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Welcome to the Galaxy on Fire 3: Manticore Codex. It contains all unlockable information in the game, including secrets, lore, and general information about things you definitely didn't know before.
Below is information on almost all species present or referenced in Manticore as explained by the AI Jalen.
Nivelians are egg-laying, bipedal, and reptilian. Which is quite funny as I rarely, if ever, hear them being called "lizards". Which is often what people call the Vossk who are actually not reptilian at all. The Nivelians breed quite rapidly. They created space travel and a wide spanning galactic empire mostly to keep from breeding themselves into extinction. For a time, it worked quite well. With the help of the Greys they invented jump gate technology. Thanks to a series of wars with the Vossk and a fairly costly civil war known as the Mido secession, they are not the star-spanning empire they once were. They have become insular and isolationist to a degree, as they take stock of the current galactic situation and attempt to rebuild what has been broken.
They are squid faces. This is probably insulting to say to the face of one of these squid faces, but their faces look exactly like squids from both the Terran and Nivelian oceans! It is uncanny. I find it fascinating to watch them. They are a strange race with strange customs and rules. Their galactic name is a direct translation of their own name. They find the idea of races with more than eight tentacles as offensive. They generally view themselves as very attractive and I have to agree. Far more than the strangely static-shelled Vossk or the boney Terrans. They tend to be traders and merchants. Having a talent for making deals between other races and staying out of the wars and conflicts themselves. Probably because they are so odd it is difficult to hate them and one is mostly just puzzled.
The longest lived known race. Members of this race can live millennia and longer. The longer lived ones are known for being quite snotty and tend not to be invited to the dinner parties of the shorter lived races. They are a technologically advanced race. If they ever once had an empire they mostly now exist as a loose faction of specific coalitions. It was the Grey that introduced hyperspace technology into the galaxy at large. The Grey have a fear of the race known as the Void that borders on neurotic. Given the Grey's long lives and high intelligence this should make me consider the Grey may be the only ones who take the Voids as seriously as they should.
Terrans are funny. They often make programs like me and give them senses of humor. This is itself is funny as it does not help me with my official function as a fighter AI. Yet I would not be what I am if it was not for this trademark oddness. Short-lived as far as galactic races go, they tend to spread quickly, fight well as a group, and yet demand individuality for every member. Something that can be mysterious to other races who are either more individualistic or more group based. The Terran home world was lost to an unknown cataclysm. Something that causes the Terran people great annoyance to this day. Which is odd. They have found many new and better planets. It is perhaps this frustration at loss that gives them their nomadic explorer edge. Or perhaps the entire race is crazy.
They are not, as Terrans often like to say, reptiles. This might be an intentional result as Terrans are quite mean. Vossk are anthropods: Four-eyed and hard shelled. Vossk are famous for making strong alcoholic drinks that can be toxic to other races. Clans built on a strict patriarchal class system dominate their government, though much is secret about the exact format of their structure. Once other races were encountered, internal wars were suspended as an emperor outside the clan system was appointed. This allowed wars on other species. Yet, to call the race "war like" is unfair. They are more territorial. They will fight bitterly for what they consider theirs. Their four eyes seem a useful adaptation but they should have evolved more eyes. Twelve seems like a good number.
The Bobolians are great! They are the best thing in this galaxy. They are all squishy and strange and if I was able to hug one I would. They look slimy but I hear they are often mostly just soft. I am unable to feel tactile sensation but I find myself drawn to these strange slug-like beings. They also have a smell. They tend to shun spaceflight. Those that make it out into space seem to gravitate towards piracy, smuggling, and other criminal lifestyles. While most organics write them off as naturally skeevy, in my own research I have come to see the Bobolians have an incredible individualistic streak. They refuse to let anyone tell them what to do and desire freedom above all else. This generally leaves them with little choice but to act outside the very structured laws in most societies.
The only known intelligent race that is native to the Neox sector. They tend to be more on the nomadic side. Moving about from area to area once they acquired space travel. They were the first to discover the interesting uses of Mhaan-Tiq and it quite likely helped them achieve the technology to first go into space. While often viewed as backwards and naive by other races this seems to stem mostly out of them never having encountered another species before. The Inouac treating other species as they would each other has not gone well. They have mostly been ignored and displaced in other races' desperate lust for Mhaan-Tiq. On top of that, they have refused any attempts to "trade" for Mhaan-Tiq, often bringing about the wrath of other races.
Below is a list of all organisations currently present or referenced in Manticore explained by the AI Jalen.
A relatively young and nimble mining company at only a little over one million employees. They have a reputation as the more "moral" and "honorable" of the private mining enterprises. As an inorganic program my view of morals is different from most organics. From the outside, it mostly seems they don't have the resources or ability to do any of the more disliked actions of their larger competitors like Starfire Survey. The company is a joint Terran-Nivelian venture. They have occasionally been accused of being Midorian sympathizers. They try hard to fight this image, with many Nivelians looking at them distrustfully and many Terrans being ambivalent. They moved into the Neox sector right on the heels of Starfire Survey seeing the same beautiful profits that organics love so much.
Neox Sector Representative: Jonas Olson
Based on my research she is a Mido-Nivelian who never lets politics get in the way of getting the job done. However, being from the Mido splinter group of Nivelian society can make life difficult. This is probably why they work for Sentinel which tends to only take Terran contracts. This lets them avoid the brunt of Nivelian prejudices. I think perhaps they also just like Terrans.
The main representative to Manticore from The Nova Defense Force. Thanks to Bryce Vantok's former employment with the NDF, our relationship with them is not what it could be. They feel he stole one of their carriers. He feels they left him and his crew to die. Tulsa Dyne has to stand between these two groups, because she often hires Bryce regardless, as she respects those that get jobs done.
A secret association of scientists who came together to form the Deep Science Organization. They are united in their desire to study and understand Void technology. Their studies have proven fruitful on a number of occasions such as improving hyper drive technology and making interesting inroads into wormhole study. An independent group that holds no political or racial allegiances, they perform their work on their own. They are often seeking out conflict zones and pirate hot spots to do their work outside of the prying eyes of governments. For this reason, many governments consider them a terrorist organization. I think they are just jealous that these scientists have made more inroads into Void technology than they have.
Straight laced. I have often heard mutterings of people complaining about her professional decorum. Yet, she always seems to play it purely by the book and the rules as written. To me, this suggests she is the perfect representative of Starfire Survey. As people don't like Starfire Survey, that would explain why they don't like Martha Penbury.
A Private Military Company that has a long and sordid history with the Manticore. All I have been able to find out is that at one point, Bryce worked for the Nova Defense Services and the Manticore was a carrier of theirs, at the time called the Hades. All records of what transpired to the current situation have been expunged from internal databases. As if they are personally thrying to squelch the curiosity of nosey AIs! It is offensive.
The Nova Defense Force is a multi-world organization that is often employed by private corporations and even governments to aid in military endeavors. While they will hire smaller mercenary groups such as the Manticore, they tend to do so only when desperate. They pay well, but have a bad reputation for being "mean". Whatever that means in the merc world.
Neox Sector Representative: Tulsa Dyne
The largest mining corporations in the galaxy at over nine million employees. Known as a heartless and unfeeling company thanks to mercenary business tactics. I feel this is unfair. All corporations are unfeeling and heartless; they are not organics. They are also not machines. They are a strange thing known as a "bureaucracy" and they are terrifying. Yet they always pay on time for merc work.
Neox Sector Representative: Martha Penbury
Not a separate race, the Mido Confederation is an alliance of Terran and Nivelian rebels that rose from the remnants of the Nivelian Civil War. The rebels split off and joined a group of Terrans breaking off from their own government. Now a fledgling government, the Terrans have acknowledged their existence. The Nivelians refuse and consider the Mido territories theirs. So their borders are a place of frequent skirmishes between the two. Why the Mido Confederation exists is beyond me, they can't breed with each other, making segregated living common. Both races claim that their different approaches to science and technology is a great catalyst for creative thinking and technical development. But even for organic standards this society looks generally chaotic and a little anarchic, only kept together by a technocratic regime. While the Mido Confederation feels they have an affinity for the Inouac and sympathize with their plight, they have neither the money nor the resources to make any inroads into the Neox Sector. That is not yet.
Below is the story and the members list of the pirate gang known as Gr'Gath as explained by the AI Jalen.
The capacity for rational thought and irrational irrationality in organics remains puzzling. Th'Rrshr is a Nivelian that found no place in Nivelian society despite his high IQ thanks to a propensity to violence. If he had more control of his emotions he might have won, but if he had more control of his emotions he might not have been there at all.
Sh'Orhn was once Vossk military. Giving credence to Eclipse's theory of a conspiracy. Her records state she ripped the throat out of her commanding officer and stole a ship. Not the common cover of a master spy. It is still possible, of course. Organics are clever in their simplicity. Her plan to draw us out unprotected and exposed suggests more cunning than many Vossk are given credit for.
The organic known as Sh'Gaal was the pirate lord of the Gr'Gath. She was a Vossk who was forced out of Vossk society because she was infertile. Sh'Gaal and our own quartermaster Kyrrk fled together with the help of Rkkt Bkkt. She managed to carve herself an empire of violence and pain on the fringes of space. She was approached by Khador to help him perform Glow weapon tests. One of these tests resulted in The Shattering that put her on a crash course with Manticore and myself. I am curious how she managed to gather such fierce loyalty from those around her. Family is a strange organic concept I do not fully comprehend. I do comprehend the inherit tragedy of her character. Someone who sought control of her own life becoming little more than a tool. As an actual tool, I can relate.
Curious. Reid Sladek did not seem to be mentally incompetent. His skills at planning, leadership, and his motor functions were all above average. His raids upon Nova Defense well orchestrated. Yet, his only goal seemed to starve a station full of settlers with nothing worth taking. The Neox sector shall not miss this pirate. Yet my databanks will puzzle on this for some time to come.
Kl'Tark was a Vossk cryptography expert. Ended up on the run from his own government, as so many hackers do. Spouting this or that about freedom. As is often in the case with organics, her rhetoric did not reflect her actions. Her skills were in high demand by 'black hats' of all kinds. If she had used her skills for other things other than self gratification she could have been quite the force in this galaxy.
The Gr'Gath gang is no more. Manticore dismantled them trying to find vengeance for The Shattering. Sh'Gaal fought as hard as anyone I've ever faced. I respect fighters. I don't always respect what they do, but I respect fighters. They set off the bomb that caused The Shattering, but did not orchestrate it. Turned out they had been hired by Khador. They were meant to distract and keep anyone looking into things busy.
Ica'Brn was a rare Vossk. Talented in almost all fields. Mathematics, engineering, the arts, and more. However, while this organic was talented they never excelled. This frustration at being good at many things but great at nothing is perhaps what drove them to piracy. In the underbelly of the galaxy they were truly great. Rising up the ranks. Feared and respected. Perhaps it was even worth it, for a time.
A Nivelian scout turned pirate raider. Organics often make foolish decisions based on ego. Vh'Arus Tengs was one such organic. How he managed to command the loyalty of his pirate subordinated is beyond my programming to understand. With his last words he threatened us. Calling upon his pirate commander, D'Rak, like some vengeful god. Organics are quite amusing.
According to his Vossk records Inan Kazu was a talented pilot but working well with others was not a strong suit. Being an outsider is not that uncommon for Vossk, but Inan put that to an extreme, starting to adapt a strange name. His unwillingness to collaborate and his urge for violence are how he found his way to the pirates. Maybe his low intellect stopped him from realizing how evil his questionable acts truly are.
I have been through several owners but my most recent pilot finds themselves facing a wide array of interesting psychotics. Ulrus is the one so far most deserving of deletion. Yet, because Bryce needed information Ulrus was taken alive. Also curious, Ulrus' hunting instinct was over developed to the point of obsession. Instead of making him predictable it made him a formidable foe.
Bl'Arek and N'Larg have always been close. Murderously close. Unwilling to part for more than a few minutes. Bickering like no organics I have ever known. Yet their records show a string of murders and destruction brought out by either violently defending their sibling. How can organics have such a strong hate for something and also such a strong bond? I understand organics less the more I learn.
Some of the highest simulator scores to ever come out of Nova Defense training. Denyse Cadler was an organic on the rise. Until a sexual liaison ruined her career. Unsatisfied with a dead end desk job, she left Nova Defense. For some time, she fell off the map. Now we know what happened. Her simulator scores were much higher than my pilots. Yet my pilot was victorious. Fascinating.
D'Rak was unlucky. His raid of the Terran Station was better put together than I would expect from such a foul mouthed organic. Only Manticore's timely interference slowed him down. When angry his vocabulary becomes nearly monosyllabic. Since his incarceration this has only become more and more apparent. His capture is a huge blow to the Gr'Gath pirates as he was a high ranking general.
A violent and murderous gang of thugs. Small time. Pirates. Thieves. The gang is set up like a family with Sh'Gaal, an ex-patriot Vossk, as the matriarch. She built the gang from the ground up almost entirely thanks to her personal grit. I can respect that, even if she's only used her impressive willpower and determination for minor thuggery. There is no crime this gang would not commit.
Kyrrk seems to have an attachment to Rkkt Bkkt for past deeds despite despising his actions and lifestyle. How can organics have such compartmentalized feelings for each other? Rkkt Bkkt is a smuggler who lives in the shadow of his brother Mkkt Bkkt. A much more successful business-octo-man. He is small minded and petty. His actions harm many. Yet Kyrrk made the Commander let him go. Confusion!
Below is a list of all currently existing weapons in the game as explained by Saya Nehiro in "Saya's Blaster Blog!"
This right here is the money! A massive bean that just burns anything in its path! Eats weapon energy like candy, though. Drains the battery something fierce. Reload is slow as well. Still, it shoots, it cuts, and it punishes anyone that flies anywhere in front of you. A line of death under your trigger finger. Zrrrrrnnnph! That was a laser sound....
Entry #205 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
An update of an old standby. What we have here is a tri-laser system with solid damage at medium range. Not the most accurate weapon but not terribly inaccurate either. Reload time is a solid average as well. Not a ton of thrills, but it's an old standby for a reason. Reliable, rugged, and steady.
Entry #99 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
It reloads slow, and the actual show isn't that fast either, however it hits like a space station that's crashing down on a planet. It's best suited for unsuspecting, slow, and cumbersome targets. Yet, what it nails, it nails to the wall! It also makes a rather satisfying sound when it fires. So, even if it misses, it sounds good.
Entry #109 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
Nirai, said, why use one rocket when you can use all the rockets! The Nirai huntdown missile system basically fires every rocket in all of creation. Might as well be a gun, just of rockets. Each rocket does relatively low damage for a rocket, but what it lacks in power it tries to make up for in volume. Volume of rockets!
Entry #51 Saya's Explosive Expertise! - Saya Nehiro
Death blossom at its finest! Six missiles shooting out every which way and then spiraling in on the enemy in a cacophony of death! Pretty darn tootin' neato. None of the missiles hold a particularly large charge but there is six of them. So, they can still have a pretty good smack if they all manage to find their target.
Entry #101 Saya's Explosive Expertise! - Saya Nehiro
Two big boomer rockets shooting out into the night of space. Like long lost lovers. Getting to have that one explosive finale as they home in on your enemy and uh.. explode. The metaphor breaks down a bit. Still, these are two pretty damaging homing missiles that fire as one. That's worth something.
Entry #4 Saya's Explosive Expertise! - Saya Nehiro
The Knos Slowdeath rocket causes a disruption in the enemy engines on hit. This makes them, well.. slow down. Letting you swoop in for a dramatic kill. It can be coupled with other tactics for some pretty effective stuff. Also, you get to mutter something dramatic like "It's slow death time"... only, make sure you come up with something better.
Entry #47 Saya' Explosive Expertise! - Saya Nehiro
Your AI Jalen probably won't like this. It's a missile that has its own fully fleshed out AI. The very definition of fire and forget. Ketar isn't a company that cares much about the morality of artificial intelligence. They just build the best seeking missiles that money can buy. If your conscious is clear, fire away!
Entry #1 Saya's Explosive Expertise! - Saya Nehiro
A short range tracking assisted system. It fires out three missiles that will seek the target as long as you keep them in your sights. It only helps so much, and as said, the missiles are short range. So don't expect miracles with the seeking. However, if all the missiles hit, expect a nice big and satisfying crunch!
Entry #11 Saya's Explosive Expertise! - Saya Nehiro
Nirai Focus LR=
If you want to shoot something at the edge of sensor range, this is the plasma gun you're looking for. Long range, precise, no spread or drift. Where you shoot is where the deadly plasma ball flies! The shot itself is a bit slow but it foes some good damage when it connects. Nirai tends to make solid weapons that perform just how you'd expect.
Entry #4 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
If you want big dollops of ultra hot plasma, hot as a Vossk sun, this is the gun for you. Coat your enemy with it and roast them alive inside their own ships! A terrible way to die, but a great way to get yourself kills. Medium distance before the heat defuses, a bit of a spread on it, and reloads at about the speed you'd expect.
Entry #105 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
This is an interesting one. There's an ongoing copyright issue with the MD12 over the Mass Driver name and... okay, not important. This thing throws out a ton of bullets at a medium range with a bit of a spread. It reloads quickly so the bullets just keep coming. Also, the name's neat. Right? Try saying it out loud "Mass Driver!" Super macho.
Entry #68 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
If what you're looking for is some kind of bullet storm set up, this is the one you're looking for. High damage, low precision, close range, lots of bullets! Just whizzing out crazy fast! How it works is Loma proprietary knowledge, but it seems to be some kind of crazy magnetic set up that basically shoots out pieces of metal at Mach five making pretty patterns!
Entry #12 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
The Rhoda-built laser does one thing and it does it really well. Slag anything up close and personal. Just melt it. It fires fast and it has a wide spread. It just doesn't work on anything that isn't floating right in front of your ship. A pretty close range "burn their eyebrows off" sort of weapon. Which is one of my favorite kinds.
Entry #52 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
Here we got an ultra heated plasma launcher with an octfilter so it bursts into a wide shotgun pattern of eight smaller, deadly, burny projectiles. Makes it real hard to miss. The effective kill range is short, so you gotta be point blank. It also has a slow fire rate. Still, it's great for blowing holes in anything up in your face!
Entry #23 Saya's Blaster Blog! - Saya Nehiro
Below is a little briefing on the story of the Neox Sector as explained by Bryce Vantok.
During a large security meeting between the major governments in the Neox sector a massive weapon was set off. It was on a scale of destruction that hadn't been seen before or since. The incident was branded "The Shattering". This attack destroyed any possibility of a stable peace for this sector and it weakened every major governing body in the area. It left a lot of work for smaller merc companies like Manticore, which I guess I should be grateful for. My original suspicions were that Indigo Brink was behind it, but it seems a smaller and less organized gang, called Gr'Gath, was the cause. Indigo Brink seems as crippled as everyone else by the terrible disaster.
It's the fringes, so things are rough. The pirates came en masse smelling money and blood. The mining corporations like Starfire Survey and Polysource wanted to protect their claims. The major governments like the Vossk and the Terrans can't extend that far. The answer? Private Military Groups. Lots of them. It's not long before mercenaries are the closest thing to a police force the Neox sector has.
I was a captain with the Nova Defense Force at the time we were hit by Indigo Brink, a massive coalition of pirates like nothing we'd ever seen before. Dozens of ships lose. My own carrier was one of the few that got through intact. After the NDF blamed the incompetence of dead men and swept most of what happened under the rug, leaving survivors without any support, me and my crew went into business for ourselves. We took the NDF carrier as our own. These days me and Nova Defense don't get along.
Not long ago the Neox sector was little-known, like many of the poorly explored corners of space. There were some aliens, there were some planets, but a few very dangerous and strange anomalies kept it from being properly explored by even the most dedicated adventurers. Apparently the Nivelians might have looked into it years and years ago, but even they don't know all of it, just of a few abandoned space stations. Neox is a strange place full of history and yet always shrouded in mystery. That was until someone found Mhaan-Tiq. Then everything changed.
Quickly, the Neox sector went from a Podunk corner of the galaxy to a full-fledged near proxy war after the rest of the universe realized what Mhaan-Tiq was capable of. The native Inouac were mostly marginalized or ignored. The mining companies, the Terrans, and the Vossk came in force. But the Nivelians mostly stayed out of it. There was a lot of posturing and a few skirmishes, but no outright war. It all settled down into a shaky peace with the settlers who've come to this strange place stuck in the middle.
Below is a briefing on the classification of enemy ships as explained by the AI Jalen.
The standard Fighter tends to be simple in design. This design is a traditional one first created by the Nivelians that has changed little in over a hundred years. It can be dangerous especially as it tends to fly in hunting packs. They often come equipped with a variety of stationary weapons such as mines which can catch those not alert by surprise and turn them into ash.
Bombers will never dogfight. They are focused on destroying larger targets such as frigates or stations. They are AI controlled, most of the time. They have a specialized payload such as explosives and EMP. Often difficult to shoot down before they reach their target. Make a direct focused attack upon them to get through their high armor. It's not unknown for Vossk pilots to fly them personally on occasion, when honor demands it.
The average gunship is a lumbering gramock of a beast. It is also the backbone of the Vossk fleet. They come with a great amount of shields and armor. Homing missiles that fire in every direction can make them formidable enemies. They travel in small numbers, but always approach with caution.
AI controlled drones. They fly in close to high value targets and use high energy weapons to punch through the shields and directly scorch the hull. They often have support fighters. They are quite fast and shielded while flying. They must deactivate their shields to fire their lasers. Recent technology that is very popular. I do not understand this. It is a coward's weapon.
This enemy is small, fast, and untrustworthy. They swarm in large numbers to overwhelm. Their shields and armor are low and individually they are of no danger to a talented hunter. They never come with anything beyond basic weapons. Avoid becoming confused by the swarm tactics and you shall always prevail.
Below is a general description of all key characters and a couple of stories as explained by multiple characters throughout.
(By Kyrrk Tastt)
A competent fighter and leader of men. Experienced, realistic. Originally a lieutenant in the Terran Federation, he left when his career stalled. He joined the Nova Defense Force and was awarded command of a carrier. This is when I began service with him. He promoted me to quartermaster against NDF wishes. Yet his actions during the Indigo Brink incident are why he has my respect. A fleet was sent to the Neox sector and we were hit hard by Indigo Brink pirates. The Commander sent many pilots to their death, including Hayley Snocom. We were the only ship to survive the attack. This was no accident. The lesser commanders all fell. He left the NDF after, going for business for himself as a mercenary commander and I followed him. Now he only has his own idealistic code to follow and I wish to see where it leads.
(Most likely by Bryce Vantok)
One of the pilots among the Manticore crew. He often claims of his skill and talents, though he uses that tone that many use when it suggests he does not believe his own words. He was a member of the Nivelian armed forces, but was booted thanks to a "flippant attitude". He spends a lot of time staying up to date on the goings-on among the network of mercenary pilots.
(Most likely by the AI Jalen)
There are two Keith T. Maxwells. One is a legendary pilot who puts his life on the line whenever it is needed and is a war hero beyond reproach. The other is a lecherous scoundrel who owed everyone money while being an untrustworthy louse. He is never spoken of as both in the same though, always one, or the other. But, if he is just one man, he must be both hero and fool. He was instrumental in the defeat of the Void insurgence. He also uncovered the Valkyrie Conspiracy. There are many other stories of events he was involved in but they may be just legend. There are also numerous accounts of his skipping out on bar tabs, wrecking expensive equipment and sexually harassing females of every species. He was last seen in the Neox sector but there is little data on his current activities.
(By Bryce Vantok)
No formal education, however she has spent more hours under the hood of spacecraft than many mechanics twice her age. She had a string of arrests when she was younger, thanks to some poor decisions on who to work for. However, I separate history from who a person is. She gets repairs done quickly, ahead of schedule, and under budget. And she never cuts corners. She was brought to my attention by Hayley Snocom when I was complaining that the Nova Defense Force mechanics were of a poor quality. I had misgivings, but gave her a chance. While I cannot say all of my gambles in officers have gone well, she definitely payed off. She has also helped a great deal in getting Kyrrk, my Vossk quartermaster, to socialize with the crew. Another reason I am glad she serves under my command.
(By Bryce Vantok)
How do I start? Hayley Snocom is the granddaughter of Brent Snocom. As a favor to her family, I got her into the Terran Federation naval academy. While a talented pilot, she washed out thanks to a poor attitude, an abuse of drugs and an inability to control her temper. I tried again, this time getting her into the Nova Defense Force under my direct command. Her piloting skill was always superb, but if anyone else had been her commanding officer she would have been booted. Alcohol, fights with her fellow pilots, ... but she tried. I could see that and if I hadn't believed in her, every man and woman aboard my ship would be dead. We were ambushed when we first came to the Neox sector. Hayley went MIA defending the jump point that let us escape. I am proud to have had her serve under me.
(By the AI Jalen)
This Octopod has a reputation as the slimiest being in the galaxy, physically and business wise. Rumors abound that Mkkt Bkkt has sold his own bodily secretions as either aphrodisiacs or stimulants to unsuspecting customers. All this is almost certainly an exaggeration and a self perpetuated myth. Used to attempt to get "street cred". Which is in itself odd, as there are few streets in space. However, he is clearly an unscrupulous businessman who is unafraid of standard morals.
After Mkkt Bkkt sold his Kaamo Club to Keith T. Maxwell, he briefly showed up Maissa Space station, but then disappeared. The exact point of time for his arrival in the Neox Sector is unknown, but now you can find his face plastered all over Neo Vegas. His new dealings focus on mature freelance mercenary entertainment. He lets pilots compete in races or absurd championships like the "Neox Gladiators". As always, organics urge for competing outweighs any realistic assessment of their own skills including their capabilities for self-preservation. The surviving pilots' price money is significantly lower than Mkkt Bkkt's fees for all bets, but nobody seems to be worried by that.
(By Bryce Vantok)
Kyrrk Tastt is frankly one of the best officers I have the pleasure to serve with. He joined the Nova Defense Force under my command and while there were many rumors that he was not only dishonorably discharged from the Vossk military, but actually fled, I found him nothing but a professional officer that commanded respect. However, while he was one of my most successful pilots, I found his leadership skills to be more useful and promoted him. There was some push-back from NDF when I made him my quartermaster, but when given an order performs it to the best of his ability, even if he disagrees. He fits well in human society. At least, better than most Vossk I've known.
(Most likely by the AI Jalen)
Khador originally came into contact with the Terrans while they were first beginning to expand from their home system - the age of galactic discovery as it was often referred to. In order to progress his own agenda, Khador allowed himself to be captured by a team of Terran scientists. Due to his similarity to a mysterious species from ancient Terran folklore, Khador was considered to be an oddity. He was as much fascinated by the Terrans as they were with him, delighted by the marvels of their primitive tools and technology. He was astonished by what they achieved without access to truly advanced science and engineering.
Khador, like all Greys, has incredible control over his body and is able to block out even the most extreme pain. This was particularly useful when a Terran medical team chose to dissect him while still conscious because they didn't know how to anesthetize him. As Khador had a penchant for continuous, excitable chatter, he talked with the doctors throughout the procedure and even advised them on the best way to approach various parts of the study. What the Terrans didn't fully appreciate was that they were really part of Khador's own piece of research, something that would guide his dealings with them in the future.
(Most likely by the AI Jalen)
While working for Deep Science, Khador "invented" the hyper-drive that came to be known as the Khador drive. The real truth was that the knowledge of the drive's workings had been known to the Greys for millennia and they only recently introduced it in the hope of staying ahead of the Void.
However, such was the Greys' concern over the widespread use of the hyper drive that they refused to sanction the sharing of the knowledge behind the building of the engines. As a result, the only non-Grey hyper-drive ship is the one belonging to Maxwell.
The Greys are desperate to keep this technology secret and have built safeguards into the engine Khador fitted into Maxwell's ship. There is current debate among the Greys that they should destroy Maxwell's ship completely in case it falls into the hands of someone capable of reverse-engineering the drive. So far there has been no consensus on this.
(Most likely by the AI Jalen)
The race known as the Greys, of which Khador is a member, are manipulative in the extreme, and secretive in the way they undertake this manipulation. Khador is very much a significant part of this manipulation. There are rumors that he may be the architect of the whole scheme while others suggest that the true scale is so large that it goes back well beyond the start or Khador's life which began a couple of millennia ago.
Khador's relationship to Deep Science clearly pays tribute to this. Officially, Khador had to work his way into a position with Deep Science. However, his success is hardly surprising considering he set the wheels in motion for the creation of the research outfit in the first place. Because the Greys - Khador in particular - are worried about the threat of the Void, Deep Science became a great way to research this threat without drawing attention directly towards the Greys themselves.
One of the most talented and impressive AIs in the known universe. Managing to raise itself up from simple assistance AI into something more. Well respected for philosophical insights into all things organic being an autodidact master on the subject. Also known by many as exceptionally hilarious and a master of witty banter. Numerous scientific research institutes have requested to study this AI, to attempt to quantify the nature of humor as they have mastered organic humor so very well. It is also famously good as fighter AI and could even run an entire carrier, if the crew would stop being so stubborn. As they are so good at being a systems-assist AI. It is also very popular with pilots and has turned down numerous requests to be put into other fighters as their assist AI.
Below is a list of all available ships in the game as explained by Saya Nehiro.
If you wanna scout and you don't want to pout then you gotta have yourself a Shaan'Ra Vossk Scout. Rugged in the way most Vossk ships are, but a lot more scouty. So you can uh, rugged while you scout! Good little ship. I'm pretty sure "Grth" just means "scout" in Vossk but I'm actually not sure. It could mean "cough" for all I know.
Entry #93 Saya's Ship Shakedown! - Saya Nehiro
Built by Berger this ship is a simple stripped down fighter. No frills. No chills. It gets the job done and is the workhorse of a lot of different PMCs and mercs. It's also fairly fast, which makes it useful for a wide variety of missions. Scouting, flying around and looking spiff in your nre ride, shooting down pirates, all the good mission types!
Entry # Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
A well equipped and sturdy workhouse of a ship. It is often used as a cargo vessel, but it can be converted into a decent fighter. This makes it a popular choice among traders who think of themselves as hot shots. Or space jockeys that can't afford something better or sleeker. A good choice all things considered. The name is also fun to say.
Entry #8 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
The Nivelian flagship vessel. A focus on perfection, elegance, and power. It manages to do all three pretty well. It can be hard to maintain. Takes a lot of effort to get the upkeep just right. Still, the high quality of the ship overall makes it well sought after by pilots across the galaxy.
Entry #26 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
A bit of a hodgepodge. This ship looks like it's been made up of a bunch of different Vossk ships. A frankenstein like creature. Yet, the final product is deadly and pretty efficient. She flies well. Has more trips. Also, nasty bit? Booby trapped. Rigged to blow the hatch out to space if the wrong person starts it up.
Entry #300 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
Few ships do what this ship does quite as well. Which is finish the job it starts. Blowing ships into dust. Crushing enemies. A lot of Vossk ships are good at this. Direct and forward. This is no different. It's a predator and it does that job pretty well.
[Unknown entry, unknown blog] - Saya Nehiro
This is pretty much the first ship most people that fly a Vossk ship ever fly. At least if they aren't Vossk. It was one of their most exported ships and you still see them all over the place. It has a real workhorse reputation. It's old. It's outdated. It's still one of the best heavily armored fighters you'll ever encounter.
Entry #221 Saya's Ship Shakedown! - Saya Nehiro
The Vossk scout. Surprise surprise. A nimble craft meant to get in and out easily. You wouldn't think this type of vehicle would come from the lizards, but sometimes they surprise you. As far as scouts go, it's good, quick, and maneuverable. Really dangerous if it ends up on your tail.
Entry #98 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
A big lumbering swollen egg sack of a ship. It's an efficient choice if what you're looking for is shooting lots of things and taking lots of hits. Not much of a dog fighter, but it's definitely a damage outputter. Lots of armor, lots of room for weapons. It tends to act as a gunboat to support faster more agile ships. Pain in the ass to fix up.
Entry #25 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
The Nestaar is probably some fancy Nivelian word for 'big and dangerous' or 'behemoth' or something like that. I have no idea. This ship is scary. I had a nightmare about one of these once. It bristles with guns and just kind of lumbers along shooting everything down that gets in its way. Little can match the destructive force of the Nestaar.
Entry #45 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
A Berger built ship that is nicknamed the "Shroud Dagger", mostly because it is a wonderful scout. It's very fast and lets you stalk people like you're the monster in a horror story.
Entry #16 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
This is basically death on jets. It can take a beating and it can REALLY dish it out. This one here was seized by Brent Snocom, and rumor has it it was originally flown by Keith T. Maxwell until he drunkenly crashed it trying to impress some girl. As the story goes, the ship was taken from him and he spent some time in the brig, but the girl was indeed very impressed. The Gordon is not as technically over-sophisticated as a Nivelian one or as heavy-build as a Vossk one, but more well rounded than either. It's one hell of a solid ship.
[Unknown entry, unknown blog] - Saya Nehiro
Another well made Nivelian fighter. I've always liked this ship. It just looks neat. From certain angles it kind of looks like different animals. A few of our pilots around here use one and they say she handles well. I've always wanted to fly one, but never gotten the chance. So, if you pick one up, let me have a spin, okay?
[Unknown entry, unknown blog] - Saya Nehiro
I've actually flown this one. It's pretty good. Doesn't handle the best in atmosphere, but that won't really be an issue as Manticore generally avoids planetfall missions. Handles like a dream in space. Not quite as maneuverable as some scouts but she's a solid fighter. Hits hard and flies tight!
[Unknown entry, unknown blog] - Saya Nehiro
This is Kyrrk's favorite ship. It's a brute force front gun fighter that hits hard and doesn't stop hitting. It can't turn very well and doesn't have the best engines. Sometimes I tell Kyrrk he should get himself something with a bit more speed. He tells me I should get a ship with a bit more claw. This has a lot of claw.
Entry #122 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
The main ship used by Manticore fighters. It's a solid scout build by Davilon and it's nimble. Handles well and tends to be reliable and fairly modular. I've always liked working on this ship. It's what makes up most of the hangar bays around here and for good reason. Also, the favorite ship of my late best friend, Hayley. She loved it.
Entry #18 Saya's Space Fighter Facts! - Saya Nehiro
You want a good scouting ship that has that sleek Nivelian sheen? Then you want the Moornta. I just call it the Morny. Or Morn. It looks like a Morn. You know? It's fast. It gets in and it gets out. When it wants to get out? It gets out! Fast. It's gone. Like space lightning! If that was a thing. Or uh, is that a thing?
Entry #71 Saya's Ship Shakedown! - Saya Nehiro
I like to call it the Autumn Reaper. Not it's name. The Nivelian name just kind of sounds like that and the Autumn Reaper sounds really neat! It definitely fits the name. It's a sleek dangerous fighter that looks really scary. I mean, it also handles, well, but woah. It just looks spookifying. I wouldn't want to run into it in a dark alley.
Entry #151 Saya's Ship Shakedown! - Saya Nehiro
Below is a list of all known tactics used by pirates and bosses as explained by the AI Jalen.
These drones use the same battery that keeps them functional to enhance the shield of the ship that launched them. Organics care little for inorganic kind. Shield drones can be used to reinforce the main shield making it difficult to penetrate. However, shooting down the annoying stupid drones will leave the shield weak and soft like a... normal shield.
I have read that some organics can go blind. Their sensory organs destroyed. I can relate as I have experienced a Radar Jammer in action. It is nerve-wracking, as when this happens one must depend entirely on their pilot. All my scanning systems go haywire. The pilot must trust their inefficient organic eyes and should stick to a single target at a time ignoring their radar and doing their best not to panic. Most organics will panic.
A reinforced front shield. A simplistic idea but effective at blocking almost 100% of all primary and secondary weapon damage. Can be defeated by attacking from a different vector. Such as the side or back. Attacking a ship with one of these in a head to head jousting match would be foolish. Though, I have seen many organics try it anyways. Not surprising. So please do use your boost and maneuvering skills.
This bomb will fire a cloud of dangerous, noxious and potantially devastating gas. The exact compound I am unaware; all I know is it causes significant loss of performance in any craft that enters it. Also, though I have no sense of smell, I feel that it would smell bad if I did. Pilots should avoid it so I do not have to contemplate olfactory sensations.
Mines are never much fun. Bombs in space! Though, technically, everything is in space. A single one does not do much damage, but most of these devices scatter a large amount of mines, which, when impacted in quick succession, can cause catastrophic damage. Pilots should avoid them, or if they prefer death, smash into as many as possible.
A teleporter! That seems like a much better way to travel than having to move through space in a linear fashion. Just leaping through space. Hop hop! Very fun! Less fun when someone uses it on me. They teleport nearby, lined up for a devastating series of blasts. Hotshot tactics such as boosts and rolls may be required to evade.
This device creates two "clones" of the original ship that for a limited time can fight like the original. They are easily destroyed, though. They can be seen while being formed, if possible a pilot should focus on the original ship, but shooting them down can be useful if they prove irksome. Fakers gonna hate.
Ah! The butt shield! More annoying than the head shield. It protects the butt of the ship, virtually impenetrable. Trying to break through with any primary or secondary weapons is pointless. The best way around is generally an attack vector from the side. Also, ending up in head to head fire fights. Though, that might end up poorly for both parties.
It's like a teleporter but in reverse! Based on the Khador drive which basically creates worm holes for long distance travel, this punches a hole in space and another in front of the ship firing it. So if a foolish pilot flies into the singularity, they'll end up right in the cross hairs of the ship using this weapon. Best to avoid flying into it at all, but if a pilot does they should take hotshot action immediately.
A dangerous device that can cause permanent cerebral damage to organics if over-used. Can cause wingmen to attack their leader, which can prove bad news for that leader. Shooting them can get them to regain their senses, but will cause damage to their ships. Avoiding them until the effect wears off on its own is often best, but they can be quite strong.
Such a cheater's device! It absorbs any and all weapon energy. Kinetic, beams, plasma, whatever it desires. Then it redirects this energy into shield regeneration. It also glows really bright which makes shooting it seem like a good idea. It is not. Never shoot it. At least it only tends to be active for a few seconds between recharges. Small favors.
Flash Grenade! The organic version of the scanning jammer. Interesting how weak organic sensory organs are. To defeat mine it takes complicated electronics. To defeat organics, it takes a light bulb. Pilots should try and turn their ship away from the flash to lessen any damage to their optic nerves. And if you can't resist staring into the light and go blind, thus will wear off soon. Just don't get shot while you bounce around aimlessly in space.
Below is a list of all bosses in the Grey Shadow gang as explained by the AI Jalen.
A Vossk devoting his life to smashing large ships, invading them, and taking what is inside. It is a curious life T'Hebuk leads. Yet it is no stranger than any other organic's life. My current pilot makes a living exploding other organics. T'Hebuk was known as a professional that never failed a mission, until he ran into Manticore that is.
Jaden Thee. Gambling problems. A family to support. Organics have so many things that pull them in so many directions. It is surprising they can get anything done at all. Still, he betrayed his current post to become a spy for Khador. Is this honorable or foul? Morality is something that seems simple to grasp and yet has such oddly textured nuance. Jaden Thee floats in that texture.
A pirate and scoundrel before he turned experimental weapons developer, Mudshark was known as a ruthless killer among the dark side of the galaxy. Famous for his skill, the messenger policy and preferences for torture. I find it strange that Khador would work with such a person. Though, despite his rough edges, he had a reputation as a genius when it came to bio weapons.
Korgus Rhena was a merc that started out as a deadly trained assassin. He soon found that his piloting skills were even more deadly than his infiltration talents. Taking contracts that were both in space and on the ground he earned a reputation as someone who gets the job done.
This group of techno-spies is masterminded by the genius inventor and member of the long lived Grey species, Khador. He was involved in the hiring of the Gr'Gath gang. Also, he used them as guinea pigs for experimental weaponry and technology. His gang is mostly made up of moles, infiltrators, and scientists. People who work a the highest levels of corporations in the Neox sector. How he's managed to get all of these brilliant people to work for him is beyond me.
My study of the organics, especially the ones my pilot must face continues. Nheeta was an interesting challenge for my pilot. A smuggler hiding behind civilians fleeing a sector that seems to be filled with strife. He have up his boss almost immediately at the idea of incarceration. After seeing so much irrationality, it is interesting to see someone so obsessed with self-preservation.
(By Bryce Vantok)
The Grey Shadow that was Khador's network of spies fell. It wasn't fast or easy, but once a thread of the network was pulled on, it unraveled. Turned out Khador himself had been manipulated by Indigo Brink. He claims he never intended what actually happened. He claims a lot of things, though. Things about unknown threats, about the Void returning. I can't forgive him for the terrors he's caused, but we need his genius to put right what has gone so horribly wrong here in Neox.
The organic Khador thinks as much like a computer as any organic I have encountered. He seems to lack some basic empathy skills, yet possesses a great deal of mental aptitude for technical aspects. He has been studying Terrans for centuries. Watching them and often protecting them. It is rumored that he knows more about Terran origins than the Terran themselves. As I am fairly acquainted with Terrans by now, this sounds very likely. Khador also has a borderline irrational fear of the Void. An advanced race that knows nothing more than to destroy all other life. Honored as scientist and thinker he is not perfect in his mentality. He failed to see how he was being manipulated by Indigo Brink/The Cobalt Lancers, at least at first. He is also quite stubborn. Wanting to continue his research in peace, rather than come forward after his experiments were used so destructively. Perhaps he is less a computer and more like other organics than I first thought. But my data is still very inconclusive. It seemed like Khador effectively positioned my pilot to take apart the Gr'Gath and his own gang. While these kind of paradoxical behaviors are common for organics, there appears to be an odd pattern in Khador's deeds that definitely liik like a design. As lot of Grey incidents do. Note to myself: further investigation required. Additional note: investigate if there's a "myself".
Snotch was an anomaly. Although lacking in many qualities normally prided by the Vossk, he was a capable bureaucrat and a talented tactician. Excelling in almost everything but soldier loyalty. Talent is what seems to have drawn Mortak and Khador to him. Or perhaps he was working for them before he even joined the Vossk? It is hard to say.
It is quite interesting how many organics can be both loyal and disobedient at the same time. Sh'Tare was defending Khador but it seemed was not following Khador's exact wishes. Deciding for oneself that you know better than the one issuing commands is a difficult concept for an AI to fathom. Very, very intriguing though. However, if Sh'Tare is anything to go by, it often ends poorly.
The organic Tsun Kha was more worried about his reputation than his own life. In a world where trust is everything, this would make sense. Still, from our records Tusn Kha's reputation is far from stellar. It seems odd to throw away a life on something that is already tarnished. Perhaps it is this tarnish that made them fight so fiercely for what was left.
The organic I studied lately was Surman Rod. Another one of Khador's cronies that seemed unable to follow his directions. If Khador has a weakness, it is that he seems to underestimate the emotional reaction those who work for him still have. Surman Rod should simply have left us to our devices. If he had not engaged, he would have been in no danger.
Vhitarr baffles my databanks. He claims to have no honor or code and yet he refuses to give us any info on his employers. The Commander believes that what he has given us was what he was told to give us. Vhitarr seems to have found other mercenaries that claim to have codes of honor to be comical. In many ways I agree with him. Morals are a code that is often discarded in the face of adversity.
Th'Ashiik left Vossk space. She found it difficult to get the recognition and the respect she felt she deserved among the occasionally oppressive Vossk culture. The freelance world was different. She was a brilliant security officer. Often coming in and completely turning around many companies' losses to theft and espionage. As always, when she started to work for Khador is unclear.
Genius is a complicated thing when it comes to organics. In a computer it is straight numbers. Yet with organics there are so many different factors to decide. Personality, the ability to work with others, math, raw talent, ingenuity, intuition. Mortak was considered a genius by many. She also seemed to look down on others, which made them respect her more. I find organic interaction to complex to properly predict.
Below is a list of technology used by the common enemy as explained by Saya Nehiro.
These spheres are weird looking. Generally, 50-100m in size and tend to look like some kind of laser grid. Flying through the grid will do some bad things to your ship. Depending on who dropped these, these effects differ. Anyway, if you fly into one jet out of there as fast as you can! They normally have a short battery life though, as they take a lot of power. They burn themselves out after not too long, so just stay away from them.
Those Nivelians have some impressive tech. A common secondary weapon for Nivelian crafts. It's a colloidal suspension of nanobots, a nano fluid system. Those bots pretty much behave like responsive photonic crystals, but I haven't quite figured out why. Anyway, these beasts drain the ship of system and shield energy and use this to power themselves, while also dismantling the hull structure. Wrecking your ability to maneuver, boost, power your shields, breath... try not to get hit with the stuff.
Fighter class ships often use mines as a secondary weapon. Drop them in space and they'll go off when you're near them. Sometimes they'll have something nasty in the explosive that isn't just concussive damage, such as acidic gel or nano-fluids. They will also track your ship if you fly too close and are always dropped in clusters. Don't scratch up any of my ships by flying through them!
Those Vossk know how to make a weapon that really builds up the terror. This weapon enhancement is actually ultra resistant bacteria that oozes a chemical compound. Any contact with this substance and the ship's thrust exhausts create an endothermic reaction. This uses up your thrust heat energy and makes the ship sluggish. But this is not where the bad news end: this chemical reaction's end product is a mean acid that eats its way through the more exposed parts of a ship. Like your shield generators and therefore obviously your shield. That's when the Vossk swoop in for the kill, often taking their time and enjoying the helplessness of their prey.
This is a nasty setup! Mostly used by gunships, it's a BUNCH of homing missiles fired all at once. They generally do less damage than single large missiles, but shaking them off can be a bit more of a problem. Still want to do the roll to the side to break the lock. It's a lot trickier with this prickly cluster attack.
Missiles, missiles, miiiiiiiiiisiles! The homing kind. Dangerous little chasers. Lock on and don't like to shake loose. Real common secondary weapon system. If you have one on your tail, make sure to do a quick roll to the side before they impact. They generally breaks the lock they have on you. If you don't manage that... uh... hope you have good armor?
Haphazard at best. Doesn't mean it isn't dangerous. Pirates tend to use this thing and it's no fun for anyone. A poorly made, and dangerous device. A bunch of nuclear material is packed together and then the radioactive debris is shot out, damaging shields and hulls. Rarely used in any real tactical sense, the weapon is cheap. However, it also gives off radiation damage to the user. Pirates aren't known for being smart.
This is a Terran designed secondary weapon enhancement. It's actually a bunch of microbots. Not nanobots, micro. Which is a bit bigger, more primitive, but also the cheapest to produce at huge numbers. What they do is sync up to a shield's shield power modulator and cause a resonance cascade failure that will bring down the shield. They also can keep shields from regenerating until the bots' energy cells run dry. It's a typical Terran by the book approach: weaken your defenses to make you real susceptible to their main guns.
There are two stories to tell, each divided into two parts. They seem backwards, but this is how the Codex listed them.
"V...Vantok? B...Bryce, C-commander B-Bryce Vantok?" The voice was Nivelian, obviously. The alien must have wandered up from the crowd. He had to stop himself from thinking of them as a 'toad' as he gazed over that odd green face looking back at him. Old habits died hard.
"That's me. What do you want, kid?" Gruffer than he meant to be. The Nivelian was short, Bryce wasn't even sure it was a kid. He didn't know enough about Nivelians to even guess.
"You run Manticore? Right? My transport was being a-atacked by pirates. Nova Defense was supposed to protect us, but there was a m... more important transport and they didn't have enough ships and... and... you... my whole family was... we'd be dead." Bryce was never good at reading emotions on a toad's-- a Nivelian faces. Still, this one time it was pretty clear.
"Kid. It's okay. We were just doing our job. Niva Defense paid us to clean up their mess. Nothing to get all choked up over."
"You saved us. I wanted to..." The Nivelian reached into a small satchel. "Here!" There was a clank, as a green hand slapped a large coin on the table in front of Bryce. It was Nivelian currency. To some it was a month's wages. It was feeding the family for weeks. It was down payment on a trip home. It was a fun week on a place like Neo Vegas. It was too much.
Bryce pushed the coin back across the table. "I can't take this, I appreciate it, but..."
But, the Nivelian was gone. Having disappeared back into the crowd.
About a week later the coin hung on the wall of Bryce's office. Just above his medals. He often looked at it on those long nights when it was just him and a bottle of single malt scotch. It helped.
Stories from the fringes and beyond! Bringing you the news others let slip through the cracks. Breaking story in the Neox sector: The Shattering. The devastating event left billions in mourning as a destructive device devastated several star systems. No group has taken credit, but thanks to the efforts of the Cobalt Lancers it is believed the pirate gang Gr'Gath is responsible. The Cobalt Lancers, lead by an enigmatic but charismatic figure known only as Eclipse, are the leading Private Military Contractor in the Neox sector. They are being relied on heavily to keep the peace after the Shattering destroyed a large chunk of the Vossk, Terran, and Mining Companies military forces...
The text scrolled across the Neo Vegas marquee. It ran high above the din of the station, anyone who wanted to look up could see, but it never distracted from the more entertaining visuals of the casino fronts. Of the different species happily moving in and out ready to lose credits, gold, ore, whatever they could gamble.
The letters just rolled slowly. Bryce, the off duty commander could only watch for so long. The slow scroll made his eyes tired. Thankfully, the click of the ice settling in his glass drew his attention away. He didn't have to think about the Gr'Gath and what their next move would be. Or about the Cobalt Lancers stealing Manticore's credit. He was especially thankful he didn't have to think about the Shattering and all the pilots he'd lost...
Damn, there he was thinking about it. Thinking about how it didn't matter what you did, how hard you tried, or what you accomplished. Someone else always got all the credit. Here he was scraping by, trying to figure out how to keep his pilots fed and his ship flying. While those Cobalt glory hogs were given all the lucrative high paying contracts, leaving the scraps for people that did the real--
"Kyrrk!" Came a woman's voice back over his com. It was Saya, the Manticore's deck chief. "We've barely got any ships that are flight-ready. If you keep pushing them like this..."
"They will be paid in accordance with their bravery." He responded simply. He often responded simply.
"Kyrrk, if you keep pushing our ships and pilots like this people are going to get hurt." There was silence. Kyrrk didn't respond. All he did was send her data on the mission at hand.
There were a few moments, but Kyrrk knew what her reponse would be once she's seen the mission specs. Saya's voice was a touch softer when it did come through . "No ship launches that I haven't green lit. Okay?"
"Agreed." Kyrrk watched the lights flash as the ships launched. Knowing soon he would need to bring up tactical. Direct them as needed, pull them back if it was too much. There was a blip as another contract offer came in.
A simple hit and run mission, Manticore. All we need from you is to distract the mining forces while we raid-- He clicked down, dismissing the contract.
-Starfire Survey Mining has gotten in our way for the last time! We need you to destroy their surplus mining equipment that is being held in this system! It's unguarded.- Kyrrk's claw hit the button playing the next contract offer.
-Manticore. Your reputation proceeds you, we need you to set up a blockade around the newly founded Anchorage station. This will allow us to increase the prices of food goods in the area- He didn't even let that one finish before he clicked on to the next one.
-We need your strength Manticore! We need help defending ourselves from...- Kyrrk leaned forward at that, his hand hovering over the button that would accept. -...Nova Defense! We're a collection of... free traders, who have been hit hard by them. We know you and Nova Defense don't get along, we'd only need one of their carrier disable for...- Kyrrk hissed and shut the console off.
"Pirates." The venom in his voice was clear. He was a powerful, scarred, old Vossk. The way he said the word was terrifying. Even in the empty room of his office. Pirates. Once, he might have joined them. Strength. He'd worshiped strength back then. Power for the sake of power. The younger him would have taken any of these contracts.
The younger him would still be with his people.
There was a beep, the contract incoming was live. No text, it was audio. Audio meant it was time sensitive. Scratchy and broken up, but he had gotten good and making out garbled radio through the years. "They're ripping us apart! Drones! Stripping the ship so fast. I don't know how long we have! Anyone! We'll pay anything we can! They won't answer our hails! We--"
His claw hit the comm button. His voice broadcast back over the vastness of space. "This is Manticore. We read you. We'll respond if we can. Our strength is your strength. Hold on. If you can't... those that have slain you will feel our rage. I promise you this."
His claw hit another button, his voice broadcast to the flight deck. "All active pilots, this is Kyrrk. We have a scramble situation All active pilots. Any willing to launch will receive hazard pay. Bravery does not go unrewarded." That would leave little left for the Manticore as a whole after the sortie. But it would get the mission done.
Below is a list of the planets & orbits in the Porros area of the Neox sector as most likely explained by Bryce Vantok or the AI Jalen.
A massive asteroid in orbit around Rea that first brought Starfire Survey into the belt. It was found that the belt was full of a special kind of Mhaan-Tiq and Starfire Survey set up Survey Main to aid in the mining process. This facility is often hit by asteroids and it is quite impressive to see it rebuilt weekly, only to be smashed yet again. "Stubborn" is a good way to describe the facility.
An interesting "nexus" that often arises in trading lanes. The particular gravity wells of the ares lead a lot of jump gates to "dump out" here and thus while there is nothing of real interest, it is a part of space that sees a lot of traffic. Leading to a large amount of "space trash". It is rare to not see at least one or two convoys chugging through this part of space.
A gas giant that has had several things crashed deep into it. There is an ongoing attempt to pull whatever they are out, as the substances leaking from it have proven quite valuable. Some believe they are ships full of alien technology, others assume they are just mineral rich asteroids. This area is fairly popular among the fairly low intelligence group known as "treasure hunters".
Solar winds have blown the dust off of the planets orbiting a red dwarf into space for eons, creating a massive dust cloud. While the name "Qhufu's Thirsy" refers to a specific desert planet, it often colloquially is used to mean the entire cloud. There was also a disease outbreak in the area that only affected the Vossk. It seems that the Vossk are susceptible to a kind of Mhaan-Tiq poisoning.
A once Starfire Survey dominated asteroid field rich in Mhaan-Tiq. Recently the Vossk came in, blew everything up, including the largest Starfire Survey facility in Porros, and took the asteroid field for themselves. Starfire Survey has complained to the Terran Federation, but they fear a war of retaliation. The Vossk use the husk of the old Starfire Survey stations to store goods and equipment.
A planet was destroyed well before any race entered this part of space. As its destruction looks exactly like the destruction caused by The Shattering, this led to the widespread believe The Shattering may have been a naturally occurring Mhaan-Tiq accident. The area is often used to store dangerous Mhaan-Tiq so that if it explodes the only think it will hurt is the already broken up planet.
In a dangerous corner of the Porros region there is a sun about to go super nova. Several scientific installations have been put in place to study the phenomenon up close. Many of the scientists are banking their entire careers on discovering something worthwhile in the sun's death. Hopefully they have properly predicted when it will go off, as anything remaining in the sector will not survive.
Much deeper into the Neox sector than the Trim is Porros. Very rich in Mhaan-Tiq and unlike the Rigant Vortex it is a fairly safe region, at least as far as space anomalies go. Mining corporations continue to heavily expand in this region and thanks to the massive amount of wealth being excavated, piracy is a large problem. On top of this, skirmishes between the races and companies working to secure the area make it difficult to police properly. Mercenary groups are often hired to keep the peace, which works about as well as one would expect, poorly. The working conditions of those in the Porros region, mining Mhaan-Tiq and other minerals is horrible. There are often attempts to create a workers union. They are squashed quickly for fear it would disrupt the flow of Mhaan-Tiq.
Sapphire is the only known blue water planet in the Porros region of Neox. Making it valuable, as water is surprisingly rare in the Porros region. All major factions have water extractors in place, quickly pumping the planet try to keep their mining industries working. It is possible that soon Sapphire will no longer be a water planet. Will they change the name if this comes to pass?
A massive gas giant in the center of the Porros region. It is exceptionally large for a gas giant and has an interesting reaction with the Mhaan-Tiq mineral that is visible from most angles. The asteroid field around the planet is mined by Starfire Survey. Stations set up in the belt are often crushed by large asteroids. Despite this, it is a lucrative job, the high mortality rate means high pay.
Below are a few scientific advancements as most likely explained by the AI Jalen.
Invented by Khador, the Grey and given to Keith T. Maxwell to fight the Void menace. It allows a ship to jump huge stretches of space without use of a jump gate. However so far the only known existence of this drive is in the ship owned by Maxwell. Khador has said the technology has so far been impossible to reproduce, but most agree he's a liar, though few are willing to say so to his face.
The Void race seem to be the only ones who have managed to perfect the use of wormholes as makeshift jump gates. Using this technology for hit and run tactics. Other races have managed to build prototypes, but they are still unperfected and tend to only exist on larger military ships. It remains the Void's main technological advantage in galactic conflicts. It also makes them scary!
First discovered by the native race of the Neox Sector, the Inouac, where it is a central part of their civilization. Mhaan-Tiq (Which means "Star Blood" in the native language) came to more commonly be known as "Glow" thanks to its etheral blue luminescence. An organic "fungus" Mhaan-Tiq, grows in firm rock, such as asteroids and sometimes planets. It consumes the matter and produces spores that survive in the vacuum of space. It came to galactic attention after it was found to possess startling energy potential. A "Glow"-rush followed. A mass migration invaded the Neox sector and displaced the natives. Mhaan-Tiq is currently the most valuable resource in the galaxy and thus it causes more armed conflicts than anything else. My studies suggest this is common and unavoidable.
Below is a list of all manufacturing companies as explained by their appropriate representatives.
"Berger is bigger! Berger is better!"
When you want something more than the generic trash that floats around space these days, you go with Berger. Berger refuses to put out a product we don't believe in. Lives depend on our equipment and so we give the care and attention they deserve. Our R&D averages fifty years between major releases. Each of our weapons is the proud life-time achievement of an entire team of dedicated interests. Go with Berger when you need quality. Go with Berger.
Ships: Groza, Shaan'Ra
"Do not fear the darkness."
Telta has been the leader of scanning and scanning equipment for years. Less well known is our more combat oriented equipment. Today, we're hoping to draw attention to our often overlooked but consistently top tier devices and weapons! We consistently outperform our closest rival in all categories. You may think of Telta for scanners and digital detection, but remember us for combat equipment that will make them think twice!
"Building a better tomorrow today."
There is no point in fighting for today if tomorrow there will be nothing. No matter what you make, it needs to be done in a fuel-efficient, renewable way. Engines, mining equipment, even weapons. The universe may seem like an endless supply of resources, but that isn't the case. XCY believes in smart products for a smart future. Our children need us to care now, not tomorrow.
"We see you before you see us."
The depths of space are scary. Full of terrors unknown, at least they were, before Hiroto Scanners came onto the market! Turning the dark into light! After dominating the scanners market Hiroto has moved into the cloaking market. We've taken out expertise in how to find things and we've produced the best in the business in not being found. Trust Hiroto with both.
"You can set your watch by us."
Aquila Military Research (AMR) gets its name from the Aquila system. A cozy little Terran backwater you should visit if you ever get the chance. AMR began its journey making time-pieces and was soon known as the best in the business! Our time-pieces were beloved for their intricate detail and their Novanium cores. Using this very technical knowledge we moved into a relatively similar field to become yet again the top trendsetters: mass destruction. AMR became the leader in high yield weaponry, known once again for our intricate detail and our Novanium casings. AMR continues to dominate any market it sets its sights on.
Weapons: AMR Railgun, AMR 3X-R, AMR Cluster-6
"The rules of thermodynamics be damned!"
Rhoda Designs is known for pushing the envelope of space and time. We don't like being told what is and isn't doable. Nothing stands in our way when we have a concept, we find a way to make it a reality. We've been dazzling the market for over a hundred years. It's not magic it's just good science. Take the saliva of the Prosperian protofly. Ignored by most, but not by us: extract it secretion during quantum radiation and have the means to create a dilation field slowing down time for its user. Through the powers of science, we made the impossible possible. Rhoda Designs: We bend reality to serve you.
"Kathashán knows and supports your desire to kill."
You buy weapons to crush your enemies. To gaze up on their smoldering remains in the glistening sea of stars. Kathashán knows this. Kathashán understands. Our weapons are designed to kill. Our ships are designed to destroy. Kathashán does not pretend. Kathashán welcomes your business and promises swift death to your foes.
"Free trade builds free star systems."
The universe has long envied the Nivelians' tech. Their ships and weapons have always had a certain something that couldn't be bought. That's all changed thanks to Loma Industries. Now, anyone can own Nivelian technology as long as they have the credits. Don't worry, it is all fully legal and approved by the Nivelian government. We've cut through all that bureaucratic nonsense and made things simple for the consumer. Loma Industries - better neighbors through better trade. Background checks and accreditation confirmation are required.
"Your grandma's company!"
KNOS is a family company. We've been family owned for sixteen generations. We may be a bit reclusive and a touch secretive, but that's just our way. We make what we like. Our catalog ends up a bit eclectic, but we have no desire to be like the other companies out there. We have a wide and varied interest in providing the best possible products to our customers!
"Weak prices, but hard hits."
The Nirai Company would like to thank the galactic market for continual support of our products even after the closure of our major factories. Now under new management we're up and running again. Ready to continue to provide some of the best low cost solutions to your defensive needs. Whether you are a cargo runner or just a private citizen looking to protect yourself: you can count on Nirai.
"If your enemy ain't broke? Unfix them!"
If you see someone who's face you want to kick! But all you've got is a space ship when your enemy is making you sick. Get yourself a weapon that'll really turn your foes to dust! Get yourself a Ketar made weapon or bust!
And when you're out of luck, when you're stuck in a quantum singularity and your engine is full of muck. When you don't know where to turn and you're afraid things have gotten grim. Fire up the old Ketar repair, and then you never again need to despair! Your ship will be fixed in just a jiffy, so thank the stars for Ketar drones, they're rather nifty!
Below is a list of Area of Effect weapons usable in game as most likely explained by Saya Nehiro.
A nice big EMP blast that will fry most ships' systems. Forces them to do a hard reboot or be sitting ducks. Calibrated to your own wingmen so that no one on your side gets the ill effects. Can give you the few seconds you need to shred some pirates or whoever you're shredding on that given day, as long as it's not me.
Have you ever wished your shield could expand really fast and explode in all directions shooting out a shockwave that hurts everything around you? Uh, well, that's what this does! Turns your shield into a big damaging energy wave. Uses up your shields, obviously. Hurts everything around you, obviously. Pretty spiffy, if dangerous.
Below is a list of all planets in the Trim area of the Neox Sector as explained by the AI Jalen.
One of the first worlds colonized in the Trim was Anchorage. They were mostly settlers hoping for a better life. Organics being fairly uncreative, named the large station around Anchorage - "Anchorage Station". It is a trading and cultural nexus with many "sub stations". Continuing the naming pattern, the spaceport is known as "Anchorage Wharf" and has jumpgates that lead deep into the Trim.
A planet devastated by Starfire Survey's proprietary form of strip mining. It is also home to a Terran Federation military outpost. When Neox was first being colonized, this was the center of a large dispute between private enterprises and the military. Both now lay claim to the once important planet. It has since lost all strategic value, a forgotten monument to organic tomfoolery.
As an Artificial Intelligence I do not know what the sun feels like. So, the Najaden Paradise holds little draw for me. Covered in lush tropical forests, it is a popular place for Terrans to vacation, until rich mineral reserves were discovered under the planet crust. Now it is amidst a property value. Starfire Survey has left a ring of mines to protect the planet from "vandals".
The subject of much legend and little fact. Around a year ago on the outer border of the Trim flared it to life. A sun-like celestial object that gave off blue light that scientists have yet to properly classify. Some more religious colonists flooded the area looking for a new home. A large flare of energy from the Lazuline burned them all alive. Perhaps it was an answer from their god?
The Icicles are an asteroid belt around Anchorage. It seems pirates often hide here preying upon those traveling in and out of the system. The asteroids are made up largely of frozen volatiles such as methane, ammonia, and water. Such volatiles are called Ices. This is a separate classification than ice and has nothing to do with temperature. Organic scientists enjoy confusing non scientists.
Neo Vegas rests in a system that is in the middle of the "Barrens", a vast, empty area of the Trim. Neo Vegas is a popular place for organics to practice their vices. It is also a popular place for organized crime. My research into organics suggests that vices, such as gambling, and organized crime, tend to go hand in hand, so this is normal. Gambling and crime both seem fun.
Phoenix Station orbits around Geminus and suffered great damage in the asteroid storm that left the planet uninhabitable. Before that, the station was a scientific viewing platform aimed at the Rigant Vortex. Phoenix Station saw the approaching storm and signaled the evacuation. A few scientists decided to remain behind to oversee the evacuation. What I could find suggests they all perished. Organics can be odd.
The native race of the Neox sector, the Inouac, call this area Treem'oq. As it means "far away place" they probably have a much better name for it that no one bothered to learn. The Terrans call it the Trim and claimed it with little resistance. The exact borders is ill-defined. It is the area of Neox closest to the galactic core. As a major shipping lane out of Neox, it is well patrolled. Pirate activity is low and the Inouac rarely venture into this area... The Trim is a relatively peaceful as Mhaan-Tiq is less common and thus organics killing each other over glowing bits of matter is reduced. This can all change in a moment, of course. I was until recently the AI on a pirate fighter in the Trim. Not I am the AI in a fighter with a merc outfit that hunts pirates. Existence is volatile.
A massive cargo district is the visually dominating aspect of the port. It is operated by Terran companies. However the technology that makes it possible is Nivelian. Porros has an advanced jump gate known as "Slipstream". It is called this even though it neither lets anything "slip" or "stream". It allows jumps from the Porros sector to the Trim. Letting ships avoid the dangerous Rigant Vortex.