The Let's Play Archive

Escape Velocity: Nova

by Decoy Badger

Part 25: Vell-os - Part 06 - September 21st, 1178NC: Let's Kill Commander Krane

September 21st, 1178NC: Let's Kill Commander Krane

We start off our expedition by meeting the Auroran fleet at Cunjo. We've been here before in the Polaris runthrough, but for very different purposes.

Cunjo posted:

Named for the predators from Cunja Loff in the Tocc system, this station was built to keep an eye on the mysterious Polaris. Many young warriors set off from here to earn battle honors, and also to seek the coveted purple battle tattoo; it can only be earned in battle against the Polaris, as there is no more formidable opponent. Even surviving such an encounter shows skill, if not necessarily courage.

Liaise with Aurorans posted:

You sense the awe-filled reactions of the waiting Aurorans as they watch you slide down to the landing pad. As soon as you dissolve your protective shell an older warrior with hundreds of small tattoos covering his exposed areas of flesh makes his way over and introduces himself as the task force commander Ar'Krakh.

"You are here to guide us into battle against the mysterious Polaris, no?" he asks in a soft, almost sibilant voice, and you nod, sensing that he is one of the most physically capable men you have ever met. "We will need a couple of hours to make our final arrangements. Meet me in the bar in three hours and we will be ready."

With that he turns on his heel and you watch him give a few quiet orders whereupon his men scurry into action.
Mary Sue really digs absurd codes of conduct.

Invade Polaris Space posted:

You can sense the almost arrogantly self-confident mind of Ar'Krakh moving around receiving reports and giving orders as you sit in the fairly deserted bar. The more you study the man, the more you come to admire him. You can sense his awesome sense of honor which he uses to guide his every decision, and you are more than a little impressed by his incredible physical capabilities. You can even sense his dislike of his fellow Moash warriors whom he despises as dishonorable and soft.

When he walks into the bar slightly more than three hours later he apologizes for being tardy, but you wave it away as being irrelevant. He bows in response.

"We are ready to go," he tells you after a short bow, "all we need is your guidance."

You nod and with a sinking heart remember Krane's orders to make sure that none of the Auroran ships survive the operation. You guess that the shady Moash sent the troublesome, but effective, Ar'Krakh with exactly that in mind.

It's happening, it's happening! The Polaris don't give us any trouble on the way in - of course, I spend the bare minimum of time in normal space.

We jump into Kel'ar Iy. We're met by a huge defending force. Some people have trouble with this mission, and some people don't. Here's why this mission sucks:
1: Your fighters suck. Darts die almost instantly to the longer-ranged and faster Mantas, and your escorts will not launch their fighters until they are under threat. Result? Constant harassment that drains your energy to defend against.
2: Your ship sucks. The Javelin dies to four Polaris torpedo hits. The defending fleet is entirely equipped with Polaris torpedoes. The Javelin cannot outrun torpedoes. Result? Death.
3: Your escorts suck. Although they can tough out some punishment, your escorts can do nothing to stop you from receiving individual attention from the business end of many torpedoes. They can take out only one or two Polaris ships before becoming overwhelmed.
4: The defence fleet is random, but large. This is the kicker. If you're unlucky, there will be 2 Scarabs, 2 Arachnids, and a handful of Mantas waiting for you, with reinforcement fleets called in within 10 seconds of warp. If you're really unlucky, the reinforcements will warp in right on top of you.

In this case, I got lucky and managed to distract the Polaris long enough with sacrificial Darts to outrange their torpedoes, then circled back to land on the planet. The Aurorans died within 20 seconds.

Invade Polaris Space posted:

As soon as you land, you are staggered by several thousand minds attacking you at once as all the telepaths amongst the Polaris attack you in a desperate attempt to protect their home planet. None of their attacks is anywhere near enough to destroy you, but the sheer volume nearly overwhelms you.

In desperation you begin to twist their attacks away in groups out into space, but it is not enough. It seems like an eternity, but after a titanic battle of around fifteen seconds they break through all your barriers and stab into your mind.

In a moment of sheer panic, you try to expel all the energy coming into your mind in a single powerful burst which you control by adding weaves of storm clouds around the 'summer bloom' weaves. You realize in the back of your mind that you have managed to create the devastating 'winter tempest' attack.

Suddenly you understand that if you use the energy that the Polaris telepaths are pumping into you, you are in absolutely no danger of being overwhelmed.

Winter Tempest posted:

Winter Tempest is a name spoken in dark corners by the Vell-os people. The storm-colored arc of light has only once been used in anger. Even then it took a T1 working at focusing the power of twenty T2's to get it to work. It has been theorized by Vell-os scientists that a T0 would have the potential to create this beam by himself [OR HERSELF].
It looks strange and drains energy like a motherfucker. It also damages armour directly and is the most powerful weapon in the game. Of course, this doesn't matter too much when you can only fire it for about five seconds, enough to take down just one or two capital ships.


You begin dancing amongst the Polaris, using their own energy to build barriers around their telepathic senses to stop them from attacking. Within moments the Polaris see the futility of their efforts and the attacks cease.

In a flash of inspiration you realize that you can now see how your brain functions as separate from your mind. With trembling fingers you reach back and remove the enslavement device, watching with interest the flares of activity in the parts of the brain that it controls, but keeping them from affecting you. In moments you are finally free.

"How did you survive the destruction of your nanites?" asks one of the nearby Polaris after several awestruck moments, and with that comment you realize just how these evil devices retain control of even the most powerful Vell-os telepaths. The devices destroy the nanites that are a biological necessity for every Vell-os.

Then in a moment of surprise you can sense that Ar'Krakh managed to reach an escape pod and is being transported to the surface. You reach out and manipulate his mind, telling him to meet you in the bar.
We just invaded your planet, buy me a drink?


You are forced to reach out and talk directly to the minds of the Polaris who want to hold Ar'Krakh that you wish to see him in the bar. Within minutes he is standing before you.

"What is it you want?" he asks in his silky quiet voice, and you can sense the anger he feels towards you. In response you enter his mind and show him an accelerated pace series of images detailing how you were enslaved and your life since until the moment you were able to free yourself. When you release him he looks stunned for several moments before rising and turning to look at you.

"Apology accepted," he says bowing, and you smile, happy that he understood. "I guess that I will be spending some time with these mysterious Polaris, but one day I will return to the Empire. As of today I outright renounce the Moash House and vow to bring about its downfall."

With a nod to you he turns and indicates to his gray-cloaked escorts that he is ready to go.


As you watch Ar'Krakh being led away you realize that his last statement would have shocked most Aurorans. Despite all your telepathic abilities, only now do you sense how powerful his sense of honor is.

With a sigh you close your eyes and launch your mind out into space trying to locate your friend Llyrell. It takes you several minutes, but eventually you are able to sense his mind on Earth at the very edge of your perception. With all your might you reach out and manipulate his mind letting him know that you will be coming to see him. After a moment of surprise he quickly rearranges his surface thoughts to let you know that he has understood, and that he will meet you in the bar.

When you open your eyes again you see standing before you a brown-cloaked woman whom you sense is the leader of the Polaris people.

"What will you do now?" she asks.

"I go to learn how to free my friends," you reply quietly.
Quiet badassery is at the least better than constant despair. We return to Earth, sans Aurorans.


As you slide into one of the Kane Band's many docking bays you can sense Llyrell coming out to meet you. As soon as you drop your protective barrier he steps forward and you clasp arms as equals for the first time.

<i always knew that you were the one you have only one more step to take and i'm afraid that my orders prevent me from telling you what that is if you can make the next step then my people will have the first chance to be free in over seven centuries>

You nod, understanding that he cannot tell you how to become a T0 because he cannot teach you how to reach a level which might enable you to free him.

"Krypt?" you ask, trying to confirm your suspicions as to who you will have to see.

"No," he answers, but the fact that he answered aloud and that he has completely closed off his mind gives you his real answer.


You thank Llyrell, telling him that it will not be long until you return. He smiles for a moment before turning serious.

"You had best leave quickly," he tells you, still shielding his mind. "As soon as you leave I will be reporting you as an unenslaved telepath, and I doubt that they will be sparing any expense in trying to destroy you now that you are too powerful for them to control."

You nod and the two of you clasp arms again and you begin your weaves to bring into existence your javelin shell.

<good luck i hope to see you soon>

With that endorsement ringing in your mind you head out into space to head back to Vell-os to find and speak with Krypt.
At this point we're not exactly on speaking terms with the Federation. A fleet of Destroyers pursues us all the way to Vell-os, but Federation technology is practically harmless to our shields. The massive energy drain from firing the Winter Tempest prevents me from killing them all.

Vellos posted:

This planet is all that is left of what was once an advanced and beautiful civilization. Very few records of the Vell-os before the Vell-os War have survived, but those that have show that this planet was a paradise world, with many beautiful buildings and parks. The Vell-os that remain alive today say that in every city there were artistic and athletic festivals, and that these two pursuits were viewed as the most noble by all Vell-os. Now only radioactive dust and one or two radiation-resistant microbial life-forms remain here. You wish you could spend more time wandering around the ruins of this planet, but your bio-suit is already giving you warnings about the radiation.
What's not pictured is me getting one-shotted about 4 times in a row by a single hostile Krypt pod. They have an attack which ignores armour entirely and does a truly ridiculous amount of damage - which means you die in a single unavoidable hit. The only way around it is to bring in a ship with serious armouring like an Auroran capital ship or to keep reloading until there are no Krypt in orbit.
See the little MSPaint spraycan mark? That's the deadliest weapon in the game for this ship.

Speak with Krypt posted:

You can sense the mighty intelligence that is the Krypt-mind focus its awareness not far from where you are landing. As you wait inside your protective barrier it approaches and you allow it to enter whereupon an obsidian figure of a naked woman steps into the interior of your javelin.

<you wish to know how to free the vell-os i can help you they have been ready to evolve beyond this universe for more than a millennia but have been waiting for the right conditions i was created when the six [krypt-tokh/battle-leaders] imbued their minds into their nanites at the end of the vell-os war to evade capture i have grown since then but i still retain the capacity to act as six t1s unfortunately the vell-os will require seven t1s to sufficiently focus enough energy to allow a single t0 to weld together their entire racial memory into one mind with enough power to move on>

You halt her flow of information with a single question: <one-mind>

<t1s can focus telepathic energy a t0 could achieve true telepathic union>


You nod and send her a series of images letting her know that Llyrell is a T1.

<then you will need a link you are a t0 even though you dont know it yet but if you are placed under enough duress you would learn what you have to do the only way the vell-os will link with you is if they are ordered to attack you by the leader of the bureau because no other source has enough authority for them to go against their standing orders to resist being freed>

You nod thoughtfully before asking Krypt how to go about trying to provoke Krane into ordering the entire Vell-os race into attacking you.

<go to goliath in the south manchester system and tell the vell-os there that you are going to new england to destroy the bureau utterly and if you succeed in getting there krane will order llyrell to try to destroy you but he will only have any chance of doing so if he uses the energy of all the vell-os into you then you can join them into one mind to free them then we can worry about moving on>
<off we go then we actually tell the vellos to meet us in the bar first>


You can sense the Vell-os waiting for you, wondering what you have to say.

<i am going to new england to start destroying the bureau> you pass on to her without preamble <no bureau personnel will be spared>

She nods quietly and you can sense the filaments connecting her to the rest of her race pulsing as the information is passed along. You bow in her direction before heading back to the spaceport to start what is going to be an eventful few days.

Destroy Bureau posted:

As soon as you land you attack the waiting Bureau personnel, frying them instantaneously. Non-telepaths cannot stand against even the simplest of telepathic attacks without heavy shielding, and not even the heaviest shielding can stand for long against the terrible destructiveness of the 'winter tempest'. In minutes you have cut your way through the Bureau building, destroying everything in your path. You finally reach the inner sanctum, where you are confronted by a calm-looking Llyrell and a frightened Krane.

"Attack her now!" she yells fearfully.

"I cannot defeat her," Llyrell replies.

"Then get the energy from the rest of you to join!" she spits out vilely.

"It still might not work," he answers evasively, "it depends on how skilled she has become."

"We have no choice!" she screams. "DO IT!"

He shrugs and gathers the mental energy of his entire race, launching it at you. In desperation you react by twisting the energy around the minds of the entire Vell-os race. Suddenly the weaves seem to coalesce and you can feel your consciousness expanding and being joined by thousands of others, all thinking as one, and then everything goes black.
I never thought about it before, but how does Krane know that the Vell-os can join energies?


Prime awakens. Looks around. Feels small twitches trying to gain control. Irritated Prime removes the twitches. Watches the metal irritations fall to the ground. Senses female-human. Name surfaces --krane--. Watch as female-human places small black device against her head. Prime watches as she tightens a finger and her essences moves away. Prime enjoys feeling another irritation pass.

Prime looks up into the higher realms and is greeted by obsidian mental-female --krypt--.

<come join me prime together we will explore>

Prime wonders and resolves to live again. Soon.

Prime closes eyes and falls asleep.


As suddenly as everything went black, you feel your consciousness return to its normal size. Your mind is once again contained within your skull as opposed to some multi-dimensional space. As everything returns to normal, you find yourself standing across from Llyrell, who is holding his enslavement device in his hands and looking down at the headless corpse of Commander Krane. Llyrell drops the evil device to the floor with a look of wonder before looking up at you.

<there is something i must do meet me in the bar in an hour>


As you wait in the bar you can sense Llyrell destroying all communications devices and sending all sensitive documents to a secure server somewhere else in Federation space. It doesn't take him long, but he and the rest of the Vell-os quickly and efficiently disable the entire Bureau network.

<we are ready now it is time to move on i need to go to korell to finish this>

With a mental nod, you head to the spaceport to form your Javelin and escort Llyrell to see one of the two planets that formed the Vell-os civilization of old.

The Feds try to stop us and fail.


As soon as you land, Llyrell forges together all the mental energy of the Vell-os race and launches it at the Krypt-mind who quickly weaves a complex pattern around it before extending it to you in an incredibly focused beam of pure energy. It only takes you a few moments to repeat the weaves you made on New England, this time including Krypt, and once again everything goes dark.


Prime awakens, vaster than before. Prime watches the universe unfold into infinity. The possibilities become limitless. Prime tenses, ready to launch past everything that is into everything that will be. There is a sudden tickle. Prime reaches back and moves a few minor pieces and feels the game change. Prime smiles as the harm is wiped away.

Prime turns back to what will be and leaps forward to greet the others already awaiting there.


The rest of humanity always suspected that the Vell-os were behind the sudden release of formerly secret documents detailing the operations of the Bureau against people throughout the galaxy. However, despite the era of peace and unification resulting from the discrediting of the Bureau and their allies the Moash House, the role of the Vell-os was never confirmed.

Meanwhile Prime was waiting.

And life went on and humanity continued to stumble forward. Through wars, through peace, through a seemingly infinite number of crises and all their solutions humanity somehow survived and grew stronger.

And still Prime waited.

But eventually, after more than fifty millennia, humanity began to look to move beyond the physical universe and Prime was ecstatic. With open arms Prime welcomed its younger brother to the higher realms. Once they were together nothing could stop them.

The end, and the end of all the silly merge-with-the-universe Space Jesus antics. Any storyline we pick from here on out will be mostly human.

Suggest a name, a path (Rebel, Auroran, Pirate or Federation), and a fundraising method (piracy, trade, or missions). Gender flips back to male, and I'm always listening for ship names, though the starting shuttle will probably be called the Worthless Piece of Shit once more.