Inspired somewhat by Anna's Doppelgänger Damacy thread, I aim to dish out a space-based quest thread done in none other than BSF itself. Going into any more detail now would take the fun out of it. The dirt on our ship will be dug up as I go. With that aside, allow me to begin.
You don't know how long you've been out. Not a short time, by any means. Hours. Maybe days. You awaken amidst total darkness and complete silence. Lacking even the tiniest speck of light to use as a reference frame, it takes you a full minute for you to ascertain your orientation in the zero-G. It seems you're still strapped to your cockpit seat. The cockpit of what exactly, your misting brain struggles to recall.
Remembering the locations of the controls from muscle memory, you attempt to commandeer the vessel. The side-sticks do nothing, and what you remember to be the TAPS panel is blissfully unresponsive. Additionally, the system reset button is stuck in place. You work on in silence, searching for some way to regain control of your ship in the cramped space of the cockpit, but eventually your blind system diagnostics begin to plumb the depths of random button-pushing. You start to feel that you are doomed. However, the life support still seems to be running, so there may be hope for you yet.
If you strain your ears, you can hear faint noises of blunt impacts against a distant bulkhead. You take it as little more than an auditory hallucination induced by panic, dehydration and deteriorating cabin pressure; a sign that the life support's backup batteries have expired and that your life is slowly coming to an end. After another hour of button-mashing, you recline in your seat and resign to your fate.
...suddenly, rapture. Your dilated pupils struggle to adapt when one of the view projectors flickers to life and floods the cockpit with light. A tiny holoscreen floats in the air in front of you. Squinting, you realize that it is the view from one of the remote camera drones that circle your ship.
The ship looks different, however. In fact, it's completely unrecognizable save for the brightly glowing NanoCore in the center. Through some unusual event, your ship seems to have jettisoned most of its mass and accumulated a small, rag-tag assortment of parts around its core. Additionally, you seem to have been transported to a location far removed from your assigned test site in Sigma Eridani. You suspect that the ship you are piloting is something much more sinister that what your superiors had let you in on.
You tentatively attempt to consult the ship's onboard AI. Your AI construct boots up on a view projector to your left side, but it too appears different. A blue hologram of a girl in her early teens-- diminutive in her stature yet gaunt in her features-- has replaced the sultry red woman's silhouette that you've grown accustomed to.
She begins speaking in a childlike voice. "Welcome aboard the NanoCore Vessel CLARENT, Test Pilot ABT-231-7C. I'll be your AI companion construct for the time being. It's a pleasure to meet you.""Where's Lucille?"
, you ask, referring of course to the ship's previous AI."The vessel's default AI construct was irreperably damaged during the activation of the tangential fold warp. I'm the ship's backup AI. I've been tending to this vessel ever since it exited warp, as is my programming.""Figures"
, you reply with regards to Lucille, grimacing momentarily. You are still rather confused, however. "Tangential fold warp? Care to explain? You could clue me as to our whereabouts, too.""This vessel is designed to relinquish all of its attached parts and initiate a tangential fold warp in the event that it is confronted with the threat of imminent capture by enemy forces; in other words, an emergency teleport. As for our current location: the star system we have arrived in matches no known system in my database. It's possible that we have veered entirely off-course."
You remember now. Before you blacked out, you heard a warning issued by HQ that unidentified ships had warped into the system. Perhaps those were the enemy forces in question. You also recall the true nature of this vessel: Its NanoCore is capable of attaching parts of destroyed enemy vessels to your hull, a feature that you were tasked with examining in mock combat today. That the CLARENT initiated an emergency warp would explain the sudden loss of over 90% of the ship's mass. That the CLARENT had automatically assimilated floating pieces of scrap while under the backup AI's control would explain the rather unsightly hunks of scrap now attached to your hull.
That everything is explainable does not make the situation any less bleak."We need to get ourselves to known space as quickly as possible"
, you say to the computer. "It's essential that we get the CLARENT to safety."
In truth, you're more worried about your own safety than that of the ship. You just had to act gung ho in front of a new acquaintance, even if it's only chips and circuit boards."Agreed"
, the AI responds. "However, we should tread carefully for now. Despite being off the grid, this system appears to be inhabited, judging from the parts I've managed to acquire. And where there are men, there is piracy. It would be prudent for us to search for more salvage with which to arm ourselves as best as possible."
You don't object. Subsequently, a view of the ship's current configuration appears on a holographic panel.
CLARENT has accumulated the following equipment while under the AI's control:
Various Damaged Sections
Light Fusion Core I
(900MW output, 1,200kg)
Medium Plasma Turret
Medium Thruster I
(100MW, 6,250kgf output)
Active Scanning Array I
Passive Scanning Array I
Total Thrust: 6,250kgf
Energy Usage: 300/900MW
Max Velocity: 164ms-1*
Turning Speed: 0.52°s-1
TAPS Setting: 400m, Normal**
*Velocity and Acceleration are displayed as SM values x100. Thus, your current Speed is actually 1.58.
**TAPS (Tactical Automated Positioning System) Setting is the distance and orientation your ship will normally maintain from its target in battle. A TAPS reconfiguration can be requested at any time.
At the moment, your ship is slow, fragile, and equipped with only the bare necessities. You can take any pirate ship in single combat with your Plasma Turret, but more than one enemy and it all starts to fall apart. You need more weapons and armor in order to defend yourself effectively.
Unfortunately, you have absolutely no idea as to your current whereabouts and no data on the star system you're in. Your first steps will definitely be the hardest.
Due to dampening from the surrounding asteroid field, your passive scanners can detect no coherent energy signatures. You can always try moving away from the field to get better reception. An active scan may reveal more, but it may also attract some unwanted attention.
What do, /bsf/? What do you think we should be looking for?