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Author Topic: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."  (Read 22264 times)

Cannonshop

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Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« on: 07 March 2016, 05:58:57 »
Prelude: Uninhabited system, Coreward of the Lyran Alliance, October 11, 3059, Rowe-McClaren exploration and salvage vessel Sharktooth Comb...

"Mother mary...it's a ****** treasure chest!"  Ozzie Whirter announced, as he looked over the readings from the survey, "We're set...an SLDF munitions transport!"

A spacewalk later, and the find is confirmed.  SLS Cordon Caffrey, a Monolith that had been purchased by the Star league's logistics command in 2715, with three intact assault dropships and six cargo module dropships, parked here.  The log's last entry was in 2729.  According to the orders on board, she was bound for a Rim Worlds Republic base at Eagle's Nest...with a cargo of Munitions, spares, and non-perishable consumables to resupply the SLS Belleau Wood when a misjump apparently stranded her here.

It might not be the find of the decade, but it was definitely a Career enhancing find-the charts alone were worth ten year's salary as an executive for Rowe-McClaren, but the cargo...

It took them a week to catalogue what was still loaded aboard, while engineering staff looked over the jump drive, and controllers.

"The Core is in good shape, they apparently lost the seals though..."

"We've got seals." he said, "Let's fix her and bring her home."

"Yah-hey, there's a couple weird ones in dropper two-maybe experimental stuff."

The salvagers eventually gathered in the sealed hold of the number two cargo dropper.

The casing had standard 'book' markings for white shark munitions, but the color codes weren't in the book at all, and neither was the serialized numbering.  They opened one of the weird missile transport tubes, and looked it over.

"oversize manuevering jets, big guidance module...we should take this to the lab boys." Capt. Whirter announced.

"Which lab though?" one of the others asked, "If we take to the Mainstreet facility, you know the government's going to want to confiscate..."

"Company has a lab on Arluna." He announced, "I'll clear it with Rowe when we make port...guys, this...this could be the next big thing...looks like some of those big-deal Royal munitions the stories talk about."

Operation: Holy Shroud made a mistake-some knowledge should never be lost, some warnings should always be heard.

Rowe-McClaren facility, Arluna, January 2nd, 3065...

"...can't believe we're finally going to see what's inside it-three years, man."  Adrian Calvin was like a kid at christmas, looking at the missile laid on the cradles of his laboratory.  "Ten years. all we ever got from scans of the interior was static, even ultra didn't give anything like a coherent return.  those electronics must be prime grade super-sekrit-skwerl stuff from Star League days."

The lab was well designed to contain virtually any accident involving an accidental explosion, or the release of volatile chemicals, it was equipped with state-of-the-art fire suppression systems and the latest in shock containment.  The warhead section of hte White Shark munition on the cradle had already been shown not to be emitting neutrons or neutrinos-so concerns about radioactivity weren't all that high, it wasn't a nuke, or if it ws, the worst that would happen is a few technicians and a scientist would require funerals and a hazmat team would have to clean up.

The warhead segments were so old, in fact, that the chances of anything else-chemical weapons or biologicals, were ridiculous on the face of them.

A bit more care might have prevented what happened next.

They opened the warhead.  a maze of plumbing, a small, explosive gas-generator, and a series of decidedly non advanced warhead electronics were revealed.

but they unsealed it...and released a limit switch, which tripped a relay that only needed .05 volts to activate the trigger for the gas generator charge.  Within seconds, the cannister was pressurized, and released in the sea-level barometric pressure of the warhead room.

A fine, clear, wind blew out of the so-called 'manuevering jets', and a squib failed to deploy the parachute.

"What a ****** waste! wrap it up, guys.  Nothing to learn here." The technicians groaned, hopes dashed, and started to put tools away.

Later that evening, the boys went to town, bought some drinks, and BS'ed with the locals.  A few of them spent Kroner on companionship.  They infected three waitresses, a Bartender, eleven members of the local stevedore union, sixteen longshoremen, eight gang members and twelve cops.  Also four prostitutes and a gigolo.

The following day, money covered in something viral would pass from the bartender's till, to her change drawer, and also to the employees of the Commonwealth Federal Bank in Diego, Arluna.

By the end of the week, over a million Arlunans would become silent Marys-spreading a disease they didn't even know they had...and wouldn't know, for at least two more weeks.

On Arluna, the spread was geometric.  Luckily for everyone else, most of the transport assets that visited the world were currently impressed in service to the LAAF, racing supplies, men, and war machines to try and reverse a series of losses to the Jade Falcons, many of those vessels were also drafted to ferry soldiers to fight other Lyrans in that nation's civil war.

But not all of them.

By February 3, 3065, a lot of Arlunans were feeling a bit under the weather.  Symptoms included runny noses, sneezing, coughs and aches and fever, along with general listlessness and mild depression.

Standard cold remedies and antivirals flew off of Pharmacy shelves. 

None of those would work. 

Aspirin and similar drugs also flew off the shelves, as more and more Arlunans, in a spreading pattern that just happened to coincide with the everyday business of the planet, grew ill, called in sick, went home, and suffered.

By March 3, 3065, the Planetary Noble, Diego Los Cassos Garcia, depressed at the news of the strange outbreak of flu, hurried to his summer home on Inarcs.  With him, he brought some passengers. 

On Arluna, "Just a Cold" turned into "Flu season is bad this year", followed by "Holy crap, we have a Pandemic on our hands!"

On Mandoaaru, Boot Private Carlos Linklater arrived to join his unit after spending a holiday at home, in Rockford, on Arluna's southern continent.  He debarked from a commercial dropship, with the sniffles.  By the time he reached the cantonment for Bravo company, 3rd Regiment of the Inarcs Jaegers, He was under quarantine, because the first reported deaths were logged on Arluna.

The Pandemic turned deadly.  The government of Arluna called for help, but the Lyran Government was split between factions-some supporting Victor, and some supporting Katherine.  Bureaucratic inertia would delay action by the Lyran Alliance until the middle of March...but not reaction by Arluna's neighbours...
« Last Edit: 21 March 2016, 14:31:15 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #1 on: 07 March 2016, 06:43:09 »
Nha Tranh, Kowloon, March 28, 3065...

"...****** them!!" Elizabeth hurled her tablet computer against a wall, embedding it edge-on into the drywall of her home office.  her face was a scowl of rage, she reached for the telephone.  "get me Li, here, in my house, in two hours." she told the operator.

Admiral Alicia Li arrived within forty minutes, long enough for liz to take her afternoon prescription and pour a drink.

"Your grace?" Li asked.

"Li, how many medical specialists do we have?" Elizabeth asked, "I want people with microbiology degrees, how many can you find me?"

Li stared at her, "Your grace, you know we can't do bioweapons re-"

"I don't want weapons, sweet god, does everyone in the ****** universe think I'm some kind of homicidal maniac?" Liz turned on her, "I want you to send a team to help those poor bastards on Arluna."

"that's...kind of out of my jurisdiction-"

"I don't give a flying shit." Elizabeth snapped, "I want you to put together a hotzone team, Arluna's a trade partner and they're having some kind of mystery outbreak...and the ****** LYRANS are dragging their feet-I don't know if it's because of Katy and Victor's family spat, and really don't care-find me a crew of volunteers, with expertise, in the Coast Guard, get a ship and a crew ready, and get me facts, find out what this bug is, if it's a danger, and what we can do about it..and start running epidemic containment training here."

"Your Grace, we can't legally go outside the border of the system-"

"****** the law, Li, people are dying...and this bug, it's nasty, it's going to spread." Elizabeth told her, "get me good people-the best you can send, get them on-site, get us a leg up on this before it bites our asses off...I'll have some of my lobbyists on Tharkad run interference, the LMC is sitting head-up-ass right now, we can't afford to do the same...and it's open chequebook-anything you want to draw that I can beg, borrow, steal or find that will help."

"you think it might...spread here?" Li asked.

"timing, Li." Elizabeth stated, "symptoms to deaths.  a normal pandemic that is contained on a world doesn't simultaneously manifest on all five inhabited continents in the space of a month."  she lit a cigarette and took a drag, her expression focused, "Math doesn't add up, unless this bug's got one hell of a lead time where it's contagious and no symptoms present. Any interstellar civilization has regular transit between planets and systems. if we limit to just the thirty days after the first symptoms manifested, that means it can spread well over thirty light years, and every world in trade contact is vulnerable.  WE're closer to Arluna than most, the math says we need to know what this bug is and how to whup it, or we're going to die too."

"As you wish, Your grace...are you willing to contact the Clan enclave on this?"

"I said 'open chequebook', what part of that statement didn't filter in?" Liz told her, "Tell Icaza, make sure he sees the figures we've got from Arluna so far, have him call his scientists to confirm it...I don't think they'll help, but at least that way they can't blame us."

Li saluted.  Liz sighed and began calling and messaging the Assembly.  Gonna need an emergency resolution...

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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #2 on: 07 March 2016, 07:58:16 »
Coast Guard Base Vin Drin Lap, 1700 Hours local time, 30 March, 3064...

"...voluntary mission, you can opt out, but we have to send someone." Admiral Alicia Li stood in the briefing room. 

Commander Annika Jenniston, of Coast Guard Icebreaker 'Snowdog', from the antarctic command stood up. "I'll go." she said, "I assume I'm here because I have Microbiology training and training in outbreaks...if this is as bad as you're saying, we'll need a security element-historically as a pandemic runs it's course, law and order break down and medical facilities are often attacked or destroyed by panicked mobs."

"You've got a second to take over your boat?" Li asked.

"My XO can handle it-Laura's pretty good with the crew, and she's a geologist, so it's not like she'll get tapped for this." Jenniston stated.

There were only two others that stepped forward-Doctor Harold Fischer from the Ia Drang plateau's Naval Air Station, and Lt. Archibald Kinnear, who did some work on bioweapons in the service of the Federated Commonwealth back in the fifties before taking a reserve commission here on Kowloon.

"Gather your teams, recruit who you can, it's wheels up in two days' time." Li told them, "I assume you have a 'get list', Doctor Kinnear?"

"I do..." he opened his Personal data assistant, "Thank you for letting me have this chance, Admiral..." he handed it over to Li, "That's what we'll be needing for the laboratory-as much of that list as is physically possible."

"I'm surprised you didn't call Doctor Huyn in." Jenniston noted, "Mai has at least as much experience as I do..."

"Mai is currently pregnant-she's on maternity leave-"

"Ohhhh...boy or girl this time?"

"not telling." Li told her, "not my place, you know that."

Jenniston handed over a PADD with her list of equipment, as well as a short list of people she felt would be of use in the lab.

Fischer did the same, "I know they'll come, we talked about it already." he said.

"good...I'll cut two sets of orders for each of you, and for the people you want on your teams-hopefully we'll have enough."

"Security element." Jenniston repeated, "Seriously-NBC qualified bullet-sponges, we're going to need them."

"You'll have a marine contingent, Commander." Li told her.

"best if they're either men without families, or men who've already had theirs." Fischer suggested.


Marine Barracks, Coast guard Station Vin Drin Lap...

"...offplanet duty, it pays really well." Corporal Pol Nguyen was saying.

"You're junior, Nguyen, and the A-school for dropship security is on frikking spider moon, no way they'll let you in,not with Rockjacks enlisting left and right." Lance Corporal Joanne Puller shook her head, "You'd have an easier time getting off planet you go up to Hue and emigrate."

"rumour has it they're looking for ground-side guys for some deal off-planet." Pol insisted.

"Officer on DECK!!"

the Marines jumped out of their bunks, and came to attention.

Captain Mai Huyn was very pregnant, she was also in uniform.  "As you were. I need...twenty four volunteers, hazardous duty, off-world pay." she stated, "NBC qualfied to the front of the line."

"Told you." Pol muttered to his bunkie, then stepped forward. "SIR, Pol Nguyen, SEcond Patrol Brownwater, I would like to volunteer Sir!"

"relax...this isn't a joke, Nguyen." Mai told him, "There is an epidemic on Arluna, they're looking for security staff to protect our doctors while they visit the site, and do preliminary research on finding a treatment, vaccine, or cure-you might be volunteering for a one-way mission."

Pol looked at his Commanding officer, "Ma'am...I'll go, hell, fifteen lights from New Saigon? you bet I'll go."

she checked his name off a list, and moved down the barracks.

By the end of it, she had her twenty men.

"Pack your issue gear, boys, draw weapons at the armory, wheels are up at oh-four-thirty for the port,where you'll have to familiarize yourselves with the new equipment you'll be issued when you get there."  she sighed, "I wish I was going with you."




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.

qc mech3

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #3 on: 07 March 2016, 09:26:59 »
Ave! Morituri te salutant.  :-[ :-[ :-[

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #4 on: 07 March 2016, 13:58:06 »
I wonder how the timing of this plague is going to mess with the Jihad.

croaker

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #5 on: 07 March 2016, 14:04:18 »
I wonder how the timing of this plague is going to mess with the Jihad.

Probably not very much, it's a fairly minor regional thing by the view of pretty much everyone but the Lyrans and Falcons.

Euphonium

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #6 on: 07 March 2016, 14:57:31 »
Tag!
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #7 on: 07 March 2016, 15:49:02 »
Falcon Enclave, Hue...April 3, 3065

"...contact with the Stravag Miliz, they are asking to speak with you."  Jonas was new, he had been transferred to HQ Beta Galaxy, and from there, to the Kowloon Enclave for temporary duty while injuries that required time healed.

So Morgan didn't strike him in the mouth for the slang invective.

"Watch your language, warrior." Morgan told him, "those Stravags were able to destroy a Clan Warship with two missiles fired from a junker submarine, and defeated a well-regarded Cluster commander at Ia Drang by dropping a city on him."  Morgan punctuated this by pointing into the distance at the stony wall of the Ia Drang plateau, "They are now rebuilding that city, and from what our Watcher has told me, they are taking the opportunity to correct certain liveability defects it had before they used it and a river as hammer-and-anvil."

"You respect that?" the younger warrior scoffed.

"I respect their ruthlessness."  Morgan told him,  "and their resourcefulness...what channel is their contact on?"

"The highway gate to the south." Jonas stated, "Two of their floating police and a cripple with a ruined face."

"Colonel Mosovich and the Coast Guard. Interesting, come, let us see what our neighbours want." 

The Hue enclave was large-it compared favorably to many of the Clan's homeworld territories in size, and exceeded them in wealth of resources.  This meant either riding a 'mech, or sitting in a vehicle to travel from the command post to any of the dozen or so 'gateway' locations on the border.

several minutes later, Jonas parked the jeep and Morgan got out.


"Colonel Mosovich...this is unexpected." Morgan told her.  The two Coast-Guard officers were people he did not immediately recognize. 

"Star Captain, yeah, not expected." her vox was out of adjustment again, a secondary harmonic making it sound as artificial as it was. "Didn't want to send on the open, we're here to deliver a warning, what you do with it is your option, but Her Grace specifically instructed that your enclave be informed before the Assembly was."

"So...not Lyran business."

"No.  Not...exactly.  There's a Pandemic on Arluna."

"This is not news." Morgan said.

"Her Grace has reason to believe it may have hopped shipping and be either on the way here, or already here, she is sending a volunteer mission to assess the outbreak and gather information for NBC protocols if it has come here.  what this means for your folks, is that there are scheduled quarantine drills in the surrounding communities as well as everywhere your rail hubs connect, you might want to inform your traders, and start breaking out your biochem books for outbreak procedures of your own."

"SO it is significantly worse than the public reports." Morgan said.

the maimed woman nodded. "Far worse.  Lyran Medical Command is still treating it as a level four, but level fours don't simultanously outbreak in four continental areas, and stop after a few thousand people are dead-according to our experts."

"When is this mission supposed to launch?" Morgan asked.

One of the Coast Guard officers looked southward, and said, "That's them." she pointed high in the sky, at  a dropship contrail, "Launched about five minutes ago."

"Your operational security remains excellent." Morgan complimented the native officers, "You should have come to us."

"We are informing you so you can take precautions." the other officer, a Captain with medical insignia, spoke up, "I don't know what you brought for hazmat or bio, but you need to get your people drilling on outbreak response and updated on quarantine procedures.  Coast Guard's got leeway-we can share everything we learned with anyone and everyone who wants it, and that's what we're gonna do-the math says this bug might be a worldkiller.  Maybe some dumb jackass opened up a can of first succession wars deadly, but it'd have to be goddam well preserved, if it's a natural bug, that might be worse."

"You have the most current data with you, I take it?" Morgan asked.

"Yep." Mosovich told him.

He extended a hand, "give it?"

the Captain stepped forward, and handed him an armored briefcase.  "There's also contact codes and a short-version briefing on procedures our people will be using once they hit ground on Arluna." she told him, "This is not a ****** joke, you need to fort up and prepare for the worst, just like we do."

"I will keep that in mind, and I will contact your people with our answer." Morgan stated, "Standard channel."

"good 'nough." the Militia commander turned and walked back to the vehicles.

Morgan turned to Jonas, "Gather the scientists we have, have them analyze their data and cross reference with our Watcher, those two Coast Guards were from their medical command, this may, in fact, be serious."

"How can you take them seriously?" Jonas scoffed again, "The Spheroids are barbarians!"

"barbarians who have extensive experience with biological weapons attacks-centuries of it." Morgan countered, "They have used them. if they say there is a problem, there might very well be a problem...go, assemble the lower castemen with relevant skill and knowledge, and forward copies to the Headquarters for Beta Galaxy, and the Clan headquarters on Wotan."
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.

worktroll

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #8 on: 07 March 2016, 17:52:13 »
Tagged for great glory ...
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
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* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
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Paladin1

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #9 on: 07 March 2016, 18:24:59 »
One ping only...

qc mech3

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #10 on: 07 March 2016, 22:04:08 »
And with his attitude, Jonas will fail his survival check!  :P >:D #P

worktroll

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #11 on: 07 March 2016, 22:05:49 »
Think of it as evolution in action! O0
* No, FASA wasn't big on errata - ColBosch
* The Housebook series is from the 80's and is the foundation of Btech, the 80's heart wrapped in heavy metal that beats to this day - Sigma
* To sum it up: FASAnomics: By Cthulhu, for Cthulhu - Moonsword
* Because Battletech is a conspiracy by Habsburg & Bourbon pretenders - MadCapellan
* The Hellbringer is cool, either way. It's not cool because it's bad, it's cool because it's bad with balls - Nightsky
* It was a glorious time for people who felt that we didn't have enough Marauder variants - HABeas2, re "Empires Aflame"

Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #12 on: 07 March 2016, 22:13:24 »
Be interesting to see how this shakes out in this 'verse, versus FGC62-verse.  Niops involved at all?
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mikecj

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #13 on: 07 March 2016, 23:16:37 »
Nice beginning.  The SLDF continues to have much to answer for.
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DOC_Agren

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #14 on: 07 March 2016, 23:53:37 »
Nice beginning.  The SLDF continues to have much to answer for.

Especially from the POV of Kowloonese

I'm interested in where this one goes O0
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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #15 on: 08 March 2016, 00:32:57 »
at least it didn't start with a strange rash....

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #16 on: 08 March 2016, 01:17:47 »
Ping!
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Giovanni Blasini

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #17 on: 08 March 2016, 01:51:03 »
at least it didn't start with a strange rash....

Or just a jump to the left...
"“Eternity is a long time, especially towards the end.” -- Stephen Hawking

Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #18 on: 08 March 2016, 03:56:47 »
Folsom Prison, Arluna, Visiting Hours...

"...mom's sick, so's auntie Claire."  Debra MacAulliffe would be in school right now-if the schools were open.  She'd only gotten in, with a kettle of chicken soup and the fact most of the guards that were still reporting for duty knew her.

"Why aren't you in school, puppet?" Her father asked over the speaker.

"Schools're closed." Debra told him, "th' Lawman let me come up here today, but even th' baron's took sick.  Preacher from Addley says it's th' End Times..."

"Don't you go believing that fraud! I raised my girl better than that!" He scolded.

"Ah don', but lotsa folks do." she said, "Theys gots trucks on the roads at night, and I seed fires in th' distance, smells like burnin' pork and shet."

"Go back to the farm, Puppet, get out of town and go home, lock the doors and the gates." he told her, and then coughed, honked his nose into his sleeve, "stay there. It's not safe out."

"Never was." she said.

"Dad, mom's sick." Debra insisted.

"So am I." he told her, "You might be on your own soon-if you aren't acting on that already, you better start."
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.

Sharpnel

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #19 on: 08 March 2016, 04:26:57 »
And my favorite hick chick is back
Consigliere Trygg Bender, ZEU-6BL Zeus, The Blazer Mafia
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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #20 on: 08 March 2016, 05:22:26 »
[out of story]
There are going to be several changes from the FGC version-beginning with everyone is a couple years younger and some of them aren't even available. (Still in LAAF service offworld, for example).

what probably will not change, is the horror of surviving.  See, 'Survival Horror' comes in two types-one emphasizes surviving, and the other emphasizes the Horror of surviving.

I guess the best examples would be contrasting Dark Horse Comics "The Walking Dead" with Stephen King's "The Stand".

(no, I haven't seen the television version of TWD-I used to collect the comic books, then kind of got involved in other things again...but I read "The Stand" in both the original publisher's cut, and the longer 'anniversary' or 'author's cut'...and saw the original "Dawn of the Dead" back on cable in the eighties-no wonder I'm ****** up.)

The Arluna Flu as done in FGC, and as it will be here, is the sort of event that leaves the survivors in some way envying the dead in the aftermath-because the dead don't have to deal with how their world has changed.  What this means for y'all, is that I'm probably going to be working slower, with shorter posts for a while as I drag up imagery I cut from the FGC version and ideas that are kinda disquieting for me.

Trigger Warnings may apply, I'll try to keep it PG-13.


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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #21 on: 08 March 2016, 06:18:55 »
Clan Jade Falcon Tactical Command center, Wotan, 8 April, 3065...

The lights came up in the Briefing room, and Miles "Schwarzchild" eyed the gathered Warriors nervously, waiting for the first question.

"These figures, are they confirmed, quineg?" Khan Marthe Pryde asked somewhat politely.

"The Lyrans are denying it officially." he said, then corrected himself,  "or, rather, they are...delaying confirmation.  The numbers and the Death Toll forwarded by the Kowloon Garrison, however, have been matched with official reports from the planet where the outbreak began, and they certainly believe those figures to be real...as you saw in the model we projected, several objectives for this month and next are in the zone of likely danger."

"That is very disturbing." Khan Pryde stated, "I do not care to reverse momentum when we are winning on a broad front, regardless of the Lyran success in their narrow offensive."

"OvKhan, I can only give you our recommendations." He stated, "additional NBC protection for warriors heading to the area, and awareness that a contagion may be present on additional worlds-as Scientists, we do not dictate Clan policy, but it is our duty to make you aware of unexpected threats of a medical or scientific nature as soon as we, ourselves, are aware of them. Loremaster Pershaw seemed very receptive to-"

"I know." Marthe stated, "We need more information, I will not waste warriors by sending them into a major outbreak situation unprepared...I was not rebuking you, Scientist." she added, "I may be known to be traditional, but Tradition does not make me a fool.  Your little report here, has just shifted the strategy significantly, I want a team packed and ready to depart for this possible hot-zone no later than forty-eight hours from now, with regular reports.  Their objective is to find and isolate the source of the contagion, develop effective countermeasures, and distribute those countermeasures, once developed, to the Touman as a whole."

"it is several weeks to the center of the outbreak-"

"THAT, is my concern. yours is assembling a scientific team sufficient to defeat this...disease, and having it ready for transport inside forty eight hours, you will be based out of the Kowloon Enclave at first, but I want a field-ready team on Arluna as soon as physically possible."

"Seyla, my Khan." he bowed.

after the scientist left, SaKhan Samantha Clees asked, "You are really worried about this one, quiaff?"

"Aff." Marthe stated, "In the first century after Operation: Exodus, the Spheroids threw virulent diseases along with nuclear and chemical weapons at one another like...worlds died, people erased by the billions-I would not have our Clan fall to that."

"So we are altering objectives?" Clees asked.

"Yes, I want Adam Steiner's little path of 'liberation' stopped, this is as good an excuse to transfer assets to that task as any I can think of, and we should be consolidating our gains.  If we are fortunate, this contagion will burn itself out, leaving our foes weaker, if we are not...then preparation and our superiority will need to be leveraged to create additional opportunity-if it rages out of that cluster of worlds, we must hold the cure-or at minimum a countermeasure.  if we are truly lucky, we will come out prepared while they are still reeling."

"The meeting of preparation with opportunity?" Clees quoted Nicholas Kerensky.

"Precisely. The Lyrans are dithering, likely this fight amongst themselves has deadened their wits to the larger picture-like the Mandrills do." she shrugged, "we are Jade Falcon, we will be ready, and armed with facts."

"Seyla."
« Last Edit: 08 March 2016, 06:21:12 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #22 on: 08 March 2016, 07:06:20 »
Ciudad Oxford, Everglades Continent, Arluna...

Laura Shenks finished her tour with the LAAF just before the Civil war started-she'd managed to avoid recall, because she was holding down a job here, as a Medevac pilot and paramedic in the second largest city on Arluna.

Not that it was all that different from being a Medevac Jockey on the Clan frontier-in fact, she saw more trauma wounds here, than she had for the entire five years in Lyran service-generally military grade weapons don't leave people alive nearly as often as domestic disputes, automobile accidents, or the occasional crime.

Nowhere she'd served, however, did she need an armed escort to get through the crowd on her way to work...not until recently.

The outskirts of the main hospital were now fortified-a riot last night had shut down the surface-level emergency room-many of the doctors who would be treating patients today without that riot, were patients themselves as a direct outcome.

As she walked from the monorail station to the hospital grounds, she was flanked by two Militia soldiers, they weren't carrying their weapons at port-arms, but instead, at 'ready', the cocking handles drawn back, safeties off.

they passed a gutted police car, and a similarly gutted ambulance, then the machine-gun nest, fitted with a pair of Firedrake incendiary needlers and an automatic grenade launcher loaded with teargas and rubber bullets.

Her practiced eye noted that the 'ammo blocks' for the Firedrake were half-expended.

sweet god, has it really come to this?  she shook her head, pulled out her identicard, and keyed into the personnel entrance.

"Hey Joe, where's tony??" she asked.  The Orderly grunted and shrugged, "Dunno, I think he called in sick."

"Tough luck then. Who's my second seat?" she asked.

"Dunno...ask Maddie in Dispatch." Joe told her, "I see you later maybe."

she shrugged, "Maybe" and headed to the dispatch desk.  Maddie? she's third shift!

"Heya Maddie, I'm here." Laura announced.

"Thank god...I've had to go down the list to the emergency contacts, we've got four birds grounded and no flight crew 'till you showed up!"

"no...flight..crew." Laura stared, "Seriously?"

"Serious.  You're the only pilot who's reported to work..at least, so far." Maddie told her, "My relief-and his-both called in sick last night, and Olberman's wife called him in sick, so I'm having to try to run the whole department and get anyone who can make it to come in...which is probably for the best, we're over-capacity with patients since the riots started."

"what about grounder medics?" Laura asked, "Anybody who's got chopper time available-I can fly it, but we still need someone to work the customer."

"Grayson might be able to-he got bumped up pretty bad, but he's walking around."

"I'll take him." Laura stated, "gotta have a second crewman or I might as well be flying a hearse."
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mikecj

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #23 on: 08 March 2016, 12:08:02 »
Duty is a harsh mistress
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.

Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #24 on: 09 March 2016, 05:56:54 »
Coast Guard dropship Sunjammer, on approach to Arluna, 11 April, 3064...

"...help you with that, Doc?" Pol asked. Dr. Fischer nodded, "thanks...god I'll be glad to be on the ground-never liked spaceflight, always does such savage things to my stomach."

Pol anchored his feet and checked the older man's accelleration harness. "We'll be grounding soon...this must all be old-hat for a distinguished scientist, huh?"

"Nope." Fischer told him, "I think Jennison put it best-we're going into a hot-zone for the first time in just under a century-and testing all the theoretical models we worked up over the years for the first time."

Pol finished checking the restraints in the passenger compartment, then anchored himself to his seat.

"You're pretty good at this, Corporal." Commander Jennison noted from her couch, "You Belter?"

"nope." Pol said, "Farmboy from Ia Drang...I wanted to go for flight training, but they said my vision's not good enough...hence the glasses." He smiled ruefully, "then they said I was too tall, and by the time I took my Primary NCO course for the Corporal Stripes, they said my reflexes aren't good enough...Pilots have'ta be ****** fast, Ma'am.  I'm not quick enough-the only way I'd get a flight-warrant now, is experience-which you don't normally get as a Marine Boot in the Lake district-it's okay though, I pulled top marks as a combat diver, and it's a tiny bit like nullgee, if you squint real hard and have a great imagination."

"combat diver...not a RESCUE diver?" she asked.

"Brownwater." he said with a shrug, "we do the rescue-dives, but it's not really the same in the river systems-generally there, you're going down to blow something up."

"We get back, Maybe I'll put in a word with Li to get you a transfer to the Bluewater fleet." she told him, "some of that work is so deep the sunlight never reaches, and Blackwater pulls a lot of their surface-born personnel from us."

Pol smiled, "I'd like that, ma'am."

the re-entry alarm sounded and the dropship reoriented.

The other security Marines braced with him, as the ship began it's descent burn. 

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we are on approach to Grantsville Spaceport on the Beauregard continent of Arluna, weather at our destination is a balmy 33 degrees celsius with clear skies, Port officials will be waiting for us with the local Medical establishment. Please observe all quarantine procedures and ready for a soft landing in three...two...one..."

They set down, and Masterchief Quan came down from the flight deck to handle unstrapping.  "We've got about twenty minutes while the hull cools." the old Belter told them, "Probably want to get your suits checked over, filter changes and such."

Pol got out of his crash couch while the belt-born crewmen started unstrapping everyone else, he opened his NBC hazard bag, and pulled on the overgarment, mask, and portable life support unit, checking each piece for tears, rips, worn seams, and sealing decay before donning them, then he turned and started helping the junior personnel in his section.

The Masterchief was helping the scientists, with the assistance of a couple of Blackwater squaddies.

The last part, was doing a weapons-inspection.  The Marines on this trip were here to pull LZ security, and to escort the doctors when they left the ship, along with 'various and sundry tasks' that were basically dumb-gruntwork.

First task, of course, being to go outside and check the conditions.

"First squad, form up, let's get out the door." He announced, "We might be expected, we might even be guests...but we still got work to do."

The first thing to greet his eyes as the outer door of the surface-level airlock opened, was a city skyline that dwarfed any city he had ever, in person, seen.

It made Hue, or Nha Tranh, look like a backwater small town by comparison.

The local officials were waiting on the concourse structure just ahead of them, and Pol looked over the fancy uniforms of the Militiamen that were his opposite numbers here.

his gut told him there weren't enough for the heavy vehicles they had parked around the dropship, their half-tracks were open-topped models fitted with heavy crew-served weapons, and he could see there weren't enough to both crew the guns, and pull standard foot-patrol security. 

He tongued the comm switch in his mask, "Nobody comes out unless they're in full gear-some of these guys are sick."

The core rules for interacting with me:

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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #25 on: 09 March 2016, 08:07:19 »
Folsom, Arluna, 22 KM west of Ciudad Grantsville...

"come out [hack] little girly, we ain' gonna hurt you!!" 

Debra crouched in the space between a dumpster and the entry to a basement in the alley as the gang of men came onward.

Some of them were still in parts of their uniforms, not full uniforms-they were sweating and uncomfortable with the inner heat of fever.

She knew what they wanted-it was definitely something that would hurt.  guaranteed it would hurt.

There was a sound from the far side of the alleyway-behind them, running feet.  The gang was distracted and some of them spotted what they seemed to think was easier prey.

Left her with three still in the alley, one was tossing trashcans to make 'spook' noises, while his compadres advanced, flashlights going.

"Come on, sweetheart, you're out here, it's after curfew, I got moneyyyy!!"

Debra thumbed the hammer back on a revolver she'd picked up four blocks ago from the hand of a dead man.  he used it on himself, in the bathroom of the building she'd hidden in.

There were five shots and three men.

she stepped out, "I'm armed!" she shouted in spanish, "Leave me alone!!"

"Aww...that thing? little thing?" the leader-the guy who did most of the talking anyway, said, and smiled an oily smile under the flickering streetlight, He flashed his halogen portable at her face and debbie panicked.

BLAM!!!  It was louder than the rifle at home, and bucked in her hands like the shotgun did.  Her palm was numb, but there was a heavy, wet thump and the high-powered flashlight clattered to the ground.

"OWWWgoDdammitT!! AHHHHHH AAHHHHH AAAHHHHHAHAHAAHAAAAHHAA!!!!" he was shrieking and screaming and thrashing on the ground.

Debbie clawed down on the grips, and said, "Who wants one? YOU?"

the man she'd shot was curled up with his hands around his middle, and she could smell coppery blood, mixed with urine and shit.

The other four looked down at their man, and back at her, and ran off.

The man was still screaming in the alley, as a dawning horror hit her.  I'm gon' have to kill him.

It would be indecent to leave anyone to suffer from being gut-shot, her father told her that on the nights they went poaching, after she'd accidentally gut-shot a MulDeer, the animal's screams were almost-but not quite, as human as what was coming out of this man's mouth.

She thumbed the hammer back, and aimed agian...this time really aiming.

Boom

His screams ended.

Debbie didn't know why she wanted to cry-she did know, she just couldn't rectify the feeling of relief with the moral outrage she knew she ought to feel.

from outside herself, she felt like she was watching, as she uncurled his dead body, and checked for any useful items.

Somewhere far away, she could hear a fire alarm, and the breaking of glass, and shouts and footsteps.  Riot's comin. gotta move on.

She knew which way she needed to go-north is thataway, and west...  she shoved the pistol into her jacket pocket, and started running again.

gotta get on home now...
The core rules for interacting with me:

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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #26 on: 10 March 2016, 04:49:18 »
Gransville spaceport, 22 April, 3064...

Corporal Pol Nguyen winced as Dr. Fischer drew blood.  a check under an electron microscope and the senior Kowloonese researcher shook his head. "You're infected, Corporal."

"Jesus, sir, that means-"

"We're all infected.  I was hoping to find someone who wasn't-but everybody in the team has it."  Fischer told him.

"HOW? we followed quarantine procedures!" Pol was astonished.

"I know.  We've still got a good datachannel to the HPG site, but they've got the disease too, and most of the staff're sick."

"Who's running it then?" Pol asked.

"The night janitor? not sure-just that we've managed a couple real-time uplinks to Kowloon, but it's hit or miss, and we never get the same guy twice when we call them directly...what we do know, now, is that standard quarantine procedures don't work-UV doesn't touch this bug, and it's tough enough to survive airlock purges and chemical baths."

"but what does that mean, sir?" Pol asked.

"Means nobody is going home unless we beat this thing here." the old FedCom doctor told him, "I'm going to need you and your men to assemble a full warning beacon transmitter, and you're about to get a full-doctorate thumbnail course in laboratory work-in hopes that someone from the team can last long enough to finish."

Commander Jennison joined them outside the airlock, and shoved her hands in her pockets.  "There's another problem." She stated.

she pointed to the caged rats.  "Neurological side-effects late-stage." she stated, "Amps up aggression hormones in the brain, adrenaline, overdrives the so-called 'reptilian' areas.  Those sick people outside have already started rioting, it's going to get a hell of a lot worse, especially as the fever shuts down higher function...lucky for whoever makes it through, the violence tends to peak, then tapers off before death-but things are going to get pretty violent out there, and maybe in here too...though I'm kinda hoping that's just the rats-they're as close to human as we can get outside the hominid species, but they are different...could be important."

"Commander, we've got a platoon of Marines to protect this dropship." Pol told her, "until we don't..."

"I've already authorized activating the ship's automatic weapons." Commander Jennison told him, "the software ain't perfect, but it's what we'll have once our numbers start dropping.  I'm more concerned about how much military grade hardware the Militia's running.  Even with most of them equipped for regime protection instead of resisting invasion, that still leaves a lot of capital hardware that's in hte hands of people whose rational faculties are going to go to hell in the next few weeks."



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Cannonshop

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Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #27 on: 10 March 2016, 06:41:15 »
[out of story] I know, I promised to go in-depth...


Well, that's not happening.  Part of why that's not happening, is that I'd have to do, like, real-science research research and stuff, then go through the stage-by-stage, step by step mauling of a whole world...just to give it enough impact to make doing the research-research worth the effort.

I don't have near enough russian novelist in me to be that ****** depressing...so we're going to skip ahead a bit, kill a whole shit-ton of people off-stage, and move forward to after the 30 of April...

[/out of story]

Kowloon system, 5 May, 3065...

"We're getting a transponder, she's a falcon vessel." the Radioman for BW-2271 announced, "They're requesting clearance to approach the planet."

Lt. Arlene Rodecher 72 sighed.  "Put me on..." she said.  The quarters on an Aquarius are tight, the Kowloon variant didn't change that much-swapping the single-heats for fewer doubles freed up fuel tonnage, but actually made things tighter.  "Falcon Vessel Mattlov's Pride, this is Coast Guard Bravo-Whiskey Two-two-seven-one, how many convoy for Hue, Over?"

"Bravo Whiskey 2271, this is Mattlov's Pride Actual, I have three for Hue, and it is official business, we have an additional dropship bound for Arluna pending response to an official request, Over."

"Mattlov's Pride Actual, this is Coast Guard 2271, did I hear you right? are you aware that Arluna is a Level Zero hot-zone, Over?"

the voice on the other end changed to a younger, male voice, "Coast guard, can you repeat that, I think you said Level Zero, Over?"

"As of six days ago we have confirmed the Arluna outbreak is a Level Zero biohazardous situation...and who am I talking to, over?"

"I am Scientist-Leader Jason "Barnaard" of the Medical Research subcaste, Our reports state you have a team in the hot-zone, and one of my objectives was contact and consultation with that team!..um, Over."

she grimmaced.  "As of yesterday, we Had a team, Jason.  Had.  we do have data from them before they dropped out of contact with the monitoring ship in-system. Best guess based n last transmission from the dropship is nobody is alive down there...Mattlov's Pride Actual, your dropships are cleared on traffic vector Bravo One, stick to the guide beacons and they'll be able to make a clean, safe landfall, but I would advise strongly not proceeding to Arluna until further notice, Over."

"Coast Guard 2271, we appreciate the advisement, but we have our orders, Over." the Falcon captain was back on the channel.

"Then god protect and preserve you, Mattlov's Pride, be advised a follow-on expedition is currently being assembled, if you can wait a few days, Over."

"Noted, Coast Guard, we will be leaving on our schedule, but if you feel generous, you can send us information gleaned on the conditions at our destination, Over?"

"Roger that, Mattlov's Pride, I'll have my Radioman set up a link and you can download from our medical research group, give me a few hours for light delay, Over."

"Understood, 2271, standing by for datafeed, Over."

"****** idiots." she whispered, but sent the request back up the chain.

Clan Merchant class Mattlov's Pride (the most recent one)

Karl never won a bloodname, he'd had to content himself with accepting a post shepherding Clan merchant-caste and others along the frontier once he had gotten to an age where piloting an Aerofighter was too strenuous.  Life as a member of the Merchant Caste was, at least, useful work.  The little ship that he'd just spent precious time communicating with, would have been a rather poor target back in the old days-too slow and old to be a true threat.  still, they must have done some work on it-those were never originally made for long-duration patrol flights...

His reveries were interrupted by a hushed sound from the overeager scientist he'd only allowed on 'his' command deck because the man's orders were from the Khan.

"savashri..."

Karl looked at the thirty-something scientist, and saw a look of unadulterated horror. 

"What is it?" Karl asked.

"this is a world-killer. if this is what is down on Arluna..." Jason met his eyes, "it must be stopped...and we need to know what these spheroids are planning-if it is the wrong thing, this will be worse..." the young man's eyes unfocused, "I thought they might be exaggerating about a level zero-those are only theoretically possible! but if anything could be level zero, this is it...I must find out more!"

Karl snorted, then another alert light brightened and the technician manning the comm console put through a simple message from the ranking Jade Falcon officer in the system.

Karl sighed, and keyed the traffic-control channel.  "I have one more dropship for landing at Hue after all, Coast Guard...this one will require an actual escort, Over."

"keep your escorts close to the vessel, and follow the beacons, then. Do you require a top-up on your helium tanks, Over?"

Karl nodded, "I do." he said, "Charge it to the Hue Garrison's account, and...ah, I meant, the vessel will require military escort. Over."  The briefings had been painstaking, so Karl had to be a Merchant again.

"Stand by, Mattlov's Pride Actual. we get your meaning and the request from the Hue garrison's already been made, Out."

the smallcraft banked and did a seven-second burn out of the arrival path.

What flicked into existence was about fifty thousand tonnes, and bore lines resembling some of the earliest jumpships ever made.

"Mattlov's Pride Actual, this is Coast Guard Cutter Elaine, you have a priority delivery to the planet Kowloon, Over?"

"Aff..irmative." Karl said, as the merchant-class vessel's warbook displayed the likely armament, and sensors showed more.  "How many gravities does that thing make?"

"Two point five at overthrust, but we've got a Battery, so we'll be taking your priority packet straight to the Ell-Five point between Kowloon and Green Cheeze, Over."

"that...that is a pre-dreadnought vessel!" he stated, "Where did you find it?"

"Retrofitted from an original colonial hull, the Rimjobs didn't blow them all up, she can only manage a fifteen-light max range on a jump, but we normally only need her for in-system anyway, send your package over, with bodyguards if you're worried.  Once we're back in Kowloon orbit, we'll have to spend a couple weeks recharging the core and the batteries, but her next stop is the Arluna system, which is, if I might say so myself, one hell of a shakedown cruise for a ship that's been motionless in the Oort since the end of the Amaris War, Over."


Ten hours later, Hue Spaceport, Falcon Enclave, Kowloon...

"It was a bold measure of trust getting on that leaky thing." Morgan Icaza said, greeting both Karl, and Jason.

"Your command left me little choice." Karl stated, "they are sending a fifty-five thousand ton ship that was built centuries ago.  How insane are they?"

"Very." Morgan told him, "Two thousand of their best have stepped forward to volunteer as guinea-pigs on the surface, since they consider some of their simulation data to be faulty and rats, to put it the way the late Commander Jennison stated it, 'aren't human enough to properly model the virus."

jason was horrified.  "Human subjects?" he said, aghast.

"Voluntary human subjects-they are only allowing a fraction of the number that volunteered-the criteria included men whom have already fathered children, women whose children are already self-sufficient, and those that are for one reason or another, sterile and can not produce offspring...and they are asking us for assistance, to get the HPG on Arluna working again, because the Comstar crew and their com-guards are dead...in order to monitor the site by remote."

"You did not agree to that, quineg?" Karl asked.

"I...kicked their request up the chain of command." Morgan told him, "Frankly, that is a 'favour' far beyond my authority, however, the threat looks real enough to me, and if this is an elaborate deception, it is being played on these people as well-there is a graveyard growing on one of the airless moons here in the Kowloon system-filled with dead refugees whose ships arrived in the system with the infection...the disease, at least, is real, as are the quarantine measures they are taking-the locals fear this infection, more than they ever feared us."







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mikecj

  • Captain
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  • Posts: 2042
  • Veteran of Galahad 3028
Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #28 on: 10 March 2016, 10:32:51 »
I'm surprised they set up a graveyard.  I'd rather push everything into the sun.
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.

Taron Storm

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  • Founding Member of Chaos Inc Merc Brigade
Re: Ngoverse 4.0: "The Watery Silence."
« Reply #29 on: 10 March 2016, 12:10:49 »
I'm surprised they set up a graveyard.  I'd rather push everything into the sun.

Waste not, and banking on finding a cure and then salvaging the ships.