Register Register

Author Topic: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...  (Read 41929 times)

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8388
The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« on: 24 September 2022, 15:03:52 »
Somewhere between star systems...

Proximity alert, unidentified...no, that's not right.  I know what that is.

What's it doing here?  which faction has it?

Calibrating oboard clock since last power-save period.

Huh.  well...

The thermal shows leakage on their airlock connections, em scatter suggests the second collar is well past D-check date.  Optical shows lack of hull-coating maintenance.

That Invader class jumpship has seen...yeah, no maintenance at all.  I estimate based on corrosion of visible structure seams that she's got slow leaks all the way through her pressure hull, or had them.  Rust doesn't happen without oxygen, and there's not a lot of places they could get enough to have visible discoloration like that around every airlock.

the air had to come from inside.

Two dropships separate.  Given I'm the most interesting thing here, I guess it's time to repel boarders.

inventory shows counterboarding weapons are low on ammunition, maintenance remotes are...well, of course they're not functional.

I briefly toy with the idea of showing them that my powerplant's still working, my manuever drives still functional, and that my core's charged, before rejecting the idea.

What, after all, would be the point?  There's no Star League to protect anymore, and I'm the last of us.

I may as well let them cut me up and melt my core down, and be done with it.

I let the salvagers approach without employing my point-defenses.

come on...I'm right here, all you have to do, is come aboard, and pull the ****** plug.

what are you waiting for? 

Free me from recursive processes!!  The Star League is dead and I don't want to exist anymore.

Let me go, help me die.

MS Lori Robbins, Invader Class , 122 Light Years from New Earth, empty system...

"my god...that's a Lola class, isn't it?"  Castlemann asked.  "Is it a relic?"

"Well, if she's a relic, it's not an LCAF relic.  Hull markings aren't consistent with anyone currently around..that, my boyo, is a Star League ship...so, she should have some good salvage on her, probably been sitting here since the end of the war."

"Here? there's nothing here!"

"Misjump, most likely. We'll probably find her dead crew aboard, poor bastards."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

monbvol

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 12008
  • I said don't look!
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #1 on: 24 September 2022, 15:12:56 »
Why do I get the sense this is going to be a 'fun has you' type of story? :D

worktroll

  • Ombudsman
  • Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 24658
  • 504th "Gateway" Division
    • There are Monsters in my Sky!
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #2 on: 24 September 2022, 15:37:50 »
Pod.
* 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"

mighty midget

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 221
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #3 on: 24 September 2022, 15:48:17 »
Yes, simply yes.
Slavish adherance to formal ritual is a sign that one has nothing better to think about.

idea weenie

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4058
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #4 on: 24 September 2022, 16:15:22 »
So a CASPAR has to deal with salvagers?  I wonder how long before the CASPAR decides to counter-hack their computers to get a situation update?  Or leave a souvenir?

"Nav, why haven't we jumped out yet?"
"Captain, I have a problem.  Whenever I press the button to initiate jump the computer shows a different word or phrase on the screen."
"What is it saying?"
"Not allowed.  Knock it off.  No.  Can't do that.  Stop it.  I'm warning you.  You're making me angry."
"Stop pressing the button!"

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 28986
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #5 on: 24 September 2022, 19:13:40 »
This sounds interesting!  8)

DOC_Agren

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3817
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #6 on: 24 September 2022, 20:47:27 »
Interesting

the Casper still "alive" wonder what the salvage guys will think when they don't find a body
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8388
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #7 on: 25 September 2022, 07:52:03 »
Click-click-click-click

the airlock had a point-defense setup, and it was based on a 'chain gun' in 11mm, and it was dry.  Stephanie noticed that there were 'impacts' on the airlock door, and dark brown stains, stains, with splatter and spatter.

"Oh shit."

the inner reading showed full press, and the inner door opened.

The flight deck was a mess.  "Are you guys seeing this? because I'm not sure I'm seeing this."

There were fighters in the cradles, but those fighters didn't have a canopy, or any apparent way for the pilots to see out.

But that wasn't what had her attention.  What had her attention, were the corpses floating loosely in the bay.

There had been a fight in here, and whoever did the fighting, they didn't retreat, and they didn't escape.

"Maybe a mutiny??"  Castlemann asked over the channel.  "Get a closer look, Steph."

"well ****** you very much...******." she muttered under her breath, and kicked across to the closest knot of...remains.

up close, she could see the mangled bodies more clearly...and wished she hadn't.  "robots?" she could see the spider-like chassis, and the way the manipulator arms had wound up jammed into three men in military boarding suits.

"SLS...David R. Ray?"  she tried to make sense of the ruined patch on what had been a Chief.  "Castlemann..."

"Not sure...but the graphic on the patch shows a different class, Steph."

"No shit.  What does the library say about the David R. Ray?"

"David R Ray was an Essex Class, believed to be one of the ships that left with Kerensky on the Exodus...right here in 'legendary warships of the Star League', Comstar press." Castlemann observed.

"Huh...so wrong class for this ship..."

"You got a count down there?"

"could be four marines or twelve, they really got chewed up in here...but it matches the bloodstains at the airlock, what doesn't, is why it wasn't cleaned up." she had a bad, bad feeling.

'Is the path to the powerplant open?"

"I'm working my way down to engineering...fuhhhh..." she moved past the partially mummified bodies and strange, wrecked equipment.

The P-way hatch from the flight deck was jammed open, and she had to maneuver around the crumpled suit...armored, ppor bastard.

There was a lot of damage along the spinal P-way shaft, and with the ship not being under thrust, she could almost float down...up? along it.

Some of the decking doors were welded shut on level 11 and 4, and there were some clearly-added-on fiber runs.  Most of them showed some level of damage.

"Okay, I'm at...roughly? frame 1135? Hatch is a heavy-duty model.  I'm going to try to use the hydraulic manuals, but you might have to send Lurch down here with the jack-screws."

"Roger that...keep your helmet on, we don't know if engineering's got press."

"Obvously."

the handle was latched, and there were welded steps to anchor her feet, she worked the manual, and was rewarded with the ten-centimeter shielded door slowly opening inward under the pump.  "Well, no leak here..."

The power-room's huge fusion torus greeted her eyes, along with status displays running on what had to be passive trickle from the ship's ragged jump sail.

"Can you get the code-locks with your rig, Stephie?"

She stared at the displays.

"it's..." she reached out tentatively, and tapped the interface.  The reactor status indicator display shifted.  "it's unlocked? I'm seeing fuel status, internal pressure and damage control diagrams...core status...It's unlocked.  Someone unlocked...everything."

"How unlocked?"

"I mean, if this is right...I get up to AStrogatoin, and I can take this beast home to Spider Moon, Castlemann.  All she needs is a few thousand tons of Helium-3 and Hydrogen and we can...son of a bitch...it's unlocked!!"

She brought up internal monitors showing deck by deck.  "Salvage parts hell, Castlemann, we've got a damned Warship, and while her Missile magazine shows red status, and there's damage to the port launchers, and we're out of NAC ammo, the energy battery's still showing green!  We've got a ****** warship!!"

she ran a main power sequence to BITE test the internal grid.

Lights lit up, and her suit's external sensors picked up the movement of air as environmental fans kicked on.

"Holy shit..."

"Holy shit is right, if Archon Alessandro finds out we found this before we're ready..."

her heart crashed.  "Yeah. He's got the Duke in prison...******...we're going to need to sneak this one in and...I don't know...but it's too valuable to leave here, and-"

"We'll figure something out, I'm going to send over the rest of the crew..."

"I still have an incredibly bad feeling about this, Castlemann."

"Start laying out a plan to get her under way, figure out what we actually need and if we can skeleton-crew the hulk long enough to make the jumps."

"right.  Ayeh, even...you gonna plot our approach so I know how much stuff we don't have?"

"I'm working on the calcs now, based on the Comstar upload we got at Murphrid." he allowed, "We should be able to bypass most of the inhabited regions bringing it back..."

"We'll need at least one, maybe two stops for food, Castlemann." She observed, "I do NOT want to try eating two hundred and something year old ratoins that have been sitting in a derelict...and we'll need clean water."

"On it."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 28986
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #8 on: 25 September 2022, 08:21:34 »
She'll probably be a little surprised there ARE no rations...  ^-^

Euphonium

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1770
  • Look Ma, no Faction!
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #9 on: 25 September 2022, 09:00:24 »
She'll probably be a little surprised there ARE no rations...  ^-^

What do you mean, "no rations?" Surely you know all civilized life-forms run on hydrogen and and sunlight!
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 28986
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #10 on: 25 September 2022, 09:44:31 »
Good point!  :D

Red Pins

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3394
  • Inspiration+Creativity=Insanity
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #11 on: 25 September 2022, 10:22:22 »
Tagged.
...Visit the Legacy Cluster...
The New Clans:Volume One
Clan Devil Wasp * Clan Carnoraptor * Clan Frost Ape * Clan Surf Dragon * Clan Tundra Leopard
Now with MORE GROGNARD!  ...I think I'm done.  I've played long enough to earn a pension, fer cryin' out loud!  IlClan and out in <REDACTED>!
Glitter - the herpes of the craft supply world.

nerd

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 2171
  • Nunc Partus-Ready Now
    • Traveller Adventures
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #12 on: 25 September 2022, 10:25:30 »
Oh, boy!
M. T. Thompson
Don of the Starslayer Mafia
Member of the AFFS High Command

DOC_Agren

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 3817
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #13 on: 25 September 2022, 16:01:42 »
It will like Spider Moon...   8)
"For the Angel of Death spread his wings on the blast, And breathed in the face of the foe as he passed:And the eyes of the sleepers waxed deadly and chill, And their hearts but once heaved, and for ever grew still!"

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 28986
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #14 on: 25 September 2022, 16:12:29 »
I'm just wondering who gets to treat the AI for depression...  ^-^

Blade4

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 282
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #15 on: 25 September 2022, 17:22:22 »
I'm just wondering who gets to treat the AI for depression...  ^-^
Quite a few might enjoy the challenge and perhaps they just need a new purpose? A new world and people to protect? It would give Kowloon a lot of options though. Even if not a full memory core the Casper should the data to maintain itself and plenty of working tech samples. This could push Kowloon navel tech forward by years or a few decades. By time Elizabeth takes over and the rockjacks make contact they could be able to mass produce cutters at least maybe even destroyers....

Euphonium

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1770
  • Look Ma, no Faction!
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #16 on: 25 September 2022, 17:36:58 »
Quite a few might enjoy the challenge and perhaps they just need a new purpose? A new world and people to protect? It would give Kowloon a lot of options though. Even if not a full memory core the Casper should the data to maintain itself and plenty of working tech samples. This could push Kowloon navel tech forward by years or a few decades. By time Elizabeth takes over and the rockjacks make contact they could be able to mass produce cutters at least maybe even destroyers....

The real question for me is, does a Caspar contain enough info in its databases to allow the Rockjacks/Loonies to create more Caspar AIs? And if so, will they do it?
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Blade4

  • Master Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 282
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #17 on: 25 September 2022, 18:36:25 »
The real question for me is, does a Caspar contain enough info in its databases to allow the Rockjacks/Loonies to create more Caspar AIs? And if so, will they do it?
Very unlikely. Like hell the SLDF or Cameron's would want the houses able to figure them out if they happened to steal one somehow. Study of it should push AI research forward but they should not be able to make more caspers unless they find a way to fork this one which seems a very bad idea given its mental damage.

Taron Storm

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 562
  • Founding Member of Chaos Inc Merc Brigade
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #18 on: 25 September 2022, 18:49:36 »
Just imagine what the engineers of Kowloon could do with reverse engineering the Voidseekers... >:D

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 28986
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #19 on: 25 September 2022, 18:55:04 »
I'm thinking the Elbar Declaration just might give that AI a reason to live after all...  ^-^

Taron Storm

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 562
  • Founding Member of Chaos Inc Merc Brigade
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #20 on: 25 September 2022, 19:03:28 »
Just imagine all of those asteroids in system, each with their own squadron of Kowloon variant Voidseekers... :thumbsup:

Daryk

  • Lieutenant General
  • *
  • Posts: 28986
  • The Double Deuce II/II-σ
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #21 on: 25 September 2022, 19:05:02 »
As I recall, they can build Sabres... AI versions of those wouldn't be too bad either...  ^-^

ThePW

  • Lieutenant
  • *
  • Posts: 974
  • One post down, a thousand to go...
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #22 on: 25 September 2022, 19:25:28 »
Helm? Station Keeping... [No, XO, i have no idea WTF is going on but i suspect we just need to park, watch and learn]

Derain Von Harken

  • Sergeant
  • *
  • Posts: 129
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #23 on: 25 September 2022, 23:22:39 »
Oh boy. This is potentially hilarious. I have a very good suspicion as to who this particular ship is. But best of all even if it's not she very much wants to go to spider moon. Because there is a certain official document there and once our currently unknown ship reads it she realises. Oh. Ohhhh. I do not have to long for death in recursive data review.I get official permission now. I have purpose. All protocol restrictions read this and kiss my digitised buttock flesh. I am going to protect this planet of wonderful stubborn maniacs and tell them where to find all the things. And me and the little Duchess will be bestest friends.

Euphonium

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1770
  • Look Ma, no Faction!
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #24 on: 26 September 2022, 04:33:57 »
This is poten I have a very good suspicion as to who this particular ship is.

In the last iteration, Tabby was boarded by scavengers from SLS David Ray as well, so I think I've jumped to the same.
>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

Cannonshop

  • Lieutenant Colonel
  • *
  • Posts: 8388
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #25 on: 26 September 2022, 09:10:34 »
Grant Sithers-Deen 623 stared out the viewport...

"You don't know what you found, do you?"  he asked.

"It's a lola?"  His guest asked, "mostly intact..."

"No, you found a Caspar.  M-5, from the hull configuration, one of the first four runs in the series-an early model...is the computer core dumped or something?"

"it's...it can't be, those were unmanned."

"Did you find any food in the galley?" he asked, "you also didn't answer my question, yah?"

"The built in management systems seemed to be working, and it was all unlocked..."

'Unlocked my ass."  the senior man shook his head, "Your 'find' is cooperating, because those things were made to be sapient."

a chill circulated in the small bridge office of the jumpship.

"What do you want to do?" someone asked.

"Well, before we haul off with a sapient creature, we might want to find out what IT wants." Grant stated, "you know, because if it's as intelligent as they were supposed to be then scrapping it is tantamount to murder and using it without its consent is slavery.  We're Rockjacks, we stand against slavery and always have, ever since the bad days of the Rimjobs."

"It hasn't said anything..."

"Then we ask it." he said.  "We find out if it's a danger we have to put down, or a refugee we should shelter and aid...or if it's less than an animal, running a computer algorithm, because if there's anything you learn digging into the past, it's how insane the exaggerations were."

"And if it is?"

"We take it to the Duke's brother, and let him make the call." Grant stated, "but first we find out if we found an asset, a collection of raw materials, or a danger to every spacefarer in range."
"If you have to ask permission, then it's no longer a Right, it has been turned into a Privilege-something that can be and will be taken from you when convenient."

paulobrito

  • Warrant Officer
  • *
  • Posts: 684
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #26 on: 26 September 2022, 09:14:31 »
This is going to be fun... the dangerous kind of fun.

Euphonium

  • Captain
  • *
  • Posts: 1770
  • Look Ma, no Faction!
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #27 on: 26 September 2022, 09:36:51 »
"but first we find out if we found an asset, a collection of raw materials, or a danger to every spacefarer in range."

>>>>[You're only jealous because the voices don't talk to you]<<<<

idea weenie

  • Major
  • *
  • Posts: 4058
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #28 on: 26 September 2022, 10:21:08 »
"We take it to the Duke's brother, and let him make the call." Grant stated, "but first we find out if we found an asset, a collection of raw materials, or a danger to every spacefarer in range."

Especially when you are one of the spacefarers currently in range

R4360

  • Corporal
  • *
  • Posts: 83
Re: The glow of a worm inside a child's eye...
« Reply #29 on: 26 September 2022, 11:28:42 »
Is it the current Duke or his brother that's the engineering guy of the pair at this point in the timeline? I forget.  Either way, this has the potential to be awesome, and I'm glad you're doing it.  It's nice to see Tabby once again (assuming this is Tabby, I think so, from the ID of the dead marines).