The Let's Play Archive

Escape Velocity: Nova

by Decoy Badger

Part 17: Polaris - Part 17 - February 14th, 1182NC: Power Loom

February 14th, 1182NC: Power Loom

This is going to be short and sweet. First, we return home from our Auroran escapades.

Ferry Mu'Randa posted:

Throughout your trip back, you can feel the spirit of the universe calling to you. Several times the need grows so great that only with an enormous act of will can you withstand it. But soon, you know that it will grow too powerful, and you will cease to exist as a human being and instead will become one with the universe.

During these struggles you peripherally notice the departure of the Vell-os beyond the physical realm, and with a nod of your head you say goodbye and wish them well. With your enhanced senses you can still feel them wandering around the edges of your awareness, occasionally touching the physical plane as they learn more about their new realm.

Finally you land on Mu'ar Haro, and you sense the relieved Mu'Randa waiting for you. You know that she wants you to give her a lift to Kel'ar Iy to pass on to the Polaris leaders that their unspoken debt to the Vell-os is now paid.

"I will take you," you tell her before she can speak, and you almost wince at the wonder in her eyes.
Giant puppy-dog eyes, can you see it?


Without a word you indicate with a subtle weave that she should follow, and you lead her back to your beloved Weave Got Company. She watches, her eyes widening in wonder, as you go through the preflight checklist without moving a muscle.

After takeoff you turn to Mu'Randa and ask if there is anything else that the Polaris will need of you.

"I believe that there will be one more thing," she answers reluctantly, the wonder in her eyes being replaced by shame. "We have placed ourselves in an untenable position, and only you can extricate us from it.

"But it was not my doing," she tells you quietly, "and I will leave the telling of it to those who were responsible."

With a single nod you turn back to your internal struggle against the call of the universe. You know that soon enough, all this will be over.
Right. Off to Kel'ar Iy, where all the responsible people gather.


You sense the presence of the entire Polaris Ruling Council plus the caste leaders awaiting your arrival. Without digging too deep you can feel the irritation of the caste-leaders and the anxiety of the council members.

Stepping out of the hatch, you are almost horrified to see everyone bowing. Without thought you weave them all upright, telling them that you are still just a man.

"It took us over six centuries," intones Bis Andreya formally, "but, with your help, we have finally been able to pay our debt to the Vell-os.

"But we have another problem," she continues, and you can sense her nervousness. "You may not be aware that we have recently entered into secret alliances with both the Federation and the Auroran Empire. The reasoning was that we could use our new position as allies to bring to bear some leverage on both parties in order to bring them closer together.

"Unfortunately," she tells you, her voice on the verge of breaking, "things didn't go quite as planned."
"I'm just a man!" He screamed, telepathically contorting everyone's bodies.


"As part of our agreements with them," Bis Andreya explains in a small voice, "we shared some of our technology with both of them. We had hoped that it would be used to raise the standard of living in both realms, but it is going to be put to use on the battle-field first.

"We protested," she sighs sadly, "but they would not listen. Both of them proclaimed that they could not trust the other, and that the weapons would only be used in defense of their own nation, but soon their technology will begin to outstrip their tactical ability, and it will be possible for one side to breach the defenses of the other easily and cause enormous amounts of damage. We are within a few months of what could be the most terrible war in the history of mankind."

You shake your head at the naivete of the Polaris before announcing that you will go to the bar for a quiet drink. You tell them that in one hour you will tell them what you will do.


Exactly on the hour, all the leaders of Polaris society file in with expectant expressions on their faces. You smile inwardly, knowing that they aren't going to like your solution.

"The hour is up, Ory'hara," Bis Andreya reminds you politely. "We are here to listen to your plan."

You smile an empty sad smile, knowing that you are going to manipulate them into destroying their own beautiful civilization.

"Join me on the Weave Got Company," you say quietly, "there is something I want to remind you of, and it is best that you see it for yourselves."

With that you get up and lead back to your ship before heading out into space on your way to Ar'Za Iusia in the Za'iuso system, to remind them of the sacrifice of one of their historical heroes, Iusia. With luck they will understand the significance of what you are trying to say.
Za'iuso is officially off-limits to all non-Polaris, even staying in the system can incur bad blood.

Ar'Za Iusia posted:

Over four centuries ago, the P'aedt had a disagreement with the Ver'ash over who should have rights to a particular system. After decades of wrangling, the Tre'pira came in to adjudicate, but unfortunately both sides disliked the settlement and rejected it. In response, the heads of the Ver'ash and the P'aedt were assassinated by a member of the Tre'pira, and suddenly there was civil war. Iusia, the head of the Nil'kemorya, after agonizing for three days, led the warrior caste in a decisive campaign that incapacitated the warring castes and so ended the first and only Polaris civil war. In doing so, he broke his own spirit. After restoring order, Iusia came to this planet to die. Out of respect for the only man who has ever stopped the Polaris from destroying themselves, the Nil'kemorya give their leaders the title Iuso, which means 'disciple of Iusia', as they view this man with reverence above all others.

Take Polaris Leaders to Ar'Za Iusia posted:

When your passengers recognize the planet you are landing on a few look puzzled, others look sad, but only three, Iuso, Mu'Randa and Bis Andreya, look grim. As soon as you touch down you usher everyone off the ship.

"You truly are a warrior for our people," says Tre'Inari, one of the leaders of the Tre'pira, after a long silence. "Only one as great as yourself would even contemplate sacrificing yourself for all of humanity."

You smile a sad smile, and shake your head.

"It is not Ory'hara's place to sacrifice himself to get us out of our problems," lectures Iuso quietly. "It is not he that will be sacrificed for humanity. That honor is saved for ourselves."

"Soon the Polaris will be no more," agrees Bis Andreya sadly. "We must destroy ourselves for the good of humanity.

"Thank you, Ory'hara," she says, turning to you. "You have shown us the way. We remain in your debt."

You shake your head, before indicating that everyone should return to your ship for the trip back to Kel'ar Iy.
There was actually a typo in the original text. Regardless, we return everyone to Kel'ar Iy.


Upon landing, it saddens you to see the once proud Polaris leaders file off, looking like broken men and women. But they now know as well as you that the days of their civilization are numbered. Soon their entire culture will have passed away under the weight of upcoming events.

"I will have a battle-plan for you soon," states Iuso, the only one still holding his head high. Bis Andreya nods sadly, and Iuso bows before turning on his heel and heading towards his own ship.

"We will require a little time Ory'hara," says Mu'Randa quietly, seeing the distress on the face of Bis Andreya. "But when we are ready, we will find you. We will need your abilities to get us through this."

You nod, wishing that there was something you could say to soften the blow to the very fabric of their lives. Instead, you smile a sad, empty smile, and head back to your ship to feel again the thrills of being human, for you know that your own time also grows short.
We actually don't get any chance to feel some thrills, since Mu'Randa comes barreling right after us.


When you sense the approach of Mu'Randa, you know the time has come and you finally give in to the call of the universe and once again sink into the now comfortable union.

Mu'Randa watches with awe as you sweep up her mind on one of your weaves and carry it out to where you are focusing your mind. You know it is time to lead the Polaris into the war in which they will cease to exist as a nation. You must decide which force you will lead, the one which will launch against the Federation, or the one which will try to smash through the Aurorans...
What will it be?