought about these storms. We can try and diplomance our way out of a fight and maybe get their help in locating the general direction of that tower or any rumors/ legends where the healers came from.As for the ambush itself, have Taraman act as bait with Eldal beside him. The rest of us waiting nearby ready to support until Eldal or Taraman signal us for support or to come out and talk.
>>2182826>[x] Set up an ambush
"How many following?""Hard to say. Less than ten?" "Fine. We set up an ambush."You have Taraman slow down to act as bait while the rest of you ride ahead a short distance to set up a crossfire."I don't like that my body armor isn't nearly as sturdy as yours!" the Hune shouts after you.Four riders appear, quickly moving to catch up with Taraman. As they approach the ambush one of them breaks off causing the others to slow and wonder what is happening. Fortunately they're still close enough and Taraman brings his horse to a stop then draws a sub machine gun and fires a burst into the air. The three closest ones halt while the fourth heads back towards the town."We have you surrounded!" You shout out to the remainder. "What is it you want with our friend?"The riders look every which way trying to determine how many of you are present. "Was asking the wrong sort of questions!" "Are there laws about which questions people can ask here?" you ask."Look, things are bad enough here. That storm cloud has been making things difficult for people in these parts going on ten years now. People asking those sort of questions might be aiming to make things worse for the lot of us. Maybe they don't even know it."That isn't a possibility you considered. "You make a fair point. Taraman?"The Hune glances between the riders and you. "I think they're just being paid to look into anyone interested in the tower.""So what if we are?" says the second rider. "If the pay is right why not?""The hell are you talking about?" demands the first."Nothing.""You selling out to the Neeran?" "People do that, nothing wrong with it."A moment later the second rider has a crossbow bolt sticking out of his neck. The third rider fires another into his chest for good measure."Sorry about that. Looks like we fell in with the wrong crowd.""Look, nothing we do can make that storm worse." Taraman explains. "Then we've got no problem with you unless you go in the bar on even days. Cart's gang don't care for knife ears. Now get outta here, we need to deal with this body."[ ] Get moving[ ] Pay them to keep quiet[ ] Remove the witnessesI'll try to run for a bit tomorrow.
>>2183101They helped us remove an Empire Neeran sympathizer and are willing to take the heat? Or at least deal with the body? Sure give them something as thanks and get going.
>>2183101> [ ] Pay them to keep quiet> Offer to pay them more a significant amount if they can help us with the Tower. Enough to compensate for if we do make things worse by accident.
>>2183101>[ ] Pay them to keep quiet
>>2183101>Pay them to keep quiet and take care of the bodyIf the guy had family throw in a bit for them, the less negative effect we have on this settlement, the better.
>>2183101Need them to keep quiet and not alert the Neeran.
>>2181599>providing a host of offensive and defensive optionsWhen we get back to the ship we should find out if it can help with cloaking teams too.
You toss over a small bag of currency."For your trouble! And for making sure the Neeran don't hear about this.""So you're not with them?""If we were you'd already be dead. Anything else we should know?"Both riders shake their heads. With nothing else to add you depart and link up with the others. Telling them what happened they're certainly ready to get moving as quickly as possible. It isnt until just after nightfall that you stop to rest. Even the usual background light is largely cut off by the clouds above. The next day you catch sight of an abandoned village farther under the area covered by storm. You expect to find it washed out, as there are increasingly frequent bands of showers in the area. Instead it looks like all the buildings have been burned to the ground. "This may be Neeran plasma weapon damage on some of the surviving stonework." Valeri informs you."That explains why some of the locals don't care for them."You spot what are probably human bones scattered here and there, some of them charred. Eldal and Taraman are both looking a bit worried. "I have a bad feeling about this. Maybe we should wait for the vehicles to arrive and stick with them?"[ ] Strength in numbers[ ] We need to be able to provide warning
>>2183788>[x] Strength in numbers"Warrels?"
>>2183808"Warrels?""No signs of tooth marks on the bones." Taraman confirms. "Everything here was burned.""That doesn't rule out more arriving later." Eldal points out.
>>2183788>[ ] Strength in numbersI don't trust this. At all
>>2183788[ ] Strength in numbers
"Let's wait for the vehicles. Strength in numbers."Once the vehicles have arrived you continue on in the direction of the transport system. Navigation is becoming more difficult with reference points becoming obscured by the cloud cover. Even things as basic as a compass are being thrown off. Taraman gets your attention. "I think the compass bearing is off a by a few degrees, though I don't have a solid reference to check it against."The burned village isn't the only place where dead bodies turn up. There are signs of battle as you get into rough terrain. All that's left are skeletons but from a number of species. "I've found bones from dead Warrels, Humans, Gadaran, maybe three or more Neeran." Valeri informs you."How many?" "Many."While the horses rest Taraman and two of your guard unpack the entrenching tools and begin searching for additional remains or clues as to what happened. They find dozens of arrows and crossbow bolts in addition to spears similar to what you saw the people guarding in the village using. Roll 1d20 for salvage!And I have to step out for a bit this afternoon.
I seriously cannot believe how long you've been running this and that you're not out of ideas and plots yet.I started reading the archives back in august, getting through about one thread, maybe two, on the weekdays. The other quests I were reading went on breaks or I caught up on them so I thought this would be something to fill the gap for a month. Ha ha. I just finished the thread where you play as Sonia's mother after Bekka snuck into a military base and found nukes.I won't be playing until I catch up and I don't want any accidental spoilers by waiting for any replies but I needed to say it. It's rare for me to see this level of dedication to a hobby project.
>>2183900Thanks! Hope you're enjoying it.
Rolled 3 (1d20)>>2183898If I had to make a guess the Caretakers have some sort of guardian system or the like around this area which is the cause for all the bodies.Also when you moving this quest to anonkun tstg? I mean the site may not be the best but it's at lest more quest friendly than 4chan
Rolled 13 (1d20)>>2183898I don't expect we'll find anything of value here. Unless we somehow find a buried control panel or a lost map.
Rolled 3 (1d20)>>2183898BONES
>>2183928>moving this quest to anonkun tstg
"Sir! We've found something!"You and the others rush over to see what the scientist and soldiers have dug up. They've assembled quite the collection of a weapons, including depleted Neeran plasma weapons those aren't why you've been called over."What is it?""Maybe you could tell me sir?" Handing over an object slightly larger than fist sized you instantly recognise it. "This is an artifact."You hand it to Dave for inspection and he quickly confirms it. "This should be an E-beam type weapon."Taraman runs back to the vehicles to break out better scanning equipment and connects it to the RTG on one of the buggies. One changed up he conducts a sweep."One other solid contact. Here." Pointing to a spot on the ground your guard set to work digging, unearthing a sword similar to Ilya's. "Nice work. Anything else?"Nothing else seems to be valuable aside from weapons and equipment used by the Neeran Empire. They find a heavy V-shaped shield similar to those resistant to your 20mm specialist rounds. Larger Neeran sized melee weapons as well, though most are different from the curved cleaver like blades you've previously seen. "The rest are a mix of low tech weapons like bows, spears and short swords.""Any idea what killed those Neeran?" you ask the unit medic once they've had a chance to look over the bodies."They were stabbed to death.""What? Really?""By the markings I would say multiple injuries from spears and short swords. Though arrows and bolts may have played a part. Many of the human remains were smashed or burned through with plasma weapons."
>>2184725Well that might recoup some of the cost for this expedition, maybe. May not be a map of the region or an access panel, but still really good. If we come across another settlement, we should introduce the idea of map making to the locals. So that when we come back they'll have some sort of map made.
>>2184725Human tribe with caretaker help tried to resist an Empire invasion?Do we have any equipment that can tell how long the ruins have been there?>E-beam type weapon>Ilya's swordNice loot, are they human or Neeran variants?
"A Human tribe with caretaker help tried to resist an Empire invasion?""Possibly." Is Dave's response. You look to the medic and Taraman."How long have they been dead?""Seven years give or take. There's been a lot of weathering. Probably from the storm activity."You make sure the artifacts are looked over by Dave for any clues before you move on."Are they human or Neeran variants?""They seem to be intended for humans, though the E-beam is missing a suitable interface for a human to actually use at the moment. I might be able to use it with the staff you recovered."Loading up what you can you press on. Weather is worse and it's becoming harder to navigate. "I think the deviation in compass bearing is increasing." Taraman tells you. The horses do not like the current conditions and you're forced to dismount to continue. Ilya dismount from his buggy to help you all break trail."Wishing you'd simply taken another buggy yet?" asks Eldal jokingly."The horses were the right call." you assert. "It would have taken too long to walk into any of the towns."An hour later Rufaro shouts for everyone to stop and waves you back towards the buggy Dave is in."What is it?" you ask."I think we may have gone past it." the Neeran tells you. "One moment. I was trying to shield us from anyone trying to trick us into passing by."A few moments pass then Dave flinches as though hurt."We've been detected!"You have enough time to ask; "By who?" before the Neeran collapses in his seat.Both you and Rufaro curse and the other woman checks his vitals. "He's unconscious.">Your orders?
>>2185125I doubt it's possible to get a message up to the ship in time for support. Maybe we can set up a delayed message that will go off after a set time. In case we encounter Empire Neeran, or if we have somehow triggered an anti-Neeran artifact of some sort. Either way the ship needs to be alerted Dave has been rendered unconscious and there is a possibility we may be discovered by Empire Neeran. In which case if we don't report back to our ship in a decent amount of time, to assume we've been captured and make appropriate plans to continue scanning Neeran free portions of the sphere or to ex-filtrate before they are also discovered as well. While having the appropriate person setup said message. The rest of the ground side party should setup a defensive permiter or try and find a better spot to setup an ambush in case it is Empire Neeran.
>>2185125>I think we may have gone past it.Maybe try remembering that time we were on the Neeran ship trying to get to the computer? There's no walls to blast through this time though. Close our eyes and believe in the power of salvage? We could have everyone hold a piece of string as tightly as possible and try walking backwards and see if anything happens.Do we have the Converter with us?In any case, I agree with >>2185178, let's dig in and prepare for the worst.
>>2185178"Defensive positions!" you order everyone. In the span of a few seconds most of the expedition has taken cover ready to protect against a potential attack.You ask Taraman about signalling the ship or setting up a delayed message."Our current location makes that a bit difficult with the storm coverage blocking retroreflector signals. Linking the RTG's to one of the communicators should let us get a signal to the ship, but there are a lot of enemy ships. They might intercept it.""Anything else?""We do have a backup chemical laser boosted light signal but it will burn out in one use. Also, scattering off these clouds? Again, a good chance of the enemy detecting it. Mind you they might not be looking for it"Well you have options at least.>>2185247>Close our eyes and believe in the power of salvage? Nothing happens but it was worth a shot.>We could have everyone hold a piece of string as tightly as possible and try walking backwards and see if anything happens.Considering making use of rope carried by the vehicles you recall previous experiments while aboard the neeran city ship. That could take a long tiem however given the amount of ground you've covered and might leave the team vulnerable to attack. Best to check your other options first.>Do we have the Converter with us?You have Rufaro break out the Converter and toss it to you. "Let's see what we can see." Thinking back to your other times using the device you get your mind into the right state to make use of it. Looking? Seeing past things? No, intercepting and converting. Partially into something you can see or sense.You can feel the device picking up more incoming energy as you move closer to Dave until it's as though you've stepped into a wind tunnel."Holy shit!" "Sir are you ok?" asks Rufaro, obviously not perceiving anything. "There's... hang on." you manage to get out. Doing like you'd been shown previously against Neeran infiltrators you do what you can to turn back or counter the incoming flow. You're only barely starting to turn it aside when it stops without warning. Dave immediately regains consciousness and looks to the artifact in your hand."Would you please let me borrow that?"[ ] Sure.[ ] No.[ ] Ask Ilya for his.
>>2185502I'm not sure which option Taraman gave us is better. Since they both risk the Empire Neeran detecting it. But we do need to get a message out that... oh, he's awake now.Lend him the converter, but also ask if he can do the link thing. So we can see what he sees. Unless that is only for thoughts.
>>2185502Supporting this >>2185533
>>2185502>[ ] Sure.The image of Sonia holding a bunch of tangled Christmas lights and thinking "I bet the Neeran did this" will forever be appropriate.>SignalBetter have Taraman get the signal booster set up, just in case.
>>2185502Wait, what if some commando transmitted his personality onto Dave? I just don't know with these guys anymore, someone keep a gun on him just in case.
>>2185582>The image of Sonia holding a bunch of tangled Christmas lights and thinking "I bet the Neeran did this" will forever be appropriate.Normally it's "I bet the Terrans did this."
"Uh, sure. I'll want that back later though."You turn and whisper to Rufaro. "Keep a gun on him in case he starts acting weird. I don't want any Commando mind games.""Got it."Next you talk to Taraman about making sure that signal laser is ready if things go to hell. He promises he can have it deployed in a few seconds once asked for."I don't know if I can put much of a delay on it through."Once Dave has had a minute he calls you and Ilya over."I think we're close. It shouldn't happen again but if I pass out I'll need one of you to protect me with your convertor."Both of you agree, the other Knight drawing his sword. "Finally a chance to show what I'm capable of. I'll protect you wizard, for to a valiant heart, nothing is impossible!"You give Ilya a sidelong glance. "What's that about?""Oh, Doctor Alam translated the inscription on the sword. The other side is a phrase about always striking true."Well okay then."Any chance I can see what you're seeing like before?" you ask Dave. The Neeran thinks it over. "That might be unwise. I don't want to split my attention, especially now that I'm certain we've been detected.""By the Empire?""No."Climbing out of the vehicle he points off to the side of the trail you were following. "This way."It looks a little too rough for the buggies to follow. Did you want to leave them here or try to find a way to circle around with them?[ ] Leave the buggies here[ ] Leave them here + small guard[ ] Try to circle around
>>2185748Ask Dave if we leave a small guard here if he will be able to keep them hidden. If so then leave a guard detail with the buggies.If not, then remove necessary items from the buggies to make sure they don't get tampered with or stolen without the missing parts being present. Such as a battery or a wire connector here or there. Maybe even a the lug nuts from the wheels. (Or the in universe equivalent that keeps the wheels on the axle.)
>>2185748>[ ] Leave them here + small guard
>>2185748>[x] Try to circle around>>2185748>I'll protect you wizard, for to a valiant heart, nothing is impossible!I love this guy.
>>2185771>Ask Dave if we leave a small guard here if he will be able to keep them hidden. "I don't believe it will be necessary. Between the storm, the lack of any enemy units nearby and the local... problems, I think anyone remaining here should be okay."
I wasn't planning to continue tomorrow but I'll see about making a few posts at the very least. Stopping for tonight.
>>2185901Then I will go with[ ] Leave them here + small guard
What are we gonna do if the caretakers are just outright hostile? I vote for comandeering the whole place and turning it into a battlestation.
>>2184725>Many of the human remains were smashed or burned through with plasma weaponsDo the plasma weapons show modifications that allow to circumvent the sphere's energy drain?
>>2186609This place would make for a nice capital for our own house.
>>2186609I don't think the caretakers are inherently hostile. But I'd be pissed to if some upstarts started poking around in my giant space ball with super cool tech far beyond anything any other race has. And they also began to interfere in my science project without asking permission.But yeah, we should definitely make this place ours for House Reynard.Also, in before this place creates in universe equivalent to omega particles from Star Trek.
>>2186624>>2186632If the keepers are nice I'd hate to take the sphere from them... maybe we can get the construction methods and plans for this thing?We'd build our own dyson sphere, with blackjack. And sharks!
Dave asks Velari and one of the others load up with rope and cable."We should remain connected so we don't get separated. I cant promise I'll be able to protect everyone from illusions. Or even myself.""Is that going to be dangerous?" you ask."Please stop me if I try to walk off a cliff."Oh.You ask Ilya to have one of his knights remain here with the vehicles along with three of your men. "Stay hidden." You tell those remaining behind. "We'll try to make contact once we've reached the transit system.""How long should we wait for you sir? Our supplies will only last a few weeks and we'll have to travel for a day to make contact with the ship."[ ] A few days[ ] A week[ ] As long as you can[ ] Custom
artifact power armor
>>2186702Ooh tricky.How much more time do we have before we have to get outside the storm to signal the ship? I want to say have them wait a week for us.
>>2186702>[ ] A weekAnd stash some of the supplies away so our group will at least be able to make it back to the village from here.
>>2186702>[ ] A week
>>2186702>[X] A week
>>2186702>We should remain connected so we don't get separated. I cant promise I'll be able to protect everyone from illusions. Or even myself.If we're walking with a line attached maybe Sonia should be at the front to show she's leading the deployment? The keeper Neeran probably figured we were a group from the empire with client races. They stopped psi-blasting when we used the converter so they must have some way of determining what's going on.
"If we're not back in a week stash some supplies for us nearby then get back to the ship."With that the group heads out on foot. Dave seems overly cautious, moving forward slowly. It takes some encouragement on your part to get him to pick up the pace.After a half hour on the move a concern springs to mind. "Should I lead? No offense but I don't think we want them getting the idea this is a Neeran lead expedition."Dave thinks it over. "You have a point, but it's too late for that.""Why?""You already used the converter. Anyone from the Empire would never let a device like that out of Neeran hands.""Never?""It's highly unlikely."You march on in silence for another hour. The terrain would be difficult though not impossible for vehicles or horses to cross. "How are we doing?" "We're effectively cutting through the walls of a maze. I dont think whoever is holding it in place will be happy about that." "A maze?""A Labyrinth. I believe it's a second layer of defense meant to slow us down, further trick or confuse us until we head out the other side." >Cont.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVtbt_wgUpI [Record Of Lodoss War - Prologue]You check with Taraman who has been keeping close watch of his compass. "The paths of this maze are further increasing compass deviation depending on which way we move. We must be getting close."Lightning in the clouds above is frequent enough that little illumination is needed. Most of the bolts seem to be cloud to cloud, with few striking the ground, and those that do being farther away.Your hair begins to stand on end and for a moment you worry you'll be struck by lightning. A few steps later and the static dissipates. Dave stops once everyone has passed through the area of static."We're here."Looking around you don't see anything aside from the usual harsh terrain and a few standing pools of water. The wind here is calm and much of the sound of the surrounding storm is quiet, but you can clearly see that beyond the storm continues unabated. "Scanner?" "Battery is dead."The lot of you trade glances, uncertain how best to proceed. "Spread out, but maintain visual contact. We don't want to wander too far and get lost again."Dave begins following the outer "wall" of this safe area, his movement soon tracing the outside of a circle. If that's the case it's easily a good 50 meters across. "How big did people say that tower was they could see from the village?""They didnt say, just that it was thin and tall."Progress you guess.You head over to Eldal who is paying close attention to a few of the small ponds in the area. Reaching in he begins to feel around the bottom. "Found something?" "Yes. The bottom of this pond is an artificial construction. I can feel the edge of several panels forming a circle."You get everyone's attention and wave them over. Eldal describes what he found then asks to look through the map artifact. Flipping through the metal plates he pages through it once then back to the second. Stopping at a circle you'd taken to be a large indistinct diagram of the sphere he points to a marker just off the side of it."I think I've got it."Reaching back into the water Eldal searches the edges until you hear a mechanical CLUNK noise. The pond's water level drops revealing a hidden circular staircase descending into the ground.[ ] Weapons at the ready[ ] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peace
>>2187208>[ ] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peace
>>2187208>[ ] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peaceDoes Dave know about some ancient Neeran equivalent to the white flag?
>>2187208>[x] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peace"Knock-knock!"
>>2187208>[ ] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peaceTime to not mess up. Get your diplomacy hats out ya'll
>>2187208> [ ] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peace
Do items in stasis containers suffer energy drain at the same rate or does the stasis field reduce it?
>>2187208[ ] Keep weapons lowered, we come in peace
Is there anything you wanted for Christmas tstg?
You signal for two people to lead the way down the stairs with you behind them."Keep your weapons lowered people, we come in peace. Dave, any chance there's some ancient Neeran equivalent to a white flag?""I could drop all of my defenses and shielding. Which I don't recommend, it would be a really bad idea.""Well we may have to consider it."The staircase descends into an open space and each of you break out a combination of chemical battery powered flashlights and flares. Light reflects off silvery white metal. It seems to be a circular room somewhat smaller than the area above. There are markings on the floor ceiling and walls that you would guess indicate sections that can be moved or retracted to reconfigure the space. "Does anyone else get the impression we're not supposed to be here?" Rufaro mutters.You ignore the question and look back to Dave. "Any of this look familiar?""No. Not at first glance. There may be more in your map but it's difficult to read." Taraman takes interest in circular markings on the outer wall that he takes to be doorways. There don't seem to be any way to open them however.Valeri and Eldal call you over to look at a section of floor. It seems like they've found another set of retractable stairs running along a stretch of the room's outer wall. "I think these will go a lot deeper." Eldal presses an equivalent switch to what the previous stairs used before you have a chance to tell them to wait. Behind you the smaller circular staircase retracts back into the ceiling sealing the way you came in. "Shit... Eldal, why did you do that?" you ask."Weren't you about to?" Eldal wonders."Yes, but I would have warned everyone else first and maybe given our experts time to object."Looking at the ceiling there doesn't seem to be any way to reopen the stairs above. Looks like the only way out now is down. Wonderful.
"Any chance a communicator could get through this material?" Nobody seems to be sure. The only thing you have are a couple of chemical battery powered radios and they're not likely to get through most metal.Following the new set of stairs you find that they lead down to another similar level, this one lacking any wall markings. Another matching set of stairs on the other side continue to lead ever downward. Things repeat in much the same pattern as you descend through several more levels, though each one has better lighting.The silver metal in these sections is almost pure white, looking more like granite in places. Aside from this each level is nearly featureless. It would be easy for these to blend together for anyone not keeping track. On the eighth level down the stairs fail to retract like those above. "Dave, Eldal, take a look." you wave them forward. Just as they get near it the lights go out and a series of heavy metallic noises you usually associate with emergency bulkheads echoes through the room. There's barely time for everyone to start turning their flashlights back on before lighting in the room returns."Sir? Company."Standing in the center of the room where there had previously been nothing are at least twenty humans forming a shield wall backed up by others wielding an array of exotic looking weapons. Four much older and taller looking men dressed in grey and white stand behind them. Their scale easily give them away as Neeran, merely appearing in human form. The center most of the four leans forward before speaking. "A Neeran taking orders from a Human. Will wonders never cease?I would ask that you drop your weapons." Glancing about you try to assess how much of a threat they actually pose. You spot at least two humans with weapons that must be equivalent to your lightning gauntlet. The shields are all quite obviously the same as Ilya's. Which means nothing in your current arsenal will be able to penetrate them.>Your orders?
I have work tomorrow so I will be resuming Monday!
>>2188679I don't remember the description for Empire Neeran. Maybe ask Dave if these are with the Empire Neeran or if they are the care takers? So we know how to proceed. Because if they're the caretakers or at least people who work for/ with the caretakers. We can hopefully work with them and get any trust issues out of the way.And of course, if they are Empire Neeran we can start praying to the salvage gods that we don't get murderized.Either way we are seriously out gunned here. I don't want to fight, just yet.
>>2188679"Wondering why you'd want us to drop them when we both know one side is outgunned, and before we've made any proper introductions."
>>2188679"I much prefer to keep them, despite how outgunned we currently are. Also I would like to note that we are infact NOT working with the Neeran Empire so no need to murder us all over that. That aside, I am Sonia and have you seen a Wizard around these part? Arrived about 10 or so years ago. I would very much like to meet him again."Just try to keep any of our guys from doing anything stupid. We are heavily outgunned as it is so there is no point trying to fight them or the like.
>>2188679> I would ask the same thing. I mean. We clearly aren't fighting our way out of here, so if we're going to be friends then there's no reason for you to be aiming at us.> We're looking for a Neeran. Svidur. We owe him a rescue.
>>2188679"Since we're not dead I'll assume you're the ones the people on the surface call the healers.""We have a lot to discuss. Starting with who we are and why we're here. I am Viscount Sonia Reynard, commander of this small group assembled by the Factions Alliance."
>>2188679>I would ask that you drop your weapons."Considering you have superior equipment and numbers, is that really necessary? It should be clear that we are not interested in any kind of armed conflict with the caretakers."If they insist on it, drop only what's not a relic or artifact weapon.
Happy New Year, friends.
Happy new year!
Happy new years to all the anons here and hurray for making it to year seven of this enjoyable quest.
>>2179769Happy new years tstg! Heres to another year of the dominion!
>>2188684Happy New Year!
Happy New Year, everybody!
"Let's everyone keep calm." You say mostly to your own people, then turn your attention back."Considering you have superior equipment and numbers, is that really necessary? I much prefer to keep them since we both know who would win in a fight, and its not us."The leading Neeran glances your your people, who are doing as ordered and trying to not look provocative. Looking back at you he speaks up again."Tell me, if an intruder broke into your home would you allow them to remain armed? No matter how badly they might be out gunned?"[ ] You may have a point there[ ] There are times for exceptions
>>2191537>[ ] You may have a point there"To be fair I would have already stunned them for interrogation. Non the less that's no way to go about it with your sort of kind of allies. So how about we all lower our weapons and talk this over. I'll start. I would like to break the Neeran Empires grip on this part of space and end their examination of the Dyson Sphere. Your turn."
>>2191537"If you promise to return our weapons either to us when we leave or, if that should prove impossible for any reason, to the next representative of the Factions Alliance or any succeeding organization that you can establish contact with.">[ ] You may have a point there
>>2191537[ ] You may have a point there
>>2191537>[ ] There are times for exceptions"Not like we had any other way to find you. Wouldn't let my home get surrounded by a bunch of hostiles either."
>>2191537>[ ] There are times for exceptions> Not sure that it's YOUR home, as opposed to being some Isolationists. We did run into some of their spies earlier.> Besides, this is Politics, not a dinner party. Not that the two of those are mutually exclusive. A meal would be nice actually. > We'll put our guns down if you will, though. Otherwise, if you insist on seeing us as just "intruders" then we'll have to remain "armed intruders" since that gives you incentive to just let us leave instead of trying to kill us.
>>2191537> We would prefer to be thought of as "surprise guests". We even came with some family.
"You may have a point there." You admit. "Though to be fair, in your place I would have already stunned them for interrogation. It looks like you guys don't have weapons with much in the way of stun settings. So how about we all lower our weapons and talk this over."The wizardly looking Neeran bows. "I agree that would be a good starting point."You gesture for everyone to stand down. On the opposite side of the room many of the humans do the same, though the protective shield wall remains in place. You exhale a breath you didn't realise you'd been holding."That's a good first step. If you promise to return our weapons when we leave, we'll continue to cooperate."The four Neeran trade glances, silently communicating."That can be arranged. Provided you and your people conduct yourselves with some civility you'll be unharmed and effects returned to you once you depart.">Agree to these conditions? Y/N?More text to follow based on previous posts by anons.
>>2191726> YIf necessary we can always take their weapons. They're better, anyways.
>>2191733>>2191726Also, we aren't really interested in fighting MORE Neeran. The opposite if possible.
>>2191726This is sensible, agreed.
>>2191726DaI mean how can we not. He is being nice.
>>2191726One question for Sam - are these guys actually real or just illusions?
>>2191769And by Sam I actually mean Dave. Just asking because we were warned to be wary about mind tricks.
My headache has been getting progressively worse today so it looks like I may have to stop for a bit. Will update on twitter when I resume.
>>2191890Get well soon, TSTG.
>>2191890Did you ever find out what was causing them or get a remedy?
>>2191890Git gud @ life soon please.
>>2192452I realized there were 2 things. 1, that I'd eaten something yesterday and didn't find out until afterwards that it had soy in it. And 2, there is a giant high pressure system moving across north america, which on its own would give me migraines.
>>2193677You are the anti-soyboy
>>2194058He probably already had near-critical levels in his system from watching Soy Wars. The food just tipped everything over.
Had a thought. What if the Dyson sphere is a project to evolve the ultimate biological specimen? The Neeran are pretty hot shit with their wizard powers, which is why they've been tasked to ensure the operation goes smoothly. With the power drain system active, any species caught on the surface could only develop biologically instead of technologically.
>>2194339Sounds like an idea that needs a whole lot of plot holes plugged.
>>2194657[spoilers] Species 8472 from Star Trek and Vong from Star Wars EU pre mouse. Come to mind.[/spoiler]
>>2194667Kind of just proves >>2194657 criticism to be accurate.
>>2194339Reminder this story arc was either to be called Eye of the Storm or The Last Sanctum. So obviously the Sphere is a sanctum for species to survive a catastrophe from ages past/spoiler]
"We agree to your terms." Slowly and carefully you disarm, placing the weapons on the ground. A few of the humans step out from behind the shield wall to collect them. Firearms are neatly organised and set aside. They make a point of leaving Ilya's artifact weapon and shield, though they take the weapons you found at the nearby battle site.Your gauntlet is taken to be inspected by the four Neeran."Dave? Are these guys actually real or just illusions?""Real. Those of our species from the Empire seem to be limited to removing their presence from someone's perception. Tricking them into thinking they're not there. Most Isolationists can't do that, but we can alter our appearance."You recall your first encounter with Svidur. Appearing in the form of an old man with a long beard, dressed in robes and leaning on a staff for support. He was little different from those four here, though much much older looking."You can't make yourselves invisible?" "I've never tried, but according to others that knowledge is lost to us. Just like some of what we know is lost to the Empire. Or so it's said."With all the weapons collected the human soldiers stand and retract their shields, then step aside. One of the Neeran return your Lightning Gauntlet. "If all of you could step onto the central platform we shall find a better place to discuss your business here."You don't see a platform but the other humans spread out into a circle in the center of the room obviously marking its edges. Nodding at the others to do as he says you step forward and crowd the central area. The sound of ringing metal echoes through the room and then the platform begins moving. First descending then ascending, you're not really sure where exactly you've been taken. When the lift stops a circular doorway is open with more guards waiting for you. The room beyond seems to be part of a larger structure surrounding to tower you'd been making your way down. Its ceiling slopes upwards towards the tower itself, with thin vaulted supports at regular intervals. A few humans and perhaps one or two more Neeran can be seen off in side chambers. Eventually you arrive in a hall where many sturdy looking tables and chairs are present. One of the humans asks that all of you be seated. "You've doubtless had a long journey to get here. Food and drink will be brought shortly."As much as you'd like to say that this is Politics not a dinner party, a meal would be nice.>Cont.
Once you've all been seated the leader of the Neeran group addresses you all. "You may call me Einridi. You no doubt have many questions, especially that one." He gestures in the direction of Taraman."We are the ones you would refer to as caretakers of the Sphere. We watch over the various species that have been seeded here. We help to prevent the uncontrolled spread of disease, assist with healing and encourage finding peaceful settlement of disputes. When possible we also try to protect them, and the sphere, from greater threats.""When possible." you repeat. "In your position I wouldn't have let my home get surrounded by a bunch of hostiles like the Neeran Empire.""And you are?" Einridi asks."If we're continuing proper introductions; I am Viscount Sonia Reynard, commander of this small group assembled by the Factions Alliance. I would like to break the Neeran Empires grip on this part of space and end their examination of the Dyson Sphere.""Indeed? No small task." "We're also looking for a Neeran by the name of Svidur. We owe him a rescue."At this Einridi seems troubled. "I do not personally know this person you search for but from their name alone I know their type. They would not wait as those of us are, but would be out there among the stars. It is unlikely you will find them here alive. Did this Svidur have no apprentice?"Dave speaks up. "Baldur was Svidur's apprentice. He leads those of us who help the Factions Alliance fight the Empire.""Then you should speak to Baldur. Surely he carries their remaining memories?""He does not." Dave answers.Einridi does not look at all pleased with this news. "I see. That would be distressing." The older Neeran appears deep in thought for a few moments then rises from their seat."Please, eat, I shall return with information that could be of help to you.">Questions for Einridi once he returns?
>>2195283A few questions from me.A shot in the dark here. But shouldn't a giant investment such as this sphere also have a self defense system to negate any hostile presence within or outside it? Or did the know how on how to operate such technology become lost to time?Also, would they be willing to spare/ share any technology from the sphere that we can take back to the Factions Alliance. So that we can have an edge against the Empire Neeran and force them from this place.Also a map, my kingdom for map! Not just a topological map, a map that leads us to places where either we or future groups may use to study parts of the sphere. Oh, and if there is some sort of secret entrance/ exit to the sphere so we can leave without alerting the entire Neeran armada that we've gotten past them.Also, do they have any idea what the Empire Neeran are looking for? I know the control center is one such place, but that cannot be all they are looking for. And what about the Neeran Commander who was supposedly so engrossed with this sphere that he made this his forward command center.
>>2195283We were told the Neeran arrived at this sphere and became the new caretakers 80000 years ago. What happened to their society since then? If they were able to travel through space back then, why aren't they far beyond the other races in their development?What happened to the original builder and previous caretakers?Could they help with the memories locked away in the commando we captured?Are they still collecting new species for the sphere?
>>2195283How do we reach the control room?I think we should stress that we're an infiltration team and have very limited direct combat ability. Out ship is built for evasion and I truly doubt there's anything we can do against the Heavy cruisers in orbit.
>>2195283Why did they not succeed in settling the dispute between the other two Neeran factions this time?
You've thought up a few questions during dinner and are prepared once Einridi returns."It seems that the Empire does not yet seem to have noticed your approach. Be aware that despite this your continued presence endangers everyone in this tower.""We did everything we could to minimize that risk." You explain. "They wont find our ship easily.""Hopefully it's a better design than the last few to attempt scouting the sphere."The Alliance has had some trouble with scout ships sent to investigate the area. Not wasting any time you begin to ask your questions, starting with the sphere's defenses.>But shouldn't a giant investment such as this sphere also have a self defense system to negate any hostile presence within or outside it? "Attempting to actively resist the large Neeran fleet that first appeared would have only served to incite them. Yes we might have caused considerable damage to them but ultimately it would have cost the lives of trillions. They would have located elements of the defense and transit systems and gained control of them. It is questionable if the sphere's structure would have survived such an assault. Through passive resistance the Neeran fleet here has been greatly reduced. With seemingly no enemy to fight and little progress gained, elements have been stripped away and sent to other fronts. Their fleet commander's status within the Neeran Empire has diminished as a result.""Why haven't they reassigned this commander?" Valeri asks.Dave catches on. "They're still too powerful to remove from command. It would be like trying to strip a Duke of their power in your Dominion."Einridi nods. "Indeed. We believe this commander has committed everything to this endeavour. If it fails they may lose everything."They don't seem as concerned about this as you'd expect. There's something else going on with this commander they're not telling you. However isn't exactly a shortage of other questions to ask so you'll have to come back to it.
>would they be willing to spare/ share any technology from the sphere that we can take back to the Factions Alliance. So that we can have an edge against the Empire Neeran and force them from this place."That is entirely dependent upon you. We do not make gifts to organizations but rather individuals that have proven themselves worthy."He looks to Ilya. "This one may have inherited these gifts but they seem suited enough to wield them."Einridi's gaze shifts back to you. "You however may have been given far too much. It remains to be seen if that was a mistake on someone's part.">Also a map, my kingdom for map! Not just a topological map, a map that leads us to places where either we or future groups may use to study parts of the sphere. "I'm sure your Exploration Sciences Foundation would have very much enjoyed having such a map a few centuries ago. It's fortunate we did not provide one or the Neeran Empire would now possess it."Oh."Perhaps at a time in the future?""Possible. If your Alliance wins the war we may be willing to entertain representatives, though it would need to be discussed with the other caretakers. That would take a few decades of discussion. One of the reasons we believe our species was selected to become caretakers of the sphere is our longevity.">Oh, and if there is some sort of secret entrance/ exit to the sphere so we can leave without alerting the entire Neeran armada that we've gotten past them."I do not know. I will pass on a request to find your ship a quiet means of exit.">do they have any idea what the Empire Neeran are looking for? I know the control center is one such place, but that cannot be all they are looking for. "Everything, anything. There may be weapons and defenses far beyond that which the sphere could safely use. Ones the Empire would not hesitate to deploy elsewhere. I have seen only a fraction of this place in my lifetime and it is terrifying to think what might lie buried."
>We were told the Neeran arrived at this sphere and became the new caretakers 80000 years ago. "Correct.">What happened to their society since then? If they were able to travel through space back then, why aren't they far beyond the other races in their development?"Here we are caretakers of this place and its people. Most of us have followed a path giving up personal possessions and striving towards improving ourselves in addition to our duties. Many choose to seek enlightenment."Taraman is hastily scribbling notes with a pen and paper he brought along."As for our technological development, I cannot speak for those in the world outside. While we have striven to understand the technologies that make up this place we have no real desire to move beyond them. Despite this some of our people do conduct research, though I cannot say to what extent." >What happened to the original builder and previous caretakers?"We do not know for certain who the builders were. The beings that asked us to take on our role were able to communicate with us but not the other species they had encountered. They instructed our ancestors in what was necessary to maintain the sphere and requested that we look after the species within.">Are they still collecting new species for the sphere?"As a whole we have not actively set out to look for new species to add to the sphere. Despite this a few individuals have occasionally gone looking for others in danger of being rendered extinct. This does not happen often. It's an incredible undertaking to establish a suitable biosphere in one of the incomplete areas. I have not seen it in my lifetime, but the humans sectors are of a more recent addition.""How recent?" asks Taraman.Einridi glances at the Hune then deliberately back to you. "3500 years ago we allowed a fleet of Human refugees to disembark. The Hune had given them the choice to flee or perish."
Taraman soon realises that the others, both the locals and those in your unit, are paying him a little too much attention for his liking. >Could they help with the memories locked away in the commando we captured?"You have a captured soldier and they haven't given away your position yet?""Not yet."One of the younger looking caretakers excuses himself and quickly departs, nearly breaking into a run. That's... probably for an entirely unrelated reason to your conversation."We uh, we have them in stasis." you assure the remainder.>How do we reach the control room?"It is far too dangerous to allow you into the control areas of the sphere. Just getting there would require activating the transit system which would run the risk of being detected.">I think we should stress that we're an infiltration team and have very limited (ship to ship) combat ability."I suspect you would have attacked already if you had the firepower to destroy them. Especially knowing the larger warships cannot enter the sphere.">Why did they not succeed in settling the dispute between the other two Neeran factions this time?"The Empire never really stopped looking for the Isolationists. They just stopped caring as much about them once they were far enough away to no longer be considered a threat.""The Faction Wars changed that." says Dave. "We sent ships all the way to the Centri Cluster. Suddenly it looked like we were a threat again.""The young one is correct."Wait, young one?"How old are you?""I am a mere 800 of your years old. Through meditation and training those of us on the sphere can extend our lives nearly twice as long as our kin elsewhere."According to the database Neeran from the Empire and the Republic can live to be a thousand. Stopping here for tonight as I need to be at work early. I'll resume later tomorrow.
>>2195625>>2195797>>2195800>>2195896THINGS!>Attempting to actively resist the large Neeran fleet that first appeared would have only served to incite them. Yes we might have caused considerable damage to them but ultimately it would have cost the lives of trillions. They would have located elements of the defense and transit systems and gained control of them. It is questionable if the sphere's structure would have survived such an assault. That makes sense in a way. Better to make them think there is a huge target that will fight back and force them to draw a huge force for a big battle that never comes. And then slowly bore them with no active retaliation. Well, at least we have a comparitive idea to why there is still such a large pressence of Empire Neeran here instead of on the front lines.>"That is entirely dependent upon you. We do not make gifts to organizations but rather individuals that have proven themselves worthy."Then is there a means by which we can prove we are worthy? If we have time enough to do so. Or at least a means to show them that Svidur made a smart investment in us by giving us so much to assauge their fears of us being given so much?>"Possible. If your Alliance wins the war we may be willing to entertain representatives, though it would need to be discussed with the other caretakers. That would take a few decades of discussion. One of the reasons we believe our species was selected to become caretakers of the sphere is our longevity."Progress towardsa the future! Now to make Sonia immortal so we can salvage the sphere of all its sweet loot in the distant future! I mean, share all this amazing tech with the other factions, yeah that's it.>Einridi glances at the Hune then deliberately back to you. "3500 years ago we allowed a fleet of Human refugees to disembark. The Hune had given them the choice to flee or perish."I get that may be a sensitive subject for some. But that is not here and now. The Factions Alliance and ending the war with the Empire Neeran is more important then something that happened that long ago. If anything the diplomats and historians have already worked that out and we can let it go. Not to mention, the Alliance has placed faith in us leading a multispecies crew on a dangerous mission competently. And if they weren't sure about our capabilities they wouldn't have given us some the resources that we have now. So... what? Ignoring and moving on, let historians and diplomats worry about that piece of information.Q&A Session with Einridi is fun. I wonder how long we have to ask him questions, before he asks us questions. As I am certain he'd like to question us as well.We should definitly see about getting a small sphere guardian or defense system and taking it home with us for study.
>dude just wait for the empire to leave>just hide for years >everything will be fineAre these guys dumb? What if we don't win the war at all and the empire occupies this place for another ten years. It's surely just a matter of time until they find some way in and pillage the place then go back to stomping the FA with some new gizmos.I'm inclined to tip the empire if only to force these nu-isolationists to actually do something.
>>2195283>We help to prevent the uncontrolled spread of disease, assist with healingWould they be willing to share so medicinal tech or expertise?>and encourage finding peaceful settlement of disputesCould we get a few of them to accompany the Kythera task force?>>2195800>They instructed our ancestors Are they still around?>We do not know for certain who the builders wereHave they explored 100% of the sphere or are there areas even they are locked out of?>3500 years ago we allowed a fleet of Human refugees to disembarkDid they keep any of the ships around, or at least record their historic data.>The Hune had given them the choice to flee or perishDo they have the evil space porcupines the republic killed off stashed away somewhere?>"You have a captured soldier and they haven't given away your position yet?">One of the younger looking caretakers excuses himself and quickly departs, nearly breaking into a runWe should probably give them more details on the whole situation. How the guy is in stasis and driving insane by all those memories he looted.
>>2195800>Incomplete areasCan we have one of these? Also, would they be willing to provide us with a few DNA samples from the local hune population for the republic?
>>2195797>"You however may have been given far too much. It remains to be seen if that was a mistake on someone's part."Sure, that's a pretty reasonable point. Svidur DID leave us a lot of stuff, but I think we've been more than fair with all the items.We've given most of them to the FA for study, and if we didn't have the Convertor or Gauntlet I doubt we'd be here today. The gauntlet especially during the Nanite attack.What exactly would they have wanted done with them?
>>2195896What is their plan to kick out the Empire, besides waiting that is? Cause we can't guarantee that we will manage to push them back quick enough keep them from discovering the Spheres secrets. Nor can they guarantee that hiding will keep them from finding stuff.Way I see it we should work on damaging the standing of the Neeran commander if possible. Seeing as he has been here for a while and lost fleet assets due to his lack of progress. If we find some way to humiliate him or stall him further he may lose further assets and in turn limit the personal he has access to to search the sphere.
>>2196658>Svidur DID leave us a lot of stuff, but I think we've been more than fair with all the items.To be fair, Sonia also played an important part in preventing that super from being rammed into the republic capital world which probably saved at least a couple billion lives. That should earn you at least earn you three artifacts and 5 to 10 loot boxes with a chance for even more artifacts in them.
>>2196679Subscribe to TSTG patreon to grant Sonia a new lootbox for every 20$ contributed
>>2196693Have a chance to win your own super rare capital with many other exciting rare and uncommon technologies yet to be seen!
>>2195896One thing we've completely forgotten about so far are proper introductions. We have several knights of Jerik-Dremine, multiple representatives of a knightly order, one of the few Neeran Isolationist actively involved in the fighting, and one of the most esteemed and brave scholars of the dyson sphere research society with us. Einridi stated their culture is heavily invested in self-improvement, and considering how everybody with us had to actually work for their position, the people with this expedition should make a decent impression in that regard. Can we get one of these yoga classes that doubles your lifespan while we're here?
>>2195896> What qualifies as "proving worthy" for gifts?> What kind of resolution with the Isolationists do you think preferable, and what do you think is possible.> What if any interest do you have with establishing diplomatic relations with civilizations outside the Sphere (IE, the cold ones).> What kind, if any, interaction do you have with the Krath?> What actions do you consider inexcusable inside the Sphere, that we might avoid them.> When are we supposed to rub blue mud on our bellies, and when do we make sure we don't? IE, social conventions.
>>2196373>Would they be willing to share so medicinal tech or expertise?"It is my understanding that efforts are already underway to make some of our medical technology available to humans and other species. Unfortunately I imagine you would not find the timescale agreeable. This is a complicated process as you are no doubt aware.">Could we get a few of them to accompany the Kythera task force?"I could ask if any are interested but we are rather busy at the moment.">Are they still around?"We have not had contact with the previous caretakers for some time. We have been less concerned with finding the previous ones then looking for potential successors.""Why would you do that?" asks Dave. "You said yourself that Neeran abilities make our people ideally suited to this job.""Because all things end. Even us. If we are successful in protecting this place eventually a time will come for us to leave. It may be tens or even hundreds of thousands of years, but that is no reason to wait until the last moment.">Have they explored 100% of the sphere or are there areas even they are locked out of?"I believe our people have explored a majority of the sphere. There are areas containing secrets only a few know about and I am not among their number.">Human refugees>Did they keep any of the ships around, or at least record their historic data."They chose to disassemble their ships. I believe they built libraries to preserve some of their records, though I do not know if they kept other archives.">Do they have the evil space porcupines the republic killed off stashed away somewhere?Taraman raises his hand."Actually I think the foundation did find some of them. It nearly caused a diplomatic incident.">>2196203How did you want to phrase that to them?That you have concerns, or just be as blunt as possible?Or maybe like this? >>2196670
>>2197748Go with what >>2196670 suggested.
>>2197748You dropped this> That slow typing guy !!TkYrLPIOhL0
>>2197748I would additionally like to mention that the Empire is more competent militarily than these guys. They've been fighting wars and conquering for god knows how long.As such, it's entirely foreseeable that if we begin to push them back, when it comes time to retake the sphere and the surrounding space, they'll practice a scorched earth policy to simply deny us from every holding the Sphere again.
>>2197748I'd prefer a diplomatic approach.
Challenge the Neeran to a duel.
>>2197929Nah they aren't "more competent at war" so much as "your entire strategy relies on them having more important fights outside the Sphere".So if they want it to stay that way, they should look at making sure we can continue to pressure them enough to not put more resources into the Sphere.Because nobody wants to have a war on their own territory.
Rolled 99 (1d100)>>2196988>One thing we've completely forgotten about so far are proper introductions.Taking a break you apologise for getting caught up with the various questions. It seems the rest of your party has been paying close attention the entire time and didn't want to interrupt. More formal introductions of your band are carried out. The Hune scientist, the not so Isolationist Neeran engineer, Knights from a distant world, and lastly your Knights and personal guard. "And you said that your title is that of a Viscount?" Einridi asks.You explain that you are ruler of a star system and its connecting trade lanes. Your land holdings wouldn't be impressive compared to what's available on the sphere but by the Dominion's standards you're doing quite well.Rufaro wisely stops you before you can start talking about your terraforming ambitions. "Between our discussions and your long journey you all must be tired. One of our people will show you to temporary quarters to rest and we can resume our discussions tomorrow. I imagine there are many things yet to speak of."A few of the humans are just finished bringing in armor stands for your equipment when you arrive. It probably wasn't intended for anything as advanced as your new suits, but there are only so many ways of putting armor together. It fits well enough.Your guard are a bit concerned about keeping watch and it proves impossible to get them to relax. It's what you pay them for after all. At your urging they promise they'll rotate out so they're all rested. Rufaro and Taraman are both interested in asking questions tomorrow about the actual construction of the sphere and the supporting structures for the landmasses. Dave is torn between questions about the energy drain system or how the caretakers are extending their lifespan. You have your own questions in mind for how to ensure the Empire wont take control of this place if the locals sticking their head in the sand for a decade doesn't work. Not making a lot of progress. Will pick this up tomorrow.
>>2198655So, that's a 99 that happened. Here's hoping it's in our favor.See you later TSTG.
>>2198655Have a good night bro
>>2198655>Rolled 99 (1d100)
You have a much more restful sleep than you're used to, for once not being plagued by lesser nightmares. In the morning you're informed that the Caretakers will be ready to speak with you by mid day. Until then several of your people take up offers for sparring with the human warriors. Most of them are reluctant to talk to expedition members, worried they may say too much. Dave informs you that there is something strange with certain humans working for the caretakers."I noticed a few albinos in the tower. I can barely get any reading on them, it's like they're barely there."You spot a white haired individual practicing with the others. They dont seem any different from the others aside from the white hair and being far paler."You sure they're albino? Usually they're a bit more pink.""It was the closest word. I'm not that familiar with Human medical jargon. Regardless, I cant read them. I think the caretakers may be responsible."You turn your attention back to Dave and lower your voice. "As in they're experimenting on the human population?""That would be my guess.">What say?
>>2199748"Gene altering is not something new, we are doing it ourselves after all. However this requires further investigation. They did say they where looking for someone who could take over. There is nothing to say they wont ensure there is someone ready to take over by the means of excessive genetic altering."
>>2199748>What say?"While that is certainly a plausible theory, we shouldn't forget that they claimed a Human fleet arrived here something like 2500 years before the exodus at a time when no Terran had any business being here. Aside from that, if what the keepers told us is true, there were a functional Human FTL ships around 1500 years before we officially achieved FTL by looting a crashed Kavarian shuttle. It could also be that this universe's native Humans always had that mutation or that prolonged exposure to the energy dampening field has had previously unknown side effects on them.It's probably best to simply ask."
>>2199748That was something not expected... and as >>2199759 suggested, maybe they are ensuring a future generation of care takers by means of genetic modification?While we are no strangers to it, we did modify ourselves to be more 'super human' for this expidition. And our troops or certain troops do undergo similar changes.I would guess if we were human purists this would be a big deal. But we are fairly open to such stuff I believe. If it is really issue I guess we could just ask if it's done with the humans agreeing to it. Which I would imagine they are, since the empire neeran are ass holes.
"While that is certainly a plausible theory. Gene altering isn't something new, we are doing it ourselves after all. However this may require further investigation. They did say they were looking for someone who could take their place. Maybe they're ensuring a future generation of caretakers by means of genetic modification?"Dave agrees that was one possibility he was considering. "I just find it odd.""It's all unusual, which part?""People like this would be better suited to fighting Neeran. We wouldn't see them coming."That does seem odd you agree. "I did have other theories. We shouldn't forget that they're claimed to be from a Human fleet that arrived here something like 2500 years before the exodus. Back then no Terran had any business being here let alone having access to FTL technology. It could also be that this universe's native Humans always had that mutation, or that prolonged exposure to the energy dampening field has had previously unknown side effects on them.It's probably best to simply ask."If it's done with humans agreeing to it there isn't much point in objecting.
And I'm being called away by family. Everybody is going sledding.
>>2199891hey buddy working hard or hardly working? haha dont even talk to me before my morning coffee haha not a morning person, hah mondays am i right? cant wait until hump day, half way to the weekend, haha i know what im doing friday, having a bottle of wine, that's right a whole bottle haha oh is that todays paper? can you read my horoscope im a sagittarius in case you can't tell haha oh did someone make brownie bites? oh I really shouldnt but im going to anyway HAHA itll go straight to my hips though hah! oh go on have one too make the most of it while you're young i wish i could still eat whatever I wanted!!!! oh well is it five o'clock yet HAHAHA anyone else feel like we've been here for hours already?
>>2199869Sounds like we're just going to have to kill everybody and take the sphere for ourselves.
Sonia was commanding officer of the group of soldiers who saved the republic's homeworld from imminent destruction. Could she claim a seat in the senate for that?
>>2199869So they are engineering humans to better fight Neeran? Welp, now I'm curious about getting our hands on how to do that.
You're not the first one to get the chance to speak to Einridi today. The Knights of Thule's Prism are already in conversation with him when you arrive. It seems the weapons and other gear they had inherited from their ancestors had not been stolen but rather gifted to them. The same can not be said for the other artifacts that found their way into the hands of the Royal Guard. Those were stolen and they're not happy about it.Ilya brings you up to speed. "They do have requests for actions that might slow the Empires exploration of the sphere. In return they would provide us more equipment."That sounds like a good deal depending on how dangerous things are."I haven't accepted yet as it might endanger your ship."Einridi is waiting for you."I hope you are well rested? I have been in communication with a much older caretaker who may be able to help with your prisoner. There is still a risk they might alert the Empire but much less than if you had attempted on your own."The caretaker hands you a piece of parchment with a set of coordinates which you thank them for. Making sure the note is secured in a deep pocket you turn you attention back to the Neeran."Ilya mentioned you had a request for us?" "Yes. There are a number of locations where the Empire is making worrying levels of progress. We are prepared to sacrifice a number of these and would like you to attack one of them. We lack the ability to withdraw a strike force quickly enough after a raid. Attacks carried out in the past have invariably been fatal for nearly the entire force."That's worrying.[ ] Agree to help[ ] Consider it[ ] Refuse
>>2202428[ ] Consider it1. Have them inform us of what they know about the Neeran presence at those locations. (troops, ships, forces present, etc.)2. What are these places that they are willing to risk being destroyed?3. Will we be working on our own or will we have any support from other caretakers or caretaker aligned forces?4. Compensation.We will also need an alternate means of leaving the sphere. Since the Neeran Empire will likely go on high alert and be watching all the exits. So unless they can give us constant updates to patrol patterns on those exits. We'll be stuck inside with a fleet hunting for us. And we have civilians on board to consider now.
>>2199906>>2199936It's never just 1 thing. I got invited over for dinner after and things spiraled out of control until it was rather late by the time I got back. >>2202442"I'll consider it but I need more information before I commit my people." you reply."What do you wish to know?">1. Have them inform us of what they know about the Neeran presence at those locations. (troops, ships, forces present, etc.)Small shuttle pods are making regular trips to the surface. A number of armored ground vehicles are parked there. 20-40 Neeran soldiers and one officer are present at any given time. There are significant numbers of auxiliaries on site and in the surrounding areas. At least 100 plus multiple battalions stationed outside a nearby town. These are mostly charged with supervising locally recruited laborers excavating the site.>2. What are these places that they are willing to risk being destroyed?Secondary weather control systems and science labs that had fallen into disrepair and could not be hidden. They were previously locked down to prevent tampering. Damaging or destroying them would not cause any long term consequences to the sphere.3. Will we be working on our own or will we have any support from other caretakers or caretaker aligned forces?"You would have my personal assistance along with a number of my warriors. That is if you don't simply destroy everything in the area from space.">4. Compensation."The retractable shields we designed for the humans seem to be much sought after items. Much like the exterior of the sphere it would take an antimatter weapon to damage them. Would a number of these suffice?"
>>2202493My active imagination, has me believing those shields are stronger then current generation starship armor. And I am now wishing to find a way to mass produce the materials or find the process to mass produce the armor and apply it to our vessels. If that is even remotely possible.I am tempted to say lets risk hitting one of the less defended sites. So we could do our own scans of the weather systems for application on terraforming, but if these caretaker neeran do hold up to their end of the deal and make more sufficient contact with the Alliance once this is all over. We can come back later and get those scans as much as we want. Still, it would go a long way to gaining some more respect/ appreciation with the Harmen family. To share the data with them and the FA.I feel if we can find a less defended section/ area. That we can quickly land at and raid. So we can get those scans. Then lets do that while the ship bombs the other locations before coming back to pick us up and bombing that location.This will of course conclude our first visit into the sphere, if we do this.So anyone from the caretakers coming with us on this mission should also be aware that they will not get a chance to return to this room until our next trip back. Unless they can find another FA ship to return them. Since we will need to make a hurried exit. Before the rest of the Neeran fleet outside the sphere learns of what we've done.What do other anons think? Call this the end of our first trip? Bloody the nose of the Empire Neeran commander here before heading home? Or continue searching for Svidur?Because I think this would be a good point to take what we've learned and report back. And come back at another time.
>>2202493>shieldsWhile these are very impressive, we don't know what we're missing out on. Do they have a catalogue?
>>2202493>The retractable shields we designed for the humans seem to be much sought after items."You guys could be doing so much more with what you've got here."Can they fabricate the shield material into any shape? I'm thinking we replace all the High-Density plates on our recon armor.
>>2202539>My active imagination, has me believing those shields are stronger then current generation starship armor.The material in your power armor is stronger than that of starship armor, mostly because infantry cant carry several meters worth. Starships rely on quantity of armor.>Then lets do that while the ship bombs the other locations before coming back to pick us up and bombing that location."We only want you to attack one site. How it's done is up to you. This will distract the Empire's forces for many months.">So anyone from the caretakers coming with us on this mission should also be aware that they will not get a chance to return to this room until our next trip back. Unless they can find another FA ship to return them. Since we will need to make a hurried exit. Before the rest of the Neeran fleet outside the sphere learns of what we've done."In that case I would suggest concluding the business regarding your prisoner before this." >>2202540>Do they have a catalogue?>Human scale equipmentRetractable Shield Immutable Staff (Compatible with most artifacts)Singing Sword (Compatible with some artifacts)Gauntlet (Compatible with small number)Plasma ArtifactLighting Artifacte-beamcooling laserConvertorAmplifierTissue regeneration"What, no energy draining one?" you ask, which causes Einridi to sigh."Yes, though it would be exceedingly dangerous for a human to use."
>>2202606"You guys could be doing so much more with what you've got here. Can you fabricate the shield material into any shape?""I cannot but others might. It is difficult to do so and the more simple the shape the easier it is."
>>2202610>The material in your power armor is stronger than that of starship armor, mostly because infantry cant carry several meters worth. Starships rely on quantity of armor.And the reason that starships dont use similar materials is because it is to expensive to place it on a star ship, right?>CatalogI kinda want to see about getting the Plasma and Lightning Artifacts. I can't remember if we've already gotten something similar to them previously. Also the tissue regeneration, would be great help in the medical field, so that cannot be discounted. I know we got cloning, but what if we can make those little spray bottles that increase tissue regeneration? Field patching for serious wounds can save a lot of lives.
>>2202660>And the reason that starships dont use similar materials is because it is to expensive to place it on a star ship, right?Yes, both in cost and difficulty in manufacture. The earlier versions of the Dante Gunship using the same armor was causing major supply issues. >I can't remember if we've already gotten something similar to them previously. You have Neeran versions of most of the artifacts aside from the shield and weapons. The Neeran version of the lightning one was custom fitted by Dave to make your lightning gauntlet.
>>2202682Ah thanks. Then I guess Sword and shield? Or a couple of those? Instantly thinking of power armored/ power-cell Paladins/ Knights with artifact weaponry.
>>2202694>>2202610NOTE: The Neeran scale artifacts are not compatible with the human scale weapons.
>>2202613>but others might.Any he can put us in contact with?
>>2202721>Any he can put us in contact with?"Doing so would not be a quick matter. Provided we could contact the right people it would still take them years to work out a new shape. Longer if were complex."
What did you want to ask about next? The genetic engineering thing, or other questions regarding their overall sphere defense plans?
>>2202736I would like to learn more of both. Mostly because, they should be able to give a sufficiently believable answer for the genetic engineering.Though I hope they found a way to get outside the sphere aside from the normal means. Of course I wont hold my breath. Oh! Maybe they would like to send a representative with us to speak to the FA? I would bet that would be a morale booster and get a lot more people interested in retaking the sphere sooner rather then later.
>>2202736>The genetic engineering thingThis one first, since it fits nicely. Ask him about his warriors then shift the topic subtly? Really high fever right now so I'm not sure if that makes sense.
>>2202735>would still take them years to work out a new shape.Oh that's a shame.My dreams of artifact PA are crushed. Artifact cybernetic arm?
>>2202812We still could, but it would be more breaking down the shields into pieces of armor and attaching them to existing power armor. Though that is just my idea of making the material into power armor, which would at that point just be a shell I guess.
>>2202610>Immutable Staff>Singing Sword Do these provide any race specific bonus to humans?>>2202539>Or continue searching for Svidur?I'd say that depends on how much time the keepers would need to ask around, if they're willing to do that for us.
>>2202874>Do these provide any race specific bonus to humans?They were meant for humans as opposed to Neeran, so it's possible to use them instead of just not at all?Theoretically other faction species probably could use them as well.As the strike mission will probably be the last thing you do before departing the sphere there should be plenty of time to decide what sort of equipment the team could pick up in compensation. For now you move on to other questions."Your soldiers, how did you manage to recruit so many without the Neeran noticing?""As part of our healing work we established a network to help alert us to issues or those requiring immediate aid. With the problems of humans either curious or malicious, eventually we established small forces for purposes of protection. Either protecting our healers or installations in human territories.They have been extremely useful to our work and we have come to depend on them in this region. It's unfortunate so many remained outside the towers when we were forced into hiding. Most of those have since been killed trying to prevent the Neeran Empire from turning the populace to their purposes. It is most regrettable."You give him a moment before asking the next question. "Are you engineering humans to better fight Neeran?""We are not." Einridi frowns then glances in Dave's direction. "I take it you are referring to the white haired humans?""Yes.""Those you speak of are being raised as a safeguard in the event one of our other projects fail. If that happens we may need considerable help in the inevitable clean up. Their improved capability against Neeran is entirely incidental.""So you are conducting genetic engineering just for different reasons." you shrug. "I'm fine with that. What project are you worried about?""One that is best left alone. The less you know of it the better."That statement may not have had the desired effect because now you really want to know what it's about.
>>2203352If they know anything about humans. They should have learned by now that we are always infinitely curious. So teasing something like that, and saying "Oh don't worry about it." Or in any other wording. Is just not going to sate our curiosity.Sigh, and ask what is their project about. Even if they aren't going to give a straight answer. Because we still need to report back to our superiors, both in the Dominion and the FA.
>>2203352>As the strike missionWould it be possible to use the secondary weather control systems in the region simply make the area uninhabitable or at least excavations unviable? It would allow us to stifle the Neeran progress there without alerting them to our presence.
>>2203352>plenty of time to decide what sort of equipment the team could pick up in compensation.>Veckron Rifle>Antimatter PistolPost more horrific weapons that would automatically terrify anyone present.
>>2203448>Antimatter PistolWhat could possibly go wrong with that?
>>2203448A should mounted warrel catapult
>>2203352Do the keepers know anything about the aliens with the dimension travel drive and the teleporter pistols? And what do they know about the universe in general. If they have to pick up endangered species every now and then, they must have a way to stay updated on a pretty huge area.Are there other spheres acting as preserves for other parts of this universe?
>>2203569>aliens with the dimension travel drive The Factions once they get their lostech fully operational?>and the teleporter pistols?Help me out here, my brain is doing the equivalent of a windows 10 search.
>>2203589>The Factions once they get their lostech fully operational?I meant these guys:>>2020198>A species not previously encountered. Their technology seemed to match and included a similar means of FTL travel. There were plans to have a subsequent expedition conduct a more thorough search of the region to find who may have manufactured it. That was canceled after the Neeran Empire expanded into the area and it became too dangerous.And this gun:>>2019562>4) Interphase projector>A type of energy weapon not previously seen before.
>>2203618Thanks. I don't know if they would specifically know about them. Their species is probably present on the sphere, though matching it up would take some work.>And what do they know about the universe in general. If they have to pick up endangered species every now and then, they must have a way to stay updated on a pretty huge area."It is not a matter of constant surveillance. People like your Svidur would wander space in search of candidates. Perhaps those who came before us had a better way of keeping track.For a time we made use of a city ship to help in such recovery missions. I'm told it was necessary to send it away long ago. Where it has gone I can't say.""Are there other spheres acting as preserves for other parts of this universe?""I believe this is the only one that was constructed. I've heard of writings about other smaller installations that may have been planet bound but never read them myself."
>>2203672>For a time we made use of salvage to help in such recovery missions. I'm told it was necessary to send it away long ago.>Where the salvage has gone I can't say.
>>2203388You sigh in annoyance. "Just tell me what the project is about or I'll end up causing more trouble through my curiosity.""I will tell you when you are no longer in danger of being captured by the Empire."Guess you'll just have to go out and win the war then.Next up you express your concerns for the continued ability of the caretakers to hold out against the Empire. "You must have plans to defeat them besides waiting to see if the Alliance drives them back. That could take years, or worse what if it just doesn't happen? Some of the enemy offensives have done serious damage to our logistics.""Indeed." Einridi agrees. "And were it not for one of their major fleet commanders being stuck here they might have struck your Pandora cluster with a fleet twice the size they did.""How do you know about that?" you ask."We are not without resources. A parent's rage over the death of a child is not something to be trifled with. It can be quite a distraction to those in a position of power. We merely ensured someone was in the right place at the right time."Well shit. "Remind me not to get on their bad side." you whisper to Valeri."Still you must have plans that don't rely on the Alliance? You cant guarantee that hiding will keep the empire from finding stuff.""That is true. It is one of the reasons we asked for your help with a raid. Others are working to worsen their fleet commander's standing. I do not have the particulars but I'm sure they would be open to suggestions. You likely have access to more tangible resources outside the sphere than we do.As for our other plans, there is only so much we can risk telling you now. There are contingencies that do not rely solely on passive resistance but those responsible for them make up compartmentalized groups.""That's fair. If you did activate the sphere's defenses how long would it take you to destroy the fleet that is here?""One hour. Because of where their fleet is positioned a minimum 80% of the human population would die.""Minimum? Do I want to know the worst case scenario?" "35% of the sphere would be rendered uninhabitable when the Scorcher class vessels outside switch to an antimatter beam to cut through the outer shell. Possibly more depending on how much damage they are willing to inflict on the solar shroud.">What say?
>>2203707I was just thinking that... There is a lost Salvage somewhere out there. Like those sleeper ships. We should look for it, and make mad money like we did when we went on our first salvage mission.
>>2202610>Immutable StaffThis is a Svidur Staff but human?Also>Yes this place is full of terrible horrible weaponsJust makes me want to find them.>>2203726"You don't have any external defenses? I can see why you'd want to take a slower approach, now."
>>2203726Those are not good estimates for retaliation.So what I'm hearing is. Get a sizeable fleet to deal with the fleet outside and they might activate the defenses to clear the fleet on the inside of the sphere? Because those tunnels are only just big enough for Heavy Cruisers. And it wouldn't take much for the Neeran to turtle inside here and shoot us one by one as we entered the sphere.Alright, I'm for helping with their raid. We go speak with that one caretaker first. Then go destroy the weather control site and head home.
>>2203726"I can see why you prefer the current course of action over the alternative. So, we should make whatever destruction happens during that raid look like the consequence of tampering with barely understood equipment or ensure they know this was an attack from an external force. Just to keep punitive actions against the locals to an absolute minimum."
>>2203730We should start buying obsolete but easily modifiable warships like the house transport or various kavarian designs and build our own exploratory fleet. Everybody else will still be busy building warships while we buddy up with the watchers and haul in all that crazy ancient interstellar loot and claim all the nice planets.
>>2203842I hear you on that. Sounds like a good retirement plan. Once we make mini-Sonia's and sick them lose on the universe. We go off into that Salvage horizon.
>>2203772>This is a Svidur Staff but human?Far less capable I'm afraid. It's entirely reliant upon the attached artifacts. Still, it's essentially an unbreakable rod on its own."You don't have any external defenses?""There are, but they were intended to deal with asteroids not super heavy cruisers. It would take most of an hour to wear down their shields and armor.""I can see why you prefer the current course of action over the alternative."You turn to Taraman. "So, maybe we should make whatever destruction happens during that raid look like the consequence of tampering with barely understood equipment? Or ensure they know this was an attack from an external force. Just to keep punitive actions against the locals to an absolute minimum."The scientist nods in agreement."We do still have our Recon suits on the ship." Rufaro informs you. "Their reactors could keep them running long enough for a sneaking mission."
>>2203872>sneaking missionCan the keepers provide us with an artifact that shields the holder from Neeran detection? Even loaning it just for the mission would be fine. Or something that reduces the effectiveness of the energy dampening field?
Any other questions you have that I've missed?Or are we ready to head back and pick up the other caretaker for prisoner interrogation?
>>2204088I want to ask if they want to send a representative to the FA. But I'm sure they'll just say no. Wouldn't hurt to ask right? Maybe we could ask the one caretaker if they want to come with us to the FA?
>>2204101>I want to ask if they want to send a representative to the FA. Oh right I forgot about this. They wouldn't mind sending a human representative. All of the actual caretakers are rather busy with things.
>>2204112Well then if they know of a good person to come with as a representative, I'd be down with taking them with us, Human or Caretaker Neeran.
>>2204088I'm not sure if it's been asked but do they have any information regarding the escape pod that had our wizard and the commandos on board? Have they provided shelter to any survivors of the FA fleet that used to be stationed here?
>>2204132"The local caretakers were made aware of it. Observers were sent but once they were close enough to realise what monstrosities were present they locked down all towers and facilities in the region. A large reconnaissance force was being prepared to further investigate when the Neeran fleets arrived. After that it was canceled, though a small force was kept in the region as a contingency.">Have they provided shelter to any survivors of the FA fleet that used to be stationed here?"In a few cases where their presence would not endanger everyone. A number of Alliance starships conducted recovery operations after their fleet was driven off. A small number were helped to reach one of the ships before it was forced to depart.I know we did not find all of those who were stranded on the sphere."
>>2204366Well, it's nice that they helped when it was possible.
The others have a few questions to ask and Einridi needs time to prepare a number of people to potentially take part in a mission. With everything needed it's the next morning by the time you set out. Stepping into what looks like the upper most level of the tower you soon find ourselves at surface level. Lightning still rages above, though at high enough altitudes you can barely hear most of it. With a wave of a Einridi's hand a path appears through the rough terrain allowing you to make good time back to the vehicles and horses. You're a little worried this could be slow going. The Caretaker and soldiers are on foot and there wont be enough room in the vehicles. They're all in good shape and the group makes excellent time, though you do make sure people switch out to give the locals some time resting in the buggies.Returning to the original LZ you signal for pickup and within a couple of hours the LST is setting down. As before holographic camo remains in place except for over the landing ramps. "Arron was getting worried about you sir." one of the transport crew members inform you. "Everyone kept telling him you'd been down on the surface days longer the first time so that was able to keep him from going stir crazy."Once back in the air you check in with the crew. Head to pick up the interrogation specialist right away? Or return to the ship first?
>>2204581If the interrogation specialist is close by, let's go get him now. If he is another continent over then get to the ship and get there.
>>2204581> Head to pick up the interrogation specialist right away?
Testing to see if 4chanX is fucked in every thread or just specific ones.
Looking at the distances involved you decide it would be best to return to the ship. From there Arron can find an approach corridor to the new location. Everyone is glad you've made it back safely but are less impressed that there are more people aboard than when you left. The Caretaker soldiers will remain aboard the LST they came in on for now until additional accommodations are sorted out. Maybe a few hammocks would be in order?Mounting up in the second LST with Einridi and Sam you head down to the provided coordinates to pick up the specialist. You're stuck waiting on the ground for a few hours while Einridi makes contact as the specialists has a healthy aversion to space faring craft. Living in occupied territory for a decade where only the enemy uses shuttles you don't blame them. By the time you make it back to the ship Dave has had time to look over his engineering plans for making sure the interrogation will be done safely. "I'll still need the parts from the emergency teleporter capsule but I'm 90% sure I can put it back together again when we're done." [ ] If you're sure go for it[ ] We have 4 Neeran on the ship, it wont be neededSee you tomorrow!
>>2205143[ ] If you're sure go for it.Always be safe as possible. Also, employ the use of all four friendly neeran's to keep this dude muted. So he doesn't psychic scream for his buddies and alert the whole system to our whereabouts.Later TSTG
>>2205143>[x] If you're sure go for itNo chances, unless we want to lose our other arm.
>>2205143>[ ] If you're sure go for itShould we conduct the interrogation on one of the LSTs or the sphere so we don't endanger the ship?
Guys, one of these days we should consider taking that immortality drug we got way back then. For our family as well. We're starting to get past our prime, just a reminder, this is a time limited thing.
>>2205646It has side effects.
>>2205674Like being sterile, which is easy to overcome. Extract our eggs prior to taking the treatment
>>2205778Eggs from our best years are already in cold storage.Still advocate against the drug though
>>2205778Don't forget the tiredness and exhaustion, general feeling of "sickness" and palid, ill look.
>>2205646I thought the cell regeneration artifact is effectively a fountain of youth?
"If you're sure go for it."It takes several hours but eventually Dave has the restraint rig ready to go. Sedatives, shielding, and neuro isolators to prevent them from accessing their most powerful abilities. Checking it over after completion your own engineers agree it should be possible to reconstruct the scrapped teleport capsule.The specialist Tiur looks incredibly ancient, like he might suddenly turn to dust if hit by a stiff breeze. Nevertheless he is clearly powerful. Enough that both Sam and Dave are a bit intimidated."What, is this guy the oldest Neeran on the sphere or something?""No, but quite close." admits Einridi. "When there are deep disputes between our people he has acted as an arbitrator but just as much a truth seeker."You can see how that might be alarming.Once the Commando is secured and they begin the process of waking him Tiur addresses all of you present."Anyone who does not need to be here should leave."[ ] You're staying, you need to ask questions[ ] Maybe give Sam or Dave a list of questions
>>2205841It only heals a limited area. I suppose you could theoretically build a stargate sarcophagus with the tech.Not that anything has ever gone wrong with that.
>>2205892Clear the room of any non-essential personnel. And ready a response team just outside. Not that it'll do much if something goes sideways in there.[ ] You're staying, you need to ask questions
>>2205892>[x] Maybe give Sam or Dave a list of questionsPut Sonia on speaker?>>2205901>WOT IF YA COULD BE IMMORTAL BUT IT TURNS YOU EVIL FOR NO REASON AND ALSO PHONES ARE YOUR FAMILY BUT TOO MUCH!God I hate Black MirrorTo be fair, the H&D universe seems pretty benign. The FTL dimension doesn't rape anybody, hell, it doesn't even go for inappropriate comments.
>>2205913It just gives lethal radiation when weaponized. So fairly safe I guess.
>>2205892[ ] Maybe give Sam or Dave a list of questions
Still not entirely certain if you should stay you order the room cleared of non-essential personnel and have marines standing by. One of the combat engineers begins setting up wall mounted stun pulse emitters in the surrounding section. "We'll be ready to trigger them from the bridge."As a further precaution Valeri takes the recovered staff weapon to the launch bay on the other side of the ship. He informs you he'll jettison it if it looks like the prisoner has escaped. "Let's not be hasty here, that staff could be really valuable." you point out."Sir with all due respect, if that thing gets lose I am not letting it get hold of that weapon."Well it seems that's that.Handing off your sidearm to the marines you get ready and try to brace yourself, though for what its hard to say.As the commando slowly regains consciousness Tiur places one had against their head. The other three take up positions surrounding them both. You briefly experience a sharp pain like a headache coming on but it leaves just as quickly, replaced by a wind like roar. This is eventually replaced by a screaming voice."No! NononoNO-what are you doing!?" "You killed them." whispers Tiur. "You used a clone to kill everyone on that ship?! How did you... of course. A dangerous gamble, but at what cost?"You catch part of the Commando's response. "-stronger than you old man.""Strength does not matter in this place child, certainly not strength you have stolen. But you already knew that. It wasn't enough, you tried to take their knowledge as well. Has it helped?"Sam and Dave each take a few steps back looking increasingly nervous. "You can not bury me old man!" screams the commando."You have done that yourself. It would have happened in time, I'm merely helping. Helping things along."Part of the restraint system sparks causing Dave to start tapping away at a keypad to get it under control. Shortly after the sparks stop Tiur breaks contact and everyone steps away. The commando seems to sag forward in exhaustion. "It has been... a very long struggle." he manages to say between breaths. Their voice is different, almost familiar.Looking around the room he spots you."Good heavens, what are you doing here?">What say?
>>2206059Sorry had already started typing awhile before that.
>>2206144Thought you needed a tie breaker. It's alright
>>2206142>What say?"I'm trying to help?"
>>2206142"I couldn't just leave you in that cave."
>>2206142"And leave a friend behind? What kind of commander would I be if I didn't make an attempt to come find you?"or less sappy"You gave me priceless artifacts. Which helped me, the Dominion and the FA. Rescuing you is the least I could do."hm still to sappy"Welcome back?"
>>2206142Humans don't die of old age THAT quickly, Svidur.
>>2206282"Boooo~ I am just a figment of your tormented imagination wwooooooo~ If you don't start saying "No" over and over again within the next second, the commando will win uuuuuuuu~~~~~"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU91lh86LdQ [Halo Reborn]"I'm trying to help? I couldn't just leave you in that cave." you answer.The Neeran sighs."A warning before you sent a veritable avalanche of stun grenades into that place might have helped things along. Not that I don't blame you for doing so, it was probably the safer choice. I've been fighting back all these years, waiting for a chance to gain the upper hand. If only to keep this one's mind from winning and taking what I knew of this place.Thank you. All of you.""I don't like to leave people behind. Is it too soon to say welcome back?" You look to Tiur for confirmation.The old caretaker stares at the one still locked in the restrains for a few long moments. "The abomination is contained by the shadows of two other minds for now. Do not engage in a contest of wills with any other and you may yet live out your life in this body. I do not envy what you have been given, even if it is another chance at life." "I have to agree this body is rather macabre.""Some of your ancestral gifts will forever be lost to you. There is no changing what has been done. If you feel you can live with that?" Tiur questions."I can. I accomplished as much in my previous life by giving a good piece of advice as I ever had with the artifacts.""Then I agree. This one is Svidur. May we never meet again in this life."With that Tiur turns and leaves, headed for the LST dock.After watching him depart you turn back to Svidur. "Welcome back. I think this could take a little getting used to.""For both of us." Svidur admits. "It's still there if you're wondering. Locked away but raging against its bindings. I may still be a danger, though far less of one now. I also believe I may require medical attention?""And a bomb collar as a backup." says Dave.[ ] "It might be a good idea to take precautions." (Support Dave)[ ] "One thing at a time, he should be okay to get a checkup."
>>2206534What about a stun collar?
>>2206534I know you've just gained control over a shitty situation. But once we get you checked out quickly. I'd like to put you in stasis until we get to the FA and have more support then what we currently have availible to give you full exam and debrief.
>>2206582That could work.
>>2206534>[x] "It might be a good idea to take precautions." (Support Dave)"If you don't mind I'd like to put you back in stasis, at least until we're out of danger. I think there'd be a mutiny from some of the crew if you were up and walking."
>>2206637One vote for the stun collar in that case.
"It might be a good idea to take precautions. Though not a bomb collar that's a little too far, maybe a stun collar."Dave gets to work on a stun collar and you turn your attention back to Svidur."Svidur I know you've just gained control over a shitty situation, but if you don't mind I'd like to put you back in stasis. At least until we're out of danger. The Alliance would be able to provide better medical attention than our facilities can.""Sonia there are still things left undone. This one knew a backdoor existed to reach parts of the sphere's systems. The others will find it eventually."Einridi frowns. "The control areas are sealed off. No one from outside can get to them.""Yes, but not necessarily all of the systems themselves. Their direct entry is cut off, as are the control centers, but they could be manually activated if one got in the long way.""What's the long way?" wonders Sam."Explain." you demand.Einridi stays silent but Dave seems to catch on. "Maybe there are maintenance spaces? Between the sphere's outer shell and the interior surface I mean. We know there are artificial gravity generators.""Among other things." Svidur adds.You look to Einridi but the Caretaker seems disinclined to comment. [ ] We have to finish up and head back to the Alliance[ ] Maybe we should look into this
>>2207011We should tell him about Einridi's plan to disrupt a major excavation site. It could be enough to prevent the Neeran from finding the entry he mentioned.
>>2207011>[x] Maybe we should look into thisA quick recon to see if any of the passages have been breached/opened? Let's say its two years before we can get an Alliance fleet in the region to try and drive them out, would that be cutting it close? They've been here 7 years already and haven't found the passages.
>>2207011We need to get the civilians back to alliance space. And we only have enough people for a single strike team. If we had more supplies available to us I'd say lets hit this now.But we're already going to be hitting the weather control station and we're going to be risking casualties there.Augh, if we can do the weather control station without a hitch. I'd say lets do both, but this sounds like a one or the other situation. I;m more inclined to return to the alliance at this point. Drop off these civies, and return with more active military operatives instead of science operatives. So we can check those locations that Svidur is concerned about.Unless of course, other anons are up for telling the ship to leave us and take the civies home while we search that maintenance tunnels. And come back at a later date to try and pick us up. They already know the location of and how to get to the one friendly weather control station. So they should be able to get in contact with us again. Once we either get into the control center or verify the maintenance tunnels are clear.
You mention that a strike mission is already on the books. After that there are civilians aboard who need to be evacuated. "I don't suppose a quick recon mission to see if any of the passages have been breached would be possible?""I wasn't joking when I said it was the long way around. It could take weeks if we're lucky. Far longer if not. This sphere isn't small you know."Yeah that's an understatement. If things go wrong and the investigation ends up in the "far longer" category it's not out of the question to be trapped here a lifetime. [ ] Hit the weather station then consider options[ ] Hit weather station and leave[ ] Leave a team on the sphere, ship returns to Alliance
>>2207199[ ] Hit the weather station then consider options
>>2207199>[x] Hit the weather station then consider options
"Let's hit the weather station first, then we'll consider other options."Tiur is ready to depart along with whoever is returning to the surface once the particulars of the strike mission are worked out. The plan is to cause as much damage as possible while making it look like it's the result of tampering with with weather control system. Taraman's assessment is that if you could get someone familiar with the system close enough to actually use it to do that, all the better. The problem is only three of you have recon armor and you're not exactly familiar with the sphere's systems.Dave suggests that Einridi could do the equivalent of memory imprinting to give one of you the knowledge necessary. The caretaker isn't thrilled with the idea of giving outsiders more information on operating sphere systems, but is willing if necessary. There are other options. Hitting the site from high altitude hasn't been taken off the table yet, neither has been deploying some of the local human soldiers who already know how to use the systems. You still have holographic camo equipped shuttles, they could conduct an air raid. What is your plan of attack?
>>2207717I think we should take a recon armor team and a stealth camo team from the sphere humans who know how to work the sphere. But also make sure that Einridi imprints the info to someone on the recon armor team. In case something happens to the sphere team.Meanwhile stealthed shuttles are on stand by to rush in and pick us up and bomb the place should something go sideways.
>>2207937>take a recon armor team and a stealth camo team from the sphere humansThe only personal size holographic camo systems you have are those your 3 recon suits are equipped with. Did you want to have them cover the approach of the soldiers? Take out sentries, that sort of thing?>Meanwhile stealthed shuttles are on stand by to rush in and pick us up and bomb the place should something go sideways.Absolutely.
>>2208032I'd be okay with us running as scouts or forward interference so that they have less trouble dealing with threats on their approach.
>>2207937>>2208094As previously mentioned there are forces based at the site as well as in the nearby town. Old ruins dot the area and it seems three sentry watch towers have been put up. Sam has volunteered to assist. Remaining at the edges of the area to help shield your team from detection. "I should have enough range to do that much."Three of the white haired soldiers are available. They should stand a better chance of sneaking past the Neeran on site than the others. They'll still need your help with the larger numbers of conventional guards. Recon Team (Sonia, Valeri, Rufaro)Team 2 (3x Human Caretaker Soldiers)Sam (Waiting at range)Republic stealth shuttles on standby1) Was there anyone else or other additional forces you wanted added to the mission?2) Which direction/where did you want to approach from? 3) Exfiltration?See you tomorrow!
>>2208459>OtherHow many entrances does the weather station have?Are there any security measures regarding the local workers? Or can everybody who wants join the laborers?Is there anything else of interest in the area? Could the keepers provide an in-depth map?Are there any connections from the ruins to the nearby river?>1) Was there anyone else or other additional forces you wanted added to the mission?We should definitely whichever Krath is more suited for this mission.
>>2208459Plan A (Stealth Assault): Land to the north west of the town, sneak around the town keeping to the out skirts as much as possible. Take the road to the secondary ruins, securing it against whatever enemy pressence might be there. And then planting mines/ traps there to slow down the enemy response at the main ruins once we do what came here to do. Reach the main ruins, destroy/ disable the watch towers. Then proceed into the weather station to do the dirty. We exfiltrate by way of the stealth fighters hitting the rest of the garrison that is still alive at the main ruins and pull us out.Plan B: Land to the north west of the town, do some mountain climbing and head straight to the main ruins. Disabling the watch towers before hitting the weather control station. Then we leave using the stealth shuttles to destroy any tower or garrison present at the main site, after the weather control station is dealt with.Plan C: We land to the south, mountain climb, attempt to avoid detection and get in and out the way we came. Setting the weather control station to delay self destruct. With stealth shuttles waiting to pick us up where we were dropped in.
>>2209204>How many entrances does the weather station have?Due to damage suffered long ago in addition to that from excavation it has been exposed to the elements. There are columns and pieces of walls that could provide some cover, but no actual entrances. Or more accurately lots and lots of potential entrances. >Are there any security measures regarding the local workers? Or can everybody who wants join the laborers?There is some cursory screening but little that is in depth. It would not be seen as unusual for people to arrive for another town looking for work.Work gangs are supervised however by at least one Neeran soldier. They're only active during daylight.>Is there anything else of interest in the area? There are other larger cities several weeks travel away. The nearest Caretaker installation is several thousand km distant. There may be old battle sites left over from when nations backed by the Empire fought those who were not.>Could the keepers provide an in-depth map?Not really until you're closer. Though the armored ground vehicles are known to have been moved to positions near the ruins garrison. Updated map to follow.>Are there any connections from the ruins to the nearby river?There are a few foot trails.>We should definitely whichever Krath is more suited for this mission.Either or both would be up for participating.>>2209240>then planting mines/ traps there to slow down the enemy responseNow that is a good idea.
>>2209301Approximate garrison numbers included this time.
>>2209307How about we spend a couple of days simply observing the garrison. We're not in a rush and it will help if we know their patrol routes, and what's their daily routine is like.
>>2209340Who did you want to send down to observe operations? Your Recon suits should probably be held in reserve until the actual mission.
>>2209341>Who did you want to send down to observe operations? Whoever is best a low tech observation. Setting up a small observation post on the hill across the river instead of getting too close might work. All our people would need are decent binoculars and lots of patience.
>>2209355>Setting up a small observation post on the hill across the river instead of getting too close might work. All our people would need are decent binoculars and lots of patience.A few of your snipers would be able to carry that out.[ ] Recon team to look around[ ] Sniper team long range observation[ ] Krath team infiltrate work gang[ ] Caretaker soldiers infiltrate work gang
>>2209357>[ ] Sniper team long range observation>[ ] Caretaker soldiers infiltrate work gangI don't mind waiting until more players show up, though.
>>2209361Looks like we'll have to do that. Or should I post an update on twitter?
>>2209395>Or should I post an update on twitter?That might help. You've started a bit earlier than usual.
>>2209357>[ ] Sniper team long range observation>[ ] Krath team infiltrate work gang
>>2209440>>2209361A shuttle is sent to deploy the sniper team and the infiltration party.There is a bit of an argument over who should be infiltrating the actual site itself. Eventually it's agreed upon that Jarato Eldal and Estavan Risto will enter the town along with several of the human caretaker soldiers. "The humans will help provide cover when you first arrive and give some pointers on the locals. Hopefully you'll be able to blend in that way."Eldal isn't really thrilled about this but Risto thinks it could work. The shuttle is scheduled to pick up the recon team after a few days. If possible the infiltration team may withdraw at the same time or stay in place depending on what they find out. Is this acceptable? Y/N?If so roll 3d100 for infiltration.
Rolled 38, 14, 58 = 110 (3d100)>>2209527I like it.
Rolled 11, 86, 74 = 171 (3d100)>>2209527>Is this acceptable? Y/N?Drop off the sniper team first and let them gather intel on the site and village for a day or two before sending in the infiltrators.>If so roll 3d100 for infiltration.
Do you want a third 3d100, TSTG?
>>2209589Might as well.
Rolled 39, 55, 79 = 173 (3d100)>>2209602It's a slow day, I guess.
The sniper team are able to record the rough times of regular patrols and the numbers present. Previously estimated numbers for the Garrison seem accurate but for the moment there look to be only about 10 Neeran at the site. Patrols travel back and forth between the guard towers and the garrison.Neither infiltration team has any trouble. Risto is able to sneak out at night and detail what they've found to the sniper team. Apparently the original tower was damaged when the humans first found it. Later locals built a tower of their own out of conventional materials around the device and caretakers assisted in operating it. This tower was damaged either in a storm or a fire and collapsed. It wasn't rebuilt and the caretakers supposedly deactivated it. The work gangs have been hired to clear away the debris and rubble of the stone tower which they've been working on for some time now. Much of the stone is being incorporated into buildings in the nearby towns. Including the new bridge.Some crews in the ruins have started digging deeper than the stone tower's foundations. Eldal was able to figure out that the Neeran are planning to build a landing pad capable of supporting Heavy Lift Vehicle landings. They may think they'll be able to dig an access down to more important systems in the sphere.
>>2209240>1) Plan A-approach from town-Mine the road-Snipe/subdue watch tower guards-sneak in / out-Extraction-bomb the remaining garrison>2) Plan B-Approach from the North-avoid road-Snipe/subdue watch tower guards-sneak in / out-Extraction-bomb the remaining garrison>3) Plan C-Approach from the South-Avoid most guards / leave minimal body trail-sneak in / out-Shuttle extraction-Rely on weather control system to cause damage>4) Plan Distraction?-infiltration teams in town create distraction-Recon team infiltrate during confusion-Get out before anyone notices-Shuttle extraction-Rely on weather control system to cause damage>5) Air strike-LST destroys the garrison-Shuttles provide additional cover-Einridi and a team are landed to activate weather control >6) Bombardment from spaceArron hits the site with starship grade e-beams and/or torpedoes.Other suggestions?
>>2209764>3) Plan CMaximum overstealth
>>2209764>Other suggestions?Do we even need a recon team? If one Krath goes as a human and the other transforms into his backpack or something like that, wouldn't the camouflaged one have very little trouble accessing the control systems?Anyway, Plan C sounds good to me. While a distraction in town sounds nice, I doubt it would do much to distract the garrison at the ruins.
>>2209764Go with Plan C
>>2209790>If one Krath goes as a human and the other transforms into his backpackThat just reminded me of a funny thing in a DS9 episode.Since they were only going down there to scout (and because the caretakers are less familiar with Krath) Einridi did not provide them with the information necessary to activate the weather control system. Dave isn't even sure they'd be able to do memory imprinting with them like they can Humans.At the very least you'll need to send Einridi down to the surface to meet with them.
>>2209809>Dave isn't even sure they'd be able to do memory imprinting with them like they can Humans.Let's not risk it in that case. We could imprint a human and have the Krath extract it....
You, Valeri and Rufaro suit up and the shuttles are prepared. If things don't go well they'll be standing by to provide fire support. Subsonic rounds and more substantial suppressors have been prepared for your weapons. If the recon suits alone don't provide adequate cover you'll be able to quietly put down anyone in your way. Hopefully you'll be able to avoid the Neeran themselves as you'd rather not test the effectiveness of the rounds against a fully armored opponent.Rufaro has been given some memory imprinting to know how to activate the weather control system. It should be enough. "I just hope the workers here know enough to run away when I dial up the lighting to eleven.""I wouldn't bet on it." you reply.The team bails out of the LST using the repulsor drop chutes, allowing you to get to the surface without the ship landing. Once there you signal the sniper team on the far side of the river that you're heading in. They'll cover you until the shuttles arrive if things go sideways. Sam who dropped along with you finds a good spot to hide in the rocks along the river. "I should still be able to help mask your presence from here. When you're done I'll swim across and join the sniper team." From the river it doesn't take too long to climb out of the valley and up the hill to the ruins. Spotting the patrols you take cover and match up their movement to the times the snipers reported. Everything looks good until Rufaro glances around some of the ruins."We have a problem."You freeze then look around. "What is it?""There are more Neeran than the Snipers reported.""What?"Valeri confirms it. "Maybe twenty instead of ten. The snipers wouldn't be able to see them from their angle."Okay, that's a problem. Sam is still helping to shield you from detection, it just runs the risk of not being nearly as effective. [ ] Abort[ ] Find a way through[ ] Try to come up with a distraction
>>2209967>larger neeran garrisonCould we simply wait them out? Or are the guards at the same strength at all times?
>>2209988It looks like the regular Neeran guard levels are twice what was reported. Fortunately the rest of the garrison strength seems accurate.
>>2209967[ ] Find a way through
>>2209967Unless one of the others has a good idea for a distraction, let's try to find a way through.
>>2209967>[X] Find a way through
Rolled 54, 10 = 64 (2d100)"We'll have to take our chances and try to find a way through. Split up and signal if you spot a good path."Roll 3d100
Rolled 20, 54, 53 = 127 (3d100)>>2210110Dice time
Rolled 82, 42, 67 = 191 (3d100)>>2210110Here we go.
It's best of three for the rolls btw
Rolled 81, 72, 52 = 205 (3d100)>>2210110Recon armor best armor
After taking a few minutes to reconnoiter you and Valeri each find a good way in. Rufaro finds a potential one but it's a bit less certain than the others so she double back to your position. "Mind your timing." Valeri warns, waiting until a few Neeran have moved on. Moving in you climb to the top of a ruined wall and from there jump to the top of another pillar. Following the still standing structural elements the three of you get as close to the center as possible before dropping down. The weather control system and nearby pits have been covered over with tarps for the night. You and Valeri keep watch while Rufaro checks underneath several of them until finding what she's looking for. "This should be it. It's partially powered and they've been trying to break the security locks. If I can just-" You wait for Rufaro to finish and when that doesn't happen after half a minute you decide to check on her."Just what?""It's locked in a sort of half power state. I cant get it to work.""Do you need to turn it off and on again?" wonders Valeri."No, well, maybe. I think that's what they may be trying to do."Checking the other tarps Rufaro finds a deeper one that descends farther than the others, through layers of damaged metal. It's not the same impenetrable stuff much of the sphere is built out of but it's clearly strong. Maybe as tough as tritanium. Descending into the hole Rufaro starts checking for damage."Any luck?" "Hang on. Do any of you see an pieces of conductive metal up there? Maybe arm length? Longer is better, I'll just cut it to fit."You spot one and toss it down, nearly giving yourself a heart attack when you belatedly realise it might make noise. Fortunately Rufaro is there to catch it."This should work. I don't know how long the weather system will stay on with this quick fix. They need a superconductor."As Rufaro works to fix the damage Valeri speculates."Any chance they removed it intentionally? I'm sure they don't want the workers accidentally starting a lightning storm.""Now that you mention it... I think you may be right." That's concerning. "Rufaro, how long will this thing stay on with your hot fix?""At what temperature does tritanium melt again?" she asks."I don't know, really high?""Then it should last a few weeks. Maybe months."[ ] Good, that'll do[ ] Let's find the original just in case
>>2210402>[x] Let's find the original just in case
>>2210402I want us in and out. But I assume, the second someone tries to turn this on it'll blow up in their face right?
>>2210431Hopefully not as you're about to turn it on.
>>2210447>>2210402[ ] Good, that'll doThen have Rufaro patch it up so no one notices the patch. Set it to maximum fuck and gtfo.
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>22104291>>22104682If nobody else votes in the next 5 minutes.
"Good it'll do. Now let's turn this thing on and run for it." After cutting the length of metal to size and wedging it in place Rufaro returns to the controls and begins to activate the system. Valeri suggests you make it look like a landslide partially collapsed the pits. "Just in case they wonder how a piece of scrap ended up in there." "Fine but let's keep it quiet."The two of you shove as much rubble and debris into the hole as you can in the time available. "Terminal unlocked, I'm activating system."It doesn't take long for the ground to start to shudder, slowly intensifying."I think this quake will take care of the holes, let's go!" Climbing back up top you check on Rufaro's progress. "Is it done?""Hang on. I dont think it's supposed to be doing this." The knight says worriedly."If you can fix it do it quickly, we need to go." you urge.Your suit sensors start to pick up odd readings similar to the start of an electrical storm. It must be working. Your also starts to pick up voices in the surrounding ruins. "Trouble." Valeri warns, readying his rifle. "Lock it down we need to go.""I made a mistake in the settings!" You can see light shining through holes in the tarp as bits of metal lying around begin to spark. A Neeran soldier rips the tarp off the control area with one hand and draws a sword with the other. Seeing no on there it pauses momentarily confused, then it seems to concentrate, as if starting harder will reveal what the problem is. Well it's time for him to die. [ ] Silenced rifles[ ] Lightning gauntlet [ ] Drag Rufaro out of the way before he spots you
>>2210764>[ ] Lightning gauntletActually voting for this insteadHopefully when they find the body it'll look like it's been zapped by some malfunctioning relic.
>>2210764[ ] Lightning gauntlet >>2210779 makes a sound point making it look like they got zapped by the relic after messing with it
>>2210779>>2210783Roll for stamina, 1d20
Rolled 15 (1d20)>>2210828lightning reflexes!
Rolled 12 (1d20)>>2210828
Rolled 3 (1d20)>>2210828Not to late?
One thing to be said for your boosted reflexes, they certainly make bringing a weapon to bear much faster. Your left hand snaps upward, gauntlet at the ready. Time seems to slow to a crawl as bolts of lightning burst outwards from the weapon impacting the Neeran in the upper chest like a fist made of energy. The impact sends the enormous alien flying backwards and forces you to dig your feet into the ground to keep from being similarly thrown. The moment the Neeran is out of the way the lightning arcing from your hand flashes out in every direction, striking rock and metal through that entire side of the ruins. Some of it forks and leaps, eventually connecting with smaller discharges starting to rain down from the sky. With some effort you shut it down. The attack, despite lasting less than 5 seconds, left you as tired and winded as one of the more extended ones from the battle in the Imperial City. Fortunately you can handle that. "Rufaro let's go!" "Right! Controls are locked out... now!""Run!" Valeri urges. Jumping on top of the now shaking pillars you came in atop you sprint for the edges of the ruins, vaulting the gaps in between. Below Neeran and soldiers are rushing in every direction as bolts of lightning begin to rain down from the sky. Leaping clear you hit the ground running as does Ella, though Valeri rolls and has to pick himself up again. Above a storm is quickly forming, illuminated by the occasional bolt of lighting flashing outwards. "That doesnt look like the storm above the other tower." Valeri observes once he's caught up to you."That's because it's a worse storm!" Rufaro practically screams. "Either I screwed it up or Einridi meant for it to be beyond the safety settings.""Worry about it later, we have to make the LZ."Running downhill towards the river an explosion back in the direction of the ruins catches your attention. "Do uh- do I want to know what that was?""Neeran shuttle pod." "Those are armored. They don't explode from lightning strikes." Maybe your gauntlet might do that but... oh shit that cant be good.Just then you get a signal on the secure channel reserved for the LST and recovery shuttles."Recove- t-o to -eyna--, we ne-d to set -own farth-r away. -you copy?"It seems the increasing storm is messing with coms. It probably cant be good for the holographics either.>Your orders?
>>2211205"Follow the river further south." Repeat it a couple of times for good measure. Also I hope our sniper team had the smarts to leave.
>>2211205Still can't decide on music for this scene.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkLvpt9Z3fA [ Light Up The Night ]
>>2211205Rendezvous with Sam if he's outside the lightning zone.Keep low as well, even if our camo is failing hopefully we can still blend in.
"This is Reynard, follow the river further south! I repeat, follow the river south!"Continuing to run you spot Sam headed the same direction you are and soon enough catch up with him."I realised I would never make it across the river quick enough and signaled the snipers to evacuate."Well that's good news. Maybe their shuttle will be able to extract before it gets too dangerous. Sam is running as hard as he can. You've seen Neeran move quickly before but generally only over short distances. Well, short distances for someone their size. There's no telling how long he can keep this up. "I had the impression the storm was getting stronger than planned. How bad is it?" Sam wonders. "Do yourself a favour, don't look back." Rufaro tells him. "It's looking more like a volcanic eruption right now.""That makes sense. It's probably forcing a charge separation in the atmosphere somehow.""I thought Dave was the engineer?""I read books you know!"Farther down the river valley you pick up com signals again. The LST crew has set down in the valley hoping the higher surrounding terrain will offer some protection. "It was either risk this or tell you to walk for a few days, so hurry up."The ground continues to shake not just from the claps of thunder above, though fortunately it seems to be lessening. You hope that's a good thing.By the time you reach the transport the storm has expanded a great deal and things here are about as bad as the original LZ was when you reached it. The crew doesn't waste any time once you're aboard, firing up the engines and following the river at high subsonic speeds. It remains deep in atmosphere longer than you would have expected. Heading up to the flight deck you soon see why. There are hundreds of shuttles and fighters descending from space. You keep having to fight the urge to say "in orbit" while here."Are they close to reaching the weather station?" "No, they're being driven farther away from it. It sounds like they lost the garrison near the ruins. No idea how those in the town are faring."If you had to guess, poorly. You were running a lot faster than most civilians could.An hour later you're clear. The shuttle with the sniper team and infiltrators has made it out, though their camo systems are on the verge of failure. Arron is moving to pick them up first. It takes another five hours to circle around to them with the increase in enemy activity but at last you make it back to the ship. Now you need to decide what the next course of action will be for the expedition.See you next time! Ending the thread here.
>>2211358Later TSTG, thanks for running again.
>>2211358Thanks for running!
>>2196693>>2196697It's funny that joke should come up. I had this written before that.As some of you may be aware I haven't been running H&D as often the past few months because of attempts to augment my below minimum income. At this point most of those have either not panned out or failed outright. Because of this I am reluctantly considering patreon. I'm looking for feedback on this. I know I still owe one anon a starship design. I haven't forgotten about it. I only just reinstalled AutoCAD this week after my computer trouble last month required migrating hard drives.
>>2211240>Still can't decide on music for this scene.https://youtu.be/f5uX9h7dJTs?t=2m16s>>2211358Thanks for running, I'm glad everything worked out during the infiltration.>No idea how those in the town are faringDid the infiltration team have the chance to help the locals with the evacuation? Or at least convince them they need to get going?>>2211377From what I've heard, Patreon is taking a huge cut out of donations below $10. That's why so many artists on there try to incentivize people to spend that amount or more. Aside from that, their service is supposed to be worth it if you're either raking in thousands, or if you use the user page Patreon provides to distribute content and manage a community. Otherwise, if you have the "skills" to put a donation link on the internet, Patreon's not recommended as far as I understand.Other than that, it's hard to give advice with the limited amount of information any sane person should be willing to share on 4chan. Maybe look into government help for those migraines? I imagine it's hard to hold a decent job if you're unable to work several days at a time through no fault of your own.I really hope things will work out for you TSTG.
>>2211507They rolled back on that change after the huge shitstorm it caused.
>>2211547Show's how little I've kept up with these things. I just remembered that from a video somebody did on youtube when google suddenly had their "AI" cut video monetization last year.
>>2211377>Because of this I am reluctantly considering patreon. I'm looking for feedback on this.I would throw you some patreonbux gladly. Running threads is more than enough.
Since the thread is still here, what Artifact do you guys want to pick?
>>2216721The schematics for these weather control devices would be awesome. If we can't have those, the plasma artifact sounds tempting. I think we don't have that one yet and it could be incredibly useful for our plasma research.