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For House & Dominion: Crucible (12)

http://houseanddominion.wikia.com/wiki/House_%26_Dominion_Complete_Archive
http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/qstarchive.html?tags=Dominion+quest

https://twitter.com/ThatSlowTypingG


You are Sonia Reynard, Viscount of Rioja and a member of House Jerik-Dremine!

Threochts planet is under threat. Someone at or near the Dyson sphere has been attempting to establish a wormhole connection to the local gates. They've been fairly aggressive about it too, going so far as to try and tune the wormhole connection to find any gates that are out of phase. This had the unintended effect of putting a great deal of strain on the system that keeps the planet's interior safe and hidden.

Countering this meant making use of the wormhole generator on the builder ship you and your allies have taken control. Establishing a connection during the minutes between the hostile connection attempts ensured that those on the other side would have a harder time figuring out which location it came from.

Once the wormhole opened you found out that the opposite end wasn't one of the massive space gates used by the sphere but a smaller one aboard an old Neeran city ship. Unfortunately it didn't take long for those ont he other side to figure out what was going on. All of the Caretakers with your expedition, and those who have been given enhancements to duplicate some of their abilities, are now out of action due to some sort of telepathic jamming.

Knowing the Neeran have used weapons like this before you've launched a boarding assault through the wormhole. Shuttles and newly discovered teleport beams from the ship land hundreds of special forces personnel from your House, the Rekesh army, Tower Guard, Rovinar and the Krath.

Once aboard your team cut its way through several enemy units before recovering intel from a Neeran infiltrator. Pulling information from its brain, Jan was able to warn you about an attempt to infiltrate the core of Threochts planet using the medical evacuation shuttles.

"Reynard to all shuttles, stop the medical evac. We need to search the shuttles for enemy infiltrators trying to enter the shipyard. Medics, do what you can with stasis units for now."

The ship contacts you.
"Sir some of the shuttles have already come back through the wormhole."
"Don't allow them to land. Set up containment fields to sweep the shuttle exteriors then they're to wait until our caretaker enhanced people are back on their feet to help search them. Disable any shuttles that refuse to stop."

"Aye sir!"
"And get any remaining armed forces we have left in the yard prepared to resist an enemy boarding attempt."
"We copy. Ship security measures activated."
>>
"Now what?" asks Jan.

"I have a few ideas. Someone find out how long until the teams sent to lock down the command section are finished. I want to head back to the field hospitals to help watch for infiltrators but there's something we should try first. We're going to look for a terminal with access to the ships systems."

Jan leads the group farther away from the central chamber and to the edges of the city ship's transportation systems. Finding a security monitoring station that has a door cut open, the team guns down a few Trayan mercenaries that were present working on something.

"Odd to see Trayan unsupervised." says Ruiz
Valeri jumps forward shield raised, deflecting a hail of projectiles from a pair of Spikers hiding in one corner of the ceiling. Jan hits both of them with explosive rounds.

"Clear." announces Valeri.
Estavan is wounded but he'll be fine, everyone else is largely untouched.

"Why is it we're here?" Jan asks once you start looking over the security controls.
"I'm trying to take a shortcut to removing the telepathic jamming obstacle that is crippling our allies."

Searching through the rather decrepit system which is operating in low power mode you try to find a way to jettison the command section. Try as you might the system wont recognise you as a Neeran. Though your attempts do cause a few odd system commands to pop up.

"The system isn't letting me initiate the ejection system but it seems to think I'm an ally." you tell the others.
"Can we use that somehow?" wonders Valeri.

>ADMINISTRATIVE LIFT ACCESS UNLOCKED
"I'm pretty sure we can."

The lift can get you into the command section it looks like, bypassing the heavily reinforced defense perimeter the enemy have established. Trying to find out what other locations it could provide access to, you find that the system is still playing cat and mouse with you. It seems you need to picture a particular type of destination to see if there is a similar one aboard it can unlock. Auxiliary bridge fails to get any results, but there are responses for primary engineering and a parade bridge. The latter is listed as partially cut off due to damage, but that it can still be reached on foot.

Making what was supposed to be one last quick attempt you ask for a communications center. It doesn't quite give you what you want but it does unlock access to the external coms arrays. A patchy signal starts to come through. It sounds like a default Alliance message telling Neeran forces to surrender.

Working quickly you match channels and broadcast that both Faction and Caretaker forces are on site. You append your Alliance security ID to it in the hopes that they wont torpedo the ship while you're still aboard it.
"And if you're sending reinforcements, do it soon."
>>
>>3809983
FOR HOUSE AND DOMINION
>>
>>3809984

For House and Dominon! Claiming a City Ship in the name of House J-D!
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DwhSQI97AlA

"Let's go." you tell the others, boarding the lift. "We're getting into the command section and wrecking their shit."

It isn't a very large lift, even by your standards. One or maybe two full sized Neeran might fit inside. It hasn't held up to age like builder constructs do and the ride is a bit rough in places. Regardless you can see it approaching the command section by watching a small projected map above the controls. Readying your shield and lightning gauntlet you advise everyone to get behind you.

The doors slide open revealing the aft section of one of the more open command decks. Its layout is nearly identical to one you'd seen years ago. Only this one is a bit more crowded. Valeri and Ruiz down the pair of enemies that are posted right outside using 20mm fire. Sweeping right you turn towards the main open area of the bridge level and send lightning arcing outwards. Bolts strike three Gadaran soldiers ripping through them easily, then a pair of larger Neeran. When your gauntlet doesn't kill them immediately it badly wounds them, ripping open limb, torso and anything else facing your side.

Everyone else on the bridge spins towards the new threat, drawing weapons or diving for cover behind the few consoles. You rake lighting across the entire area. Heat and energy from the few shots to get past your shield and strike armor are quickly soaked off into the capacitors. Concentrating you use the amplifier artifact to increase this flow to what you would consider dangerous levels. Once built up you direct all of it to the gauntlet.

The number of arcs streaming forth from your right hand increase in both number and power by an order of magnitude. For a brief few seconds you can't even see what it is you're shooting at. Consoles, weapons, armor and people simply explode under the onslaught.

"Cease fire! Behind us!" Valeri yells, making sure you hear him.

Halting the lightning attack you see that your suit is glowing and your hands feel like they're on the verge of burning. Suit diagnostics are flashing warnings that a temporary cooldown is required. Drawning your sword you spin to help with the new threat. Neeran equipped with the newer shields resistant to your 20mm rounds are charging from the bridge entrance. You join Ruiz, Jan and Estavan who are moving to engage them. You dont see Valeri but that isn't a surprise.

Cont.
>>
The Neeran on the flanks use their plasma pistols while the others draw their larger swords. The curve bladed weapons are thicker than a cleaver and depending on the model are capable of ejecting the outer layer as a close range projectile. You've been hit by those before.

Charging in you vault over a wide sword slash, barely avoid being hit with your opponent's shield and slash at its neck and shoulder while sailing past. Landing behind you you only have enough time to deliver a stab to a leg before it lands a solid kick to your shield, sending you flying.
Your speed has already been enhanced before, with the latest additions you'd be even faster if not for your armor. The Nxesi pattern it would seem is not built for reaction speed. Though it is quick it's simply not light or fast enough for your reflexes.

Valeri turns visible as he stabs one of the flanking neeran from behind, cutting down through its neck and spine to deliver a killing blow. Ruiz is handling herself well enough, dancing away from her opponent while inflicting injuries. Both of the Krath are looking more like whirlwinds of death. At least until Estavan takes something of a wrong turn and gets a limb chopped off.

Risking the heat damage you swap the sword to your left hand and draw the plasma pistol, putting a trio of shots into the back of the one attacking your wounded Krath ally. Then it's back to melee as the nearest Neeran throws their shield, knocking the pistol out of your hand.

Sword back in hand you prepare to meet the incoming enemy only for them to turn their sword and launch the blade surface at you. Diving to the side, you catch part of the hit on your shield, the impact sending you into a mid-air spin. It lasts only until your fleet touch the ground and then you're launching yourself at him. Knocking their sword out of the way just enough to get past it, you drive the point of your sword up into its neck and up into the head.

This doesn't quite kill it, or not immediately. Grabbing your sword hand it attempts to crush it through the armor.

[ ] Lighting
[ ] Free hand HF-blade
>>
>>3810075
>[x] Free hand HF-blade
See if we can capture this one! It doesn't give up easily, I like that.
>>
>>3810075

>[ ] Free hand HF-blade

While I'm sure our suit can withstand electrical shock. We'd probably end up making this dudes nerves clamp down harder faster before he dies.
>>
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>>3810075
[ ] Free hand HF-blade
This is just so brutal. I love it.
>>
>>3810075
>[ ] Lighting
Not the first time a Neeran has tried to crush us. It's not gonna get away with it this time.
>>
Struggling with your shield you manage to grab your HF-blade and stab it through the Neeran's eye. This weakens it grip but doesn't completely do the job until you ram the smaller blade deeper in with your fist.

Dropping to the floor, you're in the middle of rolling into your feet when you see the remaining pistol armed Neeran retreating. He's putting down suppressing fire while keeping his shield at the ready. Valeri hits him with with a few 20mm explosive rounds but those only help to propel him past the doors to the bridge.

The doors open, revealing a number of neeran and others putting down long range fire off to the side. Probably dealing with some of your allies. One with a larger gun looking more like a tank cannon turns and puts a few shots your way as another hits the door control. Jan hurls a grenade through before the blast doors slam shut.

Taking stock of the situation you're in a bad spot plus Estavan is wounded. Pulling back onto the bridge itself, which is only slightly on fire, Jan helps the other Krath reattach the severed arm.
"I'll be fine, I just need a minute." he assures you.

The command section is a sphere with multiple levels. There should be a meeting chamber in one of the lower most decks and a similar space on the top most one.

"Jan, where are we headed?"
"Lowest deck if the infiltrator knew correctly."
"Any idea how we get there? Besides punching through the crowd on the other side of the doors that is."

Once Estavan is patched up Jan shows you the way to a side area. Here he locates a conduit that is part of the ship's neural network. Like the rest of the ship it has clearly seen better days. You recall that Svidur was able to communicate to you through the ship's network from inside the council chamber on the lower decks. Quite a few of the conduits must converge there.

Taking a closer look there is just enough room that a person could climb or crawl through the open spaces inside the conduit. It's going to be tight for your armor though. You might need to lose some gear.

"Estavan and I could use this to get in and find a way to halt their jamming or attack whoever is causing it."

"It would be better if we stick together." Valeri points out.

Everyone looks to you, as you have the bulkiest armor. It's either strip off some of your gear or go the other way through the massed enemy forces outside the bridge.

[ ] Exit bridge, rip and tear
[ ] Remove equipment, use conduit
[ ] Split the party
[ ] Other?
>>
>>3810128
Would it be possible to take off the armor and have each person in a group carry part of it through the conduit? Then we should be able to put it on again on the other side.
>>
>>3810128

Primary
>[ ] Split the party

Have Jan and Estavan go through all sneaky like, find us an alternate route through. The second we stop their jamming the Neeran are going to know someone is with their jammer. And send what units they can spare to secure it.

But if Jan and Estavan can open another path forward for us then all the better.

Of course, this relies on there being another path forward. Can we give them all our groups stun grenades and have them sneak through and stun nuke the room ahead for us to get in?

Backup
>[ ] Remove equipment, use conduit
Failing all this, i would make the best sense for us to remove some equipment and sneak through. Though if there is someone on the other side of the conduit and they are expecting us they'll have a free reign to shoot us in a line.
>>
>>3810128
Is there any kind of shuttle bay or exterior access we could open or activate from here to help FA forces enter this ship?
>>
>>3810128
Can we set up some kind of feedback on the Conduits? Plug the positive wire into the negative terminal?
>>
>>3810128
>[ ] Remove equipment, use conduit
>>
>>3810132
The suit isn't really meant to be disassembled like a normal suit. Doing so in the field would be difficult and you'd be left with no protection in a combat zone.

>>3810161
Many of the ship controls on this level are destroyed due to lightning gauntlet.

>>3810188
You're not expert on neeran neural networks. You could connect a normal power line to it in an attempt to short out parts of it. Of course there may be safety systems to deal with that but you don't really know.
>>
>>3810128
>[ ] Exit bridge, rip and tear
Should've brought some heavier weapons.
>>
>>3810202
>Many of the ship controls on this level are destroyed due to lightning gauntlet.
That's unfortunate. I'd still suggest we take a minute and check if anything useful survived.


>[x] Other?
If we plan to assault the forces around the bridge, we need to coordinate with the rest of our forces current engaged in combat. Svidur was able to contact us last time we were on a ship like this. Is the communications system here still functional?
>>
>>3810240
>Svidur was able to contact us last time we were on a ship like this.
Through the neural network. If you were capable of using it you would not be in a condition to participate in this assault.

>Is the communications system here still functional?
Ultimately unnecessary. You manage to raise nearby friendly forces. Quite a few are attacking the enemy positions while the others that were assigned to lock down the clamps for the bridge section report that they've partially accomplished their mission. The Bridge isn't going to go flying through the wormhole any time soon. At least not in one piece.

The few people with suits of heavy power armor are giving the Neeran a hard time, while others equipped with builder armor are able to take some hits and keep going.
Some Neeran are switching to heavier melee weapons to deal with those in the stronger armor. Relying more on blunt force rather than trying to cut them apart.

>Remove equipment, use conduit
This technically has 2 votes so we're going with it.

Jan and Estavan will go first and make use of your stun grenades to clear the way.
Roll 3d100 First roll is hopefully not important.
>>
Rolled 34, 56, 23 = 113 (3d100)

>>3810269
>>
Rolled 17, 46, 30 = 93 (3d100)

>>3810269

Breach and clear!
>>
Rolled 85, 41, 85 = 211 (3d100)

>>3810269
This close quarters combat makes me wonder how effective the HRR shotgun, made a few threads ago, would be.
>>
Equipment harness, grenades, magazines, anything and everything that might get caught or snag while attempting to get through the cramped conduit has to go. Shield is retracted but kept attached to the left arm as usual, along with the sword and recovered plasma pistol in its holster held in either hand.

"You four first. If I get stuck at least I wont be in your way."
You hand the last of your stun grenades to Jan and everyone gets into position. Gravity is low enough that you should be able to climb back out using the suit repulsors if necessary. It'll still be a pain in the ass but whatever, more important things to worry about.

Everyone lines up, both Krath climbing part way down so that your bodyguards can get into position. Jan gives the go signal and both of them drop down the sloping tunnel. Ruiz and Valeri follow then you. Between the low gravity, somewhat rough interior and the incline you dont build up much speed. Which is a good thing as far as you're concerned. It gives you time to maneuver yourself around supports for the network bundle.

Below you hear stun grenades going off then lot of noise, shouting and weapons fire. You almost get hung up on a support but tilt slightly for your sword to get past without incident. There's a bit of a bump from a cross connecting bundle then you find yourself on the floor of the lower chamber. There's no shortage of action as your team engages those present.

Seeing doors at the back open you dawing your pistol and dumpt most of a fuel call into a group of enemies coming in through the door. You drop two infiltrators and found a few others. The rest scatter then suddenly turn invisible.

"Got him!" shouts Ruiz.
Glacing over you see a Neeran in the center of the room connected to the neural network by way of some sort of interface.

Gripping your sword by its hilt you make use of the convertor. Soon enough the infiltrators become visible to you once more. Most have decided they dont want any part of the fight going on here and are retreating. After firing off a few parting shots you open your shield and toss the pistol and holster aside for the moment, joining the melee.

The five of you gang up on two Neeran shielding a third who seems be be unshackling a number of Neeran in civilian clothes that are chained up on the opposite side of the room. At first they dont appear to be an immediate threat but after pointing a remote at one the neeran in question instantly flips from a docile state to a crazed berserk condition. It throws a few punches at the one who had released him before trying to tackle Jan.

"Valeri!"
"Got it."
Your bodyguard goes invisible and then shortly afterward the soldier with the remote control is missing the hand with the device. Over the next few seconds the soldier is cut to pieces, despite landing a few good hits on Valeri. You jump past the other embattled Neeran and take his legs out from under him letting the two of you get a quick kill seconds later.

>cont.
>>
Over coms you've been hearing reports from the various other units coming in. They're all reporting that the jamming has ceased. While this is undoubtedly good for you overall everyone now has to regroup to better repel infiltrators. The small number of enemy Commandos have now also started to cut loose and are wreaking havoc.

It isn't long before you're left in control of the room, with just those that are chained up left sitting on the floor. A few have little in the way of restraints left but dont appear to be in any hurry to go anywhere.

"Looks like they're wearing slave collars." is Valeri's assessment.

Retrieving your pistol and attaching the holster to your suit once more you consider the options available to you. Jan asks in the Neeran tongue if they can talk but they dont answer. Ruiz retrieves the remote from a severed hand.
"I've got options for chains, collars and input command, then there are some group command options."

Estavan gets your attention. There are bodies off to one side that none of you are responsible for. Dead neeran that appear to have been gutted for their organs. At least five. Checking the one in the interface you see that there are signs of recent implantation.

"I think at least some of these are clones."
Valeri agrees, pointing out two that are chained up who have identical markings.

[ ] Leave them here for now
[ ] Order them to stay here for now
[ ] Deactivate restraints
[ ] Deactivate restraints of non-clones
[ ] Stun them
[ ] Execute the clones
[ ] Other?
>>
>>3810448

>[ ] Other?

I'd rather place these lot in stasis. But I am pretty sure we don't have enough on our group. Can we lock the door to this room and make sure no one comes in here. Along with a note to not disturb these people until Caretaker Neeran can handle these folks, clones or not they've been through enough shit. Best thing we can do for them is to keep them out of the combat. And prevent the Empire Neeran from exploiting them anymore.
>>
>>3810448
>[ ] Other?
Stasis units for everyone! If we don't have enough for all them, put at least the Neeran in the interface in stasis. Or oes the ship have emergency shelters for civilians for situations like these?

>Jan asks in the Neeran tongue if they can talk but they dont answer.
Check if they still have their tongues or whatever they use for verba communication.
>>
>>3810459
>Can we lock the door to this room and make sure no one comes in here.
Should be possible, though any engineer or tech head familiar with Neeran systems would be able to override it fairly easily.

>Or (d)oes the ship have emergency shelters for civilians for situations like these?
Good question, you dont know. Modern ones certainly do but this ship is tens of thousands of years old.

>Check if they still have their tongues or whatever they use for verba communication.
It seems like they do. The slave collar programming is probably blocking them from doing certain things without permission.
>>
>>3810476
>The slave collar programming is probably blocking them from doing certain things without permission.
In that case, I'd like to remove the collar from one of them to see how they react. Have people stand by to stun the Neeran if they react violently.
>>
>>3810476

Then lets leave them here for now, making sure to lock this room down on our way out. They Empire Neeran likely know how to get around it, but we don't have the capability right now to protect them. And moving them will likely put them in greater threat. So lets keep them in place and secure the next chamber and hopefully secure the command module.
>>
>>3810448
>[ ] Execute the clones
I have a bad feeling about them
>>
>>3810501
Test removing a collar from one
>>3810515
Lock them in / Leave them here for now
>>3810519
Execute.

Support for any of these for a tie breaker?
>>
>>3810529

I'd be willing to test removing the collar from one of them to see if we can get anything coherent from them and impress upon them that we're not the bad guys. And that they need to hide.
>>
>>3810529
Leave them here for now
>>
>>3810529
>>3810536
Actually don't care, I'll vote for whatever's highest to speed things along. If we do remove, pick the least threatening looking one.
>>
"We dont have a lot of time." you look for one of the least physically threatening ones and separate it from the others. Away from the device in the center of the room.
"Let's remove the collar from this one and see how it responds. Be ready to stun it."

Estavan gets into position to help restrain it if necessary, while Jan and Ruiz ready stun grenades.

Looking over the control there looks to be a power settings and other configuration options.
"Ruiz where is the- oh here it is. Safely remove hardware."

Activating this option and pointing at the test subject you wait for results. It doesn't take long. The restraint beeps then powers down before simply falling off. Once it drops off it's like they've just woken up... and have decided to punch the shit out of everything nearby.

A solid hit to your chest plate drives you back but isn't enough to force you from your feet. Once you're no longer the closest target it spins in an attempt to kick at Valeri and Estavan. Both leap back and Valeri deactivates his camo in time for the others to hit it with their stun pulse grenades.

Five of the spherical devices go off and deliver enough of a jolt that even the normally stun resistant Neeran momentarily collapses. Your suit soaks off some of the energy pulses giving you a bit extra to work with if necessary to augment suit strength. Those of you close enough help to restrain the Neeran before it recovers, putting the collar back on and activating it.

"So much for that then." you mutter.

"I say we lock them in." says Valeri. "Use a plasma pistol to weld the door shut. Let intel sort through them later when we have more time."
They're certainly not going anywhere on their own.

Regardless there is also the situation with the network interface. It might be valuable to the Alliance or the Caretakers for building a countermeasure or as a weapon in its own right. There is of course the risk that Neeran still present could regain control of this room when you leave.

>1) Network interface
1A) Leave for now
1B) Destroy it

>2) Fate of the prisoners
2A) Lock them in
2B) Execute the clones
>>
>>3810655

>1) Network interface
1B) Sabotage/ Destroy it

I take it we can't get a scan of it before we start pulling plugs and sabotaging it?

>2) Fate of the prisoners
2A) Lock them in
>>
>>3810655
>1) Network interface
Disable it, if possible. See if we can destroy sections that are hard to replace but are made of standard parts. The power supply of the device is probably a good place to look, the network interface another.

>2) Fate of the prisoners
2A) Lock them in
>>
>>3810655
>1A) Leave for now
>implying we aren't going to make this a Reynard Flagship

>2B) Execute the clones
>>
>>3810700
Support
>>
>>3810700
I'll back this
>>
Leaving the interface device is probably the best idea. but leaving it functional isn't really an option either. Jumping up towards the connection points near the ceiling you damage the neural network its attached to enough that using it will probably be hazardous.

As for the prisoners they'll remain here, minus the clones. Too much risk they might not be berserkers like the rest. Valeri mutters that he doesn't like executing prisoners but ensures they have a quick death. Jan hides the remote along with a com relay that should lead the Alliance or J-D recovery teams to it.
Heading for the door everyone gets ready for a hard fight. Checking sensors first it looks like a friendly team is getting closer.

Opening the door you find the position outside abandoned, or nearly so. A few field Gadaran soldiers are manning heavy weapons and operating a number of sentry guns that are firing nearly non stop. Gunning down a couple of them, the one near the sentry controls raises their hands in surrender.

"Shut down those guns." you order while Estavan secures the prisoner.

After performing a sweep for infiltrators you turn your attention back to the prisoner.
"Where did everyone go?!"
Your translator is a bit rough when it comes to Gadaran and from what you can gather they've left for some reason. Possibly to reinforce the positions on the other levels.

"Can anyone manage a better translation?"
Jan intimidates him into talking and explains that the remaining Neeran forces are probably beginning to desert. Some however are either glory seekers or fanatically loyal and may be trying to find a way to help their commander.

You've momentarily interrupted as a door explodes. The bodies of several of the smaller rovinar come sailing through the opening a moment later, smashing against the opposite wall. Metallic stomping heralds the appearance of a soldier in a rather badly damaged suit of J-D heavy power armor. It still appears to be fully operational however.
"Can I be of assistance sir?"

You jerk a thumb over your shoulder towards the chamber you just left.
"We need that door and the prisoners inside guarded until this place is secured. Call for backup if you need it, by the looks of it I'm not sure how much more abuse your suit can take."

"Will do sir!"
The soldier takes up position but asks for cover long enough to slave control of the remaining sentry guns to his suit. After which he clambers back in and seals the hatch.

Getting reports from the other floors it sound like the prisoner's description of events is accurate. A lot of enemy auxiliaries are fleeing into other parts of the ship. Plenty remain and are giving it their all now that they can use their abilities again. A Commando equipped with a hammer is tearing through friendlies on the upper level.

>Cont.
>>
You're about to begin planning out where to head next when the entire ship is rocked by what heels like an inner hull impact. This is different however as it's followed by vibrations similar to what you experienced when the wormhole was trying to dial the gates at Threochts planet. When it was interacting with the phased planet core interior.

"That has to be the wormhole. Reynard to anyone near the wormhole, report in!"
"Explosion on the other side of the gate sir. We'r-" The channel is momentarily overwhelmed by static and you can feel a shockwave propagating through the interior of the city ship. Atmospheric shockwaves reverberate through the corridors eventually reaching you.

"-down! I repeat, the shield around the wormhole is down! Viscount Reynard do you read? The gate is acting strangely, flickering at times. We're experiencing a power drain from the other side. What are your orders sir?"

>Your orders?
>>
>>3810852

Aaand the ass hole got through to the other side anyways, greaaaaat.

Get word through to the other side to cut connection immediately. We found the source of the remote call and disabled it. Tell them to get the portal open into the facility and get our troops in there to start sweeping that whole entire god damn ship for any sign of the bastard and to put him down HARD. Atomize him if they have to.
>>
>>3810852
Set the place to self-destruct and get everyone back through the wormhole?
>>
>>3810858
1 for cutting the wormhole ASAP

>>3810885
1 for getting everyone back through it first

>self-destruct
For the city ship? It's questionable if it has such a thing let alone if it could activate one in its low power state.
>>
And presumably taking the caretakers out of stasis will also be a priority.

[ ] Cut the wormhole ASAP
[ ] Get everyone back through
[ ] Break off combat while you try to get more info
>>
>>3810955
>[ ] Get everyone back through
>>
>>3810955
>[ ] Break off combat while you try to get more info
>>
Resuming tomorrow.
>>
>>3810852
Can they beam us a Neeran like Veod or Uller? We could stick them on the Amplifier and use it back at the bad Neeran.
>>
>>3810955
>[ ] Get everyone back through
>>
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>>3810850
>Valeri mutters that he doesn't like executing prisoners but ensures they have a quick death.
Did you just throw a couple of years of character development over board for two guys who couldn't be bothered to reply with a proper sentence?
>>
>>3810955
>[ ] Get everyone back through
>>
>>3811264
Have you had Valeri execute prisoners before?

>>3810983
>>3811162
>>3811303
Priority seems to be getting everyone back through the wormhole now before things get worse. For all you know the wormhole might shut down if there's an energy drain but you're not an expert on such things.

The door hasn't been welded shut yet. Did you want to retrieve the neural interface device and the other prisoners to take with you or leave them here?

[ ] Take device with you
[ ] Take prisoners
[ ] Both
[ ] Leave both here
[ ] Leave both, have a team remain here
>>
>>3811712
>[ ] Both
>>
>>3811712

If we are abandoning this position, then take the prisoners with us. Along with the device. Once we're on our side, put the prisoners in stasis until Neeran Specialists can work with them.

And having this device in hand might give us a chance to figure out how to counter the Empire Neeran's use of it on friendly Neeran and possibly use it on the Empire Neeran in turn.
>>
>>3811712
[ ] Both
>>
>>3811712
Hey it's just another crime to add to Sonia's eventual war criminal trial
>>
>>3811712
>[ ] Take device with you
>[ ] Have a team remain here
>>
"New plan. We're taking that device and the prisoners with us."
You turn to the heavy armor trooper.
"You probably have the best idea of a safe route back to our lines. Plot a course and we'll follow."

While everyone is busy you broadcast on the command frequency for all units to begin a fighting retreat.
"Recover wounded and pull back to the gate. Do it in good order but try to make it quick. No telling how long we have until the gate loses its connection."

Jan recovers the remote control for the slave collars and uses it to order all of the prisoners to their feet. They comply and soon enough have formed a collumn following behind the larger suit of power armor.

"Why is your suit stomping around that much? Most others are fairly quiet." Or at least they are by comparison.
"Damage to the repulsors and shock absorbers sir."
That makes sense.

The background rumbling coming through the ship indicates that the gate is still having trouble. With that in mind you do what you can to get the group moving more quickly. Along the way you make sure that the crew back aboard the ship are taking advantage of the jamming being down. By the time the group makes it half way to the gate Veod contacts you.

"Sonia Reynard are you there?"
"Yes, now tell me that asshole hasn't boarded the ship."
"He hasn't. An infiltrator aboard one of the shuttles launched antimatter projectiles at the ship. The screens automatically redeployed to protect us and keep them out, but in the confusion at least two shuttles landed inside the docks."

Not ideal but at least they're not aboard the ship. Unfortunately the antimatter weapons have triggered system defenses. An energy drain far in excess of anything on the dyson sphere is now present, and a number of manufacturing pads are producing drone craft. Some of the Drones are targeting Krath with sterilization beams, while others are sweeping the exterior of the shuttles and draining their power.

"What about the wormhole?"
"The defenses are attempting to interfere with it but the ship is a separate system. It cant directly disable it so it's trying to drain energy from both it and the ship. We wont be able to maintain the wormhole indefinitely.
We still have enough power to teleport everyone back aboard. Do you wish us to do so?"

>Y/N?
>>
Called into work. They tried to call me in yesterday too about an hour before game start.
>>
>>3812114
>We still have enough power to teleport everyone back aboard. Do you wish us to do so?"

Yes, Lock on all friendly ID's and teleport us in. If they have teleport us to holding locations to make sure no extras come with then do it.
>>
>>3812114
>Y
>>
>>3812114
Y
>>
>>3812114

>Y
>>
"Yes, do it. Priority on teams farther back carrying large numbers of wounded."

Switching back to the command channel you relay orders for teams with wounded to signal for evac first. Getting your own group into position within line of sight of the gate, everyone gets ready to deal with enemy snipers. Fortunately they seem to have largely been taken care of. Most surviving enemies are geared up for close combat in the corridors, not the open areas of the atrium.

Beams from the wormhole begin to strike locations and your people vanish without trace. Some are on the verge of being over run by pursuing neeran. A commando armed with a hammer lands where one such team had been a few seconds before, turning the area into a crater. It deflects 20mm fire being sent its way with an upraised hand while pulling back into cover.

While awaiting your turn you pop off a few plasma pistol shots at targets of opportunity. Probably not the smartest thing to do given the range and visibility of your shots, but it doesn't stop you from trying to aid the others.

A trio of builder shuttles take off and move to help recovery of teams that dont have line of sight with the gate. You warn that they'll have to be checked for infiltrators once through the gate. Most of the wounded that had made it to the base camp are loaded onto the remaining Faction built shuttle and escape through the still flickering gate. Not long after your group with the prisoners are brought aboard in a flash.

Appearing aboard on one of the pads you immediately notice pulsing lights that weren't there before. Biohazard alerts are going off. Not a good sign but soon enough it's clear why. Krath are aboard and are still considered a potential risk. Jan and Estavan tell you they'll help get the Krath and prisoners sorted while you head for the bridge.

You take what might be considered the long way to the bridge now that the teleporters are confirmed to work. Better that than to potentially block pads needed to help evacuate people. By the time you make it to the upper decks medics are making use of every medical/manufacturing pad available to get people back on their feet.

"Status of the evacuation?"
"The last shuttles are through now." answers Af Ied, who is looking a bit rough around the edges.
"Evac complete." announces Uller.

[ ] Glass the interior of the city ship
[ ] Close the wormhole, let the Alliance deal with the enemy survivors
>>
>>3813457
>[ ] Close the wormhole, let the Alliance deal with the enemy survivors

Close the wormhole and start figuring out how the hell we can disable/ turn of the power drain in the facility before it leaves everyone in the facility powerless and releases the Leviathan and its brood.
>>
Work plus getting my car fixed tomorrow. Cant promise when I'll be able to post. Might even have to wait until sunday to resume.
>>
>>3813457
[ ] Close the wormhole, let the Alliance deal with the enemy survivors
Cant destroy potential salvage!
>>
>>3813457
Is there an option in between glass and no explosive? Something like a big HE round, or even better, a fuel-air bomb, to concuss the survivors. That would be pretty devastating inside a spaceship I bet.
>>
>>3813457
>[ ] Close the wormhole, let the Alliance deal with the enemy survivors
>>
>>3813558
>Is there an option in between glass and no explosive? Something like a big HE round, or even better, a fuel-air bomb, to concuss the survivors. That would be pretty devastating inside a spaceship I bet.
Disintegrate the command module.
Super heat the air in only a portion of the area, etc.
>>
>>3811712
>Have you had Valeri execute prisoners before?
>:^)
Yeah, sorry. That probably came off more rude than intended.
However, even if not a lot of people were voting on that prompt I still think it's not a decision that is in character. Sonia hasn't discriminated against clones so singling them out for this decision doesn't make much sense. In addition that that, she hasn't had POWs executed out of convenience before. Or done so herself. Considering we've often done what we could to keep prisoners alive even if it's not convenient I don't think it was a choice that should have been made with a vote that was so close and with two votes conveniently appearing with 1 posts and minimal replies each. I hope that explains the point I'm trying to make better.


>>3813457
>[ ] Close the wormhole, let the Alliance deal with the enemy survivors
Can we set the environmental controls to flood the ship with a sedative for Neeran? I'm sure it has a riot suppression for civil unrest with the huge population usually present on these ships.

>>3812114
>Some of the Drones are targeting Krath with sterilization beams
Send the Krath to the city ships to keep the drones from interfering?
>>
>>3814115
Get ready for autism.

Use the conversion beams to fabricate around 5 tons of 80% Ethylene Oxide, 15% Propylene Oxide, and 5% Aluminium nanoparticles, by mass. Compressing it as much as physically possible would be ideal then you could rely on the pressure as a burst mechanism, then ignite it with a pyrophorric gas, something like a non-metal hydride.

This should produce and explosion equivalent to 30 tons of TNT, but as a thermobaric mixture it'll produce a crazy shockwave to rupture internal organs, suck air out of the lungs, rupture eardrums, all manner of debilitating damage to infantry.
>>
"Shut down the gate. The Alliance can deal with the remainder and we're going to need the power."
The hole in space quickly collapses and instantly the power situation begins to stabilise. One of the medics contact you with the casulaty report but you tell them it will have to wait. All of you are in considerable danger if the sysytem defenses are active.

"What's the drone situation?"
"50 drones, roughly the size of heavy starfighters are attacking Krath outside. The Krath have only tried attacking one and as soon as it was disabled a replacement unit was built."
"Get the Krath aboard. Use the teleport beams or even the shuttles if you have to. What about the stasis container ships?"

"Drone are ignoring them." answers Uller. "The system must know they aren't a threat."
That or it recognises they contain a biohazard.

"Let's hope is stays that way.Get someone making sure the power on those containers wont fail."
One of the rekesh personnel promise to look after it. With that underway and the gate closed the ship is able to maneuver, sweeping the docks with sensors and looking for signs of hostile Neeran.

Tu Quedis speaks up. "We keep reacting to what they're throwing at us. Perhaps it's time we try to prempt them before they carry out whatever mystery objective they must have?"

It's not a bad idea but you only have a vague idea of where in the docks the Neeran might be right now. Uller and Veod are still shaking off the after effects of the jamming and so aren't much help with sensing the enemy's location.

[ ] Continue scans
[ ] Switch to high power scans (Unknown how defenses will react)
[ ] Other suggestions?
>>
>>3814919
>Can we set the environmental controls to flood the ship with a sedative for Neeran?
I mean you could, if you wanted to knock out your allies. Any hostile neeran in the core are in the docks. None made it aboard the ship as the defensive screens automatically switched to surrounding the ship during the antimatter attack.
>>
Gone to work!
>>
>>3816539
I meant back on the city ship.

>>3816537
>[ ] Other suggestions?
Put all manufacturing pads and control stations into lockdown and see if we can set them to notify us if somebody tries to access them. Station a small garrison at the central control room. Did the Krath manage to establish communications with the more advanced scales?
>>
>>3816537
>[ ] Switch to high power scans (Unknown how defenses will react)
>>
>>3816537
[x] Get the ship out of there
>>
>>3816537
>"50 drones, roughly the size of heavy starfighters are attacking Krath outside. The Krath have only tried attacking one and as soon as it was disabled a replacement unit was built."
Have we had any luck interfacing or communicating with the automated systems responsible? The ability to Give our Krath something like guest status would already be immensely useful.
>>
>>3816556
>I meant back on the city ship.
Sorry. Not operating on a lot of sleep.

I can';t even into words right now.
fuck I'm tired, resuming tomorrow.

>>3816556
>Put all manufacturing pads and control stations into lockdown
Worth a shot

>>3816923
Any support for this or hold as a backup option?
>>
>>3818015
>Any support for this or hold as a backup option?
I'd prefer to keep it as a backup option, just in case the local Empire forces don't know about this attempt.

Is the energy drain limited to the high security facility or does it extend to the sphere as well?
>>
I'd say get the ship moving and away from the main station so it's harder to board. Then send a heavy time to secure all possible control stations in the installation. If the enemy infiltrators get control of those then we're fucked. It also seems to be me like that is the best way to calming down the security response. If we gain control of the security it will also be easier to find the infiltrators.

Three birds with one stone.

>>3818015
>Any support for this or hold as a backup option?
Back up plan. Hopefully it wont come to that however.

>>Put all manufacturing pads and control stations into lockdown
This is a excellent idea too.
>>
Why not booby trap manufacturing pads? They're indestructible, have them set to make a low yield explosive upon activation. Shred the infantry trying to use it, leave the pad intact.
>>
Is there a PDF doc of the archives for this quest anywhere?
>>
"Alright, let's try to head off whatever they might be attempting to do. See if it's possible to put all manufacturing pads and control stations in the dock yards into lockdown. They can't have brought much equipment with them and we need to deny them war material. If possible it would be good to have those systems trigger a security alert if anyone tries to make use of them."
Af Ied and one of the younger caretakers get to work seeing what they can do about this.

"Veod, make preparations to use the wormhole generator again if necessary. I want us to be able to get the ship out of here at a moments notice. Worst case we leave the Neeran to get dropped back to real space with the core."

"That's more likely than you may think." comments Uller, who has been busily working away on something.

You head over to his station on the upper level where displays are showing cutaways off the docks, core and planet interior. The planet interior looks like a normal orbital view of the night side of a planet.
"Wait, I thought the interior didn't have a day night cycle?"

"It doesn't. It's a result of the security protocols. Energy drain plus no light for the interior will mean the population will begin to freeze to death inside of a week."
Uller points to a few numbers that seem to be scrolling down.
"We do not have that long. The antimatter attack triggered not just the security systems but a failsafe. The phasing system for the core is already preparing to shut down and will do so without a command level authorization."
"WHAT?"
"When the core goes is might take the rest of the planet interior with it."

This can't possibly get any worse can it? Taking a look at the numbers next to the core and interior energy fields it looks to you like they're scrolling downwards impossibly fast.
"Is there any other way to prevent it?"
"I'm attempting to find out."

"Manufacturing is locked down." reports Af Ied. "I'm putting the security alert in place."

A J-D tech speaks up. "Enemy subspace beacon detected!"
"Triangulate!" you snap.
"Locked."

The location appears on the main display. It isn't too far away from an intersection of dock walls. You could probably take it out with a quick shot from the conversion beams. Then again if the enemy have split up it might be worthwhile to capture whoever is there.

[ ] Shoot it
[ ] Teleport in a team
>>
>>3820903
No, I was starting to work on one last year but got bogged down with job searching.
>>
>>3821034
>[ ] Teleport in a team

God damn Neeran everything they ruin absolutely everything they touch. No prisoners, kill them all.
>>
>>3821034
>[x] Teleport in a team

Tell Uller they have 30 minutes to come up with a solution. If they don't manage to find one, we'll print a copy of that original crew member Af Ied's grandfather managed to find.

>>3821046
If we don't plan to capture anybody we might just as well shoot them with the ship's guns.
>>
>>3821060

I just want to make sure none of them escapes. And just shooting the place seems like it would make the situation worse.
>>
>>3821073
I guess? Can't really say I think it's a worthwhile course of action.
>>
"Teleport in a team. Use our enhanced specialists that were out of action before. It's time they contributed."

A few of the officers that took part in the recent fighting aboard the city ship round up those who have been pulled out ouf stasis and get set. Once loaded up a pair of beams flash out from the ship, dropping the unit in the approximate area. They spread out and are soon engaged by a small number of infiltrators.

A small number of Krath that haven't completed evacuation also close on the beacon at high speed. One of the Rovinar personnel on the bridge gives them updates, warning of a drone that is in pursuit of them. Fortunately the craft is too large to make use of anything but the main cross corridors.

With both super human strength and reaction speed on top of the caretaker enhancements it doesn't take long to finish off the infiltrators present. They disable the beacon and secure the area until the Krath arrive to extract information from the wounded or dying.

What the find out is that there are very few enemies left in the docks. Their Commander, one or two commandos and less than a dozen infiltrators made it through the wormhole. None of them were even sure how many survived the antimatter explosions used for cover.

More worrying is that the commander is carrying at least a gram of antimatter split up into smaller yield devices. Given their leader's determination to make this mission work the infiltrators were beginning to suspect he is carrying a deadman switch for them.

"Fucking Neeran. Do you have the commander's name?" you ask.
"They all thought it was Girisha at first but he was confirmed dead two weeks ago. They were starting to think he might be a clone stocked with captured reactor organs."

"Girisha is dead?" Veod seems surprised by this. "The Alliance wasn't aware of this. Or they weren't last week."

"Any other useful intel? Like how they planned to split up?" you ask.
"Their commander will try to get to the main control center any way possible. They were also worried someone named Svidur would come after them once they started dialing the wormhole gate on the city ship."

The control center is locked down and reinforced with stasis fields. However most builder stasis fields aren't meant to act as a defensive system in their own right. With enough punch it might be possible to overwhelm them. Fortunately for you the area around the command center is still frozen up tight with minimal atmosphere. That may slow down the enemy.

[ ] Get to the command center
[ ] Evacuate docks in case he uses antimatter
[ ] Restore heat and atmosphere, warm up blight scales
[ ] Evac docks, reconfigure weapons to veckron beam
[ ] Other?
>>
>>3821332
>[ ] Get to the command center
Time to knock on the door. What happens when one stasis field hits another?
>>
>>3821332
>>3821332

>Get to the Command Center

Setup a trap and be ready to burn this fucker from existence if we have to. We could try capturing them, but at this point it may be easier to just kill him or make him a brain in a jar. Also gaining access to that command center is likely going to be the only way to stop the core from phasing into reality and killing everyone in here. So we should make getting in there through any means neccessary a priority.
>>
>Beacon
Duplicate, place on a ship/decoy planet.

>Infiltrators
Is it possible they're altering memories because they know the Krath will read them after/during death?

>Clone commander
Clone of Girisha, that bastard that shot our arm off, or someone unrelated?

>Svidur
What?
>>
>>3821332
>[ ] Get to the command center
>>
>>3821332
[ ] Get to the command center
GOGOGOGOGOGOGOG
>>
>>3821332
>[ ] Get to the command center
>[ ] Evacuate docks in case he uses antimatter
Start evacuating all non essential personnel and try to get in contact with Af Ied's grandfather.

>[ ] Other?
-Contact the local advanced scales and ask for help.
-See if we can manufacture a stasis grenade and corresponding launcher device with our manufacturing pad. The antimatter deadman switch doesn't mean much if it and the person carrying it are frozen in time.
-Have people continue to work on preventing the destruction of the facility.

>They disable the beacon and secure the area until the Krath arrive to extract information from the wounded or dying.
Please don't murder everybody this time.
>>
>>3821501
>What happens when one stasis field hits another?
Not a lot unfortunately.

>>3821724
>Svidur
>What?
You haven't kept up with what Svidur has been doing since he essentially changed bodies. I think you did exchange messages and there was talk of inviting him to the wedding? Whatever he's been doing to help the war effort has been classified. If the enemy were actively worried about him interfering then the Alliance must have brought him back to the sphere for whatever reason.

>Is it possible they're altering memories because they know the Krath will read them after/during death?
It's not impossible.

>Clone of Girisha, that bastard that shot our arm off, or someone unrelated?
A clone of Girisha.
The body of the one who shot your arm off is currently being overridden by Svidur.
>>
>>3821501
>>3821669
>>3821880
>>3821912
>>3821964
Getting people to the command center is the priority looks like. The fastest way to do this would be to use the conversion beams to simply put a hole through most of the structure between the docks and there so a teleport beam can be used. Transmuting the material to an inert gas would probably be safest.

As for opening the command center it might be possible to completely surround it with a stasis field of your own construction. Turning it on and off would theoretically cause the other one to shut down. There are a number of reasons this might not work but a few of them can be planned around and countered.

Use the conversion/teleport beams to get troops to the command center exterior?
Or would you rather they leg it from the closest possible point?
>>
Heading out for work.
>>
>>3822338
>Use the conversion/teleport beams to get troops to the command center exterior?
No, I don't want to damage the interior any further while the system is on high alert. That might cause it to shut down even faster.

>Or would you rather they leg it from the closest possible point?
Yes, I would prefer that.
>>
>>3822338
>leg it
>>
>>3822338
> use the conversion beams to simply put a hole through most of the structure
Plz no. It's already angry enough as it is without us poking holes in it.

>Or would you rather they leg it from the closest possible point?
Si. Worst case we could have a team standby to do the beam thing if all else fails.
>>
>>3822338
Stealth approach. Don't let them catch on to where we're going.
>>
>>3822299
>there was talk of inviting him to the wedding?
Yeah, I remember he attended. I'm surprised they thought he'd come after them, since the super-old Caretaker said never to challenge anyone, or he'd lose control to the Commando?
>>
>>3822701
>I'm surprised they thought he'd come after them, since the super-old Caretaker said never to challenge anyone, or he'd lose control to the Commando?
Maybe the figured something out to avoid that? I think it's been almost a decade at this point since Sonia retrieved him from the sphere.
>>
Anyone else reconsidering the Caretaker enhancement for Sonia? If they had jammed her when we opened the wormhole, the situation might have been even worse, and from what we've seen, is it worth it? She can use artifacts already, can detect infiltrators with the converter, etc.
>>
>>3823306

Unless we or the Alliance can find a way to nullify or a way to ignore such jamming. Getting that upgrade seems like a liability, especially if we intend to go into any other Empire Neeran held territory and they have those jammers deployed.
>>
Calling up the next teams on standby you let them know that they'll need to haul ass and get to the core's control center as soon as they can. While the bridge crew calculate the shortest route you try to give your front line people a heads up.

"This guy could be carrying antimatter -a lot of it- so watch out."
"How much sir?"
"Enough for nearly fifty megatons of ordinance."
Rather understandably the troops dont react positively to this.
"Can we even risk shooting the thing without setting off the bomb?"
"Bombs. Plural." you point out.
"With all due respect sir, what the fuck are we supposed to do against that?"
"Use your stasis units. Snag him or his equipment, or parts of either with it."

This is not a maneuver most of your people have first hand experience with. As you point out Valari pulled off something similar to thwart an assassination attempt and you dont need that level of precision.

As the teams are teleported in you broadcast to them.
"Get it done or use your heads to find another way to handle it. I dont care which."

Roll 4d20
>>
Rolled 5, 2, 20, 14 = 41 (4d20)

>>3823361
>>
Rolled 8, 15, 17, 12 = 52 (4d20)

>>3823361

Attack of the Girisha clones?
>>
Rolled 9, 17, 20, 16 = 62 (4d20)

>>3823361
>>
There are a few quick reports indicating the team is closing in on the core but other than that they try to remain radio silent most of the way in. A few minutes later scattered and garbled reports start to come in. It sound like they've engaged the commander and he's giving them a hard time. There isn't much to do but listen and wait.

Moving around the bridge you take a look at the displays.
"Why do we still have biohazard alerts in parts of the ship?" you ask one of the Rovinar.
"When we started bringing Krath aboard it seems we also picked up that advanced scale form we were tracking. It's in a pressure suit and has been sequestered in a section by a number of Krath. Everyone else has been cleared from that section to prevent harm."

One piece of good news. It should be able to help the Krath quite a bit with the local blight scales if they survive this mess.

"Antimatter secured!" reports one of the people from the team sent to the command center.
It looks like they and one of the Krath are retreating from the battle at high speed.

"Can we do anything to neutralize that antimatter once they get it to the docks?"
Veod answers that they should be able to deal with it using one of the conversion beams. Or at the very least contain it within a defense screen bubble and detonate it safely.

"Go with whatever will keep the system defenses from cracking down on us worse."

Not long after that the remainder of the team reports that they've finally managed to stop the enemy commander. Their head and upper spinal column are trapped in a stasis field, though it took a few tries. Two Krath are dead as are four enhanced. Most of the survivors are wounded.

Through a dangerous gamble that cost the Krath operative their life, they managed to get the antimatter away from the enemy early in the fight. Several attempts to stasis the commander failed due to the Neeran telekinetically deactivating the devices any time a limb was caught in them.

Do you want to recover the head or ensure it's destroyed?
>>
>>3824136
>Do you want to recover the head or ensure it's destroyed?
If possible. I am sure the Krath can perhaps extract SOMETHING from it.

And pheeeww. Thank fuck that's over. Shame six people died but it could have been a hell of a lot worse than it was.
>>
>>3824136

Just to make sure I am reading correctly and so anyone else can correct me. Does this mean Girisha Clone is dead? Or that his head is in a jar? Because that is what I read, unless I misinterpreted it?

Bring his head in. I still want him atomized and all that, but his head is full of secrets we could use against the Neeran Empire. And with the Krath assisting us, we can get all that juicy info out and then atomize his remains.

Good work to our enhanced team and the Krath that went with them. While it is regrettable to hear that they suffered casualties. That they were able to bring down the Girisha clone and his infiltrators/ commandos speaks volumes to just how powerful they are. Considering what they've done to take him down, I'm sure they deserve a medal of honor or whatever the Dominion equivalent is. Same with those who survived. As well as the Krath who went out and assisted in taking the bastard down. Bring them in and get them healed up and rested.

Time to start planning on cracking open the Command Center and turning off the security measures before they phase this place back into reality and kill us all.
>>
>>3824153
>head is in a jar
This.
It is well within faction medical capability to keep them alive.
>>
>>3824136
Recover and secure behind the strongest and most time-locked Stasis field we can manage.
Full honors for those Krath and the Soldiers.
>>
>>3824136
>Do you want to recover the head
Yes, definitely. Our teams went through the trouble to capture that guy alive, it would be a waste not to use it to our advantage.

>Two Krath are dead as are four enhanced.
Are any of them recoverable?
>>
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"Recover the head. I want it secure aboard the ship. No chance of escape or incident, understood?"

With that acknowledged you turn your attention back to the ongoing crisis of the phased space time field shutting down. Simply leaving wont be enough as the rest of the planet's interior is in danger. Opening the core's command center would certainly be one way of doing it. Those there would have the authorization necessary to countermand the automated system. Getting in wont be easy or you would have done it already.

"Uller, how long do we have?"
"A few hours at most until we lose the core."
Not a lot of time.

Af Ied has looked over some of the data and proposals sent by her grandfather earlier. She thinks it might be possible to shunt field power between the core and planet interior to permanently stabilize one or the other. This should override the security shutdown in the process. Unfortunately this would mean sacrificing one to save the other.

Obviously either option would be bad, though you could evacuate the core via the ships wormhole generator. Af Ied points out that if the opposite were done it might be possible to save much of the populace of the planet using the ship teleporters. Temporarily storing people in a sort of inter-dimensional limbo they could be brought back in a safe location.

Not sure if you're ready for that yet you ask the Caretakers if they have other options. Firstly is reviving the docks technician you found the medical records for. While they might not have the security clearance to stop everything they might be able to give you other options. You were already giving it some thought.

Next is getting into the core through your own efforts. Given the time limit there are only a couple of realistic means of doing so. Overpowering the stasis field by force, or using the conversion beams to construct a new stasis field around the command center. Both are dangerous in their own way as you'd need to cut through the core's structure for the line of sight needed by the conversion beams.

[ ] Evacuate core, save planet interior
[ ] Evacuate planet interior, save core
[ ] Revive docks tech
[ ] Overload command center stasis field
[ ] Construct new stasis container around core
[ ] write in?
>>
>>3824242
>[ ] Overload command center stasis field
>>
>>3824242
>[x] Revive docks tech
It's a pretty questionable move but I think the situation warrants it.
>>
>>3824242

||Use the pads to create a time machine and send a message back to us in the past to open the portal and firebomb the inside of the city ship and avoid this mess.||

I am conflicted here. We do not have much time but we need to save as many lives as possible.

How reliable is using a stasis field to negate another stasis field? Has this been done before and if so, has it succeeded previously? As this sounds like it shouldn't but if it does great.

Get the techs to figure out how much force we would need to crack open that stasis field anything near or on level to another anitmatter bomb is a no go. While also getting the peeps in the command center to plot out just how much we would need to carve out in order to impliment the Stasis field to negate the other one. And while they are doing their calculations, get the caretakers to prep that dock worker clone.

I don't want to have to bring the guy back from the dead thousands of years after his people are dead and gone. But millions of lives are at stake here.

If none of the calculations for either proposal of cracking open the stasis field are satisfactory. Go ahead and revive him and get his help in shutting down the Sphere's safety mechanism.
>>
>>3824242
>[ ] Overload command center stasis field
Uller, and whatever technicians he needs.

>[ ] Revive docks tech
Sonia, Af led, Tereoct?
>>
>>3824289
>How reliable is using a stasis field to negate another stasis field? Has this been done before and if so, has it succeeded previously?
Mostly reliable. Sometimes it takes a bit for the target stasis field to be knocked out entirely. Its done with medical stasis fields all the time but that's faction tech, it's a little different in some cases.

Also you'd need to disconnect the command center from external power sources that might allow the target stasis field to kick back in when you disconnect your outer one.

>Get the techs to figure out how much force we would need to crack open that stasis field anything near or on level to another anitmatter bomb is a no go.
Energy output equivalent to megatons of explosives can be delivered with a beam weapon without much collateral. It would certainly be needed. You still need to get it to the target though. It would be more effective if you could hit multiple sides.

>While also getting the peeps in the command center to plot out just how much we would need to carve out in order to implement the Stasis field to negate the other one.
Quite a bit. The faster you want it done the more surrounding structure needs to be removed. It's possible to cut a line underneath and build a stasis unit that would project upwards. You'd then need to have a few engineers cut off the remaining power conduits. While less destructive it would be slower than simply carving out the whole thing with the ships beam weapons.

>>3824290
>Tereoct?
Is at the western gate facility. You'd need to turn around and open a wormhole.
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>>3824242
>>3824331

I'm going off the one Neeran City Ship we were on. Where it still functioned even when the Command Center was detached and wormholed to a whole other galaxy. So if we disconnect the Command Center, this place wont immediately shut down and destabilize into reality again, though it may hasten it some.

I'd be willing to give it a shot. Making our own more powerful stasis field to overpower the current one.

Also, reviving the dock tech seems like it would be prudent thing to do while getting the stasis thing setup. In case he doesn't know how to shut it down or in case this is the only way to get past the stasis field.

>[ ] Revive docks tech
>[ ] Construct new stasis container around core
>>
>>3824331
>Is at the western gate facility. You'd need to turn around and open a wormhole.
Then anyone else who can operate a medical pad. Sam? Dave?

Sonia's not experienced in construction, so it's best to let them get on with it, right? In that time she could be dealing with the dock worker scan.
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>>3824351
>Then anyone else who can operate a medical pad.
Dave since he's your specialist that has used it the most.
>>
>>3824331
>. While less destructive it would be slower than simply carving out the whole thing with the ships beam weapons.
I'd be okay with that as a backup plan in case the technician doesn't get enough votes or can't provide help.
>>
Still alive, puzzling through tech's responses
>>
"Dave, begin work reviving that docks tech that Tereoct found the medical scan for."
Turning to Uller and Veod you ask them to begin cutting a hole through to the command center that could be used for either stasis construction or the overload attempt. You'd like to keep your options open in case the revived tech has a better idea you could implement.

Using the conversion beams the Caretakers work carefully to avoid hitting anything important. Turning builder material into gases that simply boil away, the beams penetrate multiple bulkheads. After about a minute of this the beam has reached the depth of the command center. While the drones dont seem to like this they're not doing much besides making sure to sterilize anything along the new corridor.

The last of the personnel from the docks are finally evacuated. A few people aboard the packaging ships are standing by to drive out of here if you open a wormhole connection. A non-Krath team are readying the giant stasis container the Leviathan is in for transport as well.

Conversion beams finish construction of a stasis projector unit then begin cutting a second smaller tunnel above. This to allow them to hit both sides of the command section with glancing energy beams to overload its stasis field. That way if too much power is put in it wont kill anyone still inside.

Engineers are teleported in to set up atmospheric containment fields in the surrounding section. Decontamination equipment is also brought in. Once the equipment is in place smaller drones are left behind to conduct cleanup while the engineers evacuate. Inside of 20 minutes you're ready to attempt the overload.

Down in the medical bay Dave completes reconstructing the technician and are making sure they're in good shape before attempting to wake them up. Af Ied heads down along with one of the Rekesh officers and a Kavarian from your special forces. Given that the tech's physical appearance is closer to Kavarian than Rekesh it should be slightly reassuring. Also helpful is that the translation package is set up.

A few minutes later Dave quietly informs you that the patient is up and talking with the others, though they're obviously out of sorts and want to know what is going on. It doesn't take long for some panic to set in and the security station on the bridge shows an attempt as a minor override.

"Good and bad. At least this tech knows some security protocols."

>Cont
>>
Af Ied contacts the bridge and tells you that they've moving the tech and getting suited up. His name is Kaxid, or at least that's the significantly shortened form. After making it to one of the teleport pads he makes a rather predictable escape attempt. He inputs coordinates on the docks and is instantly flashed aboard. Of course Af Ied and those with her arrive bare seconds later.

After seeing the sort of condiction the Crucible is in first hand Kaxid reluctantly agrees to assist in your efforts to keep it from being destroyed entirely. He lacks the authority to shut down the security system or open the command center but he has a few ideas. One teleport later and they're at an entrance to the command center. Quickly determining that he should be able to trick the system intpo opening up he sets to work. Forcing an override on a nearby manufacturing pad to produce the engineering equipment needed he requests two more people to help.

"He seems to think he can get the doors open within an hour." says Af Ied.
"That will be cutting things very close." warns Uller.
"What about the other options we discussed?" you ask.

"He doesn't know enough about those to really comment, other than to warn the ship might be attacked if you fire on the command center."
"Attacked how?"
"He doesn't have the authorization to know but apparently it was frequently discussed and the conclusion was that the ship could survive it."

1A) We'll risk attempting the overload (Fastest)
1B) Construct new stasis container around core
1C) Let him make the attempt (Longest)

2) Did you want to use the wormhole generator to get the transport craft and Leviathan out of here while they're busy?
>Y/N?
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>>3824521
>1B) Construct new stasis container around core
>1C) Let him make the attempt (Longest)
Let's keep building the stasis container and then see how far along the tech's plan is once that's finished?
Does he have any ideas to temporarily stabilize the installation our techs could attempt while he's doing his thing?

>2) Did you want to use the wormhole generator to get the transport craft and Leviathan out of here while they're busy?
Yes. I'd rather sacrifice the core than the outer shell, simply because we won't be able to evacuate the Rekesh or the scales and there's simply more of the latter out there than in here.
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>>3824521
>1A) We'll risk attempting the overload (Fastest)

>2) Did you want to use the wormhole generator to get the transport craft and Leviathan out of here while they're busy?
Y
>>
>>3824521

>1b
Get the stasis field up and going, while that is in progress have this tech continue what he is doing to get the command center to open.

>2
Get it prepped to get out of here should this all fail and fall apart. While I hope we can secure the core, need to have a backup plan to move it out of here same with this ship.
>>
You tell the engineering team to get working on their stasis container while the the precursor tech works on his solution. Once they're all in place you ask Veod to open the wormhole and begin evacuation of the ships from the dock.

To reduce the risk of collateral damage if anything goes wrong with the container craft Veod opens the wormhole above the northern area of the interior. If a container ship breaks open it wont do much but spread a couple hundred thousand more blight scales in regions already overrun by them. If the Leviathan escapes for any reason you're in trouble no matter where it happens.

There is significant interference as a result of the energy drain and other security systems trying to disrupt the wormhole. The ship is buffeted by the side effect but the hole in space remains relatively stable for the most part. One by one the sluggish ships make their way through. Their engines and repulsors only being meant for operations inside the dock make for slow movement. Not something you'd want to be dealing with if the core were on the verge of last minute collapse.

Eight builder shuttles dock with the Leviathan module, acting as tugs to help push it through. They're forced to reverse engines due to a gate stutter.
"What's happening?"
"An imbalance in our systems due to the power drain." answers Veod. "Compensating."

The gate fluctuates forcing the forward shuttles to disengage and pull back. A good thing too as one of the docking mounts are destroyed by the edge of the gate not long after. Uller activates tractor beams, saving the container by pulling it back before it can be ruptured. Once the gate stabilizes enough the container is rammed through, shuttles linking up with it again on the other side.

Once they're clear one more container ship and one of the Faction shuttles are the last through. They signal they've made it and Veod closes the gate.

"Will we be able to get through without incident?" you ask once everyone has had a chance to catch their breaths.
Veod seems certain that you will as this ship will be able to create a bubble around itself during transit. Something it cant do for other ships.

With the majority of the expedition now evacuated from the core or aboard ship you're ready to escape if it looks like things aren't going to work out with the command center. Reports from the engineers show that they're making progress. Kaxid is even getting things done faster than he estimated. There is however a new problem which is now slowing down your engineers.

>Cont.
>>
"What now?"
"To complete getting the stasis field in place the engineers will have to cut the remaining power conduits to the command center. Kaxid says he needs them in place for his trick. He's going to hook them up to the systems draining power from everything."

"How long does either team need?"
"Either of them need twenty minutes to complete, another ten or fifteen to have an effect. Then it's a matter of getting in and hoping the people inside can stop all this. We dont know how long it will take them to respond."

Uller says that you have less than an hour now and no he doesn't have a more accurate number. The wormhole opening messed up his estimates.

[ ] Let the tech finish power drain
[ ] Let the engineers finish stasis
[ ] Not enough time. Evacuate core, save planet interior
[ ] Attempt overload before it's too late
>>
>>3824702
>[X] Let the tech finish power drain
See if we can cut down on the preparation time our engineers need in case the tech's plan fails.

>Uller says that you have less than an hour now and no he doesn't have a more accurate number.
Does the interior have longer or will both get destroyed at the same time?
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>>3824702
>[ ] Let the tech finish power drain
>>
Also, maybe it's worth unfreezing an actual energy-being builder and ask them nicely for the disarm codes?
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>>3824702
>[ ] Let the tech finish power drain

I sense an on coming dice roll. Very well, have him do his thing.

Time to pray to the salvage gods that we can stop the collapse of this place?
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>>3824721
Wouldn't the energy drain kill them?
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>>3824713
>See if we can cut down on the preparation time our engineers need in case the tech's plan fails.
They've done all the can on that front. They need to cut through a bunch of conduits made of builder material. That takes time, even with the specialized cutting tools from the yard.

>>3824721
>energy-being builder
>>3824734
>Wouldn't the energy drain kill them?
I hadn't actually considered that and yes it would probably be a genuine threat to them.
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>>3824736
>I hadn't actually considered that and yes it would probably be a genuine threat to them.
We could simply take their stasis units far enough from the surface to stop the drain from working. It extended only a couple of miles from the surface on the sphere.
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>>3824742
Not so easy to do considering those stasis vaults are underground in a builder facility. Or at least not a quick thing to do. Wait shit they're actually proper vaults aren't they?

Maybe you could do it with the ship. Wormhole out, cut through maybe the eastern gate facility and teleport out the stasis container. That's still going to take time.

Any support for attempting this?
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>>3824736
>Wouldn't the energy drain kill them?
>I hadn't actually considered that and yes it would probably be a genuine threat to them.

>Energy drain systems are just builder-nukes
big brain time
>>
Gotta step out for a bit.

Please decide on a backup plan.
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>>3824752
>I hadn't actually considered that and yes it would probably be a genuine threat to them.
If these are vaults, does the drain affect them? It doesn't seem like a good vault design if the defense system can easily damage the occupants during an emergency.
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>>3824761
>Please decide on a backup plan.
Ask for volunteers to prepare the stasis setup if the tech's plan fails. Give them 10 minutes to complete the setup and 5 to wait for any effect. Then sacrifice the core for the rest of the sphere.
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>>3824761
Backup plan overload the core with the ship's c-beams.
>>
You tell the engineers to either evacuate or help Kaxid finish what he's doing. Half of them pack up what gear they can carry and retreat to the evac point while the others do what they can to assist. As the minutes tick by Af Ied retreats as well and requests to be returned to the ship.

Reports start to come in that the situation is worsening. Temperature around the matter siphons is increasing and the field around the facility is weakening dangerously. One of the caretakers has kicked life support back into cooling mode to keep the interior habitable while the team there works. The structure is also being placed under strain. If it weren't for its structural material it might have begun to fail by now.

"Uller, how long until system collapse?"
"Fifteen minutes, no more."

Tu Quedis speaks up. "Viscount perhaps it would be best to withdraw? Pull the ship out of here then reestablish a wormhole to teleport everyone out if they've run out of time?"

"How long does Kaxid think he needs?"
"A few more minutes according to last report." answers the coms officer.

Af Ied looks around the bridge then turns to face you.
"Sonia Reynard, my grandfather's plan to save the planet interior will not work if the core has already collapsed. We need to act now if there is any chance of saving the Rekesh civilians."

"Coms, get me a new ETA!" you demand.
"They're saying minutes sir!"

[ ] We wait
[ ] Move the ship out of the core, but wait
[ ] Move ship out of core, use Tereoct's plan
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>>3824925

If we use Tereocts plan, that guarantees the core is gone forever, correct? No saving anything inside here?
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>>3824944
In theory yes. Though with the technology recovered it might not be impossible to bring some of it back some day. That would certainly be a long term project though.
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>>3824925
>>3824951

God fucking damn it, fucking Neeran!

Civilians take priority. And I can 100% guarantee if that mechanic fails. The Rekesh will end our alliance and go to the Factions Alliance and we will be remembered for our greed and killing millions of our allies people. Fuck!
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>>3824925
>[ ] We wait
How long will Tereoct's plan take? Instant? If Kax fails, then it's core destruction time.
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>>3824986
>How long will Tereoct's plan take? Instant?
It will take some time. Maybe not a lot, but 15 minutes isn't very much notice regardless and they'll need to know to start work on it at the western gate.
The more power left in the core's field when they attempt it the better.
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>>3825007
Ok, we give Kaxid exactly two minutes, then we Tereoct the core.
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>>3825007
I'm kind of assuming that if they start work on collapsing the core, then in the time it takes them to set up we can at least wait to see if they can breach the stasis barrier.
>>
Experiencing some technical difficulties. Will post tomorrow before work.
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>>3824925
>[x] Move ship out of core, use Tereoct's plan
I'm okay with giving the tech two more minutes. The plans can probably run at the same time for a bit if Tereoct's also needs almost 15 minutes to complete.

>>3824951
>Though with the technology recovered it might not be impossible to bring some of it back some day.
Leave a signal beacon behind, if possible.
>>
Crazy backup plan, build them a Kythera open core reactor as a replacement sun and have it orbit the core. Use all the big brain Neeran to figure it out, and use the ship to build it. They get proper illumination and a day-night cycle!
>>
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2VCdZ-626s

Relenting you give into pressure from the Rekesh.
"Alright, we move the ship out of the core, but we're still giving the techs 2 more minutes."

"Open the wormhole now so I can alert my Grandfather." says Af Ied.

Veod brings up the wormhole generator again and activates it for a third time. The portal generated is even less stable this time. To bring it under control requires far greater energy expenditure and ship power reserves begin to plummet. Engineers increase singularity reactor output to compensate.

While the wormhole is being stabilized Af Ied contacts her grandfather and the western gate, telling them of the need to enact the plan now. You can hear Tereoct's furious voice yelling at his granddaughter for waiting so late.
"This is not a simple procedure!"
"Scold me later, work now!"

The glow outside of heat bleeding through to the core is intensifying. Ambient temperature inside the docks is also still climbing despite the efforts of the environmental controls. While considering firing cooling lasers to help get it under control there wont be much point if the team isn't successful soon.

The two minute mark slips past with no change. The command center still isn't open and with a sigh of resignation you order the engineers to pull back to the evac point.
"Don't bother taking anything with you just get out of there quick so we can teleport you back aboard."

Veod begins the procedure to take the ship through, however there seems to be a delay with some of the engineers. Kaxid is refusing to give up on opening the command center.

[ ] Leave him
[ ] Stun him and bring him with you
[ ] Let volunteers stay, recover if possible through western gate
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>>3825828
>[x] Let volunteers stay, recover if possible through western gate
Leave plans for stasis units that can be manufactured by the local pads behind, in case they can't escape in time.
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>>3825828
>[ ] Stun him and bring him with you
>>
>>3825828
>[ ] Let volunteers stay, recover if possible through western gate

If he succeeds, then out fucking standing give that guy a medal, if not, well... at least he wont have to live in a universe that has moved on without him or his people.
>>
>>3825828
>[ ] Let volunteers stay, recover if possible through western gate
>>
>>3825828
>[ ] Let volunteers stay, recover if possible through western gate
Oh god oh god oh god. This is call FUCKED. Goddammit.
>>
https://youtu.be/YRJiAXjbuvs?t=110

"If any volunteers want to stay and help I wont stop you. We'll try to establish a wormhole from the west gate to open a way out. That will be your last chance."

About half of those left scramble to the evacuation point and are teleported out. Veod activates the field bubble and the ship is pulled through. Emerging into the planet interior the wormhole snaps shut behind you.

Everything is dark, at least at first glance. You slowly start to pick out pinpricks of faint light in places. Fires lit by the populace to hold back the darkness. How terrifying must that be to experience night for the first time? Worse than night, they dont even have stars in here. All hell must be breaking loose down there among the Rekesh civilians. Probably thinking it's the end of the world.

Contact is established with the western gate. They have power but most of their Faction built equipment is being drained rapidly. Including the shield. As the ship closes with their location ground teams activate vehicle spotlights and visible range lasers to help mark the location the west gate's wormhole will appear. To fire the teleport beam through the gate you''ll have to get beneath it,but this isn't a small ship.

With the gate activates you can just make out its edges.

"Let's find out what kind of progress they're making. Both on the surface and in the core."
"I'm certain they will let us know when they are able." Af Ied points out.
"Ten minutes." warns Uller.

At 9 minutes Tereoct warns that he's beginning the activation sequence.
"If anyone is left in that place get them out now!"
"Reynard to engineering team, time is up, prepare for evac."

Veod brings the ship to a hard stop dangerously close to the surface then sideslips to put one of the conversion beams in line with the gate.
"Sir, Kaxid wont leave." one of your people reports.
"That's his choice. Now move if you're moving. This is your last chance to get out."

Af Ied speaks up. "The power and field transfer has started. Core collapse accelerating as expected."

Uller updates the revised numbers. "60 seconds."

Two engineers drop down to the open space providing line of sight. They're not quite in position as the ship beams were offset at a slightly different angle when cutting through before.
"Go! Go! Make for the entrance!" you tell them, hoping they'll manage to get to a better position in time.

Veod yaws the ship to starboard 3 degrees. A few seconds later the engineers are far enough out that the new angle allows the teleport beam to grab them.
"Got em sir."

Uller reports that field strength for the planet interior is increasing rapidly.

On the other side of the wormhole the docks continue to glow brighter red. Atmosphere inside is rapidly heating out of control. There's a garbled transmission from the other side sounding something like "work damn you!" then the wormhole cuts out.

You look to Uller. "Tell me it worked."

>Cont 1/3
>>
The Caretaker doesn't respond right away, looking over the numbers.
"Partially." he finally manages.
"What does partially mean, did it work or didn't it?"

A transmission from Tereoct clears things up for you remarkably well.
"You fools you waited too long. It wasn't enough."

You walk over to Uller's station. "Why didnt it work? Give me details."

Apparently Tereoct figured out that if the field strength was pushed past a certain level it would trigger a reset of any systems that could potentially cause it to crash. This includes the linked security protocols.
"Is there any other way to boost the field strength?"

Uller and Veod turn to one another and after a wordless glance Uller vaults the console down to the lower level. From there he sprints from the bridge.
"Where is he going?"
"Teleporting him to the western gate. Tereoct listen closely, you must set your gate's wormhole in reverse."
"Re-reverse? As in behind the facility?" asks the old man incredulously.
"No. We're going to activate the ship's wormhole generator. You need to divert the wormhole energy we will be projecting into the facilities phasing field. Uller will help complete the setup."

"Can that work?" You and Af Ied both ask.
"The field power levels are still increasing but at the current falloff rate wont reach the upper level needed for the reset. This is our last gamble."

"Can't we just beam power from our reactor?" you wonder.
"The gates are not properly equipped to do so. We are improvising."

While Veod directs power to the wormhole generator once more, it occurs to you just how dangerous the situation outside could be for your troops.

"Reynard to all ground forces, evacuate the western gate perimeter immediately. Get everyone outside the shield radius and braced for possible blast waves. Get people inside and underground if you need to."

Fortunately most of the ground forces figured they'd need to perform a GTFO maneuver ever since the sky went dark. Light tanks, buggies, repulsor bikes and shuttles vacate the area. The faster craft make multiple trips picking up ground troops and transporting them to minimum safe distance. Tower guard and most of the heavy infantry retreat inside the facility itself, locking down all but one of the doors.

A few units that are too far out from a quick pickup are targeted with the teleport beams and flashed out to the edges of the shield. This includes a small number of civilians that had previously refused to abandon their holdings inside the perimeter.

>Cont 2/3
>>
The ship maneuvers so that it's pointed bow down towards the gate. Uller soon signals that they're ready and both he and Veod activate wormhole systems on either end. The result is an initial collision of exotic energy particles then being dragged into the surface side emitter. As you rather expected the initial activation creates a fairly substantial overpressure event, though not nearly as bad as you'd worried.

"The energy transfer doesn't appear to be terribly stable." comments one of the Rovinar.
Veod acknowledges this but otherwise doesn't seem to be inclined to halt the process.

While it's hardly the most efficient means of power transfer it does seem to be working. The projected energy curve shows it ticking upward slightly more every second. As one of the others on the bridge reports the unstable wormhole event is also causing damage to the forward hull. Which means the wormhole projector itself is probably taking damage. Through the deck plating you can feel what seems like the ship being sandblasted.

"How long can we keep this up for before the wormhole emitters fail?"
"I dont know." Veod says sounding increasingly worried.

Then the world outside lights up. Not an explosion, just daylight returning.
"Energy drain is gone." reports sensors.

Veod kills the wormhole and reverses engines in case the western gate systems continued to spit out dangerous emissions. Uller shuts things down on his side soon after.

Looking around at the displays you ask the question everyone is thinking.
"Did we do it? Are we safe?"
It takes a few checks of the facility systems with Tereoct but it looks as though the immediate crisis has been averted.

Barely.
>>
>>3826932
>Barely.

I will take barely over failure any day. So does this mean the inner core is saved or is it molten metal/ rock?

Tereoct is going to be furious with us, but you know what? The old wizard can be as mad as he wants to be.

Get a status report of all our forces here in the facility and reestablish comms outside. Find out if anyone outside has noticed any changes during today's events. And whether or not that cloaked Neeran Super has been dealt with or chased off. I will be highly surprised if no one outside noticed anything happening in here. Once we've reestablished comms outside, lets see about reopening comms to the inner core, if everything in there is "safe".
>>
>>3826932
Oh god.... This had me in such fucking suspense unlike anything else in this quest up until this point. Well done TSTG. Jesus.
>>
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>>3826968
MFW for most of this thread.

>>3826951
>So does this mean the inner core is saved or is it molten metal/ rock?
It's gone. Or at least occupying the same space as the planet's iron core. Mind you it is made of builder material so the structure is still there.

The Neeran are actually in the best position to recover it right now. They could hit the planet with a Scorcher or two, destroy it, then systematically remove the iron from the core facility. And what's more they're one of the few groups that would be willing to use such methods.

>Get a status report of all our forces here in the facility and reestablish comms outside.
No serious injuries from the blast or evacuation. Two engineers that remained in the core are presumed KIA, though with the stasis systems that had been constructed beneath the command section they could have resized it and used it to survive. This seems unlikely but not impossible.

The surface reports that they detected an odd beacon signal from inside the planet that was active only briefly. Jamming was activated almost immediately but they're not certain if they were able to block it. No energy drain was experienced on the planet exterior, though they couldn't activate the transit chamber while the security protocol was in place.

So far there are no signs of the cloaked Neeran ship. The captured beacon has been sent through and engineers are looking it over to see if it can be sent to the decoy site. Fleet assets are still in position, ready to jump.

According to Veod the wormhole projector has suffered damage but it is still functional. For now he would advise taking the system offline until checks can be done. With the Crucible gone proper repairs may very well be impossible. Those from the tower however seem determined to try. They may only have one matter siphon but combined with the power output of the ship they might stand a chance.
Of course this might give them a chance to assert more control over the ship at the expense of the other involved powers. You sigh as the realities of political hindrances.
>>
>>3827013
You cheeky dickwaffle

>Of course this might give them a chance to assert more control over the ship at the expense of the other involved powers.
Can we not power up the Matter Siphon at the Facility we found? Where we found the Builder in stasis and first started producing artifacts that is.

Recovering the Crucible is going to be a fucking pain in the arse. But at lest it's not outright gone thanks to the wonder that is builder material. And we got the ship. We still got the interior of the planet. We still got a Builder base with working tech.

Now we just need to assert more control of the ship due to the Crucible being unavailable. Does anyone know how we dig a entire base out of a core?
>>
>>3827041
Yeah that gate facility doesn't have full industrial grade capacity. The suits, equipment and other baubles didn't really require much of the existing matter stores. When big chunks like those for the wormhole were needed they were produced mainly at the tower.

Birthday party tomorrow so out and about. I'll probably resume after 6 on Friday.
>>
Aaaaaaaaaa I knew we should have just hit the core with a max strength beam.
>>
>>3827013
>They may only have one matter siphon
Can't we just build more?

>The Neeran are actually in the best position to recover it right now.
We just need to design and build stasis and phase shift generators that can survive in the molten planetary core, send them there, cover the facility in a stasis field and then shift it back. Definitely a long term project but nothing that shouldn't be doable in a couple of decades, especially with the conversion turrets and scanners available on the ship.

>It's gone.
I wonder if Kaxid was just really unlucky or just plain bad at his job. Did the other options have a better chance of succeeding?
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>>3827066
Happy Birthday, in case it's yours.



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