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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#31
Mission 5 (part 1 of 2)

Before Mission 5, you're allowed free roam of the Hermes. None of the crew will specifically tell you the reason why, but they treat you far better than you have any reason to expect, to the point that you feel rather odd about it. There are a few areas where you're still not allowed - the armory, for instance - but anywhere else is fair game. The Hermes also has a working prototype of a Quantum Orb, now that Tartarus has had enough time since Sitatha to figure out how it works (or at least, the "important parts"). For a fee (because it draws so much power from the reserves), you can give yourself Quantum abilities without even needing to find one in-mission. You can even use it more than once, if you have the creds.

Eventually, though, Mission 5 begins. SCAMPS calls you up over Hermes' comm systems and orders you to head to a makeshift briefing room. Perhaps you've noticed the engines humming a little more loudly than usual the past few days, and perhaps you've noticed the ship's engineers have been working overtime. Then again, perhaps you haven't. Regardless, SCAMPS goes ahead to explain the reason.

In the data you collected in Mission 4, the Rashyvr listed notes of a Quantum vessel they had managed to track down, but as of yet had been unable to catch. I'll repeat that for emphasis: A real, functioning Quantum ship. (Yes, it's the Quantums again - but to be fair, they're basically what the REKT campaign is based around, so what did you expect?) SCAMPS explains that originally, he was going to send an advanced team after it, but the situation has changed. Within a day of your last mission at Elchar (the Rashyvk outpost planet), an instance of Darkspace began moving towards the Quantum ship at an incredibly high warp speed. The Quantum ship turned and fled, SCAMPS says - and not only that, Tartarus has reason to believe there are likely at least several living Quantums aboard - and not repurposed/commandeered/hijacked humans like the old man you met on Sitatha, but members of the "original species".

Tartarus wants that ship, they want it intact, and they're willing to do absolutely anything to get their hands on it - even if they have to bend the very laws of the multiverse you reside in. Naturally, that's where you come in.

~~~

The Quantum Ship (henceforth referred to as the Qcruiser) is moving at the theoretical "maximum warp": Warp 18 - three levels of warp faster than Hermes is capable of moving, and four levels of warp faster than Tartarus can travel. This is roughly 3.6 million times faster than the speed of light - or roughly 400 light years an hour, compared to the 70 ly/h that Hermes can manage. This is tech that isn't supposed to be around for another two centuries. Despite the fact that both Tartarus and Hermes are near its trajectory, catching it sounds impossible. Compounding the problem is the infamous effect for ships traveling at significantly different warp levels: as their levels of warp don't quite match, a vehicle at lower warp is typically ripped apart by the more powerful fields of the ship traveling at a higher level of warp.

Fortunately, Tartarus and the crew aboard Hermes have come up with a "solution"... of a sort.


Stage 1: Hermes is moving to get in position ahead of the Qcruiser and the Darkspace. This isn't enough to catch the Qcruiser, and Hermes would be ripped apart if it tried to approach (as well as almost certainly consumed by the Darkspace).
State 2: Platoon 56 will get into their CASKETs and fly a very short distance in front of Hermes, to a fixed position inside the warp bubble.
Stage 3: Just as the Qcruiser begins to close in, Hermes will utilize the "warp catapult" its engineers duct-taped together to lash you (temporarily) into a velocity nearer that of the Qcruiser.
Stage 4: The "catapulted" warp bubble will rapidly collapse and decay as engineers of today (year CE 3152) haven't managed to stabilize anything past warp 15.
Stage 5: As Platoon 56's warp bubble collapses, they'll be drawn into the warp field of the Q-ship in the manner of two soap bubbles forming into a single larger soap bubble.
Stage 6: Platoon 56 has to find some way to grab onto the Qcruiser, no matter what the price, before they fall into the rapidly-gaining Darkspace.


At this point, things will get messy. Your objective is to take the equipment (The Catapult, a smaller, even more makeshift version of Hermes' platoon-flinging equipment with zero range) Hermes provides you with and install it in the Qcruiser's engine systems. Tartarus has previously obtained the back half of another unrelated quantum vessel, and they believe you can make it work with the proper skills and equipment. Just to be safe, all of you are carrying it so that any one of you can set it up.

After the makeshift warp booster is installed, you'll activate it at your discretion. The Qcruiser (and all within its warp bubble) should be flung forwards and to the side (toward the Tartarus), temporarily breaking the maximum warp barrier and increasing velocity to an estimated Warp 21. This is highly unstable and many times faster than anyone has ever traveled in the history of mankind; as such, no relevant data exists as to how long it can be maintained. It should be aborted immediately if the Qcruiser begins to show signs of structural collapse.

A second team needs to locate every Quantum orb in the structure (as there's bound to be at least one) and place a special device (Quantum Dampener) Tartarus has provided near each, dampening the maximum signal range to mere kilometers so that after The Catapult is activated, the Darkspace won't be able to recover the signal and track the Qcruiser, permitting Tartarus to recover it.

As soon as The Catapult activates, all squad members need to get back to their ships ASAP and take off while still staying within the Qcruiser's warp bubble.

The Catapult's Warp 21 should decay rapidly to Warp 18 after it activates, and by this time Tartarus should be in position to capture the Qcruiser with a powerful warp web system. The warp web will basically "drag" the Qcruiser out of warp - and with it, the REKT ships - but the instability of this system requires any sentients be away from the center of mass if they want to have a fair chance at survival.

There are a few final things to note:
- If you come across any living Quantums, you are to preserve them and keep them healthy and safe if at all possible. Tartarus wants to take them apart to look at their insides.
- If the mission fails, get out of the way of the Darkspace (if possible), put up your shields, let yourself fall out of warp naturally, and switch on your long-range transmitters; Tartarus will send someone out to pick you up.
- Damaging the Qcruiser is preferable to being lost in the Darkspace. Ship-based harpoons and grapples of any (and every) type are highly advised.
- Superluminal radio communication hasn't yet been worked out for anything above warp 15. You'll be out of contact with SCAMPS the entire time.
- Godspeed, gentlemen.

~~~

In case you haven't guessed it yet, this entire mission is extremely risky, and very poorly cobbled together. This is the first time Tartarus (or anyone) has actually had an occasion to capture a functioning (and likely crewed) Quantum spaceship; they're pretty desperate to make it happen, even if they have to swipe it away from the Darkspace to do it.

Naturally, Murphy's law applies here in spades.

~~~

Loaded out with plenty of ship-based grapples, claws, and more, Platoon 56 takes position in front of the Hermes as Hermes hurriedly moves into position a little behind schedule. The Warp Catapulting is a success: You find yourself launched forwards at unbelievable speeds - the Hermes drops out from behind you almost too fast for you to see - your CASKETs creak and groan under the strain - and the Qcruiser looms up behind you... just as you find yourselves in the middle of an unexpected, massive, fast-moving debris field. Several of you take damage - specifically those that neglected to upgrade their hulls or other protection. I might kill off one or two of you by accident here, but there's one thing that really sticks in your mind: a piece of debris hits one of you - a piece that you immediately recognize as being from the Hermes. You realize, horrified, that the Hermes wasn't able to get out of the way of the Qcruiser's warp field in time. It's gone.

So now it really is just Platoon 56 against the universe, as the horrific nothingness of the Darkspace slips ever closer.


In a heroic move, the members of 56 put aside their differences to form massive ship-chains, holding on from one robotic arm to the next to raise your likelihood for success as high as possible - but you have very limited time (one turn). The first squad in barely avoids hitting the Qcruiser, harpooning the vessel's thick hull and dragging themselves to a stop. One by one, all your squads manage to slow themselves down - though perhaps not without some losses of those that weren't prepared. You now cling like parasites, dangling from the hull of an ancient spaceship far beyond your ken.


And that's when you realize you're very, very far from being alone.

A massive battle rages around you - enormous quantum drones (Qbots) against an ever-encroaching, seemingly infinite horde of Darkspace drones (DS drones) - and the purpose of the DS drones seems clear: disable or otherwise disrupt the Qcruiser's engines to cause it to fall into the void. (I would've designed the map with a "timer" - the void of the Darkspace would gradually blot out the stars as the mission went on.)

First task: Now that you've "slowed down" (at least, relative to the Qcarrier - technically, you've accelerated), you need to find some way to get aboard, but the DS drones are very rapidly gaining on your position. You split up - some of you make your way to the airlocks, some of you stay behind to battle the DS drones with your upgraded weaponry. Hermes (and Tartarus) provided you with some pulse-modulated plasma weaponry a la Quantums, which happen to be particularly good at taking out Alt-related tech (and thus were also valuable in the previous mission against the Rashyvk).

The Quantum drones pay you absolutely no mind, seeming to prioritize the DS drones as the greater evil. This is good, because the Qbots are larger than a CASKET - they're massive mobile turrets that shoot some absolutely unbelievable beams and pulses that practically disintegrate even the DS drones - which normal weaponry couldn't even scratch. You have a feeling SCAMPS would be begging you to make sure you gather one somehow, if you just had comms set up. I would expect that some of you would begin plotting how to do so.


Aboard the Quantum ship, the teams of engineers rush inwards, splitting up as they try to find their way to the engines. There's not a soul in sight, though there are already multiple hull breaches - the DS drones transform into spider/monkey-like bots upon entry, clawing their way inside. A squadron of smaller Qsentinel bots try to keep the hallways cleared, but they're rapidly becoming overwhelmed. Your squads take out some of them, which identifies you as a threat to the DS drones. They begin attacking, and your peaceful incursion becomes an all-out war as everyone regroups, trying to keep from being wiped out as you retreat further and further into the ship.

The squads outside aren't faring much better - one of the main Qbots are down, and the Darkspace seems to have a near-infinite supply of them - they never stop pouring out, and the Darkspace is getting closer - a lot faster than you'd anticipated. Those outside shout frantic warnings at those within as the Darkspace begins to blot out the speckled sky of stars. They try to repair some damaged drones and perhaps build up some more defenses on the outside, perhaps some traps or something - but it's clear they'll be overwhelmed within minutes and need to retreat.

Things look very, very grim, and if I do my job right, you (or those of you that I haven't brutally murdered yet) should be seriously asking yourselves, "Are we actually going to make it out of this one?" If you decide to pull a Francis on me, that is an option, I would write a total platoon wipe (except for those of you that fled), and it'd completely change the rest of the campaign.*


This is when fate changes your situation - for better or for worse. Aboard the Qcruiser, in one of the inner hallways: the air flashes and space folds before two or three of the squads - a figure with two (or is it three?) eyes and other flickering features emerges from the portal. He takes pause when he sees you, and gives you a brief appraisal. He then speaks in Quantum (I wrote a language generator - Quantum is actually a functional language, yay) - and the only ones that can understand it are The Marked Ones (and whoever else happens to have that particular Quantum ability (enhanced language processing)). (Actually I'd just write Quantum in the channel and tell those that could understand it what it meant in PM, demanding secrecy unless you want some great punishment to befall you). His name is Zo'qiir, he says, and he recognizes one of you as a Marked One; he says time is short, but he sees that the Marked Ones can be trusted (else they would not be marked). This is your opportunity to ask questions about the Quantums - with a limited amount of time. Time is short, Zo'qiir says - the ship is going to fall apart at any moment. He says that he notes you carry with you much Quantum technology, and says that in return for answering your questions, he has a favor to ask...

Spoiler:      SHOW
Vinla novange toko iriba huoha gaton enowa tisun tiloll naban meatay dekera.
Nongen olovy. Maheto wuve osoha avuaka naban meatay dekera.
Meatay dekera.
Loktia gewhi dikaba alosaa amakis keuhe tyali odaa wivitra voe omos.
Jeke etohi. Lousa erine meru onart fasen tetaha haira pakaho kysaje luya uta ii.
Lohul kysaje luya uta ii.
Meatay dekera.
*(another plot split. there are two or three this particular mission, which I always thought of as "The" iconic REKT mission.)


I'll finish the rest of it soon. :) This mission is fairly plot-heavy. I always saw it as the biggest branching point.
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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#32
Talvieno wrote:This is your opportunity to ask questions about the Quantums - with a limited amount of time. Time is short, Zo'qiir says - the ship is going to fall apart at any moment. He says that he notes you carry with you much Quantum technology, and says that in return for answering your questions, he has a favor to ask...
(This is GM code for "This guy is a quest-giver, but the GM also wants to know just how much you guys don't know about the Quantums so he can fill you in on a few of the major points")
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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#33
Talvieno wrote:
Talvieno wrote:This is your opportunity to ask questions about the Quantums - with a limited amount of time. Time is short, Zo'qiir says - the ship is going to fall apart at any moment. He says that he notes you carry with you much Quantum technology, and says that in return for answering your questions, he has a favor to ask...
(This is GM code for "This guy is a quest-giver, but the GM also wants to know just how much you guys don't know about the Quantums so he can fill you in on a few of the major points")
(This is Tal code for, "Hello! I don't remember how much I told you guys about Quantums, so before I keep going, I really could use some info on where the blanks are that I need to fill in!")

:P
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Re: REKT: God Throws Dice (Main Thread)

#42
Yelp!

Totally forgot I wanted to post something here! :?

So, so...Quantums...iirc we don't really know anything much useful about them...

They're a race of multidimensional people.
They seem to have a problem with the Alt...but we don't know the reason or anything else about the Alt...
They have built several bases which usually seem to hold one or more Quantum orbs.
-Those Orbs give abilities to people who touch them. One ability per person per orb.
-The abilities get upgrades when you touch multiple different ones (or perhaps even the same once it's reloaded...*looking at Hermes-wreckage suspiciously*)
Also, there don't seem to be that many Quantums left anyway...

Oh, and they're friggin super-high-tech...

*Thinking up questions in progress*
Apparently, sometimes stuff might happen.

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