Tag Archives: Roleplaying

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-exploration: Target Acquisition

The Ekaterina’s Pride arrives at its first stop after leaving Ungstir Prime: the rendezvous checkpoint established by the fuel tanker Rucker.

After Meuc Sionnach drops the ship to sublight, he begins to scan the heavens for the tanker ship. “Heading, boss?” he asks, glancing back at Prague.

“Get docking clearance and arrange for the tank top-off,” Prague replies. “Then you and Sharpers can check in with the Rucker’s crew, see what other supplies they might have on hand that we can use.”

“Understood,” Sionnach replies with a curt nod as he sends out the generic request and maneuvers the ‘Pride into position. Once the operation is complete, he squeezes out of his seat and slides down the ladder to the engine compartment. “Sharpers,” he calls as he lands, “Anything we need down here?”

The blonde woman looks over at the caninoid as she closes the equipment locker next to the main generator housing. “A dust mop. And a rudimentary set of engineering alignment tools. I don’t know much about our boss or this ship, but I can tell right away he’s not a ship person and it hasn’t had a decent wrench monkey on hand in a long time. We’re lucky nothing went wrong on the way from Ungstir. We won’t stay lucky.”

“You picked up on that too, eh?” Meuc replies with a chuckle, “Alright, boss says he wants us to head over to the Rucker and see about picking up anything we need from them while we refuel.”

Sharpers nods.  “OK. I’ll tag along. I mean, I could give you a list…but, no offense…”

“Fair point,” the Pyracani replies with a chuckle as he clambers up the ladder and opens the airlock on their side after checking to make sure they have a good docking seal.

In the docking bay of the Rucker, Captain Miranda Lee stands with a couple of crew, going over the current inventory status of the tanker. “We should have enough for the first wave of Operation Outrigger – say, a month. But we’re going to need resupply after that.”

“Permission to come aboard,” Meuc calls ahead cheerily as he makes his way out of the airlock.

The Rucker’s captain nods to the Pyracani. “Welcome aboard,” she says. “I’m Captain Lee.”

Eloise Sharpers follows Sionnach out of the Pride, taking in the surroundings with a scrutinizing gaze that could be mistaken for an engineer’s curiosity.

“Meuc Sionnach,” the caninoid replies, “Pilot of the Ekaterina’s Pride, Project Outrigger. Captain Prague sends his regards. This is Eloise Sharpers, our engineer. She’s got a list of items we need before we head out there. Hoping you might oblige.”

Captain Lee nods. “I’ll take a look at your list. Obviously, supplies are rather limited and we’ve got to stretch out what we’ve got, but we’ll do what we can for you.”

The Pyracani nods to Eloise, then turns back to Captain Lee. “So are we the first ones out here?” he asks, his ears tilted forward in curiosity.

Sharpers transfers the list from her PDA. Captain Lee confirms the manifest transmission, then looks at Sionnach: “Not the first, no. Won’t be the last, either. Vannie ship headed out not too long ago.”

“I guess we’d better move as quick as we can if we want to get out there first,” Sionnach says with a grin.

The Rucker’s captain nods. She waves her PDA. “I’ll get this order together quick as I can. Relax on your ship or take advantage of the community lounge on the Rucker.” She turns and walks off.

“I could use a chance to stretch my legs,” Sionnach says, glancing over at Eloise, “You? The flight couch is clearly designed with humanoids in mind.”

The Pride’s engineer shrugs. “Can’t do much else without the gear I need.” She watches as personnel from the Rucker set to work refueling the Ungstiri transport.

“Sounds good to me,” Meuc says, grinning. The Pyracani begins to make his way into the interior of the tanker, following signs, or asking for directions to the aforementioned community lounge.

Sharpers follows along, keeping an eye on the signs as they go. “Wonder which Vannie ship went out,” she muses. Turns a corner toward the lounge. “Got a friend or two in the military.”

“We’re pretty far out from the Consortium, on Pyracan,” the pilot says as he glances around the room looking for a source of … refreshment. “Fact, we weren’t even sure it was real until pretty recently. True, we had “outversers” popping up every day, but everybody thought they were from somewhere else…”

There’s a coffee maker. A water dispenser. A snack machine that sells Fizzy Cakes.

Sharpers pours herself a cup of coffee. “I’ve heard of those rift people. Never met one.”

“I’ve met a few,” Sionnach replies with a shrug, “They’re just people. Bit confused, obviously, but still people.” A bit disappointed, he nevertheless makes himself a cup of coffee as well, “So, what made you want to rush off into nowhere with Captain Prague?”

The woman takes a sip of coffee. It’s weak, but passable. Perhaps Captain Lee wasn’t kidding about making supplies last for the long haul. Sharpers replies: “Got tired of seeing the inside of an engine room of a void-jumper in Sol System. Decided I needed a change of scenery to the engine room of a ship somewhere else.”

The fighter jock chuckles as he sips at the coffee, not seeming to notice any lack of quality. “Well, hopefully you’re not stuck down there too much. If we’re lucky, they’ll be all kinds of new stuff to see.”

“I don’t care much about that,” she replies. “I’m happy enough with the machinery. I’ll leave the excitement to you and the captain.”

“More fun for me, then,” Sionnach says, laughing, “So how long you been a … what did you call it? Wrench monkey?”

“A few years,” Sharpers answers before taking another sip of coffee. “Before that I was a teacher. It turns out I hate kids.”

“Quite the career change,” says the Pyracani as he glances down at his chrono, “Anyway, they should be just about done. I’m gonna head back.”

“I’ll follow along in a bit,” she says, holding up her cup. “Not going to rush the last decent coffee I’m likely to have for a while.”

“Enjoy,” Meuc says as he disposes of his empty cup. “Let us know when you’re aboard,” he adds on the way out.

Sharpers nods to the Pyracani as he departs. She lingers in the lounge, long enough for her coffee to get cold. She pours a fresh cup. Finally, one of the refueling crew from the Rucker arrives to get his own refreshment. She strikes up a conversation. Even flirts a little bit. Soon enough, she bids him farewell, pours her coffee in the sink, and then walks out of the lounge, tapping out a last message before departing into the unknown. Just two words: “ZHENG HE.”

That done, she wanders back to the docking bay and appears gleeful at the array of gadgets the Rucker team managed to pull together. She gathers her supplies and proceeds aboard. Once inside the airlock, she notifies the cockpit via intercom: “All set.”

“Thanks for joining us,” the quip comes back as the ship begins to whir to life as the pilot prepares to undock.

“OK,” Prague says. “Next stop is Delta Orionis System. Old maps call it Mintaka. Pretty sure the Sorties are going to Alnitak. May as well steer clear of ’em.”

“Sounds good,” Meuc replies, making the requisite calculations, “Setting course for Delta Orionis. Laid in and ready.”

“Off we go then,” Prague says.

Down in engineering, Sharpers starts unloading her supplies. The PDA chimes. Good timing, she thinks. Another few minutes and they’d have left immediate range of the Rucker’s deployed comm sensor buoy – the last outpost for sending messages back to the known worlds until a new network got built outward to the Horsehead Nebula (probably part of the Zheng He’s agenda).

She checks the PDA. The message reads: “CONFIRMED: TARGET ABOARD.” The image of Armand Levante, ensign in the Vanguard, materializes on the holodisplay.

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[OTHERSPACE FLASHBACK] News from February 2001

2/1/01 – Regent missing, out of control!: An aid to Regent Abrix of the Mekke today announced that Regent Abrix has gone missing. In a brief statment the aid said for the first time officially that Regent Abrix has been suffering for an intense form of stress that has developed into a psychological condition that effects Mekke in high government position and eldarly Mekke. The disease slowly causes him to go crazy and lose control of his emotions. The Regent was last seen on the Sanctuary talking with himself by several witnesses. It is believed by the remnants of the Mekke Government, since the Regent fired many of them last week, that the Regent will use the teleportals or hitch rides on cargo ships to constantly move across the universe. The government also asked that anyone with information on the whereabouts of Regent Abrix to contact them ASAP. They caution that in the state the Regent is in he may lash out and attack someone for little or no reason. Please use caution if you come across him.

2/1/01 – Second body discovered: The body of another dead female Specialist was discovered early this morning, floating about 130 yards off the shore in Regreb Bay by a couple out for a sunrise sail through the archipelago. Authorities are remaining tight-lipped about the apparent cause of death, but they have not ruled out a connection to another Specialist’s body that washed up on the beach, a victim of beating and strangulation.

2/1/01 – Sivadian police called to action: (Enaj, Sivad) – Chief Inspector Jeremy Crimmins, the leading detective in the Enaj office of SHIELD, announced today that every possible lead was being pursued to find the killers of two Specialists that have been discovered in the vicinity of Regreb bay over the past few days. “On Sivad, Specialists have rights,” said Crimmins, “Including the right not to be brutally murdered.” The Chief Inspector reported that detectives from Enaj had been working on the case night and day since the first body was found. He did not, however, confirm speculation that the murders were related. “Clearly we have suspicions,” Crimmins said in the statement, “But the matter requires further investigation.” Crimmins also announced that a special taskforce was being established to conduct the investigation and called for anyone who had information which might lead to an arrest to step forward.

2/2/01 – Second victim identified: The second Specialist found dead on Sivad this week has been identified as Moira Landau (Sivtek Property Code 18645-ML). Sources indicate that Moira Landau and Deena Farouk, the first victim, both worked as pleasure Specialists in the service district of Enaj, and often found clientele in the popular Black and White Tavern.

2/2/01 – Castori urge Sivadian cooperation: With the continued Metazone crisis threatening the lives of many Specialists, Ubercast Sedrikin of Castor spoke out today, urging the Sivadian government to compel Doctor Haskins of Above Nature Inc. to release his treatments for public use. “Failure to act in this matter is tantamount to genocide,” Sedrikin told reporters. “The Sivadian government is now the leading producer of Specialists in the known worlds, and as such it should be considered more profitable – not to mention merciful – to provide this therapy and save countless lives.” If the Sivadian government fails to act? “It may become necessary to reconsider our technological alliance,” Sedrikin said.

2/2/01 – Demarian leader on desert trek: Stumppaw Sandwalker, a senior member of the Demarian Senate in Gleaming Star, has taken a leave of absence from his post in order to enter the Sand Mother Desert for a survival test – his personal challenge as declared during Thursday’s Rite Day ceremony. He has left day to day operations of House Sandwalker to his grandson, Ochremane Noblestrider, pending his return.

2/2/01 – Sloan blasts foreign interference: (Enaj, Sivad) – Sivadian First Councillor Murray Sloan came out swinging today in the face of a plea from Ubercast Sedrikin of Castor to compel Above Nature, Inc. to release its life-extending treatment for Specialists to the public. “I find the threats Ubercast Sedrikin has made to be quite offensive,” Sloan told a meeting of the Independence Club. “I’m sure he would feel exactly the same way if we tried to bully his government into changing some of its traditional ways.” Sloan also suggested that Sivad might allow the technological alliance to fall. “I expect our friends the Castori will realise that the moral course is to allow other societies to function on their own, free from the interference of foreign interests. But Sivad is not going to change fundamental parts of its culture for the sake of a simple trade alliance,” Sloan declared. Meanwhile, Above Nature head Doctor Lester Haskins is standing firm. “Above Nature, Inc is always willing to sell its techniques at a fair price to appropriate canidates. Should the Ubercast wish to make me an offer, I am listening. But his threats of witholding duly purchased technology only strengthen my resolve,” said Haskins in a statement released today.

2/2/01 – Response disappoints Ubercast: Upon hearing the strongly worded refusal of the Sivadian government to act on behalf of endangered Specialists, Ubercast Sedrikin of Castor shot back with strong words of his own. “If genocide is a revered fundamental element of Sivadian culture, then the Castori government wants nothing further to do with our current technological partners,” Sedrikin said. “Effective immediately, we are ending further shared technological projects, and we will be pursuing other avenues for polydenum supplies as well.”

2/2/01 – Nall Vox makes offer: Vox Gris of Hatch Koth, leader of the Nall, today indicated that her government would be willing to provide the Castori with polydenum in exchange for the addition of Nalhom to the growing OtherSpace Ring network. “We have been troubled by the continued struggles for dominance by the softskins in this region,” Griskoth said. “That they would allow their own kind to die for such foolish reasons further demonstrates their deserved doom. First, they blow up their homeworld for spite. Now, they allow for wholesale death of their manufactured slaves. It is a sickening sight.” When asked if the Nall Clawed Fist Fleet might be called to intervene on behalf of the Specialists, Griskoth replied, “I would not rule out Nall intervention.”

2/2/01 – Ambassador recalled: (Enaj, Sivad) – The Sivadian Ambassador to Castor, Neil Williams, has been recalled by the Sivadian government in the wake of the cancellation of the two worlds’ technological alliance. In a statement released by the Department of Foreign Affairs, the government insisted that the recall was not a signal of worsening relations between Castor and Sivad. “The government has recalled Ambassador Williams for consultations only. We hope to re-establish the mission on Castor shortly to try to work out the differences between our two nations.”

2/2/01 – Sivad, La Terre announce alliance: (Enaj, Sivad) – Hours after the cessation of the technological alliance with Castor, Sivad has announced a new alliance, this time with the newly-formed Allied Consortium. The precise details of the alliance are not as yet being released, but in a press conference Sivadian First Councillor Murray Sloan announced that Sivad would be sending a taskforce of the Homeland Naval Service to defend La Terre. Sivad and La Terre will also form a new cartel, the Organisation of Polydenum Exporting Planets (OPEP), to protect their polydenum supplies. Sivad has also announced that it will fund the construction of an OS Ring near La Terre. When asked if the issue of Specialists was discussed, Sloan said, “We did discuss it, and although we did not agree, we have come to an understanding.” La Terre Acting Governor Bartholomew Ritter said that he was “saddened that it is not the Guardian Fleet that is defending this new world, I would like to say in my defense, that money is not my reason for forming the Allied Consortium, I am doing that for a people who deserve to once again be a part of the universe as a whole, but with different rules and beliefs.” Officials in the First Councillor’s office have reported that Sloan’s next stop on a whirlwind tour of planets and trading partners will be Castor to try to address differences that have arisen between the two worlds.

2/2/01 – Luna stays neutral: Today President Kalson announced that Luna intends to stay neutral for the duration of this disagreement between Sivad and Castor. Saying “We have no desire to be thrown into the middle of a power struggle between these two groups Luna will keep itself out of the argument, to keep our people safe from possible military strife.” When asked if he was planning on cutting ties with Sivad the President replied with a quiet ‘No comment’. The Senate will be holding an emergency meeting of the Foregin Affairs council and it is expected the President will be cutting his planned vacation short to deal with this coming crisis.

2/2/01 – Nall warship comes to Castor: The Clawed Fist Fleet flagship, Sal’thrla, arrived at Castor this afternoon, and is believed to carry aboard it Vox Gris of Hatch Koth, leader of the Nall. It is reported by informed sources that the Vox has come to Castor in order to negotiate a new alliance with the Castori. Sources have not ruled out a potential defense pact.

2/2/01 – Maltarians on military alert: Activity around the recently established Maltarian base on Ganymede has jumped considerably within a few hours after the flurry of announcements concerning Castori and Sivadian relations. Two battlecruisers and 4 destroyers from the Maltarian 6th Fleet arrived within a few hours notice to establish a military patrol above the moon. Admiral Mrr’lato, commander of the Maltarian forces in this sector, issued a statement. “In light of Sivad’s publicized previous interests in this sector and their recent tensions with the Castori, I must take Maltarian safety into account. To that end, I feel I have no choice but to assume a defensive posture and assume the worst. Any and all vessels approaching Ganymedian airspace will be challenged.” The Admiral gave no reasons as to the rather rapid arrival of the support vessels.

2/03/01 – Mars leader on tensions: First Consul Darian Ellesmere of Mars today announced his government’s support of Castor’s call for Sivad to compel Doctor Haskins of Above Nature Inc. to release for public use a potentially life-saving therapy for Specialists who are rapidly running out of Metazone. “Sivad’s leaders may see this as just another political game, but the clock is running on the lives of thousands of people,” Ellesmere said. “Doctor Haskins, as usual, shows his true color – greed – by trying to extort the Castori government, so he can get richer off the misfortune of others.” When asked what steps Mars might take to back up these words, the First Consul said, “Sol System is the key to Sivad’s access to the OtherSpace Ring network. It would be unfortunate, don’t you think, if Sivad lost that access?”

2/03/01 – Third body found: The body of a third female Specialist has been found, this time by a fisherman just a half hour after departing the marina on Regreb Bay. The unidentified dead woman apparently had been beaten and strangled, like two previous victims found earlier in the week. The case has been turned over to Sivadian police for further investigation into what is now being labeled a serial killer loose in the popular tourist city.

2/03/01 – Haskins responds: (Enaj, Sivad) – In a statement released earlier today, Doctor Lester Haskins of Above Nature, Inc. blasted Castor and Mars’ demands for his life-prolonging therapy. “The hard-working employees of Above Nature, Inc. have worked long and hard to discover this therapy. Is it too much to expect due compensation for our efforts? Is it ‘greed’ to expect to be rewarded for the fruits of our labors? Not only are the worlds of Mars and Castori threatening extortion, but they attempt to impose their definition of ‘life’ on Sivad. I am willing to part with this technology in return for fair compensation. Additionally, we reserve the right to refuse business to worlds which do us grevious financial harm, such as Mars. It is our right to choose who to sell our technology to. It is the height of arrogance for Castori to contest this right by threatening to withhold their own, useful technology.”

2/03/01 – Castori, Nall strike alliance!: After several hours of talks and negotiations, the Castori and the Nall reportedly have forged a new alliance. The Castori will provide the Nall with OtherSpace Ring and jumpsail technology in exchange for a defense pact that will soon result in Nall military forces establishing a permanent base on Castor, to provide defense for the homeworld of OtherSpace Ring technology and to enforce any embargos that might be required against enemies of the Castori. Ubercast Sedrikin of Castor explained that the Castori will maintain complete sovereignty over their world, but that a Castori representative would be appointed to serve on a soon-to-be-formed alliance council. Vox Gris of Hatch Koth indicated that although Castor remains an independent world, it is bound by the terms of the alliance to allow a Nall overseer to represent Nall interests.

2/03/01 – Above Nature clarifies therapy: (Enaj, Sivad) – In a statement released this afternoon, Doctor Haskins of Above Nature, explained the nature of his now-infamous therapy. “The therapy is not a magic bullet to cure all woes. It is, rather, a process for slowing down a Specialist’s accelerated metabolism. The subleties of each type of Specialist vary, so undoing the accelerated metablism for a particular genus of Specialist can take anywhere from a week to a few months, depending on the staff available for study. As I have stated earlier, Above Nature does not do free work, especially under threats of extortion.”

2/03/01 – Power outages on Sanctuary: Yet another system of Sanctuary’s is under scrutiny today as a power outage on both decks one and two leaves the occupants in the dark. On deck two, even the emergency back-ups had mysteriously failed. This had more serious consequences than merely cutting down on productivity and people’s peace of minds, as beings who rely on the maintenance of extreme environments, such as the Centauran delegation’s suite, were placed in a dangerous position due to off-line environmental controls. Luckily, the power outage was relatively brief, and all systems were restored. Technicians are currently investigating the cause of failure in the power relays, which seem to have suffered severe, *physical* damage. Though security teams had been called into the area, they have found nothing untoward, and sabotage has not been one of the suspicions officially disclaimed.

2/03/01 – DFA issues travel advisory: (Enaj, Sivad) – The Sivadian Department of Foreign Affairs is issuing a travel advisory recommending that Sivadians not travel to Castor. The announcement comes in the wake of a shockingly sudden worsening of relations between the two former allies. Explaining its advisory, the Department of Foreign Affairs said that it felt that Sivadian citizens might be placed at risk by the incoming Nall military and by the unstability of the planet at this time. It also cited the current lack of a Sivadian mission to Castor, stating that if Sivadians find themselves in trouble, there is no Sivadian embassy to which to turn. The Sivadian government has terminated teleportal access to Castor from Sivad. In a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs expressed a hope that the advisory would be temporary and that relations with the Castori would soon be normalised.

2/04/01 – Cod considers Castori crazy: Ahndar Subcity, G’ahnlo–G’ahnli Trade Minister Tolobo spoke out today in defense of Dr. Haskins of Sivad. The G’ahnli expressed great disapproval of those wishing to force Dr. Haskins to make his services available for free. Said Tolobo “Hrml, the worlds of Castor, Mars, and their allies are asking a merchant to give away his goods! This is insanity!” When asked if the fact that lives might be lost if the Dr. does not give out his treatment, the trade minister responded, “Hrml, if the governments in question truly value the lives of these specialists, there is a very simple way to save them! If they find the price the doctor asks for the treatments too great, it is THEY that do not value the lives of the specialists, NOT doctor Haskins!” Tolobo continued express disapproval of the policies of the worlds asking for Haskins’ treatment in a 30 minute press release earlier today. He closed by stating that if such policies are allowed to flourish, the economies of their worlds would most likely suffer greatly. “Hrml! What creature would go into business producing a good if they feared that the government would come and take it all away without paying as soon as they found it useful? If one cannot profit in production, one will move on to other things! Hrml, and an economy without production is dangerous water indeed!” When asked if the new G’ahnli destroyers might be sent to Sivad’s aid in the case that the situation escalates to a military conflict, Tolobo had this to say “Hrml?! Are you mad?!”

2/04/01 – Lawyer criticizes Sanctuary: “The folks on Sanctuary like to paint the big metal ball like some kind of happy utopia,” noted attorney Jacob Gettleman said during a press conference on Castor. “But it’s anything but that.” Gettleman took Sanctuary to task for its treatment of a Castori national, Frimkan, who has been charged with forgery after being caught carrying a false weapons permit. Sanctuary officials say they got a confession from the accused, but Gettleman offers a different version of events. “Mr. Frimkan was arrested by a Vollistan Light Singer named Volanta, who Mr. Frimkan says used his natural psionic talents to coerce Mr. Frimkan into a confession,” Gettleman said. “It has also been learned that Mr. Volanta holds a long-time grudge against Mr. Frimkan, because a colleague of my client’s used an explosive device to blow up Mr. Volanta’s hand. This is a clear case of vigilante payback and abuse of power, and the leadership of Sanctuary is backing him up all the way.” Gettleman said he’ll be fighting the charge, despite rumored threats on his life aboard Sanctuary: “In the name of civil rights, you do what you have to do.”

2/04/01 – Sanctuary responds: In a brief statement issued in response to the lurid accusations made by Jacob Gettleman, a well-known lawyer who took the Long Voyage with Sanctuary, the government of the colony ship expressed regrets for his evident confusion. Pointing out that Mister Frimkan has not been charged with forgery – a matter presently under consideration – and that he has only presently been charged with offences to which he has already confessed, it hopes that nothing more will be heard of a simple case involving the possession of an illegal permit. Hope was expressed that both Mister Gettleman and the interstellar press would soon find more productive means of occupying their time than speculation on on-going minor legal cases.

2/04/01 – Councillor announces trade mission: (Enaj, Sivad) – The First Councillor’s office has released a statement including the First Councillor’s agenda for the next week. Most of the week will be spent on a trade mission to the Sol system. The mission will include several prominent Sivadian businesspeople, including the controversial Specialist-supporter Doctor Lester Haskins. The mission is expected to arrive on Mars late tomorrow night, and then visit Luna.

2/05/01 – Martian delegation to receive Sloan:  In a brief statement released late Sunday, Martian First Consul Darian Ellesmere announced that the diplomatic entourage from Sivad would be welcomed Monday night by Senator Armitage of Mars.
The First Consul regretfully announced his inavailability due to a prior engagement.

2/05/01 – FCO announces scheduling change: (Enaj, Sivad) – The First Councillor’s Office has announced that First Councillor Murray Sloan will be travelling to Luna first on his tour of the Sol system, and that the First Councillor would try to fit Mars in afterward. “At the very least,” said FCO Chief of Staff Marion Bryant, “The First Councillor’s Office will send a high-level staffer to meet with the Martian government. We do consider this meeting very important.”

2/05/01 – Mars: Don’t call us: First Consul Darian Ellesmere, upon hearing that Sivadian officials had pushed Mars back on its tour roster, expressed regret, but said, “Senator Armitage is a busy man. We made time in his schedule for this visit. If Sivad can suddenly rearrange their schedule out of political convenience, good for them. Unfortunately, Mars cannot do this. I’m not wasting the good senator’s time letting him talk to Sloan’s lackeys. If he can’t be bothered to follow through on his promises, then he needn’t bother sending anyone at all. When Mars is ready to hear from him, if that is the case, we’ll let him know.”

2/05/01 – FCO privately thanks Mars: (Enaj, Sivad) – Sources inside the First Councillor’s Office are commenting privately that the withdrawl of the invitation to visit Mars is actually more convenient. “The First Councillor has much to discuss with Luna,” said one staffer off the record, “and was worried that he might have to leave too early to meet with Martian officials.” Officially, the First Councillor is professing to be “confused, but regretful” with respect to the Martian decision, and stated that he hopes that the Martians would be more receptive to Sivadian overtures for peace in the future.

2/05/01 – Mars invites Nall delegation: Martian First Consul Darian Ellesmere, now unburdened by requests from a desperate Sivadian government seeking to clean up its public relations messes, extended an invitation to the Nall delegation currently on Castor. “Given the understanding and accord that has been reached between the Nall and the Castori, the Martian government would be interested in meeting with the Nall to discuss potential accords of our own,” Ellesmere said.

2/05/01 – Luna opens doors: (Lunar City, Luna) – President Kalson, upon hearing that Sivad was skipping Mars to visit Luna had this to say, “Hope they don’t expect much razzle dazzle….but hell, we’d be delighted to talk with em.” The President wouldn’t elaborate as to what specifically these trade talks would be about, but members of his staff speculated that it is a possible attempt by Sivad to work out the ‘Specialist Problem’ before too many innocent specialists die from their fiendishly accelerated metabolisims.

2/05/01 – Sloan has high hopes for Mars-Nall conference: (Enaj, Sivad) – In a statement issued tonight, Sivadian First Councillor Murray Sloan wished the Martians the best in their upcoming negotiations with the Nall. “Sivad is interested in peace throughout the galaxy,” said Sloan, “And few governments are as good at imposing peace as that of the Parallax. We wish the Parallax luck in establishing order on their new colony world, and we look forward to welcoming the new ambassador from Mars whenever the Nall Military Governor is appointed.” Sloan told reporters after the statement that he was ordering some Nall wine to send to First Consul Ellesmere when the transfer of power takes place, and said that a minor functionary in the Department of Foreign Affairs would probably be sent to witness the takeover.

2/05/01 – Nall Vox criticizes Sloan: Vox Gris of Hatch Koth, leader of the Nall, responded today to Sivadian First Councillor Murray Sloan’s suggestion that the Parallax would seek to turn Mars into a colony world. “Thissss sssoftssskin remindsss me of the foolsss who eventually dessstroyed themssselvesss on Earth,” Griskoth said. “I resssent the implication of hisss remarksss, and demand that he retract them. He would do well to remember that if not for the Nall, hisss people would remain under the yoke of Kretonian enssslavement. The Qua sssoftssskin isss right. The Sssivadiansss are not posssesssed of long memoriesss. The Nall, on the other claw…we remember.”

2/05/01 – Perseverance Trail race nears!: On Sunday, Feb. 11, at 3 p.m. EST, the Perseverance Trail rockhopper race kicks off at Ungstir. The event, co-sponsored by Lord Boromov and VROOM! Rockhoppers, is expected to draw racing talent from throughout the galaxy. Cost to enter the race is 100 rubles, with the winner set to receive 50,000 rubles. (OOC: To enter, +org/deposit ptr=100 ruble)

2/05/01 – Sivad off teleportals: In what appears to be the first openly aggressive move against the government of Sivad, the Castori today deactivated that planet’s teleportal and isolated it from the existing teleportal network. “Although it is our intention to eventually shut down all planetside teleportals, we chose to deactivate Sivad first because of their withdrawal of diplomatic personnel and their continued refusal to assist in the solution of the Specialist crisis,” Ubercast Sedrikin explained. “Traffic that normally would have gone to Sivad via teleportal is now being rerouted to Mars.”

2/05/01 – Odarites remain neutral: Foreign Minister I’kkrikik of Odari today indicated that his world would not be taking sides in the raging debate over the crisis involving the Specialists, whose plight has sparked an ever-deteriorating relationship between several worlds and the planet Sivad. Despite this public neutrality, I’kkrikik seemed to lean toward favoring the Sivadian view on the matter. “Specialists are products of commerce and a source of profit for Sivad,” he said. “It is not as if they are truly citizens. They are property.” However, he acknowledged that Mars certainly has the right to grant citizenship to its Specialist population. “Regardless, it then becomes the responsibility of the governing body granting citizenship to provide this therapy that has been so controversial,” I’kkrikik said. “If Sivad is willing to sell – and they have said they are – then Mars should pay.” That simple fiscal philosophy aside, I’kkrikik stated that he thinks the Sivadians have embarked on one public relations fiasco after another since this episode began – culminating with insults to the Nall government. “When one needs all the allies one can get, it is unwise to inflame the wrong people against you,” the trade minister said. “This may tend to discourage potential allies.”

2/05/01 – Sivadian researcher blasts teleportals!: (Ynos, Sivad) – A researcher at Sivad’s University of Ynos has released a study that claims that Castori teleportals are carcinogenic, and can also be teratogenic. The study found that pregnant women who travelled through a teleportal were five times more likely to miscarry. Additionally, the study warns, anyone living within three kilometres of a teleportal is at a significantly greater risk for developing various forms of cancer. The Sivadian Ministry of Health has announced that it suspected that the teleportals might be harmful to Sivadians’ health for some time, but that the new study is disturbing in its description of the depth of these potential health problems. The Ministry has also said that it was worried that any mention of the problem might harm relations with the Castori, but reported that now that the alliance with Castor has dissolved, they can reveal the truth about teleportal technology.

2/06/01 – Unofficial Martian commentary: Unnamed sources have reported overhearing Hayes Fairfax, the Praetor of Mars, speculating out loud during a meal at Burrough’s Diner. “Sivad suddenly finds the moral compulsion to reveal the truth about teleportal technology? I’m certain Sivad’s citizenry is pleased to know what their government has knowingly allowed them to be exposed to all this time. If you assume these allegations are true. Do you?”

2/06/01 – Enough, Ledgemaster declares!: “Such foolishness,” grumbled G’ahnlo’s Ledgemaster Pobolal as he observed the continued public rancor between Sivad, Castor, Mars and the Nall. “We can be so much better than this. Where is the profit in such squabbles?” The frustration may have had some profit, however: It led Pobolal to propose a possible solution to several current problems, ranging from citizens’ rights to planetary jurisdiction issues. The ledgemaster proposes the formation of a group he currently calls the Alliance for Profitable Discussion and Conveyance of Ideas While Allowing Individual Member Worlds to Retain Sovereignty and Home Rule (although he acknowledges the name is rather unweildy, so he welcomes suggestions for change). The alliance would be composed of member worlds who would create a representative council to handle interplanetary jurisdiction issues and manage affairs that span the stars. The alliance would not make it its business to interfere with individual governments (except perhaps in such cases where a despot has become a threat to his population). “It remains a rough idea, but it would encourage communication between world leaders in a venue besides these ridiculous press conferences,” Pobolal said. When asked where such an alliance might be based, the ledgemaster recommended Sanctuary, because of its neutrality and its history of tolerance and togetherness.

2/06/01 – Mars to sponsor rockhopper racer: Martian First Consul Darian Ellesmere today announced that the Martian government would fund the purchase of a rockhopper and sponsor any Martian pilot interested in racing in the Perseverance Trail race this coming weekend. “Interested pilots of Martian citizenship should contact me on Mars,” Ellesmere said.

2/06/01 – Vollista would join council: Coda Voluanfel, leader of Vollista, announced that his world would be willing to join an alliance council as proposed by Ledgemaster Pobolal of G’ahnlo. “So long as the member worlds retain sovereignty, it seems a productive plan,” Voluanfel said. The coda also indicated that he would soon visit Sanctuary, the site Pobolal has recommended as the home of the would-be alliance – although it remains to be seen if even Sanctuary has any interest in this plan.

2/06/01 – La Terre would join: Bartholomew Ritter, leader of the newly colonized planet La Terre, today confirmed that his world would join an alliance – and would be willing to host it, if Sanctuary declines the offer. Ritter also recommended a rather less unwieldy name for the alliance, such as the United Worlds League. Said Ledgemaster Pobolal: “I welcome the support of both Vollista and La Terre, and hope others will follow suit.” He indicated he would take all suggestions for names under advisement, and would likely allow member worlds to discuss and vote on an official name during their first meeting.

2/06/01 – Castori may cut Sivad ring!: In an effort to allay concerns about alleged potential carcinogenic effects of Castori teleportal technology, Ubercast Sedrikin of Castor today offered to deactivate Sivad’s OtherSpace ring, which uses that very technology on a larger scale. “If the Sivadian government wishes to protect its people from the potential damage, far be it from the Castori to impose this risk on them,” Sedrikin said. “We await word from the Sivadian leadership on this matter.”

2/06/01 – Sivad optimistic: (Enaj, Sivad) – In a statement released today, the First Councillor’s Office expressed delight that relations between Castor and Sivad seem to be improving. “Ubercast Sedrikin’s concern for the health of Sivad’s citizens is quite touching, and I’m sure very sincere,” said Sloan in a press conference. “Fortunately, ships travelling through the teleportals are all heavily shielded to space’s natural radiation and thus the carcinogenic effects of the OtherSpace rings, I’m told, are not nearly so pronounced.” The First Councillor said he was optimistic about relations between the two worlds. “Clearly Castor and Sivad are growing closer together,” observed Sloan. “Sivad would be happy to contribute its research resources to the improvement of the teleportal system. And if Castor believes they can resolve the teleportal problems on their own, Sivad will merely send the research team to hepl Luna develop a safer, more efficient teleportal.” In other Sivadian government news, First Councillor Murray Sloan annouced that the Parliamentary Speech scheduled for Saturday at 9:00 PM will go forward as scheduled. The speech marks the start of a new legislative session, and will be carried live on holoviewers.

2/07/01 – Guildmaster shot!: Sources inside the Odarite Merchant’s Guild are reporting that Guildmaster Vix’ykkx was shot with a stun gun late Monday night in his store as a result of a robbery. While the OMG refuses to comment on the issue, sources close to the Guildmaster suggested the Odarite was very bitter about the incident, and has sought extra-legal means to bring the thieves to justice. The Guildmaster only had this to say. “Ekverything wkas fine…ikt was mkerely ak misunderstkanding…so lkeave mky shop, rkeporter! Nkow!” No word yet on the value of what was stolen, or the identities of the thugs.

2/07/01 – Tipster: Odarite on the hunt?: The INN received the following information from an anonymous source who saw our report on the robbery and shooting of Odarite Merchant Guildmaster Vix’ykkx: “I was there shortly after the incident and observed Vix talking to two persons. Not only did he discuss in detail the descriptions of the thieves but he was very nervous about the police being called. He also made several references to hiring bounty hunters.” The guildmaster could not be reached for comment.

2/07/01 – Nemesis colony speaks out!: The Operations Chief of the Nemesis colony in the Vega System, Lucas Silverberg, released a broadcast today. Accompanying the broadcast was a report of the deteriorating living conditions in the colony.
“We’re running out of resources to maintain both the colony and the mining facility. We haven’t gotten any repair materials since before the Consortium collapsed,” explains Silverberg. “Now he’s off gallavanting around La Terre. Not even the Guardian Fleet will support them, and they’re turning to Sivad for support. Our Specialists are having a tough time cooperating.” He frowns and sighs heavily. “Nemesis is cutting funding to La Terre from now on. This is totally unacceptable. That will be all.”
“With that out of the way, I think a poetry recital is in order to lighten the mood.” Silverberg starts to beam at the camera. “How about one of my latest work, ‘Dirt and Discontent’?” *The rest of the tape is mysteriously cut off*

2/07/01 – Unsavory town on Tomin Kora?: Just before he died of internal bleeding, INN reporter Laramie Farr reported that he had managed to land on the planet Tomin Kora to investigate recent revelations that construction efforts had been underway. What did he find? A growing domed city on the former site of old Freewheeling, now known to its denizens as Shadowheart. And it required little effort on his part to find the funding source behind the new project: Cabrerra Industries, which has a monolithic office building in the center of town and has its mark on most everything. When Farr approached sources at Cabrerra Industries, he encountered Public Relations Liaison Colin Neidermeyer, former Praetor of the Martian Republic and retired admiral of the Guardian Fleet. “I never have liked reporters,” Neidermeyer said, before beating Farr so savagely that (during an autopsy) fragments of Farr’s sternum were found in his colon. Farr managed to crawl to the Shadowheart spaceport and filed his rather scattered report before dying. His body was recovered, although his wedding ring, gold fillings and credstick all were gone.

2/07/01 – Lunite defense minister dead!: Defense Minister Akino of Luna, recently appointed to replace the late Yama Nels, died today of sudden metabolic shutdown. Doctors attribute the cause of death to the inavailability of Metazone, a stifling product that once was produced by Earth (but has since seen its supplies exhausted). This is the first high-profile death connected to the Metazone crisis, and drives home for Specialist rights activists the need to find alternative treatments, such as the one currently being withheld by Sivad.

2/08/01 – Above Nature releases treatment: (Enaj, Sivad) – In a brief press statement issued this morning, Above Nature Inc. indicated that it will be providing its life-prolonging treatment to certain Lunite Specialists. The treatment works by altering the Specialists’ fundamental genetic properties, and is estimated to add three to five years of life. Functional treatment has only been released for Specialists manufactured by GeneCraft in the form of retrovirus-containing pills. An estimated six-hundred Lunite citizens will be genetically compatible with this particular treatment. Haskins declined comment on his company’s sudden change of heart.

2/08/01 – Presidential tour: (Lunar City, Luna) – In an announcement made today by the President of Luna, Gregory Kalson announced his intent to go on a multi world tour, starting with Mars. The president also announced his intention to visit with the governments of Castor, Nalhom, and Sanctuary. The President said he wished to begin his tour on Saturday. When asked about the death of Minister Akino, and the news of Haskin’s cure for the Specialists the President grumbled a quiet, ‘No comment’.

2/08/01 – Ubercast hails Haskins’ decision: Ubercast Sedrikin, leader of the Castori, today praised the decision of Above Nature Inc. on Sivad to voluntarily release a life-extending therapy, even if it is only applicable to a rather limited number of Specialists. “Doctor Haskins has demonstrated that he is not entirely a monster,” Sedrikin said. However, don’t expect this to completely heal the rift that has grown between Sivad and Castor in recent days. Sedrikin notes that that planet’s leaders, including First Councillor Sloan, have taken actions and made public statements that have not been retracted. “The damage has been done,” Sedrikin said. “The release of the therapy satisfies the demands of the Specialists. It doesn’t make everything else go away.”

2/08/01 – Mars welcomes Kalson: Darian Ellesmere, First Consul of Mars, today expressed pleasure at the impending visit of Luna’s President Gregory Kalson. “Since my appointment to replace Consul Vandervere and the tragic fall of Earth, I have been hoping to meet with my political counterpart on Luna in an effort to heal old wounds,” Ellesmere said. “I’d like to help erase any misconceptions that may exist between us.” When asked about Above Nature Inc.’s decision to release the therapy needed for a limited number of Specialists to enjoy extended lifespans, the Consul said, “It was a heartening move, to be sure. But it is only a beginning.”

2/08/01 – Fourth body found on Sivad: The Seaside Strangler has struck again. Sources report that a dead female Specialist, the fourth in recent weeks, was found this morning on the shore of Regreb Bay by a tourist walking his dog. Police confirm that the victim – an Embryonix model, unlike the previous victims, which were Sivtek – was strangled and beaten to death before her body was dumped in the bay.

2/08/01 – Perseverance racers announced: At press time, the following racers are listed as competing for 50,000 rubles in Sunday’s Perseverance Trail Race at Ungstir: John Christian Falkenberg in the Jolly Roger (2 to 1 odds), Jasra Beaulieu in the Devil’s Due (3 to 1), Remy LeBeau in the Lone Wolf (4 to 1). Slots still remain! +org/deposit ptr=100 ruble to enter the race, which will run on Sunday at 3 p.m. EST.

2/08/01 – CIN announces programming plans!: In its first days of operation in the city of Shadowheart on Tomin Kora, the new Cabrerra Information Network already has ambitious plans for projects. The network’s vice president in charge of programming, Colin Neidermeyer, announced today exciting plans for historic docudramas that would allow viewers to revisit the past using talented actors and working with dynamic scripts and set designs. One of the first projects planned is a mini-series based on the invasion of the known worlds by the evil Kretonians, which will culminate with the climactic battle scene at Earth. A likely future project, Neidermeyer confirmed, is a series based on life aboard the Sanctuary colony vessel. CIN apparently is in negotiations with noted attorney Jacob Gettleman for the rights to his story of life aboard Sanctuary.

2/08/01 – Ubercast wants prisoner: Ubercast Sedrikin of Castor asked that Sanctuary authorities turn over a Castori citizen currently in custody for carrying a fake weapon permit on the colony vessel. “It is our intention to put this individual, a Castori national called Frimkan, into a special therapy program that should ensure proper behavioral adjustment,” Sedrikin said.

2/08/01 – Nemoni intruders tromped!: A troop of tiny Nemoni intruders, presumably attempting to sneak into Cabrerra Industries on Tomin Kora via data lines, was discovered and olbiterated tonight. Colin Neidermeyer, PR liaison for the Cabrerra organization, explained that the building remains secure and the intruders acquired absolutely nothing during their misadventure. “It is our belief that the Nemoni were attempting to spy on behalf of a Cabrerra Industries rival,” Neidermeyer said. “That said, I hope their failure sends the proper message to anyone who consider a repeat performance of any kind.”

2/09/01 – Cabrerra Center opens!: The new Cabrerra Center Sports Forum opened its doors today in the city of Shadowheart on Tomin Kora. The arena will play host to everything from organized team competitions to blood sports, and features general admission seating as well as two clubhouse seating areas. Admission to the arena costs 30 credits. Clubhouse seating is available only to members of the Cabrerra Industries organization and their special guests. Interested in joining the Cabrerra Center Sports Forum Competitors Guild? Athletes are encouraged to sign up today with Colin Neidermeyer, the Cabrerra organization’s executive director of sports/entertainment. OOC: +org/deposit ccc=100 credit to become a member of the competitors guild.

2/09/01 – Fifth body found!: BREAKING NEWS! Sources tell INN that a fifth body, apparently female, possibly a Specialist, has been discovered on the beach at Enaj, Sivad. Our sources also indicate police may have a suspect in the Seaside Strangler killings, although no arrests have been announced. Stay tuned!

2/10/01 – Another racer joins the pack!: At press time, the following racers are listed as competing for 50,000 rubles in Sunday’s Perseverance Trail Race at Ungstir: John Christian Falkenberg in the Jolly Roger (2 to 1 odds), Jasra Beaulieu in the Devil’s Due (3 to 1), Remy LeBeau in the Lone Wolf (4 to 1 odds), Gunther Williams in the Daredevil (5 to 1 odds). Slots still remain! +org/deposit ptr=100 ruble to enter the race, which will run on Sunday at 3 p.m. EST.

2/10/01 – Sanctuary scientist missing!: Neal Avocet, chief scientist aboard the Sanctuary colony vessel, is reported missing at this hour. Authorities with Sanctuary’s scientific division say Avocet, a creature of habit who never misses work – some joke that he’s been on the job consistently for 349+ years due to the time dilation effects of Sanctuary’s voyage through Hiverspace – didn’t show up for his shift today. Teleportal records show he voyaged to Ungstir, and from there caught a shuttle to Tomin Kora, but no one has heard from him since.

2/10/01 – Message in a murder?: Sources close to the Seaside Strangler investigation confirm they have been questioning a Timonae man in connection with the recent slayings of five pleasure Specialists on Sivad. The suspect, named Tixxon, is believed to be an employee of Space Builders Inc., a shipbuilding company owned by Allied Consortium Governor Bartholomew Ritter. Anonymous sources in the Sivadian police crime scene unit tell INN that each victim had a letter etched into the fingernail of their right index finger. Together, the five dead so far spell ‘EARTH.’ No arrest has been made, and authorities say they are not stepping down patrols and observation of the Regreb Bay area.

[SLACK ROLEPLAYING LOG] #rp-space: Warriors at the Wall

The bridge of the Gettysburg is often quiet, especially given its usual patrol route of the border between Consortium and Fringe space.

This monotony is broken, however, when the battle between the Yaralu and the Vanguard fleet caused the comm to burst wide open. Now, it is once again quiet, as the battle is over. Fate has different ideas on how long this will last.

The ship’s comm officer puts a hand to her earpiece. “Colonel, I am receiving a priority transmission from General Avocet.”

Colonel Grayback shakes his head, his mane fluffing out, as he wakes up from a brief daze. “On screen.” he says, and the screen is then filled with the image of the General. “Yes sir, General, we are receiving.”

The General’s face is grave. “Colonel, as you are no doubt aware, the Parallax is beating the drums of war. We must be prepared to beat our own, and that is where the Gettysburg shall play a part. You are hereby ordered to divert to the Line of Pain and begin daily patrols. Keep a sharp lookout, Colonel. Avocet out.”

As the General’s image fades, Grayback leans over to put his elbows on his knees, his chin resting upon his folded paws. “By the fires.” he says, leaning back up. “You heard the man. Set course for the Line of Pain, maximum velocity.”

The Gettysburg gets underway as Grayback settles back into his chair. “Onward to patrol the den of the serpents,” he says to himself.

“Sensors detect a Consortium vessel in the vicinity of the Line of Pain,” reports a Huth to Ur’soth Yok of Hatch Kavir aboard the Nall carrier Slashing Strike. “Profile and transponder output match the signature of the Gettysburg.”

Yokkavir bobs his snout in acknowledgement. “Match their course, in parallel. Keep to our side of the line. When we’re in comms range, open a channel.”

The Gettysburg pulls up into the vicinity of the Line of Pain, but maintains a discrete distance from the actual border.

“We have arrived at the Line, Colonel. Sensors detect a Nall carrier across the border, moving into a parallel course with our own.” the operations officer reports.

Grayback nods. “Not unexpected. Keep an eye on them, and begin patrol route.”

“Consortium vessel Gettysburg,” comes the transmission from the Slashing Strike. “I am Ur’soth Yok of Hatch Kavir. State your purpose for proximity to Parallax sovereign territory. Come to probe for weak spots? You will be sorely disappointed.”

The comm officer picks up the hail. “Incoming transmission from the carrier, Colonel.”

Grayback twitches his ears back slightly. “Here we go. On screen.”

After the Nall commander finishes his address, Grayback replies. “This is Colonel Grayback Nimblefoot of Clan Windracer. Just a routine patrol, Ur’soth. Keep an eye on things, watch for that monster.” he says, keeping his tone neutral. “As you can see we are well on our side.”

“A creature *your*  people chased into *our*  territory, it should be noted,” Yokkavir replies, jaw dropping open in amusement. “Convenient, yes?”

“Depends on your point of view.” Grayback says. “The creature was running, we gave chase. We could have simply let it cross into your space without warning you. I don’t think you would have approved of it eating one of your ships as it did ours, no?”

“The Nall are capable of defending ourselves,” the Ur’soth answers. “Your fleet commander vowed to remain on the Consortium side of the Line of Pain. He lied. We have no reason to trust your assertions.”

“Come now, Ur’soth. You are a warrior, as am I.” Grayback says, leaning back in his chair and clasping his paws in front of his chin. “The heat of battle is an unpredictable beast. The scent of victory, the fire in your blood as you focus on defeating your prey.” he says evenly, lowering his paws back to his chair’s armrests. “Even the most seasoned warrior can lose track of that which does not matter beyond achieving victory of battle.”

“Oh, but Colonel, it is the victor who can maintain calm and focused effort toward a goal,” Yokkavir replies. “Time enough to slake our thirst with the blood of fallen foes when the battle is won. We do not fight battles for the sake of fighting. We fight to win. And we win through honorable perfection.”

“You have a point, Ur’soth.” Grayback says. “However, mine remains the same. If anyone crossed the line during battle, it was not intentional on their part, nor some prelude to invading your space.” he says. “They were simply attempting to take down a proven deadly creature.”

The Ur’soth bobs his snout in acknowledgement. “If your vessels cross into our realm again, I am authorized not only to destroy them and add their hulls to the Line of Pain, but also to answer such violations in kind.”

“Fully understood, Ur’soth, and not unexpected.” Grayback replies. “However, until we are sure this creature is gone for good, we intend to maintain a watch. Our comms will always be open, however, should you have a concern.”

“Goodbye for now, Colonel,” Yokkavir replies, before cutting the communications link.

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[OTHERSPACE AUDIO LOG] No. 4: “The Bigger They Are”

The fourth installment in my new series of audio log re-enactments of OtherSpace scenes – bringing the old real-time improv text stories to your earholes!

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