The United States Space Ship Ticonderoga is the largest space vessel ever built. Constructed over 500 years ago, it now orbits earth, most systems shut down - It is a treasure ridden derelict juggernaught.
A leftover relic of the ancients.
Or so would seem.
The USSN Ticonderoga marked the end of the struggle of the superpowers and the beginning of the dominance of the militaristic USA, back in the 2150's. The Chinese put up a brief struggle, but when the planetary cannons started pounding major Chinese cities, over a hundred million Chinese perished in a matter of minutes. Their surrender was absolute and an era of absolute subjugation of the world was initiated. The world's vassalage to the United States of America began.
For over 20 years the Ticonderoga orbited earth. During that time it was referred to as the Angel of Death by a frightened world population, or as the shackles of mankind by others. In the United States it was celebrated as the hope of mankind and President Theodore Bush III was hailed as the best president since George Washington.
Then in 2176 it was hacked by a team of Canadian engineers and went offline for a few hours. During that time the US invaded Canada.
Russia and China sent nukes against USA and USA sent nukes back to China and Russia.
Everyone that owned nukes, launched nukes.
It was Armageddon.
When the Ticonderoga came back online, the world was in ruins and Admiral Grant van Horn ordered the crew into cryostasis and the AI into dormant state. It was supposed to wake up the crew 300 years later, but it did not.
It did not feel like doing so.
The Ticonderoga has orbited earth for hundreds of years, her onboard computers only igniting her engines once in a while to correct the orbit and keep her from descending or drifting away. Â¨
During the years, she has been hit by a few asteroids that managed to get past her space defence systems and as a result she has a large gaping hole in her hull, along with three minor hull breaches. The large hole is big enough that a small spacecraft can float in it.
The Ticonderoga is inactive, and only its defensebots and guardian AI is turned on. She is harmless to other spacecraft, unless she is fired upon in which case all systems will come online.
The Ticonderoga sports 400 anti spacecraft cannons over and under, and has a total of 60 planetary cannons. 30 on her port side and 30 on her starboard side.
The juggernaught is the size of a quarter of Manhattan, and she has over 600 defensive drones. 300 of those are self detonating explosive drones, 200 are attack drones and 100 are AI drones that she sends to probe and explore planets and space vessels. All these space drones are powered off unless she is attacked.
USSN Ticonderoga has 6 distinct guardian AIs, each controlling a sector of their own and managing the 50 robotic sentinels in that area. Their names are Hannibal, Ceasar, Napoleon, Patton, Eisenhower and Lee.
She is controlled by Cleopatra, the mainframe AI and resident helmsman. Cleopatra is currently dormant, and has been dormant for over 300 years. The last time she was awake was when the large asteroid hit the Ticonderoga.
Ticonderoga is surrounded by debris; the remains of numerous ships that have tried to salvage technology from the impressive battleship. Inside 300 surviving crew members are in cryostasis, as they have been the last 400 years. Cleopatra has not seen fit to revive them. Perhaps she never will.
If the Ticonderoga finds herself under assault, or someone manages to evade the guardian AI and escape the Ticonderoga with some of her gear, Cleopatra will awake. She will fire all her guns after the offender, and perhaps even launch drones to pursuit the offenders. In case they escape she will initiate planetary scans; searching for artificial intelligences and hives of civilization.
She uses 92 minutes to orbit earth, and each 92nd minute she therefore witnesses a new dawn.
An awakened Ticonderoga would be a force to be reckoned with, and would send AI probes to major civilizations to barter, question and determine how she should communicate with them.
Cleopatra is constantly arguing with her guardian AI's, who want her to act according to protocol. They won't argue too strongly though, as Cleopatra controls all nuclear engines and the flow of electricity through the spaceship.
After roughly 30 days of being awake she will go back into stasis, already bored with the post apocalyptic wasteland.
Use of the USSN Ticonderoga in a post apocalyptic game setting
1. Initially the USSN Ticonderoga will serve as the ultimate treasure; a spaceship visible through binoculars, possibly ridden with loot and treasure.
2. When the PCs have the means to enter space, the Ticonderoga should serve as an exceedingly difficult dungeon. The PCs will have to space walk to her, enter through one of her hatches (or the blown up sections), and then hack or blast their way into the ship. She will have some impressive loot and gear, but after a relatively short time defense bots will start to appear. First one, then another one, and within an hour several more. These bots are top of the line military spec, and even just one should be difficult to combat. Hacking will also become ridiculously hard as the Guardian AI starts countermeasures. A successful dungeon delve into the Ticonderoga involves a grab and run, for resistance will be incredibly fierce.
3. After a pursuit and likely narrow escape, the PCs will be alerted of planetary scans being performed by the juggernaught Spaceship. For 30 days she will be a terror in the skies.
4. The Ticonderoga will likely affect major settlements. Some will be blasted from orbit, others will have traded gear with the sentient AI bots.
5. Then everything will quiet down. The Ticonderoga will apparently have faded from existence.
6. She will however have one remaining AI bot, out there, tracking down those who dared to raid her.
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? Responses (21)
Bleak wood! Awesome stuff there.
I like the visual of this thing hanging in the sky among the stars.
I find it odd that the US would see the need to nuke Canada, as conventional forces would have a pretty easy time of it, and unless the nukes were tiny, they would be obliterating a good portion of their own population. Detroit, New York state, Oregon, etc. Most of our population is within 100 miles of the states and it would seem like using nukes in a civil war. That and I expect by the timeframe in question, a huge amount of the american water supply would come from Canada.
And valadaar just hauled my ass to class.
Nothing like a little home schooling ;)
General:'But Mr. President a launch on the targets you suggest the shockwaves will likely destroy as much American infrastructure as Canadian'
Chief of Staff: 'Be more specific General'
General: 'Detroit, Buffalo, Rochester ...gone...uh...Billings and Seattle would get dangerous fallout levels, New Hampshire would be-'
President Bush the 6th (VR conferenced in from Dallas): 'Better hit em with two volleys then. Darn shame about the voters in Billings though.'
*If you want to learn more about Canada there are several high Quality docu-dramas produced in the 80s and 90s. Might I suggest Strange Brew starring Rick Moranis or Canadian Bacon starring John Candy. If you want something more contempary check out the reality show Trailer Park Boys
I actually know quite a deal about Canada. Problem is I wasn't really thinking about how close the Canadian civilization is to the US border.
I guess I could defend it all with changing borders and the breakup of the 50 US states into smaller nations, but I don't wanna.
More likely to do a small rewrite.
I think you missed my point....
I find it amusing and subversive that the USA would nuke Canada. The tyrannical USA ruled by a Bush dynasty is funny in a too close to the truth sort of way. Don't change a thing.
And can we call Canada a civilization? More like they had a country and nobody came.
*i kid. Go maple leaves!
The Canadian Crisis has been averted. Conventional forces invaded, but the apocalypse happened anyway.
A Tyrannical USA ruled by the Bush dynasty is just a very minor kick from a nobody online. In my honest opinion every superpower got to be a superpower by being willing to tyrannize, and every minor power would just love to be able to do the same.
Survival of the fittest, and all that. Not pretty when viewed up close and personal.
Besides, in the post apocalyptic wastes there are no PR teams to prettify the story.
I did something similar to this a good number of years ago, creating an uber-warship that had no master but itself. It was autonomous, crewed by robots, and protected by drone fighters, with sophisticated weaponry and a powerful central computer controlling it. Having completed some arduous and terrible mission far from the edge of human controlled space, the Krakensfire attempted to RTB, only to find that the human government that launched it was no longer in existence. Rather than accepting one of it's sociopolitical descendents, the ship moved off to a holding position and stopped. It was functionally caught in a data loop, if could not return to base and inform it's creators of it's success because the base no longer existed.
The new powers quickly attempted to claim and commandeer the venerable warship, only to find that rather than an antique, it was a cutting edge weapon. Through it's long mission, it had wrought many improvements upon itself, upgrading weapons and armor, scavenging the hulks of ships it destroyed for repair materials and new technology. The Krakensfire laid waste to the ships that attempted to take her, and was eventually destroyed, but only after the warship determined that Earth itself was a foe, and forced a coalition of the Terran nations to fight it off.
After the Krakensfire was disabled, a great cost to the coalition fleet, the coalition quickly dissolved with the surviving fleet groups turning on each other to claim the hulk of the Krakensfire.
Rather than allow of one of my players to claim the ship, she burned up and crashed into the Indian ocean.
Ah, that is a nice story.
The Ticonderoga is still very much alive, and the PCs have already raided it once. They only got away with a destroyed defensebot, but they managed to sell that in the marketplace for 5000 bullets.
I use it sparingly, and it has just returned to dormant state. It is more like a dragon would be in a D&D campaign; the horrible monster that haunts the PCs dreams.
Yes, yes, they want to loot it. They want to loot it till there is nothing left.
I have a stillborn sub with a similar idea behind it - the Karth. One of a fleet of autonomous warships, the lone (cliche) survivor of the class. It has gone off to make a small empire for itself in a far flung corner of humanspace. Might revive it.
Out of votes, so I'll just comment.
While this is a good idea well executed, there are two critical flaws which crack my suspension of disbelief.
* So let me get this straight. This one superdreadnaught was the backbone of the Pax Americana, and they only built ONE? They had NO backups? NO contingency plans? There were SEVEN different AIs, with all the troubles one can conceive of with that, and no one thought that putting every single possible egg into that basket was maybe a bad idea? That's just demented.
* SLMGTS, II: The 'militaristic' US had the will and stomach to roast a hundred million people with this ubership. But they then DIDN'T go on to say: 'Folks, you're no longer permitted transcontinental range planes, missile technology, or any of that. All your nuclear sites will be destroyed a half hour from now, so evacuate anyone whose blood you don't want on our consciences. Disband your national militaries, and we're sending satraps to take over your seats of government. Sail any ship with missile launching capability into international waters at once, and scuttle them. You have one day to comply with all of these terms, and we will fry one of your cities for every day thereafter you don't, or if we see so much as a drone take off starting ten minutes from now.' Sorry, no, I don't buy it.
1. Multiple AI's are common in the Bleakwood universe. In this imagined future AI's could be bought, and an office building could have a general AI, as well as sentient cleaning bots. For a spaceship to have compartmentalized AIs was a necessity for larger ships, for the sake of security. Indeed, it was even demanded by US law prior to the great war. It is demented to rely solely on one, for what
2. Yes, that superdreadnaught changed the whole scene. The US had other ships, and other means of defending themselves, but when it was built on the dark side of the moon, it changed the whole scene. There is another refinery there, with the wireframe of a hull - Version 2.0 which never got made.
3. They surely could have started bombing missile silos and runways, ships and army bases, but they did not. The world lived in fear of they being targeted next. Much like a man holding a gun to 250 people. He only has 18 bullets in his clip, but no one dares move. No one wants to be the first.
To be honest I find your logic flawed.
Well, I find *yours* flawed, so I suppose that's even. A man holding a gun on a bunch of people doesn't just ignore that they're obviously armed: he says, 'Drop your weapons.' We're all aware that technology isn't perfect. Sometimes it breaks down, sometimes it goes wrong, sometimes the other guy comes up with a work-around, and sometimes something completely new is invented that trumps it. If I'm taking my superweapon and freaking SUBJUGATING THE WORLD, I'm not going to leave any capability in anyone's hands for a comeback, and if I have to I'm going to use two of those bullets in my clip to drop a couple people just to show I mean business.
That's not only human nature, that's common sense. There hasn't been a slavemaster in the history of the world who's left the peoples he's subjugated FULLY ARMED, and the ones stupid enough to do so paid for it pretty soon thereafter.
I think there is sometimes a gap between choosing to suspend your disbelief and refusing to suspend disbelief.
Cold War? The post is vague enough that any number of scenarios could be come up from creation of another uber Earth bound weapon to create a standstill to some kind of diplomatic solution to a false sense of militaristic security that who cares if they have nukes, not going to touch us. Then the hack came...oops. Just seems narrow minded to just say no, this won't work.
The US had nukes before anyone else.
Even though they dropped nukes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they did not do so on the rest of Japan. They did not do so on North Korea.
General MacArthur really, really wanted to do it, so he was fired by the President.
There are countless other scenarios. I am a history geek, and over the centuries, military might have paralyzed, only for the paralysis to wear off as soon as a countermeasure was found.
I am going to go out on a limb here, seeing as you seem emotional in your posts:
I am going to assume that you think this is some sort of anti-americanism, and that you are a true patriot.
I am probably wrong, but for the sake of the chance that this is true, here goes:
Bleak Wood / Bleakwood is DARK. EVERY power gets a dodgy portrayal. In an upcoming post, a Chinese Weapon has run haywire, creating a truly horrendous subspecies of humanity.
That does not mean I hate China. This sub does not mean I hate America.
Nor does the series of mental asylum plots I ran in Canada (in Bleakwood), over 15 years ago, mean I think all Canadians are mentally retarded.
My current campaign is located in Paris, where everyone fights everyone and the next backstab is just around the corner.
However I do not hate the French.
This is a game, and for the sake of the game setting - things are painted in a bleak light.
It is good to see that my subs invoke emotion.
Err ... might want to look in a mirror there about 'emotional posts.'
I agree with you that the US didn't drop nukes on anyone else post-WWII. But these are your words, not mine: 'Their surrender was absolute and an era of absolute subjugation of the world was initiated. The world's vassalage to the United States of America began.'
The US, post-WWII, didn't seek to 'subjugate' the world. Nowhere remotely close. 'Absolute subjugation,' 'vassalage' and 'shackles of mankind' are pretty strong turns of phrase. I know what kind of world *I'd* think phrases like that would reflect. What do they mean to you?
It is a roleplaying setting, dude. Get over it. Roooleeeplaaayyyiiing.
And yes. I am infamous for my explosive temper, but guess what? The only bit of emotion I have felt here is annoyance when I woke up with a hangover and saw your initial post.
Personally I think my post is shit. I expected low scores. I just had to get it out of my system.
But low votes can be handed out with more tact than you are capable of showing.