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Author Topic: Teaser for a proposed...thing.  (Read 64789 times)

Cannonshop

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Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« on: 26 November 2019, 19:55:34 »
in my last vacation back to fanfiction, I did up a victor/Victoria swap alternate-of-an-alternate-of an alternate universe story that was a pile of vignettes and scenes.   At the end of that, I realized I'd run out of all the right badguys and asked people what they wanted to see.

I won't say that revisiting the world the Hunted Tribes crossover with Hotpoint was MOST popular, because the suggestion pool was pretty shallow, but it started my brain-engines a bit, that, and Cawest offering to let me contribute to his take on the setting.

but what came to me, maybe didn't fit with what he is thinking, and it just felt like fun. (well, fun for me, anyway) since what surfaced wasn't what I expected, but instead, a sequel to the last chapters of "Black Jumpsails".

It doesn't help that I looked up a piece of classic urban legend, either-the Philadelphia Experiment.

Cawest, Hotpoint, anyone who's collaborated with me in the past?  Guys, check this out and you're invited, I have NO IDEA what's going to happen...

Don't say that word, I know it's only fools,
who do not know their fate is just.
all the justice in the world,
is not enough to earn my faith and trust.


-Motorhead, "I don't Believe a Word"

Coast Guard Ship "Nueva Pueblo III", Sampan Mk III class, conducting Quarantine Enforcement, October 11, 3090...

Nicole Minh wasn't born on Kowloon.  She wasn't even born 'Nicole', but genetic surgery in the Metis Coalition was more than a century ahead of the technology the Clans are so proud of, especially when it comes to replacing cosmetic surgeries.  Commander Minh's real 'birthplace' was a records hack she paid good currency for, and her place as Senior Navigator and Commander of a Coast Guard ship was the happy result of a nightmare tragedy.

Most of her crew didn't know until she was hand-picked to transport a secret diplomat to the Metis Coalition.  They're not talking, and she's not advertising.  Her past for the Guard begins with a prison cell on Winter, with no power, no food, no fresh water, and a dead cell mate.  Her redemption began with an act of cannibalism.

"what the hell is that?"

"Damfino." Linda 'Seether' Sithers would be Nicoles lover, if she would let her.  instead, they are close friends.  "Spectra's all over the place on the EM, Gravity wave and Thermal bands.  it's like something twisted space."

'Do we have enough thrust to outrun it?" Nicole asked, quietly.

"velocity increasing on it, I'm honestly not sure we can."

"RTO, send our readings and imagery to Coast Guard command direct line, we've got a damn space anomaly an' it just ate a civilian jumpship trying to slip the Cordon."  Nicole ordered, "engines, bring reactors to one-fifty, output thrust One twenty five percent overload, go ahead and dump fuel into the burners, if we can't slip past this thing, we're as corncobbed as those poor Heinies."

"Aye mum, One Fifty and one-twenty-five, burning at two Kilos pure H, one kilo Lithium."

"it's gaining on us, matching course and vector."

"aww ******..."

there was no way to initiate a jump-the gravity was out of balance, but Nicole's instincts moved her hand, and she tried a method both dangerous, and difficult, altering the jump field to create a 'false' equilibrium using the ship's own mass.

Discontinuity

She burned, in chains of ice.

Discontinuity

Nicole cowered in the corner, blood from her cellmate slicking her chin, as too-bright lights blinded her darkness adapted eyes.

Discontinuity

White armored thugs kicked her into the decontamination center, and burning napalm covered her body...

Discontinuity

Somewhere in detection range of New Circe, October 22, 3047...

The emergence wave was loud.  Detectors on New Circe's surface set off frantic alarms, and both fighters and combat ships scrambled.  The Colonials were the first on the scene.

but it wasn't a Sovetski Soyuz, or any of the large warships that SHOULD have made that emergence wave.  The ship was small.  Scorched,  lightly armored and mounting barely-shrouded weapons blisters.  Less than 250 meters long and obviously damaged.  Where it wasn't scorched, the hull was a dark, haze-gray with a red stripe, a roundel showing an Orcinus orca, or Killer Whale, with a series of numbers.

on the flank, a half-burned flag shape was stenciled, a gold field bisected three times with red stripes, a blue star of David in the center, and in the center of that, the Lyran Commonwealth's armored fist.

her running lights were on, but nobody was answering hails.

Clan Wolverine military were the second on the scene, and the first to board.

Most of the crew were unconscious, a few were more than that.  A man frozen halfway through the bulkhead, a woman fused to her console.  two living bodies, screaming and somehow melded through each other.

twenty five personnel were recovered from a ship barely bigger than a large dropship, but equipped with a primitive core that was fractured lengthwise, the engine room was the worst.  remains of fifteen people, some still alive...sort of.  a man with no face, screaming...

a scene of outright horror, an abbotoir.

but twenty five crew were unconscious, in neural shock.  It made pulling them out of the wreck easier, at least.  identification didn't take long, the logs were recorded in an open format.  The codebooks weren't, but then, the 'jump calculator' was nothing but an input pad at the Nav station.  The most interesting find was the communication console.

"I have no idea what this is, or how it works."  The ship's RTO could have explained it, if he was awake-though why anyone would explain Black Box commo to strangers is quite outside of sane military operations.

"Documents on board are in a mix of English, German...and Vietnamese."  the homeport listed was Kowloon.

That raised more questions, which only got worse, when the date-stamps on the ship's logs were analyzed.

Kowloon...Coast Guard.  semi-apocryphal, the world that declared war on Amaris before the coup, the world that sent hundreds of thousands of men to kill the Rim Worlds, not to save or avenge the Star League, because they hated the Star league slightly less than they hated the Rim Worlds Republic.  The one allied group during the Amaris war that were expressly not invited to join the Exodus.

and the date stamps said it was twenty four years into the past.  The ship had somehow misjumped into the past, across the distance of the Star League in the wrong direction, to show up within detection range of New Circe.

Strange days indeed.
« Last Edit: 26 November 2019, 19:59:40 by Cannonshop »
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Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #1 on: 26 November 2019, 20:05:46 »
The Wolverines could do some serious damage with 24 years of future data...

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #2 on: 26 November 2019, 20:15:37 »
The Wolverines could do some serious damage with 24 years of future data...

yeah, but finding out about the Arluna Flu?  That's 20 years from this 'when' (roughly).

I think it reasonable to presume lots of people aren't going to be happy about the intrusion, more will be insisting it's some kind of hoax, or prank.  Either way, accepting what's in front of them, or denying it, it's going to scare a lot of folks.
The core rules for interacting with me:

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Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #3 on: 26 November 2019, 20:19:27 »
Of course, it could also answer your other question about "bad guys" from the other thread... maybe the Wolverines do enough analysis to figure out who to hit so they DON'T become "those guys"...

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #4 on: 26 November 2019, 21:03:32 »
The Wolverines could do some serious damage with 24 years of future data...

You assume they even landed in the same timeline.

Daryk

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #5 on: 26 November 2019, 21:06:54 »
Good point...

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #6 on: 26 November 2019, 21:12:46 »
McEvedy Hospital, New Circe...

She was disfigured.  Red and black tracery of burst veins across every centimeter of skin, old scars from decompression, except all of them on this floor had it, so it could have been a result of the misjump, medical student Zhora Hallis didn't really know.

What she knew, was twenty five people ranging from their mid-thirties to early twenties were all in a comatose state in her ward, there were no signs of recent brain damage and brain activity was...low, but present.

Aside from the obvious injuries of being tossed and shaken by the accident that put them here, they were in relatively good health.

EEG's spiked, and a voice from bed 2 mumbled, "am i still in the dream? is this real?"

she walked over, and examined her waking patient.

"You aren't in a dream, Leftenant Commander Sithers.  Your ship was in an accident, do you remember?"

"ugh...weeird readings, somethin'....makin' gravity waves, tore that heinie transport ship apart..."

the woman in bed two's eyes focused.  "****** me, you're clanners.  why aren't you wearing a damn biohazard suit? you don't know I'm not contagious!"  Sithers sat up...

Seether

"Are you out of your ****** mind, or is this facility at least isolated? You ****** KNOW the rules for Level Zero quarantines!!"  Her awareness was back, the perfect, almost too perfect features of someone who had to be Trueborn, furrowed in front her.  "Sweet jeebus, lady, I'm not joking, you ****** well know that the 21b virus is persistent in anyone with genemods, and it goes from dormant to active when exposed to genetic-base medicine!  Yer Blipping Grand Council insisted on the increased quarantine restrictions, and you're risking your ass being in here without a suit!"

"But..you're not contagious?" the strange med-tech asked.

"I'm not, but we were chasing down a quarantine violator, unless you know we didn't catch them, you should be in Mod Eight biohazard gear with a full purge on the room until you've confirmed it!  Where did you guys take us, and did you get anyone exposed boarding the wreck of the 'Celeste Maria' or her dropships? and why are you violating the Arluna Protocol answering our distress in the first place? your people should not be crossing the quarantine line.  It's bad for the rest of us, but it's a ****** death sentence for your kind!"

Seether paused, as something else registered. Hope and panic warred for dominance, and reason won out.  "Did your clan find a cure? are you guys here because you're renewing the invasion??"

drugs flooded her, and Seether fell back into oblivion.
The core rules for interacting with me:

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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: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #7 on: 26 November 2019, 21:19:51 »
If nothing else, THAT conversation should get the Wolverines taking a VERY close look at the ship's logs...  :o

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #8 on: 26 November 2019, 21:56:18 »
New Circe Dockyard orbital...

"The core is based on primitive cores used by early earth colonists, it's like a compact core but with a shorter range.  it's been augmented with an LF battery system to give it roughly the same range as a standard warship or drop-ship, the computers are...primitive.  the Jump computer relies a lot more on manual inputs than...sir, this thing is a kludge.  The point defenses are LBX autocannons, the main guns are fairly up-to-date for the 2750s, definitely Star League designs, the Missile silos are modern designs, they used a down-rated AR-10 style, and the basic planform's the sort of thing you find in history books about pre-Dreadnought combat vessels...and we have no idea what this is."  Technical Sargeant Baenre paused for breath.

"Do you recognize it?" Commander Hallis asked.

"No idea." Tyrol said sincerely, "I have not a clue what that is, or how it's supposed to work. It isn't Colonial or Cylon tech, that's all I can say for certain."

"Savashri.  Okay...I guess we wait for some of them to wake up, and explain it to us."


20 Hours later...SLDF Intelligence office, Briefing Room 4.

"...are you here because your Clan found a cure? are you renewing the invasion?"  The image showed the duty nurse administering sedatives that knocked the apparent ship's XO unconscious, then calling in for help.

"We haven't heard of any contagions, and no rumors about the Clans either-Copeland would've reported it if there were."  Geordison stated, "He hasn't, and we're pretty sure he won't, if the downloads from the ship's computers aren't a deception."

"What do you mean?"

"that ship is from 3090, or at least, all the computers, recorders and data on board seems to think it comes from 3090.  That's decades from now.  We have everything they had recorded, including personnel files on the crew.  Sithers is a Kowloon belter, what they call a 'rockjack', her personnel file goes back to 3050.  the Commanding officer, Nicole Minh, is a 'prison recruit' officer with combat time against the Word of Blake, whatever that is, and notes on joint operations with Clans Jade Falcon,Wolf, Ghost Bear, and an escort mission dealing with a Goliath Scorpion fleet unit, she's lost two ships since her career started, one due to enemy action and the other one was replaced after carrying out a diplomatic mission into the Metis belts around Sol."

"So they're professional military, a diplomatic mission?"

"Recruiting allies.  her most recent assignment was back on Quarantine.  Sir, these files read like a source of nightmares, everyone on Quarantine patrol are assigned based on surviving the infection-this one.  It's a nasty one."

"How nasty?"

"killed a couple of planetary populations, and according to their own files on it, The Star League designed it, nobody has a cure according to the profile in the database.  Nobody had it when the SLDF killed the project and tried to bury it back in the 28th century, and if our analysts are reading it right, they've got testing equipment to reveal the presence of the infection during the asymptomatic phase, and a few methods to keep a patient alive until they beat it, but the success rate is unacceptably low by our standards."

"How low?"

"Forty percent, with a bug that kills over ninety percent of its victims...sir, these people, if their data is right and their files aren't a lie, have witnessed something none of us ever have, I think Nike might know a few things, have seen something similar, but nobody here has ever seen or experienced horrors on that scale."

Colonel McEvedy thumbed through the offprint of 'Linda Sithers'.   "...psychological treatment for traumatic stress...guilt...suicidal ideation?" he read further.  "...medals for quick action preventing a spread of the outbreak from Winter, as a gunnery officer, Oh..."

"what is it, sir?"

"She had to fire on a civilian convoy trying to rush the jump point.  They still had...the channel was still open, according to this, her previous CO took a walk out the airlock without a suit when they got back, he gave the order, she carried it out, they both tried to kill themselves, only according to Minh's notes here, Sithers is starting to deal with the guilt."

"She's not the only one.  most of the crew files contain similar incidents, similar problems, most of those people would have been put on Medical leave or discharged in...we wouldn't send people with those problems back into the field, sir."

Chronic shortages of personnel would.  McEvedy knew all about that.  So would the Munchkins in the City State.  "They went from Quarantine enforcement to all out war, back to quarantine.  They don't have enough people...or enough qualified people, to do anything else..."

"Won't have, sir.  the outbreak was in 3067, if the data's not lying.  we have twenty years..."

"do we? get one of them conscious and rational, I need answers."
The core rules for interacting with me:

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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: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #9 on: 26 November 2019, 22:09:47 »
All logical so far... it just might save them...  ^-^

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #10 on: 26 November 2019, 22:33:08 »
SLDF Quarantine Medical, two days later...

the Captain of the stricken Cutter Nueva Pueblo, hull number 12/A/6 opened her eyes for the first time.  "I'm in a hospital?"  A medtech in an environment suit stepped up.

"Are you aware, Commander Minh?" Zhora's voice was rich, the depth that matched her size.

"Oh, yeah.  these drugs are amazing.  I have to ask, which Clan broke quarantine to answer the distress call?  Your gear's not quite Falcon, and we aren't anywhere near the Wolves or Ghost Bears, and a Scorpion medic would be wearing insignia."

"You...might not believe me." the Medtech told her, "We're the Star League in Exile, and you're nowhere near where your charts say these...invaders are located."

"So why are you following Arluna Protocols?" Nicole asked, then answered herself, "Of course, you're doing it for us-because you knew the first thing that would happen is panic that the virus will get loose."

"Commander Minh, may I take this stupid getup off?"

Nicole nodded.  "Yeah, unless someone tried to do recombinant DNA therapy on me, there's no chance the virus is going to go active, you're safe...so where am I, and...how far out of range are we? where are my crew? how many made it?"

"What do you remember?"

"I remember seeing the Celeste Mary breaking up, their dropships being dragged into what looked like a loop of plasma and bent light that was setting off our gravity wave detectors and fogging the thermals in deep space.  I remember having a crazy idea when we couldn't break the pull from it. it was like a black hole, only...more like a loop, half-twist, maybe an AU out and we were being sucked in, so I did something insane, because if you're falling to your death, might as well flap your arms and try to fly, right?  it worked, or I'm dead and this is hell."

"some of our officers want to debrief you, do you feel well enough to talk?" Zhora asked.

"Sure, send in the accident team, and maybe someone who can tell me where we ended up...and someone to tell me how many of my crew I'm going to have to write condolence letters for."

Twenty Minutes later...

"...so I used a trick you're not supposed to use, and fooled the drive controller into thinking the gravity sensors were lying, disabled the safeties, and plotted a five-light jump for the nearest inhabited body in the Quarantine, it was a long shot but we were out of options and couldn't do anything for the poor bastards we were chasing.  we also used the Blackbox to send a warning up to Division, in case my try failed, they can send a follow-up, or beacon the system as a navigation hazard."  she ran a hand through auburn-brown hair, "now, will someone please tell me what happened to my crew, where I am, and if I'm a prisoner of war?"

Colonel McEvedy shook his head, "you're not a POW, Commander.  We rescued twenty five of your people alive, and extracted the remains of the rest, which took some doing, since some of them were embedded in structure.  your Executive Officer is being treated for injuries, most of your enlisted are still...sleeping it off? you're the second person to recover enough to talk to."

"oh-kay, where am I?"

"This world is New Circe, we're the SLDF in Exile...and what year is it?" he asks, "you would be amazed at why I'm asking?"

"the date, well, when we were out there, was 3090, 11, October." she told him, "Now, how long have I been out, and why are you asking for the date?"

"because this isn't october of Thirty Ninety." he explained,  "The current date, standard reckoning, is october twenty second, of Thirty Forty Seven.  You're out of your time, and based on your logs, you're well past the far side of the Inner Sphere."

Nicole stared, "Bullshit. god doesn't play dice with the universe and he doesn't grant special favors."

"Yet you were praying on the recording when you calculated that jump attempt, Quiaff?"

"I was...but...if this is really thirty forty seven, we have twenty years to stop it from happening."  her eyes reflected traumatized horror, and frantic hope. "Please tell me this isn't another KF Field hallucination, and we can stop it from happening."
« Last Edit: 26 November 2019, 22:58:55 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

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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.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #11 on: 26 November 2019, 22:54:11 »
[pause Teaser]

The first Science Fiction concept that comes up is the impossible one.  "Make it didn't happen", some variation of that always comes up as one of the first things a kid who's done wrong, or has suffered a loss, wishes.

"make it didn't happen".

if you've read "black Jumpsails" or the later versions of the Ngoverse, with the Flu, and Nikki Minh, you know these are people who wish a lot of things could be 'make it didn't happen'.

but the biggie, for the crew and officers of the KCGS Nueva Pueblo III, would be the Arluna Flu.  These are veterans of a war with an invisible, seemingly unstoppable enemy that forced them to commit one atrocity to prevent another, over and over again, from seeing a world die, to having to kill panicked civilians to save millions of others, or in this case, billions to trillions of others.  They've seen Tragedy become Statistics, and then felt the emotional horror of statistics becoming Tragedy.

because face it, if you're enforcing this kind of quarantine, killing one innocent to save ten thousand others? it might not flicker the guys in the Admiralty, and you might get a medal for it, but whether you're pulling a trigger, or pressing a button with the comm channel open, if you have any moral character you're being torn to shreds inside, because those panicked people aren't firing weapons at you, they're just frightened and trying to escape...and you know that.

Only a very small percentage of humanity can truly choose to make a beast of themselves to get rid of the pain of being a man...and those sorts don't get past the initial psychological evaluation for most militaries (with good reason.)

Nicole Minh and her crew may have just been given the chance to 'make it didn't happen'.  what would you do in their situation?
« Last Edit: 26 November 2019, 23:09:03 by Cannonshop »
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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.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #12 on: 26 November 2019, 23:15:52 »
New Circe, October 30th, 3047...

The Colonial President, Roslin, sat across from the Protector of the Star League.  Between them, was the unredacted report on the mysterious appearance of the KCGS Nueva Pueblo III.

"Gods..." Laura murmured, looking at the files, "The Twelve Colonies never had that many people total...if the Cylons got wind of this..."

"you understand my concern.  if the Cylons found out that this virus exists...or obtained a sample??"

Roslin nodded in quiet horror at the thought.  "The ship itself is a vector for that kind of information." she said.

"As are the survivors.  I'm stuck with a very difficult decision-if we help them stop this, it risks our security from multiple directions, if we don't..."

"billions of people on dozens of worlds are going to die, and good people will have their sanity destroyed trying to contain it." Laura said with a nod, "And you'll be guilty because you knew it was coming, and chose to do nothing..and now, so will I, if we do nothing."



« Last Edit: 26 November 2019, 23:24:30 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

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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.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #13 on: 26 November 2019, 23:49:17 »
Medical center, Quarantine ward...

"You've had genetic modifications, why aren't you contagious?"  Nicole's therapist asked.

"I had it before I was exposed, and the mods didn't touch my auto immune system or provide enhancements like the Clans did to their people.  Coast Guard medical did some testing and barely contained the outbreak shortly before I finished OCS." her legs pumped the exerciser while she spoke, "since mine didn't get rid of normal 'junk' DNA, the virus acted like I'm a regular person.  I'm baseline."

"baseline? but you've..."

"I only changed one feature." Nicole said, "all my DNA is normal for a human female from my family line.  at the time, I thought that would be both enough to run away, and everything I wanted to be normal."

she grabbed the lift bars.  her physical therapist moved to the spotter position, and adjusted the biometric recorders.  "So what was the modification?"

"I was born Nicholas Martin.  My crew know that much because of the Metis mission." she lifted, "increase the weight, I'm not feeling this."

"a....gender change??"

"I was sixteen, and on the run for a crime I thought I committed." Nicole said,  "it seemed like a good idea to a confused teenager who thought he killed someone, and was too much of a coward to own up to it."

She pushed, feeling the burning of lactic acid in her muscles, "I know better now, but me-now has had experiences me-then couldn't comprehend in his worst nightmares, i can't make that didn't happen."

she finished the series and turned to her spotter, "I can't change back, which wasn't the case before I was exposed to the virus, nobody in the Metis or anywhere else can fix me back to what I used to be, so I cope with it and try not to sin, which is hard, because me-then and me-now likes both, but either way it's...well, a challenge staying celibate, even with a face like mine."

"I noticed the cross."  her therapist noted, "You don't just wear it as jewelry."

"Most of the crew are religious, My chief engineer is Jewish, second reformation Kahanist from Ia Drang, only Linda...Lt. Commander Sithers isn't really what we'd term a religious person, I think she's mad at god sometimes, her family are Ell-Dee-ess on one side.  she keeps threatening to find a man to make a triple with me...only what I did to myself, doesn't really work for a multiple marriage.  It's funny, we shipped from the repair yard without a Chaplain, just my dad's bible and a few personal effects among the crewmen."
The core rules for interacting with me:

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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.

gladius

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #14 on: 27 November 2019, 00:35:17 »
Always good to see Hunted Tribes stuff. I’ve always loved this setting (really helped deal with the wtf feelings that came from the later seasons of nBSG).

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #15 on: 27 November 2019, 00:50:59 »
Seether, down one floor being evaluated...

"what, you can't?" Lt. Commander Linda "Seether" Sithers asked, "What is it, some kind of mental block?"

The officer across from her frowned, "we don't need to...for that matter, you shouldn't need to either."

Seether rolled her eyes, "My solutions tend to be more accurate.  Not up to my C.O.'s chops, but I can pilot a jumpship using a chart, a stopwatch and nail a jump into a transitory window not much bigger than the hull, it's a skill and an art, and between the two of us, we've plotted as many of those jumps as you've probably been on, no fancy hardware crutch needed."

"About that...your medical records indicate you both suffer from Transit Disorder Syndrome. correct me if I'm wrong, but..."

"but everyone says TDS cases shouldn't even be on a jumpship. Yeah...everybody's wrong." Seether snapped, "******, we had this argument with LAAF when they found out too.  TDS is an indicator of someone you should absolutely be training to helm a jumpship! Best navigators in the Guard get Jump Visions, like a special relationship with hyperspace, diggit? a NavCom would've done to us what happened to the Celeste, she plotted it manually and she did it in her head, and here we are." she spread her arms, accidentally emphasizing the absent left hand.  "Admittedly it was a misjump, but you can't do that misjump with a fancy calculator, and she brought us in mostly...alive." Seether frowned, and looked at her stump. 

"I'm going to need another drink." Seether said, "you got anything strong in this place?"

"Your records indicate you have an ethanol problem..."

"It's under control, come on, your guys had to cut my hand off to get me off the bridge, least you can do, is gimme a little alcohol until I can't feel the hand that isn't there."

"You're older than the rest of your crew, you've had a command of your own, you had to take a hit to rank and grade to rejoin your captain...I don't understand that."

"Loyalty..."

"are you sure your judgement isn't compromised?"

"****** you, it is absolutely compromised where Nikki is concerned.  she talked me down in the shower when I was going to blow my own brains out, she pushed me to live, she keeps me sober...at least, sober when we're on the job, note we're not on the job here, and I need a drink, or some more drugs. Something to blank everything before I pass out so I don't have to remember...things."

the military psychiatrist made notes.

"Tell me about the California Nebula?"

"Nice people, but they basically had us in internment and mental health counseling while I was there, they even tried to block us being repatriated because everyone on that part of the mission were, to put it in their words, 'too traumatized to be left untreated', the docs there didn't like my methods of self-medication either.  Nikki and her Father worked with Stone negotiating our release from the military mental hospital they had us in.  something about spending years immersed in horror and war, diggit? of course it's going to ****** you up, but that doesn't mean you need to be a ****** up.  My service records before the outbreak, and in the war, speak for themselves."

"You are..open about your feelings for Commander Minh?" he asked.

"yeah, so?" Seether responded, "She knows how I feel, I'm fairly sure I know how she feels, we can't act on it for reasons, so she lets me blow off pressure with port-boys and doesn't give me a ration of shit when I come back to the dock blotto and bawling, I know her reasons, I don't like them, but I know them, and I respect her enough not to push it, she respects and values me enough to tolerate it, it's not perfect but what is?"



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Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #16 on: 27 November 2019, 01:48:58 »
Interview, Lance Corporal Simon, Bertrand Festus.

he sat quietly while the pair of officers arranged their notes. 

"You're relatively new to your military."

"Not a military, sir.  We're the Coast Guard, only military in wartime, sir."  the young man's face was a crisscrossed with the same permanently burst blood vessels as everyone else from the ship.

"So, it's peacetime?"

"Sir, Yes sir." he said, "peacetime we do...a lot of jobs, sir.  My last assignment was on Mandoarau,  helping them get back on their feet after the outbreak there, teaching a bunch of civilians and kids how to do basic police work, sir."

"Which is..?"

"Identifying signs of abuse, identifying potential suspects, evidence collection and evaluation, how to properly secure a crime scene, first aid and emergency procedures, accident investigation...it's a lot of different things, sir."

"Tell me about your commanding officers, are they competent?"

"Skipper's good, the XO would be in her bed every night if she'd get over her religious issues, they act like they're married anyway, and so what if some whacko Earther heretic thinks it's a sin?  That's what Christ died for, isn't it?"

"are you religious?"

the young man nods, "can't be anything else, not with what I've seen.  I once helped a girl trapped in a collapsing building give birth-right in the middle of a battle-zone. gotta believe for them, gotta pray every day, it's a big universe and god has to hear it all, all the time.  Thing is, god answers prayers or we wouldn't be here in this now, now would we?"

"so you believe your arrival here is a miracle?"

"it's maybe a miracle and maybe not, but it's a chance and it's a try to fill a lot of prayers." he answered, "I watched my world die, sir, I was born on Arluna, I lived through the outbreak, saw people turn...into animals, dig it? Madrid, a city with six hundred years of History, one of the few that kept most o' the Star League tech going...millions of people, my whole barrio dead, so many that even with construction equipment, we couldn't bury them all...I have to think God heard them and decided to give us another chance...sir.  What I know is, he hasn't made it 'easy' since Biblical times, for a good reason.  I don't know the reason, but I accept that it must be a good one. Sir."

"according to this, you were...what, seven?"

"Six and a half when my family died, sir.  I found a group of survivors after a year by myself in the city, we found our way north, I ended up growing up in a group home run by a Missionary from the LDS community on Kowloon, but I was born catholic.  sir.  They got one of the New Avalon guys to video-conference mass on Sundays for us, didn't even try to convert us 'cause that's a rule for the Chaplain's corps, I didn't get to do a proper Confession until my confirmation, which I did at the recruiting station when I was seventeen."


Interview: Petty Officer 3rd Class, Trinh, Mai Suu...

"yeah, I survived infection.  we were doing health and safety inspection of a cargo-runner between Kwangjong-Ni and Kowloon, one of the droppers was a passenger boat and I got a rip in my suit. They swabbed me and took me to Arluna, where I spent the next month in medical monitoring before spending three weeks in an ice bath to keep the fever from rupturing my brain." she shivers, "it was cold. did you know the planet still stinks of rotting meat? almost twenty-three years later?  It permeates everything there."

"Your job on your ship, Corpsman?"

"Yes sir. um...field surgery, medical screenings, health and welfare for the crew and our Marines, I'm not qualified yet on psychotherapy but I've reattached a man's leg before under field conditions-that was in '85, during the final days of the war, we were assigned to support elements of the one-seven-one on the Mars landings... that was a shit show."

"A...'shit show'?"

"The Blakies, right? no restraint about using civilians as human shields.  There was this kid, couldn't be more than eight or nine crossed my aid station, laser burns, meant energy weapons, and most of our guys use ballistics.  I..." she falls silent.  "couldn't save him." a tear forms.  "I remember the mess that laser did, you seen what infrared lasers do, right? how they cause a sort of steam explosion on unprotected flesh? not like in the holovids where it makes a nice, clean cut..." she sniffs, "Thing is, seeing those, you only really remember the first one after a while. We took Syria Planum with a Cappie unit, ****** I don't even remember those guys too well...but I remember that kid...see him in my nightmares." she appears to shake it off, "I'm a better surgeon now, because I see what...what making a mistake can do.  his mother risked her life to get him to us, she was devastated when I couldn't save her boy."
« Last Edit: 27 November 2019, 01:50:34 by Cannonshop »
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Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #17 on: 27 November 2019, 02:06:27 »
Interview: Radioman 1st Class Riverson 794, Jason Patrick, (Rockjack)...

"yeah? it's really cool what it does." he's younger, the Flu-scars are relatively old. 

"you're twenty-three, yet you were exposed?"

"oh, that...well, Ma'am, it's kind of what happens when contraband gets into a Burrow." he scratches absently at gray-streaked black hair.  "can we talk about something besides how I got sick, or how I got better? You asked what the Blackbox Commo was. I'm happy to explain that...at least the theoretical basis, or we can talk about that amazing dark matter cluster we got caught up in and the superstring, hey?"

"You're not comfortable discussing the Flu?"

"Who is? really, I mean?" Riverson fidgets.  "I grew up in a world with it, you know? common knowledge, heck, the Dad I never met was with the first relief team, pilot of the dropship, one of the first Kowloonese to die there on Arluna.  I've heard scuttlebutt, is it true? did someone build self-aware androids? and they  were self-aware enough to rebel? because if that story's true, that's ****** amazing.  not the rebelling part, but the self-aware part. there's all sorts of spec-fic on the Caspar series, whether they were really self-aware, but to get that kind of processing into something human sized is just...wow."

this time, the Interviewing officer fidgets uncomfortably, "How does the 'blackbox' tech work?" she asks.

"Oh, that's artificially stimulated quantum entanglement, it bypasses the rules of regular matter and einsteinian energy, it's really awesome how it does it...and a hell of a lot cheaper than trying to place a short-range call over HPG, but the bandwidth is kinda small. You can't do full motion video or hologram transmissions and you have to compress the data..."
The core rules for interacting with me:

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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.

Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #18 on: 27 November 2019, 02:30:06 »
I can hear the heart attacks from Intelligence Officers from here.  Or by 3090 have Black Boxes become more or less common knowledge?
« Last Edit: 27 November 2019, 11:25:29 by Nikas_Zekeval »

gladius

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #19 on: 27 November 2019, 02:49:06 »
... I wonder what kind of drugs the Wolvies are using to achieve such ... enthusiastic cooperation from a bunch who are traditionally less than open with outsiders.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #20 on: 27 November 2019, 03:48:33 »
... I wonder what kind of drugs the Wolvies are using to achieve such ... enthusiastic cooperation from a bunch who are traditionally less than open with outsiders.

very, very good ones, coupled with suggestions that the SLDF-in-Exile might be willing to help stop the apocalypse they all lived through.  (that kind of hope is more powerful than ANY drug.)

slip yourself into the Coasties' perspective for a moment, and imagine the interrogator starts off with the right...omissions? the right hinting?  The right leveraging of desperation, hope, and isolation?  If you've read the previous Ngoverse (I should include links) the horrors these people lived through, and the promise of 'making it go away' or 'making it not happen'?  what would you do, if you found the clock rolled back, but you needed help to undo a horrifying catastrophe that scarred your entire life and cost you everyone you knew, what would you do to prevent something mind-bendingly horrible, if you had the chance, and damn the consequences because you've already seen worse?
« Last Edit: 27 November 2019, 03:54:22 by Cannonshop »
The core rules for interacting with me:

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gladius

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #21 on: 27 November 2019, 04:01:08 »
very, very good ones, coupled with suggestions that the SLDF-in-Exile might be willing to help stop the apocalypse they all lived through.  (that kind of hope is more powerful than ANY drug.)

slip yourself into the Coasties' perspective for a moment, and imagine the interrogator starts off with the right...omissions? the right hinting?  The right leveraging of desperation, hope, and isolation?  If you've read the previous Ngoverse (I should include links) the horrors these people lived through, and the promise of 'making it go away' or 'making it not happen'?  what would you do, if you found the clock rolled back, but you needed help to undo a horrifying catastrophe that scarred your entire life and cost you everyone you knew, what would you do to prevent something mind-bendingly horrible, if you had the chance, and damn the consequences because you've already seen worse?
Perhaps, but it would be interesting to see the characters making that decision: that complete openness with this bizarre and heretofore unknown Clan faction is preferable over, well, asking to go home, and putting their trust in their own nation/worlds.

‘We’ know the Wolvies are basically decent. These guys? Not so much. I understand the idea of ‘we can head off the plague, and the Jihad’ ... but I’d expect a lot more of ‘thanks for your help, but we should really be heading back to the FedCom to a) warn them about the incoming Clan juggernaut, b) that the Blakists are a big threat and c) watch out for plague’ rather than ‘let’s spill the beans about Black Box technology to these people who’s cousins are about to kill millions of Commonwealth citizens in a few years.’

I’m not saying that they wouldn’t make that decision ... but it would be nice to see them making it.

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #22 on: 27 November 2019, 04:13:36 »
Analysis area, Joint SLDF/Colonial command HQ, New Circe.

"Why are they being so cooperative, do you suppose?"  one of the Wolverine personnel wondered aloud, "The Kowloonese are...well, you met Phan, they love their secrecy."

William Adama sighed.  "I know why." he folded his hands behind his back, "here is their thinking-any secrets they give us? the consequences don't matter if it means a hope..."  he met the officer's eyes, "just a hope, that we can help them prevent the catastrophe they've already witnessed with their own eyes.  It's why we cooperated with everything your government asked us in exchange for a safe haven.  They're desperate and we're their only hope.  Hope is more powerful than any drug."

On the screen, an NCO was describing what it was like, having to cordon off a city called 'New Saigon', his voice is level and emotionless describing the unpleasant consequences of a bullet meeting a child.  The corner of the screen a popup shows a number of suicide attempts, and a history of drunkenness and self abuse.

"These people lived through horrors, Captain.  Horrors I don't think you can really grasp, because you only know about them second-hand.  For him..." Adama gestured at the soldier being interviewed,  "...he finally has some hope for redemption after committing acts to save others, that were themselves atrocities."

"you want to help them?"

Adama turned to the voice that spoke, and silently nodded, and then, he said, "We need to. If the Cylons get it first, or even second..."

the others in the room, the ones watching the screens and making notations, went silent at the thought.
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.

gladius

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #23 on: 27 November 2019, 04:16:45 »
Nice.  :)

Cannonshop

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #24 on: 27 November 2019, 04:19:55 »
Perhaps, but it would be interesting to see the characters making that decision: that complete openness with this bizarre and heretofore unknown Clan faction is preferable over, well, asking to go home, and putting their trust in their own nation/worlds.

‘We’ know the Wolvies are basically decent. These guys? Not so much. I understand the idea of ‘we can head off the plague, and the Jihad’ ... but I’d expect a lot more of ‘thanks for your help, but we should really be heading back to the FedCom to a) warn them about the incoming Clan juggernaut, b) that the Blakists are a big threat and c) watch out for plague’ rather than ‘let’s spill the beans about Black Box technology to these people who’s cousins are about to kill millions of Commonwealth citizens in a few years.’

I’m not saying that they wouldn’t make that decision ... but it would be nice to see them making it.

an excellent point, and one I ought to have considered, but I have to warn you, I tend to churn this stuff out in the raw, no prior editing or careful planning (I only do the 'smart' way when I'm working directly with a collaborator.  This is just a 'tease' for a possible collab with Cawest) so I often end up with mistakes I ought not to make, this makes having an editor when doing what you hope will be professional work, so darned important-to catch those errors before they hit the eyes of readers.

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.

gladius

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #25 on: 27 November 2019, 04:35:47 »
an excellent point, and one I ought to have considered, but I have to warn you, I tend to churn this stuff out in the raw, no prior editing or careful planning (I only do the 'smart' way when I'm working directly with a collaborator.  This is just a 'tease' for a possible collab with Cawest) so I often end up with mistakes I ought not to make, this makes having an editor when doing what you hope will be professional work, so darned important-to catch those errors before they hit the eyes of readers.
No problem. I’ve generally enjoyed your work, and I’m quite familiar with your writing style. I wasn’t intending to complain or nitpick, just to offer an outside perspective and perhaps to suggest a point or two. I’m quite enjoying this.

Hotpoint

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #26 on: 27 November 2019, 05:24:09 »
The Lords of Kobol work in mysterious ways, their wonders to perform.

It seems someone nudged a ship from somewhere and somewhen else.

A somewhere and somewhen else where the Zughoffer Weir was part of the "Word of Blake Jihad" rather than the "Wolverine Crusade" (the latter being a timeline where "Toaster Lover" is a more literal term of abuse than "Toaster Worshipper" ever was).

Circe might be a tad annoyed at an associate deciding to play in her sandbox uninvited I suspect.  ;)
"A dread fear rests deep in the heart of Clan Coyote that one day a lawyer will arrive on Tamaron talking about intellectual property rights, the Mercury II and the Coyotl omnimech and this will herald the end of the Clan as the Not-Named sue their asses into bankruptcy for patent infringement" - The True History of the Clans (Dark Caste Press: 3050)

Hunted Tribes - Hotpoint's Battlestar/Battletech Crossover Series


Nikas_Zekeval

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #27 on: 27 November 2019, 11:29:28 »
Hmm, given their, distrust, of computer systems?  I wonder if Admiral Adama wants to pick the navigator's brains for training tips for his own jump navigator crews?

nerd

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #28 on: 27 November 2019, 12:54:58 »
I'm enjoying your idea of TDS as a deeper connection to hyperspace. It's almost like how in Marc Miller's Agent of the Imperium, he has a character who is learning to Astrogate has to look through a portal during the jump, as part of understanding it. It's said to drive some mad, others find it beautiful, and some get nothing out of it.
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JA Baker

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Re: Teaser for a proposed...thing.
« Reply #29 on: 27 November 2019, 15:57:37 »
I'm enjoying your idea of TDS as a deeper connection to hyperspace. It's almost like how in Marc Miller's Agent of the Imperium, he has a character who is learning to Astrogate has to look through a portal during the jump, as part of understanding it. It's said to drive some mad, others find it beautiful, and some get nothing out of it.
Probably going to catch hell for this, but it reminds me of the Pilgrims from the Wing Commander movie (no, I never played the games: didn't have a powerful enough PC at the time): by embracing space, they were gifted with a flawless sense of direction and the ability to calculate FTL jumps, in their heads, faster than the most advanced computer.

And I will now, for absolutely no reason, run away for the forum.
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