0827 HOURS24TH OF 3RD, 1153Y'TAGARA PLANETARY GUARD ORBITAL FACILITYCAPTAIN JORAN CHARANYour planet rotates in front of you serenely, almost entirely taken up by the blue-gray haze of the storm networks, lights from the tallest city just barely visible as they disappear behind the horizon. It's hard for you to imagine anything up here mattering to something like that."Captain?" The projection from the station's cameras winks out as the door to your office slides open and your adjutant enters. "The meeting is starting.""Thank you." Your hand sweeps out and pulls the swathe of e-papers strewn over your desk together, and you stand up. The adjutant stands aside as you pass, and begins following behind you. "What's the situation planetside, Arran?"He thumbs through his own sheet of e-paper and passes one to you. "Riots in Miir. Posted manifests say they are protesting the construction of a second level while the supply crisis to Kana remains unsolved.""And what is actually happening?" Roving mobs of people holding signs and shouting at a Planetary Guard perimeter appeared on the e-paper. Without sound, it's hard to tell what the chant is, but the flashes of white smoke in the crowd and small flying objects give you an idea."They appear to be rioting. Riot Control has deployed, but we already have a few confirmed casualties." Arran moved to the side as a line of pilots in full normal suits pass you in the cramped corridor."Among the construction crews?""No, they pulled out before the riots began. These have primarily been pedestrians and workers who were in the area beforehand." You stop outside of the conference room as he pans through the papers in his hand. "They are reported to be in good condition, though. No deadly injuries."You have to pause and think for a moment. "...get in contact with whoever the commanding officer is down there. Get a copy of whatever the actual damages are."Arran nods. "Yes, sir." You nod back, pressing the panel to open the door and stepping into the dimly lit conference room. You glance at your watch readout. 0832. "Apologies for the delay, the situation in Miir..."Rear Admiral Karun raises his hand for silence from his seat across the room. "We understand, captain. Let's get started." He was a rotund man, starting to show his age and lack of fitness more and more as the war moved into it's fifteenth year. The blue of his Navy jumpsuit stands out against the teal of the Planetary Guard personnel filling the room. You take your seat as he leans forward onto his desk. An ensign in the back quickly operated his terminal, changing the false depth projection emanating from the conference table.A model of the solar system appeared, Tagara highlighted in green, with the other planets designated in blue. Multiple red marks indicated the positions of known enemy incursions. Blissfully, there were only three in Tagara's orbit itself. The opening shots of the war.
>>3684790You shake the intrusive thoughts of those days off, trying to push the memory of Contact Day out of your head, and focus upon the map once more.The rest of the solar system was a mess of marks, concentrated primarily around the known Valkan staging ground at the gas giant Paar. Their few offenses. What's different this time, though, is the single, large red mark directly outside the orbit of Tiir, a moon used by the Navy as a major staging ground."As of oh-five-hundred hours today, the Valkans have attacked and destroyed the entirety of the fifteenth fleet that was assembling at Tiir. All fifteen component vessels and the eight reinforcment ships that responded were destroyed, and Tiir itself has sustained major damage." Images began appearing underneath the wireframes of the planet. Ships with holes punched through them, armor melted like a hot needle pressed into wax. One of the hulls stands out to you, Gaaldi, a nuclear destroyer. You remember attending it's christening, shaking hands with the captain and speaking to his wife. Was that really two years ago? Karun took a breath. "This is the greatest loss we have taken in this war. Over ten thousand lives were at Tiir, and we are still attempting to confirm casualties and conduct rescue efforts."The conference room had grown very quiet. "Where is their fleet now?" Someone asked, you didn't see who."The Valkans entered hyperspace at oh-six-hundred hours, after they finished bombing Tiir. Current position of their fleet is unknown, but we were able to identify the attacking hulls as XVI, VI and III from this courier drone footage." More images appeared, showing the all-too-familiar hulls. Karun looked around the room. "The Navy has taken severe losses, and with only eleven operable ships, we can no longer guarantee the defense perimeter around Tagara. We need to coordinate our response to this crises."You take stock. The duty of the Planetary Guard is to protect the immediate vicinity of Tagara and the area of Tagara itself from threats. It's not your place to make the call here, that is the duty of the Admirals in the room. But you command the 2nd Interdiction Group, and your presence at this meeting was called for a reason. If there was a Valkan incursion into Tagaran orbit, you would be responding, and you are one of the few Planetary Guard officers with real combat experience against the Valkans.But even with all of that in mind, you are still as much in the dark as anyone else in the room on how to actually fight the Valkans.With all of that in mind, how do you respond?>The Navy must be truly incompetent to fuck up this bad.>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.>Valkans are not invincible. We should mass our defenses.
>>3684791>>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.It's the only way to save everyone we can.
>>3684791>>3684852>>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.seconded.
>>3684791>>3684852>>3684855>>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.Thirded. Although if the perimeter is already compromised it could allow them to slip someone on to the planet and into the evacuation, but its better then forming some awful militia fleet to supplement the Guard. So I guess just keep an eye out for that shit.
>>3684791>>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.Option #1 is usually always the case, no need to point that out directly.
>>3684791>Valkans are not invincible. We should mass our defenses.
>>3684791>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.
>>3684791>>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.man things are problematic
>>3684791>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.Option A goes without saying, options C seems unwise
>Civilian evacuation must be our priority, the rest of us should stay out of combat if possible.7 votes>Valkans are not invincible. We should mass our defenses.1 vote.Confirmed, writing.
It's difficult to ignore the twinge of irritation that swells at the back of your mind. The most advanced fleet they had, over half of their ships, an entire, heavily fortified base with no civilians to protect and they still got their asses kicked. You smother it, though. These are the Valkans.Murmurs fill the room, as the assembled officers lean over and converse with each other in low voices. Karun stares at the tactical readout, his hands folded together and his face set in stone. "The defense perimeter is already broken." You finally speak up. Eyes turn to you. "We've never been able to win against the Valkans in a straight fight, and that hasn't changed. If we panic- draw all our forces to Tagara, we'll just be setting ourselves up for Tiir all over again." You look at your leadership, then Karun. "Can you close the defense perimeter?""We would have to massively shrink our detection range, but it's possible." He glances at Admiral Sarob to your right. "If we could pull a few ships from the Planetary Defense, we could close the gap.""How many?" Sarob rumbles."Three ships. At a bare minimum we need one with hyperspace detection capabilities.""We can redeploy a single carrier group..." Sarob began."Admiral Sarob." You interrupt. "In the event of an evacuation, carriers will give us the greatest ability to rapidly move civilians. If the Valkans attack our defense perimeter, all we will do is waste a carrier." You pause for breath. "Send a destroyer.""That will understaff our flanks." Vice Admiral Res said. "Destroyers are a key element of our ability to interdict Valkan strikecraft swarms.""They can barely carry any civilian life." You insist. "Any fight we attempt will only serve as a delaying tactic. We must focus our efforts on evasion and protecting civilian and industrial targets."Res studies you for a long moment, her expression inscrutable. She turns. "Sarob?""...Charan has been in fights with Valkans before. I concur with him. We will deploy Rosiid, Paltiid and Meliid under Navy command." He turns to Karun. "Would that be acceptable?"Karun grunted. "More than acceptable.""I'm also going to declare a planetary lockdown." Sarob continued. "Ground all flights and space traffic. I want only military aircraft and ships out on the seas for the next fourty eight hours." The room settled into an uneasy silence. Most of the Planetary Guard members in the room looked unnerved and uneasy. You look over Karun's shoulder and see a resigned expression on the faces of his adjutant. They all knew this was coming. You can only imagine that your face looks the same. "We're dismissed. I need to speak to the joint chiefs." He rose to his fleet. "All of you with ships, get to them and undock immediately. I don't want a mass of any targets in one place until we're clear."
>>3685335The lights come on, and the images on the table fade away. You stand up automatically. Somehow your folder finds it's way into your hands on your way out. Arran is there already, along with other adjutants that were not cleared to be in the meeting. "I have the-""Forget it." You interrupt him. "Sarob just declared planetary lockdown. We're departing. Is the crew aboard?""A dozen or so crewmen had weekend passes, I believe." Arran looks through his papers. "All the officers are aboard." He pauses, your words finally reaching his brain. "...invasion conditions?""The Navy managed to get half their fucking ships sunk. Defense perimeter's compromised..." You control your ranting, and thumb the comms switch on your lapel. "Tura, this is Charan. We are making ready for immediate departure. Get any crewmen who haven't left the station for planetside leave back here immediately.""Is it really that bad?" Arran asks quietly. "We have eighty ships here at Tagara, surely...""It's bad." You answer, curtly, following the red line on the floor to the station's moor. "We barely have any veterancy fighting the Valkans, and our best fighters were just wiped out with our best gear." You enter the chamber at the end of the line and press the cycling switch. The door snaps shut behind you and Arran, displaying a dial which rapidly begins to deplete. The faint rippling of the station's gravity paneling cycling down ripples through you as you enter freefall. "...what was your last assignment, ensign?""Missile defense corps, a little island off the coast of Sanan.""You ever face real combat?""Once. We responded to the crash protest a few years ago. Shot it down.""But never against the Valkans?""No, sir." The door opens, the two of you fully in microgravity. Using the handholds staked into the walls at regular intervals, you maneuver out into the wide open space of the moor.A long, spindly chamber, stretching up hundreds of feet above you, dotted with airlocks and umbilical bridges. The station's overflow parking, as it were. For ships that weren't being refitted. You reach out and grab one of the waiting handles, depressing the switch in it and being pulled along as it rapidly rises."...if they come here, sir. What are we going to do?" You hear Arran's voice call from somewhere to your side. You're too busy reading the numbers on the wall as they slide past to look. It was so long ago, now, but the buildup of memories that begun when Karun began his report has been steadily gaining strength, and in the relative quiet of the moor, you can't do anything to stop them from washing over you.It was fifteen years ago, and you were...>Commanding officer of a small tactical attack craft. A 'torpedo boat'.>Still enlisted, another warm body in the Civil Security Unit.>An aviator, attached to an airbase in Kana.
>>3685337>An aviator, attached to an airbase in Kana.
>>3685337>Commanding officer of a small tactical attack craft. A 'torpedo boat'.
You might be a better writer then me, and by a good margin. >>3685337>Still enlisted, another warm body in the Civil Security Unit.
>>3685337>Still enlisted, another warm body in the Civil Security Unit.
>An aviator, attached to an airbase in Kana.2 votes>Commanding officer of a small tactical attack craft. A 'torpedo boat'4 votes>Still enlisted, another warm body in the Civil Security Unit.3 votesWhew, close one. Writing.
1400 HOURS1ST OF 3RD, 1138GREAT RIDGED SEALIEUTENANT COMMANDER JORAN CHARAN"...I'm just saying, I managed to pull the ten while you were stuck with the five.""Maybe that's because I was chatting up a man?" Mura's voice was sharp, but a glance to the side let you see the grin on her face. "You wouldn't know an attractive man if-""I don't need to- 'cause I'm not gay." Huur clicked his tongue loudly. "Actually- y'know what, let's get a tiebreaker. Captain?""I don't comment on civilian matters." You smile and sip from the bottle of recaf in your hands. Your gaze flicks down to the console in front of you. First the position data, then the communications feed. With nothing to read, you raise your gaze to the small slice of grey light against the bridge windows. The faint, constant hum of the engines gently rings the hull, but it's annoyance you've gotten used to in the past two years.Huur threw up his hands slightly, and turned to Voman, on his left. "How about-""I wasn't there, how could I know?" The man rumbled, not taking his eyes off the instruments in front of him, one hand resting on the flight stick."I'm just going to take that as a personal victory.""Like any of us are going to believe she slept with a wimp like you." Mura rolled her eyes."I'm telling you, though, I-""Shadda, this is Skywatch." You hold up a hand, and Huur's mouth instantly shuts. He turns from where he's sprawled over the edge of his seat and sits back down. "What's your current position, over?"You glance down at your screen once more before depressing the comms switch on your terminal. "Five degrees north by eighty degrees west, in ground effect flight.""Copy, Shadda. Hold for one moment.""Copy, Skywatch." You release the switch."Why would Skywatch care where we are?" Huur immediately voiced."Maybe some orbital debris are incoming?" Voman suggested."Speculation is pointless." You silence the conversation. But it is suspicious. Skywatch's jurisdiction was purely for orbital traffic- they weren't even supposed to contact units on the ground unless it was an emergency. A few quick taps on your console brings up the line to your local control tower. "Overlord, this is Shadda, we just got hailed by Skywatch for our position."The response was immediate. "Overlord copies. We're monitoring the situation. Comply with Skywatch's directives for the time being. Out." An uncomfortable silence began to settle over the cabin. Your eyes glance towards Mura, then back to your console. You absently pull your harness over yourself, buckling into the seat properly and leaning back."Shadda, we need you upstairs." Skywatch's comm tag flashed on your screen again. "Something's pinging the detection grid directly above your position and we need eyes on.""Copy that. Shadda, moving upstairs." You release the comms switch. "Huur."
>>3687978"Plotting course." His hands moved over the screen, confirming the ascent profile given to him by the computer and making sure there were no nearby craft on your sensors. "Bearing... seventy." Voman silently began turning the ship. Mura was pulling on the gloves of her suit, quiet 'clicks' sounding as the seals slid into place around her suit.You reach over to the right of your console and turn a switch on the board from 'DEN' to 'ACT'. "Key is turned." Your own gloves start to come on.Huur's eyes were glued to his screen, even as he tugged his helmet on. "Co-pilot, ready. On your go, Voman.""Fifteen seconds." Voman muttered, already in his suit. How the heat of the bridge didn't manage to bother him, in that stuffy thing, you'll never figure out. Reaching behind your headrest, you pull the helmet off it's hook and slide it over your head. It thunks loudly against the back of your seat, and it constricts your viewing angle, but it's better than the alternative.The hum of the engines was pitching up, now. Smooth, constant droning was becoming more dissonant, gaining in volume as the hull ominously creaked. The single, great engine at the core of your ship was pitching up, joined by the shrill whine of the six rockets held to the side of your hull by magnetic clamps.You lean back. The comms switch goes down. "Shadda, exiting ground effect flight."The ship pitches up, gaining altitude. Your stomach turns slightly as the ground slips away beneath the canopy, and your view is taken up entirely by the sky's perpetual overcast. "Boosters in three." Voman calls. Huur reaches out, hovering his hand over the button. The heading indicator scrolled further and further up, reaching eighty... eighty five... ninety. "Boosters."A whine became a sudden roar, echoing through the hull to rattle against your ears. The sheer acceleration forces your body back, digging into the seat cushioning. The readout on your console says you're bearing only 4Gs of acceleration, but it never gets easier, no matter how many times you've done it."Shadda, what is your status?"Your eye lolls down to the instrument panel. "Altitude ninety thousand meters!" You have to shout, to get the words out through the pressure on your chest. "Thirty seconds!"Voman begins tilting the craft forward, nose coming down and bringing you up to orbital velocity with the last of the boosters. A warning tone begins pinging in your helmet speaker and the console, displaying a percentage warning. "Boosters empty in ten!" Huur calls, his hand grips a key on his own board. "On you, Voman."The acceleration begins to die down, coming in fits and bursts that make you lightly tug forward against your harness before being pulled back into the chair. A pitiful whine echoes through the hull. "Release boosters." Voman orders.
>>3687979Huur turns his key, and the whine abruptly cuts off with a loud snapping sound. The pressure releases from your chest, leaving you with only the low acceleration of the engines pressing you back into the chair. A glance down at one of the hull cameras shows the booster tubes floating away, discarded as empty mass. You're reaching for your comms switch when Skywatch comes on again. "Get your long-range dishes up, sweep out that entire sector. We have other craft coming up to assist."Even more craft? This was barely above the atmosphere. It was well under any hyperspace exit zone, so any unknown traffic should have been picked up on orbital traffic control's sensors, and any ship exiting hyperspace would have been picked up on the intercept network. Nothing smaller than a carrier could hold a hyperspace detection suite, anyway - well, besides your crew - so it couldn't be the intercept network acting up. "Get sensors up, Mura. Optics, too. Skywatch is spooked."You tap the arm of your command chair and consider.>Ask Skywatch for clarification on what's happening. You can't do your job unless you know what you're looking for.>Keep your head down and follow orders. This is probably a drill.>Try to go around Skywatch and contact Overlord for more information.>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.
>>3687983>Ask Skywatch for clarification on what's happening. You can't do your job unless you know what you're looking for.
>>3687983>Ask Skywatch for clarification on what's happening. You can't do your job unless you know what you're looking for.If they're evasive.....>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.If they don't know.....>Try to go around Skywatch and contact Overlord for more information.And if you still can't get anything.....>Begrudgingly follow their orders, and stay alert.
>>3687983>>Ask Skywatch for clarification on what's happening. You can't do your job unless you know what you're looking for.but also>>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.
>>3687983>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.Trust the men on-site
>>3687983>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.
>>3687983>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.The sooner we establish lines with the other ships the sooner we can get a handle on the situation one way or another. First guy on site might be us, gotta communicate what we find, maybe make a call.
>Ask Skywatch for clarification on what's happening. You can't do your job unless you know what you're looking for.4 votes>Hail the other ships and ask them what the hell is going on.3 votesThe vote was supposed to represent what you wanted to press on. Trying to force information out of Skywatch, or negotiate it out of Overlord, which would take time. The wording was way too ambiguous, I'm realizing. Sorry about that, I'll be more careful in the future.For now, we'll do:>Ask Skywatch for clarification on what's happening while coordinating with the ships on site. Combine your information.
Skywatch's evasive tone puts a frown on your face. Why would they attempt to hide something from their own personnel? You may not normally operate in Skywatch's jurisdiction, but you're both part of the Planetary Guard. You depress the comms switch. "Shadda to Skywatch. Interrogative: What exactly are we looking for?""You're looking for an object..." Skywatch's voice trails off. "Ah, an object with an approximate radar cross-section of one and a half kilometers."It takes a few seconds for that to process. "Say again, one and a half kilometers?""Yes. We have technicians examining the arrays now for fault. Our normal radar and lidar arrays are not reading anything at this time.""Sounds like one hell of a malfunction." You probably shouldn't have said that. Logically, though, that makes a lot of sense. Gaps in the intercept grid would give anyone the heebie jeebies. "Copy that, we'll check it out." You turn to Mura. "Who's in the airspace?""I've verified datalinks from TACs... Mel, Ron and Palt. No ranking officers, they're all torpedo boats, sir.""This is Skywatch's game. Let them call the shots." You lean back in your seat. You thumb your console and switch to the Mel's frequency. "Mel, this is torpedo boat Shadda, three clicks to your..." You glance down at the console. "Two-eighty-by-two-ninety.""...copy that, Shadda, we see you. Send traffic."You tap a few keys on your console. "You in contact with Ron and Palt?""Roger that. You want to get in on this party?""That'd be great." You smile and relax slightly. Talking with the brass had put you on edge. Tapping a few keys, the craft's systems dispense a encryption key that you pass to the Mel. "Dropping party favor." A few seconds later, a new channel appears on your console."...retty far off. We'll sweep out this end of the grid cell." A new voice says. Tags in the comms display flutter on and off, indicating the transmitter."Copy that, Ron. We'll move onto a northern polar approach and sweep it out." Palt drawls over the radio. "Hey, uh, does anyone know what the big deal is?""They thought they saw something huge on sensors. Want us to check it out while they bang on the equipment." You answer."You'd think with the all the tax payer money we spend on those things, they'd work a bit better-" Mel's tag in the channel was rapidly flashing, indicating they wished to transmit. "Shadda's on communications. I need to start the mission recording now.""Copy that." The Palt went silent on your new local comms channel. Probably didn't want to get caught shit-talking the brass on tape. It's direct connection with the Shadda, though. That began flashing. "Intercept system fault?" Palt's captain asked quietly.
>>3688570"That's what Skywatch says." You answer. "Only thing that's accurate is the hyperspace intercept system, and you can't jump this low in altitude. Do you know anything?""Soban managed to call a friend of his in the missile defense corps before coming up here. Apparently they're freaking out down there."That couldn't be good. "Soban?""Captain of the Mel.""Did he say why?""No, but he says his friend isn't the kind to freak out over nothing.""This is missile defense we're talking about, here. They don't exactly keep a cool head down there.""Eh, maybe. But I know Soban, he wouldn't relay it if he didn't think it was legit- ah, hold on." The Palt's captain switched to the other channel. "Affirmative, we're on the northern polar approach."You realize you've been holding a normal orbit this whole time. Hurriedly, you switch back to your sensors view and verify the direction the Mel is going in. "And, ah, Shadda will sweep out the spinwise sector. Over." Huur and Voman below you began making the necessary course correction. The dots on your view were slowly fanning out in four directions, slowly covering a larger and larger area with their detection arrays. Not at ideal efficiency, but close enough."As I was saying- Soban at least thinks it's legit.""What could it be, though? Sunspot activity?" You chew your lip slightly, then turn to Mura. "Do you have anything?"She shakes her head, most of her face covered by the tinted visor of her suit. "It's empty, captain. The closest thing that lidar and radar are picking up is the intercept satellites themselves. Thermal shows nothing. Optics are totally blank.""Hm. Keep it up." You say, thinking over the chain of events.Tagara's orbit is covered by two overlapping spheres of sensors. The normal surveillance network was a large network of satellites carrying radar and camera arrays. They tracked space traffic coming into Tagara itself- mostly from the new base on Tiir and the gas miners over Paar. Then there was the hyperspace intercept network. Any imminent hyperspace events from one-hundred-and-a-half kilometers above Tagara to the orbit of Tiir, and they'd know.Skywatch detected a giant object in orbit, and now it was gone... but no hyperspace signature? That made a equipment malfunction pretty likely. They routed you up from the surface, and if Soban's intel could be believed, missile defense was involved, so it was in low orbit..."Do you know anyone you could ping about this?" You radio to the Palt."I have a friend in Navy Intelligence.""And?""He hung up on me.""...fucking spooks." You mutter."I wouldn't put much stock in it, y'know spooks are- hold on." Palt's comms went out.
>>3688576You directed your attention to your console again, taking stock. Still nothing. A slight amount of irritation welled up inside you at that. If this was just a wild goose chase... "Shadda here. Sitrep, please.""Nothing yet." The Mel's captain - Soban - radioed."Negative, let us check out sweep gear..." The Palt responded. He had suddenly become much quieter. The slight drawl and disengaged tone becoming more subdued. He sounded... scared?Your brow furrows. Something's wrong. You're about to radio him again when your comms panel flashes with a signal from the Ron. "Lieutenant Commander Charan, of Shadda."The voice of the Ron's captain was raw. He sounded young. Barely out of college, even. "I got ahold of a friend of mine in the Navy. Paar has gone dark.""Parts of Paar go dark all the time." You respond."Not parts. All of it. The entire planet has gone dead, and we can't hail the defense fleet. Apparently they started having comms trouble this morning, but now the entire station network has gone silent.""That doesn't..." You begin. "A courier drone could bypass any sunspot activity...""They sent one, then classified the shit out of whatever it picked up." The Ron's captain paused. "My friend has clearance, and even he can't look at the data.""...copy that, thanks for the heads-up." You let go of the comms switch. There's a way to check if it's legit, but you'd have to stick your neck out... "...Overlord, I'm picking up a lot of chatter about a situation at Paar, over.""Copy that, Shadda. Return to your mission."...Well. That was basically a tacit admission. You open your mouth to ask Mura for another report when a shiver passes over your skin. The hairs on the back of your neck stand-up straight on their ends, and you could swear a low buzzing-hum was sounding in the distance, despite the vacuum of space. Marines like to call it their sixth sense, but you know better. And what's more, your entire crew obviously felt it, too. Mura was stiffening in her seat, Voman was alert and swiveling his head, and Huur had gone very, very still.Your eyes snap down to the altimeter. One hundred and nine kilometers. You barely feel the thud as your fist smacks down on the comms switch. "Skywatch, Skywatch! Something is exiting hyperspace!""We don't have anything on our grid-" Skywatch began.You start smacking the comms switch repeatedly before they could even finish. "Negative, they're below the intercept grid. I say again, hyperspace activity within the absolute defense zone!" You barely register the increased dig of the seat into your back as Voman accelerates. Feeds from the ship's external cameras snap past on your console as you flip through them."Captain." Mura's voice floats to you. "Activity on camera sixteen."
>>3688578Camera sixteen showed nothing but stars. Stars that were being obscured by a roving black shape, moving backwards. The camera was shifting towards it as Voman directed the ship to move alongside, with a metal spire soon looming around the edge of the square as it slid back, revealing more and more metal. The square and you passed each other, revealing it's other side that glowed a vibrant red, pulsing through with bands of high-energy light as the ship fully materialized.It was huge. Bigger than any ship you'd ever seen- even the Kaur that had been launched last year. It could be- no, you know it must be a kilometer and a half in length. The spire and most of it's length were bristling with communications equipment. Across almost it's entire middle deck with dozens- maybe even hundreds of airlock doors. This was it. This was what had been detected. And it's probably what had attacked Paar.>Evasive. Now.>Break off and try to regroup with the other ships. Strength in numbers.>Fire!
>>3688580>Break off and try to regroup with the other ships. Strength in numbers.The impression I get is that we're an airtight trashcan with an engine and a gun strapped on. Without friends, all we'll do is piss it off and get blown up.Then again, this is a flashback so we have protagonist-grade plot armour.
>>3688570>>3688576>>3688578>>3688580>Priority 1: Evasive. Now. >Priority 2: Break off and regroup. We fire at this thing, there's very little chance the rest of the crew is going to make it out alive. I mean yeah we're in a flashback, but I don't want to come back to modern day and find we're suddenly missing our legs and have several dog-tags tied to our belt from people who aren't there anymore.
>>3688612Good point, the future/present day is still malleable. All that's established is we survive and are a captain.Although evade what? It's not firing at us yet, it might not even have noticed us.
>>3688625Our crew could die.
>>3688625It's still a big fuck-off ship in space.We're in a tin can with a gun.Evasive action to avoid becoming a bug on a windshield.
>>3688625It's essentially a preemptive reaction. Paar went dark, presumably destroyed because of the military reaction, this thing is giant and way more advanced than you and you're basically in point-blank range. It's not firing, but it's making the assumption that it's about to, based on what you know.
>>3688580>Break off and try to regroup with the other ships. Strength in numbers.
>>3688583>>3688774>Fire!2 votes.>>3688877>>3688594>>3688596>Break off and try to regroup with the other ships. Strength in numbers.3 votes.>>3688612>Evasive. Now.1 vote.I believe I'm counting these right? Either way, I have to sleep, but I'll begin writing as soon as I wake up.
Mastering the urge to scream 'fire!' at the top of your lungs is difficult, but you remind yourself that you're only in a torpedo boat. The armor on this thing was only there to protect you from small-arms fire from the ground. Any hit from a ship-grade weapon and you were toast. Supposedly, the armor incorporated some kind of 'floating' system that meant it would take a good, single hit from ship-mounted weapons before failing- but you've never met any boater who believed a word of that. Not with the way the damn hull creaked."Break off. Realign us to a northern polar orbit." You order. Reversing your orbit would just take you directly past the ship again. Better to put as much distance between you and the ship as possible. You switch to the local comms channel. "Palt, we're moving into your orbit.""We, uh-" Palt's captain sounded shaken. His comms cut out for a second, and when he returned his voice was stronger and more sure. "Copy that, we see you. Mel, do you want to back up Ron?""Negative! Ron is reversing orbit! Regroup with the Shadda and Palt." The Ron's captain radioed. He sounded pretty shaken up. You feel a flash of empathy for him. You remember your first few operations."Let's not get ahead of ourselves." Soban radioed, his voice calm and even. "Mel is making a flush maneuver. We'll rendezvous with the Ron and reverse orbit together. Is the ship engaged in any activity?"You glance at your sensors again. The ship's engines appeared to be on, with some kind of white-hot plume of exhaust gas streaming from the front of the ship, in the direction it was traveling. Didn't look like any kind of fusion propellant you knew. "Vessel appears to be slowing it's speed, and..." You lean into your camera and peer. What you thought were airlock doors before... no, they were something else. They were sliding out of the hull like blocks out of a puzzle box, revealing themselves to be long, almost needle-like spindles. "It appears to be launching drones of some kind." Switching to your navigational display, you look down and furrow your brow for a second. "Huur, time for Mel and Ron to reverse orbit?"He thumbs his own console, leaning over the navigation data. "A flush maneuver? Time to spin into a polar orbit, then reverse it entirely... five minutes, at full burn?"Voman grunts. "Less, with a competent pilot.""Let's not assume." You glance down and switch to your rarely-used munitions monitor. "Mura, we have options, right?"
>>3690385"We only loaded the submunition launchers for riot suppression. Flashers and tear gas." She answers. That wasn't great. The Multiple Submunition Launcher was what would carry your normal anti-drone complement, but your previous mission was patrolling the coast, so it wasn't a priority. "Normal tubes have our normal shredder and slag torpedoes." Two each, for all four of your torpedo tubes. The shredder was the anti-drone complement, but it was only two shots. Unless you could get a good shot in on something delicate like their comms array, it would be useless against that many drones. The slag torpedoes, though..."Be advised, the Shadda was previously on coast duty and is only armed with two anti-ship missiles." You radio."Copy that. The Mel was on emergency standby and is carrying a full complement of anti-ship missiles." Soban replies. Emergency standby? They must have put them on high alert after Paar was... whatever happened at Paar.You settle into an uneasy holding pattern with Palt, watching the ship slowly pull away from you on sensors, the sheer distance of space making it vanish into a barley visible blob within minutes on optics. Thermal imaging, though, reveals the pinpricks of red surrounding the ship like a halo as it slowly dips down in altitude. Your thumb your radio. "Skywatch, this is Shadda." You wait for a response. "...Skywatch, this is Shadda. Come in, over." You release the switch and wait. "Palt, can you raise Skywatch?""Standby one moment." You know if Skywatch had been attacked or destroyed... somehow, they would have automatically broadcast a distress signal, but your console didn't register one being received. Checking your radio arrays, you weren't registering any of the normal static or interference patterns that would indicate that you were under the effects of jamming. "Negative, we cannot.""Mel, what about you?""H...g... t... p... up ..our si..." Soban's voice was suddenly extremely faint, barely registering on your radio. You crank up the gain on your radio. "S...y a...in, your signal is exTREMELY QUIET-" you snap the gain back down before your eardrums blow out. "...be advised, the vessel appears to be utilizing some sort of long-range jamming device. Palt, can you still hear me?""Loud and clear." Palt replied."Must not be effective at short range." You surmise. The Mel and Ron were returning, now. Glancing at your navigational display shows that they're within twenty kilometers of your position, forming up as another pair on the opposite side of the ship from you.
>>3690394Now that you've regrouped, you collectively propose a much bigger threat to the ship. It may be large, but even a battleship couldn't take eight slag torpedoes to the hull and remain effective. Although it hasn't commited any directly hostile action yet, you find it hard to believe that anyone would jam and then launch drones by 'accident'. Having no connection to command makes you uneasy, as well. But there's no way they wouldn't send ships if communications had gone down. Right?What do you wish to attempt first?>Try to hail the ship. It hasn't done anything directly hostile yet.>Move out of jamming range and hail Skywatch or Overlord.>Open fire. Launching drones and jamming is obviously a hostile action.>>Fire an anti-drone flechette torpedo while they're all grouped up next to the ship.>>Fire directly upon the ship with slag torpedoes.>>Attempt to damage it's communications array, maybe it'll stop the jamming.
>>3690399>Open fire. Launching drones and jamming is obviously a hostile action.>>Fire an anti-drone flechette torpedo while they're all grouped up next to the ship.They are 90% likely to be hostile, but if they aren't, we're only taking out drones right now.
>>3690399>>Try to hail the ship. It hasn't done anything directly hostile yet.>>Fire an anti-drone flechette torpedo while they're all grouped up next to the ship.
>>3690399>Move out of jamming range and hail Skywatch or Overlord.
>>3690399>Open fire. Launching drones and jamming is obviously a hostile action.>>Fire an anti-drone flechette torpedo while they're all grouped up next to the ship.
>>3690574This, but the other way around in case the drones eat any of our missiles.Somehow, I have the feeling it won't be so easy.....
>Open fire. Launching drones and jamming is obviously a hostile action.>>Fire an anti-drone flechette torpedo while they're all grouped up next to the ship.4 votes.>Move out of jamming range and hail Skywatch or Overlord.1 vote.Alright, pretty clear cut there. Writing.
>>3690887Maybe we need to kill the drones first maybe so they don't scatter.
"Mura, target the drone clusters. Flechette torpedo." You reach forward and turn your arming key. You remember when you first got your commission, they were actual keys that could be removed. Officers losing the keys, being killed before they could board their ships and just the slot breaking put an end to that practice quickly. Nowadays it's just a switch in the board. "Be advised, Shadda is firing anti-drone torpedoes.""Palt will support, standby for single torpedo barrage."Mura was leaning over her console, jerking her control stick with her thumb. You could hear the slight whirring sounds emanating through the top of the hull. The launch tubes realigning slightly to give a straight shot. "Tube bearing... oh-point-two-seven degrees... target distance, eight-point-two kilos... fuse timer, two seconds.""Fire on my mark." You call. The comms switch goes down. "Palt, on my go.""Standing by."You look out over the image of the ship in front of you. The drones were moving, turning to accelerate away from the ship. Last chance while they were still bundled. "Fire!"The hull shuddered with a rasp of metal as one of it's torpedoes let loose. The back blast of blue plasma completely obscured and whited out several of your rear cameras as the missile's initial boost stage brought it up from a relative stop to mach ten in just a few seconds. The Palt released it's own torpedo- showing up as a brilliant flare on your rear thermal cameras. Both speed out as a pair of brilliant blue flares, accelerating with such incredible speed that in the two seconds it took to occur to you what might have happened to your ship if those torpedoes had failed to release, they had already reached their target.Rivets blew open across the sleek tubes, disposing of the armored fairing and blowing the boosters off the back. Within each torpedo was a cluster of small canisters, neatly lined up on the rail. They each swiveled erratically, popping out to point at each of the drones in clusters, guided onto each target by the camera in the nose of the torpedo. Academically, you know that there's a brief instance where the computer determines the exact angle and level of thrust required to send them true, but in the moment all you see is a blur as the pod of missiles bursts open. A swarm of canisters fly out, bursting open to finally reveal their payloads of dozens of ultra-hard, dense flechettes traveling at a relative velocity of thousands of meters per second.The curtain of metal opens wide, and you watch in disbelief as the shower spectacularly fails to punch a mass of clean holes through each of the drones. Instead, flechettes wildly stab into the drone's armor, only sinking a few centimeters in, being buried up to their tail in the metal. Others that strike them at the edges wildly deflect off, pinging against other drones or embedding themselves in the side of the ship.
>>3691417"Flechette shot... appears to be ineffective." Mura reports, her voice filled with doubt as she checks and then rechecks her feeds. "Several drones appear to be disabled after receiving damage to... I believe their cameras, sir."The drones were definitely moving, now, leaving their inoperable brethren behind and rapidly accelerating away from the ship towards you."I see a ship on optics." Huur calls. "Patrol frigate with destroyer escort. I think the hull name is Karii, but I can't get through the interference."On your sensors, you can see the drones quickly gaining acceleration. The computer made a rough count based on number of silhouettes and made an estimate of thirty drones. Each one was smaller than your boat, but had no visible armaments. The drones you were familiar with typically carried weapons effective against long-range missiles and boats, like you- high caliber, rapid fire guns. With these, though, anything was possible."The flechettes appeared to be most effective on their frontal cameras." Soban radio's. "Flechette torpedoes may penetrate more when fired head-on. The Mel can support with her submunitions armament.">We're already lined up with them, let's fire again while we still have the chance.>The technology difference unsettles me, let's use our flashers and break off while we have the chance.>Ignore the drones and dump our slag missiles on the ship itself.
>>3691422>We're already lined up with them, let's fire again while we still have the chance.
>>3691422I'm not sure if we should try and disable more drones to save ourselves, or dump the slag missiles now.
>>3691417>>3691422Fire again while we have the chance.or.Slag missiles.
>>3691422>We're already lined up with them, let's fire again while we still have the chance.Unless we can get another round off before they reach us, don't wait for the results to leg it.
>>3691444If we try and fire anyway, the drones will probably just eat the missiles and intercept them before they reach the ship.
>>3691700They have no visible armaments though, unless they use their bodies to intercept.
>>3691735That's what I mean
>>3691737They're going to crash into us and explode, they might be filled up with nuclear warheads.
>>3691740Oh, we should indeed blast them before they reach us or run if we can't, what I'm saying is that so long as the drones are between us and ol' Rainbow Warrior, any anti-ship missiles we fire will probably hit the drones instead of their marks.
>>3691760>ol' Rainbow Warrior...now that was an obscure ass reference that I didn't expect to see in my quest.
>>3691422 Can we flash and shoot?
>>3691862You can, but that will reduce the number of countermeasures you have to fire later if you want to take evasive action.
>>3691871I'll vote for that then
>>3691435>>3691530>>3691626>We're already lined up with them, let's fire again while we still have the chance.>>3692212>Use flashers to reduce the risk of being fired upon.I believe I have that counted properly? Writing, unless I've got it completely wrong, then correct me.
"Hold formation, Shadda will fire our other flechette torpedo." You order. "Mura.""Bearing... point-seventy..." Mura taps and adjustments on the firing panel seemed to drag at a snail's pace. You watched the distance on the screen close faster and faster as the drones accelerated into a interception course. "Distance... three..."The front of each drone flared on your thermal cameras, glowing brightly enough that you could see the approaching net of light through your bridge windows. "...Mura?""Firing!""Mel firing submunition slag missiles." On your thermal cameras, you see the telltale flashes from the underside of the Mel, a stream of small missiles spraying forth. Brought up to speed near-instantly by the propellant charge in the launcher itself, the unguided projectiles left brilliant streaks on your thermal cameras. At such a close range, they impacted the drones almost instantly, with the sheer heat of their internal thermal charges forging the missile's casing into a superheated penetrator.The drones attempted evasions, but at such a close range they were struck instantly by the slag, burning holes into the armor and embedding deep into their chassis. Successive layers of armor - designed to stop or cancel out penetration by physical projectiles - ended up trapping the superheated metal inside, fusing a large chunk of the drone's internals together.Your flechette shot, followed closely by the Palt's second shot, deployed at much closer range this time, throwing a much narrower, densely packed net of flechette directly in front of you. The drone's acceleration in your direction did nothing but increase the relative speed each one impacted with, punching the projectiles all the way into each drone. None of them emerged from the other side, probably being stopped by the armor on it's other side, but the effect was enough.All of the drones accelerating for a head-on attack lost the ability to course correct, attempting to fire maneuvering thrusters that were no longer operational or blinding maneuvering to a target broken cameras couldn't see. One's internal power plant was breached, the hot plasma of it's fusion plant streaming out into the delicate internals of the drone and spectacularly melting it from the inside on your cameras.The inoperative husks of the destroyed drones flew past your formation, the nearest wreck visibly streaking past your bridge. "Don't hit any of them, Voman.""Have a little faith, captain."Your sensors showed the outer layer of drones slowing and banking, shrugging off the kind of g-forces that would knock your crew out. "Damn, that's fast..." The pudgy face of your instructor in command school comes to mind, repeating one of his favorite mantras. Never get into a melee fight with a drone. They will win. You think fast. "Mura, prepare to fire flashers behind us."Mura doesn't question your orders, bless her. "Target?"
>>3694084"Doesn't matter, just in view of the drones." You watch the trackers on your sensors swing around, pulling into close range. "All units, prepare to make an evasive on my mark.""Palt copies.""Ready!"Timing set. The rest is just instinct. You see the drones curving around, the brilliant flare of what you can only assume to be weapons in their front pulsing brighter and brighter... "Flashers!"The repeated mechanical thrumming of your own submunitions launcher thrums through the hull, and your rear cameras blot out in white flares. The smears take up the entire screen, the camera auto-adjusting just as another flare wipes it out again. It's not nearly as effective on cameras as it is on humans, but the momentary white-out can buy you precious seconds against drones.Golden streams of light streak past your formation, having only been knocked off by mere arc-seconds before firing, the beams are meters away from your hull. The entire ship shudders slightly, kicking you barely to the left. If you weren't in space, you would have sworn it was just turbulence. Several warning lights appear on your panel, indicating damage to the hull. "Damage report?""Uh..." Huur tapped through his console. "Looks like we lost some roll thrusters.""I still have turn." Voman announced, after a check."The hell was that!?" The Ron practically shouted into his mic."This is Palt, we've received critical damage to one of our engines." His voice was airy, despite the circumstance."Do you have enough motive power to disengage?" Soban asked."Yes, we'll be dumping our missiles before we go.""That's not necessary, Lier, disengage and get out of here." Soban's voice was insistent."We'll dump and go. The rest of you, break off while you have the chance.">You can't approach that ship damaged, if it has any weapons you'll be torn apart!>>Don't be stupid!>Huur, get in formation with the Palt.>Break off with the Mel and Ron.
>>3694087>>Don't be stupid!>You can't approach that ship damaged, if it has any weapons you'll be torn apart!If hes going to do it anyways, its better to get everyone to dump and go.
>>3694084>>3694087>Break off with the Mel and Ron.
>>3694087>Break off with the Mel and Ron.
>>3694087>Huur, get in formation with the PaltThis ship looks like a drone carrier, any weaponry it has is probably light. That's not a guarantee, but a risk we have to take.We now have a window of opportunity to do some major damage to Rainbow Warrior (I'm using that as its codename for now). If it is left to attack the planet unopposed by us all disengaging (we are seemingly the sole and last line of defense), the damage it has proven to be capable of doing to a planet is immense. No mission is without risk, and the only reasoning here is the classic Cold Equation. Their lives > ours.*Soban, you crazy bastard. Attacking that ship might well be suicide, we don't know what it's capable of and the odds of success are probably not in our favour......did you think we were going to let you do it all on your own?*
>>3694307.....how do you do italics on /qst/?
>>3694309only available for thread maker i think.If only we can get everyone to fire on the ship.....
QM here. It's an i in tags like spoilers.*Italics* does nothing, but italics does. Check the sticky in the cataloger for more. OP only.
>>3694314Oh yeah, forgot about that rule. Now I feel like a dork.Yes, if we can get the others in the odds of success go up and death go down.
>>3694314>>3694326If you wish, you can also ask the Ron and Mel to join in on your attack.
>>3694355Then let's do that. We should go anyway with or without them, but picture the scene. A lone, heavily damaged, tiny ship flying at a huge opponent to do as much damage as it can and possibly a heroic sacrifice, when the radio crackles to life and the voice of a friend states he's not alone and they win or die together and his friends form up on him. To dramatic music, "Bathtub Two, reporting!" "Bathtub Three, reporting!" "Bathtub Four, reporting! Let's give 'em hell!", and all fly towards the camera. Badassitude worthy of any action movie.
Can I get a recount, then?>You can't approach that ship damaged, if it has any weapons you'll be torn apart!>>Don't be stupid!>Huur, get in formation with the Palt.>>Mel, Ron, you with us?>Break off with the Mel and Ron.
>>3694408>Huur, get in formation with the Palt.>>Mel, Ron, you with us?1 for this, obviously.Quick Q. Are >> options a sub-option of the > option above?
>>3694445Sure lets do this, all in.Having more targets to shoot at increases our survival rates by a tiny bit.
>>3694445Yes, they are. I should probably label them with>Sub-Option:or something.
>>3694408>Break off with the Mel and Ron.
>>3694445yeah let's go all in
>Huur, get in formation with the Palt.>>Mel, Ron, you with us?3 votes.>>36944721 vote.Woah, alright. Writing.
Voman began turning automatically, aligning you with the Mel and Ron as they began to break off. "No." You say."Sir?" Mura leans over in her seat to look at you."Stay with the Palt." You order, and depress your comms switch. "Palt, we've got your back. We'll dump our slag torpedoes as well.""It's your funeral, Shadda.""Then you better not have talked me into a kamikaze run.""They do say I have a charming voice..." The Palt's captain - Lier, apparently - chuckled. "Okay, Palt will go in on the inside, dump the rest of our torpedoes. If you have any flashers left, it could buy us a few seconds.""Copy that. You hear that, Mura?""Yes, sir. Preparing flashers." Her voice quavers slightly as she says it. You make a note to ask your commander to commend her for her composure under fire, later. Huur, too, considering he almost never shuts up for this long.You glance down at your sensors again to see your two dots peeling off of the formation, burning towards the enemy ship. No, wait, three dots?"This had better be worth it, Lier." Soban grumbled over the radio."Knew you couldn't live without me, Michael.""The Ron is disengaging." You note, watching the dot slip away from you. Damn, he's burning hard."I told them to break off and get a message out of the interference." Soban replied. You can't blame him for that call. The captain breaking and panicking in the middle of a dangerous attack run would not have been an asset. "Following your lead, Shadda.""On Palt's go." You answer."Dumping in sixty..." On the sensors, the many dots representing the drones had recovered from your brief disorientation. You count perhaps twenty drones in total."They only fire their weapons within a very close range." Soban noted. "They're either highly inaccurate, or ineffective beyond it.""They seem to be highly accurate." You muse, considering how near the misses were. "Heavy thermal signature. Perhaps dissipation is an issue?""Possibly. Be ready with your flashers.""Copy." You look at your sensors as the 'distance to' reading between the unknown ship and yours continues to shrink. Twenty kilometers... eighteen..."Enemy vessel is rotating."Your eyes snap back to your cameras at Soban's words. Indeed, the entire ship was spinning. Great plumes of white hot plasma spewed out of the maneuvering thrusters that lined the entirety of it's massive hull. The entire vessel spun, far faster than it's leisurely descent would have indicated, to align itself with... "It's the Karii. A patrol cruiser we detected earlier.""I don't want to be anywhere near here when those railguns open fire. Lier.""Stay the course, we're going for a broadside." Palt's voice was calm. "Firing in ten...""Incoming drones!" Huur calls."Flashers!" You call.
>>3694726Mura hits her console, and your cameras begin flickering again. Golden streaks arc by your bridge windows, surging out into the black. One of your rear cameras suddenly cuts out, and a warning light appears on one of your empty launch tubes."Firing!"Twin streaks of blue light up your bridge window as the Palt's remaining torpedo complement is unleashed, submunition launcher spewing flechettes and what you could swear are anti-crowd concussive charges. The streaks of blue fly out to the increasingly large ship, exploding into brilliant streams of superheated metal that crash into it's hull. Sparks fly, and the entire ship pulses with a bright red light that ripples across it's armor plating and across the gaps left by it's drone complement launching."What the-" Huur cries. There goes his award."Mura, fire now." You order.The Palt pitches up and opens up the throttle of it's disabled engines. It limps away from the ship, going for full burn in an attempt to gain as much speed as it can. The twin rasps of your own torpedoes leaving their tubes rattles through the hull, and Voman pulls up before you can see the results of the impact. On your underside cameras, you see the Mel opening up with the beautiful sight of a full complement of anti-ship torpedoes- four slag warheads crashing into their hull with a flash and the barest glimpse of melting bulkhead before it falls out of sight."Of all the reasonable maneuvers..." You hear Voman mutter as the g-forces drag you into the seat."Shadda, drones. Flashers!"They had completely ignored the Mel in the rear, moving in to attack you. Why not fire earlier? Your mind races for a second. They knew the Mel was busy dumping the rest of it's torpedoes, and the Palt was already damaged... oh, dammit. "Mura-""Already on it." She hurriedly smacked the buttons on her console. The repeated mechanical thrum of the launcher firing sounded through your hull- for a few brief seconds. Then it stopped dead. "Ammunition depleted!"You grit your teeth. Too many were fired on your approach. But you might not have made it-Before you can really reflect, something kicks in the back of the ship as it suddenly twists right before straightening itself. Warning lights surge across your functions panel."Right exhaust breached!" Voman calls.What had happened to that drone earlier was now happening to your ship. The tough, treated exhaust jets that contained the exhaust of your fusion plant had broken open, letting it spew into your delicate internals. Superheated plasma melting electronics, igniting munitions and critical systems that your small torpedo boat wasn't large enough to have redundant versions of."Shadda has been hit!"
>>3694730"I'm shutting it down!" Huur cries, his hands hurriedly smacking up small covers labeled with hazard tape. The warning labels continued to spread across your small diagram of the ship. Submunitions fire control compromised... life support compromised... It crept towards the other half of the ship. Then the left exhaust lit up-You grunt as the ship suddenly stops, your momentum trying to carry you forward into the straps of your chair.Voman was pulling back and forth on the throttle, uselessly. "I just lost all engine power.""Emergency shutdown on the engines." You order. "Stop it from spreading!" You reach own and turn all of the keys on your console to their off positions. No booster usage, no weapons."Emergency shutdown..." Huur mutters to himself, flicking switches. The telltale thrum of the power plant slowly dies, the hull shuddering as the ship, for once, becomes completely silent. Your momentum is still carrying you up the side of the giant ship. On the two cameras you're allowed on emergency power, you can see the maneuvering thrusters flickering and sputtering weakly to push you up."Can we still clear the ship?" You ask."Buffer tanks are emptying." Vomand mutters, he reaches out and taps his remaining flight computer. "I believe I can clear the ship, but we will not have much to maneuver with..."That leaves you a sitting duck, if you just coast out into open space. Pulling up your console, you clip through to your sensors, sighing and turning the authorization key to get your sensors back. The Palt had cleared the ship and was rapidly accelerating back to open space, so there was a chance they would ignore you, if for no other reason than you had exhausted your armaments....on the other hand, if they did come back around you were utterly defenseless. The only way to protect yourself would be to make firing upon you too much of a risk, or make yourself a target not worth firing upon. And there wasn't anything around but- wait. Your eyes are drawn up to the ship looming in your bridge window.>Make a run for it away from the battle. The Palt made it out, it makes sense. The Mel is right behind you, and can cover your escape as well.>Crash yourself onto the ship itself. Any shots they make will also hit their ship behind you, and you bet their weapons are powerful enough to really hurt them.
>>3694732>Make a run for it away from the battle. The Palt made it out, it makes sense. The Mel is right behind you, and can cover your escape as well.
>>3694732>Crash yourself onto the ship itself. Any shots they make will also hit their ship behind you, and you bet their weapons are powerful enough to really hurt them.YOLO!
>>3694732>Make a run for it away from the battle. The Palt made it out, it makes sense. The Mel is right behind you, and can cover your escape as well.We've done all we can, and not doing that would result in us splatting on the side like a bug on a windscreen and exploding.
Need to sleep, so I'm leaving the vote open while I go do that.As an aside, does the permasage apply three days after the creation of the thread, or three days with no posts?
>>3695014Since last activity, we're not autosaging yet.
>Make a run for it away from the battle. The Palt made it out, it makes sense. The Mel is right behind you, and can cover your escape as well.2 votes.>Crash yourself onto the ship itself. Any shots they make will also hit their ship behind you, and you bet their weapons are powerful enough to really hurt them.1 vote.Alright, writing.
You leave Voman to his piloting, watching anxiously through the bridge window as the edge of the ship's hull looms up underneath you, waiting for the sudden lurch and awful spinning that would occur if you clipped it... and it never comes. The Shadda clears the hull and continues coasting into the black. "How much manuevering power do we have left?""We have..." Voman flips through his console. "Maybe two hundred meters per second of delta-v.""Not much, in other words." You note. "Are we in a decaying orbit?" The limited sensors you have under emergency power aren't of particular help, but you're at least at orbital speed."Uh..." Huur pulls up his own console, studying the raw navigational data without the graphical aid of the ship's computer to help him. He reaches under his chair and pulls out a pad of paper, checking some scribbles in his handwriting. "Nope, we're in a fairly high spinwise orbit. We'll fall out of the sky in... maybe a hundred years?""Nice peptalk." Mura drawls. Her voice shakes slightly as she speaks."I banged a ten, so what do you know?"You ignore Huur's return to form and study the essential cameras you still have. The ship continued to shrink behind you, the Mel's form too small to see, but indicated by the beams of light arcing around parts of the ship. Small flashes of red light sparked around the ship's hull, tiny, bright lines scoring the camera as something struck the enemy ship. Railgun fire, perhaps. The way it was just bouncing off the ship's hull, though... hopefully Soban would make it out."What do we do now, captain?" Mura was looking to you, leaning out of her chair and turning so you could properly see her face. It was slick with sweat, her brow furrowed and her expression anxious."Follow protocol." You answer, wearily. "Distress beacon, emergency lights. Let's hope we'll coast out of interference soon." You undo your flight harness, and allow yourself to gently float upward, out of your seat, stretching out your stiff arms and legs. A light push sends you to the front of the bridge, where you can lean and look out the bubble of the bridge windows at Tagara itself. The ongoing space battle had shrunk to a barely visible flashing speck with the distance you had accumulated, and the only thing you could properly see was the planet, about the size of a bucket from this distance. You could swear that there were flashes coming from the surface, but... no, not a good thing to think about."Was that really it?" Huur asked. "We fly in, dump our ammo and bug out?"Your head turns to him. "What, real combat?" He nods. "Yeah, pretty much. A few minutes of incredible stress, then it's over." Hurr frowns and mumbles something to himself, a look that's something between disappointment and relief etched on his face. You turn and look back to Tagara as the rest of the crew begins to slowly relax, idling your time until rescue can arrive.
>>36961612200 HOURS1ST OF 3RD, 1138Y'TAGARA CASUALTY CLEARING STATIONLIEUTENANT COMMANDER JORAN CHARAN"Hairline fracture from your maneuvers and some light bruising." The trauma nurse gently twists your arm in her grip, making you suck in a bit of breath. The multi-eyed optics of her medical suite continue to stare at your arm. "Six and a half weeks medical leave, no less." She orders."I'll need it in writing from the-" Her grip tightens slightly. "Yes, ma'am.""Good." She lets it go. "You'll need a brace."As the door opens and you step out, brace newly cinched around your thigh, you can't help but wonder if the damn thing is really necessary, especially now that you're under gravity and-"Excuse me?"You turn, and see a man quickly coming around the corner of the medical pavilion. His hair is buzzed, like yours, but is grown out longer than you've normally seen it. The man's face is young, but whether from stress or simply being premature, his hair is lightly streaked with grey. "Are you Captain Charan?""Lieutenant Commander, actually, I just captain a boat." You reach out and shake his hand. Something about his voice clicks, and you glance at his nametag. "Oh, are you...""Lier, yes, of the Palt." He catches his breath before continuing. "I just wanted to extend my gratitude to you and your crew. You stuck your necks out for us when you didn't need to, and...""We couldn't let you make that run alone. Besides, none of my crew got hurt." You pause, face falling slightly as you remember the lacerated wreck being pulled into the station. "...how's Soban?"Lier wrings his hat slightly in his hands. "Still in surgery. Good prospects, apparently. They think he'll make a full recovery.""That's good." You echo."Yeah." He sighs. He bites his tongue for a second, studying you. "...you know, it may not be my place, but I'm heading down to the mess, and you look like you're barely on your feet. Want to join me?">"Food sounds good.">>Optional: "I need a fucking drink while I'm at it.">"I really need to get back to my crew."
>>3696478>"Food sounds good."
>>3696478>"Food sounds good.">>Optional: "I need a fucking drink while I'm at it."Psst! *we have a flask in our coat*! wink* wink*.
>>3696478>"Food sounds good.">>Optional: "I need a fucking drink while I'm at it."We can't spend all day there though, and we need to stay sharp as an officer.
>"Food sounds good."3 votes.>>Optional: "I need a fucking drink while I'm at it."2 votes.>>3696747It is 10PM, so presumably you will be sleeping after this.
>>3697173Yeah, but it's because I'm a britfag getting on a long flight home from Japan in an hour rather than sleep.
>>3697236...maybe I'm misunderstanding you, but I meant because it's 10PM in-universe.>2200 HOURS>1ST OF 3RD, 1138>Y'TAGARA CASUALTY CLEARING STATION
>>3697271Derp. If it's the end of the in-U day, we can afford to have a few drinks. Just so long as we won't have a morning after issue.
A pained expression comes over your face. "I'll need a fucking drink while I'm at it."Lier gestured down the hall, slipping a hand into his jacket and pulled out a flask as he walked. "Here."You take it with surprise. "I've never thought about having one of these." You uncap it and take a whiff. Something vaguely fruity wafts back up to you."Don't- it's against regs."Raising the flask to your lips, you take a deep swig. The kick is strong, but the taste of alcohol itself is masked by a strong tart flavor that reminds you faintly of apples. Eyes watering, you hand it back to him. "That cider?""It's Miirian ale- which is actually flavored with apples, come to think of it." He takes a swig himself before stowing it back in his jacket. "Little reminder of home.""I think I'll stick to my cheap city beer.""You must be from Kana." Lier asked, leaning under a low-hanging vent. His initial smile tightens slightly as that processes and he asks in a low voice. "Did you hear about...""Yeah." A grim look crosses your face. "Can't believe they'd just bomb it like that. I'm already hearing horror stories from my old buddies in Civil Security down there...""Got any idea if your family's okay? I have a friend I could...""My family's fine." You reassure him. "They live on the south side, nowhere near the affected area. But still..."Lier doesn't say anything, but his grim frown remains as you enter the mess. Each time you'd been here before, the mess had been virtually empty, with maybe only a few personnel in at any given time. A testament to just how long it had been since a major battle occurred within Tagara's orbit. Now, though, it was filled with personnel, and the clink of dishes. In contrast to the normal, jovial atmosphere you'd expect of a mess hall, everyone kept quiet, their conversations low. Every television in the mess was turned to the news, volume up."I think they were targeting the shipyard. Infrastructure." Lier says in a low voice as you get in line."In Kana? Why there?""Easiest target. Most of the missile defenses in that region were in Kana itself. You take them out with the same bombs and coast out of there."You make a noise of discomfort. "Do we have a name?""For what?""Them. 'The enemy' isn't going to work for much longer." You back up, followed by Lier a moment later as a trio of privates enters the line, taking their places ahead of you."Haven't heard anything about that." Lier admits. "Something about temporary hull numbers, though. Just the noodle's fine, thank you." He nods to the mess officer.
>>3698078"Soup and noodles, thanks." You smile reassuringly to the downcast-looking private serving you. The two of you find a table reasonably far from the clamor of televisions. The news was plastered with interviews with anyone they could find- the top brass were nowhere to be found, beyond a few statements. Instead, the screens were filled with the faceless solar visors and optics of riot police and planetary guard troopers whose CO's will likely be receiving very angry calls from PR officers soon. Shellshocked civilians were being rewarded for surviving a warzone by getting fifteen seconds of fame in exchange for whatever shaky mobile footage they had managed to take.The images that appeared on the television were... well, you weren't sure what to make of them. Entire buildings, brought down by the apparent force of gravity, or the spontaneous failure of every backup or redundancy that kept the city's upper plate together. Blurry combat camera footage of black, oily things leaping onto hapless soldiers from afar and long, needle-shaped gunships running circles around defense fighters. You can't imagine what it must have been like to be down there..."...who do you think these guys are?" You ask, slowly coiling noodles around your fork and lifting it out of the soup."Aliens." Lier says automatically. The look on your face, spaghetti dripping soup halfway to your mouth must have said something, because he hastily corrected himself. "At least, that's what I want to believe. Soban'll wake up later and immediately dress me down for 'wild' speculation. Pull something out of his ass that would seem obvious in hindsight."Moving the conversation to the lighter, cheerier ground, you swallow and ask. "What's the history between you two, anyway?""We were in the same class at command school." Lier took another sip from his flask, before offering it to you again. You accept while he goes on. "That was before he got drummed out of the intelligence program.""...yeah, he gave me a bit of a spook vibe." You muse. "What'd he do to get kicked out? He doesn't strike me as the whistleblower type.""The way he likes to spin it, he was just too good at it." Lier smiles. "My theory is that he was just too ambitious. Got into circles that the brass didn't like a lowly ensign being in.""He's an upstart." You surmise."Yeah." Lier coughs. "Made plenty of friends, if you get my drift.""Had an impression." You shrug. "...he seemed like he has quite the amount of seniority over me. Why hasn't he been promoted out to a proper ship? He couldn't have made that many enemies as just an ensign.""You'd think that." Lier took a sip of water, and started cutting his noodles. "But here he is.""...actually, why haven't you been promoted, either?" A grin tugs at your lips. "Guilt by association?""Now what gives you the idea that I'm not a troublemaker, too?" Lier tried to put on an innocent voice."Just a hunch."
>>3698079"Well, now that you mention it- it is rather odd..." Lier grins at you. "Perhaps the brass doesn't appreciate my razor sharp wit." A quiet beeping sound makes him frown and take out his cellphone. "It's me." He turns away from the crowd of the mess and speaks in a low voice. "Has he? Yes... I see. Okay. Thank you for keeping me informed. Yes. Thank you, sir." He hangs up."Good news?" You ask."Surgery went fine, Michael's just waking up." Lier started to eat quicker, stuffing the noodles and the mandatory vegetables into his mouth. "Gonna go see him.">"This may be odd... but can I come with you? I want to thank him.">"I'll let you two be. I want to go and check in on my crew."
>>3698082Grab some muffins and cookies as a snack and some for Mike.
>>3698082>"I'll let you two be. I want to go and check in on my crew."
>Grab some muffins and cookies as a snack and some for Mike.1 vote.>"I'll let you two be. I want to go and check in on my crew."3 votes.Alright, I'm up and writing.
"I'll give you some privacy, then." You return to your own meal. "Need to check in on my crew.""Yeash. Thanks." Speaking around a mouthful of food, he scoops the rest of it into his mouth and stands up. "Hope to work with you again, Charan." He sticks out a hand."Same to you, Lier." You shake his hand and watch him depart quickly. Allowing yourself to enjoy your own meal at a more sedate pace, you finish up while watching the news. They'd dug up some crackpot scientist and dragged him onto one of their midnight talk shows, throwing up blurry pictures of floating humanoid figures and grilling him to disprove anti-gravity. Shaking you head, you pick up your plate and clear yourself.You enjoy your walk back to the small, temporary quarters assigned to crewmen who were waiting for transports or reassignment. Separate from the officer's quarters, of course, but you still habitually follow the yellow line- an old habit from your own enlisted days. Military stations like this had no windows, even with all the new safety features that are coming out. One day, you hear they'll even be able to project a virtual window so detailed you won't be able to tell the difference between it and actual glass. But not yet.Hanging a right, you double check the printed sign on the door, knock once for courtesy and enter."Captain on deck!" Huur hops to his feet and salutes."...I don't captain this station, Sub-lieutenant." You give Huur an odd look."Of course not, sir. Just this room.""Sit down, Huur." You roll your eyes and turn to Mura and Voman, the latter of which was blearily sitting up from his bunk. Mura smiled at you wearily, dark shadows under her eyes as she saluted."Nice brace, captain." Voman mumbled sleepily, making a half-assed salute. You decide to let it slide."It's quite fashionable, I know." You smile. "Everyone here get a clean bill of health?""No physical injuries." Mura shrugged. "Still was told to take two weeks off.""That's good, you should go and see your family. Decompress while you can.""No need, sir. I can-"You hold up a finger. "Doctor's orders are my orders, Lieutenant. Besides, I'm out for at least six weeks, so it's not like there's anything to do but paperwork up here.""We going to get a replacement ship, sir?" Huur speaks up."That depends on our combat evaluation, the decision of the supply corps and the brass. We'll receive our new assignments when we get back from medical leave." You look around at their faces. Mura was doing a good job at keeping her eyes open, but Voman was already nodding off next to her. "I can see that you're all tired, so I'll just make this quick." After taking a breath, you say. "You all did fantastic today. That was your first taste of major combat, and even though we lost the Shadda, I want you all to know that I'm proud of you. Mura... expect to get a call from Commander Sarob soon."Her eyes widen. "Ah, thank you, sir."
>>3700921You nod. "...that's all for my part. Like the rest of you, I'm going to go get some sleep."A voice floats to you as you turn. "But, sir, we're ready to depart.""What?" You ask, turning around."Crew are aboard, and we'll ready to make way." You look around at your crew. They're slowly settling back into bed, none of their mouths moving. "Sir? Captain Charan? Sir?"0840 HOURS24TH OF 3RD, 1153MEL-CLASS NUCLEAR DESTROYER TURACAPTAIN JORAN CHARAN"Sir?" The voice of one of your bridge officers shakes you out of your revelry."Yes?" You rub your eyes and look up."Read to launch, sir." She repeats."Thank you, Lieutenant." You nod. "Let's make way."The comms officer begins speaking into her headset, the staff officer to her right speaking with one of your petty officers, waving a hand and gesturing at his monitor. Hard to remember the day when you used to do all of this yourself. The faces around you had changed so much through the war. Casualties to the Valkans in the Planetary Guard were rare outside of the three terrible days they'd broken through, but the inexorable march of the Guard's seniority promotion pole had whisked junior officer after junior officer away from you. You didn't have a history with anyone in here, your first capital command. Not like you had with your first crew."Captain." The comms officer gets your attention as the metallic thwack of the station's clamps clearing the ship echoes through the hull. "Fleet positions are coming in. They're spreading everyone out evenly.""Standard dam formation." You conclude. Enemy busts a hole, you all either go flooding in or flee from it. So they did listen to your advice... a little. "Take us to our post. How's the escort?""Gal, Harak and Doir have undocked and are getting into formation.""Any word on an evacuation?""Joint Chiefs shot it down under the premise that it was infeasible." She replied. "We're to hold out as long as we can.""Victory or extinction." You mutter. Out of habit, you look down for your own console, only to remember that you don't have a personal console anymore. You have an arm console, and redundant internal radio. The console wasn't much more than a row of keys. Hyperspace key, emergency key, nuclear key. The rest of the keys were scattered around the bridge consoles. Weapons officers, comms officers. Operations officers. Helmsmen and navigators. Aircraft control officers.The Tura was a entirely new class of ship created to fight the Valkans, designed to better breach the energy shields that protected every Valkan ship. Built on the hull of a frigate, but the role of a destroyer. Launched two years ago, third of it's class. Six hundred meters in length. A crew of two hundred, including anti-boarding marine complements. Twelve submunition launcher clusters projected from every section of it's hull, armed solely with slag munitions.
>>3700925It's primay armament, though, was the double spinal magnetic launcher that ran the length of it's hull. A modified design from the old destroyers, which once only took specially shaped magnetic slugs now could accept a variety of different bore slugs and submunitions. Specifically, fusion-based nuclear torpedoes. If aligned properly, it was possible to hit the shield in the same subsection, break through and detonate the torpedo inside of the ship.Your escort of more mundane destroyers stood by. Their armaments were suboptimal for fighting Valkan ships, and had instead been repurposed for fighting Valkan drone swarms. The old torpedo tubes were stuffed full to bursting with new models of flechette torpedoes, the gaping hole where the magnetic launcher used to be bristling with massive antennas and communication arrays. They were your relay out of interference if one of the Valkan electronic warfare ships appeared - hulls VII and XVI."News from the defense perimeter?" You ask your comms officer."Communications interference in increasing." She reports. "We can't raise the defense perimter ships. Multiple mass shadows on the hyperspace detection grid.""How many exactly?""Sixteen, sir."Your weapons officer looks to you. "That's... that's all of them. That's every Valkan ship.""They're going all-in." You murmur. "Raise the Meliid, Paltiid and Rosiid. Tell them to cancel hyperspace and report to the fleet.""Sir, the admiral has ordered-""Don't order them. Tell them." You stress. "The Navy can ask the admiral to court-martial me if he doesn't like it.""Aye, aye. We're in position."The executive officers takes his seat next to you. "Predictions?" He murmurs."I-""Hyperspace signature detected." The operations officers announces."Apparently they're in a rush to kill us." You mutter back. "Position and number.""Five." The small monitor attached to the end of your chair showed it. The hyperspace windows opening, pulling back to emit an entire formation of their ships, arranged in an 'X' shape. "Hulls X, XIII, IV, II and...""Hull I." You'd recognize that long, smooth shape anywhere. Part of you almost swears that the scorch mark left by your futile torpedo run all those years ago was still faintly there. The inhabitants of that ship too busy trying to kill you all to clean it off. "What's their course?""Current orbit will take them over Miir in ten minutes. I'm getting signals from the 1st Interdiction Group. They say they'll be on station to assist in five minutes."A repeat performance of Contact Day, then. "They're going to level it. Contact the Admiral immediately, meanwhile..."
>>3700928>Take us in. If we can't stop them, we'll buy them some time.>>Optional: Maximum capacity attack- every torpedo boat, fighter and destroyer we have. If we can, we'll destroy them.>>Optional: Distraction only. Spread out, don't commit all of our resources. We can't stop an orbital strike once it's in motion, but we can delay them until evacuations can start.>>Optional: Hard burn. Place ourselves directly between their shots and Miir.>We've done what we can. Let's high-tail it out of here and assist with civilian evacuations elsewhere.>>Optional: Tell the 1st Interdiction Group to stand down and get clear.>>Optional: Tell the 1st Interdiction Group to protect a cruiser or carrier- something that's participating in evacuation.
>>3700930>Take us in. If we can't stop them, we'll buy them some time.>Optional: Distraction only. Spread out, don't commit all of our resources. We can't stop an orbital strike once it's in motion, but we can delay them until evacuations can start.
>>3700930>Take us in. If we can't stop them, we'll buy them some time.>>Optional: Distraction only. Spread out, don't commit all of our resources. We can't stop an orbital strike once it's in motion, but we can delay them until evacuations can start.
>>3700930>Take us in. If we can't stop them, we'll buy them some time.Hybrid approach here. "All ships, run distraction operations. Keep them off our backs and away from Miir. [assuming they are escorts] Gal, Doir, with us. We're to attack targets of opportunity while they're tied up and see if we can make this delay a little more permanent for some of them.
>>3701175>>3700928I like this idea. supporting
>>3701175Can you explain your plan a little more? Presumably you would take an opportunity to down one of these ships if it presented itself. Your escorts are primarily in an anti-drone role, with the only ship that's really effective against them being the Tura. So what are you doing beyond attacking them to try and get their attention?
>>3701298The plan is to see if any of the ships leaves itself in a vulnerable position while being distracted by the other vessels, with the Tura taking advantage of this to launch an attack and do some real damage, with the escorts serving to defend us from drones that target us while doing this. At the very least the other enemy vessels being occupied will mean we can target them individually.
>>3701344If it is possible, other vessels can attempt to lure them into good positions for us to attack them as part of their task.
>>3700930>Take us in. If we can't stop them, we'll buy them some time>Optional: Distraction only. Spread out, don't commit all of our resources. We can't stop an orbital strike once it's in motion, but we can delay them until evacuations can start.
>Take us in. If we can't stop them, we'll buy them some time.>>Optional: Distraction only. Spread out, don't commit all of our resources. We can't stop an orbital strike once it's in motion, but we can delay them until evacuations can start.4 votes.>Write-In: If the opportunity presents itself, concentrate fire on an enemy ship. We'll might be able to take it down.2 votes.Writing.
"Take us in." You order. "Hold our torpedo boats back in defensive positions. Tell Harak to try and get their attention from another direction." The executive officer nods and turns to your crew, speaking rapidly to your comms officer and navigator, leaving you free to look at the battle's general overview.Each of the Valkan ships were massive, and heavily armored. In truth, destroying the drones is really just a delaying tactic of the Valkans as well. Even if you were to destroy the ship's engines, their orbit would still take them over their target in ten minutes passively. The only way for you to really distract one would be to make yourself enough of a nuisance to be worth getting shot down."Hull I and Hull IV have launched drones." Sensors reports."Get our escorts on it." You order. "And- Ran?""Yes, captain?" Your weapons officer turns from her station."Get Hull I's attention."She grins back at you before turning back to her station. You pick up your station handset and announce over the ship's intercom. "All stations, prepare for main cannon firing."Down in the internals of your ship, the mechanical crew began receiving their orders through Ran, selecting an appropriate weapon from their reserves. In this case, with the authorization given when you turned the nuclear key in your console, fusion torpedoes. The sensitively jacketed nuclear bomb was slotted into the loading chamber of the upper gun first, then the lower gun, being dragged to the very back of the barrel by automated arms.The faint electrical whine of your fusion plant was getting loud enough that it could be heard in the bridge as it kicked into overdrive. You could swear that it made your hair stand on end, but both engineering and your ship's doctor swore that it was just nerves. Enough electricity to fire everyone on board."Beginning recoil compensation." The helmsman noted. "Aligning with Hull I.""Gal and Doir are engaging enemy drones. They seem to have launched a half-complement.""Good. Fire when ready, Ran.""Hull II is screening the target." Sensors reports. On your monitor, you could see Hull II- some kind of dreadnought, easily the most heavily armed ship in the Valkan fleet, moving to directly interpose in the line of fire between you and Hull I. Useless against a weapon with any kind of guidance, but enough to take the hit of a railgun projectile."Change targets, fire upon it instead." You order. If you pulled Hull II off of the escort, another nuclear destroyer could possibly destroy Hull I instead. "Firing in ten, nine..."
>>3702765The projectiles had locked into position in the very back of the gun's barrel. Cameras and sensors had given the firing crew the exact heading and position they needed to fire once, then twice and strike the ship's hull in the exact same location twice. The hull did not shudder, nor shake, it simply jerked back as a metallic clang sounded, the second shot sounding like an echo of the first. The engines, running at full bore, only helped to dampen some of the sudden acceleration backwards.A glowing, white hot projectile coasted out from your barrel, striking the shield of Hull II with a bright red flash that mixed with the white light of it's warhead detonating. Heat, x-rays and other radiation burst out from the expanding shell of hyperactive plasma, only to suddenly be punched through by the next projectile. The sphere of plasma was blown away by the secondary projectile detonating, it's own plasma ball sweeping over the outline of Hull II."Target does not appear to be reduced." Ran called."Hull II's weapons are active." Comms called."Looks like we got their attention." Your XO mutters. "Is it moving towards us?""Negative, it still appears to be flanking- wait." Sensors stopped, the frown visible on her face. She tapped the screen of her console, flipping through different views."...Jara? What is it?" Your XO speaks up, leaning forward in his chair."Hull I has fallen out of formation with the other ships." Her voice was filled with disbelief. "It appears to be having engine problems."...Valkans don't have engine problems, Lieutenant." You look at your screen, nonetheless. Hull I was rapidly falling behind the other ships as they burned. Propellant sputtered out of it's back engines, activity lights flickering across the entire ship. One engine gave out while it's pair was still running, and the entire ship slowly spun backwards, nose pitching away from Tagara itself. It's shield flickered, shimmering red as if it was recharging after a hit, and then went out."...Hull I has lost shields.""Hit it!" The XO barks."Sir, the main gun hasn't fulled cooled yet, if we fire again it might-">"I don't give a damn, we might never get another chance like this!">"Change targets to Hull II, we'll use Hull I as bait."
>>3702768>"Change targets to Hull II, we'll use Hull I as bait."The last thing we want is to blow ourselves up and I smell a rat here, it could be trying to get us to do something rash like, say, getting us to blow ourselves up trying to fire at it too eagerly.Now the shield is down, the other ships might be able to do some damage to it in addition to just using it as bait.
>>3702768>"Change targets to Hull II, we'll use Hull I as bait."
>"Change targets to Hull II, we'll use Hull I as bait."3 votes.Whew, sudden work surprise. I'm back home, though, and writing.>>3702847The risk is of gun barrel deformation. If it gets too hot, the barrel could warp and render the cannon useless. You won't blow up- Tagaran military engineers are many things, but they at least know to not arm the nuclear torpedo until after it has cleared the ship.
"Belay that order, hit Hull II again." You interrupt. "Tell the escort to focus on Hull I, see if they're really disabled or just playing dead.""Hull IV is deploying more of it's drone complement." Jara reports. "Appears to be a full swarm. Three super-fighters as well."You tap your fingers on your command chair's arm impatiently, debating to yourself. A genuine technical error, or a feint? Or... something else? Leaning over, you ask your XO. "You ever face super-fighters?""No, sir. You?""I only ever fought Hull I and III." You lean back. Super-fighters seemed to be manned craft of some description. Smaller and faster than your torpedo boats, but armed with a menagerie of particle weapons. They only deployed when ships were in extreme distress, though. Part of the feint?"Cooling process complete." Announces Ran. "Firing on Hull II again.""Is it returning fire?" Your XO asks."Negative, the formation appears to be making an orbit reversal burn." Jara reports. "Our boats are getting tied up fending off the swarm.""Perhaps we should pull back?" Your XO leans in and murmurs."Steady as she goes." You respond, then raise your voice over the shudder of your main gun firing. "Begin firing our anti-drone batteries, give the escorts some more cover. What's the status of Hull I?""It appears to be taking severe damage from slag torpedoes and flechette fire." An image appears on your arm console. The ship was slowly spinning along it's prow, dipping down towards the planet before spinning away. Burning metal spread across it's armor was rapidly chewing through, leaving ugly, black patches of it's super structure visible through the dull orange metal. A single torpedo connected it's engines, embedding deeply into the containment units that protected the ship from it's own exhaust."Power surge in Hull IV.""Take evasive action." Your XO orders. Not that it ever worked in a capital ship, but it didn't hurt to try. "Try to interpose Hull II between us before it fires.""Roger, that sir, although I'm not seeing any activity on it's turrets..."Glancing down at your arm console, you cycle to the thermal cameras and indeed- the middle of Hull IV was starting to glow hotter and hotter, the entire hull glowing with thermal energy. None of this made sense, according to your understanding of Valkan technology. It simply didn't fail. Even the few attempts that had been made to capture and study Valkan drones had led to them simply reactivating while still in pieces and terrorize your engineers until it was destroyed. "Comms, I need you to connect me with a civilian."The comms officer looks up from her work. "I'm sorry, sir?""I need you to connect me with a civilian." Now your XO was looking at you funny. "Get a hold of..." You open your coat and pull out a card. "...office extension two-oh-one-one at Miir International Consulting.""Sir, an evacuation order has been issued, I'm not sure-"
>>3704126"I understand, he'll be at his desk." You say, firmly."Who is this?" The XO asks. His tone is challenging, but his face betrays his curiosity."A friend." You reply, picking up the handset and pressing the flashing outgoing line. "Michael.""Joran. I hope you're having a lovely day.""You could say that." You reply, idly looking at your thermal sensors, again. Hull IV had gone silent, it's hull visibly glowing white hot and starting to deform. It's drone swarm, however, was still active. "Listen, Michael, I had Valkan ships going nuts up here and tearing themselves apart. What does fleet intelligence know about this?"There was a pause. "You never call just to talk." He sighed through the line. "Apparently their latest attack patterns have gotten desperate. They lost Hull XVI and III when they attacked Tiir today.""...the admiral failed to mention that." You murmured."They wanted to hold it for a big press release." Michael moved the phone around. "My office is kind of bombed out at the moment, so I couldn't get your the details, but apparently they keep having technical problems. III's engines just spontaneously failed on them today. And a buddy of mine on the Kapisi says Hull V's own drones started attacking it."You look up at the drifting Hull I. "You don't say.""Yeah." He paused. "...something big's going down, Joran. Try not to get yourself killed today, okay?""I might not have a choice." You murmur. "But I'll try not to. Thanks." You put the phone down. Several of your bridge officers - the aviation commander and your XO in particular are looking to you. You clear your throat. "I have some intel. These malfunctions are widespread- and they've already lost ships. We need to take advantage of this while we can." You look to your monitors. "Where's the 1st Interdiction Group?""They just arrived on station, they are engaging Hull II as we speak."You appraise the tactical situation. Hull IV was busy burning from within as you watched, jets of plasma and fire blowing open it's bulkheads from within, firing out of it's drone ports and slowly, but surely consuming the entire ship. It was no longer a threat. Hull II was continuing to move out of position to protect Hull I, which was now punctured through by several standard railgun projectiles and pockmarked with flechette holes. Without Hull I, they couldn't perform their bombing run. At least, it appeared that Hull I was the ship with bombardment duties.
>>3704129Hulls X and XIII were still reversing their orbits, having gotten separated from Hull II. They were escorts, figured intelligence, although XIII appeared to be of a different make than X. Both lightly armored - well, 'lightly' being a relative term when it came to Valkan ships - they didn't accelerate quickly so much as they suddenly jerked from side to side, making it difficult to get a railgun properly aligned on them. Assuming they were weak had gotten many navy commanders killed. But the alternative was facing down Hull II. With the 1st Interdiction Group and it's nuclear destroyer on station, though...>Engage the escorts - X and XIII - with the 1st Interdiction Group.>>Optional: Gang up on one of them.>>Optional: Split up and face them separately.>Focus on the most dangerous ship - Hull II - before it can assist Hull I.
>>3704130>Focus on the most dangerous ship - Hull II - before it can assist Hull I.Trying to hit agile ships with our slow-firing/aiming BFG is just a waste of shots.
>>3704130>Focus on the most dangerous ship - Hull II - before it can assist Hull I.
>>3704130>Optional: Split up and face them separately
>Focus on the most dangerous ship - Hull II - before it can assist Hull I.3 votes.>Optional: Split up and face them separately1 vote.Writing. We also seem to be no longer bumping for some reason, but we're very close to the end of the prologue anyway.
>>3705287I'm not sure how autosage on this board works. The infopost says it's after 72h, but threads older than that can keep bumping and it's not been 72h since last activity either.
"Tell the 1st Interdiction Group to engage Hull II." You order. "Us as well. Fire a second volley.""Super-fighters and drone swarms are still attacking our escorts." Reports Jara. "Gal has taken some engine damage.""Are they evacuating?" The XO asks."No, they wish to expend their ammunition before doing so." Comms reports. Good, that will help keep some fire off of you. If the fusion reactor was properly vented, they have a good chance of getting out alive, too."Tell them to try and reduce the number of drones as much as possible. Super-fighters only if they get a chance." You turn to your XO. "Whatever the rest of our torpedo boat escort is, get them launched and into the swarm before the Gal is entirely disabled." He nods, and turns towards the aviation officer."Coordinating shot with the 1st Interdiction Group's Baran." Ran announces. "Baran will make first shot in twenty.""Hull II is firing it's weapons." Jara reports. "Particle turrets firing upon friendly escorts.""Don't hold off the attack." You order."Aye, sir." Ran looks down at her console. The deep groaning of the launcher locking into place deep in your hull rattles through. "Baran firing... now."On your cameras, you can see the thermal streak left behind by the warhead more than the actual warhead itself. Brilliant and glowing as it is, it only shows up on your cameras as a tiny speck before detonating against Hull II's shields, directly beneath it's primary turret. The shudder and loud mechanical clang of your own projectile launching went through your hull, and the Tura's first shot went out to meet the Baran's. The brilliant spherical plume of plasma was punched through by the Baran's next shot, and as the brilliant sphere expanded, and your own hull shuddered with it's second shot, you saw the red glow of Hull II's shields briefly flicker- and go out.You hold your breath as the projectile coasts out towards Hull II. It hits, and you don't see the telltale flash or rippling shimmer. Part of the hull melts as the superheated projectile burrows in and flashes. Just a second before detonation, you see the red glow of the shield flicker back into existence, and therefore contain the torpedo as it detonates, the expanding plasma shell conforming to the shape of the hull as it surges out and across the ship. Even as the plasma cools back into normal gases, they still glow with heat energy, and are forcibly contained within Hull II's shield, dragging with it as the entire ship lurches.The upper half of Hull II has been reduced to slag, the metal burned away, exposing the black spine and ribcage of it's superstructure. On it's back, the two turrets that had been firing upon your escort are simply gone, the plasma having burned through the weakpoints where they were attached into the hull itself."Good hits on Hull II." Ran reports. "Several weapons are disabled."
>>3705550"It still has engine power." Jara notes. "I'm picking up something from the hyperspace detection array. It appears to be readying to jump.""Get another shot out if at all possible." You order. They were abandoning Hull I? Guess they were truly desperate. On cameras, you could indeed see that Hull II was no longer powering towards Hull I. It's hull flickered oddly, strange shadows crossing it's surface. You had never seen a Valkan vessel hyperspace before, but apparently it was quite different to your own drives."Baran readying for second shot." Ran calls."Hull X and XIII have entered engagement range once again, I-" Jara never got to finish her sentence, as the entire ship suddenly lurched violently to the left. Your head pressed into the side of your chair, making you glad for the bit of padding inside of the polymer helmet. Intense pressure squeezed in on your ribcage, and a brief bit of darkness pressed in around your vision like you were back on the Shadda and Voman had pulled a high-G turn."What the hell was that?" You wheeze out as the acceleration suddenly cuts out as quickly as it came. Pain emanates from your left wrist, but you ignore it, and try to shake out the blackness in your vision."I don't know!" Jara wheezes, trying to recover from the straps of her seat digging into her body. "I'm checking that... wait, hold on.""What?" The XO asks."I said hold on!" She snaps, looking back to her console. You catch Ran staring at her weapons console, just as Jara mutters to herself. "My god..."You look down at your own camras, and see...Hull II was flickering madly, a window into hyperspace opening in front of it. It's engines were on at full bore, and yet it wasn't moving into it. All across it's surface, a spectrum of dark colors rippled between it's machinery, small fibers seeming to burst from the hull and growing outwards. It was hurtling towards the planet, all orbital speed lost in an instant, along with the flailing shapes of Hull X and XIII. Along with..."...we've lost orbital speed!" The navigator finally shouts after checking his console, his young voice audibly cracking. "Jen, start burning, we need to-""We didn't just lose speed, I'm reading our altitude as ninety kilometers." The helmsman read out, furiously tapping at her console. "We're entering the atmosphere.""We're not equipped to maneuver in atmosphere." The XO says. "Pull up, get us back into orbit.""I'm trying!" The helmsman said. "The g-forces I'll need to exert might kill us before I can do it.""Can you make an emergency landing?" You ask. "Fall to Tagara, but control our descent?""It's... possible- we won't burn up, but it's not the fall that's going to kill us. A water landing might cushion the blow, but only a little.">Try to burn back into orbit, some of you might survive the acceleration.>Attempt to make a controlled descent, and crash in the sea outside of Miir.
>>3705572>Attempt to make a controlled descent, and crash in the sea outside of Miir.It's too late for reorbiting, and a 600m-long ship has a lot of inertia. This means that if we can't slow our descent enough, if the nose is pointed down into the water for landing, the g-forces would be lesser than a bellyflop.
>>3705572>Attempt to make a controlled descent, and crash in the sea outside of Miir.Any landing you can walk away from and all, though let's hope it doesn't hold true for the Numbers.
>Attempt to make a controlled descent, and crash in the sea outside of Miir.2 votes.Let the vote hang for too long, so we're going to call it here. We're so close to the end of this prologue I can TASTE IT.
>>3707001That's burning ozone you fool!
>>3705572>Attempt to make a controlled descent, and crash in the sea outside of Miir.
"I have better money on a controlled reentry than one after we expended all of our fuel!" You shout over the increasing din. Was that the atmosphere? It sounded like screaming! "Attempt to course correct as we fall!"The XO looks at you like you're crazy, then picks up his own handset. "All stations, we are making a forced atmospheric entry. Secure your stations and prepare for impact."Your helmsman operates her console, and you feel the deck pressing up on your feet, the ship attempting to swing it's nose up against the increasing force of the atmosphere. The nose comes up, and then drag takes over, pushing against the greater surface area of your underside and flipping you back, maneuvering thrusters flaring to prevent you from spinning out of control. Blood rushes to your head as you're forced to hang from the straps of your seat upside down as the Tura turns belly up. Grey clouds rush by your bridge cameras- the overcast that covered most of Tagara's surface at any time."Beginning deeceleration burn!" Your helmsman shouts. "Kam, I need a landing strategy.""Working on it!" He calls. "Just need to- for the love of god, whoever's screaming needs to get it together!"You see crewmen glance at each other, wearily. None of them were screaming, you could tell. They had all kept it together as well as you could expect, given the circumstances. Other than occasional breakdowns in decorum, but nothing that had spiraled out of control, all of them remaining at their station. But you could hear screaming. A deep chorus of many voices melding together, calling out for something you can't describe. The hairs on the back of your neck were standing on their ends, a deep chill running in your bone. It reminded you of...Flipping through your manual camera control as you pass the clouds and emerge into the blessed shade of the atmosphere, you focus on Hull II as it fell through orbit. It's entire length was sparking and... writhing with something you couldn't describe, the hyperspace window open in front of it flickering madly. Hull X and XIII flew behind it, both being taken over by the same bizarre, fibrous structure that had stricken Hull II. The air around both of them was strangely tinted, the orange sun of Tagara shifted into a strange green, and the atmosphere turning violet.As you watch, the orange paint splattered on the ships lost it's color, turning dull and lifeless. It cracked in many places, stripping away entirely on the bottom side as if heavily weathered by sand and dust. With a mighty groan of twisting metal, the spine of the ship groaned under incredible age and ripped free of it's moorings, the mighty ship splitting in two. Hull II dipped below the others, dragged to the ground by invisible chains.
>>3707543Briefly it skimmed the coastal waters of Miir, before striking the sandy beaches of it's outskirts. Trees, stone and dirt blasted back from the impact, as Hull II's incredible mass forced them all aside and it embedded itself in the terrain like an abandoned woodsman's axe. The hyperspace window that it had been attempting to maintain the entire time suddenly blew in a brilliant red flare that spread out in a massive circle around it. Whatever screaming was in your ear raised in pitch as the flattened circle of plants instantly withered and died, rotting before exploding into a rebirth of life that flowed over the hull of the ship. The entire thing pitched back as the cliff it was embedded in finally gave in to years of erosion and it burst free, beaching itself permanently as the plants upon it eventually withered.They wilted into rotting wood again, then exploded into new sprouts- again and again. Each time, the ash rose a little higher, as hundreds of successive cycles of decay and renewal played out, and eventually, strange, alien plants grew and wormed their way through the dust, crawling on the hull and clinging to life. By the time you yourself clear the little strip of land that Miir was built upon, the final cycle had played, and the ocean that had blown back by Hull II's crash rushed in to claim the ship."Hold on, I'm righting us!" Transfixed, it's only the sudden spinning of the hull and your camera pulling away that breaks you out of your reverie. The Tura pitches forward again, maneuvering thrusters flaring to keep it's nose up as it descends closer and closer to the ground.One thousand meters. Eight hundred. Four hundred. Ninety. Forty. Twenty five. Eight.The engines hit the water first, instantly boiling it into a massive plume of steam and sending you flying forward into your straps at the sudden deceleration. Your helmsman attempts to keep the nose up as long as possible, firing the maneuvering thrusters and occasionally flaring the engine. Water dragging against increasing sections of your hull increases the deceleration, but just the maneuvering thrusters can't keep your nose up forever.It comes down on the water with a great slap, and you barely hear the helmsman shout to brace before you're thrown you forward by the most incredible, violent acceleration you've ever felt in your life. Sheer force digs into your chest and squeezes your lungs, barely letting you breath before you practically feel the blood flow out of your brain- and it all is suddenly forced black.
>>37075442:15PM27TH OF 3RD, 1153MIIR INTERNATIONAL CONSULTINGTEMPORARY OFFICEA man sat in an office where many desks had been crammed together in too small a space. His hair was well trimmed in what might have once been a military style, but grown out to the short standards of a civilian. He was older, perhaps in his early forties, with the signs of age just starting to become visually obvious on his features, which were blocky and almost handsome, despite the wrinkles and dark hair that was now streaked with grey. He listened intently to the conference phone that was haphazardly set upon his desk. "...going in for his second surgery today. They don't know if he's going to make it long enough for a transplant to get here, so they're considering cybernetics.""He signed the waiver?" He asks in surprise, rubbing his right wrist unconsciously. "Joran was never big on them, I thought.""That's what I thought too, but they tapped him to command the Tura despite half of it being automated, so he must have a soft spot there.""And how are you holding up, Mac?" The man asks.Whoever was on the phone took a long time to answer. "I don't know. I keep thinking that this can't be it, that tomorrow I'll wake up and they'll have pulled Hull XVII out of their ass, and I'll have to watch as Kana is destroyed.""That might happen." He said lightly, turning over a small lighter in his fingers."Voice of reassurance, there, Mike.""It may." The man started to shrug, then remembered nobody could see it. "And if it happens, it happens.""I know, it's just..." He pauses. A quiet air hangs for a long moment, Michael leaning in closer to the speaker unconsciously, the tightness of the cheap chemical warfare suit he has on under his clothes tugging against his skin. It was civilian issue, and mandatory during planetary or city lockdown. Not that there was a punishment for refusing to wear it, it was just common sense. Static came from the phone line for long moments, before he heard Mac sigh. "I don't know how to relax. Or even if I should relax.""See your therapist." Michael suggested lightly."But, Mike. You're my therapist." Mac chuckled on the other end of the line."I've put up with you drunk, does that make me a hooker, too?" Michael smiled back. "Seriously, hit her up. You're an officer, she'll make time."He sighed through the line. "Yeah, I suppose you're right."Michael pulled back his sleeve and checked his watch. "Listen, I need to go, but I'll call you again later, okay?""Yeah. Thanks, Mike." He couldn't tell if that was forced cheer or not, but the sentiment seemed genuine. A soft click followed, and the line went dead.
>>3707547Michael got up and paced in the cramped space allowed in their temporary 'war room'. They'd sent home everyone who'd normally just come into the office to keep up with current clients, but under the circumstances, he'd told them to take the next few days off, spend it with their families. He'd be doing that, too, but he didn't have anyone waiting at home, except maybe Mac....he made a mental note to never say that out loud.Turning to the wall, he studied the vague knowledge bank they'd constructed out of a unscathed white board and an entire stack of sticky notes. Notes with single, tangible pieces of information clustered in neat rows, linked to others by annotated numbers and boxes. Business strategy, mostly, but also a collection of tips and information that might - just might - be useful some day.His eyes roved over notes with phone numbers annotated with lists of favors. Possible contacts, if the need ever arose, but also friends that he was wary of mixing with business. His eyes settled on one, held off to the side with a question mark and a note that read 'how' underneath it. Considering the implications, he decided that a little mixing of friendship with friendship wouldn't hurt him. He picked up the phone and dialed."TagTech Biomedical, you have Kal Kaliir's office, how can I help you?" The clipped voice of a secretary answered."Hello." Michael begins, unsure of himself for a moment. It had been a while since he'd handled the breakthrough call himself. "I need to speak with Kal.""He's in a meeting right now, can I take a message?""Just tell him it's Michael Soban, he'll want to talk to me.""I see. Please hold."The line went quiet, only the audible buzz of the connection telling Michael that he hadn't been hung up on. He sat, and tapped his foot patient on the floor, waiting. Eventually, the line picked up, a young, slightly whiny voice coming through. "Michael?""Hey, Ronnie boy." Michael smiles into the phone as a scoff comes up the line. "I'm calling because I need to ask you for a favor. A big one.""Seems like the perfect time for it, considering the aborted invasion that landed on our shore." Kal's voice drawled, a technique he'd picked up to disguise the jitter in his voice. "...what is it?""I need the best surgeon you've got."
1:05AM25TH OF 3RD, 1153OUTSKIRTS OF KANAKIID MAALDANOf all the possible nights for Merin to forget to fulfill her prescription, it had to be this night. Kiid cursed in his mind, clutching the shotgun close as he slipped through the denser forests of his home. Can't believe he let them talk him into this. Sure, he had a gun and he knew how to use it, but what did they expect him to do if a Valkan showed up? Threaten them?He ducked through the underbrush and found the trail that weaved away and under the road at points. Looters were out in full force tonight. He pitied them, in a way they were driven by fear and desperation as much as they had been to send him out on his lonesome like this. But they were still looters. In the distance, he could fear sirens and what he swore might have been the occasional gunshot, so he kept his head low and tried not to step on any branches.With his focus so taken up by his surroundings, he couldn't understand how he didn't notice another person getting so close to him, until he was taken by surprise by the woman's voice emanating out of the black. He whirled with his shotgun, flashlight hastily taped to the barrel to keep his hands free, shining it in the face of a woman leaning on a tree for support. A metal bar was buried in her leg, and her face - marked with dark lines, both bloody and ink - was pale and baggy-eyed.She spoke in slurred words in a harsh, foreign language. At Kiid's complete non-understanding of her language, she paused to collect herself, swaying slightly on her feet. Working her mouth slowly at the strange words, she managed. "...help me."END OF PROLOGUE.TO BE CONTINUED.
>>3707550What? When? Is she a space zombie?
Well, it seems like the Valkans aren't the main threat any more. Enemy spaceships, tough or not, we can blow up with enough brute force. Mysterious corruption, manipulation of the fourth dimension and negative space wedgies we can't. Calling it now, we'll have to work with the Valkans later and not shoot each other.Also added to archive: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive/3684790/
Whew, I finally got through all that. Maybe now that I've established most of the runup, I can finally get to the part of the quest where players get much more direct control and updates aren't four hours apart as I write another 9,000 word update?>>3707562Not a sphess zombie. Simply injured and having lost a lot of blood.>>3707563>ArchivedThank you!
>>3707564So far it's been highly narrative as a sort of fixed-outcome branching story. Will the future updates be in a more classic quest style with dicerolls etc.? I presume we'll keep playing as new-and-improved JC.As Stellaris would put it [Admiral* Joran Charan: Gained Trait - Cyborg (Ship Fire Rate +5%) - This leader is equipped with military-grade implants that can interface directly with fleet command and control systems].
>>3707574The prologue is primarily here to help establish the world and history. It's kind of clunky, but I didn't want to constantly interrupt the main quest with flashbacks. Hopefully, it'll be "faster" in big ol' quotes because I know I'm a tad long-winded. Still debating whether to use dice or not.Joran is actually only your player character for the prologue section. The primary story takes place roughly 20 years after this. Although, Joran will still be around- part of what you did with your choices is you determined Joran's general disposition. From your choices... Joran is a man with a strong sense of duty and responsibility, who knows when to stand and fight and when to be a dirty coward and book it. He's not impulsive, which means occasionally he sits and waits too long planing and scheming.
>>3707563I was afraid this would happen.I would demand they have a goddam good reason for glassing our planets, but odds are we were doing horrible evil unethical experiments that they had to stop, that were bringing 5th dimension warp demons into real-space.
>>3707647...I can safely assure you that it is not that.
>>3707563maybe add Valkans to the tag?I doubt they will disappear from the story.
Don't mind me, just checking some formatting combinations real quick to see how they interact.>Mechanical textMechanical text without >>Double green text>Regular green textInformation text>Information text>Regular greentext with bold emphasis>Regular greentext with bold text corrected to stay greenBold text.Bold/italicized text.