A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "I was thinking the same thing," Prai agrees. She's been restraining herself, watching and listening, but Hamza voicing her exact thoughts breaks her discipline. "Seems straightforward enough to me. They have something ya want," she addresses the Irulins. "Ya let them get on with their colony mission, they release your people. Who loses?"

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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "Unfortunately I don't have the authority to call off the blockade." Mester admits. "Lord Severe is responsible for that, and she's hard to control at the best of times." He leans in a little. "But you wouldn't get much ill will from me and mine breaking the blockade by force." "Blackrock" the liberated convict is glaring daggers at the back of Mester's head. Apparently he thinks differently about this "Lord Severe."
    "I would be amenable to such a deal should it become available." Gari adds.
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  3. - Top - End - #63
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    Jin had been sitting off to the side and simply observing and contemplating the options before them as the various diplomats spoke. It was only now that he found it necessary to speak up. "And if we wished to speak with this Lord Severe regarding the blockade, could you arrange such a discussion?"
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    "Go ahead." "Hope you have, like, thick skin." Jin receives a public omninet message from Mester a moment later with the relevant contact information. "That's the line for important business. Should get her to pick up."
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "Let's leave that avenue open for now, and focus on those in front of us," Carmi cautions. He also sends a message to the rest of the team's tech: I'd rather not tip our hand to this Lord Severe, specially if she's as liable to fly off the handle if she seems. Better to give her as little time to do anything out of fury before we are ready to act.

    "Now; can we discuss the conditions on Galamax that lead to the Marauders forming in the first place? I would be interesting to hear about the claimed pittance, housing conditions, and food situation that led to the marauders forming the first place. Again, I do not wish to return later to a new rebellion on Galamax should the Marauders move to a new celestial body."

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "The Conglomerate was abusing miners on Galamax, and because the nobles that own the company also have a large part of the Irulin government, the Empire wouldn't do anything about it." That's the simple version. "Any of us can of course rattle off the list, but that loses its impact quickly. Settlements on Galamax are, difficult, to say the least. Volcanic and tectonic activity destroy several each year. Energy and mineral resources are abundant, but organic materials rare. Food is limited primarily to nutrient paste supplemented by hydroponic gardens in larger habitats. No one can go outside without a full fireman suit. Most miners work from within mechs or hovercraft heavily assisted by drones." Mester pauses. "Those are the basic conditions. We were aware of those when we took the jobs there. The Marauders arose because of the willful mismanagement of resources by the Conglomerate which exacerbated all these problems. Everything went fine at first. The first outposts were built in the most stable places. It was the expansion that began to cause problems. When a portion of the first wave of new outposts were destroyed, the evacuees moved to others. The death toll is usually low; we have good warning systems for these things. However, the Conglomerate did not leave much empty space in these habitats to begin with, so usually, each would be near capacity. This led to the population of two or more habitats being housed in one. Food was allocated on a per-habitat basis, judged by intended population. In order to stretch that out, habitat administrators usually watered the paste down into porridge. This was the first complaint, which was never addressed. As more mines failed, the problem worsened. That's when wages and supplies started being cut. Failures on Galamax were hurting the bottom line, so I understand. With less supplies and money, things got more dangerous. Any repairs that required organics and plastics could rarely be performed, critical systems began to malfunction. We could leave whenever we wanted, according to the laws. But we would have to travel quite a distance first if we didn't live at a spaceport." He sighs. "We wanted a voice so we could get someone to respond to our problems. I think the best way to explain is that no councillor of Galamax has ever actually lived on Galamax. They've visited, sure, but never for long. Their official residence is on Merel, but their citizenship is legally Galamaxian. This is a common situation for Conglomerate executives."
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    Hamza glances at the message that Carmi has sent him. U serious? he writes back quickly and under the table while the history of Galamax is being told, olin is 1000% giong to msg sever as soon as he leavse.

    Still, no need to make the representatives think that this team was divided or undecided. They could always give this 'Lord' Severe a call once the representatives were on their way.

    "I would just say to you," says Hamza addressing Verrick primarily, "That we'll need to discuss it and come to a decision, but that at the moment I think there's at least a good chance we'll accept the Irulin petition. If that happens you should kick up as big a fuss as possible about Lord Severe pulling back as you can, because if we deploy on that mission then we're going to carve through whatever he throws at us. They're going to look weak and anyone who opposed them, a moderate faction more willing to listed to reason, is going to be able to reap some political cache off the back of it."

    Hamza looks to the rest of the team. "Anything else for the esteemed representatives?"

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    "I appreciate the rundown."The cadet watches the Irulin representatives, wondering if they'll comment on this, but doesn't appear to have may more questions.

    "He might tell sooner, but hopefully they'll drag there feet if less sure. *Their"

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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "Thanks for the advice. We'll leave you to it." Mester beckons the other Marauders, and the Irulin delegates file out behind them.
    Except the Irulin secretary, Olten. He clears his throat. "Excuse me, Lancers. On the authority of the Emperor, I am to give you a small token before your mission." He types something into his tablet which he had been using to take notes during the meeting. "I've sent the files to your NHP. She can assess their veracity." "These are potentially useful. And they're clean. I'm forwarding them to you now." Stella chimes in; three files are delivered to each Lancer a moment later. They're print schematics; fairly simple ones, for specialized hardsuits. Olten begins to explain. "Standard Union hardsuits are rated for exposure to conditions on Galamax, but for traversing lava fields or surviving eruptions, you need something sturdier. These blueprints are for fireman hardsuits, rated to survive in even the most extreme heat. Should you undertake any mission to Galamax, they come highly recommended."
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  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Prai does her best to keep the flicker of excitement off her face as the schematics come in. "We appreciate the generosity," she admits as Olten departs.

    Alone with the team again, thank the stars. "So, we're still thinking the blockade run, yeah?"

  11. - Top - End - #71
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    Hamza says cordial goodbyes to the delegates then focuses on his team-mates so they can plan their mission.

    "At the moment, yeah, breaking the siege and getting the people out is my preferred option. Well, of the two options we've been presented. Option number three however would be to talk to Lord Severe and get them to back off, either through diplomacy or threat. That way it can free us up to look at the Marauder's terraforming expedition. Two avians with one stone."

    Hamza looks around at the rest of the group, trying to gauge their opinion.

  12. - Top - End - #72
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    In a way, it was like Chapel: living in tight stations, with a hostile atmosphere outside - a gas giant was hardly conductive to unmodified life, after all. But the Chapelites had their god and each other in a bond these people lacked entirely.
    "This Lord Severe seeing reason would be the best outcome," Barb agreed. "Though all aside, the name itself doesn't give me too much hope."
    And the far stars cried, and the planets yearned;
    But no man may know, for she'll ne'er return.

  13. - Top - End - #73
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "I'm hoping that 'Severe' translates into 'nice and cuddly' in one of the local languages," says Hamza as he seats himself then puts in Severe's communication details.

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    Moments after the call is placed, there's a response. The hologram of an angry woman comes through. Her face is marred with a web of scars, and her right ear is unusually large, making the fact that her right is so badly shredded that more than half of it is missing even more noticable. "Who the **** are you? How did you get this number?" Clearly, she is not in a good mood.
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  15. - Top - End - #75
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    "Well," says Hamza, smiling despite the swearing, "Who we are depends on you. We could be your worst enemies or your guardian angels.”

    Out of view of the camera, Hamza types a message to Stella asking her if they are able to pinpoint where Severe’s signal is coming from.

    “For the moment we’re just the new Union delegation. We’re like the old delegation in that we’re trying to end Union delegations and resolve this peacefully, a little different from the old delegation in that we’ve got a lot of guns and we’re willing to shoot people until they stop arguing if needs be.”

    “At the moment I understand you’re laying siege to Cornall 7, which is a problem because we’d really like to help the Marauders on some missions but there’s a lot of civilians in Cornall who need evacuating so it’s at the top of our priority list. That means instead of helping the Marauders, you’re causing a situation where we’re going to need to come down and rescue those civilians instead – which depending on you may involve us defeating your forces.”

    Hamza holds up a hand to forestall Severe’s arguments.

    “And yes I’m sure you’ll say you’ll kill us all instead, but in that case in a few months there’ll be an operational blinkgate here and you’ll be explaining to a Union battlegroup with enough firepower to destroy a planet why you killed Union delegates who were trying to help evacuate civilians. Fighting us is a lose-lose situation for you, working with us is a win-win. We’ll get civilians out of Cornall for you and we’ll be freed up to help the Maurauders elsewhere. What do you say?”

  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "Pah. You ****ing Union ****ers are all the same. You talk a lot about ****ing peace, but the only peace you have comes from a ****ing big gun." Severe spits out a wad of tobacco (or something like it) and growls, "I'm not going to roll over and let you ****ers set a whole ****ing nest of spies and traitors home ****ing free." She looks Hamza dead on, "So **** off!" She's clearly very resistant to this idea, and near to terminating the connection, although she was probably near to that already.
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  17. - Top - End - #77
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    Carmi starts over the comm. "Come again? You want a nest of spies and traitors in the middle of your operations?"

    The cadet might have been opposed to this, but he's willing to see if he can make it work. "You really wouldn't rather keep the settlement and make the Irulin fund the inhabitant's moving costs?"

  18. - Top - End - #78
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    "If that's why you're keeping them, ya might as well just bomb the whole city from orbit." It's hard to make the suggestion come out casual; a part of Prai suspects Severe might actually do it. "'Less ya plan on killing them all or sitting on top of 'em until the war's over, those 'spies' are getting out of there one way or another eventually. And the longer you hold them, the more time they have to work." She nods to Wigram. "Ya let 'em go now, ya save yourself a fight and get your bosses something they want."

  19. - Top - End - #79
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    Hamza nods along to the other pilots comments.

    “It’s not the way you’re used to doing things, but times are changing. Give it a go.”

    Spoiler
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    (1d20+2)[18] plus (1d6)[2]

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    "Fine. ****ing fine. You talked me into it." Severe looks distinctly annoyed, but she can clearly see the point here."Grippy? Tell the boys to back down. We're moving out here." "order relayed. are you sure about this, sir?" "Yes I'm ****ing sure!" Her attentions turn back to the Lancers. "You win this time, but you better ****ing believe I'll remember this. Nobody ****s with me and my plans. Cut transmission." "affirmative." The transmission abruptly cuts off.
    Stella enters into the conversation now. "We should probably wait a few hours to be sure she keeps her word."
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    "In the meantime we should contact the Irulin and Marauder delegations and inform them of Severe's sudden return of common sense." Jin jokes as he cracks a smile at his own humor.
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  22. - Top - End - #82
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    For a long few seconds, Prai just stares at the spot where Severe's projection used to be. "I...can't believe that actually worked."

    She turns to Hamza, a hint of respect in her eyes. "Not bad, chen."

  23. - Top - End - #83
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    Hamza grins at his compatriots.

    “See, you just need to have a little faith. With a bit of pressure we’ve managed to stop what easily could have turned into a a massacre.”

    In truth he hadn’t thought it would work and is still somewhat suspicious.

    “Yeah, good point from Stella. Let’s make sure they actually go, but in the meantime can we get as much info about the scout rescue mission as we can get? Where they are, what to expect, any dangerous megafauna, that kind of thing.”

    Lastly Hamza turns to Prai. “I’m not just a pretty face and a great dancer,” he says with a grin.
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  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    And just like that, the goodwill's gone again. Smug prick. Prai mostly suppresses a scowl. "We done here for now? If no one needs me, I'd like to get out of my suit."

  25. - Top - End - #85
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    “Nah, I think we’re all good,” says Hamza as he moonwalks backwards out of the room ahead of Prai, stopping only to blow her a kiss.

  26. - Top - End - #86
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    "If we're giving Severe's forces time to move, I think we can spend that time checking up on the general public. Ophan, follow me." He heads to some of the local terminals to check omninet chatter, followed by the floating drone.

    "Ophan, pull up the major news Irulin newspapers, plus whatever main method the Galamax corporation uses to put out press releases. Compare comments with local social media systems to compare biases, and lets start looking at public factions."

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    (1d20)[18], hoping this counts as "Word on the Street" for an additional +2 (not included).

    I'm not expecting any particularly useful results, but I am hoping for some public polling on support for the war outside Galamax and maybe if I roll high to find evidence of other factions on either side of the argument or maybe some statements from the Galamax corporation on their profits or loss for the duration of the war.

    I also assume this takes up a couple of hours to double check the initial results.

  27. - Top - End - #87
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    Default Re: The Ordlan Reach

    After about an hour of waiting and anticipation, the Lancers are informed that their ploy was a success in a message from Mester. "I don't know what you said to her, but Severe's pulling out. Looks angry enough to tear armor plates with her bare hands though, so I'd look out if I were you."
    Carmi is able to uncover much the same information, with a few distinct spins. Those pushing for peace are touting this as a vital first step in the right direction, the Galamax Conglomerate is stating that it's a great triumph for their own efforts, ignoring the Lancers' contribution, and there are anti-Union elements within the Marauders which are trying to stir up resentment for what they claim was a clear example of gunboat diplomacy and colonialism. There are also numerous other rumors swirling around the Lancers. A lot of speculation about what their first actions will be, including one claiming they'll be supporting Marauder colonization efforts on Nocturne, which has gained surprisingly significant traction.
    With that done, it's time for other plans to fall into place.
    "Quite impressive. The Empire has sent a ship to recover its civilians, so I presume you intend to look into the missing scouting party?" Stella asks. "Whatever you intend, I'm preparing a transport for you and your mechs. The print bay has been readied for you to make what you need for the mission. There's also an incoming message from the Almoner Moth research station, should I forward it to you?"
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  28. - Top - End - #88
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    Hamza is lying in his bunk, slate in hand, when the message comes through.

    "Yeah, we might as well hear what they have to say," he says in response to Stella. "Though while we're at it Stella, can you send a message to Galamax asking them to amend their statement to include recognition of the vital contribution of the Union delegation and that if they don't we'll release footage of our conversation with Severe showing it was all us and they're blatantly lying? It's not so much about taking credit as ensuring that our actions aren't going to be used by either sides propaganda machine to churn out lies that benefit them."

  29. - Top - End - #89
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    "What kind of information can you get us about the planet Nocturne from the Marauder delegation in the meantime? We'll need to prepare since we are open to check on the colonists now." Jin says as he heads down to the print bay to begin running diagnostics on his mech. She hasn't been online in years and who knows how much maintenance she needs.

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    "If we do release the footage, maybe add commentary emphasizing we were looking at Severe's own rational? I'd rather not have people seeing footage of me calling those evacuated 'spies and traitors' all over the system."

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