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File: OP Image.gif (3.4 MB, 1200x675)
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Galdate: 256.013 Post Cataclysmus.
Ship Time: 1553 hrs - Beta Shift.
Personal Log Entry #01:
[Audio Transcription]
The dreams have been getting worse.
Looking through the viewport used to give me chills. The endless fields of all-devouring black holes staring back at me like the eyes of dead gods. Now I shudder thinking about confronting the dark behind my own eyelids.
I wake up gasping most nights - my poor bunkmate, bless his soul, puts up with it.
It’s been two weeks since my promotion to Lieutenant Commander and my subsequent inheritance of a command implant and yet, despite taking my immuno-suppressants as prescribed, each night is more disturbing than the last. The nightmares fade fast, leaving terror and bitterness behind but no memory.
I’ve considered talking to father - asking him if the symptoms lingered when it was his turn under the knife but… If this isn’t normal, if I’m somehow incompatible, if…
<Sigh audible.>
I have a duty, a responsibility - to my crew, my ship, my family’s legacy- Hell, to what’s left of the galaxy.
Hundreds of worlds rely on the relief supplies, equipment and protection that we provide, that we alone can deliver. Two hundred years past her retirement age and the Pee-Dee is still the only voidship powerful enough to dive through this forsaken wasteland of a sector and still be fighting fit when she surfaces.

I has fallen to me -

>Blair, the eldest son, born and raised on these very decks (Any+)
>Dallas, the second son, trained at our family’s new academy (Mind+)
>Lachlan, the third son, torn from Mother to pay for the sins of the father (Soul+)
>Blake, the bastard, a jumped up marine and a choice of last resort (Body+)

-to walk the path of my forebears, learning the ropes as it were, to command the last true voidship and ensure the continuing survival of billions.
>>
Vote for our MC’s name and backstory. Writing in a custom name is allowed and encouraged. Mind|Body|Soul are the three character stats this system will use and will tie in with skills/traits.
>>
>>5521410
>Blake, the bastard, a jumped up marine and a choice of last resort (Body+)


Choice nobody wanted go brrrrrrr
>>
>>5521410
>Blake, the bastard, a jumped up marine and a choice of last resort (Body+)

Can't just pass up having the nickname "The Bastard" now can I? (Although should we rename him to Bass/Blast?)
>>
>>5521410
>>Dallas, the second son, trained at our family’s new academy (Mind+)
>>
>>5521410
>Bass, the bastard, a jumped up marine and a choice of last resort (Body+)
>>
>>5521410
>>Dallas, the second son, trained at our family’s new academy (Mind+)
I prefer Blair as the name but with the second backstory.
>>
>>5521410
>>Dallas, the second son, trained at our family’s new academy (Mind+)
>>
>>5521410
>Lachlan, the third son, torn from Mother to pay for the sins of the father (Soul+)
Didn't notice it was a gif at first.
>>
>>5521410
>Dallas, the second son, trained at our family’s new academy (Mind+)
Hollywood tactics, let's go.
>>
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>>5521500
If the updates are slow, know its because I cant help but animate every post...
>>
>>5521516
Based, what software do you use?
>>
>>5521410
>Blair, the second son, trained at our family’s new academy (Mind+)
>>
>>5521556
>>5521512
>>5521500
>>5521484
>>5521462
>>5521440
>>5521437
>>5521434
>>5521415
Looks like we are academy trained.
Dallas seems popular, and a couple of votes for Blake and Blair. Any final votes/changes for name?
>>5521532
Photoshop (using the timeline function), I think I picked the hardest program to animate in outside of Powerpoint.
>>
>>5521516
Based! Your visual style looks very nice. Really excited to see where this quest goes!
>>
>>5521410
[Audio Transcription Cont.]
Father was never the same after we lost Blair. Perhaps that’s why he pushes me so hard.
His firstborn son was raised on these decks - chasing the tails of Marrok engineers through crawlspaces, smuggling rations out from under the quartermaster’s sensitive nose, living and breathing the ancient antech that keeps this old girl’s heart beating. After he was butchered by those wyrm-ridden Rok pirates, I had to step up and leave the academy behind. The Pee-Dee must have a captain of family blood after all - more antech piece of…
<mumbling, unintelligible..
Sure I have all the knowledge, passed down by our grandfathers and great-grandfathers through our new fleet academy but… it’ll never be enough to satisfy Father. Give me one of the new ships-of-the-line, I’d even take a destroyer at this point, just anything with a manual and not two centuries worth jury rigged bypasses and workarounds. At least the family name and our excellent grades were enough to fast track the graduation of my crew and I - misery loves company after all.
<Background chatter.>
My bunkmate and quote unquote “future XO” would like the record to state that I’m miserable enough for all of us and should probably get a headstart on those nightmares.
<A huff, possible amusement?>
Well, that's gratitude for you.

As a graduate of the Annon Fleet Academy you are familiar with numerous standard operating procedures for the Terran Protectorate Navy’s new line of vessels. These are largely based on the design, practices and knowledge of your family’s ship - the Opal class heavy cruiser, TPN Coober Pedy - the only known ‘live’ voidship to make it through the Cataclysm 256 years ago. There are, however, a number of differences between state of the art and ‘antech’ which may leave gaps in your operating knowledge.
>Trait Unlocked: By the Book.


Through your extensive studies you have excelled in not one but three key areas of command. These include leadership and two of your choice:
>Skill Unlocked: Leadership (Mind|Soul)
>Optional Skill: Communications (Mind|Soul)
>Optional Skill: Operations (Mind)
>Optional Skill: Navigation (Mind|Body)
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>Optional Skill: Engineering (Mind)
>Optional Skill: Science (Mind)


Though I never knew my brother well, the thought of never seeing him again does weigh heavily with me. Or at least it makes the implant they prised from his skull and shoved into mine itch like all hell. I guess I’ll always carry a little of him with me.
Anyway, I'll wrap this log up here. The itching is usually followed by the vertigo, claustrophobia and out of body experiences - usually in that order. Best just to take my pills and hit the hay.
<Background chatter.>
Yes, yes… I know that’s what you just said, smartass. Get in your own damn bunk!
LCdr Dallas Annon, signing off.
[End of File]
>>
>>5521799
Vote for which skills you excel at, 2 votes allowed. The webm is important lore wise, if it doesn't work for anyone the transcript is below.

The scene fades in.

Two forms can be seen in the dim light of a cabin, sleeping in a pair of bunks. The terminal beside the bunks displays the following text while a red light blinks occasionally indicating memory access:

>REMOTE SESSION CONNECTING....OK!
>WELCOME USER: SYSROOT01
>ACCESSING 326_016_DA_PERSONAL.log
>FILE SAVED.
>ERROR. D_SPLICER.exe IS NOT AN AUTHORISED-
The previous line is erased, replaced by:
>ROOT OVERRIDE. PROGRAM START.
>WARNING! MEDSCANB01.exe UNEXPECTED VALUE-
The previous line is erased, replaced by:
>WARNING SUPPRESSED. SCANNING....OK!
>SCAN COMPLETE. ONE(1) COMPATIBLE IMPLANT FOUND.
>ERROR. ’COMMIMP03’ REQUIRES ADMIN-
The previous line is erased, replaced by:
>ROOT OVERRIDE. 'COMMIMP03' CONNECTED.
>UPLOADING OMCV_NOWIN.scn......OK!
>DREAM SPLICER STANDBY.
>SEQUENCE START.

The scene fades to black.
>>
>>5521799
Communications (Mind|Soul)
Engineering (Mind)
>>
>>5521799
>Optional Skill: Communications (Mind|Soul)
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)

The skills of a leader of a single ship.
>>
>>5521799
>Optional Skill: Communications (Mind|Soul)
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>>
>>5521799
>>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>>Optional Skill: Engineering (Mind)
>>
>>5521799
>Optional Skill: Navigation (Mind|Body)
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>>
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Looks like Tactical and Communications skills are in the lead for now. I'll leave it a little longer before committing it to our profile.

Picrel is the WIP profile card, I'm also taking suggestions for what Dallas looks like. To keep it on theme, pick a guy from a sci-fi franchise for me to base his appearance off. Or we could just leave him faceless as he has been so far.
>>
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>Optional Skill: Engineering (Mind)
Jury rigged let's go
>>
>>5521799
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>Optional Skill: Engineering (Mind)
>>
>>5521799
>Optional Skill: Tactical (Mind)
>Optional Skill: Engineering (Mind)
>>
>>5521799
Your study and training at the academy have proven your skill in the command areas of Tactical and Engineering. Your ID has been issued.

Suggestions still open for changes to our mugshot.
>>
File: Scene2 - Drifting.gif (4.73 MB, 1200x675)
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You wake slowly, feeling a dull ache and pressure surrounding you. The claustrophobic sensation is becoming all too familiar of late but doesn’t seem to fade this time.
Red, strobing emergency lights bring some clarity to the situation.
You find yourself strapped to the command seat of the observation bridge, the other stations empty and unpowered. The silhouettes of various crew members drift slowly past the forward view ports of the observation deck, backlit by sparse starlight.
Assessing your situation, you gingerly rub your aching chest and neck and shake your head slightly, trying to clear the fog. You begin to organise your thoughts, attempting to piece together logically the circumstances you find yourself in.

Your helmet has not automatically deployed, but your seat restraints have. G-shock would explain the bruising and whiplash but that would mean inertial damping and grav-plates have failed. Emergency power management seems to have defaulted this area to life-support functions only which could only mean one thing…

Shipwide power failure while under acceleration.

How could this have happened? Why is your memory blank? Last thing you can remember was lying down to sleep last night. Today’s simulation was meant to be important but you were… interrupted? Attacked while leaving the system? Why can’t you just remember?!

Your unlucky crewmates only had repurposed mess hall seats at their stations with nothing like the built in safety restraints of your command station. To your dismay, they've been left to drift in a state of disarray, unconscious and potentially injured.

You centre your thoughts, your mind is your best asset and you will think your way out of this. You’ll start by prioritising:

>Yourself. The first step in any emergency is to remove yourself from danger so you can safely assess the situation and find a solution. [Trait: By the Book - recommended option.]
>Your crew. Their wellbeing is essential to solving this situation and it’s your responsibility to ensure it over all else.
>Your ship. Even if you aren’t the captain (yet), this ship represents life for billions of souls and your duty demands you ensure its survival above everything.
>Write in. Perhaps a combination of the above.
>>
>>5522540
>>Your crew. Their wellbeing is essential to solving this situation and it’s your responsibility to ensure it over all else.

Let's put that leadership stat to work, yeah?
>>
>>5522540
>Yourself. The first step in any emergency is to remove yourself from danger so you can safely assess the situation and find a solution
>>
>>5522540
Well, good thing engineering won out at the end I suppose. Are we still coasting on inertia if the power went out while we were under acceleration? I guess not, since we seem to be still and the bodies outside are just drifting.

>Yourself. The first step in any emergency is to remove yourself from danger so you can safely assess the situation and find a solution. [Trait: By the Book - recommended option.]

We can't help the ship or crew if we die.

Plus, since we have engineering training we actually probably can deal with this situation without our crew if it comes to that.
>>
>>5522540
>Yourself
>>
File: You are here.png (2.66 MB, 2560x1440)
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>>5522662
You take a moment to look past the empty command stations and railing of your raised bridge section to the observation deck below. Where once there were standing security officers and off duty observers there are only floating unconscious bodies. Beyond that, the starfield (or what you can see of it between the ever present holes in space) is static.

[Engineering] You realise the ship must have diverted some emergency power to the manoeuvring jets or 'mavs' to arrest what would have been a violent spin otherwise. This is not an automatic process, the order must have come from CIC or engineering decks.

Inertia is indeed a thing, those bodies are floating inside the observation deck. Sorry if that was unclear, the observation bridge where you and your training crew perform your simulations is located above and behind the main observation deck (the OP image is of you standing down there on the deck looking out the central viewport). Picrel for location and scale of your family's voidship.
>>
>>5522824
Thanks, that does clear things up for me.
>>
>>5522540
>Your ship. Even if you aren’t the captain (yet), this ship represents life for billions of souls and your duty demands you ensure its survival above everything.
>recommended option.
Not fooling me today demons.
>>
>>5523206
You chose the background, one of its perks is the Trait that will give you hints on standard operating procedures. Its a classic case of Knowlege Vs Experience. As always, its left up to the officer's judgement.

That being said, I'll try not to deliberately lead you astray...no promises.
>>
File: Scene3 - No Signal.gif (3.9 MB, 900x506)
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>>5522824
Knowing that at least some officer downstairs has a handle on things, you consider your own predicament. Your first priority should be to ensure your own safety and autonomy so that you help the rest of your crew and ship in turn.

You begin to tug at your restraints, the smooth yet firm straps mould seamlessly together in an ‘X’ across your chest with a second strap looping snugly around your waist. There is no physical release mechanism, the straps made from the same free flowing nano-materials that make up the ship’s uniforms. A useful technology, which when disconnected from the nanite controller becomes inert - maintaining the form and function it last took - making the entire system extremely power efficient.

What you don’t find quite so useful, as you mash the 5th button on your command seats right armrest to no avail, is that this particular command seat appears to have no backup power to turn off the blasted things.

Your luck continues to prove poor as you try the other buttons, hoping that maybe the inbuilt medscanner has its own separate power source. The lack of results, however, confirms your suspicions that like everything else on this ship, some sort of bypass has been installed around the entire power circuit - safety regulations be damned.

The silence around you is eerie, the ever present hum of the SCRAM drive and gentle vibration of the thrusters conspicuously missing. Floating crewmates twitch unconsciously as they drift, but otherwise seem dead to the world.

“Is anyone else awake?” You croak hoarsely, your voice sounding too loud in your own ears.

There is no reply.

Fighting down rising panic you scrabble at your collar to activate your uniform’s multi-purpose controller, attempting to activate its communicator. In your haste you manage to trigger the MPC’s helmet function instead, your ears popping as the uniform-cum-spacesuit suddenly pressurises. The helmet’s visor lights up with a garbled heads up display, and you hear only your own echoing breath and pounding pulse - you’re hyperventilating.

Just as quickly, you deactivate the claustrophobic suit and take a deep breath, holding it for a count of ten as you’ve been trained to do in such situations. You continue breathing slowly and deeply as your heartbeat slows and pounding in your ears recedes. After a minute, you calmly and deliberately reach for your collar again and activate the communicator.

“Lieutenant Commander Annon to Captain Annon, do you copy?”

Static hisses softly in reply.

“Father, do you copy? Come in!” You try again.
Switching between channels you hear more of the same. Static and silence.

What should you do?
>Apply force to the problem!
>Engineer a solution.
>Try to wake your floating and unconscious bridge officers again. By the Book recommends this option.
>Maybe this implant is good for more than headaches. Thirteenth time’s the charm?
>Something else. Write in.
>>
>>5523378
>Engineer a solution.

This is what our training is for.
>>
>>5523378
>>Engineer a solution.
I'm not sure if we can Tactical a solution so let's get our money's worth of engineering.
>>
>>5523378
>Engineer a solution.
>>
File: Scene4 - Power Source.gif (4.55 MB, 1200x675)
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>>5523378
>>5523390
>>5523403
>>5523431
>Engineer a solution.

With no way to free yourself, assess your wellbeing, or communicate, you decide that a more proactive solution is in order. You wince as you shift your bruised chest against your restraints, freeing up room to dig through a pocket. You never go anywhere without the one piece of antech you can truly call your own, a nano-mat multitool - a graduation gift from Mother.

With a practised twist, the cylindrical tool flows in your hands to form a standard flathead screwdriver. Determined and in spite of the intermittent light, you locate and carefully line up the driver's head with a barely visible crack in the right arm of your seat - levering open the access panel. A nest of brightly coloured wires greets you or at least you assume they’re brightly coloured, the mostly monochrome red lighting making such claims dubious at best. Some wires appear to lead to your command seats controls, some are completely disconnected and others loop back in deeper connecting other various functions.

You pluck the mostly useless MPC from your collar and pause for a moment, sighing. It has a power source if nothing else.

“Well, If you can’t beat em…”

Engineering: Despite your misgivings over jury-rigging important equipment, you are presented with an opportunity to engineer a solution to your problem. You could splice your MPC’s battery into the circuit to restore some functionality. The only question is, which two wires should you connect?

You think you can see which wire connects to which button but after 250 odd years of tinkering you can’t really be sure of anything. Best case, you restore backup power to your command station allowing you to run the medscanner and release your restraints. Worst case… well something could end up fried. Could be you, could be your chair. Neither an ideal prospect.

Needless to say, The Codex Astartes By the Book does not support this course of action. It does, however, suggest that by naval convention the common wire is cyan.
Engineering: Prise open the MPC and connect two wires to the battery terminals. Choose two colours from:
>Cyan
>Red
>Orange
>Yellow
>Green
>Blue
>Pink

Alternatively:
>Abort, find another engineering solution. Suggestion?
>Write in.
>>
>>5523513
>Cyan
>Green
>>
>>5523513
Supporting >>5523762

Though I think both Cyan and Green show up as black in red light, at least according to google.
>>
>>5523513
>cyan
>yellow
I think that loose wire is yellow.
>>
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>>5523833
>>5523882
Here's a close up if it helps. The lighting isn't perfectly red so you can make out some colour.
>>
>>5523378
>What you don’t find quite so useful, as you mash the 5th button on your command seats right armrest
>>5523513
Should we try to connect to the right most wire? Or is it the left?
>>
>>5524017
Whichever is the '5th button'. *looks to QM*
>>
>>5524026
>>5523513

I guess that's part of the challenge. I'll pick the red wire. With the cyan.
>>
>>5524035
Is it? We should know what our character considers the "5th button" that they themselves pressed and that we know in-character is the release button-oh, ima dumb, brainfart moment, you don't mean which wire as in the one closest to the left-most or right-most side of the console. The button we pressed isn't the confusing thing, you just mean which wire that connects to the right-most button which you are assuming is the 5th button. I'm embarrassed.

>>5523513
Supporting >>5524035

Worth a try.
>>
>>5523762
>>5523882
>>5524035
>>5524040
>Cyan and Red it is. Writing.
>>
>>5523513

You grit your teeth and commit to being part of the problem. With a deft flick of the wrist, your multitool reconfigures itself and you carefully strip what you are assuming are the cyan and red wires. It helps that in the red lighting they appear to be both the blue-est and red-est of the entire tangle.

Next, the MPC comes apart at the seams under your careful ministrations to reveal the small, solid-state power cell inside.

The cell, made with the same materials as voidship’s own power generation system, is usually capable of supplying power to a uniform for up to 24 hours under heavy use - and weeks on end under everyday circumstances.

You reconfigure your multitool into a pair of jumper cables and clip one end of each to the cell, making doubly sure not to bridge the terminals in the process. This sort of work is usually left to trained technicians, but you consider it well within your own expertise (though the nervous jitters aren’t helping).

You steady yourself and attach the common terminal of the power cell to the exposed section of the cyan wire. So far so good.

The second jumper lead trembles slightly in your grip as you lower it towards the red wire. You hold your breath, poised waiting for it to still. After a few moments you decide you’re as ready as you’ll ever be and clamp the jaws of the jumper shut around its prey.

Sparks fly.

>I need 3 people to roll 1d4 to see what breaks. Duplicate results are good because that means less gets fried.

1: Nanite Controller
2: Medscanner
3: Comms
4: Seat Adjustment
>>
Rolled 1 (1d4)

>>5524500
le sigh

lets hope whatever breaks, breaks in a good way.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>5524500
We can roll the same number 3 times right?
>>
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>>5524500
>>5524508
>>5524568
If I can get one more roll in half an hour I can squeeze out the next update before I have to head to sleep. Feel free to roll again.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>5524500
Satan guide my dice!
>>
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>>5524500

You jerk back from the sudden flash of light, the crackling hiss of electrical discharge deafens you for a moment but fades to a soft hum just as swiftly as it came. Acrid smoke billows out of the command seat’s access panel, engulfing the observation bridge in the stench of melted plastic and ozone. Coughing, you slap the access panel shut and wave away the black smoke. It slowly begins to dissipate, though the smell lingers on.

>>5524568
>>5524766
>Rolled 4,4: Seat Adjustment
As you catch your breath you realise that you are leaning back slightly.
It seems that your physical attempt to dodge the consequences of your own actions was not entirely voluntary. It turns out your idea to restore backup power to your command station has been at least partially successful. Tapping the controls that adjust your seat’s recline to no avail, you realise that you may have fused the input so badly that it bled through into the power circuit.

>>5524508
>Rolled 1: Nanite Controller
Hesitantly, you tap the restraint release control. You feel a strange wriggling sensation across your chest and lower abdomen as the nano-mats making up your unruly seatbelt shift and vibrate, attempting to reconfigure. A muted crackle and another puff of choking black smoke emanates from the seams around the mostly shut access panel and the sensation ceases.
Looking down you can see the once smooth and seamless safety restraints are now a disorganised mess of swirling and fractal like patterns with many gaps and random extrusions. Despite this, the restraints remain largely intact.
Engineering: The nano-material is stronger than kevlar in this configuration but its structural integrity may be compromised enough that the right leverage or enough raw strength could break it.

You begin to curse your luck but stop mid expletive as you brush the medscanner toggle and a holo-screen suddenly materialises. A soft beep pulses steadily from the command station, keeping time with the vitals displayed and the beat in your chest. Some mild bruising is detected where you expect to find it, along with some superficial burns to your exposed skin. Overall, you seem remarkably unscathed - though the burns are concerning for a different reason. Medscan: Health 3/3

Frowning, you try the backup comms next. You open a shipwide channel and are immediately bombarded with the chaotic sound of panicked voices, unacknowledged damage reports, and multiple overlapping distress calls. Mind whirling, you shut off the comm unit to think. Dread creeps up your spine as a picture begins to come together.

Tactical: The sudden power failure, fried personal comms, damage reports, and what you now realise are slight radiation burns to your exposed skin, all add up to a distressing conclusion - damage from directed energy weapon fire. Your ship has been attacked point blank and with zero warning.
>>
>>5525078

How could an enemy have gotten so close without detection? This was a primitive system - a simple supply drop and we were somehow ambushed on the way out? Your memory is still foggy, though the medscanner strangely doesn’t show anything wrong.

Your thoughts are interrupted by a cough and a groan from above and behind you. From your slightly reclined position you are able twist your aching neck far enough to just make out a familiar form beginning to stir. To your relief, it's your bunkmate, fellow academy graduate, and overall best buddy. If anyone knows what’s going on, surely it's him.

Select your first bridge officer in training - your Operations officer. The Ops officer has their finger on the pulse, expected to keep the Captain apprised of the situation and help coordinate the other officers. They are also tasked with managing any ongoing away missions, boarding actions, etc. For this reason they are often trusted as the Captain’s executive officer as well.


Select your Ops officer from the following:
>Kiro Skyskal
>Mattew Cooper
>Neb von Cliffton
>Coen La’afette
>Finder of Zephyrs

(They will unlock the Operations(M) skill.)
>>
>>5525101
>Finder of Zephyrs

Cool owl XO.

Nice looking quest, Chartman, and an exciting premise. Interested to see where this goes!
>>
>>5525101
>Kiro Skyskal
sksk
>>
>>5525101
>Finder of Zephyrs

Though Matthew Cooper also seems like a good pick.

I'd want someone at least decent at all their typical roles, Matt would be good for away missions and is decent enough to rally the officers and various staff, whereas I feel all the others except Zephyrs are some mixture of too unsociable, too naive, or too inflexible in terms of their bio and stats. Though, being distractible is obviously a pretty big negative on its own, still, I think him or Matt are the best balanced here.
>>
>>5525101
>Kiro Skyskal
Our good stat is mind. We need either someone good in body or soul to balance it out, and I like the gregarious reptile a bit more than the gruff dogman
>>
>>5525101
>Neb von Cliffton
Don't underestimate the number of problems solvable by brute strength and incredible violence.
>>
>>5525101
>overall best buddy
>Kiro Skyskal
That looks like bud material right there.
>>
>>5525101
>Neb von Cliffton
>>
>>5525101
>Kiro Skyskal
>>
>>5525101
>Neb von Cliffton
>>
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>>5525564
>>5525526
>>5525264
>>5525164
>>5525158
>>5525124
>>5525121
>>5525109
>>5525106

>Kiro Skyskal - Your long-time friend and newly appointed Operations officer.
Rolling for damage Kiro received during the G-shock.

Don't worry, you have many more command stations to crew. So you'll be able to vote for your favourites again later.

Writing.
>>
Rolled 3 - 1 (1d3 - 1)

Would help if I actually rolled.
>>
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>>5525581
>Rolled 2 damage!
Kiro Skyeskal, a young, sky blue Marrok and your fellow trainee officer, uncurls from the foetal position as he floats overhead almost lazily. You reach up and tug the tip of his tail before it can drift out of reach, pulling him firmly down beside you. He squeaks indignantly and flails for a moment in the microgravity before steadying himself by clutching the arm of your command seat.

“I’m up! I’m up!” He protests for a moment, before enthusiastically adding, “Operations, reporting for duty, sir!”
A moment later he has his MPC adjusted to provide a slight gravity shear, orienting the deck down for himself. He straightens his spine and attempts to salute but winces halfway through the motion, clutching at his ribs.
“Well, most of me is at least.” He appends, with a sheepish grin. “Did you at least get the name of the moon that hit me?”

As glad as you are to see Kiro conscious and chipper as ever, you can’t help but be taken aback by the state he’s in. A bloodied snout slowly drips blood down his narrow muzzle and his right eye appears blackened, swollen and partially shut. If his shallow breathing is anything to go by, he may even have a few cracked ribs.

Kiro, seeing your concerned expression, rolls his eyes and pipes up, “I’ve had worse!”
His bloodied nose makes his squeaky voice sound even more nasally than usual. You suppress a sardonic smile at the sound, your friend as determined as ever to force his reptilian lips to make Terran Protectorate Standard words. He claims forgoing the MPC's inbuilt translator makes him more approachable and therefore promotable. You aren’t sure ‘adorable’ is what the brass are looking for in their commanding officers but you keep that thought to yourself.
>>
>>5525791
“Do you know what attacked us, Kiro?” you ask while trying to keep the concern out of your voice, “I think the G-shock did something to my head because I can’t seem to remember anything since last night.”

He blinks in surprise. “Attacked? Last thing I remember was the simulation shutting down and the Captain calling for all hands to brace.” He reaches up and rubs his long face gingerly, “Then my face getting a little too intimate with the console. Ha ha. Haaaa…” He chuckles weakly, wheezing slightly at the end.

You nod gravely, replying, “I know the effects of maser flash when I see it.” You rub your cheek, the lingering heat like a light sunburn. “Feel it too,” you add.

You watch as the pint sized reptile’s slit pupil eyes narrow and begin to dart around the observation deck, the proverbial gears whirring as he assesses the scene. The floating crewmembers, your jury rigged MPC, the emergency lighting and depowered consoles, the eerie silence of a ship dead in the water so to speak. The logical pieces all quickly slot into place with the efficiency expected of a trained Ops officer.

“No warning,” he muses, a rare frown crossing his face briefly, “how could we not have seen them coming? Its hours of travel to the nearest rock worth mentioning.” The moment passes and thoughtful expression crosses his face as he looks towards the empty viewport. “More importantly, why aren’t we dead yet?”

You smile grimly and reactivate the backup comm unit in your command seat, the only one on the bridge somewhat shielded from the maser's EMP-like effects. You watch as your friend’s eyes widen at the chaos which erupts from the speakers.
“Well they certainly did their best,” You quip mirthlessly.

Kiro looks hesitantly back and forth between the distressing sound, the viewport and your other floating crewmates. “Surely, the Captain can handle it without us, right? Just long enough for us to make sure everyone is ok?” He asks, hopefully.

You don’t share your officer’s optimistic opinion of the situation but are torn between your duty and your friends.

What will you do?
>Collect more of your fellow crewmates and make sure they aren’t critically injured. If so, will you focus on your fellow simulation trainees or other crew.
>Attempt to make contact with someone in charge through the backup comm unit.
>Use the comm unit to take charge of the chaotic situation below, if the Captain hasn’t done so by now then he may not ever.
>Something else? Write in.
>>
>>5525798
>Use the comm unit to take charge of the chaotic situation below, if the Captain hasn’t done so by now then he may not ever.
>>
>>5525798
>Use the comm unit to take charge of the chaotic situation below, if the Captain hasn’t done so by now then he may not ever.
This is what we trained for
>>
>>5525798
>Use the comm unit to take charge of the chaotic situation below, if the Captain hasn’t done so by now then he may not ever.
>>
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>>5525808
>>5525838
>>5526068
>Take charge

"This is what we trained for, Kiro."
Part of being a leader is making the tough decisions. Hesitation leads only to disaster, and you see your resolve mirrored in your friend as you lock eyes.

"Then lets do this." He replies, placing a small yet firm hand on your shoulder in support.

How do you take command?
>Someone with command access forced the ship to steady itself after we lost power. Surf the comm channels and find them, demanding they relinquish command to you.
>Your command implant can interface with the ship directly, force a connection through to the ships ancient and failing AI and give yourself command of the ship remotely. Warning: Skill check required to avoid mental backlash.
>Impersonate your father, the Captain. Your voices sound similar enough that you could calm the crew and assume command. By the Book: This is technically an act of mutiny.
>Put Kiro on the comm, he may have a better chance of calming the situation.
>Something else? Maybe combine multiple options. Write in.

> I don't have a picture for this so have an old test concept of Kiro in the old uniform design.
>>
>>5526155
>Someone with command access forced the ship to steady itself after we lost power. Surf the comm channels and find them, demanding they relinquish command to you.
>>
>>5526155
>Someone with command access forced the ship to steady itself after we lost power. Surf the comm channels and find them, demanding they relinquish command to you.
>>
>>5526155
>>Your command implant can interface with the ship directly, force a connection through to the ships ancient and failing AI and give yourself command of the ship remotely.
Assume direct control.

Also why not have Kiro go help the other crewmates in the meantime. Or is his emotional support meant to give us a bonus?
>>
>>5526155
>Put Kiro on the comm, he may have a better chance of calming the situation.
>Someone with command access forced the ship to steady itself after we lost power. Surf the comm channels and find them, demanding they relinquish command to you.
>>
>>5526300
>Or is his emotional support meant to give us a bonus?

Kiro has a high Soul stat which would provide him a bonus to diplomacy if he were to speak for you. Though someone trained in the communications skill would likely be even better at this. Giving bonuses to others is more attached to the leadership skill, but Kiro does have two unused skill slots if people want to go down that path.
>>
>>5526389
>>5526300
>>5526176
>>5526161
>Find out who has command and pull rank on them. Maybe Kiro can help smooth things over.

>Writing.
>>
>>5526155
>Put Kiro on the comm, he may have a better chance of calming the situation.
>>
>>5527035
>>5526389
>>5526300
>>5526176
>>5526161
>>5525838
As an aside, would you people prefer if I leave a full day between updates so everyone gets a chance to vote, or are quicker updates better? If it sweetens the deal some, longer between posts means I can work on the visuals more. Let me know what works and what doesn't.
>>
>>5527038
I'd prefer faster updates. There's not that much happening in each update, so with only one per day this quest will be slow as a snail.
>>
>>5527038
pacing & consistent updates > visuals
Always.
>>
>>5527083
>>5527095
Got it. I'll definitely make sure the actual combat parts come out more rapidfire for the pacing. Might try to time that with a weekend. As for consistent updates... with work and sleep two per day's probably the limit.
>>
>>5526155
>Put Kiro on the comm, he may have a better chance of calming the situation
>>
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>>5526155
With your Ops officer by your side for support, you begin to flick through comms channels - heart hardened to the numerous cries of pain, requests for assistance, and directionless chattering. You hear Kiro whimper slightly, though you’re unsure if it's in sympathy or pain - his injuries seem to be greater than he is letting on.
You try all the command channels, searching for any officer of rank greater than your own and working your way down.
No response from the Captain or any of his alpha shift command crew.
Static from their counterparts on beta shift.
What remains of the gamma shift still floats around you unconscious.
The lack of direction and uncharacteristic chaos you witness is quite damning.

“Oh my stars..:” You hear the Marrok beside you whisper, aghast. “Is there no one left in charge down there?”

You find it too difficult to reply, your mouth set in a grim line as you continue to flick through channels, growing angrier with each press of the control.
“This is unacceptable,” you growl, “we’ve been attacked and this is how my crew reacts! We’re better than this.”

Finally a connection gets through to someone in engineering, you pause in surprise as a Tyllano engineer stares back at you blankly. You can see the compartment behind him in disarray, broken pipes and cables leaking fluid and sparking dangerously. The feathered man sighs wearily and begins to speak in the low flute-like manner of his people, his MPC translating it into a rich, baritone.

“Engineering, Ensign Flies-at-Night reporting. I’m sorry, I’m going to have to put you on hold for-”

You slam your fist against the arm of your command seat, your expression baleful enough in the stark red light to give the flustered junior officer pause. Before you can express your displeasure with the state of things, however, Kiro leans past you pointing eagerly.

“Hey Fan, It’s me Kiro! Don’t hang up!!”

You glance sidelong at your companion as he hangs from the back of your chair making himself visible to the hapless engineer on the display. He seems remarkably upbeat despite everything but you trust him to take over the conversation for now.

“Kiro? I thought all the senior officers were dead?” The Tyllano blinks slowly, his gaze seeming to look through you into the distance.

“Dead? What do you mean, dead?” Kiro squeaks in reply, his composure and voice cracking despite his best efforts. “The Ell-Cee and I are still up here on the observation bridge with most of the gamma shift command! Though they’re mostly sleeping on the job.”

Fan blinks slowly, seeming to recognise you for the first time.
“Sir!” he barks, snapping a crisp salute.

“Damage report, Ensign. And get the power back on up here, stat!” You command slowly yet firmly.

“Of course sir,” He glances away from the camera for a moment and touches a holo-display, navigating menus, before turning back and saluting again. Lights suddenly blind you as power is restored to the observation deck.
>>
>>5527151
Fortunately, the young engineer had the forethought not to re-engage the grav plates or else it would be raining crew right about now. He begins to recite what you realise must be a well practised speech by now, his translator barely keeping up with the staccato whistles and hoots he produces.

“Directed energy weapon penetration through port amidships, decks eleven through nineteen received the bulk of the damage. Crew quarters in those areas were slagged by the DEWs along with most of beta-shift, who were off duty. CIC was the primary target, it’s gone. Alpha command was on duty…” He pauses there for a moment, eyes solid black eyes unglazing for a brief moment, focusing on you. “I’m sorry, Captain Annon is gone too.”

Your breath hitches momentarily as the news you suspected but were secretly denying finally comes. The Ensign continued his spiel, resigned.
“Secondary hits damaged the mass driver, DEW banks A and B, aft-torpedo magazine and the fusion reactor - causing it to destabilise. Chief Engineer Carlsson was the only alpha-shift officer not in CIC when it was hit, he stabilised our spin and led the senior engineers to get the reactor back under control. The fusion reactor went into meltdown shortly after and the emergency systems vented the core into space. The Chief and his crew have yet to return.” Fan takes a gasping breath, then plunges on. “Excess heat was absorbed by the void core but forced it to invert into a cooling cycle. We have no power generation, and emergency power is at 43 percent…” He looks down at his display briefly, “42 percent, now.”

You stare, speechless, at what you now realise is the highest ranked engineering officer currently conscious aboard the TPN Coober Pedy.

“Wow,” Kiro says gently, snapping you out of your reverie. “That’s… not great. How many people did we… lose?”

“I’m unsure, medical is handling triage and-”

“Enough!” You cut off the clearly shell-shocked engineer. “I need you to do something for me Fan. I need you to transfer the ship’s master controls to the observation bridge. As the current Chief Engineer you can authorise that.”

“The… what?” he whispers. “I’m not… I’m just an Ensign. The Chief will be back any minute now and fix everything.” He begins to sway slightly.

“Fan, listen carefully,” you retort, projecting your best commanding aura, “Chief Carlsson is dead, as is his staff. My engineering officer is still out cold, that makes you Chief Engineer. You need to transfer command of the ship up here to me.

“I… no. That’s not… No!” he squawks, wrapping his arms around himself and sitting down. The Tyllano cannot physically cry but the translator makes it clear the incoherent engineer is in distress.

Kiro reaches down and mutes your end of the comm channel, and turns to speak to you softly.
“Dallas, I don’t think orders and logic are going to work here. We need another way to get through to him, or find another way to transfer control up here.”
>>
>>5527178
Still somewhat shaken by the news of your Father’s death, along with the catastrophic damage your ship has suffered, it takes you a moment to process what your friend has said. Once you’ve caught up however, you reluctantly agree with his assessment of the situation.

What will you do?
>Back to plan B. Desperate times and all that. You will brave the twisted maze that is the ship’s mainframe with your command implant. This will require a skill check to avoid mental backlash.
>With Kiro’s guidance and familiarity with Flies-at-Night, you will try to get through to the distressed Chief Engineer emotionally.
>Attempt to wake your own engineer and send him all the way down to Engineering to take over as Chief. (This will take time and remove him from your crew options.)
>Something else? Write in.
>>
>>5527185
>With Kiro’s guidance and familiarity with Flies-at-Night, you will try to get through to the distressed Chief Engineer emotionally.
>>
>>5527185
>With Kiro’s guidance and familiarity with Flies-at-Night, you will try to get through to the distressed Chief Engineer emotionally.
>>
>>5527185
>With Kiro’s guidance and familiarity with Flies-at-Night, you will try to get through to the distressed Chief Engineer emotionally.

>>5527038
Leaving it for a full 1-day may make sense for critical votes that are close, but otherwise faster updates are fine, as long as you get enough votes.
>>
>>5527471
I think timezones are the real killer here. I generally have an hour to post in my morning before work and then in the evening before I sleep. Most of the votes seem to come in while im working and not sleeping though... I guess I could post from my mobile in my lunch break.
>>
>>5527474
don't kill yourself trying to post faster. 1 update a date is the norm for a reason.
>>
>>5527117
Don't feel pressured to make two posts a day, aim for the amount you know can comfortably produce and announce schedule changes ahead of time. Das all I think.
>>
>>5527485
>>5527651
I was considering that when we have a full cast that players can interact in character freely with the crew between main story posts and I can do quick replies on the go responding. Could be useful for character depth.
>>
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>>5527190
>>5527470
>>5527471

"We need this to work, Kiro. Every minute we're dead in space matters." You glance back at the holo-display, making sure Flies-at-Night was still there. The avian man was indeed still seated, and was now rocking back and forth with a glazed look in his eyes.
Fighting to keep your own emotions in check, you continue, "Will you help me get through to him?"

Your small, blue friend takes a step back with a wince, clutching his ribs once more but smiles regardless.
"Of course, but…" He looks at you knowingly, "let's make sure your head is in the right place first. Practice on me."
>>
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>>5527716

[blue][b]Social Skill Check Tutorial:[/b]
When you interact socially with someone, you can trigger a skill check to inspire an ally or persuade someone reluctant to do as you wish. Each person has a number of nodes corresponding to Mind|Body|Soul values.

To succeed, you must light up more than half the nodes in three rolls - though some are lit up (white) already. Choose, Mind, Body or Soul and roll the corresponding die. Whichever node you roll will light up all the adjacent nodes.

Red nodes represent hostility or resistance to your efforts and don't count towards the node total. Rolling a red node will cause all adjacent nodes to go out.
[/blue]

Using your [Leadership] you will practice inspiring Kiro. Write something nice to say to him and roll one of the following:

>Mind (roll 1d8) - an appeal to reason or logic.
>Body (roll 1d8) - an appeal to the physical or needs.
>Soul (roll 1d12) - an appeal to emotion or the spiritual.

We need three rolls total, it's best to check what the last person rolled and spread out the types to avoid already lit nodes or red nodes.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d8)

>>5527718
"C'mon Dally, I'll get you started."
Kiro clears his throat and attempts to deepen his voice closer to your own register.
>Body
"Kiro, no other Lieutenant has better pronunciation than you, you could convince Fan to help us wid dat alone!"
He smirks as he deliberately butchers the last few words, looking to get a rise out of you.
>>
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>>5527891
"Maybe try to be a little more sincere than that, though." He says.

>Example roll would have only add 1 lit node to your total.
>>
Rolled 1 (1d12)

>>5527718
Soul roll.
The crew knows and respects you, let's get him going.
>>
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>>5528213
>Goal 11/14
Good roll, 4 nodes in one!
>>
Rolled 3 (1d8)

>>5527718
>Mind
You always know the best way to help people, bud.
>>
Rolled 12 (1d12)

>>5528220
>Soul
Imagine the respect you'll obtain if you pull this off
>>
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>>5528243
>>5528270
>>5528213

Three for three with flying colours.
>Writing

Thought I'd spice up the skill checks a little, instead of the old roll against a DC. Let me know if you liked it or not.
>>
>>5528279
>wake up
>see hacknet
Alhamdulillah. Finally, some new fucking system. Looks amazing, but have you tested the difficulty with the red nodes? How did you come up with it?
>>
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>>5528291
Red nodes do make things difficult in my (admittedly small) batch of test rolls. But I deliberately placed them in more out of the way places (representing Kiro's head and rib wounds) so they wouldn't cause as much of an issue if they were rolled. I came up with it when I was planning this quest, after reading so many which were just: Best of X, beat this DC. I wanted my rolls to have physical meaning and I already have a different type again ready for when we get to combat. Its less of a binary hit or miss and more physically a 'you hit where you roll'. Picrel.
>>
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>>5527899
>>5528213
>>5528243
>>5528270
>Rolled Mind 3, Soul 1 & 12. A qualified success.

You take a deep, calming breath and set aside your anxiety and anger at the situation - your little, blue friend’s antics drawing away the pressure despite the time crunch. Composing your thoughts in the manner you trained at the academy, you begin to speak confidently and sincerely - projecting Leadership.

“Thank you, Kiro, I needed that. With you at my side, convincing your friend Fan there to calm down and help save our ship will be a cakewalk. I’ve always been impressed that you go out of your way to make friends with all the crew, that they all know and respect you. They know that they can come to you with anything and you will always come up with the best way to help them. Even now, in these dire circumstances, you see the path so clearly to help those in distress. If you help him now, I’m sure you’ll earn Flies-at-Night’s undying respect.”

You pause for effect and flash a genuine smile. “But you already have mine, bud.”

Leadership Skill-check Successful. As a result Kiro is inspired, granting him a reroll on his next skill-check. Additionally, your success has unlocked one of his skills: Empathy. This gives additional advantages in social interactions.

The Marrok before you is struck momentarily speechless, mirroring your grin in bashful silence.

“What,” you smirk, “too much?”

“You might have hammed it up just a little.” He replies in a small voice, holding an index and thumb claw only millimetres apart for emphasis. “But I think we’re ready to talk to Fan again now.”

He indicates the still muted comm display, the Tyllano Chief Engineer standing once more but still with a thousand lightyear stare.


You gesture for Kiro to rejoin you in view of the holo-display, and he gingerly works his way back over to hang from the back of your command seat - his head hovering over your shoulder. You reach down and toggle the mute function.

What do you say/do:
>Have Kiro do the bulk of the talking, yourself posing as the silent figure of authority. (QM will roll for Kiro’s skill check as optimally as possible so it’s less drawn out this time.)
>Tag team the conversation with Kiro, bouncing off each other’s points. (Another social skill check will occur with all Kiro’s skill and stat advantages available. The players (You), will contribute the rolls and dialogue as before.)
>You’re on a roll and will do all the talking yourself. Kiro will act as a reassuring friendly face. (This social mechanic needs work, give us back the quick and dirty roll against DC please.)
>Something else. Feel free to mix and match the above. Write in.
>>
>>5528331
>Tag team the conversation with Kiro, bouncing off each other’s points. (Another social skill check will occur with all Kiro’s skill and stat advantages available. The players (You), will contribute the rolls and dialogue as before.)
>>
>>5528331
I gotta catch some shuteye, so I'll wait for a larger consensus on how we want these skill checks to go. I'll tally up the votes and update first thing in the morning.
>>
>>5528331
>Have Kiro do the bulk of the talking, yourself posing as the silent figure of authority. (QM will roll for Kiro’s skill check as optimally as possible so it’s less drawn out this time.)
>>
>>5528331
>Tag team the conversation with Kiro, bouncing off each other’s points. (Another social skill check will occur with all Kiro’s skill and stat advantages available. The players (You), will contribute the rolls and dialogue as before.)
I'm not completely sold on this mechanic, but I'm willing to give it a shot.
>>
>>5528331
>Tag team the conversation with Kiro, bouncing off each other’s points.
>>
>>5528335
>>5528597
>>5528805
>>5528835

“Hey Fan, its Lieutenant Commander Annon again.” You begin, keeping your voice slow and even. “Are you still with us?”

He raises his owl-like visage to meet your eyes for a second, seeming to briefly acknowledge you before glancing away again. You can hear the insistent beeping up waiting calls and reports queuing up on his console but he pays them no mind, arms slack at his side.

“It’s going to be okay, Fan, you’ll see.” Pipes up Kiro from his perch over your shoulder. He waves free arm to catch the engineer’s attention. “The Ell-Cee and I are here now, and together we’re going to put everything back together, we just need you to listen. Can you do that for me, my friend?”

>Tag team the conversation with Kiro, bouncing off each other’s points.
>>
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>>5529018

Kiro whispers quickly in your ear, “Remember Dallas, he’s in a great deal of mental pain. It might be best to stick to a physical or emotional course.”

With Kiro’s guidance, you begin to navigate the fragile mental state of the acting Chief Engineer. His heightened Soul stat grants you four total rolls instead of three and his Empathy has increased node crosslinking to make what you say more effective (for better or worse).

Social skill check rules are otherwise the same as in:
>>5527718

Kiro will work with you, using his relationship with the engineer to make things more personal. What will you say to bring Fan out of his funk, and get you in control of your ship?
>Mind (roll 1d8) - an appeal to reason or logic.
>Body (roll 1d8) - an appeal to the physical or needs.
>Soul (roll 1d12) - an appeal to emotion or the spiritual.
>>
Rolled 11 (1d12)

>>5529027
>Soul
"Listen Fan, you've trained for this. If you're on this ship, you're one of the best. The real hard, steely-eyed rocket people. You get shit done."
>>
>>5529027
Wait, he has 12 Mind and 8 Soul.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d8)

>>5529033
Rerolling because wrong die
>>
>>5529027
>>5529035

Sorry, my B, you are correct. Copied Kiro's one.
And that goal is meant to be 7/15 instead since this is a harder skill check. But with all of Kiro's buffs plus his inspiration re-roll it should be doable. Ill fix it up and repost.
>>
>>5529027
>>5529038
>>5529033
Fixed up the dice types and goal total.

Roll 1/4. One Re-roll available.
Continue.
>Mind (roll 1d12) - an appeal to reason or logic.
>Body (roll 1d8) - an appeal to the physical or needs.
>Soul (roll 1d8) - an appeal to emotion or the spiritual.
>>
Rolled 5 (1d8)

>>5529048
>Body
>>
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>>5529101
Did you have anything specific you wanted to say in your an appeal to the physical or needs?
Excellent roll btw.

Roll 2/4. One Re-roll available.
Continue.
>Mind (roll 1d12) - an appeal to reason or logic.
>Body (roll 1d8) - an appeal to the physical or needs.
>Soul (roll 1d8) - an appeal to emotion or the spiritual.
>>
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>>5529109
>Bodied that body roll
How about we tell him he's strong?
>>
>>5529150
That'll work. A Tyllano's base stats are actually Mind: d12|Body: d4|Soul: d8 so he actually is quite strong for his kind.

We wont even need that fourth roll at this rate, unless someone manages to roll a duplicate number.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d12)

>>5529109
>Mind
>>
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>>5529280
Bold, risky even, but it payed off.
What did you say that so nimbly avoided setting off the twitchy engineer?

>Goal Reached. In three rolls no less.

Will update when I finish work for the day.
>>
>>5529280
>>5529150
>>5529101
>>5529027
>Rolled Mind 4, Body 5, Soul 7. A rousing success.

Flies-at-Night hesitates a moment, then nods slightly, seemingly unable to speak. You take this as a positive sign and begin softly.

“Listen, Fan, I’m going to level with you. You’re here on this ship, that means you’re one of the best. No question, you were born for this - not just anyone can be an engineer on a voidship.”

“Especially not on the Pee-Dee,” Kiro adds, encouragingly.

“You’re out here with us, saving hudreds of worlds,” You continue, your voice gradually increasing in volume and pace. “You make sure that every time we dive deep into subspace, scraping out hull plates against event horizon after event horizon, not a single nut or bolt comes loose! We fly on your wings, Fan!”

The Tyllano blinks his dark, round eyes a few times and meets your steady gaze.

“You’re a spaceman, an officer no less! You have steel in your eyes and stardust in your blood. You get shit done!” You exclaim, pounding the arm of your command seat. Fan’s eyes widen in response to your vulgarity but it seems to have gotten through to him.

“Do you remember when we first met, Fan?” Kiro takes over. “You were still a midshipman on a damage control team then but we both were off duty in the gym during beta-shift. You saved my life.”

You glance in slight alarm at your bunkmate as he earnestly hovers over your left shoulder.

“I was an Ensign fresh from the academy, looking to prove myself.” Kiro chuckles slightly,
“I had to rack more weight than all the other Marrok on the ship, to prove I could pull my weight. I didn’t need a spotter, eighty kilos was nothing, I thought.” He trails off, looking down.

“I almost choked to death, that bar on my neck, but then you came.” He snaps his head back up staring intently at the holo-display, smiling brightly. “You threw that weight off me like it was nothing.”

“I’d almost forgotten.” Fan all but whispers, only the translator at his neck making his voice audible.

“We’ve been gym buddies ever since!” The little lizard finishes, giving a big thumbs-up.

Time for the final blow, you muse. Despite Kiro’s earlier warning to avoid certain topics, you decide to strike while the iron is hot.
>>
>>5529784

“You’re stronger than you know, Acting Chief Engineer.” The owl-like being jerks as if struck but stands strong.
“Now, are you ready to assume your duties, transfer command to the observation bridge and save this ship?” You point at him authoritatively.

Flies-at-Night shakes himself slightly, seemingly pulling himself together, and salutes you sharply.
“Yes Sir, I am!”
He touches a few buttons, and the previously dark consoles begin to light up around the bridge - no longer mere simulations.
“The ship is yours, Sir!”

You allow yourself a small, genuine smile as Kiro cheers loudly in your ear.
“Then as my first order as Acting Captain, you will find and assemble the damage control crew for priority assignment. I’ll be in touch.” With a final nod, you shut down the comm unit and, as an afterthought, restore power slowly to the observation deck’s grav plates. Your floating companions drift gently down to rest.

Social Skill-check Successful. Flies-at-Night will now work more efficiently with the damage control teams (Repair Efficiency). You now also have acting command of the TPN Coober Pedy and the ship’s controls have been transferred from the ruined CIC to the Observation Bridge.

“We did it, Cap!” Kiro exclaims excitedly, and hops down off your seat. His elation is marred slightly by a squeal of pain as the resumed gravity causes him to jostle his damaged ribs. He grits his teeth in a grimacing attempt at a smile though, and slowly limps over to take his seat at the Ops console.

“I’m only acting ‘Cap’ for now.” you reply gravely. “Are you sure you’re alright?”

“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine. Don’t worry about me! Worry about the ship, we were attacked, remember!”

“Well if you’re sure then. Priorities, I suppose.” you accede.

What are your priorities?
>Situation report. What attacked us? Are we in imminent danger? (QM let us shoot stuff already.)
>Ship and crew. We need to save lives and repair damage before anything else. (More ship related shenanigans.)
>Command. We need more than a skeleton crew running the show. Time to wake up the lazybones now lounging on deck around you. (Choose more bridge crew.)
>Write in a suggestion.
>>
>>5529794
>Situation report. What attacked us? Are we in imminent danger? (QM let us shoot stuff already.)
>>
>>5529794
>Situation report. What attacked us? Are we in imminent danger?
>>
>>5529794
>Situation report. What attacked us? Are we in imminent danger? (QM let us shoot stuff already.)
>>
>>5529806
>>5529818
>>5529822
>Looks like its time for action. Though I'll need time to cook up that situation report.

In the meantime, what did you think of the social skill check mechanic now that we've been through two of them? Too much? Too easy? I tried to work what everyone said into the resulting conversation, but it ended up a little longer than anticipated.
>>
>>5529829
>Too much? Too easy?
I think we'll need more dice rolls and a failure to determine that.
>but it ended up a little longer than anticipated
Maybe just a little tiny bit too long, but I don't think it's a problem.
>>
>>5529834
I concur
>>
>>5529834
>>5529836
Well I'll leave it as is for now. I've not done much writing for anyone but myself before so I tend to start trying to inject lore into sentences where they could be more succinct. Maybe it would be better to lore dump separately but that ruins the intrigue I figured.
>>
>>5529841
Now that you say it, the lore might've been too random in the gym example and felt like something too insignificant to get a reaction we god and correspond to the very good body roll. But that's a nitpick of mine.
Do keep in mind that my mind has 2 nodes and both are currently red cause it's morning + I has headache.
>>
>>5529849
Ha. Fair enough. I was trying to work in the "Strong body" from >>5529150 . Proabbly should have called it the ship's gym or something. Every large warship has places like that for the crew to keep fit.
>>
>>5529794
>>5529806
>>5529818
>>5529822
>Situation report.

“Alright Ops,” you say in a clipped professional manner, putting on your metaphorical Captain’s hat, “We need to know who and how they hit us, and if they’ll be coming around to finish us off any time soon.”


“On it, Sir.” Kiro replies, with a small determined smile. “Accessing sensor logs prior to shipwide power failure.”

Tapping nimbly at his console, your Operations officer begins to review the events preceding the chaos you awoke to find yourself in what seems like hours ago. In reality, barely ten minutes have passed since you found yourself strapped to your command seat, chest and neck aching and memory full of holes.
You tug at the warped safety restraints futilely, but find yourself still as stuck as ever. No matter. Your place is here, in command of your voidship.

You can’t help but fidget impatiently as you wait for the report, feeling tempted to just bring up the data yourself - no matter how little sense it might make to someone without the specialised training of an Operations or Science officer. You still can’t quite fathom how an armed and evidently hostile vessel managed to close distance without being detected. Did they coast in on a ballistic course alone? Did they have some sort of stealth system? Why didn’t they attack us with torpedoes like a normal pirate?

By the Book: Distance and timescales are always much greater in space combat. Despite the advent of torch and SCRAM drives, it can still take hours, or in some instances days, for opposing warships to close to directed energy weapon engagement range. Torpedos are a much faster and longer ranged alternative, and are more commonly used than DEWs.

To distract yourself, you take a moment to collect your multi-purpose controller and multi-tool and stow each back in its rightful place. With main power restored to your command seat, the MPC will be more useful powering your uniform than as a backup power supply. Despite its antenna being fried its other functions will still keep you alive in the event of a hull breach.

“Talk to me, Ops.” you say, finally giving in, “Do we at least know what they look like?”

“Hmm? It’s strange,” the Marrok replies with a distracted air, turning slightly to speak. “We have zero sensor data besides optical, and that was only from the brief instant when they lit us up. I’ll put it up on the main screen. No hull matches so far, but our records are pretty spotty. Seems to be some sort of corvette.” His tail begins to twitch agitatedly.

The main viewport darkens and displays a prism like vessel with detached floating arms circling a central body. You don’t recognise the design, even with your academy training, perhaps it's a new design from a local system? That might explain some of the discrepancies. It has few distinguishing features but you have to assume it's comparable to a modern warship.
>>
>>5530080
Your console pings with an audio only message. Your Acting Chief Engineer has reported that the crew has calmed somewhat now that the word has spread that you’ve taken command.

He has a damage report ready for you, and his crew is standing by to begin work.
You pay attention to the most pertinent piece of the report: power. Flies-at-Night had not exaggerated in his earlier verbal assessment of the ship’s situation. The void-core was stone cold, secondary fusion reactor damaged beyond immediate repair and emergency power capacitors at only 41% power.

While the remaining power could keep the lights on and air circulating for a few days, any usage of the ships other systems would rapidly deplete this life-sustaining resource. A dead ship was a dead crew. Even firing up the Pee-Dee’s active sensor array would take a not insignificant chunk out of what remains.

As you wait for Kiro to piece together the situation or for the ship’s passive sensors to pick up your adversaries what will you do?
>Review the Acting Chief’s damage report in full and begin assigning repair priorities. (No Cost)
>Fire up the ship’s active sensors and see what’s out there. (5% power cost.) By the Book notes that this will not go unnoticed by anyone watching with even passive sensors nearby.
>The ship’s propulsion systems seem untouched, have the ship begin preemptive evasive manoeuvres. (1% power cost, ongoing.)
>Stare out the viewport and await your Ops report before making further decisions. (No Cost.)
>Something else. Write in.
>>
>>5530096
Two more options I forgot should probably be there. Combining actions is fine as well.
>Try to raise someone on the ship's long range comms.
>Try to rouse some more crew to help lighten the load. (Or at least give medical a heads up we have wounded up here.)
>>
>>5530096
>Try to rouse some more crew to help lighten the load. (Or at least give medical a heads up we have wounded up here.)
If we give any sign we're alive, they're going to finish us off. So no active scans, no maneuvering, no comms until we're completely ready.
>>
>>5530096
>Review the Acting Chief’s damage report in full and begin assigning repair priorities. (No Cost)

Let's figure out what we have and what we can get.
>>
>>5530096
>Review the Acting Chief’s damage report in full and begin assigning repair priorities. (No Cost)
duh
>>
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Rolled 11 (1d20)

>>5530152
>>5530248
>>5530512
>Damage report
>Maybe crew wakes up: rolling d20
How's the picture in picture stuff working out for you guys? The main screen and our command seat holo-display. Are they visible enough or should I just have dedicated images for when you look at screens?
>>
>>5530694
>How's the picture in picture stuff working out for you guys?
It looks cool but i think you should post an additional picture, especially if you're gonna make a 2nd post anyway. Mostly for convenience, and it'll give us a closer view at whatever we're looking at too
>>
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>>5530821
>>5530096
That's a good idea.
Here's a better look at the silhouette you got from Kiro's digging.
I usually plan a post, then do the gif, then write. In that order. So When the post overflows into two, I haven't been prepping an additional picture. Reusing the picture-in-picture is definitely a great and quick option.
>>
>>5530694
>Rolled 11 Nav
Making these damage and situation reports is taking longer than expected so in the meantime you can take your pick from the expanded crew roster. (Minus Kiro of course).

As you begin to flick through the damage report, unseen down on the observation deck your Navigation officer stirs from g-shock induced unconsciousness.

Choose your Nav officer from the following:
>Matthew Cooper
>Neb von Clifton
>Coen La'afette
>Finder-of-Zephyrs
>Rika Sharsi
>Isobel Buxton
>Cleo von Clifton
>Sofia Odette
>Eyes-of-Night
>>
>>5530896
>Cleo von Clifton
Kiro has a lot of soul, we have a lot of mind, so naturally we need a big playful dog girl to balance us out!
>>
>>5530896
>>Sofia Odette
Cute. And devious could be a plus when navigating.
>>
>>5530896
>Eyes of night.
>>
>>5530896
>Cleo von Clifton
>>
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>>5530925
>>5531055
>>5531122
>>5531192
Looks like Cleo is our Nav officer. That's 2/6 of our bridge crew selected now. She gets the Navigation(M|B) skill, which fits her stats quite nicely.
Navigation Officers are charged with charting courses, planning and executing subspace dives as well as performing combat manoeuvres. They also keep an eye on the ship's immediate surroundings.
>Writing
>>
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Potential face? Need a name besides Anon?
>>
>>5527151
>>5529018
>>5529784
>>5530080

Guys, look at the second window from left. Something's approaching us and I doubt it's friendly. We need to start manoeuvres.
>>
>>5531280
It's probably the aggressor, and they probably thing we're dead and are trying to board us. If so, our best bet would be ambushing the boarding party, and not maneuvering. Otherwise they'll just shoot us again.
>>
>>5531280
>>5531301
Oh, you guys finally noticed. That does change this next update somewhat...

>>5531272
We do have a name, Dallas Annon. It's Scottish I swear. And we do need a face, if only for our stat card. Still, if anyone else has suggestions or likes this one I'll make it so.
>>
File: Damage Report 1.gif (1.04 MB, 1816x1000)
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>>5531227
>>5531192
>>5531122
>>5531055
>>5530925
>>5531272
>>5531280
>>5531301

A graphic of the ship’s damaged systems rotates on the command seat’s holo-display. At a glance you can see major damage has knocked out half your weapons, a quarter of your defence, and a third of your crew - with minor damage to your sensors and a few other redundant systems. Not to mention you’re on backup power only.

"I got 'em! I got 'em!" You're interrupted from reading the full report by your Ops officer - his words slurring slightly with his excitement.
Kiro quickly adjusts the main display to show the prow of the enemy vessel identified by the salvaged CIC data. Detached pylons spin rapidly around the prism-like central body eclipsing a slight thruster glow.
"I traced their attack trajectory but couldn’t pick up anything of the passive sensors.” He continues, a little slower. “But then I thought about how they hit us out of nowhere and figured they must have some sort of stealth tech. I looked for shadows with the optical scanner and… BOOM! There they were!”

“Well done, Kiro.” You reply with a grave nod. “Does it look like they’re coming back around for an attack?”

“I can’t get an accurate distance on them since we’re down to one optical scanner,” He looks back at you apologetically, “But we do have a good idea based on their known size and the sensor magnification.”
He taps at his console for a moment and begins to mutter to himself in his squeaky, nasally way. “They’re slightly smaller than us, maybe a Light Cruiser, and if I carry the two…”
He looks back up eagerly, “Looks like they’ll still be burning retrograde for another hour before they come to a stop relative to us about a six light minutes away. Then it’ll take them at least that long to get into weapons range.” He pauses, looking concerned for a moment. “Though if they have torpedoes…”
>>
>>5531865

The Marrok is cut off by the frantic sound of claws scrabbling on metal accompanied by a deep growl. Your Ulveng Navigation Officer, Cleo von Clifton, comes tearing up the stairs from the observation deck to your raised bridge section. She pauses at the edge of the command area, panting, and with wild eyes. “Lieutenant Clifton reporting for… haaa… duty, Sir.” her translator produces an incongruous young female voice for the guttural growls and yips the hulking canine actually speaks in. “I don’t know why I just woke up on the deck in front of the viewport but nevermind that…”
She races to her command station in a blur, slamming into the too-small seat next to Kiro.
“Hey squirt,” she greets the speechless Ops officer. “I think we have company!” She points emphatically at the forward viewport, where a bright, twinkling star appears to be growing larger by the second.

You squint at the pulsing yellow light, quickly turning to compare it to the sensor feed currently displayed on the main screen. Same pulse frequency and wavelength, you realise, sweat beading on your brow.
“Seems like there’s more of them.” You say to no one in particular.

“I don’t know who they are, Ell-Cee, but they sure as hell ain't catching a von Clifton unprepared!” Cleo grins toothily back at you. “Now let's see who's come to play!” Her snarling voice is translated in an almost sing-song manner which causes an involuntary shiver to race up your spine.

“What’s wrong with the dorsal optics? Nevermind, I’m borrowing ventral, Ops.” Without waiting for a reply the Nav officer wrests the optical feed from her fellow officer’s control and focuses them forward. An image resolves on the main screen showing not one, but five separate small vessels burning retrograde in close formation to intercept you. They bear a shape reminiscent of the cruiser which attacked you, each an identical black, featureless, prism.

“Boarding craft.” Kiro gasps, wide eyed. “The enemy vessel must have dropped them before they coasted past us and attacked.”
Turning to his console again, he starts to read the new data coming in from the sensor suite. “ETA is five minutes, Cap!” he squeaks.

“They’re just about to hit the point where we won't be able to outmanoeuvre them, Sir.” Cleo adds, “Are we in a position to handle this? Or will we be repelling boarders?” She bares her teeth in a feral grin and brandishes her claws with a dramatic flourish.

What will you do?
>It’s too late and we mustn't show our hand. Use this time to prepare the ship for boarding action.
>Start the ship spinning, make it hard for them to board while we work out a solution.
>There’s too many craft for our injured crew to handle, we need to shoot them down.
>Maybe this is all a big misunderstanding, open communications and try to talk it out.
>Perhaps a combination or something else entirely. Write in.
>>
>>5531867
Aha, so those fuckers are out of weapon range.
>There’s too many craft for our injured crew to handle, we need to shoot them down.
>Also fire up the comms and alert whoever we can about the hostiles.
>>
>There’s too many craft for our injured crew to handle, we need to shoot them down.
Shoot'em
>>
>>5531867

While we do have 4 DEW banks still operational, what's the power cost of shooting them down?
>>
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>>5531917
Tactical: The Opal Class Heavy Cruiser, comes equipped with six Directed Energy Weapon banks - each consisting of one GRASER (Strength 4), two LASERs (Str 2) and four MASERs (Str 1). Each weapon has a different dispersion characteristic (d4, d6, d8, etc.), with MASERs being quick and precise enough to double as point defence weapons despite their lower strength. You estimate any weapon hit to destroy the small boarding craft

Engineering: You estimate the power draw for firing a single weapon of each type to be:
GRASER (16%)
LASER (9%)
MASER (5%)
You have 41% remaining power.
>>
>>5531883
>>Also fire up the comms and alert whoever we can about the hostiles.
Engineering: A long range Comms message would cost 3% of your remaining power. Though punching a message past all these black holes back to the TPN is a long shot, and an even longer one that they'd have any ship big enough to respond. You could warn the primitives in system, however.
>>
>>5532287
Belay the comms then.
Fire mazers until all boarding craft is destroyed. Let them close to the guaranteed hit distance first.
>>
>>5532278
Use the MASERs, we can't spare the energy in case the main ship attacks again
>>
The amount of work it must take to plan these systems out and put together new gifs for every update is fucking horrifying.
>>
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>>5531890
>>5531917
>>5532318
>>5532320
>Fire MASERs

"We may only get one volley before they scatter, Lieutenant Commander. I know at least I'd never fly so predictably if I knew I could be zapped at any moment."

>How many MASERs will you fire, and will you chance them breaking their tight formation?

Also, will you calibrate them manually or let the gunnery crews handle targeting.
>Let the crew handle targeting. (QM will line up the shots, (You) will roll to fire.)
>I'll handle this personally. ((You) can work the transparent selection in paint and line up the shot yourself and roll.)


>>5532321
The trick is reusing the exact same set over and over and again with all the possible characters that could be voted in pre-drawn and animated. Proper prior planning an shid.
>>
>>5532382
>spoiler
Figured as much, but it's still hell. I'm skipping combat votes cause I have no idea how combat works, lole.
>>
>>5532390
[Spoiler]No-one knows anon, not even me. This is the first time combat of the quest. Feel free to help roll when the time comes though.[/spoiler]
>>
>>5532382
I have no idea what I'm doing
>Fire 5 masers
>Let the crew handle targeting.
>>
>>5532382
This update made me realize something, but i don't want to say it
>>
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>>5531308
>>5531272
I took the liberty of drawing a potential face for our captain, it was too late when I realized the artstyle was completely different lol.

>>5532382
Either they're certain that our entire crew is dead, or the whatever is inside those pods are so expendable it doesn't matter to them.
Wait until they're in firing range and fire all masers, prioritize the outside pods, maybe the explosion will hurl debris at the ones behind them.
>>
>>5532412
>All MASERs
We technically have 16 available to fire. (4 per operational DEW bank) we have energy to fire 10 at most.
Love the portrait btw. A lot neater than my own style. If you have a face reference I could try translate it across but I'm happy with this if everyone else is.
>>
>>5532437
Oh that's a good point. Then let's
>Fire 5 masers, one shot for each pod
>Let the crew handle targeting.
This still leaves us with 5 maser shots for later
>>
>>5532411
That you're a furry?
>>
>>5532454
Thankfully no, HOWEVER

If you compare sizes on mspaint, Cleo's bazongas are actually bigger than the size of a head
>>
>>5532451
>>5532403
>A five MASER volley, aye Sir.
I'll update with firing solutions in an hour when I'm actually at my PC.

>>5532481
She's a big lady, anon. Tbh the scale may be a bit off between portraits. The OP image is probably a bit better of a reference.
>>
>>5532513
Is that her in the OP? She looks shorter.
>>
>>5532538
A little bit me being bad at forced perspective but yeah that's her. She's 208cm to Dallas' 182cm, so not quite a head taller.
>>
File: Fire MASERs 1.gif (7.43 MB, 576x501)
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>>5532382
>>5532451
>>5532403
>>5532390
>>5531890
>>5531917

“We need to destroy those boarding pods before they realise we still have fight in us and scatter.” You announce your decision. “Ops, Nav, don’t touch anything that will alert them.”


“Aye, Sir.” Come the officers’ replies, one with complete trust, the other with a hint of schadenfreude. They take their hands off their consoles and watch the main screen, awaiting the fireworks.

You reach for the comm unit controls and open a channel to your gunnery crews. “Guns, this is Acting Captain Dallas Annon. I need the MASERs warmed up and firing solutions yesterday, people! Target coordinates are coming through now.” You direct the ventral optical feed to the still functioning DEW banks’ gunnery crews.

Using your tactical command knowledge you are able to filter the incoming firing solutions down to four of the most optimal, manually tweaking their power output slightly to suit the softer targets. You lock in a volley of five (5) MASER shots to cover as many of the targets as possible - each costing 4% of your remaining power.

>Select a firing solution (a, b, c or d) and roll 1d4. If a target covers more than a third of the triangle rolled it is destroyed.
>I need five (5) total rolls.
Feel free to roll again if more than an hour? passes with no rolling.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d4)

>>5532801
>[C]
>>
Rolled 1 (1d4)

>>5532801
D
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>5532858

C
>>
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>>5532813
>>5532858
>>5532884
Three for three, keep it up gunners!
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>5532899
D
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>5532801
B
>>
>>5532940
>>5532925
>>5532884
>4/5 ain't bad.
>Updating
>>
>>5532940
>>5532925
>>5532884
>>5532801
>4/5 boarding craft hit and destroyed.

“Targets locked, firing.” You tap a control and the forward viewport darkens slightly as five red MASER beams lance out to intercept the approaching vessels.

Four quick flashes and it’s over, they had no time to react. A single, small drive plume is left where five once burned before. It quickly peels off from its intercept course, weaving erratically as if expecting follow-up shots.

“You got ‘em, Cap!” Kiro cheers, jumping up onto his seat and pumping his fists in the air as debris slowly clears from the main screen’s feed.

“Well, most of them.” Cleo snarls agreeably, “But it looks like he left some leftovers for me! You shouldn’t have, Cap… wait? Captain?” The Navigation officer flicks an ear, eyes widening in confusion. “What did I miss?”

Acting Captain…,” you shake your head somberly, “we’ll bring you up to speed when we can.” You send the damage report over to her console, “Start with that. We’re pretty much dead in the water until…”

“Uh, Sir?” Your Ops officer interrupts. “That last boarding craft has stopped decelerating.” He focussed the ventral optics on the lone craft, which appears to be finishing a manoeuver - its bow now pointed squarely at your ship. “Scratch that!” Kiro squeals, “It’s coming right for us at full burn!”


What will you do? You have 21% energy remaining.
>Nav, get us moving, now! (A small manoeuvre costs 5% energy, a large one 15%.)
>Gunnery crew, I need more firing solutions, stat! (Same energy costs as before but the target is now actively evading.)
>Ops, do we have any ships ready in the Hangar? (Open the pod bay doors, 0 cost. Maybe useful?)
>Open a comms channel? Maybe, you can reason with them? (0 Cost)
>Something else. Suggestions welcome. Write in.
>>
>>5533011
>Gunnery crew, I need more firing solutions, stat!
We can still fire the maser 5 more times before we run out of power
>>
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>>5533025
So, this right?
>>
>>5533011
>Ops, do we have any ships ready in the Hangar?
>>
>>5533032
Precisely. Also what is the rate our power is recovering, or are we just running off batteries?
>>
>>5533061
We're on batteries until we can get the voidcore online again. We were just about to assign damage control to the task before we were interrupted. >>5531865
>>
>>5533087
Hm. Then we could only safely fire 4 times
>>
>>5533011

>Nav, get us moving, now! (A small manoeuvre costs 5% energy, a large one 15%.)

Small manoeuvre to get us drifting away from the enemy cruiser for a bit more time. Spending 15% to dodge a single pod is too prohibitive. Raise the alarm and let's let Cleo have her fight.
>>
Rolled 1 - 1 (1d3 - 1)

>>5533103
>>5533047
>>5533025
We're going to need a tiebreaker.
Meanwhile, I forgot to roll initial G-shoock damage for Cleo.
>>
>>5533120
>Ops, do we have any ships ready in the Hangar? (Open the pod bay doors, 0 cost. Maybe useful?)
here
>>
>>5533011
>Nav, get us moving, now!
Rotate the shit so the boarding craft hits something that's already destroyed and preferably radioactive.

>>5533120
Cleo is a hardy lady
>>
>>5533025
>>5533047
>>5533103
>>5533199
>>5533200
I was about to say we broke the tie but now... Shall we settle for both, move as a precaution but see if we can't launch some sort of interception?
>Cleo is a hardy lady
Seems so, she already has the extra health from Body+ but now she gets to keep it too.
>>
>>5533200
>>5533199
>>5533103
>>5533047
>>5533025
>Move and Hangar option.

“Direct intercept course, Ops?” You ask, dispensing with pleasantries in your haste.

“No, Sir.” The Marrok replies watching his console’s readouts, whilst snapping glances at the main viewscreen showing the remaining boarding craft quickly closing. “A spiralling course, with velocity changes at random intervals.” Frustrated, he makes an almost comically disgruntled noise. “Too close and too fast for the MASERs to accurately track. If I had time to find a pattern…”

“Time’s the one thing we don’t have, little man.” Cleo mutters consolingly as she continues furiously tapping at her navigation controls.

“I could try deflecting the bastard, Sir. Might be able to bounce him off some undamaged void plate, kinetic absorption on those is top notch when they aren’t full of holes.”

Quickly assessing your options, you decide that preserving what little reserve power your ship still possesses is paramount to the crew’s survival. Firing more MASERs in the off chance you’ll hit the evading craft might well leave your crew with no life support, gasping for air. Your navigation officer’s suggestion does have merit, though you’d like to have another card up your sleeve if possible.

“What do we have ready in the hangar?” You ask Kiro, “Anything survive the G-shock?”

The little reptile consults his holo-screen, replying promptly “Nothing we’d want to risk a pilot’s life in. Everything got shaken up pretty badly down there. The Flight Chief has grounded everything for maintenance. Although…” He taps his long chin a few times, thinking. “We could remotely pilot a decoy drone, but they’re only good for basic manoeuvres and making a lot of noise.”

“Noise might be just what we need,” you muse.
A plan begins to coalesce in your mind, but you notice one glaring issue with it.

“Lieutenant Clifton, I don’t suppose your abilities to wield ungainly voidships like racing yachts extends to precision drone piloting?” You ask the canine woman with grim formality.

“I’m probably the person on the ship to give it a try.” She replies affirmatively, to your surprise. “But if I’m doing that, who's going to make sure this guy bounces, instead of sticks? You need someone at the helm with the reflexes to angle the Pee-Dee just right as they come in.”

“But without a threat of some kind distracting them,” your Ops officer joins in, picking up on the idea, “what’s to stop them changing course last second and smashing into something less absorbent… Like us!” he exclaims, gesturing at the unarmored viewport of the observation deck before you.
>>
>>5533272

“We’re out of time.” You eye the rapidly approaching boarding craft, and make a decision.
“Launch the decoy, Ops. Nav, prepare to roll the ship and take a hit.”

You reach for your comm unit control opening a channel to all decks. “All hands, prepare for impact in..” You look to your Ops officer and find he’s already holding up two stubby claws, “two minutes. I repeat, brace for impact in two minutes.” You close the channel.
You hope such a precaution won’t prove necessary but, without main power, the ship cannot compensate with its inertia dampers should the runaway boarding craft strike true.

To prevent this, you will need to execute the steps perfectly. With Cleo occupied with angling the ship (1 power cost), that leaves the decoy drone in need of a pilot.

Do you:
>Pilot the drone yourself from your command console. (Without the Navigation skill you have only a small bonus from your Mind+ stat.)
>Have Kiro remotely pilot the drone. (No bonuses but still has his inspiration re-roll available.)
>Have one of the drones' normal pilots take over control from the flight deck, despite this mission being outside the usual parameters. (No bonus, but a chance to unlock an ace pilot.)
>Something else. Write in.
>>
>>5533274
>Have Kiro remotely pilot the drone. (No bonuses but still has his inspiration re-roll available.)
>>
>>5533274
>Have Kiro remotely pilot the drone. (No bonuses but still has his inspiration re-roll available.)
Re-rolling is always more valuable, eh
>>
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I'm gonna sleep on this one anons. I'll leave you with another option for our face. Based on Matthew Flinders as suggested here >>5531272. We don't really need one but its fun to mess around with.

On another note, how do you guys find my writing. I had hoped with this quest to capture character with the back and forth banter of our chosen crew. Do updates with a lot of talking (like the previous one) flow alright though?
>>
>>5533288
I like the banter so far
>>
>>5533274
>Have one of the drones' normal pilots take over control from the flight deck, despite this mission being outside the usual parameters. (No bonus, but a chance to unlock an ace pilot.)
We could really use an ace pilot here, if we're lucky.

>>5533288
I like the banter, but we still have few characters around. I'm also a bit salty that you closed the voting for the nav officer before I had a chance to vote, but I don't dislike Cleo.
>>
>>5533323

>I'm also a bit salty that you closed the voting for the nav officer before I had a chance to vote, but I don't dislike Cleo.

Apologies anon, we'll be getting to another character vote as soon as this event resolves. Would it help if I posted to Twitter or something when major updates drop? I hear all the cool QMs do that...
>>
>>5533274

>Have one of the drones' normal pilots take over control from the flight deck, despite this mission being outside the usual parameters. (No bonus, but a chance to unlock an ace pilot.)

[s]I'm pretty happy with the writing so far, need to see more banter to draw a proper verdict.[/s]
>>
>>5533274
>Have Kiro remotely pilot the drone. (No bonuses but still has his inspiration re-roll available.)
>>
>>5533274
>Have Kiro remotely pilot the drone.
>>
>>5533392
It wouldn't change anything, I just can't be here 24/7.
>>
>>5533643
This is exactly how those cumguzzling motherfuckers in dragonborn paladin quest won the vote to fuck the giant insect...
>>
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>>5533598
>>5533580
>>5533415
>>5533323
>>5533284
>>5533282
>Have Kiro remotely pilot the drone.

"Kiro," You catch your OPs officer's attention, "you will be controlling the decoy drone. I trust you."

You project your confidence in your chosen crew, locking eyes with your long-time friend.

"You do?" Kiro hesitates for a moment before looking away and beginning to fidget with nervous agitation. "Well, if you're sure."
He turns back to his station and begins the launch drone sequence. Communicating quietly with personnel in the Hangar bay.

"I'm ready too, Sir." Cleo adds, focusing on the incoming boarding craft and constantly updating her navigation instructions.

You relax as best you can in your command seat, still bound by the malfunctioning restraints and shoulder the age-old burden of the Captain: trusting your crew to do their jobs.

----------------------------------------------------------
How do you want this roll to work?
>Keep using the more novel rolling mechanics.
>Use something more basic with less player agency.
>Roll for us and cut out the middleman entirely.

I didn't get to ask after our last combat roll, but what do you guys think of the concept? Do you want more choice, less?
>>
>>5533723
>Keep using the more novel rolling mechanics.
I liked the combat, even if I didn't get to participate. I think you should stop asking about it all the time and just keep using the mechanics that you like.
>>
>>5533723
>Keep using the more novel rolling mechanics.
I think it's good
>>
>>5533723
>Keep using the more novel rolling mechanics.
I like how they feel more real and defined rather than a DC roll
>>
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>>5533725
>>5533729
>>5533730
>Keep using the more novel rolling mechanics.

OK, if people don't mind it being potentially unbalanced I'll come up with a flight mechanics one too. I will say this for DC rolls, they're much easier for unambiguously setting the difficulty level. May take a little while (a few hours?) for me to design and playtest this.

>>5533725
>I think you should stop asking about it all the time and just keep using the mechanics that you like.
I like coming up with them, I just have no idea if they'll work.
>>
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>>5533723

Kiro stares in unblinking concentration at his holo-display, you imagine there’d be nervous sweat beading on his scaled forehead if his kind were capable of such. The main display mirrors the feed from his decoy drone, as it slides silently past the still opening hangar bay doors.

“Nice and easy, there Ops. You’ve got this.” You encourage softly.

The drone suddenly leaps ahead, its powerful ion engine lighting up the viewport bright blue as it streaks past.

Kiro yelps, unused to such twitchy controls, and reigns in the sprinting decoy, pointing it more or less at the nearing boarding craft. He lowers the engine’s burn rate to a slow and sustainable acceleration and breathes a heavy if high pitched sigh.

“Ready… I think.” He says to the Nav officer by his side, “Do I wait for your signal or…?”

“If you’re gonna blind him, then just do it, shortstuff.” Came Cleo’s reply, slightly distracted as she concentrates on minute adjustments to the voidship’s bearing.

“Alright then, here goes nothing.” The Marrok fires up the powerful, broad spectrum emitters in the decoy drone’s nose, projecting a concentrated field of sensory noise through the vacuum of space. Designed to jam the sensors of enemy torpedoes and warships alike, the decoy’s area of effect is actually quite narrow at the point blank range of its current use.

Kiro focuses on directing the blinding cone of radiation towards the weaving and dodging target as it makes its final approach to your ship.

--------------------------------------------------------

You have three rolls to intercept the boarding craft before it passes the drone and impacts the ship. Each successful blinding of the vessel’s sensors will aid in Cleo’s attempt to catch it at the right angle with your defences.

Kiro has assessed the boarding craft’s evasion pattern and determined that it normally follows the path marked in red. His jamming beam can cover at most a fifth of that area - as marked in blue. He notes that the boarding craft lingers at the edge of the pattern, and if caught there will count as two successes - though this will be a harder shot. Due to your leadership, Kiro has one (1) re-roll available, which you may use as a fourth attempt at your discretion. Make no mistake, this won't be easy and you’ve asked a lot of the little guy.

>Place the central location of the drone’s jamming beam by selecting a number from one to twenty (1 - 20). Then roll 1d20 to determine where the boarding craft dodges. Critical success if your beam hits it at the edges of its evasion pattern (1, 5, 13,15 or 19).
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>5534009
For example, aiming the beam centre at 12.
>>
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>>5534012
Would yield an unsuccessful attempt. Though I chanced a crit by including the 15 in there.
>>
Rolled 7 (1d20)

>>5534009
Three.
>>
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>>5534097
A swing and a miss, 2 or 3 more rolls to go.
If its taking more than an hour between rolls free to roll again guys.
>>
Rolled 20 (1d20)

>>5534126
8
>>
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>>5534133
>Good hit. 1 or 2 rolls left.
>>
Rolled 19 (1d20)

>>5534143
2
>>
Rolled 1 (1d20)

>>5534207
Gah, rerolling!
>>
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>>5534209
>>5534207
>>5534133
>>5534097
>One (1) Success. Kiro's re-roll used.

"I hit it!" Kiro exclaims, excitedly. "All you now, Cleo!"

"Looks like the bogey has stopped weaving so erratically," she growls in reply, "Hold on to your hats!"

You reach for the all hands comm control as the icy thrill of adrenaline courses through your system. "Stand-by for impact, all-crew I say again, brace for impact."

You feel the ship lurch beneath you, the manoeuvring jets firing hard to swing the ship onto an optimal heading.
>Stand-by to roll for Cleo.
One success will lower the variation in the boarding craft's evasion patterns, and Cleo has a +2 bonus when navigating from her skill and natural reflexes (body+).
>>
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>>5534218
>One (1) power used to manoeuvre, 20% remaining.

Your navifgation officer attempts to angle the ship so that the boarding craft is deflected along your undamaged starboard flank. If performed precisely, the void plating can mitigate almost all of the kinetic energy, converting it to heat.
The craft's evasive pattern has slowed due to Kiro's actions as indicated in red, with it still lingering at the extremities (double success as before).

Cleo's navigation skill allows her an easier time adjusting your voidship's heading than Kiro had piloting the drone - indicated in purple. Her enchanced reflexes (body+) afford her three attempts to correct the ships heading despite the time crunch.

Number of successes will determine damage to the ship and state of the boarding craft.

>Place the central location of the drone’s jamming beam by selecting a number from one to sixteen (1 - 16). Then roll 1d16 to determine where the boarding craft dodges. Critical success if your beam hits it at the edges of its evasion pattern (5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13).
>>
Rolled 5 (1d16)

>>5534241
1
>>
>>5534241
>>5534243

>An ammendment, since i foolishly copy pasted. the roll line.
You'll need to specify two numbers to place in the central diamond as the reticule can twist. the roll the d16.
>>
Rolled 9 (1d16)

>>5534241
Two and six?
>>
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>>5534247
That works, though its a miss.
>>
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>>5534244
Best practice would be to do it like this. 1 and 2 (left) vs 1 and 8 (right).
>>
Rolled 5 (1d16)

>>5534249
1 and 8
>>
>>5534254
>Another miss. One last chance for Cleo to get the angle right.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d16)

>>5534241
4 and 14
>>
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>>5534291
>>5534254
>>5534247
>0 Successes. Despite the Kiro's valiant blinding of the boarding craft, Cleo isn't able to angle the voidship to bleed off its momentum.
>Writing
>>
>>5534296

“Ah… Shit!” You Nav officer yelps, “He’s coming in too hot!” She frantically taps at her console, attempting to correct the voidship’s heading.

“He’s veered off course, though.” Kiro pipes up hopefully, eyes wide and glued to his drone’s sensor feed.

“Not the way I… arg... thought he would though.” Cleo gasps desperately, attempting one final time to compensate. “It’s no good. Can’t bring her around in time to deflect him. Armour is going to take this one!” She admits finally, teeth bared.

You take one last look at the main screen as the boarding craft leaves the view of the ventral optical sensors. Out of the rightmost viewport you can now make out its silhouette with the naked eye as it tears towards you. You hope your warning to the crew was heeded in time, because things are about to get bumpy.

“Hold on!” Cleo barks, having input one final command to steady the ship’s rotation to avoid post collision debris shifting. She grips her console with one arm and envelops the little Ops officer in the other.

You see Kiro hold onto that lifeline for dear life, and you briefly worry that you didn’t pay enough attention to the wounds of the already injured Marrok. With no time left, you do the only thing you can and grip the arms of your command seat, hoping the mangled restraints criss-crossing your chest will hold despite your previous efforts.

The world shakes around you and everything goes dark.
>>
>>5534348
"Lieutenant Commander? Dallas, wake up!"

A distant yet familiar voice reaches you through the darkness. You open your eyes and find you've ended up on the deck of the observation bridge looking up at the gently curving ceiling.
Frowning down at you in concern is neither Kiro, nor Cleo, but your tactical officer.

Choose your tactical officer from the following:
>Matthew Cooper
>Neb von Clifton
>Coen La'afette
>Finder-of-Zephyrs
>Rika Sharsi
>Isobel Buxton
>Sofia Odette
>Eyes-of-Night

Your tactical officer will gain the skill Tactical(M) and another skill from the following:
>Endurance Training(B): +1 Health
>Adv. Weapons(B|M): Trained in the use of advanced weapons.
>Athletics(B): Physically stronger and trained to perform athletic feats.

Three guesses why your new tactical officer needs to be introduced with a physical based skill.
>>
>>5534372
By the Book: A ship's tactical officer is responsible for its weapons system, monitoring them, firing them, and advising the captain the on the best course of action in combat situation. A good tactical officer has a steady hand and steadier nerves.
>>
>>5534372
>Isobel Buxton
Because she looks like Sigourney Weaver and so must know when to nuke something from orbit.
>>
>>5534415
She doesn't really fit the 'steady hand and steadier nerves' thing, though.
>>
>>5534372
>Coen La'afette
He's got high MIND, an normal BODY, and he's focused and cold. Those are good traits for an security officer.

We're also supposed to pick a skill, right?
>Adv. Weapons(B|M): Trained in the use of advanced weapons.

Seems like it could be more useful...
>>
>>5534415
Ah, and skill:
>Power loader certification.
>>
>>5534372

Seconding >>5534419.
>>
>>5534419
Seconded
>>
>>5534372
>Matthew Cooper
>>
>>5534415
Good eye. All the Human/Laedra characters were drawn based on actors in sci-fi movies/shows. See if you can recognise any others.
>>
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Rolled 3 - 1 (1d3 - 1)

>>5534718
>>5534602
>>5534472
>>5534419
>>5534415
>Coen La'afette, trained in Tactical(M) and Adv. Weapons(B|M).
Rolling for Coen's initial G-shock damage (0-2 Health) and any damage Dallas' suffered from being less than secure during the recent collision (0-1 Health).
>>
Rolled 2 - 1 (1d2 - 1)

>>5535110
>2 Damage to Coen and now the roll for Dallas.
>>
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Rolled 1 - 1 (1d3 - 1)

>>5534372

“Oof, my chest.” You try to sit up, but fall back in pain. “May have cracked a rib there.”
Lieutenant La’afette looks down dispassionately at you, the Laedra’s green tinged skin paler than usual, and raises an eyebrow. A trickle of blood seeps down from a cut on his forehead and he stands slightly askew, clearly favouring a leg.

“Do you need assistance, Sir?” He asks coolly, “If not, there are others who may yet be in danger.”
You hear a deep groaning, from the bridge command stations behind you and see Cleo peeling herself off the console. A muffled yelp from beneath her tangled limbs, is soon revealed itself to be a disgruntled Ops officer. It seems the Ulveng woman shielded Kiro from the worst of the collision shock, sparing him any further injury.

“No, no.” You clamber back to your feet, wincing. “We need to deal with whatever damage that boarding craft did to my ship. We’re under attack, if you haven’t heard.”

“I see,” he replies, taking a step back and observing the general state of chaos the observation deck is in. “And I take it you’re taking charge because…”

“I’m the highest ranking command officer left alive, yes.” You smooth over your features, pushing down your emotions for future you to deal with and take your seat.

“Acknowledged, Acting Captain.” He slides into the tactical command station and quickly appraises himself of the situation. Turning to your other two officers he begins, “Mr Skyeskal, Miss Clifton…”

“Kiro, please.” The Marrok in question interjects.

“Are you in a sound state to fight?” he continues without pause, “It appears we may have company soon.”

You hear the distant sounds of gunfire and the snap of directed energy weapons, emanating through the deck below and to starboard. Somehow, whatever was in that boarding pod must have survived the collision.

>Rolling for collision damage to Cleo and any absorbed damage she took from shielding Kiro. (0-2 Health.)
>>
>>5535157
You will need to deal with this new situation quickly before your command position comes under threat. You have a moment to breathe however, and have time for one action,
Do you:
>Order damage control to get the Void Core heated up again by any means necessary.
>Tend to the wounds of your conscious command crew. (Kiro and Coen, are quite hurt.)
>Attempt to wake up additional unconscious personnel on the observation deck to assist you repelling boarders. (Security or Command crew, your choice.)

Cleo is once again unscathed even shielding Kiro from harm. Will update in a few hours.
>>
>>5535159
I think we need to fight off the boarding party before we do anything
>>
>>5535165
>No time to waste. Help the already engaged crew.
Definitely a valid option.
>>
>>5535159
>Tend to the wounds of your conscious command crew. (Kiro and Coen, are quite hurt.)
Build up trust.
If whatever was on those pods survived then they must be some sort of alien, or maybe machines.
>>
>>5535159
>Order damage control to get the Void Core heated up again by any means necessary.
>>
>>5535159
>Attempt to wake up additional unconscious personnel on the observation deck to assist you repelling boarders. (Security)
>>
Gonna need a tiebreaker or we'll end up doing everything.
>>
>>5535500
>>5535404
>>5535228
>>5535165
>All of the above, but quickly so you can deal with whatever is loose on your ship.
>>
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>>5535159
>>5535165
>>5535228
>>5535404
>>5535500

“I’m okay, La’afette.” Cleo replies with a quick flash of teeth, “takes more than that to rattle me, and you know I’m always good for a scrap regardless.”
Trait Unlocked: Tough. Cleo’s natural toughness reduces any damage she takes by one.

“But you and Kiro both look pretty beat up.” She pauses, her sensitive ears flicking in worry back as the sounds of fighting below deck becomes more insistent. “Are you sure you’re in any shape to fight. This is only happening because I messed up, so I don’t want any of you risking your lives to make up for my mistakes.” She squares her shoulders and begins to march to the stairs, her muzzle set in a fierce snarl. “I’ll fix this myself.”

“Cleo, this is no one's fault but my own.” You catch her broad shoulder as she attempts to squeeze past, and she stops to avoid hurting you. “I made the call to conserve power and not overwhelm the enemy when I had the chance. The fault always lies with the Captain. You and Kiro both did the best you could, and now we’ll continue to work together to fix this!” You nod resolutely and the wolf’s hard expression softens slightly.

“Exactly, we’re a team.” Kiro hurries over, catching her other arm - his small hands barely enough together to encircle the limb. “We’ll fight them off together! It’s only one small boarding craft, and it sounds like security is already dealing with it. With our help they won't stand a chance.” He finishes his pep talk with a bright smile, ever the optimist.

“Even we wounded can be used as distractions.” Your tactical officer adds, though the morbid insight doesn’t have quite the same effect.

The lights flicker overhead, another capacitor drained. You note that you are still on a time limit with an entire enemy vessel waiting out there. With the light lag, you estimate you have about three minutes before they see your attack on the boarding craft and realise you aren't as dead in the water as you first appeared. You need main power back before things get ugly.
>>
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>>5535588

You begin to feel overwhelmed as you realise how much you need to do in so very little time. Noone ever said being the Captain would be easy. You stand up, breathing deeply to calm your thoughts, and act.

“Bridge crew, on me.” You lead the way down the stairs to the observation deck, searching frantically for a solution to your many problems. Your wounded crew, your lifeless ship, the backup security surely needs against the boarders. In your distracted state you almost don’t hear the warning.

“Sir, look out!” Lieutenant La’afette pulls you to a stop as you are almost bowled over by black spherical object rolling across the deck. You recognise the runaway orb as a WEAVER. You always assumed the name of the robotic maintenance drones was an acronym of some kind but whatever meaning it once had has been lost to time.

“Whoah there,” Cleo jumps forward and wrestles the two foot wide orb to a halt. “Hey, it's WEAVY!” She exclaims in surprise.

The normally hovering WEAVERs are ancient pieces of artech that possess rudimentary AIs giving them some intelligence and autonomy. Not normally seen so far from the void core, they are the only “crew” aboard allowed to service the beating heart of the ship. Not even the captain has access to delve so deep. Just another overly paranoid security feature of the original Teran Protectorate to safeguard their live void core technology.

This particular WEAVER, however, is well known to you and your bridge crew as it seems to have been shunned and exiled by its counterparts, spending its time instead performing other maintenance tasks away from the core. Affectionately dubbed WEAVY by the crew, the drone often lurks around the observation deck while you perform your training simulations, simply watching.

Staring at the now motionless orb you realise you may have just found a solution to your problems. The nano-mats WEAVY uses to perform its maintenance tasks are very similar to the medical nanites used by the ship’s doctors. If you could convince it to reconfigure them as such, you could potentially patch up your bridge crew, and maybe even wake up some of the others still lying around you on the deck. Not only that, but the WEAVER technically still has a direct line back to its counterparts in the void core. Surely you could order them as Acting Captain to override the safety procedures and kickstart the ship back to life.
>>
>>5535597

“Aw, he’s not working.” Kiro laments, resting a hand atop the waist high orb. “I’ve been teaching him some tricks that might have come in handy.”

The recessed ring around the drone’s circumference is dim, devoid of its usual shifting pattern of green and red lights. It seems the MASER flash that fried your personal comms messed with the WEAVERs systems as well.

“Surely, artech like WEAVY couldn’t be knocked out as easily as the rest of us.” You think aloud, frustrated.

“Well, maybe it can be knocked back in just as easy too!” Your nav officer replies, raising a fist.

“No, wait!” You realise too late what Cleo has in mind and she thumps the poor drone with all her not inconsiderable strength. Her fist stops dead on impact, not making so much as a sound.

The dark surface of the orbs seems to ripple, lightening to a grey around the impact site. Cleo lifts her hand and peers at it curiously, head tilting slightly.
“That felt weird.” She remarks. “Like I barely touched it.”

Suddenly, the drone lights up and zips up into the air, hovering at your chest height.

==THIS WEAVER UNIT HAS EXPERIENCED A MALFUNCTION== it intones, ==UPDATING DATABASE… HELLO CAPTAIN ANNON. HOW MAY THIS UNIT BE OF SERVICE?==
Small curved appendages float free of its spherical body and approximate a salute.

You grin, “Well, WEAVY, let me explain…”

WEAVY, an autonomous core maintenance WEAVER drone, has joined your bridge crew. It is able to communicate more readily with the ship’s more vital systems, repair minor damage to ship and crew alike and learn to perform other basic tasks.

With WEAVY’s help you order the void core be brought back to operating temperature, despite still being in its cooldown phase. You also have him patch up Kiro, Coen and yourself with its repair nanites proving up to the task of splinting your damaged bones.
All crew health +1.

Taking up the fallen weapons of the unconscious security officers, you face the sounds of battle that grow ever louder, preparing to engage the boarders. You order WEAVY to:
>Accompany you into battle, its rudimentary method of healing could prove useful. Kiro also mentioned teaching it other ‘tricks’ but didn’t elaborate.
>Stay behind and attempt to revive the downed security team. You could use the potential backup in the fight to come.
>Do something else. Write in.
>>
>>5535598

>>Stay behind and attempt to revive the downed security team. You could use the potential backup in the fight to come.

We can take point along with Cleo. WEAVY and Kiro can focus on patching up injuries.
>>
>>5535553
I hope you all don't mind me taking the liberty of resolving the 4 way tie in one ball shaped solution. WEAVY may just be an outcast because his volume is stuck at 11 but who knows.
>>
>>5535598
>Stay behind and attempt to revive the downed security team. You could use the potential backup in the fight to come.
Every space opera needs a robot sidekick
>>
>>5535598
>Stay behind and attempt to revive the downed security team. You could use the potential backup in the fight to come.
>>
>>5535598
>Stay behind and attempt to revive the downed security team. You could use the potential backup in the fight to come.
>>5535606
I should've changed my vote to get something happening sooner.
>>
>>5535598
>>5535600
>>5535623
>>5535716
>>5536057

The WEAVER drone stores it's thin appendages having finished injecting you with nanites.
==THIS UNIT HAS FINISHED REPAIRS== it announces robotically.

"Good job, WEAVY," you reply while checking that the magazine of your appropriated weapon is full. "I want you to keep, ah..., [i]repairing[/i] the security team here and send them our way when they wake, understand?"

==UNDERSTOOD, THIS UNIT SHALL CONTINUE REPAIRS== The drone bobs in assent, and begins to poke and prod the comatose personnel.

"Skyeskal should stay and help." You turn at the calm proclamation to see your Tactical officer eying the still somewhat battered reptile. "He may be more of use providing reinforcements than fighting the enemy."

"No way, Cap! We fight together, just like you said!" Kiro brandishes a liberated sidearm, with a determined expression.
You can see belabouring the point would be fruitless, and you have little time to argue.

"Together, then," you nod, and reach for your collar, the MPC activating your uniform's suit mode. "Button up, people, we're going in."

You switch your personal comm unit to the security channel, WEAVY's repairs having restored it to full functionality, and announce your crew's imminent arrival at the engagement zone.

The access hatch to the lower decks whooshes open at your touch and your crew descends, prepared for battle.

--------------------------------

Decide how you wish to repell the boarders:
>XCOM time. (You) will get to take control of the main cast and the QM will set up the next scene as a skirmish.
>Scripted battle scene. The QM will set up the battle as another part of the story with (you) choosing and rolling for key actions.
>Something in the middle. Suggestions.

I'm keen to try it either way, but I need to take some time to draw up some battle stuff/enemies. I honestly didn't think we'd end up here but that's the beauty of quests for you.
>>
>>5536212
>>Scripted battle scene. The QM will set up the battle as another part of the story with (you) choosing and rolling for key actions.
>>
>>5536212
>Scripted battle scene. The QM will set up the battle as another part of the story with (you) choosing and rolling for key actions.
>>
>>5536212
>>Scripted battle scene. The QM will set up the battle as another part of the story with (you) choosing and rolling for key actions.
>>
>>5536212
>Scripted battle scene. The QM will set up the battle as another part of the story with (you) choosing and rolling for key actions.
>>
>>5536212
>XCOM time. (You) will get to take control of the main cast and the QM will set up the next scene as a skirmish.
>>
>>5536231
>>5536521
>>5536562
>>5536571
>>5536645
>Scripted
>Updating.
Looks like I'm keeping my hands on the reigns for now. But I'll try to make sure there's some room for you to improvise if you want to write in.

Also only small update tonight, I have some work commitments at 5 am tomorrow at a mine... If I don't update after that, know I didn't flake but that big coal did me in with an excavator.
>>
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>>5536652
>>5536571
>>5536562
>>5536521
>>5536231
>>5536645
>>5536212

The corridor ahead is dim, lit only intermittently by pulsing red emergency lighting and the occasional actinic flash of directed energy weapons. The deafening crack of firearms and hum-snap of DEWs echo tinnily down the metal hall, attenuated only by the bends in the passage and your wisely deployed helmets.

Cleo steps past you, baring her teeth and claws fiercely. “Playtime’s over boys. Let’s tear these unwelcome pests apart!” She growls, even her mismatched translator lowering its register to that of a somewhat grouchy schoolgirl.

Before La’afette can even begin to remind her that using her claws while in her hermetically sealed skinsuit would compromise its integrity, she races off - loping towards the sounds of action.

“Don’t get left behind, you two. That's an order.” You quip, jogging after Cleo’s rapidly disappearing tail.

“Sure, Cap.” “Sir.” They briefly acknowledge, following.

As you turn the bend you see a large double hatch stuck open, the source of the lights and sounds. In the threshold, crates and cases in various states of repair partially block access, their contents spilling out into the hallway. You can see Cleo has stopped short of the entrance to what you realise leads to the maintenance bay servicing one of the ship’s weapon banks. Despite her earlier enthusiasm, she stands motionless, staring at a silhouette slumped over the disorganised cargo.

You realise as you step up next to her, that what you had assumed was a wounded crew member was actually only half of one - clearly dead. A male Ulveng’s upper torso lays propped against a crate of spare parts, pistol spilling from a limp grip, evidently useless against what must have been a Megawatt range laser that left him bisected. There’s no blood, for which your stomach is grateful, the wound having been cauterised by whatever wyrm-begotten weapon sheared him in two.

“That could have been me.” You hear your navigation officer say in a small voice.

“It wasn’t. It won't be!” You reassure her quickly, punching the hulking woman’s arm lightly. “You’re indestructible, remember?”

“Right.” She shakes herself from head to tail. “Everyone got what they need?”

Your two male officers bringing up the rear look at each other and then more closely at the spilled items at Cleo’s feet. It seems that part of the security response to the boarding craft induced hull breach included a crate of riot gear and advanced weapons. You contemplate your crew’s current equipment and consider grabbing something of use before the battle.
>>
>>5536772


Current Bridge Crew Status:

(A. Cpt) LCdr Dallas Annon:

Health: 3/3
Mobility: 3
Armour: 1 (Helmet)
Equipment: SMG


Lt Kiro Skyeskal:

Health: 2/3
Mobility: 3+1
Armour: 1 (Helmet)
Equipment: Pistol

Lt Cleo von Clifton:

Health: 3/3
Mobility: 4
Armour: 1 (Helmet)
Equipment: Shotgun

Lt Coen La’affette:

Health: 2/3
Mobility: 3
Armour: 1 (Helmet)
Equipment: SMG

Available to equip is the following:
>Nano-meds x 2
>Riot Armor x 1
>Riot Shield x1
>Stun Baton x1
>Pistol x 1
>Sniper Rifle x 1 (Adv Weapons Training required.)
>Flash Grenades x 2

Do you wish to equip your crew with anything, or swap weapons/gear around.
>Write in specifics.
>No time to loot. To battle!


Seriously, give it some thought and discuss, I need time anyway to draw the bad guys and stuff more animals in space suits, no rush.

Feel free to ask about what anything specific means. Like you voted, I'll handle the details for the combat, but the specifics that I script and options I offer will depend on the choices you make here.
>>
>>5536785
An amendment, Cleo has Health: 4/4 due to her enhanced body stat.
>>
>>5536785
>We grab the nanomeds
>Kiro and Cleo get 1 flashbang each
>Coen grab the sniper rifle, but don't equip. We're in tight quarters for now.
>Leave the rest

I seriously wonder why someone would deploy riot gear in response to armed boarders
>>
>>5536785
Ah, and swap the pistol and SMG between Kiro and Coen
>>
>>5536841
Coen is the one with weapon training
>>
>>5537039
And that's why he gets the sniper rifle and shouldn't hog the SMG.
>>
>>5536841
>>5536785
I should mention some items affect mobility. Having only a pistol equipped gave Kiro a bonus there. The sniper rifle and riot shield are unwieldy and have a mobility malus.
>>
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>>5536785
To help visualise what this equipment list means, I've put together a handy reference. I also made it so I'd have sprites for a proper stat sheet.

>>5536839
>I seriously wonder why someone would deploy riot gear in response to armed boarders

Riots can be a lot more violent when people have laser and kinetic weaponry, these have some ablative properties that act like additional health if hit.
>>
>>5537090
Since she's speedier and chunkier would it make more sense for her to be at the front? Maybe to take hits while the rest of us support from behind. Are there bonuses to hit rates, or does everyone have the same chance of hitting with their weapons?

If we can find a long, straight corridor maybe the sniper rifle will come in handy. Putting a big round or two through a stacked boarding crew could be helpful.
>>
>>5537730
There are bonuses to hit rates based on mind+ or body+. I.e everyone but Kiro. Coen will get an additional bonus due to his training.

Otherwise, weapons will work based on a physical aiming system. Overlaying the weapon's damage spread over the target, range will matter. Similar to how it was shown in >>5532278 when we were choosing what DEW to fire at the boarding craft.
>>
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>>5537710
>>5536785
Here's the initial status screen for our bridge crew as they stand at the precipice of battle and start looting.

They each have 1 Ablative Armour in the form of their helmets but that will only block headshots (crits). Cleo has an additional 1 regenerating armor thanks to her tough trait.

You still have the following to distribute if you wish:
>Nano-meds x 2
>Riot Armor x 1
>Riot Shield x1
>Stun Baton x1
>Pistol x 1
>Sniper Rifle x 1 (Adv Weapons Training required.)
>Flash Grenades x 2
>>
>>5537760
>Cleo takes shield and pistol in addition to her SMG
>We take armor
>We and Kiro take flashbangs and nanomeds
>Coen takes sniper rifle
>Coen takes Kiro's pistol and gives him his SMG
>>
>>5537773
*>Cleo takes shield and pistol in addition to her shotgun
>>
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>>5537773
>>5537760
>>5537710
>>5536785
We currently have one proposal that looks like picrel.
>Cleo as our tank (with a mobility penalty depending on if she is using her free hand to wield a pistol or shotgun).
>Coen as Sniper, with a mobility buff when wielding a pistol.
>Dallas as primary support.
>Kiro as secondary.
Did I interpret that correctly?


Other proposals or changes, welcome.
I'm gonna run the combat starting in about 24 hours and going over the weekend, with some minor setting the scene before then.
>>
>>5537790
Yep, this was the idea.
>>
>>5537790
seems good to me
>>
>>5537790
Perfect
>>
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>>5537794
>>5537984
>>5538088
Quickly distributing some of the more intact equipment amongst your crew, you take a peek through the double wide hatchway into the cavernous maintenance bay. Situated above DEW Bank A, the bay houses spare parts and all the machinery required to tune, repair, calibrate and haul around the delicate weapons. Currently it is full of security personnel, or what's left of them, desperately fighting off what has to be the boarding party.

You make out the prow of the boarding craft piercing through the far wall of the bay, seemingly no worse for the wear of having smashed through the ship's armour save for some minor exterior cracking. A hatch on the front has withdrawn to reveal a dark maw from which shadows spill. Crawling about on disconnected, spiky limbs are black, crystalline beings - all flat faces and hard edges.

You make out the smaller, more numerous variants hounding the beleaguered security team. They expel stubby spines from their elongated bodies like malevolent cacti, and slash at anyone foolish enough to be in reach of their small legs.

Your visor darkens suddenly, to filter out a harsh red flash. The accompanying hum-snap of a LASER discharge is drowned out by a strangled scream over the security comm channel. Wincing, you locate one of the larger intruders, almost crab-like in appearance, dangling a now limp human torso - impaled through the heart by a long, floating limb. Air shimmers around two gently glowing appendages held in front of its flatter body, clearly the weapons responsible for the corpse's bifurcation.
You duck back from the hatchway, the image all but burned into your retinas, and turn to your waiting crew.

Cleo is hefting the huge riot shield as if it weighs nothing, still distracted by the dead man at her feet. The pistol she gently prised from the other, unfortunate Ulveng's grip now secured to her side.
Kiro slings the SMG he exchanged with La'afette over his shoulder, the compact weapon seeming almost too large in his small arms - like a child playing soldier.
Your tactical officer, meanwhile, adjusts the calibration of his sniper rifle with mechanical efficiency. The advanced pulse laser weapon lighting up under his attentive ministrations.
In a few short moments, they each turn to you expectantly.

"The Stars take these bastards," your Nav officer growls, no trace of her usual levity to be found. "Let's blitz them!"

"We should enter unnoticed and strike from a prepared position." Coen counters.

You feel a small reassuring hand touch your arm and find Kiro - seemingly sensing your hesitation - looking up at you with bright-eyed encouragement. "We're ready when you are, Dally." He says quietly.

A plan of attack crystallises in your mind, and you direct your crew to engage.
>Storm in and relieve the security team by drawing attention.
>Creep in, taking up firing positions with the time bought by security, then attack.
>Split your forces and do both.
>Write in.
>>
>>5538490
>>Creep in, taking up firing positions with the time bought by security, then attack.
The guy is already dead, listen to the man whose job it is to kill

Also,
>Dally
Very uh...weird nickname. Does not sound like the usual "bro" nickname, certainly
>>
>>5538495
There's more security fighting in there, I only had time to draw the section of the bay closest to the breach.

Also lorewise, your chosen XO is a childhood friend, and roommate since academy days. As a result Kiro is sometimes more informal with you compared to say, Cleo or La'affete.
>>
>>5538505
Yeah, but dally doesn't uhh...sound like a "bro" nickname. It sounds a bit like a nickname you'd give to a child or spouse, neither of which Kiro is

No complaints really, just a big weird nickname for dallas, because of the 'lly' suffix
>>
>>5538519
>Every Billy the world around lets out a silent scream.
>>
>>5538490
>Creep in, taking up firing positions with the time bought by security, then attack.
>>
>>5538826
Billy is an actual name, however.
>>
>>5538961
Your point being?
>>
>>5538987
Dally sounds weirldy intimate...not really what you would call a bro named Dallas.
>>
>>5538999
As opposed to calling a bro named William Billy? And your argument is that you're used to hearing one but not the other?
>>
>>5538999
>>5538826
>>5538495
>Sneaky beaky like.

Lets not argue semantics guys. Maybe its a regional thing, but I know I have friends I still call by their childhood nicknames like Marty, Lachy, Benny, etc. Don't read much more subtext there than that. I can switch it to Dal. Dally-o? idk something else familiar that doesn't trigger people.
>>
>>5539008
This is more like a bro named 'Marshal' being called 'marshy'
>>
>>5539013
I'm not really triggered or anything, i'm just pointing out that it sounds weirdly intimate
>>
>>5539020
Duly noted, I'll figure out an alternative for the future and we can pretend its been that the whole time.
>>
>>5539037
How about 'Dell'?
>>
>>5539040
>>5539013

Update's almost ready, just writing now.

My initial thought way back at the start of this was just Dall (with the short a sound) but that looks weird written. Then when I'd already used Dally way back in >>5527891 so yeah... Maybe just Dal? Like pal?
>>
>>5538490
>Creep in, taking up firing positions with the time bought by security, then attack.
Dally sounds fine to me.
>>
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>>5539048
>>5538829
>>5538495
>>5538490

“Thanks, pal.” You smile grimly behind your visor, “Watch the recoil on that thing, you hear.” You elbow the SMG at his side, “No friendly fire this time.”

“It was one time…” he snorts, shaking his head. “in a simulation no less.” He nimbly takes his position, joining the other two officers stacked up by the open hatch.

“We’re going with Lieutenant La’afette's plan.” You command, slipping into your well practised “Captain’s voice” as you decide on a course of action.
“By my count, there’s six active hostiles, two large, four small. Two friendlies on our left under fire. Copy?”

“Copy.” Your crew reply in unison, tense but ready.

“We’ll use the distraction provided by the remaining security to take up positions in cover. Skyeskal and I will take the crates at 2 and 10 o’clock respectively.” You crouch by the hatch and point out the cover in question with one arm, balancing your SMG in the other. “Clifton and
La’afette will break right and secure the stacked spools of wire. We fire only if engaged or on my signal. Confirm?”


They confirm, making last minute adjustments to their equipment. Cleo especially looks ready and raring to go, bracing her shield like a battering ram. Meanwhile Coen’s eyes take on a faraway look, expression vacant. Kiro just bounces slightly on the balls of his feet, vibrating with nervous energy.

Due to your Leadership skill, each of your bridge crew will do their best to follow your plan. They are granted one re-roll to help them in the battle to come. This does not apply to yourself but you can issue additional orders to refresh used individual re-rolls by forfeiting your other actions.

“Any final questions?” You ask.

>Now is your chance to change up any of the plan now that you can see the battlefield. Write in.


Battle will then commence after QM has a nap, its after 1am here..

I will run this combat loosely based on a turn system, but will keep the actual decision making on (you)r part light, as requested. I’ll mostly just call for votes to determine direction of combat, and rolls to determine outcomes like shooting.
>>
>>5539081

Here's the battlefield with the corridor wall hidden. (Though I left the fog of war as it should be.)
Also I moved the crew to their correct starting positions.

While I sleep here's something to consider. How conservative should the crew be with their consumables?
>Liberal use of flashbangs (2) and meds (2) as soon the full heal can be applied.
>Conservative use of flashbangs to break out bad positions, meds saved for downed crew.
>Some combination thereof.
>>
>>5539081
I propose an amendment of the plan.
Whoever takes position at the crate at 2 o'clock will be instantly pinned the moment they're detected. Also there's an excellent line of fire an the enemy chokepoint (the shuttle exit) right from the doorway. So I propose the following:

>Kiro goes to the wire spools with Cleo
>Coen takes position in the doorway with the sniper rifle and prioritizes the heavy hostiles.

>>5539088
>Conservative use of flashbangs to break out bad positions, meds saved for downed crew.
>>
>>5539091
+1
>>
>>5539088
>Some combination thereof.
>>
>>5539091
>>5539287
Can do.

>>5539393
Care to elaborate in which way you like to see them combined?
>>
>>5539430
>Care to elaborate in which way you like to see them combined?
No!
More liberal but not aim for 100% use. Keep them safe but save a few more for later threats. Not exactly straight forward response i know.
>>
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>>5539451
>>5539287
>>5539091

“Sir. If you intend to take the right flank, it would be prudent to have me cover your advance from here.” Coen voices his opinion calmly and without any signs of judgement for your plan. He makes no attempt to move from his position until you give the word.

As another exchange of fire cracks from within the maintenance bay, you decide to trust your tactical officer’s experience. “Do it, La’affette.” You nod. “Skyeskal, with Clifton. Same plan.” Your clipped words, hurried as you see the boarders begin to turn their attention to the security team. “Switch to comms, don’t engage 'til ordered.” You say and tap the side of your helmet twice.

“Let’s go, then.” Cleo’s translator pushes through the comm unit with an impatient tone.

Kiro and Coen shuffle positions to reflect your new orders and you stand up from your crouch.
“Engage.”

You surge forward, moving as fast as you can without drawing attention to yourself, to crouch behind a waist high crate 3 squares away. From your position you sight your SMG on one of the small spiky intruders, a medium distance away, but hold your fire. It is distracted by a security officer firing from behind some wire spools to your left and you intend to keep it that way. As more of the maintenance bay comes into view you spy another Spiker in the far right corner of the room. “Head’s up guys, more hostiles further back. Watch your corners and blind spots.”

“We got it.” Cleo replies, moving ahead of Kiro with long strides - her pistol at the ready and shield held high.
Cleo moves 4, Kiro moves 3.

Coen crouches behind one the crates by the hatchway, deploying his rifle’s bipod and extending the barrel. “I have eyes on the initial hostiles. The larger hostile, designated Crab, is turning to face the security team.” He reports efficiently.
Coen moves 3.
Equips sniper rifle.

It looks like the spiker’s on your left are about to fling more of their stubby spines at the security team. Do you hold your nerve and stick to the plan?
>Hold fire until your crew is in position. (Enemy will take their turn.)
>Open fire on the closest Spiker. (You will fire before the enemy can, but will alert all enemies to your presence.)
>Throw a flash grenade to stun the nearest Spiker without giving away your general position.
>Use your command implant to quickly flicker the bay’s lights until your crew is in position. Skill check required, backlash will cause damage to Health on fail.
>Something else? Write in.

After images in picrel are left where people where last round let me know if that becomes too confusing/cluttered.

Sorry for late update, slept longer than I meant to.
>>
>>5539826
>Something else? Write in.
Can we flash the nearest Spiker while Cleo and Kiro take their positions?
>>
>>5539879
We can, it will stun the spiker. But the rest of the enemies will still take their turn as normal.
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>>5539881
Sounds good, was looking to combine options one and
>>
>>5539881
>>5539883
three
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>>5539881
Will go with this unless anyone else has opinions.
>>
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>>5539879
>>5539826
>Hold fire until your crew is in position. (Enemy will take their turn.)
>Throw a flash grenade to stun the nearest Spiker without giving away your general position.

You hold steady, gun braced on the crate separating you from the strange crystalline beings before you. You feel a bead of sweat begin to roll down your forehead, you know the others need time to get into position but… there’s a life you might be able to save right now.

The Spiker scuttles left and right, angling its tall body to aim the protruding spikes at the security officer taking potshots at it over some spools of wire. It suddenly freezes in place, ready to fire.

You don’t hesitate. Ripping your only flash grenade from its place at your side, you pull the pin and fling it as far as you can. “Flash out!” You call over the comm, hoping it won’t distract your crew or blind the security officer you are attempting to protect.

The grenade hits the deck of the maintenance bay and skitters slightly past your target. You duck and shield your visor as the multi-aspect noisemaker erupts with a blinding and deafening BANG.

Your helmet blocks the worst of the effects, but as you peek back over your cover you can see that the Spiker has not been so fortunate. Designed to disorient organics, lifeforms and machines alike, the flash grenade effectively disrupts the senses or sensors of the intruder - whichever they may be. The Spiker before you, labelled now as ‘S1’ on your HUD, no longer looks poised to fire its spines but instead stumbles shakily in circles - stunned.

Dallas has zero (0) flash grenades remaining.
>>
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Rolled 2, 6, 7, 10 = 25 (4d10)

>>5540011
The flash grenade’s effect does not reach far enough from where it landed to blind the Spiker behind it, its designation updating to ‘S2’ on your HUD as you look at it. The Spiker has just finished moving into short range of the other remaining member of the security team, and lines up its spines. The security officer desperately fires back at the Spiker, using a steel table for cover and weapon brace.

You watch helplessly as the black, walking cactus ejects its spines like bullets. They whiz through the air, not quite supersonic but fast enough to kill.

S2 rolls spike shot, for 4x1 damage. They have no bonus and hit where they roll.
>>
>>5540012
>3 misses, 1 hit to body.
Most of the deadly spines, ping harmlessly off the deck or steel table, one does not.
The projectile ejected from the highest point of the Spiker ricochets off the table top, striking who your HUD has helpfully labelled as 'A1' in the ribs.

A peaking scream fills your comm as the man staggers back, quickly choked off by a spluttering cough. A rib must have broken and punctured a lung. The HUD shows his vitals drop alarmingly but the security officer manages to stay on his feet.

A1 Health: 1/3
>>
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>>5540017
“Enemy designated C1 and S3 and on the move, Sir.” Coen reports succinctly in your ear. “Approaching the sound of gunfire and your flash grenade.”

“Copy that. A1 has taken a h-hit but is still fighting.” You try to be just as clinical as you talk about your men taking fire for you, but your voice hitches slightly. “Keep moving to your positions as planned, everyone.”

Enemy S3 moves 2, Enemy c1 moves 3.

After acknowledgments return, Kiro pipes up an observation of his own. “It looks like one Spiker and Crab aren’t leaving the boarding craft. Why aren’t they joining- ack.” He cuts off with a surprised yelp as he rounds the stacked spools of wire.

Cleo moves 4, Kiro moves 3.

“Looks like I’ve found my first victim!” Cleo crows with barely contained bloodlust as she IDs another Spiker, just around the corner.

What are your orders?
>Tell Cleo to avoid firing until Kiro and she are in advantageous positions. (She can attempt to fight in melee, switch weapons, or hunker down behind her shield)
>The jig is up, call weapons free.
>Have only some of you fire to add to the distraction while Cleo deals with the situation quietly.
>Something else? Write in.
>>
>>5539826
Is that a power loader in the corner? If you guys had voted for Isobel this fight would already be won.

>>5540029
>The jig is up, call weapons free.
C1 is liable to get behind cover if we don't engage now
>>
>>5540032
>Is that a power loader in the corner? If you guys had voted for Isobel this fight would already be won.
Yeah I needed some equipment for moving crates and cranes were boring. Plus I couldn't not add in a power loader somewhere after you mentioned it.
>>
>>5540029
>The jig is up, call weapons free.
>>
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Rolled 2, 8 = 10 (2d8)

>>5540029
While you decide what do do, the Security Team keeps firing at the closest Spikers.
>>
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Rolled 7, 1 = 8 (2d8)

>>5540044
Aaand another one.
>>
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>>5540040
>>5540032

With the element of surprise fading quickly, and unwilling to risk your crew to preserve it, you make the call. “Weapons free, open fire!”

You quickly assess your available targets, the closest of which is the stunned Spiker. It’s within the optimum range of your SMG though is probably the least threatening of all the available targets. S2, S3 and C1 are all at long range for your weapon but landing a hit is still possible, especially if you move closer.
You have 3 movement, and 1 action available.

The security team opens fire on the Spikers nearest to them as you make up your mind. Down to only their service pistols, the officers are well trained and each strike their target at least once. The matte black crystal of the intruders flares white as it is struck with gunfire, a rippling effect spreading out from the impact zone to leave the entire Spiker a dull grey. S1 is struck only once, but S2 takes two hits from the understandably irate A1. His second shot strikes the now grey armour, causing it to crack slightly.
S1 and S2 armour down. (Regenerating).
S2 Health: 2/3


What you do? Pick multiple.
>Fire at a target. (Which one?)
>Move to get a better shot. (Where?)
>Order your crew to engage specific targets. (I want to choose a target and roll the shot.)
>Order your crew to focus on certain targets. (I want to choose targets but the QM should roll.)
>Let your crew do as they please. (QM does everything that isn't the PC.)
>Some variation of the above. Specify by writing in.
>>
>>5540109
>Fire at a target. (Which one?)
S1 and S2
>Let your crew do as they please. (QM does everything that isn't the PC.)
They have their orders, let's not micromanage everything
>>
>>5540119
You know anon, I was about to say you can only fire your gun at one target but then I realised they were actually lined up so that you could possibly hit one if you missed the other.
I'll take that as a vote to line up your spray pattern to optimally include them both.
>>
>>5540124
Yep, that's what I thought. One is almost directly behind the other from where we're standing, we should be able to walk our SMG shots to hit either/or.
>>
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>>5540109
You decide to assist the security team, taking the opportunity to catch both of their targets in your field of fire. Carefully lining up your SMG, you release a controlled burst.
You have forgone your bonus from Mind+ to better aim your shots, to instead make use of a your spray pattern knowledge. Your SMG fires 4x1 dmg shots.

>Roll 4d10
>>
>>5540202
You still have the option to move, and/or direct the actions of your crew as in >>5540109.

I gotta sleep, work out what else you want and I'll resolve in the morning.
>>
Rolled 10, 10, 6, 1 = 27 (4d10)

>>5540202
>>
>>5540202
I admire your dedication to drawing first person views. Please don't burn out.
>>
>3/4 hits.

>>5540206
I gotta stand out from the crowd somehow. I promise not to burn out as long as people keep voting.
>>
>>5540109
>Let your crew do as they please. (QM does everything that isn't the PC.)
I feel like we can trust the crew to pick their targets, I imagine Coen has a good idea of who to shoot with that Sniper
>>
>>5540205
>>5540202
>>5540313
>>5540119
>Rolled 6, 1
The gun stutters under your grip, the first shot flying between the closer and distant targets before recoil brings the barrel up to strike S2.
The already damaged Spiker begins to crumble in places, with cracks racing out from the hit.
S2 Health 1/3. Armor Destroyed.

>Rolled 10, 10. CRIT.
With practiced concentration, you walk your fire from one target to the next. The next two shots strike S1 centre mass, penetrating the faded crystalline armour in the same place. The damage propagates as your rounds rattle around whatever internal systems the Spiker has and the intruder shatters from within. The individual pieces begin to burn a brilliant white as they fall to the deck leaving nothing but sandy ash.
S1 takes 3 damage from the double hit. S1 Destroyed.

>Let your crew do as they please. (QM does everything that isn't the PC.)
I'll take some time to resolve the rest of our turn and the enemy's then.
>>
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>>5540686
As you blink in surprise at the disintegrating Spiker, Coen's soft yet curt voice cuts through the comm chatter. "I've identified a weakness. Firing on C1, Captain."

He engages his rifle's digital scope, tracking the moving Crab-like enemy. Though its armour remains a fully active, matte black he lines up his crosshair on a series of cracks on its exposed left flank. Perhaps a fortunate result of the boarder's rough landing, perhaps the dead security officer managed to inflict damage before being sliced in half. It matters not to Coen La'afette. There is only an enemy with a weakness to be exploited.

Just as the Crab is about to pass behind cover, Coen holds his breath and squeezes the trigger.

Coen has used his Mind+ bonus to place his shot optimally and potentially exploit an enemy weakness (C1's cracked carapace). His bonus from advanced weapons training allows him to modify his hit roll to move it one triangle closer to his intended target - 20.

Coen has one (1) re-roll available, granted by Dallas' Leadership.


>roll 1d20

Things are taking a little longer than anticipated. But I made myself a mapping tool to help get these first person shots right, which should speed things up overall.

Go ahead and roll/reroll for Coen's snipe, while I get the rest of this turn wrapped up.
>>
Rolled 6 (1d20)

>>5541353
>>
>>5541395
6 is modified by 1 space to 14. Weak location exploited without a reroll. Nice.
>>5540206
Also, I took what you said on board about burning out. Things are a lot better now that I took an out to map out all this stuff in a 3d environment so I can shift the POV as I need.
>>
>>5541395
>>5541353
>Rolled 6, modified 1 space closer to target (20) to 14.
The rifle lances out with a stuttering whine, the pulse laser snapping a 100 times in a tenth of a second. The Tactical officer’s expert training makes the difficult shot seem easy, a bright red dot lashing the cracked area of the target.

The armour ripples white around the impact point, much brighter than when the Spikers were hit. Pulse Sniper damage reduced from 5 to 3. C1 armour down.

It doesn’t prove enough to save the Crab - the remaining unabsorbed energy plunging into the chink in its armour with little resistance and frying its insides. The large, flat intruder crashes to the deck, its disconnected limbs coming untethered and clattering around like so many dropped sticks. Critical hit deals double remaining damage. C1 takes 6 damage and is destroyed.

The remains of the Crab settle for a moment before bursting into bright, sparking flame - it is reduced to cooling ash in mere moments.

“Target down, Sir.”
>>
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>>5541404
“Weapons free, open fire!”

The instant Cleo von Clifton heard those glorious words, she let her instincts take over. Stepping swiftly forward, she crowds the barely waist high Spiker with her riot shield. The ungainly little intruder tilts backwards on its tiny legs, trying vainly to line up a shot past the towering obstruction - taking the bait. With a feral grin, the Ulveng viciously backhands the Spiker with the shield, leaning into the blow and following through as if it weighed nothing. With a clatter, the Spiker topples over, flaring white from the blow and subsequent impact with the deck. Truth be told, Cleo expected her attack to do more than just floor the invader, but it does look a little duller than before so she dismisses the thought with a mental shrug.

Cleo performs melee takedown. S6 armour down.

The Spiker’s legs flail about for a few moments, before righting themselves with respect to the deck, dragging the body back upright with some unseen force. With a few shaky steps it reorients itself, turning towards its assailant. Cleo is ready for it. With another quick step forward, she pins it in place with a knee and raises her pistol. “Thanks for playing.” She snarls. Placing the muzzle of her weapon against its front crystalline face. Two successive trigger pulls penetrate the depowered Spiker’s armour and it bursts into white flame, burning rapidly down to nothing.

Cleo performs a coup de grace with her pistol for 3 damage. S6 destroyed.
>>
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>>5541435
“Uh, Cleo. I think you left your comm on there.” Kiro shivers, distracted by the sudden violent outburst of his companion delivered in the sing-song tone of carefree young woman by her translator.

With the immediate threat dealt with, he decides to complete his original orders and secure an advantageous position overlooking the battlefield. Stowing his SMG, the nimble lizard grips the spools of cable before him and begins to climb. Despite their small stature, Marrok trace their origins back to the tree dwelling reptiles of their home planet and thus find themselves at home at height.

That being said, without being able to use his claws through his suit, Kiro finds the climb more difficult than it should be - the large cables providing little purchase for his small hands. Eventually, and with much slipping and tail wriggling, he clambers atop the stacked cover.

“Cap! I looks like there’s another Spiker hiding behind that damaged turret!” He reports from his new vantage point, wheezing slightly from his exertion, “And I think those hostiles that were guarding the boarding craft have heard us.” He continues, now able to see directly into the now vacant mouth of said vessel.

Kiro uses his action to stow his SMG and increase his mobility by 2. Kiro climbs for 2 movement.

Enemy turn.
>>
>>5541468
One of the sec homies will probably go down but we got some good damage in
>>
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Rolled 6, 3, 9, 5 = 23 (4d10)

>>5541468
The boarding party advances. The newly revealed Spiker - designation S7 - and S3 both move closer to you, attracted by your louder weapon. S2 however stays in place firing once more at the wounded security officer.

S7 and S3 move 2.

S2 fires a 4x1 spike shot at A1.
>>
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Rolled 4, 10, 2, 9 = 25 (4d10)

>>5541538
>Rolled 6, 3, 9, 5

The unfortunate security officer’s luck finally runs out. Despite both combatants being on their last legs, a single stubby spine sneaks over the lip of the steel table A1 was using for cover - striking him in his already damaged rib cage. He collapses, bleeding on the deck.
A1 Health: 0. Unconscious. Dying.

You have little time to lament the fall of one of your voidship’s crew, as Spiker S3 scuttles into long firing range. It quickly angles its body and with a series of sputtering pops, ejects a stream of spines at you from a distance.

Spiker S3 fires 4x1 spike shot at you from outside of its normal.
>>
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>>5541546
>Rolled 4, 10, 2, 9

Your eyes widen as the Spiker you had thought was still out of range peppers your position with spikes. Most of the shots crack harmlessly against your cover or the floor but you feel your head jerk back violently as the final shot strikes true. Your visor cracks but holds steady, the ablative outer coating doing its job and shattering away in a shower of powdered nano-mats, deflecting the spike.


Dallas takes 1 armour damage. Helmet ablative protection depleted.

“We have a casualty, A1 is down, and I’ve lost my head protection.” You report, keeping your crew in the loop.”

“Then you should probably keep your head down, Sir.” Cleo ribs. “Not all of us are built like tanks!”

“Be careful, Dal. I’m not there to watch your back.” Kiro also calls, with a little more concern than his current battle buddy did.

“Captain.” Coen interjects, “S4, S5 and C2 are all on the move. All but S4 have left my field of fire. Shall I hold my position?

“He’s right,” Kiro says, “I can see them all heading right for us. I think Clifton got their attention.”

“What can I say, squirt? I’m a hard gal to ignore.”

Despite the banter, you can hear the nerves in the voices on the comm - translated or not. You assess the situation with what little time you have and form the next step in your plan of attack.

S4 and S5 move 2. C2 moves 3.
No further weapons are fired, seemingly out of range.

All allies have completed their standing orders, your Leadership reroll bonus fades. You can issue new orders to each of them to refresh this bonus or allow them to continue acting on their own best judgement.

What do you do?
>Order an advance. Don’t let the enemy find cover. (Who to where?)
>Order hold position. Holding our own defensive positions matters more.
>Order a retreat. Avoid being outnumbered and caught out of position. Draw them into our field of fire. (Who to where?)
>Order the remaining security officer to do something. (What?)
>Attempt to comm for reinforcements or medical aid. Seriously, why hasn’t anyone else come to help?
>Some variation of the above or something else? Write in.

Also our helmet has cracked. Do we want to commit to a face at this point or shall we find a replacement. There have been some suggestions already, but if you pick any reference image I can translate that into the right style.
>>
>>5541558
>Kiro and Cleo retreat and hunker down
>Coen supports us (if he can shoot S7, that would be great)
>We shoot S3
The rationale is that Coen simply won't have a shot on C2 for a turn or two even if he repositions, and we can't support them either with a dalek in our face. We should clear the left flank, reconsolidate and get that downed guy up.
>>
>>5541573
+1
>>
>>5541558
>Attempt to comm for reinforcements or medical aid. Seriously, why hasn’t anyone else come to help?
>>
>>5541573
Support
>>
>>5541558
Somewhat backing >>5541558
>Comm that we’re flanking left, Coen should understand and target either S7 or S3. S7 preferred since we’re closer to S3 and the SMG is shorter-range.
>Shift us towards A2 and shoot the closest target along the way. Probably S3.
I assume we have one of the medikits, so we can pass it to A2 if they have greater movement speed and cover their advance to A1. Alternately, we’re faster and they cover us. Either works.

I’m guessing that canisters are explosive or chilling? If Cleo keeps to the right then the two spikers will probably flank left of the crates, letting Kiro take them out in the explosion. It’s a risky play, but that fits with Cleo’s style. Maybe Cleo can then rush the crab, get underneath it, and use her body +shield to flip it over?
>>
>>5541795
If the spikers flank to the left they'll get into Coen's sights and they should know that. I bet they'll go right.
>>
>>5541795
This sounds like a great idea. Exploit the true weakness of crabs!
>>
>>5541573
>>5541709
>>5541790
>>5541795
Sounds like our course of action is set, we'll flank left to help out our security bros, with Coen covering us from his current position.

>>5541736
We can comm the head of security briefly to see where help is at.

>>5541795
>>5541975
>>5541573
Seems like the jury is still out on our smallest and largest companion's actions though. Lets refine that. I see ideas for:
>Fighting retreat, attempting to kite the enemies into sniper LoS, while hugging cover and taking potshots.
>Advance and ambush, pushing the enemies to follow you into range of explosive welding fuel, then springing the trap.

Both solutions require the enemy to take the wait though.

I've been having a lot of fun doing this battle, despite the work involved. Let me know if I'm just getting carried away and I'll try wrap it up and we can go back to the bridge or whatever.
>>
>>5542041
Know what, I can switch to
>Fighting retreat
as I just noticed the explosives at the very top of the map. Nail that during the retreat this turn and we’ll a) know if they explode and b) can damage/destroy at least one spiker.

Though I’m still all for flipping the crab. It’s likely they’ll want the crab to blitz her as it’s probably tanky enough to keep her busy, so she just needs to keep in relative cover against the spikers and let the crab make the mistake of getting close to force her out of position.
>>
>>5542091
>Know what, I can switch to
>>Fighting retreat
Got it. Cleo will hunker down back at the stacked spools with Kiro and keep them on their toes as they approach with intention to strike heavily when they get near.

>as I just noticed the explosives at the very top of the map. Nail that during the retreat this turn and we’ll a) know if they explode and b) can damage/destroy at least one spiker.
By the Book: the mix of gasses required to weld the ship's structures burns very hot but also relatively slowly. You estimate an explosion radius of 1 square but with high damage.
>>
File: Dallas Fire 2.gif (3.47 MB, 1579x1214)
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>>5541558
>>5541573
>>5541709
>>5541790
>>5541795
>>5541736
>>5542091

“Skyeskal, Clifton, take cover and draw the enemy out!” You order over the comm, trying to get your heartrate back under control after your recent brush with death. If your helmet hadn’t held on… You shake yourself, those kinds of thoughts are counterproductive.
“La’afette and I will deal with the stragglers over this side and I’m moving to assist our downed security officer.” You continue in a clipped tone, “I need you two to draw in those hostiles you’ve managed to attract so that La’afette can line up another shot. Then you can ambush what’s left of them however you see fit. Copy?”

“I get to improvise? Aww, you shouldn’t have, boss.” Cleo’s saccharine tone makes it very clear she has something nasty in mind for the unfortunate intruders should they get within range.

“I’m secure enough in my position. I’ll draw them in and maybe soften them up a little, while Cleo lies in wait!” Kiro adds helpfully, ever the team-player.

“Just be careful you two, you’re outnumbered. Draw them in without exposing yourself and let La’afette do his job.”

“Aye, Sir.” They acknowledge, one clearly more sincerely than the other.

“I have time to engage one Spiker on the left flank before assisting on the right.” Coen reports in his unflappable manner, “Shall I destroy the undamaged S3?”

“Negative, La’afette.”, you reply as you pop up from behind cover to sight on that target yourself. “I want you to focus on S7, it's out of my range.”


“Sir.” He affirms shortly, taking aim without another word.

Pulse pounding in your ears in anticipation, you clench your teeth and hold your breath, squeezing the trigger of your SMG. You focus on keeping your spread to a minimum as the firearm barks out its retort in a hail of lead.

You fire your SMG at S7 for 4x1 shots. Using your Mind+ bonus you direct you shots one (1) space closer to your intended target.

>Roll 4d10 and specify a target number. Your roll is modified one space closer to that target by the most direct route if possible.
>>
Rolled 3, 1, 3, 4 = 11 (4d10)

>>5542479
Targeting a 2
>>
>>5542485
>1/4 hits.
>Updating
Oof those are some unfortunate numbers. Unlucky Dallas, unlucky..
>>
>>5542487
Should it have been a 1d10 instead of a 1d20? Most of the numbers were impossible to roll.
>>
>>5542495
O shit, you right. I was wonder how you got so unlucky. Im still thinking over the spiker's guns.

>try 4d20 good sir.
>>
Rolled 14, 16, 8, 1 = 39 (4d20)

>>5542496
>>
>>5542498
Assuming we still are targeting 2 (not that it mattered in this case.)
>2/4 Hits, a 100% better result technically.
>Updating for real this time.
>>
>>5542499
Shouldn't 16 move to 20, netting a third hit?
>>
>>5542501
16 moves to 6 Im afraid. It moves via edges and not vertices.
>>
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>>5542498
>>5542485
>>5542495
>>5542499

It seems your earlier near miss has rattled you more than you thought. Your burst jumps up and to the right of your aiming point - only two of the four rounds landing on target. The Spiker doesn't even flinch, its black surface rippling white and fading almost imperceptibly to grey - only some small cracks to show for your efforts.

S3 Health 2/3. S3 Armour down. Recharging.

With a short curse, you make a mad dash towards the spools of cable on your left - hoping that your wayward fire was at least enough to distract the Spiker.

If that weren’t, however, the crackling of a pulse laser cutting through the air where your head was but moments before should do the trick.

"You better not have been aiming that at the back of my head La'afette!" You growl through the comm as you slide to halt beside the remaining security officer - sharing his cover.

"My trigger disciple is second to none, Sir." Coen offers in way of apology.

"Well you better have at least nailed the bastard." You huff, peeking over the edge of the spool towards S7.

Coen fires his pulse sniper at S7 for 1x5 damage. His Mind+ and Advanced Weapons training bonuses are both channelled into landing his shot on target.
He has one(1) reroll available due to your Leadership bonus.


>Roll one d20 and call your target number. Result can move up to two spaces via the shortest path towards the target.
>>
>>5542505
14 and 8 would both move to 20 since it’s the next closest. Bonus for the double shot? We got one earlier.
>>
Rolled 12 (1d20)

>>5542509

Targeting 8.
>>
Rolled 9 (1d20)

>>5542509
8, it has cracks.
>>
>>5542512
Since we do 5 damage, that’s a kill anyway.
>>
>>5542512
>12 modifies by two spaces to 20. A direct hit.
>Updating
>>5542511
Thats true, though I think crits like that should be reserved for actually rolling a double. Like a d20+1 isnt technically a crit on a 19. I'll have to think about it balance wise. For now you just missed the update.
>>
>>5542516
Balancing is definitely a concern since the system is fairly novel! We’ll see how it plays out in practice as time goes on.

I’m at work right now, so I expect I’ll be missing quite a few combat updates here and there. No harm to it, it’s the way things work.
>>
>>5542518
Things will be a little slower as I'm back at work as well, so I'll finish this round of combat and have the enemy take their turn tomorrow.
>>
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>>5542512
>Rolled 12 (1d20)
>>5542516
>>5542509
>>5542513

“I think you’ll find my performance adequate, Sir.” Coen remarks dryly, as you watch the crumbling remains of the Spiker disintegrate in a white flash.

“Quite.” You deadpan after a beat.
S7 destroyed.

“Acting Captain, Sir!” The security officer A2, salutes crisply as you turn to him. “Thanks for the reinforcements, the main lift was damaged in the attack and we’re cut off from the rest of security. I can’t even get medical up here to help poor Hugh.” His thanks turn bitter as he looks across to his dying companion.

“No time for formalities, Ay, er… Dayston.” You fumble and quickly read his name tag, instead of his HUD identifier. “You need to get this to your wounded man!” You take the nano-med capsule from your pocket and place it firmly in his hand.
“GO!” you shout, pointing emphatically.

“Yessir!” Dayston takes off in a sprint, reaching the downed A1 and quickly administers the medical nanites.

Dallas moved 3. A1 moves 4.
Dallas has zero (0) nano-meds remaining. A1 uses his action to apply nano-meds to A2.
A2 stabilised. A2 Health 2/3.

You crouch down to better shield yourself from fire and listen as your comm crackles.
“I’m back in cover, Sir, ready to ambush.” Cleo calls over the comm, “They’d better not keep this baby waiting!” Her strange comment is punctuated by the sound of shotgun racking a shell.
“No enemies in range yet, but I’m ready for ‘em, Cap!” Kiro pipes up, keeping you apprised.

Cleo moves 2.
Cleo uses her action to switch her pistol for her shotgun. Kiro enters overwatch.

“Copy that, draw them in just as we planned.” You reply.
Contemplating the words of the Security officer, you attempt to call WEAVY on the comm. If no more reinforcements will be arriving from belowdecks anytime soon, perhaps the WEAVER has managed to rouse some more locally.

>Roll 1d8.

Results as follows:
1 - None
2 - Security
3 - None
4 - Comms Officer
5 - None
6 - Security
7 - None
8 - Science Officer
>>
>>5542538
And that's all I have time for tonight. If you roll Comms or Sci then have a look back at our character roster and work out who you'd think would best fit that roll.

I'll finish up the enemy turn in 16hrs or so.

As always, if you have any feedback on the quest mechanics, pacing, writing etc. let me know, its always appreciated/
>>
Rolled 7 (1d8)

>>5542538
Let’s find out.
>>
>>5542539
You destroyed S2 instead of S7.
I like the shooting mechanics, they're fun.
>>
>>5542587
Whole design of the quest so far has been really near
>>
>>5542595
Yeah. I appreciated the stuff in the /qtg/ pointing here. It’s a lot neater than I expected.
>>
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>>5542566
==WEAVY HAS NOT MADE ANY ADDITIONAL REPAIRS==

>>5542587
Fixed.
It was a late one last night, apparently I couldn't even see straight.

>>5542595
>>5542597
Thanks guys, glad you like it. I wasn't sure how often/much I should post in /qtg/. Didn't want to shill myself too hard. But a reminder when there's major decisions every few days seems to be working..
>>
>>5542843
Enemy Turn Will be posted when I have time after work tonight.

In the meantime, while you wait.
>Do you prefer more or less rolling in combat on your part? So far its only been two per round but with Cleo and Kiro it can up to at least four.
>When it comes to guns like the SMG with multiple shots is it fine that only one person gets to roll?
>>
>>5542863
Honestly, the rolling depends on the number of people in the thread. If there’s plenty of people around, no issues with splitting up rolls and making us roll for allies. But if there’s not, then may as well add less clutter and consolidate rolls.

I don’t pay enough attention to that stuff to offer advice though.
>>
>>5542863
I think it's fine if one person rolls every SMG shot. Imagine how long would every post take if you had to wait for 4 anons?
>>
>>5542887
True, plus everyone targetting differently with the same burst of fire wouldn't make sense.
>>
>>5542887
It can depend on the quest. Hex Maniac can easily get that many rolls, but Hex Maniac also does best-of-all for the rolling with crit overrides. Each person gets only one roll, of course. Mediocre rolls can bring a lot of anons out of the woodwork that don’t post often since the rolling only stops when QM starts writing or we run out of lurkers.

Hex Maniac is also a far less serious quest than this is shaping up to be, hence it mattering about the style of quest.

>>5542918
In theory, first anon would pick the location. There can be some privileges to being first.
>>
>>5542923
Guess I'll just play it by ear. We should be back on the bridge soon (assuming we repel these boarders) so mechanics and pacing will switch back again to something more adaptable.
>>
>>5542843
>>5541546
>Updating
I apologise for Dallas' body armour phasing in and out of existence between updates. I promise it is entirely due to lore implications and not my own sleep deprivation.
>>
>>5542863
I prefer less rolls, but that's just because I'm a bigger fan of narrative rather than crunchy quests. Funny considering the only quest I ever ran was basically an RTS. Will follow regardless, your efforts are not unnoticed
>>
>>5543506
Thanks. I like to think there's at least as many lurkers as voters who swing through just to click on all the gifs.
>>
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>>5543533
what can I say, dems good gifs
>>
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>>5542863
>>5542566
>>5542843

With no luck on the reinforcements front, you hunker down between two spools of cable to avoid the ire of the Spiker you just wounded. You hear the irregular clicking of its small, pointy legs as it propels itself closer to your position. Not as close as you expect, however.

“It appears the enemy may be learning.” Coen observes, “S3 is using your previous cover to break my line of sight, Sir.”

“Is it advancing on my position?” You ask, perturbed.

“No. It appears to be simply waiting.” Coen replies with a hint of curiosity in his voice, a rare treat from him.

S7 moves 2.
S7 enters overwatch.

“They're coming into range now!” Kiro’s excited voice filters through your concerned concentration, “Firing on the big one!”

Kiro’s overwatch triggers.
Kiro fires a 4x1 damage SMG burst at C1. Kiro has no bonus with which to modify his fire and simply aims for centre mass as trained. His elevated position affords him a decent angle on the partially concealed enemy and the Spiker behind it.
Kiro has one (1) reroll available due to your Leadership bonus, which can be used to reroll all four (4) shots of the SMG burst if desired. It cannot reroll only part of the burst.

>roll 4d20
>>
Rolled 3, 1, 8, 11 = 23 (4d20)

>>5543576
>>
>>5543580
That would be 1 hit on C2 and one on S5.
>You can reroll if you want to push your luck.
>Or let it stand.
>>
>>5543581
I'll let some other anon decide
>>
>>5543595
Fair enough, if theres no decision by the time i finish animating return fire then ill lock it in...
>>
>>5543597
Statistically 2/4 hits was about what we could expect with this shot.
>>
>>5543602
Yep, animating is done. Locked in!
>>
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Rolled 11 (1d12)

>>5543580
>>5543576
With a battle cry sounding more like an irate baby crocodile than anything a warrior would make, Kiro showers a hail of bullets upon his foes. From his elevated prone position, the Marrok has some difficulty controlling the SMG’s recoil - the weapon unwieldy in his small hands. Nevertheless he manages to get half his shots on target. Striking both the Crab and the Spiker behind it. Their black, crystalline armour ripples at the impact points, the Spiker’s turning a dark grey afterwards.

C2 takes one armour damage. Regenerating.
S5 armour down. Regenerating.


“Huh,” Kiro remarks as the struck Crab immediately takes notice of him and begins to align its two claw-like weapons. “That looks familiar.” He pulls back behind the cable spool before the two red glowing barrels can get a bead on his partially exposed form.
“What does?” Cleo asks him impatiently. Still hunched down behind the stack of cable, waiting to spring.
“Their armour.” The OPs officer muses, as he clambers down a level. “It looks just like WEAVY’s when you hit it back on the observation deck.”
“Huh,” she huffs. “That’s right, it did feel kind of tingly too when I hit that Spiker with my shield. Like it sapped the strength out of my arm as I hit it.”

Meanwhile the Crab, unbeknownst to the two conversing crewmates, is unable to acquire its original target and decides to do the next best thing.

C2 uses AP Convergence Beam for 1x8 damage.
>>
>>5543613
RIP cable spool. We will miss your roundness.
>>
>>5543613
Will the armour penetrating dual LASER shot penetrate two spools of cable and nail an unprepared Cleo for 8 damage? Or will the copper and plastic hold? Will this combat ever end?

Find out tomorrow, because I'm dead tired and can't do the next scene justice tonight otherwise.
>>
File: Target Sec 4.gif (1.07 MB, 1200x675)
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Rolled 1, 1, 5, 6 = 13 (4d10)

>>5543613
As a resounding, pulsing hum echoes throughout the maintenance bay. The intrepid Spiker, known only to security officer Dayston as S2, or more colloquially - ‘that bastard who shot Hugh!’ aligns its regenerated spines once more. Having just finished administering the nano-meds to his downed partner, Dayston stands and levels his service weapon at the offending intruder - hoping to finish the damaged thing off.

Before he can fire, however, S2 finishes aiming and lashes out with another barrage - the series of pops almost lost in the background din.
S2 uses Spike Shot for 4x1 damage.

I lied, here's one more. But I'll still leave you on the cliff hanger. I gotta pace myself.
>>
>>5543627
You mentioned S7 entering overwatch. Did you mean S2 or S3?

Also damn. Dayston got wrecked. Did his gun take one of the shots so he didn’t get downed immediately?
>>
>>5543655
Ah, yes S3 was the Spiker we were talking about. Good pickup.

>An amendment to >>5543576
S3 moves 2.
S3 enters overwatch.

And yes, the Crit in this case is the destruction of his weapon in addition to taking 2 damage.
>>
In way of apology for the delayed turn (and and to give everyone something to do until tomorrow), your Science Officer needs to be selected so they can un-disintegrate poor Cleo. :P so they can help determine who/what these strange beings attacking you are.

The Science Officer of a voidship's bridge crew is responsible for manning the ships sensors arrays and analysing scan data in real time to keep the Captain informed with what he might be dealing with. But a keen mind would be useless in a Sci officer without a good bedside manner as they are also your first aid officer and often specialise in other forms of medicine.

Select a Science Officer from the following:
>Matthew Cooper
>Neb von CLifton
>Finder-of-Zephyrs
>Rika Sharsii
>Isobel Buxton
>Sofia Odette
>Eyes-of-Night

They will receive the skills Science(M) and Medicine(S|M) and join you at the end of this encounter (or sooner if WEAVY wakes them up.)
>>
>>5543665
>Sofia Odette
She is the best suited for the job.
>>
>>5543665
>Eyes-of-Night
I feel like she'd make for the least stereotypical science officer.
>>
>>5543665

>Eyes-of-Night

Mind and Soul seem to be the stats we want in this role, and +Attentive makes sense with sensors and medicine.
>>
>>5543665
>Eyes-of-Night
>>
>>5543665
>Sofia Odette
>>
>>5543665
>Eyes-of-Night
Both Eyes-of-Night and Sofia are equally suited to science. Important stats are the same, and EoN has Attentive while Sofia has insightful. But EoN has two trait slots to Sofia’s one, so she’s got better growth potential.
>>
I'll leave voting open til next update, though it seems like we're leaning towards EoN. Nice to see were choosing a diverse cast, we'd just need a human to round things out at this point.

>>5543871
Yep, the characters which have only 6 stats total instead of 7 get a bonus trait slot.
>>
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>>5543871
>>5543735
>>5543718
>>5543714
>>5543703
>>5543669
Looks like EoN will be our Science Officer.
>Updating
I have a long weekend so I should be able to update a bit more frequently for the next few days.
>>
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>>5544506
>>5543627
>>5543613
>C2 rolled 11.

“They’ve gotta be artech, Cleo!” Kiro exclaims, leaning forward from his perched position - excited despite still being in the midst of battle, “What else could absorb damage like that but void plate?”


Cleo looks sidelong at the lounging lizard. “I don’t know little man, but maybe you should worry more about how we can take them apart!”

“Hey, it’ll be fine.” He laughs, “We’re following Dal’s plan. What could go-”

The optimistic Ops officer is interrupted abruptly by a loud, sizzling hum. The Crab focuses its two Scythe Beams onto a single point, rapidly melting through the cables and spools alike - attempting to penetrate through and eliminate its hiding target.

A bright red beam briefly blinds the two officers as the spool beside Cleo is melted through in under a second. Their visors rapidly compensate, tinting to a reflective black to protect their eyes from permanent damage.

Fortunately for the Ulveng, the Crab’s blind shot through cover misses her by a fraction, melting a hole through the side of her riot shield instead of shearing off one of her limbs.

Cleo’s riot shield takes one (1) armour damage.

Stunned, Kiro and Cleo turn simultaneously to stare first in the direction of the surprisingly powerful adversary. “You had to just fuckin’ jinx it, didn’t you?” Cleo curses. “How’re we supposed to ambush this guy when it can take pot-shots at us through cover?!” She inspects her damaged shield, eyes wide with concern. “Ablative, my furry ass!”

“I mean, it’s only ablative from the front, right?” Kiro attempts to shrug nonchalantly, his voice an entire octave higher than usual. He smiles weakly at Cleo, trying to ignore what might've happened to him, had the Crab’s aim been slightly higher.

“I hope so, for both our sakes!” Cleo growls, turning back to the Marrok. “You’d better get behind me while I call this in.” She shifts the tall barrier to face the direction of C2 - for whatever good it might do - and hunkers down behind it. She reaches for her helmet’s comm switch, some choice words for her commanding officer’s ‘plan’ beginning to form in her mind already.
>>
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>>5544663
>S2 rolls 1,1,5,6, a crit.

You risk a glance at the lurking Spiker, inching your cracked helmet above your cover so that your eyes can just clear the lip of the spool. You duck, as the enemy immediately begins to tilt its stubby spines in your direction, attempting to line up a shot. An ominous hum fills the air for a moment, before fading.
“Damn.” You reach for your comm, hoping you can get some fire support from the security team. “Dayston, can you-”

”AAHHHH…ARG!” You are interrupted by a scream from the security channel as the officer in question is peppered by the Spiker which downed his newly revived companion. You wince but keep the channel open, your immediate needs forgotten as you demand a report. “Dayston, what is your team's status!”

For a few moments the only reply is a string of curses and groans but eventually he replies, “The bastard got me pretty good, Sir. Shot the weapon right out of my hand, and nailed me in the shoulder for good measure.”

A2 Health: 1/3. Pistol destroyed.

“But Hugh is coming around now, the nano-meds worked a treat, Sir. He’ll have to get his own revenge though, I’m gonna need to catch my breath for a second.” The security officer finishes his report and slumps down behind the steel table he was using for cover. You can hear the sounds of hyperventilation before he closes his comm.

A1: Ready. A2: Panicked.
>>
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>>5544690
Turning back to the problem at hand, you are about to ask your Tactical officer if he could make a shot on S3 through cover to get it off your back, when your comm call is once again interrupted.

“Dallas! This overgrown, wyrm-shaggin', piece of seafood can hit us through cover with its apparently capital ship rated weaponry! I don’t know if we can still ambush the thing before we end up as sashimi ourselves!” Cleo’s boisterous voice fills your earpiece.

“She’s slightly exaggerating,” your Ops officer interjects quickly, “but only slightly. They’re definitely artech, Cap! Same type or maybe even more advanced than WEAVY!”

“What?” You blanch at the unexpected revelation, “But artech like that is rarer than wyrm's teeth! We’re the only voidship in the Protectorate still able to produce our own voidplate because our WEAVERS drones are so rare. You’re telling me an expendable enemy boarding party is made up of the same?”

“Looks that way, Dal.” Kiro replies in a small voice, but quickly recovers his cheerful demeanour. “But we know how to deal with it right? Just concentrate fire, and keep their armour saturated so it stiffens up and cracks! Just like when fighting other voidships.”

“That’s how it works in the simulations at least,” you grudgingly agree, “but this isn’t a simulation! Wake up. We can’t know how it will work in practice.”

“Overwhelming firepower has proven an effective option, Sir.” Your tactical officer offers, in an almost bored tone.

“So are we sticking with the plan or not?” Cleo asks, displaying unusual hesitation in the face of promised violence.

What are your orders to deal with the situation on the right flank, Captain?
>Stick to the plan. Have Coen fire at any revealed enemies on the right flank, and have your other two officers continue to lie in wait - ready to ambush what gets through.
>Change of plans. Attack? Retreat? Write in.


And how will you solve your own predicament?
>Do nothing, remain pinned but safe (for now).
>Attempt to rally the security team and order them to suppress S3. (Requires a social skill check.)
>Have Coen shift fire to try and nail S3 through the crate it’s using for cover.
>Brave the Spiker’s overwatch and return fire, this time to finish the job.
>Something else. Write in.

Current party status is summarised to help you make your decision.
>>
>>5544692
>Have your other two officers continue to lie in wait - ready to ambush what gets through.
Kiro can hit ‘em with his flash bang once they come out in the open.

>Have Coen shift fire to try and nail S3 through the crate it’s using for cover
If Coen misses we can move around our cover and to hopefully give us a better chance at a spray at S3 even if it is in overwatch.

>Attempt to rally the security team. Have A2 take A1’s undamaged pistol and fire on S2.
>>
>>5544692
>Change of plans.
Coen can get a shot at the crab if he moves a bit.
Kiro can flash it an the two spikers, then Cleo can do that shield-flip maneuver or just shotgun it.
>Brave the Spiker’s overwatch and return fire, this time to finish the job.
>>
>>5544663
Well this gif took me a lot longer than I meant it to, I definitely wasn't getting it done last night. Idk if it was worth the cliffhanger and wait but... It is what it is. It was fun to make at least.

Let me know if you like the occasional detailed gif like this one and >>5541435
Previously. Or if it's not worth the trouble and delay.
>>
>>5544692
Changing the Kiro/Cleo bit to
>>5544702
Flash and rush the big crab boi
>>
>>5544709
[Spoiler] really good man, definitely worth the effort when you reckon the gif can add some oomph to a post[/spoiler]
>>
>>5544692
>Flash and rush the crab. Kiro can maintain his position to steady his shot, Cleo will need to advance.
>We can shoot S3
>Ask A1 to finish off S2
>Coen should hold off until we and A1 have moved. If we fail to finish our targets off, he needs to do it instead. If they do, he can hit the crab.

I’m guessing Cleo and Kiro will be enough to kill the crab. If not, the flash buys time. Better to see if we can clear up the flank so Kiro and Cleo have space to retreat without being outflanked by our spikers. They’ll be completely exposed on our side once they rush.
>>
>>5543613
>sounding more like an irate baby crocodile
https://youtu.be/zOsSc2GUh3c
>>
>>5544713
>>5544707
>>5544702
>>5544741
Seems like we have a consensus on Kiro and Cleo using the flash grenade and rushing the Crab and its fellows. Note that Cleo is unable to make it to melee range of the Crab this turn with her shotgun out but will be able to fire point blank. Hopefully the stun will will give her time to close next turn.

Coen will Hold fire until the last moment to see where his shot might be needed.

A1 will fire at S2, while A2 keep his head down.

Dallas will power through S3's overwatch assuming Coen doesn't do the job for him.

Does that sound like a plan?

>>5545044
lol something like that yes. Kiro was originally based off a Caiman alligator mixed with a gecko. At least those were the references I used when drawing him.
>>
>>5545227
Sounds like a plan. We need to trust the others to do what makes sense.
>>
Will update tonight or in the morning. Public holiday here got me busy.
>>
>>5545227
Do this.
>>
File: Kiro Flash 1.gif (1.15 MB, 1433x1055)
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>>5544741
>>5544707
>>5544702
>Change of plans.
Your leadership bonus fades, your previous orders incomplete. With it also fade the re-rolls granted to your allies until they successfully complete your next set of orders.


Loathe as you are to countermand your own words, a good commander knows that no plan survives contact with the enemy. “Skyeskal, Clifton, change of plans.” You sigh over the comm, hating that you have to put your crew, your friends, in harm's way while you cower behind cover. “Kiro, you still have that flash I gave you?”

“Uh, yeah?” He replies, somewhat hesitantly.
“I need you to blind those incoming hostiles with it. Then you and Cleo will rush them, take them out point blank!”

“Now, that’s a plan I can get behind!” Cleo responds with vigour. “None of this waiting around to be chargrilled!”

“Right, yeah! I can do that!” Kiro enthuses, “Leave it to me, Cap, they won’ know what hit ‘em!” His words slur slightly in his haste to get behind the new plan.

Quick as a whip, the Marrok scrambles back atop his cover and pulls the flash grenade from its position on his right hip. Priming the noisemaker, he lines up his throw aiming :


>short, to guarantee the flash will blind the Crab alone.
>long, to land the flash between all three enemies. (Requires a targeting roll.)
>>
>>5545738
>long, to land the flash between all three enemies. (Requires a targeting roll.)
Go big
>>
>>5545746
>>5545738

Eager to contribute, the young ops officer winds up and releases the grenade in a long arcing flight. If he can land the flash just right it will blind not only the Crab but also the two Spikers behind it.
Kiro uses his action to throw his flash grenade. He has no bonus to aiming and no re-rolls available.

>Roll 1d4.
>>
Rolled 4 (1d4)

>>5545777
>>
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>>5545780
>4. Right on target.

“Flash out!” Kiro chirps over the comm, causing everyone to instinctively avert their gaze.
The loosed flash grenade flies true, clattering as it bounces off the top of the Crab and hits the deck behind it. A cacophony of light, sound and other debilitating effects envelops the three boarders perfectly - stunning them.
Each of the black, crystalline beings begin to stagger about on their spindly legs, unable to deal with their sudden loss of sensory inputs.

“Wooooo yeah! Did you see that thow?” The ecstatic Kiro whoops over the comm, “Best Marrok pitcher in a hundred lightyears, right here!”

You risk a brief glance, and smile despite yourself at the absurd situation before you. Your little friend is hopping from foot to foot and punching the air in excitement atop the highest point of the battlefield - in full view of ally and enemy alike. Though you suppose with his celebration his that enemies seeing him is now less of an issue.
“Well done, Lieutenant,” you attempt to inject some seriousness back into the situation with formality, “now move in with Clifton before something takes a shot at you.”

“Yessir.” He squeaks somewhat abashed, and descends the other side of the stacked spools in a few short hops.
>>
File: Cleo Fire 1.gif (1.63 MB, 1200x675)
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>>5545806

As soon as the flash grenade detonates Cleo springs into action, shield braced and shotgun held one handed but ready. The unwieldy nature of her loadout slows her movements down some, but her muscular physique compensates for the weight easily enough.
“Not too shabby, little man!” She calls out as she bounds past her companion. “Now let’s crack us open some Crab for dinner!”
The Ulveng woman skids to a halt just before reaching the flailing C2, Kiro hot on her heels.
Cleo moves 3. Kiro moves 3.

Levelling her shotgun one handed, Cleo uses her prodigious strength to keep the barrel more or less on target throughout her manoeuvre - her shield never once wavering in its protection.
With teeth bared the wolf confronts her prey with the barking barrel of a 10 gauge shotgun.

Cleo fires her shotgun for 5x1 damage. Her Body+ allows her to fire one handed but its spread pattern cannot be modified or shots adjusted. She has no re-rolls available.

>roll 5d12
>>
Rolled 10, 5, 8, 4, 6 = 33 (5d12)

>>5545841
boom
>>
>>5545870
A-fucking-mazing
>>
>>5545870
>2/5 shots deal damage.
>Updating
>>5545894
Yeah maybe she did a shoddy saw off job on the shotgun...
>>
>>5545911
At least one of them hit the glowing weak spot, right?
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>>5545920
If you mean its laser claw then yes, one of them hit it.
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>>5545926
Ah, I somehow thought that was an additional leg and the glowing spot was the knee! Which is silly, the legs are to the side.

I am not an observant person.
>>
File: Sniper Fire 3.gif (2.81 MB, 682x749)
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>>5545841
>>5545870
>Rolled 10, 5, 8, 4, 6. Two hits.

The shotgun bucks in Cleo’s grip, the blast chaotic and seemingly set up for maximum dispersion. Some of the shot impacts the target while the majority goes wide. The Crab’s already depleted armour ripples white for a vain moment before fading from matte black to dark grey, a small amount of the blast getting through to deal damage to it.
Fortunately for the Navigation Officer, the damage is in a critical location - the Crab’s right claw splinters as its characteristic red glow fades.
C2 armour down. Regenerating.
Critical hit! Right Laser Scythe disabled.
C2 Health: 7/8.


“I hear the claw is the best part of a crab.” Cleo gloats gleefully over the comm, “Still looks like it has plenty of fight left though.” She reports.

You consider your next orders carefully. The Crab is blinded by the flash grenade, at least for now, but it can still flail about with its remaining limbs. Considering what you saw as you entered the maintenance bay, those pointed legs can deal real damage. You need to make a decision - should you have your sniper fire at S3 to let you act unimpeded, or should he take the chance to fire at the stunned enemy before Cleo and Kiro have a chance to finish it off themselves.

“La’afette, do you have an angle on S3 or C2? What’s your status?” You comm, hoping your Tactical officer’s answer might provide insight to your dilemma.

“I don’t have a good angle on either, Captain. Both are partially obstructed by crates, which I may or may not be able to punch through.” He replies, matter of fact. “If I can, then I can assure you I will not miss S3. Regardless, I estimate an 85% chance of striking C2.”

So informed you commit to your decision.
>Have Coen fire at C2 to assist Cleo and Kiro.
>Have Coen fire at S3 to assist you.
>>
>>5545966
>Have Coen fire at C2 to assist Cleo and Kiro.
More dangerous target and a better shot, this isn't even a decision.
>>
>>5545966
>>5545989
+1
>>
>>5545966
>Have Coen fire at C2 to assist Cleo and Kiro.
Looking at Spiker movement range I’m guessing it can’t actually make it behind cover and still shoot at Cleo being exposed. So I guess if it’s going to bumrush anyone it’ll be us after all.

Sure, we’ll have him target C2.
>>
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>>5546102
>>5546019
>>5545989
>Have Coen fire at C2 to assist Cleo and Kiro.

"Take the shot at C2, La'afette." You command. You'd rather face the wrath of the Spiker, than leave your officers hanging against that Crab.

"Yes Sir, Firing." Coen snaps his scope to the twitching C2 and pulls the trigger without a moment's hesitation.

Cen first a pulse sniper shot at C2 for 1x5 damage. He fires centre mass, letting his superior weapons training and Mind+ guide his hand allow for his shot to me modified up to two (2) triangles closer to a called target. He has no re-rolls available.

>Call the shot target number, and roll 1d20.

Sorry about the wait, fell asleep after posting that last one.
>>
Rolled 19 (1d20)

>>5546366
8
>>
>>5546367
>Rolled 19, modified by two to 16.
>Hit for 5 damage, no Crit.
>Updating
>>
File: Target Dallas 2.gif (1.79 MB, 1621x1075)
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Rolled 8, 8, 9, 8 = 33 (4d10)

>>5546366
>>5546367

The crackling snap of a pulse laser cuts through the maintenance bay, the bright pulsating lance of directed energy guided expertly to strike C2. Kiro and Cleo’s visors dim as the light scatters from the cracking surface of the Crab before them. The already depowered armour cannot disperse the heat quick enough and after a fraction of a second it gives way. The angle isn't perfect, however, the shot missing the inavader’s critical internal systems. Nevertheless its wild flailing diminishes somewhat as it takes massive internal trauma.
C2 Health: 2/8. Armour Damaged: 0/1. Regenerating.

“Shot on target.” Coen calmly reports.

“Good shot, La’aette.” Kiro replies, slightly nervous yet encouraging - the shot having passed close by his position on its way to the target.

“Mhmm. He knows I’d make his first friendly fire incident his last.” Cleo hums with false sweetness, her translator failing to interpret the underlying threat.

“You ignore the banter and use the opportunity to duck out of cover to line up a shot on S3, hoping the sniper fire might have distracted the vigilant Spiker. To your dismay, you have no such luck as you discover the enemy in question already shifting its aim to lash out at you with projected spines. Too late to back out now, you commit to your shot.

S3 overwatch triggered. It fires a 4x1 damage spike shot at Dallas.
>>
>>5546486
Jesus. A triple crit would have been scary. At least it was in the ground.
>>
>>5546527
Yeah that deck plate is super scuffed now. Taking that to the face would have been a very abrupt game over.
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>>5546543
Well, if this isn’t a dream. Which, based on the opening crawl…
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>>5546568
Shhh, suspend disbelief harder.
>>
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>>5546486
>Rolled 8, 8, 9, 8. Complete miss.

Miraculously, your opponent’s shots split the air around you but leave you untouched. Spines crack into the deck ricocheting wildly to slam into your cover or pass you by with a gentle caress of displaced air.

You steady your SMG and take aim, careful to make sure the natural pull of the recoil up and to the right cannot endanger your crew as they rush towards their own objective. Squeezing the trigger, the sent forth a rapid burst - hoping to finish off the troublesome Spiker before it can regenerate its spines and return fire.

You fire a burst of 4x1 damage from your SMG, using your Mind+ bonus to direct your shots closer to your intended target by one (1) space.

>Roll 4d20 and call your target number.
>>
Rolled 10, 12, 20, 13 = 55 (4d20)

>>5546667
2

Weird, seems there’s something up with where we were shot. We’ll need Weavy’s help on that I guess.
>>
>>5546667
Oh, question regarding the mind bonus. If moving the shot closer to the target causes us to hit an ally, could we choose to not move that roll closer?
>>
>>5546680
>3/4 hits.

Moving a shot closer is more about how well you know your weapon's recoil, letting you group your fire closer to your intended target. So you can't decide to just not aim better if you roll poorly.

The actual envelope of where you shots can land is represented by the weapon fire net so if you want to avoid the possibility of friendly fire you need to place the net so it doesn't overlap any friendlies. (As Dallas did in this case.)

Originally I wanted to let (you) players have the option of lining up the targeting net on a still image with MS paint or whatever but I thought that might require too much work.
>>
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Rolled 3, 4 = 7 (2d8)

>>5546678
>>5546667
>Rolled 10, 12, 20, 13.

As your SMG’s retort rings out as you hold the weapon steady - determined to finish it off and not endanger your crew. Your shots fly true, striking the Spiker thrice centre of mass, the first shot disabling its artech armour and the second two punching through to rupture its internals.

You shield your eyes from the flare of burning white light, as S3 disintegrates from within. Only a pile of bone white ashes are left when you look back a moment later.
S3 destroyed.

You double check to make sure none of your shots went astray, but Cleo and Kiro look unharmed and unhindered as they assault their opponents on the other side of the bay. You stand up and look to the last remaining Spiker on the left flank - the remarkably accurate enemy has been a thorn in the side of the Security team, downing one and disabling the other. Only your donated Nano-Meds have got A1 back on his feet and you see the officer in question rising once more to do battle. His pistol shakes in what you charitably assume is fury as he levels the weapon over the steel table at his enemy. Even without his comm active you can hear him roar, “Die, you spiky bastard!” He lets loose a pair of pistol shots.

A1 fires his pistol for 2x1 damage.[/blue
>>
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>>5546751
>Rolled 3, 4. One Hit.

The righteous fury of the security officer burns hot, and his efforts result in an even hotter conflagration as his pistol punches through the weakened armour of the Spiker. He holsters his weapon, his concern quickly turning to assisting his shell-shocked companion.
S2 destroyed.

You decide to leave them to it. “The right flank is clear!” You call over the comm, “The last of the Spikers have gone up in smoke! They seem to self-immolate when they take enough punishment.”

“C2 has taken heavy damage, Sir, but I was unable to destroy it.” Coen reports. “I have no visual of the remaining targets.”

“Don’t worry about them, Cap! We’ll handle it!” Kiro is short of breath but sounds confident.

“Yeah, and I think you just gave me an idea, Sir!” You can hear the grin in Cleo’s voice. “If what they’re made of burns this well then I think I might just start myself a bonfire!”

A slight chill runs down your spine at those words, whatever the Ulveng has in mind you’re sure it isn’t a safe or optimal plan… but of one thing you're sure: it will be violent.

-------------------------------------------
Enemy turn.
The remaining enemies stumble and sway like crew returning from a particularly fruitful bout of shore leave. Sometimes seeming to orientate on their targets before turning away again, their senses blink in and out of focus. The Crab in particular seems to have lost some of its motor functions, no longer stabbing out with its thrashing limbs since it was burnt through by La’afette’s pulse laser shot. The best the boarding party can manage is to stay upright on their spindly legs and slowly darken as their armour begins to recharge.
All remaining enemies are stunned and cannot move or act. Lost armour is regenerated if possible.
S5 armour: 1/1. C2 armour: 1/1.

--------------------------------------------

Seeing only the two undamaged Spikers, you worry that whatever Cleo has planned may end up with herself or Kiro hurt. Do you:
>Call for a halt, stopping their assault until you and Coen can arrive as backup.
>Tell them to take it easy, slow and steady wins the race, use your weapons from cover not your claws and teeth!
>Stay silent, giving your tacit approval. Trust in whatever Cleo’s ‘bonfire’ plan is, allowing her to continue to close with the enemy and drag Kiro along with her.
>Offer a suggestion/additional order.
(A Leadership bonus will be applied if you can guess what Cleo's plan is and/or if you improve on it - should you choose that option.)
>Something else? Write in.
>>
>>5546794
My guess is Cleo intends to use C2's death burn to ignite the gas tanks nearby.
>Advise her that Coen can shoot the tanks, so Cleo can focus on S5 which is out of their range.
>>
>>5546794
>Tell them to take it easy, slow and steady wins the race, use your weapons from cover not your claws and teeth!
>>
>>5546794
>Stay silent, giving your tacit approval. Trust in whatever Cleo’s ‘bonfire’ plan is, allowing her to continue to close with the enemy and drag Kiro along with her.

>>5546811
Support this guess.
>>
>>5546811
>>5546867
You're close, but there's no LoS directly from Cleo or C2 to those tanks. But Coen or Dallas shooting them is certainly an option that could support her plan, though its a long shot.

I'll leave this open for a day because I need time to do the finale justice and also have plans tomorrow which will eat up all my time.

>>
>>5546903
I though she wanted to push C2 up to the spikers and the tank to ignite it.
>>
>>5546903
I’m going to guess that she’s going to dart under the crab, shove it up and back so it flips between the spikers, then killing it so it starts a chain fire.

Because I suggested her flipping the crab over earlier and it’s too in-character for her to pass up.
>>
>>5546794
Alright, my vote is
>Offer a suggestion/additional order.
>Shove the crab back onto the other spikers, then retreat a bit. Everyone else can try and get a potshot on the tank to ignite the closest spiker, and if it fails then Kiro can circle around to the left and get a firing angle on the tanks as well.
>>
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>>5546961
Bingo.
>>
>>5546811
>>5546820
>>5546867
>>5546961
>>5546970
Cleo will get a leadership bonus to her throw since you guessed her plan and didn't call her off.

You'll support her by having the rest of the crew try to ignite the welding fuel nearby.

Update will be a little delayed but combat should be resolved by the end of the weekend.
>>
>>5546973
My…my…my HEART
>>
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>>5546970
>>5546961
>>5546867
>>5546820
>>5546811
>>5546794
>Guessed Cleo's plan and added additional support to see it succeed.

You realise that calling off the willful wolf could potentially squander the opportunity afforded by your Ops officer's excellent throw. You decide to instead capitalise on the chaos you predict will inevitably erupt from Cleo’s ‘bonfire’ plan, and make a snap decision.

“Clifton, we’re going to blow the welding fuel behind those crates you’re at, fan the fire so to speak!” You keep your voice steady, despite the tense situation, making sure your orders are conveyed loud and clear to all. You don’t want anyone getting caught in the crossfire.

“You can make the shot, La’afette?” You ask belatedly.

“Yes, Captain.” He replies without hesitation. “Even if I have to burn through some spare parts crates to do it.”

“Acknowledged,” Cleo replies, “Wait for my signal, Guns!” She warns the Tactical officer, “I’ve got a three bastard pile-up to arrange!” her alto voice coming across the comm in the musical way her translator interprets malicious glee.

“On your mark, Ms Clifton.” The Laedra man replies stoically, already having shifted his position to line up the shot.

“Alright, small fry,” Cleo calls to the Marrok by her side, “follow me in low and soften up the competition while I butter up crabby here!”

“You’re lucky I am small, else I wouldn’t be able to slip past you, fatass!” Kiro responds in kind, though his good natured tone takes any heat out of the jab.

With their nerves settled somewhat by the banter and bloodlust alike, the two rush the final few steps up to the steadying C2.

Cleo moves in first, shield raised - her baleful glare reflected in the small viewport she uses to see. Taking note of the two Spikers she intends to drop a (hopefully) self immolating crustacean on, she is distracted as the enemy before her begins to glow ominously.
The Crab, making one last ditch effort to finish what it started, raises its single undamaged claw - the red glow building in intensity as Cleo stares right down the barrel.

“None of that now, partner!” With a vicious snarl she sweeps C2’s claws away with her shield. The powerful blow is so jarring that Cleo loses grip of the handle but can't complain with the results. Both the Crab’ weapons are wrenched from the clutches of whatever invisible force controls them and they clatter away across the deck along with her discarded shield.

Grinning wide, the Ulveng reaches out almost tenderly as she bends down to take the black, prismatic form before her in a deathgrip.

“May I have this dance?” She breathes, with a low, throaty growl.

Head snapping up she locks her gaze on her target, and her muscles tense, ready to throw.
>>
>>5549531
Cleo will attempt to flip C2 through the air to land amongst the Spiker’s behind. She has one re-roll available due to you supporting her with your Leadership bonus. Kiro will attempt to put as much damage on the three remaining targets as she does this so that a chain conflagration might occur. Failing this, Coen stands ready to fire upon the welding fuel to finish the job.

>Roll 1d4 to determine where the Crab will land.

Last few scenes here I've put a bit more animation effort into so will a tad slow coming out between rolls.
>>
Rolled 3 (1d4)

>>5549533
Roll one.
>>
>>5549533
>>5549564
Alright, I’dike a couple other anons to chip in on whether to re-roll. 3 is the spiker near the tank, so hitting it should definitely destroy those two. Maybe the combined tank + 2 dead enemies is enough to damage the third in the next tile. Maybe not. Thoughts?
>>
>>5549531
Your combat banter is absolutely anime-tier in managing to fit no less than 60 seconds of conversation into what should be 3 seconds of time.

>>5549571
Let's reroll, I think this is the worst possible result.
>>
>>5549579
I think 1 is the worst. But you may be right that 3 is at least second-worst. 2 is probably better.

Alright, I’ll back a re-roll. Would you like to do the honors then?
>>
>>5549579
>Your combat banter is absolutely anime-tier in managing to fit no less than 60 seconds of conversation into what should be 3 seconds of time.
Such is the nature of turn based combat I suppose. Sorry if its too immersion breaking, I can cut it back I guess.
>>
Rolled 2 (1d4)

>>5549586
Rerolling
>>
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>>5549644
>>5549564
>>5549531
>Rolled 2. Cleo’s re-roll used.

With a tremendous heave, Cleo launches the Crab into the air, flipping it up and onto its back. While her brute strength is more than sufficient to fling her damaged opponent the distance, her aim proves slightly less capable.

Time seems to slow as the Crab drifts inexorably towards the rightmost Spiker and Cleo scowls, realising she wont get to finish off the final three boarders herself. Eager to do his part, Kiro flashes by her shins in a tail slide, using the low angle to fire into the broad belly of C2 as it passes overhead.

As the Crab comes crashing down on top of S5, the Nav officer doesn't wait to confirm the damage. "MARK!" she signals.

From his position still braced on a supply crate in the outer corridor, Coen breathes out and squeezes the trigger.


Kiro fires an SMG burst, targeting C2 from an optimal position. He has no bonuses to his roll.


>Roll 4d20 for Kiro's SMG burst.
>>
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>>5550294

Coen fires at the welding fuel through cover. The powerful sniper rifle is able to penetrate one of the blocking crates and still maintain the strength to detonate the tanks. His skill bonuses once again guide his aim 2 spaces closer to his intended target.


>Roll 1d20 and call your target number for Coen.
>>
>>5550294
Rolling for Kiro.
>>
Rolled 17, 17, 2, 4 = 40 (4d20)

>>5550294
>>5550516
Forgot something in the options field. Take 2.
>>
Rolled 16 (1d20)

>>5550296
Rolling for Coen. Aiming for 8.

>>5550294
Somehow missed with two shots, but they ended up hitting S5 instead for a crit. Maybe with both S5 and C2 down to one health they’ll kill each other on impact?
>>
>>5550518
Somehow you managed to spread the damage equally between the two. The odds if that are... Well I'm impressed to say the least.
>>
>>5550518
>>5550520
All hits on target.
Will start working on the update when power comes back on and I don't have to phonepost.

Alas, with its armour powered up and only two hits allocated. S5 absorbs the first 17 and the second does regular damage cracking its carapace.
>>
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>>5550520
>>5550518
>>5550296
>>5550294

Kiro's slide is textbook, gun arm braced against the ground, body half rotated to let both his feet and tail control his motion. A difficult position to aim from but that was the point of getting low and close to the target. The Marrok aims low, relying on his weapon’s recoil to stitch holes up his enemy’s exposed belly and maximising shots on target at this critical moment.

>Rolled 17,17, 4, 14
His recoil control is a little too perfect, however, the first two shots flying beneath the airborne C2 and instead striking S5 twice - the first shot causing a cascading ripple of white at the impact point before the second chips its now grey armour.
S5 Armour down. Regenerating. S5 Health 2/3.
The remaining shots act more predictably, striking Crab twice in a similar fashion as it descends into Kiro’s line of fire.
C2 Armour down. C2 Health 1/8. Armour destroyed.

The Crab finishes its descent as the small reptile slides to a halt - just shy of the end of the crates beside him. There is a tremendous crash, the hapless Spiker in its path bringing the Crab to a groaning halt abruptly. Cracks race across the dull grey surface of C1, but are soon lost from sight as an enveloping white fire erupts from within its body.
C2 destroyed.

At the same time, Coen pulls the trigger.
>Rolled 16 modified to 8. On target.
The pulse laser burns through a crate of spare parts, lancing out to unerringly strike exactly where the Laedra man knew his target to be. As promised, he made the shot. A La’afette never misses after all.
Trait unlocked: Deadeye - Whatever weapon he uses, Coen is granted an additional re-roll on every shot until he misses. On a miss this trait deactivates until the end of the encounter. (Multi-shot weapons require every shot to hit to not count as a miss.)

The welding tank is melted through, the volatile gases stored within escaping in a hissing cloud. It takes only a moment for the right fuel-air mix to develop before the glowing wound in the side of the tank ignites the concoction.

WHUMP!

You shield your eyes reflexively, the dimmer in your cracked visor not quite compensating as it should. With a concussive blast, the world quickly transitions from yellow to white.

Welding fuel ignites. Radius: 1. Damage: 4.
>>
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>>5550707

Your breath hitches in your chest and your body freezes, a dread thrill racing down your spine to paralyse you with its icy embrace.
“What have I done?”

Smoke swirls and rubble stills.
Your vision begins to return.
Where before stacked crates and a welding tank stood, now only devastation remains.
A thought vaguely passes through your mind, that the mixture of welding gases used aboard the TPN Coober Pedy burn hot but slow - explaining the bright and concussive nature of the blast. The results are clearly self-evident. Crates lie strewn across the deck, some intact, some less so. The lumpy silhouettes you can make out through the smoke cloud are unrecognisable. More, rubble perhaps, trapped enemies? Or even…bodies?
You gasp, terror spiking at the thought.

Could anything…anyone have survived that explosion? You didn’t think it would be so violent or else you’d never have even suggested such a course of action. Guilt and shame war over your frozen mind until, finally, they are usurped by worry and responsibility.

You drop your weapon and force your leaden limbs to move, jerkily at first, but then in a dead sprint towards ground zero. Shaking, you activate your comm, breathlessly calling out your crew by name.

“Skyeskal, Clifton! REPORT!” you demand.

There is only static.

"KIRO! CLEO! ANSWER ME!" you scream, to no reply.

“Coen, I think my comm is busted again.” You switch tacks desperately, “can you reach them?!”

“I am receiving no signal from them, Sir.” He replies woodenly.

“Dammit, come help me look for- ack!” You trip over some debris in your haste and lose your footing, tumbling head over heels at the edge blast zone. Disoriented you look up into the still obscuring smoke cloud - the life support systems evidently not receiving enough power to clear the air efficiently.

You pause for a moment in your vulnerable position as you hear something shift. Weaponless, the thought crosses your mind that maybe the plan to barbecue the remaining boarders may not have been entirely effective in its execution.

What will you do?
>Be still, you can’t see them and they can’t see you (probably). Wait for Coen to arrive as backup and hope your own noisy arrival won't be investigated.
>Run. The enemy surely is still alive and you can almost feel the spines aligning with your head through the smoke.
>Fight. Surely the enemy can’t have survived such a terrible explosion unscathed. Maybe even your basic CQB training will be enough to finish a weakened opponent off.
>Start digging. Your friends are potentially dying or worse in there. Every second might be the difference between saving a downed crewmate and… not. Bet on the cover of the crates protecting your crewmates and destroying your enemies.
>Something else. Write in.
>>
>>5550741
>Be still, you can’t see them and they can’t see you (probably). Wait for Coen to arrive as backup and hope your own noisy arrival won't be investigated.
>>
>>5549590
This shit is SOVL, keep it brother
>>
>>5550741
>start digging

>>5549590
Please don't. The talk/banter builds characterization and i didnt find it jarring. Firefights can be pretty slow.
>>
>>5550741
>Start digging. Your friends are potentially dying or worse in there. Every second might be the difference between saving a downed crewmate and… not. Bet on the cover of the crates protecting your crewmates and destroying your enemies.
>>
>>5550741
>Be still, you can’t see them and they can’t see you (probably). Wait for Coen to arrive as backup and hope your own noisy arrival won't be investigated.
>>
Leaving this open until tonight, need a tiebreaker.

>>5550975
>>5551066
Good to hear. I wasn't sure how much was too much since the pacing was a bit slow with little time for player interaction besides the occasional roll between rounds.

Im just glad I can take a step back from redrawing the scene from different angles every update. More time for writing (and sleep).
>>
>>5550741
>>5550789
Backing this.
I would like anons to consider
>Call out. The noise could be from the others, and they may think you’re the last spiker too.
Puts us at more risk, but a) we’re still hard to see and b) digging them out could cause more harm if we can’t see everything we’re moving.
>>
>>5550741
>>Fight. Surely the enemy can’t have survived such a terrible explosion unscathed. Maybe even your basic CQB training will be enough to finish a weakened opponent off.
>>
Rolled 3, 1, 4 = 8 (3d4)

>>5550789
>>5551066
>>5551076
>>5551104
>>5551326
>>5551761
We're conflicted, but discretion wins out.
>Rolling and Updating.
>>
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>>5550741
>>5551767
Indecision paralyses you, your fight or flight response settling on a more primal response - freeze. Maybe whatever survived that blast was still too stunned to hear your clumsy approach. Going By the Book, the most prudent thing to do in these situations is to avoid drawing attention and wait for backup to arrive.

You continue to hear the occasional sound of shifting debris all around and more rhythmic sounds coming from directly ahead. Unfortunately, you still can’t get a visual - the smoke stubbornly refusing to dissipate. Some of the crates must have caught fire in the blast and are continuing to smoulder.

The worst case scenario is that a Spiker survived and is actively hunting you… But then again, the rustling, scraping noise you can hear ahead could be your injured friends in dire need of assistance. Hating that you have to choose between your own life and that of your crew, you settle for silently raising yourself from your prone position into a low crouch. Coen should be here any moment, then you can deal with the situation properly. Until then, you’ll have to be ready for anything.

Carefully you activate your comm, attempting to reach your crew once more.
“Kiro? Cleo?” You whisper into your helmet mic, “Do you copy?”

Static fills the channel, louder than before. Curiously, the volume seems to flutter slightly as you move your head side to side, attempting to make out anything through the dense black smoke.

“La’afette?” You attempt to reach your Tactical officer, again in a hushed tone, “What’s your ETA, something is moving in here.”

There is no reply. Only the loud, shifting static fills your ears.
You decide to switch off the comm, the overpowering noise was masking the subtle scratching you were tracking earlier and listening to your surroundings takes precedence over more sullen than usual crewmates.

With a small click, the static shuts off leaving only silence in its wake. Deafening silence.
Fear chills you to your core as you realise that you’ve lost track of your enemy. Either that or you missed the last desperate moments of… NO!
Unthinkable.

You tense every muscle in your body, ready to spring at the first sign or sound of trouble. Maybe if you’re quick enough you can dodge out of the way of a spike volley. They were only subsonic projectiles after all, right?
Wishful thinking, you chide yourself.

Crack. A sound, to your 8 o’clock.

Whirling and prepare to fight or fly a figure appears from the smoke. Tall, humanoid, green tinged skin and slightly pointed ears visible through his visor. You sigh in relief, backup has finally arrived.

Through the gloom, you can see the man rhythmically sweeping his helmet side to side - like a marine checking his corners obsessively. He holds his pistol at the ready, the barrel slowly drifting in your direction but strangely his eyes are shut.
>>
>>5551949
Alarmed, you stand up from your crouch but are still unwilling to call out and draw attention to yourself.

Coen draws nearer, step by step, his head blindly sweeping back and forth. A mere metre away he stops, gun pointed directly at you. His eyes abruptly snap open and he looks you up and down quickly with a raised eyebrow, expression inscrutable.

What do you do?
>Attack the clearly deranged man and try to take his weapon.
>Attempt to talk him down, despite the risk of being overheard by the enemy.
>Duck and run. Surely you can lose him in the smoke.
>Trust your Tac officer and don’t move a muscle.
>Something else. Write in.
>>
>>5551950
>Trust your Tac officer and don’t move a muscle.
He shut his eyes to sharpen his hearing.
>>
>>5551950
>Trust your Tac officer and don’t move a muscle.
>Say “Scratching” and incline head in direction you heard it. Trust he understands to listen for it.
>>
>>5551976
Support!
>>
>>5551950
>Trust your Tac officer and don’t move a muscle.
>>
>>5551950
>Duck and run. Surely you can lose him in the smoke.
>>
>>5552854
>>5552373
>>5552138
>>5551996
>>5551976
>Trust. He's demonstrated is trigger discipline before... Surely a misunderstanding.
>Updating.
>>
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>>5551950
>>5551767

You aren’t sure what La’afette thinks he’s doing but you decide to trust the man. He never misses a shot and by extension never shoots what he doesn’t mean to. You take it on faith that there’s a reason for the gun in your face and his strange behaviour earlier.

Your helmet’s speakers filter only silence through from the smoky air around you, but your tactical officer seems to be listening to something you can’t hear. His head twitches as if tracking a darting mouse and the pistol barrel drifts ever so slowly to point over your shoulder.

You take the chance to re-enable your comm, hoping that perhaps your close proximity might allow you to cut through the interference and let you talk privately with your Tactical officer without the risk of being overheard. Instead, the static seems the loudest it's ever been - the meaningless crackling seeming to shift from ear to ear as you tilt your head.

Strangely though, with the increased volume, the static has taken on a different texture. The crackle seems less formless, with rhythmic variations in pitch giving it a chittering undertone - like a thousand crickets all chirping at once. For some reason your command implant twinges with pain, and you reel as alternating feelings of claustrophobia and then agoraphobia war with one another in your mind. The sound builds to a crescendo and you swear you can almost make out- BANG!

Coen fires a single shot over your shoulder. The interference and sensations immediately cease and you hear a familiar cracking, crumbling noise behind you. Turning, you shield your visor as its splintered yet airtight surface fails to fully keep out the brilliant white flare of a Spiker immolating itself.
“Target down.” Coen intones softly, lowering his weapon and giving you a single nod.

>Rolled 3
S4 takes 3 unmitigated damage from welding fuel explosion. Armour destroyed. Health 1/3.
S4 takes 1 damage from pistol shot. S4 destroyed.


You sigh, relieved that you at least made the right decision to wait for and trust in your backup. But if one Spiker survived your hastily made plan, what of the other intruders? More importantly, what about your other crew?!

You turn and stride as purposefully as you can on unsteady legs into the dense, black smoke, hoping to find the corpses of your enemies and still breathing allies.
After only a few steps you stumble, one foot catching on something soft yet dense.
Dropping to one knee you reach out and seize the obstacle, hoping against hope it's nothing sinister.
Your hand comes back with a fistful of bone white powder - the substance streaming through your gloved fingers like the final sands of an hourglass. Your eyes grow wide.
Standing as the smoke thins slightly, you survey a wide pool of ash - all that remains of the unaccounted for members of the boarding party. It’s over. You won. At least this battle anyway.

S5 takes 1 impact damage and 1 burning damage from C2. S5 destroyed.
>>
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>>5553077
“All clear.” you report numbly over the comm. You try to ignore the slight vertigo you usually associate with your command implant’s side effects. “Now let’s find- oof!”

You fling out your arms to steady yourself as something firm yet relatively light crashes into your back and seems to stick.

“WE DID IT!” A brightly smiling Kiro whoops from over your shoulder - the enthusiastic reptile perching on your back, one arm flung around your neck for balance and the other punching towards the ceiling in celebration. “You should have seen it, Dal! Cleo flipped that Crab like a table when she loses on poker night an’ I did the sweetest tail slide shot an’ then KABOOM!” The overexcited Marrok laughs in his squeaky, wheezing way - seeming no worse for wear despite said explosion.

>Rolled 1
Explosion deals 0 (1 - 2) damage to Kiro, mitigated by the intervening crates. Health: 2/3

“Ha, prove I lost that game, I dare you!” You jerk in surprise and turn to see your Nav officer appear through the smoke, stopping by your side. You can just make out her wolfish grin through the cracked visor of her helmet. Despite the damage, she seems otherwise unharmed.

>Rolled 4
Explosion deals 0 (4 - 4) damage to Cleo, mitigated by the intervening crates, helmet and natural toughness.
Helmet ablative armour destroyed. Natural Armour: 0/1. Regenerating.
Health: 4/4.


Turning to look you in the eye, the Ulveng reaches up and jovially slaps the top of your splintered helmet a few times. “Looks like we’re matching now, boss!” She huffs a laugh. “Managed to catch one of those crates with my face!”

The three of you pause to take in the devastation around you, the aftermath of your amazing plan slowly revealing itself as the smoke finally begins to clear. “Everything is always interesting when you’re in charge, huh Cap?” Kiro ribs, leaning around your shoulder. “Still, we won and looked cool doing it and that’s what really matters in the end, right?” He snickers.

“You said it, squirt!” Cleo replies before you can attempt to bring some seriousness back to the situation. You snort, amused despite everything.

Profound relief floods through you, as it finally sinks in that your friends are safe and the enemies are gone from your immediate concerns. Your legs wobble slightly as the adrenaline leaves them and even the meagre weight of your impromptu piggy-back rider threatens to drive you to your knees. Steel yourself, you ignore the pounding headache beginning to form in the all too familiar location of your right temple, and force your body to stay upright.

“Captain, I believe what’s left of the security detail can deal with the aftermath here.” Lieutenant La’afette’s calm voice and gestures attract the crew’s attention to the corpses, both enemy and ally alike that litter the maintenance bay. Powering on through the sobering reality he so casually dropped back down on the three of you, he continues, “We have more concerns to address.”
>>
>>5553078
>Assign Coen and Cleo to investigate the boarding craft
>Contact WEAVY and find out if the void core is back up to temperature yet. You need power!
>>
>>5553078
“Yes,” you agree, taking back up the mantle of responsibility for your voidship and its crew, “priorities need to be established.”

What should your immediate priority be now that your command is no longer under threat by enemy combatants?
>Investigate the dark interior of the boarding craft, there could be further danger to the ship from that vector yet.
>Contact WEAVY and find out if the void core is back up to temperature yet. You need power!
>Assign damage control priorities to repair damage to the ship.
>Rush back to the bridge to resume command from there. By the Book recommends this action.
>Attempt to use your command implant to get a remote status update from the ship’s sensors or other systems. We need to know what the enemy vessel is up to and what our current state of disrepair is. Pronto! A skillcheck is required to avoid backlash from your implant.
>Attempt to contact someone else. Who?
>Write in.
>>
>>5553082
Snuck that one in didn't you. :P
>>
>>5553080
>Investigate the dark interior of the boarding craft, there could be further danger to the ship from that vector yet.
>Ask the security personnel and your crew if they know of/can find anything here to replenish your stock of grenades and/or medkits before entering.
>Patch through to your chief engineer. We’re about to board a ship whose invaders seem to have artech armor. Their ship may have more. Does he know we should look for to help kickstart the reactor?”
Our own engineering background should help with that last conversation. We can prod him with generalities of what we’d look for so he knows he can really talk tech with us. If he has any specific damage reports we’ll zero in on materials to fix the known issues.
>>
>>5553086
Support! We should def check the boarding craft to make sure the problem is fully solved.
>>
>>5553282
>>5553086
>>5553082
>Prioritise Investigation.

You roll your shoulders, attempting to loosen the tension in them as Kiro hops down. The Marrok looks quite crestfallen, his initial elation at having won the battle tempered by the grisly reminder that not all the crew made it out so unscathed. Cleo too stands rigidly, staring at the bisected body of a security officer who was not missed by one of the Crab’s scything energy weapons as she so fortunately was.

“Skyeskal, La’afette, Clifton,” You begin formally, once again donning your metaphorical Captain’s hat, “we need to ensure that boarding craft will be of no further threat to the ship before we can deal with our other problems.”


Kiro drags his wide eyes away from the dead man to look up at you, returning somewhat to his usual affable demeanour with your offered distraction. “Speaking of other problems, Sir, I’ve kept track of the time since we fired on the boarding craft and…” His eyes cross slightly, looking at something on his visor’s HUD. “yep, it looks like they’re seeing our first shots as we speak. Ah… approximately five more minutes before light lag lets us see their immediate response.” He nods, satisfied his quick estimate is accurate enough.

Tactical: With your voidship under no acceleration, the first hint of that response you receive may well be a directed energy weapon to the hull. More typically, an enemy would expect you to begin evasive manoeuvres and respond with long range torpedoes - something you could detect a lot earlier with a full powered sensor sweep.

“We won’t have long to sweep the vessel.” Coen remarks, approaching you as he unslings your discarded SMG from his back. He appears to consider handing you back the weapon, but instead places his pistol in your waiting hands. “Protocol demands that outside of emergency situations, the Captain must not risk himself unnecessarily.” He recites the regulations in an almost bored tone. “Allow us to take point, Sir. Losing the only member of the blood left on board would cause an immediate ship wide lockdown.”

“That and we’d all miss you of course.” Cleo chimes in with a wink, her close proximity letting you once again hear the wild incongruence between her low growling language and the translator’s girlish interpretation. “Maybe you should see how the WEAVERs are doing with the power situation while we go looking for trouble.” She brandishes her shotgun and racks a shell dramatically.

You scowl, unwilling to be side-lined so easily while your crew potentially walks into the mouth of danger. But as you stare up into the yawning entrance to the boarding craft, your eyes seem to slip over the details - unable to comprehend what exactly you're seeing. You try to concentrate on what is just inside the threshold but it's as if your vision has holes in it, or your still-addled memory cannot retain any information you see.
>>
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>>5554201
Your implant begins to throb again and you have to look away lest nausea get the better of you. Maybe you just have a migraine, that could potentially explain the strange symptoms. Where’s your resident doctor when you need her - your Science Officer would be useful for investigating the enemy craft as well.
"Can you see anything inside from here?" You ask, hoping that perhaps the strange effects aren’t only in your head.

“The angle isn’t great, Sir, and neither is the lighting.” Kiro apologises by your side. “But I can see some of the entrance and some indents in the walls!” He adds quickly, picking up on your disappointment if not its reason. “But it can’t be big enough to fit in many more surprises, leave it to me!”

Sighing, you agree. “Alright Ops. Take charge.”

Kiro smiles reassuringly and snaps off a quick salute before turning to organise your other bridge crew and the remaining security officers. His Operations training allows him to efficiently assign roles and prepare the investigation just as he had been taught to do in the academy.

You turn your attention to your Nav officer’s suggestion, and connect your comm back to the main shipwide channel - contacting WEAVY for a status update. The WEAVER drone responds immediately to your call.

==INSTRUCTIONS WERE RELAYED TO THE WEAVER VOIDCORE TENDERS. THIS UNIT IS STILL WRITE ONLY IN THE MAIN WEAVER COMMUNICATION CHANNELS.== The monotone, synthesised voice of the drone replies.

“So you’re saying you don’t know if they are actually doing whatever it takes to get it online?”

==THE ACTING CAPTAIN’S COMMAND CODE WAS GIVEN. THEY WILL NOT DISOBEY.== It replies tersely.
You aren’t sure if you accidentally insulted its honour or whatever equivalent it possesses.

==THIS UNIT HAS COMPLETED REPAIRS ON ONE ADDITIONAL SUBJECT== The drone continues, changing the subject.

“Dallas. It seems I’ve been invited to this party at the eleventh hour.” Another voice abruptly joins the channel, a familiar and welcome one despite her haughty, disgruntled tone. “Surely in the face of injury and an unknown threat, your Science Officer would be your first priority, not your last.”

“Things have been a bit hectic, Eon.” You reply with a grim smile as your avian friend, another fellow academic, attempts to hide her concern for your well being behind a wall of reserved affront.

“Well, nothing for it now. I’ll just have to catch up.” She sighs pointedly. “WEAVY explained his patch job with the repair nanites and I am horrified you tried something so crude.”


“Well, it worked didn’t it?” You reply in a sheepish manner. You can almost sense Eyes-of-Night’s namesake glare locking onto you through the intervening bulkheads. Like you were back at the academy together and you just called one of her A- grades ‘good enough’.

“I will not dignify that with an answer!” She replies icily. “Stay where you are. I’ll be there promptly.”
With a mutter about bone contamination, the channel clicks shut.
>>
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>>5554216
“Well speak of the devil…” You murmur to yourself, half-amused, half-exasperated.

Determined to deal with the ship’s power problems before Eon arrives to play nursemaid, you contact your Acting Chief Engineer. “Fan, come in. What is the ship’s power status?”

The reply is almost instant, the panicked voice of the jumped up Tyllano damage control Ensign Flies-at-Night begins to holler at you incomprehensibly through your helmet speakers.

“WHOAH whoah, slow down there Chief. Start at the beginning.” You quickly cut in.

The owl-like being takes an audibly deep breath and slows down his talking to a pace his translator can relay. “Captain Annon, did you order the WEAVERs to start throwing bodies into the void core fuel line?!”

You wince at being called the name you always associated with your father, before Fan’s words register completely.

“What?” You gasp, not believing your ears. “Say again! The WEAVERs are doing what?!”

“The WEAVERs are using your command codes to override the void core restart process. Instead of a slow addition of scrap void plate as the manual directs they aRE THROWING IN OUR DEAD CREW!” The Tyllano man loses it at the end, descending into loud, distressed hooting.

Engineering: The void core is a type of nuclear furnace, able to take in matter and convert it almost entirely into heat energy - essentially burning it down to the atomic level and beyond. While the fuel can be any matter, the density greatly affects how quickly the fuel is consumed - with organic matter burning especially fast. To ‘warm up’ a ‘cold’ void core is usually a lengthy process, gradually awakening its ability to convert matter to energy with the steady application of an organo-metallic fuel source i.e void plate. In this case, however, the rapid application of organic matter could be a potentially damaging if much faster start-up option.

You ignore the distraught engineer for a second to gather your thoughts. While the interpretation of your orders by the WEAVERs is distasteful, it could be the best of only bad options.
Where else would you be able to get large quantities of organic matter? The ship’s cargo hold of life bringing aid destined for planets that would collapse without it? The Cryo bay, full of diverse livestock destined to be breeding stock for those same otherwise doomed bastions of life in the dark void?
>>
>>5554250

What are your orders?
>Allow the WEAVERs to proceed. The crew would surely be proud to serve in death as in life. By the Book suggests this will likely affect crew morale.
>Substitute the source of organic matter? Perhaps entire populations and ecosystems will have to suffer to spare the dead such an ignominious end.
>Order the WEAVERs to stop and go back to standard start-up procedures. We’ll just have to survive on backup power for a bit longer.
>Order the WEAVERs to use standard start-up fuel but in dangerous quantities to hurry things up. Engineering: This has a much higher chance to damage the void core, compared to using excessive organic matter and in the worst case result will actually slow down the process. Difficult skill check required.
>Something else. Write in.
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>>5554251
>Allow the WEAVERs to proceed. The crew would surely be proud to serve in death as in life.
But remember to hold a symbolic burial ceremony for them afterwards.
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>>5554251
>Allow the WEAVERs to proceed. The crew would surely be proud to serve in death as in life.
>>
>>5554251
How dense are “artech” materials considered? The boarding craft is likely made of it.
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>>5554251
Survive on backup power
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>>5554325
Artech can be any Relic Technology left over from before the cataclysm that is currently difficult/impossible to reproduce.
The void plate armour scrap used in the normal startup process is an example of artech, the enemy boarders and vessel seem to be made of something similar though you haven't confirmed exactly what yet.
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>>5554251
>>5554520
Thanks. I’ll vote
>Test a piece of the boarding craft in the void reactor for comparison
and
>Ask the crew to identify fuel sources that could assist with igniting our void reactor

If the neither of those work, I’ll back the others with
>Allow the WEAVERs to proceed. The crew would surely be proud to serve in death as in life.
as I’ve exhausted all my creative ideas.
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>>5554251

>>Allow the WEAVERs to proceed. The crew would surely be proud to serve in death as in life.

We don't have the luxury of dignity-- all the crew will be dead if we don't get moving.
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>>5555788
>>5554601
>>5554315
>>5554298
>>5554419
>The WEAVERs will proceed as neccessary.
>Update in 8hrs or so.

Got a new tablet so I'm relearning to draw on it. Hopefully will speed up my process.
>>
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>>5554251
Your mind spins with vertigo, and your right temple pounds as you try to come to a decision. Your stomach begins to burn uncomfortably and phantom pains spike and fade, centred on your left side. Why now of all times does your command implant have to act up? Or maybe your Science Officer was right and the repair nanites splinting your cracked ribs weren’t such a brilliant idea after all. Perhaps an unfortunate combination of both?

Conflicted, you focus on what your ship - your still living crew - needs right now. You need power. The void core hungers and where your crew were proud to serve in life, you reason they would gladly serve in death - keeping their fellows alive with their sacrifice. At least that’s what you keep telling yourself, fighting the doubt and your own conscience.

Alternate ideas pass briefly through your thoughts and are just as quickly discarded.
Make do with battery power until the proper procedures are followed? No, a DEW beam could be on its way this very moment, we need power to manoeuvre.
Break up the enemy boarding craft for its presumably organo-metallic hull and feed that into the core? No, the elevators are still down and you’d never get enough material down the stairs in time.
Have the crew contribute their own organic personal effects and keepsakes? Empty the mess of all its rations? Dump the ship’s precious cargo into the core and abandon the primary lifesaving mission? No, NO, NO! All possibilities but there is no time! The bodies of the deceased are all on the fuel conveyor, ready to jump-start the ship’s heart. This is the optimal solution, why are you hesitating? Sentimentality will get what’s left of the crew killed if you let it. And. You. Won’t. LET. IT.

Your swirling, out of control thoughts reach a furious peak, and your vision begins to go dark around the edges. Through gritted teeth you manage to cut off the still rambling Acting Chief Engineer, “My orders… Let them do… what needs… doing!” You spit out, exercising every ounce of your willpower to stay conscious.

“But Sir-”

“JUST DO IT!” You bark desperately.

“Yes… Captain.” The Tyllano finally concedes and releases the interlocks preventing the cremation of the valiant dead.

Some of the worst implant sickness you have ever experienced is threatening to break your fragile psyche. You feel as if your body is in freefall and yet tightly constricted by binding chains. You experience a heartburn so fierce it feels as if a star is being born in your chest cavity. As the world closes in around you, your mind seems to slip free of your body and you begin to hallucinate. At least the pain has stopped.
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>>5556347
It’s as if you are there, deep in the tightly locked down bowels of the ship where the WEAVERs alone have access to roam. You watch as prone silhouettes pass you on a grav conveyor, feeling as distant and detached from your emotions as you were previously overwhelmed by them.

There is no ceremony, not even proper lighting except for an ominous glow where the conveyor meets an opening in a wide banded silver conduit reaching from floor to ceiling. You vaguely recognise it from the ship's schematics as the input line to the void core, though it seems much bigger than the pictures made out. As the first body disappears down the core’s gullet, you abruptly find yourself sprawled on the deck of the maintenance bay, the ship shuddering around you. Your symptoms have vanished just as quickly as they came and your mind feels clearer than it has been since you awoke on the bridge with no memory of how you got there.

Pushing yourself up into a sitting position a vague warmth fills your body and a profound sense of rightness settles upon you. A Captain must make tough decisions to keep his ship fed operational and crew safe, even if it means forgoing the luxury of dignity in death. Besides, your clearer head suddenly remembers, bodies are rarely kept long in the morgue. Depending on individual preferences, death in the line of duty is usually met with either consignment to the void or burial at the next port. This is simply one step further, a step that you’re sure many of the crew might have even specified in their wills. You just didn’t have time to check, that’s all.

You almost dismiss your rapid shift in mood and mental state, but something seems slightly off. Thinking back on what you just felt and witnessed, you wonder if this is just a normal part of being a Captain of a live voidship. You try to puzzle out the strange implications and form a conclusion.

>This implant is dangerous. A defective hand-me-down from your late brother. You should avoid triggering it in the future.
>Maybe this is all part of acclimatising to your command implant. If only you had dared ask your Father about the process. You’ll try to use it more in the future, despite your past failures.
>You can see so clearly now, exactly what the implant has been doing to you all along. Write in your theories. Enough close guesses may give you a bonus or unlock a trait/skill.
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>>5556350
Well, I’ll start with the irregularities
>The start has the medsanner access our command implant using an admin override and start “omcv_nowin” which is something we’re clearly supposed to lose.
>Our shattered helmet revealed the simulation breaking down
>We were unable to enter the boarding craft, likely because we can’t fill in enough details to make it believable.
So the ship is putting us through tthese nightmares to do something to us. Given how we currently feel, I assume it’s developed a form of self-preservation that has helped it survive when all other void-ships failed. Part of that is breaking down the commander so they’re more willing to sacrifice in order to keep the ship alive. We’re now alright with burning dead bodies, though our mind put up a hell of a fight against being “forced” to accept all the self-serving bullshit we just spouted off so quickly after making the call. Next thing we know, it’ll probably have a different nightmare where we need to sacrifice living crew to escape the scenario successfully and it’ll warp us further.

Those are my guesses. The fact that we’re “feeding” the ship is weird though. Perhaps it’s a reference to a suggestion it hasn’t implanted yet on using living people to somehow maintain the ship. Maybe WEAVY and his ilk are actually based on former crew, and they decay over time and need to be replaced by new humans? I’m open to more ideas.
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>>5556350
>You can see so clearly now, exactly what the implant has been doing to you all along. Write in your theories.
I think we're dreaming inside a training simulation. And it may be reinforcement training.
>>
Some good guesses here. Also, as with most nightmares, the mind is very good at keeping you in the moment and making everything seem real. But your response and speculation here will dictate how you treat future interactions with your command implant and it's strange symptoms. So dont forget to voice your opinion either way.
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>>5556350
>>5556360

My guess is the voidship, being made of artech, is sentient and using the command