Sat 15 Sep 2012
From my FTL video game session:
Okay, let’s give this Engi brain recorder a spin.
This will be my fourth suicide run for the Federation since my sisters and I awoke. They haven’t been pleasant so far.
The Engi tell me that the addition of the brain recorder will add some flexibility to our mission, since we’ll be able to accumulate a memory file that is much easier to transfer across universes than the clone dumps we used during our first three attempts. Since flexibility let us ally with the Engi in the first place, I’m all for it.
In case this record ends up at a universe that I don’t exist in, I guess I should explain what’s going on. My name is One. My sisters are Two and Three. We were grown by the Federation to fly a ship and deliver a message to distant star. The message is critical to allowing to Federation to defeat their enemy, the Rebels. The problem is that there is far too much hostile territory between the Yellow Star Station and the delivery point, and the ships available to us don’t have the resources to fight their way through.
However, before the war, the Yellow Star Station where we were born was more than just a waypoint for merchants and space marines. It was also home to the best research university in this arm of the galaxy. When the war broke out, much of its resources turned to finding a way to stop it. Their contributions helped slow the expansion of the rebellion, but now the rebels have arrived on their very doorstep. The solution they came up with was rather exotic.
It has been known that our universe is just one of many in a multiverse of different universes. Those that most closely resemble our own are easiest to reach. Not easy, just easier. It’s hard to transport physical objects to another universe. Transferring information is more reasonable. Made quite desperate by the approaching spacefleet of the rebels, they decided the most reliable way to send their critical message to the Federation was by duplicating the attempt to send through the nearby universes. Even if most missions to deliver it failed, only one would have to succeed, and then the message could spread back through the other universes from the site of its successful delivery.
To that end, the university whipped up a project that could carry the message and the mission across those universes. I and my sisters are that project. Or we were in the universe we started in anyway. We are quick-grown human clones, programmed with the basics of humanity. When we die, our memories will be passed on to a set of clones starting out in another universe, so they can build on what we’ve learned. Apparently, there some debate about the ethics of making people like us, but the transfer across universes required using people that had not yet acquired of lifetime of memories. I have been too busy to consider this fully, but intend to explore this in more detail later.
Our first three trips have been ugly, but we have learned much about the dangers we face out there. Even better, the scientists that made us hoped that since we were transferring our entire consciousness ourselves when we died, we might be able to guide the process a bit to find universes with the resources to make our mission easier. We have.
In our original universe, the Engi were polite aliens but not part of the Federation. Here, they are equals with the humans, and they made they’re own set of clones transfer across the universes. Unlike my sisters, A, B, and C do not seem to have carried any memories from a previous universe as they were being programmed with the basics of being Engi. I suspect that they will in the next universe, and I am going to have to acknowledge myself as the expert in these matters. After all, the scientists here were just as surprised to learn I and my sisters woke with memories of our previous universes as they were in our second and third awakenings.
I’m going leave Two and Three here to help with the defense of the station. They’ve learn a few things about fighting in our last three trips that may help delay the rebels. I’m leaving C in their care, and taking A and B with me on the ship. I’m going to miss my sisters, but this mission requires sacrifices of us all.
Mission Log Start: White Box 1
I decided a new ship with a new crew needed a new name. The ship we had flown before was a human built Krestrel, known as the Blue Box. This one is an Engi Torus that I’ve decided to name the White Box. It’s not an Engi name, but A and B are willing to go along with it.
Its key systems are pretty similar to the Krestrel, but Engi have a much different fighting style. Instead of the energy bolts and missiles, they prefer weaponized drones and ion cannons. Not sure I like the ion cannons. If I’m reading this correctly, it only damages shields and systems. That’s great, but if you want to win a fight, you have to destroy your enemy’s hull. At least I don’t have to aim the drones to have them fight. That should make managing ship to ship combat easier.
Mission Log 1:
Scanning for our first jump, we spotted a distress call. We arrived as rescued a lone survivor who had been stranded there. It was a Rock named Charlie. I thought that was a human name, but perhaps there have been more changes than I anticipated in this universe. He’s enormous, and his skin looks and feels like stone. He’s not as fast as the Engi or myself, but he’s tough in a fight and immune to fire. He could be pretty useful, especially since A told me that I can’t expect them to fight as well as I can if we get boarded. The Engi are wizards with machinery, but they’re small compared to humans. B assures me that the minor healing field that the Engi like to spread throughout their ships will work just as for Charlie as it does for us. I was happy to hear that.
A is plotting a new jump for us now, while I’m taking some time to sort out my long term strategy. I think I’ll try stockpiling scrap this time instead of immediately spending it. We’ll be able to make proper use of the merchants we encounter if we have something on hand to trade with them.
Mission Log 25:
Only halfway across sector 4, but things have really turned to shit. We got boarded. The pirates killed A. B was killed by the fires and Charlie died fixing the O2 generator. He finished it, but not soon enough to keep himself from suffocating. It’s just me now. I don’t think I can survive another boarding.
Mission Log 26:
I lied. Two Mantis teleported on board and started wrecking our systems. Killed one of them in the pilot’s cabin. The second tracked me down in the medical bay. Turns out being plugged into a DocBox makes you that much harder to kill. Had to disconnect myself and sprint to the O2 generator to get it working again. I was luckier than Charlie. It pumped out enough oxygen so I only passed out for a while instead of dying.
Mission Log 27:
Reached the exit for the sector, but there’s a distress call one jump over. Rebels are only started to push into this sector. I should have plenty of time to jump over and see what’s going on.
Mission Log 28 (Battle Log):
It’s a pirate trap, but I have plenty of drones and they don’t have a teleporter. Easy pickings.
Damn! I couldn’t kill them fast enough, and they jumped away. Like my hull needed take more abuse without getting something in return. But I do have some extra scrap. I think I’d better upgrade my shields.
Mission Log 29
Glad to find a friendly store out here. Patched up some of the hull that pirate damaged, but I’ve been in better shap.
Mission Log 30 (Battle Log):
I just jumped into a ship fight with the Mantis. SHIT! They have teleporter. Don’t have enough power to run everything, but I’m not going to be sitting in the pilot’s seat anyway. Rerouting power from the engines to the extra drone. Go get them, kids!
Boarders just took out my ion cannons, but not the drones. Wrong move, suckers.
There goes my O2 again! Die, Mantis, Die. Dead you go – and there goes your ship. I have GOT to get out of this sector.
Mission Log 31
Sector 5 is a Rock controlled sector, and Charlie had warned me that they don’t like visitors, so I’m going to have to watch my step. Only have five fuel onboard, but I do have 40 scrap. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find a store.
Mission Log 32
Friggin bad tempered Rocks. I try to be nice, but they insist on attacking me.
I had to roughed up a Rock scout ship. He couldn’t get through my shields, so he finally surrendered. He offered me fuel that I need, missiles that I don’t, and scrap so I would leave him alone. Go in peace my Rocky brethren.
I have a decent amount of scrap now. I am going to add it to my reactor so I don’t have to turn off the engines during a fight.
Mission Log 33 (Battle Log)
I hate flying blind into a new system. I wonder what sort of upgrades will help that not happen. For example, this jump put me too close to the star, and then three Rocks teleported onto my ship. One of them is in the medical bay. I’m grabbing my blaster, but I’m outgunned and with a ship being ripped apart by that too close star. See you in the next universe, me.
I’m holding my own against the one in the medical bay, but the other two took out my internal sensors. If I survive the one I’m fighting, I have to track the other two by what systems they’re destroying.
Killed the Rock in the medical bay, but they took out the automatic door controls while I was doing it. I’m guessing they’ll attack the shield generators next, and – SHIT, there’s THREE of them in here! Where did the fourth one come from?
And there’s the solar flare! Gods, this is ugly. At least I can’t see what parts of the ship are on fire right now.
I lied. The O2 just went, and I realized I could track some of the rooms on fire by the damage readouts on the critical equipment in those rooms. That didn’t help me at all, since it distracted me from the firefight.
Dead again. On to the next.