Author Topic: Redux Campaign Prologue  (Read 1939 times)

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Offline welchbloke (OP)

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Redux Campaign Prologue
« on: December 07, 2010, 05:01:26 PM »
Most of this is the same as the original prologue with some subtle changes to dates.  The reasons for this will become apparent during the fiction.
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Offline welchbloke (OP)

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Prologue
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 05:03:06 PM »
85 BC Rome

Gauis Julius Caesar looked down at his sandals and noticed that one of the leather bindings had opened.  Sighing he bent over and started to tie the tough leather twine together.  At that moment, he felt a cold sensation in his back followed by a searing pain in his chest.
As his target slumped to the ground, the assassin inspected his work.  The monofilament needle would be undetectable by this time’s medical standards and the poison would be undetectable even 2000 years in the future.  As he walked away, the assassin made a single transmission, ‘Target 1 complete, clear for Target 2’.
Half a mile away the other half of the assassination team looked around and quickly reacquired his target.  Whilst the elimination of Target 1 was to be covert, Target 2 was to be eliminated in spectacular fashion.  From the vantage point of the shaded alley, the assassin waited for his target to pause and the pressed the trigger of his rifle.  The explosive round hit the target in the centre of his chest, allowing him just enough time to look down in alarm before being cut in half by the detonation of the round.
‘Target 2 eliminated’.
As the crowd surged forward there were cries of ‘sorcery!’, no-one noticed the brief flash of green from the alley across the square.  A few minutes later a senate member who had been close by would be able to identify the body as that of Gauis Julius Caesar, the 16 year old son of the Praetor of the same name.
The assassination team were kept busy as the timeline changed and the city state of Rome foundered and failed.  After that there were trips to China, Mongolia and a myriad of other places and times.  Eventually, the Celtic Empire, untouched by the chaos around it, became the dominant political and military power on the planet.   Soon after, the Celtic Empire was acknowledged as the guardians of humanity and all other nations deferred to them.
This state of affairs continued with the odd interruption until 3014 of the Celtic Calendar (2014 AD).  On 29 Elembiv 3014, something truly momentous occurred. 
The day started quietly, but at 03:48 an IR astronomy site that was conducting a calibration run suddenly detected a massive thermal signature that was within the solar system.  After 2 hrs of checking and the use of several other telescopes it became apparent that there were 2 ships and they were shooting at each other.  Judging by the EM signatures of the explosions, the technology was way beyond anything the Celts could field.  The Celtic military watched the ships approach Daear with growing trepidation.  At 14:24, the duelling ships closed to within 100km of the atmosphere.  Suddenly, both ships bucked under the impact of each other’s weapons and the smaller ship disintegrated, its debris causing a truly impressive meteor shower to briefly appear throughout the Western Hemisphere. 
The larger ship had not escaped the battle undamaged and appeared to lose control.  The ship plunged headlong into the atmosphere.  Approximately, 75% of the ship burnt up as it re-entered.  The remaining 25%, comprised mostly of the drive section impacted a remote region of the land administered by the Han people.  Once the crash site had cooled the wreck would provide Celtic researchers with an insight into a previously undiscovered type of mineral.  For reasons that have been lost to history they were christened ‘Trans-Newtonian’.
Over the next 101 years, driven by the fear of extra-terrestrial invasion, the Celts studied the new minerals and developed new technologies based upon them.  A major concern for the Celtic government was how the aliens had reached the solar system.  FTL travel was still impossible, even with the capabilities of the new minerals.  In the absence of any other evidence, the assumption was that the alien ships had travelled the vast gulf between the stars using some kind high speed T-N drive.  This view was reinforced by the fact that the ships appeared to be automated, thus removing the need for cryogenic support for their crews.  Further credence was given to this theory by the discovery of hyper-speed engines and the measurement of the solar system’s hyper limit.  The theory was eminently logical and dead wrong.  One of biggest flaws in the theory that was constantly aired (and ignored) revolved around the fact that 2 different alien races both entered the solar system at the same time and then proceeded to engage each other.  The odds against two different races sending ships that arrived within the same geological era never mind within, apparently, hours of each other were truly staggering.
Using this theory to underpin their R&D and construction efforts, the Celts developed excellent engine technology and designed ships that were hyper-capable with good maintenance storage.  These ships were expected to spend years travelling between the stars before reaching another star system.  Warships were limited to fighters and FACs carried by a mothership with commercial hyper-engines. 
In 3104, a leading cosmology theorist proved that it was mathematically possible that there may be tunnels through space-time scattered throughout the Universe.  This highly involved theory included a proof that fewer than 20 people on the planet could truly understand.  As the proof was so complex it was surprising that a graduate student at the University of Ynys Mons understood it well enough to suggest that TN materials might make it possible to build a sensor to detect the ends of these tunnels.  Sufficient interest in the media forced the government to a construct a small research vessel.  The ship was launched in 3108 and, to just about everyone’s surprise, discovered the first of the 4 jump points within the solar system 5 months later.  The discovery of jump points forced the Celtic government to reconsider its planning assumptions.  The number one priority was to design and build ships capable of opening the jump points.  The first of these ships commissioned in 3114 and the Celts began their exploration of the galaxy in 3115.
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Offline welchbloke (OP)

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Celtic Empire Structure and Governance
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 05:03:56 PM »
The Celtic Empire is structured around the idea of elders and advisory councils.  Each village has a council of elders elected by the local people.  In turn these councils elect one of their number to represent them at the next level of council.  The levels of council from lowest to highest are village, town, city, region and zone.  Each zone is roughly analogous to one of the old nation states and is presided over by a king.  Kings are elected for life but their position is not hereditary.  The Empire is ruled by the High King.  Prior to becoming a multi-system empire, the High King was elected by the Council of Kings from one of their own.  The High King is also elected for life.  Once the Empire spanned several planets, a new level of ruler was established.  A Planetary King ruled each of the planets and the High King was elected from the Council of Planetary Kings.
As can be expected there was a great deal of political intrigue every time one of the Kings died.  Surprising, this never led to open conflict (well not in the last 500 yrs or so).  Over the course of the Empire's history there had been weak High Kings and strong High Kings; the fact that even the High King had a council that they were responsible to had tempered the worst excesses over the years.  For the last 150 years women had also been allowed to vote for and become elders.  The first female King (the Celts did not use the term Queen) was enthroned in 2911.  Despite this early success, the first female High King was not enthroned until 2984 and only lasted 7 years before dying of old age.
Supporting the councils was an extremely professional Civil Service that allowed the Empire to run smoothly.
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Offline welchbloke (OP)

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Redemption?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 05:05:34 PM »
Chronometer error!! Please Reboot reality – The patient opened her eyes and looked around the room.  It appeared to be a hospital room; except she could not recognise any of the machines that shared the room with her.  Looking down the bed she saw that she was wearing a white gown.  As her higher brain functions returned she realised that something about her body didn’t look right.  Finally it dawned on her that her hands looked younger than she remembered.  Standing she shuffled over to a wall mirror and stared in wonder as a 25 year old Amynedd Grunna stared back at her.  ‘What the hell?’

‘I see you are awake’

Spinning around Grunna saw a tall figure in a black functional tunic standing by her bed. ‘Where the hell did you come from?’

‘Calm down Marshal Grunna. My name is Mabon Peters and I’m here to help you make the transition.’

‘At least you speak Celt.’

‘Of course I do, I was formerly a Colonel in the Celtic Army.’

‘What do you mean ‘formerly’?  Are you some kind of traitor?’

‘Far from it, I said formerly as the Celtic Army I belonged to no longer exists.’

Putting on her best command voice to hide her confusion, Grunna barked ‘Explain yourself Colonel, that is an order.’

‘Certainly Marshal, you have been recruited to fight for the future of humanity against an unknown enemy.  The people how have recruited you have regenerated your body to a point in your mid-twenties and have then frozen the aging process.  You will never die of old age.’

‘Recruited me?  Captured is more like it, I remember the intruder in my stateroom now.  I thought he’d killed me, obviously it was some kind of stun weapon.  I demand to be treated as a prisoner of war in accord with the Ynys Mon Conventions.’

‘Marshal, this will take some explaining and a great deal more to prove it to you.  I was in the same frame of mind as you when I was awakened.’

‘Explain away, but don’t expect me to believe a word of it.’

‘Very well, you are currently in a space station that does not exist in realspace.  We are currently outside of reality as you and I were taught it.  The station is run by humans that have been recruited from various realities in order to ensure the protection of the Human Race.  I know I’m stretching your boundaries of incredulity already but there is more.  The reality that you and I grew up in no longer exists, it collapsed as a new series of inputs were made to improve the conditions for the Human Race to survive the invasion of the Marauders.  Fewer than 50 survivors of our reality exist’

‘I don’t believe a word of it.’

‘I can prove it.  Follow me through the door and I will provide the proof you seek.’

Thinking to herself she may have the chance to escape, Grunna followed Peters out of the door.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2010, 12:24:04 PM by welchbloke »
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Offline welchbloke (OP)

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Some answers and yet more questions
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2010, 03:13:20 PM »
Chronometer error!! Bulk Hub

Amynedd looked out of the viewport.  It had been 2 weeks since walking out of the treatment room.  She had learnt a great deal in that time.  One of the first things she had learnt was that one this station, time was a meaningless concept.  This station resided in what had been described to her as ‘The Bulk’ the medium in which the various realities resided.  She had spent a great deal of time reading up on multiverse theory and the only thing she really understood was that it made her head hurt.

In the distance she could see the outline of a warship that she recognised.  Turning to her constant, and vigorous, companion, she asked ‘Mabon, that ship looks like a Precursor design, where did they get it and what are they going to do with it?’

‘I know they captured it in our old reality, I have no idea what the intention is.’

‘It looks like the one of the ships that led to us discovering Trans-Newtonian technology, I think I know what they might be planning to use it for.’

“They” were the senior echelons of the humans on the Hub.  Most of them were from a reality where the Celts had not risen to rule the planet.  About half of her time had been spent learning to speak their language through hypo-training.  She still thought in Celt but she was expected to converse in their language, which was called English.

Today, she was finally going to find out why she had been saved from oblivion.

As the sound of footsteps approached she turned and saw a dark harked man and a red headed woman approach from the lift section.

As he approached the man called out ‘Amynedd, Mabon, how are you both?’

‘Fine thanks Andy, who’s your friend?’

‘This is Siobhan, she was from the Celtic reality before yours.  She is going to brief you on why we saved you both. I suggest you sit down, this make take a while.  All yours Siobhan.’

‘Thanks Andy.  Mabon, it’s probably easier to start with you.  As you know we could travel back and for in your timeline and we knew that you were brave and resourceful.  You were destined to become the first officer to receive the Space Cross twice.  Later in your career you would become a General and retire one of the most famous generals in Celtic history.  We have a need for high quality field operatives who can run missions to alter history to ensure the Human Race survives the invasion of the Marauders.’

Unable to hide the massive grin on his face, Mabon could only reply with ‘Out-fragging-standing.’

‘Mabon, you will undergo an extensive training regime and be apprenticed to one of our most experienced operatives.’
 
‘Amynedd, you were the most decorated naval officer in the history of the Celtic Navy.  You retained that title for over 50 years after your death.  The flagship of the Celtic Fleet that stopped and then repelled the Marauder Jugganaut fleet was named after you.  There are two related tasks for you; firstly, help guide the development of the Celtic Navy; secondly, analyse their performance and help our analysts extrapolate forward to an engagement with the Marauders.’

‘Why us Andy?  Why not someone before or after our time?  What about Trevon Kenderick? He was the “Golden Boy” of the fleet.’

‘The simple answer is luck.  We only saved 50 people from your reality because we weren’t expecting to have to alter it again.  Very few of our resources were in place before we had to act.  We had seen the Celts defeat the Marauders, we thought the Human Race was safe.  That assumption was proven false by the interference in the time line by an alien agency that we still haven’t identified.  We have several theories and no evidence.  All we know is that this has never happened before and we need to be on our guard.  Any more questions?  In that case, get some rest, you’re going to need it.’
Welchbloke