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About Catostrophy

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  1. Hephaestus Holdings Incorporated The Digi-vision show "Hephaestus: The Company Line," was airing its final episode for the season. Today's episode, much to the pleasure of the execs and shareholders of the subsidiary, CEO Steven Penrith accepted an invitation for an interview as a cap-off to the series. The bubbly hosts, Sally Fisher and Ryan Cresthaven, we're wearing their million-dollar smiles and the studio audience erupted into cheers as he was introduced. Cordial, blithe small-talk and jokes started them all off, and when he was suitably comfortable the pair began their real questions. "Steven-" Sally began, before almost immediately being cut off. "That's 'Mr Penrith' for my employees, Sally love." The hosts and the audience laughed jovially. "Mr Penrith, industrialist, merchant, entrepreneur, bachelor, and saviour of the human race--what precisely haven't you done?" "Well, a reasonable marriage, for one!" Polite laughter ensued. "There are some black marks on your record, however!" Remarked Ryan in his imported British accent. "Some people say you're xenophobic!" "Untrue, Ryan, mate! These are just silly rumours started up by very silly, soon-to-be-fired employees." "Some say that you refer to our Tassarran customers as "Klingons!" "What an absolute nonsense statement, Ryan! If any of you two are classic science-fiction fans like myself, you'll know that Tassarrans look nothing like Klingons and Grgl look nothing like Maltesers! Why would I make such a callous, spiteful statement? I, in fact, was the one who encouraged commerce between Hephaestus and alien cultures regardless of their outward appearance!" "I uh, sir, he never said grgl looked l-" "And besides, even if I did make some sort of comment of that kind, hey, I'm still a businessman! And my business is the growth and success of our beloved Corporation!" A number of cheers erupted from the studio audience, and the interview moved on to favourite foods, and future plans for Hephaestus. Due to the overstocking of gold, and under the advisement of Phillip the Super-Accountant, the Corporation orders a switch to an electronic currency based on the current gold-reserves they have accumulated until a purported more valuable material is found. Alien currency may be hassle-free swapped with Hephaestus reps for 'HEcredits' at appropriate kiosks at the beginning of the next financial year. 1AP. Upon hearing that the company had access to smaller energy sources already, Steven states that he is pleased to learn such. He also states that if the scientists mouth-off to him again in such a manner, he'll replace them with Grgl. Since they had been wasting a year of company time and saying nothing until that point, Steven assumes that they have plenty of time on their hands. He and the Corporation put in a request for a number of possible laser-weapon designs, with actual construction and testing occurring some time in the next financial year. 1AP With the increasing number of alien visitors, the board-members believe some market research ought to be conducted about the customers they're catering to. Worrying that the purchases of Hephaestus products are due to novelty rather than purpose, they wish to learn about products their new customers use commonly. Tarrassans and grgl are sought out in the Tourist-Trap, and are are offered compensation (In the form of casino chips, free meals at selected venues etc etc) for completing surveys. 2AP Population: Humans, 105,500 Tassareans, 250 Grgl, 500 Military: 8000 Security forces. Volunteering dropped substantially, due to the normalisation of alien presence. Will be adding my own "Accumulation List" as it seems clever. Mining Total: 2AP, Manufacturing Total: 5AP Advertising and Market Research Total: 6AP Science: One disassembled, incomprehensible jump-drive sitting in a corner of some engineer's workshop. 3AP Fleet: One drive-less colony ship being utilised for storage and energy.
  2. Hephaestus Holdings Inc. Best Bargains since 2055! The advent of alien contact had different effects upon the shareholders of Hephaestus. They were confused, yes. But mostly jubilant at the prospect. Who wouldn't want alien customers, clients, or tourists? Not a soul in the company could say for absolute certain, but excitement was abound regardless. Not all people were happy at the thought of alien contact. Far up above skulked CEO Steven Penrith, who just that moment was negotiating a massive tourist-trap construction deal with agriculture mogul Milly Price. It was not going well. "Look, Milly, love, you're the only one with any kind of tourism experience here. All I'm asking for is a bunch of casinos, some knick-knack stores, and restaurants. You can make anything else aside from that! Hell, you could even put together a petting zoo! You've got all the animals for it!" Milly, a stout, mousy-haired woman, was being extremely difficult. Likely on purpose in order to receive a better deal. Steven didn't expect any less from her. He respected her for it--he'd have done the same. "Considering the size of the project, the costs, the labour, the resources, I'd be as mad as a cut snake to accept it. I can't organise a project like this. And you want me to build this resort in the span of a year?! It's outright insanity, Steven!" "Well who the hell else are we going to get?! I didn't think to bring any tourism-inclined shareholders here! Even Phil couldn't convince me, and he wouldn't have tried! We didn't have space in space for such a risky investment! You've actually run a chain of resorts before you went into farms-" "Resorts that YOU bought out from under me!" "Not me personally! My tourism specialist suggested it. What was his name, Phil? Jiles? Jehova?" "James Norris, Mr Penrith." "Oh, that turd. Yeah, he offed himself after the sun announcement. Bloody quitter. Anyway..." "I'm not doing it, Steve." "Alright alright. Look here--I'll give you majority shares in the resort itself. Does that sound good? I'll even give allot you an extra chunk of the profits. And you have full authority over wages, aesthetics, the lot!" This gave Milly pause. "And I won't have it ripped out from under me?" "Who would I even replace you with?" A moment more of consideration and Milly began nodding her head. "Well, I suppose if you're fronting the majority of the bill and I have enough interested shareholders willing to invest... Alright. Okay. I'll do it. But I'll be running it my way, Steven." Steven's rehearsed business-laugh chimed out jovially. "Milly, sweetheart. I knew you'd see reason. This is a fantastic opportunity for Hephaestus, and especially you." With a smile, and a handshake, Milly left the office. Phillip and Steven celebrated with a round of whisky, and office-green golf. They had every reason to be happy. They no longer had to worry about the project falling apart, now that there was a scapegoat in place to take any blame. The conversation between the two was mostly about golf swings, but slowly slithered into the alien thing (as Steven referred to it). "The bloody nerve of that orange-eyed weirdo, Phil." "Sir?" "The nerve! He comes into my office, treats me like some kind of arbiter of humanity, and, without our permission, leaves all sorts of doohickies with us "for our safety"! Even though there "are no threats" nearby." Steven lined up the next putt with a definitive scowl. "And the way he kept going on about 'breeding' was bloody grubby, too. "Oh! We can help boost your numbers with our Klingon genes! I'm a single man. Ha ha ha." ******* lecher." Phillip Narau the Super-Accountant tossed Steven's words around in his head for a moment, before speaking quite carefully. "What's wrong with being seen as the 'arbiter of humanity,' sir?" "Hey? I'm no damn arbiter! I'm not a politician, a diplomat, or king, or anything! I'm a businessman, Phil! My desires begin and end with the accumulation of wealth, and the growth of my company. That's it. The bloody nerve of that Kingon and Malteser coming in here and using all that political-speak. They were wasting this company's time. At least we had a chance at some free advertising..." "Well, sir, you are technically the arbiter of humanity." "Hey?" "Well, we are, for all we know, the only humans left in the universe. We are the last humans, you are our leader, hence, it would be accurate to call you humanity's 'arbiter.' You are the single, guiding will behind the success or extinction of the human race." At this statement, Steve went completely quiet, and his expression turned blank. He rested his putter on his shoulder, and walked towards his enormous office window. He stared out at the buildings being constructed--the expanse of open-cut mines, and the bio-domes that stretched into the distance. He shivered, and rested his forehead against the glass. "Jesus, Phil. Jesus Christ. That's a lot of pressure, mate." Steven loosened his rose-red tie and wiped his forehead. "Oh God. I'm sweating. Am I... nervous? I haven't been nervous since asking Mirabelle Carrowey to the school formal in '73. I am the guiding hand of humanity?" A moment of silence permeated the office, as Phillip clenched his jaw and looked at his shoes, unsure what to say without setting his boss off on some nervous tirade. "Oh ****!" Steve had practically screamed the statement and Phillip practically jumped in place. "Sir?! What is it?!" "I told that Klingon and his mates that I didn't give a **** about who my employees boinked! Bloody hell, Phil! They're gonna come over here and try to fill our human ladies with their Klingon baby-batter!! And ah, presumably their Klingon women doing the same thing with our human men, except in reverse. We might extinct with too much cross-breeding! You know how our people are with monogamy!" Steve raced over to his desk, and tapped his 'secretary' icon. "Inform the board! Emergency meeting, right now!" The gathered members of the board were hastily shuttled into the boardroom at 11:30pm Earth time, much to their chagrin. Synthesised coffee and chocolate was offered around by Steven and Phillip, the latter still in the dark as to what his boss was going to say. When everyone was settled, a slightly nervous Steven spoke quickly in his usual, terse tone. "Alright, folks. We have a problem. Population isn't growing as quick as it should be. We need to hurry up and increase our species annual growth in order to ah..." He trailed off for a moment, and scratched his head. "...cater to the large numbers of alien customers we'll be getting now." Adjusting his tie and clearing his throat, he regained the rest of his composure before the staring down the confused board-members. "We need to breed the next generation of Hephaestus employees quickly. Our shareholders need to start pairing off and doing the 'good, Catholic, horizontal tickle-dance' as soon as possible. And staying with one-another to raise them. Monogamously. How do we encourage this?" A brief moment of sceptical looks shot first towards Steven, and then between fellow board-members, before Milly Price, the new tourism-baron, spoke up. "How about we make all newborn children automatically shareholders in Hephaestus? Give them each ten shares to sell, or keep? That'll make our employees pay attention, and give their children future say in the corporation without having to take from their parents. Plus, a discount on all Hephaestus products for upwards of ten years, with a ten percent price-drop for each child." Numerous angry mutters and disagreements erupted from the board. "And," spoke Phillip over the irate din, "at the same time we invest heavily in baby-related products to make up for the losses. I'm sure we could produce cheap baby-products for a micro-fraction of what they previously cost. In essence, we could come out of this proposition with a reasonable net profit. While doing the right thing for the... company." Now, the board clearly began to consider the proposition. After all, they were chosen for the colony as individuals motivated by loyalty to the company, and their relentless pursuit of profit. Half an hour of deliberations, and the board agreed to a long, flashy advertisement campaign for the next year. "Alright, with that settled, ladies and gents, issue two. I don't think it's good for the ah... corporate image to be totally reliant on unknown aliens for our defence. Visitors need to know that we're capable of watching over their purchases and safety. We're in space, yeah? We need space-guns." The board, once more, looked between each other dubiously. One board-member, Barry, spoke up. "We've never been in the weapons business, Mr Penrith. We're a domestic manufacturer. We left that stuff to Lockheed, Smith & Wessen, and those other fellas up in Europe. I don't think we even have the resources to make bullets." "Well, what do we have that we can weaponize?" A moment of silence permeated the boardroom once more, before Phillip spoke calmly. "Well, we have those mining lasers. We've been manufacturing them wholesale for years, now." Jason, a rotund, mining-magnate, burst out laughing. "Laser-guns? Have you been indulging in classic films, Mr Narau? I manufacture them. Those things aren't guns--the smallest ones can't be lifted by a single miner! Now, it's not an issue of strength, they can bite through rock easily enough. I'm sure it can bite through a hostile target all the same. It's an issue of power. They need lots of juice in order to function efficiently." "Well, clearly we need smaller, more efficient energy sources." "Excuse me?" "I want all of you to gather up every electrical engineer, physicist, and other R&D blokes you've got out here, and plug them into efficient, portable energy research. I don't want us buying a single weapon off of anybody. We're going to do this one alone." "But, Mr Penrith, why?! That sounds needlessly expensive." "Why?" Steve began walking to the door, his meeting now, in his mind, over. He turned towards the board members, and stared at them, stone-faced. "It's just good business." Actions -2AP: Mineral resources and investment are poured into the alien tourist-trap. Casinos, zoos, restaurants, and entertainment complexes are quickly constructed for a purported tourism influx to the young colony. -1AP: A sleek, professional advertisement campaign begins to entice people into getting together and increasing their baby-output (refer to the post for the actual incentives, I don't want to write it out again :/ ) -1AP: Scientists and engineers are pushed into adapting smaller, efficient power-sources for possible use in weapons from current technology. Military 7,500 security forces. Employee increase due to uncertainty over alien presence. Population: 103,500 shareholders
  3. Hephaestus Holdings Inc. Lowest Prices, Always! "What in the name of Johnny Curtain's fuzzy sack do you mean they can't figure it out?!" Steve was not in the best of moods. A fact that Phillip, his Maori super-accountant, knew better than anyone right now. "Mr Penrith, the Head Engineer states that the design of the "Jump drive" is simply too eclectic to reverse-engineer. For all intents and purposes, it shouldn't work. But it just does. Also, they've now broken it. Apparently they can't reconstruct it and make it operate-" "I pay that woman. I bought her labour. Her labour was trash. She's done. Fire her." "She's the only one with the expertise, sir. We c-" "I know, I know, Phil." Steve slumped down into his roomy, leather office chair, and massaged his temples. "Just let me rant. And I take it the scout-vessels were not constructed either?" "Er, yes sir. Without engine schematics, they couldn't design the hull." "Arse. Arse arse. Bloody arse." "Also, there's the other matter of-" "Well, bugger me. Alright. We'll have to make do for now. We'll take the loss on the nose, and now we have to adapt our business model to these new parameters. Take this down, Phil." Glad to move on, Phillip turned on his attention to his dictation-pad. "Clearly, rather than finding customers just yet, it's a far more Hephaestus-friendly to scout for mineral deposits, and improve our production facilities to manufacture better products for future trade-partners. Pre-fab factories are working acceptably, but if we're going to provide quality products for galactic citizens/people/things, we need to improve our production facilities. We will still build the sight-seeing ships, but instead these will be scouting the planets or... er..." "Planetoids, sir?" "Yeah yeah! Planetoids that are currently orbiting our sun. Did we name our sun...?" "No, sir." "We'll have a contest for that. Winner gets a free microwave. Gotta move more of those things. Anyway, we'll scout for resources, and later build space stations in orbit above them. Can we do that...?" "With better facilities we could probably construct small hab-stations, Mr Penrith." "Fan-bloody-tastic." "Sir, may we talk about the ship detected in the outermost parts of the solar-system yet?" "Ship? A bloody ship?! Good god, Phil! Why didn't you say something yesterday?!" "We... we didn't detect it yeste-" "Customers, Phil! Bloody customers! Aw, **** me we aren't prepared! Ah... but it's only one ship..." "Sir?" "Put the factories on alert, and get the products boxed and presentable. Beam ads at those buggers. Prices are slashed, Phil! Slashed to all hell! Especially the microwaves! We need to build customer trust! Profits be damned! For now..." "Would you like me to send in your secretary, sir?" "Yes." All around the main colony, the shareholders were abuzz with excitement over possible customers. Moreso, that they could be weird aliens. First contact would be neat, and selling them stuff would be even neater! But with that, other parties become more concerned with possible threats from this strange spacecraft. Interest in the security forces swells. Actions -2AP: Upgrading and constructing production facilities to produce a wide variety of Hephaestus products. -1AP: Directing advertisements at the phantom spacecraft spotted on the edges of the system. All advertisements describe a slew of fantastic deals, final offers, and slashed prices. All costs are based on gold. -1AP: Continuing the mining expansions around the colony, with zero regard to waste management. Population 100,000 shareholders. 1,800 not-shareholders Military 6500 security forces, after voluntary sign-ups.
  4. HEPHAESTUS HOLDINGS INC. The Company that works for YOU! It all seemed such a short while ago, Steven would recall, when he was first informed of the Earth's doom. Sure, it was scary, but it wasn't insurmountable. He remembered how annoyed he was when almost all of his employees refrained from showing up to work that day. Slackers. If there was one thing Steven hated, it was slackers. Slackers, and thieves. More often than not, they were the same thing. He inherited a company that had supposedly reached it's zenith in 2075. He was barely out of school back then. In just ten years, he had purchased a country. Then three more! His company was poised on the brink of profits greater than any in history! And then that miserable sun decided to rain on his parade by going nova?! The bloody nerve! The nerve of that bastard, ball of gas. And then, instead of making plans, the labour he had purchased with his money decided to take a sickie? Well, joke's on them. They're dead. People with guts and gumption colonise the galaxy. Everyone else burns on dying worlds. "Excuse me, Mr Penrith, sir? The Board is waiting for you." Phillip Narau. The Corp's top economic forecaster. Maori by birth, he found his true passion in accountancy, though one wouldn't know this by the look of him--the score of tribal tattoos and his 6-foot height made him more intimidating than he really was. Sadly, Steven Penrith, CEO of Hephaestus Holdings, was in no mood for being disturbed just yet. "I'm reminiscing, Phil. Start the meeting. Show them the new ad and get their take on it. I want this thing sleek and catchy by the end of the quarter." "Er, yes sir. Would you like me to send in your secretary...?" "I said bugger off, Phil." "Right, right..." Steven turned his attention back out his window... His office had the finest view of Hades' worthless surface in all the colony. He could just barely make out a local bio-dome still being constructed in the far distance. Hopefully they would be growing caffeine plants, or whatever makes coffee. He couldn't stay awake most days. Going from a trillion-dollar industry to a measly space colony had given him organisational whiplash. But this was life, now. Better than being dead, of course. Only slackers died like that... There were positives to this move, of course. Hades had no atmosphere or biosphere, so no hippies were getting antsy about industrial waste (not that there were any hippies here, mind. They were also dead on "failure-central" [Earth]). The planet was absolutely teeming in copper, iron, tin, and every other useful resource imaginable with the added advantage of no trees being in the way. Prefabricated and post-fabricated homes dotted the landscape, connected by underground hab-paths. Even a reasonable amount of gold was separated from the minerals, which supported a viable currency. So with resources, food, habitation, and money secured, what was left? "Trade." Steven Penrith smacked his palm down on the table for emphasis. "We need us some bloody trade." The gathering of board members nodded and mumbled in agreement. All were men and women incorporated into Hephaestus along with their companies. They were given considerable leeway in their dealings, so long as they sent the profits to the right place. "Now, we're working among ourselves just fine here--buying and selling and so-on. But we lack a certain edge that gives the free market the prosperity, stability, and creativity we know and love." Standing up, he stalked around the boardroom and twirled his moustache daintily. "Competition. Competition and foreign markets to expand into. We are sitting on a slew of prefabricated factories, and nothing to produce! We could supply a whole other colony with the labour and resources we're pulling! And our shareholders can only buy so many refrigerators and microwaves..." Arriving at the end of the table, he looked at each of the talented marketeers individually before speaking firmly. "I want half of those idle engineers working on pulling apart those funny warp-drive thingos that got us here, and I want the other half building some smaller, sight-seeing spaceships. By the end of this quarter I want to see some blueprints. By the end of the next quarter, I want to see them being built. By the end of the third, I want to see those ships in orbit, do I make myself clear? Confused and frazzled agreement ensued as the board-members looked between each-other with uncertainty. I don't care if our customers are boggle-eyed, grey-skinned freaks, or Ents from Lord of the ******* Rings. We are going to sell them some reasonably-priced cars and toilet paper. This year, you will be earning your paychecks." Actions -3AP into disassembling, reverse-engineering, and constructing five interstellar drives and scouting vessels. -1AP into expanding mining networks around the colony with zero regard to waste-management. Population 100,000 shareholders. 4,000 security personnel 1 colony ship, mostly being used for storage and power.
  5. Username: Catostrophy Skype: (Pm if you want.) I want to PM it. Ideas and Suggestions?: This game requires the invisible hand of the free market. Colony Name: Hephaestus Holdings Incorporated First Planet Type: Lifeless, barren rock. History: (Assuming it's a bit of a custom nation.) Starting out as a small, Australian manufacturer in the mid 2050s, Hephaestus Holdings saw unprecedented growth throughout the following decades. Branching out, buying up, and squeezing competitors away in almost every industry left it the de-facto supplier of practically all Australia's domestic needs and wants. After being obliged to purchase the Australian government in the late 2080s, it saw itself expand into the lucrative international market. Mergers with New Zealand, Micronesia, and New Guinea expanded Hephaestus' customer base and spread its influence liberally throughout the Pacific region. And then came the announcement about the sun. At first there was misery--the world being shrivelled by Sol, the human race going extinct, and the free market ending was all too much for some. But to the CEOs and majority shareholders, Hephaestus was in the best possible position to save the human race. At least, the members of the human race who were shareholders and CEOs of Hephaestus Holdings Inc. So began the "Get off Earth or Your Money Back!" advertisement campaign, selling shares in colony ships and stellar engine manufacturers. The colony ship named "Gambit's Profit" was produced in record time, and colonists were chosen via a inter-corporate lottery (though in truth the colonists had been chosen beforehand. The lottery made for better PR). The ship reached into the vast cosmos, and with its clunky fusion engines it made a bee-line for the only habitable planet the Corporation knew of. The planet was, however, less habitable than projected. A barren, lifeless rock in a sea of other barren, lifeless rocks that happened to be in the habitable zone of the star it orbited. Unfortunate, but not totally unexpected. To reassure their shareholder-colonists, they began a brief advertisement campaign "Biosphere? Why not GLASS sphere?" Utilising the surprisingly rich mineral wealth of Hades (the name chosen for the planet), habitation and agriculture biodomes were quickly produced and the people were contented with their air-conditioned domiciles, though somewhat bored and idle. If only they could find some customers... Map location: (Remember, fill a square and send it to me privately.) Alrighty.
  6. ((Small tip; I noticed that there isn't any information as to why those races are unholy. You should probably add details!))