Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby stylesrj » Mon May 11, 2015 8:04 am

Another week another new chapter. The Rebel Fleet is catching up and soon I'll be on edge to get the next chapter out each week. My latest writing puts the ship at the end of the Gamma Cluster and towards the Zoltan Homeworlds (I mean holy crap, seven chapters for one sector so far! Charlie & the Flagship Factory was one sector per chapter!)

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Captain Douglas Jensen ordered his crew to battle stations, while engaging the thrusters at the same time to get the Osprey off the planet’s surface. His ship was a sitting duck to enemy laser fire – atmospheres tended to cause problems with energy shields to require them to be switched off.

“Rebel ship, I recommend you don’t come any closer” Douglas warned the enemy “Abadoth wasn’t just turned into a forbidden zone for any reason…”

“I don’t care who you are, but no one defies the Rebel Fleet!” the Rebel Captain replied with a very snobbish laugh.
Do they always have to say that? Douglas thought to himself, looking to the tiny purple-skinned woman sitting on the console “Well I tried. Are there any holes in reality to exploit around here, Kass?”

“Unfortunately the FTL Beacons have done a good job at sealing off those hole” Kassandra said.

“Damn” Douglas said “What about ghost powers? You said your grandfather could smash fleets into glass. Did you inherit anything from that?”

“No one goes into Hyperspace these days, so I wouldn’t know if I had special powers. Anything else you’d like shot down?”

“You still know how to use a shield system?” Douglas asked “Because we need a skilled operator.”

Kassandra pulled her hands forward and made a cracking sound. “I’m more of a pilot these days but I should be able to figure out the controls.”

She headed for the shield generator room – Douglas expected her to simply phase through the walls to get there but instead she took the air vents. “Looks like Post-Order Zoltan Tech. And your last programmer left a helpful note in a long dead language” she said once she was at the console.

Lasers impacted with the barrier as she said that. “Marsha had a strange way of looking at things. Can you manage it?”

The ghost got to work, tapping furiously on the console as she diverted power from different areas around the bubble to focus on higher-risk sections and leaving a surplus of power. To Douglas, this translated as a more rapid recharge rate on his display.

Then a missile flew into the barrier and exploded as if impacting with a Zoltan Energy Shield rather than going through. The entire ship shook violently and upon examining the display, Douglas noticed that the Shield Room was on fire and one of the emitter arrays had been destroyed in the process, sending sparks everywhere.

“What the hell was that?” he asked, ordering the Engi Two-Zar to help Kassandra deal with the fire and repairs.
“That was the Overcharge Function” Kassandra replied over the sounds of several extinguishers. Two-Zar seemed to be showing off, running about the room spraying chemicals from both arms at the flames.

Kassandra looked at the extinguisher under the console, realised it would be too heavy to carry and decided to go to the damaged emitter with a multi-tool. “Is the backflipping even necessary for an Engi?”

“There’s an Overcharge Function?” Douglas asked.

“It’s next to the Modulator Controls” Kassandra replied “Although considering what it does to the emitters, I can see why most ships wouldn’t use them or at least leave it to the Zoltan.”

“Can I suggest you not do that again?” Douglas asked, spinning the Osprey around to give the guns a better shot at the Rebel ships. Now that they left orbit, he could get a better look at what he was facing.

Only one of the Rebel ships seemed to be actively in motion – a Rigger-class ship. The other two ships were drifting in the direction they had arrived in. “Looks like they suffered a power failure” Ensign Robert Smith chittered over the comms.

“Considering the disturbance on the way in here, I’m not surprised” Douglas said as the lasers fired at the Rigger. The Rebel ship took several hits to their shield room. A few sparks could be seen but unfortunately no major fires broke out that would hinder repairs.

“Nice shot, Federation scum!” the Rebel Captain taunted “But you think it’ll be that easy to destroy me?”
Douglas frowned “Your tiny ship is taking on a cruiser. So yes, if you keep this up.”

“Well, does your cruiser have one of these?” the Rebel asked before his transmission cut, followed by the entire ship vanishing from the display.

“A cloaking device. I didn’t think they fit those on Riggers” Douglas said, ordering an active scan. Naturally it didn’t pick up where the enemy ship had vanished to otherwise the targeting computers would be able to acquire a firing solution.

In the shield room, Kassandra saw a small yellow ship darting in front of her eyes like it was a toy, even though the two ships were fighting well outside of visual range. She gasped in surprise.

“That’s new…” she commented, reaching outwards with one hand to see if she could touch it. The ghost felt the hull brush up against her fingers before the ship then vanished, reappearing in the normal world again.

The Rigger reappeared facing the wrong way from the Osprey before opening fire into empty space.

Douglas briefly wondered why it would do that before opening fire with all the guns as soon as the targeting computer found a firing solution. Lasers slammed into the Rigger and a sweep of the Vindicator Beam finished them off. The ship’s reactor exploded from the damage and scattered into sizeable chunks for the Osprey to swoop in and grab before moving towards the beacon.

A quick scan of the Fighters indicated that they had suffered a complete loss of power and they’d be running out of life support soon. Their crews had gathered in the Shield Room and joined hands together. Without a chance for rescue, they’re probably going to die slowly as the air runs out. Why not sing a song to make it happen faster? he thought to himself, engaging the FTL drive and moving back onto the path that would get them out of the Gamma Cluster soon.

* * *
The capital of the Numa Rockman Tribe was a barren desert world covered in sandstone rock formations. A vast tunnel network on the surface indicated an advanced Rock civilisation.

“This must be the place we were asked to deliver the passenger” Captain Douglas Jensen said to his crew as the Osprey approached one of the nearby moons. A brown Rock Assault-class ship with two brown Fighter-class ships was waiting for them.

Within the cargo hold of the Osprey, the Rock(wo)man passenger suddenly started bashing her fists upon the blast door. “I’m not going with them!” she shouted to Douglas.

“You what?” Douglas asked, incredulous that the Princess had decided to speak up now.

“He’s an evil, ruthless man! He’s also a coward and a weakling!” the Princess explained “I’ve seen what your crew is capable of and I’d rather fight with you squishy meatbags than be…!”

“Ariadne, it’s common to get cold feet… or whatever you call it before a wedding” Douglas said “I felt the same way with my wife. Something about her that made me nervous…”

“At least you had a choice. I have to marry a coward. I refuse to carry through with this farce!” Ariadne shouted back “Tell them that…”

The Assault hailed the Captain. Douglas went back to the helm to oversee and make sure everything was in place. “To the alien vessel holding the Basilisk's wife. Deliver her to us. You will be rewarded... well.”

Douglas looked at the Rockman on the screen. He was a smooth, brown sandstone alien with glowing green eyes. His face was adorned with a dry moss that formed what Humans called a “goatee” and wore green military fatigues with a patrol cap.

“Who am I addressing?” Douglas politely inquired.

“Pentimo. Advisor to the glorious Grand Basilisk Sandry of Numa V. Long may he live as he already has!” the Rock stated before he quickly glanced back to his crew as if thinking of something else to say. “So, now that you know who I am, could you hand over the princess? Sandry doesn’t like having outsiders transport her more than they are needed.”

“Certainly” Douglas said, wondering if this Rock was new at his job of being a xenophobic alien advisor. He decided to try a bit of what his father called “Negotiation tactics” in order to get the better deal. “But first can we see what the reward is? Make it worth our while.”

Pentimo looked to one of his Rocks “Show him the laser!”

“But sir, he hasn’t shown…” “Show him the laser. This Human is being pushy. I like pushy.”

The feed switched to the Assault’s cargo hold where a large ship-mounted gun was sitting on a loading pallet. It was largely box-shaped with two lights on the top and a cylindrical barrel at the front. Holy crap, that’s a Burst Laser Mk.II, Douglas thought to himself, Captains tend to snatch them up pretty quickly in stores.

The Osprey already had one such weapon mounted on the side – a typical Vindicator-Class Cruiser would have had two but with the Rebellion straining resources, rationing of guns was in effect to supply more ships.

“Happy Human? Now hand over Ariadne” Pentimo demanded “We’ll give you the gun afterwards.”

Douglas put a hand to his chin in contemplation “I don’t know if I can trust you. What’s to say I hand over the Princess and you keep the gun, leaving me without anything? How about you send a team over to install it on my ship and I deliver the Princess?”

Pentimo’s eyes glowed brightly, as the rock formation in his head narrowed, as if glaring. “Fine! The only reason I trust you is that because you’re Federation. You’re obligated not to renege on a deal.”

Douglas held his hands up in surrender “You’ve got me there Pentimo. After all, if we don’t follow the rules, what makes us any better than those repugnant bandits?”

“Like the ones who attacked the transport ship. Claimed to be of the Engi Brigade of all things… Engies! There’s someone you can’t trust! Stupid machines!” Pentimo ranted as his crew were shaking their heads or putting their arms to their faces. Douglas realised he truly had found a winner in negotiators.

As the work-crews were attaching the laser to the Osprey, Douglas went to check on the Princess. “I’m sorry that it has to be like this Ariadne” he said to her “You have been helpful during the last few encounters but you have a duty to play much like I do. You might not like it, but I don’t like it either.”

“Only because you think the Numa Tribe will protect you from the Rebels” Ariadne grumbled “May your children erode into dust.”

She pouted and turned away with her entourage towards the Rock shuttle moving into the cargo bay. Douglas sighed and looked at the ground in shame, shuffling back to his station with a cup of cold soma to calm his nerves. “They already have…” he mumbled to himself. There was nothing else to be done after all.

As he prepared to spin up the FTL drive however, Lieutenant Slugger said over the comms “Captain, there’s Human lifesigns on the far side of Numa V.”

Douglas perked up “What?”

“They’re in sensor range” Ensign Marsha Glade said “Holy crap! It’s Rebel Cruisers and Rock ships, side-by-side!”
Douglas dropped the mug and brought up his command display at the helm. “We’ve made a huge mistake” he said to the crew “The Numa Tribe won’t work against the Rebels, they’re working for them!”

“What are your orders Captain?” Slugger asked.

Douglas contemplated the situation. I could run away now and hope they don’t spot me, he thought to himself, but if I let the Princess marry the Grand Basilisk, Vrachos might join the Rebels as well. That will not bode well for the Federation if two of the most powerful Rock Tribes join forces against us. I have no choice, Ariadne must be rescued!

He powered up the Burst Lasers and designated the Rock Assault as a target. “We’re going in. Battle stations. This wedding is cancelled.”

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

Next week, they'll still be in the Gamma Cluster!
But hopefully they'll move on from there. The sector map path should be as follows -

Civilian - Rock - Engi - Nebula - Zoltan HW - Rock HW - Rebel/Automated - Last Stand
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby stylesrj » Tue May 19, 2015 3:22 am

Thank you everyone for your attention. While I'd appreciate someone to review my work and tell me where things don't make sense or if anything should happen to make the story more enjoyable, I'm happy enough to see that people are actually viewing the story both here and on Fanfic.net.

Until told otherwise, I will keep on writing.

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“I would like to apologise for not getting back in touch with you after my death” Kassandra said to Captain Douglas Jensen as the Osprey jumped to the next beacon “You became very hard to find.”

“I took an assignment to the borderworlds to avoid being targeted by the assassins who got you” Douglas said “Although if you think I lost trust in anyone, you’d be sorely mistaken. So what happened after you came back as a ghost?”

“I had to assume the identity of Doctor Nabaal” the purple ghostly woman said, scratching the back of her head.
Douglas remembered Two-Zar had said something about trace amounts of Engi nanocells inside the corpse of his wife. But such genetic mergers were almost impossible. “Assume his identity? How?”

“I didn’t beat up that Engi, I… possessed him” Kassandra said sheepishly looking at the floor. Douglas looked shocked and confused by this revelation. “It was difficult for me to understand as well.”

“Yeah I know Kass, but the body in cryo-storage looks nothing like an Engi’s” Douglas said.

“When I possess a body, it takes on some of my traits. At first, the visor was purple… then the tool hands turned into fingers…” Kassandra explained, gesturing wildly with her hand.

“Until they eventually become you” Douglas said with a nervous gulp “How long did the process take?”

“About a week… maybe two” Kassandra said “Once I realised what was happening, I went into hiding until I was certain I looked like myself. Then I made up a story of killing the Engi and assumed the identity of another mysterious mercenary roaming the stars.”

“Sounds romantic, although probably a lot more dangerous than being a starship Captain or a medevac pilot” Douglas said, looking at the sensors. He couldn’t get a good reading inside the nebula cloud – too much interference but the proximity sensors were picking up movement.

Kassandra continued talking “I then discovered Doctor Nabaal had friends… and they started hunting me down.”

Douglas remembered seeing her unconscious body on the asteroid base several jumps ago with a dead pirate nearby. No wonder she survived the radiation that long. The Engi nanocells must have given her some help, he thought to himself.

“Proximity alert!” Ensign Robert Smith shouted over the comms. A trio of Zoltan Noether Class Cruisers had jumped into the system. There was a massive ping from their sensors and they immediately charged weapons.

“This is Envoy Teldarin of the Neo Order of the Great Eye broadcasting to the Federation warship. We are entering the Forbidden Zone of Abadoth and your pathetic cruiser will not stand in our way” the Envoy shouted.

Captain Douglas Jensen nervously tugged at the controls. Facing a Zoltan Energy Bomber or two was one thing he could handle, but three Cruisers was just suicide. He had to defuse the situation quickly. “We’re not in your way. We were just leaving actually…”

“Silence Human! You think Zoltan Law will protect you from our wrath?” the Envoy interrupted “That we can be persuaded by reason to turn around? We are on a mission to Abadoth to finish the Great Eye’s work once and for all!”

“Really guys, I’m not going to…” Douglas started but the Zoltan interrupted again “For thousands of years our ancestors have refused to enter this place of damnation! They said it was a place of death. But we choose not to believe in that myth and instead have…”

Douglas groaned “I haven’t got time for this! Do what you like, I’m leaving!”

He diverted full power towards the engines and rocketed past the cruisers and towards the next beacon, their last words mentioning something about burning out the devil’s home and killing him. One of the ships took a potshot with a missile and roughed up the hull.

Kassandra said “As far as I’m concerned, those cultists can have the dustball. My grandfather’s not coming back, that’s for certain. Not when he has imaginary ships to fight.”

Once the FTL drive had charged and he jumped away to another nebula beacon did Douglas stop to assess the damage and talk to the crew about the next course of action. He stood in the room he designated for briefings with the rest of his crew “Now that we’ve investigated Abadoth, I believe it’s high time we get back on track with the objective. We need to get out of this sector and towards a less nebulous zone.”

“Well what’s on the list of places to go?” the Rock(wo)man Debbie asked.

Douglas brought up the sector map, projecting a 3D model for the crew’s benefit. The Osprey had already travelled through 3 dots marked on a line – two green and one red while it was hovering over a purple dot.

“Admiral Tully gave us a map of the optimal path to take. He’s was highly uncertain though on where everything led” Douglas explained “But what we do know is that we have two choices at the exit beacon. One green and the other red.”

“That’s all the intel we’ve got Captain?” Ensign Robert Smith chittered angrily.

Kassandra leapt up onto the table in one jump “Not quite Robert. This sector borders between the coreworlds of the Zoltan Empire and the Shoulder of Orion. Both would appear to be viable choices – although I prefer the Zoltan Homeworlds if anything.”

“I thought you’d hate the Zoltan” Robert commented “Considering what they did to your home.”

“I hated the Empire, not the people who lived in it” Kassandra said “I made it my first destination after leaving the asteroid. The people had no idea who I was or where I was from.”

She smiled “It was a real eye-opener for me. The Zoltan are just people living under a bad regime. It’s actually a nice place with planets much better matching the term of “tropical paradise” than Abadoth ever did.”

Suddenly the ship’s proximity warnings sounded. “Another ship? This nebula is full of them” Douglas asked before ordering everyone back to their stations. He was immediately hailed by a Slug ship. Douglas could tell right away it was trouble – it was twice his ship’s size and covered in portholes. A Slug Cruise Barge. Probably fitted for the slave trade, he thought to himself hoping that the Slugs didn’t just hear that.

The hail said “Please, your worthy alien highnessesss, we are unarmed and sseeking asssylum.”

I somehow doubt that, Douglas thought to himself as he engaged the engines, cautiously approaching the vessel. “We can provide you with an escort if you’d like until you’re in a safer area. We’ve got plenty of firepower to destroy any foolish pirate vessel that comes our way.”

“Thankssss Human! Ssssome Zoltan ssships came passst and nearly killed usss!” the Slug said “Why would they do that? We ressspect their decision over the Forbidden Zone…”

“Who knows what the Zoltan think?” Douglas said to the Captain “Where do you need an escort to anyway?”

The transport then turned around and deployed weapons from hidden hatches in the hull – a Glaive Beam and two Burst Laser Mk.II weapons. “Your grave!” the Captain laughed, firing the fully-charged guns at the cruiser.

“An ambush. How original” Douglas groaned, putting a hand to his head in disgust before engaging the emergency thrusters to avoid the incoming laser strikes. Two of the shots impacted with the shields and the Glaive Beam swept over the hull, scoring major damage to several systems.

Douglas was glad his console didn’t explode in the process as he double-checked the sensor display only to pull up static. “Debbie, charge the lasers. Target their shields.”

“With pleasure… where are their shields? This isn’t a Slug ship I know” the Rock said “I can’t see them.”

“Maybe this will clear your head!” the Slug Captain taunted, pressing a button on his console. Debbie was suddenly smashing her rocky fists against the console, tearing out the circuits before slamming into a bank of capacitors for the Burst Lasers.

Mind Control device… Douglas thought to himself as weapons control defaulted back to his station. “Must crush capacitors!” Debbie chanted.

Robert chittered angrily. “Captain, can I have permission to board enemy vessel and destroy the mind control device?”

Douglas contemplated the idea. It would be most prudent to send the Mantis to carve up the Slugs. But a boarding operation typically required two people and Douglas didn’t have anyone to spare except for himself. Robert can’t go alone… it’s a slave ship and he’ll need backup, he thought.

Kassandra spoke up “I’d like to go with him. These Slugs are obviously scum for attacking under false pretences.”
“Kass, I know you’re a capable fighter but you’re several orders of magnitude smaller than they are. You can’t even wield a blaster against the Slugs” Douglas said to the ghost.

“But they may have slaves who can” Kassandra said with a smile “And so far possession is the only ghostly power I know I have.”

Douglas sighed. “Robert, Kassandra. Go ahead. Board that cruiser and watch out for the mind control device… Two-Zar, you’re going to subdue Debbie until she regains her senses. Then we’ll send her onboard as quickly as possible to assist if needed.”

The Engi in the Engine Room made a very loud beeping tone before stating in his usual monotone “Acknowledged. Commencing Dangerous Suicide Protocol 23.”

* * *

“Acknowledged. Commencing Dangerous Suicide Protocol 23” Two-Zar said as the Osprey swooped in over the transport barge.

“No need for sarcasm on me Two-Zar” Captain Douglas Jensen replied “After all, the Rebellion is here and we need all the sarcasm we can get.”

The transport barge hailed the cruiser. A Rock dressed in green appeared on the screen “Captain… ummm what do you think you’re doing? You can’t stay for wedding! No outsiders allowed!”

“Then what are those Rebel ships doing there Pentimo?” Douglas asked “They’ve got an ADW with your Grand Basilisk’s name on it?”

“Those Rebel ships? They’re clearly pirates! Yeah pirates in stolen cruisers! I hate those filthy bandits!” Pentimo replied nervously before his ship suddenly shuddered. The Osprey had pulled alongside the vessel and had deployed the service bridge.

Several people came marching down, suited and armed with heavy firepower. Taking point was the brutish Human Artyom in his powered armour, giving him strength comparable to that of the Rockmen of Vrachos IV.

Upon reaching the airlock doors, he pulled back his fist and delivered a mighty punch to the door, causing a small dent in the plating. “Knock knock! ZRPC!” he declared “Open up! Weapons licensing! Needs checking!”

Behind him was Lieutenant Slugger in an adaptive gel suit designed for his Slug physiology. The form-fitting garment came with a built-in flight pack and pores to allow secretion of a self-repair gel. “I doubt that’ll work soldier” he said, raising his blaster rifle.

Ensign Marsha Glade pushed herself forward in her own gel suit, with a non-regulation hood draped over the top of it to try and wreath her face in shadows. She smashed the nearby control panel open with the butt of her blaster rifle and tore out several wires, connecting them to a cracking device.

“I keep telling everyone they need to switch to ANODYNE” she commented “Morgan.NET has way too many vulnerabilities.”

The blast doors flung open and the three stormed into the Rock barge. Slugger began cutting at the doors with a boarding torch while Marsha began another software crack. The crew could hear the guards taking up positions on the other side.

“Just give me a few more seconds, sir” Marsha said “They’ll be expecting you to force the doors open, not a hacking attempt.”

There was a green light on her side of the door and she told Slugger to stand aside and let Artyom take the first shots. The two soldiers stood to the sides as the door opened, leaving the Rocks surprised as they saw an unattended boarding torch on the ground and an angry Human in a suit of power armour, armed with a heavy blaster cannon.

The statement of “You are what you eat” was most certainly true for the Rockmen. Most Rocks chose to settle on harsh planets full of solid materials like granite or marble in order to make themselves strong.

The Numa Tribe lived on worlds of more fragile rocks such as sandstone. While they were still tougher than Humans in strength and endurance, compared to other Rock tribes, they were fragile.

As Artyom blasted with his heavy cannon, the nearby guards started collapsing into glass or sand. “Told you to keep them in order” he laughed, storming down the corridor “Now let’s go rescue princess, da?”

Marsha sighed and followed closely behind, before saying to Slugger teasingly “Try and catch up sir.”

Meanwhile, Princess Ariadne of Vrachos IV was sitting glumly in one of the passenger compartments of the transport barge. The entire room had been decorated in a wide range of colourful (but mostly pink) items that would have befitted a typical fairy-tale Princess.

But as Ariadne sat on the bed, all she could think about was the impending marriage with the Grand Basilisk. She didn’t want her life for the next few thousand years to be some other Rockman’s pet or doll; only brought out for the guests to admire.

“The sandstoner doesn’t appreciate a good fight” she moped “Being a princess sucks. I should never have returned home.”

She walked up to the brown metal door and knocked hard “Are we there yet?”

The Rockman guarding the door opened the latch at the top, revealing the bars in the door’s window. Despite the pretty surroundings, Ariadne was essentially inside a prison cell. A gilded cage, she thought to herself.

“It’s been five minutes since you got here so no. Sit down and shut up!” the guard replied “Before I start asking that question myself! I can’t wait for you to get off this ship!”

Ariadne grumbled and sat back down. Stupid Humans. They like a good fight and then go ahead and stab you in the back anyway… she thought to herself just as the sounds of gunfire picked up.

“What’s happening?” she asked rather eagerly, approaching the door again. If there’s a fight going on out there I want to be a part of it, she thought excitedly.

The guard replied harshly “Stay down Princess and shut up. It’s nothing…”

His head exploded into sand particles, coating the Princess in sand. Then a voice shouted out “Stand back! I plant bomb on door!”

Ariadne recognised that voice. It was the brutish Human with the suit of armour. Artyom? But what is he doing here? Did he disobey his Captain for me? Ariadne thought to herself before standing back.

There was a slight BANG as the door exploded out of its frame. Ariadne turned as it flew past her and grabbed it by the bars, holding it like a shield. As the shadow of a Human crept into the room, she immediately brought it down upon him.

An armoured hand grabbed her arm, followed by “Easy Princess. Captain sent us to rescue you.”

“You Humans are insane!” Ariadne shouted “You send me away and now you want me back?”

“It be part of plan, yes?” Artyom asked, looking to Marsha who was trying not to smile “Captain wouldn’t abandon my sparring partner.”

“Surprised?” Marsha asked “Now come with us. Unless you want to get married after all Ariadne.”

Ariadne looked around the room, then at the dead guard on the ground. She grabbed his hand cannon and raised the door shield in front of herself. “I’m still upset at you for this by the way.”

“Yeah well I was upset when they dragged me into combat duty” Marsha complained “I’m just a programmer. You can understand, right Ariadne?”

“On Vrachos IV, even the programmers can put a decent fight” Ariadne boasted “Also my name’s actually not Ariadne. My father’s just colourblind.”

Slugger said “You mean you’re not Princess Ariadne Vrachos, but her twin sister?”

“Debbie Vrachos, the Rebellious” the Rock said, her glowing red eyes flashing brightly “I happened to return home at the wrong time and no one dares to correct my father’s decision.”

As the group rounded another corner back to the airlock however, they found themselves facing a massive wall of armed Rockmen, guns raised and armed. “Surrender the Princess now and we may just spare you!” Pentimo announced on the loudspeakers.

“Fat chance that’ll happen” Debbie shouted “You sandstoners wouldn’t have the stones to shoot…”

The Rockmen opened fire, blowing off one of her legs and sending her to the ground. The rest of the group opened fire on the guards, ducking behind support beams and trading shots with the enemy.

Debbie remained on the deck, laughing to herself. These sandstoners do have them after all… she thought to herself, but they should really finish the job if they don’t want to die!
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby stylesrj » Tue May 26, 2015 10:27 am

Another chapter approaches! Prepare the defense drones! Deploy the Glaze Beam! Close down the 3-ring circus and pack up the food stands!

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Ensign Robert Smith was pinned down behind a support beam inside of a Slug transport vessel. The slimy aliens knew where he was headed and cut him off, setting up a rapid-fire blaster down the main corridor.

“Dammit…” he chittered angrily, shaking his energy blades in frustration “I should have brought a gun to this gunfight!”

A woman in a tattered Rebellion Yellow jumpsuit stood beside him, peeking around the side of the support. She had tried the air vents, but the Slugs had wisely sealed them with strong grates – you couldn’t take chances on a slave ship after all. “You did actually” she said “Have you tried spitting at your opponent?”

Robert sighed. From an early age his parents had discouraged him from spitting at anything throughout his life. It was pretty much for everyone else’s sake rather than his own – his spit was toxic on contact with living flesh and Engi nanocells. It was also acidic enough to burn through light armour.

Robert chittered angrily “That’s not how I was raised Kassandra.”

“Just try it” Kassandra said “Or do you need a signed order from Douglas?”

“No I mean I know that spitting might seem appropriate here but I haven’t used it as a weapon… Douglas taught me how to handle a blade and a blaster but nothing about acidic spit” Robert said, nervously gesturing his claws sideways.

Kassandra looked incredulous “Seriously? You’re a Mantis! This sort of thing should be natural to you!”

“I’m not one of those filthy insects” Robert chittered angrily “I’m just different to other Humans.”

Kassandra nodded. It had barely been a day since she had joined the Osprey’s crew and had very little idea about Robert’s Human upbringing. “I see... but could you at least try the acid spit?”

Robert reluctantly poked his bulbous head around the side of the support. The blaster fire quickly went towards his side of the support which forced him to duck back for cover. He went to the other side and spat out a globule of acidic saliva from between his mandibles.

Surprisingly it launched itself quite far through the hallway and splattered directly on the gunner’s eyestalks. There was a sizzling sound and a telepathic cry of pain.

“Holy crap!” Robert said “Talk about beginner’s luck…”

“See, that’s instinct for you” Kassandra said cheerfully, moving forward out of cover towards the temporarily unoccupied gun.

“Kassandra, Robert; be advised that the Mind Controller is on cooldown. I estimate a minute until it recharges. You need to hurry before it takes one of us again!” Captain Douglas Jensen said over the comms.

Robert skittered forwards and leapt at the stunned Slug, slashing him to pieces with his energy blades before turning the blaster around to open fire on the Slugs moving into the hallway.

The slimy aliens either were instantly torn to pieces by the searing hot bolts of plasma or were forced into cover. Robert had to suppress the urge to start laughing manically at the power he was wielding.

Kassandra kept behind the Mantis. She had just possessed the body of the Rebel slave and didn’t exactly want to lose it – it was the only one in the hold she had no moral qualms about “killing” permanently.

Robert then let go of the blaster yelling about it being scorching hot before leaping towards another Slug and entering the Mind Control Room.

The mind control machine itself was a rather impressive feat of Slug engineering – it consisted of a massive tank filled with a nutrient solution with several brains floating within hooked up to wires and probes. A massive, genetically-modified Slug brain in the middle controlled the whole device.

Robert leaned his head back and prepared to spit at the controls when he felt a sudden urge to kill something else. I wonder if that ghost dies… does it come back as a ghost of a ghost? He thought to himself, clacking his claws together excitedly.

“Kill the ghost!” Robert snarled before two Slugs came rushing behind him and quickly shackled his claws and placed a slave-collar around his neck. They also broke the teleporter transponder he carried. “Throw him in with the others. I’ll handle Allison...”

Meanwhile on the Osprey, Douglas could only watch in horror as Robert had been subdued by slavers. Not again! First Marsha now Robert, he thought to himself. Then to compound upon this, the ship’s FTL drive began to spin up. He had to act fast.

The weapons control room was still undergoing emergency repairs however – his gunner Debbie had torn a great deal out of the place when the Mind Controller targeted her. The Glaive Beam strike didn’t help either. Only one of the burst lasers were functioning.

“Two-Zar, we need the guns back online… they’ve got Robert!” Douglas ordered “We need to disable their piloting systems!”

“Acknowledged. Misgivings forgiven for Ensign. Valued asset to crew survivability” the Engi responded, gently nudging Debbie’s rocky fist aside from one of the gun control circuits – the Rock(wo)man had decided bashing it would knock the delicate components back into place.

“It always worked on my family’s ships” she remarked.

“Rock hardware analysis requires frequent application of force to settle parts” Two-Zar said “Federation hardware robust but more delicate. Requires precision engineering.”

The Osprey fired at the Slug ship, a triple burst of laser fire swinging over their shields. Due to the damaged weapons control system Douglas had already diverted power to the Vindicator Artillery Beam but even with the extra charge, it was a slow process.

He only had a tracking signal for Robert who was being carted away to the cargo hold. He had no idea what Kassandra was up to onboard the Slug transport, but he doubted she could do much. She’s a ghost up against a ship full of Slugs. Damned nebula clouding the sensors, he thought to himself.

“Foolissssh Human. Your Mantisssss will sssell for a fine price on the market!” the Slug Captain taunted him “And there’s nothing you can…”

The display changed to a picture of an old human man with white hair. That’s the CEO of Morgan.NET, Douglas thought to himself before smiling. Someone had drawn a moustache on his face with a bright red marker and written the words “Change your software you tools” underneath.

The Slug ship’s engines stopped flaring and the FTL drive began powering down. The guns began continuously deploying and retracting into the hull as if it were an automated ship trying to prioritise a weapon after taking damage.

Douglas used this opportunity to do some damage to the ship’s shields with the burst laser, followed by the Vindicator. The Osprey engaged thrusters on the side and a red beam lanced out from the bow, sweeping downwards on the Slug ship, bypassing the shields and scoring hits bow to stern, setting rooms on fire and frying systems. A few Slugs… and slaves were seen tumbling out of the ship.

The Slug Captain’s eyestalks perked up on the screen at the damage. The laser seemed to have scored several critical hits to the hull. Deciding to cut his losses and prevent further damage, he sent out a code for surrender. “You have besssted us! Will you accept what is in our storeesss in exchange for our lives?” he suddenly asked.

Douglas smiled “First we’d like our crew back unharmed, all the slaves liberated… and you show us the goods. Oh and one more thing…”

He then fired his burst laser at the Mind Controller, smashing up the system. “Don’t try anything stupid! We’re coming aboard.”

* * *

“Is the Princess secure?” Captain Douglas Jensen asked, forcibly detaching the Osprey from the Rock transport barge. Sensors were picking up movement from the Rebel cruisers around Numa V – they were planning to intercept the Osprey as it prepared to move away from the planet.

Artyom ejected the heat sink from his heavy blaster cannon and said “Da. She’s in medbay. Rocks took out one of her legs. Had to drag her back.”

“She’s heavy Doug” Ensign Marsha Glade commented “We should have brought a cargo hauler or something.”
“You have training in hauler?” Artyom asked.

“No. But I would have learned it by now” Marsha remarked “Just like I never had to fire a rifle at someone until one was shoved in my hands.”

“You still terrible shot” Artyom joked “Why not program gun to shoot for you?”

The Osprey shook from the impact of a missile. Douglas said “Battle stations! We may have Rebel ships on us very soon!”

The cruiser spun around quickly and the burst lasers fired – the newly installed Burst Laser Mk.II working in tandem with its twin. Six lasers swooped into the transport barge, knocking down their shields and setting several systems ablaze.

“That’ll slow them down” Douglas said, checking the sensor display. Lieutenant Slugger was providing real-time feedback on the positions of the Rockmen onboard. Several of them had moved towards the damaged rooms and were jumping up and down on the fires that were brought up. Rockmen were immune to the flames which required an adaptive gel suit for most other species to handle.

Douglas was then hailed by the Grand Basilisk’s advisor, Pentimo. “Repugnant human, you know that this will not end well for you! The Grand Basilisk will hunt you down to the ends of the galaxy and even further to get her bride back!”

“Take a number then” Douglas replied dryly “We’ve already got the Rebel Fleet bearing down on us and I’m pretty sure I’m being targeted by bounty hunters and assassins. Why don’t you race me?”

Pentimo slammed a fist on the console. “You will get what’s coming to you!”

“I already did” Douglas retorted, closing the channel and firing another barrage of lasers. He quickly moved the Osprey away from the barge’s next few shots and watched the missiles and lasers fly over him. There was a secondary explosion on the Rock ship.

A Rebel Cruiser had fired its anti-ship battery at the Rock vessel, the shot going straight through and out the other end. The Rock ship cracked and exploded into a cloud of metal and sand.

“We’ve got an ASB warning!” Slugger shouted from his station “The cruisers are moving into firing range!”
“Two-Zar, what’s the status of the FTL drive charge?” Douglas asked.

“60% and climbing at a rate of…” the Engi chirped in his usual monotone before Douglas interrupted him with a “Don’t tell me the numbers.”

He brought up the targeting display on one of the Rebel ships. A quick scan revealed it was similar in size to the Osprey and only slightly superior to his ship in terms of firepower and defences. He could see the ASB charging up for another shot at him.

“I estimate the cannon of that cruiser would take at least twenty seconds to recharge” Slugger informed him “Can we get the Vindicator charged faster than that sir?”

Douglas shook his head “They can get twice as many shots off with that thing than we can with our artillery. But at least we can avoid them better.”

“Request permission to board enemy ship” Artyom said “Still in power suit.”

“If it were a smaller ship, I’d grant it but that’s a cruiser. They probably have four times as many suits and qualified soldiers for them as we do” Douglas replied, remembering the allocation of assets. Technically the Osprey was now just approaching “Standard Issue” in terms of loadout and firepower. “We just have to wait it out and…”

The Rebel cruiser’s ASB fired and Douglas hit the emergency thrusters to try and avoid it. The gunner or the cruiser’s AI must have accounted for the manoeuvre however as instead the shield-piercing, overpenetrating artillery round slammed straight through the life support system of the Osprey, taking out a massive chunk of the hull in the process.

Air vents started shutting down and Douglas found it was getting harder to breathe even though it would take some time before life support went to critical levels. The cruiser then hailed him.

A woman in a bright yellow officer’s uniform taunted him “Surrender the intel Federation scum! Don’t think we’ll drop an ASB right through your stern and out the other end.”

“I will not be intimidated by you!” Douglas shouted back “You bastards murdered my family when you set fire to Tannhäuser Gate! I will never surrender to you!”

The woman laughed in a very high-class accent “Well I don’t care who you are, but no one defies the Rebel fleet!” and closed the transmission. Another ASB shot soared past the Osprey.

“80% charge. Recommend immediate repairs to life support” Two-Zar said over the comms “Need to stay here, optimise engines.”

Douglas agreed with that recommendation. Without life support filtering and replenishing the air, especially in a situation where the enemy ships had massive, hull-breaching artillery it would lead to almost certain death by asphyxiation if not taken care of quickly.

Slugger sighed “I’ll go do it then. I’m pretty sure all I need is some duct tape to plug the leaks.”

He slid his way across the deck towards the doors leading to life support. A red light above them indicated the room’s integrity was compromised. He carefully opened the doors and was greeted with a massive view into space.

“I think I’m going to need a second roll!” Slugger remarked with a chuckle to himself, sliding up the wall towards the breach. His suit began secreting a nanopaste gel around the large hole in the hull. Normally it was used to repair the Slug’s armour and allow easier movement across the floor without leaving a slimy trail but it could also be used for damage control.

The gel immediately went to work, forming an airtight seal around the hole before fabricating new metal plates to fill in the gap. Slugger went to the system itself and began fixing up the pipes and ducts with a separate batch of nanopaste from his suit. For good measure he also used duct tape on the holes or wires that couldn’t be immediately fixed.

He felt quite proud about his work. He gave the system a good shove and the equipment started to hum. Then the Osprey shook again as a missile had slammed into the hull and broke open the hole and some of the blast-wave destroying the system in the process.

Meanwhile the Osprey quickly spun around and a red beam lanced out from the bow, buzzing through the Rebel cruiser’s shields and damaging several rooms in a line across, followed by several burst laser shots.

A few small explosions erupted on the Rebel ship and one or two of the crew could be seen falling out the side. “Let’s get out of here” Douglas said as the console displayed the FTL drive being fully-charged.

“Slugger, what’s the status of life support?” he asked as the ship jumped from Numa V to another beacon.

“Well the air supply is running on repair gel and duct tape. Those Rebels really don’t like my taste in music” Slugger laughed, moving back into the Life Support room to begin repairs again.

“At least they didn’t kill you. We’re setting a course for Engi-space as soon as possible. They’ll be able to patch us up properly” Douglas said before switching to a view of the medbay. Princess Debbie Vrachos was lying on one of the medical beds as the machines began rebuilding her missing leg, recreating it exactly as it was before it had been blown off.

“And maybe the Princess will forgive us for what we almost let happen to her life…”

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

With all these shout-outs to other games, you'd think this story is a crossover between FTL, SMAC, Beyond Earth (and Starships) and Immortal Defense. But well, that's science-fiction for you. Multiple references to other works is inevitable.
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby stylesrj » Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:06 pm

Time for another chapter in this tale of mystery and intrigue...
And another chapter for this story. An old friend returns, thus adding another character and causing problems in writing the story :lol:

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The Slug Captain said “Take thisss newly developed weapon we're transporting... They're not going to be happy we gave it up, that isss for ssure...”

Captain Douglas Jensen was looking at a massive orange weapon built in the same style as a beam lance, except instead of a distinctive red glow, it was orange. “This looks diabolical” he remarked to the Slug. The Mantis Robert Smith stood behind him, claws poking at the slimy ridges on his back. “Tell us more about it.”

“It’s an Anti-Bio Beam” a hooded Human woman said walking over, nervously tugging at the garment as if it was a security blanket. Considering her treatment, it probably was the only thing left of her identity. “It projects a powerful beam that kills crew but leaves the hull intact.”

“Sounds like a Pacification Beam on enhancers” Douglas said, looking to the Slug Captain “And where were you transferring it to?”

“By telling you we will probably die jussst as like as not…” the Slug hissed, crossing his flabby arms in a very human-like gesture of defiance. Robert poked him harder.

“Terzack!” the Slug said, giving a list of coordinates “We’re delivering it to a man named Terzack! He’s building a new ssship! Now, take the gun, your crew and leave usss in peace!”

Douglas turned out one of his pockets and said “You think you could wrap this up for me? I don’t think I can fit this in here.”

Some time had passed and the Osprey began moving away from the Slug transport ship after transferring the last of the slaves to the cargo hold. He promised to drop them off once they were out of the Gamma Cluster.

Douglas then went to check on his crew. Robert was still rubbing his neck where the slave collar had been placed on him while there was the young hooded woman from the Slug ship sitting at the table, overlooking the specs of the gun they had acquired but not installed.

“So this is a pleasant surprise…” Douglas said “When the slavers took you, I thought I’d never be able to find you again.”

“Same here, Captain” she replied, tugging at her hood again “I’m fine by the way. They can’t break me that easily.”

“Never thought you were the type to break under pressure” Douglas said to her “After all, that sort of environment is where you excel.”

He paused and added “It’s good to have you back Marsha… and in one piece.”

“Honestly, I thought you guys were dead since I wasn’t there to work on the shields” Marsha laughed and then pointed to a woman dressed in Rebellion Yellow. “So why did we bring Allison along? She’s not exactly Federation-friendly... or even friendly for that matter.”

The Rebel said “In about a week or so, Allison will look like a whole new person.”

Douglas whispered to Marsha “It’s a complicated matter and it involves ghosts. Kassandra will give you the details later.”

Marsha scratched her head in confusion. “Kassandra? Hasn’t she been dead for years?” she asked.

“I thought so too” Kassandra said cheerfully “I’ll explain my story later to you Marsha. I think Douglas wants to tell us where we’ll be heading off to next”

Douglas brought up the sector map. A big curved red line indicated the estimated progress of the Rebel Fleet throughout the sector. It was showing itself midway through with the Exit Beacon being two jumps away.

Two jumps away from their current position was another beacon, helpfully marked “QUEST” by the Engi Two-Zar. The machine tended to remain silent and make token contributions to briefings.

“From what the Slugs have given us as intel and from Kassandra’s connections to the bounty hunter network, there’s a Slugman named Terzack looking to acquire some pretty powerful weapons for a new ship” Douglas explained, pointing to the Quest Beacon.

“The Rebel Fleet has prepared for this sector and is progressing fast so I think we should give this one a miss and get the slaves to Zoltan space for proper emancipation” he continued “The Captain of the Slug ship has promised to delay the Rebel fleet, so expect them to betray that promise and have our enemies quickly zero in on our position.”

“Why didn’t we just smash up the Slugs and scrap their ship like we normally do?” the Rock(wo)man Debbie asked.
“Because we have left them with nothing of value” Douglas said, looking to Two-Zar.

The Engi nodded with approval “Proceed with main mission. Deliver intel. Most prudent choice Captain.”

Ensign Robert Smith protested “We might have stopped them now, but we’re just leaving those enslaving bastards to resume their work? What’s to stop them from picking up more?”

“Because Terzack would have heard about their losses” Douglas said slyly. “The slavers will have a choice of who to be executed by. I think that’s a more satisfactory conclusion to the problem.”

“I can’t work with that! I say we go to Terzack’s base and deliver justice at the end of a laser” Robert shouted. His claws twitched nervously; Douglas reflexively took a step back from the Mantis.

“Ensign Robert Smith, we have an important mission to finish first before we can dispense justice to the galaxy” Douglas said “We’re Federation, not mercenaries or vigilantes.”

“To you, that might feel right, but me… I feel so angry. My blood is boiling and I just want to…” Robert said, pacing around the room, claws now twitching wildly. Douglas wisely took a few more steps back from the furious Mantis. He went into incomprehensible chittering.

“How many colonists could those Slugs have captured? Look at what their kind did to your wife’s homeworld!” Robert said angrily, finding his words again “Did she just let them go?”

Kassandra nodded “The slavers who destroyed Abadoth were led by a Zoltan. With a Mantis and Human crew. It wasn’t easy to do but I did in fact let them go.”

Robert shouted “They destroyed thousands of years of history and spat in the face of your people’s survival! And you let them get away with it? Why?”

Kassandra sighed “I’ve seen what revenge can do to an immortal being and the whole galaxy is still paying for it. I had little choice but to let that Zoltan go. But I did at least let him live with the consequences of dooming an entire people in the pursuit of wealth.”

Robert screeched loudly which made everyone except Debbie cover their ears in pain. The angry, hissing Mantis then started running for the doors leading towards the teleporter. Two-Zar was quicker on the draw however and had locked them down tight with a remote override.

Douglas lowered his hands and sighed “Debbie, can I suggest you lock Robert in one of the medical pods before he hurts himself. Everyone else, dismissed.”

With that, the crew returned to their stations and Douglas spun up the FTL drive. The Osprey jumped to another beacon. The sensors were not picking up any activity in the local area except for clouds and silence so they prepared for a second jump.

Meanwhile in the shield room, Marsha and Kassandra were having a discussion over the system’s operation. “I haven’t been told about what you’ve done on the ship, but I have heard of you Marsha” Kassandra asked, leaning on the shield console. “What’s the lead programmer for ANODYNE doing with a Federation rank and equipment?”
“Conscripted” Marsha said, shaking her head “They always target programmers first.”

Kassandra smiled “Well programmers do make the ideal soldiers. It’s easier for them to learn new things and to obey orders, especially if their decisions protect their friends, while also allowing them to show off their skills.”

Marsha grumbled under her breath. “Chin up. Your knowledge of computer software would make you a great hacker” Kassandra said reassuringly “Other ships need a dedicated module to…” She then started trailing off, staring into space.

“Hacking modules are faster and don’t require putting me on the firing line” Marsha said, before noticing that Kassandra was looking away from her, staring at the doors. “Hey you there? Do ghosts just do that mid-conversation?”

Kassandra saw a pair of Slug Interceptor ships in front of her eyes, like tiny golden toys drifting through the air. She remembered something similar had happened back at Abadoth with a Rebel Rigger.

Cloaked ships. They’re planning to sneak up on us… she thought to herself, reaching outwards into the air. Marsha asked what she was doing but Kassandra still wasn’t listening to what the programmer was saying, instead clutching one of the vessels in her fist. She felt resistance, as if she was actually touching the golden starship.

Out of curiosity, she made the fist tighter to see if she could crumple the enemy ship in her hand like an aluminium can. She was surprised to find great resistance however – crushing a metal ship in one hand was much akin to crushing a small toy.

The Slug ships then vanished from her sight and the proximity warning sounded on the helm and in the sensor room.
“Battle stations, we’ve got contacts!” Douglas shouted over the comms. Kassandra shook herself out of her trance and stepped aside from the console to let Marsha get to work. “Sorry about that... guess I saw something.”

“You looked like you were… What have you done to the shields?” Marsha screamed in anger as she accessed the console.

Kassandra said “Douglas said that he had to reset them to default settings and I…”

“I had them programmed perfectly!” Marsha glared “And he just reset them so some amateur could figure it out?”

“Amateur?” Kassandra asked just as the Osprey shook from a missile impact. “I did the best I could with limited knowledge. At least I knew how the modulator worked.”

“Very well then, but compared to me you’ll think the shields are dancing!” Marsha boasted, tapping rapidly on the console.

At the helm, Douglas had seen two Slug Interceptors appear. He was somewhat familiar with their designs and standard layouts. One ship had five rooms laid out in a circle and the other, more common design had the Engine Room and Life Support separate from the main body of the ship for some inexplicable reason.

“Debbie, get to the teleporter” he said over the comms “Kassandra, you take over for Debbie’s station. Let Marsha do her work.”

As the Osprey moved, he noticed one of the Slug ships limping through the clouds – it was also covered in dents, as if it had been wrapped in massive cables and crushed.

Quickly deciding that enemy ship was crippled, he teleported Debbie over to take out the crew of that interceptor while preparing to engage the second, more mobile vessel. Lasers fired and impacted with the shields or were avoided through careful manoeuvring.

A missile launched and there was another impact with the ship, smashing straight into Artillery Fire Control. “Two-Zar, patch up the Vindicator, it’s hard to tell if there’s a fire or a hull breach, especially with Robert recovering from his rage” he ordered, bringing up the display to check on the status of the crew and his current target.

The Osprey returned fire with the burst lasers on the Slug interceptor, the shots flying wide of their target. “Sorry, it’s a very zippy little thing” Kassandra said, starting a new firing solution.

Meanwhile the other interceptor stopped attacking – all lifesigns had terminated. Debbie teleported back, covered in Slug ichor and uniforms. “That was almost too easy” the Rock(wo)man boasted “Hardly a challenge for a Princess!”

Douglas made a note to swing back towards the disabled interceptor and salvage it for parts; there wouldn’t be any room to put it in the cargo hold with all the liberated slaves. Meanwhile he had another Slug ship to deal with. The Burst Lasers fired again but the interceptor suddenly disappeared from the sensors.

“Cloaking device… I hate those things” Douglas grumbled, keeping his eyes peeled for a sudden attack. Even if fired wildly, chances were that the lasers wouldn’t do any damage – phase cloaks allowed most projectiles to pass through a ship.

He briefly looked at the image of the other interceptor. Actually it’s more like a giant snake tore through it. Those ridges look like scales of some sort… he thought to himself just as very badly-damaged Slug ship appeared a few seconds later broadcasting a white flag signal. Douglas saw the same markings on the hull. “We ssssurender sssuperior Human!”

Douglas felt rather concerned about the damage to their ship more than the Slug’s trustworthiness. Suddenly there was an explosion and the Slug interceptor was destroyed by the Vindicator Beam; he had forgotten to power it down and the systems automatically gutted the enemy for him. At least that doesn’t stop charging when they cloak, he thought to himself.

With a heavy sigh, he went to recover the scrap from the wreckage before grabbing the parts from the other Slug interceptor.

* * *

A Federation officer stood outside the building, dressed in his finest light blue uniforms, adorned with a variety of medals. Behind him were two soldiers in less-decorated uniforms, wearing patrol caps stencilled “MP.”

The security camera outside would have already alerted the inhabitants of the building to their arrival, but it was traditional to knock and wait. A few minutes later, a man opened the door, dressed in a shirt with the Federation emblem emblazoned on the front. Despite the advanced warning he looked like he dressed in a hurry.

“Admiral Tully?” he asked, saluting the officer at his building and inviting him inside “What’s the matter sir?”
“I can’t stay long, but you may want to sit down Douglas” Tully said grimly “It’s about your father.”

Douglas gestured for them to enter. He poured himself and his guests a cup of soma. “I know about the attack on the Condor. Ships of red swooped in and destroyed the colonists. I take it the news isn’t good… no survivors?”

“It’s worse than that” Tully said, sitting down at the table. While Douglas went to grab other refreshments from the replicator, the Admiral slipped a flask of something slimy into his soma.

A purple-skinned woman walked into the room “Joshua isn’t going to make the poker game next week?”

“It’s going to be a closed casket funeral” Tully said, shaking his head “Command has cancelled the rescue operation.”

Douglas started coughing on his soma “Say what, Admiral?”

“Pirate raids are getting more dangerous, especially out in the frontier” Tully said “I’m sorry but Command said they needed all the ships they could get.”

Douglas grabbed his Federation-issue cap and a duffle bag filled with his military gear. “Then we’ll go there ourselves. Kassandra, tell the Port Authority to ready your ship. My father’s out there waiting for someone to pick him up, I know he is!”

“Stand down Lieutenant!” Tully shouted to him. Douglas immediately complied, dropping the bag. “I wish I had better news to tell you, but all I can say is that you should enjoy your long service leave and not pursue a course for revenge quite yet. Especially not with your wife’s clunky ship.”

Kassandra gave the Admiral a glare “Clunky? How many times has it saved your soldiers and your ass in a fight?”
“Many times Kassandra. I’ve never seen a ship quite like yours” Tully said with a smile before checking the time.

He stood up to leave the house. “Oh, one last thing… some good news” he said, reaching into a pocket and taking out an insignia patch and epaulets. “In light of recent events, I’m promoting you to Commander. It’s about time you lead something a little bigger than a salvage corvette.”

He forwarded his assignment forms to Douglas’ datapad. “You now have the command of your very own Destroyer, the Fregatidae.”

“The Fregatidae?” Douglas asked, quickly checking the specs “I know it’s a step-up from the Hummingbirds but I thought the Albatross class Destroyers were going the way of the Kestrel. That Flak Artillery cannot compare to the…”

Kassandra interrupted “He’ll take the assignment, Admiral. Won’t you?”

Douglas saluted and gave the Admiral a reluctant smile. “I won’t let you down sir!”

“Good. Because your first mission is to go to the border colonies and investigate pirate activity around the Condor’s last known location. You’ll hopefully find your father in the process” Tully said. He then opened the door and stepped outside, gesturing for the soldiers to fall in.

“By the way, don’t tell anyone else besides your crew about the mission. I suspect there’s some foul play going on in Command” he added cautiously.

“Sir?” Douglas asked.

“I’ve said too much. I’ll keep in touch… and sorry for your loss, Commander.”

“Thanks Admiral…” Douglas said, closing the door and sitting back at the table, putting his head into his arms while his mind tried to process the news. Kassandra leaned in and placed a consoling hand on his back “Don’t worry, we’ll find who’s responsible.”

“We? Kass, it’s my father I’m looking for” Douglas said, grabbing his half-empty cup of soma “You should stay here.”

“Joshua is family to me as well” she said, sitting down next to him. “We can solve this one together. Back in the days, I knew this pirate who…”

“It’s not pirates we’re after” Douglas said sharply “I know exactly who’s behind this...”

“You know? It could be any marauder in the system with a red Mantis ship. Dread Pirate Tuco, Captain Roberts or…”
“KazaaakplethKilik” Douglas said “The Legendary Mantis Thief, scourge of the galaxy.”

He glared into his cup as if daring a claw to come bursting out of it. “He’s the bastard who started the Mantis/Federation War, attacking Earth with his ships of red. He’s the likely suspect.”

Douglas had never been to any of the planets in the Sol System himself but as the home of the Humans, it held sentimental value for everyone, even those born in other systems.

“My father defeated one of his largest fleets and sent his ships packing. No doubt that marauder wanted revenge for losing so much of his hive and found the perfect opportunity – while he’s retired and running civilian ships.”
He looked into his wife’s eyes “That Mantis will pay for what he’s done when I find him!”

Kassandra briefly felt horrified. She had seen that look many times on so many people throughout her life. She briefly wondered if her grandfather had the same determination as well. She asked with a sigh “Can you do one thing for me if you find him?”

Douglas said “And what would that be? Return his head to you?”

Kassandra briefly considered it; many people wanted to see that Mantis’ head. She grabbed his shoulders “Ye… No… don’t do that. Come home. I don’t want to see you go on a path fo revenge like my grandfather did.”

“Your grandfather?” Douglas asked. “Did he do something terrible?”

“Yes. He lost something very dear to him long ago” Kassandra sighed “He got his revenge against the one who took it, but he was so consumed by the act that he lost all purpose in life.”

“I see…” Douglas nodded “You never mentioned your grandfather before or your family. Do you think you could tell me more about it?”

“After you’ve dealt with Kazaaak, I’ll tell you more than just that” Kassandra said, wrapping her arms around Douglas and pushing him towards the ground.

Douglas boarded the Fregatidae a week later, fire in his eyes as he set a course for revenge.

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Some fanfics like to think of the Flak Artillery as new technology, considering that the Flak Gun came out with the Advanced Edition. But honestly, it's a gun that fires rocks at high speed at a target. It's low-tech and less powerful compared to a beam that can go through shields.

Also, I know artillery stops charging when a ship is cloaked, but the way I portray the weapons, it wouldn't make sense for a constantly-charging beam to stop charging while the enemy ship is cloaked. You just hope the beam is on target when it reappears.
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Taking a break

Postby stylesrj » Thu Jun 11, 2015 12:02 am

Well normally I would have posted the next chapter (and believe me, it's ready to go! So is the chapter after that barring some minor changes) but well... my heart's not into this. I know it hurts when a fanfic you're following doesn't update as often as you'd like but I need to take a bit of a sabbatical from this.

But here's some teasers on what to expect for the next few chapters while I go write them I mean figure them out:

The Osprey goes to the Zoltan Homeworlds and encounters trouble at the border. We also delve into the past and encounter the start of the Rebellion.

Then in the chapter after that, the Osprey finds a Zoltan research station and gets attacked by Mantis raiders who were holding the science team hostage (Charlie & the Flagship Factory reference!) Robert also finds out he's got a witty repartee when it comes to fighting other Mantises.
Then we delve into the past again with the Rebellion underway and Douglas receiving a medal by a special guest.

Finally, after securing the research station, the Osprey gets a new member of the team. But when he mentions opening a Crystal stasis pod, he almost dies from blunt force trauma. Also he seems to be rather disdainful towards Marsha and nervous around Kassandra.
In the past, we find out how Kassandra died the first time.

* * *

I've tried to plan out the rest of the story, including meeting the Nesasio. Dialogue will be changed yet again because back then I didn't have the idea for Marsha back then yet she seemed to be on the crew list (seriously, I mentioned two Humans and Kassandra wasn't one of them. So where did the Human go?)
Also because Kassandra clearly hasn't got a southern accent. It was supposed to be a joke that all mysterious entities would sound like they're from Texas but I realised it just wouldn't work.

Anyway my vague story plan gives me several chapters of stuff to fill in before the real action starts (which is the Chiron Beta Prime Shipyards) and everything comes together for the Last Stand.

Finally, events I hope to cover in the Zoltan Homeworlds for this run -
Zoltan Research Facility (done)
Zoltan First Contact (this was in the original Osprey story. So why not include it here in the remake?)
Zoltan needs to retake lost ship (that or the science ship that attacks you except no Zoltan joins the crew)
Rockmen hiding in the nebula from Zoltan authorities (could tie in with the Great Eye thing happening in the Nesasio tale)

Rock Events -
Rock Cruiser Quest (they take over for the Nesasio)
Mysterious Beacon (Nesasio Meeting)
Revenge of the Rock Bride Transport (Debbie wants her sister to be rescued. Fails of course considering the Nesasio side of things)
Mantis Rock Hunter (Prelude to Kazaaak's arrival and thus jump-starting the endgame plot)
That event over a sun where Rocks blow up the engines and teleport onboard with no ship combat

Automated Sector/Rebel Stronghold/Mantis Homeworlds -
Kazaaak!
Flagship Under Construction fight.
Encounter with an Automated Planetary Miner (Captain's Edition event)
Lots of various fights with black automated ships and Construction variants.

In one of those sectors I might include an encounter with a Bounty Hunter (or it could be a past tale while Douglas is still a Commander and flying a Flak Cruiser)

* * *

So that's my itinerary of what to expect in writing. Anyone got any suggestions? Please let me know... anyone?
Lightwavers
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby Lightwavers » Sun Aug 30, 2015 4:22 am

I love this story! Please, put up the rest of it!

Anyways, I quite like Robert, although him going into a rage simply because they left the slavers alive was a bit... Unexpected? I'd expect him to get angry (he's a mantis, after all), but he should have better control of his temper. I mean, he was raised to not respond violently to situations. Basically, when he was in the colonies I think he'd rip some kid's head off for name-calling with that attitude.
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stylesrj
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby stylesrj » Sun Aug 30, 2015 5:31 am

Lightwavers wrote:I love this story! Please, put up the rest of it!


Glad you liked it but I still haven't finished the rest of it and I've moved on to other projects. So I don't think I'll be back to finish it for a long time.

Anyways, I quite like Robert, although him going into a rage simply because they left the slavers alive was a bit... Unexpected? I'd expect him to get angry (he's a mantis, after all), but he should have better control of his temper. I mean, he was raised to not respond violently to situations. Basically, when he was in the colonies I think he'd rip some kid's head off for name-calling with that attitude.


Name-calling is one thing, but enslaving others and taking away their freedom is another.
Also, Robert's on combat duty when sensors are not needed. This may open up his mind to more violent tendencies. His rocky combat partner doesn't help matters either :lol:
Lightwavers
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby Lightwavers » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:50 am

You make good points.
Still, I think his reaction is a little extreme, but whatever. :)
It's sad to hear you're not going to be contunuing this, it's very entertaining. I wonder why no one else commented...?
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stylesrj
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby stylesrj » Sun Aug 30, 2015 6:53 am

Because while FTL is popular, there are not really many people who visit the storytelling forums. Just like out of the thousands who play Captain's Edition there's only like ten or so people who provide feedback.

I'm used to it though.
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Re: Fight of the Osprey - Mysteries of Abadoth

Postby Yizzzy » Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:09 am

I plan on reading this stylesrj, sometime when I get the chance. If not just because you played some of my ships. :)
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