Red, Blue, and Yellow Game
- 1 Pre-Game
- 2 Game
- 2.1 Game Night 2011-05-26 - Lay of the land
- 2.2 Plot Infliction I - Did you get my text?
- 2.3 Game Night 2011-06-02 - Harvesting Operation
- 2.4 Plot Infliction II - Professional
- 2.5 Game Night 2011-06-09 - Hit Squad
- 2.6 Plot Infliction III - Something happenin' heeeere... what it is ain't exactly cleeear...
- 2.7 Game Night 2011-06-16 - Death and desertion
- 2.8 Plot Infliction IV - Medic!
- 2.9 Game Night 2011-06-24 - Yellow and Blue make Green
- 2.10 Plot Infliction V - Revelations
- 2.11 Game Night 2011-06-30 - Back to the bar
- 2.12 Plot Infliction VI - Chatting with Bayern
- 2.13 Game Night 2011-07-08 - Damn Assassins
- 3 Epilogue
In the Xoid held area of the 2nd Galaxy, there is a nebula. During the invasion, the population of a few dozen Confederation city planets attempted to flee into this nebula from the advancing Xoid hordes. While a lot were killed, enough survived and eventually found three systems with habitable planets.
Being exhausted and not very creative, they named the systems Red, Blue, and Yellow after the colour of the stars.
Red is a red giant system and a treasure trove of raw material for making Dynomer. The refugees quickly set up an industrial complex and made the lone planet orbiting Red a thriving city/factory planet. They use their numerous 0-variable fold-space generators to ship Dynomer, plus occasional manufactured goods to the Reich to help with the war. While realizing the Confederation is no more, they still consider themselves a last Confederation outpost.
Yellow and Blue were not so lucky.
Blue is a superhot star and the only reason it has a planet is that it’s gravity caught a passing planetoid and put it into a slowly decaying orbit. The planet will be sucked into the star and destroyed in a few million years. The planet has very little metal content and had to be significantly terraformed to be habital. However, it has a large surface area, making it worthwhile to colonize.
Yellow has a number of gas giants and one moon of one of them was habitable. Other moons provide slightly more raw materials than Blue, but not much.
At present, the Xoids haven’t found the three systems, but it’s only a matter of time before they do. The refugees realized that in order to stay hidden, there can’t be any ships leaving the nebula, so the only way out is through a fold space.
Dynomer is shipped to Blue and Yellow so that the large populations can work on defenses for their planet and to create goods for export back to Red and eventually through the fold spaces. However, the shipments are infrequent enough that the material is used up rather quickly.
You are a resident of Yellow.
You wake up on a bench in a room with a few hundred other people just waking up. Everyone looks a bit disoriented, and you don’t recall exactly how you got here. You’re also a bit dizzy. Looking around you see a tall female Reglactin at the front of the room, flanked by a couple of Crocaloids. They’re the only ones armed, so they stand out a bit.
“Listen up!” the Reglactin shouts. “Normally you’d have a full orientation upon revival, but we had to revive you quick because the section of the barge you were in was degrading. If we had left you in there much longer, you’d have been toast. As it is, there might be some memory loss or other brain damage. If any of you are insane,… well, we’ll figure that out pretty quick I guess.”
You’re not insane. You do however distinctly remember being third stage. You’re memories are fractured at best – you recall spending a lot of time in bars, but that’s about it. You’re internal computer is garbled and your nanoscopic robots are in the process of fixing it.
“If you don’t remember, you’re all part of a large evacuation running away from the Xoids. You’ve spent the last bunch of years in a barge orbiting the planet because we didn’t have room for you here. We still don’t have room for you, but what the hell. You are now officially citizens of Yellow. Now get out of here so we can revive the next batch.”
A large door on the side of the room opens and a Groten steps into view. “This way!” he bellows. You are all led through a hall and a couple Trollians are near the end handing out weapons. You are given a 1D laser pistol and 5 one point patches. The laser looks small enough for a Takolee to use – if you were a Groten you’d have trouble using it effectively. As you are ushered out of the building, you receive a message:
Welcome to Yellow. The government of Yellow hopes that you will be a productive member of our society. We have three possible uses for you. 1: We export combatants to fight in the war. However, due to the limited bandwidth of available fold spaces, we only export seasoned combatants, and usually the ones we export are unique in some way that makes them extra effective. 2: We need technicians. Lots of technicians. To earn a government wage on Yellow, you need to be a technician. 3: If you do not aspire to one of the two previous goals, we hope you will be useful as target practice and/or food.
All the newbies around you seemed to have gotten the message as well.
Are there any provisions to prevent aggressive wanna-be combatants from picking on valuable-but-helpless technicians?
Assuming that the answer is "not really", I hide as soon as I exit. And try to see what it would take to improvise a set of tools. I want to customize my weapon and maybe make some armour.
Well, there are two beings that look like soldiers watching over the group. Humanoid, covered in armour (medic made), and in bright yellow uniforms. They are both riding large reptilian steeds, and they have assault weapons (stun - though to a non-techie, they look lethal). They however, seem to be there to intimidate the locals that are hovering nearby. A lot of them look hungry.
Hiding is a little difficult. This is obviously new construction and they didn't give much thought to athetics. You're appear to be in a cooridor between two buildings. There are lights on the buildings providing illumination, in addition to light from above from the gas giant you're orbiting. Seems to be night otherwise. Not many things to hide behind aside from blending in the crowd type stuff. And well, there are crowds. In addition to you guys, the cooridor is quite crowded.
Everyone seems to be herding towards a bar that can be seen in the distance. The cooridor is about 10 meters wide and on one side of it, there is a 2 meter wide moving sidewalk.
You notice a few things. Everybody that you see armed in anything other than those 1D lasers look like they have custom built weaponry. Among your group, a larger being occassionally breaks off and heads to one of the groups of locals hovering nearby, and after a brief conversation, act like part of that group. There seems to be an unusually higher percentage of Colloidlings in the crowd. And finally, you see the occassional person (random race) that has been altered to be bright blue.
A couple of people try to talk to you at once. An Orbodun, who was part of your group and walking near you, has moved to within low talking distance and growls at you. "You really, really, want to give me your gun. He already has one, but seems to want a match set. You also get hailed by a Mavvice standing next to a large Crocaloid.
"Hey, you look like you're kind of a combatant. Want a job? That is, after you're done talking to your buddy there."
Seems like discretion will have to wait for now.
To the Mavvice: "Does that job involve me having access to a tool kit?"
To the Orbodun: "Pick a number between 1 and 6."
The Mavvice's eyes bug out a bit. "Can you use a tool kit? What's the typical phase variance on a 200 terawatt fusion power source on trickle mode?" You happen to know it's a trick question - a phase variance is only really applicable when dealing with plasma.
Orbodun: "Pi. Now give me your zarking laser."
You notice a few of the other newbies inching away from you and the Orbodun. And you spot a Colloidling and a Felinid glaring at each other when they both notice the other looking at you two hungrily. (Though, how a Colloidling looks at something hungrily is beyond me.)
To the Mavvice: "Unless you've got a funky plasma nightlight being run by the big fusion generator in trickle mode, you're talking crazy talk about phase variance. Yeah - I can use a tool kit."
To the Orbodun: "How did you know I hate pie? I'm starting to think you're trying to be offensive."
I imagine that a hungry look from a Colloidling might involve burbling and accidentally-leaking digestive juices.
Mavvice: "Ok, well, the soldiers there don't really like the locals attacking newbies, so we can't help with Bear-boy there. But when you're done with him, I'm willing to offer you some work. How about this: you join up with us, and I'll show you how to get yourself a government job like me and on the off hours you work for me and I get 20% of your profit. You'd get the additional protection of my bodyguard here, though I'd still be first priority on who he'd be protect'n. Governemnt job will likely earn you 1 credit a day for a 1/2 day shift, which you can use to rent an apartment. Believe me, you want to rent an apartment. It is the only way to get any sort of privacy and gives you security when you need to do some healing."
The Orbodun seems to be comtemplating whether to shoot you, or back-hand you. You figure you have just enough time to answer the Mavvice before we ajourn till game night.
The Colloidling has frightened off the Felinid and is eagerly waiting near you and the Orbodun.
Does the Mavvice or his cohort have any medical equipment?
Yes. Mavvice has a med kit, Reptiloid has a med pack.
To the Mavvice: "Consider me interested. Terms to be determined."
To the Orbodun: "Honourless swine."
Game Night 2011-05-26 - Lay of the land
Acomia and the Orbodun had a long and grueling fight – the kind of fight two first stage combatants can have with tiny weapons. If any seasoned combatants had been watching, they would have needed regular will power rolls to keep from laughing. The newbies quickly learned that stray shots tended to hit random people in the crowd, and that they may turn into opportunistic enemies. Acomia suffered a headshot from a pissed off Takolee that shot him after he went all aggressive on the Orbodun.
But in the end, Acomia was victorious, delivering a brutal maximum damage head shot to the Orbodun, killing him. Acomia claimed the Orbodun’s supplies, and developed a vendetta against all Takolees.
During the battle, the two Yellow soldiers were called off and rode away on their steeds, leaving all the newbies at the mercy of the locals arrayed about. In the chaos, Acomia met up with the Mavvice and Croc Major, and left the scene.
Acomia agreed to the deal on the condition he be provided with some tools. Right now on Yellow it was the off season - no Dynomer available for sale, so the technicians and their body guards try to eliminiate the competition by shooting each other a lot. A Takolee with a fresh Groten bodyguard tried to take the trio out, but was unsuccessful. After healing, it was time for work.
Work on Yellow for first stage technicians involves quite dull work, but it allowed Acomia to rent a coffin sized apartment for his off shift hours. Despite the cramped quarters, it offers privacy.
Did I mention Yellow was crowded? To get anywhere involves wading through throngs of people. The stench is quite strong. However, this gives a base +5 to sneak anywhere there is a crowd - which is pretty much everywhere. It also means that stray shots are to be worried about - pissing people off, or getting hit yourself from a nearby fight.
Anyway, after the shift, they met up again and finished healing. Two more fights - one with a Caracoe/Crocaloid pair, and another with an Insectizoid/Trolian pair. Both fights were close, but Lector and Acomia won. Hannibal contributed somewhat, but he's mostly a tech.
Plot Infliction I - Did you get my text?
Acomia, Hannibal and Lecter are sitting at their usual spot. Lecter is healing, while Hannibal is working on fitting someone's gun.
Tightbeam to Hannibal: "How much is fitting a weapon for +1 to hit worth? And how come Lecter doesn't have any armour?"
Hannibal (out loud): "1 credit during the off season. Could probably charge more during building season as all the techs are busy building stuff. Armour's expensive. Gotta find a medic to build it for you too."
Lecter raises an eyebrow, but says nothing.
There's a blue Human nearby that seems to be waiting for Hannibal to finish working.
Tightbeam to Lector: "Why did Hannibal respond to me verbally? And is that the same blue human we saw before?"
Does the blue human appear to have something damaged?
Lector (out loud): "Probably just being polite. While technically my boss, he likes to keep me in the loop on things." He glances at the Human. "Nope, never seen him."
Hannibal looks up from his work and seems to hail the human. After a moment he says to you. "He wants a weapon fitted. He can only afford a +1 fitting. Want it?"
The Human looks expectantly at you.
Tightbeam to both Lector and Hannibal: "Keeping the whole team in the loop is one thing. Adding to the general unfiltered din with our private babbling seems, well, impolite given the amount of crowding. As well as tactically questionable."... "Do you guys have a database of people to keep tabs on? Rival technicians, and combatants of note?"
Tightbeam to the blue human, BCCing Lector and Hannibal: "Want a weapon fitted? Come on over and I can make that happen."
Hannibal: "I keep an eye out for people I know, but I don't stay in one place too long. So far I seen about 20 technicians working this bar. Some are here all the time, some not."
The blue Human approaches. "Cool." He shows you a 1D+2 Blaster. "1 credit?"
Private comm with Lector and Hannibal: "Fair enough. How about you flag people you recognize via tightbeam for me, and I'll compile a database ad-hoc the hard way. When I eventually earn a stage of mathematician perhaps I can make it into something tactically functional."
To the blue human customer via tightbeam, keeping H and L echoed: "1 credit if you're satisfied with my work." With one hand I pull out the took kit and let it configure itself into calibration mode, the other hand I hold out palm-up to receive the blaster in question.
He hands you the blaster and hovers nearby.
Ok, we can assume that communication between the three of you is private comm.
Hannibal (grinning evilly): "Sure thing. Wanna try a clean sweep?"
Lecter groans: "Don't be suicidal." To you: "A clean sweep is when a techie and his goons try to clear out a bar of other technicians just before the building season. There's no way we could pull it off - our skills are too defensive."
Hannibal: "Bah, you're no fun."
Lecter to you again: "Dude, you seriously going to try to be a mathematician? You brainy?"
Blue Human tight beams you: "Hey. Thanks for doing my gun. The name's Izaak. You seem new?"
To Hannibal and Lector: "Yeah, I'm not feeling up to being quite that aggressive at this point. I just want to be on top of tactical considerations, seeing as how I'm probably going to be focussing on combat functions as foremost. Mind you, I do think that working constantly as a technician will let me earn another stage of that eventually. And if I live long enough, scientist isn't out of the question either. Though I'm not super-smart, I'm smart enough. I'm divided about whether physicist for its obvious shipbuilding value should be first, or mathematician for combat reasons."
To the blueman: "Hello Izaak; good to meet you. I'm Scipio, and I'm pretty new. Have you been active here very long?"
Hannibal: "Yeah, it's odd. They don't give a pay raise if your a physicist. You'd think they would."
Izaak: "Nah, not long. Just got to the planet yesterday. Been awake on Blue for about a year now, though it was only a month ago I decided to become a combatant. Kind of unnerving at first, but got used to it. Before the exodus, I was a chef." He pauses, "So, a, no offense or anything. But it seems like the way Yellow is running things is really lame. The whole 'export combatants' thing I mean. Wouldn't it make more sense to want to hold on to your high skilled combatants for when the Xoids find us?"
Lecter: "From all the other non-combat occupations, I think medic would be most useful... though the lack of real patches sucks."
H + L: "You'd think that this place would be awash with medics. There's plenty of skill for them to earn, thanks to the lack of patches and the combat-intensive nature of much of the population. We should definitely consider trying to either recruit one for our team, or designate one of us to do some medical learning on the side. Hannibal, what are you besides a second-stage technician? Seems like your hanging-back action would be well balanced by some medical skills after Lector and I do the photon catching."
Izaak: "I suspect that the need for dynomer is pretty dire, and there's not much else to trade with. Besides, cumulatively I suspect that if you consider all three worlds together, keeping Red strong is what will be most effective against the Xoids when they do find us. The loss of vast throngs of cannon fodder isn't really that big of a deal. Not that I'll be happy to be wiped out by a Xoid offensive, being pretty much just cannon fodder myself. So... you were a chef. That takes some anatomical knowledge, to a minor degree. Have you thought about learning to be a medic? It might not get you off Yellow any faster, but it would make you a welcome addition to most teams in the meantime, and make you worth your weight in patches when the Xoids do attack."
Hannibal: "I'm also a sneaky bastard... well, a quasi sneaky bastard - only first stage scout. Medic might be handy. I think there's a lack of medics because people think they're not useful because of the lack of patches. Lot of dumb-asses on this planet."
Izaak: "Bah, Red is making itself rich with their operation. People who run Yellow probably are too. Blue is dumping all it's resources into defending the planet. Here's what I think is going to happen if the Xoids attack. The guys running Red are going to run away through their fold space and then leave the planet to blow up so the Xoids can't claim it. All the ships defending the system are probably robot controlled, with orders to buy time. I don't know what the leaders of Yellow are going to do, but they've probably got a strategy in place to get out. Us on Blue, we're going to make a stand.
Medic... hmmmmm, would be useful. Was hoping to become a kick-ass shock shooter so I could one day be a turret gunner on a ship. But under the circumstances, medic might allow me to survive until then."
H + L: "How do you guys feel about inducting additional members to our team? What do you think about Izaak?"
Izaak: "How is the kick-ass shock shooter training coming so far?"
Izaak: "2/3 of the way there. Just gotta get me a stage of sharp shooter."
Lecter snorts: "Has he tried to recruit you yet? They've got some manifest destiny of turning everyone blue or something like that."
Izaak: "You're working as a loner with no infantry? Ballsy."
H + L: "He's preached about going back to defend Blue when the Xoids descend. I expect he means to walk there."
Hannibal: "Actually, in the off season, one of the fold spaces is connected between Yellow and Blue."
Game Night 2011-06-02 - Harvesting Operation
After the next shift, the guys were sitting at their table, working away on things when Hannibal had a bad feeling. He couldn't quite place why, so the group carried on. Shortly after, the reason became apparent - a Groten entered the bar, heavily armed and wearing an intermediate scale shield. He started to lay waste. He had helpers too. Well armed professional combatants had been slowly entering the bar and were ready to attack. Acomia's group was attacked by a Flare Rifle weilding Colloidling of doom. While fighting they slowly made their way towards the door, but it was blocked by the Groten, and a hand to hand Massetin was in their way as well engaging another group.
The battle was fierce and eventually the Colloidling was brought down. The Massetin who was nearby charged the group, only to retrieve the Colloidling and head towards the door. At this point most of the enemy was starting to retreat as well. Acomia attempted to ralley the bar to focus their firepower on the super star destroyer... I mean Groten. This, however, attracted the Groten's attention and he sent a massive blast into Acomia's chest, almost dropping him. The Groten smirked and left.
Yellow security forces (a lone armoured Yiptak) arrived about 5 minutes later, but was too late to do anything useful. Hannibal reported that during the fight, a bunch of sneaky dudes were grabbing gear off of the dead and leaving with the attackers.
Healing was had by all, and the group got into a few more fights. Left off with more healing and Acomia basking in becoming Professional.
Plot Infliction II - Professional
At some point while you're healing, the Yellow armoured Yiptak comes back into the bar, does a thorough look around, and finally spots you. You get hailed.
"That was ballsy, attracting that Groten's attention like that. You're lucky you're not missing a head. You dumb or somethin'?"
To the YAY: "Worse - I was being green. Although, there's no proof I'm not also dumb."
To H + L + I: "Remind me - who's the Yellow Armoured Yiptak? He seems to be trying to assert that he's more than just a 1-dimensional background character.
Also, I think we should scheme about what stages we're all working on, to see if there's any synergy we can develop."
The Yiptak was the security guy that responded after the big battle with the Groten+Thugs.
Yiptak: "Huh, yeah, it's not easy being green." Sorry, couldn't resist. After the initial glance at you he's not looking in your direction any more, but is heading towards the bartender - still talking with you though.
"Want some work that's better pay than what you're getting now?"
Lecter - Weapon Specialist, Hannibal - Technician, Izaak - Artist (Chef).
To the YAY: "What's the work and what's the pay?"
To H+L+I: "Lector, that makes sense. Hannibal, that's expected. Izaak, does that mean you've finished your stage of sharpshooter and are now going to go back to blue to wait for the inevitable Xoid invasion whilst whipping up a slime soufflé?"
Izaak: "Ha, just kiddn'. Still working on sharp shooter."
YAY: "The job would be two-fold - one part is doing what you're likely doing now - taking out other greenies. If you can talk your guys into following you, great, otherwise I can put you in touch with another group. The main difference is that you would take out guys I direct you to. Second would be more of a look to the future. Right now, I have my full allotment of deputies, but turnover is high. If things work out, and a spot opens up, you could be recruited into Yellow's defense force. There's all sorts of perks there, mostly having access to more weapons and equipment."
"For each being I direct you to take out and is successfully taken out, I would pay you 2 credits."
To H+L+I: "Pretty funny, Giant Smurf. OK, I think I'm going to stick with going for another stage of weapon specialist, to notch up my specific aggressive capabilities. Once Isaak makes shockshooter he's going to be able to hit pretty much anything he wants - when he has dice. If we get pinned down hard and are going all-defensive, I'd like to still be able to hit some targets. I still think we could use a medic, though. Switching topics slightly, the YAY has proposed that we work as his personal little hit squad - 2 credits per scalp. Plus he mentioned the possibility of getting individually deputized into Yellow's defense force. Any interest?"
To the YAY: "What are the typical target demographics?"
YAY: "I'll attempt to give you targets you have a reasonable chance of defeating. I'm a mathematician so I can play the odds pretty well."
Izaak: "Well, as I'm not exactly a citizen of Yellow, I'd decline the whole defense force thing... also, just putting it out there, part of my mission here is to recruit for Blue. Wasn't going to bother until I became tougher, but if you guys are heading in the direction of working for Yellow... well you have other options."
Lecter: "From what I gather, the defense force is well equipped comparatively, but it gives them such a huge advantage against us losers that they don't earn much skill."
Hannibal: "2 credits for killing people we'd likely try to kill anyway? I say we do it."
Lecter: "Thinking again about the occupations... it would actually be in my best interest to go up in Infantry again. If I could make it to 5th stage Infantry, I'd be a kick ass walker pilot. Might get myself exported then."
To the Squad: "OK, I'm in agreement that our group goal is skill-earning. As such, getting some minor remuneration from a Yellow Defense Force sheriff mathematician for some bounties is desirable, but deputization is not. Hopefully we can also use this connection for mathematical pro-bono work as well as insight into any large-scale matters. I'll give the YAY a nod and see what's next. Back to the occupations discussion - if Lecter is keen on working up more infantry (which is cool), it even more strongly suggests that we'll need a medic. Not only will he simply have more stamina to lose that we'll need to heal up, but also our main working strategy would be to go aggressive often in order to hit targets and draw their fire so that we're free to whittle them down and Lecter can earn skill. That's a lot of healing. If he doesn't act as a damage sink by being generally aggressive, savvy combatants are going to realize that he's not worth attacking (too hard to hit and doesn't have much offensive capability), so he'll be of little use to the group and he won't earn any skill." Acomia looks particularly at Hannibal. "Besides, think about how much money a medic could earn during the lulls by making armour for everybody."
To the YAY: "All right mister Yellow Armoured Yiptak, we're willing to crew for you as a team. How shall we proceed?"
Hannibal: "Ok, we'll keep an eye out for a medic type person... offer them protection in exchange for healing and armour building. How do you propose we find one?"
Lecter looks at you and Izaak: "If you were smaller, I could use you as turrets... If we had usable patches it would make sense for me to go up in Medic. I could patch o rama and not be hit very often."
Izaak: "If we were on Blue, we'd have patches."
Hannibal and Lecter stare a him like he just grew a new head and started singing opera.
YAY: "It looks like you'll be healing until next shift. On your next off-shift, come back to this bar. I'll have some suitable targets by then. I'll send someone to meet you. He'll have the following authorization code:..." and he sends you a 20 digit alphanumeric code.
The Yiptak finishes chatting with the bartender (which he was doing while he was also talking to you) and leaves the bar.
Note to self: once I'm powerful enough, tattoo on Hannibal's forehead "I would be more useful as a medic." Threaten to kill him if I see it missing.
Game Night 2011-06-09 - Hit Squad
TWO! FOUR! SIX! EIGHT!
Who do we obliterate?!
Hit 'em hard! Hit 'em often!
Hit 'em until their skulls soften!
During the next off shift, the group was approached by a sneaky Crocaloid who had the proper authorization code. He gave the group their first targets - a group of four combatants. They were located in a bar in the zone where the Groten's harvesting operation supposedly came from. It was a fairly evenly matched fight, but the foes were defeated. A technician got away, but Hannibal spotted his corpse assassinated near the bar.
Some healing and a quick fight later, the guys decided to head down to the lower level where some of the tougher combatants were. On the way, an Equidon attempted to pilfer some of Izaak's gear, but wasn't sneaky enough. Fight fight fight... dead Equidon. His buddy ran away. The guys finished making their way down a level and ended up at a bar.
Plot Infliction III - Something happenin' heeeere... what it is ain't exactly cleeear...
After the fight with the Equidons, you guys head towards a bar on this level. It's actually a little less crowded down here, and it seems that there are no really green guys (0-1 stage) unless they are part of a group. The bar is typical - there's a big bouncer at the door and a big spotlight as you enter.
You sense Hannibal suddenly suck in his breath and tense up. "There's a somewhat familiar looking Groten over there - DON'T LOOK! - he's sitting in that corner." You get sent coordinates. "Ah crap, he saw that I spotted him..."
It actually takes a few subtle locates to spot him - he's kind of hidden behind a support column. He's sitting with 4 other beings, all chugging beers. You're fairly certain that it's the Groten from the harvesting operation - your chest tingles a bit as you remember the heavy blast you took. However, there's one main difference - before he had dark brown fur and now it's bright Blue. He's looking at your group, but making no move to act - his expression unreadable.
Well, if it's obvious that he's spotted us and knows we've spotted him...
Tightbeam the Groten: "The blue is an interesting look. Would you prefer for us to stay the zark away from you, or would you rather we linger so that you can know we're too terrified to tell anyone where you are?"
To the Squad: "In this context, we're probably fucked if we make a misstep. We're massively outclassed and this crew probably doesn't want to be found. If we try to flee, it might imply that we're reporting his position and prompt him to get his crew to chase and blortch us. If we antagonize them in any way, we're probably blotched. I think our best bet is to just stay calm, play it cool, and let the Groten find a way to not bother with us."
Out of curiosity, what's the relative population density of Colloidlings in this bar? Trying to gauge the regular flux of dead beings available to sustain a stable demographic of carrion feeders. I'm not relishing the idea of being vulnerable in the presence of a crew of equipment harvesters.
There seems to be slightly fewer Colloidlings here than in the bars on the top level. Still quite a few though.
You detect a very slight smirk on the Groten. He responds: "In the end... everyone will be Blue."
A moment later Izaak tenses slightly and then says: "So, guys, how'd you like to be citizens of Blue?"
While I converse generally with the squad, I browse whatever information nets I can find to learn more about the political status on blue - particularly with respect to what existence is like for green-ish combatants.
Via secure comm to just the squad: "I take it then, that we've been threatened by the Blue Groten. I guess I fail to grasp what exactly the ramifications are. While I do not have any explicit fealty to Yellow, and was not previously against the possibility of a sojourn on Blue, I must say that I'm disinclined to being forced to be on either arbitrarily. I'm mostly interested in becoming a powerful anti-Xoid force. It seems to me that the skill earning on Yellow is appropriate for that goal. I suppose I could be persuaded to prey on hapless citizens of Blue instead in much the same manner that I do now, especially if there's better food. But, really, if the situation was all that much better on Blue, there would be mass migration until things equalized. I find myself speculating that there's a risk of being forcefully inducted to be counted as 'standing army' with very limited opportunity for training."
"Unless, of course, the Blue Groten is asking Izaak if you've successfully recruited us. In which case it wouldn't necessarily be untrue to claim us as semi-recruited, especially if it keeps him from slaughtering us."
Acomia checks to see how many of the Blue Groten's crew are 1) watchings us, and 2) blue-hued.
Actually, it appears that some of the 'official' sections of the net are off line. Gossip sections are all a buzz trying to figure out why. Not a lot of information about what life is like on Blue.
Izaak: "The Groten didn't threaten... he just said 'Maybe you should step up your recruitment efforts.' I don't know exactly what's up, but if he was here under cover, then why the hell would be showing his true Blueness now? Something's not right."
Hannibal: "Um... there's something going on - the net is acting funny."
Lecter: "How does one become a citizen of Blue anyway?"
Izaak: "We find a rep, you take an oath, a medic turns you blue. Simple actually. By the way, mass migration isn't possible - there's only so much bandwidth through the fold spaces and the goverments control all the ships."
All of the Groten's group are Blue. At the moment it doesn't appear any of them are actively watching you... but one of them does look in your direction from time to time. She seems to be the scout of the group and is doing regular locates about the bar.
"I think it might be naïve to assume that the Groten's Blue-ness is necessarily 'true'. Nevertheless, it would seem that there's some motivation for the allegiance with Blue. Izaak, what possible benefits could there be for that here on Yellow?"
"So now our tactical conundrum has shifted in scope. The nominal government elements on Yellow appear to be compromised somehow - both at a macro level with the information net, and at the functional level with our missing YAY controller/sheriff. Anyone have any ideas? The only options I can think of are as follows:
- An internal coup, and so there will be some sort of esoteric power shifting that we can probably ignore if we keep our heads down.
- A Xoid attack, which will mean that we need to stop predating ourselves and shift mode to preparing for guerrilla warfare.
- An external non-Xoid power taking over, which would be mostly annoying but might require us to do something between merely keeping our heads down and guerilla warfare."
I check the remaining shreds of the information net to see if there's any word about that ship that was supposed to be arriving soon.
Izaak: "Not sure what the benefits would be if we stay here... The idea was to recruit people here on Yellow that would eventually come back to Blue when they were high skilled. The thinking was that a high stage person who wasn't 'unique' enough to be exported would be more inclined to be on a planet that is actually putting effort into defending itself."
Hannibal: "I doubt it's anything serious. If it were a Xoid attack, there's a whole string of protocols that would be set into motion for civil defense."
Izakk: "You're kidding, right? If there was a Xoid attack the leaders of Yellow would be outa here in a heartbeat. Civil defense... laughable."
Lecter: "Someone's a cynic..."
Hannibal: "I'll find out what's going on during my next shift. I know people higher up the chain."
At that point, there's a very brief ground-quake.
"So, at what point in the civil defense protocols are the fold spaces destroyed so that they don't fall into Xoid possession?"
Acomia tries to summon the location of the nearest fold space - from cache if necessary if the net is down. If the net is still up, I also ping an obvious query about current events.
"We should get out of this bar, regardless. Anything that might affect us is going to target where combatants congregate. Let's relocate to some place structurally resistent to radiation bursts and large-scale combat while we determine if there's anything imminent." Acomia heads for the door.
Game Night 2011-06-16 - Death and desertion
The group decided to make their way towards the fold space to see if it was still operational. En route, they were repeatedly attacked by foes who took a dislike to Izaak's blueness. Seems rumours were running rampant that Blue was somehow causing trouble, either by attacking Yellow or hijacking the impending shipment of Dynomer. As the planetary network was largely down, reliable information was hard to come by.
First to attack was a group of three. They were defeated.
Hannibal, realizing they were being attacked because of Izaak, suggested that they dump him. Not getting the response he wanted, he fled the group.
heal... heal... heal... a lone Crocaloid Major attacked... and was killed (barely). Acomia experienced the euphoria of having six NST429 blasts miss his face in rapid succession. So should have given you stress points... ah well.
heal... heal... heal... another group of 3 attacked, and unfortunately, this battle saw Izaak dropped and killed. Acomia and Lecter survived and killed two of the enemy while the third ran away.
More healing, and without Izaak, they were not longer attacked. They made their way to the fold space only to find it inaccessible due to 'technical difficulties'. No sign that the area was blown up or anything though.
Plot Infliction IV - Medic!
Lecter: "I have a feeling it might be a while before more newbies show up. Let's check out the top level and see if a) it's been nuked and b) there's a low stage little dude we can hire."
"I'm up for some trawling for a medic. Lead on, kemosabe."
Game Night 2011-06-24 - Yellow and Blue make Green
Lecter and Acomia managed to rescue a Triloid named Coenred from a hungry Colloidling who agreed to join the group and train as a Medic. After a couple random fights, the group decided to head back towards the bar with the Blue Groten in it to try and figure out what was going on. As they approached, they saw a large group of Yellow soldiers preparing an assault, and also were hailed by someone inside the bar via a hidden communicator on a nearby wall.
It was the Groten, inquring about what happened to Izaak, and then attempting to recruit the group into the Blue ranks. Not wanting to commit, Acomia suggested a deal instead where they would provide a bit of help in exchange for information. The help involved taking out any remaining Yellow guards after the main assault pushed into the bar.
The assault happened shortly after, and a Crocaloid Major and Trolian where left behind as a comm connection to the Yellow army's commanders. After some brief discourse Acomia and Lecter attacked and kicked their asses. Wounded, they slunk away and awaited word from the Groten.
Plot Infliction V - Revelations
The Groten hails you... header on his signal says his name is Bayern.
"Fight's over at the bar. Come back if you want to chat."
To Lecter and Coenred: "Ready to dangle our testicles in the lion's mouth? It's possible that Yellow operatives may be logging those who come and go from that bar, so an in-person visit might expedite our systemic problems with the local military. What do you think about suggesting that we carry on our conversation purely by communicator?"
Lecter: "If Yellow operatives are watching that bar, wouldn't they have seen us kill those two Yellow soldiers?"
"Oh, I'm reasonably certain that the two soldiers have already forwarded at least imagery of us - they were part of a communication chain after all. The difficult information we could leak if we saunter into the bar is our location. Right now we're pleasantly lost in the crowds, and probably not really ranking as anything to worry about actively. If we cross the Gaussian threshold of the bar, we confirm that our actions weren't random annoyance/aggression and have a high probability of becoming actively-sought targets as soon as we emerge (or Yellow re-invades)."
Game Night 2011-06-30 - Back to the bar
While healing, Acomia spotted a Crocaloid notice them and scurry off. As it seemed like the Crocaloid recognized them somewhat, they decided to change location and continue healing. Over the next bunch of hours, they spotted the Crocaloid a few more times only he had a couple of others with him (a Takolee and a Trollian). They appeared to be searching.
Eventually they were spotted and the Crocaloid attacked. He weilded a couple of force blades with decent skill and though was taking damage himself, he managed to bring down Acomia. Lecter picked him up and focused on dodging the force blades while Coenred patched Acomia. The Takolee and the Trolian were not much of a threat and the group focused on the Crocaloid. Lecter eventually landed a lucky shot to the Crocaloids head and brought him down.
The other two surrendered and it turned out the Takolee was a medic, so he was able to trade giving Coenred some instruction for their freedom. The group healed up to full and continued towards the bar.
Near the bar, they saw a couple of Yellow soldiers watching the corridor. The Yellows spotted the group and attacked. They were tough. Acomia was just about killed. Fortunately the Blue Groten joined the fight and helped bring them down. Coenred prevented Acomia from getting brain damage by the use of a couple patches and Lecter carried him into the bar.
Plot Infliction VI - Chatting with Bayern
Did we ever give this bar a name... I don't think so. I hereby name it Zdaljevac
I'm, uh, probably going to keep referring to it as "that bar".
I dream of ice cream and kittens. Delicious kittens.
You awaken sitting at a table, a Blue Croc Minor close to you. Looks like he applied a couple of patches. Everyone is quiet and seem to be listening to something, which is when you notice that there's a message being bathed over everyone's communicator. Lecter sends you a quick text: "It's the Yellow government 'splaining what's up."
"... an unprovoked act of war. You can rest assured that this sabotage will not go unanswered and we are in the processing of fixing damaged systems and getting everything back to normal. To any remaining citizens of Blue, you are hereby ordered to surrender yourselves to our soldiers for investigation and eventual deportation back to Blue. Any resistance will be met with lethal force."
Another voice cuts in. "Good luck with fixing the damaged systems moron, you can't even secure a channel to broadcast your idiotic blathering."
First voice (sputtering): "How.. dare.. who is this? You're hacking into an official government broadcast! There are severe consequences for..."
Second voice (smuggly): "Yeah, consequences. I'm sooooo scared. As for who I am, I'm the leader of this little incursion into your systems. Seriously dude, you put so much effort into training technicians and physicists, you'd think you'd get a few decent mathematicians there too so that your computers are secure. But no... here I was expecting a challenge. Sheeesh."
"You're a dead man. We've isolated your virus and it's only a matter of time...."
"Isolated??? Let's see, your network is down. All of your fold spaces are off line and locked down, and just because you're starting to annoy me, I'm going to blow up one of those nifty cloaked cruisers you keep on stand-by incase of a Xoid attack."
"How did you know... " he pauses for a moment. "If we have a cloaked crusier it would be on an isolated system and there's no way..."
There's a very pregnent pause.
Second voice: "Have I made my point?"
First voice: "Are you mad? Do you honestly think Red is going to let you get away with this?"
Another pause. Then the second voice says very slowly and deliberately. "Do you honestly think we would bother with Yellow, if we haven't already taken care of Red?"
At this point a bunch of the Blues in the bar are snickering.
"Anyway, I think the citizens of Yellow are tired of listening to you. Say bye-bye."
"Now wait just a..." -click-
"Ok he's gone. For those of you who haven't put it all together yet. Yellow is now under the control of forces from Blue. So's Red. We determined that the best course for all our survival was to consolidate power amongst the three systems. Things will go on largely as they have before, though we're going to shift focus from Dynomer export to ship production. More announcements will come as the situation settles down."
The communication ends. There's much cheering in the bar.
Secure Squad Comm: "Oooog. OK. I think we got a bit more of an explanation that we actually wanted. Squad check - anybody not OK with nominal alignment with Blue at this juncture?"
- The idea of shifting focus to building a Xoid-fighting armada strikes as, well, a better overall paradigm for RYB.
- A modality of a hostile takeover might seem superficially expeditious, but has self-destructive undertones. I might need to know more about the government of Yellow, vis-a-vis relative realistic mandate from the masses, but I think that a better method for having people work for/with you is to convince them that they want to intellectually. NOT duress.
- I'll be very curious to know what the tactical strength of the Blue versus Yellow forces are, as well as what the zark supposedly happened to Red."
Lecter: "Well, I guess the possibility of being exported is now officially dead... not that I wasn't expecting it, but this seems to have a certain finality about it. I'm ok with alignment with Blue - seems to be our best bet right now."
Coenred: "I spend almost every moment marveling at the fact that I'm still alive. I'm OK with a 'Go Blue!' mentality."
The Groten spots you and wanders over with Blue female Equidon. They sit down at your table.
Groten: "Well, I guess the explanation isn't as required as it was before. Thanks for taking out their comm soldiers anyway. Got any questions before I attempt to recruit you again? Oh, and this is Osana. She's one of our trainers." The Equidon smiles and nods in your direction.
"Trainer in what? And what's the story with Red?"
"Red's still there... we've had control of it for a while now, but haven't let Yellow know until we were ready to act here. A word of advice, never underestimate what a bunch of high stage mathematicians can do." Programmers rule!
Osana: "Over the last bunch of years, we've been trying to think outside the box in terms of what combat skills are possible. With our lack of materials, we're going to have to rely on our skills much more than our gear, so we figured it was prudent to experiment with our abilities. Most ideas were a flop, but one that we're pursuing now seems to have potential. We're training a bunch of people to try and determine it's benefits versus it's costs. If you'd like to tell me your skills so far, I can determine if you'd be candidates."
"Lecter here is professional infantry, and just completed a stage of weapon specialist with plans on being a shock shooter. Coenred is first-stage infantry, and we've got him working on a stage of medic. I'm a first-stage technician, first-stage infantry, and second-stage weapon specialist with plans on being scary. What do you have in mind?"
"Well, it's aimed at turret gunners - specifically the damage they can inflict. Those who are successful will automatically do maximum damage on every hit. I'm sure you can appreciate how devestating that could be. However, to get the ability is tough. You need to be 4th stage weapon specialist and each stage must have the maximum damage bonus - either through training, stages of leader, or luck. Each of the four stages requires an extra point of skill to achieve, and you don't get any other options for the 4 stages. Finally, someone who has figured it out already must train you."
"We've had some success training people who already have stages of weapon specialist. It involves painstakingly going through your sensor data and applying the training after the fact. You'd need to earn 1 extra skill per stage of weapon specialist and you'd have to un-learn your options. The un-learning part usually deters a lot of people - it involves a biologist inflicting some brain damage so that the brain can relearn the new techniques during the training."
"Not even graduated powers? Like, say, first stage of 'improved damage' gets all 1's and 2's rerolled. Second: 3's. Third: 4's. Fourth: 5's - hence 'maximum damage'. And it takes extra skill per stage? That's some harsh mojo. Luckily, I'm a quick learner, and pretty willing to work towards a long-term result... Tell us more about the plans for the turret gunners."
Squad Comm: "I still think Lecter should work towards shock shooter, though. We'd make a deadly team, then."
Lecter: "Yeah... definitely shock shooter."
Osana: "We've tried to do a more graduated ability, but it hasn't worked. It appears like it's some sort of breakthrough ability where everything just clicks. I'm not privy to specific plans for the turret gunners, but the overall goal is to build a fleet that can defend this nebula from the Xoids."
"After I heal up, let's look into inflicting that brain damage you mentioned. As long as you don't mind me being green - or, more like turquoise now."
Bayern: "A requirement for this training is that you are citizens of Blue. However, we can give you the ability to change color at will. For current purposes, it would be best if you remained your original colour. All citizens of Blue can switch their colouring in about a day, though those of us in higher ranks can do it a tad quicker."
Osana: "Just a tad..."
When your attention was on the Groten, you weren't watching the Equidon, and when you turned to look at her when she spoke, you see she now has tan-coloured fur.
Bayern gestures at the Croc Minor medic who was still hovering nearby. He approaches pulling his med pack... "Do you want healing, or do just want your friend to get more training in?"
Game Night 2011-07-08 - Damn Assassins
Much healing, biological modification, training and weapon fitting commenced. Once done, everyone was up to full and Acomia was wielding a 3D blaster. Blueness coursed through their veins, though they still retained their original colouring. They obtained cloaks to hide their identities.
Acomia, Lecter, Coenred, and Osana went to a weapon store where a Yellow soldier and a couple of deputies were standing guard. The deputies died quick and the soldier was worn down a bit before being taken down by a massive blast to the face by Osana (always doing maximum damamge on a 3D weapon is wicked). They went into the store to sell the soldier's stuff and upon exiting, found a hand to hand soldier charging them. He died before even reaching them.
The group decided to head back to their original bar to heal. On the way, they were jumped by a bunch of green combatants, and Acomia was briefly taken down. The greens were defeated and one ran away. Interrogation of one of them found that they thought since everyone was wearing cloaks, they might be some of the Blue invaders. The one that ran away was duped into negotiating for the release of one of his friends and was shortly captured and dragged back to the bar for a bar-b-que.
Many hours of healing passed. Lecter at one point noticed Hannibal and went over to chat and get his weapon fitted. There was likely going to be some more plot there, but...
During the last bought of healing, Osana noticed a lone Crocaloid seem to recognize them and sneak off. Acomia decided to pursue and ran to the exit of the bar to block his escape. He eventually spotted him and after chatting for a moment, realized it was the Crocaloid liaison they had dealt with before when they were working with the Yiptak Yellow soldier. They chatted some more and the Crocaloid let Acomia know he was on Yellow's wanted list...
In a very anti-climatic battle, the Crocaloid attacked, got initiative, and rolled really good while Acomia rolled poorly. The Crocaloid had been acquiring an assassination attempt while they were chatting and he drove his force blade into Acomia's vitals, assassinating him. Unfortunately, Acomia was finished off before the others could get there.
There's a lot of raw material at Red. Now that the three planets in the nebula are focused on ship building they're going to build a massive fleet. Perhaps eventually they will force the Xoids to have to fight on two fronts instead of them focusing on the battle line that's bisecting the 2nd Galaxy. Time will tell...
In the end, everyone will be Blue.