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/qst/ - Quests

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The world is in chaos. The wind dies, the seas turn violent, and the Earth begins to rot. The world is dying, and has been dying for generations. Society the world over is breaking down. No one knows how it started, and no one knows how it will end.

These are the stories about how the world was saved.

WATER: Fleet 8 Quest.

In what was once known as Brazil and what is now known as the Hodgson Sea 25 fleets of survivors hunt and harvest and thrive off the strange lifeforms known as the Lovecraft that populate the Hodgson Sea...and sometimes flee from them.

25 "island" ships filled with factories, homes, and repair bays. 10 "rig" ships designed for combat with the Lovecrart. And 1 mothership, the Alveric, against an endless, inescapable, inhospitable, living sea.



"Damn it doc..." You complain as you take your shirt off. "They're going to rag on me forever because of this, you know that right?"

Doc Zed ignores you as she fits the ends of her stethoscope in her ears.

"I mean seriously. I didn't want a whole damn checkup. I just wanted something for this headache. It's not like I have the Red Coral or anything."

"Breathe in." She says setting the cold metal end on your chest.

"I'm serious Doc! They'll give me gut duty until I'm as old as Gustavo!"

She slaps the back of your head.

"Breathe in."

You groan but comply.

"...Good morning Fleet 8! You're listening to radio AM with me, The Ancient Mariner!" The radio echos in the office. "And we're coming to you live from our unsinkable, unshakable, undefeatable flagship Alveric, Big Al! Now lets get ready for another day of putting the screws to the Lovecraft! All you boys and girls on the islands, listen to your mommas and poppas. All you soldiers on the rigs listen to your captains. And all you beautiful, beautiful Fleet 8 babes listen to the Ancient Mariner! Now here we go with the morning sign in!"

"Well, no congestion. That's good." Doc. Zed folds her stethoscope and places it away in a drawer.

"Can I GO now?"

"No. You have no idea how rare it is for me to actually have one of you idiots trapped here. Maybe I can finally pin down what's causing an outbreak of fevers in sector 3?"

"But I don't have a fever!"

"That you know of. You boys don't tend to notice somethings wrong until I'm carting you down to Hugo's office to get a toe tag. Now where did I put that damn biometric scanner..."


>Soldier. You kill the squids.

>Biologist. You study the squids.

>Engineer. You build giant machines to kill squids.
>Biologist. You study the squids.
Engineer. When we were a kid we dreamed of building trains. Now we build something else, and try not to dream at all.

This looks really cool, I wish I didn't have to get up early tomorrow.
"...Rig 7 Nessa reporting. Good morning fleet!...Rig 6 Tulkus reporting. Got a good harvest of spike fish here, Island 8 get ready cause' its your turn to cook!...Hey Tulkus! Don't hog all the good cuts like last time! Oh...and Rig 9 Orome reporting!" The radio fills with laughter from operators behind Captain Breno of the Orome.

"I don't know why we always do the sign in. Its such a waste..." Doc Zed waves a black box over you. A tiny bulb at the top flicks green rays of light up and down your body.

"You don't like the sign in Doc?"

"I'd rather Ancient Mariner just cut to the music. It's what I listen for."

"But doesn't it feel nice to hear the fleet ships all say something at the start of the day?"

"Why? We know nothing's happen to them. We're always in constant communication, even with scouts like Nessa and Vana."

"But isn't it nice to hear them say something?"


"You know there's this thing called community Doc. You know you don't have to sit in your office like a shell-sucker all day and YOW!"

"Blood sample." Doc Zed says waving a small syringe in your face. "You know I may hide in my cave like a shell-sucker, but this shell-sucker is the one keeping you idiots from killing yourselves. The way you engineers work until you're sick and then don't tell me or my staff until you can't get out of bed in the morning..." She shakes her head exasperatedly. "You know this is a ship right? And the only place I can quarantine a person is either in this ship or in ANOTHER ship! So unless you want me to start throwing you all out in lifeboats when you turn contagious I suggest you all take my advice for once and report your symptoms!"

"Hey, don't get cranky at me! Health's important, we get it, but so is making sure the muscle cylinders are clean and the bilge pumps don't clog! We can't goldbrick around just because of sinus infections, don't tell me you want us all to stay in bed while the-"

>Select the Rig you're assigned to

Rig 1 Welleran: Projects a powerful forcefield around itself and other ships. Transforms into Alveric's sword. Its crew is known for its bravery and high mortality rate. It fights up close to the Lovecraft and rushes in with its forcefield ability to rescue other ships.

Rig 2 Eilonwy: Plasma artillery by way of a plasma orb generator. It can seed the waters and skies with floating plasma mines. Transforms into a chest mounted power generator for Alveric. Its crew are known for being extremely calm and relaxed-they have to be in order to manage the many computerized operations necessary to run the plasma generator.

Rig 3: Elbereth: Arguably the most powerful ship in the fleet, although its detractors call it a hangar queen that relies on unsung heroes to defend it from practical threats. The size of several aircraft carriers, Elbereth transforms into Alveric's enormous railgun. Its crew is composed of some of the fleets best and brightest to handle its bleeding edge technology.

Rig 4 Randolph Carter/Rig 5 John Carter: Brother ships, their many armaments and missiles are designed to break apart swarms of Lovecraft and attack large Dagon class Lovecraft from a distance, providing support for Hunter ships to engage up close. They rarely kill the hulking monsters that other ships become famous for but they provide must of the "practical" kills, leaving floating swarms of corpses for the island ships to glean through for food and resources. They are sometimes teased as the "fishermen" of the fleet.

The Randolph is staffed by old members of the Fleet 8 navy-and some call it a place for members over the hill-and student members of the navy. All navy students ride the "brothers" as they are relatively "safe" ships with many systems to provide them with practical experience.

The John Cater is entirely staffed by graduates. It is the "proving ground" for graduates to demonstrate their command and is under close watch by its older brother.

Rig 6-10 "Mung" series: Rigs 6-10 are able to combine into a single unit almost as large as the Alveric. This "Rig 11" is named Mung after the god of death from God of Pegana and engages directly with Dagon class enemies. Its combined photon generators can obliterate even the quasi-real.

Rig 6 Tulkas: A hunter ship, designed to directly engage with the most powerful Lovecraft. It uses a photon generator to create chains and hooks that slice and trap Lovecraft. The Tulkas is known for its boisterous, rowdy crew. They're sometimes called oversized children, but their energy helps keep the Fleet holding its head high in the darkest of times.

Forms the Right hand of Mung.

Rig 7 Nessa: A scout ship and research vessel. Only Rig 10 Vana rivals its speed. The Nessa is lightly armored and lightly equipped compared to other rigs but its speed and maneuverability allows it to dance around Lovecraft while blowing them away. The Nessa is a friendly rival to the Vana. He crew are known to be gentle and relaxed and have, if not a love for the Lovecraft, a great respect.

Forms the left leg of Mung

Rig 8 Zodrak: A refitted island ship factory designed to provide repairs to other rigs in the middle of combat. It tends to stay out of danger and other ships protect it fiercely, but it is the least pleasant rig to live on. There is always noise, always smoke, and always work to do. Living in Zodrak is not fun. Fleet Criminals are often sent to work out their sentences in Zodrak, but despite having a good third of the crew with criminals records they are respected and admired by other rigs for their work and sacrifice.

Forms the body and head of Mung.

Rig 9 Orome: This hunter ship is the big brother to the Tulkus and don't you forget it! The Orome is more or less a double of the Tulkas, and the same applies to its crew. They work hard, die young, and kill many, many squids.

Forms the left hand of Mung

Rig 10 Vana: This scout and research ship is known for the discipline of its crew. Captain Isabella runs a strict operation, and she has discharged more crew than any other captain in Fleet 8. This is research vessel, not a school or a kindergarten, and Isabella expects her crew to fight just as hard as the soldiers on the other rigs in their own way.

Forms the right leg of Mung.

>obliterate even the quasi-real

I'm leaning toward one of the Carters.
>Rig 8
We australia boy
>Rig 6 Tulkas
>Rig 8 Zodrak
"-stay in bed while the Zodrak falls apart around us!"

"You idiots...this whole idea of "don't report to the doctor if its just a headache. You got to pull your weight" is dangerous and foolhardy!

"So is slacking off! And I'm going to get hell for missing the early morning repairs!"

"Well..." Doc Zed quickly punches in data on a terminal, not even bothering to sit down in the chair first. "...I suppose you have good news. It is just a sinus infection."

"Wonderful! Can I go back to work now?"

"Yes." She jerks a bottle of pills from the cabinet. "Feel free to ignore my advice to get some bedrest and go back to work. I hope you aggravate your symptoms until your head explode." She hands you the bottle. "Take one every 12 hours, drink plenty of water and write off the water bill as part of the wellness fund. And for god's sake, if symptoms persist or get worse tell me."

She gently touches your shoulder. "You know I get it. I really do. Engineering is a masculine profession. You hit metal and shell with hammers until it bends. You all want to be tough little hardasses. But listen to me for once-

>Final character generation questions

>Do you have a criminal record? If so what for?

>Are you a boy or a girl?
We got in trouble for shitposting on vital radio frequencies.
Anyone second this?

>Lowest-risk offender. Green uniform "lime".

"Yeah yeah yeah..." You quickly slide your green uniform on. "If I hurry I might still be able to catch some work..."

>Select gender

>I don't care about my gender
>I don't care about my gender

Basically androgynous. We make a habit to keep people guessing and there's a huge betting pool about it. (Too bad we already paid off the medical personnel :P)
I like this. Seconding.

"You're not as big as the others. This is just biology. You can't push yourself like they do and not keep making yourself sick."

"Well that's what you're for, right Doc?" You grin. 'You put us back together."

She sighs. "You guys aren't machines. You don't just soder on some shell powder and dust your hands off. Bodies need rest."

"Not in Zodrak they don't!" You say as you dash down the hallway, tilting your head to relief some of the pressure.

"...Island 11 Imbaun. Still with the best prices on tentacle cakes!...Island 12 Dorozhand and yeah, Imbaun's got the best prices, but we got the best tasting!..."

You lean against a wall and press your temple against it. You can feel the beat of distant engines through the metal massage your headache. You hate to admit it but you aren't exactly in tip-top shape.

You unscrew the cap and swallow a pill. You'll get some water at breakfast.

"Rig 8 Zodrak here! Rise and shine you goldbrickers!"

You quietly repeat Captain Tiago's words to yourself. You have ever sense you volunteered to serve out your sentence on Zodrak. It was something you felt you had to do, like repeating the words of the pastor in church when everyone prayed.

His words are your words. You both speak to the Fleet as Zodrak.

"You all remember that the only thing nocturnal in these waters are bottom-feeding tube heads! Real humans get up with the sun, and real men before the sun...ah darn..." Distant laughter breaks over the radio."Went over time again, didn't I?"

You smile to yourself. Its better to do too much than too little.

You spring down a corridor, shoes banging on a grate.

"Hey! No running on the grates!" A voice shouts below you. "Freaking fruits! You all should have license plates! Like cars used to!"

>Slow down and apologize. You don't want to give prisoners a bad name.

>Apologize and speed off. You got to get to work!

Zodrak slang: Prisoners are called "fruits" because of their uniforms. Limes wear green and are trusted, non-violent offenders. They tend to be people that cheat on rations or in your case spammed Yellow Submarine on military channels. Lemons wear yellow and are trusted offenders that committed some form of violence. They range from guys that lost their temper and started a brawl or guys that hit their wives. Oranges were...orange...and are convicts that have engaged in routine violence. They're gang members or drunken brawlers. They tend to be forced into more dangerous forms of labor. Apples wear red and are murderers. They take the worst of the worst jobs.

Non-convicts are called "peels", the idea being that everyone is a fruit deep dwn. They just don't have a handy covering showing off their sins like the prisoners.
>Slow down and apologize. You don't want to give prisoners a bad name.
>Slow down and apologize. You don't want to give prisoners a bad name.

I wonder if we occasionally switch uniforms to mess with people.
>occasionally switch uniforms?

Do we still retain some of the practical joker proclivities that got us in trouble?

>Be a practical joker that is still enthusiastic about working on the Zodrak and repairing things?

>Be more serious?
>Slow down and apologize. You don't want to give prisoners a bad name.

>Be a practical joker that is still enthusiastic about working on the Zodrak and repairing things
>Be a practical joker that is still enthusiastic about working on the Zodrak and repairing things?

On uniform swapping specifically, I would say only yellow at most. Seems like the kind of thing that could get us in deeper than we can pull ourselves out of.

You slow down. You don't mind causing a little trouble now and then. But the stability of Zodrak comes first.

You never had a home where you felt needed. Back on Island 3 Hestia you did only what was required of you at the communications office and no one thing more. You hated it, but it was the only way of living you understand.

You signed on for the Zodrak to commute your sentence. There's always a need for workers, especially skilled ones, on the Fleet's in-battle repair rig.

You didn't expect to be enjoy the constant work, the constant responsibility. You didn't expect to seriously consider re-enlisting as a peel when your sentence ends next year...

You never felt like you were part of anything back at the Hestia. You always felt apart from the community. You always felt distant from other people. You sat in your office and played with the radio because you couldn't think of anything better to do until they finally caught you for the "Yellow Submarine' incident.

Here, you're apart of a community Here, you take responsibility.

"Sorry about that..." You apologize.

"I'm tired of eating the dust off peoples' shoes!" A man with an oil coated face stares up at you. "Eh...get off with you, you Lime!" He bends back over a hole in the floor exposing a tangled wad of plastic and sinew wire. "We're working."

That's another good thing about Zodrak. It's hard to stay angry at people when everyone has better things to do.

"We're working." You return the traditional farewell.

You dart down another corridor, pass a marching line of Apples brandishing flame guns on their way to the outer bio-trap walls for the daily cleansing, pass the cafeteria where white clad prison guards sit down to eat with fruits and peels beneath a mural depicting Mung alongside Fleet 20's combiner Sekmet fighting off a red Cathy-level Lovecraft named Nero. During the fight one of Nero's claws tore this part of Zodrak right out of Mung, cafeteria and all. The mural stands right where the claw entered.

You pass a group of children doing their morning duties repairing the waste-collecting rat bots, the cafeteria aquarium showing fat and delicious slime-fish flapping through the water like oil soaked rags(you slow down just a little and daydream of dinner), catch a falling wrench from a crew of limes performing repair work on a tendon joint between this deck and the one above it and toss it back up with a polite "we're working", and then finally find the shaft that leads to your assigned job.

You find the correct lift to transformation gear 1B and pull the lever. The iron gate slides back, and then the doors follow...to reveal Lucas and Pedro smirking at you.

"Had a nice vacation little princess?" Lucas says.

"Yeah. Caught up on your beauty sleep?" Pedro adds.

"Don't worry. I'm sure there's some gut duty left over for you."

"So sorry. Hope you don't break a nail..."



>Take your lumps like an adult. Groan and get in the elevator.

>Kick their ass!

>Tell them the Doc says we need to watch pushing ourselves.
>Take your lumps like an adult. Groan and get in the elevator.
>Take your lumps like an adult. Groan and get in the elevator.
You groan and step into the elevator.

"Was it Red Coral?" Lucas asks mockingly.

"Sinus infection..."

"Oh you poor brave soldier..."

"Fuck off. I just wanted something for the headache. I didn't expect Doc Zed to capture me for an entire examination."

"It's why they tell us to walk it off unless it's affecting work." Lucas explains. "Je-zus kid, how did you get that degree if you can't follow simple instructions? No fever means you're a flake."

"Flake." Pedro says

"Total Flake shorty." Lucas flicks you on the forehead.

>NOW kick their ass. No one calls you short.

>Humbly apologize for being a Flake

>Tell them you had to get something to help you see straight. Otherwise how are you supposed to fix their shitty welds?

>Tell them we all need to take better care of ourselves.
>Tell them you had to get something to help you see straight. Otherwise how are you supposed to fix their shitty welds?
Meet banter with banter
Engineer bants. If they continue though, lets see if we can fight.
>Tell them we all need to take better care of ourselves.

Could always throw this in as a sarcastic sidenote, complete with a mocking impression of Doc.
This one
Its possible to do this.

Getting some sleep now. If you have any questions about the setting/lore/rigs/Lovecraft or whatever feel free to ask. Also keep voting.

Also, this one-shot is part of a crossover project I have going with Shifty. If anyone else is interested in participating please let us know.

The idea is to have a couple of quests (four would be ideal, especially going with the element theme) about places in this apocalyptic world struggling to survive. Characters from all four quests meet up at [spoilers] you'll see...[/spoilers] and work together to save the world.

So other quests don't have to involve Lovecraft and mech boats (other places in the this Earth may have their own weirdness). They also don't have to follow the four element theme (although I think it would be neat). They just have to bring their character/characters one way or another to the same place for the team-up.
But how is it a one-shot if you don't finish it in one sitting..?
My portion of the crossover is a one-shot (although once I finish one of my other quests I might come back and visit the setting. Fleet 8 is really growing on me)
"Hey. I had to get something to help me see straight. How else am I supposed to fix your shitty welds?"

"Oh ho! Big mouth!" Lucas punches you arm. "Lucky for you it wasn't a sore throat eh?"

"Come one guys..." You say dropping into a parody of Doc Zed's dry speech. "We ALL need to take better care of ourselves. Remember one man with a headache can become a sector full of headaches in just a single night!"

Lucas and Pedro chortle.

"Ah hell. I guess you're alright Alex." Pedro says. "Still not getting off gut duty."

"Is that what Thiago said? Because I'm not screwed unless he said so."

Pedro and Lucas raise their eyebrows at you.

"We're checking in at a response score between 3 and 4.5. We don't even really NEED to check the guts."

Lucas and Pedro cross their arms.

"Uh huh. Thinking you're going to get a stomach ache?" Lucas says.

"Flake's gonna flake..." Pedro adds.

"Oh yeah, like you two just LOVE gut duty. "Oh PLEASE Thiago! Can't Alex or Pedro do it this time?" You mockingly quote Lucas.

"I ought to slug you shorty..." Lucas says. "No wait! I ought to slug YOU..." He points at Pedro. "...WITH shorty! I bet I could do it to, Alex can't weigh more than a slime-fish."

"Naw, I'd give Alex two slime-fishes. If one was like sick or something..."


>We're too mature to start a brawl in the elevator. We are a gentleman/lady. (Next scene)

>Kick their ass!
>We're too mature to start a brawl in the elevator. We are a gentleman/lady. (Next scene)

>Now guys, is this any way to be talkin in front of your elder?

But in an incredibly hammy manner.
>Kick their ass
Let's see if we can fight at all.
I'm cool with >>845796

Also, when is the next Slasher Quest going to be?
It will come. I freaking love Slasher Quest. I hope the 1E rules work out. After the free for all that will be Carnival of Corpses I can focus on fine tuning rules and testing changes in smaller games. There's so many genres I want to try out. A 1950's B-movie game where you're hunted by an atomic monster in the Nevada dessert. A Goosebumps/Are you Afraid of the Dark game where you have to survive in a 90's VR environment. A party beach game that's full on camp with a mad scientist transforming babes into zom-babes. Its going to be awesome
"Now guys, is this any way to talk in front of your elder?" You say with hammy sarcasm.

"You? Since when where you anybody's elder kid?" Lucas says. "Sometimes I feel like I'm breaking regulations passing you the bottle after work."

"Kid this kid that, what would you do if I told you I was older then you Lucas?"

"You can beat 28?"

"Heh." Pedro chortles. "I'm older than you..."

"Maybe..." You grin. "You don't know how old I am, like you don't know what gender I am."

"Is this going to be another pool?" Pedro asks. "I kind of like the one we got going. Marcus put down two credits and dessert ticket on girl."

"Girl or boy you best hope you're not too old Alex." Lucas says. "Because if you ARE older than me you're either a manlet or a womanlet-no matter how they measure you you don't stack up!"

"That's not what your mom said last night..."

"Oh ho ho!" Pedro laughs.

"Ha! So you outing yourself as a manlet?"

"Maybe your mom's just strange Lucas. She'd have to be to have you."

"Heh." Lucas smirks and punches you in the shoulder. "You're alright slime-fish."

"You're still totally getting gut duty though..." Pedro says.

The lift doors open and Officer Thiago stands directly in front of you in his white uniform.

"Alex. We missed you on the early morning repairs. Doc Zed told me you got a sinus infection."

"You're gonna get it...' Lucas whispers in your ear as you elbow him in the gut.

"Glad to see you're walking it off now."

"I didn't want her to keep me. I was hoping she'd just give me a pain killer and let me go..." You explain.

"Well. Reasons or no reasons repairs come on. The only thing that matters is fast we can meet them. That is the only thing."

"I know, I know..."

'A dulled nerve bubble can lead to deaths in a pitched battle. A headache doesn't. And we got a lot of nerve bubbles on our list..."

"But the response rate-"

Thiago raises a bushy white eyebrow. "And did I ask you what the response rate was? Do you think I am unaware?"

The boys snicker behind you.

"No sir...sorry sir..."

"Now, Alex, are you ready to resume your normal duties or do you feel like volunteering and showing me how fine our response rate is?"

>Normal duty. Fuck gut duty. They shouldn't be punishing you for having a headache. Its not your fault the Doc went fully mommy on you.

>"Volunteer" for gut duty.
"It wasn't my choice to spend that much time there with the doc. But i can take gut duty, no problem"

As if we were going to give these chucklefucks the honor of seeing us beg
Those threads are some of the most fun I've had on /qst/.

There's a game system that I've run in the past that has some pretty cool ideas on how to run a slasher game that might be helpful. It's called "Slasher Flick." I might bring it up again in the next slasher thread.
Seconding this.

Behind your gritted teeth you muffle a sigh. Gut duty is the worst, hours spent in the cramped joints teasing out burnt-out wires from nerve clusters while inside a full body repair suit. And most of the time you're either upside down or at awkward angles....

...but you got your honor and your pride to consider...

"...I'm volunteering for gut duty sir..."

"Good to hear Alex! But that was sort of a trick question."

"Because you'd give me gut duty anyway?" You mumble to yourself.

"You see we got a new lime in today, and you know how we break in new limes."

"Look like you got a big day ahead of yourself Alex..." Lucas says.

"Hey, look on the bright side. You aren't the new kid anymore!" Pedro says.

"Although if he's as much of a brat as you are oh boy are you in for a rough day..."

"You two will be assisting."


"Because I said so. And because I want our new lime to see some teamwork. And because you two are kind of being dicks. Now you know the drill. First thing you do is take the new guy to see see Old Daedalus and show em' how to seal up in an outside suit while you do it. We're in an Arctic pocket.

You and the two boys groan.

"And then afterwards you introduce them to gut duty. And then a late breakfast.We're working." He says turning on his heels to start giving orders to another group of limes and lemons.

"...We're working..." The three of you say.


"You think new guy is going to show or is this going to be another one that's already begging to be sent back to prison?" Lucas says eyeing the digital clock embedded in the wall of the departure room.

"Remember Alex was a bit late on the first day." Pedro says.

"Yeah. Still haven't quite gotten the flake out have you Alex?"

"Still haven't gotten the stick out of your ass have you Lucas?"

"You two act professional." Pedro says looking out the window to the hallways. "Here she comes."

"She?" You and Lucas gasp.

The doors slide open with an electric hiss and in steps a furiously blushing blonde, hair tied back in a ponytail.

"Huh. Look at that. An actual girl." Lucas says.

"You've seen one before." Pedro says gesturing to you. "Maybe."

"Eh, Alex isn't an actual anything. He's more slime-fish than human-OW!" He cries as you poke him in the gut with your elbow.

"Professional bone-head, remember?" You remind him. "My name's Alex. We're going to take you to see Old Man Daedalus. It's sort of a tradition."

"Name's Lucas." Lucas introduces himself. "And behind me is Pedro."


"We're floating in an Arctic zone so we're taking the opportunity to introduce you to getting fitted in what we call an outside suit-"

"I...I know..." She says in a quiet, unsure voice. "Look, there's got to be some sort of mistake..." She nervously crosses her fingers. "I'm a software developer. That's what I do. I don't do...well...this stuff..."

You cut your eyes at your friends and find they're doing the same to you.

The three of you explode in laughter
>Give this goldbrick a reality check.

>Bully the goldbrick. When will they ever learn?

>Be nice to the goldbrick. You said the same thing when you first arrived.
>Act professional bone-head, remember?

Quickly fixing that line.
>Give this goldbrick a reality check.

"HAHAHAHAHAHA!" You laugh leaning on Pedro.

"What...What the hell's so funny?" The new girl asks.

"You are." Pedro point at her. "Goldbrick."

"TOTAL Goldbrick." Lucas says.

"Just like your hair color. Gold all the way."

"What does that even MEAN? Goldbrick?"

"It's an old term. Comes from how gold used to be something valuable-you following?" Lucas explains. "You could use it as a conductor. Some of the older rigs like the Randolph Carter even have a little gold in their bodies. But the scales we get from slime-fish work just as well, come in more colors, and shine twice as bright as gold. But you still get guys up in Big Al or an island like Demeter paying shitloads of credits for something made of gold. So a goldbrick: something absolutely useless only valued by morons."

The girl seethes in silence.

"No that's not it moron." You say to Lucas. "It's an even older phrase-real ancient history. It just gained usage here on the Zodrak because Captain Tiago is a big history buff and likes to remind us that there's times and places out beyond the Hodgson Sea."

"Talking like there's actually any proof there's anything living beyond the sea..." The girl says angrily to herself.

Lucas whistles. "Oh man, I can already tell you're going to be a lot of fun."

She glares at him.

"She's totally like how you were Alex..." Lucas nudges you.

"She is not." You reply.

"Hell I think she's worse." Pedro says. "You're one of those doom and gloom types, aren't you?"

"You mean a realist?"

"Oh boy. She is..." Lucas slaps his head. "Go on and say the usual stuff, come on, tell us how we're all wasting our time and its only going to get worse before the Hodgson swallows us all into a living nightmare forever and ever an won't someone think of the children. Go on."

"...If you mean to imply that I'm an anti-natalist you're correct..." She replies icily.

"Yep!" Pedro claps his hands together. "She's got how you were beat by leagues Alex."

"You're really one of those anti-natalists?" You ask. "Is that why you're a lime?"

"Why I'm a what?"

"Lime. Non-violent trusted prisoner. The green jumper." You explain.

"I got in trouble because I refused to be happy when there's absolutely nothing to be happy about in this whole damn fleet. Yes."

Lucas slaps his forehead and roars with laughter.

"Look. It's time for a little reality check sister." You say. "You signed the paper saying you were going to work your sentence off on the Zodrak like us, right? You read it all when it said you'd be working, right?"

"Eh its useless Alex." Lucas says. "She doesn't want to live. She'd rather kill herself than live. So why would she want to work?"

"That's not what the movement stands for..." She growls. "And I never said I didn't want to work!"

"Well good for you because you're about to get to work." Pedro says.

"I didn't think it would be like this! When they came to me with the offer they said I could use my software skills to help out!"

"So you thought what? That you'd just sit around and wait on your ass until your certain skill was needed?" You ask.

"But I've never done manual labor like this before! I don't have the skills or the endurance...I'd just get in the way!"

"Oh how nice of you to worry about us." Lucas smirks.

"It's what they do Lucas." Pedro says. "They assume everyone is as miserable with life as they are."

"Did you tell Thiago or any of the officers what you're telling us? About how you don't want manual labor?"

"Yeah..." She averts her eyes.

"And what did they tell you?"

"That if I wanted to I'm free to go back to jail..."

"And why do you think we'd tell you anything different?"

"Because...well...I thought sense you were prisoners as well you'd be a little more sympathetic..."

Lucas nearly falls over he laughs so hard.

"Oh no no no. Zodrak isn't prison. We got fruits and we got guards but we're a factory first and foremost." You say. "Everyone works. Everyone WANTS to work. You want prison you'll have to quit and go back to it.

"There's only a difference between fruits and peels if someone forces the issue. Otherwise everyone is busting their ass." Pedro says.

"Listen up goldbrick!" You give her a short shake by the shoulders. "This isn't an island. This is a rig-the only repair rig in the entire fleet. You don't finish up work and have free time. There's always work on Zodrak. We finish repairing Zodrak we move on to whoever we got in dock. There is no free time. There is only rest time. Free time is purchased at a cost-a cost to the fruits, the peels, Captain Tiago, and ME. Now you can either go walk right out that door and buy yourself some nice free time with a ticket back to jail or you shut up, sit down, and let Lucas explain to you how to put our outside suit on..."

The girl sits down.

"...Can I just ask what a peel is?"

Lucas rolls his eyes.

"Non-prisoners. Fruits without skin." You tug on your shirt. "Peeled would probably be more correct, but peels caught on."

"Okay..." Lucas fishes out an outside suit helmet from one of the wall mounted bins and holds it out in front of the girl, a big yellow bubble. "Now you're probably familiar with your standard mag-seal suits that you see those inferior manual laborers use to walk on the outside of ships to perform repairs and clean off Lovecraft. Well ours are a little different. They're all-in-ones, so they automatically adjust to the temperature and pressure outside at the cost of being bulkier, harder to put on, harder to repair, and having this weird odor like wet wave-crest. You're going to want to send your letter to the electorate up in Big Al about how god-awful these suits are so they can put it where they put all our letters. Now, unlike with other mag-seal suits, the chest goes on first, not the legs..."


"You ready to do this Goldbrick?" Pedro asks dialing for the hatch to open.

"Bite me." She replies.


"She's totally how you were back then..." Lucas whispers to you over a closed radio channel.

"I was not that bad..." You reply.

'Well SHE hasn't tried tackling us yet..."

"What's your name Goldbrick?" You ask aloud.

She jerks away from you.

"You might as well tell us. Only good manners sense we've told you ours."

"Why don't you just call me Goldbrick?"


>Come on. What's your name?

>Tease her.

>Goldbrick it is then.
>Fine then, piss off
We dont need ill mannered shits lets get to work
>Tease her.
"Goldbrick's already taken actually. Goldbrick Junior's free right."

Start going through variations until she finally tells her name.
>Tell her to piss off

>Tease her

She should piss off, whiner
"Piss off, whiner." You begin skating forward as the hatch creeks open. A burst of frigid ice-flecked air breaks against your suit. You break a shell of ice collecting on the outside strut as your mag-sealed feet scrape against the metal.

"Woooh!" Lucas breaks into a slide and sends sheet of ice flying over the side and down to the waters mile below.

"You watch that thermos carefully Pedro." You say over the comm link. "Daedalus hates his morning coffee shaken up."

"You don't have to remind me." He says cradling a tube in his suit's gauntleted hands. "Remember that face he made that time Lucas thought to football pass to you?"

"Eh, a man makes one mistake..." Lucas says taking a moment to look over the side. "You guys'll want to come see this. It's real pretty..."

"Yeah, I remember the face he made." You continue the conversation as you skate over to Lucas's side. "He was like a squid-face but somehow MORE wrinkled."

"Heh! And you remember what he said?" Pedro follows behind you. "'Young sirs. Please try to be more gentle with my beverages in the future. The tana leaves must not be bruised else the texture suffers!""

"Nag nag nag..." Lucas points out over the Zodrak. "God that's beautiful, isn't it?"

The early morning sunrise turns burns orange and yellow on the accumulated ice. The dull grey metal of the factory rig is completely covered save in a few places where thundering pistons and hot smoking vents prevented the ice from resting. Far below you can see little lines forming in the ice where other units in outside suits go about their tasks.

"Hey look!" You exclaim. "That guy made a Z on strut A3!"

"It reminds me of Christmas, you know, where the hunter rigs burn a little energy to throw all the dancing lights over the rest of the fleet?" Lucas says.

"Yeah..." You sigh. "You know what it makes me think of?"

"What?" Lucas asks.

"Eh, its sort of weird..."

"Eh so's your face. What does it remind you of Alex?"



"Yeah I don't know why exactly. I guess all the color on the ice makes me think of sand. Weird, I know..."

"Naw." Lucas says. "I don't think its weird. Pretty thinks are good because they make you think of things you wouldn't otherwise think of. Its why the flower bank on Big Al is so important..."

"Oh yeah." You say. "How's the application to the horticulture unit coming along?"

"I think its going alright. God, I don't know what I'd do if they actually accept me though...I mean do you really think they'd trust a thief like me around the flowers again?"

"They'd be stupid not to. No one knows as much about them as you do Lucas." You say.

"...Beaches..." Pedro says dreamily. "You actually remember those Alex?"

"Not really. When I was a kid most land was gone. Just about everything was fleet. But I've seen pictures."

"I...remember a little." Pedro says. "When I was real, real little...it wasn't much of a beach though. The water had swallowed so much..."


Your group's moment is ruined by a soft buzzing in your helmets.

"Uh...Ummm..." You hear quietly over the comm link. "Wait up a minute!"

You anchor yourself with your arm and spin around. Your two friends do the same.

The goldbrick shuffles along a couple of yards off, making awkward, infantile motions.

"Oh for..." Pedro groans.

"Stop trying to lift up your feet." Lucas says. "The soles of the boots are sealed to the metal. Push with your legs...no, bend your hips not your ankles!"

"I'll help her." You skate over to her side.

>Be a gentle teacher

>Be a strict teacher

"Stop moving." You say as you duck one of her flailing arms. "Stop!"

"Everytime I push back I don't move the right way! This suit isn't working or something!"

"No. You just aren't good at this."

"Well SORRY! I told you people I've NEVER done anything like this!"

"Most new guys handle themselves competently." Your palms attach to her shoulders with a loud CLANG. "You just stuck."

"I'm a goldbrick. I suck. I'm a moron and you hate my guts. I fucking get it already."

"There's nothing wrong with sucking. It just means you have to put some effort to get better. Now you feel my foot tapping against your heel? Move it forward. Walk with me."

Little by little she starts to pick up speed with her shuffling. You start to lead her around in widening circles, strides growing longer and faster with each rotation. "Good. See. You're getting better. You suck less now."

"...Thanks..." She mumbles.


>Keep clamped. Walk her through the outing to Daedalus.

>Push off. Teach her momma bird style.
>You just suck

Although she IS stuck to you right now thanks to magnets.
>>Push off. Teach her momma bird style.
"Save your thanks until after we're done. Now you're on your own."


You detach the magnetic locks and she goes careening off, ice flying up as she goes.

Your helmet rings with her screaming as she heads for the edge.

"No no no no!" She screams as she spins around in circles.

"Don't fight the momentum!" You call out.

"But the edge!"

"Go over it!"

"No! I can't! AGHHHH!" She vanishes over the edge. In a few strides you join her.

Pedro and Lucas are already over on the side, laughing at the goldbrick.

"Oh come on! We told you you're magnetically sealed! We told you about walking on the walls! What's the problem?" Lucas asks.

The goldbrick bends her knees and wraps her arms around herself. You hear the faint sound of sniffling over the comm link.

"I...I thought I was...I thought I was going to die!"

"But why though?" Lucas asks.

"I-I mean I knew I'd stick but...but going over...and f-feeling like I was falling..."

"Better get used to that feeling, because it never goes away. You can only start seeing it as a thrill"
"Better get used to that feeling because it never goes away. You can only start seeing it as a thrill."

"A...thrill? A THRILL? God you people...its true what they say you know? You're all insane...You're all...You're all..." You hear her breathing heavily. "...Oh I don't feel well...I think I"m sick."

"You'll live." Pedro says. "Next walk out will be better."

"That's adrenaline you're feeling." You say. "Tight stomach? Dry throat? Heart about to explode?"

"Yeah...oh...oh god..." She stumbles as she tries righting herself. "Oh god that doesn't look right...that doesn't look right at all..." She collapses as much as the suit will allow her.

"What?" Lucas asks. "The water over there?"

"I shouldn't have looked I shouldn't have looked I shouldn't have looked..." She says queasily.

"We get people like you once in a while." You say. "Fear of heights is normal. Just look at the ground."

"Th-The wall?"

"It's not a wall. Not for you. It's ground. Don't look up at me." You gently push her helmet down. "Look at the ground. Breathe. It's okay."

"Yeah...I...I think I was doing okay until I saw the water standing upright like that. Seeing the waves and seeing it RIGHT THERE..."

"Don't think about that. Breathe."

"Oh god that didn't look look...stable. It was like either it or me had to fall over..."

"You must not hear well. I said don't think about it idiot. Just breathe, and not fast. Slow and steady. Don't hyperventilate."

"You think this is bad, this is nothing." Lucas says. "Try being out here when a diamond-head latches on and they actually start making what's over there show up over there and swapping sea and sky."

"Ohhh...." She moans.

"Shut up idiot!" You backhand Lucas and he falls up the wall until he skids to a stop. "Now if you...got to go or anything you can. The suit will absorb it."

"H-Hey now...I..." She stammers.

"There's nothing to be ashamed about." Pedro says. "Remember what Lucas said about these being all-in-one deals? They're designed for having to get up close with the Lovecraft. A few thousand pounds of slime and scales and teeth will make you shit yourself."

"Hell,we've all done it before." Lucas says. "Either you're out here for hours and just got to go or a Lovecraft springs out of the water and surprises you. There really is no shame. And here's a tip-if you press the third green switch in your gauntlet your helmet will project a straw for you. Nice, cold water. It'll help you calm down. Just be sure to shut it off before you start moving again. Otherwise it'll poke you in your face."

"...Okay..." She says after a moment. "Okay...I'm getting up now..." She starts to flex her legs.


>Ask her for her real name?

>Ask her why she's an anti-natalist?

>Tell her about you and the boys?

>Tell her about Old Man Daedalus?

>Ask if she remembers beaches?

>Compliment her?

>Tell her she's got to do better than this?

>Tease her to toughen her up a little?
"Now that you aren't flailing like an upside down (equivalent of a beetle). How about telling us who you are?"
>Tease her to toughen her up a little?
>Compliment her?

"Alright then." You say. "Just look at your feet and keep pace with us." You skate in front of her, and gradually pick up the pace as you see her keeping up. Pedro and Lucas flank her in case she starts having trouble again.

"See. You got the hang of it now. You got it. You're doing good."

"I can barely believe it but yeah...I'm really doing it now aren't I? She says.

"Don't get a big head now. Half a minute ago you were about to throw up in your helmet." You say. "...Also, did you use it or not?"

Lucas and Pedro chuckle.

"You guys are so gross...is that what happens when you live in a place that's all noise and oil and smoke?" She says far less pointedly than her previous complaints. Is she...trying to engage in some banter?

"Don't forget the ashes and metal filings." Lucas says. "We don't have more rat bots than any other three ships combined for nothing."

"And the place is still so grimy. How can that be?" She throws up her arms. "World's dirtiest boat in the worlds' largest tub and somehow the boat wins..."

"That's people for you-the greatest virulent disease of all time. Isn't that what the biology committee called us? A virulent disease infecting an alien ecosystem. Contagious. Persistent. Utterly incurable."

"Still not something I'd like to be compared to." Lucas says. "I mean I appreciate the idea behind it but you don't exactly name your sports teams after germs and viruses."

"I don't know. I could root for the fighting strep." Pedro says.

"Yeah I can see it now. The fighting strep against the blue jays or something." Lucas says.

"The boats do kind of look like microbes. Sort of." You suggest.

"...How are you guys able to just...laugh that off?" She asks.

"Laugh what off?" You ask

"Being compared to viruses and germs...I can't think of any other time in mankind's history where that would be anything but a tremendous insult."

"...Oh yeah. I almost forgot. You're an anti-natalist." Lucas glares at her.

"Yeah. I'm an anti-natalist." She says dropping back into the aggressive tone she used before. "And I'm not sorry for being one."

"Don't want you to be sorry. Just want you to shut the hell up about it. Ain't that why you're here goldbrick?" Lucas says.

"No. Not goldbrick. She's not flailing like an upside down tide dancer anymore, and she got that way through work." You stop, use one of your hands to turn around quickly, and face her. "How about telling us who you are?"

"...Ana Clara."

"And you said something about getting in trouble because you said things?" You ask.

"I protested to bring attention to problems in the fleet..."

"And all without a permit I bet..." Lucas says.

"Free speech didn't always need permits."

"Oh brother. Spread bad ideas, get slapped down. Don't go whining about free speech when you're apart of a boat." Lucas says. "Say whatever moody poetry shit you like in your own house, but when you start bringing the mood down in public spaces you deserve to be punished."

"You can have as much Ancient Mariner and light festivals as you like, the truth is that people are sad. Humanity lives on boats. We're hunted by giant monsters. People are miserable and we shouldn't be punished for saying so!"

"Uh, no." Lucas says. "I'm not miserable. My friends aren't miserable. Everyone I know isn't miserable. Its people like YOU that are miserable. We're all toughing it out and hell, even thriving in the Hodgson and you hate that because it means the problem isn't the Fleet, its YOU. You're sinking in your own morbid desire for the human race to throw in the towel and you want to drag the rest of us down with you. Goldbrick.

"My name is Ana Clara..."

"Not to me you aren't."

"Cool it Lucas." Pedro says. "She's Ana Clara now. She's one of us."

Lucas looks at her, and then to you. "...What do you think about this Alex?"

>"If people want to be miserable then let them be miserable. Just like she has the right to say what she wants, I have the right to tease her incessantly about it, and that's ok"
This is good
>Voting for this.
"If people want to be miserable then let them be miserable. Just like she has the right to say what she wants I have the right to tease Ana Clara incessantly about it, and that's okay." You say.

"Yeah...or the right to throw me in jail..." Ana Clara grumbles.

"So she's Ana Clara now. She's one of us now." Lucas says. "Great...never thought I'd ever be friends with an anti-natalist."

"Never thought I'd be friends with a jackass, but hey, it happened." You reply.

"Just try not to slow us down again...Ana Clara." Lucas says.

"Don't worry. I won't."

You and your team skate across Zodrak, Ana Clara gradually improves as you travel, although you have to slow down Lucas a few times to keep pace with everyone. He of course complains Ana Clara is a slowing everyone down-loudly.

"Well right now I think I'd rather talk to her than you." You say after the third time. "Now cool your jets. We're slowing for her, not speeding up for you."

"Alex has a point Lucas." Pedro says. "What's with all the anti-natalist hate? Did one kick your ass or something?"

"I'm surprised you two are so okay with it. Why aren't you two more concerned about a movement that wants us all to pack it in and sink the fleet?"

"That is NOT what we believe!" Ana Clara complains.

"I don't agree with it, no, but I'm not getting a hate-boner about it."

"Quit being such a little girl about this Lucas." You say.

"What? We finally got another girl and you want to take her side?"

You smirk behind the helmet. 'Oh no. It's not going to be that easy."

"Wait...I thought you were a guy?" Ana Clara asks.

"It's complicated and silly." Pedro explains. "Alex has been here for a couple of months and we still don't know what he is. Or she is."

"But...why would..."

"It gives us something fun to talk about." You say. "We even got a betting pool set up. I think its...where do we stand Pedro?"

"Last time I checked with Hugo it's 65 percent going girl."

"Of course we all know Alex is really just an oversized slime-fish." Lucas says.

"My god..." Ana Clara slowly shakes her helmet. "They weren't kidding when they said this was the craziest ship in the fleet..."

"And you're apart of the crazy now." You say.

"You fit right at home with those crazy opinions of yours." Lucas says.


>Next scene?

>Ask anti-natalists?

>Tease her about being an anti-natalist?
>>Tease her about being an anti-natalist?
The four of you continue on a little ways silently.

"So..." You say hoping to start making things a little less awkward. "...You cry whenever someone says they're expecting for an entirely different reason, yeah?"

"Fuck off." She says angrily.

"You know my theory about it is that they're such losers they can't find a partner, so they pretend like its a bad thing to get a family and have kids." Lucas says.

"I SAID..." Ana Clara rams her shoulder at Lucas. "FUCK OFF!"

Lucas saps his momentum with one arm carving a path through the ice and quickly rights himself. "Oh. Okay. You want to play some bumper cars do you Goldbrick?"

"You two fucking cool it." Pedro says. "Someone sees you two going at it Thiago will have all our asses."

"Whose going to see us do anything?" Lucas stalks up to Ana Clara. "You want to push me again girly?"

You hear Ana Clara gulp.

"Alex, do something. I'm holding the drink remember?"


>Take Lucas' side.

>Take Ana Clara's side.

>Take no side. Tell them both to chill.

>Try having a civil conversation about anti-natalists?

>Forbid anyone bringing up the subject until work is done?
>>Take Ana Clara's side.
>"At least she's not the one making excuses to fight instead of doing their work, flake."
>Forbid anyone bringing up the subject until work is done?
>>Take no side. Tell them both to chill.
"Drop it, you. Are you mad that she won't accept to have your babies or something? That it? Were you blueballed by some anti?
Ana, pick your battles better. And grow a thicker... Peel"

You get between Ana Clara and Lucas. You fix Lucas to the spot by affixing your hand to his shoulder. "Knock it off."

"She started it!"

"At least she's not the one making excuses to fight instead of doing their work, flake."

"Ehhhh..." Lucas growls as you shove him away.

"Drop it. Are you mad she wont' accept to have your babies or something? That it? Were you blueballed by some anti?"

Lucas turns away.

"Ana Clara, pick your battles better."

"He should't have-"

"I don't care. And grow a thicker...peel."

Ana Clara nods with a sigh.

"No one talks about anti-natalism or anything remotely related until we're DONE, got it?"

"...Fine..." Lucas says.

"What, so you give me shit and NOW you don't want to talk?" Ana Clara yells.

"That means you shut up as well Ana Clara." You say.

"...Alright then." She says icily.

"At least she'll shut up now..." Lucas says.

"You shut up to." You motion for everyone to follow you. "And I mean it Lucas. The both of you are acting like children."

You brace yourself for Lucas to say something smart-assed about children, but thankfully you're finally getting through to him.

The four of you don't have to travel in awkward silence for much longer. Soon a familiar dome glowing with soft yellow light comes into view. The ice is melting around it and falling toward the wall of sea located to your right in a tiny stream.

"You doing okay Ana Clara?"

Lucas mumbles something about goldbricks and Pedro shoves him.

"I'm doing alright. Thank you...so that's where he lives?"

"He has a little cabin by the bridge, but he spends a lot of his time out here." You reply.

"Okay...Now I know who Daedalus is. He's Igor Marcos, guy that worked on the original Fleet project and the guy that personally designed Zodrak. I've heard he's...eccentric. Is that why he's out here in a bubble?"

"He likes the isolation and the scenery. He can look this way and see the water, this way and she the sky, and this way to see the Zodrak." Pedro says.

"He says it helps with his paintings."

"He...paints out here?"

"You'll see." You say.

"Just...tell me why he's named Daedalus? Why the Icarus guy?"

"Daedalus did more than that. He was a mythical inventor." Pedro explains. "He built the labyrinth. You know, the maze that kept the Minotaur."

"Ohhhh. So the labyrinth is the Zodrak and we're minotaurs? Is that it?"

"Actually the labyrinth is the fleet and the Lovecrafts are the minotaurs." You explain. "The four rings formation he helped design that we travel in is a maze. It herds the Lovecraft so we can kill them easier."

"...Actually, I was told the Icarus thing was correct. He's called Daedalus because he sits out here and watches the sun." Lucas says.

"It's like a lot of names in Zodrak. There's a lot of explanations but in the end, the names are the names." Pedro says.

"...Ahhh...visitors again!" An elderly, scratchy voice greets you over the comm link.

As your group comes to the dome shaped hut you begin to see the inside clearly. Old Daedalus sits in a comfortable rocking chair. A painting of a old Brazilian beach at sunset hangs on one transparent wall. A hologram of a fireplace crackles quietly by another, only visible if you look straight at it. The ground is littered with white turtle-shark scales smeared and scratched with slime-fish ink.

Scales and ink is what passes for pen and paper ever sense trees became even more endangered than humans, although tree paper harvested from the conservatory islands is still used for important documentation like the Fleet Compact.

Little half-made machines scurry over and underneath the papers. The artificial fireplace light shines on their square bodies and spindly legs. Old Daedalus sits happily tapping his foot to some off-key song he hums to himself. He works at an enormous console, hands gliding across three encircling keyboards. A little robot scurries out of his long white beard and down his body.

"Good morning! Good morning!" He says cheerfully, still not taking his eyes off the monitor.

"...There's nothing on the screen..." Ana Clara whispers peering over your shoulder.

"There is. Its just going too fast for you to see." You explain.


"Yeah. Good morning Old Man Daedalus!" You shout.

"Good morning! Good morning!"

"We brought you your morning coffee! There's someone new in the crew as well."

Pedro places the thermos in a holster mounted on the side of the cabin. With a hiss of rushing air it travels inside where a swarm of robots rush to attend to it.

"Who is new, who is new?" Daedalus whirls in his seat. His bleary red eyes flicker across the four of you.

All three of you point to Ana Clara.

"Um....hi..." She waves.

Daedalus waves back. He smiles, mouth full of crooked teeth.

"What do I say?" Ana Clara whispers to you.


>Stress being polite

>Stress being honest

>Tease her
>>Tease her
>>Stress being honest
Stress being honest
>Stress being honest

"Don't worry. He won't eat you." You tease. "Just be honest."

"But what should I say though?"

"Just talk to him!" You push her forward.

"Um...Hello there Mr. Daedalus..."

"Hell there new person!"

"It's just Daedalus..." You whisper. "Or Old Man Daedalus."

"My name's Ana Clara Diaz. I'm a uh...convict from Island 13 Artemis, I got the green suit so I guess that makes me a "lime"..."

Behind the clear wall a small cluster of the robots unscrew the thermos and pour the steaming black liquid into a saucer-shaped robot. They carry the thermos back to the holster and transfer it back to Pedro as the saucer robot climbs into Daedalus' lap.

He picks up the little robot and sips from it. "Ahhh...thank you all. It's nice and warm."

"You're welcome." You say as you nudge Ana Clara.

"...Yeah, you're welcome!"

"Very pretty weather we're having, huh sir?" Pedro asks.

"Yes indeed. The optics are quite fetching today. Orange and yellow and red and white and blue and so many different shades of clear! I can't wait to paint them"

"That's what you're working on today Old Man Daedalus?" Pedro looks hard at one of the walls. "A landscape?"

"Yes yes yes!" He nods. "It's been far too long since I've done a landscape!"

"Alex..." Ana Clara mutters as she follows Pedro's gaze. "...That is a blank easel..." She says regarding the slab of pure white attached to the side, only visible if one looks at it the straight on. "Don't you tell me there's something I can't see..."

"It's not like the computer screen but...it kind of is..." You struggle to explain. "Old Man Daedalus can you show Ana Clara how you paint please?"

"Certainly, certainly!" He shoos the saucer robot away like a house cat before swinging his chair around to face the console. He begins to work the buttons at a blinding speed, hands moving like a Rig operator's.

The four of you watch as the little robots begin to crawl on the easel and screw out little colored brushes on the tip of their feet. As Daedalus types the robots move across the easel and paint. Within seconds they produce a beautiful interpretation of the frozen outside. They even include the four of you.

"...Wow..." Ana Clara gasps.

"He is pretty great, isn't he?" You say.

And then in an instant they drain the ink away into a a squat basin bot at the base of the easel, not spilling a drop.

"B-But why..."

"He's got it all saved in his head Ana Clara. He can reproduce any painting he's ever made in an instant." Pedro explains.

"Photographic memory they call it." You add.

"Everyone is thrifty on Zodrak." Lucas says. "Old Man Daedalus gets to work with all these inks, yeah, but he doesn't waste them."

Daedalus turns to face Ana Clara. "Now, Ana Clara it was yes? What crime did you do? It's always so interesting to hear about. There's always a story!" The saucer robot crawls back up to his lap.

"I...well, I suppose it all started when I got involved with the anti-natalist movement..."
You glare at Lucas, daring him to start shit.

"You're one of the anti-natalists? Ah, that's not what I would consider an optimal Fleet stratagem. We wouldn't last long if we stopped having babies."

"Uh...ha ha ha..." Ana Clara laughs awkwardly. "Well...a dignified end to humanity is one of our goals."

"Hmmm..." Daedalus scratches his beard. "No, sorry, I can't say I agree. Without humans no one would be able to run the boats. Robots can only do so much you know."

"Yeah...so I started reading up on anti-natalism. I took a good, hard look at my life. I thought about life before me and life after me. And I came to the conclusion things are just going to get worse for the human race. If we start preparing for the end now we can exit on our terms, on peaceful terms."

"It's a very non-optimal viewpoint..." Daedalus frowns. 'Poor you. It couldn't have made you many friends."

Lucas chortles.

"Oh I did alright for friends. There's more of us in the Fleet than people think. Many just keep silent about it because well, here I am now."

"You're here because you couldn't shut up." Lucas breaks his silence. "Not because you had an opinion."

"I made too much of a noise in the cafeteria and got three months, or one month here."

"I am sorry you feel things can only get worse for the Fleet." Daedalus frowns. "I do try to make things more optimal. The Fleet in general HAS gotten more optimal you know. We're using Lovecraft material to create such interesting alloys and muscle cylinders and bone-enhanced structural supports and vein wiring and-"

"It's okay, it's okay...really." Ana Clara says. I appreciate what you and everyone else has done to make life better."

"Yeah I'm sure you do..." Lucas groans.

You and Pedro smack him on the back of his helmet.

"It's just that...when my mother was a little girl there was land. There were beaches and forests and there was so much land it rose up in mountains and the mountains had snow on their tops. And now we all live in metal houses. We fix holes with fish guts, we fix roofs with rib cuts, we use scales for paper, we use blood for fuel...we're scavengers. That's what humanity is."

"Hmmmm...I would think decomposers would be a better comparison."

"And is that any better?"

"I would certainly think so. Fungi are so fascinating. They take dead matter and use it to produce life."

"So we're fungus?"

"No no no, we're ALIEN fungus. Remember, the Hodgson sea is no earthly ecosystem. We're like...ever seen this old Japanese film called Matango? I wonder how Japan is doing anyway..."

Ana Clara smiles warmly. "You know, there's a good chance we're all that's left of humanity."

"It makes me sad to think that there's so many mysteries outside the Hodgson...but I remind myself that there are so many mysteries here. I don't think I'll die bored with so much to learn. And so much to paint!"

"Are such things really worth it though, especially given the direction things have been heading?"
"We lose the world. Then we lose most of Fleet 20. And then we have close calls with 15 and 10 before finally losing 4."

"4 was rebuilt." Pedro says.

"Out of other ships from other fleets. It still doesn't change what happened. It still doesn't change that all those people were...eaten...and then a decade back we discover an entirely new type of Lovecraft, and they mess us up good. We've got a good handle on them yeah, but Cathys still cripple the occasional rig or slip by to threaten an island."

"Cthulhu." Daedalus corrects.

"Excuse me?"

"Cathy is a shorten form of the class designation. The formal form is Cthulhu, after the creature from HP Lovecraft's writings...but I suppose it can't be helped. The name was created by the writer to be difficult for humans to pronounce...still, I would have liked if my suggestion for the latest class to have been approved. Blake does roll off the tongue nicer than Shoggoth, but it doesn't have that ring..."

"And that's another thing. Blake class Lovecraft...my god. Those were things you wouldn't even find in your nightmares a few years ago. And now they're real. And we keep getting more and more sightings of those walking continents. It took three entire fleets just to drive away one of them. All signs point to the Hodgson generating larger and stronger Lovecraft. God knows whats actually living on the ocean floor-if there's even a floor anymore. What if the theory that there's just one single solid organism down there is true? At the rate we're going we just can't win."

"Perhaps. But imagine the things we'll build in trying to win!"

Ana Clara looks around. "Is it really so crazy that I want us to go through a nice, peaceful extinction on our own terms than die to some unimaginable horror we can barely comprehend? Is it really so crazy?"


>Next scene?

Next scene involves MAG SUIT COMBAT. We're hitting the breaks on drama and character development for some cathartic violence. What is your preferred form of violence:

>I want to burn horrors with super heated photon-plasma

>I want to slice them with a chainsaw made of lasers

>I want to shoot them with a railgun

>I want to rip and tear them with militarized tool-gloves
>Rip and tear
They're HUGE so they must have HUGE GUTS
Do you want to say anything before moving on to the next scene?
Death is surrender. Giving up your life is giving up the chance at victory, even if the chance is near nonexistent. You have to fight.
Up to you if that's how you want to make sense of the world. Making sense of Lovecraft guts feels better while it lasts. We've been making it last pretty well.
"Death is surrender." You say.

Ana Clara sighs. "But we DON'T want people to suicide. We just want us to stop having kids..."

"I'm aware of that. It's still giving up your life, giving up the chance at victory and a better tomorrow."

"But that's what I want. I want a future where the last of mankind doesn't have to worry about running and fighting and building. I want the last human to die in his bed, comfortable and happy, not screaming while a monster eats him."

"I'd rather die screaming."

"Me to." Pedro says.

"YOU die your bed. Quitter." Lucas says.

"I'd rather die building then screaming, but I suppose screaming would be more optimal than lying in bed. That's almost like doing nothing, and doing nothing is far from optimal." Daedalus says.

"I suppose its my fault for thinking I could fit in..." She turns from the dome cabin. "It was nice meeting you Old Man Daedalus."

"Before you go new person, tell me, do you know why the electorate chose the name Lovecraft for the xenobiology?" Daedalus asks.

"Of course. He wrote a lot of stories about alien monsters right?"

"Yes. But he also tapped into the existential horror of a universe where humanity mattered less than the monsters. He wrote in a time of evolutionary theory, geologic time, and atheism. Often his characters would be gripped by deep paralyzing terror not only at the monsters they saw, but what the monsters implied. The worst part of them wasn't what the monsters would do. It was how they made a person feel." Daedalus smiles. "Small things are very optimal you know. Take flies for instance. They've managed to survive along with us on these ships. And we still struggle against familiar bacteria and parasites along with exotic threats like red coral. Large and important is not always best. I many ways it is more optimal to be small."

"I just...I just don't want the generations after I'm gone to be flies. I don't want us to live off corpses and hide in darkness. I...I want more for us."

"Maybe you should make sure things are really that shitty huh?" Lucas says.

"It's up to you if that's how you want to make sense of the world." You say. "Making sense of Lovecraft guts feels better while it lasts. We've been making it last pretty well."

"There is much to be glorified in bacteria you know. Man and Lovecraft both rot. In the end all developed life regardless of complexity and regardless of how optimized their survival strategy is become the same food for bacteria. Why, neither the Lovecraft or humans would exist without bacteria. We need them inside us simply to function. As complex rigs need simple humans to function so to do complex organisms need simple organism to function. We need them. They do not need us."

"I don't think I've ever heard someone talk up bacteria like that before." Ana Clara smiles. "Well, there was this person that worked in horticulture that talked up bacteria in the soil..."

"That's the spirit! Don't underestimate bacteria! Why, it was bacteria that defeated the Martians don't you know!"

Ana Clara blinks.

"War of the Worlds. Real old movie." You explain.

"It was a book before it was a movie! HG Wells wrote it, and it was almost as optimal a novel as the Time Machine!"

"Lovecraft ever write about bacteria?" Ana Clara asks.

"Not directly, no. But he did write about time and how it dwarfed all things into relative irrelevance. Only the Great Race of Yith was beyond time, that was why they were called Great. Even Cthulhu was not beyond time."

"So if everything is irrelevant to time and only these Yith guys were important what was the point of anything?"

"You should look to his hero, Randolph Carter, whose name we give to Rig 4. He was a thinker, a dreamer, and an adventurer. He knew how small he was in the cosmic scheme, and yet he was able to stand and face Yog Sothoth, the gate and the key, who straddled eternity, as an equal."

Ana Clara sighs. "That's all well and good I suppose...but...I just don't know. I just don't want people to suffer..."

"Don't want to have to work to life is more like it!" Lucas snaps. "Total goldbrick, as gold as your hair!"

"Be nice." You slap his shoulder.

"I'll show you its not a matter of me being weak or me not wanting to work!" Ana Clara whirls around. "I'll take whatever you and this factory can dish out. I'll make YOU the goldbrick!"

"Oh ho ho!" Pedro exclaims.

"That's the Zodrak spirit!" Old Man Daedalus cheers. "Very optimal!"

"Looks like she's challenging you buddy." You say. "You going to let a girl outwork you?"

"Tch. As if. I bet she'll be begging to get shipped back to prison before the week is over."

"We'll just see!" Ana Clara challenges.

"As fun as it is I'm getting the tone to head back." Pedro taps the radio on his helmet. "We got to go Daedalus. You keep up the good work."

"Oh yes, back to work, back to work!" He returns to his console, quickly chugging down his coffee. "We're working!"

"We're working!" The three of you say farewell and start to skate back to your portion of the ship.

"Hey, you remembered to say it!" You compliment Ana Clara.

"Well yeah."

"Ready to admit she's not a goldbrick?" Pedro asks Lucas.

"Naw. Let's see how she sweats in gut duty."

"Oh, the way you all talk about that has me worried..." Ana Clara says.

"It's pretty rough, I'm not going to lie." You say. "But the the thing that's most important to remember is-"

>ROLL 3 1D20

Also, how do you guys feel about Ana Clara and Lucas eventually becoming a couple?
Rolled 8 (1d20)

I'll let it pass, we can win over Doc Zed.

Back at >>859877
I'll be fine with either of:
>I want to slice them with a chainsaw made of lasers
>I want to rip and tear them with militarized tool-gloves
Waiting for two more rolls (it's going to be interesting if they're both bad).

We could see about wooing Doc Zed. Such things are probably going to have to be post-crossover though.
Rolled 19 (1d20)

Chipping in.
Rolled 10 (1d20)

Lets roll
>Very good

Your result: Good

A mountain of water engulfs the Zodrak. Your vision fills with white and blue. The radio pops and clicks in your helmet.

"AHHHH! AHHHHH! WHAT'S HAPPENING WHAT'S HAPPENING?" Ana Clara's shrieks say what the rest of you are thinking.

Early warning systems are supposed to catch these sorts of things. They can detect the slightest change in water pressure. Its not hard to detect the movements of Lovecraft.

Something is wrong.

The lights in your suits helps you find your friends in the murky water. You see Lucas with his hands firmly clamped on Ana Clara.

"I'm moving with her to a hatch. You two cover us." Lucas says over the comm.


Pedro moves to your side. "I dropped the thermos. Can't wait to get chewed out for that."

"Yeah. Hey, if this is something big Thiago will likely forget..."

Across the ship you can see the square body of a walker drone tower above one of the struts on its two legs. A mist of bubbles obscures it as it unloads a volley of missiles at something far in the distance. Below it on another strut you see flashes of red plasma explosions.

Yeah. A thermos is the least of anybody's troubles right now.

"What the hell is going on?" You gasp.

"Operations says to work our way inside. Calmly." Pedro says.

"What the hell does that mean?" You ask.

"It means we work our way back inside calmly." Pedro repeats.

"It means STOP FIGHTING ME you fucking goldbrick!" You see Lucas's suit jerk as Ana Clara tries to pull away from him in a blind panic.


"Motion attracts them you STUPID BITCH! Now calm down before you get us all killed!" Lucas yells.

Ana Clara stops. "Oh...Oh god...oh god please I don't want to die...I don't want to die..." She sobs.

"...No one is getting killed." Lucas says soothingly. "One of our own isn't going to become fucking fish food."

Ana Clara sobs. "...I...I'm going to live...I'm going to be alright..."

"Damn right you are." Lucas says. "Pedro, we know ANYTHING yet?"

"No we don't. Hatches are locked. They're saying sit tight for extraction teams...and now they're saying move. Hatch 4-2B! Lucas move, we'll cover!"

"Can I...Can I do anything?" Ana Clara says weakly.

"Spoken like a real fruit..." Lucas says.

"Heh. Good for us." You say as your gauntlets slide up your arms to reveal several mechanical waldos fitted with industrial heads that whine silently under the water. You can feel their force vibrate up your arm. "Someone left a salvage kit attached."

"I got nothing but the standard repulsors." Twin red lights spring to life on the shoulders of Pedro's outside suit.

"It'll do." You say.

"It'll have to do...Shit!" He exclaims. "9 o'clock! Tide dancers!"
Tide dancers are a common vermin typically found on the side of rigs falling under the glaaki classification. They are deceptively beautiful with long green spines covering their round bodies and iridescent shells that change color as water rushes over them. But up close one can see the grotesque snapping beaks and claws...

Typically if you find them on your outside walks you're to give them a blast with the repulsors. They aren't really worth harvesting. Their shells are pretty and children sometimes collect them, but they're common. Their meat is good only to pad out rations.

But this is a huge living whirl of tide dancers, a solid wave colored like an oil spill. This is not a a nuisance. This is a life or death threat.

>Fall back. Protect Ana Clara

>Rush forward. Rip and tear!

>Pepper them with blasts alongside Pedro.
Have Ana get pushed to safety while Pedro blasts our flanks as we Rip and Tear through the center.
>Fall back. Protect Ana Clara.
I'll be honest, I'm a little upset this is a oneshot.
>Rip and tear



>A little upset this is a oneshot

Thanks for the kind words anon. I really do want to see about returning to the Fleet once the crossover ends (although we'll likely need a second thread to get there at the rate we're going). I've started to really fall in love with this world and its characters I've created.
I know it's slow, but you also chose a time close to Thanksgiving, which might be part of the issue. Your writing certainly isn't any sort of detractor, and the way you show off the culture and lore via character interaction is very well done.
>Fall back. Protect Ana Clara
"Ana!" You whirl around as Pedro opens fire. Magnetic pulses from his shoulders rip through the water making it ripple like a piece of cloth in a windstorm. They smash into the wall of tide dancers, kicking up rainbow colored flecks suspended in a soup of crushed bodies and black blood.

"Keep them at bay Pedro! Ana, you hanging on?" You attach yourself to her with a BANG.

"Please...please help...don't let...don't let..." She mutters incoherently.

"...She'll be alright." Lucas says gently. "She's one of us. We're always alright."

"I'm not sensing movement. That's good." Pedro says.

You look over your shoulder and see his light through a shroud of busted Lovecraft parts.

"Hold on...Something's wrong! They're running away! Look!" Pedro shouts.

You strain your vision and see a fading line of color in the distance.

You turn around and see what they're running away from...

Star head. Tekeli Class. Natural predator of tide dancers. It's ribbon like tongue is commonly harvested to create fine instruments and industrial tools. Its cutting edge is keen enough to work as a surgeon's scalpel and its durable enough to be used to slice through ore when enough power is placed behind it.

The star head uses its tongue to scrape the meat out of tide dancer shells. And to kill anything that gets in its way.

You break your lock on Ana Clara. You have to kill this thing before it kills you and your friends.

"Shit!" Lucas spins Ana Clara away from the star head, using his own back as a shield. "Alex! Kill it!"

It slithers toward you on its tiny centipede legs. Its stalk like body twists, its neck turns-a hunting tactic. You keep your eyes on the head, the thick bullet shaped head covered by armored plates. When it opens tongues are going to explode out like an army of frogs were inside it.

It just needs to break the suit a little to let the water pressure finish the job by crushing you like a paper cup. It only needs to hurt you a little...

That geyser of water threw a piece of the aquatic world at the ship. You prey this is all that stuck.

>Roll 3 1D20+3
Rolled 14 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled 3 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled 18 (1d20)

Autobots. Roll out!
with that plus 3. Delicious


You quickly glance around for any other star head. They tend to hunt in packs, encircling their prey by curving their stalk like bodies so that their tongues strike from all angles. They've evolved to never tangle up their tongues. Each one is coated with a chemical secretion unique to each star head so that other star heads recognize which tongues belong to which star head. Add to that an oddly shaped brain organ lodged in their "throats" that gives them what Daedalus calls an "optimal tactile sense" and the result is that a pack can spear an entire nest of tide dancers, lick the meat out of every single one, and then quickly retract their tongues. They have to be quick. Tekelli class Lovecraft are far from being apex predators.

Fortunately you only see one star head.

You brace yourself. You tell yourself you can do this. People harvest star heads.

Albeit they harvest in groups. And above water. And armed with light sticks to guide the heads and plasma guns to kill from a distance...

But people harvest them...

It's bulb-shaped head springs open. You see a red maw of crooked fangs and a flash of tongues coming from the center of its five-pointed face.

You raise your gauntlet. You fan the tool attachments like a small shield. They catch the tongues and pull them tight even as it slices them, spreading a black cloud between you and the star head.

You slice down with your other hand and an electric saw severs the tongues from the star head. It thrashes around in pain before loosing its grip on the Zodrak and falling into the abyss.

You turn, and see two more star heads scurrying toward you. They must have smelled the blood of their packmate.

You waste no time in gliding forward and slicing one in half at the neck with the saw before it can even open its face. The other fires its tongues and you see red flashes stab the metal behind you leaving small grooves in the metal. You quickly cut your speed and turn. The tongues fire in front of you, missing only by a foot.

Repulsors will only bruise it. You're going to have to cut it...

>ROLL 3 1D20+3
Rolled 6 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled 4 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled 2 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Come on, big money no whammy...
Rolled 19 (1d20)

Welp. We dead.


It wasn't the one in front of you that got you. You punch your tools into it and leave a crater of innards in a twitching body.

It was the one behind you that you didn't see.

It pierced the armor ever so slightly, and your rapid movement helped the tongues tear its way through the armor.

You feel armor tear away from your arm and your heart stops. You expect to suddenly feel yourself pop like a bubble. But you don't.

The suit holds. The emergency underlayer rapidly expands in response to trauma-a miracle polymer created from plastics synthesized from diamond head blood combined with lucifer skin to give it spring and elasticity.

You want to kiss the suit techs so bad. They just saved your life.

You whirl on the star head. You prepare to charge it but you see the lights of Pedro's armor quickly approaching like a vein train. You brake, and watch with relief as he rams his shoulder into the star head, breaking its grip on the Zodrak and tossing it into the sea.

The last you see of it is its tongues lashing wildly over your head, swooping down for one final strike that you sidestep.

You look at the marks in the metal. That could have been you.

"You okay?" Pedro asks.

"I'll live. Lost function in my left arm armor."

"Damn! One's on us!" Lucas yells.

The two of you turn and see him wrestling with a star head. He angles Ana Clara away from it with one hand and tries to keep its bulb shut with the other. He fires his repulsors desperately. Some shots go wipe but others clip the creature in the side, scattering red scales like flower petals and making its entire worm like body spasm under the blow.

"Can't...hold it..."

You see the bulb start to expand under his fingers. If its tongues fire that close...

>Angle some shots with the repulsors? Concentrated fire might kill it.

>Run up and melee it with your one remaining tool kit?
>>Run up and melee it with your one remaining tool kit?
Naw, things just got way more dire. We're still alive though.
You charge forward. "Watch out Lucas!" You yell as you hold out a rotating saw to clip the star head in half.

>ROLL 3 1D20+1
Rolled 1 + 3 (1d20 + 3)

Rolled 14 (1d20)

Now are we dead?
Woah! That's no good!

Good thing we're not doing crits.

That helps things a lot.

Next roll decides it...
Rolled 3 + 1 (1d20 + 1)

Yeah and how about now?
Your saw bites into the star head's body, but you put too much power behind the swing and don't cut deep enough. You leave a deep gash on its side, but the creature still lives.

You turn as fast as you can. You don't think you're going to be fast enough. You see Lucas struggle with the star head. You see its head slowly force his fingers apart. You train a shot of the repulsors. You have to do something...

...Your shots go wide...

"Take her!" Lucas tosses Ana Clara to Pedro. He grabs on to the star head's face with both hands.

A tongue flicks out from a crack in the head, licking the water inches from his armor.

"Lucas!" You scream as you rush forward for another stab. "Lucas you have to hold it!"

His repulsors shake the water above him and the star head but he can't angle a shot on its withing body. Its too close, its too thin, its too fast.

"Lucas!" You scream and will yourself to go faster.

It happens in a slow instant. The bulb explodes open, throwing Lucas' hands wide.

He takes the entire barrage. You see red flashes pierce his body going in from his front and exiting from his back. Arms, helmet, torso, legs, every tongue finds its mark.

Your helmet rings with your echoing scream.

You plow into the star head. Safety is something you no longer care about. You grab it with both hands and tear, and rip, and butcher the creature until only liquid remains suspended in the water.

You feel only mild relief as you see plasma bolts in the corner of your vision and barely understand the words the retrieval team tells you over the comm link.

"Get them inside."
"Know just as much as you guys."
"She going to be okay? She's like catatonic."
"Holy shit is this guy..."

"You okay?" A brown faced apple asks stripping you out of your suit. "Hey. You okay? Don't tell me you're like the blonde, we need you in the sand tables engineer. We're registering 5 Dagons and we got to get ready to form Mung."


> Should Lucas live or are we playing on NO MERCY difficulty?
Bad stuff has happened, but I'll let you guys decide just HOW bad.
No mercy.
Put game face on.
"Got it, I'm in the mood for some VENGEANCE right now."

>No Mercy.
Page 10!

This looks like a good stopping spot. This was originally planned to be a one-shot, but I think one more thread ought to get us to where we need to be for the crossover.

>Fleet 8 notes

Continue to use the remainder of the thread to vote on whether or not you want mercy.

Also, ask any questions you want about the lore, setting, and characters.

Next thread is killing giant monsters with giant robots.

>Crossover notes

Fleet 8 is part of the (so far nameless) /qst/ crossover project I have cooking with Shifty (X-com Quest, Vigilante Quest). So far he and I are the only ones confirmed to participate, but we're welcoming anyone else that wants to chip in.

The idea is that all these short quests are going to meet up at the same location-an enormous alien city that contains the secret to why Earth is so fucked up and exists in several places at once.

There are only two hard rules:

1. The first is that it has to take place in this world, but not necessarily this setting. This world is a future Earth where the wind stops, the seas turn violent, and the earth begins to rot. Basically the opening to Final Fantasy I. The setting doesn't have to be anything like the Hodgson sea. It doesn't have to have Lovecraft or a fleet of transforming sub-ships. There's a lot of Earth to be explored. What's going on in the US? Japan? Africa?

2. It has to end with the main character(s) arriving at the alien city. Someway, anyway, get them to the city. Maybe they're traveling to it? Maybe it suddenly appear out of the clouds? Maybe they accidentally wander into it.
>Crossover suggestions

Here are some ideas I have for other quests, although QMs are more than free to ignore them.

>QST Element Quest?

I kind of want to do something with Empedoclese's elements where you have four elements represented by four quests and then LOVE and STRIFE being the forces that unite them or something.

So Fleet 8 would be WATER leaving three other quests for FIRE, EARTH, and AIR.

I also think QST ELEMENT QUEST sounds like a pretty cool name for a crossover.

>Super Robot Wars Q?

I think it would be kind of neat if the three other quests did mecha, or at least stuff that could squeeze into a Super Robot Wars if for no other reason then that I really like Super Robot Wars.

Fleet 8 has the real robot angle covered. It also provides support mechs and "base" mechs.

For instance FIRE could be about the last city somewhere in the world desperately holding out against monsters that want to eat the central power plant. They construct a single pilot super robot as the last chance to protect the city. This would be the Mazinger of the team. EARTH could be about robots defending another outpost of humanity against another group of robots that see humanity as the useless hanger-ons that will doom everyone. Think of it like a Brave series. The robots could have a combiner theme so they'd be like Dancougar or Voltron. AIR could be about a floating city safe from the troubles below. Its prosperous, and only has to send not-Macross mechs down to gather resources occasionally, but there is political division brewing between those that want to fully cut ties to the Earth and those that want to do more to help Earth, even if it means putting Heaven at risk. It'll be from the "politics' mech genre like Macross and Gundam.

Any thoughts thread?

2. Watching sci-fi shorts on youtube is a good way I've found to find inspiration for robots and stuff. Keloid, for example, is great. So is State Zero, and Envoy.

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