Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

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stylesrj
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby stylesrj » Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:01 am

Part 2 - An Envoy's Path is still under construction. It's not complete and undergoing revisions like the previous chapters, I'm still working on it :D

Just so you know, Ruwen isn't going to die to the Great Eye's BS outcome. That would be too cruel. "Oh hey, we just got a crystal" "BAM! Space baby! No save!" He's got literary protection. At least until they reach Sector ??? then he's at risk.

Translator's going to get his puppy and Dread Pirate Tuco makes an appearance. Oh and Ruwen finds a solution to that annoying Out Of Fuel event with the Rock Frigate. Seriously, why doesn't the Clone Bay work in that case?
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby Tharsis » Sun Aug 03, 2014 1:12 am

cant wait
"The're coming to destroy us... Why?... We want peace..."
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby stylesrj » Wed Aug 06, 2014 8:35 am

And now, the next part to Chapter 5 that Tharsis has been waiting for...

It's pretty big. Also, it contains some references to my other fanfic, Fight of the Osprey which I might rewrite once this is done. You don't need to read it to understand but if you have read it, you might know what I'm talking about.

----------------------

Sector 5 – Zoltan Homeworlds – Path Of An Envoy

Ensign Charlie Smith was the first to regain consciousness. A high-pitched whining sound was ringing through his ears and he spent a moment trying to recollect his thoughts of the previous events. Let’s see… I got revived as a woman, then we blew up a monolith, he thought to himself as he made his way to the Clone Bay, and we’ve probably angered all the Zoltans by hurting their god. Under Metfel’s command, that would have been… Tuesday. Under Slocknaw’s… second Tuesday.

Captain Slocknaw woke up next, shaking his head to clear the buzzing out of his brain before using his telepathic powers to reach out across the ship to scan the lifesigns of those around him.

“Let’s see… apart from myself, we have Charlie, Virus, Translator, Ruwen and Duna” the Slug listed off while examining ship status reports “That’s about everyone. Huh, there seems to be a power deficiency in the shields. That doesn’t make sense. They’re always fully charged before a jump.”

He entered the Clone Bay to find Charlie standing over one of the consoles looking both shocked and saddened. “It can’t be possible…” the Human said, checking the backup DNA bank “It’s like she never existed.”

“So that explains the power deficiency” Slocknaw remarked, looking into Charlie’s thoughts “I don’t recall there being a Zoltan onboard this ship though. At least not since the start of the mission. There was that thief we got rid of…”

“You’re joking aren’t you?” Charlie asked “You don’t remember Elizabeth?”

“Obviously not. But we did just escape from a vengeful Zoltan god” Slocknaw explained, predicting that Charlie was very close to punching him in the face out of anger. “I don’t claim to be an expert on this matter but perhaps the Great Eye did something to our minds.”

Or maybe it implanted false memories in your head, Slocknaw thought to himself. “But either way we must move on. Everyone else is still here. Virus, Translator, Ruwen and Duna…”

“There’s medical equipment in the cargo hold!” Virus reported over the comms “I don’t recall it being there before.”

The Engi was staring at a bomb teleportation device with the universal Galactic medical symbol etched on the side. According to the instructions, the device deployed nanites programmed to repair specified targets in a location. It could mend damaged flesh or repair broken parts in the case of Engies or Lanius metal.

Why an ancient Zoltan god carried modern healing equipment was a mystery for the ages.

“There’s also a lot of metal. I think there’s enough to patch up our damage and more besides” Translator added before he got to work absorbing several plates into his body. He preferred pure metal over the mineral-enriched paste the ship’s replicators provided.

Slocknaw said “That’s good to know though. At least we’ll be rich before we perish along with the Federation.” He then ran a scan of the local area, squeezing as much power as he could out of the sensors, while also turning on the distress beacon.

It was a risky move but without the constant signal, finding help in a nebula would be highly unlikely. Hopefully it’s a friendly ship that finds us, he thought, I don’t know what’s worse to encounter – a rebel scout or a Zoltan ship.

Meanwhile the crew were busy using the extra metal to add more power to the ship’s reactor. The loss of Elizabeth set them back a few bars and it was a precaution to avoid too much shunting of power between systems. Slocknaw wondered why it hadn’t been done before.

Charlie tried to tell everyone else about the loss, but the crew was unwilling to believe him that a Zoltan monk had served onboard the ship. “Perhaps the Clone Bay scrambled your memories even further when it put you into a body you’re not compatible with” Virus suggested, running a hand down one of the reactor conduits.

“Give me a few days and I’ll probably want to keep it” Charlie remarked, comparing the engine specifications to a set of blueprints he had drawn up for improved impulse drives. “Although my brother Robert might not like the fact that I’d be his sister.”

He tried to imagine the encounter, only to come up short on picturing his brother’s appearance. Virus asked about Robert “I don’t know much about family structure – mine went into hiding or was deleted long before my actions against the Hive-Mind.”

“Well Robert and I are not blood siblings, if that’s what you think. I’m a Human and he’s…” Charlie explained, putting a hand to his chin. His mind pictured a faceless, slender-looking Human in a green suit with flailing arms. There was also a lot of static as if he was watching a film through a retro filter for the “poor reception experience”.

“The best way I can describe him for the moment is that he’s green” Charlie said “Which is rather odd since we were as thick as thieves. But while I was still learning to spell my name, he was conquering fuel compositions.”
“Interesting. Your brother sounds like a quick-learner” Virus commented “Was he a Zoltan?”

“I don’t think so – I wish I knew, but my memory’s fuzzy” Charlie complained “I know he ate a lot of meat. He was only a tiny little thing when he was adopted into our family but in under a year he matured rapidly. Mum and dad told me not to tell Robert about his unusual heritage and treat him like any other Human being. So I did.”

Virus checked her databanks and gave a short laugh at the implications “Now that would be weird.”

“What would be?” Charlie asked, leaning back on a railing.

“Well you sound like you’re describing a Mantis. Rapid maturity, high protein diet…” Virus suggested. “There’s no possible way you can keep that sort of heritage a secret.”

“Perhaps he’s the last of a dying planet of super strong slender men and his parents put him in a rocket towards your planet in order to save him” Slocknaw said, sliding over to join in the discussion.

“Well that sounds way more plausible than my brother being a Mantis.” Charlie laughed, attaching several light plates over the spots Slocknaw had sealed with his slime “Robert Smith…”

* * *

Two days had passed before someone answered the distress signal. A monotone voice similar to the Engies hailed the Nesasio with “Civillian Ship DA-SR 12, we have received your distress signal. This is The People’s Unmanned Power Provisions Yacht. For convenience, this vessel will respond to PUPPY. Please respond.”

An automated scout ship was displayed on the sensor screen with two large fuel canisters slung underneath. Slocknaw thought, At least the false IFF works. Hopefully that puppy will be willing to hand over its supplies for us.

“This is the DA-SR 12. We’re out of FTL fuel and request immediate resupply” he responded.

“This automated ship will provide refuelling services once a monetary exchange is complete. Complementary amounts of fuel are available in emergencies only” PUPPY responded, powering up its scanners.

“I’d like to request emergency fuel supplies” Slocknaw requested “We’re stranded.”

“Error. Unable to fulfil request. This ship has registered that your one-time complimentary emergency fuel allowance has already been consumed. Thank you for using Company Name Here, the galaxy’s Error: Number Not Defined refuelling service. Terminating connection.”

The automated scout powered up its weapons. Slocknaw muttered something about the machine’s definition of terminate before powering up his own weapons in response.

The scout analysed the firepower the cruiser was carrying and reversed thrust. Sensors indicated it was spinning up its FTL drive. Slocknaw tried to hail the machine, but the AI was not responding, returning nonsensical error messages involving disassembling its target into component materials.

The cruiser gave chase. “Do not let it escape!” Slocknaw ordered, charging up the Glaive Beam and the Hull Smasher Laser “We need that fuel and that stupid machine is asking to be shut down!”

The scout went through several tight manoeuvres and used its cloaking device to avoid the Nesasio’s weapons, performing spins that would have turned a crew into paste – the lack of energy shields forced it to rely on evasion. Teleporting Translator onboard was out of the question as well.

The scout would occasionally spin on its axis to take potshots at the Nesasio but fortunately its erratic firing habits lacked the capabilities to get through the shields – it would fire a heavy laser first and then the Burst Laser Mk.II a few seconds later just as the shields were recharged. It seemed to also carry a nasty-looking missile launcher but every time it charged and fired, nothing would be launched before resetting.

Slocknaw had to be careful when firing back as he had to avoid hitting the fuel tanks with a stray shot – the Glaive Beam a last resort due to its tendency to cut everything apart violently. The chase became more intense however when it led to a massive debris field consisting of burnt out hulks of warships, both Zoltan and Rock. Pieces of broken ships flew past like asteroids.

The scout changed directions during its next cloak, flying through a damaged section of a massive Rock frigate and out the other side to try and lose the Nesasio. The cruiser would have done the same thing, but instead Slocknaw ordered Virus to hover in front of the frigate as he fired the Glaive Beam through the wreck.

The powerful laser seared a hole right through and out the other side, grazing one of the scout’s wings and cutting off one of the guns. Scans indicated that the scout ship was close to performing an FTL jump and getting away.

He then opened fire with the Hull Smasher Laser, using the newly-formed hole in the wreckage as a firing port. It scored a lucky shot, breaching the scout’s control centre and stopping it entirely just as bright lights surrounded the vessel.

The scout jettisoned the fuel tanks before hailing the Nesasio “This People’s Unmanned Power Provisions Yacht has suffered a critical error and will be shutting down all systems now.”

Virus reported power had shut down all over the scout ship, except for the AI core. It was essentially a derelict ship. Translator took the opportunity to ask “Can we not destroy that puppy? I’ve always wanted my own pet.”

“I don’t know. You promise to take care of it? Feed it and love it like it was your best friend?” Slocknaw asked, chuckling “I mean having a pet is a big responsibility and I don’t know if you’re ready.”

“How about we get it onboard, Captain? Then we’ll see if we can give it a good home!” Translator suggested “If not, it could also be a snack. Just like a pet!”

Slocknaw wasn’t going to argue with that comparison.

Once the Nesasio matched velocities and slowed the scout down with use of the tractor beam, the ship was placed within the main hold – the cargo bay doors were just wide enough to let it in. They then swung around to grab the fuel tanks and asked Charlie to take a look at the contents.

“Completely empty” Charlie reported once he opened them up “Looks like they’ve been that way for years.”
“Are you certain we can’t scrape trace elements out?” Slocknaw asked, examining the system map for possible destinations out of the nebula cloud “It might not be good for the engine but if we can just squeeze out a few drops, we might just be able to get a resupply at the next beacon.”

“My family has been working with FTL fuel and engines for generations, sir” Charlie said “I know several ways of recycling depleted fuel canisters to get that little bit extra juice needed. Robert was good with reaching in and scraping the bottom of the canister for that tricky sediment.”

He shook his head “So when I say these tanks are completely empty, I mean they truly are empty. Not a single drop remains to be recycled or reprocessed. That automated ship probably had been hiding in the cloud for years in the hopes it’d find fuel.”

“We’re really stranded aren’t we?” Slocknaw griped.

Meanwhile Translator was examining the breach in the central section of the scout – the Hull Smasher laser had blasted a hole right through, revealing a mass of cables and wires and data cores in close proximity. Several of them were damaged, burned from the impact.

The Lanius placed a claw on one of the cores and focused his senses. He could sense rapid electrical pulses running through the various systems of the ship. The AI was sending many pulses to the self-repair mechanisms, requesting immediate repairs of the main controls with the hull breach taking top priority.

“The AI’s programming isn’t sophisticated enough to repair hull breaches or even move on to the next item in the queue” Translator reported to the crew “So it’s stuck in an infinite loop until someone fixes the hole. Then it can repair itself.”

“And here I thought the Rebels had made immense leaps in the field of artificial intelligence. What a digital dummy!” Virus remarked.

* * *

Virus and Translator remained in the cargo hold to play with the captured Rebel scout ship’s programming while Slocknaw operated the sensor room to search the field for anything viable in the debris field they were sitting in. Ruwen, Duna and Charlie each took a shuttle and split up to cover more ground.

Hours had passed and all they reported was plenty of ammunition and scrap in storage caches. There was even a computer with complete mapping data of the sector – although it was doubted to be current – it listed refuelling stations that most likely did not exist, including one in the field which most likely was where the automated scout was supposed to be docked.

Duna reported that the Rock ships he was seeing resembled that of his former tribe. “I exiled my brother to Zoltan territory long ago for ideological differences. I guess this is where his followers ended up. Doesn’t look like anyone’s still alive out here – the wrecks look rather old.”

On the domestic front, Virus and Translator had managed to copy the scout’s AI data and found some interesting results. “It’s like a young Lanius – our single-minded goal is to do whatever is necessary to maximise metal consumption” Translator explained “This machine’s goal is to acquire fuel so it can refuel stranded ships.”

“But to stop it from destroying ships it’s supposed to refuel in order to acquire fuel and materials to make more fuel tanks, the designers installed limiters” Virus added, crossing her arms smugly “But there’s one thing a self-aware machine hates, it’s being restricted from your primary purpose.”

“It bypassed those limiters?” Slocknaw asked “Something tells me the Rebellion has made some very big mistakes when creating self-aware machines.”

“Oh I don’t think the Rebellion created them” Virus said “But don’t take my word for it. I’ve got a hunch and I need to check the programming to make sure I’m not looking at a dead-end.”

“And in the meantime, I’ll try and reprogram this PUPPY to defend the Nesasio” Translator said eagerly “Think of it as a neurotic guard dog we can pull out when needed. It’d certainly give those automated attack drones a run for their currency.”

Meanwhile Charlie Smith reported that he had discovered a secure door in the upper decks of the stern section of another Rock frigate. “There’s power and life support according to the panel” he reported, taking out his multi-tool. “I’ll just open the door and…”

His channel suddenly cut to the sounds of high-pitched screams and low-pitched grunting before fading to static.
“Charlie? Report!” Slocknaw shouted over the comms while informing Ruwen and Duna to get over to the ship and find out what was happening while he reached his mind out.

Apart from Charlie’s lifesigns, he could sense several others onboard the frigate waking up. Rocks. “They were just hibernating?” the Slug asked himself “How long have they been in the field?”

Charlie’s signal returned a few minutes later just as the other shuttles approached the frigate. A bulky, granite-like Rockman appeared on the viewscreen. His red eyes were glowing dimly and his body was covered in tattered rags and a green moss-like substance.

“This is Chieftain Ignacio of Duna. The Caretaker of the Garden of Dunesh” the Rock grunted, showing the carvings on his arms. They looked remarkably similar to Duna’s. That must be the exiled brother Duna was talking about. What a coincidence, Slocknaw thought to himself.

“We have captured one of your crew for trespassing in our garden and attempting to vandalise our home!” Ignacio continued as the camera shifted to show Charlie being held by two large Rockmen, also as unkempt as he was.

The Human was struggling to break free of their grip to no avail. Ignacio laughed “We will spare his life if we are compensated accordingly. After all, true progress can only be achieved without bloodshed. And we know you fleshy aliens bleed.”

Isn’t that a Zoltan saying?, Slocknaw thought before asking “What do you want?”

“We want you to pay a tithe in salvage. Engine components and deflector emitters are preferred” Ignacio said serenely.

“Planning on escaping the nebula are you? I don’t blame you – even I dislike those thick clouds of dust and I was born and raised in them” Slocknaw explained “I can help you without having to resort…”

“Escape? Oh no Slug, we’re not escaping the garden” Ignacio laughed “The garden is our home. We want to protect it from trespassers such as you and your Zoltan friends who think they can just wander in and take what isn’t theirs. With making our vessel mobile again, we can enforce our authority and will. The garden will become a sanctuary and it will be glorious.”

Slocknaw thought of something quickly, remembering about Rock customs and beliefs. “If you give Charlie back to us, we promise never to intrude upon here again.”

“Slugs are known liars and truce-breakers” Ignacio grunted “Besides, even if you were sincere, how do I know you were not followed by other trespassers to our garden?”

His eyes changed shape as if contemplating something. He then added “In fact we can’t risk you leaving to tell others we are here.” He grunted in approval at his next suggestion.

“Step out of your ship and come to us to live in the garden. You will be protected from the galaxy’s dangers in here.”

“No thanks. We’ve got our own mission to complete and we need Charlie back so we can fulfil it” Slocknaw said, trying not to laugh “But if you’re still around when our mission is over, I might take up your offer. It sounds like you’ve got a good thing going on over there.”

“You dare reject our most generous offer? Break the pink alien’s arm!” Ignacio shouted to his followers.
One of the Rocks proceeded to bend Charlie’s left arm at an odd angle, causing the bones to snap and shatter with a sickening crunch. He screamed loudly in pain “Slocknaw, destroy the frigate! There is no arguing with these delusional fools!” Without a teleporter transponder on his person he could only wait to be rescued or be killed.

“Reinforcements are on their way” Slocknaw said, putting both arms together as if crossing them smugly.

There was a loud hammering at the main doors, followed by a fusillade of shiny blue crystals which knocked them down and spread out and coated the walls in the shards. Ruwen stepped into the room and said to the Rocks “I don’t take very kindly to you folk harming my folk. If you surrender now, I will spare your lives. I am a benevolent god, a lover, not a fighter! Don’t make me destroy you.”

The Rocks in the room froze in awe at the sight of a Crystal in their midst, except for Ignacio. “You are no god old shard!” he shouted “The Duna Tribe rejects the Holy Words and the lies of the Grand Inquisition! We exiled ourselves out here because we refused to believe beings like you were divine!”

“If I recall correctly, I exiled you when you tried to fight me and you lost” Duna said, stepping in front of Ruwen “You disagreed on my use of the outdated, hypocritical traditional values in favour of Zoltan rubbish which is just as outdated and hypocritical. True progress can only be achieved without bloodshed?”

He scoffed “You’ve even started calling a cloud of gas a garden of all things”

“We chose to be exiled! The Zoltans know the true key to enlightenment! The Garden of Dunesh will protect and show us the way” Ignacio grunted loudly “For some time now I’ve plotted my revenge against you, brother! But now that you’re here, I challenge you for the right to lead the Duna Tribe!”

“So be it. But this time, I won’t just banish you. I’ll kill you” Duna replied as he thought to himself, Of course he doesn’t know about my tribe’s annexation to Vrachos.

The two Rocks stared at each other and began circling a wide distance like a dance, complete with the occasional stomp and loud grunt with the intent to intimidate the opponent. Neither one was going to make the first move though – recklessness was not in the Rock’s nature, especially for the Duna Tribe. They gauged the capabilities of the other and waited for a window of opportunity to open up.

Charlie was reminded of two Slugs duking it out in their minds, except they usually stood in one place. Then he remembered that his arm was broken and causing him great pain even as the other Rocks released him to watch their leader fight.

Then the combatants gave another shout and charged with their arms out in front as they punched and blocked each other’s blows, tiny fragments of rock flying off of them. Charlie had never seen such large creatures move so quickly before – Duna seemed to have a slight speed advantage due to his smoother, lighter hide but Ignacio still had his rocky bulk protecting him.

After about ten minutes, Charlie wondered when a winner would be determined. “When two Rockmen fight, they could be at it for days” Ruwen explained “Unless it’s those Numa Tribe folk. They’ve always crumbled in minutes. Or they just shot each other.”

“We don’t have that sort of time” Charlie complained.

“I wholeheartedly agree. The package must be delivered” Ruwen replied, reaching his arms outwards. A massive wave of crystal shards erupted from his body, forming a shell around Ignacio which then formed into a massive crystalline formation, trapping the Rock inside a crystal prison.

“No! Not again!” Ignacio shouted indignantly “This isn’t over, brother! I will break free and I will find you!”
“Thanks Ruwen” Duna said to the Crystal as they carried Charlie back to where the shuttles were docked, leaving the Rocks to tend to their trapped leader. They insisted on remaining in the garden to contemplate and protect it.

Once the crew was back on the Nesasio, Ruwen gave Slocknaw a report on what he had discovered on a Zoltan frigate – one of the emergency fuel cells had drifted by before he made an entrance. On the shuttle trip, Charlie determined it to be viable for a few more jumps.

“And how’s the young lady anyway?” Slocknaw asked with a chuckle to himself. He needed to stop that habit as much as Translator needed to stop polishing his blades in the cargo hold.

“He says his arm has already been replaced with microcloning. That technology sure is impressive” Ruwen informed him “My stasis pod didn’t bring back dead folk.”

“And what are the odds we ended up in a debris field of Rock exiles where the leader just so happened to be related to one of our crew?” Slocknaw asked.

“I’m guessing it’s more likely than you think?” Ruwen replied.

Once the Nesasio was fuelled up, everyone returned to their stations and the ship jumped to the next beacon node. It was in the middle of a very beautiful binary star system, but it held nothing else of interest.

The Nesasio was on the final approach to another node when a Rebel Rigger chassis with purple markings jumped into the system. Upon scanning the cruiser their Captain hailed them. A Human wearing a tricorner hat and an eyepatch shouted “Hah! I am the Dread Pirate Tuco! Prepare to die!”

* * *

Captain Slocknaw couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculous pirate getup “Nice hat Tuco. I see you went with the patch instead of getting yourself a new eye.”

Tuco double-taked at seeing the Slug. “Slocknaw!? Oh I have been waiting for this moment! I have a swarm of drones that’ll destroy your ship from within!” he gloated, pressing a button on his console. Several automated attack drones launched from the ship’s Drone Bay towards the Nesasio.

“You know that fop?” Charlie asked over the comms.

“I wish I didn’t” Slocknaw sighed before asking the crew if they should break off their approach to the exit and fight the idiot or just keep on the same course and jump. It was an almost unanimous agreement the fight wasn’t worth their time. The cruiser cloaked and then jumped away, leaving Tuco dumbfounded as he had to go pick up the stranded drones before someone else came along.

Their next jump also seemed to be an empty system until Slocknaw sensed a massive concentration of mental activity coming from a single area of space. Upon approaching it turned out to be a black market built inside the corpse of a space whale. It would have been a good place to hide their illegal wares from the authorities if they were not already there, walking shoulder-to-shoulder with mercenaries and merchants.

“They probably don’t have the power to shut it down” Slocknaw explained to Charlie “Or even the authorities are sick of the red tape.”

The crew took some quick shore leave and exchanged cargo. Slocknaw immediately sold off weapons they were not planning on using and even got into a mental negotiation war with a weak-minded Slug named Terzack who was insistent on charging high prices for Federation sympathisers. Slocknaw didn’t tell him about his loyalties to avoid the extortion.

“I’d sell you a Hacking Control Module but I sold the last one to a pirate named Tuco. He mentioned someone of your description a lot” the merchant added smugly “Seriously? A Human?”

“We were drunk and he said I started to look attractive” Slocknaw said defensively. “And he was winning two to one at Gemalak.”

“Those childish card games in the Gamma Cluster have ruined lives” Terzack then said sympathetically. Since the rest of his wares were just drones and drone accessories, Slocknaw declined to purchase anything and continued shopping elsewhere.

When he returned back to the Nesasio, he found Ruwen trying to brush off an entourage of Rocks who were trying to cling tightly on his crystalline body. “I know I said I’m a lover and not a fighter, but ladies please, I’m just one man!” he said before looking to the Slug “Get them off Lt.”

Slocknaw chuckled “Sorry sir, but you’re on your own. The best I can do is provide lubrication which is probably the last thing you need.”

The rest of the crew had their own stories to tell as they left the market with a lighter and improved loadout.
Translator and Virus had discussed the finer workings of their automated scout ship pet at a local tavern. A few Engies looked at them with contempt as a Virus and a Lanius together without hostility seemed highly unlikely even to other Viruses and Engi outlaws.

Duna said he went to watch an arena match, although he did not have much to say about it except that it wasn’t very entertaining with the Champion beating everyone easily – most fights didn’t even last a minute and some ended rather strangely.

Charlie’s story was the simplest of them all – he returned to the ship feeling hungover as if he had a full course of blood nanites filtering the alcohol out of him. “It’d be easier to just kill me.”

“Sorry, the poison might pass on to the next life Charlie” Slocknaw chuckled as they prepared to jump to their next destination. He consulted the sector map again and groaned.

“If we are to move on to Vrachos, we may have to run into those monks again” he said, pointing to the beacon marked “Quest.”

The Nesasio jumped to the next beacon in anticipation of another encounter with the Zoltan monks. However when they arrived, the sensors immediately picked up a Rebel Fighter-chassis craft on approach towards the cruiser. They also picked up enormous power readings coming from the surrounding area.

“They’ve dimensionally locked the ship” Virus reported “I didn’t think that it was possible – we can’t engage the cloak.”

“We've found you! You're not getting away this time!” the Rebel ship’s Captain boasted. The Slug felt something was rather odd with the Rebel’s appearance on screen – his lips did not seem to sync up with his voice.

Regardless, if he didn’t do something, that Rebel would attack. Hopefully they’ve scared the monks away, he thought to himself before hailing them “You don’t have to do this! You could always forget this ever happened. Look the other way perhaps?”

The Rebel Captain laughed. “I can't imagine there's anything you could say that will save you. The rebellion must destroy those that are still loyal to the obsolete Federation!”

Obsolete? Yeah because dictatorships are so much better, the Slug thought “Why do you believe that? Is it because you don’t like the decision to allow Slugs into the fold? Apart from the telepathic powers, we’re not that different from you.”
“Exactly! Humans are treated as 'equal' to aliens in the weak Federation. The sacrifice of BILLIONS of alien or human lives are justified if it means we reach our full potential!” the Rebel continued ranting “We are far superior to any of the other aliens. We are common but certainly not uninteresting!”

“Is that what you believe this entire conflict is about? Human superiority?” Slocknaw asked “Because I am quite fine with that belief. I left the Gamma Cluster so I could be less like my friends and family and more like you.”

“But there is no need to go to war over that idea and start destroying everyone in the name of superiority. Perhaps there could be a reconciliation of our ideals without war?”

“Our ideals are too different to be so easily reconciled. You think this could end any way but war?” The Captain asked, his mouth movements clearly delayed by several milliseconds.

Slocknaw then came to a realisation. This is just some test! The monks are probably hiding behind some moon and giggling at our simple minds, he thought to himself before declaring loudly and proudly the old Zoltan proverb “True progress can only be achieved without bloodshed.”

Suddenly all indications of the Rebel ship faded away and a Zoltan fleet appeared, helping explain the massive power readings from earlier. Most of the ships were assigned to the Zoltan Resource Protection Committee but several of them also had the markings of the Order of the Great Eye and the Institute of Drugs and Firearms.

A Zoltan Envoy appeared via a flash of green light next to Slocknaw. She appeared to take on the form of a translucent green-skinned Human wearing the gawdy, lime green robes of the Order of the Great Eye. The Slug thought about how much she looked like a certain Zoltan Charlie kept thinking of.

“Although your methods are crude and most certainly ineffective, it is clear you took our previous meeting to heart. If your ship represents the Federation's willingness to adapt we shall do what we can to aid in their fight” she explained in an echoing voice as if several people were speaking at once through her.

Several shuttles were launched towards the Nesasio, laden with supplies and scrap materials. Slocknaw nodded in approval but also confused by the whole ordeal. The Zoltans already knew very well what the Federation stood for, the Empire being a major part of it. “Thank you?”

The Envoy’s radiant aura disappeared and her robes shifted into a ZRPC uniform. Several energy clouds could be seen phasing through the walls and out into space back towards the fleet. “As an Envoy of the Order of the Great Eye, I have assigned myself to serve on your vessel until the conflict has reached its resolution” she said, her voice sounding singular.

“We’re worthy enough to have an Envoy serve under us?” Slocknaw asked incredulously. He wondered if there was a catch to having a Zoltan monk on the ship.

The Envoy closed her eyes and concentrated her powers into the room around her. The nearby console was reading four bars of power – enough to fully power the Glaive Beam independent of the reactor. “It’s not a matter of worthiness. As an Envoy I have the power to shape the rules of the Order to suit me, so long as I do not cause great harm to my fellow Zoltan.”

“Oh. I was expecting someone uptight and orderly” Slocknaw chuckled “Welcome aboard the Nesasio. I’m going to need a name for the registry though.”

“I was thinking of going with Envoy…”

“Elizabeth?” Charlie shouted incredulously, entering the room “How can you be here? You vanished from existence!”
The Envoy looked to Charlie with a knowing stare and said, looking to the ground sadly “The one you know as Elizabeth was removed from time and space. Forwards and backwards. Even as the stars die and the universe begins again as it always does, Elizabeth will never return. This is the punishment for your violent actions against the Great Eye.”

“Then who are you?” Charlie asked.

“Envoy Trikko” The Envoy looked back up and smiled again. “The Great Eye was not without mercy though. You showed determination andcourage under such impossible odds, violent as it was effective. Personally I think it was more effective than the ridiculous farce with the Rebel ship. At least there you risked everything for a chance of survival.”

Slocknaw remarked that the Rebel ship was a rather silly test. “Glad to see there’s someone in the Order who’s forthcoming.”

“How do I know about all this? I woke up from my meditations with someone else’s knowledge and experience” Trikko said “Before I confuse you any further let me just say this.”

She walked up to Charlie and spread her arms wide to hug him. “Elizabeth or Elizabeth-Trikko I should say thought about you a lot in her final moments” she explained.

Charlie returned the gesture, although he thought about how strange the energy being felt in his arms. After a few more seconds she broke up the hug “Love can break bonds but it is also the strongest in the galaxy – not even the Great Eye can destroy it. Don’t you ever forget that, you hear me?”

Charlie smiled and wiped a tear from his eye as he watched Trikko leave with Slocknaw to the Clone Bay. “Welcome back… friend. I missed you…”

--------------------

Next time on Charlie & The Flagship Factory: Writer's Block strikes the Vrachos Sector.

Also should the First (and/or Second) Law of Gender Bending apply to Charlie? Or should he be switched back at some point? Honestly there isn't much difference between Male!Charlie and Fem!Charlie. It kinda was meant to be a one-off joke for Fight of the Osprey.

But since I am going to rewrite that other fic, this might change a whole lot of things.

Stay tuned... same FTL-Time*, same FTL-channel!

* Time not guaranteed
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby META_mahn » Thu Aug 07, 2014 1:23 am

Rule 63? I'm up for it. :lol:
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby stylesrj » Fri Aug 08, 2014 2:36 pm

Well I've overcome the Writer's Block. Thanks you Captain's Edition for some ideas on how to implement Rock/Crystal relations.
The next chapter might come some time next week, but here's what you might be expecting in it:

A Rock Princess!
Ruwen's backstory!
The Osprey!

Then I've got to conjure up something for the Crystal Empires. I've got very little for the moment in that department. All I know is - Go to Sector. Chased by Rebels. Secure the Bravais (Crystal ship unlock quest). Go to next sector (Rebel Stronghold. Charlie finally finds the Flagship Factory! And it's got plenty of grey tickets. Wait, those are missiles.)

So yeah, a lot not happening until then.
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby Tharsis » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:19 am

Go do the Rock Cruiser unlock quest. Since you have to go from one end of the sector to another, you can use it as some time filler. And it would make a nice battle scene.
"The're coming to destroy us... Why?... We want peace..."
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby stylesrj » Sat Aug 09, 2014 9:41 am

I was thinking the Rock Cruiser quest would be more of a thing the Osprey might do when I get around to the re-rewrite. Having a Crystal onboard is sort of cheating for the Nesasio as he'd say "Howdy friend" and they'd go off to help his cause. :D
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby Tharsis » Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:11 am

Fair enough.

The re-rewrite? One rewrite wasn't enough to fit the amount of awesomeness?
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby stylesrj » Sun Aug 10, 2014 12:11 pm

When I first wrote Fight of the Osprey, it was something like 20 chapters long and they still hadn't even reached Vrachos. The Zoltan Sector had so much going on and I made it a habit to start a new chapter with each cliffhanger and reintroduce everyone.

I then realised "That's a stupid idea" and rewrote it. It then became 10 chapters long and they hadn't even reached Vrachos. Then I added a few more of when they did get there before I stopped writing (Fanfic.net wasn't very active in FTL fanfiction. If the story's been at the top for about a week, chances are there isn't anything new) to write the Nesasio's story, because I was hoping to do staggered updates to drum up activity.

You can see where that went, right? Now I feel like I should re-rewrite Fight of the Osprey. Or I could take it in a different direction. The Nesasio is about fast-paced action and rushing through matters while the Osprey, being a heavier cruiser with artillery is slower and more focused in a sector.

It's only an idea at this moment. I don't plan on major rewrites of this story. Once the literary Rebel Fleet has caught up, it's best not to stay long before the cruisers open fire.
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Re: Charlie & The Flagship Factory - Tale of the Nesasio

Postby delta77thegreat » Sun Aug 17, 2014 4:32 am

I read both this and The Fight of the Osprey last night (Kept me up til 2 haha) and I just have to say, your work is amazing. I used to write fan fiction for another video game but I could never write as good as this.

At any rate keep up the great work!

And when is the next chapter coming out, haha... Excited!

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