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About Catostrophy

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  1. This is why you need a rolling system. At least a light one. You cannot free-form RP fight unless someone is willing to lose, and that is not something that happens much any more.
  2. Efficient Posts are our Second Speciality!! Action Points -'Project: Lemon' (-4AP) -One final effort into a Corruption treatment is made. With their jobs on the line, the biologists put their all into the project. They focus smaller--looking for a way to treat the infection in its earliest stages. From laser-amputation to prayers, they bring as much information and talent to bare. Anything they can manage, really. The Corporation offers "free samples" of the Corruptor's collective corpses to anyone willing to research a treatment for it. (-4AP) -Hephaestus engineers are tasked with calibrating the new, heavier-duty laser-variants to be more energy efficient. No need to waste volts, after all! (-4AP) -A licence to produce Tithonus, Alastor, and Eurus designs are offered to the Grgl and Tassareans. The situation is dire, so the Corporation considers it an 'investment.' (-0AP) -Hephaestus Enforcers are deployed on double-shifts, and ordered to prepare for possible riots in Corporate space. The Corporation reminds all of its denizens that aggressive actions between shareholders will result in the termination of their employment (basically exile). (-0AP) -In a desperate bid to secure aid against the Corruptors, Hephaestus and the Free Human Technocracy travel to the Northern reaches of the galaxy in order to find someone, anyone, willing to do something. (-0AP)
  3. Hephaestus Enterprises If You can find a BETTER Deal on Droids... ...Just Kidding! You WON'T! The combat droids activated, and began their stoic, clattering march out of their transport freighter. The Tassaran capital was beautiful this time of year, and the plains were perfect for unpacking war-machines. Rond watched with beaming pride as more of his personal army, with greater discipline and harmony than any biological soldier, moved in perfect formation. In vast square blocks, they arranged themselves for inspection. It was a beautiful sight--twenty-thousand combat droids all under his command, and awaiting his orders to attack his enemies. Looking back to his training, he couldn't imagine himself commanding this much authority. As an officer in the Redon Imperium he was overlooked whenever another royal-blooded member of his misbegotten family entered the scene. He trained his hardest, outdid the whole regiment in multiple fields, and yet all it took for someone to counter his successes was to be born closer to the throne. That's why he had to go. He could not be constrained by his name any longer. If he was going to succeed, he needed a place where people could thrive on skill alone. That is when he found the Corporation. Rond began a slow walk down the column of droids, admiring his metal warriors. That was another thing he liked about robot-soldiers; they didn't mind if you kept them in a pretty formation for hours on end. He wondered briefly if he could give them swords, and re-enact ancient battles from the homeworld? That would be something to behold. He could probably turn a profit from it too--offer tickets, set it in an arena, holo-record it and sell it for a pay-per-view subscription service. He could run ads between rounds as well! That would easily cover costs and put more money in his pocket. Maybe then he could use that money to build a factory so he could make the droids, and design them to his own specifications! He could out-do those Cooper & Sons hacks any day of the week. Though, he would need raw resources as well. Perhaps investing annual funds into off-planet businesses would maximise returns on the- Rond clasped his head for a moment, and sighed. His 'episodes' were getting worse. Some days, he could think of nothing but ways to invigorate his PR. Was there something in Hades' water supply that made shareholders slavering capitalists? He had to stop himself from buying a majority stake in a construction subsidiary. He had no time to manage businesses, damn it! He was supposed to be a soldier, crusading on the far-rims of civilisation against an ever-growing and nightmarish threat of mutating, genocidal beasts! He rubbed his eyes, and walked quickly on from his droids. Gazing at them had lost its appeal. The Royal Guard were performing combat drills nearby. He felt at home walking among his fellow Redons. The camaraderie was thick in the air--and not a single voice spoke of markets, or values, or deals. The men bowed low as he passed, and some jokingly called him by his 'Hephaestus name' of Red Prince. And yet... ... something didn't feel right, here. His days in the military academy were long over, and now these men felt alien to him. All the conversations he overheard about deployments, personal feats of courage and daring, valiant last-stands, and jovial cheers to the life and glory of the Redon didn't move him like they used to. When he thought of the Redon, all he could imagine were the swathes of family that passed over him. When he thought of the Imperium all he saw were cousins, who had worked half as hard as himself, receiving a free ride into important postings. And only because their mummy or daddy was a Lord of this sector or a minister of that government. It was a sham. Kings, lords, governments--they were all a damnable sham. They spoon-fed their own children and brought them up without challenging their abilities, or ideas. The royalty were grandiose warriors, but how long would they remain that way without a major war to test their abilities and leadership? In the midst of his existential quandary, he looked to the sky, and saw another transport gently floating down from the atmosphere and towards the droids. No doubt these would be the first units of Eurus Artillery Vehicles he had requisitioned. And with the vehicles came the human crew that would charge their very silly vehicles across the plains of Tassarea, and beyond. He smiled to himself. At last. People he could relate to. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ With yet more wasted resources on the Corruptor-infection cure, CEO Steven Penrith stated quite loudly that if they cannot deliver results next time, there would be figurative rolling heads moving across the figurative floor. Angry about the considerable investment with no return, he gets into a drunken stupor before calling his wife/secretary Sally to comfort him. She proceeds to comfort him for most of the day. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Action Points: 4AP by default. 4 AP through trade. 1AP from population. 2AP from controlled sectors. 1AP from industry. -The Board comes to the sad realisation that, once again, the corporation has to do the hard work and research new weapons themselves. Since the powers-that-be refuse to even share the barest information on what they merely use, the corporation itself will have to develop new weapons from scratch. Just like in the Corruptor War, just like laser-weapons, just like in life, Hephaestus had to do everything itself. The Corporation looks into developing new energy weapons. They stray away from disruptors, as they consider them to be far too expensive, and instead look bigger. The Board chooses to put resources into designing a heavier, high-power energy weapon. Something more suited for vehicles or ships. (-5AP) -More Eurus Artillery Vehicles are manufactured for Tassarea, and sent out post-haste! (-3AP) -'Project: Lemon' (-4AP)
  4. Hephaestus Enterprises Prices SLASHED on Missiles!!! The Hephaestus marketing department advertised the planet Aphrodite as "the most beauteous orb to grace the galaxy." Rond wasn't all that convinced. He had seen a dozen worlds with just as pleasant biospheres. Big subsidiaries were pumping money into a grandiose resort, set on the planet's equatorial beaches. The project's scope was monumental, but the lead subsidiary was dogged in their drive to turn the planet into the ultimate luxury getaway, for only a fraction of the regular price. Rond rubbed his eyes--his own thoughts were beginning to mirror the incessant advertisements played on Hades. He was procrastinating, of course. He desired a little more time before he had to go and face the scientists and engineers working on their newest toy, the "Eurus" artillery vehicle. Having seen some pictures of the Eurus' design, he was not hopeful. With a sigh, he zipped up his fly and marched out of the bathroom. Outside, his two Royal Guard stood stoically on each side of the ‘port-a-potty' door. They were unwilling to leave his side at any point, and it was beginning to make Rond feel paranoid. Could he not be trusted to relieve himself without without injury? Perhaps they feared a Corruptor incursion infiltrating through the toilet bowl, and striking his- "Dad! Dad! Look!" A voice cried, tearing Rond's attention away from his moping. Barely at waist-height, a small human child hopped up and down in front of him frantically pointing with wide eyes and a matching grin. "It's the Red Prince! The Red Prince!" "So it bloody is, little Johnny!" A short, mustachioed human quickly rushed towards Rond with an outstretched hand. "Good to meet you at last, mate!" The human hand-shake was a gesture he was still not used to. Still, he had grasped the basics of it after 'shaking' the hand of everyone he met on Hades. Many executives seemed adamant that a shareholder’s efficacy could be judged solely on their ability to grasp another’s hand. It was hard to argue with them, considering how far the Corporation had come. The short man grasped Rond’s hand and shook it twice with a firm grip. “Penrith’s the name, mate! Steven Penrith! CEO of Hephaestus! Your employer, remember?” A round of laughter from observing shareholders quickly made Rond feel self-conscious. Steven flashed his winning smile to those around before taking a step back. “Come with me, mate! We’ve got a seat in the nicest tent. They’ve got real tea there. Imported! The good stuff! Once we get the recipe down we’ll probably grow our own around here somewhere.” Rond momentarily pondered if tea had ‘recipes’ before following on, flanked by his guards. The testing ground was a vast, emerald valley that stretched hundreds of kilometres around. Pre-fab buildings were erected next to one-another housing scientific equipment, reporters, engineers, and finally a refreshments tent. Three, floral armchairs were arranged on a thick, homely rug beneath a Hephaestus-blue open-air tent. Three butlers with a multitude of refreshments stood by the entrance as Steven, Johnny, Rond, and the two royal guard marched beneath it. “Sit down, mate! Let me tell you about this new project.” Steven dropped into his armchair with a sigh-- momentarily showing his age-- before his smile returned. “See, the engineers reckoned a fast, cheap artillery unit would be damn useful for you boys on the front. A manned one, too! First non-droid weapon to make it into combat. A Hephaestus first! Here, Johnny, lets get you some lunch, hey?” The child hopped up and down on his chair while talking to one of the attending butlers. “Can I have sandwich, please?” Steven folded his arms, and tutted. “Sonny, what did I tell you when talking to the 'help'?” “Don’t say ‘please’ unless you respect them?” “That’s right, matey. ‘Please’ and ‘thank-yous’ are for important clients or big-whigs you don’t want to annoy. Now, what do you say to the server?” Johnny furrowed his little eyebrows and hoisted up his chin proudly. “Grab me a sandwich, would you mate? Cheers.” With a loud laugh, Steven reached over and ruffled the boy’s hair. “That’s my boy! You see that, Rond? A true-blue Aussie, right there. He’ll make one hell of a CEO, I reckon!” Rond pondered what ‘Aussie’ meant. The humans of Hephaestus had far too many colloquialisms to keep up with. He assumed it was praise of some sort. “Will the test begin soon, Mr Penrith? I do not wish to sound rude, but I’d like to return t-” “Yeah yeah, Rond, mate. It’ll be starting soon. First, our tea. Go get us two cups, would you mate? Cheers.” Steven waved away another butler dismissively as he offered synth-wine and a plate of lamingtons. He began squinting off into the distance in thought. “Quite a performance from you on Tassarea, Trazur. You’re good at what you do. Professional. I respect a professionals.” The butler returned with a silver platter, bearing a porcelain teapot and two cups with saucers. “Would have been nice if you told us about your ah…” Steven glanced up at the two royal guards looming nearby warily. “... connections to the Redon leadership. It would’ve made good branding.” Steven watched as the butler poured the black tea slowly, holding the porcelain with a delicate grip. Rond shuffled in his armchair uncomfortably. He’d hoped that the Board would ignore his royal lineage. He especially hoped that the CEO wouldn’t pay any attention to it. He absolutely, especially had hoped he would never have to meet the CEO. Knowing Hephaestus, he could only imagine how far ‘good branding’ would go. They’d probably make toys in his likeness. “What the hell is this garbage?” Rond’s attention snapped back to Steven. The CEO was staring at his cup with a wince. “Christ, it tastes like mud! Where did we get this from?” The butler holding the teapot nervously approached the three. “It originates from the ‘Han Dominion,’ Mr Penrith.” “The Hun Dominion? I thought the Romans killed them. Bah! Nevermind. Throw this piss out and send the rest to Eddy Armathwaite. The pommy bastard will probably love it.” Steven slumped in his armchair and glanced over to Johnny, who stared at him with wide eyes. “Don’t tell your mum that you heard me say that, alright, kiddo?” Rond regarded the two with bemusement. The Hephaestus executives lacked the class and wisdom he had come to expect from the leaders of nations. This was the end result of a corporate state--buffoons paying experts to do the hard work for them. If only he went to Silver Knights instead, he might be part of a dignified fighting force... Then again, they weren't paid as much. An approaching rumble caught everyone’s attention; engineers and researchers rushed past the tent. “I believe the vehicles are approaching, Mr Penrtih.” Stated Rond, dryly. Steven clapped his hands together and wheezed out a short laugh. “Fantastic! Get a load of these little beauties, Rond!” Three of the bizarre Eurus vehicles barrelled past the tents and buildings at high speeds, while the employees frantically scribbled down notes and chattered excitedly to one another. The vehicles slowed and trundled back and lined themselves up before the tent. Hatches on top of the central compartments opened, and three pilots stuck their heads out to answer questions from the engineers. The systems would need to be scrutinised heavily before the Eurus would be allowed on a battlefield. They were designed to avoid combat with Corruptors with superior speed, then launch barrages of rockets towards enemy emplacements when safely out of range. It looked utterly ridiculous. How hard would it have been to add two extra wheels? Then it could at least move with dignity. The designers (from a civilian transport company, no less) maintained that two wheels lead to less traction on the ground, and therefore higher speeds. Rond was no physicist, but he questioned this assertion heavily. “Oi!” Steven waved towards the people flocking around the Eurus’, grumbling audibly the whole time. “Get to the live-fire test, already!” Steven turned to Rond with a sly smile. “Check this out, ‘Red Prince.’ It’s like fireworks.” The scientists and engineers scurried away while the pilots shouted commands and dropped down into their hatches. As the missile pods swivelled to the north, Steven began to rant. “You know how much those missile cost? ******* twenty-five credits a pop! We could fill up a whole freighter with the things and it wouldn’t even match a miner’s annual salary!” Some shouts from the researchers heralded the fire-test. With a hissing, deafening roar, ninety rockets thundered from their launcher-tubes off into the near distance. Great plumes of explosive fire erupted around a far-off patch of shrubs and trees. Native creatures scattered away from the noise, and black smoke wafted up from the charred ground. Rond imagined the corruptors burning in the fire of a single, three-hundred missile barrage. He imagined how many of his men might have lived on Tassarea, had he artillery support. Suddenly, he didn’t mind the vehicle’s appearance any more. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Action Points: 4AP by default, 4AP from trade 2AP from planets 1AP from population 1AP from Industry -With the approval of Rond Trazur the Eurus Mobile Artillery Vehicle is put into production. Along with a stockpile of missiles, Rond and his retinue would go with the vehicles and their crews back to Tassaran space. (-3AP) -Out of frustration, the Board grasps a hefty portion of their yearly budget, and throws it into one last attempt in finding a treatment for the Corruptor infection. At the very least, they seek a way to stop 'corruption,' rather than revert it. (-4AP) -"Project: Lemon" (-5AP)
  5. Hephaestus Enterprises Book Your Ticket to Aphrodite Today! To understand the method by which Hephaestus Enterprises created its war-machines would require a person to understand a bit of their history. Hephaestus once had a small number of military subsidiaries absorbed from its purchased nations on Earth. They weren't nearly comparable to the weapons industries that other countries brought to bare, but being amateurish hadn't stopped the Corporation before. Seeing markets to exploit in Europe they made a large (and risky) investment on the sub-continent, but found themselves outclassed and out-competed by older, established industries. Sales were very low, and the losses were near total. The subsidiaries were liquidated just before the Sun Announcement, and no weapons manufacturers made it to Hades. Therefore the Corporation let anyone offer designs. Everyone was an amateur, now. When the Board offered cash-prizes and manufacturing deals for good designs, many subsidiaries threw their hat in the ring. There were three things Hephaestus was looking for in an artillery weapon. One, speed—after seeing the Corruptor stealth-units exterminate the elite Silver Knights Special Forces, the Corporation did not want to risk fixed artillery. Two, simplicity—the corporation was not willing to waste money on war materials they couldn’t quickly replace. Expensive itoron shells were not an option. Three, coverage—the hordes of Corruptors would require a significant blast-radius. Accuracy was not important, only consistent, unrelenting fire. An up-and-coming transportation company brought the most bizarre design imaginable to the table. The “Eurus” Mobile Rocket Artillery Vehicle; a two-wheeled, missile-armed, strangely-proportioned war-machine. It certainly stood out, if nothing else. Armed with thirty rocket-pods and a forward-mounted, twin-linked Ares II Heavy Laser, it had projected speeds of up to 120 kilometres-per-hour. Its unusual wheel-angling system would theoretically allow it easier movement on multiple forms of terrain, while not necessitating tank-tracks. Its main weapon seemed almost like a relic—conventional, unguided, high-explosive missiles, aimed manually by human pilots. The missiles themselves were cheap though, and launched en masse. Prototyping and testing aside, the Board decided to take a chance. ------------------------------------------------------------------ The continuing presence of the Karass fleet in Corruptor space is met with a resounding silence from the Corporation. The Board does not appear to acknowledge their involvement at all, even when asked directly. All the Board members appear interested in is completing their contract with the Tassarans. Why they prefer to be silent on the subject is yet to be seen. Little Johnny Penrith turns five years old, and Steven is noticeably less involved in corporate affairs. He leaves his top three confidants to make the knitty-gritty decisions of Hephaestus. He seems to be interested in the development of his surprise son, and gives him a thorough business education. He takes him to see the very smallest of factories and micro-subsidiaries on Hades, and even lets him make his own little synth-lemonade stand on a street corner outside of Central Administration building (much to the cooing admiration of shareholders). The new colony ship is docked while seats are bid on by prospective colonists. This newest planet (named 'Aphrodite') is different from the last two, as it is the first planet claimed by the Corporation with a breathable biosphere. The mostly ignored agricultural subsidiaries rush to get a foothold on the new world. Among them is tourism-mogul Milly Price, clearly prepared for a grand project that has been in the works for some time. -------------------------------------------------------------------- Action Points 4AP by default, 4AP through trade, 1AP through systems controlled, 1AP from population, 1AP from industry. -Despite the war taking a turn against the Corruptors, Hephaestus stays true to their contract and continues the construction of Tithonus droids. Just as always they march into their containers to be shipped off to the front. (-2AP) -The Alastor droids are constructed in concert with the Tithonus, and shipped off with their peers. (-3AP) -The “Eurus” Mobile Rocket Artillery design is given over to the engineers for prototyping. Tests and further tweaks will occur before it’s put into any sort of production. (-3AP) -“Project: Lemon” (-3AP)
  6. Hephaestus Enterprises All SATO-Related Merchandise MUST GO!! Seriously. It MUST go. Just outside the Grand Cairo Casino, a throng of reporters had gathered. CEO Steven Penrith had been called upon to make a statement to the Hephaestus shareholders in order to calm investors and the trembling stock-market. Who was attacking what? Why were they being attacked? How? When?! Finally, the CEO walked out of the casino; with his account Phillip lumbering behind him. With his jovial laugh and wide grin, the shareholders immediately felt at ease. Steven paused for a photo opportunity in front of his podium, shooting finger-guns at the cameras—if Steve wasn’t worried, why should anyone else be? “G’day, everyone,” he began. He leaned himself casually on the podium, giving a playful wink to a camera. “How are you all? I’m doing pretty alright, myself. Well, I mean...” Steven leaned away from the microphone to perform a sarcastic wince. “... I am a little sad, you know? Someone’s got to feel bad for our competitors, after all!” The crowd erupted in hearty laughter. Steven still had his larrikin sense of humour, at least. “Nah nah. I’m just playing. There was a bit of a tussle between some of the human colonies. Namely involving a number of our associates in SATO, and a few wayward colonies near the outer-rim of the galaxy.” Steven adjusted his tie and grinned, though clearly he was more nervous than before. “Seems that ah, due to complications and a lot of backroom negotiations SATO is now officially disbanded.” A stunned silence blanketed the crowd. The veteran salesman picked up on this as his sharp eyes scanned the people, and spun his message before the first bewildered shout could be made. “But, hey! Out with the old, and in with the new, right? We and our ah, mates, at Silver Knights have come up with the ultimate branding deal! A way to show the galaxy that Hephaestus is still the most equitable place for deals! A way to make non-aggression marketable! Today, I’m declaring the creation of the business-friendly economic and defence partnership!” “The Free Economic Zone!” “FEZ!” The crowd collectively tapped their chins in thought. Snappy acronym. Good branding. Good PR. A round of polite, appeased applause reverberated throughout the gathered people. “Yeah yeah. So ah, in short, SATO’s dead, FEZ is here, and ah... ... yep. That’s it. Have a good one, folks!” Steven gave some more winning smiles and finger-guns, before retreating back into the casino. Phillip Narau calmly walked up to the microphone, and in his deep monotone stated; “No further questions.” He then quickly followed his employer into the luxurious hotel. Some shareholders were left a little confused. They had been with SATO for nearly twenty years, and the alliance had kept them safe from all comers. Now they were in a very big galaxy, and all alone as well. Maybe they could... Actually, they were behind on work. Who cares? They had their own problems. SATO? FEZ? What was the difference? It was someone else’s problem now, and they had places to be. And so, with neither great misery or joy, SATO died in the hearts of Hephaestus. And business went on as always. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The Protocols of F.E.Z. (Free Economic Zone) Within the mountains of corporate jargon, a reader can translate the following points with a dictionary, an advanced economics textbook, and a copy of The Fountainhead. 1. The free market must never be constrained by government regulators. Doing so bars membership. 2. The non-aggression principle will be observed towards both members and non-members (unless hostilities are inevitable, or a very good price is offered). 3. Members will not interfere with the governments/executive boards of members or non-members. 4. Assured mutual defence in times of war. 5. All members must co-operate together to assure that public relations (PR) of the Free Economic Zone are not ruined by individual actions. Invitation and acceptance into the Free Economic Zone is judged on a case-by-case basis. Current Members: -Silver Knights -Hephaestus Enterprises --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The entirety of Hephaestus is absolutely shocked to learn that Rond Trazur is not only an experienced commander, but an actual member of the Redon royal family (his distance from the throne tastefully ignored). He and his retinue are brought back to Hades for special R&R. They receive the finest accommodations and services that any heroes could hope for. Entertainment fit for anyone’s taste was lumped on them in droves. Shareholders flocked to them like celebrities--especially Rond, which popular media referred to as the “Red Prince.” Whether or not Rond appreciated the attention was up for debate, as he was mostly preoccupied with recovering from his grievous wounds. Nevertheless, Hephaestus showed its appreciation duly, and sincerely. Hephaestus announces yet another design contest for an “artillery weapon” to support the growing droid-army. The experiences on Tassarea showed how useful long-range fighting could be against the horde. There would always be a need for conventional arms and, since “Project: Lemon” might be concluded quite quickly, they would have more that enough time for such things. A new frigate was delivered to Hades, with the Solarin skeleton crew departing on a transport freighter. A crew of trained Hephaestus naval rates took up positions on the vessel. They were uncomfortable with many of the unfamiliar systems, but they had plenty of time to learn. A few, awkward bumps against the space station were somewhat embarrassing for the crew, but at least it kept the observers entertained. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ AP Values: By Default: 4 Systems Controlled: 1 Population: 1 Trade Agreements: 4 -Due to most human spaceports being full of orders (or destroyed) Hephaestus begrudgingly begins construction on a colonial freighter. A company just cannot find good help these days. (-4AP) -The mines of Grand Ares are expanded further with little care given to waste management and the planet’s surface. (-2AP) -More Tithonus Droids are rolled off the assembly line, and marched onward to their inevitable deaths. (-2AP) -More Alastor Droids are rolled off the assembly line to support the Tithonus droids marching to their inevitable deaths. (-2AP) -The small freighter Grgl Gondola is sent out to survey outlying, unoccupied planets near the Hades system. This time they’re looking for any kind of world--A barren one like Hades or Grand Ares, a tropical one like that bear-planet (which Hephaestus decided not to bother dealing with) or a temperate, earth-like world. Just anything at all, really. Frustration was setting into the crew of the vessel, and it was high-time something was done about it! (-0AP) -Analysts are tasked with looking into information on varying energy weapons in use by advanced nations. In order to diversify Hephaestus armaments, they're looking specifically for energy weapons capable of creating an explosive effect, or something close.
  7. Hephaestus Enterprises What's the Secret to our Success? Find Out More in the Official "HE Business News!" The Life and Times of a Hephaestus Droid You are a rock. A part of your planet’s crust--a simple piece of iron amongst a great shelf of other metals. Simple, and un-moving for billions of years following the formation of your world. Great shakes, and shafts of searing light puncture the earth where you lay. There is no escape. Capitalism is coming for you, and your destiny is at hand. Huge, pneumatic shovels rip away your blanket of dirt, and you see your first miner. He smiles greedily upon seeing you. He will profit from your rocky flesh. A great tube is aimed towards you, and the burning heat of a laser melts your stone housing--dividing you into smaller pieces. Whether by hand, or with great mechanical shovels you are thrown into the cargo-holds of terrestrial flyers. You are flown at high speeds, far away from your mother mine to a great structure in the distance. There, many other transporters like yours dock for the same purpose. You enter the airlock of the structure (your world was not blessed with an atmosphere) where more sentients rush about with waivers, documents, equipment, and data-pads. No-one even looks your way as the cargo-flyer drops you and many other ores upon a great conveyor belt. Along your path, great mechanical arms scan you for your mineral composition, and less useful rocks are tossed aside. One of the great arms hovers above briefly, but you remain untouched. You trundle forward on the conveyor until you are dropped unceremoniously into a great freighter. When the doors screech shut, you are left in darkness. Much time passes. You feel sensations no rock ever should; warp-space, speeds never meant to be travelled, and the light of another world. The freighter empties its bowels of minerals upon yet another conveyor. All around you are smokestacks and factories, belching out fumes and smoke into the ether--another atmosphere-less planet. Such a waste. The heat of the steel-mill is intense, so much that the sentients within wear protective clothing. Throughout the building the hostile, fiery glows of molten iron tease of your ultimate fate. The conveyor ends, and beneath you is a terrifying pit of fire. You fall into it’s searing embrace and feel the impurities burn away, while the all-important iron melts into a glowing sea. You are super-heated, and poured into casts. You cool, and are heated a second time to be rolled into great slabs of steel. The workers smile at your final form greedily. They will make a handsome profit from your purified form. The steel plates are placed into new transports and flown through the great pillars of briney smoke. A manufacturing plant at the centre of many steel mills and factories churns out the blackest, foulest fumes of all--your destination. You and the rest of the steel are tossed upon a final conveyor belt. Mechanics slice you apart with drills, and heat you for a third time. With mechanical hammers you are shaped into parts resembling arms, legs, and heads. Your new body is pieced together from many different metals. Steel, aluminium, copper, and even a little gold. The servos and xylorite cells powering your new form rev and turn for the first time. Your new brain is installed. It tells you to listen, detect, and shoot. It also tells you to obey. The conveyor ends with a great room, bristling with laser-weapons and sentients. After a preliminary inspection, and making rudimentary checks on movement and tracking systems, they begin grafting a short laser rifle to your empty arm. You will be deadly, no doubt. Your servos power up properly for the first time. You hear the order from a man on a console nearby. March. Up above, on the gangway, several happy, smiling businessmen laugh and light cigars. They watch as you walk yourself into a container with others of your kind. They will make a grand profit from a war-machine such as you. The doors to the container are sealed, and blackness envelops. The sensation of warp-travel returns. You are meant for this, now. You are a Tithonus war-droid. You will bring death and destruction to ‘designation_corruptor’ species. Your visualisers know what they look like. Your weapon knows what power output is necessary to kill them. Your tactical interface knows what cover is best to hide behind. Anything else important will be handled by sentients. The blackness ends. Your sensors detect seismic disturbances nearby. Explosions. Shooting. Battle. A sentient sits in front of a simple, battered console. You and the others receive your first order. March, take cover, hold. Your leg servos groan into movement, and with the whirring of your electric limbs you sprint at the fastest operational speed towards the directed location. You run past the rubble of ruined buildings. Irrelevant to your operational parameters. You run past corpses of corruptors and sentients. Irrelevant to your operational parameters. You run past piles of corruptors, decomposing or still twitching. Irrelevant to your operational parameters. You arrive. Your tactical interface identifies many appropriate places for cover. You move into position behind a ruined vehicle while hundreds of your comrades spread out around other sturdy refuse. Your sensors detect sentients running towards you. Designation_friendly. Your weapon is aimed elsewhere. Many of them appear to have sustained damage. The sentients disappear down the path you entered from--they don’t spare you a glance. Sensors spike again. Significant group of designation_corruptor approaching. Your weapon adjusts its power-outage to compensate for the range. Your visualisers scan for movement among the buildings. The enemy appears. They do not attempt to hide or take cover. Droids blend in with the twisted metal and concrete of the landscape. They arrive within range, scuttling quickly on their many legs. Your visualisers identify the surest target--the information is relayed to the tactical interface, and then to your weapon. A fizzing, flash of light erupts from the end of your rifle and a corruptor falls to the ground, screeching. A second shot, and it is silenced. You detect energy bursts from your comrades. Many hostiles are approaching firing range. You identify another target moving over a shattered wall, and you fire. It crumples into a mass of burning flesh and boiling blood. Your third target is much closer. You fire, but it rushes to your right. Your burst burns off one of its legs. An angry hiss heralds its arrival behind your cover. The tactical interface instructs your servos to sharply angle your torso by 30 degrees. The corruptor’s strike scrapes across your chassis, but the damage sustained is minimal. Your weapon discharges twice into the creature, and it drops to the ground blacked, and writhing in pain. Sensors detect more movement, but as you pivot your weapon towards another target, the creature barrels into you. You fall on your back and your weapon is pinned down by the creature’s legs. Visualisers observe as the corruptor tears the head from your body. Visuals are disrupted. Sensors soon follow. The tactical interface hasn’t enough information to proceed with combat directives. Critical damage is detected in your chest, and electricity begins to ebb from all systems. The interface deactivates due to lack of power, and weapon systems are nonfunctional due to a lack of targeting data. The sounds of laser bursts can still be detected by audio before you shut down. Did you win? It doesn't matter. Your destiny is fulfilled. An excellent effort, for a rock. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The office of Steven Penrith, CEO of Hephaestus Enterprises, was silent. This was not in itself unusual, but it was extremely unusual when the office had three occupants. In the glamorously decorated space, Steven, Milly Price, and Jason Woolard sat around the great, mahogany desk, and gazed at reports from the Tassaran front. Each one of them had a whiskey in their hand, and each one was looking particularly morose. A hundred-million dead Tassarans. Direct attacks on Grgl systems. The war had seemed so far away, but now it was starting to drift uncomfortably close. Too close for anyone on the Board. “Maybe…” Jason mumbled, his chins jiggling with disconcert, “...maybe we could strike a deal with the corruptors?” “For the last time, Woolard, they don’t do diplomacy. Do they even have markets? Systems of worth?! Private enterprise at all?!!” snapped Milly. Of the three, she was clearly the most distraught. The thought of xenos that could change humans into monsters was something that kept her awake at night. “But how do they buy things if they don’t have deals? I’m just not following!” the rotund Mr Woolard howled. His frustrated gestures nearly knocked over his whiskey glass, but the owner was clearly not paying attention. Steven stared at the reports, quietly drumming his fingers along his desk. He remained motionless. Never had the CEO felt so powerless. The hulking mass of territory that the corruptors controlled, and the slowly shrinking sliver of territory the Tassarans were holding seemed insurmountable. He owned a big corporation. But what could a corporation do against that behemoth? The Solarin Federation and Imperial Republic were steadfast in trying to fight them conventionally. But even with all the tank-bots and powered combat-suits available to them, did they have even the slightest ghost of a chance at making a difference? Could 200,000 droids even give the mildest bit of aid? Steven wasn’t confident. The door to the office opened, and Phillip Narau, super-accountant, walked calmly inside. With a data-pad under his arm, the very slightest of smiles played across his lips. For Phillip, he may as well have been grinning maniacally, based on the amount of emotion he usually showed. “Good afternoon, everyone. I take it you’ve all seen the report? Relatively unfortunate, given our stake in the situation.” The hulking Maori pulled a chair towards the desk, and planted himself lightly upon it. “I believe I have a possible solution that may turn things more to our favour.” Steven furrowed his brow, but with a resigned gesture, he indicated Phillip to continue. “I have been communicating with our ‘friends’ at Silver Knights. And we agree on possible remedy to these incursions. Provided we’re willing to perform actions that some might call…” He paused briefly, searching for a word. “... unethical.” Steven carefully pushed his whiskey-glass aside, and exhaled sharply. “There’s no such thing as ‘ethics.’ Only PR, and results.” And with that, a morbid decision was made, and “Project: Lemon” was born. Action Points -More Tithonus Droids are produced and sent off to the Tassaran front to die in place of living soldiers. (-3AP) -More Alastor Droids are produced and sent off to the Tassaran front under the command of Rond Trazur. (-3AP) -Project: Lemon (-3AP) [MOD PLZ] -On a long, dull night in Laboratory Complex A, a scientist researching the Corruptor cadavers becomes intensely frustrated and in response becomes intensely drunk. He writes a long, rambling message intended for the Protorian Archiver, asking if there are any secret goodies in his archives about the corruptors, their genetics, a way to kill them, or a way to nullify their mutation effect. He also rants about his sex life for a few paragraphs, his wife not being as attractive as she used to, and how his co-worker, Brian Matthews, never shuts up about his holiday-condo in Habi-dome H-19. The rest is illegible, drunken rambling, but the message has all the official regalia of Hephaestus Enterprises, so it goes through un-vetted. (-0AP) Stats
  8. You misunderstand. When I said "users of the old" I refer to (for example) players who currently use arcane magic should not be allowed to write for a new one. They already have ideas about what arcane is like, and they will be biased towards it being a certain way. If you think that I meant for the lore-team to write it, from personal experience I would say it'd be faster to have Urasept do it. Let a druid re-write arcane. Let a shaman do necromancy. Send the lore to hell and back and mix up the whole system. If it's done all at once, it can be themed, and not be left-over detritus from a group of dummies in Aegis throwing fireballs at one-another. And after it's done, don't touch it again.
  9. If it's remade, yes. They should not.
  10. The magics lack theme. It's all unfocused and bloated, yet somehow at the same time it lacks depth. Each magic (especially arcane) is a cobbled-together mess of different ideas and perspectives on what "magic" is supposed to be, then balanced against the others. It'd be like trying to balance the magic of the Harry Potter series against the magic of The Witcher series. It needs to be thrown out, and rebuilt from the bottom up. Preferably without users of the old having a say in the new.
  11. Hephaestus Enterprises Prices down? They've never been up! Zeus, the sun that the planet of Hades orbited, was a deep, golden hue. Being just over 700,000 kilometres in diameter, it was comparable to the sun of old Earth (Before it expanding into its current form, at least). This sun put out approximately 1,300 watts-per-square-meter of sunlight. On old Earth, this light would be abated somewhat by the atmosphere, knocking it down to a little under 1,000 watts-per-square-meter. Since the planet Hades had no atmosphere to speak of, every watt of light made their way to the planet's soil. Including the window of CEO Steven Penrith's office, where the occupant was currently recovering from an enormous hangover. Sitting in his large, leather chair, Steven shuddered after another fit of coughs. He often drank, but he had never been hit with alcohol as brutal as the Redon's 'Tryxar.' A mouthful had floored him. Courtesy of The Redon himself, Steven had a number of cases of the unholy drink down in "The Box." He was praying that his guest wouldn't come back, so he would not be obliged to drink any more. The sensation of the alien brew felt like literal fire sliding down his throat, and now his voice came out in hoarse rasps. He slowly massaged his temples and groaned as Phillip, resident super-accountant, entered his office flanked by Milly Price and Jason Woolard. Today was going to be a busy one, no doubt. "Lets just get this over with quickly. Not really in the mood for a chin-wag this morning. My head feels like it's being made into grgl-goop." Phillip cleared his throat quietly. "We understand, Mr Penrith, but we need to talk about our manufacturing goals. We're looking into furthering our production capabilties for the droids a..." Steven waved the comment away, and sunk his head into his hands. "No no no. I don't care. Whatever. Manufacture the things. I SAID you could do that. PLEASE go away, now." With Phillip being left slightly confused, Jason wobbled closer to the desk. "Hey uh, what about m-..." "Do it. Don't care." In a fit of frustration, Milly pushed in front of Jason, and placed both her hands on the desk. "What about the next colony, Steve? Are we going to look for a habitable planet like I want, or are we going to m-" Steven dropped his head down on the table and groaned loudly. "Yes! No! Who gives a ****?! Get the **** out of my office you bloody troglodytes!" The trio stared, stunned, at their employer's outburst, but remained silent. "Do what you need to do! Christ, are you people incapable of personal agency?! No-one's stopping you!" The three visitors glanced at one-another blankly, before looking back to the surly CEO. "You are giving us permission to go forward?" Probed Phillip gently. "Yes! Go! Piss off! No meetings. Cancel all meetings." With a grumble, he pulled himself out of his chair and crawled under his desk. As he curled up into a ball, his three employees were rushing towards the doorway. Steven had technically approved their plans, and they were going to capitalise on them immediately. Jason Woolard heaved himself as fast as his undulating mass would allow. He needed to get back to Grand Ares in order to begin his massive excavation expansion. Milly Price was smashing the 'call' button to her driver--a new expedition was required in order to find a planet for her "Tourist/agriculture paradise." Phillip however walked at a more even pace. Once he reached the industrial district, he'd fire up the smelters and forge thousands more combat droids. All for the Tassarans to sacrifice with abandon. And all three of them smiled in the way only capitalists could--when marching toward unprecedented profit. Action Points -The Tithonus Mk Is are produced by the freighter-full. They are produced in such numbers that the fabrication process becomes easier--almost as if the machinery itself is adapting to the design and production methods. More and more droids march themselves off the production line and into their crates. Ready to be thrown into the grinder at a moment's notice. (-2AP) -The first of the Itoron-forged Alastor Mk I droids are put into production. Much like their Tithonus cousins, they're build, armed, tested for flaws, then marched into their delivery crates. The engineers waited with baited breath to learn how their melee-focused murder-bot would function in combat. These droids, once delivered, would be put under the command of Rond Trazur and a small team of accompanying lieutenants. With the permission of the Tassaran government, they hoped to test them on the front lines, if possible. (-3AP) The small grgl freighter is sent on yet another scouting mission. They're ordered to search for habitable planets 'south' of Hades, as well as useful resources. They're especially interested in planets with tropical environments. (-0AP) Planets: -Hades (Capital) -Grand Ares Population: 214,500 Humans, 15,500 Grgl, 12,500 Tassareans, 6,500 Human-Tassareans, 3,500 Libellans, 3,500 Redons, 2,500 Backhatta, 1,500 Human-Redons, 21,500 Galaron Hephaestus Enforcers: 15,000 troopers, after voluntary sign-ups. Volunteers increased dramatically, due to the frightening events going on in the galaxy. Fleet: One drive-less colony ship, sitting idle. One small, Grgl-made freighter. One big, Tassaran-made freighter. Spaceports: Tier 2 Accumulation List Mining: 10AP Manufacturing: 13AP Advertising and Market Research: 11AP Reverse-Engineering: 3AP Technology -Laser weaponry (40% Higher damage variant) -Warp-drive technology (Gifted unto them by the Terran Federation) -Quantum Communications Technology (Via trade with Terran Federation) -Xylorite Energy Generators (Via trade with Terran Federation) -Xylorite energy cells -Artificial Gravity technology (Via trade with The Remnants) -Itoron-Steel alloys -Mk I Hunter/Mark II Hunter combat bots. -Tithonus Mk I/Alastor Mk I combat droids.
  12. Well, considering that ancient elves lived in forests there probably wouldn't be any words for "ice fishing." For the snow elves, you could call them "fishermen, fishing, and fish."
  13. I'm not really sure why that is a reason to expand it in any way. Words do not create ideologies, religions, or governments. Just use English. The wood elves call their main man a 'Prince.' The High Elves have called their governments a heap of different things. Be creative with what's there, or just use English. Honestly, the second option is far simpler for everyone involved. Trust me.
  14. Hephaestus Enterprises All Stock Must GO!! The factory masters salivate at another enormous order. Once again, most of Hades' factory complexes are requisitioned for the Corporation's newest manufacturing objective. The vast steelworks pulse with searing-hot, molten iron as chassis and armour are quickly and efficiently fabricated. The droid's computational matrices are delivered by the crate-full--quickly being installed into the cheap war-machines by automated systems. Conveyor-belts drag the finished droid towards the weapon's installation chamber, where factory employees oversaw the specially-built (and booby-trapped) Ares II grafted into place. At the end of the process, the droid themselves are instructed to enter large shipping-crates and then deactivate. They were ready to be sent to the front line as the manufactured meat-shields that they were. Their effectiveness would be proven on the battlefield. If not, then at least there'd be plenty more to come. Since there was now extra time, the engineers looks again to the Alastor Mk I. Though they liked the design and the cost-effective nature of it, they noticed that they were utilising far too much steel in the process. Why not simply make the armour out of Itoron-steel alloys, and dedicate the excess materials to the Tithonus'? Since they have such a large source of Itoron from Grand Ares, they could possibly speed up the process of manufacturing the Alastor hulls when they were not required to be as thick and heavy as a pure steel alloy. Hopefully, this would not set back their production speeds too drastically. The data sent from the Tassarans indicated the large melee focus of the corruptors. This brutal 'bot would hopefully be a godsend. The scientists and Hephaestus Enforcers were pleased that only specific parts of the corruptors contained the dangerous mutagen. Samples of the foul substance are isolated in specific wet-labs for later testing. Now they had isolated the cause, and had a reasonable understanding of corruptor biology, the scientists are ordered to work on a vaccine that could nullify the mutation process. If they could find a way to stop the mutation before the patient was fully 'corrupted,' captured soldiers could be saved. Once again, this would ensure fewer recruits and insurgents for the enemy. Action Points -The production of the Tithonus' class droids begins in earnest. (-2AP) -The Alastor designs are refined, utilising itoron-steel alloys for their hard, outer-shells. (-2AP) -Work on a mutagen-nullifying vaccine is ordered by the Board. The focus is to stop the mutation process, rather than reverse it. (-1AP) -Rond Trazur, commander of the newly-named "Hephaestus Corporate Expeditionary Force" is trained in droid-control, their capabilities, and specs. He is sent with the first batch of Tithonus as an adviser and trainer for the Tassarans. -Hephaestus informs the Tassarans that, instead of currency or other raw materials, they could pay for the droids with freighters. Quality, size, and the age of the vessels are deemed irrelevant. (-0AP) -Hephaestus Reps seek to purchase private businesses and land in the Auroran Technocracy. As much as they can. Planets: -Hades (Capital) -Grand Ares Population: 206,500 Humans, 14,000 Grgl, 10,000 Tassareans, 6,000 Human-Tassareans, 3,000 Libellans, 3,000 Redons, 2,000 Backhatta, 1,250 Human-Redons, 19,000 Galaron Hephaestus Enforcers: 15,000 troopers, after voluntary sign-ups. Volunteers increased dramatically, due to the frightening events going on in the galaxy. Fleet: One drive-less colony ship, sitting idle. One small, Grgl-made freighter. Spaceports: Tier 2 Accumulation List Mining: 10AP Manufacturing: 13AP Advertising and Market Research: 11AP Reverse-Engineering: 3AP Technology -Laser weaponry (40% Higher damage variant) -Warp-drive technology (Gifted unto them by the Terran Federation) -Quantum Communications Technology (Via trade with Terran Federation) -Xylorite Energy Generators (Via trade with Terran Federation) -Xylorite energy cells -Artificial Gravity technology (Via trade with The Remnants) -Itoron-Steel alloys -Mk I Hunter/Mark II Hunter combat bots. -Tithonus Mk I combat droids.
  15. Hephaestus Enterprises Building Better 'Bots! The imposing, steel obelisk of the Hephaestus Administration Centre had a habit of inspiring awe into those travelling towards it. The main building was one of the first constructed from scratch. It had almost no features, aside from a neon blue, glowing "H" grafted on each of it's four sides. Everything else was grey steel and glass. Only when an observer was closer could they see the myriad of smaller buildings that sprouted up like weeds at it's base. Markets, landing pads, trade-hubs, and warehouses were all arranged chaotically around the tower. Freighters from dozens of planets came and went, delivering the wealth of kingdoms and leaving with all manner of strange Hephaestus-built utilities. A Grgl vessel brimming with microwaves passed over the top of Rond Trazur's luxury transport, and he gazed at it curiously. He had entered the bustling epicentre of the Corporation. His destination was a landing zone just in front of the obelisk where numerous other transports were parked. Exiting first, the pilot opened the door for the hulking Redon. Rond inclined his head politely and marched briskly towards the main entrance. The driver had good PR. He'd go far with his work ethic. Rond cursed himself for thinking such a thing automatically. The planet's incessant marketing was getting to him. The entrance hall of the tower was enormous, and terribly quiet. Compared to the roaring of freighter-engines and buzzing transports outside, there were only the faintest whispers from gathered executives huddling in groups. No doubt plotting their next purchases and contracts. It reminded him of the royal courts back home. Rond Trazur, unknown to his employers, was of royal blood. Unfortunately he was so far down the family tree that he'd never received any attention from his higher cousins. As the youngest in his family, the death of his mother left him bereft of inheritance or titles. Though he made attempts to build a reputation in the military, he was always overshadowed by other members of his estranged family, and often passed over for promotions. Frustrated, he chose to make a name for himself abroad--which was the point he stumbled on advertisements from the alien Hephaestus Corporation. Refusing to deal with his lineage any longer, he scrubbed his royal House from his name, and travelled to Hades as the simple veteran Rond Trazur. His experience gave him considerable weight, as the Corporation was desperately seeking to retrain it's security forces to a more conventional standard. He and a number of Galaron expats drilled the humans hard, and he made fast friends among both the troops and officers. Though the corporation seemed somewhat slimy at times, he couldn't deny that they treated their employees fairly. That, and they paid well. At the beginning he was embarrassed to wear the odd uniforms and handle their clunky weapons. But over time he was won over by the sheer tenaciousness of their society. Each shareholder was their own. An almost obsessive individuality permeated the planet's culture and business practices. He was quite fond of the place--even the cheesy advertisements and rhetoric were strangely soothing. His reminiscing was broken as an aid grasped his attention. She guided him towards an elevator on the farthest side of the hall towards a number of ornate-looking elevators. Today he'd be meeting with a Board Member, though he little idea why. Perhaps it was a performance evaluation? Though many on Hades considered him a hero for his part in "The Battle of Hab-06," the Board was silent about the situation. The losses he had accrued were nothing to be ignored. When an employee could not break even, then the employee was marked for termination. No exceptions. After a long ascent, Rond arrived in a sparse waiting room. Upon seeing him, a secretary gestured the Redon towards a set of double doors. Behind which he heard loud bouts of wheezing laughter. "... I tell you, Phil! I tell you! The fattest veins of ore you've ever seen! So this Backhatta feller says to Reggie--you know Reggie, right?" "No, Jason." "Well he says to Reggie 'Hey boss, what if there's gas under the deposits? How do we tell?' So Reggie says to the Backhatta feller 'don't worry about the gas down there, just worry about the gas up here!' And he rips the loudest fart you ever heard! Everyone on the local comms could hear it! Even some of the freighters could get an earful! What a bloody riot!" Jason Woolard. Mining Magnate. He had a talent for organising mines and scouting ore deposits, and utterly talentless at everything else. Including humour apparently. Currently he was laughing himself to tears in front of the expressionless Board member "Phil." Rond didn't recognise him. He wasn't sure he'd ever seen him on any broadcast or advertisement. His facial tattoos and surprising size were quite difficult to forget. "We were talking about the accident, Jason." Phillip quietly placed his hands neatly in front of himself and spoke with quiet authority. "How many deaths?" "Oh uh, about eight. Two Backhatta, Reggie, and six other blokes. Gas explosion. Bloody horrible. That's what happens when small outfits try to cut costs, I guess." Jason shrugged. "Nine." "Hey?" "Never mind. I have another meeting scheduled. Drop your prices on detection equipment and compensate the families adequately. We don't need any more bad PR from this situation." "Oh yeah yeah, sure. See you later, Phil mate!" Jason pulled himself out of his chair, and hefted his gratuitous size over to the elevator. Rond noted that he seemed almost to be a caricature of Hephaestus itself. Standing up from his plain, steel desk, Phillip Narau, Super-accountant, gestured to to a chair in front of himself. "Please sit, Mr Trazur. Thank you for coming." Rond sat sat himself down after a curt bow, and cleared his throat. "If this is about my performance at Hab-06, I demand that all information I outlined be brought to bear. We had no intel on the hostile warriors, nor did we know of their weapons and numbers. Were I not present, it would have turned to a slaughter, and the entirety of Hab-06 would likely need to be purged." The sudden outburst from Rond made Phillip's left eyebrow rise slightly. "According to your report you also lost your composure before the altercation. Please restrain yourself, Mr Trazur. I want to discuss a future performance. Also involving the corruptors." Rond's surprise was rather self-evident, but Phillip continued before he could answer. "The Corporation is looking into more cost-effective methods of dealing with these creatures. We have research into their biology currently ongoing, however we also wish to invest in a non-organic fighting force in order to deny them new recruits. We desire both your experience in fighting them, and your ability as a commander to utilise them in combat." They wanted to give him an army tailored to himself? "Why me?" Phillip stared at the Redon for a moment, and then answered, "I do not answer stupid questions, Mr Trazur. Hephaestus was a place of opportunity. A place where even the smallest of fish could grow strong and thrive. Just a few years ago, Rond barely had an achievement to his name. And now he was going to command an army. He wondered if his mother would be proud. Action Points -The engineers are given the schematics for the Terran Federation's 'Hunter' robot variants. They look at the 'bots themselves, their AI, their weapon capacity, their damage, and they all think the same thing-- How do we make these cheaper? The engineers begin to work on stripping out unnecessary components, processing power, armour, and payload. Using the Terran designs as a base, they start adding efficient, mass-produced mechanisms and processors. The droid would not be immensely clever, but it still had reasonable combat subroutines and manoeuvrability. The design was referred to as the "Tithonus Mk. I." Armed with a shortened version of the Ares II, the droid would screen allied soldiers from direct corruptor attacks. The weapon would be attached to the droid's arm. Small, localised explosives would be placed inside the weapon and the main processor. Without an encrypted signal from a commander these explosives would detonate should someone attempt to fiddle with them. Accompanying this design would be a second, 'spideryer' variant named the Alastor Mk I. Much like the Tithonus Mk I, it would be designed to be cheap and produced in mass quantities. It wouldn't be terribly clever, but it would have considerably thicker armour than the Tithonus'. Armed with powerful hydraulic claws and a heavier, nose-mounted variant of the Ares II, it would be designed to both detect and maul the corruptors in melee before the monsters had a chance to close on biological soldiers. It too would have its weapon and main processor booby-trapped in case of enemy attempts to subvert it. Due to the intelligence downgrade, general command would be disseminated to command centres. Swathes of droids would be put under the indirect control of Hephaestus employees. Directed by an overall commander, this would hopefully make up for the intelligence gap between Hephaestus and Terran robots. These machines are designed to be easily manufactured, and ultimately disposable. Their role on the battlefield is simple--screen biological soldiers from corruptors, and deny the enemy potential recruits. Though the engineers are working off Terran designs, they are unsure how long the project will take. Even so, they begin their work. (If you need further explanation Czar, please ask! Wasn't sure how much detail was necessary) (-3AP) -Laboratory Complex A now bustles with scientists clad in environmentally-sealed suits, computers, and a myriad of dissection tables. A heavy contingent of Hephaestus Enforcers guards the premises with their guns carefully aimed at any dead corruptor beneath the knife, and the scientists themselves (Can never be too careful). The researchers are checked regularly for mutation and are quarantined often. The purpose of the dissections are to learn all that can be learned about corruptor biology--namely the mutation process. After which, they would work towards finding ways to immunise people against it. (-2AP) With frustrated grumbles, Hephaestus sends the Ares II schematics with their new xylorite energy cells to the Terran Federation. Along with that, the jump-drive--long sitting in some scientist's garage--is sent with the schematics. All for the promise of xylorite deliveries over the next ten years. (-0 AP) When the little grgl freighter returns, the entire crew is forced to sign very strict non-disclosure agreements about what they saw and found. When their discretion is guaranteed, all information about the small, obscure planet is scrubbed from the ship's archives. The only copies are taken to the Board. From this point on, the system is declared fully explored, with no planets in the area deemed worthy of attention other than Grand Ares. (-0AP) Information on the corruptors is requested from the Tassarean Republic. Corporate reps explain that it's for the purpose of building combat droids for use against the abominations. Information on behaviour and tactics would be especially appreciated. (-0AP) Hephaestus announces to all its shareholders across its domains that the corruptors have been completely wiped out, and no further infections are present. The "Look Sharp, Spidey!" advertisement campaign ends. Sales of the Ares I continue, though. (-0AP) Planets: -Hades (Capital) -Grand Ares Population: 198,000 Humans, 12,500 Grgl, 8,500 Tassareans, 5,500 Human-Tassareans, 2,250 Libellans, 2,250 Redons, 1,250 Backhatta, 1,000 Human-Redons, 17,000 Galaron Hephaestus Enforcers: 15,000 troopers, after voluntary sign-ups. Volunteers increased dramatically, due to the frightening events going on in the galaxy. Fleet: One drive-less colony ship, sitting idle. One small, Grgl-made freighter. Spaceports: Tier 2 Accumulation List Mining: 10AP Manufacturing: 13AP Advertising and Market Research: 11AP Reverse-Engineering: 3AP Technology -Laser weaponry (40% Higher damage variant) -Warp-drive technology (Gifted unto them by the Terran Federation) -Quantum Communications Technology (Via trade with Terran Federation) -Xylorite Energy Generators (Via trade with Terran Federation) -Xylorite energy cells -Artificial Gravity technology (Via trade with The Remnants) -Itoron-Steel alloys -Mk I Hunter/Mark II Hunter combat bots.