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 went planetside to help one of your crew with some family matters. Good luck, and fair skies. Twitter: https://twitter.com/ZapQMArchive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?searchall=Starcaller
Tom flips a couple of switches on the control panel, humming a little tune as the ship exits FTL. The big blue ball known as Ganymede dominates the bridge windows. “Alright,” he says simply. “We’re here.” He then leans over and speaks into a microphone. “You ready down there?” “Whenever you are,” Claudia’s voice crackles over the radio. “Just get me to the platform and fly around nearby while I do my thing. I don’t need you to stay at the landing pad.” “Duly noted,” you say through your own radio. “And if things go south?” There is silence on the other end as you hear some things being moved in the background. “We’ll just have to cross that bridge when we get there.” Currently you, Tom, and Corrigan are manning the bridge, waiting for the right moment to enter Ganymede’s atmosphere and get Claudia to the station where Lowe’s sister is being held captive. “Looks like there’s a major storm over the target area,” Tom chimes in as he looks down at the radar. “We’ll be flying by instrumentation only. It’ll be tricky, that’s for sure.” You raise an eyebrow at him. “Not too tricky, right?” He chuckles. “Hell no. I could fly this thing through worse with my eyes closed.” He then turns back to his station, maneuvering the ship into a reentry vector. “So the plan is to drop you off and hang back while you work, right?” He’s talking to Claudia again. “Are we expected to provide any sort of overwatch?” “Negative,” Claudia’s voice sounds more serious now. More professional. “Just hang back. It’d be ideal if you could be far enough away to avoid attracting any attention from the authorities.” “Right,” Tom nods. “So we’re just trying to stay out of the way entirely. I can do that.” You meanwhile, lean over and contact Cynthia on the PA. “Bridge to Engineering. You read me, Cynthia?” “Copy,” she says after a few seconds. “That new coolant pump is running like a charm now. Took me a while to calibrate the thermostat, but now it’s reading true. All other systems are nominal.” There is a pause as you almost hear the annoyance in her voice. “As long as we don’t try anything too crazy, everything should hold…” “Good to hear it,” you reply. “Oh, and one other thing,” she sounds a bit hesitant now. “I still have that stealth drive hooked up… If we need to use it, I can power it up on your orders. Of course, we’d only be able to activate it in space, and we’d be adrift while it was on, but it could help us slip away if something goes wrong.” >”Why exactly is it still plugged in?” >”Duly noted. Have it ready to go in case of an emergency.”>”Let’s avoid using the thing. We still don’t know anything about it.” >Write-in.
>>1517500>”Duly noted. Have it ready to go in case of an emergency." Hey its this awesome thing! Great to see ya running! Are we and our forklift gonna get ready to touch down if things go south? (As useful as tom is in a fight he is the pilot, and the others... hopefully we won't need more technical expertise and they can avoid ant possible killing if it comes to that.) Not that we'd want to mess things up by jumping in unless directly called for by the professional herself.
>>1517551Maybe. Assuming Virgo isn't in the middle of a Council meeting. They don't like interruptions.
>>1517577I wonder if Virgo will suffer the irony of wanting to do anything to get out of a meeting and things immediately going to the dogs so much so that he would rather the meeting had continued.
>>1517500>duelly notedI wonder how viable hanging out in the storm is?We should bet something with Tom about how shit is going to go bad. Loser cooks dinner?
>>1517684Things at this point are a little too unsettled for bets I think. I mean, and it probably won't happen, but what if both ladies died before we could extract them or some such gut punch. I like your general concept of adding some been there done that levity to the moment though. Maybe make a unrelated joke or something to lighten the mood?
>>1517500>>”Duly noted. Have it ready to go in case of an emergency.”
>>1517500>Write-in.Do we have any breakers or capacitors for that thing? I don't want it to fry all our systems or worse.
>>1517500>”Duly noted. Have it ready to go in case of an emergency.”
You smirk a little bit, thankful that your chief engineer thought ahead like that. “Duly noted. Have it ready in case we need to use it.” “Will do,” Cynthia replies quickly. There is a burst of static as the transmission cuts out. “Well,” you begin. “Let’s get this show on the road.” Tom nods, working the flight controls. “Roger. Bringing us in for a reentry vector. I have an opening in the storm that we can use…” He then looks over at the radar screen with a frown. “Though it looks like our opening won’t be secure for much longer.” He then looks over at Corrigan. “Could you data-link the targeting radar to my console? It’s more precise than the nav-radar.” “Linking it now,” Corrigan replies with a nod. “Also, safety locks on weapons are engaged. I can disengage them on your command, sir.” “Noted,” you reply as you draw the lap-belt across your waist. Leaning over, you turn the shipwide PA on. “All personnel, we’re entering Ganymede’s atmosphere. Buckle up.” Just as you turn the PA off, the ship begins to shudder from the moon’s upper atmosphere. The shaking increases steadily as the vessel plummets toward the thick cloud-cover below. You look over to see the call-light blinking and answer it.
“Allen?” Cynthia’s voice crackles over the radio. “How fast are we reentering? It feels like the ship’s about to shake apart!” “Feels worse than it is!” Tom calls out loud enough for Cynthia to hear. “There’s only a small opening in the upper layers of the storm, so I have to get us in there as fast as possible.” He grunts as the ship shakes violently for a moment, the clouds getting closer. “We’re coming in like a bat outta Hell.” “You’re aware that this is a seventy year-old ship, right?” You frown at Tom, who merely grins and dons a pair of aviators. “Yes sir,” he replies. “And I’m thankful for that.” He looks back at you and lights a cigarette as the ship enters a thick bank of black clouds. “They don’t make ‘em like they used to. I doubt a modern hull could handle this.” His head swivels back toward the front of the ship as he turns hard to starboard. There is a blinding flash of lightning outside as rain begins to pelt the ship. You realize why he put the sunglasses on. There is almost constant lightning as you descend deeper into the storm. “Current altitude 8000 meters,” Tom reads off mechanically. “Target altitude 150 meters.” He glances over at the navigation instruments as the view outside grows darker and darker. “We’re gonna lose some paint on this one.” He grunts as more lightning illuminates the cabin. “Ah shit, these wind gusts are throwing us everywhere…” He takes a long drag of his cigarette. “I really hope our stability attunement system isn’t calibrated wrong. One of these gusts could throw us five hundred meters off-course.” You chuckle nervously, hoping Cynthia’s earlier statements about the systems being okay are all true. “How long until we arrive?” You look over at Tom, who begins to ease the ship into a shallower descent. “About fifteen minutes,” he replies. “We’re cruising at 1,500 meters now, I’ll drop us low on our final approach.” The ship shudders again, lightning flashing outside. You notice that it is much less turbulent outside now. >Wait quietly until you arrive. >Contact Claudia on the PA. >Call another member of the crew. (specify)>Write-in.
>>1521586>Contact Claudia on the PA.Let her know we're about to land
>>1521586>Write-in.Over the PA say:This is the Captain, we apologize for the ruff turbulence and any spilled drinks, and would like to thank you for choosing to ride with Oberon Starwind airlines. Please make sure you have all your luggage and belongings before departure. Have a nice day!
Extending the voting window for an hour since this is the first post of the day.
>>1521609Add, "touchdown in approximately x seconds."
>>1522085Okay.That's 900 seconds right?
>>1521586>>Contact Claudia on the PA.
>>1521586> Call another member of the crew.Tripe. Make sure he isn't too shaken up our decent.
>>1521586>Contact Claudia on the PA.
You flip the PA over to the cargo hold. “Claudia, everything alright down there?” “I’m thankful you have this truck strapped down tightly. It makes a nice place to buckle in when the ship is getting thrown around.” She chuckles darkly as the ship shakes again, lightning outside blinding you. “Good to hear that you haven’t been thrown around too much. We’re about fifteen minutes out from the target. You all set to go?” You fish around in your pocket for your own pair of sunglasses as more lightning erupts around the vessel, clinging to the hull in a brilliant halo. “Aye aye,” she replies. You hear the metallic sound of her chambering a round in some sort of gun. “I’m glad your cargo ramp opens to the front, it makes this whole thing a lot easier.” “You nervous?” You raise an eyebrow as you note a familiar undertone in her voice. “Of course,” she says with surprising confidence. “But hey, it’s part of the job, right?” “Right,” you reply. “Anyway, hang tight. I’m addressing the whole crew.” You then switch the knob to the shipwide PA. “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking.” You are cut off by more turbulence. “I apologize for the rough flight so far, as well as any spilled drinks, and would like to thank you for flying with Starwind Airlines.” You squint as the ship drops through the lowest layer of clouds and you see a light in the distance. “There it is,” Tom says angrily. “Looks like my estimations were off.” You raise an eyebrow as the outline of a large platform comes into view. “Well, they haven’t seen us yet, so that’s nice.” You get a queasy feeling in your stomach as he drops the ship from about 900 meters to 150 in a couple seconds. Turning back to the PA, you grin. “Please make sure you have all luggage and belongings before departure. Have a nice day!” You feel the ship shudder again as it slows down, nearing a landing platform on the side of the main station. “Alright,” Tom interjects. “We’re over the landing platform now. Lowering the cargo ramp.” As he speaks, you feel the ship touch down. “Captain,” you hear Claudia’s voice over the PA. “I’ll be in touch via two-way radio. Switch to channel 4.” You pick up the walkie and do as instructed. “Can you hear me?” “Yeah,” you reply. “Everything good down there?” “As good as it can be,” you hear the rain pounding against the landing pad as Claudia steps out into the stormy weather. “I’ll be heading into the facility now. If I need your help, you’ll know.” >”Are you sure you’re comfortable doing this alone?” >”Right. We’ll hang back and wait.” >”These walkie-talkies are pretty low-tech. Do they have the range to maintain comms from inside that place?” >Write-in.
>>1524612>>”These walkie-talkies are pretty low-tech. Do they have the range to maintain comms from inside that place?”
>>1524612>”Right. We’ll hang back and wait.”"I want a comm check when possible inside the building, want to make sure they can power through the structure. Good luck and call us if you need it."
“These walkies are pretty low-tech,” you begin. “Will they be enough to maintain comms from inside that place?” Claudia is silent for a moment and you hear the rain dissipate. She must’ve made it inside. “I’ll contact you every fifteen minutes. If I can’t hear a response from you, I’ll move closer to the outside of the facility.” She swears to herself as you hear an alarm on the other end. “Looks like they know I’m here. You’d best get clear before their auto-defense systems go online.” “Duly noted,” you reply. “Tom, get us some distance from this place.” However, just as he turns his head, you hear bullets plinking off of the hull. “Moving now,” he replies as the ship lifts off and the cargo door closes. You hold on to your armrests as the ship rockets away from the facility, wandering into the lowest layer of clouds. Tom then looks down at his instruments as the ship banks. “Alright. We should be far enough away. Circling the facility now.” “Right,” you reply. “Claudia. Can you hear me?” You speak into the walkie-talkie. “Loud and clear,” she replies. There is a long pause. “I’m not seeing a lot of activity in here. Encountered a couple guards in unfamiliar uniforms, but they weren’t much trouble.” You grimace at her implication. “Anyway, moving toward the area where the hostages were last reported.” “Right. Keep me posted.” You frown, peering out at the facility. It is difficult to see it in the rain, especially from this distance. “I have a bad feeling about this, sir.” Tom glances back at you. “You sure we shouldn’t just blast their auto-defense systems and roll in to help Claudia? She could be running into a trap.” >”She’ll call us if something goes wrong.” >”She’s a professional. I doubt we’ll have to worry about her.” >”Maybe you’re right.” >”Who do you think could be behind something like this?” >Write-in.
>>1524764>”She’s a professional. I doubt we’ll have to worry about her.”>”Who do you think could be behind something like this?”
>>1524764>”She’ll call us if something goes wrong.”
>>1524764Hmmm, hard to say. I doubt it is a trap, although she is surely at a disadvantage. The external defenses would be mostly relevant during evac, assuming she makes it that far. It might be worth taking them out when she reports she is on her way out, so they don't get shot in the back. If we go in early we risk prompting a response from something that can actually hurt our ship. On the other hand it could be a good distraction.> Write inI say we wait until she reports that she has found the target. Then start lighting up the place as a distraction to make her escort mission easier.
>>1524764>>”She’s a professional. I doubt we’ll have to worry about her.”>”Who do you think could be behind something like this?”
>>1524764>Too many generals FUBARs the operation. She's a big girl and will call if she needs us....all the same, get some preprogrammed target lists up and keep the best track we can of her position and enemy concentrations from comm signals. If we needs to roll in I'd like to knock a hole in their defenses with the first salvo, and smack troop concentrations and blast an entrance hole with the second. One, two.
>>1524764>”She’ll call us if something goes wrong.” >"I'm with you on having a bad feeling, but until we know what she wants us to do we'll likely harm more than help."
Rolled 14 (1d100)Rolling for stuff and things. More story posts coming tomorrow afternoon.
>>1535773Oh boy, this is gonna be good.
“If we get a call from her asking for backup, we’ll go in,” you reply simply. “Otherwise, we’ll hang back like she asked.” You slowly circle the facility for the next five minutes or so without much of anything happening. A couple of bad patches of weather move through, but with Tom flying by radar anyway, it doesn’t make much difference. You look down at the two-way radio. “Should be time for Claudia to check in…” You frown. And just as you are about to call her, the radio crackles to life. “Captain, do you read me?” Her voice is interrupted by static, but you can make out the sentence. “Barely,” you reply. “Everything alright?” “… Looks like… With a bunch of tubes… Hooked up to some kind of…” Interference breaks up most of her message. “Not here… Moving further into the facility. Will remain in…” The message cuts out. “What was that? I didn’t copy.” You frown as another burst of static is the only reply you get. Looking over at Tom, he merely shrugs. “Probably just too far into the facility.” He points to the platform, which is barely visible through the rain. “And this weather isn’t helping our transmission strength.” “Right,” you nod. “Let’s just hope she isn’t in there for much longer.” “Um… Captain.” Tom gets your attention. “We’re getting readings from a military starship. They’re about three hundred miles southwest, loitering in the stratosphere…” He frowns. “Looks like they’re attempting to scan this area.” “Any idea if they’ve found us?” You grimace. However, before Tom can even reply, a voice crackles over the ship-to-ship radio. “Attention unidentified starship,” the voice says. It is deep and rough, a familiar voice that you can’t place. “This is the Van Rosen, defense frigate of the Imperial Navy. You have one chance to clear the vicinity before we engage search and destroy protocol. You have been warned.” The transmission cuts out. “Tom,” you look over at your first officer. “I heard,” he replies. “They’re still scanning… In this rain, they’ll have a harder time finding us, but if they do, it’d be a short fight.” “Captain,” Corrigan looks over at you. “I have an idea. We could land at the platform and engage that stealth system.” She rubs her chin thoughtfully. You frown. “Let me check if we can even do that.” Turning on the PA, you select the Engineering department. “Cynthia, do you copy?”
“Yeah,” she says. “What’s up?”“If we were to land on the platform, could we safely use that stealth drive?” There is a pause. “Safely is a bit subjective here, Allen. We’d be about as safe as we would if we activated it in space though. The only reason we can’t run it while flying in atmosphere is because it takes power from the engines.” Corrigan speaks up again. “There is a cargo loading dock on the other side of the platform. I have not detected any security systems there…” >”Land there and engage the stealth drive.” (roll a 1d100, best of three)>”We’ll take our chances up here.” >Write-in.
>>1541252>”Land there and engage the stealth drive.” (roll a 1d100, best of three)
>>1541252>>”Land there and engage the stealth drive.” (roll a 1d100, best of three)
>>1541252 #>”Land there and engage the stealth drive.” (roll a 1d100, best of three)
Roll some d100s.
Rolled 41 (1d100)>>1542550
Rolled 92 (1d100)>>1542550
Rolled 77 (1d100)>>1542550
>>1542586Yay, we don't blow up! What where the imps doing here again, blockading untill some specialist groind troops show up or something, right?