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For House & Dominion: Eye of the Storm (8)

http://houseanddominion.wikia.com/wiki/House_%26_Dominion_Complete_Archive
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dominion+quest

https://twitter.com/ThatSlowTypingG


You are Sonia Reynard, Viscount of Rioja and a member of House Jerik-Dremine!

Over the past few weeks your expedition has ventured into the depths of the Dyson Sphere in search of defense systems that would protect it from the Neeran fleet massed outside. Succeeding in finding the rapid transit system the team reached the edges of the polar region. Protected by an energy shield, and with an access point difficult for the full team to reach, it was decided that a smaller group would attempt to get past it.

The now reduced Polar Team gained access and made their way into the lowest levels of the supposedly regions hosing the sphere's control systems. Remains of dead explorers and a small kingdom of primitive Kavarians were just some of the things encountered along the way.

Reaching a manufacturing level the novice Caretaker Ran was able to have interactive maps printed along with data modules. Information on the sphere's gravitational lensing systems alone could be invaluable to the Alliance and the war effort.

Deciding it best to warn the Caretakers of the control systems vulnerability, you decided to divert from the mission of reaching the defense systems. This had the unfortunate side effect of causing scientist Darweg Attir to snap and try to escape. It seems he was captured by the Empire at some point and was programmed to act as a spy.

Determined to evade capture by the Caretakers he stole the repulsor bike and escaped to the manufacturing level floor. Despite your best efforts the Shallan scientist used the manufacturing systems to produce what was effectively a Neeran sized mech suit. Coated with nigh indestructible material it took the combined efforts of you Eldal and Valeri to cripple the pilot.

With the Shallan restrained and their injuries treated with what supplies are available the four of you have waited until a high ranking Caretaker by the name of Veur arrived to collect you. They haven't been terribly pleased your team entered the Polar regions without asking permission via the new Alliance Ambassador. Because of this you've been asked to leave, with the new toys you picked up to be handed over to the Alliance as a show of good faith.

While waiting for secure communications with the Alliance fleet to be established your team has helped train some of the Caretaker security personnel. With luck they'll be better prepared to face some of the threats the Empire poses.
>>
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When no one shows up for training one day it doesn't take long to figure something must be going wrong. The Caretaker Warrior Uller and the novice Ran who had previously helped your team eventually find you.

"Will someone -anyone- answer where everyone else went?" Illya asks.

"There is a security alert in the lower levels of the Polar region. Command and control is being reinforced while other teams are moving to investigate. Guarding you all is a waste of time and resources that could be better spent doing other things."

It seems the Empire may have detected your team's use of the secondary transit system.

You shrug. "Since you're already in trouble we could help you out. It's not like you can get in any more trouble because of us right?"

"Possible..." Uller admits "-but I doubt it. Thank you."

Outfitting the team with new gear in the Caretakers own armory, you acquire a form fitting suit of indestructible, but very light weight armor. Ran has equipped it with a module that will allow it to function as power armor but warns to use it as little as possible.
"We don't know how long the power unit will function at sustained operational levels."

Splitting up, half your team went with Uller to the manual controls for one of the sphere's wormhole gates. Your half went with Ran to the Manufacturing level nearest the potential area of enemy infiltration. There you soon encountered and defeated an enemy team composed of Rovinar. These were not the ones you've usually encountered in Faction space, but might be an offshoot species native to the sphere.

These were not the only enemies on the manufacturing level. While you were busy engaging the Rovinar a team of Neeran Commandos made use of the fabricators to construct an assault shuttle. They gained an early lead by destroying your team's vehicle. Rufaro was able to damage their shuttles weapons and your fire wounded several members of their team, but ultimately they escaped.

Ran was able to quickly send a warning to the control center, letting them block off routes to the higher levels.

>Cont.
>>
Uller contacts you. "They're headed for the defense system. Unwise, but under the circumstances it might be better for them than taking on the strongest Caretakers in an even fight. I'm considering linking up with your team."

"Is the gate system safe?" you ask.

"Debatable. Anything I've done can be undone almost as easily, it will just take time."

Deciding to link up with Uller's team both groups make for the defense system in pursuit of the enemy force. With the entrance they used blocked by the remains of their shuttle it's necessary to divert up a short level and to the east you park near another entrance and wait for Uller and the others to arrive. It doesn't take long.

"Where are they?" the larger Caretaker asks.
"They blocked their entrance by jamming their shuttle into it." you explain.

"What did we miss?" asks Troy.
"Shooting, dodging, pulling multiple G's in an out of control vehicle."
"Oh good."

Marching towards the entrance Ran and Uller halt at the base of a ramp gently sloping upwards into another area. Beyond it you cant see anything just darkness.
"What is it?"

"We've never been here before." Ran answers.
Uller points at a ledge on the ceiling featuring builder script. What little you can make out seems to be a warning. That's never good, which seems to be a theme here.

"So, what hazards does it warns us of?" asks Illya, clearly wanting to get on with it.

"Time dilation."
>>
Expedition Polar Team

Sonia Reynard
Valeri Fusaro
Knight Illya
Troy Harmen
Ella Rufaro
Lt Arif Sayadov
Uller [Neeran] Caretaker, warrior
Rán [Neeran] Novice Caretaker

The Sphere
Veur [Neeran] Caretaker, warrior
Tiur [Neeran] Caretaker, interrogator

Alliance
Liljana Brantha - [Hune Female] Alliance Ambassador to the Sphere
Darweg Attir [Shallan Male] Status: under arrest

Enemy Personnel
"Girisha" [Neeran] Neeran Empire - Fleet Commander, Dyson sphere occupation fleet

Current loadout
12.7mm Rifle
Chemical cartridge based laser rifle
Plasma cell Grenades

Retractable Shield
Singing Sword: Converter
Left arm artifact slot: Lighting Artifact
Right arm artifact slot: Plasma Artifact
(Spare) Amplifier artifact
>>
For House and Dominion time shenanigans edition! Panic?
>>
For House and Dominion! Hands off my salvage! Edition.
>>
Magical Girl Edition where?
>>
Connection error.
Testing.
>>
Just spent the past half hour fixing my browser. Decided to deal with a bullshit youtube update via maximum adblocker. Only I accidentally blocked everything forever.


>>2411746
>For House and Dominion time shenanigans edition! Panic?
Yes, worried laughter edition.

>>2411772
Anon, that is every edition.

>>2411785
Rufaro pokes you while riding towards the next destination.
"So you know what a magical girl is huh?"
"It was a phase. Shut up."
Thinking that comment over for a second you turn back to her.
"Wait that means you know what that is. You don't have any room to judge me!"
"I was watching one of Valeri's videos while waiting for you one day."
Both of you turn to look at your other bodyguard.

Valeri gives Rufaro one of the most hate filled glares you've ever seen from him, slowly shaking his head.
>>
>>2411724
FOR HOUSE AND DOMINION
>>
I really regretted not putting up a Dramatis Personae post last thread, even just for the polar team.

>Sounds like the stasis crap our team dealt with earlier. Only an entire region. Let's head on in!
One vote for that from last thread.

>Are there hazmat suits or something similar for this section nearby? I'd hate to run into some weird temporal side effects that could be avoided by taking a pill or putting on a helmet.
Uller laughs briefly. "I doubt anything short of a stasis field would protect you from that."

The team was able to get a few Medical stasis fields made based on Alliance models.

>OR we could start cutting power cables. I'm sure that would help.
Uller considers this.
"It's not a terrible idea, but as this place seems to be a nexus of power conduits from all over the sphere I'm not certain we could disable enough of them ourselves."
>Maybe we should contact the Caretakers about this fucky shit instead? Check our messages?
Ran heads over to one of the vehicles to do just that.

Uller goes back to reading the warnings in greater detail. A few moments later Ran calls out an update.
"Others are heading towards this area but they're still ten minutes away. I've sent an update about the grounded shuttle."

Uller completes his reading.
"If this is correct time should be moving more slowly inside that chamber than outside."
"How slow?"
"One tenth of normal speed."

"So an hour out here would be 6 minutes in there." concludes Troy. "That's not so bad."

"It may worsen in places."

So much for that. Still there are worse things. Plus with the time dilation they wont have much of a head start on your party.
"We should be relatively near their position right?"

Uller can't say, and the AHCR team markers warned about space/distance distortions.

Did you want to contact the other Caretakers or head in?
>>
>>2411902

I vote to head in. More time we give them the more time they have to hide or mess something up inside of there. Last time I voted to meet them, we lost our loot. If they meet up with us this time they might just imprison us.

Better to beg forgiveness then ask for permission.
>>
>>2411902
Let's do it. No glory without guts.
>>
>>2411902
>head in
>>
>>2411902
Wait for the other team.
>>
>>2411902
No breaks on the Sonia train. Once more into the breach we go! Charge!
>>
"Better to beg forgiveness then ask for permission. We're going in, let's get ready to do this people!"

Everyone double checks their equipment to make sure nothing important has been left in either vehicle.
"How much in the way of supplies should we bring?" asks Troy.

[ ] We need to travel light. The bare minimum for a few days.
[ ] Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to.
>>
>>2411992
>[ ] Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to.
>>
>>2411992
>[ ] Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to.
>>
>>2411992
>[ ] Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to.
>>
>>2411992
>[x] Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to.
>>
>>2411992
>[ ] Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to.
Should we run a rope from our point of entry?
>>
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"Best to be prepared. We can dump gear later if we need to."

With the new armor being so light even loading yourself down with supplies like before seems to make little difference. The previous armor may not have been the heaviest thing you've ever worn but it certainly added up. Geading through the entrance way you hope the team will be abble to set a faster pace despite the supplies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KC1Axj2Xes [ ME3 - Cerberus Coup ]

Passing through the entrance there is little to see at first aside from the upward sloping ramp. You do notice that it's getting darker.

"No big deal, just like going to the movie theater." comments Sayadov.

Rufaro watches a readout on her communicator as the group heads farther up the ramp and finally into a darkened chamber. it takes a moment for your eyes to adjust and realise that there is a light sources just very faint and distant. A point of blue light seems to be one of the few things that stand out, seemingly surrounded by swirling darkness.

Very little light reflects off the floors but it's enough to navigate by. Rufaro continues to adjust her communicator pointing it different directions. Seeing you looking she explains.
"It has a small sensor array built in. I was able to record the change in time dilation as we walked up the ramp by sending a signal to another communicator there.
It looks like this room is a sphere."

Sure enough what few places you can see light throughout the chamber would seem to give the impression of at least part of a sphere. You can't see all the way to the other side however.
Remembering the readouts of the defense system you saw on the map previously you turn to Ran.
"I thought this room was shaped like a torus?"

"Non-linear space." observes Ran. "There may be some light bending properties closer to the center."

There doesn't appear to be any sign of the enemy team that you can see from here. With the poor lighting it's difficult to get a sense of scale.

Uller opens a map projector and points the way toward the light source.
"We do not wish to waste time. Don't stop."
>>
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Picking up the pace you get moving to keep up with the big Neeran.

Not far from your starting point you see what seems to be a thin pillar sticking up out of the floor standing at about shoulder height. Slowing enough to examine it you note that the top of it is like the head of a needle. A wide circular base has markings pointing off in different directions, with the most prominent ones lined up with holes of the needle.

You get Uller's attention and step over to it.
"What is this?" you ask.

"Looks like a cigarette receptacle." is Sayadov's assessment.

Neither caretaker is certain but Ran quickly notes that the more prominent lines match up with others on the floor surrounding it. Grabbing hold of the top he begins to turn the pillar almost like a key.

[ ] See what happens
[ ] Suggest he stop
>>
Anyone else having trouble with posting or image uploads?
>>
>>2412233
>[ ] See what happens
>>
File: 5f0.gif (2.59 MB, 540x300)
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>>2412233
[ ] See what happens
Oh boy

>>2412245
Testing
>>
>>2412233
>Grabbing hold of the top he begins to turn the pillar almost like a key.
"If we come out 10000 years in the future you guys better have a time machine hidden away somewhere!"
>>
>>2412233
>[x] See what happens
"If it's non-linear space maybe this controls where we'll exit out?"
>>
>>2411741
Just noticed I missed Eldal on that Polar Team list.
>>
You mutter that this had batter not land you ten thousand years in the future. You're not prepared to reconquer your planet with a seven man team.

Once the pillar has been turned to align with the most prominent markers, the connecting lines on the floor light up with the hum of electricity. Looking ahead it seems that the glowing line meets another pillar in the distance.

With the extra light Ran sees something worrying. Uller hands over the map which Ran pages through quickly, zooming out.

"Oh no."

"Spit it out, we don't have time."

"These pillars are connected to the transit system."

"I thought this was the defense system? Are they linked?"
"The defense system must channel power from different parts of the sphere using the transit system. These pillars control the towers."

That probably has some sinister implications you dont have time to deal with.
"Can the Empire use the transit system now that this is turned on?"

"Potentially, if a path of them are linked all the way to the pole."
Glancing around you try to spot signs the Neeran Commando team might be doing the same thing.

Uller considers options.
"They channel energy. If we turn enough of them on it would be too dangerous to use the transit system. Intruders trying to pass though them would be killed by the energy flow."

"If we turn enough on it will power up the defense system, yes?" asks Illya.

"In theory, but that means more of the transit system is potentially vulnerable." answers Ran.
"Either way we'll need to get to the center and set the defense system duration. That should also be where the connections to the poles are. I think."

Uller nods.
"At least the the Empire's people should be headed there. To open the connections to the poles if nothing else."

Some of you need to get to the center as soon as possible, its just the question of if others will try to deal with the pillars.

[ ] Everyone get to the center ASAP, ignore the pillars
[ ] Some of the team try to find and disable activated towers
[ ] Try to power up enough towers to block transport
[ ] Try to activate the defense system

Unless there are any other suggestions?
>>
>>2412467
Find a way to disable activated towers or a way to preven them from being activated.
>>
>>2412467

Two teams, one continue on to the center to stop them. The other to go around and power up enough to block transport. If I understand what was just said correctly. What we are doing now is basically priming the defense system. So it seems we're going to end up doing what Troy suggested a thread or so ago in the end. Powering the defensive system and hunting down the remaining Neeran inside the sphere.
>>
>>2412467
>[ ] Some of the team try to find and disable activated towers
>>
>>2412477
>or a way to preven them from being activated.
Unfortunately that would require stopping the enemy team.

>>2412486
>The other to go around and power up enough to block transport. If I understand what was just said correctly.
Sounds like you've got it.
>>
>>2412477
>>2412504
"Let's split up. One team will make for the center, the rest will try to find and disable activated towers."

On foot Eldal is easily the fastest person on the team, though with the armor upgrade you'd be fairly close for short distances. Same with Valeri.

Did you want Eldal to make for the center and try to delay or hold off the enemy until you arrive? Or would you prefer that he help those trying to deactivate the towers?
>>
>>2412581

Prefer that he sticks with the team heading further in.
>>
>>2412607
At least one of the Caretakers must accompany the team going to the center of the area. Sonia and Valeri being fast, and Ran being the most combat capable would make the most sense.

>Central team
Eldal
Sonia Reynard
Valeri Fusaro
Uller [Neeran] Caretaker, warrior


>Everyone else
Ella Rufaro
Knight Illya
Troy Harmen
Lt Arif Sayadov
Rán [Neeran] Novice Caretaker

Objections to this team layout?
>>
>>2412671

I think it looks good.
>>
Quiet night I guess.
>>
>>2412671
No Objections
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHyO8ztfE8k [ Winter Soldier - Taking A Stand ]

You, Valeri, Eldal and Uller head for the center of the chamber. Everyone else heads off with Ran, who is attempting to use one of the maps to determine which pillar switches are being activated.

The four of you move as quickly as can be maintained not knowing just how far it is to the center of this place. You take to using some additional power for the suit in small amounts in order to not exhaust yourself. Uller is clearly moving quickly for someone his size and you have to wonder how long he can keep it up. Or how long you can for that matter.

After an hour on the move your group stops, or at least slows to try and get a better bearing on how far it is to go. Looking over the map in frustration Uller curses and directs you towards the nearest pillar.

"What is it?" you ask.

Handing you the map, the Caretaker momentarily rotates the switch into place. Floor lines light up giving you a much better idea of where you're headed. Deactivating the switch the group resumes on the new course.

"I might have known it wouldn't be this simple."

You glance sidelong at him waiting for an explanation.

"I suspect the switches when activated help to... lineate the space in this chamber?"
"Really?"
"I am not at all certain. Of anything in this place. We may have been thrown considerably off course. Our foes meanwhile are making it easier for themselves to find their goal."

Damn.
Glancing around for anything that might help you spot what seems to be a structure or elevated platform.
"What's that?"
"It may be another entrance." says Valeri

Uller is certain that this is closer to the center. If it is another entrance you could stick your head out long enough to communicate with the caretakers. If not an entrance then you could keep going again without much delay.

>Investigate Y/N?
>>
Didn't realise how late it was.
Resuming in the morning!
>>
>>2412922
>Yes
>>
>>2412922
>Y
We've come this far. Might as well head a little deeper into the rabbit hole.
>>
>>2412922
Y
>>
"Might as well look into it. If it's nothing then it just means we'll have taken a breather."

Heading towards it the group slows and you take a moment to get a drink. The platform seems to be made from a different looking material then the rest of the room. Seeming to have the appearance of stone, it's still difficult to see it in the chamber's poor lighting. After a few seconds of reading Uller quickly determines it to be safe enough.
"It's not a ramp, but a lift. Quickly everyone aboard, I think I know what this is."

Stepping onto the platform the Caretaker presses a slightly elevated panel and the platform begins to descend. Once deep enough that Uller is inside doors iris shut above you.

"Not again." Valeri protests.

Gravity seems to shift and then you're heading upwards again, only this time when the doors open it's not into the same chamber. A number of tall stone pillars dot the immediate area as do a few stone benches. Some of the pillars house light sources giving off a soft yellow glow, making it easy to see everything in the area.
Looking up you can see that this is a spherical chamber much like the previous. Small points of light around the sphere indicate that your surroundings are not the only area like it in here.

Uller steps over to one of the pillars and reads some of the script written on them.
"This is a reading room. Time is different here. We could spend as long as we like and only seconds would pass outside."
After a few more seconds reading he continues.
"It's possible to be pointed towards particular locations with information we might seek, or ask to be taken there."

>Was there any information you wanted to look for? Or did you want to go back?
>>
>>2413587
How does the defense system work? An abridged idiots guide to an impenetrable shield.
>>
>>2413598
"How does the defense system work?" you ask.

Uller does some checking. Rather predictably that information isn't here. He can ask to be pointed towards it, or that you be taken to where it is.

[ ] Point the way
[ ] Take us there
>>
>>2413587
Are there any writings from the builders of the sphere here?
>>
>>2413607
I am sure there are other things worthy of note here. But I wanna say, take us there, unless other anons have something else they want to see.
>>
>>2413587
Oh dear. So much potential for questions here.

Details on the precursors that made the Neerans the Caretakers please.

Information about the funding of the Republic and how Humans where a part of it.

Those two are the top of my list straight of my head.
>>
Is there anything on how to interact with kythera available? It might help that fleet that's trying to establish proper contact with them.
>>
>>2413612
"Before we move on, what sort of things are written down here?"

Uller expresses annoyance or frustration. It's hard to tell which.
"This search system is not the most robust. It seems that it will point you to the right area but not provide specifics of where in that area something might be, or what is nearby. Clearly people are expected to take their time."

That would make sense. In this place you have all the time in the world. Still you'd rather not spend months or years in here.

"Maybe we can just skim the local info? Get the kids short reader version?"

Uller does his best to skim as you suggested. Much of the information here seems to pertain to plasma interactions, either with the artifact or for the sphere's star. Others are about communication and sensors. Useful to be certain but not what you're looking for right now.
>>
>>2413587
Something like "Follow these 10 easy steps to triple your lifespan"?
>>
>>2413648
There doesn't appear to be anything on establishing contact with artificial life forms. Most of there sphere's preservation efforts were focused on organic or naturally occurring life.

>>2413627
"Is there any info on the founding of the Republic?"
"No, too recent. I doubt we would find that in here. Most of what will be in a reading room like this one is information about the sphere itself. There is some on the inhabitants of the sphere as well."

>1) Select info destination
1a) Defense System
1b) Previous Caretakers

>2)
2a) Point the way
2b) Take us there (1 vote) 45nYTISy
>>
>>2413656
Inyeractions of plasma with the artifact or the spheres star... now of we could come back here later and use this library again we could sky rocket Dominion plasma technology far beyond the Republic.

But alas, another trip.

Sensor info would be inyeresting for spooks, to find ways to better develop cloaking devices to hide from sensors. But again, another trip.

Thanks for the quick explination. I'm ready to head to the sphere defense explination for dummies, section. If there isn't anything else other anons want to see/ read.
>>
>>2413665
Reminder we can become ageless with our serum we've done our best at ignoring.

1b) Previous Caretakers
2b) Take us there
>>
>>2413677
Is there anything on other installations built by the sphere builders?
>>
"Is there anything on other installations built by the sphere builders?"

"I believe there may be, however I am getting the impression it will not be as easy to find."

Option added:
1c) Other installations
>>
>>2413665
>Something like "Follow these 10 easy steps to triple your lifespan"?
Uller believes there may be information of use to Neeran but not Humans.
>>
>>2413677
Currently 1 vote for Defense System, 1 vote for info on Previous Caretakers.

Can we get a tie breaker?
>>
>>2413767
I'm super curious about the history of this thing but just in case that we get locked out or something similar after our first search I think we should go for the info on the defense system next. Once we have that we should still have more than enough time to look up the rest if things go well.
>>
>>2413767
D-System
>>
A little worried that you might get locked out or discovered if searching for too much stuff you decide to stick with the defense system.

"You'd better have it take us to the defense system into."

After working with a primitive interface for a few minutes Uller steps away and takes up a position near all of you.
"I've never done this before. The reading room should be able to accept basic audio commands now, even from from you three. That should help if we become separated."

The Caretaker gives the order and the floor begins to shift underneath you while the pillars and benches retract into the floor. An indicator appears on the floor nearby pointing the way. You were wondering if the platform would begin to move and carry you there but instead the floor begins to move.
The indicator remains in place and you find yourself having to walk, then run as you realise the entire chamber is beginning to rotate. Gravity is also diminishing as it speeds up.

"Jump!" shouts Valeri.

All four of you leap into the air as the floor beneath you continues to accelerate. A light source from one of the other reading areas flashes past below.
"A little strange but this is one way to get there quickly."

Another light source goes by. As you approach a third you notice that one of the pillars here haven't retracted into the floor like the others. The four of you fly by it a little too close for comfort.

"This area may require maintenance." comments Uller.

Looking ahead you see others that likewise haven't retracted.

[ ] Dodge
[ ] Stop!
>>
>>2413910
Stop. We're not in a hurry.
>>
>>2413910
If we're not above a bottomless abyss, lets stop. Otherwise, do a barrel roll! (Dodge)
>>
>>2413910
>[ ] Dodge
>>
>>2413921
>If we're not above a bottomless abyss
You're not.
>>
>>2413910
>[ ] Dodge
Weeeei. Magical girl Sonia shows her acrobatic skills.
>>
>>2413910
>[ ] Dodge
Can we use the convertor to fly? Turn gravitational energy into kinetic?
>>
>>2413974
>Can we use the convertor to fly? Turn gravitational energy into kinetic?
You're in microgravity. Not much to absorb or convert unfortunately.
>>
"Dodge!" you warn the others.

Roll 4d20
>>
Rolled 7, 10, 8, 2 = 27 (4d20)

>>2414041
Sonia Super double roll dodge!
>>
Rolled 10, 3, 11, 13 = 37 (4d20)

>>2414041

Lets see what my IP is this time stupid phone.
>>
Rolled 10, 20, 15, 4 = 49 (4d20)

>>2414041
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLL9TSXZ-eM [ TDK - Introduce A Little Anarchy ]

Dodging was your idea but it seems you have the hardest time with it. Twisting your body around you manage to avoid one of the taller pillars of the next area. There's is a rush of air as if whips past far too close for comfort. Still, you're managing to keep ahead.

After a few more close calls Valeri helps to give you a boost to avoid a wall that is taller than the previous ones.
"This is getting downright dangerous!" you shout.
Despite this you don't call a halt.

Uller is struggling a bit though not as badly as you. Eldal seems to be fine.

Fortunately it's not that much farther to where you needed to go. The rotation slows and gravity begins to return to normal levels. A few more bounding leaps and the party arrives at the edges of another lit area.
Five wall sections with writings, more than a dozen and several benches are waiting. The surrounding surface is a bit uneven. Uller is quick to determine that many more of pillars here can be raised, containing even more information.

"What else is here?"

"Besides the defense system? Information on the sphere's artificial geology."

Too bad Rufaro isn't here. Your little brother would probably find it neat too but you're sure as hell not bringing him to the sphere. Mom wouldn't allow it.

All four of you get to work reading. You Valeri and Eldal are not that well versed but you can make out some of the words. Much of what is here is similar to part of what were on the metal book plates included among Svidur's artifacts. A few hours of reading later it's decided to make camp as this could take some time.

Glad for the extra supplies everyone makes sure to eat well while you're camped here. While Uller does mot of the heavy work the rest of you try to reconfigure one of the maps to assist with translation. Not what it was meant for but if it works it would be a big help.

Roll 1d100
>>
Rolled 94 (1d100)

>>2414241
>>
Rolled 60 (1d100)

>>2414241
>>
Rolled 1 (1d100)

>>2414241
>>
Having something of a breakthrough on the second day camped you're soon able to use the modified map to read off and translate the builder script. It's certainly a dense subject matter. Thanks to this though the four of you are able to get through the information far more quickly.

There are some minor setbacks, for instance when you realise that one of the more characters has been translating wrong forcing a redo of some sections. Despite this what you do translate is enough to get Uller's attention when you stumble onto a key piece of information.

"It's not a defense system."

"What? Are you sure?" you ask, glancing at it yourself.
"Yes, though it can double as one. It's a preservation system."

"Is there really a difference?" wonders Eldal.

"The outer shell of there sphere acts as a Faraday cage. Once the gates are closed and the system is active it becomes a stasis field generator. One that is completely impenetrable."

That would explain having to set the duration before activating the system.

>What say?
>>
>>2414384
Wait, how does that work? Wouldn't the outer shell still remain vulnerable to anti matter weaponry? And why would you need something like that if it's not intended as a defensive system?
>>
>>2414384
So zero time will pass inside the sphere whilst any situation on the exterior can be resolved?

Is it meant more as a last resort than a proper defense?
>>
Has it been used before?
>>
>>2414443
"Wouldn't the outer shell still remain vulnerable to anti matter weaponry?"
"Only the outer few nanometers, if that."

"So zero time will pass inside the sphere whilst any situation on the exterior can be resolved?"
"Effectively? Yes."

"Why would you need something like that if it's not intended as a defensive system?" you have to wonder.

Uller goes back to an area he had checked earlier.
"It may have been an experiment. This place was built to gather and preserve life, we all know that much, but from what?"

"Uh... extinction?"

"Yes but there are many things that can cause that. Or many reasons to preserve intelligent life."

"So it's an Ark?" ask Valeri.

"Yes." Uller finds the section he was looking for.
"This didn't make sense without context before because it's referencing other pieces I hadn't read yet. It's meant to wait out changes in the universe. Not specifically what though. Damn thing is being cryptic again."

"Changes." you repeat. "Like, the Terrans ending the universe?"

"Or even the heat death of the universe." adds Eldal. "Its not like there wouldn't be time to spare with a stasis field."

Well that's certainly some things to consider. You really wish one of the scientists were here.
"Has it been used before?"

"No... yes. Briefly! It must have been a test."
>>
>>2414668
Was the sphere actually considered finished before the builders handed it over to the first caretakers? Or is each caretaker generation supposed to keep working on it?
>>
>>2414685
>>2414685
>Was the sphere actually considered finished before the builders handed it over to the first caretakers? Or is each caretaker generation supposed to keep working on it?
Uller regrets that you'll have to look elsewhere for confirmation on that answer, but all of the key systems on the sphere are operational and functioning.

"Empty sectors can be terraformed to suit most environments within reason in a surprisingly short period of time given what is involved. The only thing that cant be said is complete is the wormhole gate that was damaged. I'm not entirely convinced that it hasn't been fixed already."
>>
>>2414668
Sounds like it was meant for a false vacuum event. In any case, could we dial the power back a bit and have it recharge in years instead of centuries? We need it to survive some weapons fire, not the end of the universe.
>>
>>2414668
>"Or even the heat death of the universe." adds Eldal
That's not how it works Eldal. The sun inside the sphere is not infinite.

In any case. Seems Precursors where afraid of some cataclysmic event of some sort. Hopefully it has passed us by and we are living in the post apoc. If not then I am very worried.
>>
>>2414724
Does the system have different settings aside from stasis duration?
>>
>>2414668
Also, if activated it would include the heavy cruiser inside yes?
>>
>>2414753
>That's not how it works Eldal. The sun inside the sphere is not infinite.
"Why would it need to be? Wouldn't it be inside the stasis field as well?" Eldal shrugs. "I'm not as well versed in physics as Risto. He actually went to school."

>>2414761
>Does the system have different settings aside from stasis duration?
Doesn't seem like it.

>>2414765
>Also, if activated it would include the heavy cruiser inside yes?
Yes unfortunately, everything inside. The Empire's forces, including their heavy cruisers, would be stuck here as well.

"So this isn't a defense system." Valeri concludes.
"No. Ran and I have been mistranslating it. As have your scientists. I'm sure the caretakers who knew better were only too happy to play along with false information."

"So would it stand to reason that there is a real defensive system?" Valeri asks.

"There might be."

A) Look for info on real Defense System
B) Previous Caretakers
C) Other builder installations
>>
>>2414881

Well that was enlightening and potential disaster averted. Activate the stasis system believing it a defense system and accidentally trap us all forever in a mega sized stasis chamber.

>A) Look for info on real Defense System
>>
>>2414881
A) Look for info on real Defense System
I want info on the previous Caretakers but I want to focus on what we need here. Would also be interesting to see what the Precursors considered to be the "Changes" that where so terrifying.
>>
>>2414881
>C) Other builder installations
The guys running the sphere already told us why they didn't use their conventional defenses.

Also, can we ask Uller how their government works? I would like to know who gets to decide what when it comes to decisions for the caretakers as a whole.
>>
>>2414881
A
>>
"Good thinking. Let's try to find info on the real defense system."

This time Uller sights out which direction you'll be headed and how far it is. That helps determine if you'll have to dodge high speed masonry. Fortunately this time it looks like you'll only have to dodge a few walls and pillars towards the start.

The room rotates around your team again and before long you touch down at another area of interest. Uller soon determines this place to be a dead end, moving on to another. A day later you relocate again. That one had some information on the internal defenses. The third place has better luck.

Uller determines there are two possible systems. The first is what may be a subsystem of repulsors intended for long term maneuvering or to assist the active asteroid defenses. Used en masse they could potentially put out enough power to deflect an incoming antimatter stream. Against ships with accelerators as powerful as what the Scorcher uses it might only be able to counter one of them.
Not good news.

The other is a type of energised defense grid that strengthens molecular bonds. This is similar to what some Neeran from the Empire can do. While effective against most conventional weapons its efficacy against antimatter is another story altogether. It might be possible to increase the power of this grid to the point where it would create a magnetic field sufficient to repel an incoming antimatter stream, but there is no guarantee.

"Are there no regular shields?!"
"No. Conventional shield generators like those used by the factions require very regular maintenance cycles or they can begin to degrade. Not ideal for a structure intended to last millennia."

>Ideas?
>>
>>2415227
>Ideas?
We could use the wormhole gates to teleport huge amounts of plasma from the main star outside the sphere and then use the repulsor system to accelerate it. We'd end up with a huge plasma cannon.
>>
>>2415227
What would be interesting is if the grid could decrees the strength between the molecules to a point of degradation and then push grid out from it self. Like a giant sphere of energy that disintegrates everything
>>
>>2415303
Or a giant omni-directional lightning cannon?
>>
>>2415227
Expand the stasis field so it chops the Neeran ships into pieces?
Use the gravity control system to rip them to pieces?
>>
>>2415227
Could we use that energy grid in a similar manner to Iserhorn Fortress from Legend of Galactic Heros? And just vaporize any fleet orbiting it?
>>
>>2415315
Giant lightning deathball sounds fun and fits Sonia's new-found love of the Gauntlet.
>>
>>2415334

The Iserlohn Fortress from LoGH was what gave me the idea.
>>
>>2415303
I dont have a reaction image suitable for this.gifjpgwavavimp4

Initial reaction is that this sounds plausible, though hard to do.
>>
>>2415382
>:)
>>
>>2415227
If they're shooting an antimatter stream at the sphere, shouldn't it simply be enough to shoot regular matter at that stream as long as they impact each other far enough from the sphere?

The sphere has the necessary repulsors and lots of stored matter.
>>
>>2415382
I linked the wrong post. This was to be in response to this: >>2415251
>>
>>2415303
>What would be interesting is if the grid could decrees the strength between the molecules to a point of degradation and then push grid out from it self.
That would cause the grid to destroy itself in the process. You are describing an explosion.

>Like a giant sphere of energy that disintegrates everything
It sounds like you are going for something like a 40k power weapon. That could be theoretically possible. In some ways it is similar to an e-beam.

>>2415315
>Or a giant omni-directional lightning cannon?
>>2415345
>>2415329
>Could we use that energy grid in a similar manner to Iserhorn Fortress from Legend of Galactic Heros? And just vaporize any fleet orbiting it?
Not easily. It could theoretically be used to power a large weapons array if one were constructed and moved into position on the exterior of the sphere. The Empire would of course contest any attempt to do so.

The defense grid also wouldn't be able to protect any weapon mounted on top of it.

>>2415322
>Expand the stasis field so it chops the Neeran ships into pieces?
Unfortunately the sphere's stasis preservation system is more similar to older types of stasis generators. It needs to make use of a faraday cage so it's limited to enclosing the structure of the sphere itself.

>Use the gravity control system to rip them to pieces?
Interesting, but the gravity focusing system isn't meant to influence much outside the sphere. Potentially could be done via the wormholes.

>>2415408
>If they're shooting an antimatter stream at the sphere, shouldn't it simply be enough to shoot regular matter at that stream as long as they impact each other far enough from the sphere?
The sphere's asteroid defenses are effectively lasers. Very little mass being thrown at a target. Yes there are enough of them to kill super heavy cruisers, but not quickly. That much light pressure, while impressive, wouldn't be able to deflect accelerated streams of antimatter from two supers.
The particle accelerators on the Scorcher have enough power to crack the outer crust of a planet.

The idea of using one of the wormhole gates could provide enough matter to intercept the antimatter beams, though you'd be better served to just kill the Scorchers with it before they could fire.
>>
>>2415461
This makes me sad. I thought I was a good boi and had done good.
>>
>>2415510
Well we could always use those repulsers to push the Scorcher around later when the Alliance ever comes around to retaking the sphere. I'd imagine being pushed while trying to fire makes it difficult to get an accurate target lock.
>>
>>2415610
Sorry.

>>2415657
Potentially could be done.

You're currently at a location with info on the repulsor and defense grid systems. If you're thinking of weaponizing them you might be able to use the map projectors to ensure you have all the relevant data. This will mean clearing some of the may data.

You have 3 maps currently and each can hold the complete data on 2 of the items each. Which if any did you want to collect the data on, and will you be reserving one map?

exterior repulsors
defense grid
e-beam weapons
wormholes
gravity focusing
Other builder installations
>>
>>2415749
>will you be reserving one map
Yes.

Can we set them up so they'll delete the data if somebody aside from the people on our team try to access them? We can't risk them getting captured by the commandos.

>Items
wormholes
exterior repulsors
Other builder installations
Parts of the sphere map relevant to this area
>>
>>2415774
>Can we set them up so they'll delete the data if somebody aside from the people on our team try to access them? We can't risk them getting captured by the commandos.
Probably a good idea, and yes.


Captcha, stop breaking please.
>>
>>2415749
This is stuff that isnt leaving the sphere anyways right? We already agreed with Uller that these maos cannot leave the spherr. I would imagine that also applies to this info as well. That said...

>wormholes
>gravity focusing

Intrigue me, wormholes for using them for transportation and gravity focusing for use in terraforming and upgrading our gravity well generators.
>>
>>2415793
>anti-theft device?
Yes please!
>>
>>2415774
>Parts of the sphere map relevant to this area
Actually the reading room doesn't really show up on the maps. Uller assures you that there are other reading rooms, with markers that show their locations.

>>2415802
>This is stuff that isnt leaving the sphere anyways right?
Correct.
It would be difficult for the other caretakers to claim ignorance of the systems you hope to use as weapons if you have the data in your hand.
>>
>>2415830
Oh, then... hrm gotta change my vote then.

>e-beams
>defense grid
>>
>>2415749
Gravity
Wormholes
E-beams
>>
>e-beam weapons
>wormholes
>gravity focusing

It takes a few days more to collect all of the data but with luck it will be worth it. Hopefully you'll be able to make some convincing arguments to the other caretakers about potential defenses once this is all over. The remaining space is used to hold key map data to help with crossing the previous chamber once out of the reading room.

You've been in here a week and a half. It's hard to believe that outside almost no time will have passed for anyone else. Seconds at most. However long it takes for the lift doors to open and get out really.

Any last minute checks before you resume your journey?
>>
>>2416009

Just quick check of our gear, make sure it is all there and is good to go. As well as having an idea of where our destination is, so we have fewer distractions.
>>
>>2416009
I can't think of anything now but we'll probably come up with a bunch more questions after we leave. Is there any reason not to get information on other builder installations?

Can we carve a 'S.R. was here' into one of the pillars or something?
>>
>>2416009
I still want to see if there's anything on other installations. Even if we have to write down the coordinates on a piece of paper. Svidur said he had been looking for them.
>>
>>2416044
>I still want to see if there's anything on other installations. Even if we have to write down the coordinates on a piece of paper. Svidur said he had been looking for them.
>>2416039
>Is there any reason not to get information on other builder installations?
I suppose not.

Go for it?
>>
>>2416056
>Go for it?
[x] Yes
At least we might be able to find Ran and Uller a new home if they get exiled.

Or that this whole section of space is some kind of universe sized dyson sphere biological life terrarium.
>>
>>2416056
>Go for it?
Sure. I'm sure a much cooler galaxy got a preservation cube. Maybe even a dyson hexagon.
>>
>>2416095
Or a d20 shaped life preservation?
>>
>>2416105
Nah, that's just silly anon.
>>
Deciding that you'll probably never get a chance at this the group tries to find information on other installations. This proves to be difficult. The location that supposedly has the info doesn't seem to have anything like what you're looking for at first.
Checking other pillars farther out from that site you find increasingly incomplete data. It is there though.

Lacking the considerable amounts of paper needed to compile the fragmented data, the remains of the second map have to be done away with to make room in memory. It does allow you to get some key bits and pieces.
Valeri never wants to look at a pictogram again after all this. Eldal remains indifferent.

"What have we got?"
"One location and some information on a planetary installation."

It's actually inside what should be current enemy territory, but Uller doubts very much they have access to it. It may be sealed and buried beneath the surface of the planet.

"We could reach that in three, maybe four weeks with a fast enough ship." you guess, looking over the coordinate data. Provided you could get the required navigation data to operate in enemy territory.

By the looks of things there are other facilities but the rest of the data is too fragmented to piece together. No way of recovering it from here.

"That didn't take so long."
"Four days." your bodyguard points out.
"And if it was four weeks it still would have been worth it." you reply.

Traversing to the entrance each of you go through practice routines and prepare to set out once fully rested.

"Ready for a sprint to the finish?" asks Eldal as you board the lift.

>Do you want to change your loadout at all?
At present the shield can get in the way of using your left arm slot and the Lightning artifact a bit. You're more used to lightning artifact but it has a shorter effective range due to spreading out more.
>>
>>2416194
Rather have it and not need it, instead of the alternative of plasma hole in the chest. And if the shield proves to cumbersome we can ditch it and fight on without it.
>>
>>2416194
Our current loadout seems fine to be honest. Unless some of our team think a different setup would make more sense in the close quarters of this area.
>>
>>2416194
I'd love to try out the Amplifier at some point but I'm quite happy with our current loadout.
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qY5TXIS2vi4 [ C&C3 - Havoc ]

Unwilling to make any changes to your gear you get set and Uller hits the button. Like before the lift descends, gravity shifts and you're ascending again. As soon as the doors are clear enough Eldal leaps through, to help clear the way. You and Valeri are soon after with the Caretaker bringing up the rear.

Eldal wasn't kidding about this being the sprint to the finish. Each of you push, trying to cross the distance as quickly as possible. You're back to minutes here being hours outside. The Krath is using the extra bursts of speed to occasionally check the tower pillars, turning one to be sure they light up the correct path, then disabling it again.

"You're lighting as few as possible I hope?" asks Uller.

"Yes!" Eldal shouts back.

"Good. I've become worried about what efforts the neeran fleet will take to breach some of these towers if or when they learn of their locations. If we activate too many or for too long it could still endanger parts of the network."

"So even if we beat these guys we may still lose in the long run?"

"Potentially? Yes!"

"Great." you mutter.

It's easy to lose track of time in this place, as if the issue of time wasn't bad enough here. The same with direction. If not for checking the pillars you'd probably have become lost several times now. That's even with the bright blue light in the distance for reference.

Some of the switches merge with multiple sets as you draw closer to the center. Looking up from one of these you spot lines of light off to the left. Its difficult to make out through the swirling darkness surrounding the center but you're certain of it. Slowing you pull out a set of binoculars and zoom in. Sure enough another line lights up, this one closer.

"There they are!"

[ ] Keep moving
[ ] Put fire down range
>>
>>2416515
Keep moving. I'd prefer to link up with the rest of our group before engaging 5 neeran commandos in combat.
>>
>>2416515
>[x] Keep moving
These commandos get the sword, no need to give away our position yet.
>>
"Keep moving!"

No time to waste putting fire into them from this range. You cant even see them properly and all it would do is warn them of your presence.

Back at full pace you as Eldal if he can see any signs of the rest of your team. He asks for the binoculars and you hand them over. The next time he sprints ahead he takes a minute to look for signs of the pillars being deactivated. Sure enough when you catch up he has spotted signs that at least some of the others have begun to deactivate them.

That's one piece of good news.

Non-linear bullshit aside, when you first entered this place it seemed like it was spherical. Maybe you were wrong, it may look like a sphere but the closer you get to the point of light the closer it seems to get to the horizon, or the floor. Maybe it still is a torus?

Things dont feel right.
"How long have we been going?"
"Not that long." Valeri is quick to answer, checking a watch.

Looking up, the light source seems to pulse somewhat at a fairly regular rhythm. The occasional one pulses more brightly than the others. Soon though you can feel the floor beginning to shake with the brighter pulses.

"What's happening?"

"The Caretakers must be trying to find a way to repel the attackers. Or buying time."

You're about to ask how when a gravity shift nearly knocks you off your feet.
Oh, that's how.
>>
Have work tomorrow, will try to resume tomorrow night.
>>
>When the time dilation hits the QM.
>>
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For a moment after you regain your footing it feels almost as if the surface is now slanted slightly down hill. Fortunately it improves to the point of nearly being equal to what it was earlier.

"Gravity at the center is increasing." Uller warns.

"Possible that the Caretakers are trying to help us get there first?" Eldal asks hopefully.

"It will also increase time dilation closer to the center."

"Should we stop?" you ask.

Based on where the lines were lit up before gravity started going even more screwy the enemy were approaching 30-45 degrees off to the left of your group.

"As we get closer to the center the effects and dilation will worsen. A course change might be prudent."

How do you want your team to approach or intercept?
>>
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>>2419263
Oh, I know this one.

Follow a brachistochrone trajectory towards the center. It's mathematically the quickest way.
>>
>>2419306
You want Sonia's team to follow the blue line?
>>
>>2419362
Hell yeah.
>>
>>2419362
Actually no, I'm overthinking this. If the rings represent increasing areas of time dilation, I think the shortest route through them would be the quickest?

Unless we want to go for an intercept on the group? I feel like getting into an area with more cover would be better for when we want to engage them, I bet those hand-held E-beams chew up even our super-armor.
>>
>>2419379
I had written up an attempt to figure out how this would have worked but all I did was end up confusing myself.
Sorry if my brain is a little fried from too much direct sunlight today.

>>2419428
>If the rings represent increasing areas of time dilation
They do act as a rough indicator. Closer to center = more time dilation.

>Unless we want to go for an intercept on the group?
That is possibility. Trying to get to the center first vs trying to get into position to kill the other guys. Plus variations thereof.

>I feel like getting into an area with more cover would be better for when we want to engage them
Unfortunately there is very little to work with on that front. The only available cover is what you've brought with you. Such as shields.

>I bet those hand-held E-beams chew up even our super-armor.
In theory the shield should be able to resist them and by extension so should your armor. However the design of your armor hasn't exactly been tested before you put it on. It is essentially a prototype.
>>
>>2419428
Resuming tomorrow. We'll see if anyone else either agrees with this or wants to try something different.
>>
>>2419853
Would it be possible to contact the enemy team? Racing them to the control center seems like a gigantic waste of time given the nature of the "defense" system.

If they're not interested in a sensible solution, we should try to intercept asap. Is it possible to coordinate with the other half of our team?
>>
>>2420191
>contact the enemy team
>diplomacy with Neeran commandos
>>
>>2420270
Maybe they ran out of genocidal assholes for their commando units? It's been a couple of years.
>>
>>2420191
>Would it be possible to contact the enemy team?
I'm going to say it's possible. Your radios, though primitive, should be picked up by their communicators. The signal may be a bit distorted but it should get through.

>If they're not interested in a sensible solution, we should try to intercept asap. Is it possible to coordinate with the other half of our team?
Yes. The others should be farther behind the enemy, and as the gravitational effects increase should begin to catch up, though that still might take awhile.

Try to contact them? Y/N?
If yes what say?
>>
>>2420296
>N
>>
>>2420296
>Try to contact them? Y/N?
I'm undecided. I'd like to ask Uller what he thinks about the idea and if he has some idea what might convince them to leave this place. Free passage to the surface, maybe?
>>
>>2420309
"Uller what you think about the idea of warning them about the stasis system?"
"It is certain they do not know what the defense system actually does, but they may not care. They are likely just here to unlock the towers to allow other forces to enter the Polar installation."

"Any idea what might convince them to leave this place? Free passage to the surface, maybe?"
"Uncertain. The other Caretakers will not permit them to leave with what they've learned or already know about this place. We could offer them a way out as you suggested.
Still, they would be reluctant as long as their goal is within reach."

"We could bluff them into thinking opening their connection to the pole will activate the defense system." suggests Eldal.

"Wont they be able to tell we're lying?" you ask.
"Not over the communicator, or I could prevent them from finding out when talking in person."

[ ] Beat them to the center
[ ] Try to intercept earlier
[ ] Communicate; Offer/Bluff
>>
>>2420347
>[x] Try to intercept earlier
>>
>>2420347
Could they actually do damage if we let them reach the center but disable all the energy towers they managed to unlock? I'd prefer not to waste time trying to get to the center.
>>
>>2420351
The only real damage the enemy team itself could do here is open the door for the Empire's forces elsewhere on the sphere.
As long as your other team keeps shutting down the rest of the tower switches that is.
>>
>>2420350
Since we've got not other votes, where/how do you want to intercept them?
>>2419263
>>
>>2420384
Let's try to go for the intercept.
>>
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>>2420448
Stay parallel to them until the teams are closer?
Loop farther out to avoid the worst time dilation effects, then catch up?
>>
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>>2420455
Would this make any difference?
>>
>>2420455
[x] Loop
>>
>>2420462
>Would this make any difference?
I calculated it all out. The answer is use Sonia's math skills to figure that out.

Uller thinks dilation effects will double with each ring.
>>
>>2420495
It should allow us to Intercept them roughly halfway through ring 3, while going around should allow us to enter ring three when they're halfway through. It's all guesswork, I'm on mobile.

If the gravity quakes are worse closer to the center we might catch up faster on a different route, though.
>>
>>2420466
1 for loop.
>>2420462
>>2420516
Follow the orange zigzag approach?
>>
>>2420533
Zig zag posts are both me. Going to vote for that.
>>
>>2420564
Oh, alright.
Anyone else then?
>>
SURVEY!

surveymonkey com/r/ VSTTY88

Survey links are up on the twitter and wiki.
>>
>>2420533
I'll back the zig-zag.

What's the worst that could happen.
>>
We had a grand total of 4 votes on the Survey. Guess what? Another tie.
>>
>>2422654
forgot to vote earlier, check again
>>
>>2422654
Roll a d2 to decide?
>>
>>2422664
Well that makes for the bare minimum I guess.

We're using the zig zag route!
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ0K_8Atomw [ C&C3 - Radiation Alert ]

You lay out the plan to work your way over toward the enemy team with the occasional direction change out to the side. It should give you an advantage over heading straight in and suffering dilation effects sooner.

While the others are uncertain Uller shouts that there's no time to argue about it.
"We can't afford to waste even seconds. Hurry!"

Continuing to run, the four of you change course once you're a bit closer, beginning the first of the planned zigs. Uller begins to lag behind but urges you to keep going.
"I will catch up! If only because I have more time to do so being farther away."

Light distortions from the gravity waves start to become visible the closer you get. If there were time to stop and properly think this through it would probably be a lot scarier. Eldal manages to figure out how to predict some of the shockwaves giving you all time to either brace yourself, or use the suit's extra strength to go airborne long enough to avoid being thrown off your feet. Uller continues to lag behind a bit but still urges you forward.

Closing in on the path of the enemy team you finally spot the glowing lines of the transit network. It's not that far away. Looking ahead on the path you make out what has to be the enemy team. They're not too far ahead.

"We're within rifle range. Attack now before they spot us?" Valeri asks you.

[ ] Open fire with Rifles
[ ] Wait until we're closer
[ ] Close rapidly [Use suit power]
>>
>>2422772
>rifles
The sooner we engage them, the sooner the rest of our team can catch up.
>>
>>2422772

>[ ] Open fire with Rifles
>>
>>2422772
>[ ] Open fire with Rifles
>>
>>2422795
>>2422804
>>2422806
All the guns. Writing.
>>
>>2422772
You guys think we'll have enough suit power to chop a commando in half with the sword?
>>
>>2422889

We will soon test that out.
>>
>>2422889
Sonia should establish herself as alpha neeran. The rest of the unit will fall in line immediately once she has established dominance and we'll end up with our own group of neeran commandos.
>>
>>2422772
>I will catch up!

Have we found the Neeran weakness? Zig-zag lines? Is this why all their ships are just giant eggs?
>>
"Open fire!"

You and Valeri shoulder your weapons and open up, firing on semi-auto. Eldal meanwhile uses one of the lasers. You dont see any sign of an enemy response to the attack until you empty the magazine. One of the trailing Neeran begins to collapse in slow motion, struck down by fire from you and Valeri. Two others turn and raise shields or deflect the incoming fire.

The Command team takes a surprisingly long time to return fire. It's easy to spot the glow of a plasma weapon discharging and you dive to the side. The beam takes twice as long as usual to cross the distance, seeming to pick up speed as passes by. It seems that the time dilation is on your side attacking from here.

"This would have sucked if we'd run parallel to them." Valeri comments.
"Why's that? Wait, never mind."
You figured it out. It would have been like long range starship combat without the aid of faster than light sensors.

Emptying a second magazine you note there are only two left and both Neeran at the back are focusing on deflecting the incoming projectiles. The remaining two are rushing ahead. Laser rifles dont seem to have enough punch against full fledged commandos much to Eldal's annoyance.

Glancing back you see Uller has caught up. By the time you turn your eyes front again arcs of lighting are beginning to spread out from the Enemies that have gone turtle. You should be beyond the weapon's effective range but it's going to be a pain to deal with them as they are.


"Suggestions?"

Valeri rolls to the side of a plasma shot, taking cover behind his shield.
"You and Uller focus down one of them at a time with artifact weapons? It'll probably still take awhile to kill them."

Eldal has two ideas, neither of which you may like.
"What's the first one?"
"Sacrifice play. One of use takes the lead with a shield providing cover for the others."

Not ideal. The shields are really tough, but whoever takes the lead is certain to be injured.
"The other?"

"Mad dash. Uller covers us, we spread out and charge at our highest speed to get into close combat. That lighting artifact is a problem though."
"Yeah, they might be able to hit two of us at once." Valeri points out.

The Krath shrugs. "That's all I've got. Unless you want to try and pull that bluff you were talking about earlier?"

[ ] Focus fire
[ ] Sacrifice play
[ ] Mad dash
[ ] Communicate; Offer/Bluff
[ ] Other
>>
>>2422904
Uller and the empire went full bloatmaxx and cardio would have killed their gainz.
>>
>>2422906
>Communicate
We don't even need to bluff this time. Only two of them are still able to fight, they're also at a huge tactical disadvantage while we have reinforcements incoming. Offer proper treatment for their injured and their choice of being held by the caretakers, or getting a short term memory wipe and being turned over to the factions as pows.
>>
>>2422906
Can we use our own lightning gauntlet to force their one back?
>>
>>2422904
You heard it here first! Corners, the great enemy of the Neeran race

>>2422906
[ ] Mad dash
Got to go fast
>>
>>2422906

I think if we try to communicate, the time dilation thing will screw up any talks until we get into the same time field as they are. Because if they are far enough away where we can just move out of the way of their plasma. Then voice will be going even slower.

Maybe a combination of pushing closer, while focusing fire on targets would be a better option.

Give someone our shields and have them be our moving wall. As the rest of us fire around them at our targets as we move closer.
>>
>>2422906
Another idea, how many shields do we have and would it be enough to form a shield wall to smash into them? As the forward shields get more damaged/heat up, the team members behind move up and deploy whilst the damage one falls back and cools off.
>>
>>2422942
Shouldn't the radio signal be slowed down to appropriate speeds once it is close enough to be picked up by their communicators? I guess we could slow it down and speed it up on repeat transmissions to account for any ongoing temporal weirdness.
>>
>>2422951

No idea, I'm just guessing here. But I figure if we are able to empty an entire magazine of ammo into them before we get a response. There is some pretty big time dilation going on that will make sound which travels slower then even a bullet take longer to reach them and from them back to us.

(A 9mm goes ~2500ft/s while sound goes ~1,000ft/s, brief googling probably not accurate)
>>
>>2422904
Uller is fairly fast. Rufaro without her power armor has about the same run speed.
You and Valeri have suits plus enhancements, and Eldal can be almost as fast as he wants at any given moment.

>>2422933
>Can we use our own lightning gauntlet to force their one back?
Now that's an interesting idea. Aside from the exploding everything bit it's very similar to normal lighting. I wonder if the opposed fields would repel one another?
Plausible. Only one way to find out for sure.

>>2422948
>how many shields do we have
3? Sonia, Eldal Valeri.
Uller has his own odd weapon which is sort of a cross between a staff weapon and those old dueling shields.
>>
>>2422978
>Only one way to find out for sure.
I have to vote for a lightning battle.
>>
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>>2422942
>>2422951
>>2422974
I sort of figured that since the radio communication isn't being sent as a burst it would be compressed by the time it reached them as a result.
So you'd need to send them a slowed down message for it sound normal when they got it.

That should be how it works, right?
Shit now I'm confusing myself.
>>
>>2422974
We're not restricted to sound though, communication via radio is possible.
>>
>>2423007

I have no idea the math and science behind communication in time dilated places. But it is your world, bending the universe a little is allowed I believe.

>>2423009
And then an anon points out that we don't have to shout at one another.

I was under the idea we would just shout at each other. But if we're using radio and such then yeah I believe I'm just raising a rather pointless point. Ignore my post about speed and crap, sorry about the confusion.
>>
>>2423007
Yeah, I think the radio waves would bunch up at the start of the next dilation zone. Which should mean they would receive more radio waves in a shorter amount of time than intended. So we'd have to account for that by slowing down the transmission.
>>
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>>2423018
That's what I though, then I fell into the trap of overthinking it.
>>
>>2423026
It probably depends on how the time dilation is applied. Never really thought about this stuff.
>>
[1] Focus fire/slow advance
[1] Mad dash
[2] Communicate; Offer/Bluff
[1] Lighting counter

Looks like we're going to try communicating unless anyone wants to change their vote?

>What say?
>>
>>2423074
"Commando unit, this is guardian squad 2. Most of your team has been incapacitated, you have wounded in need of medical attention and those of you still able to fight back find themselves at a severe tactical disadvantage. Your progress on the way here is already being undone by another team.

We are willing to provise favorable terms of surrender. Treatment according to your choice of either faction alliance pow regulations or caretaker law will be offered. Lay down your weapons and we will immediately provide medical assistants to the wounded and escort you out of this area."
>>
>>2423074
"The offer is simple, keep fighting and die, or surrender now and live."
>>
>>2423074
It might be a good idea to have Uller transmit the message. It might make them believe we're an official security team and from what I remember imperial neeran are mostly used to other neeran in positions of authority.
>>
>>2423143
>It might be a good idea to have Uller transmit the message. It might make them believe we're an official security team and from what I remember imperial neeran are mostly used to other neeran in positions of authority.

The Caretaker is quick to agree.
"They may also be more willing to listen to me given my origins. We shall see shortly."
>>
Uller pulls out a communicator and adjusts it to record at the appropriate speed.

"Commando unit, most of your team has been incapacitated. You have wounded in need of medical attention and those of you still able to fight back are at a severe tactical disadvantage. Your progress is already being undone by another team.

We are willing to provide favorable terms of surrender. You can be turned over to the Factions Alliance or the Caretakers. Lay down your weapons and we will provide medical assistance to the wounded.
If that's not simple enough; keep fighting and die, or surrender now and live."

You catch Uller say something about the need for a short message but doesn't bother to clarify. He records a message of his own, switching to a Neeran dialect your Sphere expedition translators cant quickly identify. With that done he sets the audio to play back at a slower speed and transmits it using your radio.

"What did you tell them?" you ask.
"I just insulted you. Don't take it personally."
"What? Why would you do that?"
"Because your message played first. I implied a healthy lack of respect for the younger races."

You try but fail to come up with some way of expressing your displeasure.

Watching closely the two hunkered down Neeran listen to the message. It's enough to get them to cease fire, and they're clearly discussing their options. After a minute or so of their time you get a response. Their only terms are that they not surrender to the Hunted.
"Who?"
"They're worried one of you is the one who killed Girisha's offspring. That one isn't even on the sphere."

Uller quickly sends a response and they reply in kind. After decompressing the return message it looks like the two acting as rear guard have agreed to surrender. Both throw down their weapons, plasma guns bursting into flames from a self destruct setting. Any artifacts they've picked up along the way are set aside.

The four of you charge forward, shields and weapons ready for a trick. As you close in both of them raise their hands in surrender. One laughs saying you'll need a lot of luck to catch the remaining two.

Ran and most of the other team should be here shortly. Did you want to leave the two Neeran disarmed, have one of your team watch them, or go back on your word and execute them?

[ ] Leave disarmed
[ ] Someone watch them (who?)
[ ] Execute
>>
>>2423269

STUN GRE... oh wait... fuck we don't have any...

Well this will be interesting. How many Neeran are left chasing the center now that these two surrendered?
>>
>>2423280
There were 5. 1 looks quite dead, 2 have surrendered.

2 left.
>>
>>2423269
>>2423282

Well if we want to maintain the illusion that Uller is in charge. We need him to come to the center. So, I say, us and Uller go. While Eldal and Valeri watch over them. Making sure to put Neeran Commando rated bindings on the captives to wait for Ran and the follow up team to back them up.

Once the other team joins up. Have our body guards come back us up. If we've not resolved the issue by the time the other team returns.

Or at least that is one idea.
>>
>>2423269
Didn't we bring stasis fields? Or could Eldal temporarily disable the nerves controlling the neerans' extremities?
>>
>>2423301
>Didn't we bring stasis fields? Or could Eldal temporarily disable the nerves controlling the neerans' extremities?
Yes you did! You, Valeri and Uller each have one.

Use them?

>Or could Eldal temporarily disable the nerves controlling the neerans' extremities?
Now there's an idea. I think he could probably do this.
>>
>>2423269
>[x] Execute
>>
>>2423310

>Stasis Fields, use?
YES! That completely makes my previous post pointless, but I like this idea better. Put them in stasis and then lets head after the last two Neeran.
>>
>>2423269
>>2423310
Does Ty Lee count as a magical girl?
Put the dead one in stasis if Uller thinks he can be salvaged with sphere technology. Have Eldal disable the other two.
Unless Neeran die without water within a couple of hours or something equally unpleasant before the other team would arrive.
>>
>>2423327
>Put the dead one in stasis if Uller thinks he can be salvaged with sphere technology.
They're quite dead.

>Unless Neeran die without water within a couple of hours
That seems unlikely.

Just need a tie breaker.

[1] Execute
[1] Stasis
[1] Disable
>>
>>2423358
I'll switch to stasis, it's still preferable to going back on our word.

I'm just a bit worried we'll need the stasis units after our encounter with the remaining two. The other friendly team has some as well?
>>
>>2423358
I fell asleep. Sorry.
Stasis mofo! Now I return to my sweet dreams of despair
>>
>>2423358
>they're quite dead
That doesn't mean too much at this tech level.
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7MAtwGwSQ74 [ Gundam Unicorn - MOBILE ARMOR ]

"Both of you, down on the ground! We'll put them in stasis."

You and Uller each use one of the spare medical stasis field generators you picked up earlier. That should keep both of the prisoners from causing trouble. With that done the rest of you resume your run.

In the time that took the rest of the unit has shut down most of the other transit system connections and are beginning to catch up. You can almost make them out in the distance. It's hard to tell how far away they really are though, especially with the different rate of time.

Up ahead you can see the other two neeran. They're clearly running, taking care to keep their makeshift shields either behind them, or on their back to prevent you from getting an easy hit in. Eldal pings them with a few last laser shots to keep their heads down before he runs out of ammo.
Their shields must be made of builder material taken from the shuttle or drones because your rifles can't really penetrate them at this range.

You start to consider the other weapons.
"Is there any danger of us breaking things with the artifact weapons here?"
"No." Uller replies a little too quickly.

Is he lying to you?
"Really?"
"...possibly. Don't give it consideration."

Ahead one of the commandos turns briefly and fires a sustained burst with a plasma weapon, sweeping the area. You're forced to duck down behind your shield for cover, as are the others. Things get a little hot but your shields protect you from the worst of it. Uller doesn't even stop, using his staff to simply cut through it.

"Why didn't they do that earlier?"
"It used all their ammo. They're down to whatever artifacts they brought with them."
That's a good reason you guess.

"Last mag!" you warn, stowing your rifle.
"I'm down to specialist rounds only." Valeri reports.
"What's left?"
"Four explosive, and a fusion round for my launcher."
"Y- what? Shoot them with it!"
"There wasn't time to test it."

"I could attempt to keep them from the next switch with heavy weapons fire." Uller offers, hefting his shield/staff combo. "But I would need to stop to use it."

[ ] Modified 20mm Fusion grenade round [Radiation warning]
[ ] Burst of speed, force them into close combat [Max suit power]
[ ] Uller provides covering fire
>>
>>2423549
>[x] Burst of speed, force them into close combat [Max suit power]
>>
>>2423549
>[ ] Burst of speed, force them into close combat [Max suit power]
>>
>>2423549
>Eldal, grab my armor!
>modified [ ] Burst of speed, force them into close combat [Max suit power]
Can we drag Eldal so help us not to flail around aimlessly at max power?
>>
>>2423570
>Eldal, grab my armor!
He can probably match your speed for a bit.

>Can we drag Eldal so help us not to flail around aimlessly at max power?
Sorry, meant max safe setting.
>>
I want to find out from Uller some good Neeran insults.
>>
Still alive. Post soon™
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRZ_itT50l4 [ Bourne Ultimatum - Tangiers ]

You begin to shed any equipment that isn't immediately useful in combat and yell at the others to run faster. Once Valeri has likewise dropped some gear he break into a sprint as well. You mentally command the power module to open up to the highest levels you think you can handle. Each step becomes more like a leap. It's a little worrying that you might leave the others behind.

A quick check shows that Valeri is keeping up, although only barely. Eldal has taken on a rather nightmarish appearance, his body elongating and limbs looking more blade like with each step. Even Uller is picking up speed despite his bulk. Letting out bellowing roar he slowly but steadily begins to accelerate much like a juggernaut.

Now closing the distance you raise your right arm and begin to fire off shots with the plasma artifact. Between that and a couple explosive rounds Valeri throws their way, it certainly gets their attention. Both Neeran draw their shields and turn to face you.

If you wanted them to stop, mission accomplished.

As they begin to throw out return fire the three of you go evasive, effectively sidestepping plasma weapon shots. Others you have to block with the shield of course but by then you're getting into really close range.
Drawing your sword you leap over the better equipped of the two Commandos while Eldal scythes in from the flank. You land in the perfect position to stab them in the back. If he turns enough to stop you it should provide Eldal an opening.

Checkmate.

Or that's how you would have liked it to go. Instead when you land the Neeran drops, leg extended outward it connects with your groin. The hit arrests your momentum long enough for their shield to swing round and swat you out of the air. At the same time they extend their staff outwards and, as they turn with the shield strike, manages to club Eldal rather solidly as well.

Initially tumbling in a heap you quickly heave yourself back up then get to work forcing air into your lungs. That hurt a whole lot more than you care to admit right now. No time for petty things like pain though when there's a fight to rejoin.

Valeri and the other Neeran are a blur of limbs and weapons. Your original target is trying to split their attention between keeping Eldal at bay and directing fire towards Uller.

Your orders?
[ ] Plasma
[ ] Lighting
[ ] Sword
[ ] Amplifier
>>
>>2423783
>[x] Sword
Seems like the best weapon for a brawl when friendlies are nearby.
>>
Scene appropriate battle music also welcome.
>>
>>2423783
>[x] Sword
>[x] Amplifier
>>
>>2423799
>[x] Amplifier
Suit or sword?
>>
>>2423808
Amplify the sword to surprise them.
>>
>>2423790
>>2423799
Seems we're going with the sword, now for the
>Your orders?
part of that post.

Help Valeri or Eldal?
>>
>>2423839
The guy fighting Eldal and Valeri seems the easier target right now. Getting involved in the melee combat Valeri is involved in seems pretty risky right now.
>>
>>2423839
See if we can help Valeri. If they're focused on each other we could try to come up behind whilst they're distracted or launch our self up and come down on top of them.
>>
Just waiting for a tie breaker.
>>
What if the Commandos are reading our mind and responding to our plans before we've even acted upon them? I hope Uller can shield us.
>>
File deleted.
>>2423910
>What if the Commandos are reading our mind and responding to our plans before we've even acted upon them?
Then I'd say it would be a hard fight.
>>
>>2423910
What if Uller is on their side? To speed things up, I'll change my vote to Valeri.
>>
>>2423951
>What if Uller is on their side?
Then you probably would not have walked off that fabricator back in the armory.
>>
>>2423985
They're also the race that started the biggest space war in the history of everybody involved because they want to harvest their distant relatives' organs. I don't expect these guys to come up with reasonable plans.
>>
>>2424004
>biggest space war
I dunno man, this is a 'pretty big' war, but some of the faction wars stuff is nuts.

I mean, imagine if the Factions told the Kavarians to go nuts. That would upgrade the situation I bet.
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Q2oExZFwtE [ 2SFH - Am I Not Human ]

Adjusting the grip on your sword you look at your options, help Valeri or Eldal. Neither of their opponent are ones you'd prefer to tangle with but that's not a luxury you can afford.

Witht he simple expediency of Valeri being closer you dive back into the fight, shield leading the way. Worried that these guys may be reading your mind you consider as many places to strike as possible. Easily done given the difficulty you have deciding what to do some days.

The Commando pulls back slightly allowing them to engage you and Valeri simultaneously. The three of you trade, dodge and deflect blows that might have killed lesser equipped soldiers. Even with the armor and enhancements you're slowly racking up minor injuries. Fortunately so is the commando.

Eventually they try to get some breathing room by dropping down and unleashing a pulse of kinetic energy in all directions. Even using your sword to absorb some of the blast isn't enough to entirely protect you, forcing both of you back a few steps. It buys enough time for them to switch their staff weapon to plasma mode and draw an e-beam artifact with the other hand. They fire the weapons at you and Valeri respectively.

Sword and shield catch the worst of the stream of plasma. Some of it hits your greaves and the top of the helmet. The force of the blast would have staggered you normally but the extra suit power allows you to press on, swatting the staff weapon aside with a sword swing. Your shield intercepts a blow attempting to hammer you down into the floor and buys enough of an opening to stab them in the abdomen. Releasing the energy stored in the weapon is enough to get through their hardened skin and drive deep into your enemy's guts.

In a blur two enormous hands latch onto your shield and right arm, trying to tear you free of your weapon. Or limbs from their sockets, you doubt they're picky at this point. From the screaming pain in your limbs your arm... oh, no there it goes. The biosynthetic limb that replaced your cybernetic right arm proves to be the weak link as the elbow joint gives out and rips off.

It's at this point that two explosive rounds from Valeri's rifle connect with the Commando's upper chest and head. Despite dropping like a rock they're amazingly not dead. In seconds the giant starts to shake off the injury despite now missing an eye and with a crater centimeters from vital organs.

>Cont.
>>
Detaching the shield, you roll to your feet before they do. Valeri charges in, armor looking like half of it has been burned away. He grabs your sword, ripping it free of the Commando who lashes out, sending Valeri flying with a kinetic burst. You use the opening to draw your backup mono blade, stabbing it through the hole in its chest. This is followed by a point blank lightning gauntlet attack.

Electricity rips through the commando's body and more importantly their compromised vital organs. Nearly blinded by the light show, you're thrown off by the body's violent spasming. By the time you right yourself again and blink away the worst of the after effects Valeri has reached you.

"Borrowing your rifle!" your bodyguard informs you, dropping the sword at your feet.

One neeran down, you look in time to see Uller locked in close combat with the other. Eldal is alive but in terrible shape, hurriedly trying to reattach severed limbs. It would be nice if yours went back on that easy.

Valeri empties the last magazine on your rifle in an attempt to distract the remaining enemy. With it empty he hurls the gun at them for good measure. Uller is not going to last long by himself. Fortunately your sword still has charge left in it from when Valeri was struck.

[ ] Sword, switch converter for amplifier artifact
[ ] Lighting gauntlet
[ ] Help Eldal get back into the fight
[ ] Other
>>
>>2424197
>[x] Sword, switch converter for amplifier artifact
Amplify for a big finish.
>>
>>2424197

Lightning/ Sword combo. Get in close stab with sword and use it to channel lightning right into the Neeran.
>>
>>2424206
>>2424208
Sword + amplifer, use the gauntlet if more of a kick is needed?
>>
>>2424227
yes
>>
>>2424227
Support.
>>
test post
>>
Before charging in again you're faced with the old problem of impaired limb logistics. Your damaged lower arm is hanging uselessly. Hopefully it wont be come an issue as there isn't time to deal with it. Holding the sword steady with your knees you swap out the converter with the amplifier.
It would sure be nice if the fight was over by the time you had this finished. No such luck.

Fortunately your allies are still on their feet. Uller is putting up a tremendous fight but is slowly but steadily losing. Eldal has most of his limbs back on and is going through his small medkit. That's probably a good thing. He hasn't called for help.

Charging back into the fight you're faced with your limited practice using the sword left handed. Then again how hard could a fight to the death be? The Commando has been slowly but steadily backing their way towards the next switch. Is that the last one? It's hard to tell due to the nearby light source. Ultimately it doesn't matter if it's the first or last, you move to block their path.

When the commando get's within weapons range they're forced to split their attention three ways. Predictably their response is a kinetic blast. Unfortunately for you with the sword artifacts switched out you have no way of safely absorbing that energy with the sword.
Rather than find out what would happen of you amplified the incoming strike you instead have to bear the brunt of it the old fashioned way, the force of it driving you backwards.

This guy seems to be a master of counterattacks, even more than the other one. There are ways around that. You move in and ready yourself, waiting for an opening, or for them to attack first. It's an agonizing few moments as Uller and Valeri take on more injuries.

Seeing an opening you move in as close as you dare but don't attack, waiting for the inevitable strike. When it doesn't come you ready your suit and nod to Valeri. He pushes hard, striking at the head and eyes. You move in at the same time. If this bastard doesn't swing at you you'll be seeing how much damage power armored elbows do. Uller pushes hard as well, trying to keep your opponent from attempting another kinetic blast.

Instead he lashes out at the three of you simultaneously. You trigger your suit to unleash a powerful low swing into the oncoming limb. As it connects you mentally activate the amplifier artifact, dumping everything from the capacity bank into it. There's a faint glow from the sword hilt and the weapon itself seems to behave oddly in the chamber's strange lighting.

>cont.
>>
Your sword carves through their leg like a HF-blade through paper. Swinging up and to the side you cut a deep groove across their back. The light from your weapon is quickly extinguished and a follow up attempt to stab them in the back with it fails to penetrate.

Uller is quick to take advantage, driving your opponent to the floor. You have to dive out of the way to avoid being pinned beneath them. Eldal then Valeri each try to tackle the Commando's weapons and shields out of their hands. The Krath begins to change form more drastically than you've seen before, teeth, claws, needles and bone stab at the limb he's attacking. He even tries to boil away part of their protection with acid.

Jabbing a hand into their rapidly closing leg wound you let loose with the lightning once more. That seems to halt or undo their localised attempts at healing providing a larger opening to stab your sword in. A kinetic attack against you only serves to worsen their wounds.
Uller is badly wounded but he seems determined to crush the life out of their rival regardless.

At length the enemy eventually begins to yell out in pain end in a few words in Neeran.

"What was that?" you ask, your translator apparently damaged.

"I YIELD!"

Shit, really?

[ ] Fucking kill him
[ ] Talk Uller down
>>
>>2424431
>[x] Fucking kill him
>>
>>2424431

I have no idea if this is Caretaker thought process but...

If Uller gets a kill. It will mean a confirmed kill against an Empire Neeran commando who yeilded. Which when the other Caretakers learn of this, Uller will face either expulsion or severe punishment from the Caretakers.

If we kill the commando, we would be violating Alliance laws/ rules about POW's. Even if he is an Empire Neeran.

I think, we should try and talk Uller down. He is already in trouble for helping us get this far. He was granted asylum here in the sphere by the Caretakers when he left the Empire. And they already believe he is compromised due to the war. Him killing the Commando who has said they yield will mean he is fully compromised and can no longer stay here.

Where as if he doesn't kill the commando, but merely... disables them. We do have one last stasis with us right? He will be punished but still be allowed to remain in the sphere.

I mean... I would like to have Uller with us in our future travels. But I want him to know, if he does this, kills him. There is a chance the Caretakers will no longer house him. But if he disables the commando. Like say... injures their arms so they cannot be used. We put the bastard in stasis. And wait for the other Caretakers to come pick us up.
>>
>>2424445
>We do have one last stasis with us right?
You have 1 left.
>>
>>2424452

Then talk Uller into disabling the commando and we put the bastard in stasis.
>>
As it's getting kinda late I'll pick up tomorrow and see which more people favour.
>>
Amplifier was cool.
>>
>>2424431
>[ ] Talk Uller down
Prisoner might be worth more to us alive. I mean Eldal can't steal his mind if he is dead.
>>
>>2424431
>[ ] Talk Uller down
>>
>>2424431
>[X] Talk Uller down
We're professionals, and the Neeran has surrendered. Let's try not to kill people unless we have to, it's a bad habit to get into.

Then begin taking stock of the wounded. Is Eldal in any danger? If he's relatively okay, can he help the wounded bio armor? Is the Neeran who went down first recoverable? These guys seem to be freakishly durable at times. Do the commandos have any medical supplies on them?

Also, learning the Imperial dialect seems like something that might be worth spending time on.
>>
Oh boy it's time for a new arm. What should we get this time? Scanner cybernetic? Another biosynthetic? Industrial hydraulic crusher arm?
>>
As much as you'd like to kill the fucker they have surrendered.

"Alright stop! Cease fire!"

Eldal and Valeri cease their attacks and switch to merely restraining the Neeran. Uller doesn't seem to have registered what you said, or is ignoring you in favour of killing their opponent.

"Uller, stop! You're already in trouble with the other caretakers. If you kill a surrendered opponent they'll probably exile you."

"It. May. Be. Worth it."
"What about Ran?"

You dont know if Uller's thought process sees your mention of their apprentice as a warning of what the other Caretakers will do, or if kill him would be a bad example. Either way Uller lets go with an angry shout, stepping away.

"I am Thrivad. My kin commands the fleet." the wounded commando declares.

"You're related to Girisha?"

It's clear they dont like that name but they get the meaning all the same.
"Yes. You are not one of the hunted." They declare, almost as if it's an accusation.

"Clearly, and I'd like it to stay that way." you reply.

Turning to Uller you suggest putting this guy in stasis. Quietly you suggest that the commando really wont need the use of their arms in prison. Getting your meaning Uller takes the last medical stasis field and activates it such that the prisoner's arms are outside the field.

Next you get to work checking on the wounded. Eldal seems to be largely fine. He explains that he took some of "the good stuff" that you'd picked up on the manufacturing level. Apparently it allows him to temporarily become more... malleable? He'll be fine.

Uller is in terrible shape. In the time it takes you to break out the medkit Ran and the others arrive.

"We got the last of them." you explain pointing a thumb to the stasis enclosed enemy.

"We saw." Troy answers.
Ran pulls out a healing artifact and does what he can to quickly patch the worst of Ullers wounds. You have to quickly look away from the bright light it emits. With that done he urges all of you to leave immediately.

"Go! We must get out of the dilation field!"
"What about our prisoner?"
"Hurry, the other Caretakers can retrieve them once the system is powered down."

All of you take flight once more, now for entirely different reasons. It's clear that the gravity waves are lessening. The Caretakers must already be stepping back the system to its previous levels. Before that process finishes though you'd rather get out of there. No sense waiting several months in there when you could leave now.

>Cont.
>>
Ran guides you towards a much closer entrance that the other team found. It's still a good jog away but it's a hell of a lot better than the alternatives. Heading down the ramp all of you step through the entrance where you're greeted by a waiting security team. A trio of Caretakers and a half dozen human warriors are waiting there for you, but make no move to stop you, instead offering medical assistance.

It takes some work to detach enough of the armor to remove your damaged limb. Holding up the severed limbs hand to your brow in a mock salute you tell them that you'll be ok until reaching proper medical facilities. Some painkillers for your many bruises would be nice though.

"You do have internal bleeding in places." they warn.
"Tell me something I dont know." you grumble.

[ ] "If you have to put me in stasis do it."
[ ] "I've had worse. Just get me to a medbay."
>>
I need to figure out how long you guys have been in there. Also need to deal with a somewhat major screw up in the timeline I noticed the other day that I'd made.
Certain content may be delayed as a result.
>>
>>2425168
>[ ] "I've had worse. Just get me to a medbay."
>>
>>2425168
>[ ] "I've had worse. Just get me to a medbay."

Monty Pythons Black Knight quote here.

>>2425182
Well at the entrance you said 6 minutes inside to one hour outside. According to shortest of all google searches an average time it takes to walk a mile for a person today is 15 minutes. So with Sonia being as fit as she is and having power armor to enhance her attributes. I'd imagine we would be able to walk a mile much quicker then that. And at a jog or run it wouldn't be nearly as long.

So whatever distance you have in your notes, try working with that. Until we hit the first time dilating field inside the time dilation. (Not counting the time spent inside the library seeing how only seconds passed outside it)

Time dilation field so powerful it created a time paradox!
>>
>>2425168
"Internal bleeding? Sounds 'armless."

It is time for the puns.
>>
>>2425216
>Well at the entrance you said 6 minutes inside to one hour outside.
That part is fairly easy. Or more accurately it's a drop in the bucket compared to what happens after this:
>>2419263
>"Gravity at the center is increasing." Uller warns.

>Not counting the time spent inside the library seeing how only seconds passed outside it
Exactly. You spent at most a couple minutes real time stopping to enter and exit the reading room.

>Time dilation field so powerful it created a time paradox!
No, I screwed up something with the timeline more than a year ago and didn't realise it.
>>
>>2425168
"Just keep an eye on my vitals. If things get really dangerous you can still put me in stasis."

>>2425167
How is Bio Armour-kun doing?
>>
>>2425227
The Terrans didn't manage to destroy all those grav well generators in that experiment yet?
>>
>>2425182
There's no mistakes in this setting, only new and interesting twists!

Maybe the Kythera figured out a new cloaking system and hid from the search fleets for a few months? Maybe the Empire Neeran had a small civil war as one commander took control?
>>
>>2425232
That happened toward the start of the Civil War iirc. It happened before the Mk2 entered production. Those were made as a result of data from that event.

>>2425230
>How is Bio Armour-kun doing?
Not so good. Valeri is going to be put in stasis as some of the holes are not just in the armor. The Caretakers dont know how to safely separate the two with harming either at this stage.

Waving off suggestions you be put in stasis you point them towards your bodyguard who clearly needs it more.
"I've had worse. Just get me to a medbay."
Still, you'd better get a spare stasis unit just in case things get worse.

Veur arrives and directs everyone onto what looks to be a more advanced lift vehicle. Their armor seems to have had a few modifications as well. Reinforced sections on the front and back show some similarities to heavier armor you've seen some of the Empire's brawlers use.

"Are they dead?" the Caretaker leader asks without preamble.

"No, three surrendered including their leader Thrivad. They claim to be related to Girisha. You're welcome by the way."

"Good." Veur answers looking away in thought for a moment then turning back to you.
"Yes, thank you General. Thrivad is one of Girisha's more important and respected subordinates. If the Alliance were to make their capture public it would greatly damage Girisha's reputation. Possibly as much as the Alliance has already done in your absence."

"How long were we in there?" you ask once the wounded are aboard.
Veur hesitates before settling on an adequate answer.
"It would be best to speak to your ambassador about that."

The important thing is that the Empire's attacks have been repelled. As you find out at least two towers were destroyed when it became necessary to activate localised defenses. Two heavy cruisers and their supporting units were wiped out.

"We have taken losses but what the enemy have managed to secure has been locked out of the system. The Alliance has stepped up raids against ships outside the sphere. They have also had some success splitting off a number of commanders that had been loyal to Girisha."
>>
>>2425313
Can we ask who these "hunted" are?
>>
>>2425313
>>2425351

I second this question
>>
>>2425351
The enemy commander has some weird non-sphere artifact that will show the location of any target, wherever they are, to the user.
>>
Taken to a nearby medical bay you have to get through the task of fully removing the armor, which turns out to be a bit difficult. Not impossible, but it would have taken a lot of work without help. Being down part of an arm is both a help and a hindrance. You cant quite get at the bits necessary to detach the upper limb from the shoulder. That would have made removing the suit much easier.

Eldal heads off to another bay to see if anything can be done to help Valeri without a trip back to Alliance space first.

Uller requires serious medical attention with several caretakers assisting. Even with surgery it will be a few days until full recovery.

You only get basic treatment for your internal injuries at first as your prosthetic isn't really vital. It's also a handy excuse to turn down signing any official documents for now.

Once everyone on the mend the Caretaker healers do wonder if you'd like anything done about your arm.

[ ] Repair/replace bio synthetic
[ ] Cloned replacement
[ ] Write in / Other
>>
>>2425376
>[ ] Repair/replace bio synthetic
>>
>>2425376

Tempted to go with prosthetic again. Just so we can upgrade it with nifty attachments as we did before the trip out to the sphere.

Then again other choices are just as fine.

Can we get a prosthetic with a built in plasma pistol? That we can shoot ala Iron Man style?
>>
>>2425376
I'm sure they have gathered some interesting prosthetics in their databanks over all those millennia.
>>
>>2425376
Do they have any cybernetic artifact arms? That would be fun. We could even try trading for it, I'm sure they'd enjoy adding our bio-weapon rust virus to their collection they no doubt have stored up somewhere.

If not, I'm fine with
>[x] Repair/replace bio synthetic
>>
>>2425389
>Can we get a prosthetic with a built in plasma pistol?
Honestly surprised one with a lightning artifact wasn't asked for first.
>>
>>2425399

I didn't want to get TO greedy.
>>
>>2425399
The lightning artifact seems too inaccurate to be used in situations where an implanted weapon would be the most useful.
>>
>>2425351
>>2425355
>>2425356
http://houseanddominion.wikia.com/wiki/Hunt_Scanner

After the Neeran fleet occupied the Sphere the Caretakers made sure Girisha's only remaining offspring and heir was killed. The person who actually got the kill has been hunted rather obsessively ever since.

Eventually it became too dangerous to keep them on the sphere. They're currently in Faction space.
>>
>>2425453
I can understand the reasoning behind that decision but going for that guy's family seems extreme.
>>
>>2425484
It also kept the bulk of Girisha's fleet pinned rather than immediately moving on to help invade the Pandora Cluster.

>>2425389
>>2425390
So yes you could get a prosthetic with a built in plasma pistol/artifact. A palm emitter is possible if you dont want the whole arm to have to split open.
>>
>>2425528
I honestly think a cybernetic replacement with a Convertor would be way, way more useful than a simple weapon. It has many more utility options and can be helpful for attack and defense.
>>
>>2425528

As cool as that looks. It looks very complicated and easily destroyed/ broken. Then again, if you put a weapon as complicated as a plasma weapon in an arm. It's going to be complicated regardless.

Maybe have it as a back up arm, or just hold on to this idea when we get back home/ alliance space.

In either case, still up for prosthetic with some form of attachment or with options for future attachments.
>>
>>2425528
The scanner arm was pretty useful at times. Do they have a swiss army arm available? Scanner, oxygen filter, radiation treatment, emergency supplies, a scanner - that kind of stuff but more of it because sphere tech.

Also, you can still try to throw a plasma cannon away if it is in danger of exploding. That doesn't seem like an option with a plasma cannon arm.
>>
>>2425545
>As cool as that looks. It looks very complicated and easily destroyed/ broken.
There's also the aforementioned palm emitter that doesn't do that.

>>2425537
The only problem is you wouldn't be able to use the convertor in full on weaponized mode without a capacitor like the sword uses. The human use staff weapons dont work quite the same.
>>
>The scanner arm was pretty useful at times. Do they have a swiss army arm available? Scanner, oxygen filter, radiation treatment, emergency supplies, a scanner - that kind of stuff but more of it because sphere tech.

>Do they have a swiss army arm available?
Honestly? Not really. Your armor was one of the biggest upgrades that has ever been made for humans. Given their own biological abilities most Neeran wouldn't want a cybernetic so there isn't that much development.
They can modify a human staff weapon + 1 artifact to easily fit an arm. A weapon one would be the easiest. They could make one that might allow a convertor to function similar to the sword but that would take a bit longer.

[1] Repair/replace bio synthetic
[ ] Weapon artifact arm
[ ] Converter arm
>>
>>2425588
That's unfortunate. What exactly can a converter do?
>>
>>2425642
>[x] Converter arm
>>
>>2425677
If they cant get it to work? It would be little different than when you were using it hand held before. Low intensity use only, like rendering Neeran camouflage useless.

>It would be great if it could at least temporarily hide from Neeran psy detection as well.
This could work too now that there is time to get suitable training.
>>
>>2425705
I guess a converter arm would be pretty useful.
>>
>>2425642
But there are hundreds of thousands of years from before the Neeran even made it to the sphere. I'm surpriaed there isn't anything impressive.
>>
It's going to take time to see if the engineers can get you the replacement arm of your dreams.

In the meantime you're able to talk to Ran and a few others. He assures you that Uller is recovering. You've seen a few caretakers and human assistants whispering or trading glances whenever the team is around since getting back. Curious you ask Ran what that's about.

"Officially the Caretakers reported to the Alliance that we were all still alive while in the defense system chamber. Unofficially most of the Caretakers who were not kept up to date had begun to assume we had perished. Or at least that your people had. Some suspected Uller might still be alive."

"Did any of them guess you were still alive?"

"A few, but mostly not. I dont blame them. I wasn't even able to endure our vehicle being shot down and crashing without becoming injured."

"Humans have an old saying: Any landing you can walk away from."

>>2425955
Impressive but still has to fit a human.

It looks like we're maybe getting a converter equipped arm?
Roll 1d100

OR roll 2d100 to see if anything more alien yet still suitable is turned up from the archives.

Have to step out and get supplies. Will be back.
>>
Rolled 83, 94 = 177 (2d100)

>>2425981

Lets press our luck.
>>
>>2425981
ROLLING BONES
>>
Rolled 17, 11 = 28 (2d100)

>>2425981
OOps.
>>
Rolled 75, 10 = 85 (2d100)

>>2425981
>>
Rolled 28 (1d100)

>>2425981
Die for the converter :^)
>>
>>2425996
>83
They can do it. It wont be easy, and any time you try to absorb weapons grade energies it will probably burn off the outer covering where struck. Provided you still want it to look semi-human like

>Cont.
>>
Imagine all the magic tricks and practical jokes we could perform with the Convertor. We could even use it to annoy Sonia's sister.
>>
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>>2426189
To you it seems fairly straight forward. The converter and a couple capacity banks plus the near indestructible outer coverings.

>>2425996
>94

I'll say this is high enough to let you the players design something that will be found in the archives. Any artifacts you're familiar with will be around the same size as those depicted here.
>>
>>2426205

I'm still for the idea of a plasma emitter in the palm. Though I'm certain other anons can think of a lot better ideas.
>>
>>2426205
>design something that will be found in the archives.
A few ideas:

-Pocket dimension device that can hold all of Sonia's ever expanding armory
-A stasis shield projector that can deploy a personal field for defense.
-Some kind of space rip device that lets you jump through thin walls
-A scanner like our old arm but with much greater range and clarity and not nearly as obvious
-Hand-held gravity weapon/HRR
-Microfabricator? Make small items?

I'm sure I've suggested things over the years that would fit perfectly but I can't recall them.
>>
>>2426205
An ASHPD?
>>
>>2426260
"Did you find a Pocket dimension device that can hold all of my ever expanding armory?"
"We're not even allowed to look for such devices. Trying to develop them is explicit banned."
"Why is that?" you ask.
The archivist doesn't know but there must be a reason.

>-A stasis shield projector that can deploy a personal field for defense.
They can produce a circular stasis shield that has similar dimensions to the retractable shield.

>-A scanner like our old arm but with much greater range and clarity and not nearly as obvious
Could be done
>-Hand-held gravity weapon/HRR
Plausible.
>-Microfabricator? Make small items?
Interesting. I could see it, though you'd need material to build stuff with it.

>-Some kind of space rip device that lets you jump through thin walls
>>2426271
>An ASHPD?
A gun that shoots holes?
There is a partial archive match but it's unable to be fully accessed at this facility.
>>
>>2426205
-A nanite fabrication and control unit
-A biological plasma thrower
-A holographic projector that can create hard light illusions
-A storage compartment for a light coat of armor that can cover the wearer and provides equivalent protection to marine armor
-A device that can protect from teleporter shock after a lengthy charge period
-A device that's effectively a stun grenade gun but doesn't require solid ammo?

>>2426311
>A gun that shoots holes?
Wouldn't it be closer to something that can establish and maintain two wormholes?
>>
>>2426311
Maybe a gravity gun? For picking up heavy objects and chucking them, like in Half-Life.

Magical Sonia-chan's Rainbow Sparkle Arm
>>
>>2426317
>-A nanite fabrication and control unit
Not found at this facility.
>-A biological plasma thrower
Doable, but may not be compatible with your physiology. You had difficulty with the Krath armor, as a result Sonia may not be the greatest match for symbiotic life forms.
>A holographic projector that can create hard light illusions
Not found at this facility.
Faction Holographics are getting quite good. Before you left there was discussion in some circles about creating a new kind of light power armor. It would be similar to a Recon suit but would be focused more on projecting false units.

>-A storage compartment for a light coat of armor that can cover the wearer and provides equivalent protection to marine armor
Available in the Dominion. Or something similar.
>A device that can protect from teleporter shock after a lengthy charge period
They don't have this, but they do have teleporter tech that doesn't cause the same shock effects. The Alliance is currently in negotiations for access to it.
>-A device that's effectively a stun grenade gun but doesn't require solid ammo?
Well there are the energy stun pulse grenades. The caretakers have something similar.

>Wouldn't it be closer to something that can establish and maintain two wormholes?
Yes. I should have said "gun that makes holes" for it to be a proper reference.
https://theportalwiki.com/wiki/Wheatley_voice_lines
>>
>>2426385
Do they have a treatment for allergical reactions to krath symbionts available?
>>
A Hand-held Veckron beam would be hilarious, imagine how terrified everyone would be of us just being nearby.
>>
>>2426385

This sounds like another Survey opportunity.
>>
>>2426404
Anon, you do recall what the amplifier artifact is made out of yes?
>>
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>>2426359
>Magical Sonia-chan's Rainbow Sparkle Arm
MFW
>>
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>>2426455
I completely forgot. Amplified punches sound hilarious.
>>
ARM SURVEY!

surveymonkey com/r/ YNG88TZ

Links are up in the usual places. I may leave this survey up for awhile.
>>
>>2426455

I don't, what is it?
>>
>>2426624
Giant Veckron crystal.

With your arm in the shop you check in with everyone to make sure they made it through the past few days intact. The other team really had their hands full getting to all of the switches and turning them off again. Inglorious but vital.

Troy wonders if most of your missions turn out like this.
"What, almost getting trapped and frozen in time for all eternity?"

"No, you and a small number of your people ending up in a brawl and losing an arm in the process."

No, but more than you care to admit.

"What about you, what are your missions usually like?"

Harmen shrugs. "Usually we're either thrown into the grinder without much backup or stuck sitting on an objective."
"Why aren't you commanding armies?" You wonder. "You were a candidate for commander of Rioja's ground forces."

"I heard about that. Thanks by the way. No, my mobile tactics aren't that popular with a number of the Barons or I might be. There's resistance among the officers too. Either the Generals are trying to get me killed or keep me away from fighting so that they're not the ones who have to report to my father if anything happens."

Anything you wanted say?
Were there other members of the team you wanted to talk to?
>>
>>2426632
Did they ship the rest of our team to the polar installation while we were stuck in the time bubble?
>>
>>2426632

>Anything you wanted say?
I wanna ask if he feels we've upheld our promise of riding and danger and if he'd be willing to work with us some more in the future. After (when) we return to Dominion space.

>Were there other members of the team you wanted to talk to?
Just check in with all our party members. See how they are doing, you know, normal leader stuff, checking to make sure they've been tended too and all that.

But I really want to do is learn if/ what Uller's/ Ran's punishment is for assisting us. When they were already in trouble before.

How is Valeri and their bio-armor doing?

How is Rufario feeling?

And finally check in with Eldal. I know we asked a lot of him during the chase/ battle.
>>
>>2426632
"How about we set up a small force for the Alliance? That's usually the best route for me if I can't bludgeon Dominion politics into working out and I'd be willing to help with the funding and any equipment you'd need. You saw the fighting on the Capital, with all the newer technology fighting is becoming even faster-paced."

"If it works out well enough you could start a small force and work for different houses."
>>
>>2426632
I also forgot, ask Veur or Ran/ Uller if our efforts to keep the Empire Neeran from messing with the Wormhole Gate had any effect or if we wasted everyone's time securing it. Or if any of our other suggested places were compromised in anyway?
>>
>>2426632
What's Attir doing at the moment? Did they find something useful for him to do or was he put in stasis? Having him sit around in a cell for something that isn't his fault seems unfair.
>>
>>2426694
Until we can get someone to deprogram him and get the Alliance to get information from him. He is a liability to have walking around, having him in stasis is probably the best solution for him right now. At least until we get him back to Alliance space, then he is the Alliances problem to deal with. Likely going to disappear from the face of the galaxy at that point.
>>
>>2426632
>Were there other members of the team you wanted to talk to?
I always wanted to ask, during the fight aboard the Isolationist ship when Sonia got her arm shot off, the Neeran Empire interfaced the gravity drive systems with the FTL and boosted the ship to to J-28 (or something crazy like that). Is that something that can be done safely to produce a 'speed boost' jumping ship and what would the requirements be?
>>
>>2426671
>Did they ship the rest of our team to the polar installation while we were stuck in the time bubble?
Some.
Dave and Emor are here. Most of your personal guard have rotated back to Rioja, with new volunteers now aboard the Hidden Dagger.
Estavan Risto is here as well.
A few of the scientists have been cleared to stay on.
Sam and Dave were transferred back to the Hidden Dagger and the fleet.

>I wanna ask if he feels we've upheld our promise of riding and danger and if he'd be willing to work with us some more in the future. After (when) we return to Dominion space.
"There was certainly danger, and we deffinitely needed some good repulsor bike drivers. As for if I'd be willing to work with you again, I think I would be okay with that.
I may have got an eyeful during your armor transformation sequence."

Thinking over Troy's comments regarding his repulsor bike units you come up with an idea.
"For your ground tactics, how about we set up a small force for the Alliance? That's usually the best route for me if I can't bludgeon Dominion politics into working out, and I'd be willing to help with the funding and any equipment you'd need. You saw the fighting on the Capital, with all the newer technology fighting is becoming even faster-paced."

Troy considers it. "I've done work helping the Alliance during some of the planetary campaigns in Shallan space. The problem there is, most of the focus is on dealing the Neeran super heavy tanks that are used in breakthroughs. My tactics are better suited to combat against other Houses."

"Why not call in HAG's? That's what I built them for."

"I actually never had a chance to use them in large scale wargames. During the Civil War all of the Generals kept tight control of them due to shortages. I bought one after but I've been understandably busy since then."

You wish you'd known that shortages were that severe. Maybe you could have shipped more to the front, though given the issues with shipping between the Centri cluster and South Reach at different times of the war that might have been a tall order.
"If you need a few to test things out let me know. If it works out well enough you could start a small force of your own. Maybe even work for different Houses if most of the Barons and Generals are giving you a hard time."

Troy seems to be caught between horror and amazement.
"I can just imagine the looks on my parents faces if I started working for another House! It would break the record for fastest disinherited family member."

Wait, what did he say about your armor?
>>
>>2426796
Sonia confirmed for cute.
>>
>>2426675
>How is Rufario feeling?
"We could see your fight with those last two Neeran. I was genuinely worried for you there. All I could think of was that there was no way I could get to you in time to help. Without power armor and with all those enhancements you and Valeri are a league above me. I've more certain than ever that someone else needs to take over watching your back. I can't do this anymore. I can't watch you throwing yourself into harms way anymore."

She's been one of your bodyguards for more than ten years. If she really thinks it's time to retire or find a different job can you really blame her?

>And finally check in with Eldal. I know we asked a lot of him during the chase/ battle.
Eldal has been discussing things with Risto. The technically older Krath waves hello and heads off letting the two of you talk. After everything that's happened the past few days Eldal looks leaner, deadlier than he did before. Despite this it's still him.

"Are you okay? That Neeran really took it out of you."

"I'm actually feeling good, great even! Part of it is that I may have used too much of that compound. Mostly? I think it's because I was created to fight Neeran, and I got to fight one of the strongest, toughest ones out there."
"You kinda got beat down."
"Doesn't matter, survived. Could I have taken them on my own? No, but I think I could some day."

Huh. Well as long as he's fine with things.

"How's Valeri?"
"I managed to separate the two of them. He's undergoing reconstructive surgery while the suit is in stasis. It should be able to recover in time, but e-beam weapons are not something most Krath are used to healing from."
>>
>>2426796
>I may have got an eyeful during your armor transformation sequence.


He IS a good political marriage.
>>
>>2426796
Also Troy Harmen's combat tactics mesh well with ours.

And we have that stake in the Harmen corporation that is unique in it's size for being outside their Family holdings.

And his uncle the Baron likes us.

Because normally he would otherwise be above our station.
>>
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>>2426843
>>
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>>2426843
Cuteness = Justice.

We've also got great big tracts of . . . land.
>>
>>2426680
>I also forgot, ask Veur or Ran/ Uller if our efforts to keep the Empire Neeran from messing with the Wormhole Gate had any effect or if we wasted everyone's time securing it. Or if any of our other suggested places were compromised in anyway?

"Ultimately unnecessary for this attack." Veur confirms. "But it was a legitimately serious threat. We've taken steps to better secure the wormhole gates along with our other improved security arrangements.
Uller left a message warning about similar attempts to make use of the gates. Our leadership have since developed new stratagems that could be of use as a fallback plan. The threat of mutually assured destruction still exists but there is now a better than zero chance of the sphere's survival."

That's reassuring.
"...are you going to tell me what it is?"

"Regrettably, due to your preference for field operations there is a chance you could be captured. Certain things must remain hidden from you."

Dammit.

"Key personnel with the Alliance have been made aware however. I hope that is enough to put you at ease."
"I guess it'll have to be."
You let on that you'd like to discuss a few other options discovered during your adventures before leaving the sphere.

>What's Attir doing at the moment?
Attir has been transferred back to Alliance territory for extended debriefing, deprogramming and rehabilitation. It may be possible to see him when you get back.
>>
>>2426708
>Is that something that can be done safely to produce a 'speed boost' jumping ship and what would the requirements be?
That is an interesting idea.

People in the Dominion have long considered the idea of developing dedicated jump ships. If only because they saw guild transports in Dune and thought they were neat. Using a ship to create a sort of gravity warping wake effect isn't one that has been tested with Faction drive systems. At least that you know.
If used correctly in combination with another more powerful gravity well generator that could allow ships to drop out of FTL in the gaps between galaxy clusters that your drives normally cant handle.

The Alliance has been working on that problem but I dont know if they'd considered it also to help ships move more quickly.
>>
Since nobody seems to want to tell any of you how long you were in that reality bender you eventually go visit the Alliance Ambassador.

Liljana Brantha seems much the same aside from having grown out her hair a bit. The quarters and office do seem a lot more lived in now compared to how bare and spartan they were when she arrived.

"You're alive, that's good. I can get people from your House to stop harassing me through intelligence channels."
She gestures to a chair for you to sit.

"Nice place." you comment looking around.
Fancy rugs, well made furniture. How did she even get all of this stuff?

"I've been learning a few trades in my spare time. A few of the humans that work for the Caretakers have taught me a few things. It's not a bad place, I just wish there were a few more Hune here. We're not exactly an endangered species marked for preservation."

[ ] Reveal you learned something about the Republic
[ ] Ask how long your team has been gone

Resuming for a few hours tomorrow, then I'm off to the movies.
>>
>>2427017
> [ ] Ask how long your team has been gone

Then depending on how she answers we can decide to share info or not.
>>
>>2427017

>[ ] Ask how long your team has been gone

"What year is it?!" -Robin Williams

Then
>[ ] Reveal you learned something about the Republic
>>
>>2427017
>[ ] Reveal you learned something about the Republic
>>
>>2427017
>[ ] Ask how long your team has been gone
>>
>>2426898
Speaking of wormholes, do the caretakers have any sensor data back from when the factions arrived? If I remember correctly, the factions don't really know where home is in relation to this place.

>>2426846
>Rufaro
Awwwwww. She's the sane sister Sonia never had. Can we adopt her into the family?

>Eldal
"I'm glad you're happy but remember that you're more than just what you're created to do."
We remember that comment about not going to school!

>risto
Stop! I think Sonia has never spoken too that one.

>bio armor
How much of a person is that thing? Will it end up becoming a full krath eventually? Is it one already?

>>2426796
>troy
What if it is for the ruling house? That would be an offer they cannot refuse.
>>
>>2426930
>guild transports in Dune
Did anyone in the Dominion ever try mutating a guild navigator?

Also I hope everyone else with us is getting an equal share of the glory/artifact haul. It was a team effort in the end.
>>
>>2427017
>[x] Ask how long your team has been gone
Let's keep quiet about that until we know her a bit better.
>>
>>2427017
So, any bets how long we were gone? I say 295 days.
>>
>>2427365
I am going to say around 3 months at most. Unless TSTG is really fucking with us.
>>
>>2427365
Given how the Hidden Dagger crew rotated out and the efforts of the Alliance briefly mentioned, I expect between one and two years.
>>
>>2427395
A frontline deployment with the alliance is roughly 6 months, I think. So rotating the crew once should put us at 4-10 months, as we had already spent some time before the latest sphere expedition.
>>
>>2427395
I hope not or TSTG has bamboozled us good and we've just wasted a shitload of time
>>
>when the most valuable item from the Sphere isn't an artifact, but Krath go-juice stimulants.
>>
Does this installation have a Neeran kindergarten? Sonia hasn't had a chance to head pat small Neeran yet.
>>
>All these responses.
Oh dear I'm going to feel really bad about this.


>>2427356
>Did anyone in the Dominion ever try mutating a guild navigator?
No, even with their AI war they still relied heavily on computers for FTL calculations.
>>
"So how long has my team been gone? It couldn't have been more than just a few months. Maybe a little over a year if the crews rotated out because of Alliance policy."

She just stares at you.

"Okay, between one and two years. I know Arron would have tried to wait longer before rotating back."

Oh no, she's giving you that I'm sorry you're a simpleton look. That's what that look is right? It's not really apologetic.
"I've been reading reports on what happened in there. The Caretakers decided to increase the gravity and time dilation effects in order for them to buy time to reinforce positions before the towers were activated. It also allowed the Alliance time to continue weakening the local enemy fleet. "

You noticed the gravity waves and Uller pointed out that the dilation effects were increasing. The fact that you could dodge enemy fire in the time it took to leave the slower area was a fairly good indication that things were getting crazy.

"Compared to outside time would have been slowing by additional factors of ten as you drew closer to the center."
"Wait wait wait, hold on-"
"Those prisoners you convinced to surrender? The caretakers estimate that cost you nearly three months."

Shit. That fight with the two big bads took many more minutes than you would have liked and was closer to the center. No wonder Ran wanted to get the fuck out of there as soon as possible.

"So we are talking years here."

Brantha shrugs. "Not as many as it could have been. There was a bet going around that I was going to have grey hair by the time you got out. If you weren't already dead that is."

You're on the edge of your seat. "How long?"

"Three years, four months. Welcome to 4038."
>>
>>2427719
We're still older than Bekka, right? I hope somebody remembered to put Kavos in the freezer.
>>
>>2427719

>"Three years, four months. Welcome to 4038."

Well, we were promised we would have a nice present to come back to. I think we can head back home for a quick break. Also, I think we should get updated on what has happened. So we can debrief our team and decide how we are going to head home. I'm sure families would like to see their loved ones.

Sonia's mom is going to be pissed. I can only imagine the fallout this will have caused between us and the Harmon family, since it could be thought that we talked one of their family members into a suicidal mission. Now I'm hoping there was some internal house thing that happened where Archivald would be glad we kept Troy away from it. Of course that is only wishful thinking.
>>
>>2427751
>We're still older than Bekka, right?
Yes actually. Not a lot, but enough.
>>
>>2427719
>Three years, four months
cyka bloat
>>
>>2427719
> three years

"Excuse me, I need to call my lawyer"

see how our money is doing.
>>
>>2427719
.................. Are you fucking kidding me?
>>
>>2427719
Like honestly. What the actual fuck. What the hell kind of bullshit is this shit?
>>
>>2427759
>Sonia's mom is going to be pissed.
Quite a few of those requests for information on you through intel channels were from your family, or the company and Government of Rioja helping to back the family's requests.

>I can only imagine the fallout this will have caused between us and the Harmon family, since it could be thought that we talked one of their family members into a suicidal mission.
Fully half from your House are from the Harmen family.

>>2427787
>they use 2 languages in the Russian Army - Russian and Komandno-Maternii ( Swear-words-only-language used to issue commands)
Neat, I learned something new today.

>>2427323
>bio armor
>How much of a person is that thing? Will it end up becoming a full krath eventually? Is it one already?
Really smart dog levels? It was intended to not be as intelligent as a full Krath. The idea being that they could be semi-mass produced.

>>2427842
I had contingency plans in case you were in there for shorter times, or up to 5 years. Or had activated the defense system.
Mad dash or Sacrifice play might have got you out in under 2 years, as the last 2 wouldn't have progressed as far into the field.
>>
And I have to head out! See you tomorrow!
>>
>>2427875
So what is the reason for doing this? Cause I can not see any reason what so ever for making us lose three and a half year and all progress with it. Making any real work on diminishing Girisha's reputation void and all previous work on doing so worth jack shit. Not to mention everything we've missed. From the launch of the Dominion Crusade and all the things that come with it. All so that the FA can once again steal our shit and we get some souvenir artifact in our arm that is by no means worth the investment in time.
>>
>>2427936
>So what is the reason for doing this?

That's what you get for messing around with time dilation.

The universe exists outside of just Sonia's story. We could always have decided not to risk it. But we did. It happened.

Don't be salty.
>>
>>2427936
I mean, we stopped them from doing some bad shit to the Sphere, not to mention the potential weapons documents we also recovered from the reading room.

With those in hand we might be able to annihilate any ships in orbit of the Sphere.
>>
>>2428252
Also hopefully Veur finally shows us how to hide from Neeran detection.
>>
>>2427936
I wanted to do the Kythera arc.
I'm curious how the FA handled compensation and copyright for the tech from these artifacts we recovered in Sonia's absence.

Anyway, I guess we will have to hog the quantum communicator for the next couple of hours.

>>2426898
>"Regrettably, due to your preference for field operations there is a chance you could be captured. Certain things must remain hidden from you."
We're pretty much a caretaker at this point, right? Do we get a ceremony when it's made official?
>>
Are they willing to tell us about the Regenrator peculiarities now?
>>
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>>2427719
"It's okay, I don't blame you."
>>
>>2427719
I have one more question for the caretakers: Why does all space technology seem to follow the same development?
Everything on the sphere seems to be just advanced, scaled up or down, version of things that already exist. Is it just that natural route of progression?
>>
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Pacific Rim review.
Pacific Rim uprising plays it safe to achieve an average middle ground. In the process it fails to take the risks needed to reach greater heights.

Oh hey, the Gundam Statue.
>>
>>2430562
I hope it flops hard and ends Soyegas career.
>>
>>2430572
Surprisingly I found John Boyega's acting to be far better and more genuine in Uprising than he was in either of the Star Wars movies.
Not that that would be terribly difficult.
>>
>>2430562

Would you recommend buying it or getting it as a rental?
>>
>>2430589
Rental, if rental places still exist where you live. I'd have to drive most of an hour to find a rental place these days.
>>
>>2430581
Well, he invested his own money in the film. I guess that's a rather big incentive to put more effort into his performance than he did in star wars.
>>
"Three YEARS?!"
The next thing to come out of your mouth is a long stream of expletives.
"My mom is going to be pissed, my lawyers will be... oh and the Harmen family will probably just love me after this."

"Half of the information requests from your House through intel are from the Harmen family. Your own family -and your lawyers- are quite worried too."

Sighing angrily you lean forward, head in your hands.

"Are you going to be alright General?"

It might take time to get this all out of your system but you should be okay eventually.
"It's okay, I don't blame you. Someone had to break the news." you tell Brantha.

"I wanted to tell you myself because I'm expendable. Better than causing a diplomatic incident if a Caretaker told you and it caused you to snap."

You do feel about that depressed. Not enough to go around killing people maybe but still enough to potentially cause an incident.
"So was it all for nothing? All the work we did on diminishing Girisha's reputation will be void by now right?"

The ambassador looks at you as though you've gone even crazier in the last five seconds.

"What the hell are you talking about? You got the ball rolling."
"But I thought-"
"The universe doesn't suddenly stop just because you step out of it for a few days. The ego on some of you people give the worst Hune a run for their money some days."
Brantha shakes her head in annoyance.
"While you were away the Alliance split off two of Girisha's more important commanders and their fleets along with them. They've also weakened ties to most of the others. We were able to intercept one of the tribute shipments."

"So it did work." That's some good news.
"Yes, and they immediately changed their encryption protocols and upgraded their secure coms arrays in this galaxy. That bottlenecked their coms for weeks.
What they didn't do was make changes to their listening posts, like the ones you infiltrated."

"Did they manage to intercept another shipment?"

Brantha grimaces.
"Not quite. They sent a super carrier to pick up all subsequent shipments."
One Super not helping on the front lines or assisting with base construction may not seem like much but you've seen what they can do to turn the tide of a battle.

"With the Alliance offensive happening right now Girisha is under a lot of pressure to send more forces to the front lines, especially their Scorchers and Command ship. Since your return Alliance Intel and the Caretakers are in discussion on ways to drive them off."

"I thought we didn't want to have Girisha's fleet leave all at once? That it would be too much force hitting the front lines?"

"That was before. The fleets are in much better shape now."

[ ] Explain your plan for the sphere wormhole gates
[ ] Ask what has been happening with the war
>>
>>2430642

In order
>[ ] Ask what has been happening with the war
Then
>[ ] Explain your plan for the sphere wormhole gates
I don't remember the plan, but if other anons do they can do the explaining.
>>
>>2430642
[ ] Ask what has been happening with the war

I am still salty.
>>
>>2430642
>[ ] Ask what has been happening with the war
"Is the Dominion kicking ass?!"

>[x] Explain the plan
>>
War news!
The actions of the Alliance's Suvorov taskforce is heavily classified and not reported on to the general public. What is public are the ongoing campaigns in Shallan space.

Beginning in early 4036 the Dominion returned to the fight. Large combined taskforces with their own additional logistics train have been formed up in the Pandora cluster then deployed to Shallan space in a continuous offensive. The better trained and equipped Alliance fleets have formed the core of these units, with Dominion assets and those from other Factions providing the numbers to keep going.

Emperor Aros Ber'Helum has made it clear that the Dominion's objective in this campaign not simply the liberation of Shallan space, but to build up experienced fighting units for later campaigns. Towards that end efforts are being taken to ensure that planetary assault forces and fleets are rotated out with fresh personnel.
Special headhunter units have been set up to look for exceptional personnel to be transferred to training units. A difficult job considering the Alliance tries to do much the same.

The Shallan home galaxy and the Maelstrom galaxy have been almost entirely liberated. Fighting in the galaxy the Sphere is located in has intensified as have large scale strikes against shipyards. Political pressure from the Shallan government has been the primary reason more forces haven't been sent this way yet. Shipyards producing more mobile craft and medium cruisers were present in the Maelstrom galaxy. State Intel determined those regions could be taken more quickly and easily, depriving Neeran forces in shallan space of raiding craft used to strike Faction logistics.

An improved version of the ACS series super heavy cruisers have entered production. Crew training has been stepped up with additional personnel coming in from the Dominion, both through recruitment and cloning. Some of these ships are being rotated to the front for field trials which have proved promising.
Armed with 16 Republic heavy plasma cannons, there are now few Neeran Supers in the field that can stand up to them. They are not invincible. Two have been very publicly lost to Scorcher attacks. Current plans are for the new ACS Standards to be stockpiled and keep rotating crews through those operating on the front lines until enough personnel are ready. Those in reserve will then be used for the offensive into Neeran space.

Units sent behind the lines have been building up a database of navigation routes through the Empire. These are now sufficiently detailed that an invasion is possible and planning is underway. It wont be possible to establish secure supply lines into their territory until after Shallan space has been liberated. People remain hopeful that could be soon.

>Cont.
>>
The Isolationist Neeran have been given an ultimatum by the Alliance and the Republic. They must be prepared to commit the bulk of their fleet to the invasion if they want to maintain their current arrangement with the Republic. Towards that end they are refitting a number of Command Ship scale city ships for combat along with a substantial number of regular city ships. Much of their civilian population will be offloaded before the offensive.

The team responsible for pursuing the Kythera are rumored to have recently secured a non-aggression pact. Details remain scarce but speculation is that the Alliance has promised not to send fleets into particular areas of what is currently regarded as the Neeran Empire. While there is no formal embassy at this time diplomatic channels are to remain open in the hopes of developing agreements in a post war environment.

>>2430657
>"Is the Dominion kicking ass?!"
In short, yes.
>>
>>2430691
Any news on the Fast Super program?
>>
>>2430698
>Any news on the Fast Super program?

A prototype has finished construction and is undergoing shake down. There are concerns about structural strength that may delay their production.
There were initial problems with the engines requiring the assistance of House Talos. They managed to fix the problem in return for rights to a limited production run license. In part because of this fix the engines are very powerful. Even before the prototypes structural concerns came to light they didn't think they'd be able to operate the engines at 100%.

As a member of the original development committee there is still time if you wanted to submit a suggestion for a fix to their problem.

[ ] Improve structure beyond average to handle the engines at 100%
[ ] Use cheaper engines to better match what the average hull can handle
>>
>>2430733
[ ] Improve structure beyond average to handle the engines at 100%
Got to go fast
>>
>>2430733
[X] Improve structure beyond average to handle the engines at 100%
>>
>>2430733
>[ ] Improve structure beyond average to handle the engines at 100%

Even though I am sure it becomes more expensive by making the structure more advanced or improved. And likely also puts additional weight to make it not quite as fast as it could be. Having that extra structure would help out a lot.
>>
Oh hey, DOW3 is on sale on Steam.
>>
>>2430733
>[ ] Improve structure beyond average to handle the engines at 100%
FAST
>>
>>2430751
DON'T
>>
>>2430751

DoW 3 tries to be a different type of game and fails at it, hard.
>>
>>2430733
I wonder if there's anything we could pick up from the sphere that might help?
>>
>>2430765
It's $11 and I have money from christmas gift cards still burning a hole in my steam wallet.
>>2430770
I believe you.
>>
>>2430751
There is no reason what so ever to buy that piece of human filth if you liked anything about the previous DoW games.
>>
>>2430802
I'll be honest, I'm not a fan of DOW2. I can see how some people would like it, just not me. Retribution is the only one of that series that I liked.
My standards for an $11 game are set very low.

And it can't be worse than Sword of the Star 2 right? Right?
>>
>>2430815
If SoTS2 was a normal game then DoW3 would be a travesty compared to it. Trust me. You are better of spending those 11 bucks on a sandwich or something.
>>
>>2430791
Wait for the release of BFG Armada 2?

>>2430733
What ship did the shipyards end up bilding? The one we and alex got from the ruling house for defending the imperial palacr.
>>
>>2430815
>My standards for an $11 game are set very low.
Check out Darkwood maybe? It's not a space game or RTS but it's really terrifying.
>>
>>2430815
Heroes of Hammerwatch? I've had a couple hours of fun with that one.
>>
You ask the Ambassador to send off a message via the Suvorov. Actually several messages.

First to your family members that you're still alive and that you'll let them know more once you're back in a safe region of space.
Another is to the company and the Governor of Rioja.

Finally a message is sent off to the Fast Super development committee. You suggest improving the structure of the design to be able to handle the new engines at 100% power. The whole point of a Fast Super is to be fast right? Go for broke. If necessary you'll throw money their way. You should have a few Billion in savings by now.

>>2430844
Alex asked for shipyards, but was rather cryptic about it. It turns out he took your idea for the mobile heavy cruiser repair ring and improved it. They can be used for field repairs of most heavy and super heavy cruisers now.
What he's really been after is an upgrade allowing it to function as a shipyard with the new level 4 yard technology. Supposedly most of the designs and tech are nearly ready.

A number of Houses have been extremely worried about the implications of a yard like this. So have the other Factions. The last thing anyone wants is a Warlord getting hold of one of these mobile ship yards. Or worse and rogue AI.

Opinions on Alex's project? A natural progression or your refit ring or a few steps too far?

[ ] That's a good idea
[ ] That's a terrible idea
>>
>>2430910
>[ ] That's a good idea

If they are worried about it. They can start ordering some of their own. Or purchasing limited runs from Alex. Besides it's not like these things are fool proof. They still need a source of material to re/build and repair crap.

Also, if Alex would like to send one our way, even at reduced cost, for our salvage company. I can see that coming in to great use for us.
>>
>>2430910
>[ ] That's a good idea
I suppose the natural way to not be worried about it is the buy their own. I wonder if we know anyone who would be willing to make and sell them? Hint hint, nudge nudge.

Plus they'll be invaluable during the invasion of Neeran space when they wipe out the empire for good.
>>
>>2430910
>[x] That's a good idea
>>
>>2430910
Keep the tier 4 tech limited to ships in FA service?
>>
>>2430910
Also it just occured to me, Carriers already do this to a limited degree. Repairing smaller vessels and building new ships/ fighters. These Heavy Repair Rings are just taking that idea and putting more focus to being able to repair heavies and super heavies. This sounds like people are jealous that they didn't think of it first.
>>
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>>2430932
>This sounds like people are jealous that they didn't think of it first.
A bit of this, a bit of that.
These new ones would theoretically require a lot less in the way of shipyard crews.

>>2430931
>Keep the tier 4 tech limited to ships in FA service?
There's an idea I can see a lot of people supporting.
>>
>>2430938
>A bit of this, a bit of that.
Dominon number one other factions are the zoo smell, kavarians go home.
>>
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You've made up your mind, that's a good idea if you ever saw one. Alex is going to be facing an up hill political battle over it. There are probably ways around it though and some support from you might help. When you get back you intend to see about helping him out any way that you can.

>>2430646
>I don't remember the plan, but if other anons do they can do the explaining.
It wasn't so much a single plan as a number of related ideas.
Including but not limited to Wormhole weapons.

The Ambassador can set up a meeting with the Caretaker leadership to discuss this. It was expected that there would be a meeting at some point after everything that has happened. Mostly the wanted everyone fixed up, back on their feet and get over the shock of how long you've been gone first.

Was there anything you wanted to take care of before that?

>Also hopefully Veur finally shows us how to hide from Neeran detection.
Like this?
>>
>>2430959
>Also hopefully Veur finally shows us how to hide from Neeran detection.
That's fine. Also we should debrief the rest of the group on how much time has passed and what has been happening in our absence. If that hasn't happened already.
>>
>>2430959
Smol Neeran, are they adorable?
>>
>>2430931
>>2430938
Nonsense. The Dominion wont be held back by the other Factions not liking us having new toys!
>>
>>2430959
>Was there anything you wanted to take care of before that?
Can't think of anything besides the detection training. Maybe check up on the Arm construction?
>>
>Also we should debrief the rest of the group on how much time has passed and what has been happening in our absence.
This is one of the first things you do. Ran is not at all surprised. Valeri just remains silent. Rufaro and Ilya dont take it well at first but in the end they're okay.
Troy Harmen actually finds it hilarious. Just in case though you keep an eye on him out of worry that laughter might turn into crazy laughter. That would be bad.
Sayadov just wants to know if that 3 years counts towards his service.

When Uller is out of medical he takes the news quite well.
"It could have been much worse."

>>2430971
>Smol Neeran, are they adorable?
You ask if you could see what a caretaker nursery is like.

"As amusing I'm sure it would be for you to see very small young neeran learning their motor skills it would be too dangerous for you to enter a nursery."
"Why is that?"

"Early communication during development is primarily made up of ultra high frequency noise."
"Yeah kids cry a lot and are noisy. No surprise"

"I believe these frequencies would be harmful to you."
"Can't I just wear earplugs?"
Ran informs you that's not going to cut it.

Despite this setback you are able to see a few in a play area protected by sound proof glass. Most in this age group are about half your height sitting down. Quite a few are playing with toys and puzzles meant to teach fine motor skills. A few more adventurous ones are trying to see how far they can get by folding their limbs until they can roll like a ball. You really doubt the larger adults could manage that.

>Also hopefully Veur finally shows us how to hide from Neeran detection.
Veur is still reluctant while you're in the polar installation but does relent and teaches you how to do this.
"Keep in mind that older and more experienced Neeran may notice a hole in their perceptions."

"So it's not a perfect camouflage against all Neeran?"

"Is anything truly perfect?"

Good point. Still being close enough is fine in your book.
>>
Survey update

Currently tied between Scanner arm upgrade and Amplifier artifact. Plasma and shield are right behind them if anyone wants to change their votes.
Response editing is set to on.
>>
>>2431124
So, they sound like these old-fashioned tea kettles but worse?
>>
>>2431124
>Sayadov just wants to know if that 3 years counts towards his service.
After the trouble we put him through I think we should just give him his sword back and release him.
>>
>>2431152
>So, they sound like these old-fashioned tea kettles but worse?
Can the sound from them break glass?

>>2431185
Anyone else up for giving back his sword at this point?
He still has to complete 5 years total before being released from obligations to your House.
>>
>>2431124
>Sayadov just wants to know if that 3 years counts towards his service.
The Ruling House sentenced him to five years of service and to it's been three years for them. I'd be inclined to say they count. People who have to go in stasis during a deployment get paid for that time too, if I remember correctly.

Say, did any of the Terran team manage to get stuck in that time dilation field or were all of them accounted for as KIA?
>>
>>2431256
>Say, did any of the Terran team manage to get stuck in that time dilation field or were all of them accounted for as KIA?
They were all accounted for. They may have entered the chamber but they got out again.
>>
>>2431253

>Anyone else up for giving back his sword at this point?

Sure why not. He still has to do the year and however many months he has left before he's done with his sentence though. Mainly because it is a ruling from the Ruling House, also he has proven useful and I don't want to lose him from the roster yet.
>>
I have to step out due to another family thing that just came up.
I dont know if I'll be able to resume until sunday.
>>
>>2431253
>Can the sound from them break glass?
I wouldn't be surprised if somebody built one that could get loud enough and calibrated the frequency properly.

>A few more adventurous ones are trying to see how far they can get by folding their limbs until they can roll like a ball.
Cluster Lizards?

>Anyone else up for giving back his sword at this point?
Have the people who actually fought with him decide. I think Sonia managed to never fight at his side.

>>2431269
That's unfortunate.
>>
>>2431139
Surprised the Convertor isn't winning, it's got the most utility in hiding from Neeran and detecting cloaked assassins too.
>>
>>2432120
Indeed. The amplifier is highly specialized. It's going to need a way to put power in and then get that power out. I have a couple ideas but they'll take some work.


It's a few days after everyone has been brought up to speed that the meeting is called. Veur informs the other Caretakers present that you've been told of the developments of the war so far, as well as the weakening of Girisha's forces. Now they're looking for a way to remove the command ship and Scorchers. Even just the Scorchers would be enough.

The defense system chamber is being cranked back to as close to normal relative time as possible. That will take another couple weeks. Once done they'll be able to retrieve Thrivad. Once delivered into Alliance hands and taken to a distant secure location their capture can be publicized. This will be seen as a severe embarrassment Girisha. Thrivad is well known. If others see their fleet commander risking some of their best on unsuccessful missions morale could be affected. Those in higher positions could take note as well.

Best case, the more important elements of the fleet are reassigned. Worst case the fleet remains and someone else is sent in to take command of the operation.

"The Alliance would certainly support this plan as part of the ongoing intelligence operations." replies the Ambassador.
"We can have a ship here and ready for extraction in that timescale."

You and Uller trade glances. There still hasn't been any official word about what sort of repercussions he and Ran face after helping you. It hasn't been convenient to press forward on those matters with everything else going on. Getting everyone's attention with some of the technological options your group discovered would certainly attract that kind of scrutiny.

[ ] Support the current political campaign against Girisha
[ ] Bring up options to destroy the Scorchers now
[ ] Other things you wanted to bring up while here?
>>
>>2432299
>[ ] Support the current political campaign against Girisha

Until such a time that the Alliance is ready to put a dedicated fleet into the area around the Sphere to protect it. The Caretakers will still be against actively using the Sphere's defenses against the current occupational fleet. So why not instead, bring up to the Caretakers and those present that we know the Sphere is capable of assisting an Alliance fleet in forcing the Empire Neeran fleet out.

It wouldn't be wise to let the enemy know just yet how much the Sphere his capable of wrecking their shit. Maybe suggest that when the Alliance fleet comes in to help take back the Sphere, that the Caretakers ready their defenses and other systems to take the fleet from behind. Especially if Girisha feels his presence here is about to be removed and threatens to destroy or severely damage the Sphere itself. That he will suddenly get an unpleasent surprise of the Sphere pushing his shit in from behind. An old idea of using a planet that has been besieged or subjugated. Only for the guns the occupire thought silenced to open up and blow them out of the sky. While friendly reinforcements prevent them from fleeing. Trapping them in system and forcing Girisha and company to surrender.

>[ ] Other
We're planning on heading back soon as allowable. Or that is my hope, other anons may wish to stay and help. Which I'm fine with. But we do need to learn what is going to happen to Uller and Ran. Even though I hope neither of them gets banished or what not from the Sphere. I would not be opposed to having them working with/ for us and the Alliance. Until this war ends.
>>
Gotta be up early so I probably wont be posting many more responses tonight.

>>2432354
>We're planning on heading back soon as allowable.
I did kind of figure that.
>>
>>2432354
I'll support this. This was initially what I wanted to do anyway - if we can lure a mass amount of the Empire Neeran into defending the sphere when the Alliance eventually assaults it, we can hopefully take on more of them with the help of the Caretakers.

This way, we get the political ramifications now and the fleet annihilation later.

>>2432399
How is the Gravity Well Terraforming program progressing?
>>
>>2432458

>How is the Gravity Well Terraforming program progressing?

How is that going TSTG? Last we knew it was still in the experimental phases. And they moved only the one planet to a new orbit. How has that been going in our absence?
>>
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>>2430959
What about setting up a wormhole and then super-accelerating a bunch of asteroids to go around a star in a ring that passes through the IN point of the gate.

That way, all we have to to is place the OUT hole at whatever we want to shoot a bunch of asteroids going at really high speed towards.
>>
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>>2432120
Veckron Punches though.
>>
>>2432919
Seems like it would be more trouble than it's worth. Difficult to use in the right circumstances and we'd have to disable it every time we wanted to visit any sensitive Alliance facility, especially so if they found out it had a Veckron marble inside.
>>
>>2432458
>How is the Gravity Well Terraforming program progressing?
You'll have to find out when back in friendly territory.

>>2432908
Now you're thinking with portals.
Dunno if this would work but could be interesting.

>>2432354
>bring up to the Caretakers [...] the Sphere is capable of assisting an Alliance fleet in forcing the Empire Neeran fleet out.
>Especially if Girisha feels his presence here is about to be removed and threatens to destroy or severely damage the Sphere itself.

Objections to this?
Resuming tomorrow.
>>
>>2436293
>Especially if Girisha feels his presence here is about to be removed and threatens to destroy or severely damage the Sphere itself.
It seems like a valid worst case scenario. What do we actually know about that Neeran?
>>
I am looking forward to the growth of our holdings while we had been away. Lots of stuff in the works.
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>>2427719
>"Three years, four months. Welcome to 4038."
Fuck... I almost forgot: we need to bring gifts after being away for so long! Would Sonia's sister like a shield/staff weapon like Uller's? The sphere must have billions of puzzles available for Sonia's mom to choose from.

No idea what to get Sonia's father or brother.
>>
>>2437415
Maybe something for Emperor Ber'helum as well?
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>>2437476
To be honest, there's a pretty long list of people who need souvenirs from this place:
Bekka -> Dueling shield?
Mom -> A thousand lifetimes worth of puzzles from the sphere archives.
Dad -> ?
Ethan -> A Swiss army knife made from sphere material?
Svidur -> Locations of additional sphere builder installations?
Illya's order of knights -> Bring back a caretaker who's willing to negotiate for their service? They've proven themselves by helping the caretakers before.
Sonia's House -> ?
The Harmen family -> ?
The Emperor -> ?
Linda -> The option to get an apartment with the caretakers on the sphere if the factions start another war among them in her lifetime?
Arron -> ?

Could the caretakers modify the design for those self-refilling water battles into an automatically refilling coffee or tea bottle? Just throwing ideas for a generic gift around.

>>2427017
> It's not a bad place, I just wish there were a few more Hune here.
Have they considered allowing a Shallan ambassador in? If I remember correctly, the sphere is either in Shallan space or pretty close to it. That would make them neighbors, and they'll have to figure out how to get along sooner or later. The ambassador could also keep Liljana company.
>>
You request permission to speak. A few of the caretakers clearly dread what you're about to say but you put them at ease first by voicing your support for the plan. Then you move on to the possibility of a contingency plan. Something the Caretakers can use ether to assist the Alliance fleet when they arrive, or in case Girisha becomes desperate and decides to destroy the sphere before then.

As they themselves have stated their active defenses are not swift enough to get the job done, leaving them with passive defenses like the preservation system, even if only activating it for a short time.

"While on our little trip we found this." you tell them, placing one of the archives on the conference table.

"That is a map." states Veur matter-of-factly.

"Not anymore it isn't."

Uller explains. "We encountered a reading room. General Reynard decided it would be wise to look for alternate means of protecting the sphere from the Neeran Fleet. We were able to find a number of potential means."

The wormhole gates and gravitational focusing are the big ones data was recovered for. Directing a wormhole with a jet of plasma from the sphere's star would certainly destroy or drive off the enemy fleet. If the wormhole can't be created close enough to the fleet then it should be possible to use the sphere's external repulsors in combination with the internal gravity focusing to direct it from the polar gates.
If enough stellar matter were ejected it could even serve to help intercept antimatter beams fired by the Scorchers.

Several of the older Caretakers seem shocked at the idea. Looking over the data Veur does eventually admit that it could probably be done. Dangerous certainly but possible.

You quietly make sure Veur gets a document you've written up with other wormhole ideas including asteroid redirection.

After this you mention the structural reinforcement grid and your ideas to develop something like it that would act like an e-beam field projector. The e-beam tech data also recovered from the reading room should help in that regard.

>>2437098
>What do we actually know about that Neeran?
Upper level member of the Empire who helped push for the war. Has picked up plenty of rare tech from far off places. Obsessed with the Sphere. Believed to be quite old by Empire standards.

This time with the name field entered.
>>
>>2437875
>TSTG
So I can't use the name field because of the April 1st team bullshit going on.
>>
>>2437875
>You request permission to speak. A few of the caretakers clearly dread what you're about to say

Oh come on, it's not like we're gonna tell them to activate the Sphere's Offensive system. As good as it would be to have that active and shooting up Empire Neeran. I'm sure it would be difficult to program the Alliance IFF's for those defenses in any short period of time.
>>
>>2437875
For the age these guys boast, they don't like to prepare for a lot of possible situations. Imagine the factions die out and in 500,000 years some new interstellar empire rises and figures out how to breach stasis shields, however unlikely it may be (the terrans can do it to regular shields, and I bet people said they were impenetrable in the old days).

They'd have no choice but to engage them; it's the concept of deterrence as a defense and from our view it seems like they haven't quite advanced it.
>>
>>2437907
They sure are a strange lot. You'd think they'd be more curious about this place, its history, its creators, and about maintaining contact with the other installations.

>>2437497
And I forgot about Daska and Winifred.

>>2437879
>Team Mini
Laughing_Hune.gif
>>
>>2437879

So is TSTG a Shallan for being in team mini?
>>
>That slow typing guy !!TkYrLPIOhL0

>>2437893
>Oh come on, it's not like we're gonna tell them to activate the Sphere's Offensive system.
They're certainly glad you only presented a contingency plan.

> I'm sure it would be difficult to program the Alliance IFF's for those defenses in any short period of time.
Actually they already have Alliance IFF's and a number of ship types in the system from before the Neeran took the region. A number of Caretakers were concerned that they could be a threat, what with turning the Foundation's science station into a military base.

>>2437907
Some like Veur do prepare for such eventualities but they are in the minority. Most simply work to maintain the sphere. The old fogies especially seem more interested in preserving the status quo.
The problem of being so old is that some tend to be more resistant to change.

Fortunately the warriors have been taking a far more active role. Work on the structural reinforcement grid is progressing, expanding it outward from the sphere's existing power grid. Better trained and equipped Caretaker security units are ready for rapid deployment to many parts of the sphere. Terraforming systems are prepared to inflict localised damage to destroy Empire units in the air or on the ground. This runs the risk of causing severe civilian losses in places but they're ready regardless.

With the main part of the meeting completed you ask a few people what will happen to Uller and Ran. While the war continues Uller will be permitted to remain on the Sphere. He will be asked to leave within a year of its conclusion.
Ran will assist with matters pertaining to the preservation system and will no longer be apprenticing under Uller. They haven't been blocked from contact so that's good.

Was there anything else you wanted to ask about?
>>
>>2437992

If Uller will be required to leave. I think this would be the best opportunity for us to suggest to him that would would be willing to employ him. If he doesn't simply wish to take to exploring/ traveling like Svidur did or joining the Light Neeran fleet or work with the Alliance.
>>
>>2437992
Is there anything they want from us? We've come here asking a lot, but is there anything outside of their influence we can help with?

Do they accept biological samples for archiving?
>>
>>2437992
Can we see their files on Svidur and the caretaker who killed the Terran team?
>>
>>2437998
>I think this would be the best opportunity for us to suggest to him that would would be willing to employ him. If he doesn't simply wish to take to exploring/ traveling like Svidur did or joining the Light Neeran fleet or work with the Alliance.
"Thank you for your offer Sonia Reynard. I think I may be of more help to the Alliance with matters they may not have considered. Certain things the Caretakers have learned the hard way and if they continue to protect the Factions it would be best they not learn them the same way."

"What sort of things?"
"I'll tell you after the war is over. Don't go and do something foolish like getting killed."

>>2438028
>Is there anything they want from us? We've come here asking a lot, but is there anything outside of their influence we can help with?
A few. You still have the coordinates for the other builder facility. If you could locate and bring back up to date information on it they would be extremely grateful.

Should you or the Alliance come into possession of wormhole gate codes for the Empire's super heavies that would be a big help.

Lastly, keep as much information about the Sphere as possible classified. They'd rather not have a few billion people from the Factions trying to look them up or steal their shit.

>Do they accept biological samples for archiving?
Yes. They'd be happy to take some.

>>2438106
They dont really like showing people their personnel files. They'd like their people to have some confidentiality.
Despite this Veur does later tell you that it was Svidur that had been down there.
>>
>>2438240

>"I'll tell you after the war is over. Don't go and do something foolish like getting killed."

I suddenly got a feeling of deja vu, of when Svidur talked to us before the Neeran invasion. I guess we cant hog all the Space Wizards to ourselves. Maybe some other lucky up and coming Dominion Knight will meet with Uller?
>>
>>2438240
>They'd be happy to take some.
I want to donate a sample of the Rust Virus if they don't already have it.
>>
>>2438410
>if they don't already have it.
They do not.

>Bekka -> Dueling shield?
Did you want to give her Sonia's retractable shield?

>Mom -> A thousand lifetimes worth of puzzles from the sphere archives.
And maybe a small company to market a few of the ones she approves of?

>Dad -> ?
Tough one. He'd probably appreciate some pictures of the sphere in different places. So would your brother.

>Ethan -> A Swiss army knife made from sphere material?
Easily done.

>Svidur -> Locations of additional sphere builder installations?
You have one which you're allowed to leave the sphere with.

>Illya's order of knights -> Bring back a caretaker who's willing to negotiate for their service? They've proven themselves by helping the caretakers before.
A representitive can be sent, probably not an actual caretaker though.

>House J-D?
Suggestions? If you get some of that tech you're to initially hand over to Alliance intel first, that would be an option.

>The Harmen family
Troy claims he has this covered.

>The Emperor?
Right, wasn't a shield loaned from the Royal Guard?
With that in mind one of the Caretakers prepares a gift for the Emperor. You're presented with a locked box to be given to them. You are not to open it, neither is the Alliance.

>Linda -> The option to get an apartment with the caretakers on the sphere if the factions start another war among them in her lifetime?
That's an interesting idea. You ask if it might be possible to create a refuge for some personnel if the Factions turn to infighting again in the future.
The caretakers promise to give it consideration. They may set up an area for the Alliance but cant promise more than that currently.

>Arron -> ?
I-thought-you-were-dead,-dont-scare-the-hell-out-of-me-like-that pay. There is probably enough money to cover this.
>>
I'm watching one of the live feeds watching Tiangong 1's orbital track since it's supposed to fall in the next 2-8 hours.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AWRNWll35vw

Anyone found one with good coverage?
>>
>>2438540

Wasn't there a movie about something like this? Only instead of Chinese station it was a Russian Cold War satellite filled with nukes?
>>
>>2438533
Any ideas what we can bring Daska, Drake, and Winifred?

>Did you want to give her Sonia's retractable shield?
I was hoping for a smaller copy of that thing Uller has been using.

We probably should take inventory of all the stuff we picked up before we leave.

>You're presented with a locked box to be given to them.
What could possibly go wrong?
>>
>>2438540
>Anyone found one with good coverage?
http://www.aerospace.org/CORDSuploads/TiangongStoryboard.png
from http://www.aerospace.org/cords/reentry-predictions/tiangong-1-reentry/

You'll have to refresh that image manually but there seems to be additional information that's not on that stream.
>>
>>2438579
If you mean Space Cowboys then no.
Because the space Shuttle is dead.
>>
>>2438597
>I was hoping for a smaller copy of that thing Uller has been using.
Now there's an idea.

>Daska, Drake, and Winifred
Commemorative figurines?

FUCK! I have to head over to my parents place again.
I will be back hopefully by 7PM EST.
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>>2438691
>Commemorative figurines?
Can we have a crate full of items from the fleet of humans the caretakers allowed to settle on the sphere? It doesn't have to be anything amazingly rare, even mundane objects like a desk lamp or something similar from back then should theoretically count as ancient Hune artifacts. That stuff would make for amazing gifts.

We can also send one to the republic so they know that we know >_>
>>
>>2438533
>If you get some of that tech you're to initially hand over to Alliance intel first, that would be an option.
Cooperate with the Harmen family on the Weather control system?

>And maybe a small company to market a few of the ones she approves of?
Reynard Puzzle Systems?

I kind of want to try out the Artifact staff, see how comfy it is. Svidur rated it pretty highly.
>>
>>2438975
Reynard Solution Solutions

>Cooperate with the Harmen family on the Weather control system?
I was thinking about potential deals with the alliance in regard to that technology. An idea was to have the FA oversee the deployment and usage of the technology within the Factions whose territory has been affected by the Neeran fleets. With the stipulation that the Houses of the Dominion are counted as individual entities for this clause. Rights for new installations revert to Sonia or a person of her choice 50 years after the end of the conflict against the Neeran.

Sonia gets the right for the tech everywhere else meaning most of the Dominion in addition to Rovinar, Hune, SRL, and Watcher space.
>>
You ask about a smaller version of Uller's staff weapon for your younger sister Bekka.
"Is she a close combat enthusiast?"
"Oh goodness I hope not. She breaks enough things just flying ships."

Uller promises to try and have something along similar lines made.
"I owe you a great debt for keeping me from killing that bastard."

>>2438975
>I kind of want to try out the Artifact staff, see how comfy it is. Svidur rated it pretty highly.
Sonia cant use a Neeran staff as she lacks the mental control to change its shape.


>>2438755
>Can we have a crate full of items from the fleet of humans the caretakers allowed to settle on the sphere?
That may be possible.

Packing is underway. The maps have been surrendered to the Caretakers along with the ones carrying system data. One of these is being prepared with the coordinate data for the other Caretaker installation. They have to be sure nothing else is on it first.

You'll get to keep the armor and related artifacts. It's not like they'll fit anyone else. Ran warns you not to try and reverse engineer the power source for the suit. Its outer protective layer will shield it from most sensors, making that difficult. If you were to forcibly open it there is a non-zero chance it may explode.
"It's just an artificial version of a Neeran... you know, reactor organ?"
"Yes, more or less. We dont know how much use it takes to wear out, and it will wear out eventually. Unlike the real thing it can't be strengthened and it can't heal damage. It would still be bad if it were to fall into enemy hands."
"Don't use it too much and don't lose it. Understood."

The next time you run into Veur you ask if there might be any equipment or items left over from the ancient Humans that ventured here from Republic space. You'd really like to get scans of a few of them if possible.

Veur considers your request.
"I warn you, the Republic does not wish information about the humans here to become widespread. It would be bad for their nation's self image. It is well within their resources to destroy your career and reputation in response to such an attempt."

You shake your head.
"No, no, I'm just looking for a few things to share with people that are in on it. Like one Republic Ambassador that I know. A few gifts."
A much better idea springs to mind.
"Maybe they dont even need to know what they are..."

Gift them to powerful people in the Republic you know claiming that they're ancient artifacts from the early Republic? Technically true. If they dont know they were made by humans it could cause all sorts of problems with the people who do know.
Is this what it's like for Şivan Berwari whenever he contemplates sowing chaos?

Proceed with this plan? Or just get a few items for friends?
>>
>>2439410

>Proceed with this plan? Or just get a few items for friends?

I am of the mind we don't mess with that shit. Maybe keep a record or history/ data of what happened. As a back up and possible future bargaining chip.

But if we do go this route, we only give as gifts to those that know and wont react badly to us learning about it. And if say we want some tech or a favor from the Republic in the future.
>>
>>2439410
>"Is she a close combat enthusiast?"
Wasn't she described as a barbarian in terms of D&D classes at one point?

>Proceed with this plan?
I think we should wait with that for later, if ever. We can't really afford to cause the republic trouble at the moment.

>Or just get a few items for friends?
That seems like the more sensible approach. Especially since that list keeps growing and a generic gift for the long list of people not mentioned yet seems very useful. I'm sure Avun would love a vintage republic rifle or bayonet, for example.
>>
>>2439459
>don't mess with that shit.
>>2439482
>I think we should wait with that for later, if ever.

So just a couple items for friends then?
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>>2439585

Yes
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>>2439410
>just get a few items for friends?
I like this one.
>>
>>2438623
121km and falling.
>>
"Actually it might be better just to get gifts for friends."

"If you feel that is best."

Veur leads you to a left and after a short trip step off and head down several wide hallways. These seem better suited to movement of small vehicles or the fully enclosed lift transports. Nearby doors have the now familiar marking of long term storage.

Stepping through a set of doors at the end, you find yourself on a bridge suspended out into a darkened room. Veur calls for lights and the bay slowly begins to brighten revealing the rounded circular bow of a starship. It looks to be an ancient precursor to the Centurion class. The other hull has been coated in patches of the same sphere material as your armor.

"This was not a warship originally but a colony ship. Its central spine was filled with cryogenic suspension chambers. There are still some living quarters the last crew chose to leave as they were."

Anything you wanted to keep an eye out for on the ship? You can fill 3 stasis boxes.
>>
>>2439758
>Anything you wanted to keep an eye out for on the ship? You can fill 3 stasis boxes.
I think this is the most up-to-date list we have:

>>/tg/33131250
>
>rare starfighters as gifts.
>The Earl - No (Preference: shuttles)
>Winifred - No (but would appreciate it all the same.) (Preference: power armor)
>Archivald - Yes
>Baron Doedra Dremine - [LOCKED] (Unknown)
>Captain Madeline "Mad Eye" Jones - No
>Fleet Captain Peusen(Terran) - Yes
>Knight Myrish Avun - No (Preference: rare weapons)
>Knight Antanas Koppel - Yes
>Commander Luryas (Rovinar) - No
>Lt Commander Thebe (Hune) - Yes
>Governor of Surakeh - No (Preference: walkers)

Does Sonia have access to a copy of her office's gift list on her pda equivalent?
>>
>>2439758
Check some of the higher-ranked quarters for hidden strongboxes? We got that Colt 1911 from that salvaged Guard Cruiser hidden compartment if I remember correctly.
>>
We completely forgot to get something for Baron Dante
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>>2439758
What's the oldest ship they still have in storage? Do they even know?
>>
>>2439758
Stationery items, paperweights, anything marked with names/logos from that era.
>>
>>2439758
I think avun liked rare weapons. Practically every weapon we can find on this ship should qualify. Aside from that, I'm not really sure. Time keeping devices, jewels, paintings and art. Maybe printed books if the contents aren't inherently problematic should they become known to the republic's population.

Make a list what we took and from where. We should also require people to have the items returned to a foundation if the original recipient dies or wishes to sell something. They or their family will receive the market value of the item in question, which will be returned to the sphere. I feel bad about removing these things.

Watch out for traps and security measures.
>>
>>2439758
"Does it ever feel weird to be the last keeper of so much history and knowledge that has been forgotten by the rest of the universe? Have you considered building a second sphere in case something happens to this one?"
>>
>>2439813
>Does Sonia have access to a copy of her office's gift list on her pda equivalent?
No and a starfighter will not fit inside of a man portable stasis box.

>>2439815
There no locked safes that you can find, but you do locate an interesting item on the captain's desk. It looks to be a Gladius but fashioned out of stone. Clearly decorative or otherwise intended for display.

Faded pictures on the walls dont provide much information about the people who lived here, just that they'd made use of this ship for a long time.

>Stationery items
You find a couple nice looking pens with gold filigree. A calculator that looks like it could be made operational again.

>Practically every weapon we can find on this ship should qualify.
There is an armory with a few sidearms left. Odd pistols with a built in bayonet.

>Maybe printed books if the contents aren't inherently problematic
You note that there are no books to be found anywhere. Whoever took them all was very thorough. Maybe the people who settled on the sphere chose to take them knowing about the energy drain issue?
>>
Tiangong 1 has crashed in the pacific nearly a full orbit after predicted.
>>
>>2439815
>We got that Colt 1911 from that salvaged Guard Cruiser hidden compartment if I remember correctly.
Unnamed guard had AK's iirc. One of the RSS people salvaged a Colt revolver made of space age materials.

>>2439846
>What's the oldest ship they still have in storage? Do they even know?
Veur does not know. He is more familiar with the human ships as a result of working frequently with the descendants of their crews.
>>
>>2440063
>There no locked safes that you can find
Make sure to open a few vents.

>Maybe the people who settled on the sphere chose to take them knowing about the energy drain issue?
Check for things people would leave behind knowing that anything that requires a battery won't last long. Records, communication devices, medical equipment, other stuff I can't think of. Try to have a look at the captain's log while we're here.
Were any plants left behind?

>There is an armory with a few sidearms left.
Space Suits too?

>>2440087
F
>>
>>2440136
>Make sure to open a few vents.
A few children's toys and shiny objects that have been hidden away are located.

>Records, communication devices, medical equipment, other stuff I can't think of. Try to have a look at the captain's log while we're here.
You download copies of the ship and captains logs. There are at least two decades worth, possibly more. Too many to even glance through here. You'd need to hire a team just to sort them all properly.

One of the med bays are still stocked with equipment a bit different than you've seen in faction space. Old and outdated certainly.

>Space Suits too?
Yes.

Scans have been taken of everything you found. As you asked to get items for Daska, Katherine Drake and Winifred, the Caretakers will allow you to take 3 items. Choose wisely.
>>
>>2440234
>the Caretakers will allow you to take 3 items. Choose wisely
Three stasis crates filled with things from the ship.
The gladius, one of the pistols, a matching set of pens if it counts as one item.
>>
>>2440234
>>2439758
>You can fill 3 stasis boxes.
Well, suppose you can get a few more than 3 items since I did say you could fill 3 boxes. Was just trying to keep item size low. No starfighters.
>>
>>2440234
I guess the ship is too old to have even primitive power armor? Is one of the toys a starfighter model?
>>
>>2440381
>I guess the ship is too old to have even primitive power armor?
No power armor onboard. Veur informs you that very few of the ships had weapons before the Caretakers refit them. Those that did were considered minimal even by their own standards.
>Is one of the toys a starfighter model?
Yes. It shares some styling similarities with other old Republic fighters you've seen but it doesn't look familiar.
>>
>>2440414
An antique starfighter model is the next best thing if we can't get an actual antique starfighter.
>>
>>2440337
"Veur?"
"Yes?"
"...Get in the crate."
>>
>>2440234
>>2440336
Supporting Gladius, Stationery/Pens, and Pistol.
>>
>>2440032
"Does it ever feel weird to be the last keeper of so much history and knowledge that has been forgotten by the rest of the universe? Have you considered building a second sphere in case something happens to this one?"

"You are asking the wrong Caretaker unfortunately, I'm a warrior first. I have dedicated myself to the protection of this place and its peoples. The duties of keeping the histories of this place I have largely left to others, though I have heard my share of them.
Then again you may have a point about creating a duplicate, especially in light of the Empires attempts here. If you do find the other installation it may provide clues as to how difficult that might be."

>>2440676
>>2440336
Going with these.

>>2440505
And snagging the model as well for Archivald if there's no objections.
>>
>>2440414
>>2440505
The disclaimer for that model is going to be hilarious. "Don't let anybody take pictures of this toy, don't go around asking questions, if you ever see a figter like this buy it immediately without asking questions because it is way too obscure to have anbody build a fake."

>>2440676
We do get three crates, not three items.

>>2440414
Was any valuable cutlery or similar stuff left behind? Glassworks, vases, etc.
Currency?
>>
>>2440750
>Was any valuable cutlery or similar stuff left behind? Glassworks, vases, etc.
No glasworks fo any kind. Probably too breakable to be aboard ship. Cutlery is just basic stuff, and much of that has been cleared out.

>Currency?
There are old silver coins in a few places where they may have been lost or misplaced.
>>
>>2440779
Ooooh, nice.

>>2440234
Too bad we can never let anybody read these. I guess Sonia has just found a hobby for a decade or two if she's interested.
>>
>>2440750
>The disclaimer for that model is going to be hilarious. "Don't let anybody take pictures of this toy, don't go around asking questions, if you ever see a figter like this buy it immediately without asking questions because it is way too obscure to have anbody build a fake."


Wouldn't it be something, if we learned he already has the real thing in a hidden hangar somewhere?
>>
Stasis boxes full you're escorted back to quarters. Along the way you tell Veur that if they would prefer you could ask these items be returned if possible in the future. You're told this is unnecessary.

The next day goodbyes are underway. The team and cargo are delivered to another shield tram which deposits you outside in a hidden landing bay. A pair of stealth and holographic camo equipped LST's are already parked. Crews help get cargo and passengers aboard.

After this its a short flight up to the Hidden Dagger. The crew are glad you're back in one piece. Arron managed to catch a high speed flight back to the front after being informed you were out. He doesn't want you to think he's slacking.

"Where's Linda?"
"She's back with the fleet training navigators how best to handle Dominion ships. She'd really like it if this expedition were declared over so she could collect the other half of her money."

"Oh shit, was that the kind of contract we had wrote up?"
"For her apparently."
"Oops." That was a mistake.
It seems like a bonus might be in order.

Resuming tomorrow!
>>
>>2441237
Oh dear, poor Linda.

How about another castle as her bonus?
>>
On the flight out of the sphere you see that Sam and Dave have been replaced with others from Baldr's forces. Apparently they're aboard the Suvorov helping with training. Arron and the new people have enough experience to know which transports can be safely followed out through the doors without drawing attention. Arron explains that took a few months.
The Jump out of the system is timed to coincide with movement of enemy logistics craft.

Arriving back at the Suvorov you see signs of repaired battle damage in places. They did get their FTL working right to reduce drive flare in the end. Before that happened there were a few more failed attempts.

You're greeted by Linda and Sam on your arrival. They're both glad to have you back. Dave is in the middle of a class and couldn't drop by.
Linda doesn't think that to be a valid excuse.
"I was in the middle of teaching a class too, I just said an emergency had come up."
"Really?" is your first response.
"You dont get to judge me, you locked out half my expedition pay."
"Sorry."
"It's fine. Hugs for everybody! You're all back and I'm getting paid! This is a good day."

When the pleasantries are over you tell the others that you need to talk to Captain Wilson or whoever is in charge of intel aboard ship. There are toys to drop off, recordings of debriefings to hand over. A bunch of things really.

It doesn't take long to reach the intel sector of the ship. Longer to get through with all of the stuff you're carrying. Wilson has clearly seen quite a few sleepless nights since starting this assignment, with a few extra wrinkles around the eyes. Despite this he seems as cheerful and diplomatic as ever.

"Glad you're not dead Reynard. That would have been a bit awkward for everybody. Now I understand you have a few items for me? The ambassador had a couple sent ahead but I'm not sure if what we got was complete or not. Double checking them against yours would help to verify that."

You hand over all copies of the Gravitational lensing system data and the Weather control tower data. You really wish it wasn't necessary to give them all to the Alliance. You'd blown your top when finding out.

Wilson pulls out a data analyzer from a desk drawer and systematically checks each of the databases looking for damage or irregularities between them. Finding none he nods and puts the scanner away.

"Here you go." he slides one each of the weather and grav system databases over to you.

"That's it? I thought I was going to have to negotiate for them or something."

"No, this is an intel operation not the main fleet. You funded a lot of this shit, why shouldn't you get a share of it? If you really want though w-"
"NO!" you declare scooping up both of them.

"Okay then. Enjoy yourself, I understand you've got some leave time. At least a year's worth. I'm betting you'll be off having fun enhancing the Ber'helum gravity well generators with that."

>cont.
>>
>>2441842
Did you want to share coordinate data of the other builder installation with the Alliance with the understanding you'll investigate it yourself? Or give them the go ahead to look into it themselves?
>>
>>2441842
>Did you want to share coordinate data of the other builder installation with the Alliance with the understanding you'll investigate it yourself? Or give them the go ahead to look into it themselves?
I'm happy with either, as long as we get to participate at some point.

Does it count as insider trading if we give Wilson a few hints on what companies to invest in? Who was in charge of the fleet whilst we were stuck in Time Dungeon? I feel a little bad about that, we said we'd command this operation and get things in the area under control then we disappeared.

What arm is Sonia sporting now?
>>
>>2441842
>I'm betting you'll be off having fun enhancing the Ber'helum gravity well generators with that.
Actually, I'm planning to turn it into a singularity projector.

>You funded a lot of this shit, why shouldn't you get a share of it?
How are we going to deal with the licensing for this stuff?

>Did you want to share coordinate data of the other builder installation with the Alliance with the understanding you'll investigate it yourself?
They could scout the area before we decide what to do. It's still relatively deep in Neeran territory, if I remember correctly.
>>
>>2441846
>Did you want to share coordinate data of the other builder installation with the Alliance with the understanding you'll investigate it yourself? Or give them the go ahead to look into it themselves?

We do intend to go out there and find it. So coordinating with the Alliance to see if they have fleets/ units there would help. And make sure that it doesn't fall into that region the Kythera said is off limits to us.

Once we get our shit settled at home it'll be back out to the front. To either find that installation or weaken Girisha even more. Though I feel if we kick Girisha our before we find that instilation the Empire Neeran might call for a cease fire (sorta like the situation with NK and SK). Still at war but not really shooting each other. Though still occasionally sending units that are "not sanctioned by the government" to fuck with each other.
>>
>>2441865
>Who was in charge of the fleet whilst we were stuck in Time Dungeon?
Avun has been overall commander of the House forces in the DRH1 Relay while you've been gone.

Knight Nel'odym, Rioja's replacement wing commander, has been promoted to Knight Commander. They're working hard in the hopes of becoming Baron of Magdalena. As promised they and the other established nobles on Magdalena have continued to support you politically even in your absence.

Elements of the Rioja fleet have deployed to the front under the command of Avun or Drake at different times while you've been gone. Never more than 35% of your fleet. The new Knight Commanders turn is coming up soon.

Roll 2d100 to see the salvage yields of your fleet assets.
>>
Rolled 41, 80 = 121 (2d100)

>>2441947

Salvage, ho!

Also, now that you mention Drake, how is our protege doing?
>>
Rolled 2, 87 = 89 (2d100)

>>2441947
>>
File: 1505689114205.jpg (416 KB, 1200x1206)
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Rolled 68, 51 = 119 (2d100)

>>2441947
It is time for Sonia's very own city ship.
>>
>>2441865
>What arm is Sonia sporting now?
It seems you've gone with an improved arm scanner. It should be able to penetrate most camo systems without being turned up to high enough levels that you're hitting everything nearby with an EMP. The structure of the arm itself is made of near indestructible materials so you wont have to worry about it failing like others you've owned.
They were also able to build it in such a way that you can make full use of artifacts with it as though it were a natural arm.

>>2441878
>>2441876
You give Wilson the coordinate data but tell him that you intend to go out there yourself. It's near enough to areas the Alliance is scouting right now that they could narrow down what system it's in before you mount a dedicated expedition.

>>2441876
>How are we going to deal with the licensing for this stuff?
The Alliance is going to want to analyze the data first and then eventually it would be made available to the Factions.
Of course if you were to rush it into production first you'd probably have the bugs worked out long before anyone else. Certainly giving you an early sales lead.
>>
>68
The deployment paid for itself.
Any losses were easily replaced.

>87
The fleet not only made back its deployment costs but had a surplus in salvage rights.

A Neeran "Nautilus" Type Fast Medium was recovered. Roughly comparable to your command ship the Outer Heaven, this design is more streamlined in places with improvements to its ramming prow. It can't carry as much cargo on its outboard "wings" due to the streamlining process.

A new model heavy cruiser was captured. Its armor is equivalent to newer Faction anti-torpedo armor. Despite being smaller its gun placement and higher rate of fire allows it to match the firepower of the larger older model heavy.
This ship is currently based out of Magdalena for fleet maintenance purposes.
>>
>>2442126

>SALVAGE!

Our fleet did good, really good.
>>
File: New Neeran Carrier.jpg (16 KB, 795x259)
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Btw, looking for names for a Neeran medium carrier based off this.
>>
>>2442189

Could go for the obvious and use the type of cloud as the name for the vessel. Sometimes that even works best. So I'd say either go with Cirrus or Altostratus.

https://scied.ucar.edu/webweather/clouds/cloud-types
>>
>>2442201
Could work.

>>2441865
>Does it count as insider trading if we give Wilson a few hints on what companies to invest in?
I don't think so, or it would be really hard to prove.

Was there anything you wanted to do in Shallan space before you ship out back to Rioja?
>>
>>2442189
Nimbus Class?

>>2442237
>Was there anything you wanted to do in Shallan space before you ship out back to Rioja?
Meet with Mezan and see how she's doing?
>>
>>2442237
>Was there anything you wanted to do in Shallan space before you ship out back to Rioja?

Check with our contacts here, see if they need any assistance or anything?
>>
>>2442237
>Was there anything you wanted to do in Shallan space before you ship out back to Rioja?
Say hello to Mezan? Has Max Salick managed to stay alive? I can't remember anybody aside from Mezan from that faction. Max was lucky to show up on the wiki.
>>
You'd like to look up a few people in Shallan space while you're here. For that you'll need the use of your own ship. Fortunately Hidden Dagger isn't the only Nocturn class ship operating with the fleet now. The Alliance has bought 2 more for operations in addition to bringing in better equipped Rovinar and Krath ships.

Linda promises to be back in J-D space in a few months. Arron is able to finish his duties with the fleet within a week and has the ship ready to go.
"If we do this quickly enough we could make it back home in time for the holidays."

Within the day you're out of the galaxy and headed back in the direction of the shallan homeworlds. Increasing to max FTL speeds it shouldn't be much more than another day in flight. Once close enough to make use of secure communications you look up a few people.

>Has Max Salick managed to stay alive?
Max Salick is listed among several million MIA after a colony world was destroyed in a surprise Scorcher attack. It seems their supply unit had just transfered there after the destruction of another colony. This was back during the collapse of the civilian government.

Mezan is still alive but seems to be in a great deal of trouble. She was demoted after failing to put down an uprising on one of the Shallan core colonies. Things got out of hand and she refused orders from superiors to have her troops use lethal force.
After being demoted to Commodore she was transferred to the front lines. An attempt to transfer to Alliance service on a different front was seen as an act of desertion by the military government. (Laws were passed some time ago blocking transfer of flag officers out of the Shallan military.) Mezan is currently in prison awaiting transfer to a penal unit.

"Rufaro do we still have our Recon armor aboard?"
"Yes sir!"

[ ] Jail break
[ ] Bribe military government to transfer Mezan
[ ] Leave it alone
>>
>>2442332

>Mezan is currently in prison awaiting transfer to a penal unit.

Get Rufaro down there to get Mezan out. If they are going to transfer them to prison unit. That just means they are to afraid to execute her. So she likely has some info on the military government that can be used to restore the civilian government later.
>>
>>2442332
>[ ] Jail break
>>
>>2442332
>An attempt to transfer to Alliance service on a different front was seen as an act of desertion by the military government.
>[x] Bribe military government to transfer Mezan
We can pay in ships if they're interested. A flight of Dusk IIs for everybody held in that facility on that charge?
>>
>>2442365
>We can pay in ships if they're interested. A flight of Dusk IIs for everybody held in that facility on that charge?
I'm sure paying a bribe in ships instead of money would be looked at favorably.
I very much doubt they'd be willing to part with all of their prisoners though. Some of those kept at the facility are dangerous criminals not just those in there for their political leanings.
>>
>>2442390
>Some of those kept at the facility are dangerous criminals not just those in there for their political leanings.
If those who are held on the charge of wanting to transfer to alliance service are dangerous criminals in addition to that they can stay, sure.

>>2442362
>>2442354
I think this is one of those situations where getting her out that way is not very effective.

If we fail we have a huge diplomatic incident with some of our better customers at hand. If we succeed Mezan won't be able to return home between deployments, and it will also cause stress between the FA and the Shallans.
>>
>>2442422
>If we succeed Mezan won't be able to return home between deployments
Reminder that you helped get Mezan's family out of Shallan space before the government was overthrown.
>>
>>2442425
Breaking into that military jail in allied territory out of avariciousness is still silly.
>>
>>2442422

The military government that is currently in charge seems to be ordering some bad things. I'd rather not support them more then the Alliance already is and they'll face an important decision in a few years. When the rest of Shallan space is liberated from the Neeran, whether they stay in power or peacefully step aside for civilian government. (Insert African country reference here)
>>
>>2442440
They're our allies and breaking into one of their military facilities should be a last resort, not the cheapskate option.
>>
>>2442451

I'm not worried about it being a cheap option, you're right the dangers of being caught doing this are there and are important. But we can be viewed as supporting this military government by the refugees back home. Which there are a LOT on Rioja who are against the current government and want a return to civilian government. How many of our enemies would pass up an opportunity to use this against us as propaganda?
>>
>>2442468
We helped them develop the Eclipse Mk. 2 and they are most likely one of the largest customer of the various Shallan designs currently being built in Sonia's shipyards. If paying a ransom for Mezan is what our enemies will use to discredit, then they haven't done their homework.
>>
>>2442476

Was that not during the time of the civilian government or at least right before the collapse of it?
>>
>>2442489
Actually it was after.
>>
>>2442476
>>2442492

Thank you for the correction. Well then maybe talking with them in giving them an at cost couple of Dusk 2's or equivalent amount of them in exchange for Mezan. Still think we should have Rufaro on stand by, just in case.
>>
>>2442489
The civilian government collapsed in 4030, I think. The Eclipse Mk. 2 was in active development around what is probably 4034 .
>>
>>2442440
I agree. The military government has kept Shallan space from falling to the invasion but they're obviously not running things perfectly aside form that.

I don't think Sonia really cares about what form of government is running things, being from the Dominion herself, as long as people are treated decently and can live enjoyable lives.

Aside from wanting a return to the old government, why are their civilians rioting? Things should generally be improving for them at the moment.
>>
>>2442565

I am curious about that too. I mean we could just account for it being people being roused by Neeran infiltrators or people who just prefered to be ruled by the Neeran. Or as I am believing right now, they might be the people who want the military to step down and let the civilians rule once more. Now that the Alliance is pushing the Neeran back out of their homes.
>>
>>2442577
Could be all three, or none.

Regardless you soon track down the location of the prison and contact the ranking military officer in system. They're more than a little suspicious at being contacted out of nowhere. They dont exactly advertise the location and purpose of the local base to the Alliance. Doesn't matter, you're here to make them an offer they can't refuse.

They're understandably reluctant to hand over prisoners, especially ones that have caused trouble for the current government. Fortunately you own shipyards, a lot of them.

"I'm prepared to compensate the Shallan fleet for the loss of one of their personnel by providing them with a number of Dusk II attack cruisers."

"How many would we be talking about?" The commander asks.

>What say?
>>
>>2442622
"Does a pair of fully equipped ships sound like a fair offer?"
>>
>>2442622
Test?
>>
>>2442622
So yay movile device bull shit.

What is the Dominion normal for prisoner exchange?

Also 1-4 dusk 2 is fine anymore they better be giving something as well.
>>
>>2442701
>What is the Dominion normal for prisoner exchange?
Ransom for an admiral?
If they're worth not just waiting until you have someone of equal rank to trade, then maybe the cost of a battlecruiser?
>>
>>2442725
In the realm of prices, which is worth more? A Dusk 2 medium? Or a BC?
>>
>>2442762
A battlecruiser would be worth 2.8 Dusk II's
>>
>>2442773
Then offering them three Dusk 2's is what I'd go with.
>>
>>2442773
in that case offer 3 Dusk II cruisers
>>
>>2442762
>A Dusk 2 medium?
Correction, this does not exist.

Dusk attack cruisers exist. Most attack cruisers are currently ~16 million.
Battlecruisers cost 45-55 million

Eclipse class medium cruisers cost hundreds of millions.
>>
>>2442622
"For each prisoner you get an tenth of a ship."
>>
>>2442883
That seems a bit high. It would put any single prisoner at 1.6 million. Which is pretty high, considering you can buy a ftl capable spaceship for less than half of that.
>>
>>2441989
>It seems you've gone with an improved arm scanner.
A little surprised at that, I would have thought people wanted something more unique based on the suggestions.
>>
>>2442783
>>2442787
"Three of them, each with top of the line DHI engine packs."

The officer seems disappointed that you didn't offer more but accepts it as a fair trade.
"Why the sudden interest in this prisoner?"

"I've been away fighting for a few years and just returned. There is a war on."

"Make sure to tell your prisoner that. I'm authorizing the transfer. They should be ready for pickup in about five hours. I'll send you the coordinates for a shuttle landing pad. Is there anything else I can help you with?"

>>2442883
Did you want to offer to pay for some other troublesome prisoners?
>>
>>2442974
>Did you want to offer to pay for some other troublesome prisoners?
Maybe ask Mezan if there is anybody else we need to get out of that prison when we meet her?
>>
>>2442974
>Did you want to offer to pay for some other troublesome prisoners?
If by troublesome we mean 'Sonia joining the fleet at the wrong time and causing trouble', then yes. If it's a 'kills others' then not so much.

Also agree with >>2442986 on getting Mezan's input on anyone she wants to bring.
>>
"That remains to be seen. My ship will be in system for another day or two. If I have any other offers for you you'll be contacted before then."

Signing off you have a shuttle and LST prepared to pick up Mezan. The shuttle to do the actual pickup, the LST on standby should there be an emergency. The members of your personal guard that head ground side are told that they're picking up an Admiral, regardless of her current uniform. She's to be treated as such.

You attempt to look up information on any other political prisoners that might be held by the government but unsurprisingly there isnt much to go on. Too much of the news is being censored these days and the Shallan military isn't sharing much with the Alliance about their efforts to keep civilians in line. Probably don't want that information getting back to the other Factions.
Really it's none of the Alliance's business since they're not supposed to get involved in any Factions internal matters.

You're called to the landing bay when the shuttle returns from the surface.

The diminutive former admiral is looking a little worse for wear but doesn't act like it.

"Glad to be out of there?" you ask.

"Yes. I was starting to think you'd forgotten about me, if you were even still alive. You get used to MIA being treated as another label for dead. It just means there isn't enough of the body to identify. Or the planet they were standing on blew up."
Mezan shakes her head.
"I was not expecting to ever see you again."

"Good things come to those who wait. Now, who else is in that prison we need to get out? Do you know?"

"You're not here just because the government in exile asked are you?"

"No, I came looking for you." You reply. "I figured if they had you loked up there must be other people who don't deserve to be in there."

Mezan looks away.
"I do partially belong to be in there. It's not like I'm blameless in how things went down. Killing civilians would only have made it worse in the long term, but inaction can be just as bad."

"Then for their sake let's do some action and bail a few others out of there."

Everyone heads to the nearest medbay where the Admiral gets a fully physical. While the medics are busy she informs you of training taking place on the surface. Infantry units are being formed using prisoners with control collars. It's about as cheap as they can go in terms of a fighting force but still potentially an effective one.

She's only able to give you three names of actual political activists present. There are others that are more like terrorists that could theoretically be useful but she's reluctant to put any trust in them.

[ ] Just the activists
[ ] Activists and others that might be trustworthy
[ ] Anyone that could be useful
>>
>>2443232

>Just those she could consider to be useful.

Though if it gets to be to much, we could just change from a fleet of Dusk 2's to some Dusk 2's and a BC.
>>
>>2443232
Who ends up in that place? The shallans haven't become north korea tier when it comes to locking people away, right?
>>
>>2443293

Great Leader knows what is best.
>>
>>2443232
>[x] Just the activists
Terrorists usually mean bombs and that's not the kind of company good to be keeping.
>>
>>2443293
>Who ends up in that place?
"Convicted civilian criminals, military prisoners and political prisoners who are physically capable of fighting. Most military prisoners dont end up here unless it's considered a politically motivated offense. Even those that do often get recruited for special operations."

"Is this the only prison site like it?"
"No, there have to be at least five just in this galaxy. The most heavily populated worlds may have their own. I don't know."
>>
>>2443232
>[ ] Just the activists
If the officer we're talking to thinks somebody who doesn't deserve to be there ended up in his facility, he's welcome to put them on the shuttle as well.
>>
>>2443390
>If the officer we're talking to thinks somebody who doesn't deserve to be there ended up in his facility, he's welcome to put them on the shuttle as well.
"If they did not belong in this facility they would not have been sent here to begin with."
You're starting to see how this guy got their job.

Looks like we're just going for the activists. What do you plan to offer, another cruiser? Cash?
>>
>>2443447

A couple of Dusk 2's though it might be easier to go with a couple of Dusk 2's and a BC. So they got a small fleet to work with.
>>
>>2443447
I'd expect these guys to be significantly cheaper. Say, 3 million worth of ld plasma cannons?
>>
>>2443447
Cash, as low as we can get.
>>
>>2443484
This seems to be a middle ground.

You offer to trade the other prisoners for LD plasma cannons to outfit the attack cruisers. The officer thinks it over before replying.
"Throw in a set of spares and you have a deal."

>Approve Y/N?
>>
>>2443528

>Y
>>
>>2443528
N
"I've got the people I wanted, these are just extra. When we win the war, do you want to be remembered as the one who smuggled out prisoners from an oppressive government or the one who wanted to profit from it?"
>>
While we wait for a tie breaker.

>>2443551
Any support for saying this?
>>
>>2443697
I'll relent to keep things moving, just pay the price.
>>
>>2443697

Pass
>>
While you'd rather not be taken for any more money than you're offering it's not worth a long drawn out argument.
"Fine, you'll get your plasma cannons. Just make sure those people are ready to ship out."
"The State appreciates your business."

By the time they reach the ship the prisoners are half wondering if they're being exiled or sold into slavery. They're informed that the truth is technically neither, though their government probably would prefer it if they didn't come back any time soon. Only one of them knows who Mezan is and they're rather hostile towards her, what with having served the military government for several years.

"Alright stop. If it wasn't for her you'd be still heading to the front with nothing more powerful than a rifle. Would you say that's fairly accurate?"
You don't really let them answer before moving on.
"You're getting a ride back to Dominion space where, depending on you, I can make sure proper credentials are made up. There are a lot of Shallan refugees living in House Jerik-Dremine and quite a few of them would like to go back to Shallan space some day. Preferably not under the authority of the military government.
You can either help these people while staying within Dominion law, or you can be like some of the Terran refugees and cause trouble. If you do the latter I can revoke your visas and resident status. I want to help you so don't make me fight you."

One of them mumbles about trading one dictator for another.

[ ] You're not wrong
[ ] It's still better than the one you left
[ ] The Dominion is meritocracy
[ ] Other
>>
>>2443883
>[ ] The Dominion is meritocracy

Not even going to acknowledge the guy 'One of them mumbles about trading one dictator for another.'

You may not feel like the Dominion is your home, but it does not mean you cannot make the best of your situation. There are Shallan's living within the Dominion who would love to return to their home. You can either help them by contributing as citizens in the Dominion or as part of the Alliance.
>>
>>2443883
>[x] It's still better than the one you left
Meritocratic Monarchy/Feudalism a best.
>>
"Closer to a meritocracy, and whatever it is it's still better than the one you left."

They can't really argue against that.

"We're headed for the Dominion. If you prefer we can drop you off in the Pandora cluster. Just be aware, we can't secure you any special treatment there. You'll be in the same situation as millions of other refugees."

One of them asks to be dropped at one of the stations in the Pandora cluster, the other two will go to Dominion space.

Cloaked ship or not, when you arrive near the nav station it still takes ten hours to get nav data and clearance to proceed. If anything that might have even delayed your jump since you can't convoy up with most other ships.

Among the many transports that seem to make up the bulk of the traffic you spot the occasional new ship you're less familiar with. The Dominion's newer transports and mining barges are few in number but they are there. A similarly sized transport that seems to be a mix of Rovinar and Kavarian tech is present in equal numbers.

Not long after beginning the long jump towards the Pandora cluster you're challenged by a pair of Rovinar starships. They force your ship to broadcast its ID to them or risk being intercepted. Arron tells you they've stepped up similar interceptions catching smugglers and enemy attempts at infiltration. It's annoying but helpful. A number of units in Alliance Intel haven't been entirely happy about it making it harder to do their jobs.

Once in the Pandora cluster Hidden Dagger heads for the J-D cloaked unit docking facility. There you take on fuel and offload the one reluctant passenger.

Arron's prediction about the holidays seems to mostly be holding true. You could make it to the J-D homeworlds before the end of the year. Perfect timing to see most of the family.
Taking a slightly longer route to stop off at Rioja first would add several days. It would let you check in on how things are doing in person, and drop off the passengers.

[ ] Northerly route (Shorter)
[ ] Southerly Route/Rioja (Longer)
>>
Stopping here. My online work schedule is down again so I'm not sure when I'll be resuming.
>>
And before I forget again, thanks to everyone for the patreon donations!
>>
>>2444203
Later TSTG.

>>2444194
>[ ] Northerly route (Shorter)

Santa Sonia and her little Shallan helpers go on a trip of spreading cheer and joy across the J-D homeworld to all the good little girls and boys.

We've been gone a long time. I'm sure Count J-D and the Council will want to talk with us ASAP. And Archivald will have his own words to tell us, so lets get our family time in. Then deal with our political fallout right after. The count did say he would do his best to make sure our holdings weren't screwed with by our enemies. And even though I am sure the roaches have likely stepped in to Rioja again. Quietly send a message to Landon and the Governor of Rioja that our funds and name are available to crack down on shit in Rioja for the few days were with family.

Now that we're home, we can have one of our ships come and pick up the Shallan's we have and take them to Rioja. If they don't want to wait a few days at the J-D homeworld to get the paper work done. Also it wouldn't hurt to introduce Mezan to our friends and get her started on a track to working with J-D or the Alliance.
>>
>>2444194
>[ ] Northerly route (Shorter)
Family, and we get to drop off the Box for the Emperor.

>>2444199
Thanks for running!
>>
>>2444194
[ ] Southerly Route/Rioja (Longer)
>>
>>2444194
>[ ] Northerly route (Shorter)
>>
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>>2444194
>Once in the Pandora cluster
Is Firth doing okay?

>[x] Northerly route (Shorter)
DRH1 will hopefully not fall apart just because Sonia arrives a couple of weeks later. I wonder if she got another sibling, it seems like something her parents would do. Maybe they adopted an orphan?

>>2444225
"I didn't know what to get you guys, so I just bought Shallan dissidents!"

>>2444472
>Family, and we get to drop off the Box for the Emperor.
In b4 it's a bill for centuries of using stolen artifacts.
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>>2443232
>Mezan
Share the story how we got most of the landowner committee killed on Surakeh. Sometimes you just end up in a shitty situation with no perfect solution.
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New company for the weather control systems? Reynard Atmosforming Solutions?
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>>2447345
I was going to suggest that we establish a new company for the weather control systems because Harmen industries is probably too small to handle the demand. We could distribute non-voting stock to everybody who participated in the expedition as a way to reward them.
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Will be resuming some time tomorrow. May need a new thread.

>>2447345
>>2447507
A company that just produces them for other actual terraforming companies?
Terraforming isn't normally a business you can just jump into. Even with the gravity well generators an experienced company still has to do a lot of work afterwards.
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>>2447345
Nah. Add it to the harmen familys terraforming business for more shares. The shares we have already is making us billions and the weather control should make the increased amount of shares even more valuable. Then we should see what we could do with it in the House even if I do not see the value outside terraforming and outright weather control . Which would probably be good for farming or resorts.
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>>2447345
>>2447507
Why make our own company for that? Harmen industries are already established terraformers which we own a good amount of stock in, considering we are the single largest stockholder that is not family. Stock that earns us a LOT of money even by our standards.

Way I see it we sell it to them to and make bank from that.
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>>2447345
>>2447681

tl;dr: I sugggest we talk to the Harmen family rep (hopefuly Archivald or someone friendly to us) and Count J-D about the best way to impliment this tech. Since we are coming to them rather then the R'H with it on ways to make this work without pissing anyone off, to much.

My iea for what we can do with this tech:

We pull both Count J-D and some memberes from the business side of the Harmen family aside. And if the count thinks it important enough, maybe someone from the council. The Alliance knows we have this tech or at least the intel branch knows of it. However, they, the Alliance cannot act to interfere in another factions business. So, we will be going in on this on our own.

What we need to discuss with them, is whether or not this is actually technology that they can study/ research now and find ways to impliment while our house is stretched thin. Or at least it was when we left. Or iff it would be best to keep this hush, study it, and in a couple of years when the house s stronger, introduce it.

We could even talk to the Count and the Harmen family rep about possibly bringing Emperor Ber'helum in on this. So we could have the backing of the R'H. Which would give our house more power since the R'H would likely be looking for ways to increase their own standing among the houses. Especially since it has only been four years since the civil war.

As much as I wanted to hand this tech off fully to the Harmen family originally when I heard of the sphere's wheather control tech. Now that I think about it. If we were to do that, we would be missing a big chance to climb the political ladder. If we want to eventually grow into something more and not piss off more people within the house. Especially if we bring the R'H in on this.
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Leaving the Pandora cluster you announce to the crew that you're headed for the J-D homeworlds. Once in flight you go looking for the "retired" admiral. Mezan turns up in the conference room which hasn't seen much use since the departure from Shallan space. She's watching the ship's progress as it races farther and farther away from Shallan space.

"It may sound stupid but this is the farthest I've ever been from home. From what used to be home."

"Doesn't sound stupid to me." you tell her pulling out a chair. "I had a mini freakout when I was promoted to Knight and realised I was in a dwarf galaxy not even in the same cluster as my home."

The two of you continue to watch the displays for some time before you finally speak again.
"I hope you don't mind that we're going to the House capital before moving on to Rioja. I know you probably want to see your family again just as much as I want to see mine."

Mezan shrugs.
"It's fine, there are worse reasons. You've been out of contact longer than I have. Besides it will give me time to decide on my plans for the future."
"Are you not joining the Alliance?"

"Maybe. It's an option. They don't exactly let you keep the ships you're assigned to. They're given to someone else once you're done with them. I might be farther ahead to go mercenary, join you guys, or even sign up as a PCCG privateer."

Definitely risk vs reward. Joining the Alliance might get you excellent training and the best equipment, but all of those toys belong to them. Going in privately funded can net you a fortune but it's still easy to lose it all.

>What say?
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Probably will make a new thread tomorrow. I have to be up in 5 hours to drive relatives to the airport.
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>>2449259
"The first thing I would make sure of is not to end up on the payroll of the SRL. Some of them are excellent mercenaries and decent people but I wouldn't want anybody I even care the slightest bit about getting involved in their politics. From my experience it's a highly hazardous working environment.

In your place I'd take an extended vacation with my family and sort through my options. See what people are willing to offer you, then decide if the added management and politics some places like the Dominion will require are things you're willing to put up with."
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>>2449259
"It's a big risk, being a mercenary like that. If you're interested in continuing that path though, I can set you up a meeting with a man named Berwari."

"In any case, I can't see many places wanting to turn down an Admiral's worth of experience. You might even be the first Shallan Knight!"
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>>2449920
>first Shallan Knight!
I think one of our squadron leaders or wing commanders during the civil war was a shallan knight
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Does this work for a fast siege medium cruiser?
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Guess the thread is still here.

>>2449920
>>2449929
I can confirm there was a Shallan Knight or two in House J-D by the early parts of the Civil War. Possibly before even the House's first Kavarian Knight, though I'm not 100% certain of that.
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>>2450087
No it's not going to be too fast.
Maybe the 4 gun version of the turret if it was cut down a bit. That hull was intended for capital ship escort work though, not going fast.
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>>2450255
That's unfortunate, I had hoped removing the turrets and maybe a bit of the frontal hull would do the trick by simply lowering the mass of the ship enough.
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"It's a big risk, being a mercenary like that. The first thing I'd recommend is not to end up on the payroll of the SRL. Some of them are excellent mercenaries and decent people but I wouldn't want anybody I even care the slightest bit about getting involved in their politics. From my experience it's a highly hazardous working environment."

"It must be bad if their politics are worse than the Dominion."

"Maybe not worse but more directly hazardous? If someone in the Dominion wants to get back at you they might try to sabotage you through financial or political means. Assassination as a last resort. In the SRL they'll just shoot first and ask questions later."

This has clearly not improved Mezan's opinion of the South Reach pirates. "Okay. Hard to believe so many Shallans have fled to South Reach with that kind of environment."

"Some of the Warlords are better than others. If you're interested in continuing that path though, I can set you up a meeting with a man named Berwari. Crazy, but you have slightly better chances for advancement. He's almost as good at salvaging as I am."

"High praise from someone who built their empire off a salvage company."

Thinking it over, what the ex-admiral really needs is time.
"In your place I'd take an extended vacation with my family and sort through my options. See what people are willing to offer you, then decide if the added management and politics of places like the Dominion will require are things you're willing to put up with."

Mezan frowns. "Considering my old job increasingly involved putting down uprisings I don't know if that would be points for or against my political abilities."

"Whatever you choose I can't see many places wanting to turn down an Admiral's worth of experience."
With that you leave the other woman to her thoughts.
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You've just arrived in the TAC 1 relay when you notice the ship going to alert stations. Heading to the bridge you ask Arron what's going on.

"Cloaked raiders. The enemy has been trying really hard to disrupt the routes between the Centri and Pandora Clusters lately. They know about our buildup and are trying to slow it down any way they can."

Checking the displays you can see that the ship is still cloaked but you're broadcasting a sufficiently powerful IFF signal that a dedicated enemy search team could probably track you down. You can see a few other Alliance ships in the area doing the same, making sure to stay well clear of the convoy traffic.

Groups of fast moving Rovinar cruisers are patrolling the area using powerful sensor arrays. Some Kavarian attack cruisers are doing the same closer to the convoys themselves. Assault corvette squadrons with the white paint scheme of rookie units jump in along with the latest wave of transports.

Things seem quiet until one of the new ACS Standard types jump in, then space near it lights up with weapons fire. It's hard to make out what's happening but you do clearly see a few SP torpedoes strike the hull armor of the big ship. It doesn't seem to be putting out much fire aside from the smaller phase cannon turrets.

"Why aren't they returning fire with their plasma cannons?"
"It's on it's way to the Republic to be fitted with medium and heavy guns. Between us and the Iratar yards we're producing too many Supers to quickly arm them all."

[ ] Help patrols track and intercept raiders
[ ] Stay out of their way
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>>2450361
[ ] Help patrols track and intercept raiders
We're in the area and we got a ship that can fire while stealthed. Let's bully the raiders.
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>>2450361
>[x] Help patrols track and intercept raiders
"We're producing too /many/ supers?!"
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>>2450361
>[ ] Help patrols track and intercept raiders
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