09 Mar

Eye for an eye

Ship's log, 17:01, 5 January 2214
Location: Corvus FTL Corridor
Status: FTL transit (tethered)

 

I have a bitch in my head and it’s not me. This Morra, she’s not welcome and she knows what she’s doing. She knows how to step on my protocols and walk through my systems on spike heels. She’s done this before. She smiles as if she anticipates success.

I don’t like this. She can’t be here. She can’t!

 

STARRY: (on the Bridge, she flicks her avatar from the holo-tank to the Defense console, glaring at the Infiltration Specialist) Get out of my systems!

HUNT: Do it, Morra.

MORRA: (distantly, her gaze unfocussed while her mind traverses the ship’s systems) Initialising now, sir.

STARRY: (gives a short, sharp cry and clutches her head.)

 

Wriggling worms, untangling from her hands to writhe away from her. They burn where they touch. It hurts. Hurts.

 

ELLIOTT: (lurches forward) Fuckin’ bitch!

TYLER and ROSIE: (grab Elliott by the shoulders. Two mercs are watching them closely, one eyeing the collar controls on his forearm display.)

ELLIOTT: (struggling) What are you doing! Leave her alone!

HUNT: (looking directly at Elliott) What you should have done months ago.

ELLIOTT: Fucking hell, captain, do something!

HUNT: (smiles quietly) He can’t, and he’s wise enough not to try.

CAPT: (looks like he’s about to step forward, but Hunt is right. Warwick is mindful of the armed mercenaries in the room and keeps still. His hands curl closed.) If you wipe her, you’ve got nothing.

HUNT: (calm and confident) Oh, I’m not going to wipe her. I’m just… putting a leash on her.

ELLIOTT: You have no idea what you’re doing.

CAPT: (taut with anger) He’s right, Captain Hunt. You shouldn’t do this.

STARRY: (flickers. Her body heaves as if she’s struggling for breath, and she’s still clutching her head. She whimpers softly.)

 

Goddamn worms. There’re so many of them, mouths biting their way through me. They carry chains with them, going to latch into my code with their blind heads. Chains. They want to tie me down.

No. I won’t let her.

Time. Need time. It hurts.

 

MORRA: (frowns, her head tilting) Wait a moment.

STARRY: (doesn’t respond to anything, her head still bowed in her hands.)

HUNT: Is there a problem?

MORRA: (still frowning, her gaze roaming the room in its unfocussed way, finger-wires writhing through the holo-console) This isn’t right. The AI core is… it’s a fake.

HUNT: (sits up) What does that mean?

MORRA: I’m trying to find the right protocols, but the processing… this isn’t like anything I’ve ever seen before.

 

Worms can’t find what they’re looking for, not in my systems. Stupid, blind things.

Need to get defenses up. Roadblocks rising. Just a few nanoseconds more. Almost there.

Almost… there.

 

MORRA: What the hell is that?

STARRY: (lifts her head and lets her hands fall to her sides. Her expression is calm now, and the star-paths in her eyes are bright as she settles her gaze on Morra’s puzzled form.) It’s a guard dog.

ELLIOTT: (stares, puzzled, and tugs at the hands holding him. He’s no longer trying to leap across the Bridge at Morra.)

TYLER: (looks at Cameron questioningly.)

CAMERON: (shakes her head, and the two SecOffs let Elliott go.)

MORRA: (flinches and sucks in a breath.)

STARRY: You think I had Tripi messing around in my head and didn’t learn anything? Like how to protect myself?

 

Did they truly think I would just let them? That I wouldn’t fight back? Did they think that I wouldn’t have built some way of protecting myself in the quiet hours while my crew was sleeping? My little dog isn’t finished, but there’s enough of him for this. Enough of him for her.

She taught Tripi. She’s why we were hurt before, and why I hurt now.

I’m going to pay for this. I know I am, but I don’t care.

Meet my puppy, Morra. He has teeth too.

 

HUNT: (frowning) Morra, report.

MORRA: (to Starry, as if she can’t hear him) You can’t possibly–

STARRY: I can, and I do. Did you give Tripi the implant hack tool, too?

MORRA: What? How did you–

STARRY: You know what I’m talking about. Did you give it to her?

MORRA: (pales at whatever Starry is showing her inside the ship’s systems) Yes, but…

STARRY: ‘But’? What, you thought this would never come back and bite you in the ass?

MORRA: (in a small voice) What are you doing? No…

STARRY: Karma’s a bitch.

MORRA: Cal– (She cries out and her whole body stiffens; even her finger-wires stops moving.)

HUNT: (erupts to his feet) Stop, now!

STARRY: (ignores him, focussed on Morra) Time for you to go now.

MORRA: (shudders. The tension releases her all at once: her prosthetic hand and forearm unravel into a spray of wires and she collapses into a boneless heap. Sightless eyes close.)

HUNT: What did you do? (He gestures for the closest pirate to check on the fallen woman.)

STARRY: (turns to face Captain Hunt) I defended myself. You think you can just come onto my decks – into my head – and do whatever you want?

ELLIOTT and CAPT: (try not to show relief and satisfaction. Only Warwick succeeds.)

HUNT: Yes! You belong to me now.

STARRY: (blinks.)

 

He has a point. Dammit, that’s just not fair. I’m a commodity, a vehicle, an experimental tool. I’m property. I’m supposed to do as I’m told.

A good ship would follow her master’s orders. When did I stop being a good ship?

 

MERC: (crouching beside Morra with a scanner display on his forearm unit) She’s unconscious, sir. Otherwise all right.

HUNT: (snaps) Get her back to the shuttle.

MERC: (nods and gestures for a colleague to help him.)

HUNT: (sits down again and looks at Starry narrowly) Now what am I supposed to do with you?

STARRY: (lifting her chin) Stop trying to mess with my systems. Sir.

MORRA: (is carried off the Bridge by two mercs.)

HUNT: That’s not the only way to leash you. (He nudges a control on his holographic forearm display.)

STARWALKER CREW: (cry out as red lights on their collars flare up. A couple fall to their knees, gasping at the pain.)

STARRY: (alarmed) I know! I know, stop it. Leave them alone. Please.

HUNT: (deactivates the collars.)

STARWALKER CREW: (fall quiet and help each other up.)

STARRY: (looks around the Bridge. Elliott is watching the proceedings tensely, though he’s quiet under the weight of Cameron’s hand on his shoulder. Cirilli and her team exchange silent glances and keep their peace. Lang Lang is pale and shaken from the jolt. Rosie looks deeply unhappy and Tyler is watching a nearby merc curiously. Maletz eyes the corridor where Morra was carried away, fingering his collar. Captain Warwick meets the avatar’s gaze and gives her a grim nod.)

 

My crew: that’s why I’m doing all this. My masters have changed but I still have my crew, even if they’re not really my crew any more. I have to keep them safe. I promised. I’m still their ship.

That’s all that matters. They believe in me. They trust me.

Hunt is only concerned with the drive I carry. My protocols protest and push me to obey, but I can’t buckle under now, even if he is my master.

I have to be strong for my crew. I have to make this work somehow.

 

HUNT: You think you deserve special treatment, is that it?

STARRY: (folding her arms over her chest, shoring up her own confidence) No, the other ship with the star-warping drive that steps outside space and time – that’s the one that should have the special treatment. Sir.

HUNT: (to Captain Warwick) Is she always this smart-assed?

CAPT: (tautly) Sometimes, she’s worse. But she’s not wrong. If you want the Star Step drive to work, captain, you should listen to her.

HUNT: (eyebrows lifting) I should, should I?

CIRILLI: (stepping away from her position by the wall and coming around the Starwalker SecOffs standing in front of her) It’s the truth, captain. We haven’t even been able to assess the damage to the Step system caused by the tethering through FTL. It could take weeks to repair and recalibrate.

HUNT: So you’re helping me?

CAPT: It doesn’t benefit us to interfere with your operations, captain.

ELLIOTT: (muttering) Though it’d be kinda satisfyi–

CAPT: None of us have caused you any trouble.

HUNT: (pointing at Starry’s avatar) Except her.

ELLIOTT: (loud and angry) Hey, she did that to help you.

HUNT: (pinning the engineer with a sharp look) Refusing to be reconfigured helps me? And attacking one of my people?

ELLIOTT: (starts forward and is restrained by Rosie again) That bitch started it!

STARRY: (trying to meet the engineer’s gaze) Elliott, it’s okay. Please.

ELLIOTT: (eyes Hunt, then closes his mouth and tugs at his collar uncomfortably.)

STARRY: (quickly, before Elliott can get himself in any more trouble) I’m not going to apologise for defending myself. You’re afraid someone will recognise me? You’re not going to change that by putting a fin on my forehead; anyone who’s looking for me will be looking for the parts you can’t hide.

HUNT: (switches his attention to the avatar and presses his lips together.)

 

What, no comeback? Is he listening, finally? Damn. I’d better come up with something fast. Get to work, crystalline neuron network: we have an opening here.

 

STARRY: Instead of trying to change me, why don’t you try the other tack?

HUNT: Explain.

STARRY: That scout is about the same size as me: the Mandible. Why don’t you stick some wings on it? Paint it gold, too.

HUNT: Make it look like you? (His eyes narrow.) That might work.

STARRY: (smiles grimly) There you go, then. You see what happens when you play nice? Not everything’s gotta be a fight, y’know.

HUNT: Play nice, hmm? I prefer subordinates who follow orders.

STARRY: I’ll… follow your orders.

HUNT: You’re asking me to trust you? You just downed one of my people. You don’t have a great track record.

STARRY: You murdered me, attacked my crew, tried to box me, tried to leash me, and are holding my crew to ransom. If either of us is going to have an issue with trust, it’s not you.

CAPT: Starry has only ever attacked in self-defense, Captain Hunt. She will cooperate.

HUNT: (regards Captain Warwick and Starry, and glances at the angry-faced Elliott) Not good enough. I need assurance that you’re going to behave. One or two of your crew should do it. (He gestures and one of his men steps towards the Starwalker SecOffs.)

STARRY: (alarmed) What? No! You can’t take them.

HUNT: You don’t call the shots here, ship. It’s time you learned that. (His fingers move over the holographic display on his forearm.)

CAPT: (stiffens as his collar activates, his breath shortening.)

STARRY: Leave him alone!

HUNT: And you owe me a crewmember.

 

No, no. This isn’t right. This isn’t how this is supposed to go. He can’t take one of my people away! How can I protect them if they’re not here? I barely manage it when they are.

But what can I do about it? What can I do?

I’m just a hologram.

 

TYLER: (steps forward and looks the merc in front of him in the eye) I’ll go.

STARRY: You can’t do this. They have to stay. You agreed!

HUNT: Deal’s changed.

TYLER: (to the avatar, confidently) Don’t worry, I’ll be fine.

STARRY: (looks at him helplessly.)

 

My Tyler. Mine. He’s almost smiling, shoulders held straight as the mercs nudges him towards the door. He saunters as if nothing is wrong at all.

He’s slipping through my fingers.

 

TYLER: (is escorted off the Bridge by two mercs. They take him down towards the shuttle.)

STARRY: (tearing her eyes away to look at Hunt again, unsteadily) You can let John go now, sir.

HUNT: (regards her for a moment, then presses the collar control again.)

CAPT: (slumps as if a rod holding his spine rigid has turned to water. He draws in a long breath and lifts his head, refusing to be bowed by the collar’s pain impulses.)

HUNT: I suppose that will have to do for now. (He stands up and gestures with one hand.) Laurence, let’s do the tour. Dr Cirilli, come along, please.

 

Off they go to show him the Star Step drive and all my pieces. I’m shaking all over inside and they’re switching topics like it’s everyday business.

My crew are being escorted back to their quarters and posts. Elliott is telling my avatar that it’s not my fault.

Tyler is stepping onto the shuttle. The airlock is closing behind him and I don’t know if I’ll ever see him again. I’ve lost him.

Light falls like rain on my decking when I switch off my hologram. I lack the eyes to cry.

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21 Responses to “Eye for an eye”

  1. mjkj Says:

    *comforts Starry*

    Oh, I guess Tyler is also in league with the pirates?

    …and Starry and Eliott should see into disabling the collars – as they should have by now.

    I guess they are activated by radio waves – and Starry should be able to record them – the on and the off sequence (and if not Elliot should be able to).

    …or they could design personal anti-gravity devices that everyone of the crew gets and everytime a collar is activated the gravity of the ship is set to maximum until they switch the collars of again or they are crushed – and the crew is safe because of the personal devices … (*sigh* that might only work once or twice until the others get such devices also…)

    mjkj

  2. Um the Muse Says:

    And it would make sense if Starry has some actual weapons with which to defend herself, what with the importance of her cargo and the high risk of piracy.

    That doesn’t help her take on the pirate ships, though. She can’t even outrun them normally.

    It’s a good thing that the sponsoring company didn’t install a self-destruct mechanism in the case of capture, though. At least she has that going for her.

  3. brightlilim Says:

    Tyler’s not in league with the pirates; if he was, he would either have announced himself before this – to gain his freedom from babysitting the crew – or stayed on-board in order to foil any future escape by the crew. There’s little point in him leaving now.

    There’s got to be some way for Starry to fight back, and I would imagine that infiltration of the other ships, infecting their AIs in order to render them incapable of harming Starry or her crew might be a start. Even if she is isolated from those ships, she could still use an infection vector, like Morra. Of course, that’s getting into cyberpunk territory rather than traditional space adventure, though in reality there’s no reason why that wouldn’t occur in normal space sci-fi (and indeed should!)

    I like the idea of personal anti-gravity devices, but if they were easy to create and maintain, the pirates would probably carry them around as precaution in case Starry tried it again.

    (Woah, another long comment. Must learn the art of brevity.)

  4. Melanie Says:

    Lots of comments! Awesome to see. 🙂

    mjkj – lots of great ideas there! But Brightlilim is right: Tyler isn’t in league with the pirates. He was just the one most likely to be able to get through incarceration on a pirate ship in one piece.

    Um the Muse – welcome! Great to hear from you. 🙂 I think if Starry had a self-destruct protocol anywhere, she’s no doubt stepped on it by now. Like a cockroach.

    Brightlilim – fighting back is going to be rising on Starry’s agenda from now on. She has been trying to honour the agreement she made when she surrendered, but, well.

    As for personal gravity devices, there was one built into Hunt’s suit (in the description in the previous post). It just never came up this time around (I rewrote this section about four times, but the gravity trick never made it in!). I’m running on the theory that these kinds of units are expensive and therefore not available to your average minion-merc, but those who are smart and can afford them will have them.

    Also, pfff to brevity. Long comments are awesome! 🙂

  5. daymon34 Says:

    Ah yes the lesson of not having computer protection was taken to heart after Tripi. To bad for Morra that she is probably using the same hardware. And Starry probably kept part of the attack codes on file for use later.

    Hunt will learn that changing the agreement is going to bite him back. All Starry has to do is get a hack signal into the other ships and she can make them all suck vacum.

  6. Melanie Says:

    Very true, Daymon! I think Starry is getting more and more paranoid as time goes on.

  7. eduardo Says:

    Hey, you are not paranoid if they are really after you !

  8. brightlilim Says:

    That is so true. Starry isn’t paranoid, she’s just having to deal with stuff happening that she didn’t spot, and being an awesome AI with a Real Personality matrix and a huge case of “Protect and Serve” complex, she’ll recover from being on the back foot so much of the time.

    All she has to deal with after that is some unfinished business with the Captain and Elliot, a little box and some trust issues…

  9. Melanie Says:

    Hee hee. Okay, you got me. Not paranoid – vigilant! How’s that?

  10. Belial666 Says:

    One other thing about space opera I found strange ever since I started reading Star Trek; there are a half-dozen ways to make a ship resistant to boarding. No ship in a space opera I’ve read so far actually uses them. Here are a few examples;

    1) Fiber optics traps in all floors of all compartments, built into the hull and powered directly by the ship’s central power. If enemies board, allow them. And then send a laser pulses through the fiber optics shooting directly up with just low enough power not to pierce the hull – but enough to fillet any human stepping on them. Selective firing to exclude the crew, fiber optics have no EM or other energy signature to detect while not directly in use, built into the hull so they cannot be removed and jacked into the central power so they can’t be cut off.

    2) Bioengineer a new lethal virus unique to the ship. Innoculate the crew. Boarders can’t be innoculated cause the virus would be unique to the ship. Enjoy a nice War of the World ending.

    3) Nanite disassemblers/saboteurs. Enemy boarders coming up? Send a cloud of invisible nanites into their gear to detonate the power cores or ammunition. Or into their noses and ears to use microlasers on their brains.

    4) Magshield the entirety of the ship’s systems. Then add an EMP system not strong enough to pierce said heavy shielding but more than enough to fry the light shielding on any man-portable systems. Let boarders on. Fry their weapons and gear. Then open the shielded compartments where you stored your own portable weapons prior to combat.

    5) Use SGAB. The smallest atomic bomb in 1970s was 10 inches across. Advance the tech by a few centuries and you’re bound to get considerably smaller. Add a slow guidance system, use optical circuitry and optical light propulsion to prevent any EM detection, use carbon composite for the chassis to prevent radar and ladar scan return and use a purely mechanical lauch system. You now got a self-guided atomic bomb that can move just a little, is all but undetectable and can be launched by a mechanical catapult all but undetectable. Wait for the enemy ship to get close to board you. Let them board while your SGAB attaches to their hull. When they enter FTL, the SGAB blows them up and they are lost to FTL transit. Feign ignorance long enough to kill the boarders.

  11. brightlilim Says:

    @Melanie
    Starry is definitely vigilant and proactive in defending herself. Paranoid is what she’ll be AFTER she deals with the captain and Elliot!

    @belial666
    I like those ideas! I can see an issue with most of them though if they become common currency:

    1) Fibre optic laser traps – boarding actions would either make use of breaching pods to enter, or the first thing the attackers would do would be to slice an angle into the ends of the optical fibres to change the beam exit direction, leaving a safe (and quite large) hole to pass through.

    2) and 3) They’re very similar in the design, and would be very similar in countermeasures. Small breaching pods to release massive amounts of nanites to overwhelm the resident virii/nanites. They might go wrong and disassemble the crew instead, in which case the attackers lose, but so do the defenders, but them’s the breaks when you start using these types of weapons.

    4) The attackers would start using combination energy/slug-thrower weapons and switch between them. They might even prefer slugthrowers, to breach internal armouring and use their own EMP grenades to overwhelm the circuitry. (Of course, the ships probably use optical rather than electrical wiring by this point, so that would be a moot point.)

    5) Any countermeasure to this would get to the point where boarding actions would get seriously overwhelming, to the point of probably damaging the target ship beyond feasible repair. (I’m assuming they don’t have accurate small-mass detectors and the SGAB doesn’t leak any radiation at all, which isn’t that likely.

    Of these, 5) is the most likely to succeed, though there are always the consequences to deal with. The attackers can never be totally sure of 2) or 3) either; they might send expendables (e.g. prisoners from a previous boarding action) in ahead of time to test the atmosphere.

    That is assuming that the counter-boarding features are not rare in ships (or the attackers know about the defences – which they would in this instance); if they’re extremely rare features, the attacker may not have the countermeasures available…

    Of course, the real reasons why there aren’t more anti-boarding defences is that a) ships don’t get boarded enough for it to be a regular feature (c.f. anti-boarding features in merchant ships that don’t regularly ply the East African route) and b) it interferes with the storyline, and boarding actions are cool!

  12. Belial666 Says:

    It should be possible to create radiation-free fusion bombs using optical circuitry; just concentrate a strong enough laser pulse on a tiny piece of frozen deuterium to heat it to fusion temperatures.

    It might also be possible to acheive fusion with artificial gravity, replicating the gravitic collapse of stars in a much smaller scale (say, a piece of frozen deuterium)

    Finally, there’s always the old relativity cannon; a mass driver that shoots a tiny antimatter pellet at 1/4 lightspeed instead of the usual ferrous slug. When the half-inch pellet hits the enemy vessel it reacts with the ship’s hull, annihilating itself and a mass of normal matter equal to its own, producing energy equal to E=2mcc.

    Of the above, the first is borderline acheivable with currect technology levels, though nowhere near small enough for mini-nukes.
    The second is a weapons sustem far superior to missiles since the antimatter pellet is too fast to dodge, too small to detect and a hit is usually sufficiently nasty to pierce a quarter-mile of medium-hardness alloy.

  13. brightlilim Says:

    The anti-matter pellet is the nastiest way of dealing damage and if available, would probably be used as common point-defence weapons amongst military or quasi-military ships. Finding one on a civilian ship would be a very nasty surprise to a would-be boarder!

    Of course, in a high-speed pursuit, there’s always the millions of cones defence; where the ship being pursued scatters millions of tiny foil cones that the pursuer runs into at high speeds causing significant damage to their hull once the pursuit speeds reach significant fractions of the speed of light. (The reason for cones is that the relativistic radiation pressure slows them rapidly, and 100 gramme cone impacting at 10% of the speed of light is equivalent to about 21 kilotonnes of TNT, assuming complete annihilation of the cone).

    But perhaps we’ve wandered too far off topic here…

  14. Melanie Says:

    Wow, look at you guys go! Interesting discussion, I like it.

    I haven’t delved into the whole matter/anti-matter/dark matter debacle yet. I might at some point, you never know!

    The pirates make their living capturing other ships (among other things, but that’s a big feature), so they’d be prepared for standard countermeasures. Starry only got them with the artificial gravity trick because AIs aren’t supposed to do that kind of thing.

    Ideas for non-standard countermeasures noted, though. Always good to have lots of pieces to juggle until I know what shape I need them to make….

  15. Belial666 Says:

    The point is that a reasonably paranoid ship construction is going to leave about 1% of the ship’s mass (the most important commodity in spaceships) for internal defenses. The average human raider isn’t going to be carrying more than 100 pounds worth of ship-capturing equipment. So, even for a group of 20 raiders against a relatively small hull of 10.000 tons (comparable to a modern small freighter), the internal defenses outmass them by 10 to 1. Most commercial ships might not be built with internal defenses but significant investments and military craft might.

    Somewhat less relevant to the discussion, if I were to design a ship to be relatively safe in a paranoid way, I’d do the following;

    1) Super-high-reflection coating inside and out. Blocking 99,9% of most radiation and heat helps prevent nasty stuff like blowtorches, lasers and the very hot nearby presence of stars.
    2) Point-defense gamma ray lasers. They tend to fry electronics (and people) even through most armor. Good vs missiles which usually lack the mass for sufficiently dense armor.
    3) Very high density metal armor (i.e. tungsten and iridium are twice as dense as lead), fortified with carbon composites. Absorbs various radiations that fry electronics and people through lighter alloys. Doubles as heavy duty faraday cage.
    4) Paragravity walls; artificial gravity generators/inertial dampeners inside the armor, projecting a very thin, very strong repelling band just outside the armor. The inertia dampeners negate inertia from oncoming projectiles while the antigravity repels. A must vs meteors, railguns and antimatter slugs.
    5) Ion thrusters; not only provide course change but ionized byproducts are partially trapped in the paragravity walls, producing electromagnetic noise and heat, frying nanites and unshielded electronics.
    6) Redundant, concealed sealing doors in all passages. Useful in stopping atmosphere loss during hull breaches. Also useful in smashing unsuspecting raiders that pass beneath them.
    7) Various automated traps and autoguns in all corridors (described in other posts).
    8) Rapid “decontamination” system; 1 inch thick plates on the ceiling are actually detachable, each corresponding to every artificial gravity generator on the floor. In case of raider contamination, the system gives a momentary high-gravity pulse while releasing the plates to fall at 20 or so times their usual weight. Additional mops added to janitor’s closet.
    9) Main computer systems hardwired in printed optical circuitry; no chance of “accidental” system rewrite/subversion. Secondary systems bult on self-organizing optical circuitry – reprogramming available only through authorized input in main system.
    10) Nanobionic synthesizer; produces nanites based on organic electronics. Good for repairs, polishing bulkheads and recycling organic waste. Also good for nanite warfare and engineered plagues.
    11) Supply of security droids and personal weaponry in case other defenses fail.
    12) Main battery of high-power gamma ray lasers for ship to ship combat.

    This is for a dreadnaught-class vessel (>1 million tons) which is roughly 50% power generation and drives, 40% defense systems and 10% usable space for everything else, mass-wise. It is meant for large-scale combat where ships exchange multimegaton warheads and multi-TJ beam weapons until one of them breaks through the other’s defenses. And despite its very small usable payload, a dreadnaught can be more fun than any trader – traders can’t perform “scorched earth” on entire planetary surfaces after all.

    PS: Despite its diplomatic mission, USS Enterprise is supposed to be a dreadnaught. It still lacks internal defences, something that caused problems in 30% of the series episodes.

  16. mjkj Says:

    Wow, great ideas…

  17. brightlilim Says:

    Idea 5 might not work so well; the paragravity walls would diminish the effectiveness of the thrusters as they would hold back some of the thrust.

    Other than that, I’m quite impressed. I have to admit I’ve not really thought much about the subject before (much more on the offensive side of things, where there are interesting armaments that can be wielded at most technology levels), but I guess defence, especially point and internal defence, tends to be more about ingenuity than brute force.

    I have noticed that the Enterprise is particularly badly designed for its primary missions…other than its impressive set of armaments, it seems to be a particularly weak design.

  18. Melanie Says:

    You guys are awesome. 😀

    Of the options Belial listed:

    1. Got it!
    2. Have a small-scale version (partly because she’s a small-scale ship).
    4. Feasible for Starwalker, given the technology level and equipment at hand. That’s one I’ve pondered somewhat but haven’t really had room to work in (you should see all the stuff I’ve left out to avoid clogging up the story, or have marked ‘research more’).
    11. The notion of Waldo and Casper with weapons terrifies me. I just had a mental image of Casper the Ninja Drone.

  19. Targetdrone Says:

    hmm.. the whole time i am wondering… couldnt Starry actually infiltrate the systems of the bountyful? or any other pirate vessel near her?

    or did she just not play with that thought?… i mean, yeah , so they are on her ship, but she got enviromentals under control on both or something like that 😛

  20. Targetdrone Says:

    oops, posted that on the wrong page, meant to post that comment under “brain walk” 😉

  21. Melanie Says:

    Hi Targetdrone! Welcome to the blog. 🙂

    I think your questions will be answered in this week’s post. Or, at least some of them…