Author Topic: Big Sky  (Read 4494 times)

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Offline Zap0

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2021, 08:09:32 AM »
Conquest! If there's one thing I trust humans to do even after a couple more centuries it's to start killing each other because they don't know how to live together. And ground combat, minimal transports, drop units and STOs might something interesting mechanically for these microstates to play around with.
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2021, 07:21:26 PM »
Now that our course forward is clear, I'm attaching two namelists that will be important for this campaign moving forward. Feel free to use them in your campaign as well. These took hours and hours of work so naturally I hope this hard work is appreciated.
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2021, 08:24:22 PM »
Now that our course forward is clear, I'm attaching two namelists that will be important for this campaign moving forward. Feel free to use them in your campaign as well. These took hours and hours of work so naturally I hope this hard work is appreciated.

The downloads do not appear to work, and only contain several-byte text files with the names "soren" and "soderberg" respectively. Unless I have missed something?
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2021, 09:49:10 PM »
everyone in the civilization has the same name
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #19 on: August 16, 2021, 09:52:21 PM »
Aha.
 

Offline RougeNPS

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2021, 11:37:49 PM »
I have never laughed so hard at a series of posts on this forum before.
 

Offline Zap0

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #21 on: August 17, 2021, 07:39:26 AM »
We are Soderberg
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2021, 06:49:21 AM »
Well this is certainly something different!  ;D
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #23 on: August 23, 2021, 07:30:37 AM »
=============================
STORY THREE: FOUR STORIES
=============================

one hundred and seventeen years later, exactly 300 years after first transit

Astrophysical equations covered the academy lightboards as professor Taub entered the third hour of a five-hour lecture. This was the nadir of an academy lesson, over the hump, but with a long way still to go...

At the front, in the small row of students who gave a damn, Ivana Fedotova took notes...hardly notes really, in fact she copied every word the professor said, and while she followed every word exactly, there would doubtless be numerous follow-up questions once the lecture concluded. Fedotova had unmet expectations to fill...the Society of Colonial Explorers (S.C.E.), inventors of ion technology and the seekers-after-a-second-earth, had selected her from an early age for inclusion in the scientific elect. After psychographics and full-spectrum karotying confirmed her considerable intellectual potential, she was taken from her family on Beargrass, and moved to the nearby moon of Siyeh, the headquarters of the protectorate that governed known space. Fedotova was only 18, but already a recognized expert in geophysics and plate tectonics. With three more years of academy training, she might go on to crew a survey shuttle...or head up an entire science division! The entire academy knew Fedotova was bound for greatness...Fedotova knew it most of all.

Beside her sat Lee Yun Jie, another student the Protectorate had moved to Siyeh...but from considerably farther away. "Yun", as he preferred to be called, was from the burgeoning colony of Von Neumann Prime, several systems away. The son of a plasma physicist and a botanist, who headed up one of the science-collectives on Von Neumann, Yun had gone on to excel in his primary education...but unlike Fedotova, the Protectorate had not recruited him for his intelligence. When the Protectorate had requested he board a Cryoshuttle from his home to the distant moon of Siyeh, at the age of 8, they already had plans for a fleet of warships...and they needed excellent individuals like Yun to pilot them. That was a decade ago, and the ships were still under construction...but they would likely be complete by the time Yun graduated. Gupta's lecture was at the edge of his comprehension, but he strained to reach what he could not grasp: this could be important someday. Someday the Protectorate might call on him to execute some rapid burn around an alien moon, or reverse a ship's course and engage an enemy in hiding, just beyond the range of a scanner...he had to be ready. He had to know this stuff.

At the back, in the considerably larger row of conscript-students who could really care less, lurked Everett Sledd, who had one of the lowest marks in the class, and no hope of following along with Gupta's description of long-period comets. His attention was focused on Fedotova herself...not exactly the prettiest girl in the ranks, but what a story it would be. Sledd's conquests were already the stuff of legend around the academy, but this would be the crowning achievement to several years of diligent work...he suspected his advances would work as well. Fedotova needed to loosen up. He resolved to approach her at the next concorse social event and offer her "a ride on the sledd." That never failed. Sledd, like most of the academy, was a conscript from Beargrass colony itself. Service was ostensibly mandatory, but the Protectorate had no luck enforcing its own laws...he stuck around for the paycheck, most of which he sent to his family on one of the polar communities. The protectorate needed a steady supply of conscripts to service ever-increasing demands for parts and mineral deliveries to the outlying colonies, and maintain the fleet of S.C.E. Scoutships in their search for habitable worlds to colonize. Sledd was content to finish out his time in the academy, serve ten years as a ground crew maintenance technician on Hawkweed or Musette, and then...well, he hadn't planned on anything after that. He'd finished his training in servicing shuttles and duranium welding two years ago...the knowledge imparted by the academy after that point would only be useful in the unlikely event that the Big Sky Protectorate got involved in a ground war. In said war, his academy training would obligate him to serve as a captain...or a lieutenant...or something...he forgot. The point was it was unlikely. Fedotova...now *she* was a certainty. He could feel it...

And at the very back of the room, Lara Panin drew spiral designs in a book of unlined paper. She had no interest whatsoever in Gupta's lecture, because her success was assured...unlike the others at the back, she was not a conscript...in fact her family had secured her membership in the Academy through byzantine political maneuverings far beyond Panin's ken. They knew the Governor of Siyeh. They'd cashed in a lifetime of favors to get Panin a seat at the Academy in the hopes that after graduation, she might get deployed to Divaajin...while not exactly a second Earth, it was the closest thing to the old world in charted space. One could even go outside there (for brief periods). While assignments from the Protectorate were in theory based entirely on merit, the Panin family had ways of bending the rules.

finally at the point where I can tell a story over years, rather than centuries...which career should the next several stories follow?
« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 07:39:22 AM by The0didactus »
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2021, 12:24:18 PM »
Fedotova was only 18, but already a recognized expert in geophysics and plate tectonics. With three more years of academy training, she might go on to crew a survey shuttle...or head up an entire science division!

These two things sound slightly different... which I suppose suggests the relative importance of commanding even a small ship, in this nascent age of space travel.

Quote
...he suspected his advances would work as well. Fedotova needed to loosen up. He resolved to approach her at the next concorse social event and offer her "a ride on the sledd." That never failed.

Boo! Boooooooo!!  :P

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And at the very back of the room, Lara Panin drew spiral designs in a book of unlined paper. She had no interest whatsoever in Gupta's lecture, because her success was assured...unlike the others at the back, she was not a conscript...in fact her family had secured her membership in the Academy through byzantine political maneuverings far beyond Panin's ken. They knew the Governor of Siyeh. They'd cashed in a lifetime of favors to get Panin a seat at the Academy in the hopes that after graduation, she might get deployed to Divaajin...while not exactly a second Earth, it was the closest thing to the old world in charted space. One could even go outside there (for brief periods). While assignments from the Protectorate were in theory based entirely on merit, the Panin family had ways of bending the rules.

This cannot possibly end well, except for the readership.  ;D

Quote
finally at the point where I can tell a story over years, rather than centuries...which career should the next several stories follow?

A tough choice. Naturally I would vote for all four, if possible, but I am only too well aware of the demands on an author's time. I suppose I can at least offer a priority list. From most to least interesting, in my own meaningless opinion:
  • Lara Panin is probably my choice as the most interesting to follow. There is no doubt she will be a deeply unsympathetic character, but in a game which tends to consist of players dominating hapless NPRs I would look forward to seeing what kind of misadventures a hapless heiress might get her poor crews into.
  • Everett Sledd is a horrible person with horrible puns, but the hilarious antics of not-Zapp Brannigan will I am certain make excellent reading material. Although this guy sounds more competent, but not so motivated as to be a modern-day Captain Kirk.
  • Lee Yun Jie would be a decent pick, being a second-tier recruit but not unqualified I am sure he would perform passably but lacking in brilliance will ensure that he experiences real struggles as he journeys through space. Mainly he just seems like a generic character though, the likeable guy who tries hard but isn't an otherworldly talent, basically a standard protagonist.
  • Ivana Fedotova honestly sounds like a total Mary Sue, I am sure any character here will be interesting to follow but given that the player race is usually a race of Mary Sues stomping NPRs I think a change of pace is best.
 

Offline El Pip

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #25 on: August 28, 2021, 06:06:56 AM »
Clearly there can only be one choice, we must follow the adventures of Professor Taub.

Pulled unwillingly from his classroom he is drafted into service on an scientific exploration ship, studying new worlds and anomalies on the very frontier of space.

If forced to pick from the presented options then;
1. Panin, for the reasons my colleague and friend nuclearslurpee has outlined
2. Fedotova. But only on the condition she massively cocks things up and then, crucially, doesn't make amends or learn valuable lessons, but instead continues to make mistakes. Seeing her and the SCE making excuses for her constant failure would be amusing.
3. Yun Jie. Follow him as he journeys across space and time hunting for a personality.
4. Sledd. Only if his first trip into space involves an air lock and no space suit.
 

Offline Garfunkel

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2021, 06:19:12 AM »
We really should follow all four to get different viewpoints in what is going on!
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #27 on: August 30, 2021, 07:43:41 PM »
I very much enjoy the idea of showing only snapshots of a very unusual setting and deliberately withholding all the weird stuff that's going on. New post soon, I started another setting which I'll do more traditional fiction for much later. Back to this one tomorrow.
 
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Offline nuclearslurpee

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #28 on: August 31, 2021, 12:11:06 AM »
I very much enjoy the idea of showing only snapshots of a very unusual setting and deliberately withholding all the weird stuff that's going on. New post soon, I started another setting which I'll do more traditional fiction for much later. Back to this one tomorrow.

This is an idea I can get behind, personally I adore when an author has the, shall we say, cojones to not reveal every detail of the world to the reader out of a misconceived need to explain themselves, thus leaving something to the imagination. I swear I do not mean to self-indict.  :P

The trick of course is making sure that there is still enough of a tangible thread for the readers to follow that confusion arises from the nature of the mystery rather than from muddled writing, and this is not an easy trick to pull off as viewers of the television show Lost can attest.
 

Offline The0didactus (OP)

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Re: Big Sky
« Reply #29 on: September 05, 2021, 03:46:29 PM »
=============================
STORY FOUR: REFERENCES
=============================

ten years later, 310 years after first transit. Aboard the TR Agamemnon
Gunsight, Burnell System, Low Orbit.



When the Montana expedition tunneled into the Laurent System three centuries ago, it carried 324 full-length feature films from earth, thanks to a last-minute digitization/transcription program by the Severean Institute. Subsequent searches of hastily gathered personal effects and last-minute laser-transmission downloads increased that amount to 540.

Lieutenant Everette Sledd, of the Second Infantry Regiment, had seen 539 of them (He'd never made time to the see the old Black and White Key Largo, starring Humphry Bogart and Lauren Bacall, but he had a good idea what it was about.)

Sledd believed, then, that it fell to him to give an inspirational speech before the transport made planetfall. About 100 men had gathered in hanger 3: his platoon and stragglers from about a dozen others, who knew Sledd was about to say something of importance. He looked out over the bedraggled squad before him: certainly not the clean cut, organized, rank-and-file from the old war movies: that level of discipline was impossible outside of a few military enclaves on Beargrass and Siyeh. They passed a cursory inspection: most guns appeared to be in working order. No uniforms sported egregious tears, and there was only a little fraying here and there. A few folks even had spare clips of ammunition.



No one knew exactly what to expect: the Protectorate had carried out a half-dozen corsair enforcement actions in the last 50 years: glorified raids against pirate fortresses with less than a hundred halfway-committed criminals, generally armed with chemical rifles and a cannon or two. The Soderbergs were not pirates. There were millions of them, and the best minds of the Protectorate were unsure whether they even processed information like ordinary humans: there were wild rumors of Jungian hive-minds and bizarre experiments that enhanced their strength and cognition to superhuman levels...it was all conjecture. No one had so much as attempted radio contact with Gunsight in 20 years.

"Brothers" Sledd began. "What we do in Life echoes in Eternity....we have been chosen, each and every one of us, to do something glorious in the name of the protectorate. Three-dozen hostages on Gunsight depend on us. I don't know what unspeakable things those Soderbergs have planned for them...or for us...but I know this: if they give us hell, we can climb out of hell, one inch at a time. Nothing is over until we decide it is. A day may come when the courage of protectorate soldiers, such as you fine fellows, fails...when we forsake our friends...and break all bonds of fellowship...but that day is not today."

"Our orders are clear: six hours ago, gunships cleared the skies over gunsight to safeguard our landfall. There's an even chance the Soderbergs will keep to their word and not engage as we make planetfall...but I never play the odds. My reckoning is that it's going to be a few thousand guys killing each other...but I guess that's better than 20 million. If they close on the landing site, it's gonna be 2,000 of us versus at least 5,000 of them...with a few orbital gunships to even the odds...but like I said, I never play the odds. Ion bombardment from orbit isn't gonna win this battle. YOU, you folks here, you're what's going to make the difference...

...thats about all I have to say. I've never been a poet or a scholar, but I can pass on a maxim from the world we left behind: pain heals, chicks dig scars, glory lasts forever."

An hour later, the Agamemnon made landfall on Gunsight...
« Last Edit: September 05, 2021, 03:55:17 PM by The0didactus »
 
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