A small cluster of systems, well within the safety of the VINDHYA Line. Ignored during earlier settlement drives due to a lack of exciting resources, the increasing numbers of Core worlds within the VINDHYA Line in recent centuries made general resource extraction a more attractive option. Six MAUI-type colony ships were launched 208 Standard years ago, a half-dozen smaller corpros jockeying for position. One, the Tumaini, was lost in transit. The others made landfall and founded prosperous, if unexciting, colonies. And now Liyongo, the most prosperous and advanced of the colonies, is on the cusp of being officially welcomed into Union.
Blink Station PROVISIONAL VL-ZZ/2 has just been completed, linking Liyongo to the rest of the Core worlds. In a month, a Union Administrator will arrive to sign the treaties that will add Liyongo to the worlds of Union. The rest of the system, even the rest of the Reach, was breathless in anticipation for the next step in the evolution of their home. The future was bright- until three days ago.
The IPS-Northstar NEARLIGHT freighter Wayward Son was coming to Liyongo at the end of a 60-Standard year loop through the rest of Durango Reach and nearby systems. It would be the first ship to use the new blinkgate after the naming ceremony, an honor meant to cement ties with IPS-N. While inbound through the outer reaches of the system, Wayward Son came under vicious pirate attack. Assaulted by a half-dozen subline vessels carrying multiple wings of interceptors and mechanized cavalry, only an emergency nearlight eject kept the near-crippled freighter from being lost.
Liyongo High Command is both mortified and furious, viewing this attack as an attempt to embarrass them in front of Union and the Corpro-States. So while damage reports and after-action briefings are still being compiled, before the larger fish can be roused, they are taking action. The newly minted Union Auxiliary Patrol FUMO will be sent to smash the pirates, showing all that they can take care of themselves. They have the ships, they have the men. What they don’t have is the tip of the spear, the mechanized cavalry.
They need a Lancer. They need you.
Even before its fully operation, the blink station is a busy place. But after multiple tram rides and several rounds of direction-asking, you at last find yourself in front of Liyongo Union Auxiliary HQ. A young marine salutes as you approach and holds out a portable IDENT reader.
“Sorry, the concierge system is currently undergoing maintenance. Name and purpose of your visit?”
A loaded question if you ever heard one…
A: Akram bin Adil Safar- VENGEANCE
As the sole surviving member of the Wings of Light mech platoon stationed on Wayward Son, you have taken a temporary leave from IPS-N to avenge your squadmates and make sure the pirates can’t hurt anyone ever again.
B: Hediye Okafor - DUTY
The first member of the Liyongo Defense Force/Union Auxiliary to pass the rigorous tests to earn your mech licensure, you want to help your homeland in its time of need.
C: River - MONEY
Your Mirrorsmoke MC mercenary platoon was rotated out for R&R when you saw the posting on the omninet. A quick milkrun for some extra walking-around manna, easy-peasy.
D: Alice Un - FUN
Why not? Being a mech pilot (no, a Lancer) is just another thing to do to keep the boredom away.
Hello! This will be a CYOA game set in the setting of the LANCER RPG. Its a universe where humanity has spread across an entire galactic arm and live in a (mostly) scarcity- and conflict-free state. But that (mostly) is large enough to drive a capital ship through, and on the edges, that’s where a hero in a mech is needed.
Our Hero, Pilot River!
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Jun 2, 2019 around 21:36
|# ¿ Sep 14, 2018 01:23|
|# ¿ Jun 27, 2019 10:16|
C: River - MONEY
Mak /River/ Banh
Pilot, Mechanized (2nd Class) - Mirrorsmoke Mercenary Company
Infractions Listing, Cioelle System Security posted:
Best At(+3): Swindle
Good At(+1): Infiltrate, Tech, Flash, Investigate
Meh At(+0): Maneuver, Notice, Persuade, Brawl, Acquire
Bad At(-1): Command, Survive
Loadout: Civvies, Smart Knife
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Nov 14, 2018 around 00:49
|# ¿ Sep 14, 2018 15:08|
Mak /River/ Banh
Pilot, Mechanized (2nd Class) - Mirrorsmoke Mercenary Company
The marine straightens up a bit as your IDENT unspools into the system. You’ve seen the mixed expression on his face before too. The hero-worship whipped up by the holodrama version of mech pilots conflicting with the reality of a small man that’s greasy and rumpled from sleeping in his hardsuit for the last two days. (Don’t judge, maglocking yourself to a jumpseat is like a third the cost of an actual berth).
“Ah, apologies again sir. Ah, Pilot River. The check is nearly finished.” You take pity on the poor kid and wave carelessly.
“No friz, mon ami. I’m on the clock, so you can take as much time as you need.”
The reader finally finishes, much to the marine’s relief. He hands back your IDENT, your 'suit HUD chiming to notify you of the security clearance change. With a quick grin to the guard, you sling your duffle again and enter HQ. Its a hive of precision motion, your entrance causing small ripples as Auxiliary staff pause to get a look at the off-world specialist. You feel a little bad about not showering and cleaning out your ‘suit beforehand, but the station facilities were a massive rip-off. The nerve, trying to gouge you like you were just a bizclass drone.
The quick tapping of a completely symmetrical gait gives you a warning before the subaltern comes into view.
It seems the Liyongo-ites prefer basic shells with no frills. It gives you a pseudo-smile and snaps a perfect salute.
“Greetings Pilot River. We are BOUDICA, the local Union Auxiliary Non-Human Person. This unit has been assigned to you as a companion/concierge for the duration of your employment with Liyongo Auxiliary. Here, let Us take your bag for you!” The subaltern grabs your duffle before you can say anything, tipping slightly at the weight.
“Oh my, you certainly can pack quite a bit in a small carry-on!” It pauses, then holds out its hand. An alphanumeric keyboard flashes to life in the palm of its hand.
“Sorry, We nearly forgot. For security and identification confirmation, please enter the 4-digit OCCU code for your last position prior to entering pilot training.”
Your Background Was:
A: YYZ2 (Soldier)
You did your part for God-Queen and Planet. It gave you the skills, but didn’t exactly pay the bills.
Good At: Command, Maneuver, Survive, Brawl
Meh At: Acquire, Flash, Infiltrate, Investigation, Persuade, Notice
Bad At: Swindle, Tech
B: MUP9 (Worker)
Printer technician, Class 1. Helped make most of the things in your city, but didn’t get to keep hardly anything yourself.
Good At: Notice, Tech, Acquire, Persuade
Meh At: Brawl, Command, Infiltrate, Investigate, Survive, Swindle
Bad At: Flash, Maneuver
C: ZZZ9 (Criminal)
You preferred ‘Non-Traditional Acquisitions Specialist’, but System Security didn’t agree.
Good At: Infiltrate, Swindle, Flash, Investigate
Meh At: Maneuver, Notice, Persuade, Tech, Brawl, Acquire
Bad At: Command, Survive
Oh, and Careful! Our kitbag contains:
D: Balanced Loadout
-Light Hardsuit, Assault Rifle, Alloy Combat Knife, 2x Patch, 2x Concussion Grenade, 1x Antiphoton Visor
E: Assault Loadout
-Assault Hardsuit, Light Machine Gun, Pistol, 2x Patch, 2x Fragmentation Grenade, 1x Thermal Charge
F: Tech Loadout
-Light Hardsuit, Disruption Gun, Laser Pistol, 1x Patch, 1x Handheld Printer, 1x Personal Drone, 1x Mag Clamps
(these are two separate votes)
|# ¿ Sep 15, 2018 01:07|
What is Flash, btw?
LANCER Beta posted:
|# ¿ Sep 15, 2018 02:08|
Infractions Listing, Cioelle System Security posted:
“Oh my! You certainly were a very busy young man, Pilot River. The time management skills alone are quite impressive for a Human Person.”
You give the subaltern a #5 Wink. “Ah, you’re going to make me blush Bo. And the best part is, if I complete my tour with Mirrorsmoke I’m in the clear. A great system, yes? Now, I was told to report for the staff briefing upon arrival?”
The subaltern’s eye-servos twitch slightly. “BOUDICA, Pilot River. And yes, the staff briefing will be beginning in a few minutes in Briefing Room #3. I’ll tag it in your HUD, and then transfer your gear to Intrepid Dawn while you’re being briefed. Hangar Fab is waiting for your input before they put the finishing touches on BABY, I’ll make sure they include space and charging ports for your personal loadout.”
An arrow blinks into view, pointing you towards a side hallway. With a quick salute, the subaltern is off towards a large stand of lifts.
Well, guess its time to see what this is all about, yeah?
Briefing Room #3 is your basic Union construction stylings, with only what you assume is the Liyongo banners in the corner betraying that you’re not in Cioelle, or even Cradle. The uniforms give away the current transitional times though, older jackets with LDF patches worn over new Union Auxiliary jumpsuits.
The gawking is a bit more pointed here. The wing commanders, platoon lieutenants, and battery crew chiefs don’t seem to be much for ‘pilot idolization’, and you suspect that they don’t appreciate MSMC’s more lax dress code. You’re in the midsts of distributing some finger-guns to the biggests scowlers when there’s an official-sounding throat-clearing from the lectern. A stern woman in captain’s stripes looks across the roo, favoring you with a nod. Your HUD pings with an update pushed from Legionspace.
Captain Binti Okafor //Intrepid Dawn//
“Excellent, let’s begin. BOUDICA, if you would?”
Folks settle down into the seats as subalterns distribute the mission slates. A large-scale hologram of a Jovian-type subsystem springs to life in the center of the room. Trajectories and tide-codes write themselves into the whirling of orbits.
“For Pilot River’s benefit, Tyrant is the outermost planet of our system. Home to a handful of gas extraction autofacts, its generally ignored. It seems that was a mistake however. While we still haven’t discovered where the pirates that attacked Wayward Son came from, trajectory analysis from the freighter and LDF listening posts indicate they fled to Tyrant afterwards.”
The holo zooms in, to one of the smaller moons inside the orbit of the rings. New markers pop up, indicating minimal gravity, no atmo, and high magnetic flux.
“Specifically, T3. T3 was the base of operations for the colonial survey teams were exploring what extractables Tyrant possesed. A small facility was constructed within the moon to house the teams, a General Massive Systems Pattern 7 EXPLO/BUNK. You’ll find the particulars on your slates. According to colonial records it was mothballed 58 years ago, but SYSINT says they’re picking up multiple faint heat and EM signals.”
The main holo zooms out again, and multiple new trajectories light up.
“The mission is simple. Patrol FUMO will nearlight drop into Point 1, within Tyrants larger flux bands. This will help disguise the Cherenkov shift from any sensors present. Eternal Dusk will provide fire support and ECM duties. Intrepid Dawn’s 1st and 2nd Wings along with Pilot River will secure an LZ for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Marine Platoons. Furious Twilight’s forces will act as reserves until the enemy base is secured. Full dispersals are on your slates and FUMO legionspace.”
Captain Okafor looks about the room, emphasizing her words with a grim continence. “While we are mobilizing to smash a dangerous pirate group, intelligence on who exactly we’re dealing with is of vital importance. All fire teams are authorized to detain high-value targets they encounter and any com/con or NPH systems are to be tagged for SYSINT retrieval. And… be careful out there. This enemy has shown a disturbing fondness for mass-casualty tactics, and as bad as I want them I want you to all come home too. Dismissed.”
Everyone salutes and begins to file out. You’re looking around to see if ‘your’ subaltern has come back when you hear the Captain’s voice.
“Hello Pilot River, a word?”
You turn and hit her with a #2 Smile. “Of course, mon a-capitaine. My time is your time.”
She doesn’t seem to be too impressed by the display of charm, but she also doesn’t seem to be put off. She waves a hand, opening a Legionspace screen. “As BOUDICA has briefed you, your Everest has not been fully printed yet. As we were unsure of who exactly would be joining us, Command thought it best that you’d be allowed to customize your mech based on your thoughts of the mission parameters.” She keys in a sequence into the holoface. “I’ve just given you access to Intrepid Dawn’s printer catalog and priority status in the queue. We’ll be 10 hours in transit, should be plenty of time to finish your… Baby. Now please excuse me, I have arrangements to make before we leave port.”
You’re pleasantly surprised that they were knowledgeable enough to give you some mod time. You were half-expecting to be handed a stock Everest shell and told to deal. You pull up your slate and look through the deets. Your half-aware of a subaltern leading you to the Intrepid Dawn and your berth, but you’re too into the zone to really care. You’ve only been on a few sorties with MSMC, but the training program drilled the need to customize into everyone’s head.
Granted, you’d have some more options if you had scored some manufacturers’ licences, but that took more dosh than you’d earned so far. The GMS Universal License gave you some options at least. Let’s see, there was the open moonscape here you’d have to secure an LZ against an unknown number of foes. Then there was the facility itself. While the majority of it was large enough for a Class I shell like the Everest, there were still some human-scale bits in the control areas. Several ways to go here.
Pre-installed Mission Equipment:
-GMS EVA Module
We Should Go With A(n):
A: Balanced Package
-MC-AMR Anti-Material Rifle
-MC-DMR Battle Rifle
-MC-TK Tactical Knife
-Stable Structure Mod
-GMS Pattern-A “Apple” High Explosive Grenades
-Custom paint job
B: Fast Assault Package
-MC-EB Heavy Charged Blade
-GMS ‘Burst’ Jump Jet System
-Custom Paint Job
C: Heavy Weapons Package
-MC-Cyclone Superheavy Pulse Cannon
-MC-TL Thermal Rifle
-GMS Type I Flight System
D: Infantry Support Package
-MC-DHK Drone Nexus (Hunter-Killer)
-MC-MG Heavy Machine Gun
-MC-CB Charged Blade
-Companion/Concierge-Class Dummy Plug
-GMS Pattern-A “Jericho” Deployable Cover
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Sep 16, 2018 around 03:45
|# ¿ Sep 16, 2018 03:42|
While the boom delivered is impressive, the Cyclone needs to be reloaded between shots and is difficult to run and gun with. Not exactly one's first choice for breach and clearing a pirate moonbase. That's my reasoning for picking the HMG instead.
Yeah its really a choice between a 'big gun' (HMG), and a 'gun so big you can use its magazines as melee weapons' (Cyclone)
|# ¿ Sep 18, 2018 00:36|
Its amazing the difference a shower and a shave can make. Granted, you’ve worked up a bit of a sweat assisting with the final checks of Baby, but the grey MSMC jumpsuits are quite good at absorbing various bodily fluids. The designer knows their client well.
Baby Com/Con posted:
You and the Fab crew stand back, admiring the the freshly printed and assembled Everest. There’s a round of handshakes and back-pats that leave you a bit bruised. Whoever put together the genestock for the Liyongo colony must have decided that ‘big fucker’ would make a decent baseline. The head of the Fab crew (who even the officious BOUDICA had simply called ‘The Chief’) was the shortest person you’d seen and he was still a good four centimeters taller than you. He eyed up Baby, then turned and gave you an approving nod.
“Interesting loadout Pilot. I would have thought you Mirrorsmoke boys would have been more with the missiles and shells and other assorted explosions.”
You chuckle before indicating the armature-mounted HMG with a jerk of your chin. “Well, I wouldn’t exactly call the MC-MG a small gun mon ami. But yes, if I was with a fire team or even full squad of mech I’d be packing more booms. Since its just me though, your marines are going to be doing alot of the heavy lifting. So having a nice grab-bag of tricks to help them out seemed more appropriate.”
The Chief gives a satisfied grunt and claps you on the shoulder, causing your knees to buckle. He then starts shouting orders to his crew, to get Baby situated for loading into one of the dropships.
(You’ve made a good impression on the Fab Chief and his crew)
With Baby ready to go and in good hands, you realize you’ve got about 7 hours of free time before the drop. What to do, what to do…
A: Mingle With the Auxiliary Crew (Swindle)
Given the situation, a damned drink is probably out of the question. But you could still hobnob with the grunts, shoot the poo poo, maybe even win some of their *checks travel guide* ‘Liyongese Credits’.
B: Study the Mission Briefing (Investigate)
Details were a bit thin on the ground, but you might be able to come up with some possible tactics if you apply yourself.
C: Tinker With Your Gear (Tech)
You think you might be able to bypass some of the safeties on your hand-held printer, get it to accept alternate feedstocks.
D: Get Some Shut-Eye
Once you drop, who knows when the next time you’ll get to sleep?
FYI, Downtime Activities will involve a roll of the listed skill. Depending on the result, good, bad, or mildly inconvenient things may happen. If you sleep, you bypass the Downtime.
|# ¿ Sep 18, 2018 02:15|
Final Status Check, All Stations Report
You groan a bit as the restraints push you down into the crash-couch’s embrace. The foam quickly conforms to your body, but the few seconds it takes reminds you of the bruises you picked up a few hours ago.
As you thought, a drink was out of the question. No official rum ration, and nary a drop of the ‘shine among the most straight-laced grunts you’d ever met. But with wide smiles they introduced you to their preferred rec: some sort of weird two-armed form of arm wrestling. And after the third time ‘their freshest recruit’ sent you rear end over teakettle they clapped your back and let you off the hook. You laughed with them, of course, and joined the crowd. There was betting going on, but the rules to this ‘Mkono’ were arcane. I mean, you still won, but only a respectable amount instead of your usual fleecing. Still, having a pocketful of local currency is always a good thing. And you also passed a test of sorts. You were still an outsider, but you were an outsider that could take his lumps, a stand-up individual.
It was all bullshit of course, you’d popped a pain tab discreetly before your first Mkono bout. You knew well enough to take your hazing with a smile, Toni Two-Nose had taught you that lesson well. But some sore muscles were a small price to pay for ensuring you weren’t the first person to get dumped if things went sideways.
(Swindle Roll: 22. You gain a useful item: Pocket full of credits and a good reputation.)
Final Status Check Green, Nearlight drop in five, four, thr-
Your first thought is the drop was mistimed, the unforgiving weight of the deceleration from .95c coming seconds early. But then the grav-field fires when the ‘zero’ would be, momentarily pinning you in place mid head-snap. The amber drop-lights switch to red, and emergency klaxons sound. The grav-field releases you with a pop, but the ship continues to shudder and heave.
WARNING WARNING WE HAVE TAKEN HEAVY FIRE. DAMAGE REPORT, ALL STATIONS!
The NHP’s voice also sounds in your ear. “Pilot River, please make your way to your transport, the hanger bay suffered severe damage in the attack. We will have to evacuate it soon, the Captain has authorized an emergency deployment.”
“Attack? How the gently caress could something hit us at nearlight?” You’ve already retracted the restraints and pulled yourself out of the couch. You maglocks clunk to the deck plating, the sub-g safeties kicking in. The Intrepid Dawn was drifting, not a good sign.
“Unknown Pilot River, most of the ships sensors are damaged or still recalibrating from the Cherenkov flash. Please hurry, We’ve queued up Transport Able-2 for lau- oh dear.”
The spare crash couch cabin was right off the hanger bay, so only a few steps were required to emerge into the chaos. All five mag-launchers firing at full-cycle, sending out fighter wings and troop transports as fast as the alignment armatures could shift them. Multiple teams of subalterns, fighting a losing battle against the flames encroaching the fuel bowsers. But what immediately draws your attention, and the source of Bo’s ‘oh dear’, is Transport Able-2. An alignment armature has been blown loose from its mounting and has sheared clean through one of the transport’s vector-thrusters. Baby’s systems are still showing green, snug in the cargo pod. But your ride isn’t going anywhere.
“gently caress ME! Bo, how long to print a Class 1 booster rig?”
“BOUDICA, Pilot River. And it would take 12 minutes 43 seconds. Please note, We estimate that the hanger bay will suffer a catastrophic existence failure in just under ten minutes.”
A stream of loud Ciorench curses is your only response. Your original transport is hosed, and there’s not enough time to print out booster engines for Baby. You could hop onto the last two troop transports, but you’re a loving mech pilot. You aren’t going to leave Baby behind even before the mission starts.
Getting Off the Intrepid Dawn
A: Transfer Baby to a New Transport
Able-3 hasn’t left yet, swap out its cargo pod for Baby’s. You’d lose the *checks manifest* 1XFIRE TEAM, SUBALTERN /HEAVY WEAPONS CONFIG/ though.
B: Use Your EVA Module
Your EVA module has the propellant to get you to T3, but it would be much slower than any other method.
C: Use a Mag-Launcher
Your Deployable Cover is approximately the right size to fit into the launcher’s guide-slot, and is ferromagnetic. However, you’d be moving faster than your EVA module could reliably steer.
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Sep 20, 2018 around 04:03
|# ¿ Sep 20, 2018 00:14|
The Jericho settles into the launcher slot with a heavy CHA-CHUNK as the electro-mags grab on. You settle Baby’s armatures and feet into the hardpoints on the inside of the cover, and lock them down.
“We must advise you Pilot River, We have the sum total of over 40 tactical manuals in our fast-memory. This action does not appear in any of them, We believe it is unwise.”
You grunt, mainly to quash the hysterical laughter that threatens to bubble up. “Oh, I strongly disagree Bo. This isn’t unwise, its loving loop-o. Now hit me before I come to my senses.”
“BOUDICA, Pilot River. Informed consent logged, launching in 3, 2, 1, launch.”
The gees kick you in the chest, though not as badly as in the recent drop. The strain gauges on Baby’s limbs redline, but you’re clear of the launch tube before they take any lasting damage.
After the chaos of the hanger bay, the silence of the vacuum is eerie but welcome. More holovids open up as the com/con tries to assist with the now-360 battlefield. Behind you is the rapidly shrinking Intrepid Dawn, venting atmo, fire, and tardy subalterns from the hanger bay in an attempt to keep its volatiles from detonating. You can see at least three impact craters in the hull plugged by emergency shielding, and thermal indicates that the engines are ramping back up again. Furious Twilight seems mostly untouched, though its distance and visual angle makes it difficult to make out details.
The escort frigate Eternal Dusk was not so lucky. In addition to being smaller than the two pocket carriers, it was also lead in the formation. You can see at least two through-and-throughs in its hull, and its thruster modules seem to be venting plasma at random.
But as Baby and legionspace feeds you more data, you see that the Auxiliary forces are rallying. More detailed orders begin to come across the omninet feeds as command gets a handle on the situation, and fighters and transports have linked up, and are forming tight defensive wings. Defensive wings... that you are rapidly outpacing.
Baby was undersized for the mag-launchers, and it seems that you’ve been accelerated far more than the actual spacecraft. By dint of physics you’re now leading the assault on T3, the first to clear the electromagnetic haze of the flux band. The first to get a full sensor sweep of T3, and see It.
For the most part the AO looks the same as on the briefing slate, an old GMS prefab with a large hanger door along with 3 smaller access points. But north of the facility, where the antenna farm should be, someone’s made some changes. Four huge curve tower-armatures, easily 200 meters tall, edge the radius of a large sphere of absolute blackness. As the horror grows in the pit of your stomach, the skin of the sphere… twitches, and Baby registers a massive explosion in Eternal Dusk’s drive housing. You’ve seen that before, in MSMC orientation. A shaky mech-view, part of a section called What Happens If Your Target Has A loving Pegasus. You drop Baby into autopilot and trigger the legionspace viewer.
Your virtual self stumbles slightly, the Auxiliary’s LS system must be having some sync issues. Captain Okafor and a few others you vaguely recognize from the briefing look up from the tactical display. You storm over, waving your arms and not caring as dozens of BOUDICA instances duck out of the way.
“Who the gently caress did you people piss of?! There’s a capital-class Paracausal weapon down there!”
Captain Okafor looks confused. “ A what kind of weapon Pilot? We haven’t received the full UnionINT updates yet.” More of the command staff and BOUDICAs turn and look as your curses fill ‘space. You flip the mech-cam from the training video onto a screen, the USHABTI Omnigun of the Pegasus mech shredding the MSMC fire-team in seconds. Barely hidden distress replaces the confusion all around. But to her credit, Captain Okafor recovers quickly.
“Get a grapple on Eternal Dusk ASAP, we need to get back beyond what BOUDICA believes is the max range. As much engines as is safe. Pilot River, you’re nearly to their Point Defense Weapon perimeter-”
“I am?” You open up a window onto Baby. “Oh poo poo, I am!” The Captain continues as if you didn’t say anything.
“-so I’m assigning Wing Delta-1, Transport Able-1, and Able-3 to you. Delta-1 and the 1st Recon are both full strength, I need this.. weapon disabled. Before it finishes shredding us.”
You get a quick salute off before a warning from Baby comes through. Dropping out of Legionspace, you’re welcomed back by your screens full of PDW fire. They’re quickly tagged as GMS Pattern 3 Anti-meteorite guns, more civilian models. Slow firing, but the 3-meter hypervelocity rounds would hole Baby right good. And the area is filling up with rounds, looks like a battery at the base of each of the containment towers.
Another ding from the com/con alerts you to one of the spacecraft clusters changing course to come up behind you, their IFF feeding you detailed information. They’re waiting for word from you of course, as you’ve obviously put yourself in the vanguard for a reason. You sigh, and activate the comm.
“Hey mes amies, River here. So what’s going to happen is-”
A: We’re going to set down in this LZ on the edge of fire zone.
The safe approach, but you will have to make a Difficult Agility check to hit the LZ yourself due to your speed/poor maneuverability.
B: You’re going to land out of range while I deep-strike myself into PDW-1 to cause a distraction.
You’ll be cut off from reinforcements until you can disable any ground security. PDW- will shoot at you.
C: I’m going to land sword-first on the PDW emplacement, you’ll land right after me in the confusion.
*Manufacturer’s Notice*: Suggested attack will place ~101% of Maximal Structural Stress on Charged Blade. (You’ll need to make a Hull check to avoid damaging your Charged Blade). PDW-1 will shoot at you, but with Difficulty because you’re going really fast.
|# ¿ Sep 22, 2018 00:53|
Also I'm an enormous fan of both the setting (though I haven't actually read the Lancer handbook I have yet!) and how you're writing it! Do we have a sense for which mech we're piloting?
Yes, as others have said we're in the 'starter' mech as River is still a relatively fresh pilot. If we survive this mission, River should qualify for some more licences which means more options.
|# ¿ Sep 22, 2018 22:14|
Excerpt, The Canny Mercenary’s Travel Guide, 14th Ed.
Classification: Transitional Colony System
System Population: 48.7 million planetside, 1.1 million various orbitals
Governing Structure: Ruling Council - Meritorious
Financial System: Command Economy, w/ additional compensation for special duties
Monetary System: Liyongese Credits: 1₡ is equivalent to one (1) Calibrated Printing Unit.
the Liyongo colonization mission was launched in 4808U by Anasi Biodynamic Futuristics, as a subset of the DURANGO REACH Settlement Initiative. Unlike the five other ventures, ABF chose a non-standard colonial outlay. Forgoing much of the heavy equipment and computational infrastructure, they instead focused on a top-tier genebank and advanced genetic engineering licenses. The company wanted to prove that a venture that shaped its settlers to the environment instead of the standard method would be much more efficient.
Contact was lost with the colony ships Tumaini and Nguvu shortly after launch. 28 years after the projected colonization founding, Teagan’s World (the closest Core world to the Reach) received a message from Nguvu and the new colony of Liyongo. A massive gravitational disturbance had caused extensive damage to Nguvu in transit, and it had taken the settlers several decades to recover once they reached their destination.
(Ed. Note: no sign of the Tumaini has ever been recovered)
After its shaky start Liyongo has grown rapidly, expanding from the one habitable world to place orbitals and extraction stations near the two other terrestrial worlds, as well as the system’s gas giant and Oort cloud.
Liyongo was designed to be a communal society, with all decisions higher than family-level made by councils of skilled individuals. Local councils feed into regional councils, which feed into the Excellencies’ Council. The Liyongo Defense Force is lead by High Command, whose members are split between those appointed by the EC and those that earn a seat via commendation.
According to their sociological patterning, the Liyongese value actions that benefit the group over individualistic motivations. Self-aggrandizement is a major faux pas, and will cause a great loss of social status.
Liyongese SP greatly discourages the use of recreational chemicals, and the standard varieties found in most civilized systems will be hard to acquire without a medical exemption.
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Feb 2, 2019 around 00:24
|# ¿ Sep 23, 2018 01:33|
There’s silence on the comms for a few moments after you lay out your plan to create a safe LZ. Then Lt. Haile’s voice, full of barely hidden confusion, comes back over the line.
”Copy that Pilot, we’re adjusting course to follow you in. Ah… good luck sir. Pilot.”
Chit-chat over, you put your full attention on Baby’s sensors. The PDW systems have begun to notice you, and you don’t have the best maneuverability. But you do have a velocity higher than what the P3s were built to deal with. You steady your descent, counting on straight-line speed to get you below the minimum range before they can connect. Alarms sound as flack rounds begin to detonate closer and closer to you until-
(PDW Attack: 4 vs your 8 Evasion. Miss)
-you're clear, Baby registering small shrapnel impacts as the last rounds detonate a few meters above you. But now the ground is approaching fast. You activate the charged blade, the ionic edge igniting as it swings out from the under-armature mount. The EVA pack goes full-burn as it tries to counteract your velocity, and you swing the blade down on the roof edge of the gun-tower.
It bites into the reinforced plascrete, your momentum sending it slicing down the exterior. With a twist of the armature you angle the blade a few degrees, causing Baby to start traversing the face of the tower. You yank the EVA yoke inward, keeping you close to the wall as you come to the corner. Ground impact warnings duel with weapon overstress alarms in Baby’s core, but you keep cutting down the tower. Around the first corner, the second. 75 meters to impact, 50 meters. Blade stress at 98%, 101%-
(Hull Roll: 11. Success)
-and you hit the ground, Baby’s shocks absorbing most of the impact and translating the remainder into a slide away from the tower. Which is good, as it seems you hit several key systems on your way down and the slide takes you out of the detonation zone. And a quick check reveals the charged blade survived intact, although its monitor-system is recommending a full maintenance check before using it again. It looks fine to you though, the friction-reddened surface already cooling to a nice shiny metallic.
Baby’s IFF pings again, drawing attention to Able-1 and Able-3 landing. 1st Recon disembarks in good order, their two subaltern fire-teams taking up overwatch positions in the rumble. Lt. Haile’s command squad approaches, using the slowly settling dust as cover.
Reinforced heavy hardsuits and selectable-fire gauss rifles, according to Baby’s com/con. And with heavy-weapon backup. Infantry, but with a decent bite.
“Ah… well done Pilot River, thank you for the clean LZ. Delta-1 is reporting no effect when it tries to fire on the target pylon, some sort of distortion field. They can still provide close fire support, but it looks like its down to us to take this monster down. LDF doctrine would have me fortify this position while my scouts gather intel. Is that acceptable Pilot, or do you have… other orders?”
A: Yeah, that Sounds Good
Let the scout work while you create a defensible fall-back point.
B: Ok, But I’m Going Too
Dismount, set Baby’s com/con to overwatch, and go with the scouts to see what’s what for yourself.
C: Nah, We Need To Keep Pushing
If we stop, whatever ground forces/defenses might have a chance to rally.
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Sep 24, 2018 around 03:27
|# ¿ Sep 23, 2018 20:38|
My understanding was that our capital ships had all moved out of range.
Yeah, the patrol ships are currently moving out of range, but they are still not quite there. The anti-air defenses are working against the fighter wings, but aren't doing too much damage because the wings are staying out of range. Us taking out one of the emplacements may alter the how the other wings operate though. The Omnigun is still firing, but its fire-cycle is fairly long. Its not an automatic weapon or anything. And we may or may not have a clear path to the other anti-air emplacements, this megastructure was not on our tactical briefing and we are the first to get this close. Orbital-view says there should be ways to get around on the ground, but you don't have any ground-level intel.
|# ¿ Sep 24, 2018 00:35|
Instead of going ourselves, can we patch the video from one of the subalterns through to our cockpit? That way we can see what's going on while still being ready to provide supporting fire.
If we go with A, River will have access to the scout squad's video feeds through Legionspace/ the Omninet hook. B is just the more hands-on, see-for-yourself, no-comms-interference option.
|# ¿ Sep 24, 2018 03:01|
Also, can we get a quick summary break-down of who was in Able-1 and Able-3? So far I count 2 fire teams of ??? soldiers each and 1(I think) scout team of ??? scouts. Like I don't expect anyone to keep track of them all individually, just some quick numbers so if we bump into other NPC parties we can do Z>Y and know where we stand in man/firepower.
Sure thing. Its also a good time to let folks know that I won't be running the default LANCER combat. As much as grid-based tactics is very my jam, it would be too slow in this format. So fights will come down to narrative skill/attack rolls informed by our gear and tactics.
But anyways, 1st Recon is in game terms 2 Infantry Squads. An Infantry Squad is an equivalent threat-level to a mech, is Resistant to non-area damage, and does decent damage to low-armor mechs. Their damage output is tied to their hp though, so if they get hurt they wont be as effective.
The scouting choices (A and B) would send one of the Squads out to check the area while one stayed behind to fortify the LZ.
|# ¿ Sep 24, 2018 21:34|
***** edit *****
The USHTABI Omnigun is a weapon created using Paracausal sciences, which means the normal laws-of-physics/cause-and-effect rules don't apply. Basically, the Omnigun was created at some point, in some timeline, and through the wonders of Weird Scifi Bullshit its plans got uploaded to the Omninet for use by thouse with HORUS licences. From the beta pdf:
HORUS weirdos posted:
--funny thing. See, right now, this weapon technically doesn’t even exist. You’re shooting them with a
BTW, Union (the Big Unifying Government) has classified the USHTABI Omnigun as an existential threat, mainly because of this kind of bullshit
|# ¿ Sep 25, 2018 22:05|
“Yeah, that sounds good. Make it quick though, I don’t want to give… whoever the gently caress a chance to regroup. I’ll set up overwatch on that bit of high ground there to give my sensors and the hook better range.”
Lt. Haile is unable to keep the relief out of his voice as he acknowledges and gives the orders to his troopers. The scouts double-time it across the wreckage-strewn open area, hitting the maze of buildings on the other side of the tower-stump in good order. Lt. Haile’s squad quickly sets out turning rubble into barriers, and clearing space for more transports to land.
A few puffs from your EVA module augments Baby’s hop enough to get up on a squat building. The plascrete groans slightly but holds. Flicking a few switches sends the H/K drone up to station-keeping and slides the HMG up to its firing position. As data from the scouts’ feed and Baby’s sensors begins to roll in, you study the visuals while feeding the EM into the com/con.
(System check: 14, Success. Investigate roll: 20, Success)
The scouts pick their way through the rubble, pausing occasionally to investigate or make sure an area is clear. But its odd, the wreckage is entirely to light for a vacuum installation. And overlaid with the EM data, there’s not nearly enough power draw for- Its automated, of course! No humans with their fragile systems to protect. There is a fairly powerful Energy source not that much further into the complex. Its interlinked with several others around the perimeter of the ‘Omnigun’, a good place to start if you wanted to wreck things. Which you do!
”Ah, Pilot River? Could we get a consult?” The scout squad leader, tagged as… Sgt. Okafor. Huh, small world. You look at her feed, they’ve cleared through to were the zone of destruction you caused ended. A few stray bits of debris have made it into this interior corridor, smashing a handful of subalterns. Subalterns that are… wearing clothes? As you expand the holofeed, you begin to understand the sergeant's worry. They're old model units, but each is wearing a distinctive set of clothing and have been painted to resemble humans. A trooper nudges one of the subalterns, and to your horror you can see wires poking out of the strap of a sundress. You hit the alert and scream into the comm.
“GET OUT NOW! RIGHT THE gently caress NOW!
The scouts move instinctively, not getting confirmation before acting. This saves their lives, as the bombs attached to the subaltern frames detonate. The shockwave is muted by the lack of atmosphere, and your warning meant the scouts were far enough away for their hardsuits to protect them from the shrapnel. Baby’s com/con squawks as it registers the reactor signature of four mechs, two in the access corridor and the other two further away on either flank.
Before any orders can be shouted, a ear-shattering squeal comes over the comm. Its deafening for the split-second it takes for Baby’s Pilot Protection System to kick in and dampen the signal, and while your ears are still ringing a new holofeed opens up. Its a tight-beam signal, originating from the omnigun pylon closest to you. A shadowy pixelated figure, with a menacing (if slightly odd) voice.
”Ah, spoilSPORT. Ruining THE surprise I made for the MURDERERS. No MATTER, I’ll get them IN the end. BUT you, Pilot… Un? No. Safar? No. Okafor? Mayb-no, not her. RIVER then, you’re Pilot River this TIME. This is YOUR chance, Pilot River. YOU are not one OF the murderers, I GRANT you safe passage. Just WALK away, and you MAY live.”
A: Yeah, How About I gently caress You Up Instead?
Charge into combat before the enemy mechs can react.
B: Wow, That Sounds Neat! Tell Me More!
Fast-talk Whoever-the-gently caress until Delta-1 can frag the flanking mechs and 1st Recon can get into a favorable position.
C: gently caress You, You Can’t Hurt What You Can’t Hit Fuckface!
Hit-and-run tactics to provide a distraction while Delta-1 and 1st Recon do their thing.
D: Everyone, Book It!
Try to push past the mechs in the corridor to get to the Energy Signature before any further response.
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Sep 26, 2018 around 03:17
|# ¿ Sep 26, 2018 00:35|
Paracausality, not even once.
I prefer Paracausality is a helluva drug , but this is also acceptable
|# ¿ Sep 26, 2018 12:41|
Yeah, like you’d just drop a pay-day on the say-so of some rando. Its going to be a bit longer before the reactors on the enemy mechs finish charging, but even with that advantage you don’t like your odds. You have backup, best to give them the time to get into position. Putting Baby into overwatch, you open up your side of the transmission and give them a big ol’ Smile #1.
”That’s a bit of a tall order mon étranger. Not that I’m saying no, but some details would be nice. A name maybe, maybe what the Liyongese did to justify me breaking my contract? My superiors like to ask all sorts of troublesome questions like that. You understand, oui?”
(Swindle roll: 10, Success)
The digital artifacting clears up on the holo-field, and you can see that the… Non-Human Person is looking at you with a bemused expression.
”I’m GOING to stop you there Pilot RIVER. While I haven’t QUITE narrowed down which VERSION of you you are, I know THAT the choice to be REASONABLE and agree with me is was not PART of that decision matrix. Only Pilot UN has that OPTION, possible why I like her the most. PILOT Okafor also has the option to LIE like you just did, although SHE’S so bad at it. It made her SCREAMS of terror when I vaporized her AUNTIE along with rest of Intrepid Dawn so much MORE satisfying.”
The digital image shifts a bit, now looking thoughtful. ”AND I should punish you as well, as you’ve sided with the MONSTERS that murdered my children. BUT, you’re very good AT lying and it seems COUNTERPRODUCTIVE to punish you for being GOOD at something. ALTHOUGH, since you only care about MONEY parenthesis which is kind of SAD by the way CLOSE-PARENTHESIS, killing THE murderers won’t really be a punishment FOR you. Yes, that Is the ticket.”
Baby’s threat matrix pings you as the two flanking mechs begin to move. Oddly, they’re heavily modified civilian models, one spinning up a multi-barrel mining excavator and the other firing jump-jets and bringing a massive tree-cutter to bear.
Neither of which matter as the craft of Delta-1 rise up out of the canyon that had been covering their approach and hit the two mechs with high-V flechettes. Combined with the fire from the now-entrenched 1st Recon, its enough to hole the two mechs. Oddly enough, L'Étranger is laughing on the feed, silently clapping his digital hands.
“OH, well done Pilot RIVER! You are good at LYING, I was completely misdirected! WZ-4J-ABNeg-G07Y-219/Fi-ZZZ9 it is then, I SO enjoy dealing with you! So let ME set the stage!”
The image waves a hand idly, and the great black sphere before you twitches. At the same time, three of Delta-1’s five-craft wing simply expand into large clouds of grey dust, mottled with pink where the pilots once were. L'Étranger gives you a #5 Wink and grins widely.
”There, pests dealt WITH. A challenge for YOU, Pilot River! I am recharging and releasing the safeties on my MEGABOOMER!ONE! In TWO minutes Volley Mode will be enabled and I will HAVE sufficient power to annihilate the murderers’ PATROL fleet. At their current speed they WON’T reach Minimum Safe Distance until two minutes and FIFTEEN seconds. WHAT do you do?”
poo poo. You look across the multiple tac-feeds, letting your mind take it all in like they taught you at Pilot Training. Options, there were options. None of them that great, but you work with what you have, oui? You trigger your comm and fill in the Auxiliary.
A: Cut the Wounded Loose
The other two ships can make it to safety if they leave Eternal Dusk. Convince Captain Okafor to save who she can.
B: Oh Yeah!
The walls of the compound surrounding the MEGABOOMER!ONE! are relatively thin. Have 1st Recon distract the remaining two mech while you bust through a wall and try to get to where you can damage the Energy Source/critical mechanisms.
C:Pick and Roll
Charge into the two corridor mechs, giving 1st Recon an opening to get into the MEGABOOMER!ONE! facility and do damage.
D: Trigger Self-Destruct Sequence
Baby is carrying a 680 megawatt fusion reactor. Get to the exterior segment closest to the Energy Source and set the reactor to go critical. And run, don’t forget to run.
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Oct 2, 2018 around 01:04
|# ¿ Sep 29, 2018 23:56|
C and A? We can try to relay this info up to the ships at the same time.
We'll be warning the fleet in all options, in A we're spending time trying to convince Captain Okafor instead of other actions. Baby's com/con isn't smart enough to perform complex tactics by itself.
|# ¿ Sep 30, 2018 22:47|
The NPH’s threat hits the Auxiliary Legionspace as soon as its uttered, and you can hear Captain Okafor authorizing the redlining of Intrepid Dawn’s and Furious Twilight’s engines. Everyone can see that its not going to be quite enough, but it narrows the margin. If you can just give them another handful of seconds they’d be clear. You click Lt. Haile’s comm twice to get his attention and send the H/K drone over, leading 1st Recon towards the wall of the compound. Luckily the Lieutenant is quick on the uptake and follows the drone without comming you and giving up the play. That settled, you start flicking switches in Baby’s Core. Its go time for you.
One of the benefits of the EVEREST shell was that GMS eggheads have had almost five centuries to tinker with it, refining its systems. So while its baseline was your standard boring GMS default, it could withstand massive reactor overloads for short periods if needed. With one last deep breath, you hit the big red button that dumps the shell's core energy directly into the Hyperspec Fuel Injector. Radiator fins pop out of Baby’s back, already glowing dull red as her systems spike and level out. Grabbing the EVA control yoke, you slam it forward. Its not as fast as a jump pack, but redlining the jets eats up the distance to the ruined corridor and the guardian mechs. They’ve already turned slightly, preparing to fire at the infantry flanking them when you slam into the one wielding a piece of hull plating and a large earth borer.
Your impact forces the mech back, slamming it into the corner of the corridor and massive hangar door. You slam down the Deployable Cover, its its anchor-struts firing into any available surface as it unfurls. It won’t last long under determined fire, but that’s one mech dealt with for now. You spin Baby around, the EVA module making you pirouette in the microgravity. The last mech is turning back towards you, its drone system too slow for Baby’s amped up movements. Behind it you can see the H/K drone blowing holes in the facility walls and 1st Recon following quick, their EVAs on full burn.
Its closer quarters than the MC-MG is designed for, and Baby takes a pneumo-ram to the chest plating before you can wedge it into a convenient weak point and open fire. The heavy machine gun punches through the enemy mech’s (non-existent) armor and sends Core bits flying out the exit wound.
With the last bits of core energy burning through Baby, you aim a swing of the charged blade at the pinned mech’s head while providing covering fire for 1st Recon with the H/K. The charged blade goes wide, but you’re able to direct the drone well enough to shred all of the odd subaltern shells that approach the squads placing demo charges. They’re not to the Energy Source itself, but blowing the main flow coupler like they are should at least partially cripple L'Étranger’s big gun.
Except they’ve set the charges, and aren’t coming back. Spinning the drone around, you see why: a large security door has come down and blocked the corridor out. You watch as Lt. Haile touches the side of their helmet, and his comm channel chimes.
”We’re cut off Pilot, but I’ve set the charges for 30 seconds. Get clear, and make sure the job is done.”
A: Roger. Just…. Roger
Do as he says. Get clear and pump some HV rounds into the superstructure for good measure.
B: Get Down!
Use your ranged weapons to try and blow a hole through the security door.
C: Not On My Watch!
Use Baby as a battering ram, freeing 1st Recon and shielding them from the blast.
|# ¿ Oct 2, 2018 02:08|
With 30 seconds on the clock we should be worrying about when we might find the time to print out another Pilot River.
The explosion shouldn't be catastrophic. The infantry have mined the equivalent of the fuel lines instead of the gas tank. Big and nasty for anyone inside, but not Micheal Bay-grade.
|# ¿ Oct 2, 2018 02:43|
So very brave. And so very unused to mech-scale weapons. The H/K’s algorithms are already feeding targeting data back to you through the nexus, the key points still warm from the lock motors activating. With a quick press of the firing stud the drone begins blowing out the latches, its ammo/gun c/c pairs adjusting trajectories mid-flight for optimal impact.
(Targeting vs E-defense: 16, Success)
1st Recon loses a few precious seconds watching as the momentum of the weapon-impacts causes the security door to fall over. You startle them out of their surprise with a squeal down the emergency alert. ”Solid-core hyper-velocity rounds are a hell of a lockpick Lieutenant. Now allez, bouge ton cul!”
They trigger their EVAs, jetting as fair as they can in the few seconds remaining. Using the Jericho as a springboard, you push off to assist your own module in getting out of the blast zone yourself.
The detonation of the infantry charges is visually anticlimactic, just kicking up a few small dust clouds. But your sensors register the momentary spike in power output, followed by a sharp dive to zero. You can also see the black sphere expand slightly, almost touching the pylons. Lt. Haile’s comm dings, relief evident in his voice. "Thank you for that Pilot, although it looks like the shaped charges minimized the blo-”
A plume of plasma erupts out of the pylon above you, raining rapidly-solidifying metal down on you all. Baby gives you an environmental alert, wild spikes coming from the Energy Source. 1st Recon has already taken cover, and you kneel Baby down in a stabilize position.
Its still odd to you, the lack of a boom or shockwave. Vac-ops are weird like that. But the blowout of the pylon’s
”Pilot, we made it to the MSD but sensors are picking up a gravitational disturbance above your position. Please confirm!”
Before you can snap at her about the difference between starship and mech sensor packages, Baby sets off another environmental alert. Your vertical camera feed is completely black, no Tyrant or star-field to be seen. Then it twists, and an immense starship hovers above you, far below a stable orbit. Its nearly a kilometer long and doesn’t fit any of the profiles in Baby’s com/con, showing obvious signs of modification by someone with more enthusiasm than skill. L'Étranger appears on a new holofeed. ”Well THAT was anticlimactic. Phase One FATALITIES only 32.8% of Best Case Estimates. ON to Phase Two I guess. See YOU in Phase Three Pilot River, say HELLO to Administrator Bainly for ME please.”
There’s a blast of EM static, and the great black sphere launches skyward, into an open bay of the unknown vessel. The entire ship turns black itself again(blinking, its entering blinkspace without a gate oh holy gently caress) and is gone.
”Well… gently caress. Did you get all that?”
Captain Okafor’s voice is tired but still firm. "We did indeed, Pilot River. I’m sending Furious Twilight out to make sure Tu- ah, the unknown vessel has truly fled. In the meantime, 2nd and 3rd Marine will be reinforcing you shortly. We still need to investigate the bunker itself, even if just to make sure this entity hasn’t left any more surprises. Are you and 1st Recon good to go?”
A: Yes sir, we’ll take point!
Go immediately to the bunker entrance, only repairing what you can on the go.
B: We’ll hold the LZ, need to make some repairs
Take a Rest (1 hour), fix everything
C: Yes sir, although I’ll be dismounting for a bit.
Take point with 1st Recon on foot, while Baby repairs
D: Actually, I think we need to get checked out. Rotate us out please
Go back to Intrepid Dawn for a medical/mechanical/computational check-up and a breather.
Baby is Lightly Damaged: can repair on the go
Jericho Deployable Cover is Severely Damaged: requires a Rest
H/K Drone Nexus is Lightly Damaged: can repair on the go
|# ¿ Oct 4, 2018 01:26|
Wait, Okafor knows that ship?
dun Dun DUNNN!
But yes, it is something that River will have a chance to follow up on in a bit
|# ¿ Oct 4, 2018 01:47|
You’ve learned better than to ping Lt. Haile for his opinion on 1st Recon’s readiness. He’d probably volunteer if it was a naked assault on a vac-station, and his troopers would follow. But there’s always one squad-member that’s a bit more level-headed, even in the most hoo-rah regiment. You ping the 1st’s corpsman, a sergeant listed simply as ‘Doc’. He gives you a thumbs-up without looking up from resetting Sgt. Okafor’s dislocated shoulder. Satisfied, you answer Captain Okafor. ”That’s an affirmative Captain. We’re a little dirty, but still fit. We’ll breach through Point A in 15.”
The captain looks a bit less grim when she nods. ”Acknowledged Pilot. Stay watchful, I’ll already had my fill of surprises on this ‘pirate suppression patrol’.”
You and the 1st are ready in short order, they having finished patching themselves up and grabbing supplies from the transports, you scooping the slightly mangled H/K drone and jamming it back in the nexus. A few button presses release repair nanites into the damaged systems, fixing the minor damage Baby’s taken so far. Its going to be a few minutes to the hangar door at the 1st’s cautious trot, so you open a private channel to Lt. Haile.
”A question, if you would, Lieutenant. Captain Okafor seemed like she was going to name L'Étranger’s vessel for a moment. Is there something I should know?”
The lieutenant’s breathing comes over a bit ragged. Probably nursing bruised ribs, score another for being a mech pilot. ”The Stranger? Ah, an interestingly poetic name for the foe. I think the Captain was about to call it Tumaini, but she realised how it would sound to the rest of the patrol, and to the after-action review.” The infantry pauses as you scoop up the remains of the Jericho and mag-lock it to Baby’s back. Lt. Haile continues, a bit apprehensive.
”Tumaini is a… scary story you tell your creche-sibs after Lights Out. Not something a respected officer talks about in the middle of a mission, it would be considered… non-optimal. The stories say that whatever happened to Tumaini killed its crew, but it still haunts the Durango Reach. The less logical members of society blame it for anything that happens in the local cluster. Zanzibar Subnautica implodes? Tumaini. Unknown comet threatens Liyongo’s nearspace? Tumaini. Deep space exploration ships disappear without a trace in the Frost Nebula? Tumaini. Unfortunately there are some that cling to superstitions in the face of the truth: space is very dangerous."
Baby has already pulled up Tumaini’s information, displaying its schematics. The com/con can’t make a pattern-match, but you have to admit the size and general silhouette are too close to rule anything out. Definitely something to keep an eye on, but it looks like Lt. Haile might not be your best source.
Plus, you’ve reached the hanger doors. It would be a standard GMS pre-fab entrance, large vehicle airlock flanked by two person-sized models.
It would be a standard entrance, if festive bunting wasn’t hanging across the vehicle door and there wasn’t brightly colored signs stating ‘Harvest Festival Tonight - Everyone Welcome’ on the smaller doors. The wall the locks are set in is warm, which means life support is operational inside. Not how the surveying teams left it.
A: Breach and Clear
Go in hot, this is an enemy base after all
B: Accept the Invitation
Maybe you can get a warm cider out of all this weirdness
C: Hack the Datafeed
This started out as a Liyongese facility, that should give you a foothold in the system
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Oct 7, 2018 around 02:54
|# ¿ Oct 7, 2018 00:31|
Work in Progress!
Behold! The Stompiest of Babies!
|# ¿ Oct 7, 2018 21:16|
“We still have a few breaching charges Pilot, you want us to blow it open? The decompression should give us an advantage for a minute or two before the atmo-fields pop. I don’t know if surprise is an option at this point, but shock may still be on the table.”
“Appealing mon Lieutenant, but I’d rather not stumble into any more booby traps. Baby is rocking a decent EW suite, let’s put it to use. I’ll stream to legionspace, we can go from there.”
Lt. Haile nods, and the 1st takes up a defensive posture. Meanwhile you load up the aforementioned hacking software and start looking for vulnerabilities. A few minutes pass, and you become increasingly puzzled. A Pattern 7 was a civilian model, with only a cursory amount of electronic hardening. But you’re not finding any of the normal access points. No omninet feed, no statusnet traffic, no drone control feeds. Even if they were shielded or deactivated you should pick up the carrier waves and EM static, but its like those systems are just gone.
(SYSTEM check: 17, Success)
You’re finally able to find an active system, part of the reactor control system. Its got a decent amount of aftermarket security added on, but there’s only so much you can polish the turd that is civilian security. You slip in and start looking through the datafeed, escalating out of the control loop.
The bunker seems to be as stripped down as its EM signature, no cameras or other monitor subsystems. Life support is minimal, more aimed at keeping it fairly warm than breathable. In fact the only main power draws are the //SUBALT_CHARGE, //MAT_RECYCLER, and //HANDTOOL_CHARGE systems. The bunker’s logs are also suitably sparse but they do record a reactivation code being received about two years ago, followed quickly by a deactivation of most of the bunker’s systems.
You’re about to give up when Baby’s suite finds something of note: an active holo-emiter. Its not a full security feed, but the camera it needs to function will get you something. A few keystrokes later, you have its video feed incoming. The angle is low, and the feed isn’t the best quality, but its better than nothing. Through it you see a large chamber, with several dozen subalterns standing around holographic buffet tables chatting. They’re all done up like the subalterns from the omnigun emplacement, and their mimicry of humans borders on the eerie. You don’t recognize the room at first, but quickly realize that its the hanger on the other side of the airlock, just stripped down to the base plascrete. BOUDICA speaks through the legionspace link, very confused.
”Ah Pilot River, those shells are behaving well outside accepted parameters. I can’t see any signs that they’re performing status checks, all communication is verbal. That is very dangerous, as it increases the possibility of a preliminary cascade going unnoticed. As such, a statusnet link is a requirement hard-coded into shell printing permissions.”
”Oui, Bo. There’s also a good possibility that at least some of those shells have explosives mounted. But at least according to the //SUBALT_CHARGE data, nearly all of the active shells are in the hangar here. The rest of the bunker should be lightly guarded.”
A: Call in an Orbital Strike
It doesn’t look like there’s any more usable data to be had, have Furious Twilight level the place
B: Crash the Party
Blow open the airlock and take out the subalterns quickly so you can search in peace.
C: Tactical Espionage Action
Infiltrate the bunker on foot and try to shut down the subalterns/other systems for collection/interrogation.
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Oct 10, 2018 around 22:39
|# ¿ Oct 10, 2018 22:32|
The emitter isn't a high-end model, so its effects are still partially translucent. Theoretically they could be hiding something like some personal weapons in the blind spots, but nothing big like a turret.
Do we know for sure that the holograph emitter was only creating buffet tables? Do we know that the holographic buffet tables are not concealing something real like defense turrets?
While we have our personal drone, its not super-stealthy and signal strength means we'd have to be inside the bunker to use it. It would be a big help if we did sneak in, it can't go in on its own. 1st Recon has decent sensors built into their hardsuits, but they require line-of-sight to be useful
Can we slip in a spybot/wire or something yo eavsdrop while we have our pals prepare to drop a bag of hammers on this shindig?
|# ¿ Oct 11, 2018 00:33|
This seems rather pointless and a waste of time and resources.
Even ~8000 years in the future, some folks will cling to an form of immortality they can find
Also, I wish to demonstrate to the thread what a memetic attack looks like (courtesy of Dogkisser):
|# ¿ Oct 12, 2018 21:55|
So currently the voting stands at:
A: Call in an Orbital Strike 5
B: Crash the Party 4
C: Tactical Espionage Action 5
If we can get the tie broken, update will go up tomorrow
|# ¿ Oct 13, 2018 02:57|
Is that? *squints* Yes, its in French
|# ¿ Oct 13, 2018 21:47|
Too many questions left to do anything permanent-like to the bunker. And luckily the designs for these things hasn’t changed in centuries, so its the work of just a few minutes to locate a service hatch on the back end of the complex. Far away from the hangar, and with only one or two shells in the area according to //SUBALT_CHARGE. 1st Recon set up outside the hangar lock with Baby, ready to hit the shell group hard if need be. A handful make the trek to the hatch with you, to guard your exit and help if you need to shake pursuers.
The hatch is a standard Type 4, set into the roof of the bunker. The rungs that should be set into the interior are gone, but the micro-gravity makes your short decent easy. You’ve just made sure the airlock cycle won’t trigger any alarms when the shadows on the wall change. Swinging your disruptor around to bear, Sgt. Okafor intercepts the barrel and swings it up before you can shoot her.
”Merde! Are you trying to get yourself shot fille? You’re supposed to be topside watching my exit.” She merely cocks her head inquisitively, studying your unfamiliar weapon.
”Personal energy weapon? With a stun setting, no less. Inefficient, but I suppose it has a few additional fringe uses.” She releases the gun’s barrel and squares up to you. ”While I do not doubt your piloting skill, I thought it best to accompany you inside. You are very… petite, and High Command would not be understanding if we let our Pilot get killed by weird subalts.”
”Petit?! I’m average height you... giantess!” Sgt. Okafor ignores the loud stream of Ciorench directed at her, simply reaching around you and hitting the airlock’s activation stud. The lock cycles, and she shrugs her broad shoulder.
”Well, cycling the airlock again would be an unnecessary risk Pilot River. Looks like you’re stuck with me for the time being.”
You give in to your fate with a sigh, and flick the map and systems data to her HUD. “You are a profoundly annoying woman, Sergeant.”
“Well, yes. I am an Okafor, after all.”
(Infiltrate roll (River): 17, Success)
(Infiltrate roll (Sgt. Okafor): 11, Success)
You have to admit, she’s not bad at this. She’s definitely been infiltration-trained via the military, constantly checking corners and firing lines, in contrast to your self-taught scurry from shadow to shadow. You make it out of the service corridors, hitting on of the better-lit hallways close to the reactor. This area has been stripped down too, a few heavy power cables running down the side of the plascrete footer. But what draws your attention is the… paper? poster stuck to the wall opposite your access point. Actually, more than just there, they appear on the wall at regular intervals for as far as you can see:
Sgt. Okafor’s voice startles you slightly. ”Huh, that is an uncanny likeness for such a primitive medium.”
“I don’t know, my beard isn’t tha-”
“Yes it is Pilot.” she interrupts. ”But that wasn’t that I was referring to.” She deactivates her helmet’s flare filter, and you see her face for the first time:
”Ah. Captain Okafor wouldn’t happen to be your aunt, would she?”
“Its… complicated to explain to an outsider, but she is my Auntie in a manner of speaking. Why? I assure you that Okafor-clade has strict rules against nepotism, and I earn-” You hold up your hands placatingly, cutting off her justifications.
”No, no, mon ami. Its simply something that L'Étranger spoke of. Something for SigInt to figure out I guess.”
She shrugs, seeming to accept your explanation. As you’ve now reached the main bunker, you have some decisions to make. Pulling up the datafeed, you loop in the sergeant.
”So, since you decided to tag along we have an opportunity. I was going to access the main power loop and shut down the reactor, and wait for //SUBALT_CHARGE-slash-shell maintenance to power down. But with two of us, we could try and get through the… 3 shells in the maintenance chamber and shut it down directly. That way we wouldn’t lose anything in the systems’ short-term memory that we would with a full power-down. What do you think sergeant?”
The two of you take a few moments to hash out a plan of action.
A: Shut Down the Reactor
There are no subalterns in the reactor room, and a full power-down would trigger the shutdown safeties for the shells in the bunker. It will wipe anything in the volatile memory of the bunker’s systems
B:Sneak Into the Maintence Chamber
Try to sneak past the 3 subalterns in the room so you can shut down the shells directly. Will preserve volatile memory, but the subalts may explode and it may take a while.
C: Assault the Maintenance Chamber
Go in guns blazing, and then hold the room long enough to disable //SUBALT_CHARGE. Will preserve volatile memory, but the subalts may explode and it may take a while.
River has +1 Infiltrate/+0 GRIT(Attack), a 2-damage weapon, 5 HP, and 1 Armor.
Sgt. Okafor has +1 Infiltrate/+1 GRIT, a 3-damage weapon, 5HP, and 2 Armor.
|# ¿ Oct 13, 2018 23:44|
You thought it was a glorious idea. A few minutes with your minipinter, and you and Sgt. Okafor had the perfect disguises. The remaining systems used the standard GMS location codes, so it was a moment’s work to route an autojack to the subaltern maintenance facility. Unfortunately the good sergeant had a lower opinion of the plan, and had been burning up the local textspace with complaints.
HO(Sgt)\this is uncomfortable and undignified
Okafor’s response is cut off by the autojack’s sudden stop, and it not-so-gently lowers your pallet to the floor. You here confused voices, speaking a dialect similar to the Liyongese.
“Brother-Kim, are we expecting a delivery?” A eerily similar voice with a slight modulation change answer. “No Brother-Tim, at least not according to my schedule. Sister-Pim?”
The third voice is a bit farther away, and slightly above you. “I do not know of a delivery Brother-Tim. Perhaps PATER is rewarding His loyal children?”
Two of the signals are approaching, and you mark them for Okafor. Gripping your disruption rifle, you aim in the direction of the third shell and ping a countdown.
You and Sgt Okafor hit the triggers on the compression springs simultaneously, and the sides of your plastiboard boxes blow out. Okafor is already firing her rail-rifle, and you quickly follow up with a pair of disruptor shots.
(Sgt. Okafor GRIT Roll: 13 [Success], 6 [Failure])
(River GRIT Roll: 11 [Success], 17 [Success])
The subaltern on the catwalk above you crumples as the energy blasts disable its circuits. Okafor drops one with her first shot, but her second catches the third subaltern in a non-vital area. It screams in anger(?) and charges her, landing a few blows before she’s able to put it down. She waves off your offer of help, pointing to the control console.
“I’m fine Pilot, the armor took most of that. Get on that console while I hold the door. Hurry please, I’d rather not have to kill them all myself.”
You bite back a retort and jog over to the master console. Its a GMS model so you’re familiar with its basics, but you can tell there’s been several aftermarket mods. Mostly disabling the NPH anti-cascade safeties. BOUDICA is right, all of the subalterns here are in some form of cascade. But with some luck and elbow grease, you should still be able to disable the power feed and the shells.
(Tech Roll: 2. Failure)
Ok, maybe alot of luck. Looks like some of the safeties have been removed, not just disabled. Its going to take longer to patch in new code, and from the sounds of things Sgt. Okafor’s been discovered. “Hold out a bit longer mon ami! They’ve really made a mess of the coding!” A string of untranslatable Liyongese curses is her only reply. You shut out the rail-fire and screaming of the subalterns, and concentrate on the console.
Your fingers fly over the keyboard, brow-sweat overwhelming your suit filters. But at last, the last code-block slips into place and the safeties engage. With one last button-press you trigger the shutdown override and watch on the screen as the shells power down. “It’s done mon sergent! We’re in… the… clear?”
As you lose focus on the console you notice your surroundings, the battle damage around the doorway. The body of Sgt. Okafor sprawled out in front of a pile of destroyed shells, helmet cracked and hardsuit mangled.
...The faint lifesigns transmitting from her suit to your tactical display.
You yank the Patch out of its holder-pocket on your hardsuit and jam it into the biggest rent in her suit, triggering the medical nanites. Then you:
A: Call for a Medic
Get a corpsman team in here fast, while you continue with data retrieval
B: Get Her to Doc
You know the clear ways, you can get her to the 1st’s corpsman quicker than they can get in.
C: Full Emergency Medivac Her
Baby’s EVA pack can’t make orbit, but you could get to a transport a hell of a lot faster.
Note: The Patch from our pilot loadout will keep Sgt. Okafor from dying, but she requires medical attention before she’s out of the woods.
|# ¿ Oct 21, 2018 23:23|
So the votes currently stand at:
A: Call for a Medic 6
B: Get Her to Doc 2
C: Full Emergency Medivac Her 6
Update tomorrow if we get a tiebreaker in before then
|# ¿ Oct 25, 2018 00:57|
The next vote will end this poll, lets break this tie.
|# ¿ Oct 26, 2018 00:46|
Vote Over, update incoming
|# ¿ Oct 26, 2018 00:51|
You release a breath you didn’t know you were holding when Okafor’s vitals stabilize a bit on your tactical display. She’s not bleeding out anymore, but she’s still a long way from safe. You could-
gently caress it. You’ve made too many life-or-death decisions in the last hour, you’re done. You trigger the emergency seals on her hardsuit, and toggle your comm as the quick-set foam fills the breaches. ”This is River. I’m declaring a Priority One Medical Emergency, Sgt. Okafor is only alive because I had a Patch on me.” The foam turns blue, indicating a full pressurization. You pick up the sergeant, thanking the microgravity for once. ”I will make a low-orbit rendezvous in Baby, please have a transport there to pick us up in 5. The shells have been deactivated, transferring operation conditions to legionspace now. River out.”
A gaggle of voices fill you commnet, but you ignore them. You’ve more than earned your pay today, and while people die in combat you’re not going to let someone die at your feet. Not again.
Aboard the Intrepid Dawn, Emergency Quarantine
You make yourself as comfortable as you can on the medibench, and watch as a team of safety-suited engineers go over Baby with a wide array of scanners. Its that or watch Okafor sleep in the surgical field tent they set up in this corner of the hanger bay. The bay itself isn’t that interesting, the damage and debris from the panicked flight earlier removed or covered up. And even the tactical feed from moonside was rather dull, the squads on the surface having finished the preliminary cataloging of what L'Étranger had left behind.
It would take specialized teams weeks to piece together everything, but at least the shells and recovered datapaks would be taken back to Liyongo for analysis. You do wonder what they’re going to do with the mothballed Schedule-2 printer that was discovered mostly disassembled in a storage hanger. But they aren’t paying you to worry about that, so its back to watching the engineers.
”Captain On Deck!” The cry catches you off-guard, and you start as the Auxiliary stand at attention and snap salutes. Captain Okafor gives them all a tired smile and waves them back to their duties. She approaches your medibench, a train of BOUDICAs trailing behind her. You give her a much less official salute before indicating the tubes running from the bench to your other arm.
”Sorry Mon Capitaine, but the medic says I’m not to move too much. Looks like we took some high-energy muon exposure down there, they’re giving me a bit of a flush.”
She nods. ”Yes, BOUDICA’s given me the quarantine report. Luckily proximity to such a large unknown paracausal device didn’t have any worse effects. You should be out of here within the hour.” You can tell her attention isn’t totally on you, her eyes darting to the surgical tent. As you thank her for the update, she nods absently and steps over to the observation window. She stares at the sleeping sergeant Okafor, focused enough that BOUDICA has to say her name several times at one point to get her attention. Looking from the Captain to the Sergeant, something clicks.
A: “Your daughter was very brave today. A good soldier.”
B: “The sergeant’s a good soldier. We were lucky to have her.
C: “A brave girl, but a bit on the impetuous side. Could use some cooling off.”
D: Say Nothing
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Oct 26, 2018 around 02:21
|# ¿ Oct 26, 2018 01:44|
Remembering how squirrelly the sergeant got when family was mentioned, you decide to play it soft. The various cultures of humanity could get weird about the strangest things. “The sergeant’s a good soldier. We were lucky to have her.” Captain Okafor nods quickly, like she doesn’t trust herself to speak.
“She’s one of the best of us.” Her voice quickly grows stronger, as she shifts from ‘distressed mother’ to ‘proud superior officer. ”The best academy scores in a generation, and the first citizen of Liyongo to qualify for and pass the Pilot Training Program. If it wasn’t for the bureaucratic snarl that’s delayed her GMS license, she would have been our mechanized backup on this mission.”
She turns away from the window, captain mask firmly in place. ”Although to be honest, i am glad that you were with us today Pilot River. Thank you.” One of the BOUDICAs clears their throat discretely. ”And now, duty calls. Get some rest pilot, you deserve it.”
You exchange salutes, and Captain Okafor strides out. Settling back into the medcouch, you have to agree with her. Even though by your watch its only been three hours since the drop, you’ve never been one to turn down bunk time...
Amarkantak Station, several days later
You’re beginning to think that battle, even one against a foe as odd as L'Étranger, is preferable to the endless Union bureaucracy. The after-action reports requested by Liyongo High Command were annoying, but tolerable. But while you were signing off on the paperwork BOUDICA helpfully filled out, word of the attack on Wayward Son got out. Suddenly Liyongo’s Union Administrator was arriving months early, bearing a name for the blink gate and a great deal more questions. Detailed questions that required oral depositions and neural exams.
But finally, two weeks after the attack on Tyrant-3, you’re sitting face to face with Administrator Bainly and his NPH DILIGENCE.
The room is newly furnished in what you can only assume are Cradle styles, sitting deep in the UAD complex. Bainly favors you with a thankful smile while the info he’s just given you scrolls up on your pad. DILIGENCE simply watches quietly. ”Union, and the Union Administrative Department in particular, would like to thank you for your assistance to the Liyongo system during this unfortunate pirate ordeal. As such, We have authorized a sizeable bonus to your contract with Liyongo High Command. Consider it a combination of danger pay and a token of our esteem.”
The numbers that are filling your pad are insane, several years worth of standard and bonus pay in Mirrorsmoke. But you can also see the catch, there’s a rider dictating that you leave the system today (they’ve helpfully provided a berth on a blinkship) and a rather hefty NDA.
Its gently caress-off money basically. They don’t want you sticking around anymore or talking to anyone. Probably already cooking up a story to explain the ‘pirate ordeal’ in simple terms.
It may be gently caress-off money, but it is a gently caress-load of it. Enough to set you up in comfort in a system of your choice once your MSMC term is up. On the other hand, there’s the comm you received from Captain Okafor. ‘Binti’ Okafor actually, a request for a meeting sent through civilian channels. Decisions, decisions.
A: Take the Deal and Leave (Warning: this choice ends the CYOA)
Take your new-found riches and enjoy the rest of your life.
B: Take the Deal But Arrange a Meeting
Captain Okafor was on the blinkstation, you could try to meet her before your flight.
C: Turn the Deal Down, Arrange a Meeting
Maybe you’ve discovered a limit to your avarice, maybe you just don’t like getting pushed around by Union.
D: Tell Administrator Bainly ‘L'Étranger says hello.’
E: Don’t Deliver the Message
(these are two different votes)
|# ¿ Nov 1, 2018 01:40|
FYI, the lettering didn't reset for the second question. I know what you mean, but just for the sake of clarity.
|# ¿ Nov 1, 2018 02:05|
|# ¿ Jun 27, 2019 10:16|
Voting has CLOSED for our discussion with Administrator Bainly!
Update for that by tomorrowish, but while I wait for this cold to let my brain start working again, we can get some busy-work out of the way. Since it looks like we’re not immediately ending River’s story, we can deal with the other other message he received:
Union Pilot Licensure posted:
Greetings Pilot [BANH, MAK]!
So I could barf up a bunch of stats for the various shells, but I figure those that really care will have the numbers anyways. I think a more fitting way to help folks choose is via the art:
[ABSOLUTE UNIT] (Size 2)
[NARUTO] (Size 1)
[LAZERFACE] (Size 1)
[THAT CREEPY FRIEND] (Size 2)
Supplemental Vote: Our New Mech
L1: IPS-N TORTUGA
L2: SSC MOURNING CLOAK
L3: HA SHERMAN
L4: HORUS GORGON
PoultryGeist fucked around with this message at Nov 8, 2018 around 02:29
|# ¿ Nov 8, 2018 02:26|