The Let's Play Archive

Escape Velocity: Nova

by Decoy Badger

Part 40: Auroran - Part 09 - April 28th, 1180 NC: Fair Representation

April 28th, 1180 NC: Fair Representation

Did you know that we receive an income as part of our warrior duties? 400 credits a day - raising us far above the peasantry. It's great to be on top of the feudal pyramid.

Our wolf pack joins us on our mission to interdict shipping in the Northern AtlanticGalactic centre. We take no time in jumping there.

A half-dozen Fed Destroyers are there to greet us. Specially marked Shipping, they're carrier variants - which means about 24 fighters on my ass.

I put the Pack to work right away, focusing their fire on the nearest destroyer and working their way down. The fighters concentrate on us, and our Hellhound missiles' AoE tears through them like a tornado through a trailer park.

The Pack is down to five ships now, but with the bulk of the fighters gone they are free to concentrate fire. Unfortunately, the Destroyers outrange and outgun them. I use the Thunderhead lances to try and keep them scattered, but the close-range anti-fighter turrets quickly strip off our shielding and armour.

The remaining ships have tag-teamed up on the last two Destroyers, us having disabled one with our Lance, missiles and railguns. I've stopped giving targeting orders since it's no longer useful and I'm busy trying to survive.

The last Fed ship goes down as a Vell-os reinforcement fleet warps in. I burn like mad for the jump point. The slower Abominations aren't so lucky - if we had EMP weapons the Vell-os could be dismantled, but as is we have no chance.

(this is from when I tried to out-range the Vell-os for fun. Didn't end so well with their afterburning fighters)

Bur'chee lets us know that our mission is accomplished prior to being ripped apart by mind-lasers, and KarHallarn, lone survivor of the Wolf Pack, returns victorious to Heraan.


Your pack mauled the shipping lanes of Sol, and the Federation is well aware just how good you are. You think the Moashi must also know and smile grimly to yourself. The other Houses will be upset that the Heraani are able to perform such mammoth deeds with such small numbers, but the dishonor is theirs. Once the Heraan House becomes the first family, it will be time for all Aurorans to perform feats of valor.


Techerakh and Kuron allow you very little time to rest before sending you and your team on another mission.

Kuron grins. "The Pirates are being torn by internal strife, and the old balance of power among them has begun to shift. We must know what is going on up in the galactic north. My spies report there is a new player on the patch. I'm sending you to meet with him, and Bazara to meet with his immediate enemy, the notorious McGowan.

"It is important that you get a feel for this fellow called Eiric," he continues earnestly. You rock back in your chair at the mention of the name. This Eiric is almost certainly the man you rescued before. "McGowan we can deal with because we know that he has very little honor and wants only for riches and power. His kind are easy to anticipate. This Eiric may be a different man altogether, although by your reaction," he smiles, "I think this may be a man we count on. Techerakh would be going himself but he has headed off on important business, so Nuada has requested that you go in his stead.

"I don't have to tell you how important this mission is," Kuron finishes off-handedly, "so don't muff it or I'll kick your backside till it's blue. Your pack won't be going with you, as they will be going on missions of their own. The game is afoot my friend, and soon it will be time to play for the entire box and dice."


You are beginning to plan what you will do when you find this Eiric when Kuron continues.

"The Moashi have become just a little suspicious of the increase in activity on our behalf, and apparently there is much talk of you in their bars and stations.

"Be careful," he cautions. "You have become something of a marked woman. Many young warriors will try for you just to make a name for themselves. It is important that you remain alive. You are important for the future of this House and your dying would put a serious crimp in our plans. So play it smart and don't get dead. Karlaekaar said that you had a good head for battle, so use it and don't get suckered into any traps. Go to Viking in the Tichel system and meet this Eiric. Find his political leanings. Use any influence you may have with him. Probe him, but don't look too obvious. Report back to me when you are done."
Off we go! Here, to set the mood:


Your reunion with Eiric is a joyful one. You find yourself reminiscing of your times with the Wild Geese, and he notes your growth over the last while.

"So, I see you joined House Heraan. Good for you; they're honourable people. Now, why are you looking up an old shipmate?" You tell Eiric about the current situation of your house. He looks troubled.

"I mistrust the Federation," he comments shrewdly, "and would love to see their downfall. I have been running supplies for the Rebellion for months, and will continue to do so. Eventually, I will fight for them, when the war between the Auroran Empire and the Federation is over and the Federation has ceased to exist in its present form."

On the topic of McGowan, Eiric becomes pale. With controlled rage he tells you that one day he will kill McGowan, to avenge the death of his parents. You do not press him further. If there is one thing an Auroran warrior understands it is vengeance. Before too long the hours have passed, and you both head for your ships. Eiric tells you that he would like to forge better relations with the Aurorans, and if doing so begins with House Heraan, then so be it.

You leave with a deep feeling of promise for the future, glad to know that the man you rescued will be on your side."

On the topic of McGowan, Eiric becomes pale. With controlled rage he tells you that one day he will kill McGowan, to avenge the death of his parents. You do not press him further. If there is one thing an Auroran warrior understands it is vengeance. Before too long the hours have passed, and you both head for your ships. Eiric tells you that he would like to forge better relations with the Aurorans, and if doing so begins with House Heraan, then so be it.

You leave with a deep feeling of promise for the future.
Eiric is playing through the Rebel storyline, but it looks like he's still in the opening missions. Hopefully we finish first.


On entering the bridge of your ship, you notice the flashing message light. You quickly enter your voiceprint, and scan. Kuron informs you that the Moashi have begun a push against the outer systems of Heraani Space. There are distress messages flooding in from various points, and that you are required to head for Heraan with all possible speed.


You blast away from the spaceport, breaking a number of outbound traffic laws as you do so, but you don't care. You have a lot of space to cover and not too much time to do it!

We always have time for some murder. A few pirates crash and burn on the way to Heraan.


You land amid a great amount of confusion. Warriors are openly weeping, and most stand with bowed heads. As you push through the crowd you hear muttering of disbelief and despair. You find Savard, Jesura and Bazara. Bazara turns to you and pulls you into an embrace.

"I have bad news, sister," he pulls you closer. "Techerakh is dead."

You feel your heart skip a beat. Techerakh...dead. For a moment you cannot think. Then the cool, hard rage fills you.

"How?!" you force through clenched teeth.

"We aren't even sure ourselves," Jesura tells you "but Kuron will only speak to us when the pack is all here. You were the furthest away, and so have been the last to arrive. The others are waiting outside the bar."

He is clearly upset and you reach over to embrace him. You hold him for a moment and then push him away.

"Let's go," you say as you force the sadness down inside. "The sooner we talk to Kuron, the sooner we can find the scum who did this and have our revenge."


Kuron meets you all just inside the entrance of the hall. He looks both weary and strangely joyous. He meets your looks of pain and despair with a wry smile.

"Why all the long faces? Did he die a coward?" The shock of what Kuron says stops you in your tracks.

"I guess you don't yet know how, so I'll tell you and let you all decide for yourselves. The Moashi Fleet you all rushed to stop was only sent for him. And the fool knew it. So what does he do? He speeds to meet them. He gave an excellent account of himself, making a mockery of the Moashi's best. By the time he fell, the Moashi had lost 20 fighters, a cruiser and a carrier. All this he did, even while facing their Mundokiir. Yes my brothers, the Moashi sent the "Eye of Fury" to claim him. So tell me this, who has found peace in the Hall of Heroes, and who still have the lion's work cut out for them."

Kuron smiles sadly.

"Yes, I'll miss that man a great deal, and unfortunately all of our plans must wait until we find a new Thurokiir. That is why I waited for you all to return."
So he Darwined himself out of the job. Hard to feel too sympathetic.


"You know how Thurokiir are chosen. Tradition is tradition. I offer you the office of Thurokiir. If you desire it, do battle above the heart of our House. The winner will be the new Arbiter to avenge the death of Techerakh the Bloody Hammer. Those who have spirit for this fight, fly out, and may your wits be sharp. Your ships have been modified. You will be able to kill each other, but any who kills another can never be chosen, for this battle is about skill and honor, not death, though death may follow the victor soon enough after this day."

You turn and stare at your battle brothers and sister in surprise, when Burch'ee of the Cold Death pushes you out of the way as he heads for the door.

"C'mon," he calls over his shoulder. "I have waited a long time to see how good you are KarHallarn. You'll get a run for your money...Oh, by the way, good luck!" You chase after him and prepare for battle.
I'm more surprised that the Wolf Pack somehow managed to survive being literally torn apart several jumps inside hostile territory. The duel is right in-system this time, but we are on disable-only orders - any more than that and the mission is failed.

The Abominations are so slow that it is almost trivial to keep them separated and stay on their tail. The hard part is making sure I don't overkill. It is not long until all of them lie disabled in space. We land victorious.


You land, feeling strange, wishing Techerakh were here to confer with. You are now Thurokiir of House Heraan. In so becoming you realize that you could have killed your closest friends. Once the impact of that hits you, you head into the throng of screaming warriors. You are carried shoulder high to the Great Hall, and proclaimed as the new Thurokiir by the Council of Elders. You are informed that everything the Heraan House has is now available to you, including every type of ship they produce. You are cheered at the thought of finally being able to purchase the capital ships you have always dreamed of.

However, your thoughts are quickly tempered when you realize the awesome responsibility of being the moral and ethical ruler of the House now sits squarely upon your shoulders. In the resulting celebrations it takes more than the usual number of boilermakers to leaven your heavy mood. You drink to the memory of Techerakh, and to the success of House Heraan. Jesura takes you home, and you are more than a little surprised that he doesn't leave. At some point in the night he tells you that he would have had you easily, if he didn't harbor feelings for you.

"That is why you are the Arbiter, for you can make your heart as black as Obsidian. I cannot, for it will always hold thoughts of you." You pull him closer to you.

"Not as black as you think," you whisper, "For long have I had feelings for you." You embrace and all too soon dawn arrives.


Despite the night before, you are unable to rest, and a bleakness has settled on your spirit. For so long, Techerakh had been a rock to which you were able to anchor yourself. So did the whole House, you realize with a frown. Leaving Jesura asleep, you stalk silently from the room, heading towards Techerakh's quarters to go through his personal effects.

Kuron had told you of the tradition, but you dread the task. You feel as if it will place Techerakh forever beyond your reach, but you feel that is why the new Thurokiir must do so, so that they may fully carry the mantle of responsibility.

You enter the dim confines of Techerakh's unit, and are surprised to see a holo-projector with a note to you attached to it. You pick it up and initiate its sequencer...and suddenly Techerakh comes to life before your eyes.

"Hello lass," he smiles at you, and you feel the tears leap unbidden to your eyes.

"Well, I guess I have died, and my hunch about the Moashi was right. Damn, I so wanted to be there when we marched on to victory. Ah well, I'll save you a spot at my table in the hall of heroes. Now, down to business. I have become very concerned about the number of our vessels being pulled away for duty on the border. Theoretically, all the Houses defend it equally, but lately the requests for Heraani ships have increased significantly. It is starting to leave us undermanned in the inner systems. Now if I have died, all the warriors will have gathered here. Our enemies will either attack our borders now, or will wait for all of our lads and lassies to return to their far flung posts, and then make a strike for Heraan itself. Now that you are Arbiter, you have to carry the weight of the whole House on your shoulders. Don't fret. I made sure that your shoulders were strong enough! You must determine which of the two theories is true, and than act upon it. So much is at stake now. The Moashi are as slippery as eels, as cunning as cutter-House rats. They know we are making a push, and have plans in place to foil us. If they win, then the Heraani will cease to exist. They will blast us into atoms, leaving only dogs to lick at their heels. Don't let that happen! Now I know you don't feel like you can succeed, girl, but don't worry, neither did I when I was in your place. Just remember, I have faith in you! I know that you will lead us to victory. When we are First House, unite the Aurorans. You have the wits to do it, for I have seen it in you. Unite us, then lead us to victory..."

Techerakh's image fades, and you are alone once more.


You sit and think for a long time. By the time you emerge from Techerakh's quarters, you have changed in yourself. You have taken the Heraani cause to your heart, to make Techerakh's wishes into facts.

First you have to investigate the number of Heraani ships on the Auroran Border. Then you can at least form a strategy. From the Communications bunker, you send a sub-space message to Hune in Rimerta, asking if he could spend some time with you on a little jaunt. Your next stop is the bar, where you slap awake Bazara, Syn'tax, Burch'ee and Savard. You send them to man the main spaceways into Heraani space, as a precaution. Next you inform Kuron that your oathing ceremony will have to wait, as you have too much work to do. He is much amused by your precociousness.

You wake Jesura, and tell him that you both must leave, unfortunately in opposite directions. His face drops, but you remind him that his duty, and yours is to House Heraan. He lifts his face stoically, and you kiss him lightly before leaving for the Communications bunker.

After a few minutes of waiting Hune replies he is more than happy to share your company for some time, and that he will meet you on Rimerta. With that you head to the dock. The roar of your engines barely covers the roar of the Heraani warriors as their new Thurokiir heads for her first duty.

We got a promotion! We now have the full gamut of Auroran ships available to us, and I'm going to buy a Carrier and set up a doomfleet. Gimmick outfit configurations and name suggestions are always appreciated! Otherwise I'll end up making some crazy uparmoured 20-ion-cannon battering ram.