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[Phalla] Ad Astra Per Phalla: Finale - Humanity Enslaved

tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
edited July 2007 in Archives
Prologue: Home

In Sector 75B4, located roughly in the space traditionally occupied by the constellation Virgo, there is an unremarkable system of three planets orbiting a blue-green star. Apart from being tangentially involved in the Second Intersystem War, human history has hardly noted this solar system's existence save to catalog it (RRZ 49) and its planets (RRZ 49-I, 49-II, and 49-III).

All three planets were poor candidates for terraforming--the first two were simply out of the proper temperature range, and RRZ 49-III had an actively poisonous atmosphere wrapped around what could only charitably be described as a planet-sized swamp. The vagaries of war and the projected colonization ranking of the planet put it safely out of the interest of human eyes.

It would be strange, then, for an explorer to view the planet from orbit today. Were they to scan the atmosphere of RRZ 49-III, they would find the volatile chemicals mostly absent (or at least bearable), and the swamps...well, the swamps would still be there--more biologically active and lush than even the most optimistic terraforming projections.

On this world, life has begun anew, in many ways...and ancient traditions have been restored.

--

The sun was making its way to sleep now; it shone a deep blue as it filtered through the thick, heady atmosphere of Home. The torches had been lit some minutes before, though, for the night came quickly, and the 'moons' (Young Sister and Sun-Hunter) were both hiding tonight. A good night to tell the story of the People, thought Elder Ka'lesh'pa as he took up his cane. Many will come, especially now that they have heard...

He sighed.

Ka'lesh'pa lifted the hanging that covered the door of his traditional hut and gazed at the plaza below him. Many indeed, he thought; at least several hundred of the Leshi had found places around the Tale--the central space where the history and traditional stories of the People were shared. Usually, there would be many storytellers and dancers in the Tale, singing stories to the young and curious. Tonight, for the most important story of the Leshi, there was only one--and all would watch him raptly as Ka'lesh'pa spun the Tale.

Time to begin, he thought--only a little regretful that his dancing years had passed him by.

Ka'lesh'pa passed through the hangings and gave an ululating cry of victory. Like many things of the Leshi, this shout of joy was rare, and hearing it brought the raucous crowd to instant, respectful silence; their rounded, wrinkled heads came to bear as one on the young hunter standing at the center of the plaza.

Tall and lithe (for the Leshi, who stooped naturally), this youth wore little but the traditional hunting breeches of his people and a wickedly-barbed spear, clutched tightly in both hands. Ka'lesh'pa nodded, and the hunter brandished his spear before him while the elder sang in the traditional speech:

'Hear me, O People! Hear the Tale of our Home!'

'In ages long past, we lived on our Home;
We were born, and lived, and loved on our Home.
We hunted, and watched our young;
We sung Tales and ever-watched the Sun and stars.'

As Ka'lesh'pa sang, the torches flared more brightly, and thick smoke began to rise from the ground. The hunter made his way around the plaza, spinning and leaping through the air, and as the smoke curled into vaguely bestial shapes before him, his spear would lash out, felling the insubstantial enemies left and right. Behind him, the dying clouds reformed into the shapes of Leshi, gathering in number as the hunter protected his People.

'In ages long past, we sought to seek the Sun and stars;
We set our hunting-boats to the starry waters
and sailed the skies.
Thus in our folly did we seek to tame the heavens.'

The young hunter was in the center of the Plaza once more, kneeling in a low-lying cloud of fog. His spear was astride his hips now, and he used it as an oar, paddling slowly through the thinner smoke to either side of him. The torches dimmed again as he 'sailed' towards the stars, where Ka'lesh'pa stood.

'Thus were we tamed,' sang Ka'lesh'pa, and here the people let out a sigh of distress;
'Thus was the proud Hunter tamed,
Thus were the People tamed,
Thus did the People lose their Home.'

In the Tale, the hunter was suddenly confronted by an amorphous, noxious-looking cloud of green fog. He leapt from his boat, stabbing again and again at the fog-shape, but this time it would not recede. With a ephemeral roar, it leaped forward, swallowing the Leshi whole before moving to engulf the ghost-Leshi behind him. In a matter of moments, the entire Tale was a mass of fog, and silence ruled the Plaza.

Ka'lesh'pa took up his cane and brandished it, setting the smoke to spin away into the sky; on the plaza kneeled the hunter, his spear broken, his body bound. This had been the fate of the Leshi countless centuries ago--taken and enslaved by a race that sought their strength.

'We sailed the stars without joy,
'Dying and striving and giving our children
To our pitiless masters, until the day
That we were delivered...'

Ka'lesh'pa and the people watching the Tale looked up to the sky, where the smoke had coalesced into a tableau of a hundred clashing monsters. At the peak, a six-winged hunting bird struck deep furrows into the back of a slug-like monstrosity, shrieking hatefully as it threw the creature to earth. The mortally wounded apparation fell through the center of the field, crashing over the motionless hunter in a torrent of bilious green while the other fog-monsters scattered to nothingness overhead.

The Plaza fell silent, watching intently. Ka'lesh'pa stepped forward to the edge of the Tale, shaking his cane before him as if to ward away the fog. It complied slowly...reluctantly revealing the hunter, free of his bonds, spear in hand, striking wildly at the sky.

'Delivered!' cried Ka'lesh'pa in his joy.
'Delivered from our torment!
Delivered by our saviors!
Free to sail the skies once more!'

'Delivered!' cried the crowd. 'Delivered! Delivered!'

The hunter kneeled down again, making as if to row once more, but this time the boat of fog was the bird of prey, slashing its wings joyously through the Tale; seeing this, the hunter let out a warcry and hefted his spear, pointing up towards the stars. The crowd roared in response, pumping their fists in the air and raising their voices in a repeated chorus: 'Delivered! Delivered!'

'NOW...'

Ka'lesh'pa's voice held command over the crowd; they quieted themselves almost instantly.

'Now our saviors must be delivered.
Now we must free them from their torment;
We must sail the stars to save them--
For they who saved us must not perish!'

Ka'lesh'pa gestured with wide arms, and the lights of the Plaza came up, and up, and up...beyond the torchlight, beyond the elder's hut, beyond even the Plaza itself; buildings and towers, roads and solar collectors, and beyond it all the gleaming outlines of floodlights on a ready-to-launch spacecraft.

'We must save them!'

And the Leshi cried in one voice:

'Save them!'

'Save the humans!'




Chapter I: Perspective

13 cycles ago (approx. 3900 Solar years), a party of peaceful Ymich explorers encountered an unknown object moving through their space. This metallic being shone like no asteroid or comet that they had ever seen before; more excitingly, it rode the Black Ocean on an actinic plume of fire. This, mind-spoke the Ymich, seemed to be the fabled proof that they had been looking for—life! Intelligent life! They simply had to make contact with it!

As the creature approached them, they spread their tentacles in a gesture of peace. They rejoiced as they saw how the metal life-form heeded their greeting, drifting slowly amongst them and suffering their clumsy, tentative touches of greeting. They tried to mind-speak, but the ship was silent save for tiny pinpricks of confusion and fear; the Ymich could not understand this. Surely such an advanced creature could communicate to them? Perhaps the connection needed to be stronger!

This well-intentioned thought led the scientists to wrap their tentacles around the ship, seeking a better mental bond. That was also the point where the human research team aboard the Argosy decided that the jellyfish-like creatures’ painful mental probes had crossed the line from ‘interesting’ to ‘life-threatening’. Defensive lasers on the vessel quickly deployed, incinerating the forward Ymich team before they had time to be surprised at the sudden activity.

Shocked by this sudden violence, the remaining Ymich fled back to their homeworld, with the Argosy following at a respectful distance. They warned the people of the horrible creature, and they responded gloriously—soaring in a unified wave from the low gravity of their gaseous planet. How they puffed their tentacles at the metal monster! The interloper, obviously cowed by their strength, spun on its axis and fled like a gas-skitterling as the Ymich cheered and wondered at its flight.

Six weeks later, an Intersystem Fleet battleship jumped into the system, scanned the Ymich homeworld, and ordered a precautionary terraclast deployment.



It would take hundreds of years before the remnants of the Ymich culture recovered enough to flee the shattered gas clouds that used to be their world. They contacted ancient friends among the Denebrai and Shan’ga; from them, they learned the ways of metal and technology. They borrowed and stole (when it suited them); they planned and adapted. Most importantly, they learned the name of those who had ruined them—human. Argosy. This was the name they would assume three thousand years later, as their Man O’ Wars and Sunrays used stolen terraclast technology to systematically purge the colonies of the human infestation. The battles raged from world to world and system to system as the Intersystem Fleets, heretofore unbeaten, found themselves giving ground to suddenly-superior and better-equipped fleets.

Losing an entire colony was rare, but it had happened before—most notably as the precursor to the Thompsonite Conflict in 6300CE (see related article). However, this was no freak accident or stumbling invasion; it was well-orchestrated and researched genocide. And it moved, inexorably, towards the home systems. Colonies hired mercenaries, petitioned for Intersystem Fleet support; all measures proved futile. The number of human worlds continued to shrink from an all-time high of 950 (in 7822CE) to just over fifty in the span of nine hundred years.

It was at this time that the Inter-Colony Government, in combination with the Intersystem Guilds, made the decision that an extinction scenario was not only likely but imminent. The systems left to humanity were more densely guarded, but the Argosy fleets continued to increase; decisive battles would surely be fought, but they would ultimately not end up in humanity’s favor. Instead, a massive pooling of resources and manpower was allocated to the ancient production fields at Barnard’s Star. There, the colonies drew up plans for an Exodus of sorts—they would send a large pool of human colonists into hibernation, assemble them onto a giant colony Ark, and send them (along with a protective fleet of ISF ships) far out along the galactic arm, hopefully well away from the attentions of the Argosy. During the trip and subsequent settlement, they would try to develop countermeasures to defeat their foe.

Construction of the Ark and assembly of the settler population began immediately upon approval of the plan (Month 3, 7823CE). Approximately forty-eight million colonists answered the call to Exodus; as they began the long process of hibernation processing, production arrays began to assemble the kilometers-long fortress that would house their cryo-units and send them to safety. Guild ships of all stripes began plying the trade lanes closer to Earth, too, feeding the growing Ark, supplying its workers, and attempting to keep a watchful eye on the distant skies.



It took almost three hundred years to manufacture, field-test, and load the Ark, all of this done in the highest possible confidence—notwithstanding the fact that every human being knew of the Argosy threat, and that worlds continued to fall as the years ticked by. By 8102CE, the remains of the Inter-Colony Government convened once again to give their final reports--the Ark was prepared to specifications; the settlers were loaded and cleared. It would be as safe as ‘humanly possible’…certainly safer than living on the human worlds, where only three systems now remained free of the Argosy. If the ISF did not launch the Ark soon, there would not be any chance to leave undetected. It was time for humanity to flee the field.

tuxkamen on

Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
Spoiler:
3DS: 2406-5451-5770
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Posts

  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Chapter II: Haj


    In a palatial office overlooking the capital city of Proxima Centauri II, a white-haired, bearded man worked late at night, paging through several emissives marked with TOP SECRET credentials. The knowledge that he would not live to see the coming day had ceased to bother him hours ago. Before the end, he needed to finish these approvals.

    President El Al-Jeffe bowed his head over the final disposition reports from Barnard’s Star, reading the summarized details carefully. These last few decades had been especially harrowing for him and the rest of the ICG; the Intersystem Fleets had fared better against the Argosy as far as ship-to-ship battles went, but they still had no clear way to fight the terraclast bombardments that had decimated the remaining strongholds of humanity.

    That was, after all, why we made the damned things to begin with…

    Al-Jeffe slumped in his chair. It was pointless now to dwell on the stupidity of his forefathers; at this point, all he could do was sign off on the permission to launch, perform his final absolutions, and pray that the ISF would somehow create a victory from nothing.

    With a press of his thumb to his desk, the first deed was done, electronically transmitted via SQC to the fleet operatives at Barnard’s Star. He then opened a data folder containing pending pardons for the criminals of Promixa Centauri. For a moment, he wavered—some of these were particularly heinous—but who cares?, he muttered, coding in an approval that swept through the entire penal system. In a matter of minutes, every citizen would be free to seek their own end. The President had decided to meet his in his office.

    His tactical display had warned him that ISF forces were doing battle above the planet; it would not be long now, if history had been any indicator. So the last President of the Inter-Colony Government leaned back in his chair, and waited. He alternated his gaze between the windows and the corner of his desk, where a small holo of his wife and children smiled at him. It had been unfair, perhaps, but he had had them placed among the passengers of the Ark early on so that they would at least have a chance of survival. There was no way he could have joined them, but he did not want to in any case. It would have been the height of cowardice when this was where he was needed. Still, what he wanted—what he needed—was for his family to be as far from danger as possible.

    …ah. There it is.

    He looked up at the window, where the sky had gone abruptly dark, almost bloody. His tactical display was screaming red and magenta at him, an unnecessary warning which he absently disabled—it didn’t much matter at this point. Soon, it would be done. He had resolved to see it coming.

    Inshallah, he whispered to himself. Godspeed to you. Be safe.



    At Barnard’s Star, things had suddenly become extremely hectic. The President’s launch approval had been anticipated for some time, but having it actually come through was still enough to send long-overworked nerves into overdrive—they knew what the final code meant for Proxima Centauri, and the ICG itself. The survival of humanity now lay on the hundreds of ships zipping back and forth around their behemoth leader.

    At the center of it all, the primary launch crew of the Ark began the final checks of ship systems; outside its shields, various Guild ships began to move slowly into a loose protective formation, with an impressive formation of ISF defense craft beyond them providing point recon. Shields cycled, engines warming up, hull integrity monitored and found acceptable, all hibernating passengers checked nominal--Commander Ardor ran down the pre-launch checklist with a degree of efficiency that had been respected by his crewmates ever since the Ark’s initial construction phases. As a ranking member of the Diaspora, he had long experience with colony ships and their construction. Of course, this was by far the largest he had ever personally captained; the scale of the vessel was such that one crew was not enough to fully man and maintain its systems. The bridge crew’s replacements would come in once they were clear and en route to their destination; they would take turns manning the vessel on its weeks-long voyage.

    Ardor checked off the final physical components of the Ark. All okay. Now for the ‘interesting’ part. His datapad winked at him: AGENT SYSTEM?

    ‘Pericles?’

    A mellow, male voice filtered through the speakers in response.

    ‘Yes, Commander?’

    ‘Have you performed all preflight checks and communications?’

    ‘Yes, sir. Everything is nominal. We are networked to most of the Guild ships and ready to leave. The ISF will follow when we are clear.’

    Ardor nodded. Agents were exceptionally talented artificial intelligences, and a necessity for spacecraft of this magnitude, but they invariably had a slight unpredictability about them as far as personal habits went. He hadn’t figured out what Pericles’ quirk was, yet. After fifteen years, that was starting to disturb him more than a bit.

    Nevertheless, he checked AGENT SYSTEM off.

    Next: PLEAIDES.

    Ardor cleared his throat—he always felt a need to speak more softly to the Sisters. They were more important to the ship than either Pericles or himself, and they demanded more than a little respect.

    `…Ladies?’

    << Yes, Commander? >>

    As always, the seven-part harmony disconcerted him. Ardor didn’t doubt that the other crew members felt the same way, but it was not to be helped.

    ‘Ladies, we need to be ready to take off. Are you prepared?’

    << Of course, sir. >> A single voice this time, the oldest one of the Sisters. << We are always ready. All we need is a course. >>

    ‘Well…when I know that, I’ll let you know—for now, let’s ease out and get out into open space.’

    << Very well, Commander. >>

    Ardor nodded, looking down at the forward section of the bridge, where seven hibernation canisters lay in a broad circle. That was where the Pleaides were, in reality—not computers, but humans of superior mind and thinking ability who shared an instantaneous mental bond. They were the best (and simultaneously most frightening, to many) results of a long tradition of cloning research; smaller sets of Sisters were used to help send regular colony ships through the stars. Only for the largest warships and colony craft were a full set of seven necessary. The crew would hardly ever see them; necessity dictated that they remain ageless for the voyage, using only their thoughts to gather the ships of the convoy in united flight.

    All right. Time to—

    Klaxons shrieked through the bridge comms.

    ‘The hell?! What’s going on?! Pericles!’

    The agent materialized at the central comm station, standing below a tacmap swarming with red and blue dots.

    ‘Short-range scanners have picked up multiple enemy signatures, sir! Argosy vessels.’

    ‘Short-range? What about long range?’

    At that, Pericles actually paused for a moment before responding. ‘That’s a good point. Somehow they slipped by our scouts. The ISF is engaging them now; the Guild ships are moving into position and our shields are at full strength. I will investigate this while we embark.’

    ‘Do that,’ growled Ardor, ‘and find out where the hell we’re going!’

    ‘Yes, sir.’ Pericles saluted, then de-rezzed, leaving the tactical display up for the crew to view. The Ark was under full steam now, powering away from the plane of the system with its convoy in tow. The red of the Argosy ships had already burst through the ISF lines in several places—surprise was a powerful tool even in space. Lineships of the Thousand Spears had already deployed to backstop the Ark’s defenses, but it was unlikely that they would hold off the Man O’ Wars for long. Ardor prayed that they would at least have enough time to jump…somewhere.

    ‘Coordinates! I need coordinates!’

    ‘We’re trying, sir! The command ships are down!’

    The commander swore roundly. It would be that way, of course—if anyone had proper jump coordinates, it would be the command ships of the ISF. It was looking like they would have to jump blind, and figure out a course later.

    ‘What’s our jump status?’

    ‘Almost ready, sir!’ shouted a navtech.

    ‘Commander! Incoming!’

    It was Pericles again, standing at the tactical. A cloud of fine projectiles, shown as a red trail of sparkles, had been launched by the nearest Man O’ War; it was already crossing through the Guild ships, with impacts being noted by several captains.

    ‘What was that…?’ Ardor wondered.

    ‘Don’t know, sir. Many of the Guild ships took some hits—most of them are unshielded. But the damage is minor, nothing’s exploded, and the hulls self-sealed easily. They don’t know what to make of it.’ As Pericles spoke, the leading trail of projectiles stuck the Ark’s shields, vaporizing instantly—whatever it was had no capability to punch through. It was maddening, Ardor thought to himself. Why fire projectiles like that if they don’t do anything?

    ‘Uh…sir?’

    ‘Pericles…why would they fire…’

    Ardor stopped, staring at the tac as it popped up a new warning. On it, the lead Man O’ War had fired a projectile large enough to dwarf most of the defending ships. It pulsed red as it slowly tracked towards the fleeing Ark.

    The Commander muttered something under his breath.

    ‘…sir,’ Pericles whispered, ‘…that’s a terraclast coming at us.’

    ‘I know.’

    ‘Sir, we might have just enough mass to actually set it o—‘

    ‘I KNOW! PLEAIDES!’

    << Commander? >>

    ‘We need to jump, now!’

    The terraclast was picking up speed now; it was attracted to gravity sources, and the massive sublight impellers of the Ark were as delectable as any planetary mass.

    << We have no coordinates, Commander. Where shall we go? >>

    ‘I don’t care! Someplace safe, out of system…’

    << Where? >> The voice of the eldest (Maia, he thought?) was reproving. << There are no safe systems, no safe places. We need the ISF coordinates. >>

    ‘Uh, ladies,’ Pericles muttered, ‘…any place will be safer than here in about sixty seconds…’

    Ardor was incredulous. ‘Are you going to argue with me until we all die?!’

    << When we leave hyperspace, the Argosy will find us. They have probes, spies. We need uncharted space. The ISF has this. We must have the -- >>

    << Sister! >>

    Both Ardor and Pericles started. This was new.

    << …Merope? >>

    << I have coordinates that just came in! >>

    ‘From the ISF?’ said a shocked Ardor.

    << That’s what the data says! >>

    Maia’s voice broke in. << How did you get them? >>

    << I…I just did. They came to me, they have the right seals… >>

    The bridge fell silent. It was unusual, but not unheard of, for one component of a group-mind to receive information first. In a situation like this, though, it was highly suspect in its convenience.

    ‘Sir!’ Pericles warned. The terraclast was coming uncomfortably close…

    What the hell. ‘…All right,’ said Ardor, ‘let’s use those coordinates. Sync the fleet and jump.’

    << Commander, this is not wise. We don’t know where the coordinates came from. I must consult with my sisters about this. >>

    ‘Consult later. We jump now.’

    << Commander-- >>

    ‘Commander!’ The ‘clast was nearly within their jump bubble; nothing would save them if they delayed any longer.

    ‘JUMP NOW!’

    Despite Maia’s resistance, the dutiful Pleaides had already calculated the jump; when the Commander’s order was given, the FTL drives cut over instantly, enveloping the Ark and its outliers in a bubble of inverted space. To outside observers, the fleet winked out of existence in an instant, leaving only the bereft terraclast. Without a gravity source to feed from, it slowly faded to a forgotten lump of matter. Beyond it, the battle raged on. Ahead, an unsuspecting fleet fled to safety. Or so they thought.


    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Spoiler:
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Narrations:

    (Note: Narrations were on two different tracks that run near-concurrently and rejoin at Chapter 4. Chronologically, they go 0, A/I, B/II, C/III, 4, 5... for a chronological arrangement, see this post.)


    Launch (Day 1):
    Prologue: Home and Chapter I: Perspective
    Chapter II: Haj

    Night 1/Day 2: The Spice Must Blow
    Chapter A: The Thompsonite Conflict
    Chapter III: Unscheduled Maintenance

    Night 2/Day 3: The Consortium Broken
    Chapter B and C: Departure/Connection
    Chapter 4: Hangover

    Night 3/Day 4: Fruits of Our Labors (guest narrator: Ardor)
    Chapter 5: Forward Progress?

    Night 4/Day 5: The Turn (guest narrator: Ardor)
    Chapter 6: Mixed Results

    Night 5/Day 6: This Is An Intervention (guest narrator: Ardor)
    Chapter 7: Resolve

    Night 6/Day 7: Acceleration
    Chapter 7.5: Prioritization
    Chapter 8: Small Claims
    Chapter 8.5: Apotheosis

    Night 7/Day 8: Intermission
    Chapter 9: Expectations

    Night 8/Day 9: Penultimate Choices
    Chapter 10: Memorias

    Night 9/Day 10: End of the Road
    Chapter 11: Into Place

    Night 10: Finale - Humanity Enslaved
    Chapter 12: Cascade of Failure

    Player List:

    1. Zek (ants in the pants) - Blown up, Night 9
    2. B:L (Le Chevalier) - Desynched, Night 2
    3. Shenanigans (Ghoulius Caesar) - Blown up, Night 10
    4. Bogey (The Maltese Flacon) - Blown up, Night 8
    5. AcidSerra (Lady Serenity) - Molested by space bears, Night 6
    6. Bad Kitty (Cosmic Quandary) - Desynched, Night 7
    7. Angelhedgie (Eternal) - Blown up, Night 2
    8. life3 (Seaking) - Desynched, Night 8
    9. Plutonium (Dead Paul) - Blown up, Night 2
    10. Lignisse (Pequod) - Desynched, Night 1
    11. robothero (Mechanical Mariner) - Desynched, Night 9
    12. Squashua (The Wiggin' Drez) - Desynched, Night 4
    13. cheez (Proto Merkabah) - Victorious Thompsonite Slaver
    14. Green (The Chopper) - Blown up, Night 6
    15. DevoutlyApathetic (The Good Ship Lollipop) - Blown up, Night 1
    16. Buzz Buzz (Sky Runner) - Blown up, Night 1
    17. Balefuego (Marie Celeste) - Molested by space bears, Night 6
    18. Variable (Conchord) - Self-destructed, Night 5
    19. drinkinstout (Riptide) - Blown up, Night 3
    20. FunkyWaltDogg (Outlaw Star) - Blown up, Night 2
    21. Smasher (Waxoff) - Blown up, Night 9
    22. Grundlterror (The Narcissus) - Desynched, Night 3
    23. utharda (Dread Bear) - Picked up for spaceship molestation, Night 6
    24. Elkamil (The Hummer) - Desynched, Night 6
    25. titmouse (HMS Pinafore) - Blown up, Night 9
    26. Kin33 (Pax Torchship: Balthasar) - Blown up, Night 4
    27. Shinto (The Artful Dodger) - Blown up, Night 6
    28. frandelgearslip (Galactica) - Blown up, Night 4
    29. Dynagrip (USS Sardonic) - Blown up, Night 4
    30. Aldo (The Spaced Out Dutchman) - Desynched, Night 5
    31. Tarranon (Zero Gravitas) - Blown up, Night 7
    32. moonscatter (Wasa) - Blown up, Night 5
    33. Threelemmings (Athena) - Blown up, Night 7
    34. giltanis (Starship Bistromath) - Blown up, Night 10
    35. Recomatose (Jabroni) - Self-destructed, Night 6
    36. Gnasty (The Buggy) - Blown up, Night 4
    37. Last Son (Void Rifter) - Final Human Survivor, Night 10
    38. GrimmyTOA (Thor Too) - Blown up, Night 5
    39. real_pochacco (Dysnomia) - Blown up, Night 8
    40. Raneados (Leverage) - ?, Night 9
    41. TehSpectre (Charlatan) - Blown up, Night 4
    42. MrBallBaggins (BallBaggins) - Blown up, Night 4
    43. an_alt (Stugots) - Blown up, Night 6
    44. Frosteey (¡Wenchbear!) - Blown up, Night 3
    45. Saburbia (Magnus Penis) - Blown up, Night 5
    46. James (McGreggor) - Blown up, Night 8
    47. precisionk (Three-Eyed Cyclops) - Blown up, a lot, Night 1
    48. Shamus (The Giovanni) - Blown up, Night 6
    49. Hylianbunny (Azariel) - Desynched, Night 10
    50. DËTHKÖK (I.S.F. Hauteclere) - Blown up, Night 7

    Waitlist:
    1.
    2. Shankill Butcher (Absolution) (get back to me if you want in!)
    3.

    Removed:
    Lord Cecil Eaglelaser (Handsome Devil)
    Senjutsu (Mystery Machine)

    Guilds

    (Yellow denotes an active vote)

    The Brotherhood of Tradesmen: None
    The Sensorium: cheez, Hylianbunny
    The Diaspora: Shenanigans
    The Precisionk Consortium: None
    The Order of Centauri: Last Son
    The Thousand Spears: giltanis


    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Spoiler:
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Rules:

    Voting

    Each day, the players will vote in the game thread for a person they wish to have ejected from the convoy as it flees the attentions of vengeful alien pursuers. To vote for a person, phrase your vote in red and bold, like so:

    I !vote for tuxkamen for execution.

    If you wish to retract your vote, you may do so by retracting your vote using bold and lime, like so:

    I !retract my vote for tuxkamen, I find his top hat and mask rather dashing.

    If you or the representative of your Guild wishes to place a vote, you may do so by placing your vote in yellow and bold, like so:

    The precisionk Consortium wishes to vote for tuxkamen for execution.

    For your guild's votes only, you may retract by placing a new post up in the same color. Note: Any member of a guild can place a vote at any time for their guild. You may wish to elect a leader for your group in order to organize your voting bloc. The last vote counts.

    Note that when a guild falls to four living players or less, they no longer have a vote.

    Please do not go back and edit votes once you've cast them. Make a new post.

    You may change your vote for a day as many times as you wish before the close of voting that day.

    Results

    Due to the environment in which the story takes place, it is not possible to precisely discriminate between humans who die. This mechanic will be elaborated on in the narrations, but as a hypothetical example, a night where a normal player, a seer, and an alien die would be explained as losing the communications of one alien and one special (in different terms).

    Special Actions

    Certain players and groups of players have special actions that they can perform each day, the aliens being the most obvious example. To perform a special action, PM tuxkamen (or the narrator of the day) with your intentions in bold. Hypothetical example:

    I want to vigilante METSITLUC.

    You may change your special action for a day as many times as you wish before the close of voting that day. However, if you do not PM the narrator with any action during that day, you will lose your chance.

    All special actions should be PM'd to tuxkamen and Ardor. Get in the habit of doing this now. On days where I am absent, he will be the man.


    Deadlines

    Voting and special actions close each day, Monday through Friday, at 6:00PM PDT (9:00PM EDT) inclusive, unless there are special circumstances (see below). Time is determined by forum timestamp.

    That means that if your forum post has a timestamp of 6:00PM PDT or earlier, it counts as valid for that day. If it is 6:01PM or later, it will be valid for the next day. I will not announce that voting has closed.

    Meta-gaming and Death

    - Do not share PMs in any format. You may say that you are an X, but you may not use a PM to prove it (if it is even possible that it would).

    - Do not communicate anonymously with other players.

    - If you are living, you may not communicate with the dead.

    - If you are dead, you may not communicate with the living about the game.
    This includes proboards and external resources.

    - There is no 'dead thread'. If you wish to discuss the game in the D&D chat thread, you may do so under the proviso that you do not affect the game with your comments.

    - If you are not playing and wish to comment on the game in the D&D chat thread, I welcome it. Out of politeness and a desire to not impact the game, though, I ask that you either follow the same guidelines as the players, or sign up to play yourself.

    - If you are signing up for external boards in order to facilitate communication, the narrator wouldn't mind a look. I will not favor any side over another--it is mere curiosity.

    Participation

    This is a game where participation, or lack thereof, can have a serious impact on play. Because non-participation (and the explanations of such) can be considered a tactic, I will not force players to maintain a minimum post count, but be aware that this is tantamount to hiding in a room and not coming out to talk (except possibly for votes) in the live version of Mafia. It is unfair to your fellow players, and it denies them the chance to properly consider your words and behavior. Therefore:

    If you sign up, I expect you to be able to participate for the ten days this game may last.

    Meaningful participation is almost anything beyond pure junk posts and one 'I !vote X' post a day.

    Other notes:

    - Persistent inactivity and/or junk posting will result in a warning, then a kick.
    - I am the person who decides whether you are sufficiently participating or not.
    - You may excuse yourself temporarily with a PM. This will be noted publicly.
    - If you are removed for non-participation, or must withdraw from the game, you will be replaced.
    - If you think you will face such a situation, though, think carefully about signing up at all.

    Narrator Duties:

    I know, I know--lots of rules, the world is unfair. However, this is a game. The goal is to entertain you with mechanics and narration, and hopefully I will do so. To that end, I have repsonsibilities as well, and I will attempt to fulfill them as follows:

    1) I promise to inform you of any circumstances which affect deadlines, rules, results, narrations, and players as far in advance as possible.

    2) In the event that a narration is delayed, I will make every effort to provide the results to you as quickly as possible after the deadline so that the players may continue to play.

    3) If I am not able to provide narration or handle special role requests for the players on a particular day, I will designate a backup narrator for that day who will receive the information necessary to continue the game.

    4) I will make every effort to answer questions related to the game as long as doing so does not compromise its integrity.


    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Spoiler:
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Roles:

    There are fifty players in this game. Each of you is a captain of a ship moving in convoy with the Ark, a gargantuan colony ship carrying millions of hibernating humans. Unfortunately, after a few thousand years of good times, rapid colonization, and military curb-stomping, the human race has come under catastrophic attack by alien forces and you, along with the Ark, have been forced to flee the colonization fleet's staging area at Barnard's Star.

    While in FTL travel, the fleet is protected from detection and communication from the outside, and the many ships fly in formation with the Ark providing continuous course corrections. However, events (will) reveal to the fleet that the aliens are working from within, attempting to sabotage the Ark and its cargo.

    Every day, the captains must vote on a ship to be ejected from the convoy (destroyed, for your purposes). You must eliminate any alien infiltrators before the convoy reaches its final destination in Phalla Serpentis, or they will contact their brethren. If the aliens gain a majority amongst the remaining fleet, they will take control of the Ark and its inhabitants.

    In this game, there may or may not be the following roles:

    Guilds

    Though at one point there were hundreds of human-settled worlds with diverse populations, the needs of society remained fairly constant through the centuries—colonization, science, trade, labor, pleasure, and war. All the players in the game, including the infiltrators, are loosely arranged into the guilds which evolved between the stars to meet these needs.

    The guilds have varying memberships, but each guild with more than four living players has the ability to cast an extra vote per night. Any member of your guild can cast the guild vote, so it is desirable for you to discuss plans and ideas amongst your guildmates.

    As of Day 4, every guild with voting power has gained a one-time ability that can be exercised on any day that they retain their vote. The power varies by guild, and is listed in the narrations. Clarification of the powers is in the thread.

    Aliens

    Over the last few decades, vengeful aliens have been systematically seeking out and destroying the various human colony worlds, forcing the survivors into more and more desperate measures (leading to the creation of the Ark). One or more groups of aliens have infiltrated this final colony fleet with the intention of ending humanity’s influence in the galactic arm. Others have come in order to save us.

    Each night, evil aliens will remove a certain number of players from the fleet, with the ultimate goal of outnumbering the remaining human ships. At that point, they can vote the Ark into doing their bidding. Other aliens, if they exist, have their own abilities.

    Aliens do not have special communication traffic.
    Aliens appear as such on deep medical scans.


    The game ends in the evil aliens’ favor if they match or outnumber the remaining humans and helpful aliens at any time.

    Also, if there are multiple groups of evil aliens, they will be competing against each other; the stronger faction gains more kills per night. When one faction of evil aliens is destroyed, other evil factions gain a kill permanently.

    The aliens known to the human race who may appear in this game are:

    Argosy – Seek to wipe humans from space completely, as was nearly done to them long ago
    Denebrai – Incorrigible traders who provide technology to all sides
    Leshi – Former Thompsonite slaves who rediscovered their advanced society after human intervention
    Shan’ga – Believe in their superiority over all other humans and aliens
    Thompsonites – Slavemasters and mind-warpers that see the Ark as a potential bonanza

    Thralls

    In the attack which decimated the remaining human defenses and forced the flight of the colony fleet, alien infiltrators managed to take over several ships. Others, however, were not completely successful; these infiltrators appear human, but communicate freely with their alien superiors and also seek the end of human civilization.

    Thralls have special communication traffic.
    Thralls appear normal on deep medical scans.


    Thralls have no unique powers; if their masters die, they gain no kills.
    For the purposes of win conditions, thralls count as humans (to either side).

    Guardians

    Though the Inter-System Fleet which protects the various worlds and the routes between them has suffered heavy losses due to alien encroachment, certain covert-ops vessels have managed to escape detection and make their way amongst the colony fleet. Amongst these are FleetSec vessels specialized to protect against electronic warfare.

    Guardians have special communication traffic.
    Guardians appear normal on deep medical scans.


    Guardians can collectively protect one ship a night from one non-vote attack only.
    (In other words, multiple alien groups can break a protection by attacking the same target.)

    Guardians are not able to guard each other or themselves.
    If guardians pick different targets, none will be protected.

    If guardians successfully defend from an attack, the guardians and attackers will be notified that an attack was blocked.

    Seers

    FleetInt vessels are also amongst the colony fleet. Their mission is to root out both the aliens and any resources that can help them protect the Ark.

    Seers have special communication traffic.
    Seers appear normal on deep medical scans.


    Each seer can perform one of the following scans on any day that they are free to do so:

    - Commscan: Checks whether a person is using encrypted comm channels. This will find specials (thralls are ‘special’ too), but not aliens. This action takes one day.

    Important: The seer only discovers the presence of encrypted comms, not the content. You will not learn the role of your target. You will also not receive any alien/human indications.

    - Medscan: Does covert medical scanning via the passive lifesign monitors that are standard equipment on all ships. This will separate an alien from a human, but will not reveal special roles. This action takes two days.

    Important: The seer only discovers the presence of alien comms; you will not know their content or what side the alien is on. If the target is a non-alien special, a medscan will reveal nothing about the target's special status.

    Seers cannot ‘promote’ scans midscan—you cannot turn a one-day scan into a two-day scan.

    (However, you can have multiple seers do multiple types of scan on the same player.)

    Vigilantes

    Sometimes the ISF simply requires problems in space to ‘go away’. For this, they use specially fitted FleetCov gunships that utilize both hard weaponry and electronic subterfuge to destroy targets.

    Vigilantes have special communication traffic.
    Vigilantes appear normal on deep medical scans.


    Vigilantes do not know each other.

    Each vigilante may choose one target to subterfuge each night.
    Each living vigilante’s daily choice has a 1/N chance of dying.

    If a living vigilante does not make a selection, they create a 1/N chance that no kill happens.

    All chances are additive. Example: If two vigilantes pick tuxkamen, one vigilante chooses Ardor, and one does nothing, tuxkamen has a 50% chance of dying, Ardor 25%, and neither 25%.

    Geminids

    Selective cloning of the embryos of superior individuals was extremely popular for a period of time in humanity’s expansionary period. Cloned settlers, specialists, and even armies found life (of a fashion) out in space. As man gained more intimate understanding of the brain, later research combined with the famous Ch’ii-Long/LaPlace studies on mental communication among the Argosy produced twinned humans who had not only uncanny mental prowess but also a bond that allowed them to communicate instantly over long distances. The extended result of these projects were the Pleaides—linked septuplets who act as mental computers and provide jump calculations to the largest FTL-capable vessels (like the Ark).

    With the advent of the Pleaides, cloning of talented humans was officially limited to twinned sets for ‘ethical’ reasons. Such pairs exist in small numbers throughout the galaxy, often working as highly-respected explorers and ship captains (though they often publicly hide their status to avoid awkwardness around normal humans).

    Geminids do not have special communication traffic.
    Geminids appear normal on deep medical scans.


    Geminids have no special powers other than that they are certain of each other’s humanity.
    Geminid pairs do not die when one member of the pair dies.

    Humans

    All players of all roles can be assumed to have received a ‘human’ role PM (your guild membership PM).

    It should go without saying, but humans show up normal on all scans.

    The humans win when all evil aliens have been eliminated. Thralls do not count towards this goal.

    Action Order

    Daily discussion, then: All Protections > Vote Kill > Other Kills


    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Spoiler:
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • P10P10 Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    So, what's the hairbrained scheme to create an instant network this game?

  • CouscousCouscous Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    What are the powers of the guilds other than the extra votes?

  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    What does each guild have control over?

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • P10P10 Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The ? ? An awesome shipname if I do say so myself.

  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Fucking tentacled bastards. And I know someone tipped them off.

    (sitting slowly in my captain's chair, I review the retreval of the support squads that safely made the jump...)

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    I grudge !vote B:L

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • P10P10 Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Gnasty wrote: »
    I grudge !vote B:L
    This is no time to be holding petty grudges, Gnasty! Those Argosy bastards are enough of a threat, without senseless infighting.

  • FrosteeyFrosteey Hero of Justice : ( 1521-2945-8940Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I knew I should have named my ship Halberd Trauma.

    I'd like for it to be known that I control four hundred and twelve of the spears. The rest of you may divide them up as you please.

    frosteey.gif
  • BalefuegoBalefuego Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Lets get this shit started.

    (and with that I'm off to bed)

    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Seriously. We need to vote smart.

    !Vote Raneados. The tradesmen should welcome the loss of competition.

    10mvrci.png click for Anime chat
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Anyone who would let their grudges take precedence in such dire straits cannot be trusted. Therefore, !Gnasty needs to be shown to an airlock sans normal suit.

    I don't think the Precisonk Consortium would mind seeing Gnasty, head of a competing guild, put to hard vacuum much either.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • Charles KinboteCharles Kinbote Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    My fingers are crossed so hard it hurts when I pee.

    www.twitter.com/amazingwarlock
  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Gnasty wrote: »
    I grudge !vote B:L
    This is no time to be holding petty grudges, Gnasty! Those Argosy bastards are enough of a threat, without senseless infighting.
    There is no evidence that B:L isn't Argosy. Also, he is trying to kill my guild members, which I don't appreciate.

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • FrosteeyFrosteey Hero of Justice : ( 1521-2945-8940Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Anyone who would let their grudges take precedence in such dire straits cannot be trusted.

    And what's this grand alternative you have to baseless hatred?

    frosteey.gif
  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    The Brotherhood of Tradesmen wishes to execute AngelHedgie, because he doesn't seem to understand that the first day of any Phalla is the day of grudge votes.

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • P10P10 Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Gnasty wrote: »
    DËTHKÖK wrote: »
    Gnasty wrote: »
    I grudge !vote B:L
    This is no time to be holding petty grudges, Gnasty! Those Argosy bastards are enough of a threat, without senseless infighting.
    There is no evidence that B:L isn't Argosy. Also, he is trying to kill my guild members, which I don't appreciate.
    There's no evidence that B:L is Argosy. Let us not forget our Inter-Colony Government justices, comrades. Innocent until proven guilty. There is no need for such haste to violence. Why don't we all just calm down, and let me massage your worries away in the Sensorium?

  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Rules are up (the ones you get, anyway).

    To clarify: Each guild gets an extra vote. That's it. It counts for 1, like any standard player's vote.

    You may, or may not, agree on what to do with that vote, but should a close voting situation occur, your guild votes may swing things in another direction, should you collaborate for some higher purpose.


    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Spoiler:
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    DËTHKÖK wrote: »
    Gnasty wrote: »
    DËTHKÖK wrote: »
    Gnasty wrote: »
    I grudge !vote B:L
    This is no time to be holding petty grudges, Gnasty! Those Argosy bastards are enough of a threat, without senseless infighting.
    There is no evidence that B:L isn't Argosy. Also, he is trying to kill my guild members, which I don't appreciate.
    There's no evidence that B:L is Argosy. Let us not forget our Inter-Colony Government justices, comrades. There is no need for such haste to violence. Why don't we all just calm down, and let me massage your worries away in the Sensorium?
    Well, I am pretty stressed. I would like to make an appointment with your finest masseuse, followed by your most beautiful concubine.

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • FunkyWaltDoggFunkyWaltDogg Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Wow, that was quite an intro!

    Burnage wrote:
    FWD is very good at this game.
  • B:LB:L Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    DËTHKÖK wrote: »
    Gnasty wrote: »
    DËTHKÖK wrote: »
    Gnasty wrote: »
    I grudge !vote B:L
    This is no time to be holding petty grudges, Gnasty! Those Argosy bastards are enough of a threat, without senseless infighting.
    There is no evidence that B:L isn't Argosy. Also, he is trying to kill my guild members, which I don't appreciate.
    There's no evidence that B:L is Argosy. Let us not forget our Inter-Colony Government justices, comrades. Innocent until proven guilty. There is no need for such haste to violence. Why don't we all just calm down, and let me massage your worries away in the Sensorium?
    Save your breath, friend. I've known Gnasty for a long time, and he cannot be haggled with due to his hard-headed nature.

    We can only hope he doesn't try to kill anyone important...again.

    ((That intro is THE FUCKING BEST))

    10mvrci.png click for Anime chat
  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Wow, that was quite an intro!
    Yeah, very impressive Tuxkamen.

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • P10P10 Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Unfortunately, in the disorder caused by these recent, harrowing events, the Sensorium is not currently operating at full capacity. Many of our employees are resting and recuperating, and trying to cope. However, I'm available for your pleasure, Gnasty. :winky:

  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Unfortunately, in the disorder caused by these recent, harrowing events, the Sensorium is not currently operating at full capacity. Many of our employees are resting and recuperating, and trying to cope. However, I'm available for your pleasure, Gnasty. :winky:
    Ah, well, something is better than nothing, right?

    @B:L - I still don't know what you're talking about. Seriously, what are you talking about?

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • Minor SecondMinor Second Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Oh you'd like for us to let our guard down wouldn't you!

  • ShamusShamus Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Ah, it seems we're in some dire straits.

    As always comrades, The Giovanni is at your service. As a member of the illustrious Thousand Spears, it's an honor to be on this voyage.

  • Bad KittyBad Kitty Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    This makes me want to watch Battlestar Galactica again!
    Great intro, Tux.

  • tuxkamentuxkamen Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    ...so can I do asteroids fall everyone dies yet? Please?

    Okay, have fun, I'll check in tomorrow.


    Games: Ad Astra Per Phalla | Choose Your Own Phalla
    Spoiler:
    3DS: 2406-5451-5770
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited June 2007
    I !vote Gnasty for Chairman

  • GnastyGnasty Registered User
    edited June 2007
    robothero wrote: »
    I !vote Gnasty for Chairman
    This is an amazing idea. If there was a Chairman role I could be elected to I would totally vote for myself.

    i just wanna 'be myself'
  • Kin33Kin33 Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Awesome intro tuxkamen.

    As captain of the Balthasar I would like to send out a comm greeting to all my fellow ships protecting the ark. Godspeed to you all.

  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I just finished the intro and now I feel like I need a goddamn cigarette


    let it be known that smoking is allowed on my boat

    also are we doing any sort of roleplay with this or not? what's standard D&D fare?

    Dubh wrote: »
    Rane is the future of ancient greek tradition
  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    also it seems some already want me gone

    it's because I came from the SocialEntropic islands isn't it

    racist

    Dubh wrote: »
    Rane is the future of ancient greek tradition
  • AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Raneados wrote: »
    also it seems some already want me gone

    it's because I came from the SocialEntropic islands isn't it

    racist
    It's just business, buddy.

    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum
    Spoiler:
  • GreenGreen Stick around. I'm full of bad ideas.Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Raneados wrote: »
    also it seems some already want me gone

    it's because I came from the SocialEntropic islands isn't it

    racist

    Outsider!

    IsaacSig.png
    3DS: 3007 8087 2767 | Nintendo ID: AngryFrog
  • RaneadosRaneados Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    oh, just to let the rest of the convoy know

    I dropped my sensual escort business



    there was an accident with a video wall and now half my ship smells like burning hair

    Now I'm the man to see for all your communications and and hyperdrive needs!


    no refunds

    Dubh wrote: »
    Rane is the future of ancient greek tradition
  • DogDog Registered User, Administrator, Vanilla Staff admin
    edited June 2007
    As you white collar people might not know, the working stiffs in The Brotherhood of Tradesman work as an equal opportunity guild.

    Look, we even have a Entropite. Look at him clap his hands and sing his silly songs! Horray!

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