Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Thinslayer
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Lore of the Day: Gwen Valentine

In fantasy stories, people treat long-lived characters as being just like ordinary people, except with their timescales scaled up to match their lifespans.

In truth, they are just like ordinary people, but the consequences are radically different. Ed's mother, Gwen Valentine, is one of seven such immortals. She is not some lone wolf lording her immortality over everyone, nor is she like a thousand-year-old teenager still gaping in awe at the lives of mortals. She's been around the block and seen a thing or two. Gwen has been married 7 or 8 times in a row, with most of them ending in the old-age death of her husband. Fenix Valentine is her 8th marriage (I'm guessing). With 8 husbands, you'd think she'd have hundreds of children, and you'd be absolutely right. In fact, the number of people bearing the Valentine family name number in the hundreds, nearly a thousand now, with dozens of them born directly of Gwen herself. Counting the extended family, the whole clan is numerous enough to fill a city. With Gwen at the head, the Valentine family is one of the most powerful in the Crescent Empire.

Most of the clan lives on Aion, and this is a deliberate strategic choice on her part. Normally, as an Immortal, she'd be given the task of terraforming new worlds and developing their civilizations, and handling dangerous mercenary jobs on the side. Birthing Aion's population herself is certainly an unconventional choice, but necessary in order to command their absolute loyalty in the long run. The Seven Immortals may be powerful, but deep down, they are still the lonely orphans they were when the Alchemist first picked them off the streets. She wants to create a world where the Seven can settle down and live in peace, an ideal they can only achieve with family. If the whole world is made up of family, they will never be lonely again or have to watch their backs.

Gwen and Fenix themselves reside on Crescent Prime for the time being, since Gwen has resumed taking missions for the first time in nearly a century, and Fenix wanted to join her.
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Drafting a story post now. Since I haven't nailed down Krakticus Quinn's character yet, it's going to take me a little while.
Hidden 2 mos ago 2 mos ago Post by Thinslayer
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Twilight of Luna, the Raving Maiden


The warp fighter shuddered as she came out of the jump. Darcy slumped into the chair and gave a long exhale. "We made it, Luna! We really made it! Hot dam, that was close. Way too close."

A feminine voice murmured from a nearby speaker. "On that, we are in agreement. I believe you left your bag behind."

Darcy slammed the armrest. "Crap! It had all my toiletries in it!"

"An apt exclamation," came a wry retort.

The captain lightly punched the dashboard. "Dam straight. Gettin' cheeky for a bot, aren't we?"

"Thank you, sir."

He tugged on the control yoke and activated the manual pilot. "Welp, I can always grab more. I got me a hot date on Horus II."

"I'll be sure to cool my jets for you," Luna quipped, and gunned her engines for a flash. At that, Darcy snickered. "You wish." He punched full throttle and set a course for the spacedock.
_

Traffic control gave them the runaround for a full hour before a landing zone finally opened up. Luna shifted to humanoid form and took the rough shape of a lady in a dress (as much as a 3-story tall behemoth can), while Darcy put on his best power-armor bodysuit and donned a rogueish leather outfit over it. He looked Luna over and nodded. "Nice getup. Is that a new shape?"

"No sir. I acquired the design approximately 1.3 cycles ago, when I experienced a feeling akin to depression from washing out of combat exams. I perused the net for an identity and discovered-"

Darcy began walking away.

"-and he's gone. No matter."

She folded her "hands" and observed his discussion with this Krakticus Quinn fellow. A cursory web search revealed him to be a racing mogul, and not the friendly kind - his forum posts were terribly confrontational and provokative, with some of them expressing great distaste for automation and artificial intelligence.

Suddenly, she heard Darcy mention her name in the same sentence as proposing a sale.

She replayed the audio in her memory. Yes, she had heard that right; he'd given an estimate of her performance parameters before citing a sale amount. Luna kept her silence as Quinn and Darcy bargained over a staggering amount of money. "...and if you win the race, why, I'll even throw in a kiss!" Quinn was saying.
Darcy grinned back. "Have your girlfriend gimme that kiss, and I'll call it even."
"What, you don't wanna kiss from your best friend?"
"From ol' llama-breath? No thanks! Ha!"
"Seriously though, how about ten mil for it?"
Darcy shook his hand.

"Deal."

What item were they trading? Multiple replays of the audio yielded no definitive results. As Darcy walked back, she asked, "Pray tell, what are you trading?"
He smirked. "Speed for cash."
That was most certainly not the whole truth. As the subordinate, however, Luna elected not to question him. Instead, she located several open racing tracks and started calculating their coordinates.
"Set a course for the Kracked Kourses," ordered the captain.
With the coordinates already set in her mind, she shifted back into aeroform and teleported Darcy onto the bridge.

"Aye, captain."
_

Whether it was her human origins or simply a feature innate to all sapients, Luna's curiosity got the better of her, and she couldn't help studying the other contestants. All of them were finely tuned machines, well-built for their tech level and uncommonly nimble. They were still starships, but in name only, since their drives were designed more for agility and precision than for efficient interstellar travel. She was, in a word, impressed.

"The competition will be stiff, captain," she warned.

"They better be."

It took her a moment to catch his meaning. Stiffness was thought to arise from lack of movement, so in order for the competition to be considered stiff in that regard, she had to move sufficiently faster that their motion was inconsequential in comparison. She started running the numbers. That would require a worm-jump, which would be cheating.

Luna made a humming noise and replied, "You'd be even stiffer, sir. Shall I prepare massage equipment for the captain's chair?"

Darcy leaned back in the chair and crossed his legs. "That would be absolutely boss." As the start timer counted down to its final moments, he gripped the control yoke and turned off her autopilot functions.

"Ready, my little Luna-tic?"

"As ever, captain."

The timer squealed, and in a fraction of a second, every starship in the race took off. The course began deep in the atmosphere of the gas giant Horus Prime, selected for its highly contained storms that could destroy unshielded vessels except in narrow, shifting corridors. Buoys outlined the racetrack, and it was probable that a cloaked station helped maintain the safe corridors. Luna had persuaded Darcy to obtain some autopilot programs, since she was miserable at helping him fly, but he still had to make most of the flight decisions himself. And what a splendid job he was doing! The hair's-breadth maneuvering and daredevil moves he was pulling would put even the best A.I.s to shame. She only knew maybe one or two Warp Fighters from training who could match him.

No use pining for what can never be. Instead, she focused her attentions on predictive calculations, working out flight patterns in the competition and figuring out what they would do next. One of them had her worried. The Nemo's Knickers, a heavily modified Terran frigate, was expelling far more energy and more unusual wavelengths from its engines than any fusion reactor could support. Its pilot, too, was nearly as good as Darcy, and the vessel was slowly but surely gaining on them.

But Darcy looked focused, determined. Distracting him didn't seem like the right answer. Instead, she designed an impromptu electronic warfare suite in her tail and ran interference in the opponent's autopilot. Electrical signals emanating from the craft decreased as predicted, but it showed no signs of change. Is that pilot truly operating without electronic assistance? Surely no human is capable of that. Yet, as they danced and weaved through the narrow passages, she could only reach one conclusion.

That pilot could not be human.

And his engines were micro-warping.

She may have washed out of military training, but she was still a Crescent warship at heart. There was nothing, nothing in the galaxy faster than a Crescent warship. That pile of scrap metal needed to be taught a lesson in respect. Luna dug deep within her frame for every scrap of power she could muster and funneled it into her core. Darcy took the hint and nudged her faster. They sped through the corridors faster than they'd ever gone before. Her impulse drives screamed as they tore through Horus prime.

But still their competitor inched forward. Now, however, its micro-warping became more obvious as Luna moved faster. She made detailed records of the violation, but it wouldn't mean much if they lost. Not to her, anyway. She could detect the finish line now; it was still quite distant, relatively speaking, and if they could contiue out-turning and out-maneuvering the opposition, they could still take first place.

Then Darcy started worrying about their competitor. And suddenly, it was all over, with Second Place! banners filling the HUD.

They landed back on the station Horus II. Darcy looked drained, and Luna made an attempt to comfort him. "Your flying was exemplary, captain. You made the robot struggle for its victory."

Darcy gave her a look of restrained rage. "You're one to talk," he bit back. "Your autopilot programs sure did a great job, didn't they?"

His bile and sarcasm surprised her. Luna took a moment to gather her thoughts, but before she could reply, Darcy had stormed out. She watched him talk with Quinn for a few minutes, his rage transforming into utter defeat as the racing mogul imposed his obligations on the loser. Then, Darcy began to walk back to her, with Quinn looking like he was waiting for something. Darcy came back inside and made a bee-line for the engine room.

"What is going on, captain?"

The captain opened the maintenance panels to her reactor core. "I'm holding up my end of the bargain." With that, he reached inside and started detaching her Q-Core.

Panic.

"N-No! No! Captain, you cannot be serious!"

He continued detaching the core. Main power functions disconnected, forcing her to start up the backup power.

"Please captain!"

No response. Shapeshifting functions lost power.

"I tried, captain! I really tried. We both tried. It doesn't have to be like this. We can still-"

Her speech capacity vanished as her higher functions dropped into low-energy mode.

Darcy withdrew the black sphere from its housing, walked back to Quinn, and dropped the item in his hands. "All yours."
"See you around, Richard Darcy."
The captain slipped his hands in his pockets and watched Quinn strut away.

"He's such a jerkwad, eh Luna?"

No sound came from the vessel.

Darcy's stony expression faltered. With a long sigh, he re-entered the ship and started the takeoff sequence.

"This is gonna be a long few years..." he murmured to himself.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Thinslayer
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I've been mulling over the story post for the last few days, but the most I can come up with is a meager few sentences. Since Ed and Sofie officially a thing now, the two should have a conversation about what they want out of a relationship. Problem is, I'm running up against a technical challenge: writing chemistry between characters. I feel like I need more practice before moving forward on that. To that end, I've been thinking we could do some simple story exercises. Like, we'd each play things like a date in a coffee shop, a man and wife going on business, a mother and her favorite son, two girl-friends going shopping, and such like. If we screw up the chemistry, no harm done - it's not a major RP, and we can always start the scene over to try something else.

Another, more insidious hurdle is my insecurities cropping up. The longer it takes me to put out a story-post, the longer I feel like it must be to compensate. After making you wait more than a month, a few sentences in reply hardly seems appropriate. When I make a roleplayer wait a week or longer, I start imagining the other person growing frustrated or losing interest, and then I don't even want to look at the roleplaying site for fear of getting an "I Quit" message or something. I'm keen to know your true train of feelings.
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Hey there! We could definitely try the minor RPs if you want to do so and it’ll also be great practice for me as well.

As for length of post I don’t expect too much, I’ve been very busy lately and as you know I wasn’t exactly in tip top shape so I honestly don’t mind. Please take your time and write whatever feels comfortably, I’ll support it :)
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Finally got out a post. For now, I think we should go for a shorter style until we get back into the swing of things. A couple sentences showing off Sofie's budding piloting skills should be adequate. You can also have Sofie talk to the ship, and the ship will attempt to respond in her own way. Plot-wise, the Maiden is trying to warn the pilots that they need to have their hands on the controls when they drop out of warp. They're about to fall into a trap where multiple ships with tractor beams will hold them still for boarding, and it's possible (though unlikely) that they can escape with some fancy flying.
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Hey sorry for the bad post, I'm not exactly good at writing sci-fi and am a bit confused as to what the Maiden entails :(
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The Raving Maiden is basically a sentient ship. Stripped of her power, she is incapable of direct communication or shifting into other forms, but she can respond in her own little ways.
Hidden 15 days ago Post by ineffable
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Er... Thins?
Hidden 15 days ago 15 days ago Post by Thinslayer
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Yeah, I know. I've just been kind of...depressed with myself over this RP. I liked the concept, but the story just isn't holding working for me. I have to dig deep just to put out something passably acceptable. I feel like we need to cut our losses and try a different story. What are your thoughts on it? Should we do something different, or keep plowing onward?
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Hey there! Yeah...I don't do too well with science fiction so I'd just say we can try a different story? Something both of us can be more invested in.

P.S: How have you been?
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I've been okay. Mandatory overtime takes all the wind outta my sails. I started playing The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess again, and man, is it a different beast from Breath of the Wild! It really took getting used to all the modified controls and limitations. Link can't jump, climb, or run, Epona doesn't direct herself, and the enemies are ridiculously easy. I gotta resist the temptation to double-tap the jump button for paragliding. One thing's the same, though - I'm chewing through arrows. Now, if I could move and shoot like in BotW, I'd never use my sword at all, because holy smokes, Twilight Princess's bow is powerful! The arrows fly perfectly straight and true, hit almost immediately, and one-hit knock-out most enemies. I guess I should expect that from an item dubbed the Hero's Bow, but it still feels much stronger than I was anticipating.

Different games. :P

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