Part 52: Rebellion - Part 08 - ???: Alternate Rebel StorylineRebel Bonus: Alternate Storyline
First off, the Rebel control panel:
There are in fact two Rebel storylines you can go through, diverging when you take Mu'Randa back to Polaris for the holo-scanning technology. If you're scanned by the Federation it's not an auto-fail, instead you get this:
And you return empty-handed. Now manual spywork is necessary - and you get to test cloaking technology along the way. You can fail that as well:
With a sinking feeling in your stomach you carefully pilot your beloved Red Six into the Polaris dock. You know that you were detected by the Federation before you left their space, and the grave expression that has remained on Mu'Randa's face since bodes ill for your mission.
"Meet me in the bar in about an hour," she tells you quietly, "and I will inform you of the Council's decision, although I doubt that they will look favorably upon it as the Federation will have been alerted to our involvement."
As she walks away you cannot help but feel that your failure to escape detection has made the ultimate success of the Rebellion that much more difficult.
You are sitting down and enjoying your drink when you are somewhat surprised to see a bearded Mr. Donald Chick enter the bar. An immediate hush falls amongst the crowd as they realize one of their leaders has just entered the room which changes to surprise when he comes directly over to your table.
"Greetings Ory-Hara," he grins quietly, sitting himself down opposite you. "We have recently been granted access to some technology and I've been trying to create a simple assembly process to mass produce these items, and I was wondering if you were prepared to be a test bunny for me?"
"Don't beat yourself up about getting scanned," Mr. Chick consoles you when you exit your ship. "It just means that we will have to spend a couple of extra months changing the configuration of the device enough that Federation scanners will not be able to recognize it as a prohibited item."
"Anyway," he concludes with quiet seriousness, "You can keep this cloaking device. May it prove useful to you in the future, but be careful, the Feds now know that it is an illegal item."
With that he turns away and hurries off, presumably to give the order to start changing the configuration of the cloaking device. You cannot help but feel that you have let down the Rebellion as a whole.
But we go about our business, uncovering conspiracy and all. Raczak goes ahead with the invasion and gets cut off. We get the Wild Geese to help attack Moash - for free! - as a distraction in order to rescue him.
Eamon takes us on as a Heron-style student and trains us in the art of basket-weaving.
"I am impressed with your skill Ory-Hara," comments Eamon Flannigan as soon as you and your fellow rebel ships land on the planet. "I believe that it is now our turn."
He orders his men to disperse into small units and to destroy all property they can find.
"Only warriors or people who choose to become combatants are fair game," he warns his men. "If I even hear of anybody killing civilians, they will have to deal with me. And I will not be so easy to kill."
You remember that Flannigan is a master of unarmed combat and you shiver slightly at the implied threat.
In the next few hours the Wild Geese run riot throughout the upper levels of the central arcology and several of the smaller ones. Casualties are fairly light, but the material damage to what was once the opulent center of Moash space runs upward of several thousand billions of credits.
This time as you land you find it a lot easier as your muscles feel relatively normal compared to after your last mission. You can feel yourself slowly learning to slip between the flows in your fights with Eamon. You almost sense that he is having trouble reading you as you can dance between his weaves, without weaving anything yourself. You are still a long way from defeating a master like Eamon, but you sense that eventually you will surpass even his level of skill.
"Your skills are progressing well," he tells you after one particularly hard session, "but I'm at a loss to explain your way of dealing with the flow of battle. It's almost as if you were learning it as a dance rather than a weave. You trouble me."
"It's not really surprising, you buffoon," says your guest Raczak maliciously. "You couldn't figure your way out of a wet sack, let alone figure out how someone else fights!"
Eamon grins suddenly, "I am glad I rescued you Raczak. It's not often that your enemies owe you so much."
Then we meet the Vell-os, become space-Jesus, and free the Vell-os.
You are met by the Heraan House elders who look frostily at Admiral Raczak as he steps out.
"Oh god!" he murmurs angrily. "Why did you have to bring me here to these savages? Would it have been so hard to take me back to somewhere at least a little civilized?"
"Why would anyone take an arrogant fool like yourself to any such place where he would be an irritation?" asks one of the Heraan elders by way of an answer.
You pipe up saying that everyone here can sort out their differences without any input from you. You eyeball the assembled elders. In no uncertain terms you tell them that you will not allow him to come physical harm. You turn to the snickering Raczak and tell him that if he is not properly respectful you will leave him here to find his own way home.
You look over at Eamon.
"When it's all sorted out," you drawl, "I'll be in the bar."
After going through your post-flight routine you head off to find the campus of the Kane University. After a little over an hour of searching you find it. Another hour and you are standing in the Center for Vell-os Studies wondering what to do next.
Fortuitously perhaps, you see the traditional long hair and fair limbs of a Vell-os striding down the corridor towards you. He suddenly looks at you curiously.
"You have the Ory'hara in you," he tells you.
"That's my code-name," you reply, somewhat confused.
"Yes, I know you are a rebel," he smiles knowingly. "But Ory'hara is a Polaris adaptation of a Vell-os concept. It means 'the guardian spirit that lies beneath the currents of life'. Curious how your code-name mirrors your nature so closely."
You open your mouth to tell him of your purpose but he holds up a hand stopping you in your tracks.
"I know why you're here," he tells you quietly. "Meet me in the bar in two hours and we shall talk further."
After a short walk he leads you into his private apartment and invites you to sit down.
"There is a way to free us from our servitude," he tells you without preamble. "Unfortunately, my people were explicitly ordered not to reveal or to act on any method that would lead to our freedom."
You are a little horrified and ask who gave you this order.
"The Sol representative to the Colonial Council in the year 558NC," he replies calmly. You shake your head stunned; that order was given nearly seven centuries ago! The Vell-os nods in agreement with your unspoken outrage. "I can give you only one clue. Seek out the people we helped before our war. I'm sorry I cannot be more specific, but I am a slave with his orders."
You sigh in resignation and ask him if he can show you something of the Vell-os martial arts, and he looks pleased at the suggestion. Over the next several hours the two of you spar and meditate as he guides your new sixth sense towards greater awareness.
The plot then converges to capture and hold Krane for trial up to the end. There is no escape from space-Jesus.
You come out of your deep meditation when the computer chimes, indicating that you are approaching the point where you will re-enter real-space.
Your time with the Vell-os, though short, was very instructive. You can now feel the currents of all life around you, not just those of battle. You ponder on these as you dock.
You are greeted when you land by Geoff and you turn your new perceptions on him. You sense that he somehow is what he says he is, but that somehow he isn't anything like what he claims to be.
"Did you find out anything?" he asks urgently.
You give him a quick rundown of everything that came of your trip, including the only clue that the Vell-os was able to give. Strangely, this seems to spark off a swirling of the currents around your supervisor, and you sense that he somehow understands at least part of the riddle.
"Meet me in the bar in an hour," he commands, suddenly energized, "I just need to clear a few things with some people, and I'll have another mission for you."
Finally, the Pirate preamble has been uploaded - please do read it, as it's the only preamble in the game that is actually directly related to the corresponding plot.