Pilgrimage 2020 so far

General discussion about anything related to Transcendence.
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F50
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Beginning in Eridani, leaving wife and kids at the call of a higher power, F50 set out on his journey towards the galactic core. Sure of Domina's call, I refused a doctor who insinuated his insanity. Early on, I found myself rather wealthy, quickly gathering up 5k and spending it just as quickly on a suite of devices. Most particularly a Solon Shield Generator. That shield generator proved invaluable against the laser-bearing weapons of the pre-Rigel pirates. I dredged up a SmartCannon which allowed me to dodge incoming kinetic fire while still dishing it out, without using my (at the time) valuable tracking missiles. In general, I was astounded at the tech availability in my home system. Also the sheer credits available in the home system. With the handy-dandy trading cargo hold I was as much an armored delivery service as a fighting pilgrim. While I had known some of the more valuable trade routes prior to acquiring the hold, knowing exactly how much per unit something was worth at the station next to it proved to be one of the better parts of my income for a long time.

In the system after Eridani, I gave mining a try, and it was a good try, leaving me with an excess of credits, a mining weapon, an omni-laser (which I forgot that I couldn't use with my Solon ^^). Eventually I stumbled upon a trading computer ROM. Elated, I sold my trading cargo hold and used only the mining cargo hold that I had purchased for that purpose. Swapping between the holds was not only slightly expensive, but annoying, as most of my cargo would have to be jettisoned into a small space container before making the switch. Selling scrap proved to be quite valuable in and of itself, Tinker stations were very available, there was one prior to Rigel and one after. With the smartcannon, missiles, and mining weapon, I arrived at the Rigel Arena. After fighting the weaker opponents that lacked missile launchers, I explored the next system, and almost immediately died.

Thankfully Domina sustained me through the Ronin-C and Heliotrope attack. Retreating somewhat chastened to Rigel, I did some more trading runs and then used my vast riches to buy insurance, a Nova-150, and a full Omsk set. Also a dual particle cannon, which I enhanced with speed. Explored a couple systems after Rigel, made some more cash running goods to hotels, joined Korolov and got a targeting ROM. Big upgrade, despite the tech availability I had never found one of these. I never did advance very far in the freight company's service, as once the Charon Pirate Stronghold was dealt with, there was no longer a need. Being able to purchase from the best of tech VI (except for shields, that shield generator seems very cyclotron-esque), and even some of tech VII in Rigel was a bit of a shock. I held out on purchasing a howitzer. After all, I have enough longbows to deal with anything I might come across. It isn't like the stations around here would purchase the amount I have on hand anyways. Starbursts fire prematurely, they are exceedingly useless though. Sold.

Before taking on Charon, I decide to face the slicer. Never did get close to Katami, so I ignored the request of his former mentee. The placement of the arena made that trip quite inconvenient, and besides, I needed the black market for fusion triggers. Speaking of which, I put those together with the Tinkers for ninety or so Lucifer missiles. I figured I'd need a bunch to take out the Slicer. Turns out that while the Slicer is very dangerous, with missiles that strong I only needed about five. Well, I guess I'll be lugging around these expensive missiles for a long time indeed.

The Korolov Station in Charon was...very, very, very dead. The Corsair-IIs were doable, but the Drakes were just so hard to kill. The Charon Pirates did not survive their mistake, however. Though, they nearly did. That stronghold almost killed me. In fact, since the stations weapons were good enough, I switched to Stilettos so I could dodge and still take the station out. St. Katherine's star was amazing in beauty, but underwhelming in tech. Guess they imported all the best tech to Rigel recently. Benedict is a very troubled person. I acquired a Particle enhancing device for my dual particle beam, but my other weapons, even my Omni Turbolaser +40%, are decidedly unimpressive. My NAMI launcher is all I need to destroy large ships. I hold out on purchasing a howitzer again, figuring I can find a better anti-station weapon later.

Actually, my Omni Turbolaser is just what I need to free some slaves. The way that Domina frees slaves is disturbing, but it is her strength that keeps me going. I bring slaves to the commonwealth also, and that is less disturbing. I notice the travel warning at St. Kathrine's Star and choose to ignore it. I am going well beyond the Commonwealth anyways. More slaves are freed. The Sung really need to step up their game, their ships are two-shot by my Turbolaser. I am given some globs of antimatter as a thanks. I don't know what to do with them, so I handle them gingerly. Something tells me they will be very useful later. Viking IIs are no match for Jenna and I, though to be fair, I don't think she's as ready to explore this sector of space as she claims. The superfreighters are safe.

At the second jump past St. Kathrine's I find that Marauders, however, are not safe. Tripoli-class destroyers might not be a match for me when unguarded, but together with their escorts I am unable to take them head on at all. I was trying to keep repaired at a Militia station, but only eneded up involving the station as well. The barbary-class is annoying. Domina directly keeps her pilgrim safe. Jenna also probably saved my life, I'll think better of her. Sadly, though she survived the encounter in which she came to my rescue, the continuing fight between myself, the militia, and the Marauders left substantial casualties on the Militia side, her included. I take a drink at the station bar in her honor, then another the next day. A fellow named Rama offered to help me, and I did not refuse.

I'm not getting any richer out here fighting on my own, that is worrying as I move slowly towards the core. Rama is impressive, to say the least. He is hardy, accurate, and his primary weapon substantially outclasses my own, even enhanced as it is. I feel that in a past life the Katana was not as impressive as it is now. I find my first TeV, and give it a pass. My lack of a howitzer or other decent capital-ship-cracker is starting to take its toll. My mining implement is very outdated. Rather than feel like Jiang's Star is far away, I feel its nearness looming...
Last edited by F50 on Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Periculi
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1000 posts! You made it a good one too.

I hope you will continue your recap in a similar format, it was great read.
I'm not getting any richer out here fighting on my own, that is worrying as I move slowly towards the core.
I know that feeling!
F50
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Note: Sanctuary to Jiang's Star (four systems) took basically as long as Eridani to Charon. It was much, much more difficult to progress. Unlike St. Kats to Sanctuary though, I'm progressing in both equipment and wealth.

Rama continues to prove essential to surviving without a reliable long range WMD. The amount of punishment his shield can take is really quite something. His armor fares somewhat less well, I ended up leaving bit less leeway than I'd've liked on a couple locations, but in the system before Sanctuary I have managed to put paid to some Sung Fortresses. Good riddance to slavers! The slaves fair somewhat less well I'm afraid. I have taken more slave storage devices to Domina, I have to have Domina's support if I am to reach the core. Speaking of which, Benedict and I risked everything in an attempt to figure out what's going on with the penitents. I should've known the guard had seen Star Wars.

I saw my first Huari Fortress. I left the Himal sepratists alone when I was passing by Eridani, and I'll leave these sepratists alone also. Not all of the factions that don't recognize the Commonwealth are as brutal as the Sung or Marauders, or as aggressive as the anarchists. I'm probably not very consistent in all of my morals -- that was somewhat obvious from the start -- but in the face of my greater calling, there is only so much I can do. I am also ignoring the Dwarg, but that is less because I don't want to kill them and more because my only excellent weapon is particle. After taking a quick trip back to St. Katherine's to get the most that I could out of the intact devices I found from clearing the system of slavers and maurauders, and the odd miners -- speaking of miners, some of them are still using regular Borer lasers, I'm not sure a weapon that low level will do the job in this system (my mining equipment certainly doesn't) -- my bank account is looking rather healthier. I was down to under 7k credits before the trip, when I had set out from St. Katherine's star with 30k-ish. Things are beginning to look up, I shall make my way to the Sanctuary system.

The Sanctuary system is a gold mine for intact devices and trade goods to sell. But the best part is that one of the civilian stations next to the Cathedral offered to pay me to get rid of an Urak Fortress. With Rama, that proved quite possible with only a few runs at it. The result...an Urak Howtizer! This is my first weapon upgrade since Rigel. It will make dealing with hostile stations much less exciting, and I'm very okay with this. The sisters are downright suspicious. Benedict is not. He's a real hero you know. He doesn't seem like a pilgrim himself, but has traveled all the way from Eridani in pursuit of what I am convinced is a noble cause. There was also some shield crystals with a temporary effect at a Corporate Trading Post. I don't have the credits to order anything fantastic, but I'll remember the opportunity.

I've left the Sanctuary system and found one more slave camp. Finally I have acquired the power I need to survive. Insurance should cover me if Domina allows me to fall, but with the power she has vested in me, even a critical hull breach won't be sufficient. There is no need for more slaves to be sent to that fate. Additionally, I can afford to hold onto some gems that I would have otherwise given to Domina. The sister called it a Gem of Contrition, I looked it up in the archives, keeping one or two will likely mean the difference between saving an important life, and losing it all.

Oh, I also am considering switching away from NAMI to Mayakev for my missile needs. While I still have the Lucifer missiles which are stronger, they are also of limited supply, and the venerable Longbow is starting to fade in excellence. Trading will pay the bills for the next set of equipment that I shall need for the leg of my journey that comes after this one. Or so I thought. This system after Sanctuary is also excellent for trade, with a hotel that pays me very well for luxury goods and a Drydock that will recieve metals and non-luxury goods. The hostile stations proved quite valuable, and I've even collected a segment of Tharsis Plate and a Yoroi S500 that I can use when I'm ready to move on from my Omsk set. Nothing is particularly dangerous, save for a trio of Huari Fortresses, and as I mentioned, I'm leaving those be. I've found and equipped a plasma cutter for mining work, but it hasn't seen much use. I now also have over 150k credits!

The next system is the system before Jiang's Star. After using an exploration auton I find that the Sung are downright entrenched here. But if that isn't forboding enough, I encountered some roaming Xenophobe vessels. I wasn't aware they travelled in groups so small. I'll have to watch out, those ships are no joke. It would seem the reason the Xenophobe fleet was so small was Dwarg. The Dwarg are more than capable of handling their particle based ships. All I have to fight them is my Urak Howitzer, but with Rama's help, it is enough. Still, anything that can take on the Xenophobes is something I fear. One of the Dwarg's most powerful vessels, a Behemoth joins me, a welcome addition to fight the Sung. Speaking of which The Sung Citadels are more dangerous than even the Dwarg Fortress.

After some close calls I tell Rama to wait somewhere safe and switch to the S500, the Tharsis Plate and some Advanced Ceralloy that I found. Activating a Green Etherium field Crystal, I slowly, carefully destroy the defenses of the citadel with my howitzer. Even with the field crystal, however, Earth slavers are terrifying vessels. I use two thirds of my stock of Lucifer missiles to bring down ship after ship and finally fire enough howitzer shells at the first citadel to turn it into a charred wreck. It doesn't help that two of the citadels are fairly close togther. At this rate, however, I'm going to die defeating the remaining two citadels in this system -- and Jiang's star is said to be the heart of the Sung's operations.

Thankfully, an answer presents itself. One of the Earth Slaver wrecks contains an undamaged Bolt Cannon. The Sung weapon that I feared is now mine to use, unfortunately it requires large and awkward cartridges. I almost threw it aside to sell, but closer inspection of its specs reveals that it is greatly superior to the Urak Howitzer. And although the ammunition is not readily available from the Commonwealth, the Sung seem more than willing to supply me themselves. In the form of deadly large attack vessels, but nonetheless willing. The second citadel falls without too many problems, though the situation is still too dangerous for Rama. The third citadel is torched decidedly without incident, I think I'm getting into a rythm now. Despite the large amount of time spent in this system , fuel is a complete non-issue and I find myself with a large excess of fuel rods thanks to Slavers and Dwarg alike. And the credits do flow.

Passing near a Huari fortress during a sale of the goods from my personal war against the Sung and Dwarg, I find that they are entirely non-hostile. Curious I dock and they welcome me, suggesting that I may even be the "Solti" whatever that is. They want me to destroy some Sung vessels, and I am more than happy to oblige. When I return from my second mission, however, they inform me the station is under attack. What follows is the largest fleet I have ever seen. If I didn't have my field crystal still active, that would not have been good, not good at all. As it is, however, the Huari seem quite competent in dealing with Earth Slavers themselves and together the Sung are no match. The Huari leadership is so impressed by the effort, and also some prophecy I don't understand, that they tell me that I must go to Huramancara and that the only way to get there is by injecting stuff into my brain. Whatever, what's one more prophecy? I accept. But before I go I'll want to be somewhat stronger. Perhaps *much* stronger. I do some more missions for the other Huari fortress in the system, but after that last attack from the Sung I worry about the future and take one load of slave coffins to the sanctuary of Domina. Whatever she does with them, it can't be worse than what the Huari tell me the Sung do with their brains.

Unfortunately, success breeds overconfidence. The final station that I attack in the system before Jiang's star is a Dwarg Fortress. Armed with only particle weapons and a mining torch the attack is difficult, but I fail to realize how ineffective the Bolt Cannon is for a while. There were more Dwarg Masters than I thought...Rama and I worked well to protect each other when either one of us was disabled, but...it wasn't enough for him. He has met his destiny, now I will not neglect mine. Invoking Domina Sustain. First, there's a planet near the Dwarg Fortress, and my mining torch will be sufficient for vengeance.

My particle shield crystal runs out and I decide to upgrade to a Yoroi MX sold in a Black Market Shipyard in Sanctuary, with only a few Lucifer missiles left I also switch to a Mayakev launcher. With everything wrapped up I continue to Jiang's Star. There is a manufacturing plant there headed up by a researcher named Dvalin that I was told about. Before I check in with him, however, I give the system a once over and destroy the slave camps. None of the other refugees are giving me any gifts, which is unfortunate, but at least they are free. I also destroy a couple Sung Fortresses (the citadel's of Jiang's star can wait), and one of them contains a weapon I did not think I could have possibly acquired: An Advanced Tritium Cannon.
Last edited by F50 on Tue Nov 03, 2020 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Part II, awesome! Congrats on the advanced tritium cannon :D
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The Sung do have advanced weaponry, but I never thought they'd've acquired one of these. The first step is getting this thing installed. The Commonwealth Fortress won't do it, but there's a Black Market Shipyard in Jiang's. Actually using the thing isn't possible even when installed, but I have a handy-dandy weapon power efficiency ROM. It will mean that I can't upgrade it later, but the capital-ship destroying power of this weapon will mean that I live to see tomorrow. The Dwarg won't stand a chance.

Now I go give Dvalin a visit. He's got an accent and is aggressively pursuing science, but he doesn't seem all that eccentric, at least at first. He seems especially interested in Dwarg and Sung technology. I suppose corporate doesn't get access to that stuff usually. His eyes go wide when I show him an intact Penitent cannon. To be perfectly honest, I doubt he'll ever understand how that one works. He's also interested in my Urak Howitzer, which, though of some sentimental value, was in need of a good home anyways. Dvalin gives me some excellent armor, which I was greatly in need of. Then I turn my eyes to the stations nearest Dvalin, another Sung Fortress and a pair of Dwarg Fortresses, all close enough that all of them will attack me if I get close to any one of them. Not sure how the Sung Fortress survived the Dwarg, but it didn't survive me. And with the help of the ATC, neither did the Dwarg. I still had to be careful of the cyndocysts, but when the Dwarg Masters have to reload their ammunition, there isn't anything the Dwarg armada has on my present equipment.

The Sung still take a little more work, but with my new ability to quickly remove their capital ships, I am never in danger. Load after load of armor gets sold at Adventurer Outfitters or to Dvalin depending on my mood. Dvalin also recieves all of the damaged and intact weapons that I receive that he's interested in. He uploaded the criteria for his interest onto my ship, and it makes supplying him surprisingly easy. He gives me an Akkan turret, which I'm not interested in yet due to the ammunition requirement, and another set of armor that is nothing short of amazing. I set a course for the third planet of the system. The Sung's primary world has several stations around it. I have neither the equipment nor the desire for a planetary bombing, but the slavers ability to enslave will be set back by years at least when I'm finished with them. The Commonwealth and the Huari really should cooperate more in the future to keep them down.

--

After that, I lay waste to the few remaining citadels in the system. The Sung are meticulous if nothing else, each citadel is an excellent reproduction of Ganden Sung. I'm helping them maintain symmetry, really. Dvalin gives me the Ion9 cannon, which I treat with some suspicion. A few trips back to sell stuff back in Sanctuary, (and acquire medical supplies) and its on to Flauros. A Ranx Dreadnought appears to have destroyed a Commonwealth station, but I kill it before it gets to the other one. Flauros has two CSCs side-by-side, one medical focused, and one fleet focused. I turn in my medical supplies to the medical CSC, not requesting credits, and he gives me a Mammoth-100 shield. I sell my Yoroi MX and replace it with this, despite it having half the shield regeneration. The sheer strength of this shield will help me deal with more difficult foes, and level 8 shields are more resistant to damage than level 7 ones -- at least I think. I purchase the Longarm anti-projectile cannon, and equip that, as well as set a damaged patch spider on my hull. I'm not sure it will do much, but it'll at least look pretty. I equip the Akkan 600 that Dvalin gave me and am dissapointed by the projectile velocity. To my surprise I haven't had to spend much for credits and have been equipped with a largely new set of equipment. I try out the Ion9 cannon, but it doesn't seem that great, so I sell it to Black Market, who pays me 180k credits for it. Also turns out they pay more for military equipment and my trade computer doesn't tell me. I should've known. In the future I will sell military equipment to the black market. That said, that particular station doesn't have any credits left to buy my gear. I am now a millionaire. If I went back to Eridani, my family might even forgive me and we could live at ease. But of course I wouldn't do such a thing, I have a *purpose* in this galaxy.

I take my first few missions from the fleet CSC. In the first mission I'm attacked by Kobol ships. The gotha missiles leave my ship fairly hurt. I'm glad those ships weren't equipped with more, but I am not too worried. The second mission is a little more dicey. The refugee escort is a lot like the superfreighter escorts, but the attacks from the Sandstorm vessels is so relentless that my front armor section is brought to critical. Thankfully the path of the refugees passes through the two CSCs and the system's Adventurer Outfitters. I've only dealt with a minority of the Sandstorm vessels myself, but it doesn't matter, the refugees are safe. The Akkan is not sufficiently effective, so I sell it for an omni-TeV.

At this point, finding myself a little in over my head yet again, I go to a corporate trading post and order Blue Etherium Crystals. The medical officer from the CSC also gives me another one for a total of four. I imagine I'll make use of all of them eventually. The last eventful happening in Flauros is a Ventari station. The Ventari have very annoying weapons, which my shield generator is not the best equipped to deal with. However, something about the Ventari in general makes me think they are trying to reclaim a lost glory. Regardless of their motives the Ventari station and its guards devasted a trade lane, no less than four superfreighters and dozens of other ships lie in ruins and for some reason there are still civilian ships that do not heed the Ventari blockade. My ATC is an essentially ideal weapon for destroying the Ventari fleet, but even then I'm scared to fire it with my shields down, so after destroying the station I draw one of the defending ships next to the commonwealth civilian station and use the militia as a distraction. To be fair, I've probably already have plenty of a reputation for being a bit of a loose cannon. The CSC's CO looked a little amused when he questioned me about the ball of Luminous drones that followed me outside the astroid field. Lets just say that it's good for the CSC's dockworkers that the unique Dvalin armor has some similarity to hexphase. Also, free fuel is the best thing ever.

The time has come for me to meet with Benedict in Eta Ceti. Whoever this Stormhound guy is, he's acquired one hell of a ship. I'm glad I don't have to fight that thing. There's nothing difficult about what happens next, but everything inside the Penitent Monstary give me the creeps. I'd rather die than become whatever that is. Speaking of which, Teratons. My trade computer told me that a station in Eta Ceti would pay far more than stations in the previous systems for weapon ammo. They did not tell me that station would pay in *Rins*. What is a Rin? Don't ask me, but apparently its the major currency of Outer Realms, with the exception of Outfitters itself. The Teraton station has a Ares Lightning Turret, it will make a good ALT for my ATC. I first check around for anything better in-system, but I'm not sure better exists for my languishing omnidirectional option, so I buy it. I also purchase a Nephren X1 from the Outfitters. I must be one of the most powerful battleships in the Commonwealth now, and in a Wolfen at that. The only thing missing is an upgrade for my Bolt Cannon. I could buy a Fusionfire off of the CSCs, but to be honest that still looks like an incremental upgrade as long as I have the ammo, despite the two tech-level difference. Adventurer Outfitters sells armor that is comparable to the Dvalin armor that I currently have at this point.

--

The hostile stations in Eta Ceti are relatively unremarkable. I have now acquired Assembler shields for Blast and Ion. In truth, those probably won't be useful, but they are cool nonetheless. Luminous assemblers are definitely high on my hit list for having items Domina wants that *aren't* themselves human. I don't care to attack the Rogue Fleet. More stuff gets sold in rins, and wealth increases to about 800k, probably making me a millionare again if you are willing to convert Rins.

The CSCs in this system have me attacking the Ares viciously, both for shipments of fuel-bearing ore and even an Ares commune. Decker having ordered that assault makes me think less of the man. Yes, the Ares did attack the refugees I protected, but that is neither excuse nor a reason to attack an economic station. Yes, I'm one to talk. The most harrowing for me personally, however was an initially unknown hostile that was sent to attack the CSC after the destruction of the commune. The "Phobos" is well named. I spent most of my time that fight dodging its terrifying plasma cannon. I wanted to get in close, but it focused most of its fire my way so my subordinates did the vast majority of the damage. Whoever designed the turning thrusters on that thing did a very, very good job, a lesser man would've left that ship a substantial weakness to close combat. In any case, I won't be checking in to fleet combat for a while after that scare. But with that behind me, I also feel confident in taking on just about anything. It is time to head to Huramancara.

My head has a bit of a lump from me hitting the deck so much, but I've found the Huramancara stargate, it was way back before the Sanctuary system. Unfortunately, so have the Sung. They actually have a fortress set up in that system, which is a bit of a shock, I thought they'd've had better things to worry about. The three Earth Slavers are a joke to my ship, but somewhat to my chagrin they actually have a ship that can rival the Phobos in offensive power, if not defensive. The Huari destroyers I have with me are good, but not that good. With a sigh I call upon the will of Domina to defend me while I put a quick hole in this menace, and it goes down. The Huari leadership gives me some troubling words as I pass, but I remember what happened in the Penitent Monestary and my resolve remains. I wonder if this "light" they speak of is Domina or some other power. I have acquired the Quianlong Archcannon, which unfortunately requires Longzhu Spheres to operate. I have 24 on hand, which works out to some sixty-one hundred shots, give or take, but I've kinda scuttled any potential way to acquire more, except for the possibility of three or so I might be able to order from trading posts.

--

The system after Eta Ceti is unremarkable, save for the fact it has three Luminous Assemblers. After destroying them, I turn in their knowledge to the Sisters station prior to Jiang's. It's a bit of a hike, but no big deal. I am now a patriarch. I have a foreboding feeling about Point Juno, like I have been defeated in a past life. Nonetheless, I really do have one of the more powerful ships in the fleet, and I cannot just ignore what the Ares could do if they got into the Ungoverned Territories. I'll just make sure to equip the Quianlong Archannon prior to visiting and have my gems at the ready. I also switch from my Mayakev launcher to the Rassermeisser one, since Gothas deal about double the damage of Red Strelkas, and to be honest, Red Strelkas only add so much to the damage of my Advanced Tritium Cannon anyways.

Actually, there is one more interesting thing about Eta Ceti: An Ares Shipyard. Why not prove my strength there? There aren't a lot of Ares ships that can pose a threat to me anyways, especially if I am careful. After some poking around I am able to take out all of the turretted defences around the station. The ALT (Ares Lightning Turret) proves itself to be absolutely excellent at clearing away smaller vessels and downing the shields of larger ones. Unfortunately the Bolt Cannon is essentially completely useless against it. More unfortunately, the whole process takes a great deal of time, first kiting the heavy gunships (which aren't too bad) and then later the Demios vessels, which are hardly a problem on their own, but with escorts prove to be quite dangerous indeed. This allows the Shipyard to construct more Demios, and call for reinforcements. After finally peeling away the Shipyard's defences, I repair my armor and sell my Bolt Cannon (I equip the Quianlong Archcannon, but have no intention to make serious use of it yet). Should've bought the Fusionfire I guess, I think to myself, and then proceed *not* to purchase the Fusionfire. The loot from the ships includes another ALT and two Positron cannons which I sell. Unfortunately none of the ships involved use the Ares launcher, as I now have quite a bit of ammunition for it and micronukes would be very efficient in getting rid of pests.

It turns out there is a Phobos orbiting the Shipyard at extreme range. No problem, I'll hide out next to a nearby planet, so it can't attack me while I can strike at the Shipyard with my ATC. I've used this strategy once before against a Dwarg Fortress, and also did this to speed up the destruction of a Luminous Assembler, though that wasn't particularly notable. The strategy is extremely effective and the Shipyard goes down. I check it for useful loot and find only ore. Well, that was disappointing. Now I just have to deal with this Phobos. Wait a tic, make that *these* Phobos. I've gotten in over my head again.

Note: it is looking like there will be two more episodes in total.
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Well, nice report of your progress.

Too bad you did not see the potential of the Ion9. I have been using it often and it is very good against incoming missiles (defensive), it wipes out swarms of any kind (dwarg, ares, sung) And it is a shield buster, capital ships like Phobos loose their shield against the Ion9 in about 3 shots. You can then poke holes in their armor with another weapon aided by the Ion9 as well. For fun I have used the Ion9 against the Phobos in a head on fight. Hitting it with the Ion9, a stream of Gotha's, and my Thermo cannon. (Linked fire in my minotaur) It went BOOM before my shields collapsed from it's APA. The Luminous drones, even with ion protection are torn apart by it.
It is not a capital ship buster on its own, but certainly a very useful weapon.
And Yes, Dvalin armor is great! Probably the best reason to visit him.
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Oh, about that damaged patch spider, do not use it!

It does not repair your armor, it only drains your fuel.
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Note: Yeah, the Dvalin armor is really great. To the fair, the Ion9 is more useful when you don't already have an ATC. Also, I may be hallucinating, but I do think I was being repaired slowly even by the damaged spider. Am I crazy?

The attempt to get away from the two Phobos vessels and the Shipyard is mostly successful. I say mostly, because a direct hit from the main cannon still is quite capable of removing almost half of my armor from full shields, and I do end up taking such a hit. A few glancing blows as well, which my shields deal with. Unfortunately, getting 100 light seconds away from them with a full cargo hold takes a bit of doing, and out of fear of taking a hull breach, I call upon Domina's sustaining power. In open space it is impossible to separate the two Phobos sufficiently, as the range of their main cannon seems like 150 light seconds, and there is a Demios with them, and a few small-fry. After the sustain I am almost completely out of range. A few more dodges brings me beyond the range of their main guns and I begin a spiral-shaped trajectory to bring me to the system's CSC. Armor repaired. I use a Blue Etherium Field crystal. Hopefully that will give me the edge I need to fight these things.

This CSC happens to be next to an asteroid belt near Eta Ceti itself. The Ferrians are mining the belt and that provides for me an opportunity. Either the Phobos ships are unwilling to destroy the Ferrians, meaning I can kite them without eating plasma, or they are are willing to make the Ferrians hostile to them, providing me with a much needed opportunity. Unfortunately, it turns out the former is true, which while keeping me alive, doesn't help me overmuch in actually dealing with my problem. After a full rotation around the star, the CSC takes potshots at the Phobos vessels, I do what I can to keep the main cannons of the Phobos on me while the fleet deals damage to the Phoboses. However, without Britannia-class vessels defending the CSC, the damage to either Phobos is not decisive and it looks like the CSC may run out of defenders if this continues. I lead the Phobos vessels away, but take serious damage. Another Domina sustain. If I am to damage these vessels I will need to separate them. I think if I can get right on top of one I can avoid the attacks of the main cannon, and the damage from the lighting turret will be mostly reflected.

After returning for repairs at the CSC I take the Phobos vessels around for another pass by a Rassermeisser manufacturing plant and the CSC, one of them begins dealing with its assailants, and the other I lead to the other side of the star. I wait for my opportunity, and close the distance without damage. A small while later, and my ATC and Gotha missiles have reduced the powerful giant to an unimposing husk. I go searching for the other Phobos and arrive just in time to see the CSC drill a hole in its reactor. Oh well, I only killed one myself, but the Shipyard is finished. I'll treat those things with more respect in the future. My foreseeable future involves selling the useful parts of Ares fleet, and the ore from the Shipyard. I find some equipment that I didn't have access to before, but none of it is worth keeping.

--

With all that taken care of, it is time to enter the Point Juno system. Once in, I hurry to Point Juno itself and accept the mission. I head out to meet the Ares fleet and find some Ares lightning turrets and the shell of a fleet. After destroying the lifeless husks of the Ares ships, I recieve word that Point Juno itself is under attack. When I arrive, there is nothing left to fight. The command center does inform me that siege vessels are inbound. However, they are so far from initiating their attack all that has to be done is to meet them and tear apart their near defenceless missile ships. It turns out my feelings about Point Juno were unfounded. The Ares need to work a bit on their tactics.

The commander at Point Juno gives me a mission to retrieve something, which, while it does involve fighting off a Demios, is mostly a milk run. At this point, it becomes obvious I should've bought a second mule drone somewhere. The system after Point Juno has proportionally few hostile stations, most of which are Ares Shipyards that I judiciously ignore. Two Ringer shipyards and two Ringer collectives, and two Teraton stations. My first meeting with the Ringers is reasonably friendly, and I unload some crystals that I've been hearing they like.

Having a fair bit of Rins, particularly after selling all those Ares warheads, it is time to look into an upgrade. I buy Light Iocrym Plate for my ship. Sure I can't repair it as easily, but it more health and better resistances, especially to Ion. I also purchase a Plasma Cannon. After all, those Ares Plasma cannons are extremely nasty! Turns out, the Plasma Cannon is a disappointment, lacking somewhat in range compared to what a howitzer would have (I really, really should've bought the Fusionfire), and lacking in WMD compared to what the ATC has. After much humming and hawing, I sell it back to the Teratons. I even have to spend Rins to unequip it because the CSC's engineers can't manage that.

--

With that completed, I head through the Dantalion Stargate, taking note that they have another Advanced Tritium Cannon available for sale in case I need an upgradable one. Not long thereafter, I bump into the CSC Antarctica. Its CO won't speak to me. That's really weird. But, as my superior officer, I won't question it too much. There's also a commonwealth station in the system, two actually. It's a little surprising that there are *any* civilian stations past Point Juno. That's weird. One of them has a guy who offers to sell me information on the location of the CSC Antarctica. Okay, there's definitely something up here.

After searching the system, I find there's a Ranx Fortress and well as an Ares Shipyard both near the center of the system. As a result, as a travel around the system I constantly have to keep my distance, and that is annoying. I destroy and loot most of the lesser hostile stations in the system and sell the results to either the Teraton station, the Ringer station, or one of the two commonwealth stations. Then I head back to Eta Ceti to ask a CO who will actually speak to me what is up with the Antarctica. Apparently they are supposed to be traitors, which clears up a lot. Admiral Decker himself is supposed to be going after them.

Returning to the Dantalion system I seek out the CSC Terra. It takes some doing, but I do eventually find it. Decker tells me the Antarctica must be destroyed. Being somewhat reticent to do so, I try to get through to the Antarctica's CO. Upon docking with the Antarctica I'm immediately brought to speak with her. Weird. She tells me that she's guilty as sin, but that Decker was blind to the possibility of peace. Finally, something that doesn't surprise me. I've carried out his bloodthirsty orders before, and am in no hurry to do so again. I reveal that Decker is looking for her and that people claim to know where she is.

--

Turns out I have my usual timing. A fleet of Antares vessels is detected heading for the Antarctica. When they come on screen I recognize the design of the vessel immediately as the same one that Stormhound had. Even a CSC can be endangered by missileships. I approach the ships as fast as I can and activate a Gem of Contrition. Those things have a really convenient effect. The gem gives me the time to kill most of the fleet, and the remainder doesn't last. I hope the Antarctica wasn't watching what happened too closely, but they will escape. The CO gives me a very different gem as a gift. I intuit what it is, somehow, but I'm not really sure how -- my advanced analyzers are utterly useless on it. I get the feeling that it is a key for the greatest door. With the Antarctica safe...er, safe-ish, now all I have to do is play dumb. I return to the CSC Terra for a refit and refuel. Thankfully, they are still looking for the Antarctica, and have no knowledge of my involvement. I equip the Qianlong Archcannon. I figure it's worth taking out one more Ares Shipyard. Hopefully there will be peace, but in the meantime, I'd rather not lose the war.

Before I can leave however, I am accosted by a Gaian Processor. I destroy it and find an intact Gaian Demolition Cannon *and* an intact Thermo Cannon. Nice loot! The latter I sell, but the former I excitedly equip. Unfortunately, it seems there is no way to reload the weapon and it only had 10 shots. Useless junk. I reequip my Qianlong Archcannon. This Ares Shipyard starts going down much easier than before, since I am able to bombard it from afar with a weapon that is actually effective. I may have limited shots, but something as dangerous as a Shipyard is worth it. Unfortunately, before I can finish, I am interrupted by a Ranx Dreadnought. Between that and the Ares fleet, even my Light Iocrym Plate quickly loses its shine. Domina Sustain.

The sustaining shield doesn't last long enough, and with the next fragmentation shell my armor goes critical. I'm not dead, but that was closer that I'd've liked. After repairing at the Ringer Station I seek out and kill the offending Dreadnought. It has some loot to sell, but among the debris there is also an intact Patch Spider. I'll take care of this one, it will help diminish the weakness of being unable to easily repair. The Ares Shipyard goes down fairly easy after that, no Phobos vessels pursue me. The destruction of the Ranx Fortress is a forgone conclusion. And with that I head to the next system.

The system after Dantalion is like the system before Dantalion. Ares Shipyards that I avoid, and Ringer and Teraton stations that I check for interesting equipment. I notice an IM90 multitarget ion cannon and a Positron Lancer for sale. The former is very tempting, and the latter is arguably a replacement for the Qianlong Archcannon, except for the lack of WMD capability. However, that would deplete a lot of Rins and my ALT is a quite capable omnidirectional weapon, even if it is a little lacking in stamina when it comes to destroying large fleets of small ships. I give it a pass for the moment. Continuing on, I prepare to move to the next system. Finding the stargate however causes me to reconsider, for it is the stargate to the Heretic system. I have finally arrived. Once I enter this stargate, I don't envision a retreat. Therefore, I retrieve the Transpace Jumpdrive from my mule auton. I have a few orders I can place yet from Corporate Trading posts. Armor enhancement for my Iocrym Plate, perhaps regen nanos? Tritium Injectors perhaps for that ATC the Ringers were selling or or my launcher? I'm good for Longzhu spheres for the moment, but there is no harm in ordering those. I wonder what I should do with my weapon systems? Decisions, decisions.

Regardless, this is the end of human space, a great milestone on my journey to the galactic core. If there are other pilgrims this far out, there are none farther.
F50
Fleet Officer
Fleet Officer
Posts: 1004
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2006 5:25 pm

I opt not to purchase the IM90 and buy another ATC from the ringers to upgrade with tritium injectors. With two corporate purchases, I get one of tritium injectors and another of diamond field crystals. The diamond field crystals were a good choice. I use a Longzhu sphere on my shield generator, and two more on my Qianlong Archcannon. Seven diamond field crystals. Five Tritium injectors. After checking that I have plenty of fuel, but am not unduly weighed down, I enter the Heretic Stargate. The station waiting at the gate is not particularly remarkable, but they tell me to go to Kate Morgental. On the way, I meet with a Pteravore nest. Pteravores are even stranger than the Lumionous drones, and there is a seemingly infinite supply of Pteravores in the nest. After some prodding I figure out the trick, further Pteravores don't come out if you remain close enough to the hive, perhaps that intimidates them or something. After taking a peak inside the nest, I begin to understand why they are called Pteravores. Not particularly interesting.

Meeting with Ms. Morgental...did not go well. Nonetheless, I was a capable enough escort, only two Pteravores latched onto the ship. And in all fairness, one of those was because she flew right over the nest! After setting up a base of research operations on the Iocrym station, it would seem we are finally near a breakthrough to end the quarantine. I first consider the Taikon Research Outpost, who tells me to destroy some Xenophobes. Sounds easy enough, after all, what are Xenophobes doing out here. Turns out, they have enough ships to be dangerous. The IM90 would've helped here. Just as I am about to formulate a better plan of attack on the Xenophobes, I receive word that the Nares-Strong Research Station is under attack. After taking some time to disentangle myself from the Xenophobes, I set out to defend the station. Unfortunately I'm too late. Back to Xenophobe-hunting.

The plan isn't an elegant one, but it is effective. Attack the big ship all of the little ones seem to want to defend, then retreat and deal with the pursuers. Even so, that ship did not contain what the Taikon corporation was looking for. That is contained aboard a station armed with a weapon I've not yet seen. The station lacks defenders and I promptly trash it with my ATC and Gotha missiles. On my way back, the Ringer research station detects an attack. I'm just passing it at the time, so I wait around a bit and handle the attacking vessel. As it turns out, my ATC isn't actually very effective here due to the large thermonuclear resistance on the Light Iocrym Plate, which I myself am using. Should've known. The Qianlong Archcannon shall be my main weapon against further Iocrym vessels. I turn in the mission to the Taikon corporation and it turns out that is enough data for Kate.

I'm unconvinced, however, and help out both the Ringer and Ares research stations. Neither are difficult, but the latter gives me a chance to fight an Iocrym Sentinel that is focused on me. I can't say that I'm impressed. They are dangerous at close range, but outside that range they are mostly just somewhat difficult to kill. I use an advanced analyzer on the wreckage and identify the damaged wrecks both the main weapon and the shield that the Iocrym are using. The shield at least is impressive, if a bit of a power hog, not that I can install either on my ship due to the damage. After turning in the data from the missions, I attempt to head to the next stargate. If this is all the Iocrym have to offer, humanity has little to fear.

The Iocrym Command ship is more fearsome than the sentinels. Time to apply my key: I hide out on Heretic III and activate the Far Halo Gem given to me by the CSC Antarctica. The result is the most devastating weapon I've seen. The Iocrym Command ship is barely functioning, and the same goes for my ship, even though I activated the weapon. Scrambling to get shields online I am caught unawares by Iocrym Sentinels from the gate. I didn't think they'd be able to find me hiding on the planet. The result is the power of Domina keeping me alive for a short while. Unfortunately, that while is very short indeed and in the mist of trying to manage that smoking ruin of a ship I didn't exactly act the most rationally. Oh well, to be expected. Both me and my ship become a lifeless husk. If only I had thought to call further on Domina's power. I suppose it serves me right to be destroyed by one, given the disdain that I had given the Iocrym Sentinel design.

Thankfully, the insurance company honors its contract extremely well. I'm not only up and running with an identical ship and body, including the Qianlong Archannon somehow, but I'm ready to go in a matter of minutes after my death. I'll have to become a repeat customer, though perhaps given the sheer amount of money they lost on that contract, perhaps not. I quickly race out to the Iocrym Command Ship, which has barely repaired itself at all. Unleashing a volley of antimatter projectiles and Gotha missiles, the command ship is toast. Quickly studying the wreck of the ship, I find nothing less than an intact Iocrym Disintegrator. The shells are impractically heavy, but I load as many as I can fit onto my vessel and activate the stargate. In truth, the reality of what has just happened hasn't really sunk in yet. I simply do what I must for the will of Domina. In an attempt to get a sense of myself I wonder what the history books might say about this moment, if one were written about me. Perhaps it would read something like:

F50 had left human space, never to return.
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Psycholis
Militia Commander
Militia Commander
Posts: 297
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 8:23 pm
Location: Missouri

Great post F50! I've been starting to get back into transcendence again and it's been so long that all the new stuff is pretty amazing. I still remember when all stations were the little barrel and there was only 1 playership. Good game.
Ferdinand
Militia Lieutenant
Militia Lieutenant
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Joined: Mon Feb 23, 2015 2:35 pm
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Nice story, well done.

When using the gem Helios gave you, the best thing you can do is immediately use the restore power of Domina. After that you can toast everything in sight with ease.
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