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Character Profile: Rafdog

Name: Rafdog
Gender: Trans Man
Pronouns: He/Him
Occupation:  Leader of the Mercenary Group “Gravita’s Pull”

He looked up at the Grey Giant with the utmost pride. The grand flag ship stood high above Oasis. It had been docked in order to gather supplies for a contract that Rafdog had taken on for his group. A pretty bog standard job, he was tasked with deploying troops as a distraction for a bigger job being led by Calius. All he knew was that it was a siege being planned on a Terran outpost. He hadn’t been given the location yet so all he knew was that he was to pick up a package from a Dropper at Oasis. It was supposed to be some kind of cutting edge black project technology designed for counter-surveillance and obfuscation.

The ship would be docked for a few more hours as repairs and maintenance were underway. During this time the package was being installed in the ship’s scanner subsystem. Taking advantage of this break Rafdog made his way over his tavern of choice, Anti-Grav; so called because of its unique entertainment of gravity manipulating burlesque dancers.

Upon entering he made his way to the bar farthest from the entrance. Being midday, the tavern was light on clientele, or at least that the average patron would see. These were peak operating hours for the underground portion. Approaching the tender at the bar he placed an order for two drinks.

“One Loose Lips and an extra dry Overboard my good man.” Rafdog whispered to the bartender.

The bartender immediately started making the later of the two. 3 parts of Void Aged Whiskey, 1 part of the house wine, and 5 parts straggleberry juice.

“Your drink sir.” He said as he slid the drink to Rafdog. “And one Loose Lips.” He added as he hit a button under the counter and opened the small door blocking the entrance to behind the counter.

Rafdog stepped behind the counter and slipped through the slight opening that had appeared between the shelves of liquor. The passage closed behind him and the bartender resumed his normal duties of making drinks.

Before him Rafdog saw a sprawling lobby packed with various high profile clients of the tavern, most of whom if questioned would say they never heard of the place. While many clients arrange meetings here with less than legitimate suppliers. Scanning over the room he saw someone of interest in a booth in the far corner. He slunk his way across the bar room floor squeezing his way in and around the patrons he had no interest in talking with. Moving himself behind the person of interest at the booth he began to speak.

“Ah senator, how nice to see you here. I was worried I’d have to drop by your office to arrange a meeting but it’s good to see we’ll be able to get that taken care of right now.”
“You. I told you I was done running favors for you after the last time.” The senator snarled back at him. “Now leave me, I’m busy and I’d rather not be interrupted from more important business.”

“I’d hardly call trying to pick up a Corner Jockey to get your dick wet important business, but then again you never were good at priorities now were you.” Rafdog flung back at his self-important lapdog.

Rafdog scooted the business lady off with a wave of his hands. She got up and without any resistance stormed off to go fraternize with another of the important clientele. The senator began rolling his tongue around in his mouth while moving his eyes between the table in front of him and the woman he was just denied. Rafdog stood over him, gloating. After a few moments the senator spun his chair around to meet the eyes of the captain. With a deep sigh he acknowledged the man’s request for a meeting.

“Well you’ve ruined my evening, so I guess I have nothing to do now but entertain your pestering. What do you want?”

“I’m glad you came to see it from my perspective. Don’t worry it won’t be much. I just have some questions about those squadrons you’ve betrayed on orders of the Banker. I can stage it so they don’t have to die but they won’t be welcome to go back to the Terran High Command.” Rafdog spoke to him.

Before the senator could respond Rafdog slipped a packet from inside his jacket and on the table in front of him. He placed his finger over the senator’s lips and pointed at the packet.

“Just read this and you’ll see my deal is impossible to ignore. You know how to reach me, so go over it and I’ll be waiting for you to get in touch with me to negotiate your acceptance.”

The senator looked down at the packet and began to spread it’s contents across the table. He began to skim over them but looked up before he finished the first page. The Captain wasn’t there when he did, prompting the senator to scramble and gather up the documents. He would prefer to go over this in the privacy of his office if he wasn’t going to be able to clarify details with Rafdog.

Rafdog closed the door to the captain’s quarters behind him. Pacing to the desk he swung the chair around and planted himself firmly in the seat. He didn’t know much but he knew those troops would tie into his contract with the counter surveillance equipment. He just hoped he would be able to get his deal with the senator finalized before the plan was set in motion.

Character Profile: Medrid

Name: Medrid
Gender: Trans Woman
Pronouns: She/Her
Occupation:  High Executive Tactician of the Terra Army

The map lay before her, projected from the table that sat in the middle of her room. Laid before her was a view of the colony of Arcadia, the center of Terran military training. It sat flanked by chasms to its north and south. To the east there was a marker simply labeled “threat”.

“Now you see Chancellor, the Academy has been reporting strange sightings to the east. No one has been sent to investigate it, and any drone sent to fly over comes back either with an empty recording log, or is destroyed before it can make it back.” Medrid told the woman who was being holo-projected opposite of her.

Medrid pushed several buttons on the panel in front of her. The map zoomed in on the mystery zone and several different holo-structures formed a ring hovering about the center. Medrid spun the buildings around and one by one they took the place of the missing part of the map. She stopped on each and gazed at them as if a lock was upon her lips and they might hold the key. The Chancellor squinted and found herself fixating on Medrid’s mouth as she thought. She moved her lips between her teeth the way someone would knead dough.

“High Tactician Medrid, it appears as if you have a thought you’re trying to work out. Care to share?” the Chancellor interrupted her as she started to jot down notes in her journal.

Medrid did not respond. Her hand continued to mark down her thoughts as they came. The handwriting was loosely classifiable as such and it kept any one orientation for no more than a few seconds. The Chancellor sat in silence as she waited for her trusted officer to finish. Soon enough Medrid stood up and straight and let her gaze meet the Chancellor’s.

“To answer your question Lallila….. I mean Chancellor. The behavior we’ve noticed in regard to our attempts to gather information as well as the nature of the area in which it must preside is giving me nothing to work with. But such little to work with that I’d reckon it may be something we’ve not dealt with before. Either a group we have not dealt with before has taken up residence; or our known enemies have acquired some kind of new technology.”

“Is that your official report then Medrid?” The Chancellor retorted.

“Yes m’am, my professional opinion is that we are indeed dealing with a new threat.”

Both women went silent and the Chancellor gazed off away from the screen as Medrid found herself fixating on the other woman’s eyes. Such calmness and resolution sat within those eyes. As Lallila brought her attention back to the conversation, the tactician continued with her thought.

“We need to get Arnochor involved. They always have a plethora of knowledge on experimental technology that no one else on this world does. I’ll send a meeting request to them for later this evening. We can host it in the Centuria Hall. I assume you’ll meet me there and bring along anyone you deem necessary?”

“Fair idea High Tactician, I’ll send you the time of the meeting later on. Are there any other insights I should know of?”

“The only one of note has to do with a requisition request I received yesterday that felt rather odd. This is doubly so since the requested action has no tactical purpose or any other kind.”

“Send it over to my office then. I’ll take a look at it later. Council concluded. May Grace Befall Centuria.”

And with that the screen clicked off. She looked down at the request paperwork in front of her. It called for 30 squadrons. That number isn’t too unusual for front line reinforcements or small assault missions. But for a reconnaissance mission in unknown territory? That’s more than necessary and enough to require further inquiry.

Medrid began to fiddle with the map in front of her. The unknown sector burned in her mind like a ship caught in the gravitational pull of Fornax 2MAX2. The summit later in the day would have to bring forth any bit of solid information it could. She shuddered at the thought of being stuck in the dark on this for any lasting period of time. An armed guard stepped into her chamber and saluted.

“High Tactician, I have a message for you. The sender has given no identification other than the phrase ‘5 Giants Dancing on the Brink of Calamity’. Do you wish to read it ma’am?” The guard informed her.

“Yes yes, bring me a paper copy and a glass of galipher tea. I know exactly who sent that.”

She walked over to the desk in the corner and plopped into the seat, propping her feet up on the desk. The guard hustled off to grab her requested items as she dimmed the room’s lights and flipped on the lamp next to her.

Character Profile: Calius

Name: Calius
Gender: Genderqueer
Pronouns: They/Them, She/Her
Occupation: Banker, Loan Shark, War Profiteer

Faction: Mercenary (origin: unknown)

Calius took a step back from the window. Her view over the wasteland ceased as the digital curtains closed on her. On the opposing wall a screen flickered to life. Without turning around she knew exactly who was about to pop in for a little chitchat.

“Senator, it’s good to hear back from you so fast. I take it you want to take me up on my offer?” Calius inquired, turning herself on her planted foot.
An unsteady image responded with static and cracks.

“Senator your signal is as fuzzy as Rafdog’s coat.”

The screen flashed and distorted until it settled on a clear image of a Terran Senator. The lapels and identification medal gave it clearly away.

“Calius, you know I can’t just give you what you want.” The Senator paused and took a breath in. “30 squadrons is a lot to sacrifice for as much as you’re offering. Double the price and we’ll start talking.”

“Well Senator that’s rather ballsy of you to demand more; especially given how many of your fellow law makers are heavily indebted to me.”

Calius walked closer the screen, careful to avoid bumping into the desk between her and the Senator’s face. She snapped her fingers and a masked individual strolled in, dragging an unknown person behind them by leash. Their face was obstructed by a thick sack over the head. The assistant stopped just to the left of Calius and yanked the leash to get the captive person to stand still. Whimpers and muffled moans could be heard beneath the sack.

“My dear Julia, you need to teach our guest some manners.” Calius snarked at the assistant next to her.

Julia creeped up next to the prisoner and moved to whisper into their ear. Feint words could be heard; with hushed mentions of the words family, debt, and slice. The hooded person went silent immediately.

“Sorry for the interruption Senator, I just wanted to get my guest in here to say hi but you know how people are with manners now a days.” The Senator nodded and mumbled under their breath. “Now about the amount I quoted you. I think you’ll see that my friend here has a wonderful argument for why you should accept my offer.”

“Well Calius, you know how to bargain, now what exactly is your little captive there have to say to me.”

“Well don’t say I didn’t tell you to brace yourself Senator.” Calius nodded at Julia beside her. With that Julia removed the sack from the mystery individuals head.
As the face was revealed, the Senator’s eyes went wide and their upper lip furrowed. They began to speak up before Calius hushed them.

“Now now, you got to give me a chance to explain the situation. Now my dear, tell your Son why you’re here and why he should take my deal.”

The Senator’s mother spoke up. “Just do what she says, please do it. You’re not just getting the money, you’re also going to save me.”

“Mom…..” the Senator stood up. “YOU THINK YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH THIS CALIUS? I’LL HAVE YOUR HEAD.”

“Now now my dear Marcus, do you really want your mother to have to work off her debt herself? If she’s lucky she might pay it off before she dies. I ask you again, do you accept my offer?”

“Please….. please… just please do it.” The mother whimpered out.

Marcus choked on his words, “I accept. Wire me the money and I’ll send you a briefing on the plan.”

The screen clicked off and Julia pushed the mother towards the door and huffed. Calius snickered and Julia responded in kind. They walked out of the office as the blinds reopened.

Empirical Conquest Changes

With recent developments, Empirical Conquest has been renamed to Ansible: Homeworld. We have also made the following major changes to core game mechanics.

+ Added in a “Turn Resource”
+ This new resource gets generated in an increasing amount each turn and its creation cannot be manipulated
+ Units are no longer built by waiting a certain number of turns, but instead they must have their turn cost paid with the new “Turn Resource”
+ Energy generation is now done before other resources and energy can be assigned before the other resources have their appropiate effects trigger.

~ If an ability that generates a resource is added to a permenant or a permenant with one of these abilites enters the battlefield after the resource step, you immediately gain access to those resources, and if you lose abilities on permenants, you likewise lose access to those resources.