Thursday, 5 July 2012

Brute Force story overview 1

Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far way...

I realise I've not been very good at explaining Brute Force in previous posts. I've focused on lists (yay lists!) of bits, but never really given a clear explanation of what Brute Force is about. This post aims to at least partially fix that.

Level 1: Planetfall (cutscene) Life Jim, but not as we know it.
Solus system, 2552, timeline 23G.

The Scout Fraction AI battleship Eight Track, exploring a new universe, stumbles upon the Earth-parallel of this timeline: Jetstone. In 2552, Jetstone has just launched its first generation ships to other stars, but has not yet encountered alien life. Understandably, the government of Jetstone is surprised when Eight Track requests clearance to enter orbit over their planetary air-traffic control frequencies.

Some negotiations later, it is agreed: Eight Track will land a holographic avatar (identified to the authorities as the "captain" of the Eight Track) and two troops of Golem at a military base outside Vassau City, Palland (parallel: Warsaw, Poland). One of the troops is drawn from Eight Track's current ready shift, while the other is powered up from storage and sent later. The player (Trooper Render) is part of the second troop.

Note: Jetstonite appearance - Jetstonites are humanoid, but have compound eyes in place of Terran eyes. They also have a flat/angular straight forehead and nose, and sharp cheekbones. Internal anatomy is somewhat different, but not in any way important to the story.

Level 2: A Refresher Course In Kickass (tutorial) Get back in shape.
Eight Track, Jetstone orbit.

Render powers up under supervision of one of Eight Track's submind personalities. He/she (default male, so I'll refer to Render as "he" etc. from now on) heads over to a simulation chamber (tutorial: movement and look controls) to confirm he still functions correctly after power-up. The simulation consists of a basic assault course, leading to a defended fortification containing a flag-type objective, which must be returned to the starting point. (tutorial: armour upgrades such as the Aerial Maneuvering Pack, various weapons, cover etc.)

When Render leaves the chamber, Eight Track informs him that the other members of his troop are ready to go, and directs him to a drop bay. The rest of the troop is waiting there. Render's HUD highlights them in turn as part of a FOF systems check while the troop prepares their gear and drop panels.

- Troop Commander Arkady is the largest Golem in the troop. He's a friendly Russian-accented soldier, with a big sword and heavy armour. He carries his custom sword, his custom shotgun, and a KA-6D Barrett-Winters "Force 10" EB sidearm.
- Trooper Kall is the "grizzled vet" of the troop. He's one of the older Golem still in Fraction service, having been built as a Class 39 Golem several years ago, and upgraded with each subsequent class to the current level, Class 42. He carries a Shock Rifle and a Moskit Ranged Variant sidearm.
- Trooper Raykee is the troop's black ops specialist, newly transferred from Elite Covert Training on the Xantium. She carries an Aucken T-22 GPR and a Silenced Moskit sidearm.
- Trooper Erlin-I (Erlin) is an air-ops specialist, also new to the troop. She doesn't have much combat experience, but is an excellent pilot and AMP user. She carries dual Automags and a Tumbler SMG.
- Trooper Grim is Eight Track's best explosives man. This reputation was hard-earned though, as the damage to his lower face and helmet show. He carries a Fusion cyclotron blaster and a Stinger dual-purpose sidearm. In the field, he can provide Render with FAMEs jury-rigged to have more explosive force.

When the troop is ready, they settle down on their drop panels, and the drop bay doors open.

Level 3: Deployment The best-laid plans of AIs and men...
Vassau City outskirts, Jetstone, 13:30 local time.

The troop's drop panels (heavy shielded armour plates, fitted with shock absorbing gel layers, and anti-gravity to return to the ship) land a short way from the meeting site, next to the first troop's panels. A sentry (identified by Render's HUD as Trooper Folken 442) greets Arkady, and directs him to the meeting site.
Eight Track's avatar, a tall, thin, Golem-style android, is conversing with a few Jetstone officials, some in suits, and some in uniform. Another Golem (identified as TC Breaker 3) waves to Arkady, and tells him where to position his troop via helmet comms. Arkady acknowledges, and orders the troop to set up. Render is positioned standing near Eight Track, on the opposite side of the avatar to another Golem from the first troop (identified as Trooper Lyte).

A short period of diplomacy later, there is a flash in the sky, and Eight Track stops mid-sentence. A Ready Warning appears on the troop's HUDs, and every Golem present draws their weapon and shifts to a combat stance. The Jetstonites back away nervously. After a brief pause, Eight Track speaks over Fraction comms, informing the Golem that he has been engaged in orbit by a Jetstone dreadnaught. While primitive compared to the AI battleship, the dreadnaught caught him unprepared. Eight Track quickly destroys the dreadnaught, and one of its engine nacelles crashes to the ground on the other side of the nearby river.

Jetstone soldiers and mounted guns from the military base open fire on the Golem, sending them diving for cover. During the firefight, Render and Erlin disable a gun-tower, enabling the Golem to make use of their armour and drive off the lighter-armed Jetstonites. While the troop is reforming, Eight Track speaks over comms again, ordering Breaker 3's troop to secure the drop zone, while Arkady's troop chases the escaped Jetstonite brass. The troop fights its way up an elevated road into the city, but are stopped by a heavy roadblock, which the target truck escapes through.

That's all I've got time for right now, but tune in later/tomorrow for the next few levels!

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