Level 5 Security Document
Accessible only to members of the United Democratic Colonies of Earth Interstellar Military Forces, here forth referred to as the U.D.C.E.I.M.F., carrying a Level 5 Security Clearance.
Illegal access of this document will be met with immediate punishment, including imprisonment for life.
The following is the most recent translation of the first document obtained within the alien ruins of Gehenna III. This document is up to date as of Stardate 21.7.214.
<indecipherable script>Researchers involved within the translation project have signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement. To speak of these translations shall be met with treason and the penalty of isolation on Cerberus.
... conceit and arrogance. We dismissed superstition in favor of pragmatism. Now we are...
... writhing in the rock, calling <alt: summoning> for the <unable to discern meaning>. Legion <individual? group?> calls for demise...
... the Malevolent slumbers within the Celestial Casket <approximate translation>, yet even now the bonds are breaking. We stand...
... abandon this world. It is the threshold of death <alt: demise>.
Planetary Date October 12th, 21 C.R.
To: 7thSquad Mailing List
From: Lieutenant Sothers
Subject: Information regarding Operation Pill Pop
Those eggheads back at base have some fancy name for the operation, but nuts to them. We're calling this Operation Pill Pop. Mission briefing will be at 0500 the morning of the 14th, but I expect each of you to be familiar with the basics before we crawl back into those ruins.
The latest cartography scans have picked up some sort of a capsule within the Eastern branch of Sigma Facility. Now normally that don't mean too much, as we've found plenty of busted capsules and containers with nothin' but dust and dirt left behind. But this capsule's got power, and we can't tell where that power is coming from. Naturally those damned beaker jockeys want us to go down and examine it, and if deemed safe we'll be dragging it all the way back to the colony.
I want everyone getting themselves familiar with procedures regarding radiation, foreign toxins, suit breaches and emergency medicinal procedures. Be sure to get your target practice done and be up to date on our field codes. Whatever power is running that thing, it's been lasting for centuries, maybe even a millenia. So either it's a dangerous and potentially lethal power source or something down there is still alive.
So get yourselves prepared. It could be nothing, just another typical egghead escort, or it could be trouble. Things have been awful cozy on this planet, and many of you were either born here or arrived here as kids. You're green and lacking combat experience. The researchers are confident that it's nothing, but I want you all to be prepared for the possibility that not everyone's coming back.
WELCOME TO GEHENNA III
One-hundred and twenty years ago the United Democratic Colonies of Earth launched a new project to expand across the galaxy and begin terraforming "Shell" planets, planets that appeared to be wastelands but held the potential for Old Earth-like climate conditions. One of the solar systems discovered during this expedition was Gehenna. What was unique about Gehenna was that it not only had a yellow star such as humanity's home Sol system, but it also had a small, planet-sized sun that seemed to orbit the Gehenna star. Aside from strange and inconsistent day-and-night cycles, the star seemed to have little effect on the planet labeled Gehenna III, a perfect candidate for terraforming. In addition, evidence of a previous life was discovered upon the surface.
Twenty-one years ago the colonization project officially began. Only necessary staff were brought in at first, and the Cerberus space station was established to open a new Interstellar Gateway to accelerate travel between systems. Now a trip of roughly a dozen years to the nearest system would only take months. As the colony expanded and was capable of supporting more life, more staff were brought in. Around eighteen years ago the colony reached a self-sustainable capacity.
The main colony, often referred to as G York (short for Gehenna's York), is home to a number of biodomes where the planet is already bearing literal fruit, as well as vegetables and grass for housing livestock. Moisture is pulled from the air to slowly increase the water supply, while the waste and life support system separates and filters all water to be cleaned and recycled for reuse.
There is a decently sized military force, but most of the recruits were either born on the colony or came in fresh-faced off a boat from Cerberus. They are inexperienced in combat and often sign up for military service since it'll be "an easy job".
Scientists, researchers, and particularly linguists are growing in demand, however, as ten years ago the colony was finally prepared to begin excavations into the surface of Gehenna III. A ruined facility was discovered right beneath the colony and was labeled Alpha Facility or Alpha Site, where the first "document" was discovered. It took some time, but power was able to be reconfigured to the machines, some of which were still capable of running. Drawing data from them has been a long and arduous process, however, and dating the age of the ruins has been difficult. The archeologists have guessed that it could be anywhere from 200 to 2000 years old.
Since then, there have been a variety of other ruins discovered and labeled throughout the surface, all several kilometers away from the colony. Progress has been made on translating the documents, but only those with a high level security clearance are granted access. This is due to the nature of the documents, all which seem to be warnings or a vague note on the final days of the alien race. They seemed to be fighting or resisting something, though there is no clear description of what it was that ultimately wiped them out.
There are a handful of other outposts and minor colonies on Gehenna III, labeled with names such as G Shanghai, G Moscow and G Tokyo, but none of them are as large or well populated as G York and often have rotating shifts lasting anywhere from a week to a month. G York is also the only colony on Gehenna to include a "Pleasure Dome", a large facility that acts as a sort of town-sized mall filled with shops, eateries, and attractions, most of them provided by Tanner & Liel Colony Corp., a capitalist corporation that specializes in providing entertainment for terraforming colonies. "Transforming your day as you transform the stars" is their corporate slogan.
The first day of the game will begin with the excavation. On the whole, I plan to move the game in terms of days, each one with a central event to push the story forward and giving characters time to settle interactions before moving on to the next day. Any feedback on this method, or suggestions, will be appreciated and considered.WHAT KIND OF GAME WILL THIS BE
Assuming it gathers enough interest, this will be a story-based group game that is free-form, not running on a system. While I will not establish an official posting order, I expect any situation that has more than two players interacting will give everyone a chance to respond first so as not to overwhelm any players. I have a general plot outline in mind, but it is rather broad, allowing for creative input from players in regards to the direction the game can go or what aspects of the setting or story they'd like to explore. I am open to having an experienced Co-GM to help out, and perhaps an additional one or two story-telling assistants to provide feedback as to the plot and where the story can go next.
While this setting is built to explore a story, smut is permitted. While I will not have restrictions on rape within the game, it is a crime within the setting. Expect your character to be punished and potentially removed from the game due to being imprisoned on Cerberus if they are caught. Any non-consensual or bondage-based interactions must be discussed and approved by both characters' players. This will be a violent game with blood and potential character death. For the most part, players should not be in a situation where they are fighting each other. I do not expect characters to die, but if for whatever reason the player permits or desires it, character death will be possible. Any gore and violence will not be presented in an erotic fashion.
A variety of character positions will be open, such as soldiers, sergeants, farmers, archeologists, computer scientists, linguists, and so on. Preferably characters that can easily be involved in the greater story of exploring the old facilities and caverns of Gehenna III and fighting off the forces discovered within.
While this is sci-fi and I am bad enough at science I haven't ground any of it in reality, it still seeks to be plausible. Guns use bullets and no material used for equipment or armor is stronger than what is available today.
Due to the nature of the game, we will not have to worry about players fighting players outside of the potential of a minor brawl. However, since we are using a free-form system I feel it is still necessary to lay down some principles to keep in mind for when danger does arise.Your character is not a bad ass.
Even if your character is in the military, there's a good chance that they're green. Unless they're one of the few Lieutenants brought on board, a Sergeant, or a General, then odds are they haven't seen combat. They got a job up in a cozy old end of space. So when shit starts hitting the fan, your character will not be popping head shots left and right, downing five to ten hostiles in a span of seconds. Most shots will miss the enemy, and of the shots that hit, very few will be instant kill shots. This doesn't mean a foe won't be incapacitated, but even wounded these creatures will be a danger. Plan to write combat encounters where your character is looking for places to duck behind cover, trying to make sense of the situation, shooting at foes, and maybe hitting one or two, or perhaps stepping in to save a comrade.Be willing to throw yourself in danger.
Even if you save a comrade, make it interesting. Have the character get struck as they defend a foe, knocking them onto their back and becoming temporarily incapacitated. Allow other players to come in and help out. Or inflict non-lethal stab wounds or cuts to your character. Or perhaps their gun jams, or the helmet breaks and starts to expose them to the environment. When combat happens, the players should always be at some kind of a disadvantage, and it should feel that anyone that got out of a fight alive did so more out of luck than skill.If you write out the actions of the enemy, make sure they're intelligent, merciless, and tough to kill.
Each creature type the players will encounter will exhibit different behaviors and tactics. Before the game begins I will create proper guidelines to each creature type, listing the basic ideas of how they think, and then I'll include a sample post from the perspective of a soldier, illustrating how to write an encounter with the beasts. This way, even if the GM(s) will have primary control of the masses of enemies, any player can write a thrilling encounter.Popular Culture Reference:
The Xenomorph from Aliens will be a definite reference. The creatures will not be so frail, but when you consider how the two major encounters with the creatures ended with people dying (when they first found the hive, and then when the Aliens cut the power), that's the sort of threat level I'm going for. It won't necessarily start that bad
, but it may get there. Also consider the first time you beamed inside a Covenant ship in Halo: Combat Evolved on Legendary, and how the swordsmen Elite would tear apart the marines, or if any of them were left the Hunters would do the same. While odds will not be impossible, they'll certainly be stacked against our intrepid heroes.
Please use the following guide when creating character sheets. PM character sheets to me for discussion and approval, please. When you are approved I will give the go ahead to post your character sheet in this thread.
[b]Profession:[/b] If military, include rank. If other form of employment, include management level. Do not take any rank or management level high enough for top level security clearance without first consulting the GM(s).
[b]Appearance:[/b] Include any details such as piercings, tattoos, scars, or other content to supplement your character image.
[b]Bio:[/b] The meat of your character. What was life like growing up on the colony? Were they on a later shipment from the outer colonies? Why do they have the job that they have? How has this fed into their personality?
[spoiler=Additional Images]If you are using a specific model for your character and would like to include additional images, place them here.[/spoiler]
Here are sample character sheets of characters that I shall be playing.
First Lieutenant in the U.D.C.E.I.M.F. (typically abbreviated to I.M.F.)Appearance:
Fit and muscular, standing at 5'10", keeping his hair regulation short. Has a tendency to let his face get scruffy. Abundant hair on his chest that dwindles down to his navel, trimmed around his pubic region, and hair on his arms and legs. Has a tattoo on his right arm of a skull biting a dagger, the name "SOTHERS" carved into the forehead of the skull.Bio:
Vincent comes from a military family. Most of the men and women bearing the last name "Sothers" have served, many have lived long enough to see illustrious careers and honors, and many others have fallen. Vincent grew up listening to the stories, eager to carry on the tradition. He was raised to believe in Democracy and to fight for the United Democratic Colonies of Earth. Be it against the Communist Coalition of the Stars, the New Solar Regime, or common terrorists, space pirates, or rebels, his family has fought in a number of scattered conflicts across the galaxy.
Vincent was able to be put on the front lines due to his family name, but it was his calm head and decisive tactics that got him the promotion to Lieutenant. He was stationed at a brand new colony beginning its terraforming operations when it was ambushed by members of the New Solar Regime, a Neo Nazi organization that had targeted the colony for its primarily black population. His squad's lieutenant and sergeant killed by an explosive, Vincent took charge and made sure his team got communications up and running, figuring out where the infiltrators were located and organizing a flank to close in, eliminate key hostiles and to broker a surrender. His cool head and quick thinking earned him a promotion.
That was three years ago. Two years ago Vincent was brought to Gehenna in order to help fill out the leadership ranks. The commanding officers upon Gehenna III have expressed fear and uncertainty that their inexperienced forces would not be able to handle a potential threat within the caverns of the alien facilities. However, due to the I.M.F. being stretched thin as it is, they cannot bring in entire platoons or squads of experienced soldiers.
Vincent's own personal opinion is that the terraforming operation should be abandoned, any unnecessary civilians or personnel removed from the planet, and only a small crew left to study in case of danger. However, the leadership disapproves the idea of uprooting people's lives that they have grown used to and forcing them to suffer through months, perhaps years, of cramped quarters and poor living conditions until they are able to be relocated to a suitable colony.
This has left Vincent instead trying to make sure the soldiers are in good shape and well trained, putting them through rigorous exercises. He is not disliked among the troops, but because he keeps a distance and, while on duty, shows little to no sign of humor, he isn't exactly viewed kindly either. Many think he has a stick up his ass and would be better off out fighting real battles.
Vincent only has a handful of friends on the colony that he sees during leisurely time.
Financial Assessment Officer and Investor Liason for Tanner & Liel Colony Corp.Appearance:
Very concerned with his professional image, Jarel keeps himself frequently trimmed and frequently exercises. He seeks to be poster boy of business physically and mentally. He stands at 6'2" with a thick but muscular build.Bio:
Jarel grew up with a pretty standard life. He was raised on the inner colonies of the U.D.C.E., beautiful worlds as yet untainted by overpopulation or exorbitant levels of crime and poverty. He led a privileged life, going to high quality schools that prepared him for one of the finest off-planet universities. There he majored in business and interned at Starlife Colonial Living Corp. Despite being offered a job by Starlife, he instead sought to bring his experience to Tanner & Liel. At first he was met with rejection, forced to work at his father's business instead, but he managed to work up the ladder enough to grab Tanner & Liel's attention.
It didn't take long for them to find his specialization, primarily in seeing the profit in projects. Jarel could find potential where other business men would scoff at an idea, and as a result has started to turn greater profits for the company. So when Tanner & Liel struck a deal to provide colony entertainment and relaxation for the people of Gehenna III and discovered that there were alien ruins beneath the surface, they immediately sent Jarel out to inspect.
Jarel spends a lot of time with those in the labs and research stations at Gehenna, always asking questions about what they've discovered so that he can figure out a way to implement it for the company. Unfortunately, the brass are very strict about security clearance, leaving Jarel mostly in the cold.
Thomas "Tommy" SothersAge:
I.M.F. Soldier, PrivateAppearance:
Standing at 5'8", Tommy is not only shorter than his older brother, but skinnier and more pale as well. He bares the same skull tattoo with "SOTHERS" imprinted on it as his brother, placed on his arm. However, his has been modified, with what look like cracks in the skull, rotted teeth, and the knife rusted and jagged rather than clean and sharp.Bio:
The third son of the Sothers family, and the youngest of five, Tommy was never very interested in the military or serving it. In fact, when he entered high school he began to support the notion of each colony being its own independent nation, or even collection of nations, rather than trying to create what he viewed as an Interstellar empire. Naturally, this view was not supported, and Tommy was frequently threatened with being disowned.
For some, this might have been fine. Some might have been willing to pack their bags and actually fly to one such Independent colony, as they've been growing in number. But Tommy loved his comforts too much, and his family could afford many. So he kept his mouth shut, choosing instead to work on his art of sculpting, his true hobby and passion.
Tommy wasn't aware until high school graduation that his parents had signed him up for boot camp. Even then, his rebellious nature was rather timid and tame, with the occasional smart ass prank and a promiscuous nature with the women at boot camp earning him a number of severe disciplines. However, he still managed to complete bootcamp, and on the request of his parents (but against the wishes of Vincent), he was shipped out to Gehenna III.
All in all, Gehenna isn't so bad. There's no real fighting involved, and most of the other troops are just as "serious" about the matter as he is. Even so, Tommy still holds resentment towards his parents and his brother for dragging him into a military fighting for a cause he doesn't believe in.
ILLUSTRATIONS AND SPOILERS
This section will likely expand as I am able to create more illustrations or find more images. However, there is also some spoiler information either for those curious or for those interested in assisting with the story. If you'd like the events of the game to be a surprise, avoid the section labeled Spoilerific Spoiler Stuff
. Thank you.
The standard marine outfit is built with a skin-tight suit covered with armor, able to withstand mild pressure changes and certain inclement weather elements. The primary purpose of the suits, however, even without the armor applied, is to keep out foreign toxins or other harmful environmental elements. Each soldier is equipped with a military-grade automatic assault rifle, a pistol side-arm, two flash bangs, one grenade, and extra clips of ammunition. Specialized units will have weapons such as sniper rifles, heavy assault machine guns, flamethrowers, or other tools or weapons for a variety of field-tasks and combat scenarios.
There are only fifty power armor unit suits available to the colony and require specialized training. With the exception of two or three, none of the pilots are from the colony and were trained before they arrived. As such, they are usually the oldest soldiers on Gehenna. The power armor is slow and lumbering, but comes equipped with jets that allow it to skid across the service at speeds of up to 35 MPH.
The capsule that the squad and select researchers will be extracting will contain a gelatinous form that shall solidify into a human or humanoid female. If anyone desires to play this character, they MUST contact me and we will work out the role this character will play in the story.
Beneath the surface of Gehenna III there has been a vicious force of creatures slumbering in wait. What are they? How old are they? How long have they been in hibernation? None of this is known. They are vicious, however, and seem to yearn for nothing but blood.Classification:
Natural claws, teeth, and tailBehavior:
These creatures have a tendency to hide within crevices and shadows, awaiting the perfect opportunity to ambush their foe. They specialize in hit and run tactics, striking at their prey lethally, confirming the kill, and then moving on to find a new hiding spot to stalk from. They are strong enough to hang from the ceiling with three limbs, using their fourth to reach down and grasp their victim. They frequently use their tails to impale victims and pull them in for the kill. They travel in groups, so once a single one strikes, they all suddenly strike at once.Tactics:
When traveling in caverns and other subterranean locations, keep in close groups and use your infrared. These things know how to hide, so night vision isn't going to do much. Flashlights will help a bit, but despite the seeming lack of eyes, these things have excellent senses as to when they're visible. Use controlled burst fire, always keep in communication, and don't panic. As soon as you encounter these creatures, fall back. Check the ceiling, and find a spot to bottle neck them.
These creatures tend to operate solo, in small groups, or with crawlers supporting them. They specialize in hand-to-hand combat, with massive hands capable of crushing a human head like a melon. Helmets help guard from this, but if you're not careful your head can still be crushed if they manage to use both hands. They tend to crouch when they run forward, using their bone plating as shielding before charging in to strike at their opponents, gripping limbs and tearing them from the body of their victims.Tactics:
There's no chance of even denting the bone plating of these creatures without armor-piercing rounds, and even then there's no guarantee you'll do anything more than cause these things to stutter. The best strategy is to keep your distance and aim for the lower body. Shoot their feet or legs, get them to trip, and then throw a grenade in. A good burst fire to the head can kill or stun one of these things, but it's not a guarantee to kill them. The best thing to do is keep your distance and be grateful that they don't come in the numbers as the crawlers.
is always a big thing for me. Be it lyrics or the tone of a song, I will often find myself inspired to create a story around small little ideas or to establish a tale with a certain atmosphere to it.This Will Never End by Blind Guardian
is a key inspiration due to its tone, as well as select lyrics within the song.Titan by Hammerfall
is a similar inspiration for the same reasons.Evil Eyes by Savage Circus
captures some of the more intense feel I'll be going for once shit hits the fan, as well as excellent lyrical imagery.What Lies Beyond by Pyramaze
is only a mild inspiration, more for the tone and how it ties into some of the lyrics within the chorus.
There is one more song that inspired, but it shall not be revealed for now as it is the song that sparked the entire idea.