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Round 2 - The Mekhala Mad Dash of 2037!


EmBark

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A note on Al-Miraiya's environment

The Llort Society Protectorate has based itself on the CWD-31 asteroid, more commonly called al-Miraiya d'Hayeli. When seen from other asteroids in the Mekhala belt, it appears as shining as a tiny star, a companion to distant Ophon.

This is a feature of the mirrored flats, vast fields that form the surface of al-Miraiya, a sheen of shining silica, mixed with metal and gemstone all together in some big reflective puzzle. This causes people's stay on al-Miraiya to absolutely require sunglasses or other tools or magic to prevent being blinded. They'll also need thick rubber boots or other tools or magic to prevent from being shocked, unless they never touch the ground.

The llort live in and welcome any guests in their domed residences called lightning domes, for their surface crackles with electric charges. These domes are well-insulated and only dimly lit on the inside, often just from the glow of its residents.

One large feature visible from space (to those that can withstand looking directly at al-Miraiya) is a huge, curved gap, a crevasse called the Mouth of the Emperor since time immemorial. This crevasse goes deep into the heart of al-Miraiya and is where people are officially inducted into the Society as adults.

Before the Race (diplomacy)

Hecaton Karcheras Katos, the most successful llort explorer of the Society, stood on the VIP platform overlooking the starting line of the Mekhala Mad Dash. A few vehicles were already being guided into position. He recognized the humans Halford and Ani-Quin from a previous, smaller race, a time before he held his position as Expeditor. Karcheras wore a fine suit of a rough grey material that made him appear somewhat shark-like. It contrasted the lime green of his skin. His eyes blazed golden and so did the crevices of his curved black horns.

Ambassador Yessikruz Donce stood next to him, holding a cup of a bubbling gold liquid. She had attended the coronation of Duke Esarheddon III with Halford three years prior and gifted the man a fine crystal weave scarf. In the slowly opening political climate of the Elects of the Empire, that was unlike something other Society politicians had on their resume. She wore a sleek green suit with a coat that flared, resembling the dresses of some planetbound human cultures, contrasting her dark red skin to those who weren't colorblind, to whom she appeared as a solid colour. An eyepatch covered one eye now, the strings of it running between the rows of her small horns.

"Sad to think you can't participate this time around?" Yessikruz poked at Karcheras.

"Just reminiscing quietly," he responded. "Shouldn't you be mingling with the other politicians?"

"Once they've had some appetizers and drink, certainly. I'd be a poor ambassador in consul Hanyeo's name otherwise." She sipped her drink and looked around the VIP platform, where servants were ready and a few people were already mingling.

 

During the Race - In the Race (starting)

Ani-Quin stood with a hand over his eyes (a habit) gazing up at the stars. They were a tall human with long brown hair dressed in sleek black and brown racing gear. To locals, they were known to have won the Mekhala Mad Dash once before as a child. To the llort, they stood out--few people wore brown, and the long hair that Society humans wore was often cut when it reached a certain length, upon which the human would donate it to a llort they were close to. A llort might wonder for whom Ani-Quin was growing out his hair.

"The stars are right," they said.

"They kind of have to be, to even host the Mekhala Mad Dash," a mechanic working on Ani-Quins small ship noted.

Ani-Quin laughed softly. "Yeah, I guess so, but I have a feeling they might be right for me, too."

"I'm almost done." The mechanic said.

"Perfect timing, looks like everyone else is lining up as well."

Mekhala Mad Dash participants from the Llort Society Protectorate

Halford (human, he/him), in a spaceship resembling a fighter jet.

Ani-Quin (human, they/them), in a spaceship resembling an open metal shell pulled by two large thrusters.

Daliya Nasakal (llort, she/her), flying on her own power with llort space magic.

Mekhala Mad Dash mechanics

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The race starts in region 88, Al-Miraiya.

The race goes through several checkpoints. The coordinates for each of them are given to each racing team at the start of the race:

  • Region 87, the Space-Kelp Cluster's checkpoint: an obstacle course of space-kelp
  • Region 84, Parrot's Perch's checkpoint: the Lepkashramov protected Blue Zone on Parrot's Perch itself, the only bubble hab on the whole planetoid
  • Region 89, the Khylosen Cluster's checkpoint: a ring of blood suspended in space
  • Region 88, al-Miraiya's checkpoint: the glittering canyon known as the Mouth of the Emperor

If you want your racer to have a chance at winning, you need to make six die rolls. If you just want to participate, you can just write fluff and RP posts, that's perfectly fine!

The stretches of the race and the rolls involved are as follows:

  1. Region 87 (the Space-Kelp Cluster): 2d6 + Diplomacy if on good terms with CASSIOPE. 2d6 + Military if on bad terms with CASSIOPE. If you have no pre-established relationship with CASSIOPE, you are free to choose and set the tone for future relations!
  2. Region 84 (Parrot's Perch): 2d6 + Diplomacy if on good terms with Glix Combine. 2d6 + Military if on bad terms with Glix Combine. 2d6 + Economy if you bribed the local Teivosks for aid. If you have no pre-established relationship with CASSIOPE, you are free to choose and set the tone for future relations!
  3. Regions 81-83 (one roll): 2d6 + Economy or 2d6 + Intrigue.
  4. Region 89 (the Khylosen Cluster): 2d6 + Military or 2d6 + Intrigue to engage or avoid any local rogue raiders.
  5. Regions 90-91 (one roll): 2d6 + Economy or 2d6 + Intrigue.
  6. Region 88 (al-Miraiya): 2d6 + Diplomacy or 2d6 + Faith. You get a +1 if the racer follows the Imperial Cult due to familiarity with the Mouth of the Emperor.

Heirs & Generals & Admirals, oh my: Generally for your racer you use your ruler's stats (as with all things unless otherwise excepted). If your racer is your heir, you use their stats. If it is a general or adminral, you use their Military and half your ruler's Dip/Econ/Faith/Intr.

 

Technologies: For any technologies you have that could apply to racing, provide a fluff justification in your post. You get a +1 on a single roll per technology. You cannot apply multiple +1 bonuses from technologies to the same roll, so there is a maximum of 6 technologies that can be used (the amount of stretches in the race).

If you do not have a lot of technologies, you can get some if you attend the Mekhala Mad Dash as an action. The following technologies are freely given to those participants: Aclaustrophobic Psychiatry, Algorithmic Imagination, Arcane Amplification, In Vivo Modification, Nuclear Fusion, Xenolinguistic Cataloguing.

If you did not have a technology prior to attending the Mekhala Mad Dash that you would like to use in the race, you can write a short scene of your team's mechanics kitbashing it quickly to work with the vehicle. (This probably shouldn't work for Aclaustrophobic Psychiatry or In Vivo Modification.)

 

  1. Scoring: You get 1 point for every roll that hits a TN of 12. You get 1 point for every stretch of the race where you rolled the highest. Most points wins the race! If there's a tie, the winner of the last stretch wins. If there's still a tie, the one who rolled with a lower stat on the last roll wins. (So a +3 Dip would win over a +10 Faith.)

The winner wins the MEKHALA MAD DASH CHAMPIONSHIP BELT, which is planned to be turned into an Artifact in the future passed from Champion to Champion.

Above all: Enjoy the race!

 

During the Race - Outside the Race (starting)

???

 

After the Race

???

 

Edited by EmBark
adding environmental context (see edit history)
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Suddenly, existence. Tendrils clawing their way out, the metal sheen of a squid coming out of unreality itself as if it had been hiding behind an invisible veil. Sizing in at the size of a small warship, the eyes of the beast look around. Flashing lights dimly protrude from jets along its surface, and the propulsion emits a gentle plasmic spoke.

Neon Light Illusion has arrived.

The pilot radios in to the rest, with a mechanical voice stating something akin the lines of a readying flare, and a couple of delegates get out from the ship itself to go visit. The pilot is not one of them, and it's only one of the moonmen flanked by several Zelfs, all cordial and giving polite answers but wearing self assured smiles on their faces.

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Nsott'Blihg crawled out of his Kayak to his nearby legs, being prepped bybhis groubd crew. The Kayak was a marvel, over a score of discrete Lepkashramov devices, oars of gravity andcsails for light, held together by a ceramic golem chasis in the shape of a seed pod. True golemetry was a rare science, one forbidden by Slingid for centuries before it was relearned with help from Purifiers. It was still decried as blasphemy. It was based on the absolute nature of words, and Slingid taught words were nothing but air.

Times were changing, though. If the Clerics of Slingid said The Purifiers were abominations, and The Shadow Coalition said they were valued allies, then, by his own logic, Slingid was diminished.

And the Purifiers were here. They were, like the Glix, snubbed by the Unions. They were, if slightly human, clearly a fellow ethnic minority seeking to remain relevant in the Empire. The future was made linking hands with people like them and the others at this race. So the Shadow Coalition said.

If Snimt'Glek's Centrum Alliance's increasingly disjointed cries on pure self-reliance pointed out the "Necromancers" and "Gaslight Wraiths" were only acting in self-interest, then, by Slingid's own wisdom, that was a point in favor of continuing to work with them.

Blihg Teivosk was the proud sponsor of the Glic Mad Dash Team, and their greatest pilot, Nsott, was going to lead them to glory....

 

 

 

 

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A group of masked men in sealed, clear bodysuits arrived in a small carrier, made to support only one racing vehicle - something reconfigured from an old Syvine model and fitted with a smaller imperial engine. Spaceships might be new to the Soom-Clan, but driving was in the blood. It was unusual to see a member of the Clans so far from Veehra, but here they were: Alud Soom, second-eldest of Varsa Soom's Brood, a Prince of the Wastes, and his half-dozen attendants and mechanics. He was broadly-built and wore fewer of the traditional wrappings than most, likely having chosen the translucent bodysuit in part to show off his physique without leaving himself exposed to the hazards of vacuum. His dark hair was pinned in the style reserved for the Heirs of a Clan's Chief, and his mask was decorated with red stripes.

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A bulky, blocky vessel arrives at the start of the race, towing behind it another ship of similar construction. Judging by its large fuel tanks and powerful engines, it must be the racing ship in question. Its prow is built into a sturdy, angular ram, perfect for deflecting asteroids... or other racers.

A small group of delegates from the pit ship departs to the observation platform. The dwarves have brought a keg, and set it on their table by the window. They intend to have a good time, and pretty quickly the group is talking loudly and occasionally laughing uproariously.

 

Meanwhile, the racing ship is detached from its moorings and towed by a quartet of small pods to the starting line. The pods detach and return to the pit ship, and the dwarven pilot begins doing his final tests.
His beard caresses the control panel lightly, feeling each button and lever for stickiness. He checks the fusion engine readouts and the reaction mass gauges.

"How we lookin', Otto?"

[All systems green. Status within operational parameters. Operator identified: Lewis Norris. Unlocking controls.]

"Very good. Here's one for luck." The dwarf takes a pull on the cockpit's 0G drink dispenser. "All we do now is wait for the green light."

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image.png.263d23c95deb8b9887c0073205662ad3.png

A note on Al-Miraiya's environment

The Llort Society Protectorate has based itself on the CWD-31 asteroid, more commonly called al-Miraiya d'Hayeli. When seen from other asteroids in the Mekhala belt, it appears as shining as a tiny star, a companion to distant Ophon.

This is a feature of the mirrored flats, vast fields that form the surface of al-Miraiya, a sheen of shining silica, mixed with metal and gemstone all together in some big reflective puzzle. This causes people's stay on al-Miraiya to absolutely require sunglasses, evolutionary or genetic modification, or other tools or magic to prevent being blinded during the daytime. They'll also need thick rubber boots or other tools or magic to prevent from being shocked, unless they never touch the ground.

The llort live in and welcome any guests in their domed residences called lightning domes, for their surface crackles with electric charges. These domes are well-insulated and only dimly lit on the inside, often just from the glow of its residents.

One large feature visible from space (to those that can withstand looking directly at al-Miraiya) is a huge, curved gap, a crevasse called the Mouth of the Emperor since time immemorial. This crevasse goes deep into the heart of al-Miraiya and is where people are officially inducted into the Society as adults.

Before the Race - at the VIP platform

Previously / in response to Rocket Relm and bc_56

19 hours ago, Rocket Relm said:

[...] a couple of delegates get out from the ship itself to go visit. The pilot is not one of them, and it's only one of the moonmen flanked by several Zelfs, all cordial and giving polite answers but wearing self assured smiles on their faces.

 

9 hours ago, bc_56 said:

[...] A small group of delegates from the pit ship departs to the observation platform. The dwarves have brought a keg, and set it on their table by the window. They intend to have a good time, and pretty quickly the group is talking loudly and occasionally laughing uproariously. [...]

"Here they are now," ambassador Yessikruz Donce gestured with her glass at the arrival of delegates from the Glorious Purifiers onto the VIP platform of the lightning dome. "I like their hair. Is the one on the left what they call ginger?"

"Humans not of the Society don't like comments about their hair, Yessikruz," Karcheras warned her.

"I'm going to say hello." She said, waving a servant with a tray of drinks to follow her.

---

"Hello!" The ambassador said to the delegates from the Glorious Purifiers. "Hail and greetings, welcome to Al-Miraiya, honoured guests. Where are y'all from? I'm afraid I need to brush up on my off-world iconography."

---

Meanwhile, hecaton Karcheras Katos sighed a crackling, glowing sigh, and turned his eyes to the delegates from the Dwarven Mining Conglomerate. At least they were more familiar to him. A harder kind of folk. He could appreciate that. Not to mention their drink. He walked in their direction.

"Hail and greetings, masters of the stout!" He said, having heard some dwarves appreciated the double meaning. "I see you are well prepared for the race."

 

Before the Race - at the Starting Line

Previously / in response to Rocket Relm, Featherscale, BladeofOblivion and bc_56

19 hours ago, Rocket Relm said:

Suddenly, existence. Tendrils clawing their way out, the metal sheen of a squid coming out of unreality itself as if it had been hiding behind an invisible veil. Sizing in at the size of a small warship, the eyes of the beast look around. Flashing lights dimly protrude from jets along its surface, and the propulsion emits a gentle plasmic spoke.

Neon Light Illusion has arrived.

 

17 hours ago, Featherscale said:

Nsott'Blihg crawled out of his Kayak to his nearby legs, being prepped by his ground crew. The Kayak was a marvel, over a score of discrete Lepkashramov devices, oars of gravity andcsails for light, held together by a ceramic golem chasis in the shape of a seed pod. True golemetry was a rare science, [...]

 

12 hours ago, BladeofOblivion said:

A group of masked men in sealed, clear bodysuits arrived in a small carrier, made to support only one racing vehicle - something reconfigured from an old Syvine model and fitted with a smaller imperial engine. Spaceships might be new to the Soom-Clan, but driving was in the blood. It was unusual to see a member of the Clans so far from Veehra, but here they were: Alud Soom, second-eldest of Varsa Soom's Brood, a Prince of the Wastes, and his half-dozen attendants and mechanics. He was broadly-built and wore fewer of the traditional wrappings than most, likely having chosen the translucent bodysuit in part to show off his physique without leaving himself exposed to the hazards of vacuum. His dark hair was pinned in the style reserved for the Heirs of a Clan's Chief, and his mask was decorated with red stripes.

 

9 hours ago, bc_56 said:

A bulky, blocky vessel arrives at the start of the race, towing behind it another ship of similar construction. Judging by its large fuel tanks and powerful engines, it must be the racing ship in question. Its prow is built into a sturdy, angular ram, perfect for deflecting asteroids... or other racers.

[...]

Ani-Quin looked on as other racers arrived. Most appeared to be seated and ready to go, save one. They quickly checked a countdown clock over the racing administrator's domed office near the starting line. They still had a few minutes.

"I'm going to go talk to the scary-looking dude," Ani-Quin told their mechanic. "Be right back."

"Don't take long! The race is almost on!"

"Yeah yeah, don't worry!"

Ani-Quin jogged, then walked the last few meters and stopped well outside of the Soom-Clan prince's personal space. Their sun-goggles flopped around their neck.

"Hail and greetings!" They said warmly, with a wave and a small bow, reminding themself that even if the racer might be an ordinary person, a lot of them represented far-off nations. "I haven't seen your colours in the races before, but that vehicle looks like a beast. Is that an R8 imperial engine or a Z11?"

Behind Ani-Quin's back, the clock for the final starting line call ticked down to 4:59.

 

---

 

Between Neon Light Illusion, the kayak of the Glix and the brutalist dwarven ship, a llort floated two imperial feet off the ground. Her skin was space-black, her astro-suit sleek and striped black and green with white accents, and a silvery light surrounded her and emitted softly from her eyes and the the crevices of her curved horns. She wouldn't be flying a ship. She would be flying on her own power. On the back of her suit was blazoned in white the name DALIYA. She gave a salute to her fellow racers.

Edited by EmBark (see edit history)
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Yessikruz Donce meets the Purifier Racers

---

"Hello!" The ambassador said to the delegates. "Hail and greetings, welcome to Al-Miraiya, honoured guests. Where are y'all from? I'm afraid I need to brush up on my off-world iconography."

---

"Ah." The woman answers, giving a gentle curtsey. Her personal uniform is something between a long mid shin length skirt and woven well princess vest, with sleeves that start mid bicep and downwards and small magnetic periodic rings around her arms with a dim violet electronic glow, with a color scheme that would resemble a star scape if stars were traditionally purple. The Zelfs are in a variety of outfits with a similar color scheme, though around the chest area bears a flame that looks alive within a snowy field. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I am Holly Hakurei Heliotrope, and we are from the Moonsoul Mountains on Sansar. You can see the iconography of our flag right he-"

The woman stops, her proud face flatlining into a resigned laugh. The flag on her chest is distorted in display due to her chest not being a flat surface. She makes a noise in what sounds like a foreign language, and one of the male Zelfs gives a thumbs up and walks over. His chest is flat, and her hands move from gesturing to herself to gesturing to the flag on his body. And yes, he indeed is a ginger, with hair slightly luminated, in contrast to the dark brown mundane look of Holly's own hair.

"...right here. Did not think about the curvature. We're here to win the race, same as the others. I'm saving my commenting energy for when everything gets rolling. What kind of drinks are these?" Holly seems cheerful and active enough, though calm and pleasantly so, which is only a 'mellow contrast' if you knew her from her broadcast shows. A couple of her delegation and she herself seem interested in the beverages, giving cheerful smiles.

Edited by Rocket Relm (see edit history)
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22 hours ago, Featherscale said:

Glic Mad Dash Team

Nsott'Blihg crawled out of his Kayak to his nearby legs, being prepped by his ground crew. The Kayak was a marvel, over a score of discrete Lepkashramov devices, oars of gravity andcsails for light, held together by a ceramic golem chasis in the shape of a seed pod. True golemetry was a rare science, one forbidden by Slingid for centuries before it was relearned with help from Purifiers. It was still decried as blasphemy. It was based on the absolute nature of words, and Slingid taught words were nothing but air.

Times were changing, though. If the Clerics of Slingid said The Purifiers were abominations, and The Shadow Coalition said they were valued allies, then, by his own logic, Slingid was diminished.

And the Purifiers were here. They were, like the Glix, snubbed by the Unions. They were, if slightly human, clearly a fellow ethnic minority seeking to remain relevant in the Empire. The future was made linking hands with people like them and the others at this race. So the Shadow Coalition said.

If Snimt'Glek's Centrum Alliance's increasingly disjointed cries on pure self-reliance pointed out the "Necromancers" and "Gaslight Wraiths" were only acting in self-interest, then, by Slingid's own wisdom, that was a point in favor of continuing to work with them.

Blihg Teivosk was the proud sponsor of the Glic Mad Dash Team, and their greatest pilot, Nsott, was going to lead them to glory....

"Hello."

The pilot was speaking to them, and in truth had been one of the people that the Hammer and a couple of the other Glix have been invited (but not required) to observe in practice. Having been prepped for this race amongst a sea of other creatures, and paired with a Moonman of glory who was human in shame and surely inside there somewhere, even if one who kept their name obscured, and who didn't seem to identify with a gender. This operation was sponsored by the government, but the details were kept secret. This squid like entity itself had metal plating infused, and could grapple and phase around. Its propulsion wasn't super fast, but it was unparallelled at evasive maneuvers. Truly, it was the prototype for a special kind of battleship.

Words, however, weren't combative, with the beast and the pilot in sync, and whatever not-language the Neon noises were sounded like it spoke in sync. "I wish you best of luck within the race. May the journey be rewarding."

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9 minutes ago, Rocket Relm said:

"Hello."

The pilot was speaking to them, and in truth had been one of the people that the Hammer and a couple of the other Glix have been invited (but not required) to observe in practice. Having been prepped for this race amongst a sea of other creatures, and paired with a Moonman of glory who was human in shame and surely inside there somewhere, even if one who kept their name obscured, and who didn't seem to identify with a gender. This operation was sponsored by the government, but the details were kept secret. This squid like entity itself had metal plating infused, and could grapple and phase around. Its propulsion wasn't super fast, but it was unparallelled at evasive maneuvers. Truly, it was the prototype for a special kind of battleship.

Words, however, weren't combative, with the beast and the pilot in sync, and whatever not-language the Neon noises were sounded like it spoke in sync. "I wish you best of luck within the race. May the journey be rewarding."

"Greetings, sibling athletes! May you win glory for your line and family, both!" The blessing, short, standard and obvious in Glic, was weird and stilted in Imperial. The word "sibling" was used with the metaphor particle and meant "one who is a fellow in a gestalt," as all athletes were metaphorically linked by (figurative) Queen of Victory. A Worker's "line" was the specific Queen that laid their egg, which wasn't necessarily in any permanent alliance with their Teivosk, which in this context translated as "family," though "city," "guild," and "clique" were other words that sometimes better fit. Most humans were, most of the time, born into their family, barring special circumstances, and they had intermediate loyalties between "family" and "state." Also, the word "both" was awkward. It was implied by the "q' particle linking line and family "Mafq'Teivosq" but not in Imperial.

Neon, on some level, made Nsott uneasy. He heard Centrum diatribes about The Purifiers on the radio and dismissed them. He was a skilled professional, not a superstitious bigot. But this was a being his fairly developed passive psi powers could clearly see contained a large animal and a lot of what he understood to be magic texts fused to what was technically a human. An amalgamated "wraith of gaslight", indeed. It could be anything. He suppressed that response as he waited to meet any other racers.

That accomplished, his ground crew helped him re-equip his Kayak and he went through preliminary stretches, the novel golemetry and the familiar copper-gold Lepkashmarov both flexing the more exotic icons as easily as part of his body.

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6 hours ago, EmBark said:
Before the Race - at the Starting Line

Previously / in response to Rocket Relm, Featherscale, BladeofOblivion and bc_56

A group of masked men in sealed, clear bodysuits arrived in a small carrier, made to support only one racing vehicle - something reconfigured from an old Syvine model and fitted with a smaller imperial engine. Spaceships might be new to the Soom-Clan, but driving was in the blood. It was unusual to see a member of the Clans so far from Veehra, but here they were: Alud Soom, second-eldest of Varsa Soom's Brood, a Prince of the Wastes, and his half-dozen attendants and mechanics. He was broadly-built and wore fewer of the traditional wrappings than most, likely having chosen the translucent bodysuit in part to show off his physique without leaving himself exposed to the hazards of vacuum. His dark hair was pinned in the style reserved for the Heirs of a Clan's Chief, and his mask was decorated with red stripes.

Ani-Quin looked on as other racers arrived. Most appeared to be seated and ready to go, save one. They quickly checked a countdown clock over the racing administrator's domed office near the starting line. They still had a few minutes.

"I'm going to go talk to the scary-looking dude," Ani-Quin told their mechanic. "Be right back."

"Don't take long! The race is almost on!"

"Yeah yeah, don't worry!"

Ani-Quin jogged, then walked the last few meters and stopped well outside of the Soom-Clan prince's personal space. Their sun-goggles flopped around their neck.

"Hail and greetings!" They said warmly, with a wave and a small bow, reminding themself that even if the racer might be an ordinary person, a lot of them represented far-off nations. "I haven't seen your colours in the races before, but that vehicle looks like a beast. Is that an R8 imperial engine or a Z11?"

Behind Ani-Quin's back, the clock for the final starting line call ticked down to 4:59.

 

Alud Soom looked over the deathtrap he would be racing in today: Even now his mechanics were adding last-minute touches and additions they hoped might give him an edge - a supplementary fusion device they hoped might help his fuel reserves last, a thinking machine copilot named "Iris" whose sensor analysis suite they hoped might assist during some of the more complex obstacle courses or even tactical engagements, some sort of translator system (why? To taunt other racers?), and...was one of them painting runes on the wings? 'For an arcane boost to hull integrity?' They must have made that up. A prank on his mechanics. It couldn't hurt, he supposed, and it wasn't terrible as decorations went.

He snorted. Satisfactory. The stranger's arrival soon caught his attention, though, and he took a moment to size up the competing racer - only for his eyes to fall on the removed sun-goggles. Had the other racer unmasked specifically to speak with him? How forward. He had to remind himself that he was the offworlder here, not them, and refrained from commenting on this strange behavior.

"...In an R8 frame," he admitted slowly, "But few things are intact for long in the Dustlands. Many of the internals have been replaced, and sacred techniques have been used to protect from dust and electrical interference. I am Alud of the Soom-Clan, hailing from the Red Soil of Veehra, and I heard there were people here who sought to drive." His eyes flicked to the clock, then to his cockpit. He still had a minute, while his mechanics were finalizing their upgrades and "upgrades."

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ContextThis was posted when I was yet to officially have a region, Morph kindly invited those of us still waiting to join the fun at this event, very grateful for that.

In the distance could faintly be heard the call of a march, a "2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8" that grew slowly until it was joined by the clattering and rattling of jostled aerospace parts, of a chassis stripped to its barest essentials. The six Rathakaz race crew were hefting a pile of thrusters and rockets bolted onto the slimmest of shimmersteel frames, identifiable as a raceship most simply by the seventh Rathakaz, dressed in a vacuum suit with the helm beneath their arm and a black cloth tied about their eyes, calling the march to their comrades from a harness at the bow. A bewildering array of controls lay before them, individual levers and switches that appeared to be linked to individual propulsion pods. As they reached the start line, the exhausted crew stopped without warning, and the pilot, in the process of unbuckling their harness, shot forwards, landing with an ungainly thud on the line itself.

Talza picked themself up, all six arms scrabbling for balance on the unfamiliar surface. They were a spindly creature with mellow brown-gold fur and six limbs that stretched twice the length of their torso. Their neck was squat and stout, and had their eyes not been protected by cloth, they would have been seen shining with excitement. They wore a vacuum suit that clung to their form, necessary given their raceship lacked a cockpit. As the crew swarmed over the craft to check every bolt and rivet, Talza waved to their fellow racers. "Talza greets fellow supernova-fuel! Luck and fortune Talza hopes is bright for all. They have journeyed far, from-"

"Talza, please, the good racers are preparing for the next leg of their journey. As should you be." The hoarse voice came from one of the craft's propulsion pods, which a moment later popped open, revealing a black-furred ratfolk in a meditative pose, floating an inch above the ground. His green and silver robes were ruffled by an unseen breeze. He rolled forwards, descending to stand with a hand on the crestfallen Rathakaz' upper right shoulder. "Go get strapped in, Talz. Can't have you toppling out once you hit space, now can we." Talza grinned. "Talza not fall. Talza strong!" They dashed off towards their raceship, clambering up to their harness and chattering to the Rathakaz crew in a series of growls and yaps. The robed figure sighed.

"What my esteemed... colleague... meant to say is we wish all competitors good fortune, that the race may be decided by their piloting skill and daring, rather than the whims of chance. Now if you'll excuse me, I need a drink." He scurried up to the VIP platform, every step seeming to be propelled by a gust of wind.

 

(Rolls)

Edited by Ausar (see edit history)
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Before the Race - at the Starting Linearmoria_2024-02-13-16-19-36.png.f64437f6e2afa869862129f5c9110276.png

Velocipede Excelsior the seven hundred ninety-sixth and seventy-two hundredths strides onto the scene from somewhere don't worry it's not important. Straight backed and at a proud ease, he holds a white helmet with a reflective black visor in one arm. His white jumpsuit looks almost sharp from the savage angles of two black lines that zig and zag down its sides. In his mouth, a toothpick that pretty obviously was a cigarette before the English language dub censored it regularly defies the laws of gravity and reason to stay in place, even when he speaks. He's also inexplicably chewing gum at the same time.

With a gait of incredible and overconfident swagger, he walks up towards the mingling athletes. "Heh. Didn't think so many would show. Don't you know that the Mekhala Mad Dash is the toughest race in the zone? Not everyone has what it takes. Hope you're not having second thoughts."

He leans back against his vehicle, which only just had been pushed into place by a durat pit crew (how were they going to be of any use in a race like this?).

"You know, I'm not going to go easy on you. I'll be driving Oily Thunder here, and she's never lost a race yet--not since I fixed her up after..." he pauses dramatically, "After my father died."

Oily Thunder sits on four wheels, looking like nothing so much as that one Hot WheelsYeah, Velocipede is rocking BrandName™ descriptions car you thought was really cool and super fast when you were three.

"But if it's a race you want, I'm in!" He tosses the toothpick to the ground and grinds it out under his foot. He sticks out a hand, just generally towards the group, at a really weird angle for a handshake but it's probably what he's going for. "I'm Velocipede Excelsior, and I'm the next Mekhala Mad Dash Champion!"

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Alongside the other racers gathered at the starting line, a lone robotic custodial unit patiently stands waiting. Unlike most other units, 7950 has uploaded itself into a much smaller form, roughly humanoid in shape, but knee-high, and with a slightly disproportionately large head (which itself appears to have been painted with a glistening, greenish, off-yellow coating). The particular model was initially optimized for performing tasks in small crawl spaces, such as the more fiddly maintenance work on the kelp-burning energy plants back at the CASSIOPE habitat. Beside 7950 is a vessel of sorts, also much smaller than that of the other racers. The device is in fact a piece of repurposed mining equipment, little more than storage tanks, fuel tanks, reaction control, and a propulsion system cobbled together within a chassis. Various bits and bobs have clearly been stripped (or paneled over with lightweight kelp-fiber composite) to optimize for maximum efficiency and fuel load, with even the spot where a cockpit might be just a small hole in the chassis, approximately the size of the diminutive unit.

7950 appears to have come to the race entirely on alone, with a craft and body prepared as a personal project. Such competitive ventures tend to not be an interest of the broader society of the custodial units of CASSIOPE, at least not on the competitor side of the equation (although such activities are quite popular in the habitat, they tend to be left mostly to the organics.)


Awaiting the racers, a far greater number of custodial units have pitched in on what will be the first checkpoint for the relay. These being bound to be the highest-profile visitors to the Space-Kelp Cluster on any reliable historical record, the robot society of CASSIOPE has undertaken the construction of a gargantuan spectacle out of their region's namesake crop for their guests' enjoyment.

Approaching the Space-Kelp Cluster, crafts equipped with any decently powerful sensors will easily pick up on a stark difference from most of the rest of Mekhala and its characteristic vast emptiness. While still dominated by the same void, planetesimals at the scale of tens and hundreds of kilometers appear on sensors at rates several orders of magnitude above typical across the orbit for each size category, although they appear rather fuzzy on digital display. On closer encounter with one such asteroid, one can immediately see why. Enveloping many of the bodies within the cluster appears to be a massive spheroid of vague greenish off-yellowness, which appears to melt into the blackness of the void with distance. Close up, sensors suggest a sort of veiny, tangled network of solid stalks running through the vague mass, as well as a central core of more typical spectroscopic signature for asteroids. On some of those that seem more neatly trimmed, a tunnel of sorts is carved through the greenish off-yellow, with communication relay signals marking an outpost.

[to be continued later tonight prolly with deets on the checkpoint]

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Before The Race (VIP Platform)

The High Lady of the Imperial Embassy to Mekhala has been a mysterious, elusive figure. Though present for the ascension of Duke Esarhaddon III, she spoke to almost no-one and vanished from the gathering just as festivities were getting underway.

But here she is, still in her shawl and with her blanket across her legs, hovering along on the VIP platform in her hoverchair, surrounded by her drones. High Lady Anathe, whispers and rumours attach the name to her. She can kill a man stone dead at twenty paces with a withering look from her blind, milky eyes, they say. Her drones are just the eyes that see on the physical plane- she can read your mind with a bare flicker of effort. So they say.

Her hoverchair hums gently as she approaches the hosts, ignoring the offered refreshments. She smiles, and inclines her head slightly. "Emperor's Blessings upon you. You will forgive me, I hope, if I do not bow."

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Before the Race -- VIP platform

Purifier delegates

11 hours ago, Rocket Relm said:

"Ah." The woman answers, giving a gentle curtsey. Her personal uniform is something between a long mid shin length skirt and woven well princess vest, with sleeves that start mid bicep and downwards and small magnetic periodic rings around her arms with a dim violet electronic glow, with a color scheme that would resemble a star scape if stars were traditionally purple. The Zelfs are in a variety of outfits with a similar color scheme, though around the chest area bears a flame that looks alive within a snowy field. "It's a pleasure to meet you. I am Holly Hakurei Heliotrope, and we are from the Moonsoul Mountains on Sansar. You can see the iconography of our flag right he-"

The woman stops, her proud face flatlining into a resigned laugh. The flag on her chest is distorted in display due to her chest not being a flat surface. She makes a noise in what sounds like a foreign language, and one of the male Zelfs gives a thumbs up and walks over. His chest is flat, and her hands move from gesturing to herself to gesturing to the flag on his body. And yes, he indeed is a ginger, with hair slightly luminated, in contrast to the dark brown mundane look of Holly's own hair.

"...right here. Did not think about the curvature. We're here to win the race, same as the others. I'm saving my commenting energy for when everything gets rolling. What kind of drinks are these?" Holly seems cheerful and active enough, though calm and pleasantly so, which is only a 'mellow contrast' if you knew her from her broadcast shows. A couple of her delegation and she herself seem interested in the beverages, giving cheerful smiles.

Ambassador Yessikruz Donce answers the woman's curtsey with one as well, in the style of social mimicry the Society taught.

"Hail and greetings, Holly Hakurei Heliotrope. I am ambassador Yessikruz Donce, a llort of the Society. It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance." She gestured at the drinks. "These are a variety of beverages from around Mekhala. Icy water and whiskey are among the fortes of the peoples of Mekhala, but there are some other alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages that I must admit I know not all names of. I prefer to drink Liquid Gold."

High Lady Anathe of the Imperial Embassy to Mekhala

6 minutes ago, Silent_Interim said:

Before The Race (VIP Platform)

The High Lady of the Imperial Embassy to Mekhala has been a mysterious, elusive figure. Though present for the ascension of Duke Esarhaddon III, she spoke to almost no-one and vanished from the gathering just as festivities were getting underway.

But here she is, still in her shawl and with her blanket across her legs, hovering along on the VIP platform in her hoverchair, surrounded by her drones. High Lady Anathe, whispers and rumours attach the name to her. She can kill a man stone dead at twenty paces with a withering look from her blind, milky eyes, they say. Her drones are just the eyes that see on the physical plane- she can read your mind with a bare flicker of effort. So they say.

Her hoverchair hums gently as she approaches the hosts, ignoring the offered refreshments. She smiles, and inclines her head slightly. "Emperor's Blessings upon you. You will forgive me, I hope, if I do not bow."

Ambassador Yessikruz Donce let out a small gasp. "High Lady!" She bowed. "Of course, no forgiveness is even necessary. We are honoured. You are most welcome."

She cupped her glass with both hands just so that both of them were kept occupied. She was a little flustered at the High Lady showing up and didn't know what else to do with those hands. Shake hers? That was probably improper. At least bowing was general safe. She spotted a crease in her green flared suit that she hadn't noticed before and brushed a hand over it to flatten it, trying to look inconspicuous and proper.

"Blessings be of and to the Emperor, I admit it was our hope you would attend, though we didn't know whether to expect it at an event such as this."

 

During the Race -- at the Starting Line

Alud Soom

3 hours ago, BladeofOblivion said:

Alud Soom looked over the deathtrap he would be racing in today: Even now his mechanics were adding last-minute touches and additions they hoped might give him an edge - a supplementary fusion device they hoped might help his fuel reserves last, a thinking machine copilot named "Iris" whose sensor analysis suite they hoped might assist during some of the more complex obstacle courses or even tactical engagements, some sort of translator system (why? To taunt other racers?), and...was one of them painting runes on the wings? 'For an arcane boost to hull integrity?' They must have made that up. A prank on his mechanics. It couldn't hurt, he supposed, and it wasn't terrible as decorations went.

He snorted. Satisfactory. The stranger's arrival soon caught his attention, though, and he took a moment to size up the competing racer - only for his eyes to fall on the removed sun-goggles. Had the other racer unmasked specifically to speak with him? How forward. He had to remind himself that he was the offworlder here, not them, and refrained from commenting on this strange behavior.

"...In an R8 frame," he admitted slowly, "But few things are intact for long in the Dustlands. Many of the internals have been replaced, and sacred techniques have been used to protect from dust and electrical interference. I am Alud of the Soom-Clan, hailing from the Red Soil of Veehra, and I heard there were people here who sought to drive." His eyes flicked to the clock, then to his cockpit. He still had a minute, while his mechanics were finalizing their upgrades and "upgrades."

4:18

Ani-Quin whistled, impressed. "That's pretty good. Handy too for racing on Al-Miraiya. Electrical interference can be quite a frustration point here for any craft not prepared for it." They scuffed their boots with their thick rubber-covered feet against the ground, softly sparkling in the early morning starlight.

"It's an honour to drive alongside you, Alud of the Soom-Clan. May your soil be reddest," they'd heard that was an expression on Veehra once and hoped that if it was, it was a positive one to the Soom-Clan. "I am Ani-Quin, human of the Society. I have raced this race before." He briefly flashed a cocky smile before he caught himself. "Of course, I aim to not be driving alongside you the entire race. Although with a vehicle like yours, I'm sure you'll challenge everyone here well."

The Rathakaz

3 hours ago, Ausar said:

In the distance could faintly be heard the call of a march, a "2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8" that grew slowly until it was joined by the clattering and rattling of jostled aerospace parts, of a chassis stripped to its barest essentials. The six Rathakaz race crew were hefting a pile of thrusters and rockets bolted onto the slimmest of shimmersteel frames, identifiable as a raceship most simply by the seventh Rathakaz, dressed in a vacuum suit with the helm beneath their arm and a black cloth tied about their eyes, calling the march to their comrades from a harness at the bow. A bewildering array of controls lay before them, individual levers and switches that appeared to be linked to individual propulsion pods. As they reached the start line, the exhausted crew stopped without warning, and the pilot, in the process of unbuckling their harness, shot forwards, landing with an ungainly thud on the line itself.

Talza picked themself up, all six arms scrabbling for balance on the unfamiliar surface. They were a spindly creature with mellow brown-gold fur and six limbs that stretched twice the length of their torso. Their neck was squat and stout, and had their eyes not been protected by cloth, they would have been seen shining with excitement. They wore a vacuum suit that clung to their form, necessary given their raceship lacked a cockpit. As the crew swarmed over the craft to check every bolt and rivet, Talza waved to their fellow racers. "Talza greets fellow supernova-fuel! Luck and fortune Talza hopes is bright for all. They have journeyed far, from-"

"Talza, please, the good racers are preparing for the next leg of their journey. As should you be." The hoarse voice came from one of the craft's propulsion pods, which a moment later popped open, revealing a black-furred ratfolk in a meditative pose, floating an inch above the ground. His green and silver robes were ruffled by an unseen breeze. He rolled forwards, descending to stand with a hand on the crestfallen Rathakaz' upper right shoulder. "Go get strapped in, Talz. Can't have you toppling out once you hit space, now can we." Talza grinned. "Talza not fall. Talza strong!" They dashed off towards their raceship, clambering up to their harness and chattering to the Rathakaz crew in a series of growls and yaps. The robed figure sighed.

"What my esteemed... colleague... meant to say is we wish all competitors good fortune, that the race may be decided by their piloting skill and daring, rather than the whims of chance. Now if you'll excuse me, I need a drink." He scurried up to the VIP platform, every step seeming to be propelled by a gust of wind.

 

(Rolls)

3:30

Ani-Quin gave an awkward wave back to Talza. "That's not a creature I've met before..." they mumbled to themself. "I should talk to them after the race, if they survive."

Velocipede Excelsior DCCXCVI.LXXII

3 hours ago, Lumaeus said:

Before the Race - at the Starting Linearmoria_2024-02-13-16-19-36.png.f64437f6e2afa869862129f5c9110276.png

Velocipede Excelsior the seven hundred ninety-sixth and seventy-two hundredths strides onto the scene from somewhere don't worry it's not important. Straight backed and at a proud ease, he holds a white helmet with a reflective black visor in one arm. His white jumpsuit looks almost sharp from the savage angles of two black lines that zig and zag down its sides. In his mouth, a toothpick that pretty obviously was a cigarette before the English language dub censored it regularly defies the laws of gravity and reason to stay in place, even when he speaks. He's also inexplicably chewing gum at the same time.

With a gait of incredible and overconfident swagger, he walks up towards the mingling athletes. "Heh. Didn't think so many would show. Don't you know that the Mekhala Mad Dash is the toughest race in the zone? Not everyone has what it takes. Hope you're not having second thoughts."

He leans back against his vehicle, which only just had been pushed into place by a durat pit crew (how were they going to be of any use in a race like this?).

"You know, I'm not going to go easy on you. I'll be driving Oily Thunder here, and she's never lost a race yet--not since I fixed her up after..." he pauses dramatically, "After my father died."

Oily Thunder sits on four wheels, looking like nothing so much as that one Hot WheelsYeah, Velocipede is rocking BrandName™ descriptions car you thought was really cool and super fast when you were three.

"But if it's a race you want, I'm in!" He tosses the toothpick to the ground and grinds it out under his foot. He sticks out a hand, just generally towards the group, at a really weird angle for a handshake but it's probably what he's going for. "I'm Velocipede Excelsior, and I'm the next Mekhala Mad Dash Champion!"

3:07

Ani-Quin casts a sidewards glance at Alud Soom to gauge the young man's response, then takes hold of Velocipede Excelsior's hand, turning it over as they shake. "You've got spirit, I'll give you that, sir Velocipede Excelsior," Ani-Quin says, "but if you're thinking you'll be the Mekhala Mad Dash Champion this year, you're Mad before we've begun!

"My name's Ani-Quin and this isn't my first Mad Dash and it won't be my last. That championship belt and all the associated honour and renown will be mine, mark my words!"

 

---

Unit 7950

29 minutes ago, xanxosttheslaad said:

Alongside the other racers gathered at the starting line, a lone robotic custodial unit patiently stands waiting. Unlike most other units, 7950 has uploaded itself into a much smaller form, roughly humanoid in shape, but knee-high, and with a slightly disproportionately large head (which itself appears to have been painted with a glistening, greenish, off-yellow coating). The particular model was initially optimized for performing tasks in small crawl spaces, such as the more fiddly maintenance work on the kelp-burning energy plants back at the CASSIOPE habitat. Beside 7950 is a vessel of sorts, also much smaller than that of the other racers. The device is in fact a piece of repurposed mining equipment, little more than storage tanks, fuel tanks, reaction control, and a propulsion system cobbled together within a chassis. Various bits and bobs have clearly been stripped (or paneled over with lightweight kelp-fiber composite) to optimize for maximum efficiency and fuel load, with even the spot where a cockpit might be just a small hole in the chassis, approximately the size of the diminutive unit.

7950 appears to have come to the race entirely on alone, with a craft and body prepared as a personal project. Such competitive ventures tend to not be an interest of the broader society of the custodial units of CASSIOPE, at least not on the competitor side of the equation (although such activities are quite popular in the habitat, they tend to be left mostly to the organics.)

2:56

Daniya floated a little closer to the robotic unit, trying to draw its attention gently with a wave and a brief increase of silvery glow around her hand. She then made a few hand gestures, signing to the robot "good luck, little one". She didn't know if the CASSIOPE robots had sign language in their memory banks, but she hoped the unit understood her nevertheless.

 

OOC racing start note

I'll start the race officially approximately 12 hours from now. People can of course still join in with racers after that and describe their scenes of racing and make their rolls. The deadline for rolls is Saturday. On Sunday morning EU time (like, past midnight for Californians) I'll collate the results and we can have a little award ceremony, and then there's still a week of time for stuff after the race and resolving ongoing scenes that started before/during the race.

Please put all your rolls in a single post in this thread.

 

Edited by EmBark (see edit history)
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