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[QUEST] 3?GP - Maelstrom Talk Radio
#1
Show ContentOOC Note:

Sounds play: a chainsaw revving, an alarm klaxon blaring twice, a spooky synth warbles. The lights turn on in a small geometric neon mix of a radio station and a control center. A green signal turns on overhead, to say that the broadcast is live. Various screens twinkle, lit with diagnostic information. A suited dark blue and carapaced bipedal figure sits at a desk, fidgeting with its claws while its sharp tail bobs up and down. It begins its broadcast.

???: "Ahem. Hello there, you're listening to three pi googolplex, the most accessible call-in station in the Maelstrom."
???: "I'm your host, Bloodfang, the Archdevil of Public Talk Radio."

Bloodfang: "So anyway, before I get into today's activities, Management asked me to host a small announcement. If anything doesn't make sense to you, don't worry about it. Ahem."

A few switches click as the archdevil works. The green live signal turns to a blinking magenta as the lights in the studio die and the screens become empty. The room is pitch dark, aside from the status light and the dim glow of the host's eyes. It stiffens its posture and ceases to move, staring at the microphone intently.

"Greetings to all observers, across the maelstrom or beyond the veil. Amongst and beyond a shattered space-time, where the laws of being are intertwined with stories and the abstract, you are being granted an ear and voice. Feel free to comment along however you wish, we will listen to whatever you have to say. You can try anything. Freedom is important. Exercise your literal or metaphorical lungs and vocal pipes. Ask questions, make suggestions, talk about mimes, anything goes. We hope you have an excellent time. Oh and, if possible, do try to answer the host's requests. (They're optional of course)"

The station returns to as it was, with a green live signal and a lit room with equipment abuzz.

Bloodfang: "Ick. Always ruins my throat to do that. Luckily I shouldn't have to do that again for a while."
Bloodfang: "Anyhow folks, uh, today's topics uh. There's two main purposes. First off, uh. Management said there's probably a decent chunk of new viewers so,
Bloodfang: "we're gonna host a lil, qna. I'll ask a couple questions. And then I'll listen to any calls back. Hopefully get some answers. And then I'll reply to them and any questions."
Bloodfang: "The questions are 'How are you doing?' and 'What's your favorite wildlife?'. A bit basic, but I think it's best to keep things a bit tame to start."

Bloodfang: "And in addition to the questions, there'll be a prompt for starting this broadcast's storytime."
Bloodfang: "The gist of this, is that I have a group of stories, and I'll be narrowing down which one to tell based on some criteria."
Bloodfang: "The genre, as well as anything the audience wants to see. Uh, the common factor between all of them, is that these are stories about giant cannons that shoot people to move em."
Bloodfang: "Kinda wild. As a note, we can always uh, go back and tell multiple stories from the same set after we get done. Also, don't worry if you don't see everything show up."
Bloodfang: "Interactive stories are a bit tricky and sometimes you might accidentally skedaddle around something. Things that get missed have a tendency to show up later though."
Bloodfang: "Management's really good at helping things along. Speaking of which, they should append the things I asked, tied up in a nice bow for you."
Bloodfang: "Should be able to receive a call-in in Maelstrom from anything from a letter thrown with good intent, to a phone call or messenger pigeon.
Bloodfang: "If you're beyond the veil, hell if I know."

The host taps its foot, watching a screen for call-ins to be left.

===COURTESY-OF-MANAGEMENT:-REQUESTED-REPLIES===

Host's Questions:
"How are you doing?":
"What's your favorite wildlife?":

Bonus Question (Courtesy of Management):
"What's your favorite scent?"

Story Specification [Stories Featuring Giant Cannons That Shoot People At Things]:
"What genre do you want to see?":
"What else do you want to see?":
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#2
I'm doing...well enough, I think? Sorry if that's not interesting for you.

Favorite wildlife? Whoof, that's a hard one. Maybe squirrels? Love watching them bound around, lil guys. Or field mice! Or maybe bats! Oooh, or possums...

What's my favorite scent? Hmm...how about freshly baked cookies? Or candles. That might be a cop out answer, there's a lot of scents for candles. But whatever.

Genre: Cosmic horror
What else: Sprinkle in some people born resembling constellations. And...barn cats. Regular ones.
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#3
Show ContentOOC Note::

The host listens to the call-in, taps its claw on the counter for a few moments, before thinking of what to say next.

Bloodfang: Good to hear you're doing well! I uh, wasn't actually expecting a call-in that is intelligible.
Bloodfang: Usually it's just incomprehensible. So, uh, great to hear things are going well. Something something.
Bloodfang: Some say 'to live in interesting times' is a curse.
Bloodfang: Well, I don't know, I think other times are pretty cursed in their own ways. Thanks for calling in any case.

Bloodfang: Anyway, um. Those are nice animals. They're also are pretty grounded.
Bloodfang: I mean, bats are flying, and some are in trees but. You know what I mean.
Bloodfang: They're not venomous whales that feast on memories of forgetfulness.
Bloodfang: Cookies and candles. Those are good scents.

Bloodfang: Cosmic horror.
The archdevil turns to face what would be a hypothetical camera point of view. Management plays a laugh track, as a couple of switches flick themselves.
Bloodfang: Yeah. That's, uh. Yeah that's the usual story-time genre.

Bloodfang: Constellation people are a fun idea. Also, why barn cats?
Bloodfang: It's so weirdly specific. I don't think I've had a story-time with a barn in it before...
Bloodfang: Anyhow uh, line's still open for calls-in, but I've got to actually start filing things now. Story'll start soon regardless.
It turns back to face a monitor and begins clacking away at a keyboard, occasionally flicking a switch with its tail.
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#4
Bloodfang stands up, scooting its chair back some, before walking over to a cabinet and opening it. Fog pours out of the cabinet, as it begins searching through various discs. It finds what it's looking for and grasps it carefully. It slots the disc carefully into a slot on a rack of computing equipment, before closing the disc cabinet with its tail. It then returns to its seat.

Bloodfang: Alright, I think this track will take us into the story alright.

Some music begins to play.

Bloodfang: Anyhow, as the storytelling part is starting, there'll be a slight change in audio.

---

Don't worry about it. And, if you have any questions about the setting, want a character profile or something like that to be written up, or really just anything to say or ask for at all, the line's always open. Anyhow, allow for me to set the scene.

A metallic chimera trudges along its ship. Its of an odd construction, built on a base of three legs, out of which a torso, with a pair of arms and something resembling a head. In reality, the 'head' is in fact a cannon of sorts, which can emit and manipulate stream of plasma. Its legs and arms end in claws and its original purpose can be easily inferred. It was made to crack skulls.

It is currently scurrying about, tuning up a shuttle which it uses with the ship's orbital insertion cannon. This is a mechanism which allows it to deliver itself to a destination with about as much force as it intends. It's also quite reliable, even in the hectic storm at the center of the maelstrom. The artificial construction of itself and its equipment is quite resilient to many of the hazards that it faces in its excursions.

Its maker is long dead, it is obliged to no wars, and there is no particular hunt it is embarking on. It is a self-appointed ranger, trying to save the ships and denizens of the center of the Maelstrom wherever it can. As it finishes patching up the ship, the vessel shudders some, as a large portion of space ruptures nearby in the storm. It sees a the communications beacon pick up a few signals, as it scuttles to the cockpit. It seems there is work to do. It needs to pick who to respond to first, so it looks over the information provided carefully.

Signal A: There is a small crew of three stranded on an rogue icy world after their ship crashed. Based on the beacon's estimate, it should be a speedy trip across the breach. There is no imminent danger, but they do not have a way off the world. There is little additional information

Signal B: A lone combat unit is currently hunting for a massive threat entity that resembles a fiery serpent. The threat entity is the size of a medium moon. It is publicizing that it is looking for help in slaying the beast and that the target has been the cause of quite a bit of harm around the maelstrom. Its current location is a moderate distance away and would take a couple days to reach.

Signal C: There is a space station currently dealing with an infestation problem of minor threat entities. They resemble shadowy weasels and have done minor damage to non-critical infrastructure. The station is worried that if the infestation grows, a moderate threat entity could be produced or important infrastructure could be damaged. Station residents have attempted hunting the weasels, but they have had issues in actually harming the entities. This location is a moderate distance away and would take a couple days to reach.

Signal D: There is a distress beacon without any details a decent distance away. It would take a couple weeks to reach.

Signal E: This is a radio station. You could put it on if you wanted to, but there's nothing to respond to here.

The entity looks over its choices carefully. (Listeners, this is where I suggest you call-in and give the story a push. What shall this ranger do or respond to first?)
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#5
Uh hello? this seems interesting, better than the 50 country music radio stations I'm stuck with in my area. Should I do the questionnaire or- never mind.

I propose going after signal D. Mysterious distress signals are always fun, plus from a tactical standpoint it could be something time sensitive, especially if they didn't have the time, or capability, to attach details to the signal. or it could be pirates. let's find out.
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#6
I'm all for signal D, but let's check signal A first, it'd be a quick pitstop. Getting trapped in an icy wasteland without proper gear is a death sentence. There's still time to get them out of it.
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#7
Show ContentOOC Note:
---
I'm going to put on another bit of music to accompany the narration.

Anyhow. The chimera has a brilliant plan. It looks over the map and the locations of the signals...it can go to A...deliver them to C via hyper-velocity delivery...and perhaps let the station borrow some light armaments? Small shadow abnormalities are not the trickiest, generally speaking. If that doesn't work out it can always call them again after it checks into D.

The ranger sends three short responses. First, to the immediate vessel.
This is rescue vessel Eyepiercer. Signal acknowledged. Please hold for EVAC. I will be with you shortly. Except a vessel capable of hyper-velocity delivery. I plan to take you and your ship with you and send you to a nearby station of relative safety, provided your vessel is small enough to be launched and intact enough or reparable for acceptable safety margins. Please prepare a status report for my arrival. If any hazards appear in the hours before I arrive, I am available to provide tactical advice.

Then, to the station.
This is rescue vessel Eyepiercer. Signal acknowledged. Requesting permission for a planned hyper-velocity shuttle launch. I am responding to a stranded ship's call and will attempt to send light armaments and tactical advice for typical small shadow abnormalities. The delivery should occur within a few hours, provided approval and ideal timescale. I have another distress beacon to respond to of potential emergency afterwards, so it may be some weeks before I can return to assist in person. Feel free to keep in touch over comms if needed.

Finally, to the distant distress beacon.
This is rescue vessel Eyepiercer. Signal acknowledged. If possible, please respond with relevant details. I may take a couple weeks to reach you. Hold fast. If you need any advice in the coming days, I will be available.

And, the ranger gets a couple of quick responses. The crew of signal A, apparently of the vessel 'Greaseskipper', report their vehicle, other than a failed engine and skip, is relatively intact. Additionally, it is a self-sustained shuttle type vessel, so it should be fine for hyper-velocity launch. The chimera will probably still inspect it in person, but this is a fairly good sign. The station at signal C responds, providing clearance for hyper-velocity launch and providing well-wishes. As expected, the generic distress beacon is silent.

The Eyepiercer reaches the system of the Greaseskipper with little issue. As it approaches the world of the distress signal, it becomes apparent how the ship ran into engine problems. It is an icy world alit with auroras and electromagnetic activity. While beautiful, and certainly a draw to travelers, vessels without proper shielding can run into problems. The Eyepiercer and its shuttle, Twilight Execution, are both capable of terrestrial, spatial, and other maneuvers in a variety of extreme environments. Over-engineered? Perhaps. Useful? Doubtlessly.

Landfall is made with the main ship, as towing the Greaseskipper into space will be easier that way. The crew trudge out, in EVA suits. They smell of tourists. The way their suit is closely tailored and shaped more for aesthetics than reason, the forgoing of optimal vision shielding for the benefit of a clear visor, and their general demeanor of half-confused and half-awestruck. The ranger exits its vehicle, which to be fair, is rather unique. Not to mention it is a bit of a unique creature too, but it doesn't give a shit.

It begins conversation immediately. "I have read your reports. Regardless, I will inspect your vessel for additional damages. I will ensure you are ready for a safe launch to orbit, then a launch to a nearby station. Note any concerns."

The tourists shuffle around. The one with a green and gold EVA suit that seems to be some sort of greyish white goat person speaks up. "Uh. There's, nothing wrong with that. I'm Alum. ...Do you know how to greet people?" The ranger tenses up and briefly considers how mean it is allowed to be to a random stranger in response.

One of the other tourists, a wolfperson in a violet EVA suit, elbows Alum before speaking up. "What they mean to say, is thank you for picking us up. You're great. And hi. I'm Flax."
The chimera makes a simple response. "Acknowledged," ceasing to consider things like leaving them behind on the ice planet.

The third tourist, some sort of mantis person, opens up the Greaseskipper's door. The chimera investigates the core systems first. Computer, flight control, and data are all intact. The reactor had minor damage that could be fixed with a spare part on hand. The sublight engines could be returned to partial function and the emergency shutdown features of the skip could be re-enabled with some clever cannibalization of the main skip drive, in case the station's catch mechanism has a fault. Other than that, the crew quarters are of little interest.

Alum seems to have a variety of small figurines of people in odd garb you do not recognize, alongside some electronic devices. It seems they are a gamer. Flax has a variety of ancient technology. It is so incredibly outdated that it is surprising that they have that much. The third crew quarters was rather sparse and stoic, with some interesting geometric art pieces laying around.

The ranger politely informed the crew of optimal safety and seating arrangements for the upcoming flight, before asking for permission to include a package to the nearby station with the Greaseskipper. The crew approves, without much fanfare. It then parks the Twilight Execution nearby and picks up the Greaseskipper in the Eyepiercer's Hyper-Velocity launch system. It anchors the ship into the ground, before launching the Greaseskipper into orbit. It then attached a tow to its own shuttle and enters orbit, picking up the Greaseskipper once more, before flying out far enough for a safe shot at the station's Hyper-Velocity Receiver. The skipper is then launched as a faster than light bullet that tears through space and time. Don't worry about it, this is a safe enough practice when space is already like a gnarled sponge anyway. There's no real issues with slicing it up every now and again. With the crew of A arriving at C with some supplies, everything should be in order.

Anyhow, the chimera then returns its own shuttle to the main docking spots and takes in the tow line. So far everything is nominal. It brings the Eyepiercer up to superliminal speeds and begins flooring it across space to try to reach the next destination, signal D.

It receives communications from the station informing the ranger of the safe arrival of the rescuees and thanking it for the information and loaned arms. The crew of the Greaseskipper also send their thanks, once again. It files these away before doing a routine overview of the ship and its systems. Aside from a couple minor tune-ups it quickly gets done, everything is optimal.

...It is left with a question that many in transit are left with. What to do to pass the time between now and arrival at the distress beacon? (And...perhaps, you can give the answer to that ever elusive question, listeners.)
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#8
Well, seems only fitting for them to turn on their...space radio, given that's sorta what I'm doing. Or uh... gee... maybe the chimera can think back to whatever memories it holds fondly? Or it could knit?

...I'm pluck out of ideas, admittedly
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#9
Show ContentOOC Note:

It decides to tune into that radio station it saw. It seems familiar. If the chimera remembers right, there's usually an interesting storytime segment going on around this time.

Alright before I properly get into the next part, let me put on some more backing music I really think this is going to encapsulate the core of the moment.

And to the new listener just tuning in...this is really funny and a bit awkward, but. Tonight's story is about you. Welcome to the broadcast.

...Yeah. Shrugging and making a loud hiss, that is probably a sigh, is fair. This is kind of bullshit...

So uh, you can turn off the radio, if you want, by the way, if you want to be done with this. It's going to be an abnormal station prattling on about your story until a 'narrative loop' is tied shut, or something like that. It's rather formulaic, in that way.

...

...wait are you really leaving it on? Uh, you'll probably here a decent bit of silence at times due to temporal quirks...but you've encountered plenty of those before so...

I'll just. Carry on as usual then. The ranger considers other things to do.

Recalling fond memories...I suppose none of you would be surprised that it's fond of action. Of work. Of diving into hell, whether abnormality based or circumstantial, whether tyrant or calamity, to claw out what semblances of good it can. Even if it cannot understand everything, even if the very world is absurd at its core. It will keep moving. A chimera of momentum, purpose chosen in void, and other things. Admirable to many perceptions.

...And other than that, what remains? Trawling through archives? Looking over abnormality data. Considering ways to breach hulls optimally in case the structure of a ship or station is what gets in the way of a rescue operation? The countless ways that a place could be in peril. The chance of it being a lure, like an anglerfish in the depths? It reviews the situation in brief moments. Nothing particularly stands out. Such little data makes it a shot in the dark to try to predict what is next.

Repairs are done, so the only remaining options are to either conserve energy...which is superfluous given there are no reactor issues...so. Artifice. It doesn't actually know what to make...It could try to make devices or weapons of a variety of purposes. Something for helping temporary guests adjust? Something for action? To help breach into a ship? Something specialized? On a gamble into the dark. It considers creating a list and leaving it up to chance...but...

Ranger. I happen to be in the business of crowdsourcing. Maybe you'd like to listen into some ideas. Perhaps there's an interesting about something to make idea floating about. Let's take a listen, shall we? And if nothing comes to mind, the chaotic nature of a die in the air is always still within your grasp. It's not like you're short on time.
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#10
I think the only thing the ship *doesn't* have would be something entertaining. While they should definitely make sure to have enough weapons and tools, maybe something like a yoyo?
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