[APPRECIATION] Player of the Month – March 2017

Congratulations to nickpalaz0123 (also known as Razorback, Vrex, Fedya, and more) on his second consecutive month as our OtherSpace Player of the Month. As a reward, he gets a $25 Amazon gift certificate!

The PotM is chosen based on roleplaying activity, community engagement, retweets of OtherSpace-related links, and other social media sharing!

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[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-demaria: Uprising

A stunned audience watches as an underclasser warrior in the Alhira arena howls and leaps into an observation balcony, clawing at the throat of noble patriarch Thornpaw Whitestar.

The gladiator is quickly cut down by Whitestar’s bodyguards. But it turns out that was just a diversion for the handful of underclassers who pour out of the lower corridor, pulse weapons in hand – they open fire, rather indiscriminately – blasting away at the onlookers.

Panic ensues as wounded flee if they can as the dead slump or tumble aside.

Razorback happens to be passing near the site of the carnage. “Sands,” he curses, his ears folding into his mane. Hearing screams and gunfire, he moves to the shelter of an alcove, flicking his energy shield on as he assesses the situation.

Another underclasser clambers onto the overhang above the spot where Razorback is sheltered. He flings a tangler grenade into the crowd as people stampede toward the exits.

Finding himself caught up in the situation, Razorback chooses to do what he can to minimize casualties. He crouches for an instant before springing up to the overhang, hoping to catch the insurgent unawares.

The overhang insurgent is focused on the explosion of tangler goo when he’s suddenly confronted by Razorback springing into his field of view. Startled, he stumbles back, off balance.

The Cliffwalker surges forward without a word, presenting an elbow to the head of the Demarian in an attempt to knock him out quickly. His ears are pulled back tightly, but his claws remain sheathed.

Meanwhile, armed underclassers are taking aim at goo-tangled victims in the arena. They start opening fire.

Grabbing the (presumably) unconscious Demarian’s grenade belt with a snarl of frustration, Razorback lobs one into the group of gunmen, hoping to even the odds a bit before launching himself as well.

The tangler grenade hurled by Razorback explodes, ensnaring the six gunmen – but not before they’re able to kill several people and injure others.

Razorback arrives to find the six insurgents “tangled” already. He works quickly to extricate their weapons.

“You are dead!” one of the underclassers growls at Razorback.

“Well, I know it,” the Cliffwalker replies dryly, “Next time, shoot at something which can shoot back.” Tossing the guns aside, he begins to move off.

Once the underclassers are neutralized, some arena attendees regain their composure – sort of. They see the guns Razorback flung aside. They see attackers trapped in goo. They take up those guns and turn them on the underclassers, ready to fire.

“Enough!” Razorback roars out, as he turns back, “You would have this happen again? Because that shall be the result! If these men were not aware of what their deaths would accomplish, they would not be here! To cut them down while they are helpless is a dishonor undeserving of our people, regardless of the lack of honor they have also shown. Do not justify it!”

A female Demarian noble, clutching one of the recovered pulse rifles, hears Razorback’s decree. She bobs her snout, steps forward, kneels, and uses her claws to slash through the goop tangling one of the attackers. Then she hisses at him: “Run.” The underclasser scrambles to his feet, turns, runs away. She stands, takes aim, and says, “He’s not helpless now.” She sights down the rifle, finger on the trigger.

This will not be pleasant. Trusting in the energy shield surrounding him, and the light armor beneath, Razorback leaps between the noblewoman and the fleeing rebel, intending to take the bolt of energy himself.

She never pulls the trigger. Instead, she just glares indignantly at Razorback, flings the rifle to the ground, and starts kicking one of the still-tangled underclassers in the stomach.

Meanwhile, two Demarian males down toward the far end of the arena tackle the fleeing underclasser that Razorback saved. They set upon him with fists and claws.

The Cliffwalker hits the ground, miraculously unshot. With a growl of frustration, he scrambles towards the still tangled insurgents, raking the tangler nets with his claws. “Go!” he roars at them.

Glowering down from a nearby balcony, Stumppaw Sandwalker watches as Razorback liberates the attackers and orders them to flee. As they scurry to escape, Sandwalker bellows: “What are you doing, Cliffwalker?!”

“What you will not!” Razorback calls back in reply, “You will stand by and watch as one slaughter takes place, and then another? Is this who our people are, my Lord? Is this what passes for justice amongst us? The claws of an angry mob?”

The elder noble shakes his snout. “I disagree with the slaughter, but those terrorists deserve justice – not freedom!” Members of the Demarian Militia stride into the arena, cutting off the escape of the underclassers who were running from the female. The soldiers aim their rifles at the underclassers. They raise their paws to signify no further intent to fight. The male tackled on the opposite side has been bashed into unconsciousness – soldiers enter from that side as well, and they pull the nobles off the helpless underclasser. Stumppaw glares at Razorback: “Will you face it with them, as an accessory to their murderous actions?”

“I stand not in the way justice,” the Cliffwalker replies, “They have slaughtered unarmed people, and should be held accountable. Would you have me allow an angry mob to make martyrs of them? And will you try me as an accessory to a slaughter I ended?”

Stumppaw gnashes his fangs. He points a finger at Razorback. “You did well stopping them.” He lowers his hand, making a tsk-tsk noise. “Freeing them? A treacherous mistake.”

One of the underclassers with his arms raised shouts: “You’ve no idea how right the old mongrel is!” He wiggles one of his fingers, which is capped with an electronic “thimble” that transmits a signal to a bomb planted beneath Sandwalker’s balcony. As the explosion erupts, guards hurl themselves at Stumppaw to protect him from the blast as much as possible – and then they vanish into a belch of smoke and debris. Moments later, any survivors are under shattered stone.

That doesn’t sit well with the militia. They open fire on the bomber, riddling him with pulse blasts. He’s twitching on the ground, dying, soon after.

With an angry growl, Razorback moves forward to see if he can help extricate any survivors from under the stone, despite the consequences of having done this in the recent past.

He’ll find Stumppaw, alive but unconscious, his good arm and both legs broken by the rubble. One of the bodyguards also survived. The other’s skull is crushed. The soldiers round up the remaining underclasser attackers, searching them for weapons and explosives, hoping to avoid further chaos.

The Cliffwalker pulls both Stumppaw and the bodyguard gingerly free of the rubble. Before he makes a speedy exit over the outside of the stadium, not desiring to risk arrest, he pauses over the broken body of the Sandwalker. He removes one of his scabbarded swords from his belt, the crest of his House emblazoned on its hilt, and clips it to the belt of the Senator. Then seeing that the Militia seem to have things in hand, he departs, alone. 

Militia soldiers force the attackers to their knees, paws behind their backs, and start cuffing them. Emergency personnel arrive to triage the wounded. And from the archway Razorback is approaching emerges a bulky Demarian with silver epaulets on his navy blue uniform. He wears a glowing blue holomonocle over his right eye. A slugthrower is holstered at his side. The badge on his chest identifies him as an inspector in Municipal Justice, the Alhiran law enforcement agency. He peers suspiciously: “Where are you off to in such a hurry?”

“The same place everyone else is,” Razorback says, pointing to the still fleeing crowd with a raised eyebrow, “Or do I look like an underclasser insurgent to you?” It is a good thing he did not decide to leave his ring on the Senator to make his point.

The inspector lifts one glove-covered hand and turns the palm to face upward. Blinks once behind the holomonocle. A holographic image materializes above his hand, showing Razorback knocking the grenade-hurler backward and then subduing the assault. “You look like a material witness to the murders of several nobles and the attempted assassination of Senator Stumppaw Sandwalker. Obviously, I am looking forward to discussing this situation with you.”

“One of many, yes,” Razorback says with a nod, “I do not envy your task of having to interview so many.”

“Yes, well,” the inspector purrs. “We all have our burdens to carry.” He tilts his head and inquires: “What is your name and contact information? I see no need to detain you further, but I would like to meet with you soon.”

“I am called Cliffwalker, and I am currently registered at the White Moons Hotel,” Razorback answers, truthfully, “May you bring those involved in this dishonorable act to justice, and quickly.”

The other Demarian arches his eyebrows as he hears the name of the hotel. “The White Moons? I seem to recall an arms dealer leaping to his death there recently. Does such excitement tend to follow you?”

“More often than I should like, it would seem,” Razorback says with a tired half-smile, “At any rate, I will allow you to get on with your investigation. And do give my best wishes to the Senator when he awakens.” He bows, the begins to move past the officer.

The inspector bobs his snout, turning briefly to watch Razorback depart, and then he moves on toward the cluster of prisoners, shouting at the soldiers: “Hovertrucks are parked outside the arena! Load them up and deliver them to the detention center for processing!”

Having wreaked enough havoc for one day, Razorback heads back to the hotel and the room he is not registered to. To pack.
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[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-exploration: Under These Alien Stars

A holographic representation of the Vox, Gris of Hatch Vril, appears in mid-air. She’s surrounded by orbs representing the worlds of the Parallax – Nalhom, Lebal, Vollista, Ist’thol’mek, Grimlahd.

“Our goddess is pleased with what we have accomplished so far,” the Vox intones. “But she knows we can do more. We must do more. NOW is the time.”

She goes on: “The children of Nalia must make their mark in the unclaimed stars beyond our homeworlds and beyond the meddlesome interlopers of the Stellar Consortium. YOU must step forward to serve. YOU must give all in the name of the goddess to carry our people forward into the future that awaits us under these alien stars.” The message ends.

A Mekke stands head and shoulders above your average Nall, which is not difficult to do, and this particular insectoid is doing his best to get through the spaceport without getting in anyone’s way or attracting negative attention. Acran finally arrives at the deep-space recon vessel, unarmed and wearing nothing on his carapace other than a small bag of belongings and an insignia representing his status as Interrogator. He arrives at the airlock and taps the call button.

A Nall voice replies via the Brazen Star’s intercom: “State identification and assignment.”

“I am Acran, ID# 487902-33758,” the Mekke clacks into a translator device from his bag,  “Assigned as replacement interrogator for Voltissa.”

“Ah, yes,” comes the reply over speakers. “That was quite a mess. Perhaps you will survive longer. Report to Ur’Huluth Tyalavikil on the bridge.” The airlock hatch thunks open.

“My thanks,” the Mekke replies as he skuttles aboard. He makes his way to the bridge and approaches the command chair. /Greetings, Ur’Huluth,/ he sends, /Interrogator Acran, reporting in./

The scar-faced Nall commander of the Brazen Star swivels his goggled gaze toward the Mekke. Both eyes, presumably lost in battle, are covered by blood-red glowing lenses. He replies: “Speak aloud to me at all times unless otherwise ordered. That is to be your default. Intrude into my mind again without permission and I will have your head.”

The Mekke bows, spreading wings as he retrieves his translator again. “My apologies, Ur’Huluth,” he clacks into it, “And I appreciate your forbearance this time. It will not happen again.”

“Good,” Tyalavikil replies. “The goddess expects greatness from you during your service aboard the Brazen Star. Once you get settled in your bunk, report to the ship’s information minister for further briefings. Huth Zohikavir. She will keep you apprised of any mission-vital data.”

“Understood, Ur’Huluth, it is my pleasure to serve,” the translator replies as Acran bows once again before heading below to stow his few belongings. This takes little enough time, and Acran is soon approaching the information minister’s office.

Crouched in a swing suspended on chains within a domed chamber, Zohikavir regards the newly arrived Mekke with gnashed fangs. Her tail lashes back and forth. “Interrogator,” she says, bowing her snout in deference to the Mekke. She raises a tattooed palm in salute. Lifting her beady black eyes to stare at Acran, she adds: “Departure is within the hour. I feared you might miss this opportunity.”

/Huth,/ the Mekke sends, also bowing in response, /I am glad I received the orders in time. The Ur’Huluth sent me to you for briefing on the mission./

“Our primary mission is to observe the activities of this vessel.” She waves a clawed hand in the air, bringing up an image of a Consortium vessel. “The Zheng Fe.” She swivels her snout to regard Acran. “Our secondary mission is to gather evidence that the Ur’Huluth is conspiring against the Vox and the interests of the Parallax.”

/That explains his reticence to allow telepathic communication,/ Acran sends, while reaching out very gently to the officer’s mind. Just a touch to confirm the truth of the information, with the telepathic message used as cover.

“No, that is just his usual professional paranoia,” Zohi of Hatch Kavir responds. Her comments seem truthful. “But we should be wary of any efforts on his part to undermine Parallax interests in the exploration region.”

/I see/ the Mekke replies, clacking his mandibles, /Do let me know if there is anything specific I can do to serve the Vox./

“For now, feel free to roam the ship and observe the crew,” she says. “Report any anomalous or aberrant behavior.”

/Of course,/ Acran replies, offering slight bow before scuttling out into the corridor.

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[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-exploration: Good Help

Following the announcement to begin exploration efforts, Galactix can’t resist the chance to flex his exploratory muscles once again and experience open space. Ensuring an adequate supply of fuel, he departs Sol, heading towards the galactic Southwest, and what lies beyond.

“Yezzyezz,” mutters the Lotorian known as Vizgwyr as he lopes down one of the long corridors aboard Galactix. He’s got a PDA in one hand and a battered satchel slung over his shoulder. “Excellent!”

“Welcome aboard.” Galactix voice says.

“Many thankzzz, big talky ship!” Vizgwyr replies, sliding to a stop outside his quarters. “Glad to be here, yezyez!”

“Glad to have you aboard.” Galactix says. “We are on our way, so if there is anything you might require, don’t hesitate to ask. We’re setting course for the Horsehead Nebula”

The Lotorian walks into his small bunk area, shoving his satchel below the cot where he’ll sleep. He ponders what Galactix said, then replies: “I’ve been wondering, yezzyezz. Why is it called Horsehead? I have seen images. What horse on Earth looks like that?”

“A very good question.” Galactix says. “Though from their history humans have a tendency to try to find images in almost anything. Though if I were to compare the shape to an actual creature, the “sea horse” seems to be more fitting.”

“Something tells me it won’t look much like any kind of horse, the closer we get, yezyez,” Vizgwyr muses. He settles onto his cot. Tugs the satchel out from below. Starts rummaging through his meager belongings. “If help you need, just shout, yezyez. Like to earn my keep.”

“Very true. It is, after all, simply a gas cloud in space.” Galactix says.

Vizgwyr finds something that looks like an ancient vacuum tube – the kind of gadget that might be found in one of the old cabinet-style televisions. He cradles it in his slender-fingered hands. “What you think we find out there?”

“A question with potentially infinite answers.” Galactix says. “At a minimum, we may find worlds suitable to colonize. We may meet races and civilizations as of yet unknown to us. Space phenomena that have never been observed before. And given that vile creature that eats ships, potentially hazards we have not even conceived of.”

“Oh, that big chew-chew thing. Very bad, yez-yez,” the Lotorian agrees. He turns the tube over in his hand. “So, what you need doing? Things broken need fixing?”

“At the moment my systems are fully operational, however before we departed I acquired several sensor probes and a used shuttlecraft in case they are needed once we reach our intended destinations.” Galactix says. “They are, however, notably second hand, and likely in need of repair. Would you be able to go over them and ensure they are in working order?”

“Yez-yez!” Vizgwyr tucks the tube back into the satchel and hops to his feet, tail sweeping back and forth. “I do this!”

“Very good. You should find all the materials and tools if you require them.” Galactix says. “They are in the hangar bay secured in berths one and two.”

The Lotorian capers down the corridor toward the hangar bay. “Must get to work, yez-yez!”

The transit to the nebula is long and tedious, at least from Galactix’ point of view. Hour upon hour of hurtling through space at relativistic speeds, sensors watching for errant space debris and other hazards. This monotony, however, is broken by a warning alarm flashing on Galactix’ bridge. In an instant, his consciousness focuses on the warning, and a sense of urgency overcomes him. His voice echoes from above where Vizgwyr is working. “Mr. Vizgwyr, a situation is arising in my engineering section that I will need assistance with. My sensors are indicating that a oscillation is beginning within my propulsion field that will soon lead to an imbalance. We must find the source soon or the drive will become unstable.”

The Lotorian gathers up his tools, stuffs them haphazardly into his satchel, and then scampers down the corridor. “On the way! On the way! Yezyezyez! On the…” His voice trails off as he reaches a junction of five corridors. “Which way?!”

“Turn left, take the turbolift down two decks, turn right,   turn left, and take the blast doors.” Galactix says.

Vizgwyr follows the given directions. Eventually he finds himself in the engineering section. “Ok! Where thing need fixing?”

The room pulses with power flowing from the central main reactor to the Spindrive propulsion units on either side. From these, conduits carry the field energy to the nacelles outside the ship. The starboard one pulses regularly, but the port side is pulsing irregularly. “The portside unit is showing an irregularity in the field coils. They may be out of adjustment.” Galactix says.

Vizgwyr hauls his tools to the portside unit and peruses the system, conducting his own analysis to confirm the findings of Galactix. Assuming the findings are confirmed, he’ll look for the best method of adjusting the field coils.

The analysis shows that several of the coils are out of adjustment by up to 12 microns. Not enough to cause collapse of the propulsion field as of yet, but there are indications others are continuing to slip out of adjustment. If they reach a misalignment of 20 microns, the field will become dangerously unstable.

“Oh, not good, not good, no-noz,” the Lotorian says, making a tsk sound as he rummages through the satchel in search of the proper tool. “Realignment not take long.”

“I have engaged the safety interlocks.” Galactix says.

Vizgwyr bobs his snout, then sets to work on the repair. “How often you get standard maintenance?” the Lotorian inquires while fiddling with the settings.

“Not as often as I would like.” Galactix replies. “My repair nanites can handle damage, but situations such as this still require a ‘personal touch’ so to speak.”

“Gonna be important, we out for long time,” the Lotorian chides. His work continues.

“Difficult without an active crew.” Galactix says. “Though I am most appreciative of your assistance.”

“Glad to help, yezyez,” Vizgwyr replies. “Gonna get you set straight! No time!”

“Very good. We are still steady on course, We should be arriving within the next two days.” Galactix says.

The Lotorian finishes his work on Galactix. “Ready to go, yezyez! Not too shabby. How you like? Feel good, yezyez?”

“Ahh.. much better. The field is back within operational limits.” Galactix says. “In fact there is an 8.9 percent increase in efficiency.”

“Excellent! Glad to help, yezyez,” Vizgwyr replies with a smile.
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