Shrike's Nanowrimo Project
The AIEC Algiers is on a patrol in the deep Expanse when it stumbles across rumors of a dangerous piece of posthuman machinery – an ascension device. The situation is complicated by the arrival of a ZOCU cruiser come to retrieve the artefact for transport to the separatists’ capital. A political standoff evolves between the two groups but unknown to both, a third party of Exhumans puts a plot into motion to seize the device for themselves.
Micra (HIP 24874)
- Luminosity: 0.165 Sol
- Class: K3V
- Surface temp: 4730 k
No terracompatible planets; unpleasant rocks or gas giants with ice moons. Cooler and dimmer than the sun.
Redstone (Micra b)
- Mass: 12% Earth
- Diameter: 7400 km
- Surface Gravity ~ 4m/s^2
- Orbital Distance: 8.02e+7 km
- Orbital Period: 171 days, 9 hours
- Rotational Period: 30 hours, 43 minutes
- Atmosphere: ~10 kPa
- Receives about 50% of the solar energy that Earth does. Terraforming efforts are slowly progressing with both offworld volatiles and orbiting solettas.
A transhumanist offshoot philosophy that seeks to iteratively improve themselves under more controlled, physical fashion than the posthumans did. Exhumanist philosophy holds that the posthumans essentially abandoned the vital spark of improvement by simply jumping right to the end-state of pure consciousness and abandoning the physical world. They also see the ‘fast folk’ as having taken the easy route and consequently not ‘understanding’ what they were given or what they did. Some don’t even consider the ‘posthumans’ to be truly posthuman at all, merely humans that abandoned their bodies for processing speed – Exhumans will truly become more than human, and as such become genuine posthumans.
As a consequence to this philosophical viewpoint, Exhumanism is something of a ‘macho’ philosophy. Those who follow it will aggressively improve their bodies and minds and generally look down on those who fail to do so. The original scientists from the Brazilian Experiment were seen as early Exhumans; they were ultimately unsuccessful and flawed, but that is (clearly) the inevitable result of a complex problem being attempted by baselines. The fact that some continued on and eventually became the Magnates firmly put them in the Exhuman hero roster, though the Magnates themselves generally care little for Exhumanism as a movement.
As the name might imply, Exhumanism is distinct from trans/posthumanism. Instead of being ‘transitional’ to something more and what comes ‘after’ humanity (both nebulous concepts in and of themselves), Exhumans stereotypically see themselves as being no longer ‘human’, ie, Ex-Humans. More moderate Exhumans (if not more moderate in upgrading themselves) typically self-identify as Ultras, disliking the negative connotations that Exhumanism receives in some quarters.
Ships and Stuffs
UNAC (United Nations ARROWs Craft) Algiers
- Type: Deepspace Security Cutter / High Endurance Cruiser
- Alignment: ARROWs
- A modern ARROWs cruiser, the Algiers is on a standard long-sweep patrol mission through the backwater Expanse. Its mission goals include detection of new posthuman-derived constructions, tracking feral drones, identifying and updating charts/demographic info, providing a ready source of technical expertise and disaster relief and generally showing the UN flag. The Algiers is relatively lightly armed compared to a true warship, with more tonnage allocated to habitation, crew size, cargo and small craft. However, it is nonetheless a capable threat against most backwater weapons.
LS (Londenium Ship) Hadrian
- Type: Concord cruiser
- Alignment: ZOCU (Londenium)
- A war-era cruiser, the Hadrian is on a mission to Redstone to escort a transport full of weapons and technical supplies in exchange for various posthuman artefacts and a large quantity of Theta dust. The Hadrian has 8 Hoplites onboard.
JV (Jump Vessel) Saria
- Type: Point class spacelift ships
- Alignment: ZOCU (Londenium)
- The Saria is a merchant ship under lease to the Londenium government, carrying an array of cargo including Hoplite combat frames, supplies, terraforming equipment and components for Redstone’s fabber.
AS (Asakuran Ship) Omoikane
- Type: Ionia Cruiser
- Alignment: ZOCU (Asakura)
- A powerful ZOCU cruiser, the Omoikane will arrive as reinforcements for the Hadrian once communications are cut off. The Omoikane has 8 Sarissas and 4 Legionares, along with a long-range scoutship on one external dockpoint, the other hosting a mission pallet with extra sensors and a more powerful hyperwave.
- Type: Galileo survey ship (heavily modified)
- Alignment: Civilian
- An ancient Galileo survey ship, over a century old and heavily refitted. Capable of planetary landings into low-gravity fields. Armed with several railguns and missiles for defensive use against feral drones. Operated by Captain Khama as a private artefact-hunting ship.
Characters - ARROWs
Captain Jian Sun, PhD
- A long-term member of the UN and ARROWs, Sun is the captain of the Algiers and the highest-ranking UN character in the story. After receiving his PhD in chemistry, he volunteered for a UN mission in the early 50s and found his calling. He bounced between many different positions inside the UN and ARROWs, including a period in the Interstellar Atomic Energy agency. It was this that got him in to ARROWs. He was active during the war, though his battle record was limited. He is also fully licensed to detonate nuclear devices.
- Sun is motivated by a desire to help people which he has systemized into the quest to bring security to the human sphere.
- His goal is stop the proliferation of destabilizing factors as much as possible.
- He is directly opposed by the ZOCU crew early on, though later the bigger problem he will face will be the Ultras.
- Second-in-command of the Algiers. Needs a name and a personality.
Flight Commander Patrick Vostrak
- Patrick joined the EU Deep Space Fleet in the ZOCU war, eventually becoming a mecha pilot. He fought in several battles, including the last major battle of the war over Haraway. In the postwar RIF, he accepted a permanent transfer to ARROWs, where he has continued as a mecha pilot.
- Patrick is no longer the hothead hotshot he was during the war, half a decade having cooled him somewhat. He still remains motivated by the belief that the colonies were in the wrong, though exposure to many different viewpoints during his time in ARROWs has begun to crack this.
- His goal is to protect the Algiers by destroying or disabling the threats that appear.
- He will squabble with some of the ZOCU pilots, but his eventual challenge will be against the Ultras and the weapons they have accumulated.
Major (?) Fann Li Chi
- CO of the Algier’s small marine complement. She is ‘on loan’ from the PLA, having arrived on the Algiers for the current patrol mission. She was selected for the exchange program because there were several candidates up for promotion; in order to defer having to chose the PLA instead transferred her. She finds this somewhat galling, but will not speak ill of it or correct other’s misinterpretation of her reasons for being on the Algiers.
- Fann is a quiet, reserved woman and is on the exchange tour due to internal politics in the PLA. Her primary motivation is to simply make time but to achieve a good report doing so.
- Her goal is to survive the boring trip and receive a commendation from ARROWs in order to secure her promotion.
- Fann will be forced to make use of all the Algier’s meagre ground-combat resources during the latter stages of the conflict.
Characters – ZOCU
Captain Michel Aznavour
- A transgene from the ZOCU world of Londenium, Michel commands the Hadrian during its mission to Redstone. Another war veteran, he commanded a Proton light cruiser during the war and has since been promoted to command a larger warship. He was a mecha pilot during the prewar period.
- Michel is dedicated to the ZOCU cause and a patriotic citizen of Londenium.
- His goal is to efficiently complete his mission with a minimum of disruptions; he has orders to avoid making a diplomatic fuss
- Michel is directly opposed by the Algiers and her crew and the resulting political complications from having an ARROWs ship show up during the handover. Later he will also face the Ultras and their weapons.
Flight Major Reginald Beaumont III
- An aristocratic and well-heeled young man from the Londenium’s upper crust, Reginald (Reg to his friends) considers himself both a lover and a fighter. He is looking forward to visiting Redstone, for no other reason than the unique travels it entails. This his first deployment as the CO of a squadron as this was expected to be a simple pick-up and drop-off mission. As a consequence he is rather inexperienced for the battles he will face.
- Reg is dedicated to making himself look good and not embarrass himself; as a result he can display a surprising amount of focus when his failings become apparent.
- His goals will evolve over time, starting from a simple desire to perform sufficiently well on the trip and showing up the baselines to defending the Hadrian to the best of his ability.
- He will be initially dismissive of Patrick, but his main opponent will be the Ultras.
Captain Ryan Carvalho
- A baseline, Ryan captains the freighter Saria. He is privately employed as are the rest of his crew, but all are in the Naval Reserves. He served as the first officer on a Liberty Ship during the war but only saw one instance of action. Ryan is fairly gruff as an individual.
- Ryan’s motivations/goals are simply to see the current contract through; he is not a fighter at heart.
Captain Aoi Kugumiya
- The captain of the Asakuran cruiser Omoikane. She is a calm and collected transgene woman and one with a great deal of combat experience.
- Aoi is firmly dedicated to the ZOCU cause and is unwilling to let another war happen.
- Her goal is to rescue the Hadrian from whatever may have befallen it, with a secondary mission to determine the cause of communication breakdown.
- Coming in later during the crisis, Aoi and the Omoikane’s main opposition will come from the Exhumans and their controlled drones
Major Inoue Kappei
- The CO of the Omoikane’s frame complement. He was an electronic warfare crewman onboard a mobile armor but in the interwar period has moved to frame pilot.
Characters - Civilian
Administrator Marvin Piccinni
- Piccinni is a direct descendent of one of the original crew on the 43rd Longshot Expedition that colonised Redstone. In his 50s he is a bit of a small-town politician; his entire nation is only about two million people. The discovery of a posthuman complex which could be ransacked for valuable artefacts was a singular opportunity and one he has taken to improve both Redstone and his political future. While cordial enough he holds no specific love for ZOCU and will give in to ARROWs demands to at least slow down the transfer. However ZOCU has items of significant monetary value for Redstone, so he will feel conflicted to resolve it in their favour.
- Marvin’s motivation is to exploit the windfall for the betterment of Redstone and by extension to improve his chances in the next election.
- His goal is to get a good deal for the artefacts.
- He is conflicted between ZOCU and ARROWs, because he does not wish to do anything that will jeapordize Redstone’s position or put them in the position of being audited and investigated by the UN but at the same time wants the supplies and technical aid that ZOCU is supplying.
Captain Mompati Khama
- A third-generation Botswanan immigrant, Mompati is the captain of the artefact-hunting ship Iris. He operates in the Veil near Micra/Redstone, and he was the one that discovered the site of the posthuman artefacts being sold to ZOCU, taking a few items and then turning the rest to the Redstone government for a percentage. Mompati has received some basic spacer gene mods for long-term zero-G habitation. He is (as is his entire crew) bald; he is also a Christian.
- Mompati is mostly out for number one, though he is hardly amoral.
- His goal is to get paid, though once the shit hits the fan he’ll step up and help defend Redstone.
- The conflict and deadlock between the ARROWs and ZOCU forces will stymie his efforts to