SC2 Loops

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Death 999
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SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 4:18 pm

So, there's a subgenre of fanfiction based on groundhog day, where one or more characters relive the events of their story, able to make changes, over and over again. Except that:
1) the loops are longer, generally spanning the length of the work
2) there can be variant loops - arbitrary changes to how things have gone up to this point. Sometimes work by temporarily incorporating the continuity of fiction, especially fanfiction about other loopers, but the changes can be arbitrary.
3) Loops are in one massive continuity based around 'Yggdrasil', run by a multi-pantheon ensemble of gods trying to fix a damaged timestream. Each world has an 'admin'; I have chosen SC's to be Brünnhilda, though I don't expect this to come up much.

Anyway, I naturally thought of SC2. I submitted a crossover to the MLP Loops thread at Spacebattles.

Then I began thinking of pure SC2 loops. Finding the best run paths for minimizing death and destruction. Strategically adding loopers by making friends very intensely with one race. Adding more looping crew. Some risk-lover trying to make friends with some Ur-Quan and Kohr-Ah so they can loop and remember and stop the madness. Seems crazy, but if it worked on the Thraddash first?

Some additional rules for the loops (not a comprehensive list):

3) additional people (especially those emotionally connected to the original looper) can join in looping (though not all will appear in all loops - every loop must have one 'anchor', or the first person to loop in some world, though it doesn't need to be the local anchor. So Zelnick could be replaced by Naruto, Jean-Luc Picard, Ranma Saotome, Goku, or Twilight Sparkle... but it would not be the case that SC2 would occur with the only looper being, say, Ryoga. On the other hand, Star Trek loopers generally stay out of the way.)
3a) visiting characters will normally appear to be the person they are replacing. So so if Naruto took over Zelnick, no one would be surprised at a sudden appearance shift.
3b) Not always. Sometimes there are awakening-related appearance shifts. Usually not so drastic as to change species.
3c) Variants can more easily change what people looked like from before the beginning of the loop.
4) Loopers can sometimes carry non-native abilities over, like if they learned to use the Force while in Star Wars, they could use it elsewhere. Some loops do not permit this.
5) After gaining enough experience, loopers can declare their presence in a loop with a magical 'ping', audible to other loopers only, with a range of megaparsecs (not hearing a ping due to distance should be reserved for intergalactic travel, and even then should default to hearing it). Also, they get a 'subspace pocket' in which they can store things and carry them from loop to loop. Size grows with time. Ranma, one of the originals, has been around long enough to store a solar system in his. On the other hand, he's exceptional in many ways.
5a) the pocket is in their soul, so it's unwise to put corrupting artifacts in it.

Anyone can submit a 'snip' or a whole loop, though I - or if we develop a community, we - can reject it if it goes against the grain, but the general idea is to work together.

Also, things can go way out of order. Note that I wrote loop 20 first, and only then started in on loop 2.
Last edited by Death 999 on Wed May 03, 2017 9:50 pm, edited 8 times in total.

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Tue May 13, 2014 10:21 am

We were dead an hour ago, ever since we got tangled with that first group, letting the others catch up. We've just spent the last few minutes avenging ourselves in advance. We've destroyed enough to be heroes of the first war, but now I just feel like a dunce.

Fwiffo is dead. Nargle, and Bwinkin, dead. Leeta, dead. Tinkafo, forcibly discorporated. *Wet* has had its fingers retracted to below or whatever. Crow is chatting up the worm of the dead. ... Who am I skipping? I can normally remember their names. Why not now?

His hands had drifted from the controls, not that it particularly sped his fate. The bridge was so very clean. Sparks had never flown, panels had never blown. The loudest sounds had been shouted orders, and now there were none. Every bridge crewman was alive for these last two seconds.

The blades landed, and then... they weren't, anymore. It was so sudden, he didn't have time to finish flinching.

"Captain?" A mild inquiry, in a voice he hadn't heard in a long time.

Zelnick squinted; his eyes flew to the status indicators. Only one escort... a cruiser? Green across the board, but the ship has been stripped to basically nothing. Its original configuration. We have just entered Sol system.

He slowly turned and found Lewis. Lewis, who had died two years ago, not as good at commanding a cruiser as he'd expected.

Zelnick closed his eyes, and Lewis chuckled. Quietly, he said, "A bit spacesick? Funny you'd get that coming down from hyperspace." He clapped Zelnick on the shoulder and walked forward.

A little turn. "So. Shall we head in-system?"

Zelnick thought. This is so real. And my memories are so real. And they don't go together at all. All right. One or the other is right. If it's the memories, then this is just my life flashing before my eyes in the way it wasn't a moment ago, and nothing really matters. If this is real, then it very much does matter. And then I either remember true things, or not. Time to check.

"Set a course for Pluto."

Everyone on the bridge turned to look at him, confused.

"Everyone, write down a prediction of what we'll find there. Most specific correct prediction wins."

Lewis coughed. "Wins?"

"Meaningless competition, but try to win anyway. Look. What do you see in this system? More to the point, what are we not seeing here?"

Everyone looked at the viewscreen. Wei offered, "Large numbers of spacecraft. Civilization."

"Right. So I think we can deduce that Earth is slave-shielded. In which case, we want to be very very circumspect."

Kemmerer began hyperventilating. "Ohmygod. We just flew through Ur-Quan Space in this barge. We gotta mine and go back home."

Zelnick stood up and walked over to her. I transferred her to the StarRunner soon enough, to give Fwiffo someone he could relate to. Maybe I'll do that again. Assuming Fwiffo's real and I didn't just have a colossal delusional episode. He looked down at her, amused. "Alice?"

She pursed her lips and self-consciously turned back to her post. "Sorry, umm. Not the captain, that's who I am."

Zelnick smiled mildly at her. "Speaking of which... navigator?"

"Geez, André. 'Navigator'. Heh."

Zelnick's smile slipped. "Would you lay in the course, Mister Valdez?"

"Already working on it. I'm, ah, kind of new at this."

I forgot how terrible we were at flying this to begin with. I suppose I can test these memories by doing it myself, to see if they work. On the other hand, if I coddle him, will he learn? At least it won't really be a change to my reputation if I seem to just master it out of nowhere. On the other hand, we learned this together. "Want a hand?"

"That would be nice, 'cap'n'."

Zelnick strode up to the station. It looked very familiar. "I'm pretty sure that this is the interface for hyperspace."

"Yeah, but how do I switch?"

A flick of the wrist, and there they were. "Ah." Zelnick backed off and let him finish. "Course plotted."

Zelnick waited for him to lay it in; he didn't. Shoot. How do I handle this? Do I correct him right off and come off as a know-it-all, or do I let him screw it up and come across as not knowing? Or worse yet, knowing (as I do) and letting him fail anyway?

Take the middle road... know what needs to be done, but not act like a teacher.

"Very good. Can you, ah, send that this way so I can use it?"

Valdez hunted for a minute, then found the appropriate control and laid the course in. Zelnick hit the button to execute it, thanked him, and stepped off the bridge into his cabin. Oh wow. I haven't decorated this yet. At all. Well. I have some thinking to do. He lay down. The weariness he felt from the battle that had killed him and from adapting to his new circumstance struck him, and he slept.

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Sun Nov 02, 2014 11:43 am

(loop 1, continued)

"Hello there. We, ah, couldn't help noticing you down there. Sitting all alone in the outermost reaches of a system, so far from other Spathi. Rather far from your appointed post near Earth.

Zelnick got up and wandered around a little. "You know, it reminds me of a story. There was an empire, famous for executing people. The Emperor ordered one of his generals to march to join him, to help fight a rebellion. There was rain, and the roads turned to mud, and they could not make it in time. So the general said to his first officer, 'what is the penalty for rebellion?'. The officer replied, 'death.' The general said, 'what is the penalty for being late?' and the officer replied, 'death.' So... they joined the rebellion and toppled the empire.

Turning dramatically to the viewscreen, "My point is, the Ur-Quan are not going to be amused with the trick you pulled here. They might not notice for a few more years, but then? Squish. You'd be the first. Don't even count on the faint hope of being relieved by Spathi returning. They won't. You know that. Plus, the Ur-Quan will be very put out by, well, our coming here and getting a foothold, which is what we're about to do. Buut, if you join us, you have a chance to live. A good chance. You can..."



"The Spathi aboard has died."

"What? Oh, snot! Did I just scare him to death?"

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Thu Nov 20, 2014 3:17 am

(Loop 1, continued)

Hayes sat behind his tiny desk and spun the tumbler in his fingers. He didn't come close to meeting Zelnick's eyes.

"So let me get this straight: not only do you have an enormous starship that we could turn into a real bruiser with enough resources, but you have memories from the future."

"Right. I don't know how. Could have something to do with the Arilou."

Hayes stared out the window at the Vindicator, then downed the shot. "And we lost."

"I made a stupid mistake. I won't do it again. And I can get us up and running much more quickly than last time. That'll give us the time we need to figure out the rest."

Hayes closed his eyes. "So these Kohr-Ah... cousins of the Ur-Quan..."

"They are Ur-Quan, just a different branch."

"Just... kill everyone but Ur-Quan."

"Until us."

"They've been at this for ten thousand years?"

"We gave the Kzer-Za the most trouble they'd ever had. With their thralls at our side, we can do it."

Hayes took a deep breath. "Fighting alongide Ilwrath?"

"Well, not them."


"I don't think we'll get them."


"I have a possible lead there, but it's kind of a stretch."

"Not the Androsynth?"

"They've been eaten by aliens. The aliens are all right, though. All right-ish."

"So, Umgah and Spathi?"

"Hey, the Spathi are really strong. I guess it's not so much the thralls as the others who didn't get involved - the Utwig, Supox, Pkunk, Zoq, Fot, Pik..."

Hayes leaned forward. "I don't believe you out right. But I'll give you a chance. What's your first mission plan?"

"Visit the Pkunk. They offered me unlimited assistance last time, but then got the impression that I was offended. I'll see if I can make it clear I'm not."

Hayes pursed his lips. "If you don't find these Pkunk..."

"Then I'll know I'm actually crazy and I'll step down myself."

Hayes looked Zelnick in the eye, and put his hand across the table. "Deal."

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:49 pm

OK, so my plan for the rest of loop 1 is to have Zelnick talk with the Pkunk, ask them what's going on if they can, and they tell him that the loops aren't going anywhere. He's going to be looping for a LONG time.

The crew take this as proof that their quest is hopeless, because this looping thing was attributed to the Arilou, morale plummets, they die.

Loop 2, he decides to play it closer to his vest. Wanting to avoid losing crew to Fwiffo, he decides to handle the Starbase arc first.

The Ilwrath Avenger wipes them out due to unlucky spawn points.

Loop 3, he goes to Io first, gets Fwiffo second, loses the lander (but no crew), bums a new lander off of Hayes so they can investigate the Moon (oh-right-I-forgot-that-part-but-phew), and they're in business. Soon find out that the Arilou are not behind this.

A bit of a procedural note: Anyone can write anything from any time. Like, I wrote loop 20 before I got started with 1. You can write something about the first looping Utwig or something. We all try to work within the same framework.

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Angelfish » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:27 am

this thread would capture my attention span if there were pics of the things that happened.

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Fri Jan 23, 2015 2:34 am

:? well, umm. We're in *Heavy Space*, not the fan-content forum. We expect fiction and RP, not art, here.

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Angelfish » Fri Jan 23, 2015 12:21 pm

Death 999 wrote::? well, umm. We're in *Heavy Space*, not the fan-content forum. We expect fiction and RP, not art, here.
schematics are not art.

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Death 999 » Wed Feb 11, 2015 3:05 am

Greenish maintained his businesslike demeanor. "As... interesting as this information is, it is not what I requested. As such, I am not granting any credit."

"But now you know where they all are!"

"You have not given me proof of the facts I am interested in."

"I told you all - well, several - facts that you would have offered to sell me, and identified several of the technologies you have to offer, without being told! That should demonstrate..."

"Captain, you misunderstand. I believe your claim. But I am interested in the... actual content of the scans."

"Oh. Well, why didn't you say so before?"

"Because before, it did not matter. To prove you had found them, you would need to provide the scans. This would provide me evidence concerning our... conjectures."

A sigh. "Well, there went my jump-start."

"I assure you, captain, with the knowledge you have, you will have little trouble gathering the information I requested. However, I am reducing the offered rate from five hundred to two hundred credits each, as your expenses in gathering these scans will be... greatly reduced."

"Two thousand... That's just enough to get all of the technologies you have to offer."

"With fifty credits left over. Still an excellent rate."

"Yeah, I guess. Well, See you later, I guess."

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Re: SC2 Loops

Post by Quasispatial » Wed Feb 11, 2015 9:45 am

And so it began again...
Maybe he shouldn't have asked the Orz about you-know-what, but by now it was a bit too late. He'd have to start from the beginning. Again.

Hold on, where was he? This didn't look like the Vindicator's bridge. This was all blue and... colorful. It sort of reminded him of an Eluder's bridge, actually...

Also, no depth perception. Fantastic...

Wait a minute... If he was on an Eluder's bridge, no other crew in sight and lacking depth perception entirely, then...

Carefully, he brought up his left hand, and was met with the sight of a mostly-purple claw. Letting out a surprised shriek, his voice being that of a Spathi, he panicked. 'This could not be happening. He was a human, not a spathi!'

A few minutes later, once he'd calmed down (apparently having gotten a few of the Spathi panicking-tendencies), he rapidly began investigating exactly where he was, coming to the conclusion of 'Pluto', and there was only one spathi he knew of who lived on Pluto, alone as the sole Earthguard remnant, until the Vindicator came along.

...Hold on. If he was here, then Fwiffo must be... Uh-oh.

---Meanwhile, on the bridge of a certain precursor vessel---

There was confusion, surprise and, most of all, more confusion. Fwiffo had been relaxing on his Eluder, the Starrunner, when suddenly his vision blurred. A few moments later, it cleared to an entirely different scenery, one utterly unfamiliar to him -which was scary in its own right- but the worst thing was, it was utterly filled with Hunams.

Predictably, panic ensued, as Fwiffo fled from the scene as fast as his legs would carry him. Of course, during this he noticed he was a lot taller, and a quick glance down showed the physique of a human. By all rights, this should've been impossible - he was a Spathi, not a scary Hunam, and it shouldn't have been possible for that simple fact to change.

Thereby, by the time he'd found himself in some sort of sleeping quarters (the section he was in being empty of Hunams, fortunately) his mind jumped to the only conclusion which made any sort of sense: Umgah prank.

Crying out that he'd figured out that it was all a prank didn't help his situation, though, as it remained unchanged. He clearly wasn't getting out of their highly evil joke that quickly - if he played along, trying to act like a human would, maybe they'd get bored and let him get back to the safety of the Starrunner? Yes, he'd do that; it was worth a try. They'd get bored eventually.
"Sentient life. We are the Ur-Quan. Independence is intolerable. Blah, blah, blah." - the Spathi High Council, Star Control II.

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