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 arrived on Thalos, attended a funeral, and learned that your alien friend, Virgo, will have to engage in ritual combat. 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
>>1199802Fuck yeah, its back
You pace in your room, grumbling to yourself about the current situation. Virgo’s bout of ritual combat against Orion is slated to occur tomorrow morning. Being the guest of honor, you learned that you are also expected to witness the combat. You just got off the phone with Tom, who sounded absolutely pissed at the idea of you spending the night at the temple. To be fair, you feel just as iffy about the whole situation, but Libra seems trustworthy enough. Walking over to the bookcase in your room, you look at the various volumes, mostly books on thulian history and culture. You are about to pull one of the books off of the shelf when you hear a knock at your door. Walking over, you open it slowly, seeing a set of thulian eyes on the other side. At first, you almost assume that it is Libra, but you can tell by the color of her eyes that this is somebody else. Opening the door a bit wider, you see that she isn’t wearing the ornate robes that everyone else around here seems to be wearing. Instead, this one wears a simple, brown set of robes with a hood. She carries a small box under one arm, and what looks like a bottle of liquor in the other. You raise an eyebrow as she speaks. “Good evening, Captain Starwind,” she nods respectfully at you. “They told me to bring you Aries’ writings, as per the will.” She holds up the bottle. “They also mentioned that I should probably bring you something to drink. You didn’t show up for the communal dinner, right?” “Wasn’t hungry,” you shrug. “Ah,” she nods quickly. “Right. I’ll just set these on the table in your quarters then?” She gestures to the inside of your room. >”Actually, I’ll just take them myself.” (ends conversation)>”That little box is all of Aries’ writings? I kind of expected more.” >”I don’t believe we’ve met. Are you a member of the Council?” >”What exactly is in the bottle? I’m a bit paranoid about accepting drinks from strangers.” >Write-in.
>>1199813>>”I don’t believe we’ve met. Are you a member of the Council?” >>”What exactly is in the bottle? I’m a bit paranoid about accepting drinks from strangers.”
>>1199813>”I don’t believe we’ve met. Are you a member of the Council?” >”What exactly is in the bottle? I’m a bit paranoid about accepting drinks from strangers.”
You step back, allowing her to step into the room. “I don’t think we’ve met,” you say as she walks over to the table. “Are you a member of the Council?” She smiles slightly as she sits the box down. “I work with them, but I am not a member.” She shrugs. “I’m not a Magus, so I wouldn’t be qualified for a position on the council.” She then sits the bottle on the table next to the box. “My name is Ursa.” “I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what’s in the bottle?” You cross your arms. “I’m a little paranoid about that kind of thing.” The thulian nods, chuckling just a little bit. “It’s good to be as careful as you are. Still, I promise that this is just water. It comes from the spring at the top of this mountain.” “I see,” you nod. Walking over, you pick up the bottle and look at it. There is no label, though its contents are clear enough to look like water. “Is there anything special about this water?” “Not to my knowledge,” Ursa grins. “I’m assuming water on Earth is pretty much the same as water here.” She gestures to one of the cabinets in the corner of the room. “There are glasses in there for when you want to drink it.” “Thanks,” you reply. Sitting the bottle down, your attention is brought to the ‘writings’ of Aries. The box itself is maybe the size of a small cigar box, with a lock on the front and large, heavy-duty hinges on the back. Ursa steps back toward the door. “Before I leave, is there anything you need?” >”No thanks.” (ends conversation)>”Am I allowed to leave this room and walk around? I’m getting a little bit stir-crazy here.” >”I haven’t seen Virgo in a couple hours. Is he in his room?” >Write-in.
>>1200020>>”Am I allowed to leave this room and walk around? I’m getting a little bit stir-crazy here.” >>”I haven’t seen Virgo in a couple hours. Is he in his room?”
>>1200020>>”Am I allowed to leave this room and walk around? I’m getting a little bit stir-crazy here.” >”I haven’t seen Virgo in a couple hours. Is he in his room?”
Heading to the grocery store. Be back in a little bit.
>>1200020>”I haven’t seen Virgo in a couple hours. Is he in his room?”
“Am I allowed to leave this room and walk around? I’m getting a little bit stir-crazy.” Ursa nods politely. “Of course. Places that are off-limits to outsiders will be marked with a golden stripe along the wall at waist-level. Everywhere else is fine though.” You cross your arms thoughtfully. “Thanks for telling me. Also, have you seen Virgo lately? It’s been a couple hours since I last saw him.” Ursa frowns, rubbing her chin. “I’m not sure where he is. I haven’t seen him since the funeral.” She then gestures across the hallway to the door to Virgo’s room. “If I had to guess, I’d say he’s in his quarters.” “That makes sense,” you nod. “Thanks for the info.” “Of course,” Ursa bows politely. However, as she goes to leave, she stops herself, turning to face you with a somewhat worried expression on her face. “Also, can I ask you something?” “I suppose,” you say with a shrug. “What’s up?” Ursa leans in toward you, looking over her shoulder before speaking. “Has Virgo really been challenged to Ulammat?” >”No.” (lie)>”Yes.” (blunt/vague)>”He’s fighting Orion over a position on the Elder Council.”>”Are they keeping it a secret or something?” >Write-in.
>>1200455>>”Are they keeping it a secret or something?”
>>1200455>>”Are they keeping it a secret or something?”>”He’s fighting Orion over a position on the Elder Council.”
>>1200455>I'm not sure its my place to say, I have no clue what word is going around and what Virgo's would consider gossip or confidential.
Okay, I'm gonna wait ten more minutes and if no tie-breaker happens, I'll roll a 1d3. /qst/ seems a bit slow tonight.
>>1200455>”Are they keeping it a secret or something?”
“Are they keeping things secret?” You frown at Ursa. “The Elder Council is being very secretive about things.” She crosses her arms. “Everyone’s throwing rumors around, but that was the one I heard the most…” She shakes her head. “Never mind that, it’s really none of my business. Take care, Captain.” With that, she turns on her heels and leaves the room, closing the door behind her. Walking back over to the table, you first open the bottle, smelling it to be sure it’s just water. You get a glass from the cupboard and fill it, taking a taste. It’s good water, definitely from a mountain spring. After you finish your glass, you open up the small box, finding rows upon rows of data discs. When you close the box back up, you notice that the side of it has a small slot to insert a disc. It dawns on you that this little box is actually a reader for the discs it contains. You sit the box aside gently, leaning back in your chair. You begin to wonder why Aries, a magus who you never met, passed these along to you. Grumbling, you realize just how strange this whole business is. The Council is keeping secrets from its members, not to mention the mysteries surrounding Aries’ death. In truth, it wouldn’t surprise you if foul play was involved. From what you’ve heard, that Orion guy had always hated Aries. You yawn loudly. It’s getting late, and from the tiny window near the ceiling of your room, you can see that it is already dark out. This room has a large bed, seemingly built for the stature of a thulian. Realizing how large it is, you feel bad for Virgo, seeing as the bunks on the Bad Habit are small by regular human standards. Well, you suppose that there’s not much to do until tomorrow’s ritual combat. Standing up, you begin pacing again, trying to think of anything but the ritual combat. Your mind wanders to a few different things, mostly where you should head after leaving Thalos. >Go to sleep. It’s no use staying up late worrying. >Head across the hall and check on Virgo. >Explore the Temple. >Put one of the data discs in the player. >Write-in.
>>1200819>>Head across the hall and check on Virgo.
>>1200819>Head across the hall and check on Virgo.
>>1200819>See if one of the data discs has a note saying "Play me first, Captain Starwind. Yes, i knew it would be you, in accordance with the prophesy."
I'm gonna call it a night here guys. We'll resume tomorrow sometime between 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM.Mood music:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0Mz_IqpZX8
>>1200980Well, at least I voted. Nice thread, Zap.
>>1200980thanks for the run.
>>1200819>Head across the hall and check on Vir
>>1200819>Do >>1200859 after we check on virgo
You frown, walking over to your door and opening it. Looking out into the hallway, you decide to head over and check on Virgo. Walking up to his door, you knock on it, receiving a muffled “come in” as response. You push the door open slowly to see Virgo sitting cross-legged on the floor of his room, eyes closed as he meditates. You take a step toward him, somewhat taken aback by it all. The room itself is lit only by candles, and he has several sticks of incense burning in a holder on the floor in front of him. In the low light, you can see that he has removed the jacket he normally wears, showing some sort of belted tunic. The belt itself has stones with carved symbols on it, and you see that his miniature axe-thing is clipped to the side of the belt. As he opens his eyes gradually, you realize that Virgo has white face paint on in what almost looks like the shape of a skull. “You doing alright?” You try to sound calm. “As much as I can be,” he replies with a sigh. “A person can only be so alright when they hear that they’re going to have to fight the next morning.” He smirks at you. “But to be fair, I think I’ll have this one in the bag as long as I get the first hit in.” “So what’s this all about?” You gesture around the room. Virgo rubs the back of his neck tiredly. “Just gathering my thoughts. It’s kind of nice to be able to meditate without the sound of engine noises in the background. Helps me concentrate.” He gestures to a chair near the corner of the room. “Go ahead and have a seat. Libra was just here talking to me, so I had the chair over there.” You nod, sitting in the chair. It is far more comfortable than the ones in your room, much to your confusion. You stretch tiredly as Virgo closes his eyes and returns to his meditations. >”So what’s the face-paint about?” >”Are you sure you even want to be on the Elder Council?” >”Is there any way I can help with tomorrow’s fight?” >Remain silent. >”Just came by to check up on you. I’ll give you your privacy.” (leave)>Write-in.
>>1203575>”Is there any way I can help with tomorrow’s fight?”
>>1203575>”So what’s the face-paint about?” >”Are you sure you even want to be on the Elder Council?” >”Is there any way I can help with tomorrow’s fight?”
You rub your eyes tiredly. “Is there any way I can help with tomorrow’s fight?” Virgo shrugs. “Not unless you want to get turned to paste. Orion’s a Magus, and a powerful one at that.” He looks at you seriously. “In fact, he’s probably one of the few who actually rival me in raw power. My only saving grace is that he’s always lacked finesse. As long as he hasn’t been getting better at fine-control of his powers, I should be fine.” “Fair enough,” you reply. “Is there anything else I can do before the fight then?” Virgo raises an eyebrow at you. “Nothing comes to mind. I think all the preparations are covered.” You lean back in the chair again, yawning slightly. “Duly noted. Just thought I’d ask.” “Sir…” Virgo sounds more troubled than before. “I actually wanted to ask you for a little bit of outside perspective.” “Ask away,” you shrug. There is a stressed sigh from Virgo as he seems to search for the right words. “I’m afraid that I might kill Orion.” You frown. “Isn’t that the idea behind the duel?” Virgo grumbles to himself, looking at nowhere in particular. “I just… I don’t feel like it’s the right thing to do. We’re both Magus’, and even though he’s an asshole, he doesn’t deserve to die over a position that I never even planned on holding.” Virgo rubs his eyes. “I mean, being on the Elder Council would be a good thing. I’d be able to change things for the better. But at the same time, is it really worth doing what I might have to do?” >Write-in.
>>1203951Sometimes we're put into a position where no matter what we have to do something unpleasant. Would letting him get the seat help anyone? I think not.
You cross your arms. As strange as it feels giving advice to someone who is a couple hundred years older than you, he’s still your crew member and friend. You think back to your own experiences, not just in the military, but throughout life. “Sometimes…” You grimace. “Sometimes there is no right answer. There are situations where no outcome is a pleasant one.” You rub the bridge of your nose. “So ultimately, it comes down to choosing which wrong you can live with.” “But what if I don’t know which wrong I can live with?” Virgo frowns at you. “That’s up to you to find out,” you concede. “But here’s my perspective on it. Do you really think letting Orion get onto the Elder Council would be a good thing?” Virgo’s eyes widen just a little bit as he nods. “I think I get what you mean now.” He then leans forward and snuffs out the incense. “Thanks for the advice, sir.” “Don’t mention it,” you reply with a small grin. “You’ve given me plenty of advice before.” Virgo looks like he’s about to say something to you, but a knock at the door interrupts him. “Come in,” he calls out. The door opens and Libra steps in. She appears to be wearing something different that the regular council robes, and her face-paint is different. “Oh,” her eyes widen as she sees you sitting in the chair. “I… didn’t realize I was intruding. My apologies…” She turns toward the door. >Let her leave. >”I was actually just leaving.” (leave)>”Something going on that I’m not supposed to know about?” (pry)>Write-in.
>>1203951This duel isn't the cost you have to pay to get on the council, this is the cost of not having any checks on the council. It isn't your fault it is theirs.Sure it would be nice to not have to do this but if you leave him alive he will either come after you later or you will be failed on a technicality. You could run away, again, but what would that change? The only other option I see is trying to lead a rebellion from outside the council.
>>1204205>"I was actually just leaving." (leave)
>>1204205>>”I was actually just leaving.” (leave)>Enjoy your time together you two.
“I was actually just about to leave,” you say as you stand up. “You were?” Libra turns around with a puzzled expression on her face. “Yeah,” you say as you walk past her to the door. “See you tomorrow morning, Virgo.” You begin closing the door behind you, grinning as you look back. “You two enjoy your time together.” Heading back across the hallway, you yawn loudly as you enter your room. Rubbing the sore part of your shoulder, you look over at the extremely comfortable-looking bed. Taking the curious data-disc player with you, you lay down and rest the box on your chest, looking at one of the discs curiously before returning it to its box and sitting the box in question under the pillow next to you. As much as you want to learn all about whatever is on the discs, you doubt you’ll be able to stay awake for much longer. It’s odd though, you’re normally up for longer stretches when you’re aboard the Bad Habit. Maybe it’s because you always have something that you need to do aboard the ship. You feel your eyes drift closed as your head sinks deeper into the pillow. You’re awake just long enough to kick your shoes off before you pass out. ----“Looks like there’s a signature on RADAR,” Warwick’s voice crackles over your headset as you look down at the screen. There’s a rather large signature on the S-Band, and sure enough, it’s pretty big. Easily the size of a shuttle. Far too big to be space junk. “Strange…” You frown as you slap the box containing the screen and controls. “Shouldn’t be anything out this far… We’re even out of range from the Abraxis.” You squint and lean closer, trying to see if it's an asteroid or something. "Shape looks too uniform to be natural..." “Should we go investigate personally, or head back to report it?” Warwick sighs over the inter-craft radio, his already-gruff voice sounding more like a burst of static than a vocalization. “Can’t report it via ship-to-ship or Q-band with this damn comms blackout.” Right, Volkmann ordered total radio silence while the task force moves through its system’s asteroid belt to avoid being detected by Imperial forces. >”We’ll investigate personally. If it’s as large as it appears to be, we’ll see it before it sees us.” >”Let’s head back. I don’t want to get into a fight with an Imperial ship or something.” >Write-in.
>>1204592>”We’ll investigate personally. If it’s as large as it appears to be, we’ll see it before it sees us.”
>>1204592>>”We’ll investigate personally. If it’s as large as it appears to be, we’ll see it before it sees us.”
>>1204592>”We’ll investigate personally. If it’s as large as it appears to be, we’ll see it before it sees us.” "We'd either be ignoring it, with only a vague description of any danger it holds, or be sent back to actually scout it if we head back to report in. Might as well cut out the trip or anxiety and take a closer look the first time.
“We’ll investigate it personally,” you reply as you adjust the fighter’s course. “It’s big enough that we’ll be able to get a visual on them before they can on us.” “Understood,” Warwick replies as you crank the throttle. Weaving between the asteroids around here would be difficult for most other pilots, and to be fair, it’d be pretty dicey for you in your old fighter, but this new Marauder makes it look easy. You soon come close enough to see the radar signature, and you sigh. It looks to be a Federal Navy shuttle, with its engines blown clean off. You can already tell that it doesn’t have any power by the fact that its running lights are down. “Damn,” you mumble. “Looks like they got knocked out by an auto-missile.” “Aye,” Warwick says. “Those damn things are all over this belt. We’re lucky we haven’t run into any yet.” You fly the fighter closer, craning your neck to get a better view. “Think there are any survivors?” “I’m not getting any distress readings over the radio receivers. Either their comms are down, or nobody made it…” You turn the spotlight on as you glide closer, slowing down until you are about eight yards from the stricken vessel. And then you hear the ship-to-ship radio crackle to life. “H-hello? Can you hear us?” The loudness of it in your ear nearly makes you jump out of your seat. “Hello? This is the shuttle Demeter. We were transporting a VIP for the Military Police when we were knocked out. If you can hear us, please help.” Squinting, you can see a figure through the vessel’s bridge windows. Pulling your targeting screen down, you magnify the image to see that the man is wearing a roughed-up MP uniform, and it looks like a pilot is standing nearby. Warwick’s voice crackles in your ear. “Radio silence is still in effect,” he grunts. “If we respond to them, it could give away our position to any Imperials in radio range.” You hear some noise from where he sits as he types some things into a computer. “We could either head back and alert the Abraxis… Or we could try to use the tractor beam. I don’t know if it’s rated for something as heavy as a shuttle though. It might just overload the beam projector and break the whole module.” >”We’ll tow them in.” >”We’re heading home to report the shuttle’s position. We’ll leave their fate in the Captain’s hands.” >Write-in.
>>1204988use morse code on our light to speak.
>>1204988Why the fuck is a shuttle out here anyway? Aren't they supposed to be short distance things?>We’re heading home to report the shuttle’s position. We’ll leave their fate in the Captain’s handsAlthough if we can use morse code I'm all for that. Or semaphores via wing waggle.
>>1205090>Aren't they supposed to be short distance thingsCertain models are capable of interplanetary and inter-system flight. Unfortunately, this one is no longer capable of either.
>>1204988>>1204999I'll support this.
“I’ve got an idea,” you say as your hand hovers over the spotlight controls. With a smug grin, you begin spelling out your message in Morse code. Currently on recon mission. Radio silence ordered. Will report your position back to mother ship. It is in their hands now. You then turn off the spotlight and sigh as the pilot’s voice crackles in your ear. “Understood,” he says with apprehension. “We will await rescue from your mother ship. Thank you. Our ID-number is 138E-456K.” You look through the target sight to see the man on the bridge flash you a thumbs-up. Angling your fighter away from the stricken vessel, you begin your route back to the Abraxis. Upon arrival, you give your report to Captain Volkmann, who sits across the table from you, looking tired. He wears a pair of reading glasses and the top button of his uniform is undone. If you had to guess, you’d either say he was about to go on or off shift. “So you found a derelict shuttle at these coordinates,” he frowns. “Good thinking with the Morse, that’s pretty innovative.” He leans back in his chair. “Still, I wasn’t informed of any Naval activities in this region. The nearest Federal garrison is on the other side of this system.” He scratches his head. “What do you make of it?” “Me, sir?” You raise your eyebrows. “Well they said they were transporting a VIP for the Military Police, so it could be an Imperial prisoner of some sort…” You scratch your chin. “Or maybe a spook working for the MPs.” “Perhaps,” Volkmann nods. “I just had their ID number put through the database, and that shuttle does belong to the MP branch… However, all records of its travels have been classified…” He frowns deeply. “Many of the senior officers think we should leave them be. Knowing the secrecy of our current operation, reporting their position to Command is impossible, which either means condemning them to die, or bringing suspicious persons aboard…” He looks at you with an expression you find impossible to read. “Seeing as you were the person to find them, I want your input on what you think we should do. On what you think I should do.” >”They’re too much of a security risk, sir.” (recommend leaving them)>”The Navy shouldn’t abandon their own.” (recommend rescuing them)>”Is this a test, sir?” >Write-in.
>>1205343>>”Is this a test, sir?”>”The Navy shouldn’t abandon their own.” (recommend rescuing them)But check them for bugs, transponders, and quarantine protocol them. Hell Space the transport after we recover them if need be.
>>1205343>The Navy shouldn’t abandon their own. (recommend rescuing them)What are they going to do, report us to the Imps? Just make clear to them that their mission is over until you make it back to port (lol) and have them confined to crew quarters. So no bridge, comms or anything, they are just passengers.
>>1205343>The navy shouldnt abandon their own, sir. We should make every effort to mount a rescue. Hell, give me a wingman, a boarding shuttle and a half squad of Marines for security and ill handle it myself. Going for milk, sir, be back in an hour.
>>1205343>”The Navy shouldn’t abandon their own.” (recommend rescuing them)That said they are suspicious so I wouldn't feel terrible if they were checked, monitored, and not allowed freedom of movement on the ship.
>>1205343>>”The Navy shouldn’t abandon their own.” (recommend rescuing them)
“The Navy shouldn’t abandon their own, sir.” You nod as you speak. Volkmann grins just a little bit at what you’ve said. “That is true,” he finally replies. “I agree with you that we should bring them aboard.” He then stands and salutes you, which you return. “Well then, lieutenant, I will brief the officers as to our plan.” With that, he leaves, and you are dismissed to the pilots’ quarters. When you arrive, you find Warwick chatting with some of the other pilots and co-pilots of your squadron. One of them, a relatively young guy with a crew cut, turns to you. “Morse code, huh?” He grins. “Quick thinking there, Starwind.” “Ah, it was nothing,” you chuckle. “I’m just crafty like that sometimes.” “I can imagine,” he replies. “Anyway, I’m up for recon. Later.” With that, he and his co-pilot leave the room. You speak with Warwick for a bit, then head over to your rack, catching a bit of sleep before your next shift. However, sometime later, you are awoken by a commotion just outside of your quarters. It almost sounds like a fight. Getting up, you head toward the door, still in your flightsuit, and open it. Out in the hallway, you see a few MPs in damaged uniforms, as well as a few hangar crew, trying desperately to restrain a man in a green jumper. There is a loud grunt from the man as he throws three or four of them into the wall with a chuckle. “Come on, I’m just lookin’ for someone to thank for rescuin’ us.” He breaks free of them and you get a good look at him. He is easily 6’4’’ and built like a freight train, with wiry hair and an eyepatch. Also, curiously enough, you see what looks like a number tattooed right above his eyebrow. He sees you, then looks down at your nametag. “Well shit, talk about serendipity.” He then lunges at you, knocking you to the floor whilst grinning madly. Your eyes go wide as you try to reach for the knife in your boot, only to remember that it’s lying beside your bunk. “Who the hell are you?” You manage to grunt a sentence at him as he kneels next to you. “Name’s Pelican,” he laughs. “But these goons call me 138M4DC.” He points to the number on his brow as he speaks. Pelican then extends a hand to you. “Nice to meet the pilot who saved my skin.” You get ready to hit him with a surprise haymaker, but find it unnecessary as a Taser impacts the side of his neck, knocking him out cold. Standing there is one of the MPs from the shuttle, looking more bored and embarrassed than anything else. “Sorry about that, sir.” He kneels down and slaps some cuffs on the unconscious prisoner, dragging him away from you. “This one’s a fighter, that’s for sure. Escaped as soon as they pulled our shuttle into the hangar.” You let your head hit the floor, eyes closing. You’re too tired for this shit. ----
You awaken to the sound of someone knocking at your door. Before you even answer it, you make sure the box is still under the pillow next to you. After seeing that it is, you put your shoes on and come to the door. There you see a thulian in what looks like a soldier’s getup. “Good morning, Captain Starwind.” He speaks gruffly. “It’s almost time for Magus Virgo’s Ulammat. You’re requested in the prep area.” >”Right.” (go with him)>”What time is it?” >”You don’t look like a member of the Council.” >”Why am I requested in the prep area? I know that I have to be there for the fight itself, but I wasn’t told about this.” >Write-in.
>>1205723>”What time is it?” >”You don’t look like a member of the Council.” >”Why am I requested in the prep area? I know that I have to be there for the fight itself, but I wasn’t told about this.”
>>1205723>"Right." (go with him)>"You don’t look like a member of the Council."
>>1205723>”You don’t look like a member of the Council.” >”Why am I requested in the prep area? I know that I have to be there for the fight itself, but I wasn’t told about this.”
You cross your arms suspiciously at the thulian standing in front of you. “You don’t exactly look like a member of the Council.” The thulian sighs. “I’m part of their security team. We’re supposed to oversee the fight and intervene if any rules are broken. Basically we’re the referees.” “I see,” you frown. “So why exactly am I requested to go to the prep area? I know I’m expected to watch the fight itself…” The security guard shrugs, frowning a little. “I dunno. Virgo requested that you be there. Probably wants to see you before the fight. You’re his friend, right?” “Okay,” you admit. “That makes sense…” The guard rolls his eyes. “Good. Can we get going then? I’m already running a little bit late on account of the elevators being old as dirt and breaking down all the time.” “Fair enough,” you nod. “Lead the way.” The walk to the arena is quiet, with the guard being the exact opposite of talkative for the entire journey. The two of you arrive at one of the terraces near the lower levels of the temple, where you are let through by another set of guards. The area you are led into looks like a mix of a workshop and an armory, with various bladed weapons and pieces of armor lying about. However, you are led past this area quickly, up a flight of stairs to a large room with a heavy-looking door at one end. There are various refreshments and comfortable couches lining this place, and it looks like it is designed purely for comfort. Just like the final cell for a death-row inmate. You see Virgo sitting on a couch next to the door, with Libra sitting close to him, her face near his. Virgo looks up as you approach, and you see Libra scoot quickly away from him, seemingly embarrassed about something. He stands and greets you. “Captain,” he grins at you. “Looks like this is it. No backing down now.” >”You seem to be in an oddly good mood.” >”How long until the fight?” >”What were you and Libra talking about just now?”>”Good luck out there, buddy.” (ends conversation)>Write-in.
>>1206179>You seem to be in an oddly good mood.Maybe we should assure Libra that Virgo and us are just friends.
>>1206179>>”You seem to be in an oddly good mood.”>”What were you and Libra talking about just now?”>Which one of you had reach?
>>1206179>”You seem to be in an oddly good mood.”>”What were you and Libra talking about just now?”
“You seem to be in an oddly good mood,” you say with a raised eyebrow. “Of course,” he chuckles. “Never been better. I’m savoring everything good in life while I can. Never know if I’ll get to savor it again or not.” He shakes his head laughing to himself. “Though, I didn’t exactly get much sleep last night.” He winks, nodding toward Libra.“Wait…” Your eyes narrow as you put two and two together. “I thought you said she was family or something.” Virgo shakes his head. “We’ve known each other since forever, so she was like family to me. That changed last night though.” “Well congratulations,” you shrug, grinning slightly. “What were you two talking about just now? Whispering sweet nothings?” Virgo laughs. “Hardly. Neither of us are good at that sort of thing.” He points to his scars with a sigh. “She was telling me not to get more of these. I guess she doesn’t want to spend another day putting my face back together.” He chuckles to himself. “Man, that feels like forever ago…” “Libra was the one who stitched you up?” You raise an eyebrow. “Indeed. I went out and did some stupid things, but she still stuck by me…” He gets a distant look in his eyes. “I guess I should’ve seen the writing on the wall back then, but oh well.” You frown, noticing that his face paint is the same as last night. “So what’s the deal with that paint anyway? I’ve never seen it before.” Virgo takes a very serious tone. “It’s my death face.” He then nods at you as a bell rings loudly outside. “The match is about to start.” >”Good luck.” (friendly)>”Kick some ass out there.” (smug/proud)>”Don’t die.” (worried/blunt)
>>1206514>Kick some ass out there. (smug/proud)
>>1206514>>”Kick some ass out there.” (smug/proud)
>>1206514>”Kick some ass out there.” (smug/proud)
You clap him on the shoulder, grinning. “Kick some ass out there.” Virgo grins right back at you. “Absolutely.” He then turns and walks toward Libra, giving her a long hug before pulling away reluctantly. He says something to her in his native language and walks toward the door. As he steps up to it, you and Libra are ushered upstairs to the observation platform over the arena. Aside from you, the members of the Elder Council are the only ones present. The arena itself is composed of a dirt floor with several large boulders scattered about. There is a small river running through the center, with a tiny, wooden bridge crossing it. You see the Council members talking and bickering amongst each other, most of them wearing smug expressions as they likely discuss who will win. You merely stand next to Libra, who looks straight ahead, a dangerously calm expression across her face. “You alright?” You look over at her. She briefly glances at you, taking almost a full minute to reply. “Of course. Virgo has the ability to turn Orion to red mist if he wants to.” She crosses her arms, looking straight ahead again. “The only problem is that Orion is capable of the same level of destruction.” The bell stops ringing and you hear the doors on either side of the arena open. Orion is the first to step out, confidently walking into the arena. He wears a white tunic with a red sash. You see him look up at you condescendingly before his eyes move to the door in front of him, on the other side of the arena. Through that door, Virgo steps out wearing a black tunic and the belt you saw last night. The two of them step closer to one another, until they are less than ten feet apart. Standing on opposite sides of the stream. There is no noise as the two of them square up. A breeze moves through the arena, chilling you just a little bit as a cloud obscures the sun. The air is thick enough to cut with a knife as the two of them merely watch each other, waiting for the first one to make their move. You see Orion say something, but he’s too far away to hear. Virgo merely shakes his head in response. You feel a rumble beneath your feet, and a shift in the direction of the wind. If you look closely, it almost seems as though the stream in the center of the arena has reversed its course. It is as though the very world itself exhales in preparation for what is about to happen.
Aaand that's it for tonight. We'll resume tomorrow afternoon with the fight itself! Hopefully we'll be able to finish the thread tomorrow as well. Mood music:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KW20P7N7QZk What do you think Orion's power is?
>>1206780If by geokinesis you men weaponized molten salt then that sounds about right. But really I don't even know what Virgo does except TK. What reversed the stream, water bending, gravity manipulation, nothing?
>>1206941>I don't even know what Virgo does except TK. There's always the possibility of it not actually being TK.
>>1206772Narrative manipulaton. Virgo has locked on the childhood friend route and has had the sex scene, this is the point where most options lead to bad end. I'm sure Orion set this up.
The wind picks up, blowing loudly through the arena. You glance over at Libra, who remains transfixed on the two at the center. Orion and Virgo continue staring each other down, not making a move. And then it happens. First, one of the massive boulders is lifted from its position in the corner of the arena, sent flying toward the center faster than you’d expect possible. Virgo jumps out of the way just as the boulder impacts the place where the bridge is, disintegrating and sending dust everywhere. You hear the sounds of tiny chunks of the boulder slamming against the walls around you. Virgo lands an unlikely distance away, grimacing as he squints to see through the cloud of rock-dust. You see him swear to himself as the dust is blown away by a small cyclone of wind. Orion stands there smirking, arms crossed. He walks forward, toward Virgo as he lets his arms fall to his sides. The wind picks up as Orion gets closer to Virgo. You feel your ears pop as a massive, dusty explosion rocks the arena. It shakes the observation platforms, causing you to swear aloud. The dust is cleared quickly by the same wind as Orion looks around for Virgo. However, he doesn’t see that Virgo has ended up behind him. You see about a dozen smaller rocks lift into the air and shoot toward Orion at near-sonic speeds. He turns around just in time to see the rocks and attempt to dodge. However, he is sent spinning midair, and you realize that he has been hit in the torso by one. The short thulian lands hard on the dirt, struggling to pick himself up. You see Virgo shout something at Orion, gesturing wildly with his hands. Orion however, merely shakes his head, clutching the area on his abdomen where a red stain is growing on his tunic. You then see the air seem to warp as a massive gust of wind blasts Virgo across the arena, into one of the walls. He hits it hard enough to dent the metal, but when he lands, you see that he appears to be relatively unharmed. He stands up, grimacing as he runs along the wall toward the other side of the arena. He takes cover behind a boulder as two others lift off and fly toward Orion. He struggles to dodge the first one, blasting the second one to bits before it can hit him. He then raises a hand and a massive gust of wind obliterates the boulder Virgo was hiding behind.
However, you see that he was already running toward the next one. Virgo is forced to change course as the boulder he was running toward is also reduced to gravel. As the debris flies toward him, you see something amazing. The bullet-sized rocks stop midair, then change course toward Orion. Realizing this, Orion sends another gust of wind toward the debris. However, it isn’t enough, and many of them still hit their mark, shredding Orion’s tunic and bloodying his torso and head. You squint to see if they were enough to kill him, but it seems that most of them grazed at best. He won’t look pretty from now on, but his wounds certainly aren’t lethal. You look over to see Virgo walk out into the center of the arena, sighing as he stands about thirty feet away from Orion. Orion’s eyes go wide as he sees the remaining boulders lift from the dirt, hovering lazily around him. Virgo shakes his head, saying something to Orion. You feel the ground beneath you rumble. However, Orion grins madly, and looks up at you. Then you feel your ears pop as a gust of wind picks up from behind you. There is a chorus of groaning metal as you feel the observation platform shift beneath you. Looking over at Libra, you see for the first time, a look of panic on her face. And then the platform is torn asunder as the wind drags the two of you onto the dirt floor of the arena. You hit the ground hard, feeling something crack in your torso as you land, likely a rib. As you blink the spots away from your vision, you see that you are a few feet away from what is left of the stream. Glancing around, you see Libra laying on her side, seemingly unconscious. Your section of the observation platform looks as though it has been sent through a tornado. Then, you look over to see Virgo looking back at the two of you, eyes wide. The wind picks up as Orion grins, and you realize that this was all to get Virgo off-guard. >Try to get the Council’s attention. There’s no way this is allowed in the rules. >Attack Orion before he can use his Magus powers against Virgo. >Warn Virgo about Orion. >Write-in.
>>1212963>Attack Orion before he can use his Magus powers against Virgo.
>>1212963>>Warn Virgo about Orion.
>>1212963>>Warn Virgo about Orion.>Draw our special pistol, fire a near miss in response to him nearly harming us and drawing us into the fight.
>>1212963>>Warn Virgo about Orion. >>Write-in."Ignore me! Focus on the duel!"
>>1212963>Warn Virgo about Orion.Just drop the fucking rocks dude, he is begging for it.
You try to stand, pain blossoming in your side where your rib has likely cracked. Falling back to your knees, you shout at Virgo. “Don’t worry about me, focus on the duel!” However, just as you say that, the levitating boulders disintegrate, sending shards in every direction. Some of them clip Virgo’s shoulder, others slam into the dirt, and you feel one or two graze you as well. Virgo swears loudly, jumping back as Orion sends a blast of high-pressure air toward him. It tears up the dirt in a straight line all the way to the wall. Virgo and Orion continue fighting as you look up at the members of the Elder Council, who watch calmly. They don’t even look like they’re trying to help. You feel another gust of wind as you are thrown across the arena, landing against the wall. You let out a pained yelp as you land on your side. It causes you to see stars again. You lift your head to see Virgo standing some distance away from Orion, who despite being injured, still looks confident. You see Virgo throw more rock shards his way, which are deftly blocked. You look over at Libra, who was thrown to the wall just as you were. She begins to wake up just as another explosion occurs in the center of the arena. She looks at the fight, then over to you. “You alright?” She leans toward you, a determined expression on her face. “I’ll live,” you reply. “What Orion did was against the rules, right?” Libra shrugs. “Technically. But if the Council hasn’t stopped the match, it means they don’t care what rules get broken.” She leans against the wall, sighing. Your attention is returned to the arena as you see Orion throw Virgo into the wall hard enough to dent the metal. He lands on the ground with a thump, not moving. Then, the wind picks up around you again and you feel yourself being dragged into the middle of the arena again. Tumbling over the hard ground, you struggle to remain conscious through the pain. At one point, you feel your head go underwater, likely as you are dragged through the stream. Then you find yourself deposited in front of Orion. Blinking hard, you realize that one of your eyes won’t focus, probably damaged from the air pressure.
Orion stands triumphantly a few feet away from you, dragging an unconscious Virgo by the collar. He breathes heavily as the wind begins to swirl around the both of you. “I have to say,” he begins with a chuckle. “I expected more from the last Magus Aphorius. I suppose his master didn’t teach him properly…” He looks down at Virgo, who lazily shakes his head. He’s beginning to return to consciousness. You reach into your jacket, drawing your service pistol, only for it to be ripped from your hand by the wind. Orion plucks it from the air and examines it. “What a crude little machine… That’s what you humans leave as your legacy. Crude, dirty, dangerous machines. You’re an embarrassment to other sentient races.” He spits some blood onto the ground, seemingly having to regain his balance. You can tell he’s lost a lot of blood. He grunts, struggling to keep a grip on Virgo’s collar. You make eye-contact with the now-awake Virgo. He grins ever so slightly at you. >Try to knock Orion off his feet. He’s weak enough now that you might be able to force him to the ground. >Toss some dirt up into Orion’s eyes. >Attempt to insult Orion. Maybe you can stall him a little bit longer?>Do nothing. Virgo seems like he has a plan.>Write-in.
>>1213225>>Attempt to insult Orion. Maybe you can stall him a little bit longer?
>>1213225>Yeah man, good job! You managed to hit him in the back when he wasn't looking!>You really are amazing at this, aren't you? Only your skills in brown nosing and stealing from charity can match your skill in cheating to win.
>>1213225>Yeah man, good job! You managed to hit him in the back when he wasn't looking!>You really are amazing at this, aren't you? Only your skills in brown nosing and stealing from charity can match your skill in cheating to win.>And who say we're even close to done? Unlike you we don't settle.
>>1213225>"And I suppose having to drag bystanders into the match to win meant your master trained YOU properly, you dishonest little stain? Then again, even if he did, there's only so much he can do training mud."
>>1213225>>1213232Also maybe a slow clap at the end to drive it home.
You give Orion a crooked grin, spitting onto the ground in front of you. “Yeah, great job.” You struggle to your knees, squinting your injured eye. “You managed to hit Virgo in the back when he wasn’t looking.” You look up to see Orion’s features begin to twist with hatred. “Yeah… You really are great at this. In fact, only your skills at brown-nosing and stealing from charity surpass your skill of cheating to win.” Orion’s features twist further, and you feel the air pressure around you drop. Your ears pop and you feel the air get colder. “You’ll only live long enough to regret saying that, you arrogant piece of filth.” A cyclone begins to build up around you, but then something curious happens. There is a noise, almost like something scooting across pavement, and then the sound of cloth ripping. The air movement stops entirely. The temperature returns to normal, as does the pressure. You raise an eyebrow as Orion looks on in confusion. Then you look down to where Virgo used to be, seeing that Orion’s arm has been severed at the elbow. His expression turns from confusion to pain and anger as he begins to yell, looking around for Virgo. You look about ten feet to the left, seeing him crouched there, with Orion’s arm laying in front of him. He then stands to full height, looking over at you and grinning. “That was pretty good, sir.” He then extends an arm your way, and you are gently tossed about twenty feet away, landing unsteadily on your feet. Orion looks from you to Virgo. “Perhaps you’re stronger than I realized…” Orion sighs raggedly, the air currents picking up again. “Not that it matters, I still have what it takes to turn you to a pulp…” Virgo’s hand goes to the buckle on his strange belt. “You’re right about one thing, Orion…” He grimaces. “I am stronger than you thought.” He then unbuckles the belt and lets it fall to the ground, as that happens, it is as though the light itself changes color, just enough to notice. “But you have no idea just how right you were…”
He raises a hand slowly, closing his eyes and exhaling. The air currents stop completely, causing Orion to look around with confusion. You feel the ground beneath you begin to shake, just enough to notice, and you swear you can hear the air itself begin to ring like a bell. Orion raises an eyebrow, still confused. “What—!” But before he can even complete his sentence, he explodes, viscera going twenty feet in every direction. You feel your face splatter with red mist as a miniature tremor shakes the entire arena. The light shifts color again, almost turning blue for a second. Virgo sighs, putting his belt back on as the few chunks left of Orion fall to the ground. You stand uneasily, looking at Virgo with a mix of fear and curiosity. He merely nods at you, then looks up at the Elder Council, whose eyes have gone wide from seeing the display of power that just unfolded. Looking over, you see that Libra has made her way over to the three of you, wearing a grim expression as she sees the damage. And as you look around, the adrenaline begins to wear off. You can tell from the pain that it isn’t just a rib that’s broken. You feel you left pinky finger throbbing, as well as your right shin. Your head hurts, and your left eye feels like it’s on fire…>Roll a 1d100 to REMAIN CONSCIOUS.
Rolled 54 (1d100)>>1213369
Rolled 32 (1d100)>>1213369I'm pretty proud of ruining the greatest moment of his life with his worst before he got turned into red paste.
Rolled 87 (1d100)>>1213369And the third one is...
>>1213369Wait, I just realized.We just gave away our only forklift.
>>1213391Crap. Add that to the list. Can we get one used? Or perhaps an intern?
You fall back onto your ass, sitting on the ground with a grunt. “Shit…” You lean back, looking up at Virgo and Libra. “You two alright?” Libra merely nods, and Virgo crosses his arms. “I’ll live, sir. We should get you to an infirmary though.” He looks over at Libra. “We still have the old hospital wing?” She shakes her head. “Budget cuts did that in. We’ve got a basic clinic, but it’d only be suitable for thulians.” “Figures,” Virgo frowns. “Looks like me and the captain will have to stop by his starship for a bit to get him patched up.” He kneels down and picks up your service pistol, now caked in dead thulian, and hands it to you. With disgust, you shake most of the viscera off and holster it. Virgo and Libra carefully pull you up to a standing position. As you put weight on you left leg, you grunt in pain. Shit like this almost makes you want to start smoking again. You hobble along as Libra and Virgo carry you out of the arena. Looking up, you smirk at the Elder Council members’ horrified expressions, making a finger gun at them for emphasis. They all shrink back just a little bit as you do. --30 MINUTES LATER—“Well,” Tom sighs, shining a flashlight into your left eye. “It’s damaged, the white part is all red right now… But it’ll heal in a couple days. Keep a bandage over it until then.” He looks down at your leg, which is heavily bandaged. “I’m surprised your shin isn’t entirely broken…” He then puts a little bit of pressure on your wrapped-up abdomen. “That cracked rib will take the longest to heal. Could take a week, could take two months. Depends on if you take bone healing supplements or not.” You sit on the metal table in the Bad Habit’s medbay, trying to take shallow breaths to avoid pain in your rib. You grunt. “How mad is Cynthia?” Tom chuckles, taking a drag of his cigarette. “I haven’t told her. That’s your problem.” He applies a bandage to your left eye, patting it gently to ensure a proper fit. “Personally, I would recommend getting some rest, but it’s up to you. Virgo said he’s got to report back to the Magus Temple in about an hour…” He pats you shoulder. “Alright, painkillers should kick in in a few minutes. They’re slow-release, so you’ll be covered for the rest of the day, sir.” He steps back. >”Anything important happen while I was gone?” >”I may as well go check in with Cynthia.” >”I’m going to go look for Virgo.” >”You mentioned bone healing supplements. How would be acquire those?” >Write-in.
>>1213504>”You mentioned bone healing supplements. How would be acquire those?” >”I may as well go check in with Cynthia.”
>>1213504>”You mentioned bone healing supplements. How would be acquire those?” >”I may as well go check in with Cynthia.”And say something about it not being our fault this time before she can get mad.
>>1213504>>”You mentioned bone healing supplements. How would be acquire those?” >>”I may as well go check in with Cynthia.”Whistle Taps as we leave.
“You mentioned bone healing supplements,” you say with a frown. “How would we go about getting them?” Tom shrugs. “Any drugstore on a human colony should have them,” he replies. “Still, some people are a little bit wary about using them. I took some after I fucked my knee up in the Marines, healed me up quick enough and well enough that I was able to become your co-pilot after all.” He shrugs. “They’re a pretty penny though.” “Duly noted,” you nod. “Anyway, I’m going to check in with Cynthia. May as well face the music…” Tom nods as you leave the medbay. “She should be in Engineering. I think she’s still working on that stealth drive.” “Thanks,” you reply as you head toward Engineering. When you approach the doorway to that part of the ship, you hear metal on metal, an occasional grunt, and the clank of tools being laid on the floor, the sounds of a mechanic at work. You step through the door quietly, looking around the room. The stealth drive looks like it’s been hooked up to a computer, with wires running from the computer aft into the reactor room. Perhaps she’s testing how it interfaces with a ship’s systems? You walk forward some more and see her sitting on the floor, working on something inside of the drive itself. She appears to be completely distracted by her work. “Cynthia,” you begin softly. She looks up and you hold up a hand. “It wasn’t my fault this time, promise.” You grin just a little bit as she stands up. “What happened?” She takes a step toward you, sighing. “Looks like you got in a car accident or something…” You see that her eyes are avoiding the bandage over your eye. “Virgo was fighting another Magus and his opponent decided to attack me as a distraction…” You shrug, pointing to the bandage over your eye. “This isn’t permanent, by the way. Just an injury from high-pressure air.” She sighs again. “I guess it couldn’t be helped,” she finally says. “Being a space captain can be a dangerous line of work sometimes…” She rubs the back of her neck tiredly. “You are going to be okay though, right?” You nod. “A cracked rib seems to be the worst of it.” Cynthia rubs the bridge of her nose, leaning up against the stealth drive. >”So what’s the deal with this stealth drive?” >”Any mechanical problems I should know about?” >”How have you been doing?” >Write-in.
>>1213743>>>”So what’s the deal with this stealth drive?” >>”Any mechanical problems I should know about?”
>>1212963I thought he might try to pull something like this. Was expecting to dog a fireball or something. >>1213743>”How have you been doing?”
>>1213743>”So what’s the deal with this stealth drive?” >”Any mechanical problems I should know about?”Sorry I'm late. Had to go to the store.
>>1213743>>”How have you been doing?”
I'm gonna wait for a tiebreaker then call the thread here. A new one will go up on Thursday starting from the current vote's result.
>>1213743>So what’s the deal with this stealth drive?>Any mechanical problems I should know about?Breaking the tie with fuck feelings.>>1213367>I am stronger than you thought ... *drops trousers*>>1213504>Today was a bad day to quit smokingwtf am I even reading!
>>1214115>*drops trousers*He was wearing a tunic with a belt thing over it. I promise there was no trouser-dropping involved. Anyway, that's it for this thread. Like I said, next one will go up on Thursday, barring any unforseen circumstances.
>>1214115>>1214171Soo tempted to make a yaoi parody slash fic, goddamit you two!
>>1213391I hope he doesn't have enough to leave the ship
Hey Zap,I've been following this quest around for a bit and I'm enjoying the world you've created here.One criticism that I'd like to get your take on is whether or not to incorporate more rolling.The exposition is good and fun to read, but, for example, we just went through a large fight with Virgo/Orion, and the only roll we got was whether or not to stay awake afterwards. Rolling can slow things down and cause extra drama, but I'd like your take on it.
>>1216408That's a fair point, and I do have some rolling mechanics written up, mainly in relation to things like ship-to-ship combat, mechanical troubles, and a few other things that may or may not be revealed later due to player actions. The main reason why there hasn't been a lot of dice rolling is that players have been avoiding a lot of the situations where dice would be required. I do plan on including more persuasion and info gathering rolls though. And regarding the Virgo/Orion fight, I wouldn't want to have dice rolls on something like that where most of the actual fighting is being done by someone else. Also I may or may not roll dice secretly to determine what kind of random encounters happen. Also, I don't want this quest to be super dice-heavy, so I try to streamline some things. One of the ideas I have for the next quest I might run after this one would be very dice-heavy though.
>>1216599That sound perfectly fine.
New thread is up, session will begin shortly.>>1223272>>1223272>>1223272