Forty-sixth Session – The Externals assault the Aegis system in force, and we have our entire fleet there to prevent them. We tear them a new one. Now we have to figure out what to do with all these weirdo prisoners!
This was an interesting session. First we spent a good bit of time planning our strategy – we knew the aliens were coming. Since we’ve teamed up with the Medurr and have access to their drivespace denial weapon, we came up with a plan to trigger it in microbursts designed to spread incoming ships out in a big ol’ line trailing out of the system. We’d then put our forces in one big ball and roll them on up!
Before they come, we go and get the other forces in the system on our team – some Thuldans and some VoidCorpers. The Thuldans say yes, the VoidCorpers say no.
We were interrupted by a systemwide hack. I thought we had thwarted that back in the day but apparently not. This took a LOT of rolls to resolve. Taveer went out into cyberspace to thwart it. The enemy AI pretty much chased Taveer off and back to the station and started attacking us! Once we got VERA and Captain Takashi into the fight, we finally managed to cut it off.
Then we found out it was a VoidCorp AI behind it all. They had some flimsy excuse but the Admiral pretty much told them they were going to join our fleet or we were going to seize their assets in the system.They gave in.
In an attempt to turn this whole thing around, we took the AI, VORL, and put it on a barge with some External wireless codes to mess with the incoming fleet.
But before the battle – a promotion! I had actually written that “Letter to the Admiralty” and sent it to our GM Paul a while back so that when we were in Bluefall and could get some admirals together that we could have a board of review to promote the faithful Martin St. John to Captain. He was surprised! And in fact, once he was promoted, we talked about a command for him – it hadn’t originally been my plan, but Takashi as an Admiral has been kinda kicked upstairs to do full fleet command tactics a lot of the time, so he offered command of the Lighthouse to St. John, who accepted. Woot! We put as much pomp and circumstance into it as the GM had patience for (not all that much). Hell, I’d be happy to do a whole session around just the promotion, but then I’m a roleplaying freak.
Then we fought the Externals and pretty much owned them. Only two problems – one, the second fortress ship got away despite all our efforts to catch up to them (we’re not really sure how that worked, it was GM fiat) and also the rules tended to punish us for being big. We were using a simple abstract system that uses Space Tactics rolls; that’s where Takashi is a Viking. Well, first round he rolls Amazing and the first bit of the enemy fleet rolls like Ordinary, they lose 15% of their force and we lose 5% of ours – but we are so much bigger we lose about as many ships as they do! We were like “WTF!” Usually “stacking” all your forces is an advantage but in this ruleset it’s not, so next time we’ll go with small task forces that should get the same effect with fewer losses.
Suddenly we went from most of the Externals being rare “never seen by humans” stuff to “We have a prison hulk full of thaal, what the heck do we do with them?” We spent a lot of time trying to turn the various client races with mixed results. Not everyone is on board with the crazy Scientology religious heart of this war, but many of them are stupes who like their congenital slavery so it’s a hard nut to crack.
The bareem were like this. We got some sifarv turncoats to command them all to help us, but Chris had the most inspired idea; we’re putting them through Concord Marine training not only to battle harden them but also to try to inculcate them with our values. Once they accept leadership other than the sifarv, and kill sifarv on orders, then they’ll become more liberated dudes, at least that’s the idea.
The A team is going to take half the fleet to Tendril to lift its siege and the B team is going to go RIF the Algemron system, which is probably controlled by teln mind-worms.
Interestingly, I think we kinda all unanimously and implicitly backed off going from one big serious space battle thing to another – after another half hour of roleplaying suddenly the next steps became smaller and closer to home!
We were looking for the N’sss (stealth space jellyfish) we are sure are in the system, and detected the VoidCorpers beaming clandestine messages into the gas giant (where N’sss like to hang out). Admiral Takashi lost his shit. Forget about interstellar diplomacy and weak excuses, this is an act of war and/or treason and he immediately ordered a Marine strike force to load up and assault VoidCorp’s Cloud City. After the AI thing, and finding out that they are trying to stop Old Space from coming to the Verge’s rescue, it was the last straw. They are clearly traitors against humanity and he’s not going to tolerate it another second. Long term consequences can worry about themselves.
Plus, there was a throwaway rumor about problems on the set of actor Jack Everstar’s new movie and suddenly, for no real reason, all the B team (while playing naked beach volleyball on Bluefall, our usual vacation time diversion) decided we all want to meet Everstar and have cooked up a Burn Notice/Leverage style plot to all get onto his movie crew. Woot!