The year is 2054. It had been fourteen years since the 24th Macross Class Emigration Fleet, the Macross Avalon, had departed from Earth. Aboard it were over five million souls.You were one such soul and everyone called you Pecker. You must have collapsed on the couch after coming home. Maliki taped a note to your forehead. She wanted you to take a shower before she got back. It was 0532 according to the Avalon’s clocks, which meant she’d be back any time now. Work was also at 0600.As you showered, you started to remember what you were doing before you had come home. You had gone to the memorial service held for your squadron that were lost in an engagement three weeks ago. After that you had decided to hunt down the other survivor of that event, just out of curiosity. Her name was Claudia Hoilie and you were treated to an afternoon of her regaling her adventures in punching things in a Queadluun-Rhea. She also kept pouring you a shot as she did. It was a miracle you made it home.By the time you were done, fully dressed and everything, Maliki was back. She was watching the news.“Morning Pecker,” she greeted.“Morning.”Your attention was drawn to the camera footage being played. It was definitely from a Valkyrie though there was no sound. From having seen a lot of recordings in your time you could tell it was combat footage. You tracked the tracers and explosions as you were taught in flight school. The anchor was prattling on about something or another when you saw it. Out of the corner of the screen a white VF-1 flew past, guns blazing. They rewound and paused allowing you to make out the detail along the side. It was a black stripe that depicted the head of a panther.“Look, look Pecker, it’s another sighting,” Maliki pointed excitedly.“Is this what you wanted to show me yesterday?”She nodded. The time was 0553.>Dismiss the urban legend>Stay for details
Voting is 15 minutes after first replyWrite-ins are encouraged and will be integrated as smoothly as possibleTo speed things along tie-breakers will usually be 1d2, re-votes will be rareIf rolls are needed they will be best of 3d100 with flat, but obscured, DC. Relative difficulty will be given most of the time.
>>34159187>>Dismiss the urban legend
>>34159187>Dismiss the urban legend
>>34159187>Dismiss the urban legend."You know this is bullshit and hyperbole right?"
>>34159187>Dismiss the urban legendWho care's about panthers? Now if they were 'Space Whales', I'd be interested.
“You know that’s all bunk and everything right?” you started.“Oh come on Pecker,” she whined, “Where’d your sense wonder and romance go?”You dismissed it with, “It’s probably doctored footage anyway,” and left for work. You couldn’t help being a bit sceptical about it. The anchor hadn’t mentioned where they got the footage and the commentators were making a great show of avoiding mentioning the source. It wasn’t like the White Space Whale of Zola, which actually exists despite what others may say. Unlike the whale, this ghostly fighter wasn’t actually sighted regularly in combat actions. That and the stories of it originated from Avalon so you’re pretty sure the whole thing was a conspiracy.When you showed up at SMS, you were directed to Sergei’s office, where you found your team leader and a new face. It was an orange haired kid, looked fresh out of flight school.“Morning Pecker, I’d like you to meet Shibata Akihiko, our third man,” he gestured to the newbie.You introduced yourself but sadly it seemed he was stuck on calling you Pecker. Thankfully he’d already been briefed in on the workings of SMS so you didn’t have to wait to get him up to speed.“Now that you’re here,” Sergei was talking to you, “I can really get down to business. We need someone to take junior here out for a shakedown run and another to fly number two for Force Recon. What’ll it be Pecker?”“You’re giving me a choice?”“We’re short of volunteers for Force Recon,” he explained, “I figured I’d ask. If no one does I’ll have to do it.”There was something he wasn’t saying here. It wasn’t the fact that Force Recon was always at least a two-ship formation, or that there was currently only one person on Force Recon at the moment. You already knew that much.>Volunteer for Force Recon>Shakedown with the rookie
>>34160394>Volunteer for Force ReconSergei is in charge, so he needs to know what the rookie's like, so he should be the one to do the shakedown. Plus recon should be easier and sufficiently tedious for us to stare into space. Until we get ambushed.
>>34160551Well the only downside I can see is that the other pilot flying force recon is obviously incredibly annoying, because no-one else can stand to fly it with them. I'm assuming it's Claudia, and no-one wants to listen to her rant. But we can probably just blank her out and stare at the stars.
>>34160394>>Volunteer for Force ReconThis>>34160477sounds good to me.
>>34160477Don't we also have experience being in or working with Force Recon? Would make communication and coordination gel much better in that regard, right?
It was probably more important for Sergei to get to know the rookie. That and it was essentially babysitting duty. Or at least you assumed it was. You had no idea what kind of hazing newbies went through. Maybe it was tricking them in to flying Force Recon for all you knew. Still it couldn’t be all that bad, and it wasn’t like Claudia was an unfamiliar face.“Right, I’ll let them know so let’s hop aboard the Nozaki,” Sergei collected his paper.He also gave the both of you your IDs which were small cards. In a pinch you’d be able to use your mobile but there were more hoops to jump through to get authentication.“The Nozaki will take you out to the edge of the AO then we’ll fold in to pick you up for lunch, after which the other half of Boomerang squadron will take over recon duties,” he continued, “Oh and before I forget, you’re Boomerang-4 now.”The Uraga Class Battle Escort Carrier was relatively new, in terms of design. Coming in at around 550 metres and weighing at least 25,000 metric tonnes, it was a dual-deck carrier meant to operate as flagships of smaller fleets. The CVS-606 Nozaki was one of seven that accompanied the Avalon on her voyage. What made the Nozaki stand out was the hangar area. It was smaller than standard and most of the middle deck had been removed entirely. There was a reason for that.One Queadluun-Rhea stood at rest along the side, next to the elevator to the top launch deck. There was space for three more. Your VF-22, in its standard dark blue stealth coating, was already prepped for launch. Soon you were away.[1/2]
>>34161525Claudia had launched separately. The full size of the average Zentraedi played havoc with normal launch procedures. It wasn’t like she could launch off of the Avalon herself but it was really a waste of time when a ship like the Nozaki could fold ahead. There was a practical limit to sensors, thus necessitating scouts. Fold communication technology negated the distance between the forward element and the Avalon.As far as recon went, it was boring task of flying, checking sensors and leaving behind waypoint markers for the following fleet for navigation purposes. Your partner had been oddly silent, unlike that time at the bar, keeping comm chatter to a minimum. The both of you were coming up on a small asteroid field and picking up some weird returns. While there were few things in space that could cause such phenomena, you didn’t see the evident cause of such a thing.>Get confirmation from Claudia>Call it in and investigate
>>34161631>Call it in and investigateCan't we realistically do both of these? Confirm it with Claudia and then send a message back anyway? If not just send a message and check it out. Claudia's probably either hungover or only talkative when drunk.
>>34161710Maybe I phrased the options poorly then. One is to deliberately stay back, the other is to go in and investigate.
>>34161631>>Get confirmation from Claudia"I'll check it out alone, no need to worry anyone else!" is exactly what we DON'T want to do.
>>34161804Oh OK, then I'll keep with;>InvestigateBecause who doesn't like a mystery.
Rolled 1 (1d2)A tie, then let's roll1. Investigate2. Confirm
Rolled 2 (1d2)>>34161992uh...rolling?
“Claudia, I’m getting some weird readings here. I’m going in to investigate,” told informed.Her speed slowed, clicking twice over the radio for confirmation. You switched to the humanoid Battroid mode of your Valkyrie. More than a few asteroids were twice the size of your craft. The extra manoeuvrability would come in handy, both for targeting and avoidance. You also grabbed your gun pod. With the way your sensors were bugging out with fake returns you erred on the side of caution. Missiles weren’t going to cut it here, not with all the rocks flying around, let alone this weird jamming.The further you went in the more interference you encountered. The comms and avionics still worked but now you were navigating blind and most of the analog equipment wasn’t really useful in space.“You getting any of this?” you asked Claudia.“Get what?” Claudia deigned to grace you with a vocal reply now.“This whole electronic interference thing.”“Is that what it is? I just thought my sound system died.”You wanted to say something about that. But before you could, she continued.“Well well, what have we here?”Ahead was a silhouette sitting the middle of the asteroid field. Lights danced about it, but upon closer inspection it looked like a star ship of some kind. It definitely wasn’t of any designation that you knew but it wasn’t much bigger than a Northampton Class frigate. The two of you took position next to a nearby asteroid, just in case.“I bet they’re pirates,” she said.“Probably,” you half-agreed, “Would explain the jamming.”“I say we kick their asses.”Force Recon had a lot of leeway with respect to the rules of engagement. Most, if not all, contact was to be assumed hostile, given that there was theoretically nothing between a colonisation fleet and its destination outside of NUN space.“Shouldn’t we call in back up?”“Up to you, I’m going in.”>Back her up>Rein her in
>>34162680>Rein her inTwo slaughters in one month is bad form
>>34162680>Rein her inPirates would be unlikely to be using an unknown ship. They tend to you know, steal ships, not build their own.
>>34162680>>Rein her inAt the very least we need to report back before engaging.
You grabbed her Quealuun and held her back.“Claudia, this is a bad idea and you know it, don’t go in there.”“Don’t be such a killjoy,” she complained.“I’d rather be a killjoy than be killed.”She turned around, aligning the barrel of her beam gun straight at you.“You really should let go Pecker, or you’ll lose your head.”Was she fucking serious? A song came through the comms.http://youtu.be/Jmk5frp6-3Q?t=2m12s“Oh hey, looks like they stopped the jamming,” she happily noted.She was right. You turned towards the ship once again. Its lights went out before a pink glow grew on one end. You assumed that was the fore, as the aft lit up with the telltale glow of thrusters. It was folding, you realised belatedly. That however took a backseat to how your sensors were now picking up three definitely hostile contacts.“Well at least we’ll get a fight either way,” Claudia spoke as you reported your situation to Avalon Control.You let her go, as you sized up the contacts. They were small, smaller than a variable fighter but they were definitely armed. Drones, you concluded. The signature even matched those of an AIF-7S so you had to assume that’s what they were. You didn’t know how they were controlling it though but it wasn’t important when they opened fire.Thankfully the asteroids gave you a lot of cover. As you ducked out of sight you noticed them abruptly change heading. Poking out again, two would break off and head towards you. Losing sight of you had them chasing after Claudia instead. As long as you stayed hidden you could pick them off in relatively safety. Though as good as she was, you didn’t want to leave Claudia at their mercy.>Bait them in, ambush them>Pick them off from range
>>34163684>>Pick them off from rangeAs long as Claudia wants to fight, let her fight, while we use surprise to our advantage.
>>34163684>Pick them off from rangeShe's being bratty. Let her fight and get into trouble, we can stay back and do our job.
>>34163684>Bait them in, ambush themSuprise sucka!
pick them of from range
So seems like Claudia's got a martyr complex. That's ... pretty fucking stupid really. Oh well least we can hopefully dump her with another wing because she's not in a Valk.
>>34163987Survior's guilt is a hell of a thing.
>>34164803True enough, but you'd think SMS would have checked that before they hired her and let her fly. Although they didn't check with us, so meh.
>>34164867She's also part Zentradi, so there's the whole warrior aggression thing too.
>>34164999Meh so are we, but it's still a good idea to make sure pilots aren't nutcases before you send them our on a mission.
>>34165119Being a nutcase never stopped deployment before.
I don't know about US Airforce, but I know that the RAF have stringent tests for their pilots. Because if you're going to be giving someone a multi-million costing aircraft, you want to make sure it comes back. It's not like the Army where you can skimp on body armour, because decent shit costs more than a human life.
There was no need to jump in to danger you thought. If Claudia wanted to treat this like a game then that was up to her. You preferred to minimise the risk and maximise your returns. You set up carefully, wishing you had an anchor and a real marksman rifle pod instead. Still, you made do, lying flat along an asteroid as you took aim. Without an actual sight or specialised targeting computer, you had to eyeball it, loosing a tracer or two to dial in the range. The drones paid it no mind until one of them was downed with a burst from your pod. One broke off immediately as Claudia flew backwards, wrist mounted guns blazing. They were good at dodging incoming fire.Your attempt at the second drone was abysmal, darting out of the way of your sights as you drew a bead on it. As it closed, you started scratching its paint but then you had to move. Closing the distance worked both ways. Its shots were getting more accurate as well and that was without having to stay still. You weren’t faster at dodging either and breaking line of sight had little effect as the drone seemed to come after you regardless. The drone had several advantages over you but there was a reason Spacy still had human pilots on hand. So far you were doing a good job of staying alive, thanks to the solidity of random space rocks. Who knew how long that would last?Twisting sideways, you did a lazy barrel roll, both to avoid incoming fire and an asteroid at once, squeezing in a gap that you’d normally balk at if you weren’t in mortal danger right now. The drone seemed to take the long way around. Your sensors tracked it and predicted its trajectory. It’d be a snap since it wouldn’t see your shot coming from behind the asteroid.“Splash one,” Claudia hollered over the comms.You also caught more of her classical music as well though this one seemed more familiar.http://youtu.be/kLp_Hh6DKWc?t=1m35sWell you suppose running to her was an option too.>Shoot>Run
>>34165376>ShootHonestly I'd close in and go for a pinpoint punch. The ghost's weakness is the unexpected, because it's reliant on programming.
>>34165376>ShootScratch 1,2 and 3
>>34165376>>ShootThat's not running music.
A simple shot then, 1d100 please.
Rolled 30 (1d100)>>34165796
Rolled 59 (1d100)>>34165796Roll out!
Rolled 61 (1d100)>>34165796Rollin'
Rolled 44 (1d100)>>34165880Let's see what happened on the drone's end.
You spun around, bracing as you opened fire to where the drone would be. Given the time and distance your shot would have struck just as it rounded the asteroid. You were a little late on the mark though. A beam managed to graze you as you prepped for a second burst. Turns out it was unnecessary as your shots shortly struck home. With a small shower of sparks, it became nothing more but a hunk of metal.“Splash another,” you stated.Then the drone exploded. There went any chances of salvage, you thought. With your little engagement concluded, Avalon Control told you hold until the Nozaki arrived. Force Recon had already done enough for one morning. They were no doubt eager to get you debriefed and salvage what they could out of the remains of the drones. Without a thought, you tagged the drone’s position and waited for pick up. Claudia was silent as ever but now at least you knew that was because she was listening to music.You think it was an hour later that the Nozaki picked you up, defolding as close to the asteroid field as the captain dared. As you were towed back to your parking space, you could see Sergei waiting for you. The first words out of his mouth when you hopped out was,“How was she?”“The Valkyrie right?” you asked.“Why not both?” he smiled.“Well the Valkyrie is good,” you replied, “Cockpit was pretty much the same. Wasn’t really paying attention to the ride so that’s another plus, maybe.”“Good to hear,” Sergei started walking.You followed him. It looked like he was head to the mess.“And Force Recon? How was it?”>”It was alright, nothing major to report”>”Something just ain’t right with Claudia”>Write-in
>>34166893>"Something just ain't right with Claudia"
>>34166893>”Something just ain’t right with Claudia”Let's get this aired out.
>>34166893>”Something just ain’t right with Claudia”That girl ain't right
>>34166893>Write-in>”Something just ain’t right with Claudia”"Are you sure she should be flying? I dunno if it's survivor guilt, a martyr complex or just a Zentraedi desire to fight, but she's going to get herself, or more importantly, someone else killed. She's a good pilot for sure, but I don't feel comfortable working with a loose cannon."
“There’s something that just ain’t right with Claudia,” you answered, “I dunno if it's survivor guilt, a martyr complex or just a Zentraedi desire to fight, I’m fighter pilot not a shrink. Maybe she’s a good pilot but I’m not comfortable working with someone who turned her gun on me.”“That’s all huh?”He sighed in resignation.“Sometimes I think Frontier took all the sane ones,” he joked, “I’ll talk to admin about it but I don’t think anything will happen. Course I’ll also keep you off Force Recon for a bit too. You didn’t punch anything in the face yet have you?”“No.”“Well then she probably won’t request you for patrol either,” he concluded, “Anyway, let’s get you something to eat before Soapbox throws up his eggs.”“What?”“Ask him about mandatory implantation,” was all he said.You arrived at the mess. There were four guys sitting at a table, one of which you recognised as the rookie. He was engaged in an egg-eating contest with one other. Deciding to ignore that for the time being, you grabbed some lunch as Sergei watched on amused.“Here’s to Soapbox, the fastest egg sucker in SMS,” another cheered at his victory.“I can’t believe he beat you Huck,” Sergei chimed in.“Suck it Pinto,” the giant called Huck returned.He was green-faced at the declaration, highlighting his red hair, which was a shade darker than Shibata’s, or Soapbox now, you guess.“Pecker, I’d like you to meet the team leader of Charlie Team, Huck,”Sergei gestured to a baby-faced blonde with a ridiculous hairstyle,“Cavalier,”Then he moved on to a square-jawed guy with a black buzz cut,“And Betty. They’ll be flying recon this afternoon.”Introductions were exchanged.[1/2]
>>34168819“Well they’re set for launch in a bit,” Sergei continued, “Once they’re done we’ll head back to the Avalon to drop us all off and pick up the next rotation of pilots.”“Seems a bit for just a few pilots, couldn’t they just stay aboard the ship?” you asked.“Spacy gets nervous when we don’t touch base with then,” he replied, “I’ll be chilling in the ready room if you need me.”You had a few hours to kill before you arrived. Currently you had nothing to occupy yourself with but you had a few ideas to remedy that.>Check on our Valkyrie>Hang out with Sergei>Get started on an AAR>Other (write-in)
>>34168860>Check on our Valkyriethen>Get started on an AARHard work work, no time to dawdleSince it's only 2054...>Sheryl Nome is just a tween ;_;Idoru when?
>>34168819>Get started on an AARDamned paperwork.
You drifted towards the hangar. There wasn’t much going on right now, given that Charlie Team just launched for their recon run. A gaggle of mechanics was currently occupied with Claudia’s Quealuun-Rhea suit. It had taken some real hits. The small scorch mark on your Valkyrie’s left engine seemed minor in comparison. No one was currently looking at it but there was a diagnostics console hooked up, along with the standard maintenance machines. The gun pods and the missiles had been dismounted, leaving the bays empty as you walked around your Valkyrie. The frame was still holding, despite the forces that it was subjected to in years of combat.Your mind wandered back to the engagement, where it would have been nice if you had a sniper rifle pod or something similar. Granted the VF-22 wasn’t designed for one, but if you took away the two gun pods it already had, it’d be child’s play to rig up something. Switching modes might be a problem, given the barrel’s length but it was simply enough to run the numbers in your head. Now all you needed was a way to fabricate the parts. You wondered if SMS had an arrangement for something like that. Maybe you should ask.Going back to the diagnostics, there was a few things off about your Valkyrie. A conveniently unattended toolbox took care of that. After all, you were simply maintaining your Valkyrie so you had a reason to procrastinate on your paperwork.Episode 3 End. Let’s resume on Monday.https://twitter.com/BoredofDirectorNext Episode: PrototypingI’m considering changing the vote time to be shorter so I can get more posts in. Or maybe I should just run two days back to back, given our current speed. Thoughts?
>>34170407Thanks for the quest. I'd rather shorten the time for voting, and please include a "voting is over" tag. Several other quests have it, and it helps keep the voting quick and concise. Also, it would keep votes from trickling in over the interval, and then not being counted.