In game date 3166.07.06
Zen met Greep, the Castle security chief with distinctive features. He was hairless, orange skinned, green fractal eyes, and very muscular humanoid (comms channel 114p). He’s probably from a high gravity world. Greep indicated there are go/no go zones on planet. Zen touched base with the security chief and started coordinating activities.
All the other team members were being shown around the ARK by Chief Archivist Courson. Archive Repository of Knowledge (ARK). Charlie was inspecting the scalar and Zen was called in to assist him.
The Ark was on a moon orbiting the gas giant Maleron. Maleron has its own Anderson point, a closely guarded secret.
The team described to Courson and his fellow scientists the Ansible device recovered from agents of Goratu. The Imperial scientists were interested and offered to look it over in addition to the current project. They were in the process of inspecting the recovered pieces of a Oatian A.I. model five. Oa-La provides the scientists with cursory information about the Oatians. She also insisted on collecting the parts of the five from the lab
Meanwhile, Charlie used his “magic” rod from the Serrens to get the Scalar started. The ship’s voice control interface identified the craft as the Anderson Prototype Model #1. Zen was able to get it in the air and it flew off through the ARK facility. It jumped directly and instantly to Hudson.
Zen tried to radio to Hudson Air Traffic Control that they were friendly, but couldn’t locate a radio. He requested that the navigation system return them to Maleron.
Meanwhile, Courson took Oa-La and Lord Dray to meet the leader of the Ghost Fleet, Admiral Yamoto.
The Fleet itself was appearing/phasing in from “somewhere” and included a dreadnaught class flagship on par with one of the 3 that the Goratu flagships.
On boarding, Josua and Oa-La noticed the uniforms, ship designs, and technology present were all foreign to them and represented a different technology level than standard Imperium. Josua theorized that it could be First Imperium.
They are led to the Admiral’s quarters which have been decorated with paper walls and doors similar to ancient Japanese architecture. Unknown to them at the time, the Admiral is the ancient looking lady serving the tea, not the man sitting at the table.
Josua related details about the Followers of Goratu, the Bellicose Arm, and their threat to this part of space. He provided them with the information gathered so far. He requested support from the Ghost Fleet in the looming battle.
The Admiral questioned the credibility of the threat. The Ghost Fleet had protected the ARK for over 10,700 years of normal time. When not fighting, the fleet goes into a shifted space where time is compresses. From the Fleet’s perspective, they had been going on from battle to battle for nearly 10 years.
Yamoto was reluctant to weaken the defence of the the facility, especially if the opposition was as dire as it sounded.
Lord Dray brought up the possibility of letting some members of the fleet retire and replacing them with fresh volunteers from Hudson or elsewhere in the Periphery.
Admiral Yamoto dispatched forces to investigate the Goratu fleet. She would accompany Lord Dray and Oa-La back to Hudson in hopes of learning more.
Transiting back from Hudson via scalar for Zen and Charlie took a little over an hour. Jacob and Esmerelda arrived to meet with Charlie. Jacob seemed to know a LOT about Charlie. Jacob told Charlie about the Ark Foundation.
There were 5 previous locations of the ARK. The current location was discovered to be a storehouse of Precursor relics prior to relocating the ARK here. Early on, the Foundation discovered a treatment, called Ponce, for renewing one’s youth. The treatment was not without side effects.
In the past, the Foundation had thousands of agents who circulated around the galaxy ensuring any threats to the repository of knowledge were dealt with expediently. During the long nights when galactic civilization collapsed, the agents would lead “the right people” to the ARK to help humanity and the galaxy regain lost wisdom.
Jacob offered him a Ponce treatment, but Charlie said he would consider it later.
The team plus Yamoto returned to Hudson via the space bridge and retired for the evening. Oa-La tended to several tasks as directed by Lord Dray.
Fire from Heaven
They were awoken early the next morning. A video transmission had been received. The crew joined Evie in the castle command center to view it.
Several video streams fill the screen.
One shows an unfamiliar brown planet from orbit, half cloaked in shadow. Fanatic ships can be seen at the edges of the view. Telemetry readings on the screen identify it as Flars.
Another stream is more zoomed in or from a closer recording device. You can make out urbanized areas, roads, farm lands, hyperloops.
A third stream is displaying several thousand objects as they move around a wireframe representation of the planet.
A voice is heard “People of Flars, rejoice! The time of atonement is upon you!” A readout on the screen displays the text of the words as they are spoken and is labeled “Global Transmission”.
It continues: “One thousand, three hundred and forty years ago, the great Haruspex of Goratu came to your world. He walked your lands. He visited your ancestors. He brought the messages of Goratu to them.
And they laughed at him. The beat him. And finally, they burned him.”
In the images showing the planet, a light appears, growing brighter. It’s hard to see from further out, but the closer up view shows it to be the high port, the orbiting space port. A pair of Fanatic corvettes are pushing it down, tilting it out orbit. They break off as it begins its fatal, burning plunge into the atmosphere.
The voice continues. “Their sin is a stain upon you and your world. The Avatar of Goratu has passed judgement upon you. For the desecration committed by your ancestors, the Avatar has issued the Edict of Fire From Heaven upon you.
Rejoice! Today… you will pay for their sins. And your strength will be Goratu’s strength.”
Seconds after the voice goes silent, a flash can be seen in the night part of the planet, then another, then a hundred blooms of light in a neat line from pole to pole. Seconds pass and another line of light is drawn. Another.
The wire frame display shows wave counters of the objects being hurled at the planet, originating from the asteroid belt. A four digit counter. Lines of light continue crossing the globe.
By the time the crew was watching the transmission, all life on the planet had been destroyed by the orbital bombardment.
Admiral Aybarm, the overall commander of Hudson forces, arrived.
Lord Dray attended a war council meeting with Evie and the admirals. Yamoto was convinced as to the severity of the threat. She and Aybarm provided Josua with fleet strengths.
Oa-La worked on signaling and gathering any Oan AIs in the system. Charlie and Zen returned to the ARK to look for technology which might help the effort.
Evie had been researching Zeiss, her captor on the gas giant base and shared her information with Josua. Zeiss was from Josua and Evie’s homeworld, Covenant. He was of House Ballisian , a minor house which disappeared 17 years ago. Zeiss’ sister, niece, and nephew were killed by a bomb when traveling via water transport to a Dray organized peace talks. Zeiss was not present and escaped in the Aspect of Infinity.
The war council is interrupted by a newly received transmission.
A man appears on the screen, seated in a plain, wooden chair. You can see a black armored figure behind him on your left, and a red armored figure on the right.
Your first thought on seeing the seated man is albino. The man is perhaps in his thirties, but it is hard to tell. His skin looks bleached white with a slight yellow pallor, head bald, but his eyes. His eyes are solid white.
“This is Kayzo of House Ballisian and the last surviving member of his house. Under the rights granted to a noble house under the Convocation Articles of Dispute, section 36, he is now publicly declaring a vendetta upon House Dray.
Evidence is as follows:
- The cold blooded murder of his servant, Shaikila Wai. <footage><footage>
- And finally, the murder of his mother, sister, father, and the attempted murder of Kayzo himself while on their way to peace talks on Harmony Day. The Dray family not only failed to prevent their murders but evidence exists that the actual culprit was herself a Dray. The Dray family conceal the evidence of Juliasa Dray Bek crimes to protect their own reputations.
Since Juliasa Dray Bek escaped justice through death, her niece Evelyn Dray is considered her proxy for the purpose of this vendetta.
If she and Josua Dray are remanded to the forces of the Bellicose Arm of Goratu, this vendetta will be satisfied. Otherwise, Lord Ballisian will use all means at his disposal, including the Bellicose Arm, to satisfy the vendetta.
The fate of Flars will befall you if you resist.
This is the nephew of Zeiss, who was believed dead. It appears he is alive but still suffering the effects of an insensate bomb.
Into the Light
Oa-La returned to the Sleipnir where she found that Triple 8 has been busy. She’s ordered several parts on the Dray credit account, repaired the power armor the crew acquired at the pirate base, modified it so that she could “drive” it, and created a set of autonomous power armor that Elric could “inhabit”.
Oa-La asked Triple 8 to repair the model five she took from the ARK scientists. The little spider bot made quick work of that. Then she and Oa-La set to work in signaling any other Oans in system. They broadcast a signal using the Zeiss gauntlet signal and instructions to head to the salt flats on the eastern continent. Oa-La also request that Triple 8 duplicate herself to help with the removal of slave chips from any Oans that answer the call.
A lone Sister 4 and her thousand Brother 5 passengers appeared. Triple 8 and “Pup-8” got to work replacing their slave chips.
Oa-La requested her freedom from the Dray family. Lord Josua Dray formally granted her request and authorized her release from servitude.
Charlie and Zen consulted Jacob at the ARK for anything that might be helpful. He was reluctant to let anything go, as it is all one-of-a-kind and of significance. After some prodding and deliberation, he led them to a “solar fireworks show”, something that would create a system wide solar storm for a brief period of time. It should knock sensors and shields of any ships in space for a while.
The other item he refered to as a reactor gun, which can shutdown a running reactor, jumpstart a inert reactor, or overload a running reactor.
Finally, an Oan fleet jumped in, having traveled from the Oan home world. They were ones who had the slave chip fixed and volunteered to aid the Dray cause. While it is a small contingent, any aid is welcome.
Man with a Plan
The Dray war council hashes out the following plan:
1) Formally engage the Oans in a relationship. This involves either hiring them as mercenaries (with full pay & benefits) which will bring them under our banner and they follow orders or signing an alliance/mutual assistance pact/treaty (my preference), in which case they will not be paid, but will be given a seat on the War Council as an equal. Note in the case of mercenaries, pay rate will be on a per soul basis, not per body.
2) Find the Bellicose Fleet. Scouts, likely Oan, will figure out where they are, while the assault force (which I am formally dubbing the Enlil fleet) advances. We plan on getting as far from Hudson as possible. It’s also important the Bellicose includes the Avatar. It’s not out of the question it remains a jump behind the main fleet, though unlikely. In that case, we’ll adapt.
3) On ready, an Oan-4 and the Scalar jump into the Bellicose system. The Oan-4 launches the Dance Party while the Scalar jumps to the closest sufficient ionosphere. The Oan-4 returns to the source system.
4) The Scalar Party waits, enjoys the light show, perhaps Lord Dray will make pimento cheese and cucumber sandwiches. On completion, the Scalar jumps to the Enlil.
5) The Enlil jumps to the Bellicose. There will have been a firefight! Hopefully fairly one-sided. The Sleipnir is on hand to act as an evacuation for both teams:
6) Team A: (the White Feathers) boards a Bellicose dreadnought with the Reactor Gun (which I am formally dubbing the Gojira), using the Restored Honor. Their mission is to cause as much havoc as possible. However, very specifically, this is not a suicide mission—the White Feathers are ordered to minimize casualties even at the possibility of the primary mission goal being a failure.
7) Team B: Lord Dray’s party (from the Scalar) boards the Avatar’s flagship while carrying the nuclear weapon. After depositing the nuke w/ a timer and a remote detonate signal (and we’ve got to figure out how to prevent them from disarming it just by shooting the electronics), the party will attempt to locate and murderize the Avatar’s face. If they cannot succeed in appropriate time, they will evacuate instead, leaving the nuke behind.
With plans made, preparations begin for a final showdown….