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Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:18 pm
by krulle
Ain't discussions about how many ships are given maximally prime examples for stuff that should go behind spoiler tags?

At least until The Troglodyte used his time portal device to find these minor things out for himself?

Not that it really influnces the game...

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:50 pm
by Quasispatial
krulle wrote: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:18 pm Ain't discussions about how many ships are given maximally prime examples for stuff that should go behind spoiler tags?

At least until The Troglodyte used his time portal device to find these minor things out for himself?

Not that it really influnces the game...
Honestly, the thing is that finding out such knowledge is little more than tedious repetition for facts which are honestly too small for me to think they're something to consider as spoilers. Before he'd ran into the encounters, sure, then it was a spoiler. Now, he's already seen the encounters related to the ships we discuss and going back to figure out the exact number is little more than meaningless tedium regardless of what little tidbits of dialogue that may or may not unveil. I mean, you don't see us discussing Death March Utwig/Supox fleet reinforcements, do you?

As such, honestly, unless I get outvoted on the issue or Trog says otherwise, I'm sticking firm to the reasoning that this is too small and meaningless a piece of information to count as a spoiler.

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:46 pm
by The Troglodyte
Quasispatial wrote:
krulle wrote:Ain't discussions about how many ships are given maximally prime examples for stuff that should go behind spoiler tags?
Now, he's already seen the encounters related to the ships we discuss and going back to figure out the exact number is little more than meaningless tedium regardless of what little tidbits of dialogue that may or may not unveil.

As such, honestly, unless I get outvoted on the issue or Trog says otherwise, I'm sticking firm to the reasoning that this is too small and meaningless a piece of information to count as a spoiler.
Yeah, it’s all good. As Quasi points out, since I’m fully aware of the discussed groups which offer gift ships it’s no big deal, even if the exact number was sometimes unknown due to my fleet complement, but I can easily go back and make that determination, which I went ahead and did in the case of the Yehat, and found out the gifted rebels is also 4, and they even say it:

Quasispatial wrote: No no no, the Yehat give up to six ships.
Me thinks Quasi was just trolling me by saying it was 6! Hahaha! :lol:

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Fri Aug 10, 2018 9:05 pm
by The Troglodyte
Starbase Report – March 2, 2158 – Vindicator Fleet Status: Docked


Commander Hayes – “Please everybody, take your seats and let’s begin the meeting. Captain Zelnick has called all of us here to get everybody here at Starbase up to speed and get everyone, especially the fleet and their captains, on the same page for what lies ahead.”

Captain Zelnick – “Indeed, and it’s going to be a doozy. But first, I’d like to finish up where Commander Hayes and I left off during our preliminary debriefing. The previous mission was meant for tying up any loose ends and exploring all known avenues before switching our attention to more unknown paths. We knew we needed to spark the civil war between the Yehat clans, so we began there by bringing along a Shofixti Scout to present to them.”

Captain Kudzu – “And it wa most hawnorabre be arrow to participate een sush nobre occasiawn.”

Captain Veep-eep – “Arrow? Whit did he jist say, keptin? Yer heid’s full o’ mince, ye better gang see the peely-wally.”

Captain Zelnick – “I have no idea what he just said… or what you just said for that matter. Anyways, after we triggered the split between the two main septs, we travelled to the other side of Yehat space while avoiding any royalists along the way. Once in friendlier territory, we recruited a few willing volunteers of Yehat rebels in the form of a pair of Terminators.”

Captain Veep-eep – “An’ ye can bit yer white lily gravestones we’ll be givin’ those Ur-Quan dobbers a guid poondin’ if we ever gie the chance!”

Captain Zelnick – “Yeah… uh, what he said! Then, with more loyalist Yehats on their way to cause more trouble, we ducked into QuasiSpace and tried to figure out where to go next. The natural portal appeared once again as we moved away from the arrival point, but we had already recently visited the Arilou, both in their space and Fala… Falayala…”

Science Officer – “Falayalaralfali, Captain.”

Captain Zelnick – “I’ll never get that right! So, going back was as pointless as returning to Spathiwa… or its moon, the former residence of the Spathi where we found the HyperWave ’Caster they left behind.”

Captain Fwiffo – “Hey! We need to go back there too! I forgot to pick up some mementos from my encrustlinghood!”

Captain Zelnick – “And we already know we are undoubtedly on the Thraddash’s most wanted list, so returning to Draco was out of the question, at least for now.”

Security Officer – “A high reward awaits the one who destroys, I mean… apprehends the ‘Great Thief’.”

Captain Zelnick – “Well, don’t get any ideas, Mr. Znonk! Until they actually scan my vessel they’re none the wiser, and I’d like to keep it that way. Wait, weren’t you assigned as Vindicator’s brig officer?”

Security Officer – “Yup, I was. Well… until last week. Commander Lopéz replaced me with an Orz.”

Captain Zelnick – “Primero?”

1st Officer – “It’s Danny, sir. The Dnyarri is still able to influence certain crew members more than others. I stopped by last week to check on the Dnyarri… and Znonk here was playing pattycake with the doctor!”

Captain Zelnick – “Dr. Bob, is this true?”

Chief Medical Officer – “Orz are originating from other dimension, so not easily persuaded by psychic energies, but er… uh, unfortunately, Umgah having sophisticated brains operate on high level, but leaves us susceptible to influences of talking pet’s mental compulsions. Other species easier for Dnyarri to control due to… quite opposite of reasons.”

Security Officer – “Hey! What are you trying to say?”

Chief Medical Officer – “Thraddash need for explanation says it all.”

Security Officer – “Why I oughta!—”

Commander Hayes – “Gentlemen, control yourselves. I’m sure the good doctor wasn’t trying to say you’re stupid or anything, right Bob?”

Chief Medical Officer – “Yes, still trying to better understand how creature’s brain works. Just like trying to better understand Earthling humor. Oh! Now get it! Two peanuts walk into bar… one was a salted! Har! Har! Har!”

Security Officer – “I get it too! Thraddash also smart… and funny! Assaulted! …with a salt rifle! HARG! HARG! HARG! SNORT!”

(crickets chirping)

Commander Hayes – “Ahem! Captain, I believe according to your report the next destination was to go give another run at the Sa-Matra a try. And how did that go?”

Captain Zelnick – “It didn’t.”

Commander Hayes – “Why not?”

Captain Zelnick – “Well, since we were just discussing him, let’s talk to the source. Brig, this is the Captain.”

Brig Officer (intercom) – “We are *FatFun*.”

Captain Zelnick – “*FatFun*, activate the prisoner’s… I mean, our ‘guest’s’ viewscreen.”

(The Dnyarri appears on the viewscreen)

Dnyarri – “What do you want?”

Commander Hayes – “We want to know why you refused to use your mental powers to compel the Ur-Quan once you were close to their Sa-Matra?”

Dnyarri – “I’d be glad to answer your question. But I’d also like something in return. I want some starbase replicated food! I’m tired of all these starship rations in foil pouches. I demand a pizza with pepperoni! …and mushrooms!”

Captain Zelnick – “How about you talk, or I’ll have my fish friend there give you a good zapping. How does that sound?”

Dnyarri – “You wouldn’t dare!”

Captain Zelnick – “*FatFun*?”

Brig Officer - “Silly *frumple* frog!”

(Orz tazes the Dnyarri with his trident spear weapon)

Dnyarri – “Ouch! Okay, okay. Here’s the deal, folks. I’m willing to help you. I WANT to help you… badly! I sit in the cargo hold day and night, thinking about one thing and one thing only. And do you want to know what that one thing is? It’s me exacting my proper revenge against the heinous Ur-Quan, that’s what! But until you guys obtain some kind of massive bomb of utter destruction, it’s really pointless for me to do anything else except sit around and wait for you guys to get things done! Taking on the Sa-Matra right now would be absolute suicide! I mean… it’s not like you have a time machine or anything to go back and fix your mistakes!”

Captain Zelnick – “He he he… Yeah, that would be great… IF there were such a thing as time travel, right everyone?”

(Everyone in unison) – “Right!”

Captain Zelnick – “So, after another dead end in Delta Crateris, we used the Quasi Portal Spawner to place us outside of Zoq-Fot-Pik space in Capricornus, and then we re-entered hostile space and made our way to Alpha Tucanae. The ZFP had some new information to give us after we learned they had rigged up ten of their Stinger vessels with additional fuel tanks for long-range recon missions. Unfortunately, only two ships returned, and the news they brought back was not good. They basically said the Kohr-Ah will inevitably win their doctrinal war, and it will probably happen sometime this year, possibly very soon.”

Commander Hayes – “This is bad.”

Captain Zelnick – “Yeah, plus, right after that, as we were heading out of the system, we were intercepted by some Ur-Quan before we could activate the Q spawner, but their introductory transmission was a bit different than what we’ve heard in previous encounters.”

Commander Hayes – “How so?”

Captain Zelnick – “Check it out. Commy, do you have the Ur-Quan recording ready?”

Communications Officer (pressing a few buttons) – “Here Captain, it should be coming up now…”

(main viewscreen)

Ur-Quan - “There is something wrong here… something which makes my sheath retract and my talons ooze. I sense the ugliness of a thousand evil thoughts… and I have located the source of these fetid emanations. They come from aboard your vessel! Foolish renegade human, why have you come here? All that you have found—”

(playback continues in background)

Dnyarri – “Hey! That rat bastard of an Ur-Quan was talking about me! They are all going to rue the day that they ever crossed paths with—”

(Orz brig officer zaps Dnyarri again)

Dnyarri – “Oww!! Stop that you impudent fishhead!”

Captain Zelnick – “Viewscreen off!”

(Brig viewscreen switches off)

1st Officer – “Well, at least now we can safely discuss what happened in Vulpecula.”

Captain Zelnick – “We’ll get to that momentarily, but after battling the Dreadnoughts, which was easily handled by the Vindicator, we fled through the southern portion of the war zone and made it to Betelgeuse, avoiding massive waves along the way, but our Pkunk helmsman, Lieutenant Screech did a fantastic job as usual performing evasive maneuvers to ensure we wouldn’t have to take on numerous Kohr-Ah.”

Commander Hayes – “Good job, Screech!”

Helmsman – “Mmmph! Mmmmph!”

(1st Officer reaches over and removes the duct tape that had been wrapped around the Pkunk’s beak, who is duct taped to his chair as well)

Helmsman – “Thank you, Commander for the compliment. As I’ve always said, flying is much like riding a bicycle, or is it a unicycle? No, now I’m certain it’s like riding a tricycle, since the pair of back tires help maintain your balance much in the same way mmph! Mmph!—”

(1st Officer replaces duct tape around Pkunk’s beak)

Captain Zelnick – “Thank you Mr. Screech. However, as I was saying, although Commander Talana was still in a state of ecstasy due to the Syreen’s walloping of the Mycon at the Battle of Organon, she had nothing new to report.”

Morale Officer – “State of ecstasy, huh? Interesting choice of words, Captain. Then why did you have to spend hours in her quarters to go over what you called ‘important Alliance business’?”

Captain Zelnick – “Uh… yeah, about that… we were just going over… er, the defensive set-up of their Starbase. Yeah, that’s it!”

Morale Officer (smiling, rolling her eyes) – “Whatever you say, Captain.”

Captain Zelnick – “Anyway, as I was saying, we decided to head down and see the Orz, since it had been a good while since we last checked on them and see how they’re doing, but along the way I noticed our fuel was starting to run low, so we altered course for Alpha Vulpeculae and contacted the Melnorme Trader and refueled our vessel. I’d also like to note that we had a significant amount of bio-data to sell them, which was our reward from the Umgah after we saved them from Danny’s mind control, but I decided against selling it, considering we still have an incredible surplus of Melnorme credit, so we’ll keep it on standby for the meantime. They also didn’t have any new information to sell us; I believe that ship has sailed.”

Commander Hayes – “What about the Orz?”

Captain Zelnick – “There were plenty of Orz ships in their home system of Gamma Vulpeculae, but they also didn’t have anything new to share with us, but they were delighted to see us again. They were spitting colors all over the place! However, color spitting quickly turned into juice squeezing.”

Commander Hayes – “I’m embarrassed to admit that even though I’ve reviewed the Orz tapes over a hundred times, I’m still no closer to understanding Orzian lingo.”

Captain Zelnick – “Well, let’s just say they still have the same reaction whenever somebody mentions…” (looks left and right and then whispers) “the Androsynth!”

Commander Hayes – “Oh, I think I understand now. So, I take it they attacked?”

Captain Zelnick – “Yeah, it was certainly a failed experiment to see if perhaps their position had changed, which it obviously hasn’t; they are still very sensitive about that issue. Not only that, but our own Orz vessel broke away from fleet formation, circled around, and attacked us!”

Commander Hayes – “That explains their sudden disappearance here at Starbase. I thought they all took a vacation!”

Captain Zelnick – “Shhh!! I don’t want *FatFun* to hear you!”

Commander Hayes – “Oh, sorry!”

Captain Zelnick – “We used the portal to put us back near Vega and went and saw the Slylandro at Beta Corvi, but besides them wanting us to share our adventures with them, there wasn’t anything new from them, except Joyous Lifting is expecting a little gasbag of her own!”

Commander Hayes – “Content to Hover must be very proud!”

Captain Zelnick – “From there we used the portal to put us near the Sculptor Constellation and went to see how the Mycon were recuperating, but the only thing they ever say to us now is that they want their sun thing back.”

Morale Officer – “The Mycon can all go to Hell! No, wait, they’d like Hell… it being so hot and all… They can go to… uh, uh…”

Captain Fwiffo – “Pluto!”

Morale Officer – “Yeah, they can all go to Pluto! Uh… what’s Pluto?”

Captain Fwiffo – “It’s very cold. Trust me, the Mycon would hate it.”

Captain Zelnick – “We flew over into VUX territory once we left Epsilon Scorpii, but they are still just as hostile as before, and are still sick of hearing our apologies. We were on our way home, using the Centaurus portal to place us close by, but instead we travelled over to Gamma Krueger and talked with the Pkunk, but all they ever want to talk about is their nonsensical psychic stuff, but they did give us another Pkunk ship to replace the Orz that had abandoned us. We also ran into some Ilwrath on our way back, who also had nothing new to share, except some new and exciting ways they’d like to sacrifice us to their gods.”

Morale Officer – “Don’t you remember, Captain? Then you went back to Betelgeuse… again!”

Captain Zelnick – “No, I didn’t!”

Morale Officer – “Just kidding!”

Captain Zelnick – “Ok, so let’s segue this discussion into our next topic, that being our next mission, and I’m thinking that we should journey up to the far-right corner of our region of space and seek out the Utwig. Unfortunately, even after scouring through all of our alien dialogue, we haven’t read many reports that involve the Utwig, who are reported to reside in that area of space, and we haven’t even seen one mention of the Supox, although there seems to be through rumors a direct correlation between the Utwig and the Supox.”

Science Officer - “You are correct, Captain. Since the only other race we haven’t directly met yet is the Druuge, who we already know reside in the Perseus Constellation, we can deduce, by using the old Chenjesu starmaps, which indicate two spheres of influence in the upper-right region, one is the Utwig, so the other must be the Supox.”

Captain Zelnick – “Seems sensible enough. Commy, can you bring up any and all Melnorme reports which mention the Utwig?”

Communications Officer – “Way ahead of you, sir. I have them coming in now.”

(main viewscreen)

Melnorme – “While you probably believe that the Shofixti are extinct, having caused their sun to flare with a device identical to the Utwig’s super-bomb, the truth is not so simple. There yet exists a chance to resuscitate this meta-marsupial—”

Communications Officer – “Ooops, sorry sir. I meant to skip that one since it only mentions the Utwig briefly. Here, this one is clearly much more informative.”

(main viewscreen)

Melnorme – “Not more than fifty years ago, the Druuge were informed by the now-extinct Burvixese race of a powerful alien nation called the Utwig. The Utwig, the Burvixese explained, were pleasant, sophisticated creatures, but they were also terminally depressed and often spoke about ending their lives by activating a super-weapon, some kind of gigantic bomb, which they had found on one of their worlds -- Zeta Hyades Six B I think it was. The Druuge recognized the description of the bomb as a Precursor planeteering tool, which indeed was an explosive device of unrivaled power, and they set out to make it their own. Though the revolting, criminal, insidious Druuge rarely leave their sphere of influence (it encompasses Algol, Almagest, and the Persei stars) they made a special trip on this occasion to the Aquarii constellation, where they made contact with the Utwig. There is a device commonly known as the ‘Ultron’. Is it now in your possession? Ah… I see. The Druuge sold this device to the Utwig, explaining that it was a Precursor ‘Personal Magnifier’ which would enrich the lives of their entire culture in too many ways to describe specifically. The Utwig, I am sorry to say, fell for the Druuge’s foul ruse, and snapped up the Ultron immediately. Fortunately for us all, the Utwig did not pay the Druuge’s requested price -- the super-bomb, and instead gave them a collection of ‘historical oddments and genuine artifacts’ which to this day, the Druuge are trying to unload on unwary buyers.”

Communications Officer – “And here’s one last one, Captain. But, you see, it’s much like the previous one, except more of a brief summary.”

(main viewscreen)

Melnorme – “The Utwig, who live in the Aquarii constellation, have grown very depressed of late. They accidentally broke the supposed ‘Ultron’ sold to them by the felonious Druuge. As a consequence, they are morose and melancholic and will probably be unwilling to help you fight the Ur-Quan. If you wish to gain them as allies, we recommend that you acquire the broken Ultron (as if it EVER worked) and find some suitable replacement parts. Our information indicates that you can find these items in three different places: A Rosy Sphere at the Druuge trade world, an Aqua Helix somewhere in Thraddash space, and a Clear Spindle, which is currently in the possession of the Pkunk. Captain, that was the last current event we have for sale.”

Communications Officer- “And that’s it, sir. No other mention of the Utwig occurs in all the rest of our encounters, so no other alien we’ve visited so far talks about the Utwig, besides the Melnorme.”

Science Officer – “Interesting, that last one also directly brings up the three items needed to fix the Utwig’s broken Ultron device.”

1st Officer – “Yeah, but there seems to be some speculation as to whether or not the thing actually works and fulfills this personal magnification effect the Druuge claims, or is it more of a placebo effect, and the Utwig’s desire to alleviate their depression gave them a self-induced sentiment that the Ultron could and would enrich their lives?”

Captain Zelnick – “Whatever the case may be, it seems pertinent that obtaining the parts in question will be necessary for pleasing the Utwig. I’m betting that fulfilling that end will in all likelihood move us one step closer to procuring their powerful planeteering tool bomb thing.”

Science Officer – “But then if fixing the Ultron is so important, then why not go visit the Druuge first?”

Captain Zelnick – “Believe me, I’ve considered that, but going by the description the Melnorme gave of the Druuge, words like ‘revolting’, ‘criminal’ and ‘insidious’ don’t sit well with me, so I’d like to postpone our visit to their space for as long as possible, at least until we know more of what we’re up against once we make first contact with the Utwig and/or the Supox.”

Commander Hayes – “So, what’s next?”

Captain Zelnick – “Well, for me, I’m going to have to redo this entire meeting, except a few months back, since tying up all of these loose ends has mostly been worthwhile, but unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, so at least we now know for certain there’s been no stone left overturned to make sure we’re not bypassing anything important from the aliens we’ve encountered thus far. I’ll also make sure once back in the previous timeline to have all fleet captains go through some rigorous training… Umgah and Thraddash officers, I’m looking at you! You all know your jobs. We’re all counting on you.”

Commander Hayes – “That’s a nice pep talk for a meeting that never really happened!”

Captain Zelnick – “More precisely it means this meeting will happen again… sort of. Besides, it gives me extra practice to help motivate you guys!”

Commander Hayes – “Well, that explains your unflappable confidence, Captain.”

Captain Zelnick – “Exactly, even if I hate repeating inspirational speeches! Dismissed everyone.”

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:42 am
by krulle
Quasispatial wrote: Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:50 pm
krulle wrote: Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:18 pm Ain't discussions about how many ships are given maximally prime examples for stuff that should go behind spoiler tags?

At least until The Troglodyte used his time portal device to find these minor things out for himself?

Not that it really influnces the game...
Honestly, the thing is that finding out such knowledge is little more than tedious repetition for facts which are honestly too small for me to think they're something to consider as spoilers. Before he'd ran into the encounters, sure, then it was a spoiler. Now, he's already seen the encounters related to the ships we discuss and going back to figure out the exact number is little more than meaningless tedium regardless of what little tidbits of dialogue that may or may not unveil. [-spoiler tags and content removed]

As such, honestly, unless I get outvoted on the issue or Trog says otherwise, I'm sticking firm to the reasoning that this is too small and meaningless a piece of information to count as a spoiler.
I agree, for the gameplay it is without consequence, yet it is information which he has not been given before (except for the yehat which say "four", but may even give less).
And the specific request was "no spoiler". (Which I breached myself before - so who was I to complain?)

Anyway, the Trog said this infor is fine, and this is his thread.

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:37 pm
by The Troglodyte
I just wanted to let everyone know that I’ve unfortunately had to put my game on the back-burner for a little while. I was laid off recently, so I’m in-between jobs right now, and obviously my focus has switched a little from saving the galaxy to saving my own roof. As soon as I’m more up to it though, I’ll be resuming my playthrough and hopefully I’ll be back at it, trying to free earth from the tyranny of the Ur-Quan, and I’ll also take my best shot at preventing the Kohr-Ah from exterminating every living thing in the entire universe while I’m at it. I considered putting this comment in the “where are you heading thread?” but this is where most folks see me, so it seemed more appropriate to put it here.

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Mon Sep 03, 2018 4:48 pm
by Quasispatial
Fair enough. I wish you well in your ventures, and hope that things resolve in a satisfactory manner.

May Juffo-Wup be with you.

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:45 am
by krulle
Oh, damn.
Good luck, and maybe the Melnorme have a hint for you?

If all fails, [ spoiler self-redacted - it was a joke about employments in-game].

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Tue Sep 04, 2018 5:19 pm
by Draxas
Good luck, job hunting is just the worst. Hopefully you are able to find something good, quickly.

Re: About to try to beat Star Control spoilers!

Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:43 am
by The Troglodyte
Thanks for all the words of encouragement! Well, as you can see, I couldn’t stay away. I’ve been aching to play, but it’s like I have to be in a certain mood to really enjoy this particular game -- one of those kind where I’m channeling my inner child, and unfortunately after I lost my job I thought it would be a good long while before I could recapture my youthful emotions. Plus, there was the process there which I had to endure (or rather, it was actually my alcohol-saturated liver that had to do the brunt of the enduring) but I believe now I’ve completed the standard prescribed job losing self-loathing activities, so I’m finally emerging from my sad state of affairs.

On top of that, I’ve also recently had some good interviews and prospects seem to be up; at least up to the point where my mind has convinced myself that things are getting better… despite my still-unemployed status. So, while keeping that in mind, I found myself pondering the game and how much I wanted to give it a go, if only for a little bit. Long story abridged down to only somewhat long, I basically allowed myself to conduct initial first contact with the Utwig, so I guess we’ll see how that goes! Oh! And speaking of which, I’m betting you’d like for me to finish up with my life status report and get on with the story! Well, okay, here you go:
Captain’s Log – Jan 30, 2158 – HyperSpace {824.4 : 918.6} – (Upspin of Gamma Hyades)

We reverted time back into the Serpentis region on the date of January 16th, 2158 and acquired the same pair of Terminators from the Yehat as before, and more reoccurrences of events were performed again after we arrived back at Starbase, where I basically had to redo the big meeting I had conducted before, and we dismantled one of the Terminators to leave one ship slot available before we headed back out.

On January 26th we entered QuasiSpace and set course for Portal 14 at coordinates {530:528} where after 2 days later of green space travelling we took the portal exit and found ourselves all the way up to the upper right-hand corner of space at sector {775.2 : 890.6}. We set course for the only reference point I have in my logs -- that being Zeta Hyades, which is where the Melnorme had told us the Utwig had found their bomb.

On January 30th, 2158, shortly after we had exited the wormhole, we were underway towards Zeta Hyades when our long-range sensors detected the presence of some unknown alien ships directly in our path several sectors away, so we slowed upon approach and did not attempt to elude them and we made contact with 3 Utwig Juggers about a day later.

We opened communications and saw the Utwig for the very first time. They had almost every inch of their bodies covered with darkish purple-colored robes and masks that hung off their covered faces and bodies like burial shrouds. Like I just said, we could barely see any of their skin, but their mushroom-shaped mask only covered their entire face (with eyehole slits, of course) but upon closer examination we could see their relatively longish necks sticking out in the space between the robes and their mask that looked brownish and very wrinkly, much like a tortoise’s neck and skin. They also had very somber chamber-like music constantly playing and there was a creepy dense fog that kept constantly flowing past several feet above the floor.

That’s when it happened… Their leader opened his mouth and spoke. The whiny and screechy tones of his voice sliced through the air like a serrated knife, and the eerie high-pitched shrieks of their wailing hurt my eardrums to the point where I thought they may soon burst if I were continued to be subjected to the unbearable noise, and I could see as my bridge crew were grimacing alongside me that they were indeed enduring the great trauma as well, as they were noticeably doubled over on the floor, holding their hands over their ears while screaming in an attempt to drown out the stabbing sound of the Utwig’s voice. It was excruciatingly awful!

Fortunately, our communications officer jumped into action and quickly managed to soften the loudness and made it to where we could better withstand the Utwig’s vocalized speech, even though I still would occasionally wince in pain during times when the spokesman would cry out an overpowering ‘Aahhgg!’ and for some reason the emphasized short phrase of ‘even now’ was equally as insufferable.

Anyway, I tried to keep up appearances of goodwill as I tried my best to maintain proper composure, but I must admit listening to the Utwig continued to remain a tough task throughout our verbal exchange, not only because of the aforementioned physical constraints, but their content of subject material also proved to be an impediment that drained my energy with each and every word, mostly due to their ongoing depression; a depression, I might add, that helps explain their ridiculous clothing garb, the ritualistic melancholy parlor music, as well all this crazy thick fog which has obviously been put in place to help reinforce the scenery of their display of continued sulking. “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain operating the fog machines!”

I tried to gain some insights, but the conversation inevitably looped back around to their beloved Ultron, which they had accidentally broke, and obviously it is its loss that is the source of their grief. Their biggest issue at hand is their indecisiveness of how best to punish themselves for breaking their precious device, and they can’t seem to make up their minds if they should continue to torture themselves in various ways, or should they do themselves in collectively as an entire species, and it would seem they’re getting pretty darn close to breaking out the poison-spiked kool-aid, in the form of a big bomb of disastrous proportions.

Also, if I’m going solely on their description and analysis of the Ultron, it’s as if they make the thing responsible for controlling aspects and providing happiness and fulfilling their purpose in life. I mean, they went on and on about how this Ultron thing beckoned to them and arrived in their possession by means of influencing the Druuge, basically subconsciously directing them to travel all the way up to Aquarius and bring them the Ultron! It’s weird but they never actually ever stated exactly what all of these supposed ‘unique capabilities’ of the Ultron were that they claim it wields, but it seemed to be as simple as just owning it would somehow miraculously bring about good fortune. This crazy object was kind of like a genie in a bottle and the Ark of the Covenant all rolled into one! Well, I guess you also need to include some old Ming Dynasty vase or something in there as well… on account of its apparent fragility.

They even went on and on about the many numerous ways in which the Ultron could’ve possibly been saved, and even went through a special panel to predict and describe every possibility. There was the throw pillow theory, which could have been tossed to the appropriate spot to absorb the fall of Humpty Dumpty, or the ever-popular spongy, cushioned ceremonial floor plan that was ultimately rejected (due to cost), or the bubble wrap approach, whereas the Ultron would’ve been wrapped in a secured layer of plastic air bubbles of protected goodness, but the Utwig council had felt that it took away from the Ultron’s aesthetic qualities, or then there’s the idea of just finding some secured place to set it, as in a permanent location that people could gaze at it, that is, from behind the red rope behind a thick sheet of glass and security laser beams and the like, or perhaps both the Grand Proctor and Chief Groo guys should be wearing rubber gloves with adhesive grips before playing hot potato with the Ultron! Yes, the list goes on and on…

They also described how things had been before the Ultron, and they revealed that their mask etiquette practices have developed over a long period of time throughout their society, and it was a very long and boring account, and I do believe the Utwig even noticed me nodding off at one point. However, their clothing attire has grown to the point of playing an integral role in their culture, not only representing an individual’s social status, but also even breaking down any activity that they were performing, thus giving clear indications of what a person is doing merely by what they’re wearing. It’s not really different than many other cultures, since back on earth people used to wear particular clothing when doing certain activities, like wearing comfortably light golf clothes when going golfing, or a baseball or basketball uniform when playing those sports; police officers obviously wear outfits representing their position, or a chef’s hat and apron is worn by those cooking pastry confectionaries.

The Utwig followed the same pattern of wardrobe evolution, but it’s much more refined: Folks looking for love enter bars wearing the mask of ‘loneliness and desperation’ and would know to seek out those wearing the same but dare not approach those wearing the rose-hued glasses of ‘most likely out of your league’. People performing crimes were much easier to spot, since their clothing would represent their acts of transgressions, like the mask of crime and robbery or something… and ironically their outfits looked much similar to those assigned to legal representation… as well as politicians.

Quick-change artists are likely to be the most charismatic and en vogue, and likely work their way up the ladder of success until the need for switching masks become less and less necessary, since the rich can perform most leisurely activities of the wealthy simply by wearing the mask of ‘I’m rich, so deal with it’ all day long. It would’ve likely been the same with the rest of society, where you would see someone at a nice, fancy restaurant wearing the mask of ‘the exquisite partaking of fine dining’ rather than those eating at a local pizzeria switching back and forth between the mask of ‘basic solid food consumption’ with the one for ‘drinking sugary sodas’, or whatever the Utwig-equivalent would be. Of course, now all that rubbish has been rendered irrelevant, since everybody now shares the same choice of clothing apparel and all others have been long since burned up, as well as sharing in identical activity, which apparently is just moping around in an endless depression in the sagging robes, simply waiting for their suffering to end through the mercy of death, but at least it’s averted their constant clothing changing tendencies. And with all of those dirty purple robes laying around, I’d bet dry-cleaners on the Utwig home planet must be cashing in big time these days!

They went into detail, laying out for us clearly the calamity and circumstance over which the Ultron was destroyed, sadly admitting it was due to carelessness and folly during one of their rituals is when the Ultron’s endurance was discovered to be the equivalent of a water balloon. I acknowledged their pain, and the Precursor translation computer suggested I compare their loss with my pet Splib, so I went ahead and gave my account of witnessing my poor, overly-curious dog being accidentally ground up by a rock chipper. They sympathized, but unfortunately, sharing my painful experience only further reminded them of their grief, and they suddenly ended communications and left. I still can’t help but keep wondering though, “How could the Precursor computer know about my childhood pet?”

Soon, however, more supremely depressed masked beings were arriving to take their place and continue the lamentations. At first, all they wanted us to do was go away, but we made inquiries about the Ur-Quan, whom they didn’t know anything about, but since they carry similarities with the Kohr-Ah, you know, because of the whole ‘looking like scary elongated bugs while entering the region and then conquering it’ thing that they talked with us about the Kohr-Ah, who they said came from the direction of Arcturus, which was precisely where the Melnorme had told us that the Druuge had set up powerful HyperWave broadcaster so the Kohr-Ah would be lured away from themselves but towards the Burvixese, who were regrettably wiped out due to the Druuge’s treachery.

The Utwig gave us some helpful insights concerning the Kohr-Ah Marauders weaponry, plus their own techniques for battling them by using their shields to absorb the attacks before launching their own counter-attacks. They told us that the Kohr-Ah continued the attack, pressing towards the Utwig homeworld, but to them at the time it seemed like a proper destiny fulfilled with their imminent demise, but just when it seemed that the Kohr-Ah were going to mount a tremendous attack to crush the Utwig’s defenses, but then they suddenly ceased the attack and headed towards Crateris. Interesting.

Since I knew we could go back and restore things back to before if we made any significant mistakes, I decided to apply some tough love by calling them a bunch of cry-babies for weeping over their broken Ultron, but it had the reverse effect, and they were hopping mad… and I mean that literally as I witnessed their leader hop around as he angrily ordered his weapons officer to fire upon our ship. Well, come to think of it, perhaps the upset Utwig captain was just tripping over his robe!

Anyway, it became quickly obvious that we weren’t going to thank ourselves by going head-to-head against their powerful Jugger warships, so we put some distance between our respective selves and warped out of there, only to find them still equally as pissed off during all subsequent visits, so we reverted time and met them again, and I was much more careful to not act too flippant about their Ultron crisis.

We have contacted several more Utwig in HyperSpace, and because I feel confident we have gathered as much relevant dialogue as possible, we will continue towards Zeta Hyades as I document and archive all of these Utwig conversations. Captain out.