Shadows Dawning - IC Thread 1

Shadows Dawning
an EVO-based interactive chronicle

Written by Admiral Benden, asriel, BattleDoctor, Grunadulater, kauthor, SilverDragon, Solel, specops, Thunder, U.E. Admiral, Vice Admiral Ipvicus and CaptainCarnotaur.

Throne Of The Damned I

“The Great Lord Avaron ek Maiador of House Maiador,” intoned the heavyset Voinian who stood to the right of the immense double door, beating a tone on a drum equivalent to the visitor’s rank. The tone resounded around the room - it was a loud tone, although not as loud as some; but to one listener the tone seemed to echo too much, bouncing off the gargantuan onyx pillars of the throneroom and the high domed roof above. All of a sudden, his position on the throne seemed almost peripheral. Only twelve years of being trained by his father kept his face as calm and dignified as it should be, according to his rank. His rank. The highest among the Voinians, the highest in the galaxy by all intents and purposes. Emperor of the Voinian Grand Empire, ultimate ruler of the Voinian Imperial Navy. His position should have been unquestioned, but in recent times... House Maiador was not a problem directly, but almost a third of the Voinian Imperial Navy had been built and was maintained by Maiador. If Maiador’s loyalties began to turn towards one of the rival Houses - Rauviak in particular - and a rite of challenge was called, his position could truly turn out to be as peripheral as it felt.

“Your Imperial Majesty,” Lord Avaron had begun, falling to one knee and slamming his left knuckle on the marble floor heavily, his face bowed. “May I be permitted the honour of addressing your Imperial Majesty?”

The emperor nodded sharply, and paused. Avaron had not risen. Quickly realising that his head was still bowed deeply, he spoke. “You may rise, Avaron ek Maiador. Child of the Empire,” he added smoothly. He was only eight months an emperor, ascending the imperial throne upon his father’s death, and he had not yet become used to all the aspects of his rule. His inexperience was most likely the reason that House Rauviak had become so openly hostile since his ascension, and before, when it was known that his father, Emperor Varkar ek Gaubach, was living his last year.

“My eternal gratitude, your Imperial Majesty,” Avaron responded respectfully. Too respectfully, almost. Almost as if he was hiding something. You’re getting paranoid now. If you let it show, you’re dead before the day’s out.

“Your gratitude is of no need to me, Avaron ek Maiador. I have it already.”

“Yes, your Imperial Majesty. Yes, of course you do.” Once again, Avaron seemed to responded too easily. “If I may speak freely?” he asked, and there was an undertone in his voice which suggested he didn’t expect the answer to be “no.”

“You may,” he answered carefully.

“My generals are beginning to grow restless of the current situation, your Imperial Majesty. The...humans...have been given far too much chance to strengthen their borders and recover from our assault of the Sol system in previous years. It is becoming vastly apparent that they are advancing faster than we could hope, and-” Avaron began, being cut off firmly by the emperor.

‘Are you suggesting that the Voinian Imperial Navy is becoming outdated in comparison to the vessels of these humans?” he asked, keeping his face unreadable. But it is. Every year, we find ourselves fighting a more and more formidable force. The construction of bases in Vorik and Avann was designed to stop them, but every year, they push just a little harder, and their raids become just that bit heavier.

“Yes, your Imperial Majesty,” Avaron replied, his face also unreadable. Voinians who stood among the great pillars, advisors and the like, however, were unable to hold back their reaction, on the most part. Not a one of them failed to blink, and many muttered to themselves. Tekiyr e Bavael, an aging man who rumours spoke of upcoming retirement, even went so far to gasp. Such a reaction in such an unstable situation, and Tekiyr ek Bavael would be retiring earlier than he intended. It was beyond his control, for the most part. The Voinian at his right made no movement that anyone not on the dais could see, but the emperor noticed the slight flicker of anger, and noted it. For that Voinian, first general of the Voinian Elite Guard, a slight flicker of anger spoke death, and worse. The Voinian’s name was Haldir e Chiantos, and he was known everywhere in the Empire, and grudgingly respected by all rival Houses. Haldir was a disturbing person to have on your side, and no doubt an even more disturbing person to consider an enemy. All of Family Chiantos were said to be like that. Most of Chiantos served House Gaubach, the ruling house, although some broke tradition and served other Houses. No assassination attempt had ever succeeded when a member of Chiantos had been guarding the Lord or Great Lord. And amongst that family, Haldir was known to be the best. Not that anyone would ever attempt to assassinate the emperor, or any member of the ruling House. Not unless the situation was worse than he had believed. “Yes, I believe that the Voinian Imperial Navy is beginning to lose its initiative. My deepest apologies for saying so, but I am bound to tell only the truth.” Bound to tell only the truth. It’s true - Haldir would have Avaron’s head removed right there if he was found lying - but no-one had even spoken the truth as plainly as that, not in an audience with the emperor. Not lied, either, but not told the truth.

He had to choose his words carefully now. A wrong move now could ruin him. He took a deep breath - which he hoped no-one else in the throneroom noticed - and spoke. “Your opinion shall be considered in due course, Avaron ek Maiador. Until that time comes, would you care to elaborate as to your plans to counter our ‘loss of initiative’?” His voice was firm, and more than hinted of sarcasm, perhaps too far so. Right now, he didn’t care if Avaron thought his behaviour strange, or anyone else, for that matter. For all his sarcasm, he wanted to hear Avaron’s reply. House Maiador’s generals were noted tacticians, and he had heard very little of new plans lately. His own generals were above themselves, old and senile or young and still too impressed by their own rank to begin to deserve it.

“I am but a humble servant of the Empire, your Imperial Majesty, and do not bear the intellect to understand half of my generals plans,” Avaron began, and for all his talk of speaking the truth, the spark in his eye spoke it a lie, “but as I understand it, it is so. The construction of Vengeance’s frame continues, although it is apparent that even the prototype dreadnought will not be functional for some time now. In the mean time, the vessel’s size suggests that a new style of armanent may be appropriate: although this has already been discussed, I am sure.”

“It has, Avaron ek Maiador,” the emperor replied. It was only after he replied that he began to wonder whether Avaron had been testing him. He was shocked at the thought. I am the Emperor! Testing me? Who does he think he is? The calm of his face almost slipped, but he maintained it.

“Yes, yes. Your Imperial Majesty,” Avaron added almost hastily. Hastir, who had been studying him over one cupped hand, straightened slowly - a minor movement. Despite it, Avaron flinched slightly Hastir continued to study him, seeming unperturbed. After a moment to recover, Avaron continued. “The human’s fighters are dangerous, your Imperial Majesty. Our navy was quite sufficient until they began to utilise the fighter extensively, with its fighter-carrier providing long-range support. As I understand it, to wrest supremacy again, it would be beneficial for us to continue the Hellspawn project further. The Demon heavy fighter proved to be excellent at supporting our frigates, and the more manouevrable Devil interceptor is a worthy update, but... neither will win the war for us.”

“So your generals are suggesting we develop a new attack fighter?” the emperor asked softly, trying to keep an unidentifiable overtone to his voice. Avaron had been caught offguard, and keeping him on edge could be to his advantage.

“As I understand it, that is the idea. There was talk of constructing a light neutron cannon, with a more powerful linear accelerator, to make the weapon more effective at hitting the enemy’s fighters...” Avaron continued. His attempts at sounding unknowledgeable were somewhat feeble, however. Why is he trying to pretend that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about? Does he think I don’t either? The Voinian emperor understood every word Avaron was saying, and could have corrected every intentional slip he made. Is that what he’s doing? Trying to get me to correct him?

“Avaron ek Maiador, be at ease,” a voice spoke from beside the emperor. Haldir had finally spoken up. Saving me from showing anything , he realised. “I have already had the initiative to skim through the preliminary designs of the vessel sent by your generals. The project is already underway.” It was the most Haldir had said in some time; he had not spoken aloud once during such a meeting in weeks.

“Of course. I should have realised that you would have done. My sincerest apologies,” Avaron replied. Despite the fixed, icy glare Haldir gave him, Avaron appeared surprisingly unruffled. Maybe Haldir’s intervention made it worse? It’s impossible to know just how much they see... Realising that his composure was on the verge of slipping, lost in his thoughts, the emperor spoke quickly.

“You may depart now, Avaron et Maiador,” he spoke firmly. “Your presence is no longer required.”

For a bare moment, Avaron simply looked at the emperor, seeming to see through him for a moment, seeking something. The moment seemed to drag out. Then, he spoke as calmly as ever. “By your leave, I will do so, your Imperial Majesty.” Then, bowing again, he turned around. Two elite guards quickly appeared at his shoulders and escorted him through the great doors, which slowly closed as he faded out of sight.

There was a long pause after Avaron left, no-one speaking or moving. The emperor, lost in his thoughts, was surprised when he looked up and saw Haldir’s study had turned to him. “What is it?” he asked irritably. Haldir e Chiantos may have been a skilled guardsman, but his advice was irritating. Haldir treated him like a child in some areas, and in others assumed knowledge he did not have. And his advice was never to be taken on only one layer, and rarely was what it seemed. In some ways he was not as bad as Delphar e Toruas, an imperial advisor who always spoke in riddles, but in others he was worse, because one always knew when they had figured out one of Delphar’s riddles.

For once, however, Haldir’s words were not - or did not seem to be - intended to deceive. “Illiunas, Maiador does not justify your concern. Avaron ek Maiador is searching for weakness, and has not allied with Tranakos ek Rauviak.” He spoke plainly, and left little room for misinterpretation. Or did he? Tranakos ek Rauviak...the puppet ruler of House Rauviak. Could Haldir mean to say Avaron may already have an alliance with Rauviak’s true leader? And he referred to me as Illiunas. He Who Illumines. The ancient title of the emperor. Why? What hidden meaning lies there?

“I understand,” the emperor replied slowly, wondering what Haldir’s eyes were searching for within him. Everyone is testing me. Even Haldir. “Guardsman, send out the order for Maiador’s generals, and the lead scientists involved in the Hellspawn project, to be on Borb Station within ten days. A new attack fighter will in no means hinder the Empire, and considering how the situation is unravelling, it would be to our advantage if Maiador was on our side.”

“Be warned that acceptance may be a sign of weakness also, Illiunas,” Haldir said without expression, but he was still studying the emperor carefully, his black eyes unreadable.

“Anything is a sign of weakness,” the emperor replied firmly, his mind facing despite himself. Never take anything Haldir says at face value, or you’ll be dead. He’ll die in my defence, but if he thinks I do not deserve this rank... “And anyone who views my actions of a sign of weakness will spend their last moments trying to puzzle out how their disembodied head is so.” His reply was as cold as he could make it, and Haldir nodded to himself, satisfied.

“I will arrange the summons immediately,” Haldir half murmured, his thoughts obviously also elsewhere. “Will Illuinare Styrada s’ek Tanus allow me to be dismissed?” Illiunas Styrada s’ek Tanus. He Who Illuminates the Path of the Gods. I’ve not heard that spoken since the coronation.

“You may. Do you know who is next?” he questioned the Voinian.

“Lord Chiana ek Tuala,” Haldir replied quickly, already rising from his seat on the dais. “A legality involving House Tuala and House Emondar, Illiunas.” The emperor nodded, both in acceptance of his reply and in formal dismission, and Haldir stepped down from the dais and left the throneroom by a side door. The emperor watched him go, a graceful yet somehow deadly stride. His face barely turned left and right, but there was the undeniable feeling that he saw everything. Two imperial advisors stepped back as he walked by, one of them Tekiyr e Bavael. From the panic apparent on his face, he was afraid that Haldir would not forgot his slip earlier. For Tanus’ sake, the Voinian only gasped. And now his life is forfeit, as surely as if he called rite of challenge.

The emperor firmly pushed thoughts of the rite of challenge out of his mind. That was what he feared; that we what he grimly thought Haldir was looking forward to. The rite of challenge, where one noble House acting on the behalf of another would declare a War of the Houses. Every house would be forced to take sides: either with the ruling House, or with the challengers. Even if House Gaubach could survive and defeat Rauviak in the rite of challenge - which they could never do if Maiador sided against them - the humans would take the opportunity to strike, and the Empire would be lost. Rauviak apparently didn’t realise this. Surely Avaron ek Maiador understands. He tries to hide his knowledge, but he’s almost as good as tactician as his generals...he can’t truly support the rite being called? The emperor shivered slightly despite himself, and once again pushed the thoughts out of his mind.

It was only moments later that the drum was ringing again, and to the emperor’s relief the tone was quieter. Not as quiet as the two taps that followed, representing Chiana’s escorts, but still too soft to worry him. Realising that he’d allowed himself to drift away while Chiana ek Tuala entered, the emperor quickly smoothed his face and looked directly at Chiana. He’s not here to manipulate me. No, not him. He’s just a minor lord of House Tuala...no concern to me...or is he?(/i)


It was hours before the emperor was able to retire from the throneroom. There had been many more people requesting an audience, and despite spending most of the day accepting audiences from various lords and great lords, thrice that were left waiting. Finally, however, he had just stood up, told one lord that he was dismissed, and left the throneroom for his personal chambers. Some of the looks he had received: puzzled, wary, even irritated, should have put him on edge, but he was too tired to care at that stage. After Avaron ek Maiador, there had been two more individuals who he had reason to be concerned about. Iathar ek Katharon, the Great Lord and ruler of his House, had come from the planet Dieram after investigating what remained of the Dieran slaves. He had laid down a case - not the first - against the emperor’s new edict concerning the treatment of slaves. It was all very well said and thought out, but it amounted to satisfying his slave masters’ sadistic needs. “Keeping the higher classes contented”, was how he phrased, by; “giving them visual evidence of the boundaries between the higher and lower classes.” There was a hint in it, also, that Iathar ek Katharon would not be at all displeased if the “higher classes” were frightened into obedience by public displays of slaughter. The emperor listened to it all, and then told Iathar to leave. Iathar had been on the point of refusing when Haldir stepped down from the dais, reaching for his rifle and axe - which, the emperor was not entirely sure. Iathar had left the throneroom at almost a run. Despite the victory, it was obvious that Gaubach had made a powerful enemy in Katharon. Another House on Rauviak’s side if it comes to the rite of challenge , he had thought grimly.

The second character was not a great lord, or even a lord. Grycalis e Vaerkar was his name. Family Vaerkar had almost as much of a reputation as Family Chiantos, as political meddlers and shameless liars. Even they would not lie to the emperor, but there was no doubting that their every word was not quite the truth. Family Vaerkar was always manoeuvring for power, and with their current wealth, they could easily establish their own House. They hadn’t, however, and that was a matter many of the Houses had begun to wonder about. If the emperor had been short-tempered with Iathar ek Katharon, with Grycalis he was brutal. The Voinian had not been there five minutes when the emperor dismissed him. Those five minutes had been bad enough, however, his mind working faster than it ever had to keep up with all of Grycalis’ plots.

He had been looking forward to some rest, but he soon remembered that he had promised his first general a talk in the warroom. Haldir e Chiantos would also be present, as always - even now, Haldir or one of the guards under his command would be outside his chambers - and a number of other generals. Gaubach’s first general, Terrael e Kovoda, had also requested the presence of a cruiser captain situated on Avann Outpost, and a high scientist involved in the construction of the Vengeance.

Stripping off his chainmail robes in his chambers and replacing them with an indigo coloured cloak, and clipping a handgun onto his belt, he began to go through the names of those who Terrael had asked be present. Of the eight generals in House Gaubach, the best three had been asked to attend - and the others would no doubt complain at one point or another. The risk was worth taking, however, and no-one would disobey an order supported by the emperor. I am not going to have one more meeting with those incompetents. All they're interested in is their pay; and all they want that for is drink and young slaves. Shaking his read ruefully, he shifted the handgun so it would not be apparent when he closed his cloak. No need letting people get any ideas about security.

Before leaving, the emperor looked around his personal chambers, with its crimson carpets embroidered with golden and silver thread, covered in front of a massive onyx fireplace by a rug made out of the hide of a now extinct species. The room could only be described as the very image of grandeur, although it was for the most part bare aside from the finery that could not be taken out, either because it was built into the chambers, or because removing it would be potentially dangerous to the political situation. There was no painting above the fireplace, the beautiful glass tables were entirely bare, and a huge high-backed chair with a carving of a dragon and a phoenix making each arm rest sat in a corner, with a length of cloth thrown over it. Where it would have been was a much more simple chair, facing the fireplace, with a small pile of large leather-bound books at the side. The signs of technology in the room - and indeed, in the imperial palace itself - were limited considerably. A control node was built into the wall, and a circular data-pad lay casually on another chair. Ten times as bare would still be too much. How much money has the Empire wasted on all this finery? Surely enough for several cruisers. With a quick glance to an adjoining door which led into his bedchambers - which were even more disgustingly ornate - he stepped out of his chambers into a long corridor. I'd rid myself of half of the furnishings, if it wasn't for Cienara, he thought ruefully. Cienara, the empress, and his wife. Not his choice, of course; Lords have little to no choice in their wives, and emperors even less so. The marriage had been arranged when he was only four years of age, and once again he wished his father had chosen someone who didn't have quite such a temper.

Haldir quickly intercepted him as he made his way across the corridor. As usual, the Voinian had been waiting outside, replacing the usual elite guard. "Illiunas," Haldir nodded respectfully, moving as to walk by his side. "Captain Jaemnor arrived on the V.S.S. Instigator two hours ago, from Avann Outpost. He's been admitted to the warroom, and Terrael sent for the others." The emperor nodded; the scientist from Isled, Cartharos ek Rodeyr, had arrived days ago in a heavy fighter. Jaemnor's later arrival was due, no doubt, to his decision to travel in his own personal vessel. It grated at him that "come with all haste" apparently did not have the desired effect. Jaemnor could haved arrived in a third of the time in a heavy fighter. Jaemnor of Family Taevanos, a family within House Santonan. Santonan would never disobey an emperor, but they were known for walking the edge coolly. Almost as bad as Rauviak, he mused to himself, and at the same time, probably less of a threat than Maiador.

"Let us go then," the emperor replied, nodding to Haldir. Without pause, or another word, Haldir began to head for the warroom in long, purposeful strides. Keeping by his side easily, the emperor followed along the long, straight corridors. After a minute or two, they came up to their destination - a large, semi-circular door guarded by two Voinian elite guards. The fanciful patterns on the door did not hide the fact that it was designed to last against any type of explosives. A thin coating of more expensive, aesthetical materials covered ten inches of high quality Bronev plating - the door was as well armoured as a heavy fighter, if not more. All of the doors in the palace were defendable, but only the warroom and armoury had such plating.

Without waiting for the guards to decide he needed to be introduced to those waiting, the emperor pushed the doors back easily. Despite the weight of them, they were designed to require little effort to open, after an emperor who had ruled five hundred years ago had found himself unable to enter his own warroom. He had not been taken seriously after that point, and became a puppet emperor after not much longer. And if they thought he would resist that, he would have been a dead emperor.

The warroom was refreshingly bare, with no draperies and only one tapestry on the wall, above another fireplace. The tapestry always depicted the greatest victory of the current emperor: the one that stood above the fireplace now showed a human armada moving into the Pokoren system, preparing for an assualt on Vorik. The Voinians had beaten back the human armada although outnumbered three to one, refusing to retreat and wait for reinforcements. At that point, he had been heir to the imperial throne, and like all imperial heirs in the history of the Empire, he was placed in the most difficult commands on the frontier. He could remember that battle vividly, when he had ordered the fleet's heavy fighters to follow him into a flanking movement. That was another catch to being an imperial heir; by imperial law, the heirs were only allowed to command a fighter into battle. Those lot had fought I was mad when I told them to flank the enemy position. They nearly turned around and left - ha! It had been the first battle in recorded history when heavy fighters had done more than provide support, and it was the reason that he had supported the suggestion of the new fighter when Haldir had mentioned it several days ago - Avaron was not as up-to-date as he believed.

Six Voinians sat on high-backed chairs in a circle, three in officers' uniforms with five knots of rank, one with a single knot, and the fifth Voinian in a long grey coat. The sixth was Terrael e Kovoda, and he sat at one of the two more ornate chairs, with sixth knots of rank over his breast. The other seat, more ornate than anyone else's, was empty. The emperor took it without pause, while Haldir moved through behind him, closed the door, and leant on it casually. He rarely sat at more informal meetings.

"Illiunas," Terrael nodded respectfully. Not a bow, just a slight inclination of the head. Terrael wasn't far behind him in rank, and like Haldir, wasn't one who held much store in rank, even that of emperor. Terrael was a veteran, however, and greatly deserved his position. Since the emperor had been raised to his position, Terrael, Haldir and himself had been planning the beginning of a wider plan to defeat both the humans and the Emalgha, which had not even extended to the warroom.

"What news on the new fighter?" he asked bluntly, foregoing the usual greetings.

"News? Ah - yes," Terrael replied slowly. Terrael was brilliant, in some ways, but he had a very short attention span - or seemed to. Taking anything at face value was not a good idea. "As you requested, it will be classified as the Wraith attack fighter. About its weapon complement, two forward-firing neutron cannons will provide it with sufficient firepower, I believe. We've looked into various design specifications, and its quite impossible to outfit it with the same turrets we employ on our capital warships."

"I have been considering that, Terrael e Kovoda. We've all seen our enemy's high velocity primary weaponry - blaze weaponry, I believe they have dubbed it - and how effective it is at hitting faster targets. Meanwhile, the speed and manouevrability of our enemy's fighters means that our own are becoming obsolete, and mainly because their weaponry cannot hit them. I want you to see to the development of a light neutron cannon, with a more effective accelerator, and a much more reasonably size. The Wraith will have six seperate engines, each built into a heavily supported wing. I want four such light neutron cannons to be built into four of the six wings, and the other two are to support rocket launchers."

Terrael paused. He had obviously not been expecting such a reply. He was obviously thinking it through. "Your ideas are certainly interesting. A lighter cannon could provide us with all the advantage we need. The intended specifications may be difficult, however - the weight will counteract the number of engines somewhat, and it may not be as fast as we had intended."

"Use light compound materials wherever it is possible. I want you to explain to every single engineer involved in this program that not everything has to be made out of dospect plating. Titanium - or plastic - will be more reasonable. I have no doubt that the weight will not be much higher than the heavy fighter, perhaps even less," he replied coolly. He had planned this all before.

Terrael simply nodded. "The Vengeance prototype is continuing alongside the final stages of development for the enhanced neutron turret. Engineers working on enhancing the turret had to rush their work slightly for it to be incorporated into the Vengeance, but I have no doubt that the final production version of the dreadnought will employ much more effective turrets. The Wraith is on the drawing board, and will remain so for the time being, I understand. At your command, I will set several engineering teams to speculate upon and construct a lighter neutron cannon."

"That all sounds reasonable, Terrael," the emperor commented approvingly. "Also, I'd like you to infirm Carshada e Zsantiir that he will receive adequate funding to look into improving our current rockets, but that the Empire will not support any such projects at the moment."

"If I may speak, your Imperial Majesty?" piped up the voice of the scientist, looking somewhat nervous.

"Go ahead," the emperor replied, keeping his voice level and forcing himself not to remind the scientist that such formality was not required in the warroom.

"The human's guided rockets - hunter missiles, I believe they are called - are beginning to become quite a difficulty. It may be to our advantage to develop a... guided rocket... to counter their own. The Isled research and development group wishes funding to research into... guided... weaponry. The Empire may be able to develop a greatly superior rocket if we are able to equip it with guided systems."

"Consider it done," the emperor replied after a pause. "You'll have everything you need for such a project. But once you're done, the Empire shall begin to see about satisfying my father's dream. If Riden is to be left without the necessary funding to continue their operation for much longer, we may have more than slaves to deal with internally."

"On the matter of slaves..." one of the three other generals began.

The warroom conference continued for some hours, but all the important decisions were made in the first half an hour. With the Vengeance operational, and the new fighter, the Empire will be unstoppable.

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Project Update: Thread 1, Post 0

Vengeance Dreadnought: 60 Total, Started at 0, Completed at 60
Enhanced Neutron Turret: 30 Total, Started at 0, Completed at 30
Light Neutron Cannon: 45 Total, Started at 0, Completed at 45

(This message has been edited by SilverDragon (edited 08-19-2002).)

Emalgha
High Elder Rivay looked over the council chamber of the Emalgha. Its ranks were sadly reduced from before the Voinians had come, but now the council could be held again, the Voinians pushed away.

Rivay banged his staff on the floor, calling silence to the room, and spoke.

"As we all know, the Voinians grow yet stronger, while we grow barely atall. Before long, they shall overcome us again, and enslave us all. We must find more resources if we are to survive against them. We know empty systems exist to the north of kelmaon, but what may be in them we do not know. We may find more slavers, but unless we look, we will lose.

"I throw this open to the chamber."

Sitting back on his seat, Rivay watched the Elders talk. Few objected, and the military factions where earger for new resources, for they knew better than anyone else how bleak things where.

Finally a concensus was achieved, and Rivay spoke the decision.

"3 fleets shall be sent out, 2 of our finest Warships in each, with 6 Freighters to ensure they can explore for as long as is needed. 2 Freighters of each fleet will carry what is needed to explore any new worlds, and to find what resources may be hidden on them.

"The Military has requested that we divert funds into developing a new weapon, similar to our current cannon, but of apparently far more damage and range. Apparently our scientists also think it may have promise should it be able to be made small enough to improve our current cannons.

"The Military has also requested that we develop an ability to carry our fighters on our warships, increasing their attack ability. They say it should be fairly simple, and give them a better chance of destroying Voinian raiding parties before they can reach Emalgha.

"As High Elder, and with all branches of the military giving approval, I give my authority to these upgrades.

"Now, we must move on. A petition has been put forwards for expanding the Kelmaon base. Elder Tetha may speak"

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Project Update: Thread 1, Post 1
EM Railgun Research and Prototype Construction. 60 posts total. Started at 1. Completed 61.

Fighter Rack Research and Refitting. 50 posts total(25 Research, 25 refitting). Started at 1. Stage one completed at Posr 26. Stage 2 Completed at Post 51.

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If someone makes a mistake, it is not my fault. I will however use it to my advantage.

Voted most likely to be a serial killer by Insane Asylum - 2002

(This message has been edited by RMA (edited 08-18-2002).)

Realm of the Gods I

The Theocracy of the Zidagar People was the official, and appropriate title, of the Zidagar government. However, while the Zidagar government was called a theocracy, it was only so titled because the top caste was the religious leaders. In the Zidagar caste society, the religious caste was the top dog, followed by the warriors, then the scientists and engineers, and finally everyday workers. The ruling council was formulated by taking the leader of each caste, and then some. For instance, the Warrior caste not only was allowed to send its ruling leader, but also was obligated to send the 3 Admirals in charge of the three fronts. Additionally, they were allowed to send the head of the Intelligence gathering bureau. The Scientist and Engineering castes were allowed to send an extra 3 people for the both of them. The extra three people were those that were in charge of the research projects that were being conducted by the Theocracy of the Zidagar People. The worker caste, being the most lowly, was only allowed to send 1 additional person, usually from wherever needed the most support for a new proposal. The religious caste was allowed to send another 2 people, at the discretion of the head of the caste. The caste head of the religion sect was given the title Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous in old French (Or he who serves Zi and whoprotects all). Zi was the omnipotent and omniscient God of the Zidagar religion, who used to be called Zideguerre. However, over time, his name was shortened to just Zidagar, and then Zi. The Zidagar people wanted to emulate Zideguerre, so they began to call themselves the Zidagar. However, while Zi’s first name (Zideguerre) suggests that he was warlike, and hence the warrior caste would be the top caste, it was not so. The people that were gifted in receiving visions from Zi were those that could then tell his minions what to do. Thus, the religious caste emerged on top.

The Ruling Council, as it was called, always met not on the home world of Zidagar, as it might be expected. However, they instead met on Tumni, as that was where in prehistoric times that the Zidagar thought where Zi and his legion of Gods lived. Thus, that was where they met, so that they were as close to the gods as possible. They met once every 2 months or so, or whenever a quorum of 9 people declared a convocation. They always started with the worker’s report, as that was the least important, and it got them in the formal and planning mood. Then, they always moved on to the warriors reports, first from the Pirates front, then the Azdgari, and finally the Igazdra. Finally, the scientists and warriors shared their reports with the council. Then, new proposals were brought forth, in the same order. The council would try to combine proposals so as to be the most efficient. As such, the Warriors and Engineers could sometimes try out a new technology in battle. Finally, the council voted on such matters. In case of a 7 aye and 7 nay tie, the side that Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous was on always won.

Currently, the Warriors had just finished their report of the three fronts. It seemed that there was an upswing of Pirates. Indeed, the other strands seemed like they were beginning to have an upswing in warship production too.

Finally, proposals began. The workers, of course, just advocated that more people be placed on the assembly lines of shipyards.

Admiral Kra’thra noted one thing when he was making a proposal: “Mes amis, both the Azdgaris and Igazdras have Aradas which may be used in combat. We, however, have none. Even the Renegades have such a ship. We desperately need something between a fighter and a light warship. Therefore, what I propose is simple: The Zidagar Arada. While I am no engineer, what I propose is this: The Zidagar Arada would be armed with 1 Phased Beam Turret.” At this point, an engineer interrupted the Admiral. He said,”While we don’t have a phased beam turret, we would like to create one. It will have half the reload time of our current phased beam, so it would, in effect do twice the damage.”

Admiral Kra’thra’s curt reply was this:”Yes, thank you, Engineer Lerva. Now, as I was saying, the engines on this thing would be rather enormous, increasing the mass by another 5 tons over the nearest Arada. It would, however, have excellent maneuverability, and would be equipped with another 4 Phase Cannons, 2 Phased Beam Turrets, 2 Dispersal Rocket Launchers and 15 Rockets. As outfits, it would have 1 Ramscoop, 1 Afterburner, 1 ECM system of our make, 1 Mass Expansion, 1 IFF decoder, and 1 Density Scanner.”

Admiral Kra’thra pulled up a schematic for the proposed Zidagar Arada. It’s stats were displayed as follows.

Zidagar Arada
Cargo: 0
Space: 0
Shields: 500
Shield Recharge: 100
Armor: 100
Armor Recharge: -9
Accel: 650
Speed: 350
Maneuver: 4
Weapons:
4 Phase Cannons
2 Phased Beam Turrets
2 Dispersal Rockets + 15 Ammo
Mass: 45
Fuel: 500
Max Guns: 4
Max Turrets: 2
Price: 2M

“As you can see, my colleagues, it is a rather impressive ship. I would suggest that we upgrade a portion of our existing Aradas. Worker Nevile, what would be the maximum percentage of Aradas that we could upgrade without suffering detrimental losses in our shipping lanes?”

Worker Nevile quietly tapped at his computer. After 3 minutes of work, he had set up a graph and analyzed it. “Approximately 30%. However, after that, the computer projects that we would suffer irreparable losses in our supply routes. Also, every Arada that rolls off the shipyard lines would be a Zidagar Arada, rather than a regular Miranu Arada. We would suffer little, if any losses in our supply lines at that point.”

“Merci. You see, Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous , this is a wise idea.”

At that moment, Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous began trembling. He was having a vision of Zi, and Zi was flying in a Zidagar Arada with a Phased Beam Turret destroying all his enemies. This, Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous took as a sign that both projects were solid ideas which should be pursued. He opened his mouth, and passed judgment on both projects.

Phased Beam Turret Research and Construction; ETA 25 posts; Started at post 2. Completed at post 27.

Zidagar Arada Research and Construction; ETA 55 posts; Started at post 2. Completed at post 57.

More efficient Ramscoop Research and Construction; ETA 30 posts. Started at post 2. Completed at post 32.

Fleet Positions:
• 120 Zidaras and 133 Fighters are stationed at Neholl.
• 270 Zidaras and 267 Fighters are stationed at Vastan.
• 25 Zidaras and 156 Fighters are stationed at Pozdag.
• 75 Zidaras and 300 Fighters are stationed at Qerid.
• 75 Zidaras and 133 Fighters are stationed at Fluron.
• 200 Zidaras and 467 Fighters are stationed at Plogok.
• 1600 Aradas scattered throughout Miranu and Zidagar space, trading.
• 17 Aradas being used as “experimental” Aradas (prototypes for the Zidagar Arada).


To: Miranu Leader, Zachit Leader
From: Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous, Zidagar leader
Subject: Pirates
Priority: Medium
Encryption: High

As your intelligence may or may not be able to tell you, I have placed a good portion of my forces near the pirates that you must deal with. I am doing this as a sign of good faith, yet I would like something in return. I only ask for the plans of the Pursuit Missile Launcher. The Zidagar already have access to the missiles. In return, I will help you deal with the renegade pest.

End Transmission


Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous then powered up the communications terminal for another message.


To: Leader(s) of the Rock
From: Zidigar Ruling Council
Subject: Truce
Priority: Low
Encryption: Low

Pirates, for now, I won't attack you, if you won't attack me.

End Transmission


(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-18-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-18-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-18-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-18-2002).)

Damn, that's a lot of edits!

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-18-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-19-2002).)

5 Crescent Warships, 12 Laziras, 15 Aradas and 20 Crescent Fighters jumped into the Unobot system. They stayed in a close group, but not too close. As they jumped in, the ships with missile launchers shot. Missiles cruised into the oncoming defence fleet, and behind the missiles were CFs and Aradas. With phase turrets blazing, they tore through the fleet of CFs. After taking a few losses, the Aradas and CFs turned back to regroup behind the capital ships, which were rapidly approching the defence fleet. As they came up on the fleet, another volly of missiles was launched, and several CFs blew. With Phase turrets blazing, the CWs and Laziras slid through the fleet, with the smaller ships close behind. Suddenly, the fighters concentrated all fire on the Renegade CFs. With the defence fleets gaurd down, the capitals launched volly after volly of missiles, all the while phase turrets firing. After about 5 minutes, the battle was over. The CWs captain demaded tribute from the planet, then went down and took all the supplies the renegades could carry. Satisfied, he kept the fleet in Unobot to raid any ships coming into the system. Boarding and stealing anything they could find, the renegades cleaned the system.
Renegade losses:
18 Crescent fighters
4 Aradas

(stole 5 Crescent fighters)
(recovered 1 Arada)

Unobot losses:
45 Crescent fighters
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Grunadulater smiled evilly at the new resouces he had recieved from Unobot. He poured it all into the ion technology he was researching. He then went down to the bar and bought drinks for everyone because he was in a good mood. After everyone had drinks, he stood on a table.

"Tommarow, we will begin raiding Bakoom! Free drinks and creds for everyone that participates." The pirates roared. They were willing to fight for it.
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Ion Tech: Researching. Thread 1, post 3

(This message has been edited by grunadulater (edited 08-18-2002).)

The Lure of Power, Part I

The glory of the fight. Again and again, Vaten’s dreams returned to that. Just five short years before, he had been a dueler in the pits of Chak. He had been good...but not good enough. Even now he felt the poison from the daggers seeping into his veins. From observations of the old duelers, he estimated he had no more than eight or ten years before it killed him.

And why had he become Imperator of the Azdgari Empire? Because his father, the old Imperator, had died...from the very same poison. It was a vicious circle. Vaten chuckled to himself. As a memorial, and to remind himself that the dangers of being Imperator were much the same as being a dueler, Vaten had had his daggers mounted over the fireplace in his Great Hall. Talin and turin. He would never forget.

==========

Sitting on his ornate quartz throne, Vaten wondered why he wasn’t dead yet. At 26, he was the youngest Imperator ever...and he had advisors more than three times his age. They bullied him ferociously, and almost never gave up. Ptsak, for example. At 91, he was the oldest of Vaten’s advisors. And the most stubborn. He simply refused many of the orders that Vaten gave. I really am going to have to do something about him...

But this was no time for idle daydreaming. It was the morning, and that meant a meeting of the Azdgari Grand Council -- the infamous advisors. While Vaten was not actually required to be there, most Imperators did sit on the Council, if only to see what their advisors were planning. Or plotting, for that matter.

Ptsak, as Elder, stood up first. “You all know that we have been having problems with the Zidagar as of late. Their phased beams are simply too powerful for the Azdaras’ shield generators to handle. To put it concisely, we need a new generator. It is going to cost a lot to improve the Azdaras’ generators; that much is known. But if it helps them stay alive against the Zidagar...” He sat down.

Travek, next in line, stood up. “While shield generators may be all good and well, we need to upgrade the phase cannon itself. If we could get ahold of a better version than the Zidagar and Igadzra, we would have a significant advantage over them. It would cost a bare fraction of what upgrading the shield generators would, and it would also be useful on our Aradas and Warships.” He sat down as well.

The hall erupted into chaos. People on one side, people on the other...people having no idea where to go. Vaten debated over whether to intrude and restore order. He knew that if he did, he would have a very good chance of being simply thrown out of the Hall. The Elders did, unfortunately, have that power. He knew that to survive, he would have to consolidate his power...whatever it took. But for now, he decided to let the Elders war over what to do. Eventually, Ptsak stood up with the decision.

“It has been decided that we will research both, as we do have the funds to do this. For now, we will fortify our borders and not yet move on either the Zidagar or Igadzra.”

Vaten relaxed, satisfied with the decision. He made a mental note to send out an Azdara probe, to look for other civilizations to the galactic south. He knew there had to be something there. If only he could find it...

==========

Afternoon. Vaten was sitting in at a meeting of the top Azdgari weapons and ship specialists. The best of the best, Sitak, was making her report.

"We recently realized that we do not have any ships with guided projectiles. Therefore, we have a proposal to refit all Azdaras with Pursuit Missiles. It should not take a very long time, and it will greatly increase their effectiveness against all ships, but especially Zidagar Fighters. The ability to kill from afar is very valuable."

Vaten thought this over, and realized that not all the Azdgari workers were occupied at the moment. Ordering this refit would only give idle hands work. There was no downside!

"Thank you, Sitak; this idea will increase our effectiveness against Zidagar fighters tremendously."

With that, Vaten left the meeting, and went to order the refit.

----------

Project Update: Thread 1, Post 4

Enhanced Shield Generators: 50 Total, Started at 4, Completed at 54
Enhanced Phase Cannon: 45 Total, Started at 4, Completed at 49
Missile Azdara: 30 Total, Started at 4, Completed at 34

OOC: My MinDefense is 10%.

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"God created Man in His own image. And Man, being a gentleman, returned the favor."
-- Inherit The Wind

(This message has been edited by asriel (edited 08-19-2002).)

(This message has been edited by asriel (edited 08-19-2002).)

Fuegan Illych sat in a private booth in the bar on The Rock, sipping on a small glass of Saalian Brandy. The liquor was expensive, and it was hard getting it all the way out to the Rock, but to the patrons of the bar there it was more than worth it. Fuegan looked out the bay windows of the bar into the massive hollowed out interior of the rock, full of activity as fighters buzzed around the docking pylons of the larger ships, and a steady stream of commercial ships came and went. It was a beautiful sight for him to see his home station so alive.

Fuegan had once been a top Zidagar fighter jockey, serving in everything from the Second Threefrog Campaign to the glorious Defense of Terapin. However, over time he had become dissatisfied with the military brass. He always seemed to get passed up for promotions, and despite his years of loyal service to the Zidagar he was never offered a place on a Zidara. This left him with bitter feelings towards his superiors. The members of his squadron felt the same resentment.

While on patrol in the Zidagar system, something snapped within Fuegan. As a Zidara cut him off on its way into a repair dock, forcing him to veer quickly to avoid a deadly collision, Fuegan ordered his squadron of Zidagar fighters to open fire on the craft, quickly disabling and destroying it. For his crimes, the Zidagar administration had banished him and his squadron to the North Tip, doomed to live out their lives as Strandless.

And so here he was, once the proud Lieutenant Illych, now a renegade sitting in a dingy bar in a hollowed out asteroid. His skill had enabled him to quickly rise up the ranks of the organization, but still he was dissatisfied with his life. Rather than do anything about it other than raid convoys, he drowned his sorrows in Saalian Brandy. A Crescent Warship, looking more than a little bit modified, coasted into dock as Fuegan again turned to look out the window.

As someone began to speak behind him, Fuegan quickly turned around, knocking over his drink in the process. "That's him." said the person speaking, who Fuegan recognized as Zak Juran, another high ranking renegade on The Rock. Zak pointed towards the Crescent Warship that had just docked.

Fuegan snarled. "My Brandy, you bastard!" He looked mournfully at the puddle of liquor on the table for a few seconds. "Anyway, who?"

"The guy who offed Fera for control of The Rock. Our new boss, essentially."

"Nice, I was sick of Fera anyway. Damn fool, he was. Know anything about this new guy? I'm willing to go with him if he's competent but I'll be damned if I let another imbecile get the slot."

"Apparently this guy's got one wicked ship, and a crack crew to boot. They say he was the one behind that raid a few weeks back on Histiri. Ex-Azdgari military, apparently. Hey, kinda like you, Illych."

Fuegan looked up and gave Zak a sour look. "If that's true, we could use a guy like him around here. Which bay's he at?"

Zak Juran thought. "Airlock 15 I think. Dunno really. Let's go take a look. Oh, one more thing. They call him 'BattleDoctor.' Probably an alias." Zak shrugged. Fuegan nodded, then stood up. He turned around as they walked out of the bar, again lamenting his spilled cup of Brandy. After one last look, they turned around and found the nearest elevator down to the deck that Airlock 15 was on.

BattleDoctor adjusted the epaulets on his old Azdgari Navy dress uniform as he prepared to disembark from his ship and set foot on The Rock for the first time. It was his favorite outfit, a relic from the days of his involvement with the Strands. BattleDoctor had reached the rank of Vice Admiral before being expelled from the Azdgari for massive corruption on his part. While he didn't get to keep his Azdgari Warship, the skills and knowledge he had gained while with them had allowed him to rise to the top of the North Tip renegade society.

As the airlock hissed open in front of him, BattleDoctor surveyed what he saw. A dirty looking corridor, with lights overhead that seemed to have at least one out of every three bulbs not working. As his attention turned from the ceiling, he saw a few people standing in front of him, presumably some of the people who would soon be his captains. One of them looked vaguely Zidagar, with the other apparently just Strandless. The Zidagar spoke first, with a suspicious look on his face. "I'm Fuegan Illych, one of the higher ranking Crescent Warship captains around here." BattleDoctor nodded, knowing that those who ran Crescent Warships were generally looked up to around these parts, and that all of the high up people on the Rock had Warships as their craft. The other person in front of BattleDoctor simply said, "Zak Juran. Welcome to the Rock."

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"Whales are drinking all our water and eating our sailors." - (url="http://"http://www.xmission.com/~maddox/")Maddox(/url)

(This message has been edited by BattleDoctor (edited 08-18-2002).)

Fall from Grace I

Igadzra - the capital of the grand Igadzra empire. Swift and well-armed Igadzra aradas patrolled the trading lanes, monitoring the constant activity into and out of the system. On the surface of the planet Igadzra, at the center of the capitol city, was a large, ornate complex with towers, skywalks, and more than a few banners flying. The banners sported an image of a hawk in flight, carrying a flaming arrow in its talons - the insignia of the ruling party, which had now been in power for over twenty years.

High Chancellor Thunder sat in his large and well decorated (but sparsely furnished) office, reviewing battle records and military reports. He was a young man, now in his second year as High Chancellor. His age was deceptive, though. Having grown up as the son of the previous high chancellor had given him a great deal of insight and experience with the ins and outs of ruling the empire. "We cannot trust the Azdgari and the Zidagar," he thought to himself. "We must prepare our military and our defenses - and that means we'll need a new piece to add to the puzzle." Activating his intercom, he summoned his military adviser.

"For a long time now we have had a large rift between our fighter craft and our heavy cruisers, no ships between the Igazra and the Arada. I want you and whatever engineers you need for the project to work on a destroyer class spacecraft. Work from the designs for the Crescent warship. Remove the carried fighters, replace them with long range armaments. SAE modules, Dispersal rockets, the works. See if you can't use some of the extras space to enhance the shields. I'll leave the specifics to you guys - no doubt you can do a better job than I can with them. And see what you can do about strengthing our phase cannons - if we can have an enhanced phase cannon, we can gain an advantage in strength and a position of leverage over the other strands. We dare not let ourselves fall behind technologically."

"Yes, High Chancellor. It will be done." The military adviser bowed, and exited, gracefully parting the large banner which hung over the main door to the office.

"If we could enhance our armor, we would also be able to gain a strong advantage." Thunder thought to himself. "I'll call the materials engineers later this afternoon and tell them to start work on designing a stronger material to incorporate into our hull plating. We must be ready, because the only ones we can trust to protect us our ourselves."

---

Project update, Thread 1 Post 6:

Enhanced Phase Weapons: Begun at Thread 1, Post 6. Will be finished at Post 36.
Enhanced Armor: Begun at Thread 1, Post 6. Will be finished at Post 41.
Destroyer Class Spacecraft: Begun at Thread 1, Post 6. Will be finished at Post 71.

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"One day you'll find your whole life has changed - act quick, be brave, your heart will show you the way"

(This message has been edited by Thunder (edited 08-18-2002).)

Supreme Admiral Paul Benden the Protector of the Free People of Akrayhek sat at his desk and typed up yet another report. His office was modistly furnished for a Planetary Ruler. It had a large wooden desk with several electronic devices set into it. There were several chairs for guests, and a large library of reference books along one wall. Along the other was a bookcase with volumes of books about pretty much everything one could think of.

His current report was on the frequency and strength of renegade attacks on the Akrayhek system. To keep the masses happy, he had to somehow bend the figures to show that they were winning slowly, and that the deaths of so many brave militia-men would be worth it in the end. Hell with this. The people are becoming prouder of their position and happier with our newer and more effective training and defense.

He closed the document and opened a new, blank one. He walked over to the bookcases full of reference books and pulled out the newest starchart. Going back to his desk, he looked it over and stared at the closest Renegade system. Mavs. Our old nemesis, the spawner of the Renegades who try and hurt us. They must go...Soon. He quickly looked at what passing ships reported as their in-system strength at various points in time, and started to type up a plan.
<-> <->
Three hours later, he stood up from his desk and took the data-disc out of small one inch slot. He popped it into his pocket and walked over to his bookcase full of novels. Searching for just the right one, he gave it a little tug and took a step back from the wall. As the wall fell slowly into the floor he took a step over it when it was low enough. Pushing a small button in the wall of what appeared to be a plain steel box, the bookcase raised back into place and the metal box dropped ten floors. A small holo-projector announced the destination in small letters above the door.

"Sub-Level 3, Fleet Command" scrolled around the box. The elevators and all the coak-and-dagger stuff seemed a little silly to him, but his security team thought it was a good idea. He remembered his old life, as a Captain in the Igadzra Navy. He had only commanded a Arada, but his last kill with it had been an Igazra. During a Zidagar raid, the ship had been boarded and stolen. He had prevented its capture and the Zidagar discovery of their shielding technology. His oh-so-greatful government had banished him because of their paranoia.

He had travelled around the Crescent a little. He had managed to get himself a Renegade Arada from a Renegade that wanted out so he could stay with his new wife. He finally ended up in Akrayhek, where a systemwide alert had gone out requesting anyone to help defend the system from Renegades. Having little in the way of money, he joined up with the defence fleet and managed to nail three Crescent Fighters and an Arada. After that he decided that he had found a place that he would like to stay, and joined with the milita.

It had kind of snowballed from there, with him eventually ending up where he was now. His reverie was interupted when the elevated smoothly ground to a halt and the door opened.

Command was its own little universe. It was its own ship in fact. A Miranu Courier had been dug into the ground beneath the palace. It had its own environment and shields, and all the command equipment needed had been put in the cargo bays. It was unlikely that the ship would ever move again after being planetbound for so long, but it was safe for its purpose. One of the officer’s inside noticed his entrance and called attention.

As the rest of the people inside saluted, one of his aides came up to him. Paul instructed her to gather his Cabinet. He dismissed the rest of them to their duties, and made his way to the war room. Over the next few minutes, the Department Heads filed in and took their places. All but one.

“Damned scientists. They can never keep schedules. They can’t even make it to a meeting on time,” mumbled his Head of Staff, Joshua Lothja. He was human, but had decided that the constant war with the Voinians had been a bit much for him. He had ventured outward in a scoutship, and come upon South Tip. As had many travelers, he had settled there and taken up the odd job, eventually ending up as his Head of Staff. He had a particular dislike for his Azdgari Head of Research, who was forever late with things he considered ‘unimportant’.

Of course, the only important things were his pet projects. He was forever tinkering, trying to find a new way to do something. Be it paint a building or bond armour to a ships frame. If he could think of an innefficient way in which it was done, he forever tried to make it work better. He still would not tell anyone about why the Azdgari had exiled him, and no one pushed him. Rumor had it he did something which involved writing his name on a planet in a way that it could be seen from space.

The rest of the Department heads had started chatting with eachother. It took another fifteen minutes before his Head of Research, Lokur Renelv, arrived and took his seat. His Head of Staff called everyone to order, and Paul pulled the disk from his pocket and stood up. He put it in the projector and it automatically called up his program. He picked up the remote and started speaking.

“Long have we held the Renegades at bay, while they raided ships but could do little to harm our system.” The Head of Economy stifled his protests. “I have come up with a plan that should not only boost our economy but end the threat of the Mav’s Renegades.” He pushed a button on the remote. “The Mavs system has but a station and its Renegade defenders, raiding those who are so unfortunate to think they can travel the system quickly and without much damage. Unfortunately we are currently producing only enough ships to defend our system.”

“We can fix this problem.” He pressed another button on the remote, and an image of Akrayhek with a second station sprung up. “If we were to build a new station, capable of producing Crescent Warships and Lazira’s, we could end the threat of the Renegades. This helps our economy in the short term by providing jobs in building the station. In the long term we can increase trade with the appeal of safer trade routes. I wish your opinion before I put my plan into action.” He sat back down and waited for his Department Heads to reply.

Lokur was the first to speak. “Will the station have any scientific facilities?” Paul called up the diagram for a Crescent Station capable of building Crescent Warships. “Yes. In fact, we have facilities on our current station.” Lokur looked agahst. “What? We had facilities up there and no one told me? Why all the time I have wasted trying to make my experiments work in my home lab...” He would have ranted onward if the Head of Staff didn’t silence him with a stern look.

His Head of Defence, Duguar Escan, spoke next. “It will take quite some time if we were to try and build up a fleet capable of defending us here and capable of taking a Renegade base. You know what happened during the Keilrigg Offensive.” During the Keilrigg Offensive, Rinber Keilrigg led a fleet of Arada’s against the Renegade base of Mav’s. What ended up happening was the Renegade fleet pretty much abandoned their base and went to strike at the relatively unprotected Akrayhek. The Renegade Fleet was intercepted by the Crescent Fighters that remained in the system. The Arada’s returned just in time to see the last Crescent Fighter valiantly ram a Crescent Warship. The Arada’s were able to chase off the Renegades, and the Crescent Warship went with the Crescent figher.

“Yes, we all remember that unfortunate event. The new station will have sufficient weapons to turn back small Renegade Fleets in addition to the weapons already on our station, and a small surprise that I would like to speak with Lokur about.” Everyone seemed to be in agreement after some other considerations were satisfied by his explanations. “Have work start on the station as soon as possible, and make sure we have enough ore to ccomplete it.” He dismissed the meeting and took Lokur aside.

“We all know that a Planetary Shield is improbable since it requires two generators to cover the whole planet. I would like for you to look into constructing a shield between the two stations that encloses the entire planet.” Lokur looked at him for a second. “It won’t be that hard to make. The problem is keeping it together. If it takes too much damage then it will quite simply diffuse and the generators won’t be able to refocuse it.”

Paul thought for a moment. “What we need is something to contain the shield. A containment field perhaps?” Lokur thought for a moment. “Yes, that might do it. But just one of them one let the shield disperse in one direction. Ah, but to make a containment field. How does one make one? A magnetic one perhaps? Hmm...This shall require much thought...” He wandered away, completely oblivious to how rude he was being.

Paul felt pretty good. He decided to go back up to his office and have a glass of the coveted Saalian Brandy and some apple pie.
<-> Projects <->
Thread 1, Post 7
Containment Field Research
ETC:Till Breakthrough
Cresseka Station Construction
Length:35 Begun:7 End:42

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The overhead light in the main conference room of The Rock flickered as one of the doors to the room opened and then shut as a portly Miranu carrying a briefcase scurried in. The other renegades looked at him and tracked him as he hurried to his seat. "Sorry I'm late." he said. "I was just looking over the boss's ship, it's quite a piece of work."

"It's fine. Just don't let it happen again." Feugan Illych snapped back. He hadn't had any Brandy in quite a while and was feeling irritable. He turned towards BattleDoctor. "This is Mister Naran, our Miranu technician. He's a wizard with repair and he's got a great little team of his fellows to work on resarch for us. I'm sure you'll get to know him over the next few weeks."

"Yes, I'm sure I will." responded BattleDoctor. "Actually, I've been meaning to talk to our tech department."

"Yes?" said Mr. Naran.

"I want you to look into improving the Pursuit Missile. Something to give us a little bit of extra firepower. See if you can tweak the targeting and tracking circuits a little, too. Make sure it stays roughly the same size. Think you can handle that, Mr. Naran?"

Naran though. "Certainly, sir. Mind if I get going now? I don't have a ship so there's not much of a place for me at these meetings and I'd like to get-"

"Go." interrupted Fuegan as he gave Mr. Naran a sour look. Naran quickly scurried away. "Now, sir, prior to your arrival we were in the process of planning a raid on Zeldair. It's a very rich mine and we could use it to our advantage, especially considering the proximity of it to The Rock and the isolation of it from Zachit and Miranu patrols. We already have a fleet in DSN-1770. If we could perhaps take control of the colony, it would afford us a huge advantage over both the other Renegades in the region and the Zachit, while hurting the Miranu and therefore the Zachit as well."

"Hmm... sounds like a decent plan. What do we have in DSN-1770?"

"Five Crescent Warships, fourteen Laziras, twenty Aradas, and thirty-five Crescent Fighters. A good portion of our force, so it should be enough to capture and hold the system. All we need is your word, sir, and we can move forward into the system."

Zak Juran began to speak. "It's a sound plan, sir. I've got one of my best men, fellow by the name of Captain Gurado, leading that fleet. He'll take that system and hold it just as long as you like, boss."

"Then it's decided. Order this Captain Gurado into Zeldair and have him destroy the defenses, then land and take the colony." At this, the renegades got up from their planning session and went off to give the appropriate orders. Soon after, in the DSN-1770 system, the renegade ships entered hyperspace, speeding towards Zeldair.

Project Update: Thread 1, Post 8

Enhanced Pursuit Missile: 40 Total. Started at 8, Completion at 48.

------------------
"Whales are drinking all our water and eating our sailors." - (url="http://"http://www.xmission.com/~maddox/")Maddox(/url)

Admiral Matthew Loran stepped out of his official transport, gathered his retinue of aides and other junior officers, then began walking up the long marble stairs that led into the Capitol Building of the United Earth. Admiral Loran was about 45 years old, just under six feet tall he was still in fairly good physical condition, though his hair was more than a little gray. When he came near the entrance he was joined by the U.E. President, Pierre Jacques, who fell into stride beside the Admiral and gave him an affectionate slap on the back. “So, my friend, it seems you have had about as much of vacation as you can stand,” he said with a grin. “What’s the matter? New Rome didn’t have enough for you to do?”

“Oh get off it Pierre,” Loran said with a bemused expression. “Did you think I was going to let you have all the fun?”

“How you see listening to all of those bickering old women in the council as fun I’ll never know.”

“Hmmm, well suffice to say, I have some things that are going to make those bickering old women sit up and pay attention.”

At that the two friends walked through the huge double doors and into the Grand Chamber in which the rest U.E. Advisory Council waited.

-----------------------------

Made up of military and civilian officials spanning every aspect of U.E. Administration, Warfare, Industry, Agriculture, Law Enforcement and more, the U.E. Advisory Council represents the main policy making body of the U.E. Actual legislation is in the control of the U.E. Colonial Assembly, made up of representatives from each of the U.E. worlds, including Earth. Despite having very little constitutional authority the Council has always made the major decisions since the formation of the U.E. during the Voinian War.

At the moment the Council was only now being called to order as the Chairman, President Jacques, stood up and dispensed with formalities and such before beginning the meeting. After several minutes of more old business Pierre turned to Admiral Loran, ”and without further ado I give the floor to our Commander and Chief, Admiral Matthew Loran. Who, unless I am mistaken has some very interesting things to tell us.”

Standing up and moving to the podium, Loran began his presentation. “Three days ago U.E. Military Intelligence received word from a contact on Pax Station that an important Voinian scientist had approached him and requested political asylum. In exchange for this asylum he was prepared to offer us intimate knowledge of Voinian military technology.” A gasp went around the room as Loran continued. “As you all know, our own scientists have been working for years to unlock the secrets of Voinian Neutron weaponry and their complex armors. With this defector’s help we may be able to finally bridge the gap between Voinian and human technology, and gain a decisive edge in our war against them.”

“I have come before the Council today to inform you that we have safely extracted this defector from Pax Station and he is safe at an undisclosed location. Also, I propose that we begin construction of a new advanced research and development center to facilitate our acquisition of the Voinian technology this defector will offer us, as well as developing new weapons and technology of out own.” He paused to take a drink of water before continuing. “To this end we will finish construction of Paaren Station in the Valos system.”

Nearly and hour later after numerous different junior officers had given presentations concerning the logistics and other such things of finishing Paaren Station President Jacques rose smoothly and asked that the rest of the council vote to approve the completion of the new research station. It was approved unanimously. The next speaker was a young Colonel who had been with Admiral Loran’s retinue and was attached to military weapons development.

“As you all know our current rocket technology is based mostly on adapted Voinian designs and have exactly the same effectiveness as the rockets used by the Voinian Navy today. These rockets are nothing more than a large explosive warhead propelled without guidance towards it’s target by chemical fuels. Our proposal has the potential to give us a major military advantage over the voinians by improving on this outdated weapon. Essentially we will replace the traditional high explosive warhead with a large amount of the materials neccesary to begin a thremite reaction. Thermite reactions, as you may know, occur at extremely high temperatures that have the ability to melt completely through heavy metals such as Voinian armors. Since the materials required are abundant and manufacturing or the appropriate components relatively straightforward we expect to be able to completely replace our current stocks of rockets and deploy them from existing launchers without extensive refits.”

Once again a vote was taken and the motion to upgrade the U.E. Navy’s stock of rockets was approved.

Discussion of various other issues and events took up the rest of the meeting, with the only other item of interest being the Minister of Colonization’s assessment of the progress of the Molos colony. He believed that the colony was now at a point that establishing a factory for the production of starfighters would be possible, and indeed would speed the economic growth of the colony as whole.

Project Update: Thread 1 Post 9
Paaren Station/Defector’s Information: Length: 45 Begun: 9 Finished: 54
Thermite Rocket Upgrade: Length: 20 Begun: 9 Finished: 29
Molos Starfighter Construction Plant: Length: 30 Begun: 9 Finished: 39

------------------
Out ride the sons of Terra,
Far dirves the thundering jet,
Up leaps the race of Earthmen,
Out, far, and onward yet - Robert A. Heinlein, The Green Hills of Earth

The Lure of Power, Part I continued

The brass gong awoke Vaten from his daydreaming on the throne. "Who is it?" he asked to his nearest advisor.

The response came back: "Sitak, your Majesty. She wants to do something about the phase cannon."

Sitak...didn't we already have a meeting about this? I distinctly remembering deciding to upgrade its power. Well, we'll see what she wants now.

Sitak entered. "Your Majesty, we have uncovered the possibility that the Igadzra are also upgrading their phase weapons. We do not yet know if this is actually the case, but I believe it would be wise to cancel the initial upgrade, as the workers have not actually spent very much time on it, and it would not be a great loss of energy, and start on a new upgrade to the cannon. My designers have reported that it would be possible to convert the phase weaponry into phase burst weaponry. It would fire maybe twelve shots in rapid succession, then have a period of reload. In all, it would be far more effective than the current model of the cannon."

"I hear you, Sitak, and I will decide. Begone from the Grand Hall of the Imperator."

"I hear you, Majesty, and obey."

==========

The doors closed on Sitak, and the Imperator relaxed. It was already 2008, and he was getting tired. "I will go now," he commanded Ptsak, standing near him. "Take me to my chambers."

"But Sire, it is onl--"

"I will go."

"Yes, Sire. Come this way."

Vaten greatly disliked his apparent lack of power over his advisors, and knew he was going to have to do something about it...but he wasn't sure how. The door to his chamber slammed shut behind him as he entered.

Suddenly, everything seemed to move at once. His mirror crashed to the floor, his table overturned, as two apparent assassins raced towards him. Vaten, of course, always carried a number of knives on his person, even though pistols were definitely easier and probably more effective, as a remembrance to his days on Chak. And he knew how to use them.

His hands automatically flashed into action as the two men jumped on him. One he dealt with quickly, a quick knife thrust through the gut. The other proved to be far more skilled with the knife.

They circled each other, Vaten and the assassin. In a movement almost too quick for the eye to perceive, the other man lunged and thrust with his knife; Vaten barely turned it aside. Vaten then lunged in, but the man somehow managed to knock the knife out of his hand.

It’s over, then. Vaten thought. I wonder who sent these assassins. Ptsak, maybe. Or maybe it was Travek. It doesn’t matter to me, now...

His death thoughts were shattered as Ptsak burst in with a phase pistol, firing in all directions at once. Fortunately for his well-being, Vaten was not hurt, but the assassin was killed.

“All you all right, Sire? We heard the sounds from your bedroom, and thought there was an intruder.”

“Yes, Ptsak, I’m fine. They did not manage to hurt me, but was it not for you, they may have.” But how did he know for a certainty they were here, and where the man was? He was firing when he opened the door! If he hadn’t known who was in here, he would have looked around, then started firing. Interesting. I wonder if Ptsak would have minded if he had killed me instead.

----------

Project Update: Thread 1, Post 10
Enhanced Shield Generators: 50 Total, Started at 4, Completed at 54
Enhanced Phase Cannon Upgrade cancelled
Phase Burst Cannon Upgrade: 55 Total, Started at 10, Completed at 65
Missile Azdara Refit: 30 Total, Started at 4, Completed at 34

------------------
"God created Man in His own image. And Man, being a gentleman, returned the favor."
-- Inherit The Wind

(This message has been edited by asriel (edited 08-19-2002).)

Realm of the Gods II

It was once again another month, and consequently, the Zidagar ruling council was once again in session. The Scientists and Engineers were once again giving their report. The engineers in charge of the Phased Beam Turret project were happy. Their report to the council went something like this: "The Phased Beam Turret project is happily coming along quite nicely. The engineers on the world below us, Zidagar, easily managed to fit the Phased Beam on a turret mount. The mount swivels so quickly that it isn't much of a problem tracking, and shooting, a Crescent fighter. 2 seconds of fire, solely from the Phased Beam Turret, would be enough to destroy an Azdara. This will give our Aradas the ability to swarm Azdaras with their own weapons. Currently, we are waiting for a shipment of crystals from Twyus. We intend to use the most pure crystals, so as to enhance and focus the power of the beam. However, because these crystals will be more effective at doing damage, they will also draw more fuel. To that end, I cede the floor to my colleague, the Engineer Aquor, in charge of the Ramscoop project."

"Mes amis, our project will soon be complete. It would be prudent for us to equip this Ramscoop onto our Aradas." As he finished this sentence, an Admiral interrupted him. "Uh, Engineer Aquor, that has already been planned. The Zidagar Aradas will have a Zidagar Ramscoop."

The Engineer looked slightly disappointed that his novel idea had already been though of. However, he quickly carried on. "We are refining the Ramscoop so that it will be 2.5x as efficient as the original Ramscoop. This will give our Phase Beam Turrets a longer time to continually fire. It will give our fighters an almost infinite amount if we were to fit our fighters with the Ramscoop."

The Engineer in charge of the Zidagar Arada prototype then gave his report. "Council members, we are making great progress on our project. Currently, we have managed to procure enough dispersal rockets and rocket launchers. Work on the 17 prototypes is advancing at a rather prodigious rate, and we have managed to install, and test, the large engines that shall power this warbeast. Assembly lines shall soon be retrofitted to allow this ship to be constructed."

Then, the Admirals gave their reports. " Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous , it would be a wise idea if we to move our force stationed at Neholl to Outpost Terapin. That was an oversight on my part (ooc: actually, it was because terapin doesn't exist on the evo developer's map!). Also, it would be good counsel if we were to eliminate the Azdgari threat at Muid, and then to move our forces that were stationed at Fluron to Outpost Terapin. However, we should leave 5% of our fleet there, as this is the lowest number that polls have shown can stay in a system without riots happening. Similarily, our flank has no warning. For now, I would suggest that we station a small group of fighters, no more than a dozen, in the system of Stror. This way, the Igadzra will not be allowed to silently creep up our flank and into the system of Saffera. Our fleets have been redistributed, and they are now here."

(List Censored but Esponer has a copy so that I can't say something was where it wasn't)

Il ki sert Zi e ki protčge tous saw all this happen in his mind's eye. Therefore, he ordered that it would be so. However, the attack on Muid would wait.

------------------
The Thunderhead Lance and Ion Cannon: Coming to an outfitter near you!

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-19-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-19-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-19-2002).)

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-19-2002).)

As Kirk walked through the hall of Outpost Zachit, he was thinking over what has happened in the last several years. More renegades has been coming in from the Rock, and that was giving him some concern. We can do it easily with 3 Crescent Warships, but not 15 crescent warships. That is why he was on his way to a meeting of his cabinet. He came intro the meeting room and everyone stood up. He said, "At Ease."

Kirk asked his Chief Strategist, Melvin, about progress on the renegade front. Melvin said, "It has been getting worse, Commander, I'm not sure how long we can hold on.

He sighed and said, "I have been talking to some people from the Zidagar World, and they want to help us with the renegade problem."

Melvin said, "Any help is welcome."

Kirk said, "That is exactly what I said. They only ask for one thing., The plans for the Miranu Pursuit Missile. So, I'm going to need to contact the Miranu Government to ask for their permission to release the plan. Now, I just had an idea. We have repulsor beam avaliable, but we need to start on a powerful beam than the repulsor beam. I propose an alliance with Station Pybin to develop an Anti-Matter Beam ."

Melvin said, " I will agree to that. It might give us some more times."

Anti-Matter Beam-started at post 1. End at Post 40.

------------------

Emalgha - Hall of Elders
The Council of Elders hummed with anticipation. Reports had been leaked of what the scouting teams had found. High Elder Rivay banged his staff, silencing the room.

"As most of us know, the scouting teams have discovered no less than 2 worlds. One of these looks like it can support a colony, which could be expnded into a full military facility later on in order to improve our resource situation.

"Unfortunately, the other world discovered is deadly, and while it may have resources we need, we can not currently access them. Perhaps we may find it possible to do so in the future, but for now we must leave it, our scouting teams pressing ahead.

"The military has reported that it has begun conversion of several freighters to warship class, in order to boost our numbers. They indicate this will allow us to hold out a bit longer, until we are able to build a proper force.

"The Military has requested extra resources be diverted to improved targetting systems, for they believe that it would be possible for the voinians rockets to be shot down. The technology underlying the report is admittadly vague, but if possible it would make our ships more effective, allowing them better use of their main weaponry.

"I open the floor, and request all Elders make their views known."

----------------

Project Update: Thread 1, Post 13
EM Railgun Research and Prototype Construction. 60 Total. Started at 1. Completed 61.

Fighter Rack Research and Refitting. 50 Total(25 Research, 25 refitting). Started at 1. Stage one completed at Post 26. Stage 2 Completed at Post 51.

Research Begun On Improved Targeting Systems

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If someone makes a mistake, it is not my fault. I will however use it to my advantage.

Voted most likely to be a serial killer by Insane Asylum - 2002

(This message has been edited by RMA (edited 08-19-2002).)

Miranu Saga of the Guild—Chapter 1

Since time immemorable, sentient species had a hungry fascination for the stars. During such species' early development, mysticism and religion shed their glorious light on the cosmos. Spatial phenomena would be attributed to the supernatural forces wielded by the local deities, and supernovae would spawn tales about wars the gods waged. Nebulae and galaxies seen through the revealing lenses of telescopes brought more wonder to the populace. The stars in their fulll scintillating glory were a comforting contant to all who viewed them.

Yet, amid such worship and awe, there was also a great yearning, as it were, to walk amongst the stars. To be with such beauty and idyllic splendor would truly be an achievement. Thus, the sentient races set out to advance into the space race. Those capable of contesting advanced rapidly in both technology and national identity, bringing a unified front of scientific intellect to the fore. A species' culture was often symbolized in the new stellar navies that started the race for power and the desire for empire grew strong. Ideology, not technology, began to bend the routes of these fleets to its own ends. Conquest, research, trade, isolation, or xenophobia took hold to guide the flow of history.

As the great races moved inexorably outwards from their homeworlds, carving interstellar kingdoms as they went, the more primitive peoples of the outlying worlds became part of the empires. Some were welcomed as partners, others as mortal enemies. Others were exterminated, while still more were subjugated and enslaved. All were caught up in an enormous cyclone of change, a cyclone that seemed to have no escape. The forces of time drew lines on the galactic maps, and the great races obliged them by expanding. Contact and war would become inevitable. Resources would dwindle and run dry. Subject races would rise up against oppression. Time was always in motion; nothing ever remained static forever.

All this passed through High Councilor Somm's talented Miranu mind as his courier approached the homeworld of Mira. He never ceased to admire the pristine beauty of the world. Pride filled him with a glowing sense of warmth as he thought of the utter lack of pollution on the planet. Mira was both the birthplace of the Miranu and the womb of the trade guilds that flourished and sprawled across the Miranu Star League. The far-flung trade outposts his people had scattered around the galaxy all had their roots below the purple cloudcover of Mira and its countless archipelagoes. Many of these interstellar marketplaces were divisions of the Miranu Trading Conglomerate, the economic organ that pumped the lifeblood of the Star League and funded many of the science community's major projects.

Today one of these projects would be presented. The Station Pybin Steering Committee would lay down its goals to the Miranu High Council. The eudaimonic government of Mira helped to foster the scientific psyche of his people. Somm had little doubt regarding the approval of the project.

His vessel landed in Docking Bay 83 of Miranu Guild Spaceport. The sleek violet courier was pulled in by tractor beams and secured by docking clamps. Spaceport personnel bustled about and made haste to complete the final procedures before the councillor disembarked. Dockworkers could be seen with laser welders, safety equipment, and the ubiquitous Miranu wallet and phase pistol. Through the transparent gem windows of the port other travellers could be seen hurrying about. A keen eye could pick out an abnormally large quantity of government officials. Senators and their retainers marched somberly through the spaceport's crystalline corridors, while high councilors and their armies of clerical staffers ambled towards the magnetotram terminals. Along the walls were commodity tickers, news broadcasts, and trade guild announcements. Policy changes could be viewed above the doors that lined the hallways. Information was a constant everywhere on Mira, and the spaceport was no exception.

High Councilor Somm and his escort of petty officials and assistants finally were cleared to exit their spacing vessel. The high councilor's rank brought them through customs in record time, and a four standard minute voyage on the magnetotram brought him to the capitol of Mira, which held the same name as the planet it governed. He trekked the familiar walkways that led to the Grand Convocation Chamber, and emerged into the courtyard that spearheaded the building. Plantlife and fauna from across the Star League flourished here as a symbol of the eudaimonic cooperation the worlds shared. The building was of the finest Zarla stone, excavated from F-9012 and augmented by rich veins of ore mined on Zeldra. It stood thirty stories high, and housed the clockwork and machinery of the Miranu government. Its splendor was unmatched across the League.

High Counilor Somm casually entered.


"We thus conclude this project to be worth investigation. Your work is to be a collaborative effort with the Himgro plague-curers and our other intellects at Station Pybin. Begin work on the Nebula Penetration Device at once. The High Council will supply adequate funding."

The speaker was Trademaster Corzun Dah, official leader of the free peoples of the Miranu Star League. He had started as a scientist at Station Pybin, where he had developed the widely-used pursuit missile weaponry, and had quickly risen through the upper echelons of the Miranu government. Somm thought highly of him for his achievements.

"The chair recognizes the High Councilor from Priat."
"Motion to move to agenda item nineteen."
"All for Councilor Somm's proposal?"
The green lights of approval flickered on. They were in the majority against the red lights of disagreement.
"Motion approved. Agenda item nineteen. The Zidagar Theocracy wishes us to share the pursuit missile advances in exchange for their aid against the North Tip renegades. They have stationed much of their fleet to this end."
"Motion to table the proposal."
"All for tabling the motion?"
The green lights flickered on.
"All against?"
Red lights flashed as they activated.
"The motion has been defeated."
"Motion to approve the Zidagar proposition."
"All for?" The majority of green lights lit up in agreement.
"The motion is approved. We shall be brothers in arms with the Zidagar against the North Tip renegade threat to further safeguard our mutual trade agreements. Today's session of the Miranu High Council is adjourned."

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Research begun on NPD. Started Post 14. ETC: Post 54.
Research begun on Guided Defense Pods. Started Post 14. ETC: Post 44.
Research begun on Zidagar Fighter Upgrade. Started on Post 14. ETC: Post 39.
Research begun on Miranu Gunship. Prototype ETC: Post 64. Post 84 marks final version.
Construction begun on 60 Crescent Fighters, 80 Zachit fighters, and 20 Zachit Aradas
-----------------

(This message has been edited by Solel (edited 08-19-2002).)

(This message has been edited by Solel (edited 08-19-2002).)

(This message has been edited by Solel (edited 08-21-2002).)

OOC: Modification to my character. Instead of an Azdgari, he's a human. He was, however, born on Xarnes, which explains his somewhat alien name.

-----------------------

Lythrawn was woken up unexpectedly by someone's voice. "Lythrawn! Wake up!" Continuing to be shaken, the human captain slowly got up and rubbed his eyes. It was Jenna; Lythrawn's communication officer. "You overslept. I knew you shouldn't have stayed up for the last two days working on the plasma grid."

Lythrawn smiled. "It had to be done. Our engines could have blown out mid-hyperspace. Loosing a little bit of sleep is worth it."

"Just get up. We're entering the Kelmoan system, and if there’s any renegades there, I don’t want Azira in command madly shooting up enemy warships.”

Lythrawn grinned. “Be there in a minute.” Jenna nodded and walked away. Getting up slowly, Lythrawn put on his uniform began to job towards the bridge. Along the way he passed Jordan, a human, and the ships doctor. Jordan had been friends with Lythrawn since he was a kid, and though they went out of touch for a while, Lythrawn met up with his old friend a few years later and had him come onboard as the ships doctor. “Good morning, Lythrawn,” Jordan said. “Sleeping in today, I see.”

“As if you ever woke up early,” Lythrawn joked.

“Watch it or I’ll spring my mudworms on you.”

“You know I’m not scared of them; only Azira and Jenna are. Speaking of which, how long are you going to study those things?”

“Hey, come on. Mudworms are amazing little creatures; you can learn a lot from studying them. I’m still learning about how they burrow,” Jordan responded. He was always interested in things like worms or insects they picked up along the way.

“Fine. Just keep them out of the power grid.”

Walking into a turbolift, Lythrawn got to deck 15, where the bridge was located. Walking in, his helsman, Azira, spoke up. "Captain on bridge!" he said, standing at attention.

"Now now, Azira, this isn't a military ship, no need for all the fancy protocol," Lythrawn said, smiling as he sat down in his chair.

Azira shrugged and sat back down. He was an Azdgari; somewhat of a strandless to be exact. Lythrawn had met him during one of his adventures into the south tip and had hired him as his helsman. Azira could be a bit nervous at times and had a bad habit of acting like the Demeter was a military ship, but he was probably the best helsman around.

"Sir, we're about to exit hyperspace," reported the engineer, Torell, also an Azdgari. "In 5... 4... 3... 2... 1..."

With a blast of white light, the Demeter jolted into normal space, followed by its escort vessels. The black hull of the vessel was covered in a cyan aura of energy as the effects of the hyperjump slowly wore off.

"Scan for any vessels," Lythrawn ordered. He didn't expect anything. He didn't know much about this area of space, though he believed it to be uninhabited.

"Sir, multiple unidentified alien vessels detected!" Jenna shouted.

"Yellow alert!" Lythrawn shouted. "Raise shields and prepare to charge all weapons. Azira, I want full hyperspace ready in two seconds. Jenna, IFF on those ships?"

"Hold on a minute..." she replied, brushing some of her blonde hair from her face. "They aren't Voinian..."

Lythrawn sighed inwardly and relaxed a little. He knew the Voinians were ruthless and dangerous guys, to be avoided if at all possible. Kelmoan was fairly close to the Voinian empire, but apparently the system was held by someone else.

"Their IFF signals say they're 'Emalgha'," Jenna finally reported. "And they aren't hostile, at least not yet. Want to hail them?"

"Yes. Broadcast a message to the lead ship in the system, if you can tell if they have a lead ship. Standard greeting."

And with that, Lythrawn waited for a response from the aliens, and hoped they wouldn’t be hostile...

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If at first you don't succeed...Hit it harder! - Me
--------------
Millennium. Its coming, prepare for it.
Coming to the (url="http://"http://www.ambrosiaSW.com/games/ev/chronicles.html")EV Chronicles(/url).

Quote

Originally posted by Captain Carnotaur:
OOC: Modification to my character. Instead of an Azdgari, he's a human. He was, however, born on Xarnes, which explains his somewhat alien name.

OOC: No, Carnotaur. Please understand that the humans only have contact with the Voinians, the Strands only have contact with each other and the Miranu, the Voinians have contact with the Emalgha and UE (and had contact with the Miranu), and the Miranu had contact with the Voinians and have contact with the Strands. There are to be no exceptions to this rule, not even personal ones.

------------------
-Esponer

Realm of the Gods III

Admiral Kra'thra, head of the Theocracy's Warrior Caste and for once devoid of advisors of every sort, was pouring over maps and charts of every kind. His office was located on the Zidagar homeworld of Zidagar, and it's proximity to his house was an added feature of being an admiral. Reports from the Worker Caste were on his desk. Since he had last made fleet adjustments, the Theocracy's shipyards had made another 150 Zidaras, 300 Zidagar Fighters, and 350 Aradas. The Aradas were of no consequence to him. He stamped and sent off an order that would instantly transfer command of those Aradas to the Worker Caste. The 150 Zidaras and 300 Fighters, on the other hand, were entirely within his jurisdiction. Looking at his clock, he realized he'd been working for a whole 6 hours! He couldn't believe that he'd actually been working that long. He decided that he would split them up into three groups. One group of 67 Zidaras and 67 Fighters would join the Fleet at Vastan. Another group of 133 Fighters and 33 Zidaras would join the group at Plogok, with the last group of 50 Zidaras and 100 Fighters bolstering the numbers of the Theocracy Fleet at Outpost Terapin. He transferred the other eletronic mails that he had received to his handheld computer, and then locked up his office. He headed towards the bar.

When he walked into the bar, the first thing he did was take up his usual seat, towards the back of the bar. The bar, quieter than others, was meant to relax the natives of Zidagar as they were all rather tired after work. He opened up the reports from the Science and Engineering castes. He scanned each report's contents and then ordered an extra drink for celebration.

Projects Update:
Phased Beam Turret: Started at 2, to be completed at 27, ETA: 10 Posts
Ramscoop Mk. II: Started at 2, to be completed at 32, ETA: 15 Posts
Zidagar Arada: Started at 2, to be completed at 57, ETA: 40 Posts

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The Thunderhead Lance and Ion Cannon: Coming to an outfitter near you!

(This message has been edited by specops (edited 08-19-2002).)

The man standing before him looked young and rather undescriptive. He had brown hair and green eyes set in a very expressive face, with a deep tan. Such was a common thing for pilots of small craft. The windows could stop lasers, but only the very best could stop all of a sun’s rays from penetrating and affecting the occupants within. “Please. Sit. Would you like some Saalian brandy? I have a lovely ‘45. Just got it out of one of the local vendors for a very good price.”

The man sat down, and pulled a bottle from his pocket. It was clear and contained a gold and slightly syrupy liquid. “Actually, I brought my own brandy. Thats my proposal actually. Here, try some.” Paul set the snifter’s down on the table and the man poured a little in each. The man took one of the hand-carven sifters and reclined in the chair. Paul picked up his own and swirled the brandy, delighting in its rich aroma of a mixed variety of fermented fruits.

“Smells great,” Paul commented. He was a little wary of just being offered a strange drink. The man smiled, downed his glass and poured a little more back in. Paul smiled at the stranger, the paranoia that was bred into all Igadzra screamed at him, but he downed the liquid anyways. A strange fire burst in his mouth, but his tongue sung to him of such a wonderful taste that he had a little trouble swallowing the stuff. He swallowed the golden brandy after rolling the fiery liquor around his mouth for a minute or two. It burned its way to his stomach, making him feel nice and warm inside.

“Good stuff,” he managed to get out. The stranger smiled even more. “How did you come up with it?” The man relaxed a little more and assumed a face that showed he had told this story to many people. “It all started arouned three years ago, when I was out pirating starships in a long raiding campaign.” Paul was about to press the button that would call in the gaurds when the human waved his hand and dismissed the fact. “I gave that up long ago, and I never raided a Crescent ship. Anyways, we were having fun, looting planets, raiding ships, womanizing, and drinking. We drank a lot. Well, at some point during the third the third week, we ran out of liquor. The UE had yet to catch on to us, and we hadn’’t been able to get any Saalian Brandy since the shipments were being so well gaurded.”

“Rather than go without or turn back, we decided that we would do our best to make our own. We had enough fermentables that we could just about match any brewery in United Earth space, but we could only do so for a day or two. Anyways, we captains each led the men on our ship in trying to make the best home-brew. Many of the Helian captains took apart a few Needle Missiles and had their engineers put together a still. Some of us had our own breweries on board, and most of the Turncoat captains did too.”

“Many of the crews ended up with flavoured vodka. Some of the crews ended up with a decent brew. We took the prize though. We made our lovely little brandy here and bottled it up for the rest of the crews. I kept the recipe and a few samples. Anyway, long story short the UE finally caught on to us and started chasing us around the independant space. Ended up running south as fast as we could, me and some of the other captains. I ended up in Obutes, where I let my XO have the ship and I bought myself a lovely little Crescent Fighter. I filled her little hold with my stash of our brandy and I flew around looking for a good place to settle and make my brew. Problem is I ran out of funds when I got here.”

He took a small sip of his brandy, and continued on after a few seconds. “Well, now that I have found the right place, I need enough creds to start my own business and get some freightors for shipping and some fighters for protection. I understand that you have quite a renegade problem here. So, not only will I be able to provide you with a nice bit of cash in your economy from the trade, but I also know a good bit about pirating and could help you in system defense. So, what do you say?”

Paul sat for a moment, sipped a little more of the golden fire in his snifter, and then set the glass down and looked at the man. “I will have to get the funding out of my Department Heads, but they will probably go for it if I promise them better liquor thats less expensive than Saalian Brandy.” The two fo them toasted the deal, downing the oh-so-delectable beverage, and sat back.

“What is your name anyway? You never mentioned it.” The renegade grinned. “Not always the wisest thing to tell someone first. If someone you think is a friend turns out to be and enemy, a name can be a powerful tool in tracking someone down. But, I think you are more than trustworthy now. I am Captain Ronoh Deserby.” They talked a bit, and pretty soon Ronoh produced another larger bottle and they were well and drunk before Ronoh left his office for one of the guest houses in the surrounding neighborhood.
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Post 17, Thread 1
Containment Field Research
ETC:Till Breakthrough
Cresseka Station Construction
Length:35 Begun:7 End:42

My post is number 17. specops is number 16. Esponer's post before specops screwed it up as it was not an IC post.
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(This message has been edited by Admiral Benden (edited 08-20-2002).)

OOC: I don't usually like OOC posts, but I see the need for one here. We have a mixup in post countage. specops, your post was #17. Benden, your post was #18.

Also (some of us were discussing this on AIM before), isn't kauthor's Antimatter Beam actual research? If so, I don't think it should have a post count. Espy will tell you when you get something.

Sorry about that, but I didn't want the mis-post-counting to get out of hand.

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