Mankind had once ruled the galaxy. A million worlds, each thrumming with life and commerce and industry. Without any means of faster-than-light travel, colonization was a long and arduous process that took tens of thousands of years, but after the first leaps were made into the darkness, anything was possible, and mankind grew and flourished, guided by docile AI which oversaw all industrial progress. With the energy costs of relativistic flight being prohibitively expensive for routine voyages, interstellar trade was limited to the information exchange of science, news and culture. Interstellar wars were thought to be impossible, and it was believed that mankind would flourish forever in an eternal age of galactic peace.At least, until the Interlopers arrived. No one knows where these outsiders came from, but they swept across the galaxy, their pace of expansion quickening with each star they conquered; and behind them, one by one, all the stars of the Milky Way began to go dark, blinking out of the night sky, leaving only gravitic lens distortions where they once stood. It was a galactic campaign that took thousands of years. The people of your star system, Chandra, could only watch from afar with utter helplessness. Volunteer military expeditions, made up of the most fearless and selfless of mankind, were sent out into the void, on centuries-long voyages to give relief to besieged systems, inevitably arriving too late, with neither being heard from ever again. As the unknown enemy grew closer, refugees from other star systems began to pour in. Strange people, with unnatural appearances, and bizarre customs, technology and beliefs; distant cousins separated by thousands of years of divergent cultural evolution. Your grandparents were among these. Meanwhile, the systems surrounding Chandra fell one by one to the Interlopers, until it became apparent their star was now a front-line.
>>4616518Yet as the situation abroad grew more and more grim, the people of Chandra weren't idle. They had spent years building up fortifications, networks of siege bunkers under every world; death lasers under every asteroid; and the greatest project of all, the Cradle, an entire artificial world built by Human hands, brimming with weaponry, in close orbit of the star to sustain its colossal power needs. A cathedral to the god of war, built by all the combined industries of an entire solar system, across the span of multiple centuries. For the first time in a decamilenia, your people felt secure. But all in stark reality, that false sense of security would soon be shattered once again when, with barely any warning, the Cataclysm struck. Asteroids bombarded every planet and moon in the solar system, devastating their populations and killing anyone who wasn't evacuated to a bunker arcology. At the same time, deadly waves of radiation washed over the system, eradicating smaller asteroid settlements which hadn't been properly shielded. The attack was devastating, with over 99% of the system's population being wiped out. As mankind was still reeling from this armageddon, signatures of unknown vessels were detected inbound to your system, from multiple directions, light-years away, but closing in at thousands of kilometers per second. Calculations indicated they would arrive within a century.Now, at long last, the time has come. The enemy is finally upon us, and we are ready to exact our vengeance.
First decision: Choose your name, and a name for your ship.Rules: All decisions will be made by rolling 1d100 and picking the highest result. If a 1d100 is not rolled, then the last 2 digits of your post will be used instead. Obvious troll posts will be ignored.
>>4616526Second decision: choose ship chassis.>High-tech Destroyer - A small ship made with lightweight components. It has good strategic mobility and a small cross-section and is intended to evade and harass opponents from afar. You'll get used to the cramped corridors.>Standard-Issue Light Cruiser, the fleet's main screening force and most common escort vessel in the fleet. It has balanced abilities and an emphasis on protection with multiple layers of high quality armor. The ship you'll be flying is 150 years old and was built before the Cataclysm, but should still be in perfect working order.>Makeshift Heavy Cruiser - A large civilian vessel of some kind that was appropriated by the military actually quite recently and modified to serve as a warship. It has a lot of guns and a very large cargo bay. You think it used to belong to a pirate.
>NameShelby Oliva>Ship's NameThe Graven Image
>>4616531>NameShelby Oliva>Ship's NameThe Graven Image>Makeshift Heavy Cruiser - A large civilian vessel of some kind that was appropriated by the military actually quite recently and modified to serve as a warship. It has a lot of guns and a very large cargo bay. You think it used to belong to a pirate.
Rolled 12, 40 = 52 (2d100)Rolling two dice for two decisions.>>4616526>Personal Name: Arjun Chandrasekhar>Ship Name:Sea of Crisis>>4616531>Standard-Issue Light Cruiser
>>4616531>nameHathor Grandenson>ship name Albatross Heavy>Makeshift Heavy Cruiser - A large civilian vessel of some kind that was appropriated by the military actually quite recently and modified to serve as a warship. It has a lot of guns and a very large cargo bay. You think it used to belong to a pirate.
It looks like 81 is the winner>nameHathor Grandenson>ship name Albatross Heavy>Makeshift Heavy Cruiser Year: 87.1.5 Post-CataclysmIt's your first time on the Albatross Heavy. If it were not your ship you would have called it an eyesore. You step through the airlock, and immediately are assaulted by the smell of unwashed bodies and stale air. You had studied the layout for the ship, but, you now realize that nothing about this ship is as it had said in the manual. Not wanting to seem dependent on others, you make a show of looking like you are conducting an inspection, while taking sly looks through every doorway to try to figure out which is the captain's quarters. Occasionally, you get strange glances from your crew. Behind your back, you think you hear someone whisper "...Chipper captain...". It brings a twinge of physical pain. You rub the metallic implant on your forehead, lost in thought. The chip is a killswitch, and a constant reminder that no matter how high in status you rise, you will always be a foreigner here in Chandra."Disgraceful, isn't it? I had told them to have this ship ready for inspection. I ought to have the crew all flogged." You hear a female voice directed to you. You look up, and see a pair of eyes that seem to glow with an incandescent yellow, and are nearly taken aback with their intensity. Before you is a black-haired woman in a naval officer's uniform denoting the rank of Lieutenant. Her uniform puts even yours to shame, and is completely spotless and creaseless. Her hair is tied in an elaborate bun and she stands with perfect military posture: every muscle in her body taut, her back straight, shoulders back, eyes forward, jaw clenched. In spite of her aristocratic demeanor, you can't help but feel like her sense of authority is undermined by her diminuitive, 4 foot stature, and a body like a washboard. Like you, she has a metallic implant on her forehead, as do all "aliens" from outside the system.The woman gives a salute, "Princess Lieutenant Iria Vanlaere, at your service"Great, not only are you on the worst ship in the whole fleet, but your executive officer is a nutcase. You must have made a really bad impression on someone in high command.Decision:>"Please refrain from inventing ridiculous titles for yourself. It undermines military cohesion">"At ease. I'm Emperor Captain, Hathor Grandenson. I'll be the monarch of this ship from now on" you say, trying to be as deadpan in the delivery as possible>"What do you mean by princess?"
>>4616637>"Please refrain from inventing ridiculous titles for yourself. It undermines military cohesion"Also makes you a target in battle.
>>4616637>>"Please refrain from inventing ridiculous titles for yourself. It undermines military cohesion"
>>4616637>"Please refrain from inventing ridiculous titles for yourself. It undermines military cohesion"
>>4616684>>Please refrain from inventing ridiculous titles for yourself. It undermines military cohesion">Also makes you a target in battle.After rebuking this Napoleon, you give her a sharp glare to show you mean business. You run a tight ship, something you're sure she'll appreciate. She looks disappointed for only a passing moment before recollecting herself. "Yes ma'am", she says as emotionlessly as possible. "Shall I accompany you on your initial inspection?" she offers."Yes please, I was just on my way to gunnery."She shifts for a moment uncomfortably. You stare at her. "Right this way" she says, and walks past you the way you came, and heads down a hatch. You walk up to the hatch behind her, and disable your magnetic boots. You see a pencil float by.Following her down the ladder, you arrive in a claustrophobic room filled with a pervasive sense of clutter. Unattended holographic targetting computers cast lasers across the room, range charts are pinned up to every wall, and random objects float in mid-air. Each of these objects a deadly crew or equipment hazard if the ship were to leave dock."Captain on deck!" you hear Iria shout irately as you reactivate your boots. 6 crewmen scramble to attention. Each of them are in various states of poor uniform, but by far the worst-dressed spaceman is a chesty blonde wearing a white crop top with no bra. She looks around anxiously for her uniform jacket for a few seconds before noticing you watching her, then snaps to attention. Behind her, on the floor beneath a command station console, is the gunnery officer's jacket.(1/?)
>>4616911"Name and rank" you demand."Ensign Allyson Cayne, Chief Gunnery Officer" she responds. She forgets to salute.You turn to Lt. Iria, "This ship has a discipline issue. I want this addressed after my inspection." Iria gives a curt but enthusiastic nods.ENS Allyson interrupts, "I'm sorry! I didn't think we'd be under inspection for another week!""A military vessel must always be ready for combat!" Iria shouts sternly, stepping into Allyson's personal space in an attempt to be intimidating, "and you will not speak unless spoken to!" Allyson merely gives her a look as though she were an annoying puppy. This just further infuriates Iria. "Do you think you can defeat the Galactic menace? You? Thousands of stars have fallen and you think you're the one who will survive the onslaught? Well let me tell you something, you will be, because you're here with me. and I'll make a proper officer of you if I have to flay the insubordination from your bones!"You motion for Iria to stop. Her screaming and idle threats only seem to add to the chaos of the weapons bay. "My time is brief, and I would like to know the state of our weapon systems"Allyson gives Iria a rude glance then, surprisingly, begins to site from memory the last maintenance date of every weapon on the ship, down to the point defense cannons.(2/?) Next: choosing loadout
>>4616913Choose 4 weapons for ship loadout (max 1 each)>Conventional Weapons: These propellant-based low-tech projectiles are slow-moving and easy to dodge; but because of how cheap they are to produce and their minimal energy needs, a warship can be fitted with dozens of these, making them extremely lethal at close range or against immobilized targets.>Railguns: Very high projectile speed compared to conventional weapons, but not as powerful as coilguns. However, unlike coilguns, the rails do not need to be deactivated, thus they tend to be designed to rapid-fire smaller projectiles. Often used for point defense.>Coilguns: Electromagnetic guns that fire single, powerful shots which are effective at long range due to a very high projectile speed. The projectile itself isn't large (compared to conventional weaponry), but its high kinetic force makes it dangerous. A coilgun requires capacitors, which can fry easily.>Spinal Mount Coilgun: Some ships are built around a massive coilgun, which is integrated into the structure of the ship itself. It has no turret, and a very narrow firing arc, and thus the nose of the ship must be faced directly at the target. Capable of inflicting massive damage with a large slug fired at high speed. They can also be loaded to direct-fire miniature nuclear warheads.>Laser: High-intensity light beams that fire in pulses to vaporize matter. Lasers can be attuned on the fly through use of different crystals, to be either long-range but low damage (UV) or relatively short range but high damage (Infrared), or anything inbetween (visible spectrum). By far the most accurate of any weapon (as it cannot be dodged), however, they are huge power hogs, thus a ship that relies heavily on powerful lasers will require large generators, large radiators and will be quite bulky and vulnerable. They are generally used to pinpoint target key enemy weapons and systems to take them out from long range. They are far less effective than projectiles in terms of raw damage, and will need to focus the target for quite a while to vaporize enough matter to damage it. They are bad at puncturing through bulk armor, but can exploit a weak point in armor left by other weapons.>Maser: High intensity microwave beams, which can cause interference and EM damage to vulnerable ship sensors.(3/?)
>>4616921>Conventional explosives: In space, there is no shockwave effect, which is what makes explosions so powerful inside atmospheres; instead, a shaped charge is loaded with shrapnel and the shrapnel is fired into the target on impact. Flak missiles have more penetration than nuclear missiles, and do not have to be chain-detonated due to their smaller and more directed blast radius. These missiles are armored against point defense, to some degree.>Standard-Yield Nuclear Missiles - Also not as effective in space due to the lack of a shockwave, but still a very useful long-range tool. It acts as a flash of sudden energy being released, which heats and vaporizes matter in an instant. It damages targets in a very, very wide area, but usually not severely if only a single nuke went off (any weapon that is purely energy-based has difficulty vaporizing bulk matter such as ship armor). It can damage weapons and soften-up armor, and multiple blasts at close range can destroy or disable a ship (and they are usually fired in massed volleys of at least 50). Also causes an EMP effect, which can damage electronics. Because a nuke destroyed by another nuke's flash does not detonate properly to achieve criticality, nuclear missile salvos have to all be detonated at once, which means you have to strike a balance between spreading them apart for safety or clumping them together for maximum impact, or staggering them into multiple volleys. Nuclear weapons can also counter other nuclear weapons for this reason, and they also make an effective countermeasure against enemy drones. Standard-yield nukes are designed to be fired in larger volleys to overwhelm enemy point defense, and the missiles have some armor.>High-Yield Nuclear Missiles - Nuclear missiles that have their blast radius maximized (usually around 1000x the size of standard-yield nukes) at the expense of strategic range, missile armor, and missile quantity. They are primarily used as counter-missiles, detonated in the heart of an enemy drone or missile swarm to take out many targets. It is not very useful against enemy ships which have any forms of point defense. (Instantly detonated by lasers and masers)>Missile Decoys - Space combat missiles are almost always heat-seeking due to a ship's heat signature being almost impossible to mask in space. Decoy flares can be used, but they are very large and short lived (lasting only minutes), because they must radiate more heat than a nuclear rocket to be an effective decoy, and this is not easy to sustain. It is often mounted on a dedicated small ship with a minimized heat signature, which is sent ahead of the fleet to intercept long-range missile salvos by releasing multiple flares.(4/5)
>>4616930>Ballistic Drones - Small, expendible, remote-controlled strikecraft carrying conventional ballistic weaponry designed to quickly close with the enemy in massive swarms (usually at least 20) and engage, deployed from orbital distances. They are almost never retrieved after an attack run, due to the impracticality in terms of fuel expense. Thus, they are single-use only.>Railgun Drones- Like ballistic drones, except equipped with railguns instead. Heavier than ballistic drones.>Coilgun Drones - drones equipped with coilguns. Heavier than ballistic drones.>Laser Drones - drones equipped with lasers. These are heavy drones with minimal delta-V due to power generation needs.5/5
>>4616921>High-Yield Nuclear Missiles - Nuclear missiles that have their blast radius maximized (usually around 1000x the size of standard-yield nukes) at the expense of strategic range, missile armor, and missile quantity. They are primarily used as counter-missiles, detonated in the heart of an enemy drone or missile swarm to take out many targets. It is not very useful against enemy ships which have any forms of point defense. (Instantly detonated by lasers and masers)>Spinal Mount Coilgun: Some ships are built around a massive coilgun, which is integrated into the structure of the ship itself. It has no turret, and a very narrow firing arc, and thus the nose of the ship must be faced directly at the target. Capable of inflicting massive damage with a large slug fired at high speed. They can also be loaded to direct-fire miniature nuclear warheads.>Conventional Weapons: These propellant-based low-tech projectiles are slow-moving and easy to dodge; but because of how cheap they are to produce and their minimal energy needs, a warship can be fitted with dozens of these, making them extremely lethal at close range or against immobilized targets.>Ballistic Drones - Small, expendible, remote-controlled strikecraft carrying conventional ballistic weaponry designed to quickly close with the enemy in massive swarms (usually at least 20) and engage, deployed from orbital distances. They are almost never retrieved after an attack run, due to the impracticality in terms of fuel expense. Thus, they are single-use only.
>>4616921>Maser: High intensity microwave beams, which can cause interference and EM damage to vulnerable ship sensors.>Spinal Mount Coilgun: Some ships are built around a massive coilgun, which is integrated into the structure of the ship itself. It has no turret, and a very narrow firing arc, and thus the nose of the ship must be faced directly at the target. Capable of inflicting massive damage with a large slug fired at high speed. They can also be loaded to direct-fire miniature nuclear warheads.>High-Yield Nuclear Missiles - Nuclear missiles that have their blast radius maximized (usually around 1000x the size of standard-yield nukes) at the expense of strategic range, missile armor, and missile quantity. They are primarily used as counter-missiles, detonated in the heart of an enemy drone or missile swarm to take out many targets. It is not very useful against enemy ships which have any forms of point defense. (Instantly detonated by lasers and masers)>Railgun Drones- Like ballistic drones, except equipped with railguns instead. Heavier than ballistic drones.
>>4616932>>4616942>Maser: High intensity microwave beams, which can cause interference and EM damage to vulnerable ship sensors.>Spinal Mount Coilgun: Some ships are built around a massive coilgun, which is integrated into the structure of the ship itself. It has no turret, and a very narrow firing arc, and thus the nose of the ship must be faced directly at the target. Capable of inflicting massive damage with a large slug fired at high speed. They can also be loaded to direct-fire miniature nuclear warheads.>High-Yield Nuclear Missiles - Nuclear missiles that have their blast radius maximized (usually around 1000x the size of standard-yield nukes) at the expense of strategic range, missile armor, and missile quantity. They are primarily used as counter-missiles, detonated in the heart of an enemy drone or missile swarm to take out many targets. It is not very useful against enemy ships which have any forms of point defense. (Instantly detonated by lasers and masers)>Railgun Drones- Like ballistic drones, except equipped with railguns instead. Heavier than ballistic drones.Briefly impressed by Allyson's display of competency, you pat her on the shoulder before concluding your visit and heading back up the ladder, swatting the pencil away from your face.What Iria said to Allyson said affected you. Is this going to be one of those stories, like I read when I was a little girl, where a plucky group of outcasts and misfits save the galaxy? You almost laugh out loud. No, this is one of the stories where a I die a fiery death in the depths of space, surrounded with the fleet academy's rejects, and mankind is wiped out of existence, never to rise again. Those were always my favorite.Iria climbs up the ladder behind you and you ask her to take you to main engineering.The door to engineering is missing a panel. Instead, there are a cluster of loose wires. One of them has been cut. Iria shouts over the radio, and the door opens.The engineering bay is completely gutted. Every floorboard and mechanical panel has been torn open, to reveal the thick electrical cables supplying power from the generator to every corner of the ship. Before you stands the chief engineer, covered head to toe in insulated equipment. Other engineers behind her are engaged in various tasks. She takes off her headpiece. She has ivory white skin and hair, pale blue eyes. You recognize her as a Darkling, born in orbit of a Brown Dwarf, a world without natural light, in the coldest depths of space. The stark whiteness of her visage is broken only by the tattoo of an unfamiliar symbol on her cheek, it is simple, black, and unornate and likely a holy symbol of some kind.
>>4617331"Ensign Ahit Simril...", she says with a salute, her voice gentle and melodic. Her eyes look past yours and fail to lock on, giving the impression she is in a daze.You are losing your patience at the general disarray the ship is in. "Look me in the eyes" you demand."I'm sorry ma'am, I cannot" she says softly.You instantly realize your mistake. "...I'm sorry, I didn't realize you were blind.""Most of our people are"You clear your throat. "... Tell me what is happening in that room.""We were given orders to perform a safety inspection, by Lieutenant Iria"You turn to Iria, "You know, I looked over the ship logs and I keep seeing these safety inspections being ordered. What the hell is going on in there? How many times are they going to tear apart the ship?"Iria glances down the hallway, "This isn't something that we should talk about in public, but this ship is a death trap. During a systems review, not long ago, we found an activation sequence which, if triggered, would have flooded the ammunition storage bay with nuclear plasma.""A booby trap?" you ask."I'm 4th in line to the throne for my race. I have enemies in high places. Someone in Fleet Command could have put me here on purpose, to eliminate me, after having struck up an alliance with one of my siblings.""That sounds a little conspiratorial" you say.Ahit interjects, "If I may offer an... alternative... explanation, the ammo storage was previously a general-purpose cargo bay, which was made of heat-resistant materials, and was also capable of venting into space. Perhaps the previous owner of this ship was a smuggler, and he had jury-rigged an evidence disposal trigger."Iria narrows her eyes. "Yes, and that is an excellent cover story for a botched assassination attempt. Whoever is behind this is clearly quite cunning, to leave behind such a plausible explanation. In any case, we may never know the truth because we have no information from the previous captain, no maintenance logs, no blueprints, or anything.""Well, it's a shame you dismantled it. It could have been a good motivation for those layabouts in Weapons. At least now the threat has been dealt with, and I see no further need for concern. I'm ready to wrap up this inspection and make my report" you state impatiently, eager to breathe fresh, sterilized, station air once more. "The one good thing I can say is, from where we're standing, the situation is only capable of improving. You are all dismissed." You turn to leave."If I may be so bold Captain, before you go, may I touch your face? I'd like to know who I will be following into battle."You hesitate, then take her by the hands and guide them up to your cheeks.
>>4617332Decision:You are a:>Darkling. Your skin and hair are stark white, your eyes are a ghostly blue. Your people are from a lightless star known as a Brown Dwarf, and have lived for millenia in faint, artificial light. Your eyes and your skin are highly sensitive, but you can see in almost total darkness.>Spacer. Your limbs are long and thin, your muscles are weak and your bones are brittle, adaptations to low-gravity. Your people have never permanently settled on any world, but instead remained on board a perpetual colonial mission to seed life throughout the galaxy, travelling from system to system, stopping only for a few centuries at a time to repair and refuel. In truth, it is the gap between the stars that is your true home.>Metahuman. Genetically engineered to be simply better. You are stronger, smarter, faster, and more beautiful than any naturally-evolved human. You do have to keep up with regular gene therapy injections though, or you start to develop gene-sickness. Also, your culture's views on beauty are radically different from Chandra's. In fact, they consider you a monster.>Ghoul. Your people were from a world with abundant food but limited living space. Privacy evaporated, and acts of communal copulation were commonplace. Ritualized cannibalism of the dead was practiced, and everyone belonged to everyone else. You want to put this dark past behind you, as you find it just as unsettling as everyone else.>Perpetual. You are the clone of a clone of a clone. Your people, or rather, your person, was once an individual who had aquired the means to make millions of copies of himself. You want more than anything to prove to yourself that you are your own person. Your shortened telomeres cause you to age rapidly.>Feral. Your nails are hard and claw-like, and your canine teeth are a lot longer, and you have sensitive, pointed ears. People say you have a tail, but you don't. Your people evolved on a tough world where vicious beasts stalked and society collapsed a few times, so atavistic natural defenses were selected for.>Exohuman. You are a human, and not so different from the people of Chandra. Well, your eyes are a dead giveaway, and your facial features are from an unrecognizable ethnicity, but generally, you could pass for a weird-looking Chandran.(This marks the end of the introduction, we'll be getting into some combat next)
>>4617333>Exohuman. You are a human, and not so different from the people of Chandra. Well, your eyes are a dead giveaway, and your facial features are from an unrecognizable ethnicity, but generally, you could pass for a weird-looking Chandran
>>4617333>Exohuman. You are a human, and not so different from the people of Chandra. Well, your eyes are a dead giveaway, and your facial features are from an unrecognizable ethnicity, but generally, you could pass for a weird-looking Chandran.More for curiosity than anything else.
>>4617333>Exohuman. You are a human, and not so different from the people of Chandra. Well, your eyes are a dead giveaway, and your facial features are from an unrecognizable ethnicity, but generally, you could pass for a weird-looking Chandran.
>>4617333>Ghoul. Your people were from a world with abundant food but limited living space. Privacy evaporated, and acts of communal copulation were commonplace. Ritualized cannibalism of the dead was practiced, and everyone belonged to everyone else. You want to put this dark past behind you, as you find it just as unsettling as everyone else.
>>4617333>>Exohuman. You are a human, and not so different from the people of Chandra. Well, your eyes are a dead giveaway, and your facial features are from an unrecognizable ethnicity, but generally, you could pass for a weird-looking Chandran.
>>4618869>Exohuman.You are a human, fair-skinned, with short, neck-length brown hair, and deep, rich brown irises within a blue sclera. Your face is elegant and well-proportioned, and would be called beautiful but is permanently marred by the metallic implant on your forehead and the surrounding surgery scars, which extend into your hairline leaving a long but thin strip where hair no longer grow; features which you constantly adjust your hair and naval beret to keep hidden. You have a long, graceful neck and delicate shoulders, which are your best features and sadly kept typically obscured by the collar and epaulets of your uniform, which instead contrive to give you an artificially bulky and mannish frame.(1/?)
>>4619017>>4617332Ahit runs her fingertips gently across your face, brushing over every feature. "You are from a nearby star, named Aahan.""Yes." you say, slightly surprised.For a moment her eyes lock onto yours. "You're from a distinguished heritage. Your family were in the Orbital Commerce Guild"You hesitate. "...Yes... Our family had a permanent seat on the board of directors ever since they first funded the expedition from Chandra that colonized Aahan Prime... How do you know this?"She smiles softly, "I just know." For a moment she looks into you, her ghostly eyes piercing into your soul; they seem to compel you to divulge yourself."They lived lives I couldn't possibly imagine. I'm told my distant grandmother built a cylinder habitat, filled with nothing but flowers as far as the eye could see... An entire habitat as her own personal garden! I don't know if there will ever again be space in this galaxy for such a thing. All mankind has known since the Locusts arrived is war and military austerity. What use are innocence and beauty against such a foe? My instincts tell me mankind has already lost something it can never reclaim." the words flow out of your mouth seemingly without a filter. You stand for a moment in silence, then begin internally berating yourself for showing weakness to the crew."It can be hard to find beauty in this troubled universe," Ahit says with understanding, "but perseverance and self-sacrifice has a beauty of its own. There is a time for everything... a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build... Perhaps you were born for a time such as this."You nod slowly, and thank her for her comforting words."Let me walk you to the station, captain." Lt. Iria says, and accompanies you back down the corridor. When you are out of earshot, she takes you aside and says to you. "Don't fall for her blind mystic routine. She can tell you are from Aahan because your physiognomy is similar to that of native Chandrans. Now, think about how many refugees arrived at the Cradle. Less than a million in total, across all races? Now what is the typical population of a system? Billions? Trillions? Only the elites of society could afford to be evacuated, and in Aahan, it was the Orbital Commerce Guild who controlled all space travel. Do you know who her family is descended from? She's the descendant of her homeworld's prophet. If you don't keep an eye on her she'll try to convert everyone on this ship to her cult, then she'll be the one pulling the strings."If what she says is true, then it's not just Ahit, you realize, Chandra is full of displaced rulers and their sycophants, now left with nothing and desperately trying to claw their way back to the top."And what about you?" you ask brazenly, "Do you want to rise through the ranks to make alliances of your own?""No," she says grimly, "I want vengeance for my people."
>>4619020Year: 91.3.1 Post-CataclysmNeither awake nor asleep, you thrash around in a delirious fit. For countless hours, you exist in a world where no thoughts except anxiety and confusion are possible. Scraps of memories come and go. Amid the tatters, you dream an old dream. You are a little girl, in a white hallway, with bright lights, being taken somewhere. The walls echo with crisp footsteps. You are lying down... strapped down, and looking up. Your forehead hurts, badly. The people next to you are distorted, their faces blurred. The more you try to discern details, the more everything washes away in a gray fog, until your whole world is nothing but a featureless cloud. Your eyes open. You are in a cryo-bed. The medical officer is standing apathetically by your side, reading vitals and adjusting your chemistry."Please help", you try to mumble. At some point you must have passed out again because you wake up a second time, now in your quarters, with no idea how you got there, though you are told that you discharged yourself and walked there.A bell rings. You wearily make your way to the officer's mess hall. You eat what feels like your first meal in days. In fact, it was your first meal in 405 days. The other officers, all recently thawed from cryo, soon join you. Nobody speaks. You have a sharp pain behind your left eye where the implant is. Only Allyson seems remotely alive, but her attempts to chat with you are cut short by a tired glare. Her high-pitched voice cuts through your skull with every word she speaks. You catch Iria staring at your uniform with her cat-like eyes. Her elaborate bun has hairs sticking out of it in every direction. She looks like a pampered kitten that escaped into the wild. Even Ahit, who is normally so serene, seems to be in a state of unease. You look down and see that your jacket has its buttons misaligned. You look at Allyson. Her uniform is looking better than any other officer's. Her face is pretty, and made-up, and you want to punch it.
>>4619022Days pass, and your body begins to return to normal. As the enlisted are awakened, the ship goes from being a ghost vessel to a hive of activity. Between directing the ship, you spend your idle time reviewing mission files. You will be inserting into orbit around Exo-Object-C2, a beautifully-named ice planetoid in the farthest reach of the system, practically the Oort Cloud. This is one of dozens of major incursion points for the incoming enemy armada. High Command intends to wait in ambush and hit them while they are at their most vulnerable: after their interstellar transit. Traveling at high speeds in deep space, their ships are expected to be in poor repair from decades of wear from space dust micro-impacts, while the jump and subsequent deceleration would have depleted most of their propellant reserves. We will need to defeat them before they can establish a base of operations with which to repair and resupply their ships.Decision:>Continue looking through the mission files (info on enemy)>Browse other files (choose topic)>Talk to a crew member (choose person and topic)>Head to the command bridge, and make sure everything is ready there for our insertion into the planetoid (skip)
(OOC): I've been experimenting with different posting styles,I have double-spacing here (reddit spacing):>>4617332and traditional spacing: >>4619020But I can't quite figure out which is better. Please let me know if there's a preference. Reddit posting seems too spread out, while traditional posting seems cluttered without paragraph indentations
>>4619024>Continue looking through the mission files (info on enemy)
>>4619024>Browse other files (choose topic)Exo-Object-C2
>>4619047Reddit posting, please.>le redditorFuck yourself. Traditional spacing works for greentext story dumps but for quests? Reddit spacing every time.
>>4619024>>Continue looking through the mission files (info on enemy)
>>4619248>>4619048((Doing both))You want to familiarize yourself with the world your first battle will be fought over. You pull up data on the planetoid from the local military network and gloss through.Exo-Object-C2Abrev: XOC2Civilian population: 0Former owner: Itan Heavy Industries (defunct)Current owner: Under naval administrationCurrent round-trip delay from Cradle (ping): 1838.9 minutesCurrent distance from star: 221.12 AURadius: 1083 kmMass: 1.0 x 10^22 kgMost common elements (bulk mass): Oxygen (34%), iron (16%),silicon (9%), Hydrogen (8%)Average surface temperature: 29 KelvinAtmospheric Pressure: 0.02 PascalYou skim through most of the scientific data and the history, but it appears that this is a world filled with both common (water) and exotic (methane, carbon monoxide, nitrogen) ices. Many of these chemicals would be useful as spaceship propellant if mined. Before the Cataclysm, it was an automated AI-run mining outpost that would make deliveries in bulk matter by mass driver round, limiting the need for cargo freighting. The planet was never under permanent habitation, and was manned only by machine maintenance crews. A remote world such as this stands near the threshold of what would be considered colonizable. Beyond this, travel times become so vast that any form of logistics between worlds ultimately becomes impractical. After the Cataclysm, the market crashed and this world lost all economic relevance and was abandoned, only to then be occupied by the military when the hostile incursion fleets' trajectories were analyzed and it was calculated that this would become a landing site.Though you lack the clearance to retrieve information on any specific details, you are aware that the planet has been heavily fortified in anticipation of the upcoming battle. Even before the Cataclysm, it is likely this unassuming iceball has never seen as much activity as it is seeing today. The surface of the world is covered with nuclear missile silos and high-powered surface-to-orbit lasers, and the nuclear power plants to sustain them. Its mining industries have been revived and it is also now a propellant depot for the fleet, with multiple stations and tankers in orbit. It also serves as a command center for the sector, a local communications hub, and a local intelligence hub which regularly sends out probes to watch the enemy fleet and monitor their activity.1/?
>>4620634After going over the mission files again, you reflect on your accumulated knowledge of the enemy. This is an enemy you have been studying for years, ever since you had joined the navy. They are known by many different names, by many different cultures: the Interlopers, the Outsiders, the Destroyers, and so on, but the official military designation for their race is "Locust".This is a foe that mankind was not prepared for. Very often, they would sweep through a system with no resistance at all after the shock and awe of their initial interstellar bombardment completely collapsed all states capable of mounting a defense. Those systems that did mount a resistance, were ultimately unable to succeed due to a devastated industrial base that could not maintain a war effort of such massive scope, especially against a technologically-superior foe like this one. However, even if they were doomed, many star systems generously provided invaluable intelligence to their neighbors, allowing a common base of knowledge to be built upon. It was knowledge of the enemy's invasion techniques that prompted the creation of Cradle.Their first phase in any Locust invasion after they've devastated a system with asteroid bombardment is to touch down on multiple remote planetoids in the outer rim of the system and set up industrial-scale self-replicating macro-machines, which then expand in all directions and infest anything in reach, which then continue starbursting and growing their industrial network. Several oort cloud objects are also colonized in the initial wave, which is likely meant to be a contingency in case they get pushed out of the system. By distributing their rapidly-growing industries across such a wide area, it ultimately becomes impossible to ever uproot them, and they spread across the system like a virus. Then, they begin working their way in towards the major inner worlds, destroying any pockets of resistance they find. Cradle's High Command intends to stop the cancer before it can spread, by preventing them from touching down on any object within 300 AU of Chandra.
>>4620637For years now we have been sending out harassing waves of drones to conduct fly-by's on the approaching fleet. The damage dealt by these drone attacks were negligible, but they allowed us to gain intel on the composition of the enemy fleet, and to identify several vessels and their roles. The enemy fleet you will be making contact with will arrive in 96 days after our orbital insertion, and consists of 45 vessels over the size of 300 meters in length, and 283 vessels over the size of 50 meters in length, and an unknown number of smaller strikecraft. It is uncertain how many of these vessels have an industrial or logistical role, and how many are combat vessels. In response, our fleet has 406 combat vessels between the sizes of 60 and 200 meters, as well as surface-to-orbit support, which comprises the bulk of our firepower on XOC2. The first wave of the invasion fleet appears to be made up of unmanned vessels: drone-ships. These drone-ships are also either sentient, or at least highly autonomous AI. Lack of any kind of a response lag shows that they are not being remote-controlled. We know from records of previous wars that these are not merely mindless automatons following a script, and that their technology is well beyond our own. Human AI has been in technological stasis for thousands of years, but the Locusts appear to have broken past the plateau we've reached. The odds may seem stacked against us, but we have the home team advantage. The battle plan is to occupy the low orbit around the equator, which is covered by laser batteries on the surface of XOC2. If the Locusts come in for an attack run, they will get shot out of the sky by the combined firepower of our fleet and ground weaponry. If they try to besiege the planet from a high orbit, we will continue to fire salvos of nuclear missiles at them and launch sorties until they are destroyed by attrition.Your fleet commander is Urus VanlaereYour squad consists of:Cpt. Arjun Chandrasekhar (squad leader)Cpt. Shelby OlivaCpt. Wolf HohstadtYour squadron's mission is seek and destroy, and you have the honor of being among the first Chandrans to enter direct melee with the enemy. While the Locusts are doing their orbital insertion, you will intercept under the cover of massed drone and nuclear missile assault. You will do a retrograde fly-by and take out high-priority targets. Then, you will drop down to low orbit, and remain on standby until further orders.3/?
>>4620641Year: 91.3.14 Post-CataclysmBraced into the captain's chair, you and the crew prepare for orbital insertion.An engineer runs one last diagnostic. "Main thrusters 1-6, nominal. Turning thrusters 1-12, nominal. Power supply, nominal. Hull structure, nominal. We're ready for insertion.""Fleet command, requesting clearance for insertion. Over." you say into the radio."Roger. Clear to begin insertion. Over." a voice crackles back."Begin insertion." you tell the pilots.The turning thrusters engage, and the ship creaks and moans as it lurches around counter-clockwise. You can feel the g-forces acting on your body, trying to throw you from your seat. Everything begins to vibrate: the floor, your seat, your hands. You clench your teeth together to stop them from rattling. Adrenaline begins to flood through your body. The main thrusters roar to life. Suddenly, it begins to seem like the whole universe is pulling you backwards with all its force. This is the best part of the job.You bring your surroundings on viewscreen in a multi-spectral visual composite. XOC2 is a beautiful gemstone of white and red swirled together in chaotic fusion, surrounded by a luminous silver halo. Chandra is now a faint point of light, flickering like a candle in the dark, and semingly so insignificant among the endless other stars. Somewhere, orbitting it is Cradle, mankind's last redoubt.Your navigation crew are in constant communication, their voices unintentionally vibrato. "Initiating tangential burn, drop tanks at 2 delta-V remaining... 1... disengaging tanks. Initiating next phase." You see a pair of massive metal cylinders shoot off into the black of space. So long drop tanks. See you in 3000 years.You synchronize your visual sensors with the other ships and put the entire flotilla on screen. It is a massive armada of hundreds of ships, all in perfect synchronization. One by one they rotate and initiate burn to insert into orbit. Like a ballet, they dance around the center stage and each takes their place weaving circles around it. Your ship joins the others and the navigation crew give off a cheer as the insertion of the Albatross Heavy is a success. You also breath a sigh of relief. Once the entire fleet has inserted, a small burn is initiated to group up with your squadron."Hey, looks like we all made it. Congratulations ladies on the good insert. We should link up ships to mingle crews and celebrate." a voice comes over the squad radio.A groan escapes your lips inadvertently. "Denied for entry. Over." You're not going to war in a ship filled with pregnant women."Aw, he was just trying to be nice" Allyson says to you over the ship's internal radio."Hey Allyson, do me a favor... you see that ship? That's Captain Wolf Hohstadt's ship. Fire the main gun on it."To your disappointment, you don't hear the coilgun whirring up, you just hear Allyson giggling back over the radio. 4/?
>>4620652"Good to see everyone's in one piece." Captain Arjun Chandrasekhar, your squad leader, voices himself over the radio. "Get some good rest because we'll be in the trenches soon, but I've got some good news: we're going to be taking orders from Admiral Urus Vanlaere, a real war hero, I'm told he's spent years fighting the Locusts in his home system."Lt. Iria Vanlaere nearly chokes. "No... anyone but him!" she turns to you privately. "You have to do something about this... bring up a conflict of interest!"Wolf's voice chimes in over the radio, "I've been looking over the mission files and this mission's a suicide run. We won't be getting any capital ship support. Just what are we hoping to achieve by rushing directly into the enemy armada with only small guns?""Fleet Command knows better than to send their most important assets against an untested foe. This attack is meant to probe the enemy's defenses." Captain Arjun says confidently."So we're guinea pigs? They're just sending us in to the meat grinder to see how long before we get shot down." Wolf angrily states. "This is bullshit and you know it. None of our ships are even equipped for close range combat and they want us to do a fly-by and go right into melee.""That's what screening vessels are for, they're sent in first to get blown up so the big ships don't. If you wanted to live a long life, you shouldn't have chosen a military career." Arjun says, frustrated. "Show some backbone."Decision:>"Arjun is right. This is bigger than any of us. With the fate of mankind in the balance, it should be an honor to be the first to the fight.">"I agree with Wolf. This smells bad to me, and I might be able to get us out of it. I'd like to talk to Fleet Command about a change of orders.">"There's a conflict of interest. Admiral Vanlaere has a blood relative aboard my ship. There's apparently some tension between the two.">Don't intervene in this dispute publicly, but have a private conversation with Admiral Vanlaere to try to appeal to him to change his orders on the basis of his sister's life.5/5
>>4620657>"There's a conflict of interest. Admiral Vanlaere has a blood relative aboard my ship. There's apparently some tension between the two."
>>4620657>>"There's a conflict of interest. Admiral Vanlaere has a blood relative aboard my ship. There's apparently some tension between the two."
>>4620778Arjun sighs. "You can go talk to fleet command if you feel there is a problem, though I can't guarantee you will get what you want. The enemy is right at our gates and the last thing anyone at Fleet is going to be worried about right now, is ethics and legalism." "I have a responsibility to my crew to ensure they are not being endangered for reasons that are political rather than strategic." you respond. "Everyone is in danger. You are on the front lines now, not at the academy. You won't get good grades for playing by the rules. Your superiors will only respect you if you can go into hell with a smile on your face and bring death to the enemy." As you are wrapping things up with your squad Wolf messages you privately "Don't listen to Arjun. This war hasn't even started and its already making everybody crazy... it's been decades of waiting and anticipation... now all finally coming to a head. For some people it must feel like their whole lives were a build up to this moment. They have some heroic idea of saving the universe or going down in a blaze of glory and rejoining their dead loved ones. If we don't stick together, people like this will drag us down with them."1/?
>>4621503You file an objection with fleet command on the stated grounds that close family can not be under the immediate chain of command. A few days pass by and you wonder if the request has simply been filed somewhere it will never see the light of day, but you are surprised to recieve a request for a meeting with someone from Fleet command. You will be speaking with... Admiral Urus Vanlaere... amazing. You obligatorily accept the request and when the scheduled hour arrives, you put him on screen in your office. Like his sister, he is just over 4 feet tall, and yellow-eyed with dark hair and neotenous features. He would be almost adorable sitting at his giant desk in his giant chair, in his tiny naval uniform, were it not for his humorless and time-worn face, with deep creases that betray a man who has lived a hard lifetime of anger and sorrow. Right now, this face is curled in a sneer of disdain, and he addresses you as an emperor would a slave. "I'm told you wished to speak to me." "Yes," you say, keeping your voice and expression neutral to avoid accidentally divulging anything you don't intend to, such as hostility or suspicion. "Are you aware that your sister Iria is on board this ship?" He folds his hands in front of him. "I am aware of everything that happens in my fleet. I am aware of Iria. I am also aware when someone tries to go above my head." "Then you are aware that this represents a conflict of interest? It is against naval policy for her to be beneath you, as it could cloud your judgement as an officer." He stares at you intensely, with a silence that expresses his calm but deadly disapproval. "What are you implying?" "I am implying nothing. I only wish to observe standard protocol." "Why." he demands sternly, in a tone is not a question, but a scolding."If this matter were brought before Cradle high command, then it would result in reprimands for everyone involved for not bringing this issue forward and dealing with it appropriately." "Cradle means nothing to us now. You should consider that, at this moment, you are over 200 astral units from Cradle. Any ships moving to or from Cradle would take over a year to arrive. We have the destroyer of the galaxy just days away. This fleet division is, in effect, now under my house. None of you have any father, except me. None of you have any family, except the fleet." You bite your lips. You aren't going to be able to argue him down. This is someone who is used to making the laws, not following them. You wonder how his killswitch hasn't been activated yet with him talking like that. 2/3
>>4621519He continues, "But don't think that I am so foolish I don't understand the subtleties of your implications. You believe I am intentionally putting Iria in danger. And the truth is, you are correct. Our family motto is First to Fight, Last to Fall. I am giving her a chance to live up to this motto and win glory." He turns his body away from you, as if no longer interested in this conversation, and speaks to the side of the camera. The edge of his irritation softens a little. "But I am not without grace. If you'd like, I can reassign you to another mission. Or, you can go into battle with my personal assurance it is not some petty attempt to endanger my disappointment of a sister. I've updated your datapad. Please review it and message me back directly as soon as possible." Decision:>Go into the original mission, doing a dangerous head-on fly-by attack on the enemy fleet, to win the prestige of drawing first blood.>Be part of the second punch, clipping the tail end of the enemy during their insertion, approaching from the opposite direction in a prograde interception that will let you better control the range of the engagement>Stay with the bulk of the fleet in low orbit on standby for the main engagement>Stay at the fleet's rear, guarding the propellant convoy.>Suggest a different course of action (write-in)3/3
>>4621523>>Go into the original mission, doing a dangerous head-on fly-by attack on the enemy fleet, to win the prestige of drawing first blood.
>>4621523>>Go into the original mission, doing a dangerous head-on fly-by attack on the enemy fleet, to win the prestige of drawing first blood. glory
>>4621523>Be part of the second punch, clipping the tail end of the enemy during their insertion, approaching from the opposite direction in a prograde interception that will let you better control the range of the engagement
>>4621892You are tempted by the potential to win system-wide fame as part of the first assault but remind yourself that you, also, cannot let your judgement be clouded by personal ambitions. Doubtless, countless men in the past have thrown themselves into battle without fear; and alive or dead, they won great glory in the eyes of their peers; and countless silent systems now stand as the tombstones to these forgotten soldiers whose stories are no longer told. Instead, you look at the situation tactically, as an officer should. Rushing headlong into melee in a long ranged ship is a violation of common sense. You choose the option that provides the best opportunity to deal damage to the enemy while maintaining the ability to disengage. Of course, this is still a very dangerous mission where you will be separated from the capital fleet and will be facing massive firepower, but with your ship's loadout you have the tools you need to survive... at least, you hope you do. You message the admiral back with your recommendation and open the door to your office. You find Iria waiting outside, and invite her in. "Were you able to have our squad reassigned to another fleet commander?" she asks in a professional tone meant to disguise the hopefulness in her voice. You shake your head. "No, but I wouldn't be worried about it. I think Urus is looking out for you, in his own way." She looks shocked. "I don't believe it," she says, the apprehension apparent in her voice, "he's trying to deceive you." "Why? What happened between you two?" She exhales deeply then shakes her head, seemingly unable to reply. "If you ever have anything on your mind you can always speak to me" you say compassionately. At the suggestion, she attempts to pull herself together. "No, I'm an officer. I know how to keep a stiff upper lip" she says, in an attempt to sound stoic. "We're only human" She looks away from you and breathes steadily. "...he tried to have me killed." "You mean the booby-trapped reactor?" "No, I mean, in Cradle, when I was 12, a man put a gun to my head. It was a homemade gun, made out of carbon and plastic components, meant to bypass metal detectors. He tried to pull the trigger but it jammed and the man tossed the weapon away and ran. He was never caught. I have been a light sleeper ever since."
>>4622825You stand there in shock, not sure how to respond, eventually saying "are you sure Urus was the one who sent him?" "He's next in line to the throne. He killed everyone else who stood in his way." "How many siblings did you have?" "On our star Bast? Hundreds. But the war took its toll. We fought to the last possible moment until the homeworld fell and there was no longer anything left to fight for. Most of my siblings perished in the war as naval officers. During the evacuation, the transport convoy was intercepted before it could leave the system. So suddenly, the emperor was dead and there were only a few remaining claimants. Once we arrived at Cradle, family members started dying in suspicious circumstances, going missing, or were outright found murdered. In the end, Urus is one of the few who benefitted the most, and he is now heir apparent to the remnants of our empire. My sister is Empress, and it is likely that if he survives the war, she will take Urus as her primary consort, solidifying their reign together." You both sit in silence for a while. Her face is a mask guarded against emotions. You reassure her, "I'll keep an eye on him. I want you to know that I will always stand for my crew above all else and protect each of you to the best of my abilities." "Thank you Captain"
>>4622833Over the next few days, you begin picking up strange signals from every direction around the planetoid. The other captains in your squad are picking these up too. "They're pings, from Locust surveillance satellites. They're watching us" comes a voice on squad captain's radio: Shelby Oliva, always business. "Really, they've been watching this whole time, but now they're just letting us know they are." "So Shelby, where have you been the past few days? You were a ghost on the radio." Comes Wolf's voice, in his usual banter. "I had business to attend to on the surface. Confidential." Shelby replies. "Spooky, Mr. Ex-Intelligence. So did they tell you to spy on us?" Wolf jests. "They don't need me if they want to spy on you." Shelby states matter-of-factly. "Very funny." "I wasn't joking." There is a long pause. Eventually Wolf speaks up again, "So let's go out and give the Locusts a warm welcome then. Let's fire off some nukes and get rid of some of these surveillance sats.""Ground control has been sending nuclear missile salvos out non-stop to try to clean them up. There are too many. Even if we used up our entire arsenal we'd never get them all. Pretty soon the entire solar system will be saturated with them. "So just like chess" you say. "We can see all of their pieces and they can see all of ours. Nobody has any tricks up their sleeves, whoever is the best strategist wins." "Chess isn't my game" Shelby says. "I'd say it's more like texas hold'em. They can see what's on the table, but not what's close to your chest. Anything that's on a planet can be kept hidden. Any ship that hasn't been committed to a fight and then tracked can hide its purpose. That big ship you think is a vulnerable propellant tanker might be a battleship brimming with guns just waiting for the right moment to strike." Decision:>"There are some abandoned freighter hulls still in orbit around XOC2 from when it was a mining colony. They're in bad shape but if we get our engineers to work right away, we can maybe reactivate one of these hulks. It could make a good decoy for our attack run." (-10 of 50 dV propellant, medium chance of success, gain decoy battleship)>"Good analogy. We should send out our drones to scout out the enemy and try to get some more ID's on what they've got guarding the rear. Make them tip their hand." (-10 of 50 drones, medium chance of success, gain ID's on all enemies in next battle)>"Let's use some of those surveillance sats as target practice. Maybe we can't get them all but we can at least try to give them a blind spot to cover the path we intend to use as an approach" (-10 of 20 high yield nukes, low chance of success, gain 1 free action at start of next battle)>"I'll keep that in mind." (Conserve resources) Success is based on last digit of roll or post.7-9 = "low chance" success5-9 = "medium chance" success3-9 = "high chance" success
>>4622848>>"There are some abandoned freighter hulls still in orbit around XOC2 from when it was a mining colony. They're in bad shape but if we get our engineers to work right away, we can maybe reactivate one of these hulks. It could make a good decoy for our attack run." (-10 of 50 dV propellant, medium chance of success, gain decoy battleship)what do we roll?
>>4622946I'll be using the last digit of your post number, or you can roll a 1d100.So you got a 6 and thus succeeded in the action.If someone else posted and their ID was, say, 4622951 then they would override your post due to a higher post number, but fail the action due to having a post ending in 1. (Also, that's why I offered the option to roll a 1d100 instead of using post number, because whoever posts later will usually override the person who posted before them)But thinking about this a little more, it seems a little lame, so I'm going to add in a new rule that you can't override a success with a failure by rolling higher. Though you can override which choice was made entirely.Let me know if that makes sense, I hope I explained it right
Rolled 52 (1d100)>>4622848>"There are some abandoned freighter hulls still in orbit around XOC2 from when it was a mining colony. They're in bad shape but if we get our engineers to work right away, we can maybe reactivate one of these hulks. It could make a good decoy for our attack run." (-10 of 50 dV propellant, medium chance of success, gain decoy battleship)
>>4622946>>4622982Shelby considers for a moment then replies, "It could work." "I have my doubts but we'd otherwise just be sitting on our hands so I have no objections." Arjun says. "I'll go get clearance from the admiral." Once you receive clearance, engineers are pulled from each of the ships in your squad, working overtime every day. Parts are salvaged from the other abandoned freighters, and for a while it almost seems like a fool's errand, especially when you hear that Ahit is hosting some sort of blessing ceremony in the ship's generator room. You even double check to ensure she is actually a real engineer. Despite all the apparent setbacks, in the end, you watch the old freighter's engines power up with a sense of pride that would have seemed silly in any other circumstance, given the humbleness of this ragged old ship. Yet this old ship may just be the pebble that tips the scales. Ahit watches too, with a smile on her face. Though she can't see the viewscreen, she can hear the cheers of everyone around her. This may have been your idea, but it was her baby. "Gaia is with us" she says quietly to you. "Earth is lost but its spirit lives on in all of us. The souls of the departed are in the engines. They are in our guns. They will guide us in all of our battles. We have their love." Ahit names the ship "Eternal Renewal". You had a much better name lined up, but she seems so pleased with the name she picked that you let her have it, considering it will probably end up dead in a few days anyways.1/?
>>4624277(T-minus 14 days to hostile contact.) You and your squad separate from the rest of the fleet to align your orbit for the attack run. Another squad is selected for your former mission, and you wish them luck. Wolf privately sends you his thanks for getting the squad sent on a... marginally less dangerous suicide run. You review the visuals captured by the fleet's drones. The enemy ships are collossal, each of them well over a bulky 800 meters, but you know that this is deceiving. All of this mass is actually a gigantic frame mounted on top of the real vessel. This frame contains huge stores of propellant for the interstellar drive, most of which is stored in a frozen solid state at the front of the vessel to act as a shield against dust impacts. Once the enemy ships have decellerated from interstellar speeds to planetary orbit speeds, they will discard the outer shell and be left with a much smaller and more lightweight vessel. Your best bet is to shoot off the thrusters before the target can fully decellerate, causing it to overshoot XOC2 and fly off into space, hopefully never to be seen again. On the other hand, these ships will be extremely durable from the front until they have discarded the interstellar taxi. (T-minus 8 days to hostile contact) As the enemy armada draws closer and closer with the same inevitability as the reaper's scythe, everyone on board the Albatross Heavy, including yourself, grows more and more on edge. Days go by with mounting restlessness, which seems to be most pronounced for you at night, when dreadful visions fill your sleeping mind. During a fitful night you are harshly and suddenly jolted up by the shrill beeping of a missile alert. "Bridge to captain, we have incoming fire. Multiple missile launches detected from the hostile fleet." comes Iria's urgent voice over ship comms. You get up, confused and tired. Iria's message is repeated, even more urgently this time. Immediately, the message sinks in and it instantly brings you to full alertness. You hit the button for the speaker, "How many missiles?" "We're seeing hundreds. They're continuing to launch salvos as we speak." comes the terse reply. "On my way." You make your way to the bridge. Frantic and disshevelled crewmen are scrambling through the corridors to their stations and more than once someone has to stand aside to let you pass. Once inside the command deck, you look at the radar operator's panel and see a sea of red blips. 2/?
>>4624281"Do we know what they're aiming at and how much time we have?" you ask your lieutenant. Iria places the danger reports on main screen. "One salvo of 500 missiles was aimed directly at our squad. We have 14 hours until impact. The other assault squad is getting hit just as hard. The Locusts must think we both stand out. The enemy armada are still firing off salvos, but these are all aimed at the fleet's main battlegroup and our orbital and ground installations on XOC2. Ground command is firing off their own counter-missiles but from the looks of it, they're more interested in protecting themselves and the fleet than us. We're on our own out here." You switch your headset to broadcast a message across the ship, "Captain to all crew. This is not a drill. Helmets and oxygen tanks on and brace yourselves for high G. Threats incoming." You are about to switch the receiver off but this message seems oddly inadequate. Years of training at the academy in preparation for this; decades of waiting... no, not decades, millenia... generations gone by dreading the inevitable as these aliens slowly consumed a galaxy that was once a place of peace and culture. Now, after ages of sowing terror they have come for you at last. Your whole life HAS led up to this moment, and so has everyone else's. You can't help but feel the need to say something to express that. "There are incoming missiles the likes of which were never before seen in Chandra. None of us asked for war, but if we survived the Cataclysm we can survive anything else that they can throw at us. Never before in the history of our entire species has there been a resistance this organized and well-equipped. We are still here because we have never lost hope. We have never tired. Other systems have begun building Cradles of their own with the data we have sent them. Exo-Object-C2 will be known forever throughout mankind as the place where the tide turned. Today, we send a message: this far, and no further! There is not a single far-flung snowball we will not fly out to bleed them for, and we are united in spirit with the rest of mankind, whose eyes are all on us this day. The human spirit can never be vanquished. We fight for the homes we lost, and for the homes we will rebuild! For Victory!"
>>4624284Decision 1 (Single choice, no roll):>"Form up with our squad. We'll want overlapping fire to shoot down as many missiles as possible. Keep the decoy ship safely behind us in reserve for our attack run.">"Spread apart. We need to disperse the blast damage. Use the decoy ship to draw enemy missiles away from the squad.">"Burn thrusters and take evasive action, use the decoy ship to draw enemy missiles away from the squad." (-10 dV propellant, +100 radiator heat) Decision 2 (Multiple choices allowed, roll for each choice):>Deploy rapid-fire railgun drones in formation around the ship to act as point defense and screen against incoming missiles. (-10 drones, roll 1d100)>Deploy high-powered nukes to detonate near enemy missile clusters (-10 large nuclear missiles, roll 1d100)>Use Masers to scramble missile guidance (+100 radiator heat, roll 1d100)>Load micro-nukes into our railgun and detonate near enemy missile clusters (-100 small nuclear cannisters, roll 1d100) Hitpoints: 100/100 HPDrones: 50 rapid-fire railgun drones (single use)Missiles: 20 Large Nuclear MissilesProjectiles: 1000 Small Nuclear Cannisters, 1000 coilgun roundsPropellant: 40/50 km/s delta-VRadiators: 0/1000 overheat units (10 intact radiators cool 100 units per round)All systems operationalAll 100 crew on alert
Rolled 17 (1d100)>>4624287>"Spread apart. We need to disperse the blast damage. Use the decoy ship to draw enemy missiles away from the squad.">Use Masers to scramble missile guidance (+100 radiator heat, roll 1d100)
New thread (this one is auto-saging):>>4625871>>4625871>>4625871>>4625871>>4625871
>>4616518Is that a KSP screenshot?