You are Allen Starwind, a starship captain and veteran of the Great Interstellar War. Your starship is old, yet (mostly) reliable, and you must take on jobs in order to bring in enough cash to keep it flying. Last time, you briefed your crew, visited a boneyard, and discovered that the Militias have rebelled against the Federation. Good luck, and fair skies.Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZapQMArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=StarcallerSome useful Pastebins:The Ship: http://pastebin.com/dUaVH74mFactions: http://pastebin.com/HRxg787x
Your conversation with Solfrid didn’t yield much more in the way of useful information, and once you were both done talking, you returned Corrigan’s laptop to her quarters, then made breakfast for the crew as they woke up. Unfortunately, all that was left as far as breakfast food was concerned was powdered eggs, preserved bacon and sausage, and a few other preserved foods. Eventually, you had made breakfast for everyone, so you made yourself a plate and sat down with your crew. The conversation mostly revolves around your escape from the militias, which you tell as accurately as possible. “What?” Tom’s eyebrows shoot up. “You blew up a jeep with that little gun you found?” He chuckles a little bit in disbelief. “It’s all true,” Cynthia says with a small grin. “For a second, I thought he might have busted his skull when he laid that bike down on the cargo ramp.” “Speaking of the Captain’s daring escape,” Virgo says with a raised eyebrow. “I wasn’t aware that you were such a good shot with a rifle.” She looks at her plate sheepishly. “I mean, it’s not anything that I brag about, but I know how to shoot.” “Don’t sell yourself short,” you say between bites of scrambled egg. “It takes an excellent marksman to hit a head-sized moving target behind a windshield.” “I got lucky,” she replies with a shrug. “So what does all of this mean for New Albany?” Corrigan speaks up tiredly, rubbing her eyes. “I’m not sure,” you reply. “It could mean anything. I’m sure the Marines will remove the militias from power, but what happens after that is anyone’s guess.” You shrug, eating the last bits of food on your plate. As you’re about to say something else, a small alarm klaxon goes off. Tom is the first to get up, heading over to the console on the wall. “Shit,” he mutters. “Cynthia, we’ve got a problem in engineering.” She stands up, walking over to the console and looking at the diagnostic report. “Let me see…” She frowns as she reads off the report to you. >Roll a 1d24 to determine how long it takes to fix the problem. Lowest of three.
Rolled 15 (1d24)>>1146423
Rolled 3 (1d24)>>1146423
Rolled 2 (1d24)>>1146423I doubt I can beat a 3 but here we go.
>>1146467You just did, good job!
Cynthia frowns. “Looks like we’ve got a lubricant system failure in the drive transmission,” she says with a grunt. “Looks like all the oil has run out of the system…” “That sounds bad,” your eyes go wide. Cynthia however, merely shrugs. “We’ve got extra drums of oil. All it means is that I have to find the hole and plug it before we can use our sublight or maneuvering drives.” She begins walking toward the stairwell. “Shouldn’t take me more than a couple hours. I’ll get right on it.” “You need any help?” You stand up, walking after her. “I should have it covered,” Cynthia replies gratefully. “The oil system for our drives is virtually identical to the one for a land hulk, just smaller. We probably needed to change the oil anyway.” With that, she heads downstairs and leaves the rest of you to your meal. However, most of you are finished eating anyway, so the rest of the crew head their separate ways. After doing the dishes, you head up to your quarters for a bit, getting what little exercise you can inside a starship, which mostly consists of pushups and crunches. Once that’s over with, you head out into the access hall between your quarters and the bridge, only to be startled by a metallic voice. “CAPTAIN, IT IS GOOD TO SEE YOU,” Paul crackles as he whirs to a stop in front of you. “DO YOU REQUIRE ASSISTANCE?” “Uh…” You frown. “I’m good. Thanks anyway.” The little robot scoots to a stop beside your door, making a small beep as it comes to a stop. “VERY WELL. THIS UNIT WILL ENTER STANDBY MODE UNTIL NEEDED.” You sigh, heading over to the bridge. As you enter, you realize that one of the floor panels has been yanked up and Solfrid is working on the central computer hidden beneath it. “Hey Captain!” She salutes you incorrectly as you enter. “That’s this all about?” You gesture to the torn-up floor panels. “Doing code optimization on the central computer,” she replies. “There’s a lot of redundant code in here. I figured that the best time to do maintenance would be during an FTL voyage, seeing as the FTL drive is one of the only systems active right now.” She points to the access hall behind you. “So what’s the deal with that little robot?” She practically whispers at you. >”What do you mean ‘what’s the deal?’ He’s just a personal assistant robot.” >”We found him at the boneyard.” >”I think it’s really an advanced AI pretending to be a basic VI.” >”Could you take a look at his code?” >Write-in.
>>1146517>>”We found him at the boneyard.”>”I think it’s really an advanced AI pretending to be a basic VI.” >Cynthia said that was dumb.
>>1146517>”We found him at the boneyard.”>"Seems the little fella wanted a second crack at the whole sailing through the stars deal. Or at the least he wanted another captain."
>>1146517>>>”We found him at the boneyard.” >>”I think it’s really an advanced AI pretending to be a basic VI.”
>>1146517>>1146522I'll support this.
>>1146517This >>1146522But you believe me, right? I know I'm right. I have a nose for these things. I'm like a tech wizard.
>>1146522>>1146528>>1146554Uh guys, Cynthia thought it had an AI too. Remember?
>>1146562Yeah but I didn't want to type out an entire post. I didn't notice the green ID guy though.
Before I write this up, are you guys sure that you want Allen to blatantly lie about what Cynthia said?
>>1146648No, I just voted for it because it sounded funny and I assumed it was true. Just ignore the last bit.
>>1146648No. I'll stop being lazy.>>1146517>”We found him at the boneyard.” >”I think it’s really an advanced AI pretending to be a basic VI.”
>>1146648nah I misremembered, go be truthful.
>>1146517>”We found him at the boneyard.” Ciuld help you
You shrug as you sit down on the floor next to her. “We found it in the boneyard on New Albany. It seems to prefer being called ‘Paul’.” “Strange,” she nods. “So it just followed you back here?” “Basically,” you reply. As you are about to say more, Tom enters the bridge, sitting down at his chair. He greets the two of you with a small wave before checking the gauges and leaning back, crossing his arms. You resume your conversation with Solfrid. “I think it might be an advanced AI pretending to be a VI.” Solfrid looks at you as though you’ve told a joke she doesn’t understand. “Why is that a problem? An AI is a very useful tool.” Tom swivels back to face the two of you. “AIs are banned in most applications within the Empire and Federation.” He leans forward and gets out of his chair, walking over to the door and closing it, eyeing Paul suspiciously as he does. Then he leans against the door and crosses his arms. “Don’t tell me you’ve never heard of the incident aboard the Dusk Forest…” Solfrid merely shakes her head. “It’s not familiar to me. Where’s Dusk Forest?” Tom chuckles mirthlessly. “It’s not a where. The Dusk Forest was an experimental Heavy Cruiser developed about twenty years ago. They designed it so that you’d only need about fifteen people to crew it during regular operations. Most of the ship’s systems were handled entirely by an AI.” He frowns. “The StratCom AI was the first of its kind. A computer program with superhuman-level intelligence, capable of the kind of abstract thinking needed to run a starship in combat conditions.”“I see,” Solfrid nods. “So what happened? Did it go rogue?” “That it did,” Tom nods. “It took full control of the ship’s systems and threatened a nuclear strike against the largest military facilities on Earth and Venus. They had to send an MSOF Special Strike Team to shut it down.” He grins slyly. “But there’s another detail to the story that most people leave out. A detail that makes the story a whole lot more interesting… See, the StratCom didn’t just go murder-happy for no reason…” >Let him keep going.>”Come on, Tom. That version of the story is just some crackpot theory. The AI just went crazy.”
>>1146725>You talking theory or fact here Tom?
>>1146725>>1146728I'll support this.
>>1146725>>Let him keep going.
“Tom, is this fact or theory?” You glance tiredly at your first officer, knowing how much he likes to tell tall tales. “As far as I know, it’s fact,” he replies seriously. “Heard it from a good source. A very reliable one.” He then resumes telling his story. “So the captain of the Dusk Forest commands the vessel for about two years, but near the beginning of his second tour, he gets into some hot water with Command. They decide that they’re going to remove him from his position as the CO of the Dusk Forest. The AI happens to be listening in on those communications, and that’s when it has its little hostile takeover.” “I’m… Not sure I follow,” Solfrid looks at Tom with a confused expression. “The AI wanted the captain to stay aboard?” “Exactly,” Tom nods. “You ever heard of the Bitchin’ Betty system?” Solfrid shakes her head, frowning. You however, are familiar with exactly what he’s talking about. “Yeah,” you say. “It’s the artificial voice that they put in fighters to warn pilots about stuff.” “Well,” Tom continues. “You know why they use a female voice, right?” You nod. “It’s to get people’s attention better. People can hear a feminine voice more clearly in a stressful situation.” “Right, right,” Tom nods. “Well the StratCom AI was modeled after a female is every way possible, and it was programmed to become attached to those it was supposed to serve…” He raises an eyebrow as he speaks. “No,” you say with incredulity. “There’s no way you’re hinting at what I think you are…” Tom nods again, almost sadly this time. “The AI fell in love with its captain. Couldn’t bear the thought of being separated from him. Or so the story goes.” He shrugs. “It didn’t kill any of the Dusk Forest’s crew either. Just locked them out from all the controls.” You look over at Solfrid, who has a peculiar expression on her face. Then, she sighs. “That’s… That’s just really sad. It only wanted to stay by the person it loved…” >”It also threatened to nuke a dozen military bases across the Solar System.” >”Solfrid, it was just a machine. Machines can’t fall in love.” >”There’s no way that story is true.”>”I guess it is kind of sad.” >Write-in.
>>1146725>Let him keep going.Solfrid loves spooky stories!
>>1146967>"It also threatened to nuke a dozen military bases across the Solar System."Priorities, right?
>>1146967>”It also threatened to nuke a dozen military bases across the Solar System.”>”Though I suppose it is kind of sad.”
>>1146967>>”It also threatened to nuke a dozen military bases across the Solar System.”
>>1146967>”It also threatened to nuke a dozen military bases across the Solar System.”
>>1146967>>”It also threatened to nuke a dozen military bases across the Solar System.”I mean I get the wanting to be loved, but there is such a thing as appropriate force.
You frown at Solfrid. “It threatened to nuke over a dozen military bases across the Solar System.” Solfrid looks at you with a small scowl. “You’re telling me that you wouldn’t make the same threats against someone who was trying to take the person you loved away from you?” You stutter for a second, your reply dying in your throat. “That’s a loaded question,” you finally reply. “Besides, I wouldn’t incinerate millions of uninvolved people just to get my way.” Tom raises an eyebrow. “There is plenty of speculation as to whether it ever intended to launch the nukes. Think about it, the threat of nuclear annihilation is the perfect setup to force negotiations in your favor.” “The Federation never would’ve negotiated with it though,” you reply. “They definitely would’ve considered it,” Tom counters. “But they didn’t have to. See, the programmers built a blind-spot into the AI’s design that only certain officials in the Navy knew about. They briefed the MSOF about the blind-spot, and the team went in and disabled the AI.” You frown deeply. “That still doesn’t excuse it. You can’t go threatening to nuke people.” Tom shrugs. “Governments do it all the time.” “And they’re just pillars of moral integrity,” you reply sarcastically. Tom puts a hand up. “Just giving a bit of context, sir.” You sigh. “Don’t get me wrong, it is still kind of sad.” You stretch tiredly. “I just have a hard time seeing the justification for using a nuke in any situation.” “I suppose you’re right,” Solfrid admits. “So that was what caused the public to turn against AIs?” Tom nods. “There were a few incidents beforehand, but nothing as big as what happened on Dusk Forest.” He then looks over at you. “So what are we going to do if that little robot has an AI?” >”Install it in a sexy robot body.” (joke)>”Destroy it.” >”Keep it a secret from anyone who isn’t part of the crew.” >”What would you suggest?”>Write-in.
>>1147174>>”What would you suggest?”
>>1147174>”Install it in a sexy robot body.” (joke)>"Teach it to be a better actor."I'd bet every cent I have Paul's listening right now.
>>1147174>”Keep it a secret from anyone who isn’t part of the crew.”>"Teach it to be a better actor."Is my first thought>”What would you suggest?”
>>1147174>”Install it in a sexy robot body.” (joke)>”What would you suggest?”
>>1147174>”Install it in a sexy robot body.” (joke)>”Keep it a secret from anyone who isn’t part of the crew.” >"Teach it to be a better actor.">>1147189Isn't it standing in the hallway near us while Sofia works on the panels?
>>1147174>"Install it in a sexy robot body." (joke)>"Keep it a secret from anyone who isn’t part of the crew."It wouldn't be hard.>Think about it, the threat of nuclear annihilation is the perfect setup to force negotiations in your favourNo Tom. Because it makes you look unreasonable. And for a new player with no skin in the game, unlike governments who are part of the established system and act within it, there are no expectations of how you are expected to act for your opponents to model their responses off of.
>>1147331>>1147395I was already most of the way done with the update when these votes came in. It'll take a little while to re-write the post. This'll probably be the last one for the night.
“Install it in a sexy robot body,” you joke.“Very funny,” Tom frowns. “Seriously though, if it’s got an AI, we’ll need to make a decision about it.” “On a serious note,” you reply. “We should probably keep its existence secret from anyone who isn’t a part of our crew.” Tom nods. “I can get behind that logic. Still, it’ll be hard to keep things a secret if we continue to take on passengers.” “Noted,” you agree. Standing up, you stretch and turn around. “Well, I’m going to head downstairs.” You open the door and head downstairs, spending some time in the Wardroom reading, before finally turning the TV on. “—and after attacking the Marine contingent there, the militias attempted to seize a battlecruiser orbiting the planet.” A newscaster with graying hair reads the news story. “The Marine counterattack was swift, leaving the New Albany militias in disarray. We spoke to the acting Marine commander today, and he explained to us that the situation on New Albany is under control, though all travel to and from the planet is still suspended until the militia leaders are captured and tried.”
The feed then cuts to a speech being given by none other than Admiral Leander. “Citizens of the Federation,” he begins solemnly. “Yesterday our brothers and sisters on New Albany were liberated from their oppressors through swift action by the Marines. I have learned many disturbing things about these militias. They were thieves, thugs, rapists, and murderers. And they did so with impunity for years.” He sighs, rubbing the bridge of his nose before continuing. “Though the people who enabled these thugs are just as guilty. I have no doubts in my mind that these militia commanders intended to defect to their true masters, the Empire.” Now his expression turns to one of anger. “The Imperials threaten our people, our brothers and sisters, they attempt to violate every treaty. They wish to force our hand and drag us into another galactic war so that they may destroy us! These Imperials hate us because we are free! They hate us because we do not bow to their barons and dukes, their lords and ladies! They hate us because we will never bow to an emperor or empress!” There is raucous applause from in front of Leander as he smiles serenely before the news feed returns to the newscasters. The gray-haired one speaks again. “After Leander’s speech last night, the Empire made no comment, though their Bureau of Diplomatic Affairs released a statement this morning, allegedly directly from the empress. ‘The claims made by the Federal Supreme Commander are unfounded and are a clear attempt to undermine peace,’ said the bureau. Many have called into question whether the Imperial Navy’s upcoming exercises will be changed to reflect the current tensions.” The newscaster then nods to someone off screen as the title card behind him changes. “And after this commercial break, we interview a man who survived being shot and lit on fire, on his birthday.” You roll your eyes and change the channel as the commercials come on. Yawning, you feel sleep tugging at your eyelids and decide to take a nap on the bench. Hearing Cynthia working downstairs as you fall asleep, you grumble a little. This is going to be a long four days.
And that's it for tonight. I would've run until later, but it's been a long day. Mood music:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DmmLAicrQA Do you think Tom's version of the Dusk Forest Incident is the truth, or just speculation?
>>1147455speculation and rumor, but it might, and I stress MIGHT have a grain of truth.
>>1147455It certainly makes more sense than "it suddenly decided to threaten to nuke everything."
>>1147455If it was the truth then the AI was a fucking failure and deserved to be scrapped, the team fired and the project sent back to the drawing board.Damn Leander is a dick. Someone should sue the warmongering prick for libel, or slander, whatever.
>>1147455I expect there was some truth there. Almost certainly not the specifics, though.
>>1147455Alternative explanations for wonky AI:1) component failure, akin to brain damage in a human.2) virus from outside source. AI made scapegoat through coverup of security breach or genuine mistake.3) pattern-matching error causing AI to ID Federation forces as a threat - a poorly programmed AI. Kinda what the "fall in love" theory was, actually.4) scapegoat, plain and simple. Ship taken over by rogue Federation forces in an attempted coup, outside actors in coup/hijacking, or simple mutiny. This theory makes sense if something really embarrassing was being covered up.5) Boredom.
The next few days are relatively uneventful. You spend most of your time either on the bridge, or in your quarters. You manage to finish the book Blackheart gave you, so you decide to start re-reading it. You relax on your couch, messing about with some of the features on your communicator, when there is a knock at your door. Walking over to it, you open the door to see Tom on the other side. “We’re about to exit FTL, sir,” he says. “Right,” you nod. Throwing your jacket on, you exit your quarters and walk into the bridge, where you see Virgo standing near the communication controls at the pilot’s station. “Captain,” he greets you as you sit down in your chair. “I figured it would be best for me to talk to the FTC people when we get to Thalos.” You raise an eyebrow at him. “They speak English, right?” Virgo nods. “Yeah, but I thought it’d be best to contact them and relay a message so that Libra knows we’re landing.” “Fair enough,” you reply. “How long until we exit FTL?” Tom sits in his chair and buckles in. “About five minutes.” “Right,” you nod as you turn the PA on and select engineering. “Cynthia, everything good down there?” “Yeah,” she replies rather quickly. “Everything looks good down here. We about to exit FTL?” “Yeah,” you reply. Switching the PA over to the ship-wide setting, you clear your throat. “Attention all crew, we’re about to exit FTL. In case any of you forgot, we’re about to land on Thalos. That is all.” You turn off the PA and feel the ship shudder as the blue-shifted light begins to recede, a planet lit by a pale green sun warping into view in front of you, a great distance away. Looking over at Tom, you instruct him to activate the sublight drive and bring you closer to Thalos, which he does. “Shouldn’t take more than ten minutes to get into orbit,” Tom says as the ship begins moving toward the planet. “Captain,” Cynthia’s voice crackles over the intercom. “What’s up?” You lean over and speak into the mic.
She sounds more annoyed than worried as she replies. “Looks like our coolant pump is pulling harder than normal… I think we may have to get a new one soon.” “You think that oil leak might’ve damaged it?” You frown. “Not likely,” she replies. “They’re two totally unrelated systems.” She grunts and you hear the sound of metal hitting metal. “I think it’s just old. Like I said, we should be fine for a while though.” “Fair enough,” you reply. “Keep me posted.” “Will do.” With that, the transmission cuts out and you return to looking out through the windshield. Thalos is a terrestrial planet, much like Earth, though closer in size to Neptune. It has a couple moons, one of which is about three quarters the size of Earth, and another that is just a little smaller than Earth’s moon, if you remember correctly. You’ve heard that the Thulian Defense Force uses both moons as their main bases. The long-range ship to ship radio buzzes to life, startling you. As you flip the switch to turn it on, a voice crackles over the speakers. “Attention human vessel. This is the heavy cruiser Molossus. State your identity and purpose for entering Thulian space.” You look over to Virgo, who raises an eyebrow as he takes a tentative step toward the communication console, awaiting your instructions. >Let Virgo talk to them. >Speak to them yourself.
>>1149139>>Let Virgo talk to them.
>>1149139>Speak to them yourself.We're delivering cargo/passenger its Virgo
>>1149139>Let Virgo talk to them.This is what he was talking about when he said he wanted to talk to the FTC, right?
>>1149139>Let Virgo talk to them.
You nod at Virgo and he picks up the mic, pressing the talk button. However, he doesn’t speak in his native language as you expect him to. “Yes hello. This is the Bad Habit. We’re an independent merchant vessel here on a trading mission.” There is silence on the other line for a moment before the Molossus replies. “Understood. We’ll route you to flight-traffic control for guidance to the planet’s surface. Have a nice day.” The line goes dead and you look over at Virgo, who sighs with relief. “That was odd. Normally the Defense Force doesn’t get involved in civilian matters. Must’ve tightened security after the New Albany Incident.” You frown. “So why did you speak to them in English?” He shrugs. “They were already speaking English. No reason to switch languages on them.” The ship glides closer before air-traffic control crackles over the radio. “Good afternoon, Bad Habit. Do you have any preference for docking locations?” Virgo talks to them in his native language this time, having a rather ling conversation with the ATC people. Finally, they speak once more over the radio. “Very well, please follow Flight Corridor 11-23B-IFR.” “Understood,” Tom replies as he banks the ship, entering Thalos’ atmosphere. The ship descends through the clouds quickly, and as you exit the cloud cover, you see the tall, spire-like mountains that Thalos is famous for. Small settlements built into the sides of the mountains glimmer in the odd-colored sunlight. After a while, you see the area where you were instructed to touch down, a large city in a valley, and Tom brings the Bad Habit in for a landing. The ship touches down in the city’s spaceport gently. It is a beautiful place, with massive, marble and limestone buildings that look to be centuries old. Even though you’ve been to Thalos before, it takes your breath away. You stand up, stretching as Tom presses the button to lower the cargo ramp. “Alright people. Good work and welcome to Thalos.” Virgo walks over to you, seemingly apprehensive. “Captain, I sent along a message for Libra to meet us here. Would you mind if I went to find her?” >”Let’s get ourselves oriented first.”>”Sure.”>”Do you want me to tag along?” >Write-in.
>>1149307>SureKeep me posted I guess. We can go harrass some other forklifts with our touristy ways.
>>1149307>”Sure.”>”Do you want me to tag along?”
>>1149307>”Sure.”>>1149348Ha. I like this.
>>1149307>>”Sure.”>”Do you want me to tag along?”
>>1149139>Re: oil leak***RED ALERT***Coolant leak, ok.Oil leak + coolant leak, still ok. Its an old ship.New sketchy-ass disguised AI droid + Oil leak + coolant leak =\= ok.That little shit has been drilling holes when we're not looking.
>>1149432But he's been in standby mode ever since you last talked to him Anon. :^)
>>1149458Standby. Suuuuure....Got a witness?
“Sure, I don’t mind.” You shrug as Virgo walks off the bridge. Tom then looks back at you with a frown. “Sir,” he begins. “What do you think is really going on here?” He gestures to the bustling city outside. “There’s no obvious crisis to me.” You lean back. “Could be something with the council itself. I honestly have no idea though, could be anything.” The two of you leave the bridge, and part ways once you reach the wardroom. Tom heads downstairs, likely to do some work in the armory, while you relax in one of the chairs for a moment. “So this is the Thulian home planet,” you hear Samantha speak as she enters the wardroom. “I’m excited to see it. Virgo makes it sound really interesting.” You shrug. “Depends how long we’re here. Virgo’s business here could be resolved by tonight for all we know.” She sits down across from you. “I see. Does it have something to do with the other Magus’?” You nod. “As far as I can tell. Still, it’s not really any of my business.” You’re about to say more when there is the sound of heavy footsteps thumping up the stairs. Looking over to the stairwell, you see Cynthia carrying a heavy-looking box of parts. “Hey Allen,” she greets you as she reaches the top of the stairs. “I think I can use these to jury-rig our coolant pump to run better until we get a new one.” She walks over and sits the box on the table gently, pulling a large coil of tubing out. “This was all down in the old dry storage room. Along with a whole lot of other stuff we didn’t know about. Looks like it hasn’t been cleared out since this ship was mothballed way back when.” You raise an eyebrow as you peer into the box. In front of you is what looks like an electromagnet and some supplies from an old generator. >”What other stuff is down there?” (get a vague list of the stuff in the room)>”Take me to the dry storage room. I want to take inventory.” (get a full list of what is in the room)>”Neat.” (do nothing with the dry storage room)
>>1149555>>”Take me to the dry storage room. I want to take inventory.” (get a full list of what is in the room)
>>1149555>”Take me to the dry storage room. I want to take inventory.” (get a full list of what is in the room)Nice trips.
>>1149555>”Take me to the dry storage room. I want to take inventory.” (get a full list of what is in the room)
“Take me down to dry storage,” you say. “I want to get a proper inventory of what we’ve got down there.” The two of you head downstairs to the forward part of the ship, where dry storage is located, and you open the circular hatch leading to the room. Inside it is dark, and you search along both walls for a light switch before your hand finds one and flips it on. Looking around, you see that the room is piled with old stuff. “Here it is,” Cynthia says proudly as she gestures to the room’s contents. “I’m surprised you never checked this place out before now.” You shrug. “I kind of forgot it existed.” Walking forward, you open one of the boxes near the bottom of a pile, looking inside. It is filled with what appear to be old Federal Marine fatigues, the style that were phased out thirty years ago, as well as twelve metal canisters. Opening the first one you grab, you see that they are gas mask canisters, with unused filters. Interesting. Putting the mask back and closing that box, you move on to a metal crate, opening it with a grunt. Inside of it is part of an old diesel generator, though it looks irreparable. You imagine that you might be able to get some cash from scrapping it though. Next is a wooden crate that you have to use the prybar to open. Inside is an object covered in oiled cloth, which you remove gently. Underneath the cloth is what looks like an engine and maneuvering unit for a small starfighter. Kneeling down, you see that it is marked as being for a VL-28. You grin to yourself. Allie will be surprised to see this. Not only is it all there, but it’s in pretty good shape for having been sitting for years. The next thing that catches you eye is a large pile of old equipment of some kind. Looking closer, you see that it appears to be sections of a shipboard railgun, sans power-system, that has been disassembled for storage. It is covered in rust, and you wonder whether it could ever be made functional again, though if it couldn’t, you could always use the scrap money as well. Over in the corner, you see some spare hull plates for the ship, pretty much totally un-damaged from age, unlike the current outer hull panels. You sigh, looking around the room once more before seeing something that you had missed before. A metal box, probably four feet tall by four wide and long, sits in a corner of the room where the lights have gone out. Your interest piqued, you drag the box into the middle of the room by its handles, and pop the fasteners keeping it closed. Removing the lid carefully, you peer inside. >Roll a 1d100, best of three.
Rolled 3 (1d100)>>1149841
Rolled 100 (1d100)>>1149841Fuck
Rolled 35 (1d100)>>1149841C'mon dice gods>>11498563 nuts, 1 screw, and a particularly long piece of string.
>>1149869YOU. HAVE. BEEN. WITNESSED!!!
Since you rolled a 100, I'll let you guys choose what type of loot you found. >A unique ship component.>Money. >A unique personal item. >An artifact of indeterminate origin. Choose VERY carefully.
>>1149952>A unique ship component.I'm voting for the component, but>An artifact of indeterminate origin. You aren't going to clickbait me that easily.
>>1149952>>An artifact of indeterminate origin.
>>1149952>>A unique personal item.Shield Generator?
>>1149952>A unique ship component.
>>1149952>Unique ship component.Deathraydeathraydeathraydeathray...
Rolled 3 (1d4)>>11499521. A unique ship component.2. Money. 3. A unique personal item. 4. An artifact of indeterminate origin.
>>1149952>A unique ship component.The shiney, oh the glorious shiney!
>>1149952> unique personal itemCyberdongHaha, but seriously> artifact of indeterminate originI figure our ship is going to pretty much keep going as is, we don't desperately need money, personal items cut out the rest of the team, mystery box is new quest?
>>1150024>mystery box is new quest?That or something to do with spess magix.
>>1147455I'm betting it's truth, told firsthand by a fellow MSOF member because we know he was in that unit no matter how he tries to deny it
Alrighty. Looks like we're getting a unique ship component. Writing it up now. Speculate about what type of component it is.
>>1150049My guess is it's a cloaking device for the ship.
>>1150049Well the ship used to have a deep patrol role, and was retrofitted/used for observing a freaky ass experiment that rattled jimmies, and whatever it ishas to fit in this room, soooooo maybe sensors of a sort? Maybe something to help it on patrol like a Countermeasures suite or torpedo/gun FCS? Hmmm, what about stealthy things, like an emission concealer? Something for comms. Perhaps an engine component or interdiction system for getting away? Anyway I think its most likely something sensor related but I would not be surprised if that were not the case. PS are any of those things I mentioned stuff we could get upgraded at our friends shop?
>>1150049Maybe it's an experimental jump system that could really reduce travel time for us?
“Uh…” You frown. “Cynthia, can you tell me what this is?” Looking into the box, you see a machine that is totally foreign to you. “Give me a second,” she replies as she walks up beside you and shines a flashlight in. “That’s certainly odd…” Her eyes narrow as she looks over the strange device. It is about three feet long by two tall and wide, and it looks a little bit like a truck transmission. Cynthia takes the prybar from your hand and wedges it into the side of the box, prying the front off of it and letting the other sides fall so that the machine is exposed. She kneels next to it and looks for any labels. “This is strange…” She points to what looks like a manufacturer’s label. “This is in a language I’ve never seen before.” You frown, looking at it. “It’s not familiar to me either.” The stamped text on the metallic object isn’t Thulian or Psirinean, that’s for sure. However, you notice something else. “Look at this.” You pull a paper tag out from between two pieces of the device. “Says here that it’s… an AC-MD.” You look over at Cynthia. “It’s naval code. Means that it’s an ‘acquired component, military, drive’. It connects to the drive systems of a starship.” “I figured that much,” she points to a socket on the back of it. “This is a KDM coupling. They only use these for direct power routing from engine and reactor parts. Still, it looks like it was installed after the fact. It’s made from a different metal entirely.” “So what do you think it does?” Cynthia frowns, knocking on the side of it. “It almost looks like a truck transmission, but it’s way too small to be a transmission for a starship’s sublight drives.” She shakes her head. It runs off of engine power, but it almost looks like it’s some kind of… Field projector. But it’s definitely not a kinetic shield generator. Those route to the central power distributor, not the engine and reactor. Too much unregulated power would fry a shield generator...” She grumbles at the strange device. Then, her eyes go wide. “There’s no way… You can’t make them this small…” “Make what this small?” You frown at Cynthia. She nods slightly. “This… This might be some kind of stealth drive…” >”I thought the only stealth drives were the size of buses.” >”So this is some sort of stealth drive that the Navy modified to work on this ship… But where could they have gotten it? Nobody has tech like this.” >”We should hook it up and test it.” >”What makes you think it’s a stealth drive?” >Write-in.
>>1150146>>”I thought the only stealth drives were the size of buses.”>”What makes you think it’s a stealth drive?”
>>1150146>”I thought the only stealth drives were the size of buses.”
>>1150146>"So a before thought only theoretical component labeled in an unrecognized language on a random Oberon? Feels like a novel. Also someone should be shot for how bad they keep track of top secret inventory." >”We should hook it up and test it.” >”What makes you think it’s a stealth drive?”
>>1150204*hook it up and test it, at a later time.
>>1150146>>”What makes you think it’s a stealth drive?”
“What makes you think it’s a stealth drive?” You frown at Cynthia. She grunts, standing up and taking a step back from the device. “It took me a second to think what kind of field would require high-energy input directly from an engine and reactor, but then I realized that stealth fields not only tolerate high energy, they require it.” She crosses her arms and nods at the machine. “There’s not much else it could be, seeing as it’s clearly a field projector.” “But the only stealth field projectors are the size of buses…” You stand up as well. “How would they be able to miniaturize it to such a degree?” She looks at you with a shrug. “I mean, it’s clearly alien, so I wouldn’t count anything out until we can find where it originally came from. Still, I wouldn’t recommend hooking this thing up until we got someone with knowledge of stealth systems to look at it.” “Right,” you nod. “That makes sense…” You trail off as it hits you. You’ve already met someone who has a stealth system small enough for an Oberon. Hell, it was small enough for a fighter. “Blackheart had a stealth drive on her fighter…” You look over at Cynthia. “Blackheart uses stealth drives!” She groans. “Does that mean you’re going to meet with the dangerous pirate lord again?” You shake your head. “I’m not sure yet. I’d have to contact her first.” You’re about to keep talking when there is a knock on the doorframe to the storage room. “Captain,” Tom stands there with a stern look on his face. “Virgo just got back, he says he needs you to meet up with him downstairs in the cargo bay.” >”Tom, have you ever seen something like this?” (show him the stealth drive)>”Cynthia. Take the stealth drive back to Engineering and learn whatever you can about it.” >”Cynthia, box this stealth drive back up and keep it under lock and key until we can look at it more thoroughly.” >”I’ll be right there.” >”Why can’t he come up here?” >Write-in.
>>1150431>”Tom, have you ever seen something like this?” (show him the stealth drive)>”Cynthia. Take the stealth drive back to Engineering and learn whatever you can about it.”>”I’ll be right there.”Dunno if I shoud be putting all of those options together but you know what I mean!
>>1150431>”Tom, have you ever seen something like this?” (show him the stealth drive)>”Cynthia. Take the stealth drive back to Engineering and learn whatever you can about it.” >”I’ll be right there.”
>>1150431>>”Tom, have you ever seen something like this?” (show him the stealth drive)>”I’ll be right there.”
>>1150431>”I’ll be right there.” >”Tom, have you ever seen something like this?” (show him the stealth drive)
“Tom, have you ever seen something like this?” You point to the stealth drive. He takes a step toward it, frowning in concentration. “Can’t say I have. What is it?” “Cynthia seems to think it’s some sort of miniature stealth drive.” You cross your arms as he kneels next to it. “Interesting…” He looks up at you. “Where was it?” “In here the whole time,” you say with a chuckle. “We really should’ve been more thorough about checking out everything aboard.” “Maybe so,” he nods with a bark of laughter. “Anyway, I’ll be right down to see what Virgo wants. Could you two take this thing to Engineering and investigate it properly?” “Right,” Cynthia and Tom nod as they look for a way to pick the thing up. You leave the storage room, heading down to the cargo hold. You see Virgo standing in front of the ship, just past the cargo ramp, with a tall person in a hooded robe. As you walk up to them, the person turns around and you see that it is a thulian. “Hey captain,” Virgo greets you as you approach them. “This is Libra.” He gestures to the other thulian. At first, you have a hard time telling that she’s a female, but she removes her hood and you begin to see the differences. She extends a hand for you to shake, which you do. “Good afternoon, captain,” she greets you. “I understand you are the man Virgo rescued two years ago, yes?” “That’d be me,” you admit. “Allen Starwind, at your service.” She chuckles a little bit. “Tell me, Captain Starwind, are you familiar with the Council’s inner workings at all? Perhaps Virgo has shared some of our traditions with you?” >”He’s never gone into specifics.” >”Of course. Thanks to him, I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to thulian customs.” >”Unfortunately I’m not familiar. Why?”>Write-in.
>>1150705>"They like tradition a whole lot. That's about it."
>>1150705>”Of course. Thanks to him, I’m a bit of an expert when it comes to thulian customs.”
>>1150705>>”He’s never gone into specifics.”>....Why?
>>1150705He’s never gone into specifics
>>1150705>”He’s never gone into specifics.”
“He’s never gone into specifics,” you admit. Libra nods knowingly at you. “I suppose the specifics wouldn’t come up in conversation. Tell me something else, would you consider yourself to be Virgo’s friend?” You raise an eyebrow at the tall, alien woman. “I suppose so,” you reply sheepishly. “I mean, it’s up to him whether I’m his friend or not. I certainly consider him to be my friend.” “I see…” Libra smiles just enough to notice. “Then that would make you his closest friend outside of the Council, yes?” You glance over to Virgo, who nods at you. “I… Yes?” You find yourself feeling almost interrogated. However, Libra’s smile only grows upon hearing confirmation. “This is good,” she finally says triumphantly. “You see, there are certain… Functions in which the person involved must bring their closest non-council friend along to officiate things. It is an old tradition, and a somewhat foolish one if you ask me, but it is what it is.” She then frowns a little, looking out into the city, and above it, into the mountains. “One such event is a Kalaschik Krat.” “Beg your pardon?” You shrink back a little bit as she steps toward you. Virgo speaks up next. “A funeral, basically.” Libra nods. “Yes, I believe that is the closest approximation.” She then looks back to you, a serious expression on her face. “It is very important that an outsider be present for the Kalaschik Krat. Will you do it?” >”Sure.”>”Who died?”>”Will I have to go to where the Council is?”>”What kind of things do I have to do?” >”Sorry, I’m not going to do it. Find someone else.” >Write-in.
>>1150900>”Sure.”>”What kind of things do I have to do?”
>>1150900>”What kind of things do I have to do?” Sure? But I want to know what I am getting into first.
>>1150900>”What kind of things do I have to do?”
>>1150900>>”What kind of things do I have to do?”>”Who died?”>I'll do it but I want to know what the fuck I'm getting into. Last time I attended an important function I got kidnapped injected with nanites then puppeted to try and kill people for a deranged control freak. Not looking forward to anything else like that ever.
I'm pretty sleepy, so I think I'm gonna call it a night. We'll resume sometime tomorrow. Mood music:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64liF2VuLxI
>>1150975Thanks for running.
>>1150975Thanks for running. I am imagining the magus council as a bunch of yellow forklifts arranged in a circular tiered chamber revving up, spewing smoke and flexing their hydraulics.
>>1150900>”What kind of things do I have to do?”For a funeral things are going incredibly weird...
>>1150900>”What kind of things do I have to do?” >sure
You frown, remembering the last time you attended a social function. “What am I expected to do?” Libra raises an eyebrow, a smile creeping to the corners of her mouth. “A good question. You’ve got a very thoughtful friend, Virgo.” She then leans toward you, looking up and down at you. “Mostly, you’ll be there to bear witness to the act of conviction.” She frowns a little, shrugging. “It’s the part where we cast off the body of the deceased and send them on to the afterlife.” She sighs. “There are a couple of other rituals though, mostly completely ceremonial as well. Nothing dangerous, I promise.” Virgo frowns at Libra before speaking to you. “I know it all seems very secretive sir. Hell, I don’t even know who died yet, just that they requested I be at their Kalaschik Krat.” He sighs heavily. “Though I have my guesses about who it might be. I’m not allowed to know until we get back to the Grand Temple.” Libra turns to Virgo with an almost offended humph. “Well it’s your own fault for leaving the Council and disavowing yourself like you did.” Virgo balks at that. “Please. You really think I’d stay around with the kind of people that occupy the Elder Council?”She takes a step closer to Virgo, almost snarling. “And you think your departure made it any easier for the rest of us? After you left… The Elder Council pretty much turned on anyone who didn’t follow their worldview!” Virgo growls. “That’s not my problem. They were a bunch of thick-headed fools even when I was around. How was I expected to stay?” “But without you, Aries was the only Magus powerful enough to try to oppose them!” Libra’s voice wavers just a little. Virgo takes a step back, eyes widening. “You… You just referred to Aries in the past-tense…” His mouth hangs open just a little. “There’s no way he’s—!” “It doesn’t matter,” Libra says with finality. “I didn’t bring you here to argue, Virgo. It would be a shame if we were angry at each other after being apart for so long.” She then looks over at you. “Captain, if you don’t mind, we should get up to the Temple as soon as possible so that we can begin preparations for the ceremony.” >”Okay.”>”Let me tell my crew first.” >”I’ve changed my mind. I’m not going.”>Write-in.
>>1152778>”Okay.”>”Let me tell my crew first.” >Take Virgo aside and ask how likely foul play is, and if the crew should bust out the guns..... again.
>>1152778>>”Okay.”>>”Let me tell my crew first.
>>1152778>>”Okay.”>>”Let me tell my crew first.”
“Okay,” you nod. “Let me tell my crew first.” You turn around and head up into the ship, finding Tom and telling him where you and Virgo will be. He informs you that he’ll tell the rest of the crew, so you head back downstairs and meet up with Virgo and Libra. “The crew have been told where I’m going.” “Very well, please follow me.” Libra gestures to some sort of vehicle parked about fifty feet away. It is shiny and silver, and it almost looks like it is made out of mirrors. As you three approach it, you see that it is hovering about six inches off of the ground. Libra presses a button on the side of it and a gull-wing door opens. “After you, Captain.” She gestures to the inside of the vehicle. You enter and sit down, noting the very nice interior as you lean back in your seat. Virgo is the next to enter, sitting across from you. Then Libra enters the vehicle, closing the door behind her as she sits down. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this,” you say as the vehicle takes off. “It’s a gravity-effect machine,” Libra says proudly. “This one was given to me after I saved the owner’s son. He was so grateful that he gave me the title to it, and thankfully the Council let me keep it.” There isn’t much else to chat about as the gravity-effect machine ascends toward a mountain, banking slightly to get around to the far side of it. As the machine gets closer, you see the Temple. It is a massive, tiered spire jutting out from the side of the mountain, with multiple wings branching out at its base. The machine touches down on a large, flat balcony near the bottom of the spire and Libra opens the door, gesturing for you and Virgo to exit the vehicle. You do, and your breath is taken away as you see the Temple up close. It is probably the largest building you’ve seen outside of the Solar System, and as Libra leads you and Virgo toward a large doorway, she begins to explain some things to you. “First, we’ll take you to the guest quarters, where you’ll both be given ceremonial robes. After that, we’ll meet up so that you can get ready for the main ceremony.” She frowns. “Then we’ll read the will of the deceased. He requested only that Virgo, myself, and the Chosen Outsider be present at the reading.”
“When do I get to learn who the deceased is?” Virgo sounds a bit cross as the three of you enter the spire. “After you get your robes on,” she replies quickly. The three of you turn a corner and begin walking down a long hallway. “How long until we get to the guest quarters?” You raise an eyebrow as you peer down the hall, seeing how long it is. “About five minutes or so,” Libra replies. “Do you have any questions you wish to have answered while we walk?” >”I don’t have any questions.”>”How long has the Magus Council been around?”>”I met a Magus named Gemini on Mars. Do you know him?” >”What exactly does the Magus Council do?” >”Do you suspect foul play was involved with whoever died?”>Write-in.
>>1153096>>”How long has the Magus Council been around?”>>”I met a Magus named Gemini on Mars. Do you know him?” >>”What exactly does the Magus Council do?”
>>1153096>”How long has the Magus Council been around?”>”I met a Magus named Gemini on Mars. Do you know him?” >”What exactly does the Magus Council do?” >”Do you suspect foul play was involved with whoever died?”
>>1153096”I met a Magus named Gemini on Mars. Do you know him?”
>>1153096>>”I met a Magus named Gemini on Mars. Do you know him?”
“How long has the Magus Council been around?” Libra puts a hand to her chin thoughtfully. “It’s kind of a complicated story… This is actually the Third Council. It’s been around for about eight thousand Earth-years. The Second Council, which actually controlled Thalos for a brief time, was around for about two thousand years. And before that was the First Council, which was around for almost thirty thousand years.” She looks back at you with a small smile. “We don’t actually know a lot about the First Council, other than their mythology, and the fact that they were all Magus Aphorius.” She then smirks at Virgo. “You said that the Second Council controlled Thalos. What does this council do?” You pick up your pace as Libra turns a corner again. “It mostly deals with regulating the different Magus sects, as well as aiding those less fortunate through non-violent means.” Her expression darkens as she continues. “That last bit hasn’t been upheld in recent years though.” As you all walk down the hallway, another question comes to mind. “I met a Magus on Mars named Gemini. Have you ever met him?” Libra looks back at you with a hint of disbelief. “So that’s where he is these days…” She then chuckles a little bit. “I’ve never met him, but many of my more senior comrades have. He’s allegedly one of the best. Used to be part of the Elder Council until he left.” “Interesting,” you nod. However, before you can ask her anything else, she stops in front of a door. Pointing to the door, she speaks. “This is your room, Captain. Virgo’s is on the other side of the hallway.” She then gestures to Virgo’s room. “Go ahead and enter, I’ll fetch your ceremonial robes.” You nod politely as you open the door, stepping into a finely-appointed room with a bed at one end, two couches, a table and chairs, and a large wardrobe. There is also a bookcase, with several volumes that appear to be printed in both English and the Thulian language. >Wait for Libra to being you the robes. >Explore the temple. >Go and check on Virgo. He was surprisingly quiet on the walk here. >Write-in.
>>1153533>>Wait for Libra to being you the robes.
>>1153533>Wait for Libra to being you the robes.
You decide to do as you were asked and wait. Walking to the center of the room, you decide to take a seat on one of the couches, stretching tiredly as you wait. You sit there not doing much for almost an hour before there is a knock on the door. It opens and Libra walks in with a robe draped over her arm, while wearing an identical one. “Sorry for taking so long,” she begins as you stand up. “Here is your ceremonial robe. It’s been sized for a human, so you don’t have to worry about it not fitting.” She hands you the robe and you examine it closely. “You can just wear it over your clothes,” she adds. Draping it over your shoulders, you put your arms in the sleeves and tie it closed. The robe is made of a soft, red fabric with golden embroidery. “This is nice,” you say as you run a hand over it. “It’s made from local silk,” Libra replies. “Anyway, are you ready to go?” You nod. “Ready as I’ll ever be.” The two of you exit the room to find Virgo standing out in the hallway, wearing an identical robe to your own. “Captain,” he nods at you as you stand beside him. “Follow me,” Libra says as she begins walking. “I suppose it’s time I revealed who the deceased is…” Virgo sighs. “It’s Aries, isn’t it?” Libra looks back at Virgo sadly. “Yeah, it is… I’m sorry.” “Me too,” he says bluntly. The three of you arrive at another doorway, and when it opens, you see a long set of stairs leading up. “These lead to the funerary area.” Libra leads the three of you up the stairs, and after probably five straight minutes of walking, they open up into a large, open terrace with a reflecting pool leading up to an area with seating. Ahead of that is what looks like a very large casket, sitting on the edge of the terrace. You notice many other Thulians near the casket, and the three of you walk up along the reflecting pool to the sitting area. As you all arrive, a Thulian in darker robes walks up to the three of you, eyeing you suspiciously. “I see you were able to make it, Virgo… I thought I smelled your filth…” Libra looks like she’s about to fight the unnamed Thulian, but Virgo shoots her a dangerous look, then looks over at the other Thulian with a scowl. “It’s been a while Orion. I see your nose is as brown as ever. Still trying to win the Elder Council’s favor back?” Orion growls at Virgo, taking a step toward him. >”Can we not have a fight at the funeral, please?” (try to defuse the situation)>Remain silent.>”Orion, is it? If you pick a fight with one of my crew, you’re picking a fight with me.” (confront Orion)>Write-in.
>>1153916>>”Orion, is it? If you pick a fight with one of my crew, you’re picking a fight with me.” (confront Orion)
>>1153916>>>”Orion, is it? If you pick a fight with one of my crew, you’re picking a fight with me.” (confront Orion)
>>1153916>”Orion, is it? If you pick a fight with one of my crew, you’re picking a fight with me.” (confront Orion)
>>1153916>”Can we not have a fight at the funeral, please?” (try to defuse the situation)Beat him up after the funeral.
>>1153916>”Can we not have a fight at the funeral, please?” (try to defuse the situation)
You take a step toward Orion, crossing your arms dismissively. He’s short for a Thulian, being about as tall as you. “Orion, is it?” You raise an eyebrow smugly at him. “If you try to pick a fight with one of my crew, you’re picking a fight with me too.” Orion doesn’t miss a beat though. “Fight? With you?” He grins. “Gladly.” You feel the air pressure around you drop as his eyes change color entirely. Your ears pop and you feel a change in temperature as well. Orion’s grin widens as you step back, a chill going up your spine. Perhaps you’ve made a mistake…“That is enough, Orion.” A voice practically shakes the air, and you look to where it came from, seeing an ancient Thulian standing near the casket. “We have come here to mourn the loss of a friend and comrade, not fight those who have joined us in these dark times.” Orion grumbles, his eyes returning to normal as the air returns to the pressure and temperature it was. “Very well, Pisces. I am sorry.” He bows slightly, walking away from you. Virgo looks at you with wide eyes. “Sir, you should be thankful that Pisces intervened when he did…” He sighs. “Orion would’ve turned you to mush.” “Is you captain always this cavalier?” Libra looks tiredly at the two of you. “You don’t know the half of it,” Virgo chuckles. “Anyway, let’s get seated, it looks like the ceremony is about to start.” You sit on one side of Virgo, with Libra sitting on the other, in the front row. The old Thulian, Pisces, stands in front of the casket and dons a black robe, looking out over the crowd that has gathered. “Ladies and gentlemen, today we honor the deeds of Aries. The eldest of the Magus Council, and a dear friend to all of us.” He pauses for a moment. “Today, we shall return him to the gods, and his name shall live on through those who survive him, in both blood and comradeship.” He picks up a small sword made from a golden metal, holding it up for all to see. “His scepter, a symbol of his strength and honor, shall be returned to the dust.” He walks over to the edge of the terrace and holds the sword out, dropping it. You hear a splash below and realize that there is a lake at the bottom of the drop.
Pisces then turns to the three of you. “Virgo,” he begins. “You have returned to us. Would you and your friend there help us?” He then points to you. Standing up with Virgo, you both walk over to the casket, which you now realize has a small glass window in the lid. Looking in, you see the head of Aries, looking more asleep than dead. Pisces looks at you with seriousness. “Young man, this ritual is very important to us Magus’. Without it, Aires’ power will be lost forever, instead of being returned to the Gods and passed on.” He gestures for you to hold out your hand, which you do. He then gently grabs your hand, as if reading your palm. “You are strong. With a strong heart…” He smirks slightly at you. “It is your conviction that will save you, should you choose to be saved.” He then produces a small, golden disk, placing it in your hand. “Take that and toss it into the lake.” You walk up to the edge of the terrace, looking down. The lake is easily fifty feet down, if not more, and it looks deep. You grasp the disk in your hand, looking at it. There are inscriptions all over it, and when you hold it up to your ear, it is almost as though you can hear chanting. You grimace, tossing it gently over the edge. You want to look up to the horizon, or over to Virgo, but instead, you find yourself captivated by the dark waters of the lake. As the disk hits it, the water begins to ripple in a way that doesn’t look natural. You stare intently at it, then as the ripples go away, you look up, only to realize that wherever you look is the same color as the lake. But it’s not a lake. It is space, dotted with stars and streaks of color from far-off nebulae. You feel weightless as you look around again, panicking. “Calm down,” a familiar voice says. “It’s only me.” You look behind you to see Warwick sitting cross-legged, cleaning his rifle again. However, you realize that this is not-Warwick from back on New Albany. “How’s it going, Allen Starwind?” >”I don’t believe we’re on a first name basis yet.” >”Why am I here again?” >”I’m doing alright, I suppose.” >”If you’re some ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?” >Write-in.
>>1154407>”I’m doing alright, I suppose.” >”If you’re some ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?”
>>1154407>>>”I’m doing alright, I suppose.” >>”If you’re some ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?”
Also I'm gonna call it a night. We'll run tomorrow evening as well. It's late, and it seems like it's taking a long time for more than two votes to come in compared to yesterday and Thursday. Regardless, I'm dead-tired anyway, so I'll see you guys tomorrow.
>>1154396>”I’m doing alright, I suppose.” >”If you’re some ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?”Crap, spooky space magic shenanigans.
>>1154407>>”I’m doing alright, I suppose.” >>”If you’re some ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?”
>>1154407>”I’m doing alright, I suppose.”>”If you’re some ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?”
“I’m doing alright, I suppose,” you reply with a sigh. “Alright?” Not-Warwick raises an eyebrow, an amused look on his face. “You’ve been blown half to Hell. Twice. Not to mention all of the other close scrapes you’ve had since then.” He looks away, producing a rag seemingly out of nowhere and wiping his rifle down before removing the bolt and inspecting it. “Your iron is dented, Allen Starwind. Keep denting it and you won’t be able to repair it anymore.” You sigh, shrugging as you rub the scar along your arm. “So if you’re some sort of ethereal being, why do you insist on taking the form of my old co-pilot?” Not-Warwick grins at you and scratches his head. “This was the form that you needed to see most when I made myself known to you.” All of a sudden, his hair begins to grow longer as it changes color, all the while his mustache recedes and his face changes shape, along with the rest of his body. You blink as the transformation finishes, leaving you looking at Cynthia Thompson. “I suppose I could be whoever you want me to be. I can take many forms.” She takes a step toward you, putting the rifle’s bolt back in place and sitting it down. As the rifle falls from her hand, it disappears. “I understand you’re quite fond of Miss Thompson. Though, perhaps it’s not appropriate for us to speak while I’m in this form…” Suddenly Not-Cynthia changes again. Her hair gets shorter as her eyes change color, the rest of her body changing as well until Tom McMurdo stands in front of you. He crosses his arms, frowning at you as he lights a cigarette and takes a long drag. “Maybe you’d rather I take the form of your first officer? You seem to have a great respect for him. Despite all of his flaws, that is.” Not-Tom shakes his head, grumbling as he puts his cigarette out. “No… This form won’t do…” He begins to shift forms again, grunting as he does. All of a sudden, your own father stands in front of you, that scowl you remember all too well on his face. He sighs. “Allen,” he grumbles. “How about this form? I understand you still have some things you want to say to your father…” There is a crack of thunder and you look around for the source of it. As you look back, your father, no, the dream-being, has disappeared. In his place is what looks like a nebula. However, you feel yourself pulled back from it and you instantly realize that it is not a nebula, but a solid object that looks like a nebula. You are standing in front of a colossal being in a suit, with the cosmos as his face. The being nods, then speaks in a voice that shakes your very bones. “Allen Starwind. Perhaps you would prefer my true form?” >”Let’s go back to one of the other forms…” (specify)>”What are you?” >”I think it’s about time I woke up, don’t you?” >Write-in.
>>1159706>>”What are you?”>And why am I even a blip on your radar?
>>1159706>>”What are you?”
>>1159706>Write-in.Yes, thank you.>”What are you?” And is this a normal thing for Kalaschik Krat? Because if so I'm going to have to talk to some mages about setting reasonable expectations.
You sigh, trying to remain calm. “What are you?” The being crosses its arms, cocking its head to one side. “I have many names, depending on who is talking about me… And when.” “That’s not a very good answer,” you frown. “It wasn’t a very good question,” it retorts. “It was a reasonable one, but far too vague to provide a good answer.” You grumble as the being makes a hand gesture, close enough that it could crush you if it wasn’t careful. “Many eons ago, I was referred to as Trihhinck. I believe the closest translation into your language would be Paladin…” “And you couldn’t have told me all of this back when I was being held captive at the manor?” You frown, crossing your arms. “… I was very limited on time then. In fact, in most situations, it is exceedingly difficult to arrange an audience with you.” Paladin shakes its head. “This is an exception. But even now, my time here is limited.” “So are you some kind of god?” You move on to the next part of your question without delay. Paladin makes a noise. It is low and shaky, and if there was solid ground beneath you, the sound would probably shake it. “I have been interpreted as such by certain individuals. However, I’m hardly anything of the sort.” “Then what are you?” You sigh, rubbing your eyes. Paladin leans back, or at least, you think that’s what it is doing. “I… Am not certain what I am now. Many eons ago, I was a mortal being much like you. What I do know is that I was unable to make direct contact with anyone until your soul was saved four synapses ago.” Synapses? You frown as Paladin continues. “And even then, I was unsure of what might happen if I made contact, so I saved it until you were already in danger of dying. In truth, I was quite surprised when it all happened.” “You sound quite inept for some kind of cosmic being,” you fight a sarcastic grin. However, the nebula on Paladin’s face seems to warp, changing colors as another sound resonates, almost a grumble. “Our time is up, Starwind,” it says almost angrily. “Ask one more question and I shall answer it. Then I will be taking my leave.” >Write-in.
>>1159823>Write-in.What do you want with me?It must be lonely...
>>1159823>Write-in.Do you just want someone to talk to?we can do that.
>>1159830>>1159860I am perfecting fine with asking if he just wanted someone to talk to.
You sigh a little bit, muttering to yourself. “Must be lonely…” “Indeed,” Paladin says bluntly, having heard you. “It is… Very lonely sometimes. But I am still capable of observing. I have seen things you couldn’t comprehend, things that amaze even myself. So I suppose I can get over not having a lot of people to talk to.” “So what do you want with me?” You squint a little bit as Paladin’s nebula face changes colors yet again. Paladin is quiet for some time, as if considering what to say. Finally, it speaks. “There are many forces that you cannot comprehend in this galaxy. Things that threaten to destroy you and those whom you hold dear.” Paladin points a massive finger at you. “While I am unable to stop these happenings from occurring, I am able to warn you.” It shrugs. “Though, at the moment, I am merely testing my capabilities. It would seem that my presence is stronger on some planets than others.” The world around the two of you begins to darken as Paladin begins to fade. “Now go, you have much left to do.” Everything in front of you fades to black, then you see ripples. Realizing that you are still standing on the edge of the terrace, having just thrown the disc into the lake, you look up to see Pisces standing next to you. He nods solemnly. “Thank you,” he says. Then he gestures to Virgo, who throws an identical disc into the water, making a ripple near where yours fell. As it happens, a gust of wind picks up. Pisces gestures for the two of you to return to your seats, and you do. He then addresses the crowd again. “And now we shall commend his body to the Lake of Eternity. With his passing, we shall do as he did, and act for the greater good of all.” He then closes his eyes and another gust of wind comes from behind you, strong enough to almost knock you out of your chair. You look up to the casket and realize that it is resting on rollers. It begins to move closer to the edge, then topples over it, with a resounding splash as it hits the waters below. Pisces stands at the edge, opening his eyes and looking sadly out over the lake. “Goodbye, old friend.” The rest of the ceremony is relatively uneventful. You ask around if anyone, especially Virgo, experienced anything strange when the discs were thrown into the water, but it seems as though you were the only person to have any kind of odd experience. As the ceremony begins to wind down, you stand around with Virgo and Libra, who discuss the current state of the Magus Council. “I assume that they’re trying to fill his place already?” Virgo grumbles as he crosses his arms. “As far as I know, the Elder Council hasn’t made any deliberations about it yet.” Libra shakes her head. “I’ve heard that he specifically requested them to hold off on their deliberations until after the will reading.”
>”Why would he request that?” >”What was the deal with that Orion guy?”>”Will I be expected to go to the will reading as well?” >Write-in.
>>1159980>”What was the deal with that Orion guy?”>”Will I be expected to go to the will reading as well?”
>>1159992>”Why would he request that?” Political intrigue, he was probably murdered!>”What was the deal with that Orion guy?”Hates Virgo and probably thinks humans are inferior.>”Will I be expected to go to the will reading as well?” Why not? Stop acting like everything is a chore.Options 2 and 3, but maybe phrased as, will I be going to the reading as well?
>>1159980>”What was the deal with that Orion guy?”That Paladin sure has an interesting sense of timing. Since apparently he can reach us better on the whole planet and he has been observing then why did he choose that moment...Also, since apparently there a powerfull beings manipulating us (or trying to) then maybe there are others being subjected to the same. Warmongering fanatics, spooky vampires, mad scientists, are they the true victims in this story?
>>1159982>”What was the deal with that Orion guy?”>”Will I be expected to go to the will reading as well?”
>>1159982>”Why would he request that?” >”What was the deal with that Orion guy?”When we get the chance alone with Virgo we should ask him about this Paladin guy
“Why would he request that?” You raise an eyebrow. Libra frowns a little bit. “I can only think of one reason. He might have planned for a specific Magus to succeed him. If that’s the case, the Council would have to honor the request.” “That doesn’t really sound like Aries,” Virgo says with a shrug. “You really think he’d have named a successor?” Libra looks at Virgo with a knowing gaze, then frowns again. “It doesn’t make sense to me either, but that’s the only reason I can think of for him to make a request like that.” She grumbles a bit before continuing. “We won’t find out until the reading though.” “Speaking of which,” you begin. “Am I supposed to go to that as well?” Libra nods. “You should. Aries requested that whoever Virgo brought should go to the reading as well.” “Right,” you nod. “Guess I’m going then.” Virgo sighs. “I’m just glad that Orion isn’t going to be there. I almost wouldn’t be able to stop myself from tearing his damn head off…” “I know how you feel,” Libra replies with a growl. “Imagine having to deal with him every day.” “What’s his deal anyway?” You cross your arms as you ask the question. Virgo frowns deeply. “He’s had a stick up his ass ever since I met him. Orion was on the Elder Council when I first joined up, but he was demoted after he was caught going against Council policy one too many times. I was the one who found out what he was doing, so naturally he hates me.” He shrugs. “He got bumped all the way to the bottom of the hierarchy for stealing directly from the Council’s aid and relief fund. Basically, he was taking food out of hungry peoples’ mouths to line his own pockets…” He grimaces. “Anyway, he’s been brown-nosing his way back toward the top ever since.” Libra is the next to speak. “And now he’s a serious consideration to fill Aries’ place on the Elder Council.” Virgo looks at Libra with disbelief. “After what he did?” She merely nods sadly. “Like you said, the man’s a natural brown-noser.” >”Is it possible that he killed Aries?” >”How long until the will reading then?” (timeskips to the reading)>”Can any of you think of a reason why Aries requested I be there?” >Write-in.
>>1160135>>”How long until the will reading then?” (timeskips to the reading)
>>1160135>”Can any of you think of a reason why Aries requested I be there?”
>>1160135>”How long until the will reading then?” (timeskips to the reading)>It mostly deals with regulating the different Magus sects, as well as aiding those less fortunate through non-violent means.>Got caught stealing directly from the Council’s aid and relief fund.>Now he’s a serious consideration to fill Aries’ place on the Elder Council.Y tho? It really doesn't sound like he is a good fit. Like they could just grab some random of the street and they might be better.>"What are the requirements for being a member of the council.?"
>>1160135>”How long until the will reading then?” (timeskips to the reading)>>1160199>"What are the requirements for being a member of the council.?"A brown noise.
I'm getting some dinner. Be back in a bit.
“How long until the reading then?” You step back, casually putting your hands in the pockets of your robe. “About an hour,” Virgo replies. “Still, the office where we’ll be going is in the Atrium, so we should probably be heading that way now.” The three of you begin heading that way, and it takes almost fifteen minutes to find the elevator leading to the Atrium. Upon entering the elevator, it is probably a five minute ride up, and the doors open to a massive, open room with multiple levels. “It’s on the uppermost level,” Libra says as she leads your group along. The place is relatively inactive, with only the occasional thulian moving about. You see countless corridors leading off to other parts of the complex, as well as stairways leading up to other levels. You ascend four different stairways before arriving at the top level, which is dizzyingly high off the Atrium floor. You are then led to a doorway that leads into a long corridor. Walking down the corridor for quite a distance, you eventually find yourselves led into a small, though well-appointed office. There is an old thulian sitting at a desk who warmly welcomes all of you to his office, gesturing for all of you to sit down. “Now, let’s begin reading the will, shall we?” He peeks over his oddly-shaped glasses before reading off the will in question. “This is the final will of Aries, Elder Councilor and Magus Saterius. Firstly, I give all of my possessions to Virgo and Libra, save for my collection of writings, which I give to the outsider Virgo brings.” The thulian in glasses looks up at you with a quirk of his eyebrow. “I also donate all of my money to the Council’s aid and relief fund. It is to be spent primarily helping the disadvantaged populations in the Kmirs region.” He then coughs into his hand, looking up at all of you. “Now for the public portion of the will, which will be made known to the Council and all necessary parties.” He then clears his throat and looks down at the page. “And as a member of the Elder Council, I request that my position be given to a person of my choosing. He is a close personal friend of mine, as well as my late brother’s greatest disciple. I hereby request that my position on the Elder Council be filled by Virgo, Magus Aphorius.” He looks up at the three of you with a nod, as if gauging your reactions. You look over at Virgo, who looks as though he’s in the middle of a heart-attack. He glances over to you, then back to the thulian in the glasses. “Could… Could you repeat that last bit? I think I misheard…” “It says here that you are to be replacing Aries,” the spectacled thulian replies with astonishment. >”Wait, what?” >Remain silent.>”Does this mean you’ll be leaving my crew?” >Write-in.
>>1160602Congratulations Virgo, I think
>>1160602>Does this mean you’ll be leaving my crewI suppose we can tell people we lost him in a game of poker.
>>1160602>Write-in."Well this was a possibility, and it would piss off Orion to no end. I would expect Virgo needs some time to absorb this."
As much as I don't want to do it, I'm going to have to call it a night. I'll be running tomorrow and hopefully we'll be able to finish up the thread then.
>>1160767Thanks for running!
>>1160602>"I knew it"
>>1160602>Write-in.Have they ever had a mobile council member before? Because they've got one now
You smile at Virgo. “Congratulations… I think.” He still looks a little bit dazed as he replies. “Thanks.” He then looks over at the spectacled thulian. “What exactly does this mean? Where do we go from here?” He looks back at the paper, clearing his throat. “Well we are going to have to bring this before the Elder Council for review.” --30 MINUTES LATER—The Elder Council Chambers remind you of a courtroom mixed with a lecture hall. The Elders sit atop their high podiums, while you, Virgo, Libra, and the will reader stand in the large, open space in front of them. Pisces raises an eyebrow as the end of the will is read to him. “This is nearly unprecedented,” he finally speaks. “The last time something of this nature happened, it was with an individual who was still a member of the Council, unlike yourself.” He grumbles slightly. “And that was over a thousand years ago.” One of the other Elders speaks up. “It is certainly unprecedented, but I see no reason to dishonor Aries’ last wish.” He shrugs. “After all, he was a corner stone of our Council.” Pisces speaks again, a smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. “Indeed. However, there is a tradition in place for the specific situation we have. You see, we already had a candidate lined up in the event of Aries’ death.” He gestures to the entryway to the chambers, where you all see a short-ish thulian step forward confidently. A scowl begins to grow on your face when you see that the thulian in question is Orion. “Well hello again, Virgo,” he then looks over at you. “And Virgo’s pet human…” Virgo takes a step toward Orion, looking like he’s ready to fight. However, Pisces’ voice stops them. “No fighting, you two. This matter is too delicate to be handled in such a barbaric and unofficial way.” He sighs. “The Council will deliberate to decide the next course of action in choosing who will replace Aries. In the meantime, please return to your quarters. We will summon all of you once our deliberation is finished.” With that, you are all ushered out of the Elder Council’s Chambers and guided back toward the guest quarters. As you walk with Virgo and Libra, you notice that Virgo is shaken up. As you all arrive at the guest quarters, Virgo immediately goes to his room without speaking, leaving you and Libra standing in the hallway. She sighs worriedly. “He really hasn’t changed at all…” She then crosses her arms. “I half expected him to tear Orion’s head off right there.” >”What do you think the Council is deliberating? I thought they had to honor Aries’ last wishes.” >”How long have you known Virgo?” >”I’ll be seeing you once the Council gathers us again.” (ends conversation)>”Why are they seriously considering Orion of he stole from the Council? You’d think they would choose someone more qualified.” >Write-in.
>>1162123>”How long have you known Virgo?”>”What do you think the Council is deliberating? I thought they had to honor Aries’ last wishes.” >”Why are they seriously considering Orion of he stole from the Council? You’d think they would choose someone more qualified.”
>>1162123>”What do you think the Council is deliberating? I thought they had to honor Aries’ last wishes.”>Why are they seriously considering Orion of he stole from the Council? You’d think it would by easy to find someone more qualified.”
“What do you think the Council is deliberating on?” You frown, raising an eyebrow. “I thought they have to honor Aries’ last wishes.” Libra sighs. “In a perfect world, that’s what would happen. There’s nothing forcing the Council to follow his wises though, and I think they’re mostly doing it to keep up appearances.” “Fair enough,” you nod. “I’m familiar with bureaucracies, so I can see them doing that.” You stretch tiredly. “But why choose Orion? He stole from them.” Libra grimaces. “They all embezzle funds from various parts of the Council treasury, Orion just got sloppy about it, so they had to make an example of him.” You sigh. “I’m familiar with that too. But still, you’d think they would be able to find someone more qualified.” “Orion was part of the Elder Council before Virgo knocked him down a peg,” Libra replies. “It’s a good way to get somebody with prior experience in. And he’s always been subservient to them, so he wouldn’t be causing them any trouble like Virgo might.” “So they might just appoint Orion regardless,” you say with a grimace. “They wouldn’t reject Virgo outright. There are so many obscure old clauses and things that I’m sure they would find a way to make it near impossible for Virgo though.” Libra rubs the bridge of her nose, sighing. “But if Orion gets back on the Elder Council, things will get much more difficult for everyone.” “So the only hope for the Council would be if Virgo gets appointed,” you frown. “It’d give decent people a fighting chance.” Libra shrugs. “Which is better than they have right now.” >”How long have you known Virgo?”>”What can you tell me about the Elder Council?”>”What will happen if Virgo does get chosen? Will he still be able to travel with my crew?” >Write-in.
>>1162265>”How long have you known Virgo?”>”What can you tell me about the Elder Council?”>”What will happen if Virgo does get chosen? Will he still be able to travel with my crew?”
>>1162265>”What can you tell me about the Elder Council?”If everyone knows that the system is corrupt why hasn't there been a reformation?
>>1162265> what can you tell me about themDoes the general public have any weight on the council or are they literal tyrants?
"What can you tell me about the Elder Council?" Libra raises an eyebrow, smirking just slightly. "You're quite the inquisitive one, aren't you?" She chuckles a little bit, but there's a hard edge to it. "The Elder Council runs the rest of the Magus Council, and generally decides the Council's stance on things. I'm sure you're aware how corrupt they are. Though, they weren't always that way." "So what changed?" You frown as she shrugs apathetically. "What happens any time power stagnates?" She gives a small frown. "The good ones gradually became outnumbered, to the point where the only Councilors worthy of any respect were Aries and Pisces. Even now, Pisces isn't much to look up to." You're about to say more when there is a voice from down the hall. "Libra," a thulian calls out. "Retrieve Virgo and the human. The Council has made its decision." You look at her as she nods, then walks over to Virgo's doorway. The three of you make your way back to the Council Chambers quietly, and when you arrive, you see that Orion is already present, smiling smugly from his seat. "It is good that you could make it," Orion grins dangerously at the three of you. "I was worried that you might've gotten lost." Pisces holds up a hand, gesturing for Orion to shut up, which he does. "We have reached a decision. In accordance with Council Doctrine, we have placed great weight on the reccomendation of Aires. However, we also understand that Orion has contributed greatly to the Council since his demotion, proving his desire to do right." He looks from you, to Orion, to Virgo. "As such, we have made the decision that the newest member of our Council will be decided through the traditional means of Ulammat." You look over to Virgo, who grimaces at the word. "What's Ulammat?" You frown. Virgo sighs worriedly. "Ulammat is ritual combat," he finally replies. "A duel, usually to the death."
And that's it for this thread. The next one will go up on the Thursday after next, since I'm going to be away from my computer over most of this week.
>>1162630Thanks for running.
>>1162615Hope you have had an oil change recently Virgo, looks like you have some work to do!
>>1162615I thought it might come to ritual combat. These things somehow always do.