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Author Topic: Who Goes There?  (Read 48876 times)

mikecj

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #570 on: 30 January 2021, 01:33:11 »
I'm so used to the supernatural or horror, this took me by surprise, loved it!
There are no fish in my pond.
"First, one brief announcement. I just want to mention, for those who have asked, that absolutely nothing what so ever happened today in sector 83x9x12. I repeat, nothing happened. Please remain calm." Susan Ivanova
"Solve a man's problems with violence, help him for a day. Teach a man to solve his problems with violence, help him for a lifetime." - Belkar Bitterleaf
Romo Lampkin could have gotten Stefan Amaris off with a warning.

JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #571 on: 01 February 2021, 06:42:58 »
Something that was suggested a while back

Dawson's Lament

Sailors have always been superstitious.

This probably dates back to before recorded history, when they would be forced to travel the unknown seas and oceans of Terra, far out of sight of any known landmarks, facing strange and unusual phenomenon and wildlife outside of their knowledge. Stories of sea monsters, bizarre lands filled with mysterious creatures and the equally strange people who lived there are recorded throughout much of human history. As such, it's no wonder that, in an attempt to make sense of the inexplicable, they would piece together their own explanations as best they could, these soon becoming accepted fact.

It is only a small step from this to coming up with strange rituals or observances to avoid a fateful encounter.

This tenancy to try and bend the universe until it fits the limited understanding of the human mind remains to this day, as does the superstitions of those who sail the sea of stars. Even amongst the Spacer's Guild, the most highly trained and experienced professionals, there are still certain... oddities, that they are known for. Some cargos that are seen as unlucky, some routs that are avoided because ships have been lost upon them in the past, some names that are never spoken aloud.

One such name is that of the SLS
Jayme Dawson.

A Dart class light cruiser, the Jayme Dawson had been built by Di Tron Heavy Industries in 2310, and from the very beginning, she was seen as an unlucky, some would even say cursed, ship. During fitting out, a fire broke out on board the ship, and the automated fire suppression system flooded the entire hull with Halon 1301, leading to the suffocation of over a hundred workers and crew, including the ships captain. Later, during acceptance trials, the propellant charge for one of her NAC rounds exploded, killing six additional crew, and necessitating the return of the vessel to Di Tron for extensive repairs.

By the time the
Jayme Dawson was officially commissioned in 2312, she had already received a reputation as an unlucky ship that few wanted to serve on willingly. This reputation was only strengthened when, in 2316, she struck a crude mine over the world of Helen during the Campaigns of Persuasion. Repaired in the field, she would take part in the conquest of New Rhodes III, where she would be the only Hegemony vessel to take more than superficial damage before the Federated Sun's abandoned the planet.

But it would be the disastrous Defeat at Syrma, where its legacy as a truly cursed ship would be secured.

One of the first ships to jump-in ahead of the main fleet, the
Jayme Dawson would actually avoid taking any damage from the mines and sleeper missiles. But, when the transports carrying Konrad McKenna's invasion force arrived, Vice Admiral Harris Cather ordered the Jayme Dawson to provide close protection against possible counter attack. It was at this point that the cruiser lived up to its reputation: a short circuit in the maneuvering thrusters sent the was ship spinning out of control, resulting in it colliding with two of the immobile JumpShips, destroying them. It was only the fact that the accident took place just as the Federation of Skye counter-attack truly started that kept the accident from becoming widely known.

However, it was too late: the reputation of the
Jayme Dawson had spread throughout the entire fleet, and officers and crew reportedly refused to accept reassignment to her, going so far as to risk court martial to avoid it. Realising that any such court would be made up of officers who likewise knew of the ships history and reputation, the Admiralty quietly had her sent to the mothball fleet, her name stricken from the list of active vessels.

And there her story may have ended, had she not been one of a batch of
Dart's purchased by the Taurian Concordat. Unusually, she retained most of her original name, entering service as the TCW Dawson in 2507.

Unexpectedly, this seemed to break the string of bad luck that had cursed her, and the
Dawson suffered no major incidents throughout the early years of her service with the Concordat. She took part in several operations during the Reunification War, including the destruction of the AFFS support ships at Panpour during the Case Amber counter attack. She would go on to take part in the defence of the Pleiades Cluster, but the SLDF crews had a far better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of the Dart class, and she was less successful, taking moderate damage in a series of running engagements around Maia and Lothair.

However, it seems like fate was only building up for that grand finale, for it was the infamous battle for Robsart in 2582 that would ultimately cement the legend of the
Dawson.

Assigned picket duty, the Dawson was on patrol in the outer system when she stumbled upon a trio of SLDF Aegis class Heavy Cruisers, although she wasn't a match for one. Out numbered and outgunned, the cruiser put up a valiant fight, but ultimately futile fight, even as reinforcements burned hard to come to her aid. When they finally arrived, they found a scene no sane man would believe; three heavy cruisers cut to ribbons, wreckage scattered all around', but no trace of the Dawson could be found. The subsequent invasion and orbital bombardment of Robsart meant that it was impossible to conduct a proper search, let alone an investigation into the fate of the Dawson could be conducted. In 2584, the Concordat would officially declare the Dawson lost with all hands, stating that she had likely drifted clear of the original engagement zone before the relief force arrived.

But would I be telling you this all if it simply ended there?

Well, let me tell you another story...

By now I'm sure you've all heard of the
Erinyes, the Newgrange class yardship that the Word of Blake outfitted with a spinal-mounted heavy mass driver, and used to perform orbital bombardment against several worlds before and during the Jihad. What many of you may not know is that she was destroyed in the Flannagan's Nebulea, while attempting to hunt down the TCW Vandenberg.

The Vandenberg has been something of a white elephant for centuries, with the Concordat struggling to keep it from determinating further, let alone attempt to restore to even partial operational status. Despite this, it remains something of a prestige unit, as they technically managed to retain a warship in service while their longtime enemy, the Federated Suns, could not. However, the Word of Blake didn't like the idea that some, in their mind, minor Periphery power might be able to mount a defence, or maybe even a retaliation for the bombardment of Taurus. As such they ordered the Erinyes to locate and destroy the Vandenberg with extreme prejudice in 3082.

Exactly five hundred years to the day that the
Dawson made her last stand.

What followed is to subject of much debate, with even the Concordat unable, or perhaps unwilling, to take an official stance. What is known for sure is that the
Erinyes attempted to destroy the Vandenberg with a long-range strike from her mass driver, but the crew of the corvette was somehow able by dodge the attack by blowing one of the airlocks, using the escaping air as an impromptu emergency thruster. Further sporadic and random cause changes prevented the Erinyes from obtaining a targeting lock with her main gun, so she approached the Vandenberg to engage with her more conventional weapons. Completely unarmed and with only the most basic of system operational, the crew of the Vandenberg must have expected to meet their ends, were it not for the unexpected arrival of a single Dart class light cruiser.

Even in its prime, a single
Dart would have been no match for the Erinyes, and long range observations through the ships telescope showed the crew of the Vandenberg that the cruiser had suffered considerable damage, with no less than thirty holes in her hull, and a massive gash down one side. Despite what should have been mortal damage, the cruiser struck out at the far larger yardship, her weapons tearing away at the Erinyes, even as she danced between her return fire in a way that defied explanation. Try as they might, the Erinyes couldn't land a single hit on the cruiser, even as she was slowly and methodically torn apart.

Eventually, something critical was hit, and the Erinyes started to burn from stem to stern, tumbling uncontrollably as her surviving crew struggled to reach the escape pods.

Without transmitting a single word, the cruiser came alongside the
Vandenberg, and her crew were shocked to make out her hull markings, identifying her as the long lost TCW Dawson. The crew attempted to make contact, but the Dawson remained silent, even as she slowly faded from site, leaving only the wreckage of the Erinyes behind.
-Starling


The End
« Last Edit: 01 February 2021, 12:19:09 by JA Baker »
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Artifex

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #572 on: 01 February 2021, 08:35:55 »
Hoo boi, ghostships are awesome! :thumbsup:

ThePW

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #573 on: 01 February 2021, 09:40:53 »
I was hit with an idea-brick: Copy-Paste these stories as 'entertainment packets' by INN (or who ever Starling works for) and adding them to the News blocks in my MMHQ. I have but one request? Dates (or at least suggestions), please?

JA Baker

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #574 on: 01 February 2021, 10:27:51 »
I was hit with an idea-brick: Copy-Paste these stories as 'entertainment packets' by INN (or who ever Starling works for) and adding them to the News blocks in my MMHQ. I have but one request? Dates (or at least suggestions), please?
Starling is, for want of a better word, the narrator of the Interstellar Players books, an information broker of sorts. I just use them as a framing device.

As for dates... unless specifically stated, they're not really set at any given time.
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Cannonshop

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #575 on: 01 February 2021, 10:48:04 »
You do deliver the good goods Baker.
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

JA Baker

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #576 on: 01 February 2021, 11:37:41 »
You do deliver the good goods Baker.
I could deliver more if you'd answer your damn PM's
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Cannonshop

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #577 on: 01 February 2021, 12:24:28 »
I could deliver more if you'd answer your damn PM's

sorry about the delay.  (Message sent.)
The core rules for interacting with me:

1.) I am not a moderator, game developer, member of Cryptic staff, relative of any members of cryptic staff, not close friends with anyone involved with the game, not a distributor of product, not an employee, employer, professional reviewer, or member of any powerful conspiracies.  What I think is my own and has no impact on the Battletech franchise in any way, shape, or form.

2) If you don't like something I've said, refer to rule 1.  If you do, god help you poor soul, you're screwed up.

Daryk

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #578 on: 01 February 2021, 18:39:35 »
Another nice one, and not just because I'm in the Navy...  8)

Wrangler

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #579 on: 18 February 2021, 12:17:58 »
So those who are interested in not digging out the posts, having ALL-IN-ONE,  in another fit insanity / hobby. I have collected all the original post/stories of the Who Goes There? in Anthology, Who Goes There? Anthology, the origin of the Joker. and merged them into one PDF.

I claim no ownership of this thing, i just like posting people's work and preserving it for the future players who want to read something cool JA Bakers and others have written.  I came up with some art, added Joker's image to the pdf.  I have limited skills, hope you guys don't mind me taking some liberties image i used.

Additionally, under the name "Tall Tales" I'm also collecting JA Baker's short 1 post Stories for the wiki people to read.  He came up with Tall Tales, which i thought it was a cool name.

Wrangler
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JA Baker

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Who Goes There?
« Reply #580 on: 22 February 2021, 07:11:34 »
Another something I promised Cannonshop and Daryk I'd write

Be Careful What You Wish For

There are certain rules that don't need to be be written down. Or, at least, shouldn't need to be.

Never eat yellow snow. Don't piss into the wind. Never shoot pool at a place called Pop's. Never eat anything with more eyes than legs.

And, perhaps most importantly of all...never claim to be something you're not, unless you can convincingly fake it.

So, true story: knew this guy called Jake. JumpShip navigator, and a pretty decent one at that. Knew his job inside and out, and made a good living out of it. But Jake had a chip on his shoulder, because he was turned down by the Spacer's Guild. Never said why, exactly, but every time he applied, they politely rejected him. Only problem was, Jake had a bit of an ego, and he couldn't handle rejection well. But the Guild is, well, it's the Guild, so there's not much he could do about it. I mean, even the Successor Lord's are ComStar leave them alone for the most part.

The Guild is everywhere, overseeing pretty much every aspect of interstellar travel and trade, and nobody wants to risk pissing them off.

Nobody, that is, except Jake, who was obsessed with finding a way to make them pay for rejecting him. All he'd ever wanted to be was a Guild Master Navigator, mostly for the prestige it gives you. I mean, hell, he was already Guild Certified, which is pretty much a free ride in his line of work, as there are plenty of places that won't higher Guild members, but Certification... Look, I'm only an Environmental Tech, but I get paid more than twice as much as my supervisor simply because I'm Guild Certified in my field. Most navigators would be more than happy to just take their Certification, but not Jake.

He wouldn't let it go, couldn't let it go, and it started to eat away at him. Got so bad his husband up and left him, and he was in danger of losing his billet.

Then, one day, out of the blue... he's all smiles again. Not just back the way he'd been before, but actually happier, and I got a real nasty feeling that he was up to something, and that I was danger-close for any splash damage. Was a couple of weeks before I found out exactly what he had up his sleeve, but I found out the next time we stopped off at a recharge station. Group of us went over in a shuttle for some R&R, and Jake was front and centre. As I climbed into the seat next to him, I noticed a lapel pin attached to his tunic, and I felt all the hairs on my body standing on end.

For those of you who haven't seen one, it's a little metal depiction of a capital missile, onto which is engraved the all-seeing-eye. I'd only heard them described before, but I recognised it immediately as the mark of a very select band of spacers, membership of which is by invitation only. They're known as the Steely-Eyed Missile Men, or Women, depending, and they're made up of people who not only kept their shit together in the midst of an emergency, but actively saved the day. Big Damn Heroes, every last one of them. The pins are handed out by the Guild, at the discretion of... it isn't quite clear exactly who, but someone senior. There's no rank or authority or anything that goes with it, beyond the simple recognition that you're someone who knows their job and can perform it under the kinds of pressure that would break meer mortals.

Problem was, I knew damn well that Jake hadn't done anything to earn such an accolade, and I also knew that the Guild does not consider imitation the sincerest form of flattery. No, they take impersonation very, very seriously, and tend to come down on people behind such games with the wrath of a particularly angry god. Hell, I don't even know where he found someone willing to make a duplicate pin, because that's exactly the sort of act that would bring someone to the Guilds attention, and not in a good way. Jake was very much tagging on the tigers tail, and that's another of those 'so obvious that they shouldn't have to be written down' rules.

But it was far too late to do anything to try and change his mind, so all I could do was tag along and try and stop him from getting into too much trouble.

Couple of people at the bar recognised the pin, and suddenly Jake doesn't need to buy how own drinks that night. Before long, he had a crowd of people surrounding him as he told some ******-and-bull story he'd obviously spent time putting together from elements of other people's misadventures, but the bar was eating it all up and asking for more.

All but one young woman, that was, who was sitting in the back, the patch of a Guild Senior Navigator, only one step down from Master Navigator, on her arm, and a genuine pin on her lapel.

It felt like my stomach had suddenly gained its own gravity well as I watched her listen to Jake's story, obviously paying far more attention to the details, and how they didn't quite match up. I wanted to warn him, to drag him out of there and run for the shuttle, but I knew damn well that it was far, far too late. The Guild had rejected Jake, and he'd fired a shot across their bow in response. The only question was, how would they respond.

As it turns out, by getting me drunk, taking me back to her room and then giving me arguably the best night of my life, which was more than a bit unexpected.

"I know you're friend's a fake." she commented as she dressed afterwards, "I don't have to tell you just how poorly the Guild takes that sort of thing."

"He's..." I started, then stopped, "I had no part in it."

"Do you really think we'd have done what we just did if I thought you did?" she asked with a sly smile, "I have to report him. After that... I don't know what they'll do."

I tried warning Jake, but if anything, he seemed happy that he'd riled the Guild like that, and kept wearing the damn pin every chance he got.

Well, six months down the line, and we were hauling a trio of Drops hips loaded up with ore, bound for... who gives a damn. We were two jumps into our journey, when all hell broke lose. I was in the hydroponics bay, scrubbing and reassembling air filters, when the general alarm sounded. I stowed the equipment on the double, then but my pressure suit on and rushed to my duty station... only to find it wasn't there.

It's hard to describe what I found, because I don't think we're really built to see and comprehend some things. What it looked like was a pool of shimmering water laying diagonally across the hallway, cutting me off from environmental. I could see the back of someone someone, as if they'd been walking along the corridor when... whatever it was happened. I reached out to touch them, but got the worst static shock of my life for my troubles. Looking closer, I could see that, what I at first thought was water was actually more like the static you get on a screen if the input cable is knocked loose.

Shocked, in more ways than one, and unable to get to my assigned station, I made my way to the bridge to report what I'd found.

But, as it turned out, they already knew, as the same... I don't know what you'd call it, had bisected the bridge, and the Captain was on the other side of... whatever it was. Without her to take command, and no sign of the XO, the crew was kind of loosing it. And I mean full-on running around like headless chickens, completely lost their shit, screaming like madmen lost it. All except Jake, who was sat at his station, oddly calm as he typed away at the keyboard. I decided very quickly that he ws my best chance to see what was going on.

"We hit, or were hit by, some...thing." he didn't even look round, and his voice was calm to the point of sounding almost detached, "Readings don't make seance: gravity field sensor is fluctuating between zero and the mass of a small star, the power readouts for the jump-core imply that we're in the middle of a jump, and we've lost all external communications."

Okay, I'll admit that the last one really worried me, as it meant that we had no way to call for help from any of the other ships recharging at that particular jump-point.

"What about the DropShips?" I asked.

"Whatever happened to us, happened to them as well." Jake shrugged almost nonchalantly, "But, I have an idea. System says we're mid-jump, right? Well, how about we finish the sequence and complete the jump?"

"Mightn't that rip the shop apart?" I asked, hesitantly, "I mean, we could end up with half the ship jumping, and the other half... staying wherever the hell it is?"

"It's a calculated risk." he agreed, "But that maths solid: no way to pull back, so we may as well trying pushing forward."

Well, there wasn't much more I could do but just float there and watch the man work, while chaos reigned all around us. The screen before him was filled with the complex, five dimensional equations needed to make a hyperspace jump. I know, most people, myself included, tend to think or it as just a case of entering a set of co-ordinates bassed upon the targets location in the three dimensions we're used to experiencing, but it is far, far more complex than that. There are simply far too many variables, such as mass and density of the ship, its crew and cargo, to just type in some numbers and press a button. Hell, some specific cargos require certain modifications, meaning that no two jumps are never the same.

Somehow, Jake was running all the equations in his head, because the computer was locked in an endless loop of trying to reconcile sets of irreconcilable data. I wanted to ask just what the hell he was doing, but the fear that I might distract him, cause him to make a mistake, struck my dumb. All I really could do was watch as the equations he was inputting grew more and more complex, with so many variables that I simply lost count.

Eventually, Jane finished typing, looked at the screen and nodded.

"Okay," He said to no-one in particular, "Let's go."

He activated the jump initiator... and up became down, left became right, today became yesterday, and everything, and the do mean everything, tasted of purple and regret.

And then, we were out the other side, and the captain was demanding two know why two of her officers seemed to be on the verge of trying to kill each other. Everyone else turned to look at her, but I was too busy looking at Jake, whose eyes were locked on the readout from the navigation screen: some how, we'd managed to jump well beyond the long-believed theoretical maximum. Indeed, we seemed to have arrived at our ultimate destination, according to the ships clock, an hour before we left.

Needless to say, a lot of questions were asked, but Jake was oddly noncommittal about the whole thing, claiming not to remember anything. For my part, I kept my damn mouth shut, because I still wasn't sure if what I'd seen really happened, or if I'd had the craziest jump-dream ever.

About a month later, Jake and I are sitting at a bar on some random recharge station, drinking like we didn't want to see the morning, when the same Guild navigator who'd made me see God suddenly appeared at Jake's side and ordered us a round. Picking up her glass, she clinked it against his.

"Now you can wear the pin."

The End
« Last Edit: 22 February 2021, 07:14:20 by JA Baker »
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Ajax_Wolf

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #581 on: 22 February 2021, 11:44:47 »
Jake is no longer a fake.  ;D ;D ;D
Why does everyone "Fire at Will"? Is he really that bad of a person? And what did he do to make everyone want to shoot him?

If a group of necrophiliacs met a group of zombies, who would do the chasing?

Bacon is Life! Even vegaterians eat bacon.

PsihoKekec

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #582 on: 22 February 2021, 13:31:31 »
Did the guild set this up?
Shoot first, laugh later.

JA Baker

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #583 on: 22 February 2021, 13:58:31 »
Did the guild set this up?
You might very well think that, but, of course, I couldn't possibly comment...
"That's the thing about invading the Capellan Confederation: half a decade later, you want to invade it again"
-Attributed to First-Prince Hanse Davion, 3030


Elmoth

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #584 on: 22 February 2021, 16:36:59 »
Nice! The fake turner!

Daryk

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #585 on: 22 February 2021, 19:06:33 »
He faked it 'til he made it!  ;D

Thanks JA Baker!  :thumbsup:

wolfcannon

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #586 on: 26 February 2021, 17:16:40 »
illimunati looks like child’s play to this organization.
Daniels Avenger                Clan Coyote
General Jennifer Daniels    Galaxy Commander Jim Skyes
                                        Omicron Galaxy
Clan Wolf in Exile
328th Assault Cluster(the Lion Hearted)
Star Captain James Sword

croaker

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #587 on: 26 February 2021, 17:35:03 »
He faked it 'til he made it!  ;D

Thanks JA Baker!  :thumbsup:

That’s what makes it interesting, really. It’s pretty clear that Jake did have the chops the whole time, he was just in some sort of p***ing match with the Guild. Now he’s shown them he’s for-real, and they’ve shown him who’s boss... Really wonder where he went from there....

Artifex

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #588 on: 28 February 2021, 14:39:48 »
Holy shit, what a twist. But the chilling thing here is that the guild can actually induce this kind of situation!  :o

None of you cannot persuade me of the opposite!  :D

Daryk

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Re: Who Goes There?
« Reply #589 on: 28 February 2021, 14:47:52 »
Being JA Baker won't deny that, it's quite the interesting possibility...  >:D

Personally, I'd think it would be quite simple to just leave a chunk of refined Germanium lying around...  ^-^