Lazarus - finished - Part XVI (actual text in new thread!)

Writings and chronicles of the OOniverse.

Moderators: another_commander, winston

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Lazarus - finished - Part XVI (actual text in new thread!)

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Reposting (outside a thread which started life as a poll) - where I started a story I had high hopes for and perhaps will now make more of an effort to finish!

----

Lazarus

Janus picked himself off the hard metallic floor of the Cobra Mark III and cursed all the Gods he could think of as climbed gingerly into the battered pilot’s seat. He glared down at the two bolts sticking out of the decking where, at some point, the optional co-pilot’s seat had been fitted and then removed. How it had been removed Janus wasn’t sure, but an investigation shortly after purchase revealed some stains that were probably blood and something sticky that may or may not have been organic matter. That was pretty much the end of the investigation and may have explained why the previous owner had sold the ship to him at such a bargain price. Then again, the previous owner may have just got sick of tripping over the aforementioned bolts. Removing them had been at the top of Janus’ list of things to do since he had tripped over them the first time, just ten minutes after he started running his hand over the console and controls of his new purchase. However, since then, something major had failed or broken on pretty much every trip and while the bolts remained an annoyance they weren’t likely to cause his lungs to explode due to a depressurisation or his skin to fall off because of a radiation leak.

He wiggled to get comfortable in the pilot’s seat while he rubbed his knee. He should have noted the rather large girth of the previous owner and perhaps contemplated the effect this might have had on the ergonomic design of the seat. The auto-mould function didn’t work and Janus slopped around like a one-credit piece in an empty spirit glass during heavy manoeuvring. Fixing the pilot’s chair was second on the list of things to do. He rested his hand on the console and then began to flick the switches required to bring the slumbering ship to life. The first thing to burst into life was the Bibean Lethal Brandy dispenser that had been fitted in replacement of, Janus was fairly certain, the secondary oxygen generator. It was the only faultlessly operating piece of equipment in the whole ship.

Janus had learned to listen carefully to the ship as it booted up. It had become clear to Janus early on that the ship had many safety features and all of them to some degree had been bypassed. When this ship’s failsafes failed, it was never on safe. So far he’d been burnt, electrocuted, gassed and crushed as various systems had gone haywire either spontaneously or persuaded to misbehave under even a glancing strike from a pea-shooter pulse laser. So Janus sat patiently, hands on the console, feeling the vibrations emerging from deep within and listening to electronic life as it pushed out to the extremities of the vessel.

Port Thruster up, Starboard Thruster up… no, Starboard Thruster down, no, wait a second, its back up, oh joy. Shield Matrix initialised, or is that the fuel scoop secondary manifold? Ah, there’s the manifold, good, I might actually get to scoop something this trip rather than nudging it around the cosmos, before it blows up inside my shields. Here comes the Astrogation panel…

Janus’ face was lit by the soft reddish glow of the Astrogation console as the scanner fully powered up, his hairs stood on end, it wasn’t excitement or expectation it was an untraceable electrostatic build-up –

“Ow!”

- which had now found its way to ground.

Every bloody time!

Here come the main engines. Full power. Well, ninety-seven, ninety-eight percent maybe. Not bad. Not bad.

“OK Lazarus,” he said out loud to the ship, “shall we go?”

As by way of response the main cabin lights failed briefly, although there was a perfectly poured Lethal Brandy sat in the dispenser when they came back up.

“Going to be like that is it?”

This time the ship gave no additional clue to its mood and so Janus made a request to the Galcop Port Authority for permission to launch. In a squeal of static from the ship’s Comm system the voice of the GPA could just be heard giving an affirmative. The platform’s lights went out indicating that Janus’ and Lazarus’ presence was no longer required within the Coriolis Station.

Delicately Janus tugged on the controls and the ship lifted off and headed towards the central axis of the station where, under Station control and a good pulse of magnetic flux he and Lazarus would be ejected into space above Diso.

Part II

Lazarus had a small wobble as it was roughed up in the exhaust flux of an impatient Racer who skipped ahead of Janus as he climbed cautiously towards the central axis point. Janus ignored the barbed open comms comment from the Racer as it screamed past. He was, after all, fairly certain his parents were married when he was born.

A single dull tone sounded, indicating that Janus had successfully manoeuvred the ship into a position where it could exit the station. He hated this bit. Slowly the ship began to rotate, gathering speed with each passing moment, until, after what felt like an eternity, but was, according to the ship’s chronometer, only a few seconds, Lazarus was rotating at a rate that matched that of the huge doors barring the route to open space and planetary orbit beyond. Janus felt sick.

The GPA computers, detecting that Lazarus was ready to go, sent a HOLD signal. That bloody boy racer, he’s shagged the launch sequence. Probably by-passed the launch protocols, forced the GPA to open the bay doors out of sequence. They’ll have his Ident but what the hell, Daddy will pay the fine. Hurry up! I’m gonna hurl.

Bleep.

Bleep-bleep.

The “Go” code. Praise be!

A thin line of black appeared ahead as the seal broke on the massive bay doors. It always amazed Janus how rapidly these huge doors opened but suddenly there was a letterbox shaped snapshot of a piece of Diso directly ahead. The tiniest nudge of the main engines pushed the ship towards the exit and then he felt the huge magnetic steering pulses of the station’s launch control system take over to hurl Lazarus towards space.

Janus knew instantly that something was not right. Lazarus was reacting badly, and unevenly, to the magnetic steering. One or more of the ship’s own magnetic compensators had clearly gone awry and it was affecting the evenness of the steering. Lazarus began to slew as it rushed towards the exit and an alarming amount of the interior of the station’s wall was appearing on the Forward Viewer where, only a second earlier, there had been smooth coastline and deep blue ocean.

Janus scrunched up his eyes and waited for the impact. Then he waited a bit longer just in case. He opened his eyes. There was no bright lights of a medi-centre emergency room, no cracked view screen, or blood and brain splattered extreme close-up of the interior of the station, just a very rapidly changing view out of the main forward view screen.

Planet, space, station, planet, space, station.

Lazarus had emerged from the station, not like a sleek bullet from a rifle, but like a snot from a badly contained sneeze.

Today was not going well.

Part III

Janus wrestled with the controls, initially his frantic stick waggling only enforcing the already frenetic pace of the tumbling. However, eventually, his blasts on the thrusters cancelled out the rotation in one plane and then another and finally, almost gracefully, Lazarus came to a steady bearing, nose down towards the planet.

Janus waited for his eyes, ears and stomach to come to an agreement about which way was up and then he gently lifted the nose up and away from the first tenuous clutches of Diso's upper atmosphere. Calm and collected now, Lazarus swept a gentle arc under one third power to pass back over the station which he had exited so badly a few moments before. Janus was just about to unclip his restraining harnesses when Lazarus bucked violently and then, a instant later, his viewer filled with hot tail exhaust of his nemesis for today, that damnable boy racer. Janus cursed but remained calm enough to lock on his target scanner as the racer rapidly became a receding dot on both the nav display and the forward viewer. The scanner confirmed his suspicions about the launch violations, the pilot of the ship was both offensive and now, legally, and offender. Janus transferred the target lock to his missile's launch computer. On the scanner the yellow blip immediately turned red and was turning back towards Lazarus at a rather sedate pace.

Janus laughed, straight-line dragster punk, all forward thrust with a turning circle worse than an fully loaded Annie. He had loads of time, relatively speaking. There was a blare of static on the wide-band comms, so Janus missed the racer's opening line, but he caught the gist well enough.

“...me! Do you know who my father is? You're going to get your ass kicked over this! You f-”

Janus cut the volume and waited for the additional commentary on his parentage to subside. The ship had finally almost made its turn and would soon be heading back towards Lazarus.

Satisfied that the pilot of the racer had exhausted his entire repertoire of expletives Janus opened up a channel of his own. “Check your status. Your stunt inside the station just earned you a twenty-five credit bounty. You've been burning injectors since you left the station and I don't reckon that you've got enough fuel left to outrun my missile. You'll be dust and shrapnel before your father has time to pay your fine. So, how about you leave those injectors on full and head dark side and keep going until you're off my scanner?”

There was silence over the comms. Janus kept the racer dead centre as it tore across the gap between them. Janus' fingers rested lightly on the trigger for both missile release and his Ingram Beam laser. At the first hint of laser fire from the racer he'd have one clean shot at least. Then, with just a kilometre or so to go the racer banked away as rapidly as it's feeble directional thrusters would allow and shot over and to the left of Lazarus.

Janus took his finger off the laser trigger and instead moved it to his own injectors, which, after a fractional splutter, burst into life in response to his finger's depression of the button. It was a rather frivolous use of fuel but Janus didn't want the racer coming back, he'd leave a missile lock on until the scanner gave up and then he'd change direction as an additional security measure. Normally of course, he'd just witch-out, but today his destination was in-system, the lights and the razzmatazz of the witchpoint beacon constore beckoned.

The computer bleeped, indicating that the missile had lost lock. Janus relaxed, fixing the missile launcher was next on his list of things that he must do as a priority....

Part IV

On the sound of the “target lost” indicator, Janus pulled a hard left and then, after a few seconds, cut the injectors.

Hmmm… that didn’t feel or sound quite right, Janus thought to himself. As confirmation he gently squeezed the injector button again. There was the briefest of surges and then nothing, Lazarus slipped through space with its velocity unchanged. Janus released the button and, already knowing the result, squeezed one final time. Not even the tiniest of responses this time.

Janus squeezed really hard, just in case. Still nothing.

OK. OK. Don’t panic. It’s probably just a localised failure. It will not, absolutely not be the secondary injector inversion module again. I will not, under any circumstances spend another week with my arms up to my elbows in coolant residue because some brain-dead wrench monkey tells me he’s fixed the cross-coupler on the fusion manifold when I knew that wasn’t the fricking problem in the first place.

Janus pushed a palm into either temple and muttered the leerara mantra in the hope of staving off his inevitable stress headache.

“I hate you!” he shouted at the interior of the cockpit, lashing out at the front of the console with a kick.

A second or so later all the lights in the cabin failed and while Janus fumed in the darkness he heard the main oxygen system shutdown. Almost immediately the brandy dispenser poured another lethal concoction.

Definitely where the secondary oxygen unit used to be then, mused Janus, quickly calculating how long his air supply would last given the dimensions of cockpit.

Seven hours, give or take.

In the utter darkness a red light came on and then it started flash. Janus knew exactly what the light meant. It meant the wrench monkey hadn’t repaired the hull breach properly either.

Light on. Six hours fifty-five.

Light off.

Light on. Six hours fifty.

There was only one thing for it…

“I’m sooooo sorry!” he shouted into the alternating red gloom and utter darkness.

Nothing. Only the red blinking light responded to his plea.

“No, no, I really mean it.”

Still nothing.

“Oh come on! If I die you drift out here in space all alone until some dredger finds you and cuts you up for scrap!” He lashed out with a boot and connected, in the darkness, unexpectedly hard with the main console.

The cabin lights and, more importantly, the oxygen processor burst back into life.

That, Janus told himself, was purely coincidental. Something’s loose in the console and I just knocked it back into place. That’s what happened. That’s all that happened.

However, just in case, he gently patted the console. “Get me to the station OK and I guarantee you a no expense spared full and proper service at the nearest Tech 12 system. I promise.”

Lazarus remained non-committal. The red light, less foreboding in the proper cabin lighting, continued to indicate that quite a lot of what was inside the ship was doing its best to exit stage left.

With a heavy heart Janus punched up the rear screen view. Sure enough there was a bread crumb trail of frozen air and water vapour streaming away from the badly repaired and now re-fractured hull plate.

It was like blood in the water. He was shark-bait. Suddenly the Constore seemed a galaxy away.

Part V

Ok, so you've got no injectors, so I can't get there any faster, nor can you run away at the first sign of trouble. But we've got power, lights and oxygen processor is at least working slightly faster than the rate of exit, so I should be alright for air too. I just need to remain calm...

Without injectors Janus was going to have leave the safety of the space lane and rely on the Torus drive to get him to his destination. A lot of pilots he'd met of course did this all the time, but Janus didn't like the idea much. He liked the shoal of fish concept - the pirates might know where the shoal was but he was just one of tens or hundreds, sometimes even thousands of ships, so the chances of him being the actual target of an attack? Slim. And Janus liked those kind of odds. Out of the space lanes, even in a safe system like Diso, there was that chance that you'd meet something dark and sinster, away from the patrolling vipers, away from help of any kind...

Janus knew the limitations of himself and his ship - in a real fight - he was just a piggy bank full of loose change waiting to be cracked open. However, right now, he was was on a very tight schedule and he had to be at the Constore at the Witchpoint Beacon soon. He glanced at the ship's chronometer - really very soon and with that he pulled the nose of Lazarus up about twenty degrees and began to drift away from his comfort zone.

He didn't pull right out, "doing a 90" as they called it in the Station Bars, like those who did this as regularly as taking their daily constitutional. Janus had heard stories that some pirates waited, just off the normal routes, near the beacons or the stations, but just within maximum scanner range waiting for the climbers to identify themselves with their non-herd like mentality and actions. Then, they'd be tracked and once well away from potential help...

Janus shuddered, looking down at the scanner the last of the long stalks of a Python and its three escorts clung briefly to existence and then vanished. He was on his own. With a tembling finger he pushed the button which engaged the Torus drive.

The drive engaged perfectly and Lazarus smoothly accelerated away from the space lane, the throng, the safety of the shoal. On his forward viewport his shields vaporised small particles of detritus: micro-meteorites, dust clouds, fragments of other ships...

The Torus Drive cut out.

MASS LOCKED.

The scanner was devoid of ships. Something cloaked? Oh by all the gods let that not be the case! Then, right on the very edge of the scanner there was a yellow flicker and then it was gone. Oh, another ship, just a regular pirate then...

Knowing it was too late already Janus eased the nose of Lazarus down again, back towards the safety of the shoal and tried the Torus drive again. To his surprise it burst back into life and Lazarus surged away, heading back towards the main space lane. Of course back in the main lane meant no Torus Drive and without Injectors he'd be late, but at least he wouldn't be Late.

The Torus Drive cut out again.

MASS LOCKED.

And there on the very edge of the scanner was a yellow blip.

Part VI

The yellow blip crept ever closer on the scanner, Janus calculating it was doing 0.4 based on the rate of closure. The secondary torque manifold began to oscillate as Janus held full power and then some for much longer than the ageing engines were used to and this had induced some strange harmony from deep inside the ship. Gonna die. Gonna die. Gonna die, it sang. Janus scowled at the interior of Lazarus.

Now he was trying to orientate Lazarus in such a way to get a bead and ID on the chasing ship in the rear viewer while trying to maintain the optimum angle to the safety of the space lane. Lazarus responded sluggishly but the chasing craft remained straight and true and it was easy to centre even at 20K plus.

ASP MK.II noted the ID computer.

But not a navy ship and if it's a pirate then he won't be alone, he's just the chaser...

The range crept down to just eighteen clicks. Well, I'll be in Mil laser range soon, so I guess we'll know soon, eh, Lazarus?

The comms system began to squeal horribly making Janus jump. Yeh, that's right, jam my comms so I can't even beg for mercy or call for help.

At fifteen clicks range the comms system suddenly cut out and Janus gave a little yelp of surprise - expecting instead a deadly beam of coherent light to rip through his shields.

"Can you hear me now?" asked a tinny and distant voice.

"Erm, yes," offered Janus in response scanning the cabin for the source of this mysterious vocalisation.

"Good. Your comms system seems to be in some odd state of repair, you're on system wide transmit. I've had to bypass remotely and switch you to our emergency system."

"Our emergency system?" inquired Janus.

"Oh sorry, yes, Commander Tanaka of the Oolite Ordnance, I'm responding to your automatic distress signal Commander-" there was a pause, as if the speaker was preparing himself - "D-dd-aa-aa-dd-dd-ee-ee-hooooooooo-keeeeeeeeeeeee. Now do you want to cut the engines so we can see if we can do something about your fuel injectors and then we can discuss your membership renewal?"

Janus cut his engines - even if this was a trick he was dead anyway - he'd take it on face value and pray, lots.

The name D-dd-aa-aa-dd-dd-ee-ee-hooooooooo-keeeeeeeeeeeee was vaguely familiar, it had something to do with Lazarus's previous owner, but Janus couldn't think what.

He mulled it over while a sleek yellow Asp filled his rear viewer. So far, so good thought Janus, relaxing a bit as the Asp came to a dead stop just a click or so away, which is why, to be fair, that the missile launch really did come as a complete surprise.

Part VII

Janus didn't have chance to scream, his hand frozen half way to the ECM button when the missile tore, unhindered, through his shields and impacted with a...

THUNK

What the?!

"You're shooting at me!!!" screamed Janus, glad that he had the breath and mechanism to do so.

"Please, please, stay calm. We've tried explaining what we're about to do and pilots invariably ECM the missile the moment we launch it," replied the tinny voice of Commander Tanaka.

The reverberation from the impact died away and had been replaced by a strange, gurgling, slurping noise. "There's a funny noise," Janus offered to the tinny voice.

"That's good. That's the nano-bots in the missile eating through your hull plating-"

"What!?"

"-but they're sealing as it goes," continued Tanaka ignoring the interruption. "Your hull integrity will not be compromised. What ever happens next, try not to panic."

The slurping, gurgling noise suddenly ceased. The silence was ominous and disconcerting.

"What do you mean 'What ever happens next'?"

For the second time that day Janus was plunged into utter darkness, even the O2 leak indicator and the brandy dispenser's internal lighting had failed. Janus's eyes strained in the gloom for the tiniest sliver of light to latch onto, but there was nothing.

Suddenly the Astronavigation console burst briefly into life, five may be ten times brighter than normal, in the darkness it was like a sudden super nova and when it went out again Janus was left with a lurid yellow and purple afterglow etched into his retina.

He was wailing and clutching his eyes when the cabin lights came back on. He heard the brandy dispenser issue another drink.

"Are you all right?" asked the tinny voice.

"I've gone blind!"

"Pardon?"

"It went dark and then the Astro-console lit up like a q-mine going off in an orbital scrapyard. Now I'm blind!"

There was a strange noise from the hidden speaker, it might have been a sigh. "It sounds like the nano-bots had to do a full system reboot as they took over your ship systems, but that's good, a system wide repair is much quicker after a full reboot."

From all around the cabin subtle sounds of activity drifted in.

With the purple blotches fading, Janus collected his thoughts. "Just what precisely are you doing to my ship?"

"Basically, I, or more precisely the nano-bots are repairing all your failed systems by reconfiguring themselves to become the defunct components. Let's see, erm, Comms system, fixed, ah, missile launcher, fixed, hmmm, no wait, there we go, Witchfuel Injection system is coming back online in three, two, one, now."

"And all this is part of my Oolite Ordnance membership?"

"Providing you have regularly servicing, which your logs indicate you have, then yes, all part of the service." Even the tinny voice had stopped as Commander Tanaka's voice was now routed through Lazarus's proper Comms system.

"Now," said Commander Tanaka, "while the 'bots finish up, let's just talk about the eight thousand credits required to renew your annual membership."

Janus almost wished the comms was still playing up.

"How much?" he asked in a strangled, credit-account hurting tone.

Part VIII

Janus tore up and away from the spacelane on full and glorious injectors. Lazarus seemed to slide through the aether with renewed vigour and as Commander Tanaka's Asp peeled away with a final wing dip flourish and Janus was left alone he killed the injectors and punched in the Torus drive.

He was going to make it. Already, there was a hint that one of the distant dots was slightly more gaudy and neon-like than the rest. He patted the console in front of him affectionately.

Eight Thousand Credits was a lot. Eight Thousand and fifty, the extra fifty required for the transfer of membership seemed to be annoyingly excessive but Janus had paid it. The insinuation that the nano-bots could be shutdown remotely was enough to get Janus to sign on the electronic dotted line. Janus' Standard Trader's Account looked decidedly empty and even though he knew he had funds transferred to his new accounts with the RBB and Alliances it was uncomfortable to see a four digit rather than a five digit credit balance on his ship manifest.

The advanced space compass indicated that the ever-growing gaudy dot was indeed the system's Constore, indeed the shift of colour towards the orange indicated that the Sainsboory's logo of the massive structure would soon be filling his forward viewer.

Image

The witchpoint Ad-X board swept past off Lazarus's port side - Janus didn't even change viewers to get a view. Wonder how much it costs to advertise on one? he mused as moved into his rear quadrant. Wasted on me whatever it is. The Torus drive cut out as a yellow blip appeared on the Astronavigation console, quickly followed by four more. Something big and with escorts noted Janus to himself as his hand moved to the injectors button. The countdown on his chronometer indicated he still had a little under an hour to meet his deadline.

Just before he engaged the injectors his newly repaired Comms system filled with the skin crawling sound of a Remlok distress signal. He jabbed the viewer to the rear screen. There was a dying fireball and it was clear that Ad-X sign was rotating at an odd angle and the screen was flickering. One of the small yellow blips was missing on the Scanner.

"Help. Help. Help," screamed a voice over the wideband channel. "My brother, my brother, his ship, it dead. We have not working fuel-scoops. Please, please be helping! Somebody!" The accent and dialect were strange but the plea unmistakeable. The 'Store would dispatch sidewinders for sure but without 'scoops they'd be no help until something slower with a scoop could be mobilised and then it would be too late.

With a scream of frustration and with one eye on his ever approaching deadline Janus hauled Lazarus about face and punched up the injectors, the wail of the Remlok reverberating around the cabin.

Part IX

Janus raced at full speed towards the ever diminishing cloud of debris and vented atmosphere, tracking how the cloud had deformed, guessing the potential trajectory of a tiny, helpless body, protected by the absolute last line in defence against the harshness of space. Janus could feel his heart racing as he cut the engines and scanned the viewer, desperately scanning every enhanced pixel of the ever changing image in the hope of spotting the otherwise doomed pilot. Pieces of the destroyed ship pinged and ricocheted off the hull of Lazarus as Janus nudged the ship around on minimal thruster power. Come on. Come on. Where are you? Janus focussed on the noise coming from his newly repaired comms system listening to the doppler shift of the Remlok distress signal as the nose of the ship bobbed and weaved under Janus' control hunting for that rock steady signal on the comms, the blinking light of the Remlok on the forward viewer.

There?

Yes? No? Yes? Yes! Got you!


Janus gave Lazarus a small push on main engines and as the ship moved forward he waited patiently for the speck of life to slowly fill the forward viewer. Get this wrong Janus and you won't be rescuing the pilot you'll just be using him as a thin veneer to coat the front of the ship.

He wondered how long it was since he'd taken a breath.

In the bottom half of the viewer there was a brief distortion in the normally invisible forward shields, a shimmer of blue, a background to briefly highlight the silhouette of a still and lifeless body. By the Gods, please just let that be the tranquillisers, I really don't want to be rescuing a corpse. The paperwork is a joke for that!

There was a hum from deep within the ship, the fuel scoop had automatically detected that it had been presented with something other than star gas and was adjusting its intake manifold appropriately. Well, Janus hoped it was appropriately, otherwise...

Janus failed to get the image of Jelly being pushed through a sieve out of his mind as the 'scoop suddenly wound up to full power and then cut off. The cargo manifest display seemed to be having some trouble judging by the stream of random characters scrolling up the screen. Eventually it settled on a single, incorrect word.

SLAVES

This was good, this implied the cargo computer had detected lifesigns otherwise it may have flashed up simply food and that would have been, at the very least, embarrassing.

Janus hauled Lazarus back over and on full injectors blasted back towards the station going to wide band comms as he waited for Lazarus to climb to top speed.

"I have your brother and he is alive. Follow me."

He cut the comms, he didn't have time to hear the thanks, that could wait for later. He glanced at the countdown portion of the chronometer, he wasn't going to make.

But then again...

"Diso Station 'Light's Fantastic', this is Commander Janus of the Cobra Mark three designated Lazarus, I have a Remlok stasis pilot in a near death state, have Medivac crews ready on the docking bay, clear the pattern, I am coming in hot and I am coming in now."

Part X

On full injectors Janus blasted past the 'Stores dispatched Sidewinders, which suddenly began to loop about in confusion... should they go to the impact point or escort Janus in? Either option was nugatory effort, Janus was faster so didn't need escorting and what was the point of going to impact site when he had the pilot?

Buoyed by his success Janus opened a tight signal to the two Sidewinders. "You could guide the freighter and its escorts in," he suggested casually.

Seemingly pleased with some authoritative direction the Sidewinders moved off and swung round behind the big ship that Janus could now see, in his rear viewer, was an Anaconda.

Switching to the Port viewer Janus waited for the bright lights of the station to become the blackness of space once more as it rushed past on his left hand side. His eyes flicked down to the Astronav' console, the Annie and its additional escorts seemed to be sorting themselves out. That's what you get when you pay eight creds an hour for your pilots.

Suddenly the brightness of the station was gone from his viewer and his eyes jumped back to the job at hand, cutting the throttle to near zero he pulled Lazarus over ninety degrees and gave the engines a quick blast of full power. Janus had considered, briefly, doing this on the docking computer, but having brashly claimed he was coming in hot it would be an embarrassment for Lazarus to start pirouetting around like some demented ballerina at 0.1LM just a few clicks from the docking entrance.

No. He'd said hot and he meant it - besides, the ship Chronometer was still counting down and even with this reckless behaviour, by the time the ship was static and the inventory computer was talking nicely with the 'Stores Sales, Shipments and Billing computer he'd be down to seconds on the clock...

In the Port view the station came into sight again, Janus needed to get this just right, he was going to pull round without slowing down, taking into account the forward motion relative to the 'Store's entrance to be perfectly aligned as he straightened up...

...it worked in the training sims...

...most of the time...

Suddenly there was the station entrance, looming, nav lights on, some enticing, some flashing warnings about his unorthodox approach vector. He was aligned but completely out of sync with the station's rotation and he had to heave Lazarus around in a twisting spin as he breached the magnetic field and was suddenly captured by the station's auto controls and overwhelmingly powerful steering commands which cut the ship's engines and cancelled out, with a jolt, his crazy spin manoeuvre.

Janus rubbed a whiplashed neck and only then gave some consideration to the body that was loose, and possibly now slightly more mushy, on the floor of his cargo bay.

Oops

Station authorities had cleared a docking pad near the station entrance and the flashes of blue and green indicated that the medivac team was already waiting. Janus programmed the hold doors to open automatically on touch down - this was a breach of normal station rules but given the circumstances he'd get away with it and besides, it was exactly what he needed to do to offload the contents of his hold before the glaring, red timer on the Chronometer reached 00:00:00.

As Lazarus' landing computer chatted to that of the station's Landing System Janus fired up his manifest and sales interface and kept hitting refresh in the vague hope that somehow it would make a connection before he was actually down on the deck. It clearly wasn't going to happen but he kept doing it anyway.

A ping from the main comms terminal indicating an incoming mesage distracted him briefly - he hit accept and a divine young lady whose clothes had not survived the pixelation process danced in the air in front of him and invited The Hero to a free pass to the Level 23 Club.

He hit accept just as Lazarus touched down, the hold doors opened, the medivac teams rushed forward and the manifest and sales interface finally established a connection.

It was possibly the busiest single second of Janus' nineteen standard years so far...

Part XI

Janus frantically scrolled through the standard sales interface. No. No. No. No. Oh come on! No. No. No.

Top level category sales were for those who were happy to take what they could get for their cargo. Turn up at a High Tech, Rich Industrial world whose only green patches are for Zero-G cricket pitches and you’ll get 7Cr per TC for your food irrespective of whether its Freeze-dried Qubeian Sprouts or Spiced Laveian Tree Grubs. But spend a little time, dig a little deeper and take a little more risk and profits could be doubled, tripled on occasion, if only you can match what you’re selling to what somebody else wants to buy.

Janus was still scrolling and cursing when he took a chance and ordered a cargo bot to empty his hold and put it on the dock side, this stuff really needed to be ready to go. As soon as he sent the request he got a Comms blip, this was to be expected, even here at a Constore certain procedures needed to be followed and Janus had just skipped about nineteen of them.

He opened a channel. “Yes?” he enquired as lightly and as nonplussed as possible.

“You are not yet authorised to unload your cargo,” came a curt response over the Comms. “Cancel your request immediately.”

“Unload my cargo? No. No. You misunderstand, I just want the stuff out of the hold so that the Medivac team can work on the pilot I rescued,” replied Janus innocently.

There was a hiss on the Comms which meant the channel was still open, a hint of whispered conversation between minnow and superior. Janus allowed himself the tiniest of smiles. “Erm, yes, well, erm, of course, that’s completely acceptable. Fine. Erm, carry on. Well done.” More hissing and then the Comms fell silent.

As the Cargo bot moved into position, hampering, if anything the work of the Medivac team, Janus finally scrolled over the name he’d been looking for and let out a little whoop of delight, and punched in High Priority call to the number supplied on the databanks screen.

The face of an extremely rotund little man appeared in the viewer. He looked desperately harangued. “This better be good!”

“I have thirty-four TCs of Socelageian Exotic Goat Meat on the dock side looking for a buyer,” replied Janus cutting to the chase.

The man’s face brightened and then his brows furrowed in deep suspicion. “How do I know-”

“Transmitting my full manifest now,” interrupted Janus, cutting the man’s obvious question off mid-sentence.

The man looked down, probably at a data screen of his own. Janus watched the relief come over his face. “Thirty-four TCs of Socelageian Exotic Goat Meat is confirmed,” he said without looking up, “and 1 TC of slaves?” he added.

“A misunderstanding, but there’s no heading for ‘Rescued Pilot’,” Janus replied somewhat curtly, one eye still on the Chronometer. “The Socelagian Ambassador arrives very soon I’m lead to believe,” noted Janus by way of encouragement.

“Yes. Yes. OK, I can give you eighty Credits per TC. I’m sending my ‘bots now.”

“WHAT!” Janus blurted out. He’d bought the meat for 2.3Cr per TC at Diso’s main station and planned on jumping out with it just like everybody else carrying food did. But then he’d overheard two separate conversations in the Station’s Zero-G Bar. The first about the Socelageians visiting the system and the Navy was on high alert for some reason because of it. The second about a friend of a friend of an acquaintance who knew a guy who had agreed to host a banquet for the Socelageians and then discovered he couldn’t source any goat meat. Janus had put two and two together and come up with pure profit.

“Ok! Ninety Credits not one decimal more,” stammered the man, desperation creeping in to his voice.

“You have got to be kidding me!” cried Janus. Is this guy nuts? I thought may be I’d ask for 30, let him talk me down to 20. What’s going on?

“OK! OK! Please! One Hundred Credits, that’s it, I really can’t afford anymore, but they’ll kill me if I don’t have Socelageian Exotic Goat Meat on the menu.”

Here, ‘kill me’ didn’t sound like, ‘I’ll be in big trouble’, it sounded like a brief tour of the outside of the station without the benefit of an enviro-suit.

“Deal,” replied Janus.

On the screen the man all but collapsed with relief. “Thank-you,” he said and then the screen went blank. Immediately a ‘Transfer of Goods Authorisation’ document came up on the data screen along with an agreement to pay Janus 3400 Credits for the shipment. Janus put his left thumb on, and his left eye in front of the data screen and hit the ‘scan and accept’ option from the menu.

The Chronometer stopped its countdown. Nine minutes to spare. A comparative breeze in the end!

Time to relax I think that visit to Level 23 is well deserved now. Which reminds me, I wonder how that pilot is actually doing?

Janus spun round in his pilot’s chair and made a start to rise from his seat. This gave him time to see the huge snarling Tiger as it launched itself in his direction but not many options to do anything about it, other than to briefly start to scream.

Part XII

Janus’ scream was muffled as he was enveloped by the great bulk of the animal and huge clawed front legs wrapped around him in a crushing embrace. Crushed back into the pilot’s seat Janus just had time to see the gaping maw and fiery blood-shot eyes of his attacker before he scrunched up his own and waited for the killer bite. What a very odd end to what seemed like quite a good day he found himself thinking in his final moment.

However, the final, killer bite never came and the grip lessened and the snarling seemed to take on a more ‘sobbing’ nature and finally, deep, guttural, but muffled words penetrated down to Janus’ fur encased head and ears.

“My brother, my brother, his life is saved. Friend you are and brother now. Life debt I have given you, I can never repay, but will try, my brother.”

Ahhhhh…

Would this perchance be the pilot of the Anaconda?
wondered Janus as he pushed back from the still near crushing, but less deadly, embrace. Immediately the pressure was released and the great cat backed away. Janus wasn’t sure why, now he had chance to look more closely, his panicked brain had screamed ‘TIGER’ in his head. Sure, there were stripes, but they were more subtle than the tigers in the holo-vids of the Old Earth species, nor, save a few childhood story books, did tigers wandered around fully dressed, and even in those tales the subjects never wore a good blaster at their side or carried a linguistic enhancer around their neck.

The not-a-tiger-feline stood to its full seven feet height and thumped a front paw to its chest. “Treee’ggaar of Erbiti System I am,” roared the Erbitian before it took on a somewhat expectant stance.

Hmmm… He’s clearly waiting for something… Ah-ha! “And I am Janus of, erm, well, nowhere in particular!” replied Janus raising one hand and waving it vaguely in the air.

The Erbitian seemed satisfied with this. “I go now with brother, friend Janus. Return I will, please to not be leaving before I do.” It was probably said in a friendly way, but from that snarling maw, despite the enhancer, it sounded like an instruction bordering on a threat.

With that the big cat spun on its back legs and part strode, part bounded from the cabin and Janus found himself stumbling along behind.

They reached the hold just as the Medivac team prepared to load Treee’ggaar’s brother into the back of a small medical shuttle, a converted Worm. It was likely, given the facilities available at the Constore that the Medivac crew would have stabilised the Remloked pilot ready to make the trip to one of the main stations where much better medical facilities existed. Janus stared down at the prone pilot, still encased in the nano-fibres which had emerged from the Remlok mask to cocoon it against the worst of a deep-space vacuum, although the nano-fibres had been parted in several places to allow the penetration of various tubes and wiring.

As the Medivac crew pushed past Janus and the door of the Worm shut, hiding the pilot and his new found friend from view a deep sense of foreboding crept over Janus. In his head something unravelled, the hint of a hidden memory revealed. Janus stood there unmoved as he was buffeted by the manoeuvring thrusters of the medical shuttle as it climbed away from the dock.

I’ve been hexed! Somebody has been fiddling with my brain and my memories. Then a name came to him, he’d heard it already today, it had, perhaps, been the catalyst. D-dd-aa-aa-dd-dd-ee-ee-hooooooooo-keeeeeeeeeeeee

Janus returned to Lazarus’ cabin. He was still going to the Level 23 club, but he had a hunch and needed to check out a few things first. Today was proving to be a very strange day indeed.

Part XIII

It took Janus a long time to get to the Level 23 club. As he sat in the pilot’s chair of Lazarus, searching for, finding and reading dozen’s of news articles from the Galactic News Network, Diso Digest, Snoopes.gal and several other minor newsfeeds the ship’s Chronometer was the only reliable indicator that he kept blanking out. After each Huh? What? Where am I? moment another fragment of memory had been pushed back into place, another thread rewoven. Finally, he was sure he had enough to go on and he headed for the Level 23 club, which confusingly was to be found on Level 16 of the station.

Although there was a queue to get in as he moved to the back of the line two scantily clad young ladies appeared, seemingly from nowhere, and guided him to a different door which opened as they approached and whooshed shut once they’d stepped over the threshold. The entrance to this side of the club was palatial, this was clearly the mythical VIP area visitors to an L23 claimed existed but none he had spoken to had ever seen.

“I’m Tina and I’m your hostess for today,” said the brunette to his left-hand side, whose tones were so seductive Janus had no choice but to stop staring around the room and instead give his undivided attention to her, which he promptly did. “So, Janus, hero of the Constore and friend of Level 23, whatever you desire, it’s yours,” she purred and then wrapped herself around him and kissed him in a way that indicated that whatever really did mean just that.

“I really need to see one of your resident gamblers, a bird who goes by the name of Daddyhoggy,” blurted out Janus.

“Really?” said Tina in a somewhat surprised tone. “I’m pretty sure the big bird doesn’t swing that way and you don’t strike me as his type, but I can put in a good word for you.”

“What? Er, ah, no. I have a business proposition for him and as I believe he’s here and now I’m here I was just hoping to put my case to him in these… rather beautiful surroundings.”

Tina nodded knowingly. “I see. Good. We thought we’d got you completely wrong there! Come with me, I’m pretty sure he’s in Chamber Eight, I’ll introduce you.”

As they set off the blonde who had until now been silent pushed a little fob into his hand. “Just push the button and I’ll know you’re ready to play,” she said in a voice as equally alluring as Tina’s and then she was gone, slinking away in a different direction to that which Tina was guiding him. He was still hot and flushed when they arrived at Chamber Eight.

Only one question had come to mind on their journey from the VIP entrance to Chamber Eight and he voiced it cautiously. “What did you mean by ‘we’d got you completely wrong’?”

Tina smiled a knowing smile as she wafted along. “You’re very candid when you fill in your applications for your L23 free-day passes,” was all she would say on the matter.

Outside Chamber Eight Tina indicated Janus should wait outside while she checked the status of the room and indeed its potential occupant. “Of course, if the room is empty, we could always put it to good use,” said Tina as she disappeared inside. Janus nodded dumbly, now he was as nervous that the room might be empty as he was if it wasn’t.

Tina returned a few seconds later. “Apparently the big bird says ‘He knew this day would come eventually’. You’ve got thirty minutes.” She pressed another fob into his hand. “If you haven’t pressed my buttons by then, I’m coming back to collect you anyway.”

Then she was gone. Janus watched her slink away, before his mind allowed him to return to the job at hand. He stepped up to the chamber door which opened as he approached. Inside the well lit chamber, across a gambling table, big, black eyes peered at him from the head of a big, blue-black bird.

“Daddyhoggy?” enquired Janus.

The bird gave what Janus surmised was the avian equivalent of a shrug. “As near as now makes no difference,” replied the bird.

Another linguistic enhancer, oh how Janus hated how the mouth, or in this case, beak movement didn’t match the words he could hear. If this turned into a long conversation Janus would have to listen with his eyes shut.

“Now sit down my child we have a lot to talk about.”

Janus did as he was instructed.

“Let’s get this over with then,” said the bird out of sync already from its beak movements. Janus closed his eyes. “Let’s talk about the Orisis.”

Click

The hex was broken. The last thread stitched back into place, all he needed now from the bird were confirmations not explanations but he listened nevertheless.

Part XIV

As the bird spoke images coalesced in Janus’ mind. Sounds joined them; screams mainly. Then smells filled in the cracks, sickly smells of charred power conduits and burning flesh.

“The Orisis was an immense ship. Constructed in separate GASEC shipyards all over the chart and assembled in secret. Your parents, both top-line engineers on the project, lived and breathed that ship. Your mother didn’t even leave to give birth to you. Legend has it that she came up with the ship’s innovative ventilation system while panting her way through labour. So you grew up wandering the ship’s ever growing interiors, hopping on shuttles with your parents who moved between systems and sections implementing ever more complex designs into the fabric of the ship, each one overcoming what other designers claimed were insurmountable technological barriers on a ship of those proportions.”

Janus was glad he’d shut his eyes, there was no way all those words and that beak were going to match up, it might have given him the giggles, which would have been, at best, inappropriate. This seemed to be a natural lull in the bird’s monologue so he dived right in. “So what was your role on the Orisis?” he asked, fairly certain he knew already.

The bird clucked, perhaps a sign of irritation or simply something the Linguistic Enhancer had completely failed to interpret into Standard Galactic. “I was but a simple designer,” replied the bird, seemingly trying to both play up his role while not comparing his own achievements to that of Janus’ parents. The Linguistic Enhancer tried and failed to impart the words with a suitable tone and so they sounded whiny and slightly condescending at the same time. “I specialised in lighting and colouring mainly, but I have a knack for the shaping and placement of gravimetric field generators, so I ended up working quite closely with your parents and therefore saw quite a lot of you.”

Janus nodded his affirmation. “Tell me about the final test flight, the official maiden voyage.”

There was that clucking sound again; it was definitely the sound of irritation this time. “Very well,” replied the bird, “if I must be rushed into recalling that tragic event so be it.”

Janus opened his eyes again briefly and watched the bird, flutter and twitter and give itself a subconscious quick preen. It looked as uncomfortable as any creature could.

“Please continue,” urged Janus.

The bird ceased its preening. If it was possible for a bird to look sullen, then Daddyhoggy had captured that expression perfectly.

The bird began. “Through a series of short hops to iron out the kinks they had brought the ship, in secret to Leesti. The plan was then to jump to Diso, this very system, to much awe and whooping and back-slapping from the assembled dignitaries and press. The jumps to Leesti had gone faultlessly, better than anybody could have dared hope, so at the agreed time, with a system full of expectant eyes waiting a safe distance from the witchpoint beacon at Diso, the Orisis made its final, fateful jump.”

Janus could feel the tears and anger welling up from deep inside. “Please continue,” he managed to croak out.

“The jump went perfectly but, as your parents predicted, a ship of this immensity would leave open a witch-hole for a duration never seen before and as we emerged from the witch-hole exit at Diso an asteroid, which had entered the hole at high speed at the Leesti end before it had time to collapse, exited with us.”

The bird made a noise that the the Linguistic Enhancer completely failed to translate but Janus fully understood the enormity of the emotion it captured and this time he did not press for a continuance but waited, holding back the tears.

“The ship was ripped in two,” said the bird flatly and suddenly. “The section you, your parents and I were in was extremely close to the impact point and it quickly vented its atmosphere to space. My species may no longer be genetically capable of flight but we retain the ability to function at high altitude where the air is extremely thin. I was therefore able to fit emergency Remlok masks to all four of us before I too lost consciousness. However, it was not the exposure to vacuum that killed your parents it was the explosion that occurred shortly after I fitted our masks that flung us all out into the void. We were lucky, your parents were not.”

Both sat in silence until Janus began to sob and he felt soft warm feathers wrap themselves, almost shroud like, almost Remlok like, around him.

“We Soreisbeians are not very good at human emotions so while you were recovering from your injuries at a GASEC funded medical facility I slipped away. I paid for the hexing that you have now so infuriatingly broken and I have done my best to watch and guide you without betraying my presence. Finally, when it was clear you would abandon your cushy design job at Ingram and would hurl yourself into the adventure that is interstellar trading I called in my old co-pilot's gambling debts and forced him to sell you Lazari at a bargain basement price. Clearly that was my undoing. How is the old girl by the way?”

The final question was delivered in such a conversational manner that it caught Janus completely by surprise and he found his tears curtailed and he answered the question.

“It would seem that the Lazari has been redesignated Lazarus I suspect because somehow she keeps rising from the dead. She is, erm, temperamental.”

The bird made a strange noise, which puzzled Janus until it became clear the bird was laughing. “I recall she was a high maintenance moody bitch of a ship,” clucked the bird.

“I couldn't comment, she might hear.” Janus smiled briefly at the thought but then felt the weight of the recent revelations come crushing back and the tears came again.

The comforting hold of the bird tightened. “GASEC paid me a lot of money to keep my beak shut. I knew your parents had warned them about the potential threat of uncontrolled objects passing across the extended witch-hole. I hear they've redesigned the ship, going to release a whole fleet of them, with special procedures for jumping out of systems with asteroid fields. I think it's doomed to failure but what do I know? I'm just a dumb bird who likes to play cards.”

Then the bird fell still and silent too.

Part XV

Janus' sobbing subsided, he was empty but somehow whole again. This strange black feathered bird still held him gently while in his mind he replayed his newly discovered childhood memories over and over again, with ever increasing clarity. Daddyhoggy had saved his life and, it would seem, watched and helped him from afar ever since. He had often wondered why, as an orphan with no childhood memories, he still felt oddly lucky. The job at Ingram, the bargain price for a recalcitrant Cobra Mark 3 to name but the most two recent lucky breaks. He wasn't sure how long they both sat in silence before he became aware of a distant bleeping noise and the change in Daddyhoggy. Was the bird nervous? Fidgety?

“I am extremely embarrassed to announce this at such a moving time, but I have another appointment...”

If the bird had hands to wring the Linguistic Enhancer's tone implied that is precisely what the Soreisbeian would be doing right now. His thirty minutes were up, the bird clearly had other matters to attend to and it was equally clear that the bird now believed it was relieved of whatever sense of duty it had taken upon itself. Fair enough thought Janus. Unsure of what to do with himself he realised he’d been nervously rolling the little fobs, given to him earlier, around in his hands. Breaking away from the ever slackening grip of the bird, he held them up, a thumb poised over each. Oh why the hell not!

As he pressed them all hell broke loose. Sirens and alarms went off all over the station. All comms in the club switched to the Navy Emergency Frequency, all the bird's bright, but carefully selected, mood lighting shut down to be replaced with the alternate flashing red and green warning signal that meant only one thing…

Janus looked dumbfounded at his two thumbs and the fobs upon which they rested.

“I’m pretty sure that was purely coincidental,” stammered the bird, the Linguistic Enhancer fully capturing the terror in his voice.

“This is Commander Tanaka of the Galactic Navy,” boomed a voice over the Emergency Channel. “All pilots rated Average or above who have an armed ship are to launch immediately and be prepared to fight. Thargoids have entered the system. I repeat Thargoids have entered the system.”

Thargoids here? Diso? It can’t be! thought Janus and yet he was already up and moving towards the exit.

He cast a glance in the direction of Daddyhoggy who held up his wings. “A harmless coward with no ship,” came the strangely well-practised sounding response.

Janus met Tina at the exit, she had obviously decided to return before he’d pressed the fob. She looked terrified. “W-What’s your rating?” she stuttered, no sign of that sultry purr now.

“Despite my best efforts? Above Average I’m afraid.”

She grabbed him and kissed him firmly on the lips as he tried to squeeze by. “Come back safe, I haven’t finished with you yet!”

As Janus dashed back towards the docking bay, joining many others heading in the same direction, he couldn’t help but smile to himself. He didn’t really want to die but now he really wanted to stay alive, the difference was subtle but important.

Somewhat in a trance he raced up the open cargo bay ramp and Lazarus was already off the pad and headed for the exit when it finally snapped shut behind him.

He weaved amongst the other ships headed for the station exit. Launch protocols at a Constore were always somewhat more lax than at a main station but this was bordering on chaos. Launch Control had clearly given up and had just left the inner doors of the docking bay permanently open, relying on the forcefields alone to stop the station from explosively venting its vast atmosphere into space. Not that it really mattered, if the station's defenders failed to repel the attack, formidable though it was, the Constore would be quickly torn apart by the Thargoids. Daddyhoggy would die, Tina would die, even the Goat Meat man would die. Ok, Lazarus, I need you to be on your best behaviour for the next few minutes. Let's put on a good show eh? He tapped the astronavigation panel by way of encouragement but Lazarus gave no clue as to her current mood.

Janus squeezed Lazarus past the same gaudily painted station Sidewinders that had launched earlier when he'd rescued the Remloked pilot, they seemed reluctant to join the line of ships waiting at the exit. Janus shook his head sadly This isn't about eight Creds an hour boys, this is about whether you die outside the station fighting or inside the station trapped and helpless.

He glared at them until he lost sight of them and had to concentrate his attention on the very busy exit, suddenly, right behind what appeared to be a beautifully equipped Boa Class Cruiser which breached the forcefield and disappeared, it was his turn.

He hit full power and Lazarus tore through the inner forcefield and a brief instant later exited into a Maelstrom of utter Hell.

Part XVI

Can be found ->here<-

Didn't fit due to single posting word limit!
Last edited by DaddyHoggy on Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:05 pm, edited 25 times in total.
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
ClymAngus
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:31 am
Location: London England
Contact:

Post by ClymAngus »

First review! Woot!

I remember reading this one on the wiki some time ago. I always thought it flowed very well. It really sets the mood wonderfully. Excellent job!

User avatar
drew
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2186
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 9:29 am
Location: In front of a laptop writing a book.
Contact:

Post by drew »

Read this before, liked it then - need MORE!!!!!!

Cheers,

Drew.
Author of the Oolite Saga, the officially licensed Elite: Reclamation and Elite Dangerous: Premonition
WebsiteFacebookTwitter

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

:cry: Well, wherever Lazarus has gone I hope it's a happy place because I cannot find the rest of the story that I had written (not a huge amount, but significant). I've searched through all the memory sticks I pulled off my Win98SE disk - but unless I've named it something very obscure it doesn't appear to be on any of them.

I will therefore, suck it up and carry on from where it currently ends (editing the first post and adding it directly there - so newcomers can read it in one chunk - well until it gets too big!)
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
ClymAngus
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:31 am
Location: London England
Contact:

Post by ClymAngus »

You know normally I see fan fiction revolving around a franchise as essentially a futile gesture. A bad investment. Oolite is different, this 80's throw away has been, hijacked off the software scrap heap, retro-fitted and continues to be pimped by the old duffers who loved it the first time round.

This game belongs to the world pure and simple. Long live oolite fic!

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

A short Part II (to get the ball rolling again) appended to the first post.

The thing about Oolite-fan-fic, is that the stories lead to oxps which lead to different oxps which lead to story ideas which lead to stories which lead to oxps - repeat with a big cheesy grin on your face...

While Drew et al, brilliantly cover galactic sweeping events on an epic scale, I'm going to try to show how horribly complicated it can be to get your rusty out of a station and on to its pre-planned milk-run (and try and make it entertaining of course!)
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
Cmdr Wyvern
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1565
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:47 am
Location: Somewhere in the great starry void

Post by Cmdr Wyvern »

ClymAngus wrote:You know normally I see fan fiction revolving around a franchise as essentially a futile gesture. A bad investment. Oolite is different, this 80's throw away has been, hijacked off the software scrap heap, retro-fitted and continues to be pimped by the old duffers who loved it the first time round.

This game belongs to the world pure and simple. Long live oolite fic!
Many a game from the 80's seen their heydays then died, never to be heard from again. Truely abandonware.
Elite, however, had many revivals, attempts to remake, and a loyal army of diehard fans. It's a classic that simply refuses to die and be forgotten, and hardly abandoned. As I see it, Oolite is Elite reincarnated.

The big game houses think the days of the spaceflight sim are long over.
Oolite, and projects like FSO and Vegastrike prove them wrong.
Running Oolite buttery smooth & rock stable w/ tons of eyecandy oxps on:
ASUS Prime X370-A
Ryzen 5 1500X
16GB DDR4 3200MHZ
128GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Boot drive)
1TB Hybrid HDD (For software and games)
EVGA GTX-1070 SC
1080P Samsung large screen monitor

User avatar
Cmdr James
Commodore
Commodore
Posts: 1275
Joined: Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Berlin

Post by Cmdr James »

Cmdr Wyvern wrote: Many a game from the 80's seen their heydays then died, never to be heard from again. Truely abandonware.
Elite, however, had many revivals, attempts to remake, and a loyal army of diehard fans. It's a classic that simply refuses to die and be forgotten, and hardly abandoned. As I see it, Oolite is Elite reincarnated.
Dont forget Elite IV, which is looking to replace Duke Nukem Forever as the most delayed game in computer history.

User avatar
Cmdr Wyvern
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 1565
Joined: Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:47 am
Location: Somewhere in the great starry void

Post by Cmdr Wyvern »

@James,
There's good reasons that I didn't mention vaporware. Why bother mentioning games that will never be born.
Running Oolite buttery smooth & rock stable w/ tons of eyecandy oxps on:
ASUS Prime X370-A
Ryzen 5 1500X
16GB DDR4 3200MHZ
128GB NVMe M.2 SSD (Boot drive)
1TB Hybrid HDD (For software and games)
EVGA GTX-1070 SC
1080P Samsung large screen monitor

User avatar
drew
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2186
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 9:29 am
Location: In front of a laptop writing a book.
Contact:

Post by drew »

Part II is good - Involved with the character now - WHAT HAPPENS NEXT???

Cheers,

Drew.
Author of the Oolite Saga, the officially licensed Elite: Reclamation and Elite Dangerous: Premonition
WebsiteFacebookTwitter

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

In response - Part III appended to original post.
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
drew
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 2186
Joined: Fri May 19, 2006 9:29 am
Location: In front of a laptop writing a book.
Contact:

Post by drew »

He-he - damn the boy racers. Nice!

Cheers,

Drew.
Author of the Oolite Saga, the officially licensed Elite: Reclamation and Elite Dangerous: Premonition
WebsiteFacebookTwitter

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Not yet a part IV - but note that story ideas for Lazarus have now intermixed with my own Ooniversal presence and I've finally put DaddyHoggy in the wiki. Link is in my new sig.

Thoughts much appreciated - this is really still just a placeholder - it will become more detailed over time.
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

User avatar
pagroove
---- E L I T E ----
---- E L I T E ----
Posts: 3035
Joined: Wed Feb 21, 2007 11:52 pm
Location: On a famous planet

Post by pagroove »

Those Goats again! Must be fearsome creatures in the Ooniverse. 8)
For P.A. Groove's music check
https://soundcloud.com/p-a-groove
Famous Planets v 2.7. (for Povray)
Image
http://aegidian.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=13709

User avatar
DaddyHoggy
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Intergalactic Spam Assassin
Posts: 8501
Joined: Tue Dec 05, 2006 9:43 pm
Location: Newbury, UK
Contact:

Post by DaddyHoggy »

Part IV appended to first post. (putting in all the italics is time consuming!!)
Selezen wrote:Apparently I was having a DaddyHoggy moment.
Oolite Life is now revealed here

Post Reply