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Growing Horizons: Inner Sphere - Quest

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
March 20, 2174 / May 8, 3024
Sol, Earth, Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base, 27 km southeast of Paris, Walker Cluster


Stephan Köhler looked up from the desk of his newly renovated office and at Hakam Singh, who had been made the UN liaison to his mercenary company. Stephan had to say that he had come to like the man, especially after he had managed to calm everyone down the moment they had heard there were aliens around.

"May I come in?" Hakam asked after knocking at the door frame.

"Of course," Stephan answered and stood up. "How can I help you?"

There was still the noise of construction coming from the outside, but it was a bit different from what he was used to. Sure there was the noise of large saws and jack hammers, but most concrete construction was made by something that the Rothikel Brothers called 'building printers'. And they did what the name implied, they pretty much 'printed' walls in viscous concrete, with robotic arms inserting reinforcements automatically.

"For one, I would like to thank you for those star maps you have given us," Hakam said as he entered the room. "The UN has launched a few scouting missions to take a look around."

Stephan raised an eyebrow and gestured to the other chair in front of his desk, sitting down and allowing Hakam to do the same.

"You aren't trust us?" he asked.

"Trust, but verify," Hakam answered with a shrug. "But it is mostly to satisfy our alien allies we are not telling lies."

Stephan leaned back.

"I still have a hard time believing that there are actually intelligent aliens around... I mean... I am used to alien animals, but..."

Hakam chuckled.

"We had many decades to get used to it, after the discovery of the ruins on Mars," he said.

Stephan shook his head.

"Still hard to believe that they are friendly..."

"They are just people like is."

He sighed.

"How can I help you?" he repeated.

Hakam made a hmming sound.

"I came to ask you concerning the Intelligence part of your contract," he said, ostentatiously looking at the small book shelf behind Stephan.

Stephan nodded and turned, pulling out one of them and putting it on the desk. Jane's All the Worlds BattleMechs.

"That is not a problem," he said. "I have talked to my people. They are okay with being debriefed."

Hakam nodded.

"What about... technical information?"

Stephan looked out of the window and at the large 'building printer' currently building the new Mech hangars. Then at his new computer on the desk. Like many things, it was hard to wraps his head around and its user interface. A transparent thin piece of polymer was the screen and apparently the computer itself, with just a power cord attached to it. The keyboard was a wireless device as was the mouse. And still it was connected to a massive planetary database called 'the Internet'. He still had to find something it didn't contain.

"You need technical information?" he wondered.

"We would like to know the technical capabilities of the Inner Sphere," Hakam answered.

"And to know how to build Mechs?" Stephan wondered.

"Perhaps..."

Stephan leaned back in his chair to think for a moment. His mechs did need maintenance, especially his own Battle Master. The armor needed to be patched up and the myomers of the left legs had suffered from heat damage for the last two years. If they helped these people with technology, maybe they could get replacement parts?

"I believe we have can help you there. And I will ask Darcia to help out there."

"Darcia?"

"Darcia Sandoval. She is our Chief Mechanic. And she got a degree in theoretical physics and wrote her doctorate in Kearny-Fuchida theory, I believe."

---------------

April 15, 2174 / June 3, 3024
Ammann, 45.3 LY from Sol


"I didn't know what to expect," Lieutenant David Winchester said as he saved his weapon. "But I certainly did not expect any Amish..."

Winchester was standing in front of a shuttle of USS Momsen, looking out from the simple concrete landing strip in the midth of idyllic looking farm and pasture land, and towards the dirt road leading towards a small town in the medium distance, maybe three kilometers away. There were two black carriages rolling down the dirt road, pulled by some sort of bird like creatures. Each had a man sitting on the drivers seat, wearing the quite classical simple outfit of the Amish.

"What are Amish?" he heard someone ask and turned around, looking at the larger form of a Tiaunt.

The dragonoid alien had walked up from the shuttle of his space craft, looking in the same direction. Behind him, several crews of other shuttles from the Quetzal survivor nations were arriving as well.

"They are followers of a Christian denomination. They believe in living simple and are best known for not using much modern technology."

He got a glare from one of the Aldmoru Quetzal.

"Then what are they doing on this planet without technology?"

Winchester shrugged.

"Maybe they paid to be transported here?" he wondered.

He saw that some aliens were looking around the landing strip. While it was relatively well maintained and easy to land on, there were many cracks everywhere, with plants growing in them. In some places the surface was carbonized from high temperatures and one or two aliens were poking it. Near the dirt road and the landing strip where numerous barns and other buildings made from wood. Here and there the paint had chipped off or a plank was missing from the buildings, while plants grew between them.

All in all the landing strip looked old, almost ancient.

He turned back around and stepped forwards as the carriage stopped and the two men stepped down from them. They walked towards each other and talked for a few moments, looking over to the motley assembly of shuttles, humans and aliens of four different species. Eventually one of them walked over, while the other sat back on his carriage and began to drive back to the town.

The man looked much the part of an Amish, the same beard, clothing and hat Winchester knew from back home in Lancaster County. The material looked a little different and the colors didn't quite match, but it was all close.

"Welcome to Ammann," the man said in English with a strong accent Winchester could not place, but he was sure had developed here. The man looked tense, his eyes moving to the aliens more often than he obviously wanted.

"Thank you, Mr..."

"Dorngrad," was the answer and the man seemed to steel himself for what he said next. "We did not expect traders to come here so soon."

Winchester filed the mans nervousness away for the moment, willing to be that the analysts in orbit were already working over all the data they were collecting. The most obvious source of nervousness were the aliens of course, but for some reason, he didn't believe to be the only problem.

"We are not traders, Mr. Dorngrad," he said with a smile and a relaxed posture, trying to set the man at ease. "We are explorers and..."

"We are attempting to discover if you haven't been put onto this world just a short while ago to deceive us," one of the Aldmoru Quetzal said abruptly, and Winchester was sure it happened to be the one that had glared at him earlier. "For whatever reason you humans want to deceive us."

Winchester twitched and fought hard not to face palm at the interruption, while there were a few murmurs from some aliens. Dorngrad meanwhile spluttered.

"We have settled here five hundred years ago," he almost spluttered. "After we have been driven out of Eilenburg by the Lyrans."

He had almost spat out the last word, glaring at the Quetzal, making Winchester hope the man didn't think to compare the Quetzal to the biblical snake, as one or two fundamentalist Christian sects in the US had done.

"What are these..." Dorngard said, turning back to Winchester, an eyebrow twitching, "people? And what are they doing here?"

Winchester took in a deep breath. This was going to be a long day.
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
Heh. Space Amish. So what's a normal look like in Battletech?
What do you mean?

Also, I added a map of the Inner Sphere, with the worlds of the Walker Cluster added.
 

Alias

Moderator
Moderator
What do you mean?

Also, I added a map of the Inner Sphere, with the worlds of the Walker Cluster added.
Stupid thing didn't include computer when I posted it.
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
Stupid thing didn't include computer when I posted it.
So you mean normal computer?

Its space 80s. So In see BT computers as chunky things that look more like a Comodore PET or the first Macintosh, though with a flatscreen or a holodisplay for the more expansive models. And than there are noteputers that look like this, rather than like the tablets we know, though they have wireless connectivity, touchscreens and 10 to 50GB of storage.

Noteputer.jpg


Not very much, compared to what we already have.

However, I am going with the assumption that BT personal computers and noteputers are mostly terminals to access central databases/mainframes with only enough local processing power for videos, music, books, some games and e-mail. However, I think that BT computers are about as powerful as GH computers in general, but rather than going for the decentralized interconnected computer networks, they were more with the mainframe model of networking, like, say the classic Compuserve or The Well way back in the day. That means that BT computers are monsters when it comes to single threaded computing and likely with a lot of programming tricks, as well as the use of optocal and very, verey rugged CPUs, while GH computers are multithreaded systems with heavily multithreaded GPUs and the like, doing more at the same time, with less computing power and stuff like that.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
[X] Just ask them about themselves and about gaining access to their computers and databases. (50% success)

Best to ask; this way we build trust with the mercs.

[X] Invite some alien nations into the survey squadrons. (65% success)
Result: Gaining some additional evidence about the entire story, most of which will be believed, but with 1d6 nations not believing any of it, due to national rivalries.

Invite the alien nations that is most engaged with Earth and the ones with the most industry and defence capabilities. Tackle the more insular ones later.
 

Alias

Moderator
Moderator
[X] Just ask them about themselves and about gaining access to their computers and databases. (50% success)

Best to ask; this way we build trust with the mercs.

[X] Invite some alien nations into the survey squadrons. (65% success)
Result: Gaining some additional evidence about the entire story, most of which will be believed, but with 1d6 nations not believing any of it, due to national rivalries.

Invite the alien nations that is most engaged with Earth and the ones with the most industry and defence capabilities. Tackle the more insular ones later.
The vote is closed.
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
[X] Just ask them about themselves and about gaining access to their computers and databases. (50% success)

Best to ask; this way we build trust with the mercs.

[X] Invite some alien nations into the survey squadrons. (65% success)
Result: Gaining some additional evidence about the entire story, most of which will be believed, but with 1d6 nations not believing any of it, due to national rivalries.

Invite the alien nations that is most engaged with Earth and the ones with the most industry and defence capabilities. Tackle the more insular ones later.
The vote is closed and the die is cast.

Heck, you already liked the result of this round...
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
Some alien nations had to grudgingly acknowledge the UN was correct and even most of the nations within the UN that were skeptical were convinced. However, before the UN could go ahead and invite ambassadors of all nations to find a way how to deal with the five humongous human civilizations out there , any of them potentially hostile, it was the Emperor of Jerat who invited those same nations for a conference into his Imperial Palace on Jerat.

[] The Jerat Conference leads nowhere. (50 percent chance of 1d6 different organizations being created in backdoor deals.)
[] The Jerat Conference leads to a NATO like organization backed by the many nations, while 2d20 nations choose not to take part.
[] The Jerat Conference leads to a loose League of Nations style organization for defense and diplomacy, with 2d20 nations not taking part.
[] The Jerat Conference leads to an organization, with a NATO like military arm akin to the Solar Defensive Initiative, an UN like diplomatic arm, an exploratory arm to explore the Inner Sphere and Periphery and several smaller attached organizations dealing with helping some systems, like Ammann, discovered around relatively close by. Still, 2d20 nations choose not to take part.

Write in the name of the organization.

The 2d20 nations that choose not to take part, instead

[] choose to do nothing but agitate.
[] start their own competing organization. (50% chance of 1d4 different organizations)

-------------------

Depending on the vote, this will be the last part of the Prologue, and we will transition to a CK2 style Quest, with

[] 3 months turns.
[] 6 months turns.
 
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Eliar

Well-known member
[x] The Jerat Conference leads to an organization, with a NATO like military arm akin to the Solar Defensive Initiative, an UN like diplomatic arm, an exploratory arm to explore the Inner Sphere and Periphery and several smaller attached organizations dealing with helping some systems, like Ammann, discovered around relatively close by. Still, 2d20 nations choose not to take part.

[x] choose to do nothing but agitate.

[x] 3 months turns.

Seasonal turns seem best and I would rather not deal with wannabe Cerberus variants inviting the wrath f God, the Inner System Lords or any Comstar like org down on our heads until we are good and ready.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
[X] The Jerat Conference leads to an organization, with a NATO like military arm akin to the Solar Defensive Initiative, an UN like diplomatic arm, an exploratory arm to explore the Inner Sphere and Periphery and several smaller attached organizations dealing with helping some systems, like Ammann, discovered around relatively close by. Still, 2d20 nations choose not to take part.

[X] start their own competing organization. (50% chance of 1d4 different organizations)

[X] 3 months turn.
 

PauliExklusor

New member
[X] The Jerat Conference leads to an organization, with a NATO like military arm akin to the Solar Defensive Initiative, an UN like diplomatic arm, an exploratory arm to explore the Inner Sphere and Periphery and several smaller attached organizations dealing with helping some systems, like Ammann, discovered around relatively close by. Still, 2d20 nations choose not to take part.

[X] start their own competing organization. (50% chance of 1d4 different organizations)

[X] 3 months turn.
 

Alias

Moderator
Moderator
[X] The Jerat Conference leads to an organization, with a NATO like military arm akin to the Solar Defensive Initiative, an UN like diplomatic arm, an exploratory arm to explore the Inner Sphere and Periphery and several smaller attached organizations dealing with helping some systems, like Ammann, discovered around relatively close by. Still, 2d20 nations choose not to take part.

[X] start their own competing organization. (50% chance of 1d4 different organizations)

[X] 3 months turn.
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
Okay, last chance to get your vote in. I'm going to close the vote when I come home from work, in about 12 to 13 hours.
 

t-dugong

Beach bum, Esq.
Walker Cluster Defence Initiative (WCDI)

Walker Cluster Defence Committee
(WCDC)

Walker Cluster Treaty Organisation (WCTO)

Walker Cluster Pact (WaCPac)

Pick your poison, @Warringer.
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
Walker Cluster Defence Initiative (WCDI)

Walker Cluster Defence Committee
(WCDC)

Walker Cluster Treaty Organisation (WCTO)

Walker Cluster Pact (WaCPac)

Pick your poison, @Warringer.
I'm gonna roll a dice for it when I'm there.
 

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
And the voting is over.

The results are:

[X] The Jerat Conference leads to an organization, with a NATO like military arm akin to the Solar Defensive Initiative, an UN like diplomatic arm, an exploratory arm to explore the Inner Sphere and Periphery and several smaller attached organizations dealing with helping some systems, like Ammann, discovered around relatively close by. Still, 2d20 nations choose not to take part.
Roll 2d20: -> 14

[X] start their own competing organization. (50% chance of 1d4 different organizations)
Roll 1d4: -> 3

So we will have 14 nations between humans, Quetzal survivors and Tiaunt that are not going to take part in the Organizazion and instead set up 3 rival organizations, though I have already decided that one of those organizations will only have a single member (cue the North Korea equivalent everyone usually ignores and who was certainly not invited to the conference).

[X] 3 months turn.

As for the name of the organization, I have fed the four options

Code:
Walker Cluster Defense Initiative (WCDI)
Walker Cluster Defense Committee (WCDC)
Walker Cluster Treaty Organisation (WCTO)
Walker Cluster Pact (WaCPac)

into a list randomizer (at random.org) and picked the first one.

*drumroll*

And the winner is!

Walker Cluster Defense Committee (WCDC)

Congratulations to the happy winner.
 
Turn 1 - Autumn 2174/3024

Warringer

Goto Wogon for Hard SciFi
Author
June 14, 2174 / August 2, 3024
Sol, Earth, Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base, 27 km southeast of Paris, Walker Cluster

"Today, 251 nations of Sol, 61 Virginis and Beta Hydri have come together in the Imperial Palace of the Empire of Jerat to sign the historic document that announces the formation of the Walker Cluster Defense Committee. With the formation of this multinational organization, the member nations hope to combine their efforts to defend the local cluster of systems against outside threats.

"This follows the discovery of at least five large human polities outside of the local cluster, all of which are highly militarized and in a constant state of low intensity warfare .

"As the local cluster if known as the 'Walker Cluster' to these polities, it was decided to call..."

Stephan Köhler kept watching the newscast on the large screen in the mess hall for the time being, until a snort made him turn his head, looking at Martina Jäger.

"First aliens and now we find out that these people are not even unified," she said, shaking her head. "251 nations? How can they get anything done with that many diverging interests?"

Stephan shrugged his shoulders. Truth be told, he had thought the United Nations were the single unifying government of this planet, Earth. It had been something of a shock to discover it wasn't and it was a multinational organization with the about 189 nations of this system working together.

"The UN has been working together for more than 220 years or so," he said.

"That is correct," Hakam Singh, their UN liaison, noted as he put his tablet with food on the table opposite of them. "Though there have been times when the UN has only been a debating club. It only developed some real power when the United States, European Union, Peoples Republic of China and the Russian Federation pushed unwanted powers at the UN. Like orbital traffic control, standardizing life support systems... Things like that."

The two Lyrans looked at each other, while Singh began to eat from his tablet.

"Though I have to say that the WCDC formed rather quickly, considering the usual glacial speed of international diplomacy and politics between three different solar systems and four different species. I really hope it won't lead to any problems."

Martina blinked, looking at Singh.

"What problems?"

The man thoughtfully chewed on a piece of bread and swallowed before answering.

"For one the Federation of South East Asian Nations, the Russian Federation and the Ares Democratic Republic have not ratified the WCDC treaty and declined to take part in further discussions," he said and shrugged, dipping the bread into some sauce on his plate. "14 nations between our three systems have done so. Though one has not been invited to the Jerat Conference anyway..."

"What will they do?"

"Most likely set up one or two organizations to try and provide a counter balance to any policies the WCDC might set up. Thought the Free Democratic Peoples Republic of Aether are likely going to just scream loudly whenever something is done anyway."

---------------

Walker Cluster Defense Committee

Headquarters:
- To be determined

Sub organizations:
- WCDC Defense Council
- WCDC Survey Office
- WCDC Diplomatic Corps
- WCDC Trade Organization
- WCDC Office for Science and Development

---------------

Turn 1 Autumn 2174/3024

WCDC Defense Council:

The WCDC has just been established and the nations of the WCDC need to set up the actual organization for the defense of the local cluster (Walker Cluster). (1 action)

[] Establishing Headquarters:
One of the first things to do is of course to search for a place to build or rebuild a headquarters for the Defense Council. For the time being there is precious little that can be done without headquarters and a bureaucracy to deal with the things that will come up sooner or later.
Time: 1 turn, Chance of success: 90%, Reward: +1 action
Please write in a potential HQ

[] Army Men:
With the limited intelligence available, the Defense Council must make a decision whether to concentrate on the ground and aerospace forces or the space forces when it comes for the main defensive line. The policies outside of the local cluster are mainly ground and aerospace forces, but their spacecraft are a lot faster than any of the spacecraft available to the nations of the WCDC. So for the time being the best choice for a successful defense is to survey the ground forces and develop tactics and strategies to defend the local cluster on the ground.
Time: 3 turns, chance of success: 75%, Reward: Full survey of all ground forces available on all major worlds, initial tactics to defeat BattleMechs.

[] Navy Men:
With the limited intelligence available, the Defense Council must make a decision whether to concentrate on the ground and aerospace forces or the space forces when it comes for the main defensive line. The policies outside of the local cluster are mainly ground and aerospace forces, but their spacecraft are a lot faster than any of the spacecraft available to the nations of the WCDC. So, any invasion needs to be taken care off in space. As such a survey of all available space forces, stations and defensive satellites is needed, as well as the development of tactics and strategies to prevent potential hostile forces from even entering atmosphere.
Time: 3 turns, chance of success: 75%, Reward: Full survey of all space forces available in all major systems, initial tactics to defeat dropships

WCDC Survey Office:

The biggest problem the WCDC faces is insufficient information, aside what is available from the three BattleTech sourcebooks, most of which may be completely wrong, and what data could be gathered from the mercenaries of Köhler Military Services, of course limited as well. So intelligence is key to be albe to make decisions in the future. (1 action)

[] Spy Central:
As the nascent intelligence agency for the WCDC, the Survey Office does need their own headquarters, where data can be gathered, collated and suggestions be made for the Defense Council.
Time: 1 turn, Chance of success: 90%, Reward: +1 intelligence action
Please write in a potential HQ

[] Initial Survey:
The first few surveys have discovered three systems with habitable planets and human populations. It is the best if there was a much more intense initial survey of the space surrounding the local cluster.
Time: 2 turns, Chance of success: 75% Reward: (40+3d20)% of all systems outside of the Walker Cluster surveyed (up to 60ly), followup action allows to survey the remaining space

[] Deep Signal Intelligence:
With the information provided by the mercenaries of Köhler Military Services it is possible to begin some long range intelligence gathering missions. Initial targets of these missions would be the Lothian League and the Illyrian Palatinate.
Time: 4 turns, Chance of success: 70%, Reward: Simple signal intelligence network that needs to be regularly visited to collect the intelligence

WCDC Diplomatic Corps:

Even if the WCDC has being founded, there are still things that need to be addressed to make sure it does not fall apart within its first few years. (1 action)

[] Selecting a Main Office:
One of the main problems is every nations wants to be the one to provide the Headquarters to the WCDC. So there need to be talks to address this issue.
Time: 1 turn, Chance of success: 80%, Reward: +1 diplomatic action
Please write in a potential HQ

[] Why not remain?:
With 14 nations not taking part in the WCDC there are some nations that are on the edge of leaving the WCDC and join one of the three (okay lets be real, its actually just two) rival organizations and gain 'better' status.
Time: 1 turn, Chance of success: 85%, Reward: the 1d6 nations that thought about leaving, remain in the WCDC

[] We want to help:
Three systems outside of the local cluster have been discovered to be the home of humans. Every one of them remembers a bit of their past and it would be a good idea to offer them help and in the least open diplomatic relations with them.
Time: 3 turns, Chance of success: 65%, Reward: diplomatic relations with three human systems, new Trade option available

WCDC Trade Organization:

There is already some trade between the WCDC nations and with the discovery of the polities outside of the local cluster, it makes sense to increase internal trade and strengthen the economy of every nation. (1 action)

[] Central Trading Post:
Much like any other organization, there needs to be a central point where decisions can be made by the economists of the WCDC to make more and better decisions with the information available.
Time: 1 turn, Chance of success: 80%, Reward: +1 economic action
Please write in a potential HQ

[] Stronger Economy:
With the knowledge about the sheer size of the policies outside of the local cluster, some of which count several hundred systems, immediate action is needed. When they get contact they could well flood the markets of the local cluster with cheap goods made in hundreds of systems. So the WCDC needs to prepare for that inevitable moment and strengthen the economy and give incentives to build closer links of trade within the local cluster.
Time: 2 turns, Chance of success: 60%, Reward: +10 on internal trade actions, the beginnings of a WCDC merchant marine (of sorts)

[] Agile Economy:
With the knowledge about the sheer size of the policies outside of the local cluster, some of which count several hundred systems, immediate action is needed. When they get contact they could well flood the markets of the local cluster with cheap goods made in hundreds of systems. So the WCDC needs to prepare for that inevitable moment and make the economy more agile and able to react to new opportunities quickly, be it new technologies or new production techniques that make non-Fabricator production more effective.
Time: 2 turns, Chance of success: 60%, Reward: +10 on external trade actions, +5 on adaption of new products

WCDC Office for Science and Development

Science and Research are of course a base for any technology that can help defend the local cluster, so it is only logical that the WCDC would be handing out grants for new research that can further that goal.

[] Central Campus:
The research campus is of course one of the traditional ways to centralize research, but too centralized is always a bad idea as things can become entrenched and the scientific method ignored. So instead there needs to be a place that can take in information, make decisions and offer grants to any research project that can help the local cluster in the long run.
Time: 1 turn, Chance of success: 80%, Reward: +1 scientific action
Please write in a potential HQ

[] New and old Physics:
The Heim-Feynman theory is the basis of a number of advanced technologies used systems used to travel between planets and stars, but there is now a new theory that has come to the attention of the scientists at CERN, the Kearny-Fuchida theory. Perhaps Darcia Sandoval from the mercenaries can be brought to CERN and give a series of lectures on the properties of the Kearny-Fuchida theory to make the scientists there more familiar with the new theory.
Time: 2 turns, Chance of success: 75%, Reward: Kearny-Fuchida theory, 2 new research options

[] Big Stompy Robots:
With the contact to the wider galaxy in general and the mercenaries in particular, it became clear they have developed a new form of weapons platform not used by any of the nations of the local cluster. So it is only natural that they should be asked to show us those weapon platforms and allow us to make detailed studies of their weapons effects and their protection. Who knows, maybe the friends of big stompy robots will have their wet dreams come true afterwards?
Time: 3 turns, Chance of success: 70%, Reward: +10 on research of Inner Shpere weapons, +5 on military ground actions to better knowledge of Inner Sphere capabilities
 
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