Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope   Posted by Keeper.Group: 0
Ishta Amer
 player, 17 posts
Sat 5 Oct 2019
at 22:40
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta had trouble not feeling curious; her body drew itself closer to the vessel, a hand reaching up to drag itself along the hull in quiet contemplation. She had always been around ships and the feel was not exactly unfamiliar. Still, it was here, it was sitting and ready. Somehow the obnoxious braggart had pulled it off, as she herself gave its pacing around the pad, eyes wandering and inspecting the outside for any number of reasons, from defects to modifications to just simply admiring it.

Still, she felt the urge to give a simple tease in the meantime.

"What a piece of junk."
 GM, 25 posts
Sat 5 Oct 2019
at 23:45
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
It was a older shuttle, but whoever had owned it before had treated it with a modicum of respect. There was pitting where microfragments had pinged off the plating, but in other places, the plating was replaced with what seemed to be newer panels. There were a few other newer additions, a few sensor spines and IR-optical blisters which were likely aftermarket additions, the products simply being newer than the spaceframe was when they stopped making this chassis. The performance improvements really just brought it up to the modern era rather than anything else. There was nothing premium though, it was all standard civ-spec parts probably cobbled together over the course of 20 years.

"Yeah.... but it's our piece of junk." He beamed, admiring the venerable old ship with stars in his eyes as he placed a hand on the bulkhead above the airlock, almost lovingly.
Ishta Amer
 player, 18 posts
Sun 13 Oct 2019
at 03:30
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
"All right, all right, get in everyone. The sooner we take off, the sooner we have our joyride and we can sell it or whatever," Ishta stated, hastily pulling her hands into her pockets and heading up the ramp to hide her own personal enjoyment. It wasn't a hotrod, but it was something, and to say she didn't have mixed emotions would have been a lie as well. On one hand, it wasn't near sleek or shiny to really draw in her adrenaline side, but it was far more than anything else she had.  Or maybe it was just that the little voice in her head pointed out it wasn't hers also making a point.

Wherever the sensation originated, it wasn't to be found standing on the pad. Heading inside the ship, she expected as much of an outdated interior as the exterior suggested there would be. Maybe she'd find a good ship later, but for now, this one had to make due.
 GM, 26 posts
Fri 18 Oct 2019
at 01:17
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
The inside was almost homey. As cramped as modern ships were, older models had even less space to spare, though you were familiar with such conditions. Obviously, at some point, someone had gone through the interior and replaced the crash panels and foamgel and layer fresh webbing over the bulkhead. The controls and interface were still old-fashioned, but sturdy and reliable and the seats had been swapped out for a custom model which would have been quite pricy a decade ago. A pilot and co-pilot position set towards the nose and behind them, a very cramped pair of four-person passenger couches. Further still aft was the pressurized cargo bay with enough space for about 8 tons of whatever you could cram in there.

Your friends positioned themselves in the cabin, Ana sitting in the couch by herself and Gyres climbing into the co-pilot's chair.
Ishta Amer
 player, 19 posts
Fri 18 Oct 2019
at 03:34
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
The odds and ends of the ship's interior had the innate ability to give mixed feelings. Many spacers had their own way of setting things up, and this one was no different. Ishta didn't mind the crash webbing or exposed gel; in some ways it exposed the ship's true nature. Unfortunately in the back of her mind it also exposed it was used, as the seats were nearing their pinnacle of retro and heading straight into 'outdated'. It wasn't so much anything was wrong about the setup. On the contrary, it was very personalized... for someone else. A young man might find it relatively 'cool', but she was just hoping to not find some special "surprise" in the seats.

"I figured you'd be claiming the flight seat, since you were the one who decided to up and win yourself a ship," Ishta remarked as her arms crossed, leaning onto the wall to her side.
Gyres Hager
 NPC, 2 posts
Fri 18 Oct 2019
at 03:49
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
"I thought you were the better pilot. You did better than I did in the sims anyways." Bringing up an old joke of their competitiveness at Flight Jockey X.

The seat was quite comfortable, and apparently made with real leather. Very much unlike the corporate ships you were familiar with, but it had a frontier vibe that was hard to deny and in a way it looked like some of the old hero ships from the Star Western vids you watched when you were growing up.

The start sequence was printed on a stained laminated card by the console at your fingertips. It was relatively simple, something similar to what you've simulated a thousand times.
Ishta Amer
 player, 20 posts
Sat 19 Oct 2019
at 04:04
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
"You know a sim is nothing like the real thing. Otherwise pilots wouldn't need a number of recorded flight hours," Ishta countered. She paused a bit, settling down into the chair anyway, flipping several switches to start the electronics up. "Not like you could afford anyone better anyway. Even Ana could beat you at the sims."

Ishta watched as power levels slowly rose, flushing te main line to prime the engine, before popping the main ignition switch with a low rumble of startup. "Traffic control's going to be irritating, I can just tell. Consider seeing if you can actually talk your way out of a landing pad without getting us in trouble."
 GM, 27 posts
Sat 19 Oct 2019
at 12:20
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
The sturdy craft roared to life with a healthy rumble and green across the board. Your friend huffed at your suggestion. "This isn't twenty years ago, most of this is automated. Sims kind of overcompensate for that. Just punch up the launch sequence, send a clearance request and the Grid will take us up." He laughed. "You can prove your skill once we're actually out in the black."

The ship was purring nicely and you heard the cool tones of Space Traffic Control through your earphones. "This is Anatoli Combine Tower Six to, uh... Yeoguong Orbital Industries Xi-He-class light freighter. I've got a change of registry notification here and your paperwork looks good, but I don't have an name. What do you want to register your ship under?"
Ishta Amer
 player, 21 posts
Sun 20 Oct 2019
at 02:12
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
"Still have manual checks for a  reason; anyone can press a code that they got, still need to confirm it," Ishta stated, guiding the ship up with her controls nonetheless, pulling the earphones out. The manual controls were their own bit of electric fun; she was really flying and the small grin couldn't be kept too far down.

"Though you may want to respond to them."
Ana K3-1177
 NPC, 1 post
Tue 29 Oct 2019
at 07:15
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ana's small precise voice comes through over the cockpit speakers. "Uh, Ishta. Manual ascent isn't permitted in a Class IV spaceport like Anatoli. There's too much traffic for unguided flight to be done safely. Wait until we're beyond the clearance ring and you can go to manual there... it's only fifty kilometers."

Gyres was on the comms, though he'd switched the speakers on in the cockpit. A pilot who wasn't listening to traffic control was a serious risk.

"Uh, yeah, hold on, this junker is a bit old. Give us a second to lock it down." He hammered a few keys and you felt the ship twist slightly as it accepted the Grid control and took off on it's own, navigating through tens of thousands of precisely ordered craft in the skies above.

"Yeoguong Orbital Industries Xi-He-class light freighter," there was a hint of humor in the otherwise calm voice. "I still need a designation for you."

There was a slight pause and you heard Gyres take a breath. "Uh, let's do... Spitfire Joyride." The controller chuckled at that. "Alright Spitfire Joyride, you're riding the Grid out and clear to switch to stick at the gold marker." A gold ring appears on your holoHUD, showing Anatoli and a 50km dome around it, showing where you can fly freely without needing spaceport traffic guidance. ETA, 90 seconds.
Ishta Amer
 player, 22 posts
Sat 2 Nov 2019
at 03:29
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta gave a small slump in her chair, sure that there wasn't an issue in her mind with doing it manually. Some Star Western this trip was, following mechanical orders and indulging in the law, not that she wanted to break it. But, she'd be damned if it killed her mood of joyriding at the beginning, in no small manner on full display with her body language.

"Seems overly complicated to demand a designation if you have so much traffic that you control the flight pattern anyway. Just an alpha-numerical callsign based around your reg number seems more fitting."

She pulled her knees up to her chest, letting the autopilot do its thing, as she spun slowly in the chair as the craft guided itself.

"So, you ever going to answer my question I asked on the dock then? About our flight plan? 'a tour of the inners' is pretty vague."
 GM, 28 posts
Tue 5 Nov 2019
at 21:21
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
As you approached the terminus, an alert sounded, indicated the automatic control would end. In fact, if you chose not to take manual control, the guidance tower would simply put your ship in a holding pattern, slowly looping around the 100 km radius of the restricted flight zone.

Your altitude was displayed clearly in front of you. You were right about on the Kármán line of Anatoli, 110km above the planet's surface. A straight shot out into space if you wanted.

"I figured we could do a fly-by of one of the moons Erra or Irra, take your pick...  and make a run for Ninurta. Once we're there, it's pretty much empty out to the 'pause in that direction. Most of the traffic this time of year is coming in from the other side of the system."

It was true. Ninurta was only barely colonized and after the last war was sparsely populated. Heavy Industries transports were the traffic out there, but they were all on wide pre-programmed flights, easy to avoid in the vastness of space. Once you got past the twin moons, you wouldn't come with in a Lunar (Lunar distance, ancient measurement of approx 400,000km) of so much as a pebble until you reached the next planet.
Ishta Amer
 player, 23 posts
Sat 9 Nov 2019
at 23:54
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta gave the controls a lazy turn upward, flying wherever she felt like going on the whim of emotion. Apparently, the captain wanted to run to Ninurta, and for lack of a real idea where to go otherwise, the pilot was willing to take any input as valid. All this time wanting to get into space and be up in the stars and she now realized that 'anywhere but here' really didn't amount to much of a navigation heading. Not like she was a proper pilot in the realistic sense either, but in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man was king.

"You are free to move about the craft. There's got to be something worth seeing aside from staring at bulkheads for this."
 GM, 29 posts
Sun 10 Nov 2019
at 00:16
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
The ship responded to your touch, gravitic drives and impulse thrusters that a few centuries ago would have looked like magic part of a humble somewhat antiquated light cargo shuttle. You could barely feel the acceleration of the ship as the couch protected you from gee-forces that would have been nearly lethal in the golden age of atomic rockets. Now it was barely more complicated than driving a car would have been in the 21st century on Old Earth.

The white-blue of the atmosphere faded and through the screens, you could see the blackness of space emerge and seem to come into focus. The sensor display showed hundreds of other contacts dots in orbit or in the nearby local space, though all of them displayed proper transponder codes and vessel names superimposed over the various dots. You heard Ana breath a sigh of amazement.

Up ahead, magnified in a picture-in-picture display off to the side, was the twin trailing moons of Erra and Irra, the brothers of pestilence and war. Once, they had been one moon, but something had cracked them in two long before humanity ever settled on Anatoli, or Nergal as it had been called when the Marduk dynasty ruled it.

If you wanted to try a little fancy flying, you could go between the moons, there was some debris there, though your ship should be tough enough to pass through the gravel-sized rocks. There were large chunks, the size of your ship or even bigger that would pose some actual danger, but they moved predictably in orbit and you would have to make a real bad mistake to collide with one. If not, you could follow the trail of Irra, through his LaGrange point and open up the throttle to make it to Ninurta in about a day's flight. Most of the transit leg of the flight could be handled automatically, giving you time to eat, sleep or do anything you wanted.

On the other hand, maybe that long of a flight was too much, although a typical trip for a ship of your class. You could also decide to visit somewhere else on the planetary surface or approach one of the public orbital platforms for a visit with only a few hours time.
Ishta Amer
 player, 24 posts
Sun 10 Nov 2019
at 00:31
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Not one to be completely without thrills, Ishta drifted slowly towards the gap between the moons. Confidence... or maybe youthful arrogance... or just ignorance guided her lack of forewarning to the crew. A hand gripped the throttle, opening it up a bit as she indulged in what thrust she could, much like a kid behind the wheel of their first vehicle; not that she expected the old girl to really be something sporty, but enough to actually grant some thrill or friction.

"I suppose we might as well see how realistic those sims truly are."
 GM, 31 posts
Tue 12 Nov 2019
at 04:15
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
You could feel the internal inertial dampeners straining to keep up with the rapidly increasing change in velocity. The ship was one of the smaller spike-capable vessels, but with the cargo space and the spike drive, it was a significantly large and massive object. The really high quality sims did mimic the increase subtle g-forces through their own grav-plates, but now that you were really in control of it, it felt different. More raw, or real somehow. As if your ship, Spitfire Joyride was a living being, a great voidwhale like in the legends, being driven on by your will and reacting to your touch.

Part of this was expectation, part of it was from decades of research and design into smart-feedback systems for pilots and part of it was simply an intangible truth... the bond of pilot and starship.

Ana let out a small cheer of elation and you could hear Gyres clamping his teeth down and squeezing the synthetic leather arm rests in reaction to your burst of acceleration.

You crossed several thousand kilometers in the blink of an eye, a tiny blazing star in the dark sky. Below, the planet unfolded like a huge inky tapestry, threaded with the gold of highways, cities and towns and crowned with the shining diamonds of the spaceport-cities dotting the nightside. Far off in the distance below you, you saw the terminus, the approaching day from the unseen star. Ahead, it's golden light already glinted off the twin moons, gleaming like jewels in the black.


The navigation computer alerted you of debris ahead. You remember to call up the overlay on the HUD and you can see a scattering of rocks between the two moons, most of them marked with a pleasant blue, indicated they presented no threat at their current relative velocity, trajectory and mass. However, several items appeared flagged in yellowish-orange, indicate the system categorized them as potentially dangerous. Just off to your port bow though, there was a cluster of three larger fragments, each probably half the size of your ship. Flashing red, the navicomp warned you to steer clear and maintain a distance of 5000m from the dangerous objects.
Ishta Amer
 player, 25 posts
Tue 12 Nov 2019
at 05:05
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta was more engrossed in the ship's handlings than trying to make snippy comments to Gyres' sudden loss of confidence and bravado. She still felt like shooting the needle, giving the yolk a twist to error gently around a bit of mass. Enough to get close, far enough to not be risky, a delicate negotiation between showboating and practiced caution.

"I suppose i should be plotting a course sometime soon," she groaned, bringing herself begrudgingly back to the land of the responsible.
 GM, 32 posts
Fri 15 Nov 2019
at 02:44
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
You pushed the engine up, the Spitfire Joyride seemed to roar beneath you as she darted forward towards the red-marked debris.


The navicomp updated the risk calculations. It was warning you not to continue your approach towards the cluster, but you felt it in your bones, you were going to fly right through them cleanly. You adeptly switched off the collision audio alert, leaving only the visual display to update. Slowly and steadily, you ramped up the acceleration, building inertia through a perfect shot just between the 'sweet spot' you'd spotted ahead. Ana and Gyres are dead silent, hanging out for their lives as you push your shuttle to her limits, narrowly dodging past a dangerous cloud of gravel, a few smaller pieces bouncing harmlessly but noisily off the nose plates.

You could feel it, the perfect trajectory. With a rush of victory, the Spitfire Joyride darts right through the center of the debris field and blazes out onto the empty space on the far side. Gyres and Ana break into cheers, and you start to receive messages from the localnet.

"Holy shit."
"Nice flying.
"You must be crazy. I can't believe you did that!"

and so on, several dozen ships had been watching you and that show of skill and bravery had proven to be popular.

Someone caught a vid of your maneuver and it was being shared locally, no doubt soon to be spread beyond into the wider networks.

OOC: You've achieved a milestone.

This message was last edited by the GM at 02:44, Fri 15 Nov 2019.

Ishta Amer
 player, 26 posts
Sun 17 Nov 2019
at 06:41
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta considered flipping the comm channels off, but kept them on anyway. Distracting as they were, she had bigger fish to fry. Most notably, the seemingly endless expanse on the horizon which now presented itself.

"You know, that was kind of crazy, but it could have been far more daring too," Ishta noted, "But I'm in no spot to try and do it again anytime soon. Might as well jump somewhere and figure out what to do when we arrive. I doubt we can afford to get too many stops, the landing fees alone will kill our pocketbooks."
Gyres Hager
 NPC, 3 posts
Sun 17 Nov 2019
at 06:51
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
"You want to leave the system?" He asked. If you actually did Drill out of the system, you'd be in metaspace for a week before arriving in the nearest star system. The drives and gravitic systems onboard any modern ship, yours included, allowed you to accelerate to a significant fraction of light speed while in system, making a ship to another planet in a matter of a day or two at most. In fact, most of the actual time was spent accelerating and then deccelerating during the approach. Much like the old torchships, except much, much faster, without really any fuel concerns and practically ignoring the crushing g-forces the old spacers used to face. Ninurta was still an option, but you could pull up the system map and decide where you preferred from all options...
Ishta Amer
 player, 27 posts
Sat 23 Nov 2019
at 04:00
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta shrugged, her flight path lazily drifting too and fro. "I mean, we're not getting anywhere by just flopping around in empty space. We could go shopping somewhere or something," she stated, pulling up the starchart. "Maybe haul something back for a quick run and a small bit of cash or something. I don't know, 'captain'. I don't expect anything interesting to jump out at us while we wait for it."
 GM, 33 posts
Sun 9 Feb 2020
at 09:10
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Akkadia A
Type G9 V Yellow Main Sequence
Radius 7.03 x 105 km   (1.01 x sol)
Mass 1.69 x 1030 kg   (0.85 x sol)
Temperature 5000 K
Luminosity 5.45 x 1026 W   (1.42 x sol)
Close Companion

                Akkadia B
Type M8 V Red Dwarf
Distance 4.51 x 107 km   (0.30 AU)
Radius 2.48 x 105 km   (0.36 x sol)
Mass 4.21 x 1029 kg   (0.21 x sol)
Temperature 2100 K
Luminosity 1.15 x 1025 W   (0.03 x sol)

Anatoli (Formerly Nergal)
Type Terrestrial World
Orbital Radius 1.50 x 108 km   (1.00 AU)
Period 8.50 x 103 hours   (0.97 earth years)
Physics Small iron/silicate
Radius 4679.01 km   (0.73 x earth)
Gravity 7.12 m/s2   (0.73 x earth)
Hydrosphere 52 % water, 8 % ice
Atmosphere Breathable
Civilization Multiple enclaves
Special  Twin Moons "Erra & Irra"

Type Rock Planet
Orbital Radius 2.46 x 108 km   (1.64 AU)
Period 1.78 x 104 hours   (2.04 earth years)
Radius 8878.99 km   (1.39 x earth)
Gravity 12.64 m/s2   (1.29 x earth)

Type Rock Planet
Orbital Radius 5.10 x 108 km   (3.41 AU)
Period 5.34 x 104 hours   (6.11 earth years)
Radius 3209.41 km   (0.50 x earth)
Gravity 5.45 m/s2   (0.56 x earth)
Special Planetary rings, trace atmosphere

Type Rock Planet
Orbital Radius 8.61 x 108 km   (5.75 AU)
Period 1.17 x 105 hours   (13.39 earth years)
Radius 9294.86 km   (1.46 x earth)
Gravity 14.47 m/s2   (1.48 x earth)

Type Ice Planet
Orbital Radius 1.96 x 109 km   (13.09 AU)
Period 4.01 x 105 hours   (45.91 earth years)
Radius 13874.48 km   (2.18 x earth)
Gravity 7.86 m/s2   (0.80 x earth)
Special Apocalyptic Storms

Type Asteroid Belt
Orbital Radius 3.32 x 109 km   (22.19 AU)
Period 8.86 x 105 hours   (101.40 earth years)

This message was last edited by the GM at 09:14, Sun 09 Feb 2020.

Ishta Amer
 player, 28 posts
Mon 24 Feb 2020
at 00:58
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
Ishta had thought she knew the system well enough; somehow the desolation had skipped her mind. So much for visiting other ports of trade and the like. Well, that was a bit of a bummer for her initial plans.

Slightly annoyed, she altered course towards the planet Ninurta, seeing what would be brought from that direction.
 GM, 34 posts
Thu 27 Feb 2020
at 10:25
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
The flight will take you two days.

How will you spend that time? There is a couple of rooms for the crew, so you can spend this time in isolation. Up to you. In general, these trips are mostly small talk, holovids, watching newsfeeds, and jerking off.
Ishta Amer
 player, 29 posts
Tue 3 Mar 2020
at 06:42
Chapter 1 - Pushing the Envelope
In transit, Ishta did what most would expect one of her to do; checking the status of the flight, eating, sleeping, relaxing from time to time but never completely out of earshot of the cockpit. Part of her would fiddle with the weapon that was bringing so much trouble back home... Did her parents even miss her absence yet? Questions would burn into her mind, as she would browse for hologames to play and keep abreast of the local chatter.