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Old October 16th, 2005, 06:17 AM
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Arralen Arralen is offline
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Default AAR: Scientific Mission - Shepard

AAR: Scientific Mission - Shepard

1. January 4590 - 7300 days left

Ok, so we're off for a 'science mission'. They want me to bring back lots of alien life forms. As an afterthought, they mentioned stellar objects. No word about habitable planets, sapient species or some alien high-tech. Morons.
Gave me a ship, however. Maybe that's even more moronic? Now I have 7300 days to do my best to get them some pink rhinos or something. Maybe I find something more interesting just by the way.

Let me show you what I have planned for the first years of the voyage:


Decided to go to Vulpeculae first: it's the 2nd nearest star, and a good start for the planned route along Aldebaran and down to Magog, and then 'northwards" to Efreeti again.

As it is a red-orange giant, there will be barren planets only, and as the scanners show no alien ships there, this should be a nice shakedown cruise for crew and ship.

Calculated flight time: 174 days for 5,7 ly

"Engage!" ... hey, it's cool to be in the captains seat again ...

23. June 4590 - 7127 days left

No surprise:
"Sanctum" turned out to be a dead planetoid
Big surprise:
We found Epsilon Research Station. Everything dead, no human survivors.
Bigger surprise:
Not everything dead. Landing party found some hideous cross-breed between bat and spider. Wouldn't have been that scary if it didn't have a wingspan of 15 meters.

Seems it likes dark caves. After power failure Epsilon Research Station must have been a pretty big, dark cave ... At least, we know now who or what ate the researchers. From where those things came, we do not know. Managed to get one into our cargo hold. Hope it will never break free. It's pretty dark and cavy down there. Do not need any additional webbing ...

Course set for Aldebaran: 155 days for 5.1 ly

24. Nov 4590 - 6973 days left

Aldebaran has a barely habitable, barren world! Crew rejoices - time for some shore leave. Theory says, it may support some 'scruffy vegetation'. Turned out, that the endless grass plains are not particularly interesting. Furthermore, they're roamed by big furry beasts, which seem to produce lots of methane in their digestive tracts. Crew captured one of those "Fuzzy Lummox" and got back on board. Might sell well as beast of burden in underdeveloped areas.

Now things get more .. interesting:
We'll head for Hellion (3,5ly, 107 days). Scanner says
there's an alien fleet there. I wonder how this will turn out. Will keep my thumb on the hyperdrive button ...

10. Mar 4591 - 6867 days left

Turned out to be single, albeit quite big ship. With nice aliens, call themselfes "Klakar". Even give us a "Summoning Beacon" to call them at any time. Traders. Nice traders. Sounds unbelievable, but they trade everything 1:1. Wish I had loaded up with glass pearls before leaving Hope.

What they have in stock is unbelievable. Sadly, biology will not let me give away those stinking alien life forms we have in the hold for some shiny high tech. Not even for some other life form which are less .. intrusive. Say they don't know where they're from, but they had to. Screw it.

Oh, everyone nearly forgot to check the planet below:
Mora has nice green forests, so if you ever want to play "Tarzan and Jane" this might be the place for you. Someone from botany went down in a shuttle (all those animals make her mad, she said, had to see some green plants again.) Came back with some strange brass capsule. Someone will check it later.

Had a talk with the Klakar again. They say they even take goods already used for 433 days. Checked the contract. Says I have to bring them life forms within 20 years. Nothing about the ship.
Send down complete biology to check the planet again. Had someone from engineering pay their shuttles 'special attention'. Guess it will take some time until they're back. Got xenotech and engineering to work.

Ripped out the railgun, the scanner and the thrusters in literally no time. Traded them in for a "Particle Vortex Cannon", a "Continuum Render Array" and some "Ion Impulsor Thrusters". As an afterthought, I added that brass thingy and got me a real cloaking device. Can you believe that?

25. Mar 4591 - 6852 days left
Got that scanner installed. Heavens! Haven't seen such complicated tech before. At least, it seems to works now. Shows no less than 8 alien fleets. But none at those stars we will reach within the next hops. Looks like my 6th sense didn't let me down this time, got the course right.

7. Apr 4591 - 6839 days left
13 days to install a Ion Drive! And the bios are back, and the bickering, but we have still the half way to go.

22. Apr 4591 - 6824 days left
At least, there's something the bios are good for. This cloaking device looks rather strange, as if some of it's parts are made from living tissue. Turned out to be quite true - it tried to EAT the xenobio who tried to get a small sample. It's installed now, according to the manual the Klakar gave me. No idea if its working.

7. May 4591 - 6809 days left
We have a GUN now! And 1 tech and 2 xenobios less. I told them _not_ to check it's 'innards', but they couldn't listen. Curiosity kills the cat, I guess.

Ok, let's set sail for Magog. It's a short 4,3ly/130 day trip only. Wish the Klakar had some better drive to give away.

13. Sept 4591 - 6680 days left

Magog System
Main planet: Snowbound.
Lots of snow. Sadly not made from water, but CO2. Found a wreckage on a rocky moon. In fact, there was only the drive section left, the rest was squashed flat. Managed to salvage the drive. Xenotech says, it may be somewhat faster than ours. Hope the aliens didn't squash flat because the drive doesn't work.
25. Sept - 6668 days left
Got the drive installed. Tests showed it's 16,7% faster than ours.
Navigation says we will need only 183 days to reach Efreeti, 7ly away, with this drive. Wish us luck.

24. Dec 4591 -
Our second Christmas in space, still within 10 ly from Hope. We're cruising along the edge of the 'Western Nebula". If we could see into normal 3D from hyperspace, I would see the stars glimmering within it's vast dark clouds. If we get caught by it, we would get slowed down to lightspeed crawl. Someday we'll find a drive or gadget that will allow us reach those within time, I hope.

26. Mar 4592 - 6486 days left

We reached Efreeti painlessly. Gish is a desert world orbiting it's red giant sun just near enough to have no open water left. No higher life forms. So much for the bonus for each life form.
Landing party got a strange scanner reading. Some kind of energy signature. Turned out to be some kind of alien musical instrument. Told them I don't like any music after 1988, so they should spare me with any alien stuff. Archive says he has to check his records. Thinks it might be rather older than that.
Btw - we're more than 10ly away from Hope for the first time. I feel things will get really interesting now.

Next target is Karn. Red-orange star, 5,7ly or 149 days away. Scanner says there are still no alien ships.

21. Aug 4592 - 6338 days left

One day I'll smack navigation 1's head. "Harn, orbiting Karn". Names are a matter of taste, and he obviously has none. But he had it entered into the database faster than I could get up from my chair.
Another forest world. Lots of green stuff, but no large animals. Or we haven't found them. **** it.
Found a wreck in orbit. Looks like someone lost a space battle. Inside, a combat computer, heavily shielded, but helpless without energy and weapons. Thinking about it - judging from the state of it's ship, and the fact that we found no other debris, it must have lost it's last battle. Will try and trade it to the Klakar at the next opportunity.

We're in for a little dilemma now. To the west, there's the Western Nebula. To east, there's a small nebula which seemingly disappears into the Limbo Black Hole. If we could wait a billion years or so, it will have evaporated. Until than, we can only set course for Cestus, a red-orange star 9,8ly away. After that, we'll have face alien fleets.

1. May 4593 - 6085 days left

In approach to the Cestus System, we stumbled upon an alien freight container. Therein: a strange looking beam weapon, complete with installation instructions and warranty certificate. Think it does not look as strange as our vortex cannon, so it will stay in the cargo hold. Another item for trading with the Klakar.

Some habitable planet again, at least. Someone suggested it's big grassy plains would be ideal to breed horses on, and promptly another idiot came up with the name Rohan. If this goes on, someday there will be a severe airlock incident. Really.

I LOVE those folks from navigation. They just told me they have re-calculated all possible courses - and we might not have to face aliens soon. Instead, they suggest we throw ourself into the Limbo Black Hole. At least, nearly: We could skim the edge of the Limbo Nebula just north to the black hole and go for Maroon, a dim red dwarf east of it. When I asked for our chances to make it in one piece, they only shrugged their shoulders. So it's up to me again, to base my decision on the tongue-tied competence of my crew. At least, they will go down with me this time.

Guess I'll have to try it. The ships is not ready to face anyone who's shooting at it - our shield is as good as non-existent. Sadly the Klakar didn't have one either.


30. Nov. 4593 - 5872 days left

Already kissed my *** goodbye, but we made it - barely.
Against all expectations, the main world of Maroon turned out to be 'Wonderland'. Not 'a'. Ok, I'll let this one through, for the last time.
Found some deserted alien settlement. Xeno unearth.. un-wonderlanded a bizarre alien 4D sculpture. They say the markings read "self-portray".
I don't want to meet that "Zabnoth".
At least, it's something strange and alien to show off in museums etc. Think it will get me some bucks back on Hope.

24. Nov 4594 - 5513 days left

Nearly a year in hyperspace to reach Thetis, orbiting Theta. A nice marine world. Sadly few beaches for surfing. no interesting life forms. I wonder if xenobio says this because my share is bigger then theirs.

Learned about the limits of our nice shiny scanner: It cannot detect sunken spaceships. Received a short-range beg for help from some crippled alien ship, crash-landed in shallow waters around a coral reef. Got their ship to the surface just in time before all drowned.

It's says its Muktian. Xenobio says they're highly intelligent. To me, they're simply subterrean slugs which got into space by a cosmic error.

At least, they swear to follow us as interstellar observers and representatives of their kind. Their tech seems not to be that much more advanced than ours. Sadly that means, they won't be a big help in combat. We'll see how this turns out. And their drive is surprisingly similar to our old one. Means they'll slow us down somewhat: Instead of 360 days, we'll need 392 days back to Maroon.

But for sure I don't want to go to Argent or Vesta directly. If we have to flee at once, the only save coordinates would be those of Theta - some three hundred days back. Better go to Maroon first, than re-calculate for Argent. That way we will loose only some months, not years if something turns wrong.

20. Dec. 4595 - 5122 days left

It's close, but I won't stay another 4 days in orbit just because of Christmas. We'll open the hyperspace vortex and go for Argent at once. Btw, the slugs don't know what Christmas is, anyway.

11. May 4596 - 4980 days left

I mean - Wow!!
Popped out of hyperspace above Lussex just in front of a really strange and big vessel, seemingly spinning out of control in ever descending orbit. Looked more like a lifeform than a ship, actually. And vicious.
Even the slugs haven't seen something like that before they say. Nevertheless, they boldly headed for it. Not very fast though, their thrusters can't keep up with our new ones. As we couldn't get any scanner readings from the hulk, I thought I could try out our cloaking systems.
No moment to late - the strange thing turned towards the slugs and started firing a even strange weapon at them - looked like lots of small comets or something. Hit them really hard, but they just stopped and returned fire.
Bought us some time to get around to the side, decloak and get some rounds from our alien kill-o-matic into the beast. It stopped firing soon.
After the hull ruptured and the atmosphere burned off nicely, we boarded it to see if there was something we could salvage. Found a shield generator (looks surprisingly like 'normal' tech, maybe some backup or booty) and rather worthless holographic emitter that does nothing more than project the image of a ninety-meter-obelisc.
More crap for the Klakar, I guess.

Ah, right, Lussex, 2nd in the Argent System, is a grassland planet. No lifeforms of interest, again.

30. May 4596 - 4971 days left
Took 9 days to repair the slugs hull. Had been hit pretty hard, really. And another 10 days to repair their gun.
Still no lifeform from the planet. There goes another bonus.

Our next stop will be Vesta, a white star 3,7ly from here. In 106 days we will know, which aliens 'man' those ships the scanner show in the system.

23. Feb 4614 - Orbital Recon Station Hope

Sir, we have received an sublight distress signal from the Zeus. We have decoded some of the fragmented data.

Looks like it was approaching orbit around a planet in the Vesta system when it was attacked by multiple unidentified ships of different sizes. No signs of any survivors.

We managed to reconstruct the captains private log. It's attached to the report.

edit: screenshot of main screen still not working
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As for AI the most effective work around to this problem so far is to simply use an American instead, they tend to put up a bit more of a fight than your average Artificial Idiot.
... James McGuigan on rec.games.computer.stars somewhen back in 1998 ...
Old October 16th, 2005, 10:57 AM
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General Woundwort General Woundwort is offline
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Default Re: AAR: Scientific Mission - Shepard

So -

Does this mean somebody has a demo, a betatest copy, or what?
Old October 16th, 2005, 12:18 PM
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Combat Wombat Combat Wombat is offline
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Default Re: AAR: Scientific Mission - Shepard

Beta Tester
You can give a man fire and he will be warm for a day but set him on fire and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

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Get the newest Version of Invasion! here: http://www.secenter.org/

Old October 16th, 2005, 01:00 PM

MagnaZero MagnaZero is offline
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Default Re: AAR: Scientific Mission - Shepard

Nice story.
Old November 8th, 2005, 03:47 PM
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Cyberis Cyberis is offline
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Default Re: AAR: Scientific Mission - Shepard

Yes, nice story. Now that I have my OWN copy, its time to make some stories of my own
Cyberis AKA "The Manly Geek"

If I can't program it then I will kill it. If I can kill it I will eat it.


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