Previous thread>>4616518 Summary of setting and events so far: Without faster-than-light travel, mankind has spread from solar system to solar system, and has spent countless generations among the stars. Yet mankind grew docile and complacent, turning their entire society over to crude AI. Having perpetual abundance of needs and wants, Mankind lost all concept of struggle, and fell into a technological and societal stagnation. This state of affairs lasted for millenia until Man was invaded by a powerful and aggressive alien empire capable of planning interstellar campaigns across thousands of years. This alien race captured star system after star system, sweeping aside all resistance; with mankind struggling to coordinate a defensive effort across the vast gulfs of space in between stars.The system of Chandra is the current front line of the war. By far the most effectively-militarized society, they have built a megastructure known as the Cradle, which is unrivalled in the galaxy, intended to act as an impregnable fortress against the alien threat.You are Captain Hathor Grandenson, displaced scion of the ruling family of a fallen star, with nothing to lose, you have joined the Chandra Navy to fight back against the alien threat. You were assigned to the Albatross Heavy, a hastily-refitted cargo ship of ill repute with a mixed race female crew plagued with poor discipline. Your first officer is a paranoid princess-in-exile who has trouble controlling her emotions; your weapons officer is an airheaded ditz who is bafflingly competent; your chief engineer is a cult leader; and the empire you serve performed unconsented brain surgery on you as a little girl.Despite this, you serve Mankind and your crew to the best of your ability, and stand as the first line of defense of Chandra. You are currently stationed over a year's voyage away from civilization at the edge of the system, at a desolate iceball so remote, it has no name and is only known by its astronomical designation of XOC2. Now, at last, the first battle of the war is underway, and you will be among the first to lead the charge.
>>4625871Continuing from last thread: >>4625027 As your squadmates assume a spread out formation, the decoy vessel Eternal Renewal is placed at the front, to draw the most enemy fire, then is evacuated of crew. "Use the masers" you tell your weapons officer, Alysson over the crew radio. "We won't be able to burn out each of the missiles using only masers" she replies. "There are too many of them." "We'll take a few hits but if these are the same missiles we saw them using on Bast, the flash-resistant tungsten carbide plating should hold. We can't let the enemy know what we're capable of. The element of surprise is everything in this battle.""Understood captain." You count the hours down until the missile volley arrives. At last they are in range. When the masers fire, they give off no light or noise, but you can see the results on screen, the missiles slowly begin to veer off course one by one. However, they are not being disabled fast enough. "They're slipping through our defenses!" Alysson shouts at you over the radio. "Keep firing!" you shout back, but the massive number of missiles that are just minutes away are beginning to make you worry. There is almost nothing you can do at this point, as it is too late to fire off a counter-nuke. Suddenly, there is a brief flash on all your viewscreens, and then static. Then, the lights begin to dim on and off. Crew begin murmuring as some of them are now unable to use their equipment. You hear a loud pop, and look to see that a navigator's console just erupted into smoke and sparks, followed by a cloud of fire supressant as the damage control systems kick in. The next few minutes pass in uncertainty, with the flickering of lights and the faint sound of hissing. Then, the lights go back on, as does most of the equipment. "Damage report!" you shout into the radio at Ahit. "Multiple minor systems down due to EMP damage. All the major systems were hardened enough to still be operational. We'll have repair teams sent out immediately." she replies. Wolf's voice comes over the radio "Those were some fireworks. Are you okay?" "We're fine." you respond. "Are you sure? Because it looks like your ship forgot to wear sunscreen." "We're fine!" you repeat, louder. You pull up the primary visual sensors but they are all fried. You pull up auxiliary visual sensors. Most of the ship's exterior is now glowing a bright red.
>>4625876As your engineers are finishing off their repairs, you receive a communication from Arjun over squad radio. "I was just in contact with Admiral Vanlaere. First Assault Squad called off their flyby. They took heavy damage during the missile attack and aborted their mission." "That means..." you begin before Arjun cuts you off. "That means we are going to be the first into battle against the Enemy, in all of Chandra. The whole system will be watching us. Try to put on a brave act, squad. It'll be good for the morale back home." Wolf scoffs over the radio, "Who cares about them? What about our morale? We're the ones out here getting shot at." "Don't worry Wolf, shooting at you will be good for everyone's morale." Arjun replies. (T-minus 74 hours to hostile contact) The Albatross Heavy is now entering high orbit, in an elliptical path that will take you a good distance from XOC2's surface batteries. You and your squad are well and truly on your own now. No one will be able to rescue you if you need help. Lt. Iria comes to you with a report, "They're not moving in the direction we were expecting, Captain. Nor at the expected speed. At this rate, they may overshoot the planet." "These are AI-pilotted ships. They can survive a sudden decelleration if necessary. Adjust our trajectory and continue as planned" you respond clinically. "Aye captain." Pick your prey:>Target enemy propellant convoy>Target enemy drone carrier>A large unknown vessel seems to have suffered a meteorite impact during transit and was moved to the rear of the enemy fleet. Target this vessel.>Harass their screening vessels from a safe distance, don't get in too deep
>>4625878Last round's combat summary:>Rolled 17 (1d100)>500 incoming missiles>Squadron has 5 ships spread apart to disperse damage, making this 100 missiles per ship>Masers are EFFECTIVE (x2) against missiles due to their ability to scramble their guidance system.>You shoot down 34 enemy missiles, prioritizing those heading towards your ship>66 nuclear missiles in a single volley detonate near your ship>You are at 34/100 HP (No systems damaged)>Eternal Renewal is at 0/50 HP (Destroyed)>Additional missiles targetting Eternal Renewal are unable to find a target. (Removed from combat) Note:When you hit 0 hp or lower, you don't die, but bad things happen, like friendly NPCs dying, and your ship's systems going down.
>>4625878>A large unknown vessel seems to have suffered a meteorite impact during transit and was moved to the rear of the enemy fleet. Target this vessel.Nice. Thanks for running.
>>4626021(Attack run initiated) The enemy ships are now flipped around to do a decelleration burn, with their main thrusters facing forward. They haven't yet discarded the massive outer propellant storage hull used for interstellar transit, so the most heavily-protected part of their ships will be facing towards you. You will need to get in front of them to hit their vulnerable side. As you draw closer to the enemy fleet, you begin to feel more and more exposed, and wonder if Admiral Vanlaere did indeed set you up to fail. Suddenly, you pick up hundreds of friendly missiles being launched from XOC2. Ground command is firing off waves of missiles to cover your assault. The enemy armada begins launching off waves of counter-missiles in response, but they lack the firepower of the planetoid and can't disable all of them. Hostile drones are unable to be deployed under such heavy fire, with nuclear flashes disabling scores of them whenever they are sent out. The barrage does not let up for several hours, until, a brief lull in the missile volleys is followed by the launch from XOC2 of what can only be described as an armada of attack drones. As enemy screening vessels reposition to intercept you, they are caught in the drone sweep. Chunks of radiator metal fly off one enemy gunship and its entire hull slowly begins to take on a dim glow, until a generator explosion blasts a massive hole in the side, almost ripping the ship in two. Another gunship takes heavy fire to the thrusters and veers widely off course. Three more enemy gunships, with armor plating looking like swiss cheese, drift dead in space. The enemy fleet launches its own drone wave in response, but focuses almost all of its long range skirmishing power on XOC2 and your fleet's main battle group, ignoring your wing. "I guess they don't see us as a threat." Wolf says over captain's radio, filled with cautious optimism. "They saw how easy it was to take down the Eternal Renewal. They probably suspect that our entire squadron is nothing but a decoy." Shelby replies. The path clear, you are on course towards the damaged mega-ship. It is only 20,000 kilometers away and closing, soon to be within direct fire distance. It is guarded by an escort of 6 smaller vessels, which break off formation to intercept as you approach. With a better visual on the large ship, you can see that the meteoroid has ripped through the interstellar armor, and tore a path of destruction right through to the core of the ship, leaving a wide tunnel of ice and twisted metal.
>>4626527A flashing light on your dashboard indicates incoming missile launches... from the damaged ship. Not good. You were hoping it was a construction vehicle. A warship that size could dish out some serious firepower. 200 missiles are now heading towards your squad. At the same time, a group of 10 unusually large drones, which look like giant magnifying glasses, begin to burn propellant and line up into an array between your squad and the damaged ship, spread out 1000km apart. Dozens of large metal rods begin to extend from the enemy ship and start to glow. A single, unusually long turret extends as well. "What the?" Wolf barks off as a massive laser pulse begins to rake across his ship, leaving a trail of smoking metal. "How the hell is this possible? There's no way a laser can hit with that much power from this range!" Instantly you realize what those large drones are. "They're lensing drones. These drones are focusing the laser beam so it can fire over greater distance." You are still out of range for direct fire weapons, but you can increase your velocity by burning propellant. Alternatively, you can use your propellant to try to dodge the missiles, though you have no way to dodge laser fire. The enemy escort ships are also rapidly approaching and their loadout has yet to be identified. All enemy vessels are, even as they engage with you, still decellerating, with their vulnerable rear facing away from you. You will have to overtake them if you want to be able to damage it. Choice 1:>Conserve propellant>Try to dodge the enemy missiles (-20 of 40 dV)>All ahead full (-20 of 40 dV)>Attempt to disengage Choice 2:Prioritize weapons>Masers>Spinal Mount Coilgun>Railgun Drones>Large Nuclear MissilesTo >Missiles>Lensing drones>Unidentified escorts>Laser battleship
>>4626533Actually, I am thinking that this is probably too in-depth a choice. I'm going to keep things simple and shorten it to:Decision:>Conserve propellant>Try to dodge the enemy missiles (-20 of 40 dV)>All ahead full (-20 of 40 dV)>Attempt to disengage
Rolled 46 (1d100)>>4626846>All ahead full (-20 of 40 dV)
Rolled 25 (1d100)>>4626846>All ahead full (-20 of 40 dV)Sometimes, you just gotta go balls deep.
>>4626846Yes. All ahead full!Also QM, this is a nice balance between hard and soft sci-fi. You seem sharp as a tack. You some kind of scientist or something, someone important or something?
Rolled 47, 49 = 96 (2d100)>>4627247Thanks! No, not a scientist, just a computer programmer, but I have always been a fan of hard sci-fi ever since I got into the genre. I like having a sense of scale where you can't just hyperdrive across the galaxy in a day; or when you need literally a mountain of propellant just to transport a tiny passenger cabin between stars.I'm going to confess, that I'm not sitting here with a physics book and a calculator, so I might get some things wrong, but I am generally trying to keep everything as accurate as possible.Rolling for enemy damage
>>4627247>>4626941>>4626941You didn't get this far just to back out now. There is no doubt in your mind, if you're going to win this battle you will need to seize the initiative. "All ahead full!" is almost like your battlecry as you shout it into comms. The entire ship rumbles and you can hear the engine's roars reverbrating through the hallways, at a near-deafening volume as you activate thrusters to cut in front of the enemy along their orbital path. "Nuke to nuke! Fire salvo!" 10 massive warheads are launched, each torpedo large enough to wipe a city off the map. These warheads are joined by more missiles from your allies. Your salvos disperse to cover as wide an area as possible, and detonates in the heart of the enemy missile swarm, taking almost all of them out in a literal flash. You hear weapons officer Alysson cheering an enthusiastic "Yaaaaay!" over the radio, and you almost expect it to be followed up with a "Go team!". The handful of hostile missiles that survive are scrambled by your masers with none achieving successful detonation. "Hey Arjun" Wolf shouts "I need some shade, come fly in front of me." You switch visuals to see his cruiser continuing to be raked by super-laser fire. One of his weapon turrets is turned into a smoking, molten slag in a split second as the invisible death ray passes over it. His ship is now giving off copious amounts of metal vapor. With the missile threat no longer keeping your drones grounded, you launch a drone wing at the enemy lenses. Your railgun probes work their way down the array easily shooting down these fragile constructs; yet as soon as they get within 1000km of the enemy battleship, they, in turn, are shot down by point defense laser fire. The enemy escort ships are rapidly approaching. Your masers keep them blinded as you get into range. "Fire at will!" You shout to Alysson. You hear an electrical hum as the spinal coilgun powers up. All the lights on the ship briefly dim; then there is the bang of a massive gunshot, which feels like it jolted the ship back a few feet. One of the enemy ships now has a massive rift in its outer shell. Coilgun rounds are fired off by each of your other squad members, and the damage to the enemy escorts is immense. Not a single shot goes wide, as their bulky interstellar armor presents an unmissable target and prevents them from evading. Pressurized fluids spray from the coilgun holes, casting long arcs into outer space, and metal shards spray like confetti in a cloud around their ship1/2
>>4627708All at once, the light ships begin to detach from their outer shells. Massive interlocking hulks of metal begin to decouple in sequence and shoot off in every direction. From each of these collossal interstellar vehicles, a fresh, sleek, cylindrical vessel ejects from the mass. Over 90% of their ship just seems to drift off, aimlessly into orbit. Instantly, you see the new vessels engage maneuvering thrusters in every direction, rapidly shifting left and right, up and down, in random patterns meant to make them harder to hit. They've fully committed to the fight now, and they move to intercept with a speed you haven't seen before. The advantage you thought you had shifts far too quickly as they open up their return fire with rapid-fire guns. "Stay clear 100 kilometers of their kinetics!" you hear Arjun shout over the radio, as the nose of his ship is ventilated by projectiles. He begins to rotate the damaged portion of his armor away from the enemy, but the hail of projectiles now rips along the side of his vessel. Hull plating explodes in showers of metal. "Hathor, you're in command! Finish the mission! I'll lure them away!" he shouts, as he fires engines and veers off on an out-of-plane burn, which would take him and any pursuers away from the engagement and make it extremely difficult to return. 2 of the enemy ships break off to pursue him, leaving you and your 2 wingmen up against 4 highly-nimble enemy cruisers and a collossal exo-skeletoned battleship looming in the distance but which you are closing in on rapidly. You appear to be very heavily outgunned.Arjun's ship is unable to put enough distance between himself and his pursuers, and he continues taking heavy damage. He won't make it on his own. >"Break off assault. Everyone, cover Arjun's retreat. There's no way that we can win this fight without losing ships.">"Wolf, go cover Arjun's retreat. Shelby, stay close to me. You're a gambling man right? How do you feel about 2 to 5 odds?">"Wolf and Shelby, keep the 4 remaining cruisers occupied, I am going in solo on the battleship.">"Wolf and Shelby, stay close to me. We'll need to deal with those cruisers before we can assault the battleship."
>>4627709Is the battleship's laser able to reach us still or did taking out the lenses reduce it's firing range?
Rolled 62 (1d100)>>4627709>"Wolf, go cover Arjun's retreat. Shelby, stay close to me. You're a gambling man right? How do you feel about 2 to 5 odds?"
>>4627713Taking out the lenses reduced its optimal range to an estimated 2000km. You are 10,000km away and rapidly closing. Your orbits will ultimately intersect you in front of them at a range of 1000 km, at which point you will begin to drift away from them or can burn more propellant to stabilize your orbit at this range. Against such a large and unmaneuverable enemy, our coilgun has an optimal range of around 1000km, but you can start spraying and praying really at any distance, though jitter would make the chance of hitting rather low.The enemy light cruisers are 100km away and your main gun's optimal range against them is around 100km (because otherwise the projectile moves too slow to hit them). Their guns appear to have an optimal range of 60-80 km. (You, also, are engaging in a similar random motion, which makes you harder to target from distance by projectiles).
>>4627720Thanks. That does help the decision.>"Wolf, go cover Arjun's retreat. Shelby, stay close to me. You're a gambling man right? How do you feel about 2 to 5 odds?"
>>4627687>I like having a sense of scale where you can't just hyperdrive across the galaxy in a daythis. it was the timescale on this setting that drew me in.
>>4627687NOT BAD SIR!How hard is it to program a computer?
>>4627719>>4627723Wolf gives you his affirmative and breaks off to go help Arjun. "Hath, I never take a gamble unless the math is in my favor." Shelby's normally calm and collected demeanor is now tinged with panic. "I hope you have something good up your sleeve." "I always have something planned." You say. The plan is always the same plan too, watch the situation unfold, and adapt to opportunities as they arise. You decide not to say this aloud to Shelby. The hostile ships are incoming towards you, spraying tiny high-velocity bullets in your direction, which make miniscule holes but cut deep. Your armor might as well be made of paper. In the blink of an eye, chaos unfolds, as a bullet rips through the command deck, shattering apart a radar operator's control station. With your ship's constant motion, the debris from the impact scatters into the air like shrapnel and the scene is as if a hand grenade had gone off, with crewmen lying limp in their seats, blood dripping off of them into crimson globes that glide through the air like a hot dark rain, their combat suits impaled with dozens of metal shards. You look yourself over. Still alive. You glance up to see the ship's self-mending armor layer oozing out of the bullet hole, plugging the tiny gap then solidifying. You give the order to rotate away from the enemy vessels and burn propellant to keep distance, but this means you can't fire your forward-mounted main guns on them. You launch a drone wing, but it is instantly shot down with pinpoint accuracy. Missiles wouldn't fare much better and would never get close enough to detonate. "Hath, this isn't much of a plan." Shelby points out frustratedly. He's right. You have no weapons that can damage them, and as you burn propellant, not only are your tactical opportunities diminishing, but also any chances of escape. "It looks to me like you're going all-in with a jack as your high card, and nobody is buying your bluff" he says. "Well sometimes, jacks can be wild!" You snap back. A desperate idea is now formulating in your head. "Hath... that's not even how... just give it up! We need to withdraw!" he says urgently. You turn squad radio off and switch to internal comms. "Crew, blast visors down! Pilots, turn this ship around. Full burn. Directly into the center of the hostile squadron." "A...aye, Captain", comes the uncertain response. As you thrust into the storm of gunfire, the scene that unfolded before is now unfolding throughout your entire ship. Bullets shred through your ship's armor in multiple places with massive hull breaches on several decks. You are now almost adjacent to the enemy vessels. 1/2
>>4627687>>4627735>like having a sense of scale where you can't just hyperdrive across the galaxy in a day; or when you need literally a mountain of propellant just to transport a tiny passenger cabin between stars.I've been working on a medium sci-fi setting myself. I call it that because I don't want the super seriousness of hard, but not the handwavium "for teh starlulz" of soft. That's a big thing that drew me in too. The "we need to plan shit and not be retards" of the quest. Keep going, QM.
>>4628475You lower the blast visor on your combat suit. You can see nothing except black. "Launch all nukes, and detonate, point blank!" No response from Alysson. "Do it n-" you don't finish the sentence before everything turns white. You are floating in a void. There is something you are supposed to do. A battle? What is happening? Your world is devoid of any sensation except pain. You are blind and deaf. Slowly, a rising din begins to coalesce from the silence... noises... people shouting... nothing seems to make sense to you. "FIRES ON DECKS 4 THROUGH HEAVY BURNS ACROSS HER NOTHING'S OPERATIONAL DOWN RADAR DOWN LIDAR DOWN THEY'RE ALL DEAD EVERYONE'S CRITICAL MALFUNCTION NEED TO EJECT OVERHEATING CORE I CAN'T SEE I CAN'T SEE" You twitch your fingers, then move your hands up to your helmet and lift your blast visor. Everything is covered in a dense fog of fire suppressant. Your console is black and unresponsive. The ship is no longer engaging in evasive maneuvers, and everything is oddly quiet and steady, as most crew are strapped into their chairs, either dead, or unconscious. A handful are crawling along the ground, stumbling in blind pain. The cacophony continues over the radio. "I NEED HELP I REPEAT I NEED EJECT EJECT EJECT IT NOW BEFORE IT BLOWS PLEASE HELP SUFFERING COMPLETE DECOMPRESSION ON DECK EIGHT AND TWELVE PROBABLE LOSS OF ALL HANDS". You shut it off. You wander over to a pilot's console. It is blinking and unoperative. You look at another one. It is the same. You walk over the next one, pushing aside the limp body seated there, this one has a flickering monitor, but you can see that somehow you have missed your interception with the battleship. It is now thousands of kilometers away and is on course to merge back with the rest of the hostile fleet. Shelby coasts alongside you in his Graven Image. >"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!">"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have taken heavy casualties and need medical aid and damage control teams!">"I think it's time to abandon ship. Send medical crews, I am going to evacuate our crew to the Graven Image."
Rolled 28, 25, 74 = 127 (3d100)>>4628470It's like anything where, it takes a while to learn it but once you have been doing it for thousands of hours, it becomes second nature.>>4628478This quest will probably become a medium scifi at some point, if it goes on long enough. There is an inherent level of suspension of disbelief in hard scifi as well, which is, that you can't really expect that, in 2500 AD or so, people will still be using a 2000 AD level of scientific knowledge, unless there is some sort of in-setting reason for it like a societal collapse. Either we speculate on concepts which we have not even discovered, or we simply apply futuristic engineering techniques to modern day scientific theories.Rolling for casualties1. Iria2. Alysson3. Ahit
>>4628509What do you actually do for your trade?
>>4628525At my old job, I designed medical software, and for this one I design financial software. It pays well.
Decision:>"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!">"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have taken heavy casualties and need medical aid and damage control teams!">"I think it's time to abandon ship. Send medical crews, I am going to evacuate our crew to the Graven Image."
>>4628579>"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!"Big dick plays only
>>4628640It's all or nothing. FOR TERRA!
Rolled 24 (1d100)>>4628579>"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!"
>>4628579>>"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!"Here comes the river, Shelby.
>>4628579>"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!"Hehe, watch as we die this early on in the quest and the story just ends.Nice, caught this quest early, I like your writing. There's good space action AND we're all cute girls, amazing(Most QMs I have seen keep posting in an autosaging thread until it's in the last the last page of the board so the qst catalog doesn't get cluttered up with multiple threads of the same quest. Thread 1 is still on page 3, so you could have stayed on the old thread for longer. But maybe this is all a master plan to bait in more readers )
>>4629234Sorry, I didn't realize that that was the standard practice. I'll stick with that from now on.Incoming post.
>>4628640>>4628652>>4628656>>4628888>>4629234>"Shelby, link up ships and send some extra hands here NOW. We have just enough delta-V to catch the battleship while it's unescorted, but we have taken heavy casualties!"Your throat is hoarse and you can barely choke out the words. You repeat the message a few times.You listen in on the radio and hear only static, "...Hathor is that you?..." Shelby's voice breaks through. "...I'm hav...troubl...he..." his reply is interspersed with distortion."Link up ships!" you shout, over and over. "Goddamnit Shelby!""...ger..link...ssels.." comes the reply.You wait a few minutes tryin to get a clear signal, then hear a loud thud and the entire ship jolts. You would have been thrown off your feet if not for your mag-boots firmly gripping you to the floor.It isn't long before a bunch of men in combat suits come rushing into the bridge. Some of them are equipped with medical packs, and others, with engineering equipment. Several of them attach what looks like a suit-case to your major terminals, and open it up to reveal a miniature console. Some of the medical crew rush towards you, but you wave them away, directing them to the other wounded."Hath... are you okay?"You spin around to see Shelby behind you, in his combat suit, with his helmet off. He has the features typical of a native Chandran, with a well-defined nose and sharp jaw, but is completely-black skinned, black haired and nearly black-eyed. The people of Chandra are among the closest to the original converged Earth phenotype, but since settling on the star system, have once again diverged into separate ethnicities. The black-skinned Chandrans are those who originally settled on Bose, a world within the inner system exposed to high UV radiation from the star.You run up and hug him. You don't know why you did this, but it seemed so heartening to have someone speak to you who isn't on death's door, like a ray of hope. He stiffens up in surprise, then relaxes and begins patting you on the shoulder. It hurts badly where he is patting you, and you think you may have burns there. You are almost crying, "We still have time, the enemy battleship is getting away. It's completely unescorted! We can still do this!"Shelby gently pushes you away. "Hath... you can't take on the whole world by yourself... you have to know when to fold.""Enough of your fucking poker analogies, this isn't a game anymore!" you shout. "People are depending on us. This whole system is going to be genocided unless we can show these aliens what mankind is made of!""Damnit Hath! You took out 4 high-tech alien cruisers using an old transporter with some armor welded on... you have already proven what mankind is capable of! Quit while you're ahead!"
>>4629387"No! There's still so much more we can do! A battle isn't over as long as there is one soldier still fighting!"Shelby shakes his head, and looks at you with pity, a look you would give to a dying dog before you put it down, as if to say, all hope for a better outcome is lost and you wish it didn't have to be this way. He walks over to one of his engineers and shoves him aside. Typing something into the console, he pulls up a damage report."You're lucky this ship didn't go into meltdown... it looks like you've already had a core ejected and shutdown sequence initiated on one of your reactors... Damnit Hathor, you don't even have any weapons online... Coilgun capacitors... completely fried... attack drones... completely fried in their hangars... missiles, empty... targetting systems... down... What do you intend to do to the enemy ship? Ram it?""Do whatever it takes to win. Isn't that your motto?"Shelby laughs a mirthless laugh, "you know, Arjun was always the one who used to talk about fighting to the last breath for duty and honor... and he was the first to flee. You were always the level-headed tactician... and your first taste of battle has turned you into a blood-lusted berserker... Come with me to the Graven Image, we'll have our doctor take a look at you."You follow Shelby onto his ship. The narrow walkway between the two vessels is a flurry of activity, as medical crew rush back and forth, evacuating unconscious women from your ship. You see a blackened suit being carried past, the helmet has been taken off, and the face is no longer recognizable, covered in severe burns. You can only barely recognize the insignia as belonging to that of the weapons officer. You nearly scream, "Alysson!"You follow them to medbay. They put her into a cryo-bed, but by the time they strap her in, she is already dead. It almost seems unbelievable, that it's her pretty face now lying there, unrecognizable, and lifeless.You watch in horror as a seemingly endless stream of bodies are rushed into medbay, many are strapped into cryobeds to keep them in stasis until they can receive proper medical care.To make space for another victim, Alysson's body is taken out of the cryobed and clamped to the floor by her boots, causing her torso to float freely without gravity, like a grisly banner."This is obscene! Do something about this! You can't just leave her like this!" you shout at Shelby. Shelby promptly motions for someone to move her to the corpse freezer.You see another body being carried to the freezer as well. You instantly recognize the 4-foot tall officer. Her nose and mouth are stained with caked-on blood, and yet her expression seems oddly serene, with a peace that never seemed present while she was alive.
>>4629403"Iria... I swore to protect her..." you shake back the tears. You won't let anyone see you cry.Shelby stands beside you and says nothing."I will avenge them!" you hammer the words to yourself.You hear Shelby sigh.Your eyes are focused, your jaw is clenched. You stand up and turn to Shelby, "These were my friends, Shelby. We're going to finish the mission, in their names" you state, voice full of determination.Shelby says nothing, and just looks at you expressionlessly."That's an order Shelby! We're using your ship!" you shout. He puts a hand on your shoulder, shakes his head, then begins to walk away.Eyes full of tears, you grab a syringe of morphine from a medical dispenser, and stab Shelby in the neck. "Hathor, have you gone mad?" he shouts in anger and confusion. "You're no... no..." he begins slurring and stumbling."Make some room!" you shout at shocked medics nearby, and shove Shelby into a cryobed. He tries to fend you off with all the strength of a drunken puppy. You rip off his earpiece and replace your own with it, then close the cryobed and activate freezing procedure."Attention crew of the Graven Image," you say over the ship's comms, "This is Hathor Grandenson, acting squad commander, I am now commandeering this vessel. Secure all loose objects, suit up, and report to battle stations, we are going in for an attack run."
>>4629406Graven Image's Loadout:>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.Decision:>Accept this design>Reject this design and implement own design (alternative loadouts here >>4616921 )
>>4629416>Accept this design
This can either go very well, or very unwell. It's essentially a 50-50 madman's gambit.>>4629416>>Reject this design and implement own designI want..>HY Nukes>Railgun Drones>Maser>Missile DecoysI think that covers our offense and defense options well. We want maximum firepower with range (the drones do that), but also be able to fuck with THEIR weapons, hence the masers. We defend ourselves against their weapons while also scrambling them.LETS FUCKING GO BITCH!!
>>4629882The enemy's gate is down.
>>4629900Did you just Ender's Game me? Did you REALLY?
>>4629919Let me tell you something. You don't EVER Ender's Game me, bitch. Ya hear? I put the pistol to you.
>>4629927>t. Peter Wiggin
>>4629951You wanna get reported?
>>4629416>>4629882The battleship has lots of point defense lasers, so drones won't be able to hit it until we disable their systems, which probably won't happen. Their main laser has a range of 2000km, and their point defense has a range of 1000km, those are annoying.1.UV laser (This is longer ranged than the enemy main laser right) We can use this to focus at the gash in the battleship armor left by the meteroid and detonate their core2. Conventional explosives, the best long ranged weapon against point defense. We don't need nukes because most of the enemy drones are fighting our main fleet!3. Masers for anti missile and anti system4. Heavy nukes for anti missle
>>4630255You're gonna wash out if you keep this up.
>>4630296Fine. Fine. This. But only because they might shred us if we don't avoid their point defense.
>>4630296>1.UV laser (This is longer ranged than the enemy main laser right) We can use this to focus at the gash in the battleship armor left by the meteroid and detonate their coreit's go time
>>4629406>>4630296You make your way through the corridors, everyone seems confused about what's going on. As you step onto the command deck, Shelby's executive officer is waiting there with his hand on a taser pistol strapped to his waist. He has pale white-and-red mottled skin, a smooth scalp, and red eyes. He is from a race called the Dhiiban, often known as "ghouls" for their sickly appearance and cannibalistic culture. He is flanked by a dozen other crewmen who all seem equally determined to bar your entry."You've crossed the line! What the hell are you doing here?" he growls. "I am the acting squad leader. Shelby Oliva was dismissed from command. Give me your name Lieutenant!" You demand authoritatively. "I am Lieutenant Faruk adh Dhib... ACTING ship captain" the lieutenant replies indignantly, stressing that he is the one in command "I'm told you injected Captain Oliva with a lethal amount of sedative and shoved him into a cryopod." "Shelby Oliva refused a direct order. Under military code, this is punishable by summary execution during battle. He's lucky that all I did was put him on ice. He will stand trial later for his failure to mankind." Lt. Faruk is unconvinced. "Your reckless actions resulted in the destruction of your ship." "I sacrificed my ship to win the engagement and to save yours" you state calmly, causing Faruk to pause with uncertainty. You continue speaking. "Before we began this mission, there were few who thought we had any chance of success. Now we stand at the cusp of victory, but if we hesitate, we will let all we have achieved slip out of our hands. The women of my crew went into battle with our oath in our hearts, to lay our lives down for mankind, and we have fulfilled that oath. Will you men be able to say the same?" The men opposing you appear conflicted, and murmur to eachother. None of them are now willing to take the initiative to oppose you as you walk towards the Captain's chair. "Each of you were born, knowing the Interlopers would come, fearing the day, and yet here you stand, ready for war. You have always known that the odds were never in our favor, that your bodies would be Mankind's shield, and still, here you stand! What brought you here on this day? The knowledge that there is nowhere left to run, that the only chance to survive is to never stop fighting! So fight with me! Stand up and teach THEM to fear US!" One of the crewmen you are addressing gives you a salute, and shouts "Yes ma'am!" Slowly they all begin to salute. Faruk looks around him, then gives you his salute as well "Yes ma'am. Let's do what we all came here to do." You take the captain's chair.
>>4631199"What are your orders?" Lieutenant Faruk asks. "All ahead full. We can't let their battleship reposition itself into the safety of its fleet." "Aye... Captain." Faruk seems to still be uncomfortable with the idea of calling you that. The enemy fleet is strung out in a long column, and fierce skirmishing is ensuing still between both sides, though neither fleet has made direct contact yet. The Interloper fleet appears to be avoiding direct engagement, and the Navy is not giving up the safety of low orbit. The Graven Image is smaller and lighter than the Albatross Heavy, but it is a proper warship, and is no less heavily armed. It doesn't shudder and creak at every thrust, and the moving parts give off a considerable roar rather than a hideous grinding noise. This is what a warship is supposed to handle like. You see the battleship getting closer and closer on radar, it didn't get too far away from you, and with your rapid advance it is now only 10,000km away and closing. The enemy battleship launches off another line of lensing drones, and a swarm of missiles to cover them. You respond with a salvo of your own missiles, clearing out the bulk of their missile swarm with heavy nukes, but also clearing the path for a second salvo of conventional missiles to take out their lens array. Your lasers and masers sweep up the remaining hostile missiles and you close in for the kill. You have:40/60 HP (minor damage to outer armor)20/80 dV propellant (almost empty)400/500 swarm missiles (any range)10/20 heavy nuclear missiles (any range)10 laser turrets (1000 km range)10 maser turrets (1000 km range)100/1000 overheating (10 intact radiators) They have:Unknown HP (catastrophic damage to interstellar armor, moderate internal structural damage)Unknown quantity of missiles and drones1 Artillery laser (2000 km range)30 Laser turrets (1000 km range)10 intact radiators Roll 1d100>Get under their point defense and send all your remaining nukes into the crack in their hull.>Circle-strafe them at close range to try to outrun their turret tracking speed, try to take out their laser turrets and radiators>Try to get behind them and take out their thrusters to make them overshoot the planetoid and drift off into space>Use your penetration missiles, masers and lasers to skirmish from 1000 km, focusing on taking out their artillery laser, then on taking out their other systems
Rolled 58 (1d100)>>4631203>Use your penetration missiles, masers and lasers to skirmish from 1000 km, focusing on taking out their artillery laser, then on taking out their other systems
Rolled 80 (1d100)>>4631203>Get under their point defense and send all your remaining nukes into the crack in their hull.
Rolled 97 (1d100)>>4631203>Use your penetration missiles, masers and lasers to skirmish from 1000 km, focusing on taking out their artillery laser, then on taking out their other systems
>>4631325We're too low on fuel for this, and last time we tried to close in our ship got blown to bits
Just a note on how movement works in this game, since we're low on propellant.- I don't track propellant necessary to start a mission or return to friendly territory. It is assumed you are given drop tanks relative to the needs of the mission to initiate your attack run. If you ever reach 0 propellant you will immediately disengage rather than continue fighting and get stranded, but this may be subject to player decision if appropriate. The propellant we have tracked is purely what is available for tactical maneuvers.-If we're chasing something down across a large distance, we actually don't have enough propellant to be constantly accellerating. Everything is naturally moving in a circular motion around nearby gravity wells (like a planetoid), and when we decide to chase something down, what we're actually doing is burning enough propellant to give us a small kick in the right direction, so we are calculated to cross their path, then we let momentum and gravity carry us there. We also usually don't want to accellerate directly towards a distant enemy because that will put us on a different orbit and move us farther away from them, so "All ahead full" is more of an expression. What we're actually doing is moving along a faster intercept route.-Both closing in and maintaining distance against an idle target take an equal amount of propellant if we're already in motion. We spend propellant to put ourself on an orbit that will intersect their orbit, then coast along that orbit until we get to the desired distance, then burn more propellant to stabilize our orbit to line up with the enemy.-In combat we will be slowly burning propellant, because we will usually be rotating, strafing or evading fire with small bursts from our maneuvering thrusters. We can also try to maintain desired range against a moving enemy, which costs a lot of propellant for both us and the enemy. That basically becomes a game of "who runs out of propellant first", and winner sets the engagement range.-Missiles and drones don't have as much strategic mobility as a spaceship. So it is possible to dodge an entire volley by simply outmaneuvering it, if it is far enough away.-Once your ship is in motion, any object not strapped down is basically a bullet, and any person not strapped down is basically dead. Extensive close combat maneuvers may take a physical toll on you and your crew.
Rolled 67, 50, 48, 9, 14, 44, 61, 76, 3, 82 = 454 (10d100)>>4631274>>4631467>>4631325>>4631606Locking in orders (in sequence):Skirmish, Skirmish, Assault, SkirmishSo we'll be flying them by, launching bombs, then stabilizing orbit at 1000km after we've passed them.
>>4631203>>4632493The thrusters roar and the Graven Image turns and blasts itself forward to gain more speed on the enemy. With the additional stress put on your body of re-entering combat you now realize just how little time you had to recuperate. Your muscles are bruised; your skin, scorched with burns; your head is throbbing, but flooded with adrenaline you merely recognize that the pain is there and pay it no mind. The rational side of your brain tells you that this is will be the day that you die, yet the thought passes over you and washes away. Pain and fear are all in the mind. All these years of training, was it to conquer the Locusts or was it to conquer yourself? This will be your final test. The enemy ship eclipses yours in size, blotting out the stars with its sheer bulk and drifting, deadly and silent, in the dark like some ancient sea monster. It turns each of its turrets to face you and you stare down the barrel of the siege laser as if it were the whale's eye. Your armor plating turns incandescent, bubbles, and liquifies. Your ship begins rotating to ensure their lasers can't focus on any one area. The bridge spins. Everything moves so quickly it seems almost surreal, and you sit in the center of it all, like the eye of the hurricane. It is not you who is moving, but rather, you are the axis, it is the universe that swirls and pivots around you. "Fire at will. Aim for their cannons!" Your order is given. Your lasers cut a line through the enemy's main gun, the barrel of this proud weapon warps and distorts, useless slag metal. A swarm of missiles is unleashed by your ship. The enemy's lasers take their fiery gaze off of you and begin to shoot them down, but as the rockets split apart into clusters, the enemy's guns are overwhelmed. The missiles home in on the greatest heat source, which are the enemy's radiators and cooling rods. Chunks of metal fly into space. You exult in the destruction you are wreaking, like a grand cathedral being sculpted, in reverse. You are disassembling another species' highest artform, their vessel of war. Yet the battlefield is a harsh tutor, and a lesson you quickly learn, is that the Locusts did not achieve their galactic conquest through weakness or passivity. The battleship's lasers focus back onto you, and hull integrity sensors begin to flash red as breaches are made in your outer armor. There is an explosion that rocks the ship as one of the ammo bays is hit, igniting the explosives stored there. Fires spread across multiple decks, crew heart monitors blink offline. With the ship in motion and the blast doors closed, nothing can save them. Oaths fulfilled. The carnage unfolds too quickly for you to even be able to take account of it all. You are in the belly of the enemy now, and they will digest you before they spit you back out.
>>4632788The Graven Image does another revolution as you duel the leviathan, cutting ribbons into eachother's metal flesh with invisible blades. As your lasers do their work, your masers sweep the enemy hull, damaging internals and scrambling tracking systems. The enemy ship is not capable of rotating with as much speed as yours, allowing you to focus more damage into a desired area, but your ship lacks the hull thickness or the sheer power output of the enemy vessel. They beam at you almost the entire energy of a nuclear reactor, in concentrated, deadly light. "Exploit the weakened hull section! Attack the meteor impact site with our lasers!" You command, and the Graven Image stabs its burning blade into the enemy's wound, and twists the knife; a black cloud rises as the breach is seared and cauterized by laser fire. What kind of damage you are doing, you cannot say, in this smoking heap of metal and ice vapor; but the enemy ship begins to rotate away from you, like a frightened beast protecting its belly. Yet it is too late for them to hide, you are already upon the alien vessel, and now, just a few kilometers apart, you give the order to burn directly towards the enemy. It is almost a ramming maneuver, yet at the moment before impact, you fire all your missiles, and hook upwards, passing over them. At this range, with the blind spot created by their massive propellant tank, the enemy's point defense lasers fail to fulfill their purpose as your heavy nukes, with their 40 kilometer blast radius, veer into the heart of the enemy ship, into the smoldering crater left by your lasers, and it is the enemy's own hull that shields you from the following nuclear flash. The battleship drifts silently, yet no great cheer or sigh of relief is given. The Graven Image continues firing. You fires until explosions rip through the hull. You fire until your heat warnings flash and compel you to stop, and at last, take account of your victory. You can scarcely believe it, but you have won, David has taken down Goliath. The reaper has passed over your house this day. You notice that your hands are trembling. Your ship, just barely holding on by a thread, has taken major damage, but once again, you are alive. Was this thing a sentient creature you killed? Are you now hated by the enemy? You hope you are. You hope they can think and feel and aren't just driven by some lifeless combat algorithm. There is nothing left out here for you, and you can expend the last of your fuel tanks to disengage from the battle. >Return to the fleet, to resupply and join the upcoming battle>Return to the Albatross Heavy, to evacuate your crew, and watch the battle from afar, content in the knowledge you have played your part
>>4632792>Return to the Albatross Heavy, to evacuate your crew, and watch the battle from afar, content in the knowledge you have played your part
>>4632792>Return to the Albatross Heavy, to evacuate your crew, and watch the battle from afar, content in the knowledge you have played your partWe're battle crazy, but we're not crazy. We know when to fight and when to recover.
>>4632792>Return to the Albatross Heavy, to evacuate your crew, and watch the battle from afar, content in the knowledge you have played your partWe did it, lads!
>>4632493Cool, so the order in which we post our orders matter too
>>4632792>>Return to the Albatross Heavy, to evacuate your crew, and watch the battle from afar, content in the knowledge you have played your part
>>4632896>>4633082>>4633323>>4633362Nuclear flashes light up the sky above XOC2, recalling myths of ancient gods fighting from heaven with thunder. The Locusts pass in a wide arc over the planet, and it ultimately becomes clear they intend to continue past it. The main naval group activates, and intercepts the enemy fleet, cutting off their rear guard as their column begins to leave orbit. Intense combat rages with such speed and lethality none can say who has the upper hand, hundres of lives are lost every second. When all is settled, it is hard to call this a victory. Though the enemy fleet has left XOC2, the price paid was immense. The planetoid's sky is a graveyard of wrecked and drifting ships, some floating off into space and others drifting silently in orbit, cursed to roam forever on an eternal ghostly vigil. Despite this, your crew is jubilant. It seems to many as if an awakened mankind has arisen from the ashes, and made its eternal enemy run away bleeding. You say nothing to dispel this illusion as you realize the Interloper fleet had never fully committed to this battle. They were only using the planetoid's gravity to sling themselves on another course, towards a large, undefended asteroid. It is the classic chess strategy of a fork or a skewer, to simultaneously threaten two targets, and when the enemy moves to defend one, you attack the other. Yet with the vastness and freedom of movement provided by space, this is a fork that threatened potentially hundreds of undefended asteroids. It was never possible to prevent them from making their landing. Your ships are eventually taken into the docks for repairs and hospitalizations. As you walk out the ramp to the station, weak and weary, and in barely-concealed, excruciating pain, you are met with dozens of faces, burning with pride as they salute you. "Hail victory, Captain!" Faruk shouts. "Hail!" All the crew shout to you in response. You salute them back, and stand before them, soaking in their admiration. It would have been your finest hour, had your own humanity not caught up to you at that moment, and caused you to collapse unconscious on the ground. 1/3
>>4635113You awaken strapped into a hospital bed on the station, covered in bandages, and surrounded by the moans of the dead and dying. Your helmet protected your head, but your back, arms and shoulders were badly burnt from the nuclear flash, and you now bear scars that you will carry with you your whole life. Worst of all these scars, unwelcome thoughts of Iria and Alysson come to you, of their grisly, disfigured bodies. What price is victory worth? It suddenly seems to mean so little when there is no one to celebrate it with. A nurse attends to you, you notice she has the same holy symbol as Ahit, tattooed on her face. "What does that tattoo mean?" you ask her. She smiles, and puts her palm gently on her face. "It is beautiful, isn't it? It's the symbol of our home" she says. "Earth" you say. "No..." she says, "there is another homeworld. Mankind's true homeworld. Our sisters... the Sisters of Mercy, we have chapters across the galaxy... we search for it." You sit up in astonishment, but the pain forces you to lie back down. "How? It must take hundreds of years just to send a message" "It does, but we have existed for thousands of years, and truth is eternal... the homeworld wants to be discovered. They've called out to us." You close your eyes, and press the button to request more morphene. You aren't nearly high enough to believe this bullcrap, but you want to be. 2/3
>>4635119You spend the next few weeks recuperating. When you are at last fit to be discharged, you are immediately taken into custody by the station's security staff, who question you about your assault on Captain Oliva. You spend the next few weeks recuperating further, in the brig. You are put in a tiny plastic cell that was clearly designed for space-efficiency first and comfort last. Since you're not allowed metal boots, you simply float freely in the cell, passing your time by bouncing from floor to ceiling, looking a bit like a lunatic, but necessary for exercise and to alleviate the boredom. Since you're not allowed straps to tie yourself down, you sleep by locking your feet into holes in the floor, lying against the wall, and swaying freely with the orbital base's stationkeeping thrusts. "VISITOR!" comes a guard's harsh bark that wakes you from your sleep. As you rouse, red-eyed, miserable, and in bodily pain from your 'air mattress', you are faced with Admiral Vanlaere at your cell door. "Greetings admiral" you say in a half-groan, accompanied by a sloppy salute. You imagine he is here to thank you for killing his sister. "I'd like to thank you" he says. Aha. "You have fought hard for humanity, and gave more than anyone could have asked of you. The whole galaxy will know your name." he says solemnly. "Recordings of your fight with the Enemy are being sent throughout the system and beyond. No one has ever accomplished what you have, and through your actions, my sister Iria will always be remembered as a martyr." Anger wells up inside you at his last remark, "So that's it, isn't it? You're glad that her death reflects well on you!" you blurt out. He doesn't seem angry or offended at your rebuke, but rather quietly contemplative. "She was your friend and you lost her. You will lose many friends in this war, if you live long enough. That has been my fate, and it will be the fate of all who follow in my footsteps. I know you were trying to protect her." "You were her brother! Shouldn't you have been the one to protect her?" The admiral stares you down and ignores your question. "Let's get to the point. You've been promoted to Captain First Class, and will be given your own squad to command. In six weeks, you will be given your assignment. I have a special mission I want you for. Until then, you will be on leave, along with the rest of your squad." He leaves the room without further comment, and you are released. You step out into the orbital base, it is cramped, and overcrowded, with minimal recreational facilities, but it is still better than being stuck in the brig. >Go gambling with the enlisted>Go drinking in the officer's bar>Hit the women's gym>Visit your wounded crew and hold a funeral service for the dead>Snoop around the station's restricted sites>Message your family and friends on Cradle>Other (write-in)
>>4635133>Visit your wounded crew and hold a funeral service for the dead>Message your family and friends on CradlePay our respects.
>>4635160supporting but adding hitting the gym if possible, gotta stay in tip top shape
>>4635240support. This battle let us find out how weak we are. To the gym and the library! Our mind and body are weak. We must enswole them.
>>4635160>>4635176>>4635236>>4635240>>4636137Once you find your assigned quarters, you send a message back home to Cradle. It will take at least a few days to hear a response due to communications lag.The female officer's gym is utilitarian, at best. The equipment is covered in sweat, and the air is almost damp with it. After a painful but invigorating workout session, you hit the showers, then stop by the locker room mirror to rub ointment on your burns. Your elegant neck and slender shoulders were formerly your most prided features. Now, even moreso than your face, they are hideous and scarred. You had once commented that the Locusts had destroyed all things of beauty in Mankind, and your body has now become an expression of that sentiment. "Nice scars" you hear someone behind you say, with what sounded like mock admiration."I can give you some of your own" you snap, slamming a fist into the glass. You turn to face her, ready to go back to the brig for another case of assault.You see a boyish-looking younger woman, with buzzed hair and an old, jagged laceration scar cut into the left side of her softly-freckled face, from her angular chin to her brow, leaving her blind in one eye. "I... didn't realize" you begin, then stop. "Wait... were you checking me out?" You ask indignantly, hastily covering yourself up with your towel. "I have an eye for unconventional beauty" she says. Whether intentional or not, this comment only emphasizes her missing eye. You are thrown off-guard by her words. "I'm... married to the fleet" you blurt out as you brush past her and leave as quickly as possible, feeling violated at the unwanted advance. As you leave the locker rooms and its resident predator behind, you feel a little stung by her intended compliment. Is that what you are now? An 'unconventional' beauty? The phrase is an insult. Ruined beauty. No doubt she thinks of herself as an unconventional beauty as well. 1/2
>>4637181The station hospital is grim and dismal, as you expect of such a place after a battle. Many of the men here have little prospects for survival, and following their surgeries and blood transfusions they can only be strapped down and administered morphene until they recover or expire. There are many faces here that you feel you will not be seeing again. One of your crewmen sees you and attempts to give you a salute, but you gently lower her arm down. "At ease, astronaut. Tell me your name." "I'm Chaaya Chandrasekhar" she says weakly, "From the Albatross. I was on the bridge. I got hit by shrapnel.""Yes, I recognize you, you're a radar operator. Where are you from?" "I'm from Cradle. I'm a Generation Two, C-Grade." "I'm sorry... I don't know what that means" "We're made from hybrid DNA. Thousands of us were created after the Catacylsm, to repopulate the system." she tells you this with all the enthusiasm of a precocious youth.You look her over. She indeed doesn't have a completely natural appearance. She seems to look like a Chandran, but with a Bastian's wide, yellow eyes, and several other features you can't place."Did you have any parents?" You ask."No, all of us C-Grades were raised by the state, and enlisted as soldiers." "...how old are you?" "14" she replies. She looks to be in her late 30's. "Rest yourself" you tell her, touching her hand. She grabs your arm as you turn to leave, "What's it like, to have parents?" >"They were very kind. I loved them dearly, until I lost them.">"I wouldn't know. I was raised by my older brother.">"I'm very distant from my parents. I'm just a token to them for political power."
>>4637191>"They were very kind. I loved them dearly, until I lost them."
>>4637191>"I wouldn't know. I was raised by my older brother.">"I'm very distant from my parents. I'm just a token to them for political power."Both of these. Previous posts let on that our parents were political elites and were probably distant. The most selfless thing that they did for us was probably including us in the escape ships from our former system We had a loving older brother though...had
side note how hard is this sci-fi? Can we fix ourselves? Putting myself into the captains shoes that is deffinitely trying to fix the scars if possible, but if other anons are cool with it I shall go with them.
>>4637198sorry forgot the words lmao*is definitely something I would want to try to do
>>4637198Hardish scifi. I'm not going to commit fully and say "hard scifi" because that comes with a lot of obligations to scientific accuracy... and, at some point I may want to introduce soft scifi elements. I'm still on the fence about that.Generally, we have a level of technology equivalent to about 2100 AD, and even then, many spaceships use older, more reliable, machinery instead of delicate high-tech electronics. Interloper tech is far more advanced than what humans have, but is still beholden to the laws of known physics.To answer your main question, cosmetic surgery exists, but it's not in our domain right now, we won't have access to it until we've returned to a major population center. Even then, they can only reduce the appearance of scars, not really give us a fresh coat of skin. Though, while our character is self-conscious, she has something of a "sister of battle" look where she still has a pretty face, but with a scar from her skull implant.
>>4637223Gothca will keep that in mind going forward
>>4637223Yeah. I remember you said that earlier. You're not trying to lean so hard you masturbate a physics textbook, but not leaning so soft that you're starlulz galactawank. I, for one, look forward to those soft elements you mentioned to level this quest out. And QM, I'm not sure where you came from or if you're a frequent poster here on /qst/, but you need to keep this quest going, and then stick around. I'd like to see more of you.
>>4638370Thanks! It's my first time hosting a quest, so the encouragement means a lot to me. (Post incoming)
Rolled 2, 7, 4, 3, 7, 1, 4, 8, 1, 8, 4 = 49 (11d10)>>4637195>"I'm very distant from my parents. I'm just a token to them for political power. I had an older brother that I loved very dearly... but he is gone now...""Oh..." she says, sounding disappointed. "I guess it's true what they say then, that the fleet is our real family.""Maybe it is true. You can always think of me as a big sister" you respond, taking pity on the poor girl.You spend some time talking to each of your crew, or at least those who are in the condition to talk. Many of them joined the Navy because they had no choice, they were simply subjected to aptitude tests from a young age and put by the state into an educational track that would qualify them as spaceship crew, then were immediately enlisted. This stands out to you in stark contrast to all the officers you had met, who were from upper class families with a variety of career options available to them and who joined the Navy voluntarily, either out of heroic idealism or political ambitions. You vow to remember each of their names: Zarah Zechiel, Maia Rhyne, Zoey Steiger, Winona Stoyer, Nyx Mika, Trinity Ryant, Madalyn Blackford, Freya Basset, Urd Rackham and Evelyn Hewett... if they are going to be putting their lives in your hands, the least you could do is remember who they are.After a few days, you begin to receive messages back from Cradle. You open a video message from Seth, your younger brother. He is 16 and fresh-faced, with a wiry frame and sharp, stern features unfit for a man of his age, which reminds you too much of your father. The two of you were once close, but now he seems distant and formal."Hello sister, congratulations on your victory against the Locusts. You're an inspiration to all of Chandra. There isn't a single cadet who hasn't seen the videos of your battle; they are being studied at the academy as an example of both combat tactics and the Chandran spirit. Many of my classmates were quite shocked that a foreigner was capable of such heroism, and you've done a lot to erase the stain on the Grandenson name that was left by Aaron. You'll be pleased to know, my cohort at the officer academy has graduated early, and I'll soon be joining you in war. I've been stationed on the drone carrier Inquisitor. I hope we can fight side by side. I wish you a speedy recovery from your injuries. Farewell, until we speak again."The recording ends and you are left almost in shock at how abrupt it was. You take Aaron's signet ring out of your locker and press it into your palm, before putting it back. That ring is all you have left of your older brother, and it is the only thing among your personal belongings you consider truly irreplaceable. Aaron was once a prominent member of the Orbital Commerce Guild, but was abducted by the Chandran state for sedition. No trial was ever held and you never heard what evidence they had against him. You still hold out hope to one day see him again.1/2
>>4638658You listen to your father's message next, Ausar Grandenson, a 300 year-old who age is finally starting to catch up to, looking grayer and more frail every year, but with eyes that betray a mind that is still razor sharp. Ausar is more charismatic than Seth, and his video message is spoken in amicable tones with earnest-looking hand gestures, but you know that inwardly he is cold, arrogant and manipulative. He begins the message by telling you he is glad to hear from you, but doesn't congratulate you on your victory or show concern for your injuries. He only talks about how he has managed to strengthen the position of the Orbital Commerce Guild in Cradle by securing the production licensing of several new ship designs with the Chandran Navy.The Orbital Commerce Guild is the government-in-exile of your home system Aahan, and on Chandra it has quickly grown into a major political and commercial corporation in its own right, holding de facto monopolies on several important technologies brought to Chandra from Aahan, mainly, new AI imprints capable of generating unique engineering designs. These AI imprints are kept carefully guarded and encrypted, and used as a bargaining chip and a source of revenue. Many other foreign governments-in-exile have established similar "Guilds" on Chandra, using their own technologies and unique skill-sets to guarantee that their people continue to enjoy a privileged position within Chandran society.Your father continues talking about his own accomplishments at length until you get to the end of the message where he tells you your mother is away on an important trip and will message you when she returns. He concludes the message by telling you how proud he is of Seth. You turn the video off, annoyed.Wishing you had ended the day on a better note, you strap yourself into your cot to get some rest. Reflecting on recent events, you reaffirm your loyalty to:>Your crew. It's us against the universe, all of us are just trying to survive one day at a time. You'll never throw their lives away so callously ever again.>Your family. You have to protect Seth and find out what happened to Aaron... and even though you hate to admit it, only your father is capable of protecting you from suffering the same fate as him.>Chandra and its navy, it is the bulwark of Mankind and nothing is more important than survival in the face of the Interlopers. You will do whatever it takes to win this war.
>>4638662>Your family. You have to protect Seth and find out what happened to Aaron... and even though you hate to admit it, only your father is capable of protecting you from suffering the same fate as him.
>>4638662>Chandra and its navy, it is the bulwark of Mankind and nothing is more important than survival in the face of the Interlopers. You will do whatever it takes to win this war.
>>4638662>Your crew. It's us against the universe, all of us are just trying to survive one day at a time. You'll never throw their lives away so callously ever again.
>>4638662>Chandra and its navy, it is the bulwark of Mankind and nothing is more important than survival in the face of the Interlopers. You will do whatever it takes to win this war.As much as I'd desire to put loyalty for our crew (as they are the characters we will be spending the most time with) or family (I would think we would have a desire to follow the example our older brother set for us and look out for Seth, especially considering how oppressive Chandra seems to be) first, we've already been established as fairly zealous and frankly I don't think we can really protect our crew from taking casualities if the mission requires we go all-out again, we have our duty to humanity and I guess that is what counts in the end.
>>4638886When you were a girl you would always strive for your father's praise, and nothing you did ever seemed to be good enough. Now you are old enough to recognize his pathology, that his powerful ego instinctively seeks to dominate the wills of others, and that his praise comes only for obedience, and never for anything achieved outside of his influence. In such a way, he fosters dependency in others, and becomes the center of gravity around which their lives orbit. The Chandran state is not so different; it establishes itself as the axis of all morality, everything which serves the state is good, and everything which does not is either worthless or evil. Most native Chandrans see the Chandran state as representing Mankind as a whole, and accept this principle without question.As a little girl without any outside perspective, you might have fallen victim to your father's mind games; yet because of the influence of Aaron, you were able to see what kindness and familial love truly looked like, and develop your own conscience and independence. Similarly it was the perspective given to you, growing up in a political dynasty and witnessing the corruption and backroom deals, that has taught you that powerful men only view those beneath them as resources, numbers on a ledger, something to exploit and own; and they fight fiercely amongst eachother for control over the resource that is Man. While Chandra's central government may appear on the surface to be a unified state, in fact it is made up of dozens of factions and alliances, each vying for supremacy. The final lesson that Aaron taught you before he was taken away, was that within this web of politics, a well-connected enemy is every bit as dangerous to your life as an Interloper armada. So while your crew may be your adopted family, you can never forget who your real family are. Even if your father only sees you as an extension of his own will, you can always trust him to work in your interests if for no other reason than that. There is nothing more important to Ausar than the ego project that is his dynastry.Across the next week, you arrange a funeral for the dead of the Albatross. As the week progresses, you continue to add more names to the obituary, people who you had spoken to just days before at the hospital, including Chaaya. Your family was complicated, but you could always rely on them, despite their flaws. Chaaya never had a family of her own, and Iria lived in fear of hers. Perhaps it was how alone they were that caused you to extend a motherly wing over them. Yet both times, there was nothing you could do to save them.1/?
>>4640268At the funeral, you recite an ancient poem, from an age when ships sailed on seas, of a sailor drowned, whose body metamorphosizes into pearls and coral. Then you conclude your eulogy, "though your lives are ended, nothing ever truly fades away, it only gives birth to new beauty and new life. The ripples you left will continue to expand outwards, touching the lives of many, encouraging them to take up the fight. Farewell my sisters, we will be with you always, our time with you on the Albatross will echo forever throughout the stars, living in the hearts of all mankind. I will never forget you."Weeks pass. Your R&R draws to a close, your wounds are mostly healed, and you no longer have panic attacks and flashbacks any time someone suddenly turns on the lights (this isn't a joke, those nuclear explosions are terrifying). You are assigned to your new squad, as its commanding officer. Due to the lethality of the Battle of XOC2, your entire fleet division was reorganized into new squadrons. You will be leading:2/3
>>4640271Decision: Your squad (pick 4):>Wolf Hohstadt - your old friend, he's almost like a brother to you, except for his occasional attempts at flirting, which aren't as common now as they used to be. He's both liked and disliked for his blunt forwardness.>Faruk adh Dhib - Now captain of the Graven Image after Shelby was relieved of command. Apparently he was once a smuggler captain but managed to pull some strings and get out of trouble>Evelyn Voight - the girl from the locker room, apparently she scored really well on all her aptitude tests in the academy. She wants to impress you with her skills. Everything she says, you wonder if it's innuendo. You should give her a dressing down. No, not that kind!>Alisha Chandrasekhar - G1A, Generation 1 A-Grade. Grown in a vat after the Cataclysm, her class of artificial humans was intended to be superior to standard humans, and act as leaders.>Ulric Rosek - Originally from an asteroid clan in the outer rim. These clans still exist outside Chandran government control, in the wild west of outer space, though most have sought refuge in the inner system since the Cataclysm>Halifax Kiani - Formerly commander of a mercenary PMC, which was absorbed into the Chandran military just prior to the Interloper invasion>Wayne Alers - Youngest son of the despot of the Alers star system, known womanizer and gambler. His lavish balls and expensive tastes led to him being cut off and forced to join the Navy.>Amanda Lockley - The fleet's only cat-girl captain. Part of a fringe group of outcasts within Chandra known for modifying themselves both genetically and surgically to have animal ears and tails. All humans were genetically modified millenia ago to have frog DNA, to survive cryosleep, so she insists there's nothing weird about her.>Jordan Dilucca - Formerly a mining captain, who was stationed on a distant asteroid for "ten GOD DAMN years" (his words) mining rare metals with only a crew of four. His mission was ended early when one of the crewmates killed another in a fit of violent rage, which he swears he had nothing to do with.>Varina Locke - Daughter of one of Chandra's most important political families. Her father has been in a coma for the past 10 years, leaving her to run off to join the Navy against the wishes of everyone in her family.>Edvar Haynes - An old man, alive since before the Cataclysm, made a good living working for guilds as a contractor, but decided for a change of living after getting in too deep, and joined the navy.>Twelve - The Satori Guild is known to sell blank-slate clones which can be trained for a specific task through, basically, being outfitted with a shock collar, strapped to a chair and made to run AI-guided simulations for several years. This... thing... can barely be called human, and his crew are frankly scared of him. His posting as captain is basically a test-run by the navy to see what he's capable of.
>>4640273Decision 2: Taking squad name suggestions.
>>4640273>>Twelve - The Satori Guild is known to sell blank-slate clones which can be trained for a specific task through, basically, being outfitted with a shock collar, strapped to a chair and made to run AI-guided simulations for several years. This... thing... can barely be called human, and his crew are frankly scared of him. His posting as captain is basically a test-run by the navy to see what he's capable of.Actually, on second thought, make this character a girl. I like it better that way for the Yandere appeal.
>>4640273>Wolf Hohstadt - your old friend, he's almost like a brother to you, except for his occasional attempts at flirting, which aren't as common now as they used to be. He's both liked and disliked for his blunt forwardness
>4640273>Amanda Lockley - The fleet's only cat-girl captain. Part of a fringe group of outcasts within Chandra known for modifying themselves both genetically and surgically to have animal ears and tails. All humans were genetically modified millenia ago to have frog DNA, to survive cryosleep, so she insists there's nothing weird about her.
>>4640273decision 1:>Wolf Hohstadt - your old friend, he's almost like a brother to you, except for his occasional attempts at flirting, which aren't as common now as they used to be. He's both liked and disliked for his blunt forwardness.>Twelve - The Satori Guild is known to sell blank-slate clones which can be trained for a specific task through, basically, being outfitted with a shock collar, strapped to a chair and made to run AI-guided simulations for several years. This... thing... can barely be called human, and his crew are frankly scared of him. His posting as captain is basically a test-run by the navy to see what he's capable of.>Amanda Lockley - The fleet's only cat-girl captain. Part of a fringe group of outcasts within Chandra known for modifying themselves both genetically and surgically to have animal ears and tails. All humans were genetically modified millenia ago to have frog DNA, to survive cryosleep, so she insists there's nothing weird about her.>Halifax Kiani - Formerly commander of a mercenary PMC, which was absorbed into the Chandran military just prior to the Interloper invasiondecision 2:>Castigator squadron
>>4640275Void DiversXenoslayers Planet Busters Espatiers
>>4640273>Wolf Hohstadt - your old friend, he's almost like a brother to you, except for his occasional attempts at flirting, which aren't as common now as they used to be. He's both liked and disliked for his blunt forwardness.>Evelyn Voight - the girl from the locker room, apparently she scored really well on all her aptitude tests in the academy. She wants to impress you with her skills. Everything she says, you wonder if it's innuendo. You should give her a dressing down. No, not that kind!>Jordan Dilucca - Formerly a mining captain, who was stationed on a distant asteroid for "ten GOD DAMN years" (his words) mining rare metals with only a crew of four. His mission was ended early when one of the crewmates killed another in a fit of violent rage, which he swears he had nothing to do with.>Varina Locke - Daughter of one of Chandra's most important political families. Her father has been in a coma for the past 10 years, leaving her to run off to join the Navy against the wishes of everyone in her family.
>>4640273>Wolf Hohstadt - your old friend, he's almost like a brother to you, except for his occasional attempts at flirting, which aren't as common now as they used to be. He's both liked and disliked for his blunt forwardness.>Faruk adh Dhib - Now captain of the Graven Image after Shelby was relieved of command. Apparently he was once a smuggler captain but managed to pull some strings and get out of trouble>Evelyn Voight - the girl from the locker room, apparently she scored really well on all her aptitude tests in the academy. She wants to impress you with her skills. Everything she says, you wonder if it's innuendo. You should give her a dressing down. No, not that kind!>Twelve - The Satori Guild is known to sell blank-slate clones which can be trained for a specific task through, basically, being outfitted with a shock collar, strapped to a chair and made to run AI-guided simulations for several years. This... thing... can barely be called human, and his crew are frankly scared of him. His posting as captain is basically a test-run by the navy to see what he's capable of.Three people we sort of know and another I'm curious about. Though the cat-girl captain probably would've been funny.Also, I forgot we aren't deciding votes by majority for some reason but instead by post number...which is weird. I'm fine with the decision we got though.
>>4640273>>4640595You meet your squad for the first time onboard the station. Wolf needs no introduction. Young, like you, and the descendant of colonists from the outer system. He is light brown-haired, fair-skinned, and is distinctively tall and thin, as most low-gravity settlers are. Though he looks what may have been called "Germanic" in some ancient age, this is a matter of pure coincidence. Before interplanetary colonization, the populations of Earth ultimately merged into a single ethnicity. Many colonists kept their ancestral surname, across spans of even thousands of years, though these names no longer have any relevance to a person's current recognized ethnicity, which is determined by where their people settled after leaving Sol."Hail, captain," Wolf gives you a broad smile and a salute. "I can't believe it, just a few months ago, we were squaddies, now I'm working for you and you're the hero of Chandra. Well, thanks at least for getting me out of that battle."You pat his shoulder amicably "I couldn't have finished the mission with you getting in the way, now could I? And I wouldn't say I'm famous enough to be called the hero of Chandra,""You're the navy's poster girl! Let me tell you something else, you sure took Arjun down a peg. He's still nursing his wounded ego at having been the first Captain to retreat in the entire war. He always thought of himself as the navy's finest supersoldier because he was top of the academy. I don't know if he'll ever recover.""Well, he said himself that real life isn't like the academy. I'm glad to hear he's in good health though... Have you heard any news about Shelby?""Yeah, he was resuscitated and is on trial right now. I suspect that your friendship may be over... I never trusted him to begin with."You nod. Then move on to inspect the newcomers.You walk up to the curiosity that is Twelve. She is black-haired and black-eyed, with pale, smooth skin that is without blemish or wrinkle, looking barely 18. She is actually quite beautiful, but with an uncanny doll-like quality. She stands at attention, without reaction to your presence. Wolf raises his hand and snaps a finger. Like a nervous tic, she blinks hard and tenses her neck, then instantly returns to her previous posture."Sudden noises make her do that." Wolf states soberly. "I think her training fucked up her head. I don't know what they did to her, but it's not right.""Can you talk?" you ask her."Yes Captain." she replies in a monotone, suddenly looking you in the eyes with focused intensity. It makes you quite uncomfortable. She makes no further reactions, but only stares."Are you qualified to lead crew?" you ask."Yes Captain." she replies, much the same as before."... That is all..." you say to her, hoping she'll stop watching you. Perhaps over time she'll start to pick up normal human characteristics.1/?
>>4642154You walk over to Amanda Lockley, she is a 5 foot tall catgirl with huge, bright yellow eyes, striped orange hair, fluffy cat ears and a fluffy tail that sways lazily behind her back. Her appearance is unusually childlike, and she looks a lot like Iria in some ways."You, where are you from?" you ask."Nyaa-likar" she replies. Narlikar is a moon of the gas giant Aryabhata, in Chandra. She looks nothing like the average Aryabhatan."Why do you..." you begin but can't quite figure out a way to phrase the rest of the sentence without being completely blunt about your question."Oh, the ears and tail? I had them since I was a baby." she says proudly. "Would you like to touch them?"Your sense of propriety sorely tempts you to say no, but curiosity gets the best of you, this is simply too fascinating. You step closer, and reach out a hand, and she suddenly pushes her head into it. You run your fingers through her hair, and over her ears. You can feel surgery scars, but her skull structure seems to be suited to her unusual features. This isn't something that can be done through surgery, only through extensive genetic manipulation pre-utero, and possible sculpting of the skeleton in-utero as well. You think it's likely that the surgery scars are from skin grafts, to give her unusually-shaped ears their layer of fur.You notice she is purring, and the other captains are all staring at you, and you pull your hand away.You walk over to the last of your squadmates, Halifax Kiani, one that you are glad is an ordinary human and not some sort of laboratory experiment. He is in his 30's but looks older, with receding salt-and-pepper hair, a worn face and a forward neck posture. He looks like someone who lived a hard life, except that right now he is wearing a wry smile on his face."Is something amusing?" you ask confrontationally."No ma'am." he says, with a suddenly professional demeanor."So what's your story? Bred to be the perfect soldier? Crown prince of a distant star? Best chef in the galaxy?""No ma'am, I'm just here to kill Locusts."Nobody notices your single tear of joy before you subtly wipe it away.2/3
>>4642163You go over your mission briefing with your squad:"Relatively close to XOC2, there are several asteroids which were once home to small, unauthorized settlements. After the Cataclysm, these settlements were abandoned, but in recent years they have seen unusually heightened civilian activity once more. It was believed that this activity was due to scavengers seeking to strip the settlements of useful materials before the Locusts arrived, or perhaps set up monitoring equipment to study the invaders. However, during the Battle of XOC2, a Locust ship was partially disabled and drifted off course. As if in waiting, unidentified vessels emerged from one of these asteroids, intercepted the drifting ship, and began towing it back to the asteroid. The navy wishes to study the Locust ship, and the independent vessels have ignored all attempts at contact. Surveillance probes launched towards them have all been shot down by military-grade missile technology originating from the asteroid. It is suspected that the settlement has been taken over by mercenaries who wish to sell technology from the captured vessel, and it is unknown how well-armed the asteroid is, but it is potentially quite well-fortified.""Wait, why would anyone sabotage the war effort like that? If the Locusts win this war, then everyone will end up dead." Wolf interjects."They're probably selling the tech to a Guild" Halifax responds. "To the Guilds, this war means nothing. They can just leave the system on the same ship they arrived in. For the mercs, this deal could buy them a ticket into the safety of the Cradle."You butt back in, "Whatever the case may be, orders are, neutralize all threats and recover the alien technology."Decision: Plan of action>Bombard the asteroid into submission>Board the asteroid>Besiege the asteroid and blockade any ships from leaving with the salvaged alien tech
>>4642169>write in"You're all here because you have a unique perspective on combat, right now I have some options of my own but I want to hear all of your thoughts on how you would take this"Are write ins acceptable? If not I will change my vote. This way we can keep our options open and start building a good relationship with all of our squadies.
>>4642438Yeah sure, write-ins are always allowed, the options provided are more like suggestionsI can fulfill requests for more information or for NPC interactions as a "free action", without advancing the story or requiring a dice roll.
>>4642438Sounds good to me
>>4642438>"You're all here because you have a unique perspective on combat, right now I have some options of my own but I want to hear all of your thoughts on how you would take this""Our ships lack landing vessels." Twelve speaks up instantly, before anyone else has a chance to contemplate your question. "Naval doctrine recommends against attempting a landing under hostile fire without a dedicated dropship. Standard procedure for dealing with a hostile settlement is bombardment with nuclear weapons. The rock debris and radioactive fallout will cause catastrophic damage to all structures not underground.""I say we storm the place." Halifax responds, with total confidence. "Look at our ships, how much armor plating do they have? Several centimeters? An asteroid base has potentially meters of natural rock armor for its most important sections. They can also potentially use the entire rock to disperse generator heat via conduction, and to store missiles. We'd be at a huge disadvantage in a battle of attrition. Remember that the Locusts couldn't take XOC2, even though their fleet was much stronger than ours. Not to mention, if we start throwing heavy weapons fire at them, we might damage the alien artifacts. It's the same thing if we try to embargo the roid. What are we going to do when they make a run for it? Shoot them down with all the valuable salvage on board? There's only one right way to do this that doesn't result in us saying 'Oops sorry' to the Admiral.""It will not be possible to initiate a landing." Twelve replies, with a flat voice devoid of emotion, in stark contrast to Halifax's gung-ho enthusiasm."We do it cowboy style, like the roiders used to do it in the old clan wars. Find or create a blind spot in their field of fire, get in close, spacewalk over, crawl along the ridges, and then blast our way through the front door." Halifax responds.Wolf groans, "That sounds like a horrible idea. If they figure out what we're doing a single nuke could kill the entire boarding team. If we keep our distance, we can stay cool and assess the situation. They're going to have to make a break for it at some point. We can just use precision weapons to disable their transport ship and force them to surrender.""It might not be that easy" you respond. "They wouldn't get themselves into a situation like this unless they had an escape plan. They probably have decoys, and relay stations. We might end up chasing some small, remote-controlled ship across the entire system before we catch it.""Meow! Chasing them around sounds fun! We just have to outsmart them." Amanda joins in."You're going to walk right into their trap if you let them make a run for it on their own terms. Never do what your enemy wants you to do." Halifax insists.Decision:>Plan of action
>>4642872We’re in a war against a largely unknown enemy, one that isn’t going to wait around while we’re laying siege. Bombardment gets us nothing besides denying the tech to people that, while they might be cowards planning to cut and run, aren’t even our enemies; at best it’s a waste of munitions and time. Boarding is the only plan that fulfills all the objectives in a timely manner, and there are more lives than ours on the line.>Boarding.
>>4642872>>4643052what about a decoy maneuver where we show up with a number of our ships and make enough of a scene that they have react to while not forcing them to turn tail, meanwhile send in a strike team
>>4642872I don't know. I have to go with boarding here. Bruh, the man just said that the TECHNOLOGICALLY SUPERIOR ENEMIES OUTGUNNED AND OUTNUMBERED THE ASTEROID and got their insectoid dicks slapped. We're one crew in a collection of NASA life-sized soda cans tied together with welding.Stop being stupid and do a proper land and board. Oh--with an emphasis on salvaging any tech we can locate. Any edge in a war like this is a good thing.
I just wanted to quickly mention OOC so as not to be misleading, that nobody has ever actually seen a Locust or knows what they look like, most of their fighting is done by machine-pilotted ships with no crew quarters. They were only derisively named Locusts for how they inhabit asteroids, strip them of resources, move on to the next, and spread exponentially until they have taken over a whole system, then move onto the next system.
>>4644097>>4643055>what about a decoy maneuver where we show up with a number of our ships and make enough of a scene that they have react to while not forcing them to turn tail, meanwhile send in a strike teamThe asteroid has a hollow section cut into it to shelter the settlement's surface structures from meteroid impacts. The Locust ship has been towed into the hollow section as remote-controlled engineering drones disassemble it. The mercenaries are clearly professionals, judging by their equipment and level of planning, but the Chandran navy still has far superior access to resources than they do. Five naval warships should be more than a match for anything you've seen them flying around (mostly just cheap civilian junkers), but an asteroid settlement is still a tough foe. The roiders that originally lived there, in all likelihood, were some type of criminal or dissident; and this far outside the protection of Chandra's government, wars between roiders were not uncommon. So you can expect the settlement to have had well-fortified defensive systems built into it since long before the Cataclysm. However, the mercs now occupying the base are operating only with a skeleton crew compared to the roid's previous population. They may not be able to fully man all the threat monitoring and weapons systems, and that's assuming that they're all still operational, which is unlikely. You decide to use your squad to soften up their defenses with precision weapons, and to draw away drones and missiles, then swoop in and make your landing team's insertion.With the Albatross Heavy finally fully repaired and operational, you assemble the crew and make a formal inspection. Many of the old crew are gone, though you do recognize several familiar faces, including some hospital recoveries, who smile at you as you pass by.You also spy one face among your crew in particular, wearing the Weapons officer's jacket. Evelyn Voight, the locker room marauder, a woman with multiple black marks on her record for harassment, but a Simo Rating of 96, putting her within the top percentile of gunners in the fleet. You can tell by her expression that she's not in the slightest ashamed of how she acted towards you earlier. "So," she says, with a sly swagger, "it looks like I'll be the one handling your big guns from now on."You shoot her a disapproving glare. "You keep your hands on your own 'big guns'!" you bark at her, eliciting confused looks from the rest of your crew. 1/?
>>4644583Your executive officer is Varina Locke, you recognize her last name as being one of the most important political families on the major inner world of Bose. She is ethereally beautiful, with skin as black as jet and lips that seem to be even darker, exquisitely contrasting her silver-within-silver eyes and platinum hair that light ripples off of with gemstone luster. Her gorgeous heart-shaped face has flawless, perfectly sculpted features, with a celestial nose, and plump lips, and she has a tall, graceful body whose feminine form sways from head to toe in gentle rolling waves, from thick to thin. Her body is clearly the result of extensive genetic modification meant to construct her into something akin to a work of living art. She is one of the system's high nobility, the remnants of the wealthy ruling classes who were in power before the system unified into a military stratocracy, yet who still continue to exert tremendous influence on Chandra. A woman like this would never be caught dead working as a mere lieutenant. You wonder how she ended up here, and aren't too eager about having yet another princess as your lieutenant."I've heard about your family. The Lockes practically rule Bose, don't they? Don't expect any special privileges on my ship on account of your birth.""No ma'am," she says in a refined accent, "I have requested to be placed onto your ship because I admire your devotion, it was my desire to serve beside the hero of Chandra.""As a lieutenant?" you ask. "Surely you could afford to be commissioned as a captain, if not an admiral.""I have spent what wealth I could afford. The Lockes disinherited me after I was born; though my father promised to give me a stipend to live off of, with the stipulation that I must stay hidden away from the public eye.""But why?" you ask rather bluntly.She holds out her right hand, and you can see that it has two thumbs, cleft at the knuckle. "The cloning procedure that created me failed to achieve the results my parents wished for. A high noble must be born perfect, but I was born flawed, so they have created a new daughter to replace me, and I am nothing more except an embarrassment. So, captain, do you see why I am here against their wishes?""Because you don't want to live your life under someone else's thu... influence." you say thoughtfully.2/3
>>4644606Having met your new crew, you inspect the ship itself. The Albatross seems to have taken on a completely different character now, and the ship looks... ugly, but utilitarian and functional... which is an upgrade from how it previously looked, which was completely ramshackle. You kind of miss the old Albatross, its quirks made it feel like home. Though the smell of vomit and stale body odor still lingers faintly if you stand too close to the air vents. Actually, you don't miss the old Albatross.With all of your inspections concluded, and with all your officers accounted for, you now must decide who will lead the boarding team. As commander of the squadron, you must remain onboard the command bridge at all times, and it would be considered a dereliction of duty to lead the boarding party yourself, so you will have to delegate another officer to this very dangerous responsibility.Decision: Who will lead the assault team (this will result in a change of perspective):> Lt. Locke, a spoiled aristocrat has no place on this ship until she's been bathed in blood> Ens. Voight, she's a crack shot, so she might just be the woman for the job> Cpt. Halifax, it was his idea after all, and he seems to like the idea of being a cowboy> Cpt. Wolf, this alien tech is priceless and I know Wolf doesn't have any hidden loyalties or motivations> Cpt. Lockley, her unusual features may give her some sort of an advantage> Cpt. Twelve, she's the navy's killing machine, so let's put her into action
>>4644622> Cpt. Halifax, it was his idea after all, and he seems to like the idea of being a cowboyFor now he can take charge especially considering he very likely is well experienced in this feild
>>4644622>Cpt. Halifax, it was his idea after all, and he seems to like the idea of being a cowboy
>>4644622> Cpt. Halifax, it was his idea after all, and he seems to like the idea of being a cowboyYeehaw!
>>4644685>>4644916>>4645060You are Captain Halifax Kiani (for the remainder of the mission), commanding officer of the Helldiver.You never went to the academy, nor had you ever intended to join the navy. You inherited Helldiver from your father, as well as his private security company, though calling it a company is a bit generous. The ship WAS the company, and also your home for that matter. You've spent years cleaning up after the Cataclysm, when devastated cities and abandoned asteroids went from centers of commerce to ruins inhabited by scavengers and pirates. There was no shortage of work for you, cleaning out rat's nests for the navy or for private interests. The good thing about rats was: they were easy targets. They usually just have some jury-rigged remote-controlled drones that they use to steal packages in transit or stick up travellers with. Bust down the door to their hideout, shoot a few bullets and they give up pretty fast, nothing more than desperate thieves. This will be the first time you're fighting a real militarized force. These people probably aren't so different from you in fact. If you had shook a few different hands, then it might be you on that station right now. Normally, a nobody like you would never rub shoulders with naval officers, the cream of the crop of Chandran society (who are typically, in your private opinion, a bunch of out-of-touch, deranged aristocrats who have never been shot at before but still see themselves as the system's warrior elite). Yet after a few years of taking contracts from the navy, you agreed (not that you had a choice) to a permanent contract, as an "auxiliary combatant". In other words, this ship and its crew are now part of the Navy, just without the nice pay, or any opportunities for advancement. Though the silver lining is that you're subject to far less oversight and can still run the ship however you want as long as you put on a good show of being a professional. The practice of recruiting auxiliaries is relatively new, and only began after the Cataclysm. Before then, the navy was far too elitist, but after the destruction of most of the system, they suddenly realized that they needed every able body they could get. You're here for one reason, and that is to be thrown at the enemy to clog up his guns with your guts, and that suits you fine because that's been your family's job for generations.***1/?
>>4646152"So, where'd you get all the money for this cat stuff anyways?" you ask Captain Lockley, while sipping beer at the station's bar. Though the bar is part of a rotating ring that produces centripetal gravity, the beverages are still served in sealed packets."Oh, I come from a verrry rich family." The cat-girl takes a draw on her wine, attempting to look sophisticated; except there's no possible way to sip wine from a straw and look sophisticated."Uh huh" you grunt."The Lockleys are a branch of the Lockes. Our house's founder, Leigh, whom the family name derives from, decided he was tired of looking like everyone else, and broke away from the rest of the family" she says, setting her wine down, having given up on trying to drink it elegantly, and instead now placing her hands on her lap daintily."Well everyone wants to stand out" you say."Oh no, have you ever met a Locke? They all look the same. I mean that quite literally. They are all clones. Their purrrsuit of purrrfection has led to the same boring ideas being repeated again and again. At family gatherings, they need to wear masks to distinguish themselves apart. In these intoxicated affairs, they often switch masks, and adopt eachothers' purrrsonas. It's really quite surrreal." she purrs her words out with a deep rumble whenever she can."Funny, normally people use masks to hide their identity. I guess when you have no face of your own, the mask becomes the reality. So, the Lockleys are the ones who never wanted to wear a mask?""We've never needed one" she says."And what about the fake cat voice you always put on?""Cat voice? What do nyuu mean?" she asks cutesily then shifts her tone, "I suppose that I've always felt that, looking like a cat, it's only appropriate to act like one as well.""So then is that any different from wearing a mask and adopting a persona?""We all have our roles to play, cowboy. The Lockleys, we believe in pushing the boundaries of what it means to be human" she says, and you realize she is leaning towards you.2/?
>>4646168"You know... I've always believed in pushing against human boundaries, myself." you reply with your most charming smile."Really?" she says, looking you in the eyes, "How do you mean?""Well how about I show you? Would you like to come aboard my ship?" you say in a low voice.She giggles, "Now that would really be pushing a boundary. Sorry cowboy, but I'm not that kind of kitten. Let's keep this relationship purrfessional." She gets up, and slowly walks away, swaying her hips and her tail behind her, leaving you sitting at the table in shock at how abruptly you ruined your chances. Just before she leaves the bar, she shoots you a coy glance, which you don't see because you're too busy staring at the wall in dejected disappointment.You return to the Helldiver, contemplating the packet of Bliss you have hidden in your quarters. 12 months clean... is it worth it? No, you're stronger than this. Getting shot down by a pretty lady doesn't hurt nearly as much as getting shot down by a pirate. You have no idea what you thought she saw in you, you're not handsome or rich. Maybe you thought you impressed her with all that bravado when talking to the other captains. Maybe bravado is all you have.***You sit down with your lieutenant, Ulric Rosek. He's ridiculously tall and lanky, with knobby joints and scrawny arms. He's a man who has never once stood on the solid ground of a planet. If he ever tried, the gravity would certainly crush him to death. Of all of the strange-looking humans you've ever seen, he looks the most like an actual alien, he just needs to paint his skin gray. Together, you look over photos of the asteroid. He's an outer rim roider himself. If anyone has any insight into how this base would be set up, it's him. You'll be leading the assault yourself. That's always been how you've done things. So you have a vested interest in making sure this works."A crater contains all the major surface structures, and the other sides are all just bare rock with a few guns sticking out of them with exposed power cables roping back to the main base. Cutting the power cables would make for an easy landing on the bald side of the asteroid." Ulric says. "If we also shoot down all their perimeter surveillance probes, we can also probably slip in completely undetected. Though if we are detected... the team would be at huge risk."You nod silently."None of the surface structures in the crater have connecting walkways. This means they're probably connected underground to a central complex, and these above-ground structures were likely once used for mining storage to offload to freighters" he continues. "Though the current occupants likely collapsed or barricaded up unnecessary entry points."You wave your hand to dismiss his concern, "We can simply watch them, and determine which tunnels are still in use, or use explosives to clear the way if needed."3/4
>>4646182Ulric continues. "You have two possible opportunities: either a direct assault on the crater, using the Helldiver's guns for supressing fire; or a stealth infiltration on the asteroid's flank. A stealth attempt that fails will probably result in the boarding team being killed by a nuclear strike. A direct assault will instead take heavy direct fire, but the enemy wouldn't fire a nuke so close to their own base, as it would create a debris cloud that would prevent them from escaping."You contemplate the situation quietly."Have you ever read the Odyssey?" Uric asks."Hm? Can't say I have" you grunt."Odysseus' ship passes through a narrow strait, on either shore are two horrible monsters. It is impossible to avoid one without being within the reach of the other. Scylla is a six-headed snake; whenever a ship draws near, she inevitably emerges from her cave and each of her heads grabs a sailor to devour. On the other side is Charybdis, who randomly opens her gigantic mouth to drink water, creating a whirlpool that sucks in any ships passing near her and dashes them against the rocks" he says."So what did Odysseus do?" you ask."He decided it was better to sacrifice a few, than to risk total destruction."I should have really invested in buying an assault craft, you think to yourself.You will have 30 men on your assault squad, led by yourself. Mission failure will result in likely death.Decision: Scylla or Charybdis>Storm the crater (casualties = last digit)>Attempt a stealth infiltration (high chance of success)>Take a third option (write-in)
>>4646191>Attempt a stealth infiltration (high chance of success)
>>4646197Preparations for launch are made, and the mission is soon about to be underway. You make sure none of your crew are at the bar, then kick off from the station. The docking clamps are released and you do a cold gas thrust to put the required distance between your ship and the station before switching to thermal rockets. Cpt. Hathor speaks over the squad radio, giving her instructions for course plotting. She's very clean and precise with her orders, with little tolerance for mistakes. Both intelligent and fanatical, she is a woman to be feared. She analyzes everything with a keen eye to try to determine its value, and is completely willing to sacrifice her friends and even herself if she feels it would give her side an advantage. She really is the ideal academy officer, a pure strategist who sees everything objectivelty. Though there is a difference between being a good commander and a good leader. You're told she has a soft side but you have yet to see it. Your ship makes its burn towards the target roid, and the die is cast. All plans are set in motion and you can only hope you are not hurtling to your death. Because you'll be landing on a hot (hostile) roid, none of your crew will be frozen for the month-long trip. Long journeys like these are always unbearably tedious. Your father once said, a soldier's life means standing around doing absolutely nothing 99% of the time, and the remaining 1% of the time doing far too many things, far too quickly. You spend your time drinking and gambling with your men and generally doing everything an officer shouldn't do, while Ulric does everything an officer should do and keeps things functioning. Sometimes you feel that it is actually Ulric who is the real captain. Day by day, you watch the distance to your target counting down with a mix of fear and excitement. The clock seems to tick slower and slower as you approach, but the hostile settlement inevitably draws near. At 20 hours until arrival, you see the first missile launches. No attempts at communication, the asteroid just sends off its welcome fireworks. Your team sends off its own fireworks in response, as is the traditional greeting between navies and freebooters. Occasionally, a wing of gun drones is launched from your squad to deliver tiny little gifts of tungsten pellets at very high speed, while enemy lasers beam messages of love and goodwill to the drones, causing them to spark and explode with joy. 1/?
>>4647990The skirmishing continues on and off for the next several hours as distances close. However, for most of this time you have very little interaction with the battle, as you are already fully suited and strapped against the railing in the airlock, while Ulric commands the ship. Your vessel travels behind the rest of the squad. The other ships take care of the initial contact and softening up the enemy's defenses, you just have to get in there with your boys. Your team's own long range strikes knock out all of the enemy surveillance equipment one by one and nullify all point defenses on the side of the asteroid you intend to land on, but the enemy force continues to regularly send out missile volleys. Ulric will need to create an opening for you by launching off decoy flares. Missiles typically aren't remote controlled due to the additional mass it would add to the rocket, but, that's a dangerous gamble to make. It could all be over for you in a flash. Hathor comes on the radio periodically to give orders in her foreign accent. "Blah blah blah fire zee missiles" she says in her most commanding voice every now and then. Ulric is taking care of all of that stuff. You tip a packet of whiskey up to your lips. The ship suddenly jerks, causing you to accidentally squeeze the packet, sending big fat jiggling globes of alcohol flying everywhere. God damn it. A petty officer wordlessly offers you his packet of whiskey. You're just about to grab it when the ship suddenly begins to harshly decellerate. The packet and all its liquid contents go flying into your face. "Thanks Archie" you grumble. He gives you a half-cocked grin and a mock salute in response. "Helmets on! Depressurizing airlock!" you hear Ulric shouting over the radio, and quickly seal your visor. Not a second later, you feel the rush of air, as the vents begin to rapidly pump oxygen out of the room. Everyone looks alive and ready to go, just waiting for those airlock doors to open. 2/3
>>4647991You have 30 soldiers, divided into 5 teams of 6. Each team is made up of 4 light infantry armed with SMGs and frag grenades, and 2 specially-trained experts. Decision: Pick 2>Assault (trench gun, flashbangs, nanoscale armor, breaching charges) - an expert in breaching doors and initiating close contact>Marksman (sniper coilgun, pistol) - a crack shot with a large rifle that could disable a tank>Infiltrator (SMG, smoke grenades, holographic decoy projector, spy drone, proximity mine) - an operative trained to scout ahead and set traps and create diversions. His spy drone comes with an array of sensors and can see through thin walls.>Specialist (SMG, medical kit, hacking tools) - Trained as a field medic and a hacker>Demolitionist (Grenade launcher, frag grenades, emp grenades, incendiary grenades, demolition charges) - Makes things go boom, sometimes goes boom himself when shot>Machinegunner (LMG, pistol) - carries a bipod light machine gun for suppressive fire>Mech soldier (rocket launcher, HMG) - the armored exoskeleton needs to be carried and assembled on-site, it requires a constant non-portable power supply, which means it needs to tap into the enemy's power grid, and supply power by cable. The suit is well armored but the cable is vulnerable to being cut.
>>4647994The enemy base is buildings in a crater, so we need and we are sneaking in from the other side of the asteroid, so we need to walk on the surface around the asteroid and then make our way into the crater. Seeing as the base is supposedly understaffed and our landing was stealthy, I have come up with a plan of maximum surprise.First, a>Marksman (sniper coilgun, pistol) - a crack shot with a large rifle that could disable a tankwould snipe and any heavy weapons and enemies in the perimeter of the crater. The enemy would probably withdraw into the base to avoid being sniped, but too bad, the>Infiltrator (SMG, smoke grenades, holographic decoy projector, spy drone, proximity mine) - an operative trained to scout ahead and set traps and create diversions. His spy drone comes with an array of sensors and can see through thin walls.would see through walls and let the marksman shoot through the walls of the base. Once the infiltrator finds, or tge marksman makes, an undefended entrance, the squad can enter the base. The shoot through walls combo of infiltrator + marksman would let us clear out any thin walled room without having to risk our grunts in a bloody assault. The infiltrator would help us set up diversions and help us flank if we really had to assault an area with thicker walls, while the marksman provides covering fire.Seeing as we basically pssh, *teleports behind you* the enemy and have a shoot-through-walls cheat and have cut off their escape route with spaceships, confusion, disorder, and panic will set in the roiders' minds, and with some luck we might even get them to surrender This won't work if Chandra is known for executing dissenters and pirates and not providing clemency to people who surrender, which is likely, seeing as they installed a kill chip in usIf so, I guess a boring old >Assault>Infiltratorcombo is fine too
I've been trying to maintain a 1 post per day rate, but I'm struggling to keep up with this due to real life demands. I'm thinking that I'll aim to update 3 times a week instead.>>4648094>This won't work if Chandra is known for executing dissenters and pirates and not providing clemency to people who surrender, which is likely, seeing as they installed a kill chip in usThe state would put them in forced labor or execute them, so surrender is on the table, but not ideal.
>>4649212No worriesAww, so Assault + Infiltrator is probably better
>>4649313Most heavy industrial labor is done by automated machinery. What is needed is people to do the jobs the machines can't, so typically, maintenance. Another thing that AI can't do is kill humans, this was something that was hard-coded into them since before humans left Sol, and basically, nobody knows how to bypass this restriction anymore because most knowledge of how they work internally has been lost to time. (This is part of the reason for the technological stasis mankind has been in).So overall, prisoners wouldn't be galley slaves or rockbreakers, they'd be mechanics or soldiers with bombs implanted in their skulls, which, overall, is preferable to death for most people. Though what their sentence is, would largely depend on the admiral's whims. Attached to every fleet is an organization called Fleet Command, which includes all the admirals in the fleet, and all the associated administrative and legal offices. The legal offices are supposed to be loyal to the very top (and has the power to court martial admirals) but typically naval factions are connected and clever enough to insert their own lackeys into the legal offices, so they can basically do whatever they want. The criminals would be trialed at one of these courts.
>>4649367It's always good to know about more about the worldSo you've already started writing with Marksman + Infiltrator, right? Let's hope they don't shoot down the drones, have enough walls thin enough to see and shoot through, and aren't all anti brain surgery fanatics.
>>4648094>>4648300As the room drains of air, you give a quick glance around to make sure nobody's suffocating to death. Everyone's conscious. Always a good sign. Most of you are wearing navy-issue spacesuits with a massive back-mounted cold gas thruster for movement. The thruster is detachable and will likely be removed upon entering the confined quarters of the enemy base's interior. The suits themselves are relatively form fitting compared to civilian suits, and offer additional protection against heat and radiation. Aside from a few plated sections and a helmet, your only armor is an under-lining of spidersilk for resistence to shrapnel and small arms. Your infiltrators wear suits coated in nanoblack, a substance that is designed to trap light and diffuse it as heat, so except for their shaded visors they simply appear as shifting, indistinct black amorphous blobs with no discernable features. It's actually quite creepy, like a living black hole. A few moments later, the airlock doors begin to unlock and slowly creak open with a hiss. "Green for drop!" Ulric gives the go. "Remember, I want complete radio silence from here on out. Don't want them picking up our comms chatter and finding us. Stick to the plan till we get inside their base." You say over assault squad radio. "Hey, just so I'm clear before we go silent, I'm using the high hardness long rod penetrator to disable their anti-personnel defenses, right?" marksman Shaw asks. "Right..." you reply, dreading the inevitable. There are only so many variations you can bear on the same dick joke. "So can you tell Captain Lockley my long hard penetrating rod-" "NO TIME FOR ANY MORE QUESTIONS! MOVE MOVE MOVE! HOOF IT YOU LAZY SLOBS" you suddenly shout out and silence comms. One by one, your crew jump out of the airlock and propel themselves to the asteroid's surface. It is a grey and lifeless rock covered in craters, and only barely visible in the dim light of distant stars. Your infiltrators are completely invisible in the dark, even among the faint illumination of their teammates' headlamps. You're last to jump. You stand at the doorway for only a split second before lunging forward, crossing the threshold from your home into the terrifying abyss of space. Floating through the void once more, you again become keenly aware of the deafening silence that pervades your existence in this dark and distant place. You are completely alone, a tiny bubble in an infinite sea, auditorily aware of nothing except yourself. This is the kind of silence that still haunts you in your sleep. Whenever your dreams turn this quiet, it inevitably heralds bloodshed. You bite your cheek, the pain and the taste of blood tells you you are still awake, still alive. The inside of your mouth is scarred from years of this kind of abuse. It's time to do this. 1/?
>>4653353You haven't even landed on the asteroid when the Helldiver begins to accellerate away. You're glad to see it go because having it nearby would only draw attention to you. You impact the surface of the roid with a good deal of force and stumble into the rocks a little before finding something to grab onto with your climbing pick. Glad nobody was underneath you. After a quick check of your suit and your surroundings, you flash your headlamp to give the signal to go ahead and begin your crawl along the surface of the asteroid. Though from your perspective, it is not so much a crawl as a jetpack-assisted climb up the stone face of some impossible mountain, with the night sky stretching forever above and below. In the far distance, Helldiver launches off flares while nuclear flashes provide occasional bursts of light. Each one makes you seize up for just a moment. You're still alive, you tell yourself over and over, and never look directly at the flash. After climbing for almost an hour, you crest the top of the crater and have a clear view inside the enemy base. It looks ancient and dilapidated, with dented and meteor-battered dull metal buildings made all the worse by scores of newly-added laser scorchmarks. In the center of the base is the alien ship. It is sleek, chrome and cylindrical, looking nothing like its weathered surroundings. It is tethered to the base at three points, and it has holes cut into it in various points, spoiling its geometric perfection. Within the crater, there are multiple heavy gun emplacements embedded in the rock, but these have a narrow field of fire and aren't a threat. What is a threat are the small turreted railguns which would shred apart any infantry or small vehicles. Most of these turrets have already been slagged by ship lasers, but there are still a few active. You don't see any enemy infantry out in the open, understable, as you'd have to be a madman to leave your base while it's under attack by a naval vessel. Your marksmen signal eachother and take up positions, assembling their massive coilguns, which are taller than their operators when fully armed, at around 9 feet in length, and which come with their own radioisotope thermoelectric generator for power (your astronauts' suits are the only protection they are offered from the radiation). A weapon this heavy is only feasible in microgravity, and you're glad you didn't need to lug one up the asteroid. Your marksmen mark the position of each of the turrets, then deploy their guns, firing pistons into the ground to keep the weapon steady so it doesn't fly off into space after being fired. Each of them levels their aim, then, with what would have been a tremendous series of bangs had you not been in space, these weapons launch their projectiles, kicking up huge clouds of dust and rock around the operators, and turning enemy weapon emplacements into shrapnel. 2/3
>>4653359With practiced efficiency, your marksmen immediately begin redeploying their guns. Your infiltrators, a good distance away, toss off decoys designed to give the appearance of human-sized targets on scanner, and several turrets begin firing on these fakes. Your marksmen pick off the turrets one by one, then your infiltrators do a scan of the area with spy probes to confirm the exterior of the base is clear. You re-enable comms and begin tersely barking out orders. Your team moves into the crater, taking up cover positions behind various buildings. These buildings are all unornate metal silos, with no distinguishing features except for the various levels of damage they've taken over the years, and barely-legible numerals painted on them in faded red paint. You can begin to investigate the crater now or save that for after the mission. Decision>Carefully investigate the surface buildings (roll 1d100)>Breach the nearest building and work your way downwards>Investigate the alien ship>Try to disable the heavy guns (roll 1d100)
Rolled 37 (1d100)>>4653360>>Carefully investigate the surface buildings (roll 1d100)Hehehe long, hard, penetrating rods
>>4653360I'd vote for >>4653452 but don't know how to roll. Also don't want a worse one.
Rolled 19 (1d100)>>4653360>Carefully investigate the surface buildings (roll 1d100)
Rolled 5 (1d6)>>4653452>>4655000
>>4653452>>4654621>>4655000>>4657449You give the orders for your teams to split up and examine each of the dozen silos within the crater. These silos have large vehicle-sized loading doors at the top, facing out into space, with smaller man-sized doors on the side. Without gravity, "up" is often subjective, and architecture often reflects this. Your teams breach the buildings by the smaller doors and leave the roofs sealed shut. The first few buildings are filled with nothing but old mining equipment and empty shipping crates. Team 3 finds a suite of brand new engineering drones in one of the structures, presumably the same drones the mercs were using to cut apart the UFO. You get a radio call from team 4's leader, PO Archer, "Hey, we have something interesting here in silo vee-eye." You think he means silo 6. "Tell me what you see Archie." you respond. "There's electronics everywhere, and wires. I think they may be from that ship. I can't tell for sure, but it doesn't look like-" There is a sudden loud noise over the radio, and the transmission cuts out mid-sentence. In the next moment, the entire team's heart rate monitors begin to flip red on your HUD to show medical distress. "Medic!" someone shrieks over the mic. "Explosion!" "Team four is down. Team 1, I want a scan on the building for hostiles" you say urgently. "I see six warm bodies in there" comes the scout's report. "Team 1, get inside" you order. "Don't worry buddy, help is on the way." "Roger..." comes the reply from 1's PO, a man nicknamed Mayday. You wait in silence. Team 4's heart monitors go black one by one, for all except two of them. Mayday's voice returns several minutes later, "The place is a mess. I see six of our guys, only one is still conscious. We'll try to patch them up." You glide to the building as another heart monitor goes black, and land on the silo wall then pull yourself down through the doorway at your feet. Despite how large the building is from the outside, internally, it has a very cramped feel due to being a warehouse of big metal containers, several of which have been left open. Assorted electronic parts float freely about the room, producing a maze of metal wires, optical cables, microchips, capacitors and so on. Shards of jagged metal drift lazily past you amid globes of blood, like piranha after a feeding frenzy. The nearest shipping container is surrounded by blood splatters, floating bodies and chunks of gore. As you wipe the sanguine mist from your visor, something big thumps against you, knocking you into the wall. You notice the wall is embedded with grenade shrapnel, as if a dozen or so of them had all gone off. You right yourself around to see that PO Archer's body now floats lifelessly in front of you, his suit riddled with bloody holes. He watches you expectantly with dead eyes, as if awaiting some sort of apology or farewell. You push him away so he's facing the opposite direction, it's easier than saying goodbye. 1/2
>>4657557The wounded man from team 4 is being attended by squad 1, he's just a rookie, so covered in blood you can't tell what's his and what's his team's. "We've taped up the tears in his suit." Mayday tells you. "He has some serious lacerations, but all we can do is put pressure on it. None of the others made it. " "Have someone from your team stay behind with him" you order. "No..." the rookie says, in an almost shellshocked state, oblivious to his injuries, "I can still fight... I'm fine." "That's not what Mayday says" you reply, "try to rest yourself, at least until we know you won't bleed out." He vacantly nods.Examining the scattered clouds of electronic parts, at first it all seems to you like Chandran technology, but on closer look, you can see that the circuitry is unusually tiny, miniaturized beyond what is typically seen on a Chandran vessel. Is this what interloper tech looks like? You expected it to be more... inscrutible, imagining some sort of techno-magic with glowing rods and energy fields. Instead, it looks like they ripped their technology off from humans, and simply improved on our existing designs. Though in all likelihood, if the pirates were willing to use this equipment as a decoy, it is probably not their most important salvage. You can't help but shake the feeling that there may be more traps hidden among the junk. You have your scouts map out the first floor of the base with drones, and, as anticipated, each of the surface silos are connected underground. The tunnel is a long underground railway, with two parallel tracks flanked by pedestrian walkways. The place looks spartan at best, with mined-out rock walls supported by steel beams with flickering lightbulbs hanging off of them, providing meagre illumination. The path leads to a large airtight metal door, currently sealed shut, which is set into the stone. Beneath Silo 6, there is a tram car at the platform, a rusted thing with cracked and peeling paint. The pedestrian walkways are barricaded by old, deactivated loading bots, which are little more than a man-sized remote-controlled thruster with a clamping arm. Your surveillance sweep picks up several improvised anti-personnel traps along the tracks, mostly just grenades on a tripwire. Multi-choice:>Crack open more crates in silo 6 and see what else you can find>Throw decoys down the hallway to test for automated defenses (1 use left)>Throw the still-warm bodies of your dead teammates down the hallway to test for automated defenses>Snipe off all the loading drones>Sweep the tram for traps then send it down the tracks at full speed>Write-in
>>4657569>Snipe off all the loading drones>Sweep the tram for traps then send it down the tracks at full speed>Throw the still-warm bodies of your dead teammates down the hallway to test for automated defenses
Don't you die on me, damnit! Live! LIVE!
This incredible writing and storytelling has left me erected beyond what is safe. You wouldn't believe the dissatisfaction I felt when I realized there were no more updates but I trust fallenQM will show up again and treat us with incredible writing once again.This option: >Sweep the tram for traps then send it down the tracks at full speed. I can see many boom booms going off, so much I wouldn't be surprised if the tunnel collapses. In fact, I'd rather move to another Silo but the others will have explosive welcomes as well... it seems we are still in a vacuum with no gravity. Wouldn't it be great if we glide by the rock ceiling of the tunnel? I can tell there are fewer traps on the UP side. I want to save the last decoys for when we meet people and not automated defenses.>Write in>Have the infiltrators lead the way to the airtight door by gliding through the "roof" of the tunnel. They will disable what traps there might be and warn the rest of any automated defenses there are on the way. I assume a human might realize a person is *there* but not a machine since the infiltrators have no discernible features and give off a minimal heat signature. I'd rather not have their spy drones leading the charge because those would trigger the defenses.Once the team reaches the airlock, well, it's gotta open somehow
Rolled 78 (1d100)>>466528787 is a high number but I wanna beat>>4659397here is my roll!
Hi everyone, sorry to leave you hanging so long. I promise an update shortly, real life has been keeping my hands tied.
>>4658901>>4659397>>4665287>>4665291"Alright, we need to move fast and see what they have in store for us. Grab the bodies while they're still warm and throw them down the tunnel." You command squad 1. "With all due respect sir..." Mayday replies skeptically. "We still have decoys we can use. I don't see any reason to defile the bodies of our brothers in arms. Would you really throw Archie's body away like that? Damnit, you two were drinking together just a few hours ago." You grab Archie's body and yank it towards you. "Look at it this way, we just lost 5 men. That's almost 20% of our firepower. Those big anti-ship guns in the front of the base are still active. There won't be any rescue if we fuck up. The rats will take us hostage and when they realize we're not worth anything, they'll shoot us out an airlock. So we need to conserve every resource we have. You can either pick up a body or throw yourself down the tunnel." "...roger that" comes Mayday's reluctant response. You grab Archie's bloodstained body from behind, but his bulky thruster makes him difficult to carry, so you spin him around, hugging his chest to yours and using your thruster to propel the both of you together. Locked into a macabre embrace, his glossy eyes stare into your soul. His lifeless lips are slightly parted, in the flickering light you almost imagine them curling into a faint smile, but you push the irrational thought from your mind. Just dead meat like you've seen plenty of times before, you remind yourself, this isn't your first rodeo. There's no longer a PO Archer, never was. This is just a lump of matter. The section of tunnel you are in is long and straight, then softly veers around a corner. You wait for everyone to get into position behind cover, then you throw the dead body along the path you intend to take (which is the "ceiling"). As it glides forward, the corpse sets off an automated turret hidden behind a support beam, which shreds it with machinegun fire. The corpse hits the wall and comes to a stop, now looking less like a body and more like an unrecognizable tangle of crimson-stained metal, fabric and flesh. One of your marksmen destroys the turret (and the support beam), with a single coilgun round. 1/?
>>4669075You are about to order team 1 to move forward but something about the scrapped loading drones strikes you as suspicious. You order the marksmen to fire on them. A volley of shots goes off and the walkway they were piled on explodes combustively, sending chunks of metal everywhere. From the opposite walkway, a pair of loading drones stirs from the pile and begins to align themselves towards you. As the marksmen reload, the two drones begin to accellerate forward with lethal intent, and you can clearly see that their undersides have been strapped with explosives. Another volley goes off from your marksmen, and the drones fly apart in a massive fireball. "Nice shot" you compliment them. Before team 1 sweeps the path for traps, you have your best infiltrator, codenamed Echo, check the trolley, and predictably enough, find that it has several tripwired grenades hidden onboard. During the bomb sweep you also find a grisly corpse sitting in the driver's seat, still preserved in time by the vacuum of space. The man was apparently dying of some illness you can't identify, causing his skin to turn white and peel off. At some point, he must have willingly removed his helmet and asphyxiated himself. Perhaps he once had some affinity for this rusted old tram if he chose to die here. Surprisingly, you find that the vehicle is still in working condition, and recently refuelled. You wonder if it is capable of being recalled from a central location, and if there was a remote operator just waiting to run you over. You make sure the vehicle can't move unless you want it to by having the wires cut. By the time team 1 finishes testing for traps, they ultimately reach the metal doors, which seem to be some sort of vehicle airlock. A security camera watches them, following their movements inquisitively until Mayday puts a bullet in it. The doors are formidable, you could try to use some of the engineering equipment you brought with you to slowly cut your way through, but you have a better idea. You call team 1 back. 2/3
>>4669084Upon receiving the order, Echo hotwires the train, jams the accellerator, then jumps out and scrambles for cover. The train builds up speed down the tracks, setting off anti-personnel explosives which tear through its thin metal hull plating. These traps would certainly have killed any passengers on board. The tram turns around the bend and you watch the resulting chaos from a surveillance drone on your visor's built-in vidscreen. The runaway vehicle continues accellerating down the long track until an explosion disables the engine, but already, the vehicle has picked up too much momentum to be stopped. As it reaches the end of the tracks another, much larger explosion derails it. It screeches along the side of the tunnel with an incredible amount of force, sending sparks flying, until it impacts the airlock doors and plows right through them. What follows can only be described as a blizzard of metal, as explosive decompression adds to the mayhem of the collision, sucking shards of debris back into the vacuum of the tunnel. A deadly wind passes through the entire length of the hall, battering everything with stones and metal darts and ripping apart anything not behind cover. When the chaos is over, the tunnel is filled with a cloud of floating debris, bits colliding with eachother and bouncing off walls, with metal flakes glinting as they continue to rain past you. When it is safe, you order your men to advance, carefully making your way forward amid the rubble. A scouting probe shows the chamber ahead, behind two sets of ruined doors is a rail junction, which branches off in several directions. It was meant to serve as a train yard, with maintenance huts and staff rooms off to one side, and it was clearly meant to remain pressurized, with the contents of all of the small structures now scattered about. The ram-tram now lies in the center of it all, severely battered but triumphant, drifting freely amid the other wreckage. Dead bodies float about, some of them old, but at least a dozen are fresh kills, judging by their thermal signatures. Waiting in ambush behind the door, they all fell victim to your battering ram, with no survivors. From here, your path opens up somewhat, depending on which path you follow down the railway tubes. Decision:>Security Bridge>Hangar Bay (for all drones and manned spaceships)>Habitation Complex (Former civilian residences, a market quarter and a Hydroponics farm)>Research Laboratories and Medbay>Mining Bay, Auto-Factory District and programmable AI mainframe