FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

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Mr. Bibb
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Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby Mr. Bibb » Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:02 pm

Hey everyone! I LOVE so many things about FTL, but one of its stellar selling points to me is that each and every adventure is different, intense, and contains stories worth telling. I've decided to do a play through on Normal, except write the experience into a cohesive narrative as it progresses. I'll stay true to what happens in the game while taking creative licenses at moments to enhance the readability and story telling potential. But if crew members die, they die, if the ship is destroyed, the story will end.

These... are the Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel.

Jump 0: Arrival in Civilian Space.

A man slowly reached up with a trembling hand to turn off the blaring alarm. And suddenly, there was silence. The man stood, gripping the edges of the command console for support as he breathed in heavy, laboured gasps. Blood ran down his face, pouring from a long gash and dripping onto the controls. It stung his eyes, and for a moment he wondered if it was only the pale, red, luminescence that still flooded the command bridge from the emergency lights, but he no longer cared. He winced and turned on the ship's intercom.

"All remaining crew members of the U.S.S Kestrel... If any of you can walk, then drag whoever else is still breathing... and report to the med bay on level two."

His left arm was broken, and it slid off of the controls. He gasped in pain, but let it hang uselessly at his side while he punched in a command sequence with his right hand. The engines of the Kestrel powered down, and the first officer stepped over his dead captain, staggering towards the door. They hissed as they slid open and shut behind him.

After a few short, shaky, steps, the first officer slumped against the wall. He stayed there for a moment, trying to catch his breath and cradle his arm. The explosions that had rocked the ship still echoed in his mind. Closing his eyes he tried to recall being flung from his seat, but it was all a blur. All he could remember was the fraction of a second he had to raise his hands and brace for impact.

Grunting, he pushed off of the wall and lurched forward, descending to level two and into the room that controlled the door systems. Lights and monitors for computers he didn't fully understand flickered at him, but he pressed on. Again, the doors hissed open and closed, this time revealing a number of stasis pods and automated surgical chambers. Drone systems hung from the ceiling, moving back and forth on cables and rails. They watched him, each peering with a single, green, unblinking eye centered in the middle of their spherical heads.

-Good evening, Captain David Elwood, shall I provide medical assistance?- a synthesized voice asked. David blinked dumbly; the shock was beginning to wear off as the realization dawned upon him. Anticipating this, the medical drone continued, -Sensors indicate that Captain Ben Quinton has expired, is it not correct to assume that the First Officer will be promoted in such a scenario?-

"Y-yeah..." David muttered, looking at the floor. He's really dead... he thought to himself. -Ah- The drone chirped, -Then congratulations are in order for your new promotion, Captain, and my condolences for the circumstances under which it was granted. Might I suggest a quick bout in a surgical chamber while we await the recharge of the FTL drive?-

Elwood nodded, and began to ease himself onto one of the tables when the doors hissed open again, this time from the other side. Coughing, a man emerged, dragging another one from under the arms.
"We got a man down here!" he gasped. Soot marks marred the face of the man still standing, and his uniform was noticeably charred. "He's bleedin' pretty bad..."

-Good evening, Communications Officer Jon Easton, shall I provide medical assistance to you and Engineer Alex Garland?- Drones whizzed over, descending on cables and pistons as they lifted unconscious man onto a surgical table.
"Hunh? Oh, no, I'm... I'm fine I don't need any-" Easton coughed.
-Multiple second degree burns and lungs showing significant amounts of smoke inhalation suggest contrary to the lies from your word hole- the drone interrupted. Mechanical arms ushered him to the third surgical table despite his protests.

David sat up,
"Computer, field dressings only, we need to make room as soon as possible for any other injured crew members." he commanded.
"That's an order!" David barked.
-Sensors indicate all surviving crew of the U.S.S Kestrel are currently located in the Medical Facility-

Elwood's eyes widened, stunned by disbelief while Jon's protests suddenly fell silent.
"M-my God..." Jon muttered. Elwood didn't say anything else. He slid slowly onto his back, staring at the surgical tools lowering over him, no longer noticing them.

He wished the simple supply running crew had never stumbled upon a vital weakness of the rebel fleet. He wished they had come in a better equipped ship. He wished they had never left Federation space. But most of all, he wished this was not his maiden voyage as Captain of the U.S.S. Kestrel.

[[Please feel free to comment! Criticism is both welcome and appreciated!]]
Last edited by Mr. Bibb on Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mr. Bibb
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Jump 1 (part 1): Without Allies, Without Hope.

Postby Mr. Bibb » Sat Oct 20, 2012 1:20 pm

A soft bell tolled throughout the ship, and David shut his eyes tightly. Medical drones still hummed and swirled around the room.
-Captain Elwood, the FTL Drive has completed recharging for the next...-
"I know" David sighed, sliding his legs over the side of the surgical table. He sat upright and buttoned up his shirt. Although he had been in the med bay for almost an hour it had felt like minutes. The surgery had gone smoothly, his arm was set in a black, rubber like cast woven with electromyographic sensors. Nanobots still flooded through his bloodstream, busily repairing damaged tissue and releasing painkillers.

David pushed himself onto the floor and rubbed the bridge of his nose between his forefinger and thumb. Looking back for a moment he saw the other two surviving crew members laying on surgical tables; sleeping while drones monitored vitals and various charts and bars. He slipped out of the room, the doors hissing open and closed behind him.

The doors to the bridge beckoned, opening slowly before him, and through the cockpit he saw it. Thousands of white stars; shimmering, sparkling against the black void of space. Captain Ben Quinton still lay beside the command console, beginning to grow cold. Mournfully, David stepped towards the computer and tried to wipe the blood off of the controls, succeeding only in smearing it before he brought up the star charts of the current sector. Traveling through space at faster than light usually took close to twenty four hours jumps. During that time he could grieve, could wipe the Captain's remains from his uniform, and could plan. But for now he had to keep moving. There was no telling how close behind the Rebel fleet lurked.

The holographic chart filled David's vision. Two beacons blinked dully, signifying safe travel from his current launching point. Furrowing his brow he gripped the console and leaned forward, thinking. This wasn't a sector he was familiar with. One beacon was sending a long wave broadcast of a merchant ship of sorts. The other was a mystery. He knew every moment he stared at the screen with a prepped FTL drive was one that was wasted. Finally, he punched in the co-ordinates for the store. He'd had enough damn surprises for one day.

Engines hummed to life and the ship itself seemed to stretch for a moment before blasting forwards faster than light. The burst of speed was accompanied by a soft echo ringing throughout the ship rather than a dramatic boom; and in a white flash they disappeared.
Last edited by Mr. Bibb on Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby Irregular475 » Sun Oct 21, 2012 6:26 pm

I really like it so far. You have an excellent narrative voice and engaging descriptions. I also thought the way you introduced the characters was pretty clever. Looking forward to the rest!
Mr. Bibb
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Re: FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby Mr. Bibb » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:05 pm

Thanks :D I really appreciate that someones enjoying it :)

I'll get past the first jump and into some space combat soon, I promise XD

Er... Well, I HOPE I do, anyways. I have no idea how the game's going to go beyond the first jump to the store ^_^U

I really hope I don't just get boarded by 4 mantis next to a sun in my second jump -_-u

That reminds me, would anyone like to see screenshots as the game accompanying the story progresses? And if so how frequent? (one per jump, one per combat, one only showing important events, etc?)
Last edited by Mr. Bibb on Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Mr. Bibb
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Jump 1 (part 2): Without Allies, Without Hope.

Postby Mr. Bibb » Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:35 pm

Stars blurred past the ship in white streaks. Once unfathomable distances became twisted by space and time as the ship propelled across the sector at faster than light. Elwood exhaled, usually completing a jump into the safety of warp speed released tension. He wasn't surprised when it didn't this time. Nor was he surprised that it failed to shake his foreboding sense of dread. He slumped down into the captain's chair and rested his broken arm across his lap. Sighing, he rubbed his face with his right hand while his mind began to wander. I... have no idea what to do next... Through his fingertips he could still see the body of his captain lying on the floor, eyes wide open and forever frozen in panic. His memories began flashing vividly.

"We've lost shields!"
"Weapon systems are unresponsive!"
"Oh God he's dead!"
"Put out the fire before it damages the engines or we'll never make the jump!"
"The automated door systems are offline!"
"I'm opening the airlock manually, we have to jump now!"
"Tobias don't do it! Don't-DAMN YOU TOBIAS"
Lights flicker on and off as the ship rocked from another explosion.

Captain Elwood shook his head violently before bolting from the chair. He clenched his fists and swore before leaving the bridge again.


"I'm telling you! I'm fine now!"
-Are you sure? Perhaps you could do with a colonoscopy? It's been ever so long since I've performed a quadruple bypass. When was the last time you had a prostate exam?- the medical drone whirred around the room.
"Leave me alone!" Jon screeched, hurling a metal bedpan that missed and clanged against a cupboard. An obese man with a short stubby beard that cut across his double chin lay on the remaining surgery table, holding his head like it was all just another hangover. Making a growl that sounded remarkably similar to an angry bear he half rolled over,
"Will you shut up?!" He shouted, spewing bits of spit. Jon and the medical drone both froze. "Tryin' to get sum... damn sleep..." he muttered, rolling away from them.

-If you wish, Engineer Alex Garland, you may rest in your quarters. You are fully recovered now-
"I would," Garland grumbled. "if Tobias hadn't blasted himself and half of my shit out the airlock." The room suddenly fell silent.
"He... He saved us..." Jon said quietly.
"Ha!" Garland laughed. "'Saved'... He didn't 'save' anyone... he bought us a couple hours until the rebels catch up and blow the rest of us to hell." The surly engineer rummaged through his pocket and produced a flask. He took a soundless swig before stopping and shaking it upside down. A single drop splattered to the floor of the medical bay. Swearing he sat up and pushed himself off of the table. "Got anything to drink around here, robot?"

-The only alcoholic substance contained within the medical facility would be a highly concentrated ethanol solution used for making an archaic antiseptic- the drone chirped. It whizzed over along the ceiling rails before lowering to a drawer which opened with a pneumatic hiss. Garland shuffled over and took the glass vial of clear, colourless liquid.

"A-Alex! That's-that's basically POISON!" Jon protested.
"Maybe fer you... Pansy." Garland muttered as he emptied it into his flask. The two were so engrossed in their argument they never noticed the door opening as Elwood re-entered the room. He leaned against the wall and watched the two of them fight for a bit.
"What would the captain say?!" Jon finally pleaded while trying to wrestle the flask from him.
"He wouldn't say nuthin' cause he's DEAD damn it!" Garland snarled, violently pushing the communications officer back. "Didn't you hear the drone? We're the only ones left alive!"
"I-I know... But..." Jon stopped, trying, but failing, to find the words.
"But what?" Garland asked. "But you wanna hang in there? Fight the good fight? Go out guns blazing? 'Cause life ain't like that. No sir. In the end.... In the end you die like Tobias, getting sucked out a damn airlock and exploding in space like a bloated slug. We are dead men walking, Easton.... might as well make the best of it."

Jon frowned, defeated. The room quickly became quiet save for the heavy breathing of the engineer and the beeping of machines monitoring vitals. It was a while before anyone broke the silence.

"We're headed to a store..." Elwood said slowly. The communications officer and engineer turned sharply, both surprised to find that their first officer had returned to the med bay. "We'll see if we can drop you off there, Alex."
"Wait... What?" Garland muttered, blinking. Elwood inhaled deeply.
"Federation Starship Protocol states I'm now acting Captain of this vessel, but I can't force you to come with us." He said. Garland laughed so hard his stomach shook.
"So what, you let me walk while the two of you clowns actually make a run for it? I'm the only one who knows how to fix anything on this floating piece of junk! Let alone run the engines! You wouldn't last 2 jumps." He scoffed. Elwood shrugged.
"You signed up for a supply running mission through civilian and federation space... But that mission ended when over half the crew was killed and our path blocked by the Rebel armada. I can't force either of you to come on this new mission."

Jon watched, wide eyed, until he finally swallowed and asked:
"Which is...?" Elwood stared back at them, gaze sturdy and unblinking.
"To deliver the vital information to the Federation, and to put down this rebellion once and for all."
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Re: FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby ComCreeper » Fri Oct 26, 2012 2:14 pm

Excellent job so far, great detail on the characters and setting. Pictures would be quite nice, I think.
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Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2012 7:47 pm

Re: FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby scooter » Sat Oct 27, 2012 12:37 am

This is Awesome I can't wait for the next installment
Mr. Bibb
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Jump 1 (part 3): It's Time

Postby Mr. Bibb » Tue Oct 30, 2012 2:37 pm

Sector Map: Civilian Space.

Jon pushed his eyebrows together and frowned, watching his own worried expression in the mirror. His long, reddish brown hair was neatly combed for once, but it still seemed to continue its tendency to slip in front of his eyes every so often. He straightened out his Federation uniform, freshly cleaned and pressed. Every trace of blood was gone. Normally, he liked wearing the uniform; it hid his thin frame relatively well, and helped to boost his shaky confidence. But not today. Sighing, Jon leaned forward and grabbed the edges of the sink, running the earlier conversation over in his mind.

"W-what?! B-but why me, Davi-I mean... Captain?" Jon stuttered.
"Easton," Elwood sighed, "I still need to go over the sector's star charts and plan a route... And Alex is going to be busy getting the automated door systems back online so he can start running repairs. Believe me; if I felt your skills were better suited for anything else, I'd handle it myself."
"R-right..." Jon exhaled, looking at his feet.

Elwood hadn't said a Communications Officer was useless during a crisis, but to Jon he may as well have. Doing his best to gather himself up, Jon brushed off his uniform once more and left the room. It was time.

The ship's bridge was bathed in a dim light as holographic stars and planets hung suspended in the air. David held his chin, peering at them, drawing invisible lines and calculating distances. He traced a pathway through the lower beacons, but the jump to reach them appeared it might be beyond their FTL drive capabilities. Elwood narrowed his eyes, even if he could reach it, the end of the pathway looked like another risky jump to make it to the sector's exit beacon.

He moved the map and watched the galaxy shift before his very eyes. A higher road of beacons were connected more tightly, but threaded directly through a dense nebula. No, no nubulas... I can't take any risks. He thought; shaking his head he examined the lower course again. If I try the safer path we run the risk of having to back track halfway across the sector, and the rebel fleet are as close behind us as I think...

"Damn it!" He swore, striking the control panel. First day as Captain and I'm plotting between a suicide mission and a blind route through ambushes and Ion storms... He ran both of his hands over his bald head; short, prickly hair was beginning to bristle up again. He needed to shave.

A soft chime filled the bridge and Elwood sighed.
"Come in," the doors hissed open and Jon stepped through them. He swallowed and looked to the Captain, simply saying:
"It's time." Elwood nodded slowly and keyed in a quick command sequence. The dim light faded as the map flickered and disappeared. Regular lighting returned to the bridge as the doors hissed open and closed behind the Communications Officer and the Captain.

Garland grunted with effort. He lay on his back underneath one of the large computers that controlled the automated door systems. The fried circuit he was trying to replace was just out of his reach, notably because his gut was stopping him from getting further into the machine than he would have liked. He wheezed, straining.
"Damn.... Federation hunks of... space crap... built by starving little... Ethiopian sons of..." the chip finally clipped into place and Garland let out a loud sigh of relief. Suddenly the door hissed open.

"Alex?" Jon asked. There was a loud bang of skull hitting metal as the Engineer jumped. Jon bolted back like a frightened animal while Garland quickly elicited a very long, and very elaborate, string of curse words that would have shocked a Mantis. He finally pulled himself from under the control systems, face a deep red as he prepared to shout until he saw the Captain standing beside Jon, arms crossed and unimpressed.

"It's Time," The Captain said simply. The Engineer's flush immediately began to die down as he nodded slowly.
"That was... That was quick." He said, still breathing a bit heavily. "Uh... Good timing, door systems should be online now. I doubt we'd be able to do this without 'em." The rest of the crew nodded, and gave Garland a moment to clean up before proceeding in silence.

"Starboard airlock or portside?" Elwood asked while the three of them walked.
"Starboard..." Jon answered slowly. "I uh... thought it would be more appropriate."

The three of them stopped just outside of the Starboard airlock. Four men were arranged side by side on the floor inside of it, eyes closed and arms crossed, all wearing formal Federation uniforms.
"Yeah..." Garland muttered, a very slight, but different, redness returning to his face. "I think he woulda liked that..." He could still see Stephen, see the young weapons operator bristling with enthusiasm and confidence, sitting across from him in the mess hall.

"Hey... What's your favourite side?" Stephen asked around a mouthful of food.
"Whut?" Garland replied after a long chug.
"You know! Your favourite side of the ship!"
"That's stupid... "
"C'mon... You work on this rig all day, she's got a personality too! Don't tell me the guy who won't even let Federation mechanics touch his 'precious engine' thinks she's just a floating hunk of space metal..." Stephen smirked. Garland put down his drink, staring into it for a moment. He had his reasons he didn't want people going into the engine room, he decided to play along.
"Fine, how about port...?" He said finally.
"'Cause it reminds you of the drink?" Stephen asked. Alex grinned before lifting his glass again.
"Ya got me..." He chuckled. "All right... I'll bite. What's yours?" he asked after another draught.

Stephen leaned back in his chair,
"Starboard." He said, smiling broadly. Garland raised an eyebrow, waiting for him to go on. "Portside's boring. It's just named after the side ships used to dock on... But starboard? Thousands of years ago it was once called 'Steer Board' since they used a flat board like oar to steer, and it was on the right side since people were usually right handed. Now, millennia later, I walk to that side of the ship, and what do I see...? Stars, uncountable stars as far as the eye can see... They never could've known we'd be flying here, through them. Navigating a place they thought so far away, so unobtainable it was called 'the heavens'."

Garland ran his tongue over his teeth.
"Yer point...?" He muttered.
"C'mon, Alex, isn't that incredible? Doesn't that kind of coincidence just blow your mind? It's like, everything's connected, cyclical, you know? Not just cold and random. When I think starboard, I think life's got meaning." He said, nodding matter-of-factually. The Engineer shook his head slowly.
"Our gunner's a poet... God musta been right drunk when he slapped those two halves together to make you, boy." He said. Stephen laughed as he speared a potato with his fork and stuffed it into his mouth, still grinning while he chewed it.

He lay still now; motionless and silent beside his comrades. Alex wiped his eyes.
"They uh... they look good. Peaceful." he muttered. Jon nodded slowly.
"Yeah well... The... Medical drone helped clean and prepare them..."

An uneasy silence settled amongst the three of them. They lost five in that terrible attack. The panic and destruction, the speed and devastation that it all took place in was now a mockery of the quiet that pervaded.

Elwood took a deep breath, looking to his two remaining comrades.
"We... Don't have a lot of time. We'll open the airlock near an upcoming star so they don't just.... float out there. If anyone has anything they want to say, now's the time."

Jon approached the airlock, looking down for a moment. I bet... Everyone wishes I was sucked out that airlock instead of Tobias... Or that I traded place with anyone else in that room... He thought, placing his hand on the window. He opened his mouth to speak, to tell those who could no longer hear him "I wont let you down." But when he tried to do so, he found instead he simply whispered "I'm sorry." Jon stepped back and bowed his head.

Garland took his turn, placing his hand on the door.
"Sit tight boys..." he muttered. "We'll be sending an entire damn rebellion to keep you company." He took a swig from his hip flask and sighed heavily. "That or... We'll be seeing you real soon." he rapped the door twice and stepped back.

After a few moments of silence, Elwood stepped forward, his good arm held tightly at his side while the black-caste arm was crossed over his abdomen. He stood rigid and straight; he knew that now, more than ever, he had to be strong. To inspire hope and confidence in those that still lived. He spoke loudly and clearly:

"These men achieved the highest honour of mankind. The greatest claim of the noble spirit. To die not only for friends and loved ones, but to die for a cause greater than oneself. Greater than the exchange of borders, greater than the trials and tribulations of an age. They died for an idea, for a notion. They sacrificed their lives for peace. Do not ask why we live while they die, but ask how we may die so others will live. Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum," he placed his hand over the large emergency release for the airlock.
"If you wish for peace, prepare for war."

The never ending silence of space became the grave to four more souls, drifting slowly towards the glowing sphere of a brightly burning star. Those that lived raced onwards, unable to stop and look back, unable to take the time they wished to grieve.

The mission continued.
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Re: FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby Cocapelli » Thu Nov 01, 2012 4:59 am

fun. you really have me pulling for this already blooded crew.

i really hope you do not end up, like i often do with all new replacements. the engl are easy to write in, but when a new, random mantis that i randomly picked up suddenly becomes Captain because everyone is dead, usually wants to go pirate himself :)
Mr. Bibb
Posts: 13
Joined: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:11 pm

Re: FTL The Final Voyages of the U.S.S Kestrel

Postby Mr. Bibb » Sun Nov 04, 2012 5:26 am

Cocapelli wrote:fun. you really have me pulling for this already blooded crew.

i really hope you do not end up, like i often do with all new replacements. the engl are easy to write in, but when a new, random mantis that i randomly picked up suddenly becomes Captain because everyone is dead, usually wants to go pirate himself :)

XD Well if that's what happens, that's what happens! I admit that would be pretty fun to write in. I'm going to be pretty busy this weekend, but I've got the next bit lined out and ready to be typed up, so I'll have new stuff posted on monday.

Thanks to everyone for the comments and suggestions! :D

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