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With This Ring (Young Justice SI) (Thread Fourteen)

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by Mr Zoat, Jan 27, 2019.

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  1. Vaermina

    Vaermina Experienced.

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    And next time they will send double the Scarabs and randomize the subspace bad they hide in.

    Might be time to admit you fucked up and go beg the Guardians for help.
     
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  2. storybookknight

    storybookknight Know what you're doing yet?

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    Very nice. That's one of the more convincing fights we've seen from Paul lately; one where he's won on the strength of his insight and the skill with his tools, rather than sheer brute force, outside context problemry, or simply by virtue of being more practical and ruthless than his opponents. Not that any of the former scenarios are bad storytelling or un-fun to read, because they're not; just that it feels like it's been a long time since Paul had to dig deep and out-Lantern his opponents.

    Well done!
     
  3. Sceptic

    Sceptic Critical Irrationalist

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    Whatever else he's doing, it certainly looks like Paul is training the Reach in esoterical techniques.
     
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  4. Vaermina

    Vaermina Experienced.

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    Um... LePaul lost this fight.

    His win condition wasn't killing the Scarab. Or even saving the Ascendants. It was escaping without giving The Reach a detailed analysis of his abilities.
     
  5. Ciber

    Ciber Getting sticky.

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    Certainly that felt like a closer fight than one would hope.
    I guess we timeskipped most of the battles where OL singlehandedly destroyed entire reach fleets without breaking a sweat.
     
  6. Silveraith

    Silveraith Argent Phantasm

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    Our.
     
  7. Chojin Patriarch

    Chojin Patriarch Veteran Lurker

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    Unfortunately, while they don't have desires, they still have rage, fear and will, if nothing else. And those can be a powerful driving force. It's a pity there's no easier way of tracking it. And hopefully, it's a little unsettled.

    Sure, if you could get your hands (or rather, constructs) on the drones, they'd be smoked easily enough. The trick is doing it while they're dodging and disrupting constructs...

    I doubt they'd equip the Scarab with only anti-Lantern weaponry, after all.

    Though to be fair, few things are rated for Scarabs. There's a reason they're the pre-eminent power armour of the galaxy.

    Oh, gee. How long has it been since you actually used your lungs, again? :p To be fair, the sudden shock would be a bit disorienting for a moment.

    On the upside, once you do get back online with Best Snek, she's going to be pissed at the Reach.

    Yeah, hit and run seems the order of the day for these things. Don't stand still, don't maintain a construct for long, and don't let them see you bleed.

    Ah, bypassing the host and attacking the symbiont directly? Could work.

    Sadly, their indoctrination programming is probably too severe to allow that to work. But the conflicting desires might give you an opening at a critical moment.

    And no doubt angry at you. Whether for messing with its' head, your continued resistance or your tenacious refusal to just die, I don't know.

    Perhaps if you can work out how they're doing it, you can at least let NEMO techs work out a counter, once you get away...

    When you don't have any other materials, anything will do...

    To some degree, without that connection, you don't even have a soul. Depending on how literal you consider his bearing the heart of the Ophidian to be...

    Heh, basically juggling his constructs while they try to destroy them. At least he's putting on a show.

    The joy of now knowing the ludicrously advanced physics involved.

    Skill use under duress: -20 to all skill checks. They're not making it easy for you, OL.

    So, it's identified some weaknesses, eh? Time to exploit them.

    So, to some degree, the Scarab is hopping in and out of subspace, or something? Or merely emitting a disruptive aura at OL...

    Ah, the good old 'pinpoint barrier' method. So much easier to have the AI handle it, rather than some bridge bunnies with trackballs.

    And probably isn't all that useful anyway. Heck, the shock of being separated might well be fatal.

    Hah, it is diving in and out of subspace. Pity you don't know exactly how it's doing it, or you could disrupt it in mid-transit. See how it likes it...

    Sometimes, you need to take a hit to deal a hit. As long as it doesn't end up with a mutual kill or a cross counter.

    Fingers crossed, whatever you...

    ...Did. Huh, clever. Basically laying mines in subspace... Sneaky, OL, sneaky.

    Well, that was quite a workout. OL proving just why he's the Illustres once again, in a tougher fight than he's had in a while. Let's hope the Nemesis is fuming about their Scarab's failure. Hopefully, whatever was futzing with his subspace access died with the Scarab, though being able to study it would have been nice. Honestly, it's like the Reach know you'll loot anything they leave unattended... :p
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
  8. storybookknight

    storybookknight Know what you're doing yet?

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    I disagree? I feel like for this fight, Paul's win condition was defending Karrakan, and that giving the Reach a glimpse of his abilities was part of the price he paid for it, but I can see where you're coming from at least.

    And even if he showed some capabilities, he also figured out how to target his shots by attuning to the ephemeral desire of the commander who launched the drones he was shooting, and that's pretty neat.
     
  9. Sockmonkey

    Sockmonkey I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    The Reach didn't fully lose this fight, in that they got quite a bit of useful test data.
    OL's smartest move would be to offer Thaddeus Sivana the resources to capture a scarab for study in exchange for sharing the data with NEMO.
     
  10. Vaermina

    Vaermina Experienced.

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    While I get what you're saying.

    The problem with that is that he just fed The Reach tactics and technologies that will allow a Scarab warrior to utterly destroy any other Orange Lantern in a 1 on 1 fight.

    And that's assuming The Reach stays static and doesn't adapt further.
     
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  11. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
    Had to? A while. But breathing is fairly instinctual for humans.
     
  12. NightmareWarden

    NightmareWarden I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    This seems like an example of how dangerous fighting in space is for a baseline human. The lack of cover, the isolation from allies, the fact that “enemy loot” is generally useless mid-fight… Paul can use his power armor quite competently, but it has always been a backup weapon. It doesn’t seem like it has been optimized by super-scientists.

    Paul still hasn’t stuck a power ring on one of his ribs to counter the threat of hand injuries. If we assume there’s a limit to what sort of augmentations he’ll accept, what could he do to go into his next fight better prepared? The first thing that comes to mind is a way to summon help. “Break this if you’re in danger.” He breaks it and summons a few demons or some other magical creature from the prepared object. Or drones like Renegade!Paul uses. Perhaps something he can set up while focusing on the terminian forcefield belt.
     
  13. Rafin

    Rafin Not too sore, are you?

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    What tactics and technology would that be? Everything the Reach tested here (anti-construct, anti-subspace, superior phasing, whatever disconnected the Ophidian) were weapons they already had and which they could have tested (but not stress-tested) against any other Lantern, probably while winning that fight. Except maybe whatever disrupted the Ophidian connection, but that doesn't matter against anyone other than Paul and Guy.
    The desire-based space bending and tracking aren't things they can steal and I don't think they got anything like a good enough scan to reverse-engineer that cold-gun.
     
  14. Old Knife

    Old Knife Not too sore, are you?

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    I hope paul eventually yoinks a Scarab for his personal use.
     
  15. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    All of the above would be my guess.
     
    Chojin Patriarch likes this.
  16. Duke Long

    Duke Long Know what you're doing yet?

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    ‘targeting’?
    ‘were’
    ‘sort of’
    ‘on the level of the threat that Sodom’?
    You know, this seems like a good idea. If it’s possible to produce an AI with enlightenment (which seems likely, though maybe it’s not possible) then it would probably also be possible to mass-produce it to obtain an army of Paul-tier Lanterns (which might even be better than Paul, given that they’ll be able to all share experience easily and maybe have some degree of super-intelligence).
    ‘after it fires’
    ‘AIs’, since the apostrophe is unnecessary and you have spelled it without the dots in recent chapters.
    ‘I did scan’?
    ‘anything’?
    ’our gravity’
     
  17. Windona

    Windona Beetle Queen of Crackshipping

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    An excellent fight. Am I right to assume Paul doesn't know some scarabs being taken off my force can kill the host, or does he know and not care?

    It would be absolutely hilarious if Ted developed technology based on the scarab he has for Paul with it taking Dox to note it's based on Reach tech.
     
  18. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    Thank you, corrected.
     
  19. _The_Bomb

    _The_Bomb Getting sticky.

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    Looks like it’s finally time to hit up Hephaestaean for that ultra high-end power armor.
     
  20. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    Now that I think about it, Heph made some cybernetics for a goddess of misery to better deal with it, so maybe he can use that to manage Anti-Life.
     
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  21. _The_Bomb

    _The_Bomb Getting sticky.

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    That reminds me…. she should totally teach classes on how to deal with Anti-Life. She’s basically had centuries of practice.
     
  22. Coda

    Coda I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    Not at all! One of the cornerstones of good fantasy writing is that the reader can believe that the universe obeys a certain set of underlying rules, even if they aren't necessarily obvious. And what I really appreciate about With This Ring is that Mr Zoat does that. The things we've observed that superpowers and advanced technology can do have rules and boundaries that we're able to understand, and they're presented as a set of features added on top of a baseline that's mostly consistent with Universe Prime's physics. There are some obvious differences, especially when it comes to the implications of relativity, but we can usually import our understanding of how the world works, which is a powerful tool in making a believable setting.

    breathe

    through the block
     
  23. Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    And also when I don't know the real physics.
    Thank you, corrected.
     
  24. transhumansage

    transhumansage I trust you know where the happy button is?

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    no im very happy where i am right now. from my perspective, zoat tries to add realism and consistency to dc that i enjoy. i very much enjoy this story.

    that is foreboding. now whatever taskforce knows a little bit more about us.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2022
  25. rkyeun

    rkyeun Cabbitus Maximus

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    To be fair, I wasn't the one who BROUGHT real science into it, I just joined in that train. And I think it's important to point out because it's nice to know exactly what we're violating and why it's a big deal. The cold gun is nonsense and it's amazing.
     
  26. Threadmarks: Fleet Traction (part 10)
    Mr Zoat

    Mr Zoat Dedicated ragequitter

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    1st January 2013
    20:54 GMT


    I sigh as I register the Reach fleet moving into orbit around Karrakan. I might be able to reach them before they kill everything on the surface, but… I… Don't think so. They could do enough damage to make the planet even more hellish than it already is, and if the locals aren't going to cooperate then I wouldn't be able to rescue them-.

    Alright, it would technically be possible to seize a ship and put them there, but given the description Thiva gave me I don't think I really want them to get hold of a top of the line warship. Shame about the regular people but I doubt that the Reach are interested in them.

    "Orange Lantern to the-."

    "How did you manage that?"

    "I'm pretty good at this whole Lanterning thing. And because you used your new technique on me, I'm going to be passing on my information into the rest of the Corps."

    "You think that you learned more than we did?"

    "Bored now, hanging up."

    Hung up.

    Ring, signal the ships in the flotilla chasing the Ascendants.

    Compliance.

    And message to Thiva.

    "Illustres?"

    "Sorry for the delay, they sicced an upgraded Scarab Warrior on me. I'm heading towards your pursuers now."

    "How are you able to travel at faster than light speed?"

    "I can overpower the Reach's gravity manipulation over a small area. Hard work though, and it's draining my power reserves faster than I'd like."

    "Can you move our ships like that?"

    "I.. don't think so, and I haven't examined the boundary."

    "Then we will-. Do you want our warships to turn around and fight the Reach beside you?"

    I take a moment to consider the relatively small Reach squadron pursuing them, and the slightly larger number of ships pursuing me. I don't know whether they're equipped with construct disrupters or not… But even if they are, ships of that size aren't anything like as agile as Scarab Warriors.

    "Are the passengers all loaded on the transport ships, or are they just sort of packed in anywhere there's space?"

    "When the Reach arrived, we just rushed to get everyone aboard-."

    "Then keep evading them."

    Communication from Reach vessels.

    Good show. Hang up, answer.

    Compliance.

    "Hello there. I'm the Lantern chasing you."

    "Ah. I had hoped that our Beetle was just carrying your rings."

    "Sorry, no such skill. So listen, my record at killing Reach ships is really good."

    "My record at killing agents of the Darkstars is similarly good."

    "Which would be good for you… If I was a Darkstar. Ever killed a Lantern?"

    There's no response.

    "So I don’t know exactly how the Reach handle personal initiative and impossible situations, but as I see it the problem is like this: your objective is to collect samples of Ascendant biology and technology. And I do mean collect, not scan. It's too different to things your people are familiar with for a few long ranged scans to do much good. Now, there are only wrecks left of their habitation platforms and not a lot of advanced stuff on the planet itself. These ships are valuable."

    "Yes."

    "Except… You can't. I'm going to catch up with you before you're in optimal weapons range. Your own sensors can confirm that."

    "Assuming that you can keep up your pace."

    "Assuming that I can keep up this pace, and not go faster. So given that you can't reliably cripple the ships you're chasing before I reach you, do you think that you can beat me?"

    "Yes."

    Hm.

    "I've got no reason to fly past you, which means that it's rear-facing weapons only. You're nothing like as manoeuvrable as me, your maximum acceleration is less and you know that my weapons can destroy your ships."

    "And?"

    "And, if I destroy you, then you won't be able to fulfil your mission. So what I'm going to suggest is, your turn off and fly away, and so preserve your ships and personnel. You'll fail your mission, but once the Scarab Warrior failed to tie me up for longer that was a given. The only issue is whether your ships survive or not. Though I.. suppose that the information your side gathers on my destructive abilities might be worth something. I can't judge how the two things balance for you."

    No response, though the channel is still open.

    "Now, in other circumstances I might quite like to destroy this fleet. But as I understand it, you're just here for information to help you fight Grayven. I'd actually quite like you to learn more about fighting New Gods, which -unusually- means that it's in my interests to let you go. I wouldn't exactly be choked up about having to kill you all, but it's not my primary aim."

    Still no response.

    "I'm nearly in effective weapons range. If you want to take the offer, I'm going to need to hear something… Now."

    The warp terminates, and… Ah. It's like a weight has been lifted from my metaphysique-. Which raises the worrying question as to whether or not I'd have been able to do this in a thaumically dead system. Or… Whether we would.

    I should… Probably get a new medical exam.

    "I'm afraid that I'm-"

    I form a new giant cold gun.

    "-going to need to rush-."

    BOOM! INEXORABLE ASCENT!

    Uh…

    A boom tube has opened in the area of the Ascendants' former base, and I see Grayven's flagship fly through.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2022
  27. Whenever Possible

    Whenever Possible Versed in the lewd.

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    When it rains...

    Wait, did the Reach end their gravity-buffer, or did Grayven overpower it from the outside so that he could boom in?
     
  28. Darko

    Darko Connoisseur.

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    "this in a"
     
  29. Someguy Somewhere

    Someguy Somewhere The Critical Fumbler

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    check for god-speech
     
  30. Handlewithcare

    Handlewithcare Versed in the lewd.

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    You know all this advanced, sudden Super-High Tech may have come from.somewhere else. Apokolips, specifically.

    Distract Earth with Mannheim, sic the Reach on Grayven and use all these distractions to seize a Reach Coreworld or two with another Anti-Life infection.

    Kill three birds with one stone.
     
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