Author Topic: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"  (Read 4949 times)

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Offline Raz

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[AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« on: January 16, 2010, 07:11:09 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Deep Space near the Tapnam System, Days after the contracts with Retrem and Altair were signed

The Altcom Skycutter suddenly dropped out of warp, bombarded by messages on the Altcom frequency. Claudin X was called into the cockpit by the pilot, and he listened to the various messages, and released they were the same message, being played at the same time, except they were at different points of the message. He told the pilot to fix it, and the computer soon aligned the messages into something comprehensible, "...Claudin IX is dead. All of Altcom's wealth, and that of other Fran Corporations, has been transferred to Claudin X. Many are hunting Claudin X, determined to kill him. Others seek his wealth. The Council wants him arrested. One thing is known; Trust no one and uphold the plan..."

Claudin was suddenly thrust into a strange, dangerous, and confusing situation. On one hand, some of the CEOs of other corporations who had had their money stolen were now bloodthirsty, and wanted his head. On the other hand, the government wanted him dead. It would be almost impossible to get through Vantry Beta and down onto the surface, but Claudin also knew this tactic of multiple messages that seemed to be nothing more than maddening static. It was a tactic his father used, learned from his father's childhood friend, Dentreve. Only Dentreve would be one to be loyal to Claudin under any circumstances, both as his godfather and his friend. So Claudin copied this tactic, hoping Dentreve was listening, "I am here. There is no way through Vantry Beta, I must remain in deep space, hidden. Contracts have been signed, the navy and armies are growing. Everything is going to plan."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, One Week Later

The sudden and extreme, complete loss of wealth by the Fran Corporations caused a massive economic upheaval as dozens of Corporations suddenly went bankrupt, and billions were suddenly unemployed. The great masses of the hungry were further starved by the loss of the greatest agricultural Corporation in Vantry history, Food-For-Thought Inc., which had held a near-monopoly at its height. The government was overwhelmed by the economic refugees, and often couldn't distribute enough food to the needy, let alone non-existent jobs. As to questions of how it occurred, no one in-the-know was willing to talk, as it might cause a panic. Who would want the suddenly starving public to know about a psychologically unstable Jergo with untold amounts of wealth at his control? They might lose it, or worse, join him.

Meanwhile, the Council had been hunting Claudin X with ruthlessness, interrogating and torturing anyone with connections to him. When a warp signature was registered beyond the Tapnam system's limits, warships were sent after it, but they found nothing, as Claudin was hidden among the asteroids. Increasingly frustrated and panicking more and more every day that went by without Claudin in custody, or more preferably, dead, the Council completely clamped down on the media. The media merely referred to the current situation as "Economic Issues." In reality, it was a worst case scenario; a greedy Vantry with a huge amount of money, and connections to the highest Vantry family.

However, Dentreve, a Dar'Gra that stuck to his 'dark' heritage, was crawling through the underworld, buying off hundreds of disgruntled officers in the Military to the Corporate side, informing the various Generals that they it wouldn't be long before they were to begin moving their forces, and giving false information to rogue journalists in the media. He spread the word of "Claudin" across Ahm, as hungry Vantry everywhere whispered the name as if he would be their savior, not realizing that it was his father who caused this mess. Suspicion of the government grew, but the suddenly poorer aspects of the public remained silent, though they were a growing bomb with a fuse that was shortening.



Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2010, 11:39:28 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Retrem Inc. HQ on Slorvian V

Raffa fired off a burst from his machine gun arms, pounding bullet after bullet into the target one hundred meters downrange. He was dead on with every shot, this being almost the 50th time he had been forced to calibrate his accuracy. It was standard protocol to run a number of tests, but because so much was invested in Squad 151, as the group was officially called, they had to undergo almost double the number of tests a regular robot would go through.

"Alright, you're clear. Nice shooting 2442," came a voice over the intercom. Raffa cut off the feed of bullets and stopped the power flow to the miniguns. It took several seconds for the barrels to completely stop moving. "Go ahead and proceed to the conference room. The Lieutenant wants to speak with you. Everyone else has been alerted as well."

Raffa sent the affirmative over the radio links, letting the command tower know that he understood. He morphed into his transportation mode, basically a ball that could move much more quickly, and headed towards the conference room. It took him under a minute, but by then the rest of Squad 151 had arrived.

"Nice job being late," Creaker said as he made quick adjustments to his arms. This robot was constantly in motion and couldn't sit still. When he was done fiddling with his weapons he started to partially switch to his transportation mode before switching back. He continued to do so, much to the annoyance of everyone in the room.

"You're annoying," Heavy said, stating the obvious as he was prone to do.

"Why thank you good sir, I do appreciate your comments and I will take them into consideration the next time I engage in activities such as this," Creaker rattled off rapidly, much too fast for Heavy, much less anyone else, to understand. "But for now I'm going to continue my actions." And Creaker did, constantly shifted back and forth.

"Cut it out," Slessa said, sending an angry expression through the airwaves to Creaker.

"Ooooo!" Creaker let out of his intercom, "nice of you to join in the conversation! I was starting to wonder if there had been a malfunction with your communicator. I was getting worried there for a few milleseconds!" Slessa didn't reply, but instead chose to turn his attention forward, as the Lieutenant chose this moment to enter the room. All of the robots, including Creaker, turned their attention towards him, offering salutes to the best of their ability.

"Good evening, gentlemen," the Lieutenant said as he walked towards the computer terminal and punched in a data card. "I've been talking to the brass about your training statistics and they all approve. You guys will be heading out on your first mission in three days." If this had been an organic crew, the likely response would have been mixed. There were always those that were excited for missions, but more often than not they were afraid of death. Squad 151, on the other hand, was comprised entirely of robots programmed for the destruction of an enemy. That was their only purpose. And they were all excited.

"Yippee!" Creaker yelled out, but he was the only one to voice his emotions.

"I've got all the information right here," the Lieutenant said as he punched away at the computer terminal, "it's a contract from the government. They need some things taken care of and can't be bothered by diverting their resources. Too focused on expansion and whatnot... The data should be downloading to your mainframes." As soon as he said that the information flooded over Squad 151, giving them all the details necessary.

Interesting, Raffa thought as he looked over the mission.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2010, 07:27:57 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Mantar System, The 'Slorv Incident'

The V.A.S.S. Stargazer dropped out of warp, carrying hundreds of colonists bound for the planet of Darman, a mineral-rich world that could relieve some of the economic pains being felt on Ahm. However, scanners indicated that a 'Slorv' ship approaching at a tremendous speed. Minutes later, the Stargazer's Captain began sending constant camera recordings back to Ahm. The ship suddenly appeared, engaged its weapons, and fired upon the Stargazer, destroying it, and all the while, the cameras recorded everything until the last moment of destruction.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

The Council couldn't clamp down on the Slorv Incident footage, it was too controversial, too blatant and out of control to conceal. They couldn't write it off or explain it away, so the media began repeating the Slorv Incident over and over on the televisions and radio stations, exciting the public into a frenzy against the Slorv. The already stressed public was beginning to crack, beginning to call for the heads of Slorv everywhere. Almost immediately, the student exchange programs for canceled for the students' safety, as riots grew in number in the cities.

The Council, in desperation, sent Graka to try to negotiate some statement from the Slorv, silently realizing anything they did would likely only worsen the situation. As he remained in orbit, he repeated their message about Ahm's current state, and the desperation involved, finishing, "We want you to see if you think you can do anything to help us."

Meanwhile, Dentreve and his collaborators silently realized the time would soon be upon them, and they began spreading their propaganda more aggressively, causing the Inquisition to notice, and attempt to crack down on the rallying Corporate Resistance. But the increased number of Inquisition crack downs just made people angrier, and more willing to go the Resistance meetings, turning to others for guidance in these times of uncertainty.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2010, 10:30:08 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Slorvian IV, High Council Hall

Yuntar had been sitting in on numerous High Council meetings at their bidding. He was slowly becoming more accustomed to the workings of the High Council. The more he thought about it, the more he realized that being a High Council member would probably be a step up for him. And this experience was only working to benefit him. The more time he was seen with the High Council, the more likely he would be elected to the board for the next election.

"So, before we start talking about the diplomatic relations with the Vantry," Head Councilor Klic said, looking at Yuntar and Sunta as he said it, "I would like to have an overview of our current situation. Head Councilor Ferelia is in agreement, so we will go forward as such. Councilor Keiko has the information and will be giving the presentation." Klic motioned to Keiko to proceed, which she did.

"Thank you," with the press of a few buttons everyone received a wealth of information to their data pads, informing them of a variety of industrial and economic statistics. "As you can see the production rates of the major corporations have nearly doubled across the board. New corporations are springing up at an alarming rate as the price of shipping falls thanks to an influx of our merchant fleet. This will only continue to grow as the factories continue to receive orders and pump out new ships. Demand is rising and people have taken notice that the government has increased spending. They know something is up. There could always be the possibility of alerting them that we have acquired an FTL drive, but this is something we shall save for a later date. I'm not going to have that conversation interrupt my presentation." Keiko looked at the seven councilors and Yuntar as she said this. Councilor Keiko was the most neutral of the group. Whenever there was a deadlock in the decision making process, Keiko was usually the one to break it, since no one ever really knew what side she was going to take on a given issue. This annoyed some, but earned Keiko respect with others.

"Great progress has been made on the government ships under construction. A number of them are nearing completion. Within another month we should have an entirely new operational fleet. FTL drive production is running smoothly, although the major production facility is still being setup. It will be several months before it is fully operational, but in the mean time we are still producing FTL drives for our ships. As you all already know, the first FTL drive has been installed on the Slorvian Flagship Mighty One. It is set to make the jump from Slorvian IV to Slorvian VII tomorrow. I know I will be seeing all of you at that ceremony." Keiko grinned at that as did everyone else in the room. There was much excitement at the thought of the Slorv traveling faster than the speed of light. They all knew that they would be going down in the history books for that.

"And finally, and probably most importantly, construction is nearing an end on the first of our colony ships. The hull of the ship has been completed. All that remains to be installed are the electronic systems and the FTL drive. The pioneers have already been selected and their cover has been setup to erase any suspicion of their disappearance. The story is that they have been selected for a new mining colony to be established in the far out asteroid ring. The pioneers are currently en route to Slorvian II, where the ship is being constructed. It won't be long before they are ready to leave the system. Several suitable destinations have been picked out for them, but because they have access to an FTL drive they will have their choice of where to settle first. It's a good thing we had those deep space scan results from the scientists. That's all I have to say," Keiko said, bowing and taking her seat. All of the councilors and Yuntar stomped their foot once in approval.

"That is all well and good. Things are on the right track," Klic said. "But as you know, there has been a hiccup involving the Vantry. News has traveled fast. Yuntar, Sunta," Klic said as he looked over at the two diplomatically inclined Slorv, "What is your take on this?"

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2010, 10:54:44 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Corporate Resistance HQ

Dentreve was looking over a map of Resistance positions, which had steadily been growing over the past weeks. Numerous Military armories were getting false orders for weaponry, but this source of armament was quickly cut off by the Inquisition, which caught onto the plan and moved in almost immediately. Indeed, the only real threat the Resistance was facing was the Inquisition itself, as they had no corrupt officials among the stone-hearted and sadistic bastards, but they were as loyal to the Council as a mother to its child. They were also the only ones that had no red tape to go through, exactly like the Resistance, except the Resistance had to be stealthy, and they could go in guns blazing into a Resistance safe house, slaughter everyone, and the media would call it a "random assault by madmen." They may have gotten the madmen part correct, but the attacks were far from random. It was also obvious that the Inquisition was in every city, in some numbers that allowed them to respond with extreme and immediate force to any situation the Resistance might present. Silently, Dentreve loved just how efficient and effective the Inquisition was, a perfect model of loyalty and an iron fist to a supposedly democratic government, the perfect weapon, if not exactly silent.

The time to move was coming quickly; Claudin IX sent in reports that the assault ships were on their way. Resistance Agents in Vantry Beta had placed bombs on most of the guard craft, as well as the few defenses Vantry Beta had. All that it would take to secure the spaceport is a single radio frequency message, and the assault ships would drop out of warp, destroying the remaining defenses. Then, Vantry Beta would be there's, and the robotic armies would begin pouring in through the Sky Tunnel. Of course the Military would immediately react, moving their forces to guard the Tunnel, but all the Resistance Generals, officers, and enlisted would turn on their brethren, igniting the Civil War as the droids made their entrance into the battle.

Or, at least, that was the plan. A number of things could go wrong: Armed ships that were unaccounted for could appear, or the Council might ask the Slorv to intervene and retake Vantry Beta, or the even the bombs themselves could be duds, leaving the assault ships with a greater defense to break. Everyone was just waiting with their breath held for the ships to arrive.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2010, 11:27:06 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Slorvian IV, High Council Hall

Yuntar stood up first and looked around at the High Council. As you know, we just recently received a report from Graka about an assault on a Vantry colony ship by some type of Slorvian vessel. I informed him that we have no ships outside of our home system, since we have only recently installed the first FTL drive in our ship. The only explanation could be that some corporation has gotten a hold of an FTL drive or the designs to one, and managed to outproduce us. They are the only ones that have the resources to do so. This, however, is unlikely as well. The corporations could no doubt outproduce us, and even though they have the many people stacked throughout our government, it is unlikely that they were able to get complete designs thanks to our security protocols." At the mention of this, Yuntar and the rest of the High Council looked at Councilor Tiik, the bond brother of Retrem Inc. Ceo Tiik.

Tiik stared them all down, one at a time. "I know that the bond that we share goes a long way, but I can assure you that I have not transferred any data files to any corporation. I have never done so, and I never plan on doing so."

"Even still, given the situation and the great risk it holds, an investigation will be required to solve this matter," Klic said, intervening as Head Councilor.

"I expected as much..." Councilor Tiik said under his breath.

"I suggest that we move to support the investigation into the matter," Councilor Sunta said, cutting in, "We have no idea what has occurred out in deep space, but if the results show that one of our corporations did launch an attack on the Vantry, we will support the Vantry and carry out the necessary actions against the corporation. If it turns out something more is going on, then we may as well sit it out. Yuntar and I have discussed this and we have agreed this is the best course of action." Yuntar nodded his head in agreement, backing up Sunta's statement.

"Then it is settled. We will send a message to the Vantry telling them we wish to conduct an investigation into the matter," Klic said. "Let's just hope that things don't get too heated..."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, En Route to Asteroid Field

Squad 151 sat aboard the transport that had just recently been launched from a nearby Slorvian frigate. It was a smaller ship, with a docking bay just large enough to hold the standard Slorvian transport. But that had been perfect for the mission that Squad 151 was required to carry out. They were a small group and didn't need much space. Plus, this was more of a training exercise to test their value and see if their AI mainframe was worth installing in other robotic war machines.

//ETA, two minutes.// Came a voice over the radio. All of the robots were hooked up on a secure communications link which allowed them to remain totally silent, even when talking between each other. Their destination was an asteroid that had been scanned several weeks back. There had been several positive identifiers that this asteroid had been hollowed out and was being used as a base for nefarious activities, mainly pirating. Pirates were still a bit of a problem within the Slorvian system. The asteroids provided a secure base of operations, trade was lucrative in these areas, and the Slorvian defense force was currently stretched thin. The expansion outward had kept the Slorvian military on its toes, allowing the pirates to sneak in and wreak some havoc for the corporations. So Squad 151 had been dispatched to deal with one of these rogue bases.

The transport shuttle jerked a bit as an adjustment was made in their trajectory. Raffa closed down all sensors for a moment, checking through all of his internal systems to make sure everything was good to go. It was, so he booted back up.

"Can't wait, can't wait, can't wait!" Creaker yelled over the link, much to the annoyance of everyone in the squad.

"Creaker, keep it quiet until we hit the asteroid," Slessa cut in.

"Actually, just keep it quiet in general," Raffa added, "we don't need to hear your voice to complete this mission."

"Aww, that hurts guys!" Creaker said, sending a sad emotion picture to everyone in the group.

//ETA, one minute. Approach the drop door. You remember your downloads, move quickly. I don't want to stick around long enough to be noticed.// The pilot of the transport happened to be an actual organic. Squad 151 signed the affirmative and disengaged their security straps before heading towards the drop door. The minute seemed to pass quickly after that. Before Raffa knew it, he was being propelled towards the asteroid in question. Creaker has been shot out first due to his classification while Raffa had followed. Trailing behind were Slessa and Heavy, who had been tasked with the job of carrying the mobile pressure lock. While they hoped to destroy the station, they didn't want to alert anyone until they had to. It wouldn't make sense to give everyone in the station a heads up by blasting a giant hole only to find they would have to deal with more blast doors and alerted guards.

"Alright Heavy, get to drilling." The rest of Squad 151 kept their legs implanted in the rocky surface as Heavy set himself up to begin the drilling. His plasma weapon was the perfect tool for the job, as long as it was used in controlled bursts. He had been training for this for several days, so there was very little screw up in the tunnel he created.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2010, 12:16:12 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System

It was lucky that the Slorv didn't yet understand how to detect warp signatures, or else they might've detected the ships Altcom had ordered warping away. However, Graka did, and when he suddenly detected a number of ships warping towards Ahm, he grew more suspicious from the strange things going on lately, so he sent a message back to Ahm, "There's something fishy going on here. A number of warp signatures directed at Ahm have left the Slorv System, and they're definitely not the size of scout craft. I'm not entirely sure I trust the Slorv, so I'm going to wait for you to decide on what to do next, Council."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

Hours later, the Council received the message, and quickly erupted into furious debate over the meaning of the signatures from the Slorv System. They couldn't decide what to do, and so they continued to argue for days, letting the ships approach closer and close, a perfect example of democracy in action. Some of this was facilitated by corrupt Generals, who constantly added to and refuted other statements, making sure the Council stayed in chaos.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Vantry Beta

Captain Maran sat in his chair on the V.S.S. Stalker, which was somewhat larger than the other defense ships guarding Vantry Beta, and far more heavily armed. It would also be called a flagship, if it were part of an actual fleet. The days were mostly boring, sit around, wait for the assault alarm that never came, but the Slorv Incident had everyone on edge. Some wondered whether or not the Vantry were going to war with the Slorv, and if the Vantry had enough industrial capacity to support a war now. It was a grim situation that no one wanted to face, but Maran would soon be facing it head on.

Suddenly, multiple unauthorized warp signatures dropped out not too far from Vantry Beta, and as Maran moved to send them the usual "halt and identify yourself" message, the Stalker shook violently due to enormous explosions within her. Thankfully, the Vantry were smart enough to not build their bridges near the outer hull on their dedicated warships, and instead, build them in the center of the ships, as hardened command bunkers, as Maran yelled, "Report, dammit! What hit us?!"

The structural technician quickly replied, "Sir, explosions within the ship! Compartments two and five have had to be sealed by blast doors, where the explosions originated! Fires are raging in Compartments one, three, four, and six! Only Compartments seven, eight, and the bridge itself are untouched!"

Maran grimaced, it was a bad situation. Two and five were the primary weapon compartments, where the Mk. II Daedalus rail guns were housed, the most powerful 'conventional' weapons invented until now. Losing them was a huge loss, especially as both weapon arrays were destroyed. Thankfully, the other weapon compartments were only on fire, and the hardened infrastructure that kept the ship running and moving was entirely fine. He then asked, "What's the status of Vantry Beta and the other guard ships?!"

Another technician responded, "Sir, Vantry Beta's defenses have been almost entirely neutralized! Only one Daedalus is still functional! The other guard ships have been completely destroyed or crippled, except for one, the V.S.S. Ranger! She's heavily damaged, but still has a few weapon arrays running, including her single Daedalus!" Maran sighed, "It's better than nothing. Those ships are the obvious cause of this attack. Get the Ranger to hang back. We'll distract them, while Beta and the Ranger used their Daedalus on the aggressors!"

The Stalker quickly maneuvered into position, firing its lesser arms at the three approaching ships, most of them rebounding off their hulls, causing Maran to yell, "What the hell?! Why aren't our weapons doing anything?!" His first officer looked over the information at his station, saying, "Uh... Captain... their hulls... they're... made of Ragtan Armor... And the ships aren't Slorvian, they're some kind of Vantry design." Maran was suddenly in a world of confusion. Ragtan Alloy was only a Vantry possession, or at least that's what he thought. But even the ships were Vantry. Something was up, some kind of Civil War was unfolding before his eyes. Well, screw'em, the dirty traitors. flashed across his mind, as he yelled, "Fire everything! Tell the Ranger and Beta to unload! Kill all the bastards!" Almost immediately, the Stalker was suddenly hit by multiple Daedalus shots from the attack ships, tearing it apart, explosions rippling through her structure, finally imploding whatever remained of the ship.

The Ranger managed to get two shots off, crippling one of the three ships, before it was ripped apart by Daedalus rounds. Vantry Beta's remaining Daedalus fired a single, well-placed round that managed to hit one of the ships perfectly, destroying its bridge, before a retaliatory round destroyed it, the kinetic force of the round rippling through the sky-shield like an earth quake, imploding more of Vantry Beta as more of its structure broke down.

Within Vantry Beta, armed Resistance forced the confused loyalists to surrender, quickly killing anyone who resisted. Suddenly, the Resistance had control of the only entrance to Ahm itself, and gave the go-ahead for the first robots to arrive.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Vantry Alpha

General Bradding walked through the halls of the Council, slightly heavier than he was before. The War had begun, Vantry Beta was taken, and everyone was confused. He pushed his way through the doors, calling out to the Council, "Sirs! The Resistance has struck!"

Alpha looked over at Bradding, but the other Generals, strangely, weren't present in the room, "You think we don't know that? I would've never believed it, a traitor. Them. You. All of you. Dirty, bloodthirsty Military. Damn you all." As Alpha finished, Bradding went for his suicide bomb's ignition switch, but he stopped suddenly, a Ragtan dagger having cut his brain stem from his spine. In the few moments he lived afterword, the Inquisitor brought Bradding's head around to look at him, laughing, "See you later, Bradding! I always wanted to see what your skull felt like." Bradding looked incredibly angry as the blood once pumped by Bradding's heart ceased to flow, and his brain finally died.

The other Inquisitors appeared around the room, and bowed to the Councilors, saying in unison, "We must leave, your Highnesses, or risk death. The Resistance is coming." Annoyed, but glad to be alive, they filed out towards the escape VTOL waiting for them, as the Military began splitting into Resistance and Loyalist, shooting each other in their own barracks and tanks, as Alpha sent a message to Graka, "Stay with the Slorv. They have no hand in this. A Civil War has started, tell the Slorv of this. I will be in contact later."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Slorv System

Hours later, crestfallen that brothers had begun killing brothers again, Graka delivered the news to the Slorv, unsure of what was to become of him. All he knew was that he was to stay safe in the Slorv System.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2010, 02:33:27 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Slorvian IV, High Council Hall

The announcement had taken everyone by surprise. While no one truly knew the history of the Vantry, they did not realize the extent that they were willing to battle each other. There had only been a number of civil wars among the old nations of the Slorv, and even so pirates did still prey on their fellow Slorv traders, but for the most part the Slorvian people were unified. The only true separation lay between the corporations. They held a large power over Slorvian society.

"The more I think of it, the less I am surprised," Councilor Sunta said, addressing the High Council. "They are a 'race' made up of several different species. Graka himself identified each one and listed their quirks. It wouldn't seem to unlikely to have these different species vying for control among whatever government system the Vantry have."

"But there is the possibility that this civil war does not split along species lines," Yuntar said. "At this point, I think it would be wise to not assume anything. We should keep in contact with Graka, and offer him shelter. For now, he is our communication link with the Vantry race. This shouldn't broadcast any sidetaking by the Slorv either, we are simply offering refuge to a diplomatic envoy." Sunta and the rest of the council paused for a moment, thinking this over.

"Agreed," Klic said as he made his decision, "send out a message offering his ship a docking space along with any rations or resources he might need. They will not be required to leave their ship, but staying within the dock no doubt offers some form of protection against the harsh background of space."

"It will be done," Yuntar said as he drafted the message to tell Graka just that.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Slorvian II, Altair Inc. HQ

CEO Hoko sat looking over the shipping records of his products. The production of the ships had gone better than expected as the robotics workforce had stepped up. Plus, he had ordered a larger number of workers to construct the ships since he was receiving an influx of the construction bots. The Altairian shipyards were going at full throttle, building both the Vantry designs and the Slorvian ships requested by the government. Alongside these were several corporate expansion ships made specifically for Altair Inc. Now that they had their own FTL drives they were hoping to expand into the nearby systems to secure resources.

"Altair," Hoko said, calling up the AI construct that managed a large part of Altair Inc's internal affairs, "have you finished your diagnostics on the Vantry weapons?"

"Indeed I have," Altair said through the intercom as he appeared before Hoko on the hologram system before him. His picture was of a Slorv dressed in the ceremonial garb of the eastern peoples. Large sheets of metal dangled from his body along with numerous jewelry pinched through his trunk. "I was surprised at the results. They are basically identical to the mass drivers we have in our weapons arsenal. While they are advanced in comparison with space travel, our mass drivers are up to date in comparison."

"Well, you and I both know that we invested large sums in that technology," Hoko said as be looked over several different electronic sheets.

"Indeed. I was conducting calculations and figured that our efficiency without the mass drivers would fall to roughly 20% of our current output. Those mass drivers save a large amount of energy in comparison to the standard chemical combustion rockets of old days or the space elevators constructed by Alcoan Inc," Altair informed Hoko. Hoko looked up for a moment in surprise.

"Really? The figures fall that low? Well it seems that those investments in the mass drivers paid off."

"Indeed," Altair said.

"And how are the shipments of minerals being handled? I know that several Vantry ships have arrived, as shown by the reports," Hoko asked as he went back to the electronic files.

"Things are moving quite smoothly in that area. They are being secured in the warehouse as you requested and are under heavy security."

"Good," Hoko said, "maybe I'll stop by the warehouse at some point to take a look at the gems."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Asteroid Field

Heavy had successfully drilled through the several layers of rock to the nearest station wall in under ten minutes. It had seemed like forever to the rest of the team though, as they patiently watched over the hole Heavy had created. It was unlikely that they had been detected, but it went against their programming to be careless.

"Ready," Heavy relayed through the communication link. Raffa and Slessa grabbed a hold of the mobile pressurization chamber and walked it down the hole towards Heavy.

"I'm so excited!" Creaker screeched across the link. Everyone else was too focused on the task at hand to pay him any attention. Heavy grabbed the chamber as it came closer to him and latched it on to the outer station wall. Because they were robots and they could morph to a relatively small size, the chamber was much smaller than it would have normally been. Otherwise, it would have been roughly three times larger in order to get a Slorv through the airlock. When the airlock was securely in place it went to work. First, it drilled a small hole through the wall, judging the distance it would have to go through. At the end of this drill was a pressure sensor that judged what pressure would be required to be pumped into the chamber. This was necessary to the pressurization sensors of the station. In some cases, these sensors were dangerously sensitive and could detect even the smallest change. That's why it was necessary to figure out the pressure beforehand. When all of this was done it began to drill which took roughly a minute to complete. Once this was done a little green light flickered on, signaling that it was ready to begin transporting the robots.

"Creaker, get your metal ass down here," Raffa called out through the link.

"Roger that!" Creaker yelled out. "Bombs away!" he said as he 'fell' down the hole. Even though his actions had appeared clumsy, Creaker landed with an elegance that showed he knew what he was doing. His AI construct made him an annoying little bugger, but at the same time the AI knew about all the secrets of close combat. Creaker loaded up in the airlock, and with a slight hiss was launched into the station.

"Clear!" came the signal from Creaker, "but kinda creepy..."

"Raffa, you're next," Slessa said. Raffa copied the actions of Creaker and was quickly launched into the station with a slight hiss. Creaker was right. For whatever reason, most likely conservation, the lights of the station had been dimmed considerably. Normally this would have posed a problem, but all of the robots had a variety of 'eyesights' to choose from. They could view things through infrared light, thermal, electromagnetic, and even radio although the last was only really useful to detect communications between enemies. That wouldn't be a problem for this mission. Raffa switched through all of the visions testing out which was the best. There were few thermal signatures within the station. Not even Creaker showed up very well as most of his heat was contained and vented in short bursts. Electromagnetic revealed a variety of devices embedded within the wall along with several snaky wires that stretched the length of the hallway. Creaker was more apparent now, although not as obvious as one might think. Even though he was a robot that relied on electronics, several major parts of the robot were based on hydraulics. This reduced the signature and made them appear much smaller than they actually were. The center for his AI construct, however, was a bright spot on the robot's body. Raffa finally settled on infrared, as it gave the greatest view within the station.

Within several seconds both Heavy and Slessa were within the station and ready to go. They stood guard as Slessa located the nearest electrical system and tapped into the grid of the station. This is were the AI's offered another benefit. Normally, special computer programs would have been required for a robot to successfully hack into an enemies electronic system. But because they each had an AI construct working for them, they were all equally capable of breaking in to almost anything. It took 20 seconds before Slessa has successfully broken in and pulled out. He sent the information out to Squad 151, alerting all of them to the layout of the base.

"Creaker, you take point," Slessa said.

"Yessiree!"

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 03:31:55 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System

As Graka was glad to have some place to set down in, things on Ahm were only worsening. Society seemed to fall apart, as Resistance lived next to Loyalists, and no one knew who to trust. Graka, however, decided to inform the Slorvian High Council about a few things, sending Yuntar, "Alright... Look. Not too long ago, I detected a few warp signatures leaving the Slorv System, and I'm pretty sure they weren't your ships. A few days later, the ships apparently appeared at Ahm, and attacked the space port. The space port itself was apparently infiltrated, as most of its defenses were destroyed. I also detected an Altcom ship, one of our corporations, entering the system a few weeks ago, apparently speaking one of your corporations. It eventually left, but more ships arrived, traders. I also think this Civil War is being caused by a few of our corporations, in their death throes, so there is something strange going on between your corporations and ours. It'd likely be best if you focused your attentions on your corporations."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Vantry Alpha

The Council was long gone, hidden, but a Dar'Gra officer living on his own on Vantry Alpha was sleeping quietly in his bed, having been sick for days, completely unaware of the situation that had been developing outside his apartment. Sure, there had been fights and rioting outside, but that had been going on for weeks. A little intensification didn't seem like anything major. Ganghe Tzan was completely oblivious to the fact that the Vantry had practically split down economic lines. All he cared about was how dangerously sick he had become, nearly requiring a doctor, but there were no doctors available as there were too many wounded from the riots and looters. Medicine, too, was scarce. So he had had to brave through the illness, until he finally felt better today, good enough to cross his room and turn on the television, and discover the hell that had developed since he was out.

Most of the channels, once constantly giving out news, were now completely silent, either the government or the Resistance having destroyed their transmitters to prevent the enemy from using them. Or, perhaps more likely, the news personnel had killed each other or gone out to fight alongside their allies. Ganghe was amazed to find so many channels without service, but he finally found one, the VNN, Vantry News Network. Supposedly they were state-run, but any news was better than none at all.

The channel kept blaring things like, "Stay inside," and, "Remain armed and lock the doors," as well as, "The Military will provide relief whenever possible." Yeah, whenever possible. More like never. We were never trained to deal with this bull crap, we were trained to kill, thought Ganghe, concerned about whether or not people were going to survive by following those orders. He was a realist, and he knew how the Military worked, having spent years in its ranks. Eventually, the VNN finally said, "The Civil War was caused by greedy Corporations trying to survive their death. Trust no economic executive. Trust only the Military." Ganghe was a little suspicious of this, so he found his Military phone, and called his Lieutenant friend, Tragan. Tragan picked up, but there was the sound of gunfire in the background, saying, "The hell are you calling me about now, Ganghe?! Those traitorous bastards we once called allies are shooting at us! Look, I can't talk, just get safe, and trust no one," just before he hung up. Tragan always was concise.

Ganghe sighed, still feeling sick, but oddly enough, wasn't affected very much by this 'revelation' that the Military had split too. He knew that eventually, without an enemy to kill, it was almost inevitable they'd turn on each other, as bloodthirsty as some of the soldiers were. It just wasn't smart to train people to kill, and not give them targets. The only reason he'd even enlisted was for the promise that they'd pay for any expense Ganghe had, a deal that was too hard to reject, back in the days when he was young and untalented. He strapped on his special officer-issue Ragtan body armor, and got his pistol, and a large case holding some kind of weapon, slowing making his way out of his apartment, checking corners, constantly alert. The enemy was literally behind every door, around every bend, because the enemy was anyone and everyone else in his mind. Ganghe was remarkably well prepared for this situation, due to the Resistance trying to recruit him not too long ago, and one of their officers saying a little too much, too soon.

Ganghe had only one objective in mind: Kill the Resistance leader. And he had a pretty good idea where that leader was, from his interrogations of that Resistance officer who had said too much. Apparently the whispers of 'Claudin' were just a distraction, the real leader was a man named Dentreve. He just needed to catch a ride out of Vantry Alpha, preferably a Military VTOL, and he also knew just where to get one.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2010, 06:23:47 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Slorvian IV, High Council Hall

The message from Graka had caused a silence within the Slorvian High Council. They were disturbed by these results, and knew that a course of action was necessary if they were to get anywhere. But there were several problems that stood in their way.

"If this is true, then it means one of two things. Either the corporations have begun a war against the Vantry for whatever reason, or, and this is much more likely given Graka's other tidbit of information, the corporations have bargained a deal and are simply using Slorvian produced weapons in their fight," Head Councilor Ferelia said, as she rolled and unrolled her trunk in agitation. "We will need to investigate, am I right?" she asked the other councilors, to which they replied in the affirmative. "If it is the former scenario, then whatever corporation is responsible for these attacks will be shut down and ripped apart to the fullest extent of the law. But if it is the latter scenario, then there is truly nothing we can do. It would be Vantry against Vantry with Slorvian weaponry in between. A simple business deal conducted between corporations."

"Indeed," Klic said, picking up where Ferelia had left off. "Even as we deal with these new situations, we must establish new law that guarantees the rights and protection of our citizens. We have met an alien race capable of destruction on par with our own. At the same time, we must create the law that determines what is right and what is wrong when it comes to this alien race. Who knows? In the future we may have cities composed of a variety of alien species, Vantry or other..." Klic trailed off for a second as he let the thoughts sink in among the other councilors. Although he was old, he was very progressive thinking, one of the many reasons he was one of the Head Councilors. "And we may have to consider the possibility that our High Council may not be sufficient to govern the expanding Slorv population. How can a council of seven secure the rights of Slorv everywhere, especially as we expand to new star systems?" These were unsettling thoughts for some of the councilors, but they were sound in their ideas. Much reform would be necessary for the successful expansion of the Slorvian race, this much the knew.

"But back to the matter at hand," Klic said, switching topics, "we must begin investigations into the major corporations. Suspect number one will no doubt be Altair Inc. since they are our largest shipbuilder. Let's get the ball rolling."

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Asteroid Field, Pirate Station

Creaker jumped around the corner with terrifying speed and agility. He was precise though, and before the two organics could respond they were floating backwards from the force of the projectiles, a trail of red globules floating in the air.

"Yeehaw!" Creaker yelled out over the link as his magnetic accelerator cooled down. "Clear!" he added a millisecond later. Raffa maneuvered around the corner, training his sights down the hallway in case anyone else decided to show up. Creaker continued to crawl down the hallway, using the grippers on the tips of his legs to push him along in the zero-gee environment. Slessa stood watching behind them, making sure no one managed to flank them by accident. Heavy, meanwhile, stood between Raffa and Slessa. He wouldn't be able to do much if they were going to keep a low profile. He was necessary for the drilling operation, but unless they were spotted he wasn't going to be doing much. Until they reached their target, that is.

Raffa started to move forward as Creaker came closer and closer to the next corner while Slessa and Heavy followed behind. These were tight hallways for any organic, but they provided just enough room for the robotic team to maneuver comfortably. Creaker peeked around the next hallway, and quickly ducked back. He shot a short video feed of what he had seen to the rest of Squad 151. There was a group of five organics floating in the same general area, eating some sort of food. They were all armed with holstered pistols, although there were several assault rifles hanging on a weapons rack attached to the wall. If they weren't dispatched with quickly and quietly, things could get noisy fast. Before anyone in the group could say anything, Creaker spoke up.

"Don't worry I can handle this." And he was off and around the corner before anyone could respond. Raffa and the rest of the squad immediately tapped into Creaker's live video feed while advancing on the corner at the same time. Yet another advantage of the AI constructs, they were able to do multiple things at the same time without a loss of coordination in either.

Looking back on it, it was a thing of beauty, although no one else in Squad 151 was willing to admit it. But this was Creaker's area of specialty, close quarters combat, and it showed. He had charged around the corner, using his legs to bounce off several walls in a calculated maneuver that allowed him to launch himself at the group of Slorv in seconds flat. They had noticed him by this time, but they were slower to react. Creaker bounced off the last wall and shot off a small burst of projectiles at one of the Slorv, killing him almost instantly. The force of the weapon sent Creaker off in a different direction, which happened to be into the chest of another Slorv, just like he planned. Creaker's legs grabbed a hold of the Slorv allowing him to puncture the intended target with his deadly cutting tool.

By now the other three Slorv were responding to this new threat. Two were reaching for their holstered weapons while the third ran for the assault rifles hanging from the wall. Creaker pushed himself away from the dead Slorv and 'up' towards the ceiling. Once he was planted there he fired off another shot at the closest Slorv, turning his head into a giant mess of red and bits of flesh. From here Creaker launched himself at the Slorv who was just managing to pull out his pistol. Creaker went with cutting tool first, managing to kill the pirate just as he was about to pull the trigger.

It was the last target that was the problem though. He managed to reach the rack and secure an assault rifle, he had the weapon leveled at Creaker and tried squeezing off a few rounds at the target. Unlike Creaker's magnetic setup, this assault rifle was loud, even more so because they were in a confined area that was small to begin with. The bullets were high though, and only one managed to scrape along Creaker's head, leaving a nice memento.

Before the Slorv could fire off another round, Slessa managed to pump a charged laser shot through his head that silenced him for good. All the robots stood completely still of several milliseconds, digesting everything that had occurred.

"That was awesome!" Creaker yelled out over the link.

"Yeah, but they couldn't have missed that," Raffa said. As soon as the electronic words were out of his electronic mouth, the alarm within the station went off, alerting everyone that someone had infiltrated their base.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2010, 08:14:25 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

Ganghe made his way down the apartment building, finding it mostly abandoned except for a few looters that he stealthily snuck past. Leaving it, he found the floating city in ruins, rotting corpses littered about, gunfire an ambient noise. It was a strange sight. What had once been a booming city was now an almost apocalyptic wasteland. As he walked along, he noticed the stores empty, most of their windows broken.

Then he noticed the characteristic sound of a VTOL. Strange, considering they weren't allowed in the tight corridors of the city. Whoever was piloting it was obviously very good, or their ship was very small. He looked around, somewhat bored, and saw it coming towards him. Whether or not it was a Loyalist or Resistance VTOL, he didn't know, he just waved it down, hoping his uniform and body armor might attract it. It worked flawlessly, causing the VTOL to decelerate and descend, hovering over him as a loudspeaker blared, "Identify yourself! Resistance or Loyalist!" Ganghe smiled a bit, preparing to run, "Loyalist!" Suddenly, it turned about, and opened its rear entrance hatch, and a Loyalist soldier helped Ganghe into the VTOL, asking, "Lucky thing we found you, sir, we've run out of Loyalist officers, though we can do without them. There's a war going on, and we need every loyal hand anyway..."

Ganghe nodded, but quickly asked, "What's the situation?" As the soldier escorted Ganghe towards the front of the VTOL, Ganghe noticed dozens of armed soldiers sitting around, waiting to reach their destination, "Well, the traitors are attacking here, Vantry Alpha. I'm not entirely sure what's going on, but they're attacking everywhere. It's a bit chaotic. They took Vantry Beta in a few minutes..." This information surprised Ganghe, "They took Beta in a few minutes? Ahm, that's crazy... they've seriously infiltrated us." The soldier nodded, and motioned to his rank as Sergeant, "Well, I'm the commanding officer for these reinforcements. We're trying to hold them at the entrances, but it's very difficult. Why were you wandering around in the city?" Ganghe looked around a bit, "Look, Sergeant, I've got some information on where the Resistance leader is, and I want to go neutralize him, but I need a way out of the city. Can you do that?" The sergeant shrugged, "Maybe. I'll ask command."

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2010, 03:56:54 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Asteroid Field, Pirate Station

Raffa had strategically placed himself at the end of a hallway, guarding the rest of Squad 151 as Heavy got to work taking out the life support system that kept the base alive. The plan had always been to suffocate the pirates out of the base to allow the Slorv military forces to enter and acquire all of the stolen goods these pirates had taken over the months. The problem now was that the base had been alerted and a large group of armed and very angry pirates were trying to stop their mission.

"Here I go," Heavy said as he crawled up the wall to position his weapon directly over the wires leading out of the life support system. They didn't want to completely destroy the equipment, they just wanted to disable it. At that particular moment in time Raffa noticed that several organics had appeared at the end of the hallway with their weapons drawn. It took exactly 1.2 seconds for the miniguns to start rolling before the first bullets were shot down the hallway. Exactly 2.3 seconds later the five enemies were all floating backwards with trails of red marking where they had once been. Raffa kept the guns rolling and for good reason, because a moment later more guards had shot around the corner, firing their weapons blindly down the hallway. The dead pirates took several of the hits, spinning off in different directions and clearing the way for Raffa's bullets which all hit their intended targets.

"Done," Heavy said as he climbed down the wall. Several seconds later they noticed a rushing sound and felt the tug of the air around them. The station was decompressing and expelling all of its breathable air out into deep space.

"Get a grip on something now," Slessa said over the link. Raffa was already in a good position so he continued to watch down the hallway as the rest of his squad mates scrambled to grab a hold of something. After nearly two full minutes of this the noise subsided and the pull of air died down to nothing.

"That was exciting!" Creaker yelled over the link.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2010, 04:55:55 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Vantry Alpha

As Ganghe flew towards the entrances to Vantry Alpha, he overheard that the Resistance was almost through, having begun breaking the Loyalist will to fight, many of the soldiers running into the city, thinking to fight a guerrilla war, or perhaps just hoping to save themselves. Though the Resistance forces were currently outnumbered two to one, they were using fear and surprise to their advantage. Ganghe quietly considered the thought that neither forces' soldiers had faced actual combat, and perhaps this influenced things. The Sergeant returned, "They say the Inquisition wants to speak to you. We'll land on target, but they'll be waiting with their own ship. Good luck, then," nodded, and went back to his troops, trying to inspire them.

Ganghe pondered the information of the interrogated Resistance officer, wondering how the 'Gra had obtained it. However, he couldn't consider this information long, as the VTOL was suddenly shook violently, its lights flashing on and off as it veered hard right. A moment later, the lights completely went out, and the VTOL crashed into a building. However, only the Sergeant spoke, as Vantry soldiers were generally disciplined enough not to cause more chaos, as he lit a flare within the cargo hold, "I'm all right. Check the doors, find us a way out, and if anyone is hurt, notify me." Immediately, the soldiers got to work and found they could cut their way through a damaged section of the hull. Once they had broken though, they rushed into the building the VTOL had crashed into, finding the cockpit had been completely smashed, killing the pilots instantly.

As Ganghe got out of the hole, he overheard some soldiers chattering about the right side of the VTOL having been practically annihilated, and that they were lucky the tougher hull stopped the rest of the explosion. The soldiers generally hunkered down, staying aware for Resistance, as the Sergeant tried to get command on the line. It seemed as if all radio contact had suddenly been lost, but the transmitters were still working, so it couldn't have been an EMP. Ganghe walked to a window, and looked down at the street, noticing a few soldiers wandering around. These few soldiers quickly turned into streams, as the Resistance came running by, tanks and VTOLs soon following. They were all Military models, of course, newly stolen from armories.

The Sergeant suddenly approached Ganghe, saying, "Okay, look, here's the situation: Command says they can't extract us. The Resistance has pushed in too hard, and the Military is surrounded on all side, without hope of escape. It's almost guaranteed that they're going to take Vantry Alpha, and all of its inhabitants. I asked about the Council, but they said that information was on a need to know basis, and that I needed to start planning for guerrilla warfare or escape via Resistance VTOL. Do you have any plans to get out of here?"

Ganghe suddenly felt pressured, as he replied, "Well... it'll take a few days. We'll need to loot food or eat rations, and wait until the Resistance feels like setting down, refueling their VTOLs at a forward base. This base probably won't be well defended, and we can just waltz in, annihilating the defenses and stealing a few VTOLs. I assume your men can fly?" The Sergeant smiled, and nodded "Son, any Vantry soldier can, at least the basics, anyway. You know that. I guess that's our plan." He motioned the soldiers to pack up, and they began walking deeper into the advancing Resistance, aware that even one Resistance soldier checking the buildings could alert them to the Loyalists in the buildings.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Vantry Beta, Two Days Later

The first shipments of robotic warriors arrived, and were directed into the few remaining docks on Vantry Beta that were untouched, as unloading began immediately, the Resistance technicians double-checking how to command the 'Robotics Divisions,' as Resistance HQ had named them. It was a good thing they had arrived, as the Military was shaping their act up, pushing back, hard, and the fresh 'metalheads' would certainly turn the tide. Soon afterword, dozens of dedicated transport VTOLs began arriving to carry the Robotics off to their combat zones, their pilots stunned by the machines. The first areas they would be arriving at were the ones were the Military was considered to be at its strongest, and their role was to secure the front, stopping the Military advance.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2010, 05:31:35 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Asteroid Field, Pirate Station

"Well done, squad," came the voice of their lieutenant over their communication link. Squad 151 had finished clearing out the station of any stragglers. A few pirates had managed to strap air masks to their faces, but they didn't have the common sense to grab weapons as well. Squad 151 had disposed of them quickly and cleanly, until not a living thing was left in the station. Now they were being transported back to their frigate on the same shuttle they had arrived on.

"The teams are recovering the stolen goods now and that station is going to be set up as a monitoring station for other nefarious activity. Nice work on the drilling Heavy, that was a clean hole. Neat and efficient. We'll be looking at the video records to judge how well you performed. I'm sure it will be interesting going over everything that happened..." With that the lieutenant signed off, leaving Squad 151 in silence as they crossed the void of space.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #14 on: January 22, 2010, 02:44:23 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Vantry Alpha

Ganghe crawled along a roof, his head down, a rifle slung across his back. The roof itself had dozens of holes, and the building seemed like it could topple at any moment, but it was best vantage point over the Resistance forward base. A few other soldiers were with him, but most were on the ground, with the Sergeant, waiting for the order to strike. The ones with Ganghe were also the certifiably highest quality marksmen in the squad, able to make good use of the IRR(Infantry Rail-Rifle), an absurdly accurate weapon, extremely devastating even with it's tiny metal rod payload. But even a small bit of matter traveling at faster than six times the speed of sound is going to simply rip apart any kind of non-Ragtan armored tank or VTOL, especially when the round can be lethal at a huge distance over two hundred miles. However, Ganghe and the others didn't want distance, they needed to get on the captured VTOLs very quickly, so they were somewhat close to the base, and the rifles' firing speed was rather slow. Once in position, Ganghe and the few others looked down their electronic scopes, and signaled over the radio with a chirp that meant they were ready.

Ganghe surveyed the forward base; a barracks, some parked fuel VTOLs, a transport VTOL, and two gunships. It wasn't much, but it was quite possible the Resistance would be all over them if they let anyone call out for assistance too soon. That job was handled by the snipers on the roof, with their infrared sights and such. It would be considered 'night' in terms of what hour it was, if the sky-shield weren't in place, but this didn't make a difference to the Vantry, who often split their shifts down into sleepers and non-sleepers almost arbitrarily. So it was likely that one third of the defense was asleep, and two thirds were awake. Or perhaps they were all awake, this was a somewhat 'major' refueling station, so they might need all the hands they could get.

As Ganghe swept the barracks and the base, he found an immensely small number of Resistance manning their stations. Ten were doing things, and five were asleep, or that was what the scope told him. He radioed more chirps across the radio, indicating that the five snipers could immediately kill a third of the defense force, or wait. The Sergeant replied with the veiled 'wait,' and the attack began. The twenty or so Loyalist soldiers on the ground rushed towards the base, firing RPGs from their under slung launchers on their own rifles into the four guard towers, obliterating them and four Resistance soldiers almost immediately. Ganghe then heard the sounds of the sonic booms next to him, muffled by his combat helmet, but still loud enough to jar him, as the other snipers fired. Then, a different sound, of engines beginning to engage, as one of the gunships began to rise into the air, an unseen pilot having been inside it, unable to be detected by the infrared. Ganghe immediately pointed his rifle at the pilot hidden behind the blue Ragtan armored wind-shield, his scope telling him he had a 72% chance to penetrate with a single shot as he pulled the trigger, sending the metal rod flying out, splitting the very air itself. It was lucky they were so close to the gunship, otherwise the rod might've lost too much energy to be effective, but it broke its way through the glass, hitting the pilot, and turning the cockpit into a pit of blood as the gunship suddenly careened uncontrollably towards the building the other snipers and Ganghe were on.

It was instinct. They all knew the building was unstable as they immediately got to their feet, and began to run like devils were chasing them to pick up enough speed to lunge across the gap towards another building before their brains could even process what was happening. Ganghe was in the back as he took the leap of faith, the gunship slamming into the building with an almost sickening crunch, as the building began to give out under his feet. Oddly, some of its ordnance exploded, worsening the situation as an enormous hole erupted in the building's side, causing it fall like a tree towards the base, but all Ganghe could think about was how he was falling.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2010, 12:04:54 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, Slorvian IV, Construct A-1's Observatory Deck

Construct A-1 over Slorvian IV had been built specifically for observational purposes, both stellar and planetary. A massive portion of the station had been set aside for the giant viewing window that was literally the size of some Slorvian space vessels. The giant plexiglass screen had been specially constructed for this station, and it was one of a kind. It had been engineered so that it was nearly as strong as the surrounding walls with multiple layers of the material to provide protection. But there was no warping of the light that passed through this window, allowing anyone inside to get a clear view of the surrounding space. And within that picture of reference was the largest Slorvian vessel yet made, their flagship Mighty One.

It was truly magnificent. Years of design had been put into it, making it as strong and durable as possible. It was classified as a battleship, sporting the two largest Slorvian mass drivers. They were located on the starboard and portside of the ship, and could rotate nearly 360 degrees on their pivots. Several missile pods were located at various locations along the outer hull of the ship as secondary weapons and a variety of energy based weapons provided a nice blanket against any smaller strike craft or guided ordinance that could be thrown at the Mighty One.

But anymore the Mighty One was viewed more as a carrier. The robotic fighting drones had become more adept at deep space fighting, and because of these results, the docking bays of the flagship had been expanded as much as possible to allow for more of the drones to be taken on. It was the greatest vessel the Slorvian's had constructed and they were risking it with an experimental FTL drive.

Yuntar sat amongst the High Council in the observatory room, staring out at the massive ship as it prepared to launch off towards Slorvian VII. There was a live video feed with the captain on the numerous video screens that were located throughout the observatory deck. No one was talking, and the atmosphere was quite tense. Everyone was focused on the ship.

"Engaging the faster-than-light drive now," the captain said as he stood with his pincers grasped in front of him. There was a noticeable dimming of the lights onboard the Mighty One as a majority of the nonessential systems were shut down to push energy towards the engine. "Engine fully charged," the captain said, as he stood perfectly still. "Launching."

And with that the Mighty One disappeared, leaving behind only the depths of space.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2010, 03:53:42 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, Vantry Alpha

Ganghe felt his hands grab some metal, and before he knew it, he had smashed through a window into the building next to the one that had collapsed, still running to try to clear the cloud of rubble that was following him through the building. He turned a corner, and quickly swung his rifle around, pointing it at a wall leading to what he figured would lead to the outside, and fired. He jumped towards the explosion, making his way through the hole, and falling a story before hitting the ground and landing into a roll to cushion his fall.

As he stood up, some pains annoying him, he looked around to see the Loyalists having taken over the base, though much of it was now crushed by the building that had fallen over, leaving only the transport VTOL still working. He ran to it, noticing that the other snipers weren't far behind him, and quickly found the Sergeant who motioned him onto the transport. Moments later, the snipers joined them, and the transport's hatch shut, whisking them into the air towards an exit out of Vantry Alpha.

Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

While Ganghe's journey would take him a few hours, the first wave of Robotics began hitting the fronts of the Loyalists. Astonished soldiers broke from their entrenchments as the Robotics made their way consistently forward, trumping the Loyalists still fighting in the cities. Newly-appointed Loyalist Generals considered how to fight the robotic menaces, pushing the issue to the forefront of all their strategies. It was a difficult thing to do; to figure out how to beat a lightning-quick inorganic with sluggish organic reflexes.

Offline Josasa

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2010, 04:04:17 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System

Admiral Thuton stood at the bridge of Mighty One, taking in all the information that was streaming to him through his various aides. They were joyous that they had entered the faster-than-light jump, but some were still weary that they may not make it out. But we've made it, and that's a helluva testament, Thuton thought to himself with a smile. Ahead of him was a giant view screen that displayed the countdown until exit. Because the jump was only within the Slorvian system, they were only expected to be in the jump for a few minutes. And of those few minutes, only one was left.

Thuton counted down along with the timer in his head, possibly measuring off the last few moments of his life. He knew it was highly unlikely, but the thought still popped up all the same. "Get ready everyone," Thuton told his crew as the 10 second warning flashed. He watched the timer with great intensity, especially as the last three seconds ticked off the clock. A strange feeling, very similar to the one they had experienced at the very beginning, ran through the crew as the ship returned to normal space. Everyone looked around at each other in a moment of silence before the bridge erupted into jubilation. The noise was so loud that the AI almost couldn't get the attention of Admiral Thuton, alerting him that there was a message coming in. Thuton did his best to silence the bridge, but that was a hard thing to do. He called up the message on the view screen anyway, and there stood a Slorvian.

"Welcome to Slorvian VII, Mighty One!"

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2010, 10:00:33 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm, The Besieged Vantry Capitol on Vantry Alpha

1st Lieutenant Regan held his helmet, his ears ringing as his senses tried to make sense of what was going on around him. His eyesight seemed to fail him, showing him multiple images. He felt as if he was missing his middle right arm, nothing but a stub left, but he felt no pain. As his brain started ordering the signals from his eyes, he witnessed a scene of unparalleled horror; gallons of blood, a mix of 'Gra, Jergoan, and Milute, along with body parts and broken armor. However, most of the parts were unidentifiable as any particular race, nothing more than a blob of gorey meat or shredded organ.

Then, he was moving, being dragged along the ground by a medic. Regan casually recognized that there was almost a symphony of gunfire, explosions, and the sound of VTOLs and Armor engaging each other. As he was dragged across the Capitol Lawn, he also noticed that the air was almost like a light show, lit up with tracers by the thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands. The swirling torrent of bullets and hyper-sonic rounds combined with smoke made it possible to see the very air being sliced apart repeatedly, moving in the wake of one bullet, only to be forced into another's wake. Indeed, the air seemed more like a semi-transparent liquid than a gas.

His brain suddenly realizing the danger of the situation, and his mission, he instinctively grabbed a fallen ally's rifle as the medic pulled him, looking through the sights and beginning to fire at the heat signatures through all the smoke and literal, blazing fires, while ignoring the fact that the ally's hand was still attached to the rifle's end. A retaliatory round found its mark, ripping through one of his arm's muscles, finally setting off some pain receptors. As the arm fell limp, pain shooting through it like lightning, Regan finally passed out from shock.

He awoke at some point later, maybe a few minutes, maybe a few hours, but the medic that had dragged him injected him with something, causing his eyes to widen as he was forcibly awakened, the medic seeming to call out from a huge distance, "Hey Lieutenant... have a good nap? Well, too bad, we need everyone we can get, even the injured... Look, we've gone through everyone else in this place, you're the highest ranking officer that hasn't been turned to mush, so you're the CO now." Regan considered his surroundings; the Council Chamber. Around him lay the dead and heavily injured, "Why... why didn't you just let me die in peace? Instead of shooting me up with that damn 'Resurrection' crap. The situation is FUBAR, for Ahm's sake..."

Despite his complaining, Regan stood up with help from the medic, and began to hobble along, an arm over the medic for stability, "So where's a rifle and a clip?" The medic shook his head, "Sorry, sir, we need you to be in command within this Chamber. A few brave bastards managed to bring back the Major's map of the Capitol and his plans for defending it. They had to comb through his remains to find the stuff, so, needless to say, it's a bit bloody and hard to read." Regan snorted, looking at how blood-drenched everything and everyone was, "Well, Corporal, I think we're all a 'bit bloody', as you put it. Sit me over in the ol' Alpha Councilor's chair, and I'll see what I can do..."

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2010, 07:55:52 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (3,2), Slorv System, In Orbit over Slorvian IV

Admiral Thuton stood at the bridge of his ship orbiting the homeworld of the Slorv race. It had only taken several minutes to move back to Slorvian IV, and that was only because the FTL drive had needed time to cool down. But as soon as they had reentered orbit over the Slorvian capital, they had connected to the news stations to see large celebrations occurring all over the world. There were televised broadcasts showing Slorv of all kind rejoicing at the monumental event. They knew the complications and the implications that the Slorv were embarking upon with this technological advancement, but they were prepared to expand out into the universe. They had stayed within their system long enough.

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2010, 07:25:56 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, The Besieged Vantry Capitol on Vantry Alpha

Regan breathed deeply, listing down the Loyalist numbers. Unfortunately, it was just a matter of time until the Rebels broke through and slaughtered all of them. However, Regan and all the others were the ones left who were courageous enough to fight;most had some sort of injury, and yet none had given in. Ammo supplies were running thin, fast, and there were no anti-vehicle weapons stored in the Capitol itself. At this point, the Rebels were just shelling the Capitol building, trying to break its bunker-like walls made of feet of reinforced concrete. After all, the Capitol was built to withstand an assault by Milute or Jergo, even a Civil War between the 'Gra. Of course, that was a long time ago, and weapons had been heavily improved.

Another shell rocked the Capitol, shaking even the Council Chamber, forcing Regan to steel himself against the shaking and feel more pain from his missing or disfigured limbs. Deep down, he knew the only thing keeping him going was that Res-shot. He called into his radio, "Remaining bodies?" Immediately, his temporary second-in-command(the last one was killed minutes ago), reported, "Seventy-two, sir!" Regan pounded a fist into the Alpha Councilor's podium, cursing to himself, "Alright, everyone retreat from the perimeter. Booby trap the halls with the anti-vehicular ammo that we can't use, do whatever you can to slow their progress, and make sure you get as deep into the Capitol as possible. You all know the guerrilla tactics, funneling them from one direction, ambushes, etc. Get to it!"

Meanwhile, he considered how much time they had left. If they were lucky, the multiple kill corridors would keep them alive until the ammo ran out. At that point, it would be hand-to-hand combat with their combat knifes and training, stealing weapons from the enemy, and so on. As he thought, he wrote down a final report meant to reach the Military, whenever they took back the Capitol. In it, he constantly mentioned the valor both of his subordinates and his once-living superiors in the face of unimaginably one-sided odds, among many other commendations, but he felt no sadness as he wrote. Instead, he felt invigorated; it was an honorable, warrior's death against an enemy who was guaranteed to win, the stuff of legends that the old Drill Sergeants constantly yelled into his face about. A modern-day Fran's Charge, only they were on the defensive and probably going to die. He quietly said into the radio, "I know I don't have to give the order, I know you'll all do it yourselves, but remember; never surrender to the Rebel dogs. If you feel like committing suicide, either start firing maniacally into the enemy as you charge them, or for extra points, charge them with only a combat knife, giving your ammo to the guy next to you. Better yet, give him your ammo and strap a few improvised bombs to yourself. That ought to shake them up." The radio gave the sound of a few men laughing a little, possibly considering the option. Regan quietly thought to himself, "It just might come to that..."

Within ten minutes, the traps were set, and the Loyalists were waiting deep inside the Capitol, waiting for the Rebels to come charging in and blow themselves up. A few were in the Council Chamber, slightly more injured than the rest. Their eyes betrayed signs of having a Res-shot, the same quick, ADD-like movement of their eyes as they scanned their environment. The stuff could almost be considered meth, just more powerful with quite a few antibiotics and blood clotting elements mixed in to help with bleeding. A Res-shot could be risky; your blood could literally clot within the arteries if you weren't injured badly enough or the dosage was incorrect. The medics had to be very precise about how much they gave you, especially when it came to non-'Gra. But they weren't meant to save you, that job was for supposed to be for the field doctors. No, the Res-shot supposedly kept you going long enough to crawl or limp back to a field hospital. Only problem was that all the doctors were KIA or MIA, so everyone who'd received a Res-shot(just about all the Loyalists left alive) knew that if the Rebels didn't get them, they'd die of their own wounds eventually. It was pretty much a no-win situation. Regan sighed, finishing the report, and stowing it underneath some cluttered Council papers. Hopefully, it'd survive their deaths and the Rebels' search for information.

As he sat back in the Alpha Councilor's seat, he quietly contemplated the dead General over in the corner. He decided he check the guy out; maybe he had family or something, photos Regan could hide for later discovery. Instead, Regan found a huge amount of explosives rigged to a detonator...

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2010, 09:13:04 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, The Besieged Vantry Capitol on Vantry Alpha

Regan sat in the pool of blood next to the General's body; it didn't matter, he was already covered in blood anyway. He slowly took off the explosives, examining them, and called in an explosives expert across the radio. A few minutes later, as more explosions began to erupt as the Rebels tried to pry their way in, the expert came in an saw the explosives held in Regan's bloody hand, and immediately got to work, "Well... very high grade... very advanced. Extremely advanced. Sir, I don't think is a conventional explosive..." Regan narrowed his eyes, "Then what the hell is it; nuclear, biological?" The expert examined the explosives more, stating, "I think they're something like miniature nukes. But nuclear research was lost a long time ago, banished, sir... But I'm pretty sure it's nuclear, and high-grade too. I think this thing would piss off Ahm if we could tell it about the bombs..."

Regan scratched one of his eyelids, and dismissed the Specialist, considering his options. If there were some way to contact Ahm, Ahm being something Regan was very uncertain about, perhaps the Geo-Organism could obliterate the dirty Rebels, and save the Loyalists a whole lot of trouble. On the other hand, if Ahm discovered the device's existence, it might just melt all of the Vantry and be done with the whole lot, Rebel and Loyalist alike, since it warned all of the Vantry about the weapons. Of course, there was the problem of actually getting the device to be seen by Ahm...

Regan then suddenly remember that the Capitol had recently been installed with Ragtan Network Nodes, what the Ragta used to communicate near-instantly with every other Ragta connected to the network, or so the Ragta said. Perhaps this could let Regan at least tell other Ragta about the nukes... No, it was a Ragtan network, not one built for 'Gra. Then again, what the hell, Regan and everyone else in the Capitol was going to die anyway, why not try it, thought Regan.

So he limped along towards what he recalled as the nearest Node, hearing the explosions grow in intensity as he passed the other soldiers, their backs to the wall, waiting for the enemy to come through the halls. They seemed abnormally calm, some recited Ahmist prayers, others merely stared at the ground or their rifles or their bleeding wounds. Most looked in the thin air as if they could see their dead comrades, their relatives which would lose them as the Rebels came through the doors. None of this was truly disheartening to Regan; he was already about as depressed as any Loyalist in the building was. He finally found the Node, hidden behind something of a blast door, that opened as he approached and closed after he entered. Inside, it seems almost eerie, too calm. The room was perfectly sound-proof, almost a world unto itself, unattached to the world from which Regan had just emerged.

There was no blood on the ground, save the blood beginning to gush from Regan's wounds as the clotting agent in the Res-shot began to wear off. The ground itself was an odd blue, the same crystalline glow of Ragtan tunnels or Ahm's 'flesh' as the Ragta called it, and at the center of the room was the Node itself, a tangle of tentacles that would connect with a Ragtan tentacle. Regan approached it slowly, beginning to feel the effects of his blood loss, clouding his judgment and his mind. His 'sanity' somewhat broken, he figured he'd reach into the Node and see what happened... the tentacles were oddly attracted to his arm, but they were more attracted to the mangled limbs of what used to have arms attached to them, so he moved aside, letting them suddenly attach themselves to the revealed nerves.

He was suddenly perfectly fine, all of his limbs in place, but he was strangely unclothed. As he wondered why this was, a Ragta spoke behind him, "You have no clothes for clothing is not of the body. That which is not of the body is not of a the mind. That which is not of the mind is not included in the Network. You come seeking answers, Regan. We can answer many of them, including the ones buried deep within your subconscious."

Regan was stunned. A Ragta speaking... in 'Gra. Not even just in 'Gra, the Ragta wasn't speaking in the usual riddles that their speech entails. He mentally pointed one of his arms at the creature, "You... speak? How? You're a Ragta..."

The creature shifted Regan's perception, changing itself to appear as another 'Gra, "Perception is reality, Regan. Your eyes sometimes lie to your brain. It is unfortunate that even the Ragta are subject to this... even I myself occasionally am subject to such limitations. As to one of those subconscious questions, you would indeed call me 'Ahm', though this is more of a complex of the Ragta and my 'flesh' as they call it. I hear your thoughts, though you do not hear mine... It is interesting. I did not realize the Ragta were innovative enough to make connections with those not containing my 'flesh'." The 'Gra-Ragta-Ahm creature moved around Regan, inspecting him, "For some reason, your mind dismisses my thoughts as nonsense, it rationalizes them away. This very moment, you believe you have lost your mind... Perhaps you have, you've lost a lot of blood, a lot of oxygen." The 'Gra smiled, joking with Regan.

Regan shook his head, "You're right... I am losing it. How much time is passing while we're here?" The 'Gra shrugged, "I have no perception of time. I remember myself perfectly, even back to my infantile days beneath the surface of the uninhabitable planet 'Ahm'. Time becomes difficult to comprehend, when you are forever remembering everything. Yes, there is a 'Now' for me, but there are also multitudes of theoretical futures. But considering your question, I would think that time is passing for you about as fast as electrical signals can be sent from your brain to my 'brain,' while my own formulates how to respond properly. So it's not quite anything to be worried about, unless you drop dead on me suddenly, which is a possibility considering your near-death state..."

Regan motioned into the air, thinking he was still grasping the explosives, as the 'Gra continued, "Right... the issue of the explosives. I am having difficulty deciding whether or not to destroy the Vantry, excluding the Ragta... Your mind tells me of this 'Civil War' between 'Rebels' and 'Loyalists,' but I see only the foolish conflict of a foolish people. I could easily wipe you all out, and start over again, cultivate new intelligent life with the assistance of the Ragta. It would take a while longer, but perhaps I was wrong in thinking a multitude of intelligences would ferment peace and understanding." The 'Gra sighed, and began to sit down, a chair materializing suddenly in the emptiness of the place Regan was in, "Everything points to me being wrong... I gave all of you a second chance, and then you go and pull this stunt? In your own words, Regan, 'What the hell?' is very close to my current thought pattern."

Regan sighed, "If you are Ahm... or some strange Collective of Ahm and the Ragta, then you must have some mercy left in you, no? The Rebels fight for their cause, we fight to maintain the old order." The 'Gra shifted Regan's perception again, becoming a single, massive crystal in front of Regan, "That is just it. You call it the old order. I call it the great imbalance. Both sides are at fault; the Rebels for their materialism, the Loyalists for using such underhanded tactics as they have been. 'Your side' is not pure and right, Regan. Neither side is... And once more my memory reminds me of the last time I warned the Vantry. I sent down a pyramid inscribed with all your languages... yet many still doubted and ridiculed it. A pyramid, which their own materialism and eyes could look upon and read the inscriptions, and see my warning. The Vantry consistently look upon my gifts and seek to manipulate them. When I sent down my warning, I did not mean dig beneath the ground to access minerals... I meant stop digging at all. There is a reason my own flesh comprises your cities. I provide your food, your light, your shelter, and how do you repay me? With your soldiers firing at each other, making me feel the immense pain of thousands of bullets, shells, explosions, all damaging my own flesh. It is enough to irritate even the most calm and patient organism, one which I might remind you, cultivated this world for billions of years, cultivated its life, and continues to protect it against the savage 'Tapnam' star, as you call it."

As the crystal finished speaking, Regan's mind wandered, conflicting itself, trying to rationalize, trying to make sense of everything, trying to convince itself that it and its brethren weren't responsible for angering Ahm or the Collective or the Ragta or whatever the thing in front of it was, and it was failing at the job. The crystal shifted again, becoming a 'Gra once more, placing a hand on Regan's shoulder, "Tell you what... I will give the Vantry one final warning. I once had a messenger in times long past, relative to your lifetime. Perhaps I need another..." Regan looked up at the 'Gra, his mind giving his confirmation, "Very well... I will implant myself among your flesh through the 'Node,' and my flesh shall replace yours which has been lost. It will take some time; your brain will likely die. However, I will re-awaken you, do what those Res-shots claim to do..."

Regan seemed conflicted, asking the 'Gra, "But what lies beyond death...? What if I don't want to leave?" The 'Gra shrugged, "Regan, my messenger, there are some questions that must go unanswered, and then there are those without answers. That is one of those questions without answers, that I do not know. I may be the Creator of the Vantry, but I am no God." The 'Gra smiled as Regan felt his physical body suddenly have crystalline tendrils expanding throughout it, the 'Gra saying, "However, before you die, we have much to discuss..."

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #22 on: February 09, 2010, 06:54:08 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

Ganghe awoke from his light slumber on the Rebel transport VTOL, with the odd sensation that destiny was pulling him towards his fate, whatever it may be. The thought occurred to his that perhaps this was a trap, perhaps the Rebel leader really was hidden in a compound out in the jungle, or perhaps it was all a load of crap, and there was nothing out here in the middle nowhere. Ganghe was pulled out of his thoughts by the feeling of a light punch on his shoulder, accompanied by the words of one of the Loyalist soldiers, "Get up. Sarg says the Inquisition wants to speak to you."

Ganghe groggily got off the temporary bunk, and made his way to the cockpit(not a long distance considering the relative size of the VTOL), and entered it, finding the pilot doing his usual thing, and the Sergeant talking into a radio, "Yeah... Okay. I understand sir." He then noticed that Ganghe was in the cockpit, and handed the radio over to him, "Sir?" Across the line, he heard a voice that seemed as if it were being distorted, "You understand that we don't have the resources to spare on a wild goose chase, yes? The Rebels are moving faster than expected, and with more force than we anticipated. Far more force. To put it simply, we're losing this fight, especially because of their damned combat robots. I personally don't where they got those things, but it doesn't matter. Look, you're on your own unless you can provide visual confirmation of some kind of compound. At that point, we can probably divert a few hawks over there to level the place. If there is anti-air, its your job to kill their leader. He probably won't be expecting a fight, if he really is hiding out there in the jungle. Fight hard, soldier, I know we are." After that, there was only static on the radio. Ganghe supposed the Inquisitors weren't ones to talk more than necessary, as he said to the pilot, "How long until we arrive?" The pilot shrugged, looked at the coordinates given to him by Ganghe, and replied, "Well, sir, I'd say no more than a few minutes at most."

Ganghe and the Sergeant nodded, and began to head out the door, until alarms suddenly began going off in the cockpit. Before the Sergeant could ask what was wrong, the pilot was already talking on the VTOL's intercom system, "Brace for evasive maneuvers! Missiles inbound!" Both Ganghe and the Sergeant instinctively grabbed the nearest holdable, static piece of metal, as the pilot began to pull the transport hard is sudden directions. Silently, Ganghe recalled how this VTOL wasn't made to dodge missiles, just as one hit home, shaking it like an earthquake as it began to quickly lose altitude...

Thankfully, the ever-tough jungle trees of Ahm managed to slow the VTOL down enough to not be entirely crushed by the fall, but the VTOL itself was definitely rendered useless. Ganghe awoke once more to find his skull pulsing with pain, a few dead bodies lying around, but more soldiers beginning to check the wounded. As he looked about the mostly crushed cockpit, he saw a soldier drag out the wounded pilot, and the Sergeant impaled by multiple rods of metal that once reinforced the windshield. It was obvious that he was dead, but hopefully it had been a quick death, as another soldier dragged Ganghe himself out of the wreck.

After he was looked over by the medic, it was decided that Ganghe was officially the 'luckiest bastard in the universe'. The most he got from the wreck was a scrape on the head, easily mended with a few bandages. Most of the other soldiers weren't so lucky. Once the medic moved on, the pilot was brought over to Ganghe as he rested against one of the enormous trunks of the jungle trees, who informed him that from what he could tell, they were at most a kilometer from the compound. Unfortunately, the compound consequently knew they were out here, having just shot them down, so time was limited before the leader would escape. It was also unfortunate that the wreck was giving off a lot of identifying smoke, and it might not be long before Rebels came looking for them.

Ganghe told everyone to hunker down and set up an ambush for their attackers, while Ganghe himself would move through the trees toward the compound, using his own skin's ability to mask his presence, and kill the leader personally, before he escaped. Most regarded Ganghe as crazy, but they all respected his decision, themselves generally too injured to continue onward. So he stripped down, glad that the Dar'Gra had maintained their tribal teachings and lineages, and that his father had personally taught him the Way of the Hunt. Only this time, instead of a hapless animal, his prey would be the Rebel leader, who could fire back.

He brought with his only a rifle and a knife, as he made his way through the trees with the immense speed and grace only a Dar'Gra could possibly think to achieve, moving far faster in the air than on the ground, with all its vegetation blocking one's path. Within a few minutes, he had arrived outside the relatively simple compound, which had a single anti-air missile launcher on the top, the obvious source of the missile that struck their transport. Once he was satisfied that there was no one watching for him, he climbed onto its roof, and inspected the launcher, quickly deciding there was nothing he could do to disable it. He was, as the Inquisitor had said, on his own now.

Ganghe circled around on the compound, looking for a weak spot, or some kind of door that wouldn't obviously be locked. He found only one entrance; a single blast door on one side. It was obviously locked, but as he waited for an answer from his mind, an answer came from the Rebels in the form of a search party being sent out to search for Loyalist survivors to kill. Once they were clear of the door, Ganghe quickly ran and slid inside, hiding in the shadows as the blast door closed, locking Ganghe inside. Or perhaps, to be more accurate, locking the leader inside.

He silently went down level after level of floors, finding the compound practically abandoned, save for a skeleton crew of janitors and repairmen. They didn't seem very happy about being in a tiny compound in the middle of the jungle. Finally, on the fifth floor down, he arrived at a single remaining door, the only possible room left that the leader could be in. Finding it locked, he merely knocked, and retreated into the shadows nearby. A soldier answered, and looked around, finding only a knife rending his vocal cords apart, and two pairs of hands suffocating him to death. Once Ganghe was done with the guard, he casually entered, finding Dentreve looking over a number of maps of Ahm, plastic markers everywhere.

Dentreve suddenly looked back, possibly hearing Ganghe's footsteps, but saw only darkness. Apparently still suspicious, he returned to his maps, but silently gripped a pistol in one of his mid-hands. Himself a Dar'Gra, Dentreve understood well his species' ability to hide. As he heard another tiny step, another tiny breath, he tore his own clothes off, his skin immediately camouflaging himself, whispering, "Who comes for me?"

Dentreve had been smart to hide, thought Ganghe, but not smart enough to hide his own pistol. It was silently floating in the air, part of it disappearing where Dentreve's fingers clutched the handle. It was all Ganghe needed to swiftly roll his rifle off his back, and begin unloading towards the floating pistol and its holder... but the pistol dropped suddenly, and he felt the rifle be kicked upwards, as he received a blow to his stomach, knocking him against the wall. Ganghe immediately threw his knife where he heard Dentreve's breath, but the 'Gra was obviously smart enough to never stop moving, as Ganghe himself immediately took off around the room. Very quickly, a Dar'Gra-Dar'Gra brawl ensued, the only sounds of it being the breath of the two warriors and sound of air being sliced as the two traded 'punches' and 'kicks'.(These are both misnomers, as 'Gra have six hands. Essentially a 'kick' can be performed with any hand, defined as being a circular strike. Linear strikes are considered 'punches' in 'Gra terminology.) They said nothing as they fought, practically equals in the Dar'Gra style of combat. It was a bloodless battle, as Dar'Gra have specifically evolved to have incredibly thick 'hides,' in order to prevent bleeding. While their skin can shift color, their blood cannot, and any blood is an obvious marker of where to strike to another Dar'Gra.

As the fight progressed, Ganghe gambled as he used one hand to grab Dentreve's pistol, hiding it behind his body. He then let Dentreve connect a strike, but quickly grabbed Dentreve's arm, and brought the pistol around, unloading the clip from the general direction that the strike came from. Dentreve was fast, but nothing was fast enough to dodge a scatter of bullets at point blank range. Dentreve's blood quickly began to spill from the bullet wounds, marking the position of his torso and a few arms, and the fight soon progressed into a battle of attrition, testing Ganghe's endurance against Dentreve's blood loss. As the minutes wore on, more blood poured out of Dentreve, and his movements soon became sluggish, until finally, Ganghe pinned Dentreve against the table of maps, exhausted.

As Dentreve accepted his fate, he said, "Whoever you are... you're a damn good fighter, not to mention an amazing Dar'Gra. Brilliant... hiding the pistol like that... grabbing my own strike. Really... unexpected. I applaud you... You've won, take the trophy of my death, as tradition says you should." Ganghe replied, "May Ahm receive you unto him, Warrior," as he grabbed Dentreve's head and twisted, snapping the Dar'Gra's spine. Unfortunately, in their fighting, Dentreve's blood had ruined the maps on the table, destroying valuable information. At the very least, Ganghe had succeeded in eliminating the Rebel leader, as he inspected the room. There seemed to be a stacks of papers, but nothing to go through immediately, not until the Inquisition arrived to sort through them. He went over the communications array set up for Dentreve, and turned to the confidential Inquisition frequency, saying, "Rebel dead, mission accomplished. Cleanup crew requested at coordinates." Within hours, the Inquisitors arrived, slaughtering the search party, rescuing the wounded soldiers, and telling Ganghe that if this war ended well for the Loyalists, he'd be a 'hero on par with Fran himself'.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #23 on: February 10, 2010, 07:03:04 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,2), Tapnam System, Ahm

The elimination of Dentreve was devastating for the Rebellion, as they were mostly still organized into combat 'cells' which all ultimately reported to Dentreve for their overall orders. As such, while they attempted to continue their individual goals, their reinforcements came to a stand-still, as well as new shipments of the devastating Slorvian war machines, which merely piled up in Vantry Beta, awaiting delivery. Individual leaders, attempting to quell the disorder, managed to gain contact with each other, but a highly effective Inquisition disinformation campaign was making many of the Rebels walk into death traps, following the information of 'Rebel leaders' on the other side of the radio. Very quickly, the Rebels devolved into suspicious warriors, trusting only those they could physically touch or see, leaving themselves exposed to the battered but emboldened Loyalists, who began to mount an offensive.

Once more, the tables had turned, but another mind-boggling turn was approaching;

Alpha Quadrant, Sector(2,2), Tapnam System, The Rebel-Conquered Vantry Capitol

Regan's lifeless body suddenly convulsed, electrical signals rippling through his crystalline muscles, his repaired heart restarting itself. His brain soon began to return to life, crystalline connections having replaced those organic ones lost to death. Yet Regan's brain was not entirely untouched; Ahm had added a cluster of crystals to function as a direct FTL transmitter. He suddenly gasped, his lungs aching for air, causing his eyes to fly open, registering a strange fact; he was enclosed in a massive crystal pod of some sort.

As he examined his surroundings, he discovered that he no longer saw mere light, but other waves as well. At first it was high disorienting, seeing so many things such as radio waves, but he soon learned to focus on his sense of light, mostly ignoring his other, newer senses.

As his tactile senses began feeding him information, he felt enormous pain as he stretched his previously unused crystalline 'muscle' and 'skin', a painful process that could be likened to the screech of an unoiled machine. As he did this, he noticed he felt a great deal heavier, but as far as he could tell, the new muscle more than made up for the increased weight.

But something quickly began to feel wrong, as if Ahm had replaced most of his body, if not all of it. As he began to panic, he heard a voice in his head, "Regan, my Messenger, I had to replace most of your body; it was generally too decayed or mutilated to be saved.  Your heart is crystal, as are your lungs, but your blood is still your blood, with a few added ingredients, but it is not pumped anywhere but to and from your brain. Your brain is mostly still you, with some crystalline additives as well, but there will be some slight memory loss, and you will likely be rather clumsy at first. However, do not underestimate the strength of your new muscle, for I believe you will be quite satisfied. To address some of the questions floating around in your mind; your food will be a combination of starlight, soil, and organics; you will eventually die a natural death; and you must still sleep. If you were completely crystalline, sleep would be a thing of the past, but you are not. Always remember Regan, you are my Instrument. Through you, I may speak to the Vantry as a whole, not just the Ragta. Now get moving..."

Taking his que, Regan punched upward with all his new arms, cracking the pod until it finally gave way, the top section colliding with the roof. As it fell, he grabbed it, throwing it against the wall, and then lumbered out of the 'pod', significantly disoriented. Regan could tell that he was not only heavier, he was larger, larger than most 'Gra he had ever seen. His body also gave off a strange, almost electric glow, similar to the natural glow of Ahm's flesh. Yet despite his body being almost entirely crystalline, there were still some tactile sensors that allowed him to feel the ground and air. As he walked towards the blast door, it slid open for him, but a pile of rubble flowed down into it; it seemed his soldiers, in a final act of defiance, had sheltered Regan from the Loyalists. Or perhaps the Rebels decided to just bomb the Capitol and be done with it. Whatever the case, Regan began digging with his new and vastly improved strength, a strange driving force in his mind, urging him onward. Maybe it was Ahm, or maybe it was Regan's subconscious wanting to test his new body.

After a few minutes of digging, he managed to break through the rubble, emerging into a scene of total destruction. His Loyalist soldiers were scattered about, along with a few Rebels... and some odd metal machines that were broken down. Another side of him wanted to grab the exposed wires, to try to connect with the machine, to see if it held any knowledge, but he fought himself, making his way back towards the outside, bloodying his hands. He pushed his way through the doors of an entrance, emerging to find the broken landscape once known as 'Vantry Alpha'. Apparently the Rebels had deemed it utterly useless, having practically leveled the city in the fighting, leaving behind only a small temporary scout camp near the outskirts of the Capitol building's lawn. Towards this, Regan walked, unsure of the Rebel reaction to his new form.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #24 on: February 13, 2010, 08:08:59 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, The Rebel-Conquered Vantry Alpha

Regan finally reached the Rebel camp, appearing behind a few Rebels composed of 'Gra and Jergo, all of them in traditional soldier armor, who were sitting around a table, drinking a few drinks similar to the alcohols that humans drink, generally having a good time. Unfortunately, their fun was about to end.

As Regan walked towards them, one of the more drunk Rebels motioned towards Regan, "W-wha-what is that... thing?" The other turned around, and with their impaired brains, seemed unable to comprehend Regan's existence, one saying, "I-I t-think... we're hallucinating.... but uh... hallu-hallucinations aren't sh-shared..." The 'Gra eyes narrowed, and the Jergo cameras zoomed in, trying to feed them information.

Regan finally stopped by the table of Rebels, who seemed awestruck by his strange and crystalline body. Then, Regan experienced the sensation of a wave passing over him, and he was suddenly not in control of his body, as he spoke, "Rebels... I speak for Ahm, your Creator. You would do well to heed my words; Give up your allegiances to all but Ahm, to me, his Messenger, and you will be far better off." The Rebels seemed to try to form words, but as one Rebel got out of his chair and kneeled before Regan, the other quickly followed suit, Ahm once more controlling his vocal cords, "You will be the first of billions to join me, Vantry. I will personally see to the end of this pointless war..."

And so, Ahm's purpose was revealed to Regan, as they quickly mobilized themselves, packing up the camp onto the simple VTOL that transported the Rebels out to the capitol. Soon, they were moving towards the nearest city, transporting the newest 'faction' in the war.

Offline Raz

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Re: [AC] Vantry "Economic Issues"
« Reply #25 on: March 09, 2010, 05:50:07 pm »
Alpha Quadrant, Sector (2,2), Tapnam System, War-Torn Ahm, Months Later

The slow advance of the Rebels was brought to a halt as the Loyalists learned to use long-distance attacks and clever IEDs to eliminate the Rebellion's robotic advantage, resulting in a long-range stalemate of artillery fire where usable, and a near-total inability to move in the claustrophobic cities where there was always another IED just around the corner.

'Neutrals' or Refugees were preyed upon by both the Rebels and the Loyalists, and a Vantry was only neutral so long as he could avoid being given a rifle and a clip by either side. This forced draft soon infuriated the more pacifistic Vantry, who quickly banded together and began resisting the drafts, even resorting to waging an unorganized war against anyone who identified themselves as aligned to any side. The Neutrals were an unorganized force, and varied tremendously in their views, but they soon formed a small yet somewhat formidable third faction in the Vantry Civil War.

But there was a fourth, and it was perhaps the strangest faction of them all. Known by many names, the fourth faction generally called itself the Hands of Ahm. The Hands were almost like a whisper, and it was said a shot had never been fired by a Hand at any other faction except in self-defense. Advocates of a "Re-Awakening" of the Vantry, they literally preached Ahm's Message on street corners. It was rumored that the Hands had good reason to be on "Ahm's Side," as it was said that they were led by a 'Gra referred to only as "Ahm's Messenger," and Ahm's Messenger spoke of retribution upon the arrogant Vantry who chose not to listen to Ahm. The Hands quietly anticipated the day that the Messenger would choose to reveal himself to all of the Vantry.

However, the Hands were often derided as fanatical fools and vagrants with signs by Loyalist and Rebel alike. If there was one thing the two sides saw eye to eye on, it was their opinions of the Hands. But these opinions were only held by those in the highest levels of command in the two groups, and the lower levels of power often found the Hands' message extremely enticing. Secret reports of entire divisions going AWOL only to re-appear bearing the banner of the Hands became almost commonplace, but reports of this nature were held from the lower levels, in order to keep morale high. The fact that the weekly "Casualties" list had a majority of Hands-Converts was unsettling to both sides' leaders. After weeks of being bled of manpower, the high commands of both sides authorized crackdowns on any body of Vantry who even spoke Ahm's name, usually resulting in numerous bodies.

The numbers of AWOL soldiers lowered, but it was to be only temporary, as the day when Regan would speak to the Vantry as a whole soon approached; the day when the Hands anticipated Ahm's Wrath upon the non-believers.