The Donut of Doom!

Tactics and Action Reports.
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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:22 am

Image
Come with me into the depths of space my son...
Image Fangy is scared! Leave us be!
Send out your thoughts, leave your body. I will help you.
Image Fang tries... It hurts!
Image It is difficult to leave your body. Ah, I see the problem. Your coterie yet clings to your mind. I will sever this.
Image I swim the black!
Image Yes. And now we must find the Elder.
Image I do not know how...
Image We cast our thoughts wide to the deep black ocean. A star calls to us...
Image
Image Is that the Elder?
Image
The crab and the hunter return to me. Feelings of relief, sadness, joy.
A pouchling tastes water for the first time.
Golden sunlight streams through the cool blue ocean.
A treasure is sought and found.
.

Image
Do you wish to join us, my treasure?
Image Fangy wants to be Liir more than anything! But Fangy is Zuul! Fangy did bad things. Fang ripped minds. Fang has tasted... blood.
Image
All will be forgiven--for a price.
We must heal your mind.
Do you give your permission?

Image Yes! Make Fangy good Liir again!
Image
Very well.



We expand your consciousness.



You may experience disolution of ego...

Image What is-------- **nothingness**
Image
Image

That went well, didn't it?


Image Yes, Elder. Very impressive, Elder. Now the healing can begin.
Image

Did I ever show you this thought-image?

Image
We've been saving it for humans.
Sometimes a human mind swims the black before expiring.
We contact these minds in those brief milliseconds of true consciousness.
They fear our true thought-image.

This thought-image is much tastier to them.

Image Very good, Elder. Very... inventive.
Image

You must perform the psychic surgery, the distance is too great for us.

Image It would be an honor, Elder. Command me.
Image

We must deal with the anger that burns.
Follow that thought line to its source.

See there? That is the source of the anger. Reroute this here...

Now find the bloodlust. It is deep within this psyche. We also reroute this to that psychic capacitor...

The overflow must go somewhere. We reroute it to feelings of peace, happiness, harmony.

Image I do as you say, Elder. The changes are made...
Image
Image

Very good.

See how this barrier already wants to form?

We must reinforce this barrier.

It must be done very carefully. Weave the thought paths individually.

Image I cannot follow all of these thought traces!

Image

We will assist.

Image

Here is another way to look at the mind we work on. Can you see the thought lines now?

Image It is much easier, thank you, Elder!

Image

We are nearly finished.

See this sex-urge for the coterie?

Flip it inside out.

Now it is a broadcast channel.


Image Why is this?

Image

You will see.

Connect this and this...

Now bring the thought lines together in this form.

Tighten very carefully.

This part is Frank?

Integrate this onto the surface we create.


It will fool our enemies.


We are nearly finished.

We tie the thought lines in this very complex knot...

Now we hold it with the key--Do you see the key?

Image I have the thought-image firm, Elder. Why such an unusual image?

Image

Mild amusement. We do not want just anybody opening this treasure...

It is finished.

Image
Image This configuration is unlike any Liir I have ever seen, Elder. What have we done?
Image

We have won the war. Send this one to the Zuul to negotiate.

Image We return then, to Dorsai. Farewell Elder...
Image Gee, this is just the coolest, Dad! I can't wait to get back to my body and give everybody a big hug!
Image Yes, son. We return...
Feelings of unease.
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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Teledahn
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Post by Teledahn » Sat Nov 03, 2007 9:41 am

*Ominous cliffhanger*

Inventive use of nebulae, and other assorted images. Also, an interesting take on Liiran psychic 'healing'.

(Oh, and good story:P)

Zada
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Post by Zada » Sun Nov 04, 2007 6:01 am

I'm starting to not like those elders... Great story!

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 2:11 pm

The coterie gathers together under the full moon.
Image
ImageThere is no prey.
ImageWe hunger!
Image Yesss... Eat!
Image Muuuusssst obey Maaasssteerrrr!
Image We are hungry!

ImageFind prey!

ImageEat, yes eat!
Image We starve!
Image Humans--they are prey!
Image Obey little master!
Image He hates us! There is no food!
Image Cuffs zuul... Obey!
Image Snarls
The zuul become even more agitated.
ImageWhere is master?
ImageHe is gone!
ImageHumans have killed him!
Image Obey maaaasssterrr!
ImageBut master is gone!
Image We follow old master.
Image
Image Old master leads. Big Momma listens...
Kill the humans! Feed on their bodies!



Howls

Image

Image We smell their thoughts!
Image Quickly, quench our hunger!
Image We find little master! He is dead!
Big Momma looks around and places a zuul worm on Fang. The children need nourishment.
Image Find the humans!
ImageWe smell their thoughts... They are hiding!
The coterie was getting very excited. Slim leaps over an unseen rock and lets out a call.
Image They are here!


Suddenly, she leaps backwards. The coterie converge on a cleft in the rocks. A bloody spearhead dips back and retreats.
ImageThey bite! They have a burrow!
Image Dig them out! Beware the tooth!
ImageI have tooth now! I will bite them back!


The Zuul female sticks the spear down the crack and violently pokes it in and out. Once again, she jumps back, holding one of her arms.
Image It burns us!
Image Throw rocks to break their bones. I will get the worm from little masters body. It should be awake now.
Big Momma turns back to the raft and comes to a halt. Fang is sitting up, the zuul worm on his lap.
ImageDid you miss me Big Momma?
Image We do not recognize this one. Kill the intruder!
Big Momma screams and leaps at Fangy. Her motion is stopped midflight by some unseen force.
Image Golly, that was close! Thanks dad!
Image This one should be more careful whom he forms coterie bonds with!
Image Ahh Dad! I won't le them hurt anyone. Look, Big Momma's wagging her tail! Everythings going to be fine.
Image You are projecting your happiness and calm, Fangy. The Zuul females have left their quarry.
Image The quarry could use a little help! Those werwolf things were pelting us with rocks!
Image Feelings of embarrassment. Of course, Monty. We will aid you.
The rocks around Monty and Violet shift and are torn away. Monty is bleeding from his shoulder.
Image What is going on here?
Image Monty, I am Liir now! The elder has changed me.
Image You don't say...
Image Yes, Monty. I have a very important mission.
Image What could you possibly want from this monster?
Image Oh gosh, Violet, I'm no monster. I feel bad about all that stuff I did before. But aren't you happy to see me? I saved you from the girls. Go on, girls. Why don't you leave us alone, you're making the others nervous...
Image You know, I am kind of glad to see you, Fang. I should be terrified!
Image Young No'osil'Lamma'suul is broadcasting feelings of happiness and peace.
Image That's right. I just love you guys!
Big Momma and the rest of the Coterie file out, tails slightly wagging.
Suddenly a tinny voice breaks the silence.

Image This is Admiral Guffy, come in Colonel Crabapple!

To be continued...
Last edited by harperbrad on Mon Nov 05, 2007 6:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:31 pm

Image This is Admiral Guffy, please respond if you can hear this!
Image Admiral Guffy? When did you get a promotion?
Image There have been a lot of changes here in the donut, Monty.
Image Uncle Guffy, I'm so glad you're ok! What happened to you in node space? We saw the battle with the Zuul and those glowing blob things!
Image I'm not sure you'd believe me if I told you the whole story. Let's just say that we've spawned a few alternate realities... Oh, and I met my own great-grandfather.
Image I don't understand.
Image Nevermind, that's not important now. The Liir have been trying to recapture Dorsai ever since your crash-landing. They are on their way with a sizable fleet. They've got the whole population mobilized. Colony ships are just behind the vanguard.
Image But where are you? You must be in node-space for the paired quark resonator to function.
Image I'm leading the Solforce battle fleet. We're taking on the Zuul homeworld!
Image Uncle Guffy, you remember what happened last time...
Image This time we're bringing a lot more guns... Venkman's got some surprises for the Zuul!
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 4:33 pm

Image

In orbit around Dorsai, the Liirian fleet gathers.
Image
Flipper, Monty, and Violet stand on the bridge of the Angered Dolphin.

Image I can't believe that Sprinkles came to Dorsai. That fish has definitely got the hots for you.
Image This one does not get hots!
Image Well "that one" was doing synchronized backflips with Sprinkles all night long. She acted like she was never going to see you again.
Image This one returns to the Black Swimmers. The Elder has told us that we may one day be rehabilitated. For now, we fight. Someday...
Image We all need a little hope, Flipper. I'm really sorry about Fang...
Image No'osil'Lamma'suul has his own journey now. He travels the node lines with Frank aboard Tanker Alpha-3.
Image With Frank? Hasn't he done enough already?
Image No'osil'Lamma'suul will seek to rehabilitate Frank on the journey. They have much in common.
Image Yeah, like Spiderman 5! That whole Fang thing still freaks me out! What happened to his gang of She-monsters?
Image They journey with No'osil'Lamma'suul towards Zuul controlled space.
Image They'll kill Frank!
Image Mild amusement. Frank is perfectly safe. No'osil'Lamma'suul will make sure.
Image What makes you think Fang won't get fragged by the first Zuul he meets?
Image No'osil'Lamma'suul has changed much from the Elder's touch. He is now a treasure that cannot be resisted...
Image I still don't understand...
Image You will understand. At Shandor, you will understand.
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 7:22 pm

Image
Image We are detecting multiple tears in space. The Suul'ka have come!
Image To your formations, Swimmers. We will fight!
Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

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Image

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Image

Image We are victorious, but at a heavy price. Many of our people have died, both black swimmer and innocent.
Image This is Admiral Guffy, we will be arriving in Dorsai shortly. Prepare for the offensive.
Image Where are you now, No'osil'Lamma'suul?
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:06 pm

Image
Image Hello? Is anybody home?
Image Who is it? Aarrgh! A monster!
Image Chill out, Frank--its just me, No'osil'Lamma'suul. You probably don't remember me...
Image I don't remember anything! I don't know how I got on this ship--there's no one else here! According to the computer, there have been 7 battles in this system since I started checking! What is going on?
Image Just calm down, Frank. I'm here to help you. Take some deep breaths...
Image Ok breathing, feeling better... calm... Thanks, I needed that.
Image Why don't you take off that helmet. We're not going to lose pressure...
Image Phew! That's better. You look familiar to me...
Image I should, we spent a long time with each other once.
Image I don't remember you. I don't remember anything! I think that maybe I'm the flying Dutchman... I've been in orbit around this world for the longest time. The fuel is all gone! At least the food recycler is still working. I'm getting pretty sick of watching these old Spiderman vids, though.
Image Frank, you and I have much more in common than you think. We're going on a trip now. How does that sound to you?
Image It sounds great! I'm going crazy in this cramped little ship. I think there were other crewmembers here before. The lifeboats gone. Now its just me. Why is that?
Image All will be revealed in time, Frank. Now let me introduce the rest of our crew. Big Momma, say "hello."
Image Heeellllooo. Tasty huuumaaan.
Image You'll be nice, right Big Momma?
Image No eat humans. New master says so. Eat plants. Eat animals. No sentient beings. Big Momma doesn't understand.
Image But Big Momma understands orders, right?
Image Yessss, Maaasssteeerrr
Image I guess there are some quarters in the aft... Its going to be pretty cramped in here... Are you sure this is all right, Noosalammadool?
Image Just call me Fang. Everything is going to be fine. We have a lot of catching up to do, Frank...
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:20 pm

Image
Image ..and that's how I ended up with your memories, Frank.
Image You stole my memories?
Image I'm really sorry about that, Frank. I'm afraid I can't restore your memories, though. They've been incorporated into my own mind-configuration.
Image Well that's a bummer.
Image Tell you what, Frank. I'll replace each of your old, slightly boring memories with exciting new memories!
Image Well that sounds interesting... How will you do that?
Image We're going on an adventure! Wait till we hop out of node-space. Its going to be a surprise!
Image Oh, I like surprises! At least I think I do.
Image Oh Frank, you remind me so much of myself. I guess that's because I've got so gosh-darned much of you crammed in my brain!
Image You are such a card, Fang! Hey, here comes Snappy!
Image We bring pie...
Image Hey there's something moving in it!
Image The children hunger...
Image That's hilarious Snappy! Why don't you make another one without any Zuul worms.
Image Snappy obeys new master...
Image What will they think of next!
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:47 pm

Image
Image Looks like we're getting to the end of the nodeline, Frank.
Image That sounds interesting... will there be some Zuul?
Image Probably. Don't worry, I'll take care of everything.
Image I wouldn't even think of worrying, Fang. You're my best friend. I know you'll take care of me.
Image That's right, Frank. I will.
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:37 am

Image
Image Here we are, Frank. We've finally come into Zuul-space.
Image Are you sure this is ok, Fang?
Image It will be fine, Frank. Look--here comes the welcome wagon!
Image
Image They don't look very welcoming!
Image Don't worry, Frank. Fang will take care of everything.
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:59 am

Image
Image Cell leader! We have captured the human tanker!
Image Have you begun the interrogation?
Image We are having... difficulties, sir.
Image You must have consumed dozens of humans in the past!
Image This vessel was not piloted by humans. There is a Zuul coterie onboard!
Image Then you have started the domination process? I will taste of this Zuul's mind myself!
Image Well, we started the domination process, but the subject is resistant to all forms of mind ripping! We are taking turns to try and break through the barrier. It is all very exciting!
Image Why is your failure exciting, underling? Answer very carefully.
Image Master, the Zuul's mind is like a puzzle. If you probe carefully, you can see the thought traces woven together. It is unlike anything we have encountered!
Image Then you will send the prisoner to me at once! I will personally interrogate him.
Image Very well, cell leader. Should we send the pie as well?
Image Pie?
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:12 am

Sorry for the flurry of posts, everyone. I'm trying to wrap up this TAR for good! I told myself I wouldn't play any more SoTs until I had this story wrapped up. A pretty good incentive to finish the plot line.

The final scenes have been shot, and I've got a bonus feature for all my loyal readers--the save-game 1 turn before the final big battle! 4 races, 8 Dreadnaughts, lots of action!

Coming soon to a TAR near you!
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:07 pm

We find Fang, Frank, and the Zuul coterie deep in the laboratory of Dr. Ludvig.

Image
Image At last I have them in my grasp! Muhuhuwawaaa!
Image Very good evil laugh, master!
Image Let me try it again, a little more from the belly... MUHUHUWAWAAA!
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
A smattering of applause erupts from the assembled slaves.
Image Cell leader... I mean Dr. Ludvig, this prisoner has proved immune to mind-ripping anything other than surface thoughts!
Image I have no time for your excuses. What have you found?
Image The human prisoner has been extensively ripped before we started our inquisition, sir. There was precious little we were able to glean from him...
Image And the Zuul?
Image His outer thoughts are wispy and insubstantial. We rip them, but they reappear moments later like mists.
Image And his inner thoughts? Surely you have probed further! Surface thoughts are useless to us!
Image We have encountered a barrier beneath the surface thoughts. The thoughts dance around the surface of the barrier. We cannot break through this barrier--the more we push, the more the Zuul broadcasts... It is very... disturbing...
Image And what exactly is this zuul broadcasting?
Image Ummm... You know the feeling you get right after making a new Zuul worm with the coterie?
Image Do not speak of such things in front of the slaves!
Image Well... Its something like that, only stronger.
Image Have a cigarette and keep working, then!
Image We do, but the barrier remains!
Image I will have to do this myself. Send in the prisoners!
Fang, Frank, and the female Zuul are ushered in by a hoard of small hivers.
Image So, you think you can defy me? You know nothing of the powers of science I hold!
Image Hi, my name is No'osil'Lamma'suul! Its a pleasure to meet you, professor!
Image Yes... Professor Ludvig... It has a nice ring to it... Stop broadcasting these feelings!
Image Sorry, Prof. I can't help it... Just happens.
Image Should I prepare the neural probe?
Image Prepare the neural probe!
Image We are preparing the neural probe!
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
The neural probe is prepared, master!
Image So exactly where are you going to put that neural probe?
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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harperbrad
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Post by harperbrad » Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:26 pm

Some time later in the laboratory of Dr. Ludvig...

Image
Image This is so interesting! How do they weave the thought traces so finely!
Image I don't know, Dr. Ludvig. Practice, I guess...
Image That question was not addressed to you! But I cannot stay angry... Look at how these thought traces come together here... That void there looks promising... Eureka! A properly formed thought might just unravel all the thought lines in the knot! We need only find the key! Oh, I feel like having another evil laugh! MUHUHUWAWAAA!
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
Hurray!
The small hivers begin doing an intricate dance, whistling, clicking and giving high-fives...

Image Stop that this instant! You are slaves, not some idiotic backup dancers! Return to your work. Hmmm... What if I poke ever so slightly here... Oh my, that is nice...
Image Yeah, keep poking it...
Image Cease your blather! I cannot concentrate! Ok, no more poking... Perhaps if we crushed the mental barrier from two sides...
Image Shall I prepare the mental vise?
Image Yes, prepare the mental vise!
Image We are preparing the mental vise!
ImageImageImageImageImageImage
The mental vise is prepared, master!
Image Now, if I increase the power slowly... very slowly...
Image That's very nice...
Image Stop enjoying yourself! I will disembowel you myself if I have to!
Image Enjoyment stopping...
Image There, I see little lights dancing on the surface of the barrier... Focus the neural probe on that one... Zoom magnification... Increase power to probe...
Image What are they?



Image Cell Leader! The vice-roy sends me, one of his personal coterie with a message!
Image What is it now?
Image The vice-roy requires the transfer of the prisoners, immediately. You will place them into my custody.
Image Oh twaddle. Go ahead, take them off. Leave me the human at least?
Image ALL the prisoners, cell leader.
--HarperBrad
Image Image Image

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