>January 10, UC0090>Six years after the “Axis Shock” eventYou could almost be forgiven for overlooking the target vessel. Its black metal form is polished to a mirror sheen, so that its profile nearly disappears into the emptiness of interstellar space when you're looking at it with just your unaided eyes. The sole flaw to this camouflage is that it cannot reflect what's beyond it, meaning that the Herbig-Haro object crossing the starfield it's moving through is a dead giveaway. Beautiful, nebulous wisps of ionized gas show up in strikingly enhanced reds and blues and oranges on the viewscreen, ending abruptly at the dorsal edge of the ship's hull and reappearing just as suddenly on the ventral side.She's adrift in space, and if she has running lights they've been shut off for “dark running”. It's not that there's no power over there, since the emergency transponder is still clearly running, but her current vector and attitude are all wrong. She's practically flying sideways, which is your first indication that something is amiss. More disturbingly, you can feel from here that there isn't a single living crewmember aboard.So much for a rescue mission.“What do you think, Carrina?” your partner Rossweisse asks. Seven years on and she still speaks almost as if she needs your approval before acting, despite the fact that you're now of equal rank. She twirls one pale finger amidst her raven-black hair, waiting for your reply.“That's our target alright,” you frown. “Derelict. We're obliged to investigate.”“I meant why is she out here,” Rossweisse clarifies. That's a fair question, and one that puzzles you as well. A ship broadcasting a Martian-standard distress signal on the appropriate channels, far outside the usual flightpaths? That demands an explanation.>1/3
>>46589404Shadows of Zeon Quest? Joy! Though having the first thing we see coming back be a ghost ship is worrying. Here's hoping that the Hollow Man doesn't have anything to do with it.
>>46589488Haha! I wouldn't worry about it!Glad to see you back, KoH! I really need to catch up with your Bleach Quest.
>>46589404“Not sure,” you admit, frowning at the mystery ship as she continues to drift towards no particular destination, with no particular sense of urgency. “Bring up the charts and plot the derelict's present course. Let's see if we can't guess where she was heading.”A dead ship, drifting aimlessly so far from anywhere it should be... you don't have to be a Newtype to sense that this is wrong. It still helps of course, your superior awareness and acuity combining with your “sixth sense” telling you precisely how uncomfortable you should be. A star chart appears on the main view screen as the image of the derelict outside is moved to a smaller window. Your location and that of the derelict vessel are placed onto the map, and after factoring in the ship's current vector a course is plotted... that doesn't even approach an inhabited planet at any point.“She must be off course,” Rossweisse frowns.“We'll lead the team,” you offer, understanding that the only way to learn anything about your mystery ship is to download the navigational data from her main computer. To do that you still have to have physical access, meaning someone has to go over there. “Rossweisse, we'll leave the ship in your hands.”“Of course,” she nods sternly. “Standard procedure?”“That's right,” you agree. Standard procedure for your vessel, the "Sericea", and all others like it is to leave one Newtype officer aboard ship at all times. The so-called Axis Shock effect, discovered accidentally by you and your fellow Newtypes six years ago, can only be triggered by the same brainwaves that enable your extraordinary feats. Without it humanity would still be stuck in the dark ages fighting a war without end over Earth's dwindling resources: and without a Newtype at the helm the Sericea is centuries away from the nearest human colony.>2/3
Getting some real Event Horizon vibes here...
>>46589508“M-Particle density is high,” Rossweisse informs you with a frown, “enough to block sensor penetration.”Without the specially designed beacon aboard that black ship, which is designed to operate across a narrow band of frequencies that can cut through interference caused by extended use of Minovsky reactors, you'd have had no idea it was even here. It's actually rather similar to how Newtypes communicate over long distances, but much more limited. But because of this interference, it seems to have come down to a visual inspection.“No sign of damage,” you mutter, almost to yourself. “And the particle density is too low for there to have been mobile suit combat... at least not anywhere close to where we've found her.”“Accident?” Rossweisse suggests quietly. It seems to fit: a dead crew, no signs of life boats. The beacon could have been triggered automatically, after something killed the crew too quickly for them to respond.“Possible,” you nod. “We'll know when we get over there.”>Full away team, including your small contingent of Marines for security purposes.>Minimal away team: you'll take just the required experts and nobody else.>You'll go solo, your team will come when you're sure it's safe for them to do so.>You've seen this movie before: a team will just slow you down or become horror film fodder.
>>46589542That's why I'm worried about the Hollow Man. When FTL is powered by psionic abilities, you should always be worried that the ghost ship has something to do with the malevolent psychic entity you know about.>>46589559>Full away team, including your small contingent of Marines for security purposes.
>>46589559>>Full away team, including your small contingent of Marines for security purposes.OORAH
>>46589559>You've seen this movie before: a team will just slow you down or become horror film fodder.
>>46589559>Full away team, including your small contingent of Marines for security purposes.If anything, the red shirts will serve as plot armor.
>>46589508>Without it humanity would still be stuck in the dark ages fighting a war without end over Earth's dwindling resources: and without a Newtype at the helm the Sericea is centuries away from the nearest human colony.Where...exactly are we?
>>46589611No, remember, this is Gundam. Here the ablative crew members are protecting the guy in red, not the other way around.
>>46589559>What is this?A quest set in an alternate version of the Gundam franchise's Universal Century timeline, spawned by a previous quest.>Who are we supposed to be?Carrina Marseille O'Hara, an ace Newtype pilot and one of the main NPCs from said previous quest.>Should we have read this previous quest of yours?In terms of keeping up with the plot in this quest it's absolutely not necessary.>Should we be familiar with Gundam in general?Not gonna lie, it would probably help. But I'll do what I can to make things obvious for unfamiliar participants and will gladly stop to explain a concept when necessary.>Mechanical stuff?When rolls are called for it'll be 3d10 against a target DC, first three attempts considered. This always trips some people up the first time, so I'll explain in depth the first time it comes up.Voting periods will be 15 minutes.>How will we keep track of upgrade trees and stuff?Trust me, you won't need to this time around.>Twitter?@QMKingofHearts
>>46589618In interstellar space, not particularly close to anything of "human interest". Roughly as far from Earth as the furthest established human colonial presence.
>>46589628Gotcha, also known as Char's wingmen.
>>46589687>Roughly as far from Earth as the furthest established human colonial presence.And where exactly is that?
>>46589687How'd we find this ship, then? Psycommu-based distress beacons that can transmit FTL, or something like that? Because given the sheer volume of space, even if the derelict's on the route between two inhabited worlds it would be damn near impossible for us to get close enough to detect it the conventional way.
>>46589559>>Full away team, including your small contingent of Marines for security purposesIs...Is it really back?
>>46589559>Minimal away team: you'll take just the required experts and nobody else.
>>46589753>Psycommu-based distress beacons that can transmit FTLPrecisely. Long-range communication is another "practical" evolution of the technology made possible by the dawn of a new "age of exploration". Same way that the technology required to travel at FTL in the first place had to be refined.Basically, Newtype abilities are being used to "cheat".>writing
>>46589823Awesome. Sorry if it sounds like I'm nitpicking, I actually think this is really cool and just want as many details as possible. I'll stop for now, don't want to bog down the writing.
>>46589559As much as this reeks of cult space-horror movies from the pre-UC era, and as wary as you are about the sheer size of the universe humanity has wandered out into, your military training and experience kick in almost immediately. This is an unknown situation, and that calls for certain precautions.“We'll take a few Marines, just in case,” you nod to your partner, before turning to leave the cramped command center of the Sericea. “We'll be in touch.”“Please try not to blow this one up by mistake,” Rossweisse taunts you with a quiet smile.You play up a scowl. “Come on, that wasn't my fault and you know it.”“Besides, nobody died.”The Sericea is a special service “cutter” in what's been officially termed the “Colony Transit Fleet”: a semi-militarized organization in charge of securing new colony worlds and escorting fleets to and from far-flung inhabited worlds. Slow post, colonists, industrial equipment, fuel... all these things and more need to run along an expanding web of trade routes, and the Newtypes who guarantee that they reach their destinations are your comrades.You currently serve as a Captain in the CTF, though you and many other old-hands still refer to your branch as the “Colonial Marines”. The name never flew officially, but it stuck colloquially anyhow. The cutter you command together with Rossweisse is built with a single purpose in mind, basically comprising a bridge, a hangar, and engines. Even such amenities as sleeping quarters are a distant secondary concern.The hangar is just large enough for a single mobile suit and a small utility shuttle for ship-to-ship missions such as this. The design priorities mean that even with such a small crew, just two Newtype officers, a few marines, and the minimum number of technicians, the Sericea still ends up being cramped. If you weren't so accustomed to close quarters living, particularly with Rossweisse, it might be enough to drive you crazy.>1/?
>>46590041Whatever happened to the rest of the family.also any ankle biters?
>>46590231I assume that information will come later.
>>46590041It's the hangar you'll be heading towards, but first you need to retrieve your equipment from your quarters. Unlike other ships this size, CTF cutters are fitted with diamegnetic gravity devices which press your body into the deck at a constant .98g outside the hangar. That means you can actually walk down the narrow hallway and into the room you share with Rossweisse.The interior is spartan but arranged well enough that it feels spacious compared to the average cabin. Every single inch of space is thoughtfully utilized, right up to the dorm-room styled bunk beds against the wall. Over the slim black bodysuit that serves as a pressure suit, the base layer of your uniform, you fit a few lightweight protective plates and pads from your closet and a pair of slate blue fatigues: the pockets contain a few tools, spare batteries, a medical kit, and transparent sealing patches in case of a suit breach. You also fish out your helmet.As you leave to head down to the hangar deck, where your Marines should have assembled, you catch a look at yourself in the mirror: one violet eye visible, the other covered by a patch, with your long blonde hair tied back as usual.“Good,” you mutter. “Nothing on my face.”In the hangar you see a team of six marines waiting for you, who salute at your approach, along with a few of the technicians who have volunteered. All seem ready to go on your word.“So, ma'am,” the Sergeant greets you as you float to a stop in front of him. In the hangar, due to the amount of metallic tools and weapons, there's no magnetic “gravity” to keep you glued to the floor aside from the magnets in your boots. You engage them for the time being.“Are we going to establish a contact link?”>2/3
>>46590307A contact link, of course, is a cabled connection between two vessels that allows communication between vessels that are experiencing Minovsky interference. There's currently no protocol regarding this particular step of the process.>”Of course. You want to be able to call for help if something goes wrong, right?”>”No, I want the Sericea to be able to maintain a standoff distance. We can handle dark comms for a while.">Other?
>>46590329>”Of course. You want to be able to call for help if something goes wrong, right?”The connection can be cut from our ships side... right?
>>46590307Ooh, that is one sexy ship design.>>46590329>”Of course. You want to be able to call for help if something goes wrong, right?”We're still operating under the assumption this is a rescue mission, not some sci-fi horror thing. For now, let's curb our tendency to jump at shadows.
>>46590329>”No, I want the Sericea to be able to maintain a standoff distance. We can handle dark comms for a while.">Other?"Remember when we had to talk to each other using newtype magic? It'll be like old times."
>>46590376Hah!Good point. Supporting this.
>>46590376I'd rather have some redundancy in an uncertain situation like this, personally. If our paranoia is right and it is something spooky, it could be able to block psychic communications.
>>46590329>”Of course. You want to be able to call for help if something goes wrong, right?”Yay we're back!
>>46590467I'm worried that this entire setup screams trap. The ship might blow up and cripple our only way home.
Who is.. Carrina?
>>46590329“Of course,” you smirk, putting on the confident attitude your subordinates know you for. “You'd want to be able to call for help if we run into trouble, right?”“I keep forgetting,” the Sergeant shrugs. God, you never realized it but he's like a walking stereotype of the black NCO who always gets eaten first in space horror flicks. Right down to the attitude. “You're one of those Newtypes, aren't you? Telepathy must be one hell of a convenience.”“Oh, trust us. It is.”“Any other orders?” he asks.You nod, pulling on your helmet and tapping the side. Not only is there a small, powerful flashlight mounted there, but a camera as well. “Be sure you're recording. We want to be able to review anything you see over there as evidence, in case we miss something the first time.”“You heard the lady!” the Sergeant snaps. “Now let's see you hustle!”Six marines, along with four technical experts and their tools, quickly board the shuttle ahead of you. As you float towards the shuttle's docking hatch, you pause to glance at the real reason this ship was designed: the Viola.A mobile suit, sixteen meters of the most advanced technology to ever grace the battlefield with its terrifying presence. It's perhaps the final iteration of a design lineage built from the ground up for your own personal use. Arsenal gray and an eye-catching teal are its primary colors, while from head to toe the machine is covered in emblems: the white lettering of Anaheim Electronics, the black cat and kitten of Yamato Transport, and several other companies are all represented. The intent was to disguise the Viola as a race-tuned mobile suit, but underneath it's a Newtype-powered killing machine of obscene power.“Sorry, pal,” you mutter an apology as you continue to make your way over to the shuttle. “Not this time.”>1/2
>>46590650She uses the "we" for a reason.Carrina is what's left of the Newtype sisters who once called themselves Carya and Catrina. Some parts of them still manifest in certain reactions, preferences, and even memories, but keeping them distinct ALL the time grew to be too much mental strain.A story for another time, perhaps.
>>46590650The name for when Carya and Catrina go into a combined state due to being particularly synchronized in their thinking. Often happens during missions due to their focus, occasionally happens at other times.
>Race-tuned Mobile SuitsMobile Suit MxC when, KoH?
>>46590770Oh, they're fused permanently now? That's kind of sad, actually. That was something they worried about a lot, sad to see that it finally came to pass. Though at least it means their kids don't have to be confused about which one to call "Mom". Do they have kids, yet? I remember Carrina was pregnant in the epilogue of Shadows of Zeon, but I'm not clear where this is relative to then in the timeline.
>>46590718The shuttle is, of course, standard-issue: used to transfer crew and small amounts of cargo between larger vessels or to and from stations where the Sericea itself cannot fit. In this case, docking with the shuttle will ensure that Rossweisse can stand off at a hopefully safe distance with the cutter while your team investigates the derelict vessel you've come out here for. You're the pilot here, and you guide the shuttle towards where you believe the airlock should be."Testing," you announce, tapping the side of your helmet with your fist. "Can you hear us, Rosse?""I've got visual too" Rossweisse confirms as you raise a thumbs-up for your camera. "Shooting the contact link in three... two..."Somewhere outside the shuttle's hull a probe shoots past, sinking into a non-vital area of the ghost ship's hull. The probe will transmit on a frequency tied to the Psychoframe built into the command center of the Sericea, same as your helmet does, allowing Rossweisse to monitor your whole team's video feedback and communications."Initiating docking protocol," you announce to your fellow Newtype as well as your team. "Rolling one-eight-zero degrees port, lining up dorsal mag clamps."You count off each meter as you close in on the ship, the cameras along the locking ring of your shuttle's hatch helping you line up the approach. Finally, there's a dull thud as you lock the two systems in place."Contact," you report, rising to your feet. You draw your service sidearm, briefly inspect it to ensure that it's both loaded and safe, and re-holster it. "Let's go.">Lead the way, secure the area immediately inside the hull with the Marines. You may be on a timer here and not know it yet.>Conduct a thorough investigation of the airlock system first, try and establish the ship's condition.>Let the scientists take the lead. They'll tell you what you need to know.>Other plan of attack?
>>46590770That's kind of sad.
>>46590977>Conduct a thorough investigation of the airlock system first, try and establish the ship's condition.
>>46590977>>Conduct a thorough investigation of the airlock system first, try and establish the ship's condition.
>>46590977The space inside this airlock should be able to handle four people, so you take two marines and a technician and open the airlock on your shuttle's end. Thankfully the outer airlock on the mystery ship takes no convincing to pressurize itself and open as well through an automated process, allowing your first team access and remaining open until you hit the switch to cycle the doors.“We want a full rundown on this system,” you order the technician, “wouldn't want it to fail and pop us free like a cork mid-transfer.”“Yeesh,” one of the Marines winces inside his helmet, probably remembering his microgravity disaster training in which recruits are sent spinning out of control and required to recover unassisted. A nightmare for each class that's required to take it.“That's what they pay us to think about,” you shrug, looking over the interior of the airlock yourself.>3d10, DC 5.
Rolled 3, 8, 2 = 13 (3d10)>>46591298Am I doing it right?
Rolled 4, 7, 2 = 13 (3d10)>>46591298
Rolled 5, 10, 8 = 23 (3d10)>>46591298
Rolled 8, 10, 2 = 20 (3d10)>>46591298Oh, it's been a while.
>>46591340No you do it like this >>46591359You're welcome.
>>46591386Thank ye kindly.
To run down the voting system for anyone who may be new, this is how the results work:>3,8,2Failure, as only the 8 beats the DC of 5>4,7,2Failure for the same reasons.>5,10,8Critical success, as 5, 10, and 8 all meet or exceed the DC>8,10,2Would have been a regular success had it been in the first three.The critical success is the best result of the first three, and so that's what we'll be going with. Also, crits on the first roll bodes well.>writing
>>46591298As you look over the inside of the airlock chamber, your eyes linger on one detail that stands out: a simple warning label, painted on as part of the interior fit and finish. Seemingly innocuous, but over the years you've learned that sometimes it's the things that seem unimportant that betray the truth.The label reads, in three languages:Warning: Depressurization警告:減圧Bнимaниe: cнижaвaнeEnglish and Japanese are the first two, and you can read them both well enough, They're fairly standard, as North American and Japanese tech companies were among the foremost participants in the mad building rush some hundred years or so ago that culminated in the migration of most of the nine billion residents of Earth at the time into space. The Lunar cities and colonies clustered around the Lagrange points are covered in English and Japanese signs and lables.But your fingers brush against that third line. “Rossweisse, are you seeing this?”“It seems to be some form of Cyrillic,” she replies, her voice betraying a sudden curiosity. When it comes down to it, Rossweisse's a shy bookworm at heart despite her extensive combat training: this sort of thing can really excite her sometimes. “I can have ALICE take a look?”“As soon as we're in handshake range we'd appreciate it,” you agree, flashing her another thumbs-up gesture. “It's not French or German, so it may help us trace this ghost ship of ours.”“Why's that important?” a Marine asks you, eyeing the warnings dubiously.>1/?
>>46591741Russian? That's odd. This ship could be really old...
>>46591741Well, Zeon uses German and Jupiter uses French, so that would rule them out as this ship's manufacturer. It would have to hail from one of the smaller polities, if it's using a Cyrillic language.
>>46591856It would have had to have been in service recently enough to be outfitted with an Axis Shock Drive, though. Otherwise we wouldn't find it all the way out here.
>>46591741“Because if she were fitted out in the Republic or on Mars the third language would have been German,” you explain, sparing him the history lessons for now. Many of the emigrants there were from German-speaking countries, leading the old Zeon factions to list German as a national language. You could read that last line yourself if it were in German, as you learned it when you were children.“And if it were fitted out on Luna or in most of the old Earth Federation,” you conclude, “the third language would have been the “language of diplomacy”. Which was French.”A tradition inherited from the days of the long-defunct United Nations, but you're sure even most people your own age wouldn't care about that."Ma'am, the airlock is secure," your technician, who has been working diligently through your explanation, informs you.You nod. "Good. Cycle the airlock."He presses a button as your Marines ready their rifles. The doors behind you hiss to a close, then the doors in front slide open. Beyond them is a dimly lit hallway, illuminated only by red emergency lighting. That makes sense, the ship is probably on reserve power."Lights," you order, switching on your headlamp and pulling yourself out into the hallway. There's no debris here, consistent with the lack of damage on the exterior hull.You engage your boots, locking loosely to the wall of the hallway while your team follow you out. All along the wall above you there are sealed doorways, red glowing panels to each side suggesting they've been locked."Atmosphere reads thirty-five kPa," the technician announces after a moment. "Traces of smoke from somewhere, can' tell if it's toxic.""Can we breathe it?" one of the Marines asks.As Rossweisse is quick to remind you that's about the air pressure at the top of Mount Everest back on Earth, and an unknown amount of it may be fumes and not air. But leaving your suits sealed may shorten your mission time inside the derelict.>2/3
>>Shadows of ZeonJesus Analogies: The QuestLiterally the laziest thing to do as a writer. Did Batman vs Superman give you a raging hardon?
>>46591983There IS a third option, which is to send some of your team to try and repair the environmental systems. But if they're seriously malfunctioning or sabotaged, that could turn out to be a waste of manpower.>I think we can chance it briefly.>The suits stay on. Just finish your missions faster.>We'll send a team to environmental control, see if we can buy ourselves some time that way.>Other?
>>46591983>air pressure same as the top of Everest, where altitude sickness can be a problem>no checks for biological agents like bacteria, viruses, or fungi that could have killed the crewYeah, nah. We should keep our helmets on.>>46592063>The suits stay on. Just finish your missions faster.
>>46592063>>We'll send a team to environmental control, see if we can buy ourselves some time that way.>>46592047Ooh, edgy.
>>46592063>The suits stay on. Just finish your missions faster.If an issue comes up that's urgent enough that we don't have time to resupply from the Sericea, then it won't matter if we get extra time from popping our helmets.
>>46592063>The suits stay on. Just finish your missions faster.Yeah, we are not breathing the air.
>>46592047http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Shadows%20of%20ZeonTry to catch up.
>>46592154Don't respond, it's just a shitposter posting shit.
>>46592063“You're nuts,” you reprimand the private. “Unless it all goes sideways and the choice is breath the nasty stuff or die, the helmets stay on.”“Solid copy,” the Sergeant replies as the second batch of investigators enter the airlock. “Keep it fast and tight boys and girls, we're doing this on a timer from here on out.”“Sarge has the right idea,” you agree. “The longer we're inside the more risky this sideshow excursion gets.”“I want one team to check the engines, make sure we're not sitting on a time bomb. The other team will find the bridge and extract any data that's left, figure out where this ship came from and who was on her.”“Where'll you be headed, ma'am?” the Sergeant asks you, maneuvering gingerly to plant his feet against the proper floor and lock his boots into place.>I'll be going to the bridge.>I'll join the team in the engine room.>I want to know what happened to the crew. I'll take a Marine and a techie.>I have a funny feeling. I'll be looking on my own, but I'll be in radio contact.
>>46592521>>I'll be going to the bridge.We can *probably* find out what happened to the crew from there.
>>46592521>I want to know what happened to the crew. I'll take a Marine and a techie.Please don't be all in one room fused into a horrid monstrosity. PLEASE don't be all in one room fused into a horrid monstrosity.Sorry, been re-reading the Expanse books.
>>46592521>I'll be going to the bridge
>>46592521>I wantWe. Fuck this is harder than I thought to keep up.>>46592573Not gonna lie, it was actually the mechanical design and the overall feel of the Expanse that got my creative juices flowing again to the point that an SoZ continuation was possible. So while the plot will be totally different you can expect a similar narrative tone.
>>46592521>>46592652Actually, I change my mind to:>I want to know what happened to the crew. I'll take a Marine and a techie.I misread and didn't realize a team was going to the bridge anyways.
>>46592788Well, that sounds delightful, then, because the Expanse actually has a really good tone for a Gundam series. So if this is taking inspiration from it, I am in favor of that.
>>46592905“We'll take a Corporal and a technician,” you tell the Sergeant calmly, your level tone disguising the mounting unease in your heart. “There are no crewmembers here, we want to know why.”“Corporal Daretti, you go with the Captain,” the Sergeant barks. “And keep your head on a swivel, anything happens to her and you answer to me, soldier!”“Hoo rah!” the Corporal replies enthusiastically. You see what the Sarge did, of course: his soldiers expect him to be God's own anti-sonofabitch machine, and he has to play that role hard to outdo an ace Newtype even if she's not really paying attention.You give the Sergeant a knowing look and a nod. Hopefully with only one eye the gesture comes across.>dice+3d10, simply taking the best result of the first three on this one
Rolled 8, 3, 7 = 18 (3d10)>>46593076
Rolled 4, 4, 6 = 14 (3d10)>>46593076
Rolled 2, 6, 7 = 15 (3d10)>>46593076
>>46593146dice go in the 'options' field, anon, not the name field.
Rolled 5, 4, 4 = 13 (3d10)>>46593076
>>46593185I fixed it, it's been a while.
>>46593076You slowly wind your way through the halls, following a pure hunch, until you reach an area that looks like crew quarters. It's just aft of the bridge and down one deck, along a corridor that runs across the ship from port to starboard. At each end of the passage are a trio of what look like escape pod hatches set into the wall, which you wave your small team towards.Kicking off the wall and landing on the inner hull next to one of the pods, you peer down through a small viewport into the interior to find the pod still in place.“This pod hasn't been launched,” you observe, making sure Rossweisse has a good angle off it through the helmet cam. Your Marine escort looks through another viewport. “Same here.”“None of them have been launched,” Rossweisse informs you from the Sericea. “I checked the far side, too: no evidence of any openings where pods would have detached.”Logically, then, it seems that this mystery ship isn't just a derelict: it's likely a tomb, lost in the depths of interstellar space where no human ship has any right being. The thought of it sends alarm bells ringing in your head, but you quickly rein it in. It's not like a sudden flash of insight, just the mundane but very powerful fear that you've stumbled into a place where you shouldn't linger."We're moving on," you announce tersely, backtracking to the crew quarters. "Nobody's dead until there's a body."Like the rest of the doors on this ship you find that the doors to each cabin along this corridor are locked tight."What do we do now, ma'am?" the Corporal asks, tucking the stock of his weapon under his arm and holding his position rather casually."We're not entirely sure," you admit."I could try and crack the alarm?" the technician offers.>Do it.>Let's try to find another source of information first.>We have a quicker idea [shoot the door controls]
>>46593432>otherContact the rest of the boarding party, ask them if they found any bodies yet or figured out any clues?
>>46593432>Let's try to find another source of information first.Let's not crack the sealed room until we know why it's sealed. Odds are this is where the crew is. I have the sinking feeling the odd atmospheric conditions were set to try and kill something.
>>46593432>>Let's try to find another source of information first.
>>46593483Can you change your vote to finding another source of information? It would suck to open it and end up being attacked by some alien beast or homicidal robot. Cause if there's something on this ship that took out the crew it can't be felt by newtypes.
>>46593432>Let's try to find another source of information first.Is there a central server room or central computer?
>>46593432>Let's try to find another source of information first.You'd think that by this point CC would learn to just bring at least one junior MS for derelict ship/colony/asteroid exploration duties.
>>46593432You key your mic to address all the members of the away team at once before you go to the extreme of cracking open a room, wary of what you might find inside.“Anyone find anything?” you ask. “Report.”“This is the engine room,” one of the technicians responds immediately. “The reactor is in standby mode, seems the automatic safety systems detected some sort of fault. A full diagnostic would take more time than we have so I'm trying to access the incident reports. It should have kept an automatic log.”“Carry on” you reply. “Bridge?”“We had to crack a lock to get in,” Sarge reports, and you can tell from his feed that there's an alarm blaring in the background. Probably has something to do with the security breach. “Havin' some trouble booting everything up on minimal power, but we'll get it done... would you PLEASE shut that damn thing off!?”“I'm trying sir!” one of the Marines replies frantically. “The controls are... ah, here!”The siren ceases.“Any sign of the crew?”“Negative,” Sarge replies. “Almost looks like they locked up, turned the lights off, and left home.”Well, in any event it seems that cracking open one of the doors is probably safe... like 95% sure.>Shoot the lock>Spend the extra time to crack the lock>Search another area of the ship?>Join the bridge team?
>>46593942>Spend the extra time to crack the lock
>>46593942>>Spend the extra time to crack the lock
>>46593942See if you can find the captains cabin. Open the lock for that one.
>>46593942>Shoot the lockKept the helmet on, so we have limited time. And if the environmental are down, nothing alive would be on the other side anyway.
>>46594061Shooting the lock almost never works, at least with the caliber of gun we have.
>>46594061Nothing from earth would be alive.
>>46594099It would in this case.
>>46594222Really? That lock's seriously underperforming, then. When we find out which shipyard this came out of we're going to have to file a separate case about inadequate guarding of the crew's privacy.
>>46594296Partly the nature of the locking system, partly the design of the bullet.>dice+3d10 to determine how quickly the techie can work
Rolled 2, 10, 5 = 17 (3d10)>>46594350Fair enough, then.
Rolled 3, 10, 5 = 18 (3d10)>>46594350
Rolled 1, 5, 4 = 10 (3d10)>>46594350
Rolled 9, 9, 5 = 23 (3d10)>>46594350
>>46594369>>46594385Very similar, but need one more.
>>46594434Nevermind. Literally, in the time it took to write it.>writing
>>46594428roll sooner anon...
>>46594458“Crack the lock,” you order your technician. “But make it quick, we don't want to hang around here too long.”“Aye, ma'am,” the technician replies, kneeling by the doorframe of what seems to be the largest cabin while you lean against the ceiling to wait.Over the next few minutes little progress is made, and eventually the Corporal leans against the ceiling next to you. You don't even need to see his face to tell how colossally bored he is right now.“So,” he starts, weighing his words carefully, “you say 'we' a lot. Is there like... you know. A story to that, or anything?”You're about to say something when you get a status update from the bridge from one of the technicians.“Seems the navigational logs have been wiped clean, I'll try and search the main computer next. If that fails we'll have to try and yank the hardware, see what we can recover from it with the proper tools.”You key your mic. “Understood, keep us posted.” In doing so, you repeat the same verbal habit the Corporal was asking about. You consider your possible responses... it's not an easy story to tell, even now.>Give the short explanation, even if it's somewhat disconcerting for most people to know.>Give him the two-sentence version. Explain nothing, it's not like he'd really understand it.>Tell him nothing, remain silent and hope he gets the message.>Refuse, explain that it's not something he needs to know.
>>46594708>Give the short explanation, even if it's somewhat disconcerting for most people to know.Ha, are the purus still stuck in our head?
>>46594790Those were in Dominic's head and no. They're not. It would be obvious by now if they were.
>>46594708>Give the short explanation, even if it's somewhat disconcerting for most people to know.Eh, given how long it's been since the Axis Shock Event, this needs to stop people freaking out.It's a whole new era, and people need to get used to it.
>>46594708>>Give the short explanation, even if it's somewhat disconcerting for most people to know.
>>46594708>Give him the two-sentence version. Explain nothing, it's not like he'd really understand it.Or joke around. New meat are fun to mess with.>"Beep boop, I'm actually a computer hivemind."
>>46594890Ahaha. Yes. This!
>>46594708"Two became One"
>>46594708explane it to him like we did our kids. but keep in the mommy part make it really condescending
>>46594708>Give him the two-sentence version. Explain nothing, it's not like he'd really understand it.I'm fine with just excusing it as "we were test subjects back in Zeon's Newtype labs, the things they did messed up our brain a bit, aside from the pluralism thing we're fine". It's true, even if it leaves out some important details, and it handles the information in the most easily-absorbed way.
>>46594850I'm an idiot, and have not realized we are not playing Dominic this entire time.We never resolved all the purus in his head, didn't we?
>>46594977We did. We downloaded them into a computer, ALICE helped repair what damage she could, and now they hang out with the living Purus. They help them maintain the Psyco-Fields when they're piloting, it's made the triplets some of the best at FTL travel out of all the Newtype navigators.
>writingDon't worry, the knowledge won't break him.
>>46595117Because he'll just file that information under the generic header of "Newtypes are some weird shit"?
>>46595117“The sisters once known as Carya and Catrina Marseille,” you explain carefully, “are one of the main reasons why experiments on Newtypes have been outlawed on every settled planet.”“They were your sisters?” the Corporal exclaims, still not following the logic.You shake your head. “They are me. To shorten a very long and deeply disturbing story, what you could call their 'souls' ended up merged in Carya's body, the one you see here. Over the years our minds began to grow less distinct, until only traces of individuality remained.”“We chose at some point to refer to ourselves in the plural,” you conclude, “because in some ways, on some level, we want to believe the two of us are still together in some meaningful way. That our current life is not the result of a tragic accident, but of cooperation and harmony.”There's a long pause while the Corporal tries to work out an answer for all of the things you've just calmly told him. Finally, he settles on something.“I literally have no idea what to say to that.”“The best thing is not to say anything,” you reply carefully. “We don't like talking about it, nor do we appreciate it when people treat us like we're made of emotionally-charged tissue paper after hearing the truth.”“Good to know. I'll... keep that in mind.”Several more minutes pass in contemplative silence before you request another update.“No dice on the main computer,” Sarge reports with a drawn-out sigh. “We're removing what hardware we can get at and we'll meet you at the airlock.”“Engines?” you ask.The technician from before sounds a bit more nervous than you're comfortable with. “Sorry, ma'am. The update logs have been wiped. We're trying to get a good look at everything so our helmet cam footage can give us something to review later.”>1/2
>>46595429>Pull back all teams, air may start to get tight otherwise.>Have the other two teams pull back as soon as they're ready, wait and see if the door here opens.>Fuck it, gun.>Other?
>>46595460>Have the other two teams pull back as soon as they're ready, wait and see if the door here opens.
>>46595460>Fuck it, gun.
>>46595460>>Pull back all teams, air may start to get tight otherwise.>Other?"Rosse, can we get tow service for this once the teams are all out?"
>>46595460>>Pull back all teams, air may start to get tight otherwise.
>>46595460>>Fuck it, gun.
>>46595429I like to think that on some parallel 4chan, that Corporal is the protagonist and the audience is absolutely reeling at learning Carrina's backstory.
>>46595460>Pull back all teams, air may start to get tight otherwise.We're not on any timer as far as we know, we can made a return trip with the whole party here.
>>46595460You sigh, pushing against the technician's shoulder to get him to move out of your way. Then you draw your sidearm. You don't have time for this.“This is taking too long,” you mutter, firing a cluster of three suppressed rounds into the control panel. The projectiles fragment on impact: a feature that makes it harder to accidentally penetrate the hull of a ship while retaining effectiveness against targets in pressure suits. As it turns out, they also work perfectly for this scenario.An alarm triggers as you fire another shot at the gap between the door panels, giving the Corporal a place to jam the muzzle of his rifle to use it as a prybar.“What did you do, Marine!?” Sarge demands over the commlink. “God DAMN it Jenkins!”“It wasn't me, Sarge, honest!” one of the Marines on the bridge insists.“All sectors, report!”You key your own comm as you step into the Captain's cabin. “Just a slight disagreement with a door. We're all fine here now, thank you. How're you?”“You show that door who's boss?”“Of course. When you're done head back to the shuttle, we'll meet you there.”>3d10 to search the place
Rolled 8, 9, 2 = 19 (3d10)>>46596020
Rolled 5, 9, 3 = 17 (3d10)>>46596020Come on
Rolled 1, 9, 7 = 17 (3d10)>>46596020Gonna find us some loot
>>46596064>>46596099Looks good enough.>inb4 more Zeon remnant offshoots
>>46596020>We're all fine here now, thank you. How're you?”Kek.
>>46596020Looks like the Captain left a few personal items lying around his cabin. Nothing jumps out at you as particularly important at first, so you begin by sweeping the room thoroughly for the benefit of the cameras. There is however one notable item that's absent from the scene: the Captain himself. There's no body.“He's not on the bridge, and he's not here,” the Corporal muses, “so where in the hell is he?”“We noticed there weren't any crewmembers in the corridors either,” you frown, deep in thought. “No escape pods were launched, and the one person I expected to be sealed in his room is missing from it. So they clearly haven't all sealed themselves into their quarters.”Then you notice it: the closet has been left ajar. Opening the door the rest of the way, you find that there's one item of clothing missing from it. Undershorts and socks neatly folded, uniform trousers, a dress shirt, shoes... but no pressure suit.“On your way out we want you all to look for pressure suits,” you order. “Anywhere. In a locker, in private quarters. Anywhere in an area you can access.”“The pressure suit is missing?” Rossweisse mutters, seemingly connecting the dots. “Does that mean...”“We can't say for sure,” you remind your long-time friend. “We have one last place to look.”>Take your team to the hangar.>Help your team search the remaining cabins.>Search a cabin or two, send your team back to the shuttle.>Investigate the hangar on your own.Pick only one.
>>46596334>Take your team to the hangar.
>>46596334>>Take your team to the hangar.
So what are we putting our money on? Them being there in the hangar alive and hiding out, them being there in the hangar all dead, or the hangar being empty but there being evidence they were in there and all got spaced?
>>46596515The last, except they probably got abducted.
>>46596334“We're going to the hangar,” you announce. “You can follow me or head back to the shuttle, your decision. We can find our way from here easily either way.”“I'm coming with you,” the Corporal insists. The technician silently nods in agreement and follows right behind him.There are signs that point to the hangar bay, which is even more cramped than the one on the Sericea. Inside you find that this vessel's shuttle is still in place, and the technician discovers upon close inspection that its computer system has been rather brutally sabotaged: anything even remotely resembling data storage has been removed. Your search however ends even more quickly, as you find what you came here to see.A locker in the back contains a handful of coathangars with regular uniforms on them, but no pressure suits. In your mind that settles the question of what happened to the crew, and you make it back to the shuttle with little time to spare. Before docking you're positive to carry out every decontamination protocol in the book at LEAST twice, just to be sure. Chemical, biological, and checks for radioactive contamination all put you somewhat at ease, but there are some facts about the situation that still make you nervous.No checks or procedures can change that feeling, but you hide it for the benefit of your crew.“We'll be expecting results soon on those memory drives,” you tell the technical teams before turning to face your Marines. “Good job, Marines. You earned your pay for the day, now get some rest.”A round of “hoo rahs” are your enthusiastic reply.But when you return to the command center, the “brain” of the Sericea and its crew is frowning at the image of a polished black hull, still adrift in space.>1/2
>>46596906“So that confirms it?” Rossweisse mutters.You nod. “We can't think of an alternative. The crew seems to have shut down all their systems, wiped their computers' memory, and left through the airlock in their pressure suits. No significant damage, no irreparable faults, and even if the atmosphere was a bit nasty it was still workable.”Rossweisse continues to stare at the screen. “I can't understand what must have gone through their minds... and it scares me a little.”"Drop a nav beacon," you suggest, "and let's get out of here.""Where to?"You contemplate the question for a moment. "Maybe the Mars Union's shipyards kept some records, and at the very least we can contact ALICE there."Rossweisse smiles softly. "You just want to pay Lady Mineva a visit.""Not 'just', Rosse," you pretend to scowl. "But yeah, that would be nice too."For the time being, it seems your ghost ship has left you with more questions than you started with. You can only hope that Mars will offer you some answers.
>>46597063Mineva's at Mars? That's...actually a really good sign. If the political situation at Mars is good enough that the Grim Guard feel she's safe enough there to not be kidnapped or pressured into being a figurehead, then something must be going right.
>>46597063Aw, too bad we can't tow it back.Maybe a certain junkdealer will stumble upon it in the future.
>>46597063And that's the conclusion for now. I'll be returning same time next Sunday for the continuation, as Carrina and Rossweisse put into port on Mars. Hope you enjoyed, and are looking forward to this new story as much as I am!The archive is now up for your reading pleasure on Suptg, tagged as "Shadows of Zeon". If you're new you can also skim the previous threads with the same tag.Cheers!
>>46597169I did enjoy, Hearts. It's nice to see this universe again. Thanks for running, man.
>>46597169Thanks for running, King!
>>46597169Thanks for running, good to see this quest again!
>>46597169Glad you're back in the saddle, bossman. Thanks for running.
>>46597269I'll admit, after all this time it really does feel great to be back. Hope I can live up to expectations and keep the focus and tone I feel this new story started with, but for now I'm going to sleep.I also have an ask.fm if anyone is interested in non-spoilery details: same name as my twitter name. Anything I feel might not come up "naturally" I'll explain there if prompted.