Session 4 10

About 10 hours later, visual contact with the volcano engines is confirmed.
The plant-beings' chanting has continued, growing more and less coherent over time.
The Roland's cargo capacity is a bit strained, with the mass of all the dirt they brought in.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Pherocomm symbol is…?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: ^This?^ *This?*
[OOC] WC GM: Let's go with ^This.^
[OOC] WC GM: Though I'm not sure how long it'll be useful.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: ^Nor am I. Still…^
[OOC] Abraham: The pherocomm symbol is carrots.
A few more types - mostly utilitarian workers - have been observed.
[OOC] WC GM: You noticed!
Most disturbingly, the chant seems to have settled on what can best be described as Oldziey crossed with pig Latin.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Snrrrk
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Well, I think it's safe to say that we're all doomed.
Chant: "$Pie Zindu Domine, dona eis requiem.$"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Do they hit themselves with books, too?
[OOC] Abraham: Well, books have leaves…
[OOC] WC GM: It's hard to tell if they're hitting themselves with leaves.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda have mercy oh god? xD
[OOC] WC GM: "Compassionate Lord Zinda, give them (us) rest."
[OOC] WC GM: Roughly.
Ingenue studies this phenomenon. "There is nothing equivalent to this in my memory stores."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Google translate gives me Zinda have mercy o lord grant them eternal rest.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: xD
[OOC] Abraham: Did someone say 'pie'?
Abraham observes with something like 'amused concern'.
[OOC] Abraham: Kind of like being threatened by a clown with a rubber chicken, before you realize it's The Joker.
Alexander Morello carefully monitors the situation, taking what readings he can from a 'safe' distance.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sir, we should start preparing for the raid. There's no telling when she'll-"
ExecutiveOfficer: "…aaah, sir? Energy flare from her cocoon."
Alexander Morello jumps slightly
Alexander is reading the same thing.
[OOC] Ingenue: Doctor, you're on the planet. There is no safe distance.
[OOC] Abraham: Which sir? Me or Alexander?
Especially on infrared.
[OOC] WC GM: You. He's your XO.
Alexander Morello: "We might want to back away…"
Heggy shades her eyes.
Abraham looks over at the speakers. How/are they reacting?
The Speakers merged to form Zinda's cocoon, and have not been discernable entities since.
A single fist erupts from the top of the cocoon.
Zinda Tegram: "$My…torch!$"
Abraham: "I suppose kinetic is still a form of energy."
A second hand begins forcing the opening left behind by the first fist larger.
Alexander Morello attempts to get a temperature reading on Zinda.
Zinda is hot.
Very hot.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Fever grade or higher?
[OOC] Abraham: Is she actually glowing?
[OOC] WC GM: Higher. And glowing.
[OOC] Ingenue: Is Zinda (more) radioactive?
Zinda's average temperature exceeds 100 Celsius.
[OOC] WC GM: No, just thermal.
Zinda Tegram: "$Are all of you daft!? Give me the god damn torch!$"
Alexander Morello: "…uh… Sir…"
Alexander Morello shows the Admiral his readings.
[OOC] Ingenue: Do we vote on the wisdom of giving Zinda her light saber?
The hole begins to widen as Zinda begins to crawl out, naked.
Spyboy: "She says she wants her torch."
Zinda Tegram: "$Do you want me to be here all day!?$"
Spyboy: "$Maybe?$"
Abraham decides that a hospital gown would be inadequate, and instead hands Zinda a fire blanket.
Alexander Morello: "Zinda, how do you feel?"
Heggy: "I thought she had her torch when she went in?"
Zinda Tegram hauls herself the rest of the way out and stretches for a second. She seems to be sporting some new…leaves.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She gave it to Metis.
[OOC] Ingenue: She gave her torch to Metis.
Spyboy: "No, she gave it to Metis."
Zinda Tegram: "$Metis?$"
Zinda Tegram holds her hand out, waiting for her torch.
Spyboy: "For the record, you ARE Zinda, right? Not a plant copy of her."
Zinda Tegram: "$Closer to the first than the second.$"
[OOC] Ingenue: That's essentially what Metis is trying to ascertain. Zinda would never let the AI live it down if the torch was given to the wrong Zinda.
Zinda Tegram: "$But before we discuss that…my torch.$"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Give her the torch. She needs it.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: It is, after all, her symbol of office!
Alexander Morello: "I don't think that's a good idea… are you aware that you are running a fever of about 100C?"
Zinda ignores Alexander.
Ingenue: "90% correlation. Results satisfactory." Nue hands over the torch.
Zinda Tegram: "$Thank you, my Daughter.$"
Abraham: "Was that a DNA, analysis, Metis?"
Zinda Tegram lights the torch and turns around to face her cocoon. In a single motion, she slices it lengthwise.
From the cocoon spills out a number of slitherers.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: brb
[OOC] Abraham: So what is the green and the parliament of plants telling Zinda?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She'll get to that in a second.
Zinda Tegram: "$Now.$"
Zinda Tegram closes her eyes and exhales.
Ingenue: "Spectrograph, bone composition, posture, psychological profile. DNA would require a sample."
Abraham takes note that she is still respirating as a mammal would.
Spyboy: "…So. For her to be that hot, they probably gave her a fusion reactor. Also they rewired her brain or she'd be dead."
Spyboy: "…..wait."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Writing.
Spyboy: "You did say 100 degrees, right?"
Zinda Tegram: "^I am the first clan of the Order of the Pious Sky, of the Free Star Oldziey. Thou shalt stand down, or die without ceremony.^"
Alexander Morello: "Celsius."
All of Zinda's slitherers light…torches.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I knew this was a terrible idea….
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: None of you heard that message.
Spyboy: "So, yeah, any of us would be straight dead. That's enough to rupture every cell in our bodies."
[OOC] Abraham: I know. Smoking is so bad for your health.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: That was on pherocomms.
Alexander Morello: "It's the boiling temperature of water… we'd be dead long before."
Abraham: "Yep, enough to boil your blood, which is not conductive to a healthy lifestyle."
Ingenue: "Any of us?"
Spyboy: "Us meaning the biologicals. I imagine you could take it."
Ingenue: "Yes. As can Zinda."
Alexander Morello: "Do you remember anything that happened in there?"
Zinda Tegram: "^Those who would devour worlds whole for no sake but their own art naught but $Monsters.$ Cease, serve the common good as $Knights$, or perish.^"
Spyboy: "Those two words were pretty random."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Zinda Tegram, Space Jesus at law.
Zinda Tegram: "$Where's my Ship?$"
Spyboy: "Hangar deck."
Zinda Tegram: "$Alright. I look forward to working with you.$"
Alexander Morello: "I should start learning Oldziey."
Zinda Tegram exits with her torch-slithers.
Ingenue: "'Monster' and 'Knights'. Though they were isolated amongst other terms."
Abraham: "It's one of the more crazy moon languages."
Spyboy: "Other terms?"
Spyboy follows the crazy plant-lady and the plasma-spurting plants.
Ingenue: "Yes. There were other words and terms within the statement, though they do not match anything within my language banks."
Ingenue: "It is possible that the Oldziean terms for 'Monster' and 'Knights' were false cognates within this new language."
Alexander Morello follows with Spyboy.
Ingenue: "This is unlikely, as they were vocalized amongst the pheromone transmissions."
Abraham: "I don't know. I know that I often when listening to a language I don't know pick out words that I think are from languages I do know."
Ingenue proceeds after Zinda.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Scene skip to hangar?
[OOC] WC GM: No skip needed. Cargo bay's right next to hangar.
[OOC] WC GM: Just walk right in.
Abraham: "I am curious if she can still fly with those new…appendages."
Zinda Tegram: "$I need…$" "Excuse me, I need radios for my…friends."
The hangar techs look at Zinda.
Zinda Tegram: "Just give me like, 30 hand radios."
Zinda Tegram: "Don't ask questions! Chop chop!"
Alexander Morello: "I think you need to submit requisition forms for so many radios."
Abraham turns to the XO, "Did that many hand radios survive the crash?"
Zinda Tegram unlights a torch on one of the slithers and waves its arms about.
The techs look at one another, then hustle. 120 seconds later, a crate with enough hand radios is shoved in front of Zinda.
Zinda Tegram: "Thank you."
The slithers collect their radios.
ExecutiveOfficer: "We've got spares of that, at least. Ammunition, too."
Zinda Tegram: "Ammo won't be necessary."
Zinda Tegram takes a radio and calls up Geoffrey. $Go time.$
ExecutiveOfficer: "We're not sure if the volcano, ah, 'clans' have noticed us yet, or if we're just flying too high for them. They haven't reacted yet."
Geoffrey: "$You got it!$" "Crown Squadron to Roland, requesting launch clearance."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Sir? Are we launching now?"
Zinda's slithers all grab various places on Sterne Lanze.
Zinda Tegram: "Yeah."
Zinda Tegram hops into her cockpit and sets the ventilation to atmosphere.
Abraham: "Zinda, do you want a bit of time to… adjust to your new situation before we attack?"
Zinda Tegram: "$No.$"
Alexander Morello: "We haven't even had time to run any tests or perform a physical!"
Zinda Tegram: "$Open the hangar doors.$"
Abraham: "She was walking without limping anymore, so I think we can say the process was rejuvenative."
Spyboy: "$Either that was to Geoffrey, in which case Abraham's gonna be very upset, or it was to the ship's crew and should have been in Confed Standard.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Shu…Oh, yeah.$"
Spyboy: "$Also, do you want to give Metis a ride?$"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Uhh, sir? I'm not opening the doors without your authorization, but I'm worried she'll blast them open if I don't."
Zinda Tegram: "$She's…does she want to come?$"
Zinda Tegram: "I won't shoot the doors."
Ingenue: "$Of course!$"
ExecutiveOfficer: "…aaand I wasn't supposed to reveal I knew Oldziey yet, was I?"
Zinda Tegram: "$Come on in, then.$"
Zinda Tegram opens the frame her Metis.
Abraham: "I suppose it is fortunate for all that 'Yes' and 'No' are about all I know of Oldziey."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Very fortunate, sir."
Alexander Morello: "We might want to work on that, I have a feeling we'll be dealing with a lot more Oldziey soon."
Ingenue enters the Sterne Lanze.
Abraham: "I hope your wrong. It's a very annoying language to learn."
Zinda Tegram: "$Geoffrey, there will be an advance group in front of the marines. We're going to board one of their tree forts. I have the hangers.$"
Alexander Morello: "That's what they say."
Abraham: "Very well, open hangar doors."
ExecutiveOfficer: "Aye aye, sir!" The doors begin to open.
Zinda Tegram fires her afterburner and exits the half-opened bay, trying to create a vacuum on the way out.
Alexander Morello shakes his head.
Alexander Morello: "I knew this was a bad idea…"
Cold, thin air blasts in - the Roland is high up - but not too thin for breathing. Below is a vista - night time, lit mainly by occasional bits of magma.
[OOC] Abraham: And high enough up that very little poison reaches up here too….
Infrared views - half the hangar crew has relevant goggles on, in anticipation of this - show a vast armada of plant clans. Thousands of tree-fortresses. Billions, easily, of individual slitherers, fliers, and other units. On any other planet this would be a major metropolis. Here, it is a war zone.
Five mountains - the volcanoes - dominate the landscape. Five large clans ring them, one each, about halfway up, fighting a constant low-level battle to keep anyone else from ascending.
Here and there, the air is thick with needle-seeds and the din of clashes, or with units being manufactured and spewed out only to meet their demises seconds later.
Abraham: "Ah. This is the new definition of 'a target-rich environment'."
And just as you take this all in, everyone below pauses. Ingenue can easily calculate this is the moment the pheromones with Zinda's earlier message finally reached the ground.
The pause lasts five long seconds.
Zinda Tegram: "$Let's make their history, Geoffrey.$"
Spyboy: "….Wow, Zinda made them drop their jaws."
Abraham: "They can't just be reacting to the Sterne Lance."
Zinda Tegram slams her afterburner and makes a beeline for the largest of the volcano clans.
ExecutiveOfficer: "ALL WINGS, SCRAMBLE! ALL WINGS, SCRAMBLE! Sir, detecting preparation of tree-missiles. Lots of them."
ExecutiveOfficer: "You'd better launch, and fast."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - - (Base: 6 Total: 4) (Resolve, to place Too cool to die now.)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: On self.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda doesn't have have 6 resolve.
Abraham: "Launch."
[OOC] Abraham: "Warning. Warning. Warning. Warning. Incoming enemy fighters. Prepare for lunch."
Spyboy races with Heggy to clamber into his own fighter.
[OOC] WC GM: So, 4 Resolve -> roll of 2.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: xD
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: She prolly has 5, given I'm behind on updating that sheet.
[OOC] Abraham: I have a six and I /am/ behind. But Resolve is my thing. Your think would probably be Pirate/Gunnery. Oops. I meant pilot.
Abraham: (:P))
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Yeah. I'm updating her to match Ingenue.
[OOC] Ingenue: *checks logs* Yeah, I'm current.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda's behind but her high ranking stuff is nao updated.
[OOC] Abraham: It's a good think the daughter is making sure her mother does her homework.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + - 0 (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Alertness to place 'You've disabled your targeting computer!' on self.)
[OOC] WC GM: What's everyone else doing?
Ingenue: "….Zinda, why is the targeting computer disabled?"
Zinda Tegram: "$I'm doing this one by eye.$"
Abraham lays the aspect 'High Priority Targets Identified' ((from last session, but I don't think I actually rolled it.))
Ingenue runs a diagnostic on the Stern Lanze to ensure that 'everything is working perfectly'.
Heggy circles around the battlefield, high and out of sight; Michael is in the back seat firing up the ol' tactical computer.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Shall I drop the bomb?
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - 0 - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 2) (((I'm calling that Engineering.)))
[OOC] Abraham: I'm calling it 'Chessa'.
Abraham heads back to the command center to help direct the battle ((to better lay aspects)).
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: So, we have targeting computer disabled, high priority targets, Fuel Air Bomb, Plants Are Flammable, and Everything is working perfectly for aspects?
[OOC] WC GM: Then let combat begin. Initiative order: Zinda (obviously), Ingenue, Spyboy/Heggy, Abraham, Alexander, plants
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, sounds right. Zinda, go!
Zinda Tegram rolled up Pilot, those aspects I just listed.dF: (Base: 18, Total: 18,)
Zinda Tegram: "$Deploying Fuel Air Bomb.$"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Fuel air bomb launch detected
[OOC] Ingenue: You may want to 'reroll' that.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: What for?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + - 0 - (Base: 18 Total: 17) (Pilot, those aspects I just listed.)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Awww
[OOC] Ingenue: You're at double legendary. I think that's pretty good.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I wanted to crack 20!
[OOC] Ingenue: That is why God (Zinda) invented Fate Points.
[OOC] WC GM: ^
[OOC] WC GM: Invoking something to reroll?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: True. Let's tag…Abraham's Private Monster.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - - + - (Base: 18 Total: 16) (Pilot, those aspects I just listed.)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: >_>
[OOC] Ingenue: Reroll is low odds…
[OOC] Ingenue: too late.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: F*ck you Chessa.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Can I do it again? xD
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Oh, too late?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: : P
[OOC] Spyboy: Yeah, you can't not reroll any more.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I like big numbers…
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Well, I'll just tag born in the cockpit for 18.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: xD
[OOC] Spyboy: Remember, rerolling is only worth it on a -3 or -4, or if you're stretching anyway.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I knew the odds were bad. But I'm greedy. Point is, defensive roll!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Also, Geoffrey's in init order too I thought.
[OOC] WC GM: This is a Large Battle.
[OOC] WC GM: Only the part with the PCs is actually "on screen".
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ah, OK.
[OOC] WC GM: Geoffrey and the rest of the Roland's crews…if I had to do their actions, this would drag on a lot longer than it will as is.
[OOC] WC GM: I did mention you're taking on a war zone w/billions of units, right?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: True.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Well. Their defense?
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - + + + (Base: 12 Total: 14) (Stamina + Buried In A Mountain + We Have Multitudes + Dispersed Targets)
A hit! A definite hit! But that is just the opening blow…
[OOC] Abraham: When it's my turn, I'll lay the aspect 'they /had/ multitudes'. :P
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
Ingenue analyzes the results of the massive immolation, identifying the largest concentrations of remnants. ((Alertness to place "We still seeee you…" ))
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: + 0 - + (Base: 6 Total: 7) ((Alertness aspect.))
WC GM rolled up 4dF: - 0 + 0 (Base: 0 Total: 0) (Stealth)
A force this big is unable to hide. Ingenue could have marked them from geostationary orbit, let alone this close.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
Zinda Tegram corkscrews easily past the anti-air fire. Backlit by the massive explosion, she spins around to wait for her next attack run, seeming almost to dance in the flames near the surface.
Spyboy surveys the battlefield, mapping his combat-dedicated sensors to Ingenue's not-combat-dedicated views, plus the relayed images of Zinda's sensors and the communications network….for anyone else it would be an information overload, but this is what he does.
[OOC] Spyboy: Tactics to place "AA trees are now on fire on the left flank" on the enemy.
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: 0 + + 0 (Base: 8 Total: 10) (Tactics + 'Already Sized Up the Tactical Situation.)
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + + - (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Tactics)
The plants see what Spyboy is up to, but not in time to stop him from directing concentrated fire. There is now a hole in their anti-aircraft capabilities, that the Roland settles into.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham!
Abraham analyses the tactics and coordination of the plants. There's always nexuses. Always. Armies a fraction of this size have dozens to stay synched. There. And there. And those. If they are not commanders, they are relays and taking them down will destroy any semblance of organization in the army. "Take down the painted targets."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + + + + (Base: 5 Total: 9) (Science Aspect 'Communication Coordinators Identified'.)
[OOC] Ingenue: Everyone stand and salute.
[OOC] Abraham: I may…may have succeeded.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Doesn't the Roland have a bunch of Dakka aspects?
[OOC] WC GM: Which it's using in its own side of the battle. Do well and they'll start becoming available.
[OOC] Abraham: That can be considered a start, I think.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I see.
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 4) (Cultures/Technology - this is more about cracking their code than an active defense)
[OOC] WC GM: I do believe that is a success. Alexander!
The relays seem to be the tree fortresses themselves, each responsible for and commanding its own units. They form a network - with standard network topology vulnerabilities, studied by the Terran Confederation and its predecessors for literally centuries.
Alexander Morello examines the damage done by the first fuel air bomb, how can we make sure Zinda's next run is more effective?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Alex needs ideas for what to do. : P
This is almost textbook for Abraham. It is textbook for Spyboy.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: - 0 0 + (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Science seeks to find the answer to life's questions. Questions like: how to best make plants burn?)
[OOC] WC GM: …autopass. That's not even passively defended against, with the samples from friendlies you have.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Something to stay ahead of their adaptions!
In moments it becomes apparent: focus on the tree-fortresses. The ones on the volcanoes need to be captured anyway. It may soon be time to land and take one.
The first volley of tree-rockets fires…
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + + - - (Base: 7 Total: 7) (Gunnery + Tree Dakka)
[OOC] WC GM: Everyone but Ingenue rolls to defend. Abraham's rolling for the Roland.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + + + (Base: 5 Total: 8) (Alertness, Tagging born in the cockpit.)
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: + 0 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 6) (Pilot (as Heggy))
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Erm
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: That should be 11
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Erm, 10
[OOC] Ingenue: Yay, this means I can't be hur…. no, it means I'm defenseless. Drat.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue's defense is Zinda's defense.
[OOC] Ingenue: Ingenue's defense is Zinda.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + - (Base: 6 Total: 5) (Resolve Defense. The Tree Cannons do only glancing, superficial damage when they hit at all. And destroy our finish.)
Heggy was waiting for that - ready to react at a moment's notice. ((Tagging That's Why I'm the Pilot.))
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Spin is when you beat by 3 yeah?
[OOC] WC GM: Yeah, so you get Spin
[OOC] Abraham: Invoking 'Does the Job in front of him then runs' for +2
[OOC] WC GM: Alexander?
Zinda Tegram dips under the arc of the tree-rockets and twirls around, coming up from under them into an optimal position to threaten the fortress directly!
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: 0 + + + (Base: 4 Total: 7) (Alertness)
[OOC] Alexander Morello: sorry, I momentarily stepped away from the keyboard
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Can I get a free-tag compilation?
No significant damage is reported. Crown Squadron even manages to trick some of the trees into firing at an arc where they land on other fortresses.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I have the spin, we still see them, AA trees on fire?
[OOC] WC GM: "We still seeee you…", "AA trees are now on fire on the left flank", "Communication Coordinators Identified"
[OOC] WC GM: And "How Best To Make Plants Burn"
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda's turn!
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + - + (Base: 15 Total: 16) (Pilot, Spin, Fuel Air Bomb #2, AA trees on Fire, How Best To Make Plants Burn)
Zinda Tegram flies fast and low through the opening in the AA coverage, deploying the next bomb directly above the offending volcano fortress)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Also, forgot to mention We Still See You
[OOC] Ingenue: brb
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 - - (Base: 8 Total: 7) (Stamina + Buried In A Mountain (via FP))
It is far more effective the second time. The defenses are down; it's time to land.
[OOC] WC GM: Ingenue!
[OOC] Ingenue: back
[OOC] Ingenue: We are landing next turn?
[OOC] WC GM: Or this turn, if you wish.
Zinda Tegram pulls straight up after deploying the bomb, using the shockwave to help her regain height for her next run.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Now *that* is boom and zoom.
[OOC] Ingenue: Metis can't pilot the Stern Lanze, Zinda would ground her, no Neu-Comm for a week. Metis would just die!
Ingenue opens a secure channel between the fighters and the Roland, establishing the Data Bridge.
Ingenue's efforts overlay the data bridge they already have - but the android's analysis makes it more efficient, if nothing else.
[OOC] WC GM: Roll it?
[OOC] Spyboy: Is it needed? It's a Stunt, not a Maneuver.
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: - + 0 - (Base: 3 Total: 2) ((Communications for Bridge))
[OOC] WC GM: Ah, right.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy!
[OOC] Ingenue: Technically it works like a special aspect, but its being placed on Nue, so there's only a 5% chance it could fail.
[OOC] WC GM: Note for the others: Data Bridge is +1, not +2.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Huh, that one tree fort's still alive.
[OOC] Ingenue: Give it time.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Was hoping to have at least one dead by now.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I want to taunt, dramatically.
[OOC] WC GM: All 5 are up. This extended combat's going to take more than one session.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I see.
[OOC] WC GM: Spyboy's turn.
[OOC] Ingenue: You have Intimidation. Do it!
[OOC] Abraham: No Zinda! For Fuck's sake, don't waste all three bars of your super on the damned Taunting Legend!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: >:3
[OOC] WC GM: Zinda in a pink gi?
Spyboy eyes the enemy's air defenses. Ultimately, what Zinda seems to have forgotten (other than the purpose of 'secrets') is that the objective is to seize the reactors, not destroy them - destroying them results in Armstrong turning into an asteroid belt.
Spyboy: "I think I see a gap…."
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: 0 0 - 0 (Base: 7 Total: 6) (Tactics + Data Bridge to place 'Secure Landing Spot')
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + - 0 + (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Tactics)
They are well-fortified against a ground assault, but with Ingenue's help an unguarded spot is identified.
[OOC] WC GM: Alexander!
[OOC] WC GM: And Abraham!
Alexander Morello: "We should prepare for ground combat."
Alexander Morello runs to the armory to requisition some combat equipment.
[OOC] WC GM: You're in fighters.
[OOC] WC GM: Also, combat equipment was loaded before you launched.
Abraham studies the display. "Take the Roland /here/. From there, the Roland can provide optimum cover fire for the ground troops and fighters."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Didn't know Alexander could fly. : P
[OOC] Alexander Morello: When did that happen? I thought I was on the carrier still?
[OOC] Ingenue: He's probably piggy-backing on someone else, like Metis.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: In that case…
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - + 0 (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Piloting aspect to lay 'Optimal position'.)
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: - 0 - - (Base: 1 Total: -2) (Pilot (Trying tokeep up with Zinda))
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham's roll is defended against w/already-rolled Tactics.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hehe.
[OOC] Abraham: I believe that merits a 'derp'. So derp.
[OOC] Alexander Morello: derp.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Compel no defense with Rippling claw?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: You're familiar with Kilrathi combat maneuvers…
[OOC] Abraham: Invoking Math Geek and Military Family for +4
Abraham out-plots the plants' movement!
WC GM rolled up 4dF: + 0 - - (Base: 4 Total: 3) (Pilot)
Abraham analyzes the plant's movements. "There are better versed in counter-formations that I would have given them credit for."
Alexander, meanwhile, is forced to the ground by the flying plants. Fortunately, he is not far from the identified landing zone…
Alexander Morello pries himself out of the fighter's cockpit.
Another round of tree-rockets fires!
Alexander Morello: "I hate these things…"
WC GM rolled up 4dF: 0 + + - (Base: 4 Total: 5) (Gunnery)
Zinda Tegram: "$Geoffrey, the advance group is deploying soon. Can crown cover the landing zone?$"
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 0 0 0 (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Alertness to Evade)
[OOC] WC GM: Don't bother saving aspects; landing is next round.
Zinda Tegram absentmindedly loops past the rockets.
Alexander Morello looks into the fighter's survival kit for weapons
Heggy dodges, backed by her sleek fighter's Thrust Vectoring.
Geoffrey: "$Roger. We'll mind the skies.$"
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: + - + 0 (Base: 6 Total: 7) (Pilot + I Love My Sleek Fighter)
Zinda Tegram: "$Good work.$"
Zinda Tegram: "$Metis, Mommy's going to jump out of her fighter, OK?$"
Alexander finds the marine armor and rifle that were awkwardly packed into the cockpit behind him.
Zinda Tegram: "$Can you get it landed after I drop off?$"
Ingenue: "$Yes!$"
[OOC] Ingenue: Maybe….
Zinda Tegram: "$Good girl!$"
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hahaha.
Alexander Morello puts on the armor, taking care to leave his mechanical arm exposed, and slings the rifle over his shoulder.
[OOC] WC GM: Abraham's roll? Alexander is untargetable, and Ingenue's covered by Zinda's roll.
[OOC] Abraham: Oh, I'm pretty sure Metis has landing /down/.
[OOC] Ingenue: Any landing you can walk away from, right? And that frame's pretty tough.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 0 + - (Base: 6 Total: 6) (Resolve Defense. More superficial damage and some loud banging. Nothing to be worried about.)
Zinda Tegram flips the Sterne Lanze over so her slitherers are each hanging by a single appendage. Cutting speed rapidly, she launches them off into the tree cover, having the cut any resistance on their way down. Slowing down somewhat further, she opens the cockpit, undoes her flight harness, and pushes herself out of the cockpit, flipping over before letting go.
Abraham: "That was loud."
Ingenue links into the primary piloting computer, taking control.
[OOC] Ingenue: Note: This means that the data bridge is going down.
Zinda Tegram pauses, just a moment after hitting the ground, while her personal armory slams into the ground in front of her. ((Stunts! : D ))
Alexander hears a THUD…oh, that's Zinda landi-THUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUDTHUD…and that would be the slitherers, who fell more slowly, as if trying to control their descent.
Alexander Morello: "OH GOD!"
[OOC] Abraham: What a bunch of wimps.
Alexander Morello: "Oh…"
Zinda Tegram: "$Hello.$"
Alexander Morello: "Huh?"
Zinda Tegram retrieves her laser cannon from the armory and spreads her slithers out, getting a sense of the approach.
Zinda Tegram: "$Kilrah doctrine…right? Oh, sorry.$"
Zinda Tegram: "Kilrah doctrine right?"
*THUUUD*thudthudBOOMthudthudWHOMPH - and that's the small marine contingent, proving that everything is air-droppable once.
Alexander Morello: "Sure…."
Zinda Tegram takes a step, pauses and exhales.
Zinda Tegram: "^Thine life could yet be saved.^"
Alexander Morello scratches the back of his head uncertainly.
[OOC] WC GM: Is Spyboy joining this party, or staying aloft? What about Abraham?
[OOC] Spyboy: He'll be landing.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Sterne Lanze has a third FAB on it, too.
The tree fortress looms over Zinda and Alexander. "^None may silence our burning! We erupt, that all might be saved!^"
Abraham will stay in the command center. He's not a scifi serial captain, he is an admiral of ConFed Navy.
Alexander Morello gestures to the tree fortress.
Alexander Morello: "After you."
Zinda Tegram: "In a moment."
Zinda Tegram: "^Hah! Saved? You know so little of the horrors beyond the star and the ire you would provoke. The station is dead, and we have made sure of it. You do nothing but doom all clans.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^Will you throw your lives away for so fleeting a dream?^"
[OOC] Abraham: Oh god, Zinda thinks she's Cthulhu!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: : P
Alexander Morello looks around and shuffles awkwardly.
TreeFortress: "^And you know? You of strange signature from a far away clan, what delusions have you fallen under?^"
[OOC] Abraham: Damnit Doc, shuffle awkwardly like a cosmic horror from beyond space and time!
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I didn't put any points into cosmic horror from beyond space and time, sorry
[OOC] Abraham: Fffft. I am raeging at you right now. This is my raeg face.
Zinda Tegram: "^Indeed I know, for I come from beyond the stars. The far-off clans have granted me their voice such that I may warn you. You think we delusional, yet is it not strange such a small signature slay so many so quickly? You have seen but a fraction of our power.^"
Ingenue pulls the Stern Lanze around, then comes in for a landing.
[OOC] Ingenue: Roll for said landing?
[OOC] WC GM: Sure. You'll probably want to invoke Secure Landing Spot.
[OOC] Abraham: Goodbye Serne Lanze, we hardly knew ye.
Zinda Tegram: "^Return to Mahavier, feed upon asteroids, and you could dream for many aeons yet.^"
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: 0 - - - (Base: 1 Total: -2) ((this could not possibly go wrong))
Zinda Tegram: "^Or, resist, and the legend of the burning ones dies here.^"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: oh my… seems it did
[OOC] Abraham: Well, a -3 means rerolling is feasable.
[OOC] Ingenue: See that? That is a time for a reroll. Invoking 'Your Confidence Will be Earned', because there is /nothing/ confidence earning about /that/ landing.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: xD
The tree fortress's response is cut short as the Sterne Lanze lands through it. The fighter is flyable; the fortress seems to have a bit of a structural integrity problem.
[OOC] WC GM: Unless you want to reroll?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: No, I approve.
Alexander Morello ducks for cover.
[OOC] Ingenue: Zinda finally gave Nue the keys to the car, and Nue wreck… Zinda approves? Okay, sure.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: xD
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda's upset.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: But -I- approve.
ExecutiveOfficer: "Uhh, sir?"
The volcano begins to rumble.
Alexander Morello: "That's not good at all."
Zinda Tegram: "^Submit, and you live. Or burn to ash in your own flame.^"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Engine is beginning its firing sequence."
There is no response to Zinda's threat.
Alexander Morello: "Can we get a pick up down here?"
Zinda Tegram: "^A shame.^"
Alexander Morello: "Zinda, we've gotta go. The volcano is acting up."
On the plus side, most of the local hostile slitherers are now wandering around, uncoordinated.
Zinda Tegram: "$Dammit, Metis…$"
Abraham: "Are the plants doing it? Or is this just the natural result of volcanic abuses?"
ExecutiveOfficer: "I think the Lanze took the controller offline, sir."
Zinda Tegram thinks back…
Ingenue: "$…..oops?$"
Zinda Tegram: "I see."
Abraham: "I see."
Zinda Tegram walks up to the fotress and surrounds it with her slithers.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Can I, uh
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Try and take control of it?
Alexander Morello shouts after her "Come on, we've gotta go!"
Zinda Tegram: "$You want 'Armstrong' to die?$"
Abraham: "All right, I want as detailed a set of images as The Roland can give me. We gotta stop that eruption!"
[OOC] WC GM: It's a planet-driving engine, the controls of which were just smashed.
Alexander Morello: "What about Armstrong?"
Zinda Tegram pauses, and shouts over pherocomm.
[OOC] WC GM: Taking control is going to require a bit of work.
Spyboy checks over the scans.
Zinda Tegram: "^Who would burn to save their people?^"
[OOC] Ingenue: …dammit, we'll need some PCs then.
Abraham analyzes the images taken under different spectrums, trying to understand how the eruption can be stopped.
[OOC] Spyboy: Are any other tree fortresses in a position to control this volcano?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Zinda's plan.
Ingenue exits the Stern Lanze, scanning the…. structural failure. Not damage. Structural failure.
[OOC] WC GM: Nope. The ex-tree-fortress was very studiously keeping all other clans from getting anywhere close.
[OOC] Spyboy: Cool.
[OOC] WC GM: Except, of course, for Zinda.
Alexander Morello checks his pockets for any sort of device he can use to tap into network and assist in stopping the volcano.
Abraham rolled up 4dF: 0 - + 0 (Base: 5 Total: 5) (Science maneuver to lay the aspect 'Volcanic geography analyzed.')
Heggy pulls in for a landing, demonstrating more skill than Metis.
Abraham rapidly relays his findings over the com, hoping that will provided his people the clues they need to stop the eruption.
The geography is easily analyzed. It looks like the root structure of the tree-fortress infests all the way around the volcano, pushing and pulling rock to squeeze and open the magma channels.
[OOC] Ingenue: The fusion engine is a known design, right? Something that Nue has the schematics for, since its analyzed some of the other engines?
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + - - (Base: 3 Total: 2) (Engineering, tagging Abraham's Private Monster.)
[OOC] WC GM: Yep.
Zinda Tegram: "$Metis…please give me some help here.$"
The channels, in turn, are lined with devices, concentrating the heat of the magma to fusion temperatures.
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: + + 0 0 (Base: 5 Total: 7) (Medical to determine the exact processes the plants use to control the magma.)
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Like to they dilate in order to allow more magma into the chamber, or do they contract to let more magma flow past?
Alexander soon comes to the same conclusion: the roots, squeezing, was the control system.
[OOC] WC GM: Both.
Zinda Tegram: "So, I need to just get control of the roots?"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I didn't state it properly, but you got what I meant.
Alexander Morello: "Yeah, if you can get the roots to relax, magma will stop flowing into the caldera."
Ingenue: "Processing… processing… I need something sharp."
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Well, that's not half bad for never having typed 'caldera' before.
Zinda Tegram exhales, and jams her hand into one of the exposed sections of the fortresses.
[OOC] Abraham: Take the Stern Lanze. Oh wait… :P
[OOC] Ingenue: Hey, it still flies.
[OOC] WC GM: Actually, you did state it properly - except that's not an "or" but an "and".
Spyboy hops out of his fighter as soon as the canopy opens far enough, tossing a folded pocketknife to Metis.
Spyboy: "Here you go."
Zinda Tegram gulps and tries focusing, mentally trying to grasp around how to manage such a large piece of biomass.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Resolve? Not sure what to use here.
Ingenue unfolds the knife, drawing a slash up the frame's arm… digging in, then pulling out a series of components. There is a brief crackle of electricity that probably means nothing. "We need more of these. Quickly."
[OOC] Abraham: Zinda, you sell your self short (and I never expected to ever type that in cold blood), you're at least my Lieutenant Monster.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Hahahaha.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Metis!? D : You're using your own body parts?
[OOC] Ingenue: Its a fusion reactor! Nue is a Walking Fusion Reactor!
[OOC] WC GM: For the roll - Zinda could try Engineering?
[OOC] Spyboy: Or Culture/Technology?
Alexander Morello runs up to Ingenue and offers his mechanical arm.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I'll use culture/tech.
[OOC] WC GM: Sure.
Alexander Morello: "Take what you need."
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: 0 + + - (Base: 5 Total: 6) (Culture/Tech+Zinda Is A Plant)
[OOC] Abraham: "And my axe!"
Ingenue: "Appreciated, but not sufficient; we require a larger quantity. Such that could be fabricated by the plants that interfaced with the engine. If Zinda can control them."
Zinda Tegram grimaces and drives her arm deeper inside.
Alexander Morello shrugs
Zinda Tegram: "^You whom have witnessed death without ceremony, the path is open to the mountain. Save yourselves.^"
Alexander Morello: "I wonder what she's telling them…"
[OOC] WC GM: Is she trying to talk the masses below into helping? If so, Oratory.
[OOC] WC GM: Yes, using pheromones.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Intimidation?
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: S'much higher.
[OOC] WC GM: You can try, though this is mostly within Oratory.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Can I tag that she just killed the strongest thing on the planet?
[OOC] Abraham: And even if you succeed, there will inevitably be consequences.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - 0 - 0 (Base: 3 Total: 1) (Oratory, Magma Queen)
[OOC] WC GM: Yes.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Need to reroll. Last FP. Hmm.
[OOC] WC GM: …this is where the other PCs should start helping, no? :P
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: What can I tag? A bit odd to tag monster again.
Zinda Tegram: "Abraham…can the Roland manufacture Pheromones?"
Zinda Tegram: "If so, broadcast…uh…this sequence, I think?"
[OOC] Ingenue: I could compel 'Instilled with a Knight's Pride'. Something as minor as this would never thwart a Knight-Ace of Oldziey.
Abraham: "Do it!"
Abraham rolled up 4dF: + - - - (Base: 5 Total: 3) (Science to manufacture pheromones.)
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: - + 0 + (Base: 3 Total: 4) (Knight's Pride to re-roll!)
[OOC] Ingenue: Or Chessa wants to watch the world burn.
[OOC] Abraham: Enough?
[OOC] Ingenue: Meanwhile…
Ingenue rolled up 4dF: + - - 0 (Base: 4 Total: 3) ((Engineering to place aspect 'Reproduced the control system'.))
[OOC] Ingenue: invoke walking fusion reactor for total of 5.
Zinda Tegram breathes heavily, sweating pheromones.
[OOC] Abraham: Ingenue is a nuclear equipped walking data analyst!
Eventually there comes a response. "^You wish a new clan on the volcano?^"
[OOC] Ingenue: Yes.
Zinda Tegram: "^Indeed! I have no desire to live as your Magma Queen. The First Clan of the Free Star would see the clans take a name and know their universe. A premature death would end this long-dream.^"
Zinda Tegram: "^Should you eat planets, you would call the ire of many worlds upon you; We are mighty among the stars, but we are but one, and not all our strength is ours. Your future could grow beyond your tragic past as the $Weapons$ of another!^"
Another pause, then from many sources at once, "^MINE!^"
ExecutiveOfficer: "Roland to ground team! You've got five - eight - ten armies charging your position!"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Power vacuum time.
[OOC] WC GM: Bingo.
[OOC] Ingenue: Exactly as planned.
Zinda Tegram: "^Fools! Knaves! Do not presume to take what is not yours in such crass fashion!^"
Alexander Morello: "I think it's time to get out of here."
Zinda Tegram: "$Geoffrey, drop a FAB somewhere it won't kill them all.$"
Geoffrey: "$Roger.$" Moments later, the FAB lights up the night.
[OOC] Ingenue: If the reactor goes, we might not be able to evacuate fast enough.
ExecutiveOfficer: "That got two of them."
Zinda Tegram: "^I would presume to see another upon the mountain, but let them recognize the wisdom of not devouring the worlds of others!^ There are treasures far beyond this small pile.^"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: Probably.
Zinda Tegram: "^Pledge! Do not devour worlds upon whom dwell another!^"
Zinda Tegram: "^Pledge, or suffer the sorry fate of the volcano lords before you.^"
It is not long before the slitherers are in sight, attacking one another with abandon. The marines assume defensive positions uphill from the reactor.
Zinda Tegram: "^Will you die for such base greed?^"
[OOC] Alexander Morello: I never realized the pheromones were so Shakespearean!
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: I s'pose. : P
Armies: "^Consume and improve, or die. That is the way.^"
Ingenue: "Zinda, could you inform them that failing to repair this reactor would resemble a Tremblor Bomb in intensity, would devastate the planet and that if given aid it can be repaired so could they cease the insignificant squabbling in order to not die?"
Zinda Tegram: "^Hah! Such a way as was taught by the station, no?^"
Ingenue: "Also, there is a 99% certainty my primary processes would cease and that would inhibit my primary functions."
[OOC] Spyboy: For the record: no, it's how they've always lived. The station just made them better at it.
Alexander Morello: "I don't like the sound of those odds."
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Ssshhhh
Armies: "^No, though we learned much from the station.^" "^MUST DIE!^" "^Is dead. Killed by far-off clans.^" "^Is how we lived since we knew to live.^"
[OOC] WC GM: What Spyboy said.
Alexander Morello radios to Abraham "We really need to find a way to monitor these pheromone transmissions."
Abraham exhales. "Okay, I'll try to cobble a sensor routine on The Roland for that. While monitoring the volcano's status. No problem. If I wanted an easy life, I would just conquer my homeworld and set myself up as dictator."
Spyboy: "Tell me about it. It's tough trying to anticipate someone's moves when you can't hear them talk."
Spyboy: "Fortunately, they're too busy fighting each other to fight us yet."
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - 0 - (Base: 6 Total: 3) (Science to make a pheromone analysis cataloging routine for the sensors.)
Zinda Tegram: "^I am the far off clan who slew the remains of the station. I am the far-off clan who has slain the volcano lord. Listen to wisdom of those who have survived: To consume without regard is suicide.^"
Alexander Morello rolled up 4dF: - + + 0 (Base: 5 Total: 6) (Science to assist in pheromone analysis)
[OOC] Abraham: There is only so much Chessa love I will tolerate. Tagging 'Honored by the Kilrathi' (Since this is all their fault anyway) for a reroll.
Spyboy assesses the volcano issue, but really has no way to help. Instead he starts maneuvering the marines - and the slitherers, even if he has to nudge them to where he needs them to be - to face the oncoming hordes.
Zinda Tegram: "^Improve, yes, but consumption is far from the most efficient way. The station sought to consume you in its own way; It failed only because it could not see this lesson.^"
Abraham rolled up 4dF: - - 0 0 (Base: 6 Total: 4) (Science Reroll to make a pheromone analysis cataloging routine for the sensors.)
Spyboy rolled up 4dF: + + - - (Base: 6 Total: 6) (Tactics to place 'Prepared Defenses.')
[OOC] Abraham: Much better. No, not so much, but better.
Zinda Tegram rolled up 4dF: + 0 - - (Base: 5 Total: 4) (Pheromone spread to take control of the dead clan's slithers.)
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Resolve.
Zinda easily assumes control. The armies slow down their fighting - though mostly because they are starting to exhaust their resources. Spyboy finds a few choice targets he could strafe, to decisively swing the battle one way or another.
Ingenue notes the slowing of the slitherer's pace. "Are they amenable to not dying?"
Zinda Tegram: "^Would you murder your friends for so short a station upon this mountain?^"
Armies: "^Yes.^"
[OOC] Abraham: Try 'Would you murder your clan…'.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: May I philosophy major here? : 3
[OOC] WC GM: You may!
Zinda Tegram: "^Why? What worth is the mountain? You say you consume and improve, but what is the worth in this?^"
As to the pheromone analysis - it is readily apparent that Zinda is introducing new concepts in her communications. These concepts are being assimilated and responded to as best the existing minds can handle.
Armies: "^Power!^" "^Food!^" "^The chance to be many more!^" "^Long life. A unit may be short lived but a volcano clan lives long.^" "^Knowledge. Only the volcano clans know the deep secrets of why and when the volcanoes erupt.^"
Abraham sends to Zinda. "You are introducing some radical new ideas to the plants Zinda. So you should expect misunderstandings. And misgivings."
[OOC] Abraham: No 'Hear the lamentations of their pollen producers'?
Zinda Tegram: "^Let the clan who spoke of knowledge step forth, and speak more loudly.^"
The smallest of the remaining armies squeezes out. "^Why? Why why why WHY do they fire? They push us - where? To another place in the sky, where food will rain for far-far off clans to eat, and for the planet to eat.^"
KnowledgeArmy: "^Why must we care?^"
[OOC] WC GM: We seem to be trailing off - logend there?
[OOC] Abraham: Yeah.
[OOC] Zinda Tegram: Sure, it's late. I have answers for each, but not sure how I want to do this.

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