Author Archives: Lindsay

Story event timeline

As Im trying, between work, classrs, and finding a few minutes to eat or even sleep, Im still working over the event timeline of the game. Im curious what ratio of action/combat to roleplay/problem and puzzle solving people prefer. The decisions will eliminate some events, enable others and generally determine the overall environment of the game. With a small player base, I can write events that focus entirely upon us. Thats the beauty of a smaller player base. Its more like the series with everyone having a major role.

Or, I can instead have a NPC command element, for example, an Earth based HQ that calls the shots, we all are more like the team assigned to perform tasks we may not understand, till later as the story unfolds.

If we decide to play a more combat oriented game I would encourage the use of alternate characters as a means to have meaningful deaths. That would be permanent death. But to tell a good action storyline, characters we come to love must die in order to draw the emotional immersion that keeps us coming back. It also means that anyone is a candidate for death. Up to you.

Finally, if all goes as planned, in a month or so ( end of April’ish) I can participate more after classes let out for the summer.  I have given myself two weeks to really begin to harden up the many many ideas gloating around in my head, but I want the final schedule of events to be what everyone is excited about.

 

What I can guarantee, right now, is that this storyline will take several turns nobody is expecting, and Im not overstating that. If this game goes to its conclusion, I think it may just be the greatest work Ive ever written and I cant wait to share it.

 

Lindsay

Blood and Chrome Continuation

***The following is a story for followers on Facebook, dealing with an alternate universe where the fleet assembled in the series Blood and Chrome did not attack the Cylon bases, but instead sought out Earth, as an ally.***

 

Chapter 1: Troubled Girl

“We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than this world’s got to offer
We want more than the wars of our fathers
And everything inside screams for second life, yeah
 
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live for so much more
Have we lost ourselves?
We were meant to live
We were meant to live”
Meant to Live – Switchfoot
January 29, 2013 – Phoenix , Arizona

Below, in the haze of pollution, lost amid the noise of cars and the crowds, the city exists. The hot asphalt and filthy gutters, the discarded litter and among that, the discarded lives, existed in a myopic cesspool of misery and futility. From her perch above it all, Stormy watched the city trundle on in it’s pointless ballet of crime, hopelessness and mind-numbing pointlessness. Rolling over, she looked back up at the clouds.

They drifted by like slow lazy shadow puppets, forms ever changing. She yearned to go to where they began, and float along to where they end. Anywhere but here. If this is all there is, then whats the point? If there is nothing more to life, then why dream?

Below she could hear the ever present yelling and the cries of children. She shut her eyes, wishing for a sign, a maricle that might make her life have purpose. She felt the tears fall slip from the corners of her eyes, down the sides of her face and tickle her ears.

January 29, 2013 – Jet Propulsion Labratories

Post graduate studies focusing on SETI would have meant a one way ticket to the “kiddy table” of cosmology, just a month earlier. Jesus Medinas had already resigned himself to a life of fund raising and begging for sponsors to buy time on any of the “Large Array” radio telescopes, until he could at least earn his stripes among the fraternity of fellow “alien hunters.” It was just how the game was played. The “real” cosmologists would have priority time on the arrays, while the “martian hunters” were allowed to pay for whatever time was left over. Because of that, it was easy to lose hope and become distracted. He had to admit, if he were to be honest, that he regretted turning away from the hard physics, and plunging into the applied field, such as it was. There was just nothing out there. It was just a big empty sky full of nothing… except maybe the twenty or so signals that just popped up out of nowhere!

Stumbling to his feet, he fell over the lawn chair, crashing into the Igloo cooler that held his soda and peanuts. “Gilbert! Get on the recorder! Call Mexico and Canada, we need to get confirmation! He yelled.

Inside the array control house, Gilbert Davenport was already turning the recorder on. The signals were strong clear and steady. “Jesus, check to make sure this isn’t a TV satellite, I’ll get with NASA.”

“Im on it!” Jesus said as he checked over the listings of known obstructions and signal frequencies. If none matched these, then they at least had an unknown signal, and that was exciting.

“Gilbert, there is nothing on this frequency. Its got some side-band, I’m going to… Oh my God!” Gil, look! Look! You see this?” Jesus was forced to sit as his knees went out. There was video, as well as audio, and they looked… human!

“Holy shit… This has to be a joke. It has to be a TV signal or something man, I mean, c’mon! We finally find aliens, and they look like us? No damn way!”

“Jesus, its NASA, they say we are to monitor, but not contact anyone. Dude, I think we might be in trouble.”

January 30, 2013 – NORAD.

Fresh from a shower, Lieutenant General Walters strode into the information center to meet with a group of what were considered “the smartest men on the planet.” Interestingly, of the eleven brilliant men, three were women. He mentally checked himself for assuming they were all men. In all the movies, it was usually three oriental guys, at least one African-American and a bunch of Caucasians. He had never seen a woman in the group to his recollection. Then again, he had never paid much attention to alien movies. That would perhaps change today.

Yesterday, a signal was received that was clearly extra-terrestrial in origin. Twenty seven star ships had simply appeared out of nowhere. So far only a few arrays had picked up the signal before it was lost to some form of encryption, that resembled static. The US Air Force had put out a cover story that it was an errant signal, being reflected back by space debris, originating from a TV station run by JPL. The fact that JPL didn’t operate a TV station, nor was space junk found that far out, or the fact the signal spoke a language somewhat akin to Latin, made any difference. The few arrays that had copy of the signal were already silenced, and the NIS was scrubbing the internet of any mention of the signal.

This secret was going to be kept from the public, till the authorities had in place, the means to handle the possible rioting and hysteria that would surely follow President Obama’s address, informing the world, that mankind’s greatest question, are we alone, has been answered. First, however, the United States and its allies, has to make first contact. The logistics of being first were vital. If the rest of the world, God forbid the Chinese, or Russians, were to make first contact, it could tip the balance of power on Earth, forever in their favor.

Character Creation

To create a character in the game, we recommend reading the short story Stardust Stories. It gives a bit of an insight into the world from the lives of several different people.

The story takes place prior to the events that will kick off the game. The more you read about ideas and how it all fits together, the more material you have to work with in deciding what role you will play. Its much like a game of make believe involving other people. Instead of saying bang and arguing over whos dead, for example, we will use a meter and our avatars fight it out with outcomes decided by the actions we take.

If you are new to role playing, feel free to watch others till you feel comfortable.

Since we are building the set, to use a stage performance analogy, roleplay has not officially began. However, we dont discourage players having their own fun, just keep in mind, once the set is done, it will be more exciting as storyline events take place and the real game begins.

If you want to try roleplaying at another sim until the dust here settles, we recommend BSG-82 Special Tauron Ops. The sim owner Alia, is awesome and easy to get along with.

Character types most likely to be seen on Battlestar Genesis, are Ships Officers, Pilots, Reporters, Engineering Crew, Medical Staff, Ambassadors, Deck Crew, and if you can think of another idea, write it up and we can do our best to see if it will fit.

We also will have an arena and training area for the bloodsoaked Patriot Games. Players participating fight to the death in regularly scheduled events. The characters involved would be any type of outcast that the paranoid and highly corrupt Theocratic Confederacy would want to be rid of.

The only rules we insist on are:

No Minors (under aged characters. 18 years or older)

No Drama. Please try to keep the peace. Remember that In Character actions do not always reflect Out Of Character personalities. If you are unsure, PM the other player and ask if they want to work out the problem, or ask one of the staff to intervene. But keep the fighting IC only.

No discussing other sims or people in a negative way. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing. And try not to bring outside drama into group chat.

Be polite, respectful, fun and tollerant.

Most of all, lets play together, not against each other. In the end we all are here to have fun.

 

 

Contacting us

Interested in joining us?

 

In Second Life, you can contact any of our gang, we may need time to get back to you, but we will try to be as prompt as we can.

Shmuel Dubrovna

Anaxamander Barbosa

Rhonda Pinion

Lindsey Mollari

Maximos Slade

Xavier Pomegranate

TorresAlpha12 Resident

Cattniss Resident

or contact the Mercury Roleplay group

 

 

Unit organization

At the last informal gathering, several points were brought up. Among them was the types of characters we might play. The history of Battlestar role play on SL has been comprised of several basic character styles. A short list includes Civilians, Pilots, Crewmen, Command Staff, Marines, Special Forces, Humanoids, Centurions and Pirates.

 

I think we can safely rule out pirates, since Earth is taking its fledgling steps into space travel. Another group that I think we can agree do not need to be included is Special Forces. With the limited capacity of a single ship, it would be a waste of resources to house a military unit that in this modern age is typically used for counter terrorism purposes, in an environment where terrorists would be light years away. Another sim has stated reasons for not employing Marines in the game. I have felt the same way for a long time. While Marine players tend to enjoy the style of play, it tends to create issues with Chain of Command and ends up in arguments more often than not. The Genesis will be protected by the highly honored 95th Rifle Regiment. They will be essentially NPC’s but if some players want to play one as flip title at times, then thats ok as long as it doesnt create friction. The Rifles have a long proud history and are elite troops that can provide excellent security for the ship and crew. Keep that in mind when using them as NPC’s or flip title characters.

We wont have any humanoids initially because we have not met the third race yet. So if you want to play a humanoid, feel free to play another character that can die or fade to background as necessary upon contact.

Centurions will be the primary adversary as they pursue their plan to create peace makers out of the humans. The twisted logic of their plan is what prevents anyone from figuring it out.

 

Civilians wont play a big role in the game. Its one ship. The crew are hand selected and highly screened. Player characters are considered to be excellently skilled at their jobs and  psychologically tested to guarantee their ability to handle the trip. Characters will be considered valued members of the crew and capable of performing under stress. These are tough survivors and professionals.

 

Pilots will all belong to one of two squadrons. Pawnee pilots will all be part of one squadron, though we will have a second NPC Pawnee squadron. Tigerhawk pilots will all belong to the same Tigerhawk squadron, though we will have three other NPC squadrons. The reason is logistics. During a long journey, we will be battling at least one foe, which will cause casualties and loss of Tigerhawks. A single squadron of forty Tigerhawks would be destroyed too quickly. So the additional squadrons can absorb the losses. One will constantly be training pilots as they recover from injuries, as well as test flying new or rebuilt Tigerhawks while the other three fight.

 

Staff Officers should be proper English Gentlefolk. In other words, they are the quintessential British Officers. Proper, stoic and dignified, they also have very personal lives they live but keep separate from their duties. The men and women of the British Officer Corps are the finest examples of leadership and should be played as such. Players interacting with them should keep this in mind. They are your officers and the RAF and RA hold them in high regard.

There are a few smaller roles that can be filled as well. We will honor the RN tradition of a ships chaplain. This could prove pivotal at times, as spirituality will be a running theme in the game storyline. We also could use a few reporters, perhaps ones from BBC and Sky News. Also perhaps Associated Press and Reuters. We might also have along someone from the British Embassy staff on the outside chance that we meet with “some form of alien life”. After all, the ship was extraterrestrial.

 

And of course if you can think of interesting possibilities we can try to fit them in. But the above list is mostly for the Battlestar side.

 

On the Patriot Games side, the general rule is, no minors. Sorry but we are a Mature rated sim with simulated violence, strong language, and the occasional simulated romantic interludes. (Just try to keep it in PM)

 

So to ensure we do not violate Linden Labs Terms Of Service, we ask that characters be 18 and above, so that nobody gets in trouble.

 

If you are not sure if your character is useable, then ask.

 

Agreed?

Facebook and Twitter

Be sure to “Like” us on facebook. Catch the latest updates on Twitter.  Be part of the community and take the fight to the Cylons!

We are not alone. Out there await others. Our fight for survival is just beginning.

http://battlestarmercury.com

Fight like hell or end up there!

 

The Machine Test

The machine test

How do we place value on a human?
Do we weigh its worth in how productive it is? Of course, that does not consider past performance or future performance potential. Past performance is irrelevant because it offers nothing of value presently. Future performance can not be quantified because it is unknown.
Perhaps they can be measured by usefulness. But then, anything a human can do, a machine can be made to do better, faster, and more perfectly. That being said, humans are no longer useful.
Maybe creativity. But humans are prone to errors in reasoning and engineering. So anything created or designed by humans is subject to extensive testing and redesign, which a machine can do faster and more precisely. So human creation is not dependable which nullifies the ability to assign value, since that value is fleeting.
Obviously humanity is not able to pass endurance, longevity, upgradeability or adaptability standards that a machine can easily pass. They are slower, weaker, fragile and need constant maintenance and can only perform for limited times before expiring.
Humans can not access data from a collective, preventing them from downloading  new skills and updates, nor can they upload a copy of their latest status if damaged or destroyed beyond repair.
In short, humans can not be said to have any intrinsic set value, unlike a machine, who can be evaluated for potential use, can precisely quantify its entire usefulness in the past and be modified, rebuilt, repaired, redesigned, repurposed and evolve into a superior machine as soon as superior design is created.
Humans, have no value. Thus, the eradication of humanity will not affect the Cylon Empire in any negative way.
Humans fail the machine test.

The Patriot Games

The Patriot Games

Because of the limitations of the nature of Second Life, the arena for the Patriot Games will actually be a small section of it.
I would like to see maybe a training area and smaller arena, think the training arenas of the ancient Roman Gladiators.
I think the HG players should maybe have week long training RP where actual fighting is not allowed, followed by an arena event each weekend, or even once a month if we have many players once we get started.
Ive asked Shmuel his opinion on making the sim dedicated to Genesis on Monday Wednesday Friday and maybe Sundays. The off days we dedicate it to the Patriot Games.
We might even try a mass rezzor that will add or remove Genesis and the space builds, maybe even the small Earth build or something.
Maybe on Genesis days its downtown London and on HG days its the training center and arena from the Confederate Theocracy.
Id like to hear from the HG side players what they prefer.
Ultimately, it would be nice to have a dedicated group of HG players that can tell their characters story in both sim games. Perhaps the Games days are the events that led up to the volunteering for the ultimate space adventure, or maybe it was what drove them to the ultimate escape from the horrors of Earth…

Cylons in Battlestar Genesis

The following is from a brief discussion I had with Venice. In the discussion, he gave me a brief idea how he would see an evolved Cylon race trying to deal with a new race. The new race, organic, and highly technophobic, would view the fully machine Cylons as an abomination and unacceptable form of life.

Cylons in Battlestar Genesis

 Well, basically. in my version, the Cylons are actually almost good guys. they are locked in a war with the unknown race (who I also have a great idea for) but they aren’t losing, it’s a stalemate. The other race can’t kill the Cylons without taking out their main base, which they can’t find, and the Cylons can’t win without resorting to genocide, which they refuse to do, they don’t want their legacy to -always- be genocide.
So they go looking for the legendary great peacemakers who ended the last war, and freed them from their humanoid masters, in other words, Galactica’s descendants.

But, humans totally suck, as you know, so the Cylons are pretty dissapointed, and angry.

So they vote on what to do, and they decide to recreate the circumstances that moulded the Colonials into the great peacemakers of legend, so they/the angels  help the humans find Galactica, and they plan to lead them on a five year quest under the same sort of terror, sacrifice, etc as the original.

(Of course, third race interference will probably kill the plan.

The Third Race:

I was thinking maybe they could be Earthers; like from Earth-1. The Final Five were not the ONLY survivors, more escaped, and fled into the darkness. the others, they blamed high-tech for their demise, and so became super technophobic. But over the 50 million odd years, they learned to make impressive things, without needing computers. Cogs and gears and valves smaller than molecules were used. So they look high tech now, but they are completely immune to electronic warfare. (Which is why the Cylons only way to win would be the genocude option that they refuse to consider, and because of their technophobic nature as soon as they saw the Cylons, they opened war on them, and have never listened to peace pleas or negotiators, etc. which is why the Cylons were hoping that Earth-2 could intervene. Earth-1 might actually listen to organics.

 

What are your thoughts?

Stardust Stories Chapter 6

Chapter 6

Freedom

“We will not be contained
We’re breaking out tonight
Fear is not our master anymore
Run with me, escape
We’re breaking out tonight!”
   Escape -Fireflight

Two weeks of terror were past. Allison had made it all the way to the edge of the Frontier before they caught her. After that, two weeks of harsh training, enforced conditioning, and abuse by anyone that cared to take time to do so, followed. In two weeks, she learned the very basics of survival, weapons training, and first aid. It wasn’t that the Confederacy wanted the prisoners to do well, they just wanted a good show.

Ratings were paramount, and a longer Games session meant viewers could pick favorites and cheer them on. This also provided 24/7 entertainment as well as a constant reminder of the consequences of sedition. The initial slaughter was horrific, but the Confederacy broadcast it in high definition detail, 48 fps and made a spectacle of replaying the most violent deaths. 50 “Patriots” were released from their cages at the same time. Immediately they ran for the weapons and supplies stationed strategically where the ground level cameras would get the best action. Hover cameras mounted on surveillance drones captured the rest.

27 were killed in less than ten minutes of fighting. Many others, including Allison, fled.

As she carefully made her way farther towards the north edge of the arena, she had encountered a few traps. Already she was burned on her arm and shoulder as well as had a dozen needles in her leg from them. It took her quite a lot of time to get most of the needles out, losing blood and time as hunter packs formed. Her luck changed though, she stumbled upon a few Patriots she had befriended during training, who also were in no mood to kill each other.

Julius Kalver, a former engineer from some Northern Alliance base that was overrun, was now using a wooden set of tweezers he had fashioned from twigs, to remove the last of the needles, while another girl named Stormy was fashioning a leather sling from fresh hide. Julius smiled at the wounded Patriot. She was damn tough. The burns looked okay but he didn’t doubt they hurt badly. He had found some mint leaves and had put them on her burns to at least soak up some of the heat and help with the discomfort, but the pain she was enduring from his removing the needles had to be powerful. He tried his best to look sympathetic, knowing how it feels to be in pain. When they captured him, they had beaten him till he collapsed. After that he was pressed to join their military, refusing them, and wound up here.

He didn’t lose hope though. The Alliance had purchased the first shipment of British Tigerhawk aerospace superiority fighters.The Tigerhawks were the RAF replacement for the now obsolete EuroFighter Typhoon. While the Typhoon still had its place as a training jet, the Tigerhawk was designed to counter the brand new Chinese Chen H-7 fighter as well as the Russian SU-45. It also was superior to the Confederacies aging F-35. In the first few sorties, the Tigerhawks had proven to be untouchable, downing 11 F-35’s and forcing three more to land and be captured. The design of the Tigerhawk was truly modern, made mostly of composite ceramics, advanced alloys and carbide. It was capable of a phenomenal Mach 3.8 as well as attaining orbit under its own power.

The secret was its engines. The VTOL craft had two massive outboard engines mounted atop its delta wings. They used a RAM-HYDE design similar to a scramjet. This meant the faster it went, the more efficient it worked. That allowed it to advance upon slower aircraft at any altitude it chose, close with, and using its agility to out perform and out maneuver anything in the sky. Shooting down the F-35 was so easy, the Alliance immediately ordered as many as the RAF would ship.

Julius had been tasked with redesigning the launch control systems for the Alliance carriers, which was to take place in the winter, when sea warfare was less intense. However, before he could finish the designs, the base was overrun by a Confederacy surge which also captured a fair portion of Southern Virginia temporarily. However, the surge was spent and fell back using scorched earth tactics as they left.He had burned his research so that the Confederacy couldn’t use it, but until he was able to escape, he had to remain alive and unharmed.

Which is why he was currently with these two. They were headed in the right direction, and at least Stormy knew to keep moving. He had shared his secret with her.The plan seemed simple enough, at least she felt so. Julius had an insider. Apparently an Alliance spy was going to help them. He needed a second set of eyes though. Survival in the arena depended upon knowing the terrain and seeing what wasn’t right.

Stormy had grown up here. Virginia was home to her. It was as familiar to her as the back of her hand. He was told to stay with her by his contact, but she didn’t know that.She also had help. Her crime was using old telephone lines to connect to the “free net” and had been involved with a boy she knew in London. They had originally intended for her to slip away and he would find her as she sailed off the coast in a small boat, but a Confederacy patrol boat intercepted her.

Her boyfriend watched in horror as she was on television, paraded out with the rest of the Patriots. The announcers rated her odds of survival extremely low. Stormy wasn’t a big girl, her small size, however, hid her true strength. She kept that a secret, playing far weaker than she was. However, she was quite tough, trained in gymnastics and easily stronger than many people larger than her.She had been lucky enough to stumble upon a trap early the first day. It was quite well hidden, but not to her. She avoided it and led another Patriot, hunting her and Julius, into it. That presented them with the supplies he had taken.

They made the most of the food, the small knife and the backpack with camping equipment. She had been able to lure a wild dog in and they ate well. The hide was now becoming a sling for some small stones she planned to use should they encounter someone better armed. Having grown up knowing her illegal phone line could likely end her in this exact place, she was almost prepared for it.Still, they had to keep moving. They could see the dust kicked up by a large pack of hunters to their South as well as a fire burning towards them from the West.

As they flew, Cassidy kept looking back at the pilot. She trusted Lieutenant Thrace, but didn’t understand why they had packed a secondary generator on the Pawnee. It had a primary generator as well as the backup. A third generator seemed unusual, but if Lieutenant Thrace said pack one, Cassidy wasn’t going to question why.

Later, Kara tossed a thermite grenade out as they flew over part of the forest. It started a fire and that caught the attention of the Games Master, who ordered Kara to fly over the fire and try to see what caused it.They set down saying Lieutenant Thrace saw someone there and was going to investigate. The ghetto birds were blinded by the smoke as it was dusk and they were between normal day optics and their night vision. So Kara landed them outside the fire but under a veil of smoke.

Quickly she tore at the wires supplying power to the transponder and on-board weapons control. When Cassidy asked, she was told to shut up or start walking if she wanted to stay in the CAF. Cassidy didn’t hesitate to help rip out the Confederacy ability to track the Pawnee. Kara had a plan and it meant freedom. That was all Cassidy needed to know.Later when they lifted off, Cassidy used the assault rifle from her survival pack, to take out two ghetto birds that Kara had flown alongside.

Within minutes, they had found the three Patriots, landed, and were now airborne, headed towards Alliance airspace.Confederacy fighters were scrambling, but already Alliance Tigerhawks were closing to escort them to safety. The escape of Patriots from the arena would be broadcast around the world by the BBC. It was a first, and a very public shaming of the Theocratic Confederacy.In high circles within the RAF, as well  as the BSA, plans were being formed. These brave survivors had pulled off a stunt that was unthinkable. The courage to try, the resourcefulness to pull it off, and the boldness to do it so publicly was exactly the kind of person they needed for a crew on the new ship.

Now all they had to do was talk them into giving up everything they knew, fly off into space on an untested ship, possibly encountering murderous killing machines, aliens, and keeping it all secret, and they might have a crew. The Alliance definitely was far enough from anyone’s radar to find enough to crew it without anyone figuring it out, but would they find that many people willing to leave the entire planet behind?If word got out about all the things they faced, it could cause another religious war, and that was liable to destroy the fragile society that was left from the global depression. They had to do it right, and they had to do it in secrecy. Most of all, they had to do it soon!