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Homeworld 2 Vanilla Event
Thu Mar 28, 2013 6:00 pm by TheWorldSmith
Due to the resounding failure of the Complex event, we are going back to Vanilla for this one.

What weekend would you like to have the April event?

Regards,

Douglas 'Forloftol' Bacon

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 Lore-Blast: The Beast, the Naggarok, etc.

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TheWorldSmith
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PostSubject: Lore-Blast: The Beast, the Naggarok, etc.   Mon May 27, 2013 1:21 am

The "Beast" is a strange bio-mechanical organism that infects and subverts ships and their crews into twisted zombie-like units that serve some dark, unknown purpose. The subverted ships bear noticeable marks of gore, presumably from the biomass of the crews that were converted into a twisted living control mechanism. The organism is transmitted by contact, but also by an "infection beam" weapon carried on some of the larger Beast ships. This beam transmits the infection on a carrier wave, and can jump from ship to ship across short distances, infecting entire groups of smaller vessels.

The organism was discovered by the Somtaaw mining vessel "Kuun-lan", part of which was infected and used to form the core of a Beast mothership of sorts. Since then, the Beast has subverted various other Somtaaw, Kushan, Taiidan and Turanic Raider vessels and their crews, and has grown into a bizarre, shambling armada of undead ships straight out of a matinee B-grade horror movie.

The subversion entity threatening the galaxy has been code-named The Beast by Hiigaran Intelligence, for reasons that quickly become obvious when one views the combat tapes taken by allied ships as they struggle to defend themselves from this vicious threat. Currently there seems to be no defense against the beam used by Beast heavy vessels to infect and consume our ships. Therefore, the Beast fleet is composed of literally whatever Taiidan, Turanic and Hiigaran vessels have been unlucky enough to cross paths with it. Only two ships seem to be fabricated from primarily Beast technology, these being the command vessel known as the Beast Mothership, and a small kamikaze corvette known as the Cruise Missile.

Once a ship is subverted, it is not known exactly what changes are made in performance and firepower, but initial analysis indicates that while the transformed ships are slightly slower than their un-infected counterparts, they have an added layer of organic armor. Unsubstantiated reports claim that this armor layer can regenerate over time if damaged; this may also be true of intricate systems and drives aboard a Beast vessel. If the Beast is capable of healing Itself, Allied Commanders are warned to engage and destroy any Beast vessel as quickly as possible; any cripples should be finished off before they can heal.

The Beast is a bio-mechanical virus that is able to use both organic and inorganic material to spread its matrix and melds both organic and inorganic material into one living organism which it controls.

The Beast was unwittingly released by Kiith Somtaaw when they recovered an artifact during the second mission of the single player campaign of Homeworld: Cataclysm, in the area of space designated Sector 112 near Hiigara. It originally came to the galaxy onboard the mysterious extragalactic vessel Naggarok. Although the exact origin of The Beast is unknown, it is hinted that The Beast originated in Hyperspace. The Beast infection forced the Somtaaw engineers to eject the hangar bay of the Kuun-Lan where the artifact was being studied, which eventually formed the core of the new Beast mothership.

The Beast caused great damage to the galactic civilization before the Somtaaw managed to destroy it, stopping the plague that they had unleashed by destroying the Naggarok.

Nearly one million Hiigaran years prior, the exploration vessel Naggarok arrived in the Galaxy using an experimental hyperspace drive of incredible power. When the vessel caught the Beast infection, the onboard crew realized almost immediately the potential for destruction if it took control of the ship. The drives and communication systems were completely scuttled, so that even with the assimilated knowledge of the crew, the Beast would be left confined to the vessel as they could not be repaired without external help.

Their sacrifice was however undermined by their own skill at ship design. The destruction of those two critical systems caused the ship to automatically launch an emergency signal beacon as part of its design, a beacon that carried a small portion of the Beast. This beacon is what Kiith Somtaaw found.

For the period of time since its arrival, the Beast has somehow been able to listen in on the radio signals emanating from the various worlds in the galaxy, perhaps using the hull of the entire ship as a massive antenna. Presumably it has been able to learn a lot during this time.

When the ship is finally found by a modern civilization, in this case the Imperialist Taiidani, the entire craft is more or less intact, except with some superficial damage to the outer fins. It isn't revealed until the last portion of the game the other two abilities of the craft. Firstly, the ship doesn't rely on traditional propulsion to drive itself in normal flight. Instead it uses an inertialess drive that sustains a lowpower hyperspace field around itself that permits it to travel at incredible sublight speeds far exceeding even fighter-class ships or high speed exploration probes. Its maneuvering ability is likewise unmatched and the craft has no concern for acceleration/deceleration effects, being able to start and stop immediately at will.

Its second ability was probably installed in lieu of a proper weapons loadout. A large node in the bow of the craft is a phased disassembler array. The device can forcibly deconstruct any form of matter down to its component atoms and use it to administer repairs to the vessel. The Beast uses this as a weapon, locking onto an enemy ship and deconstructing it along with the crew. However while the device is in effect, the craft cannot move as it would terminate the absorption process. The Naggarok may only move again once the process is done.

The ship's drive is vulnerable to EMP blasts, though it takes only seconds for it to recover. It is during these moments of weakness, along with its aforementioned "feeding" immobility, that would allow the Somtaaw fleet to rain enough firepower on it to destroy it once and for all.

The ship's name is most likely derived from the word Ragnarok, given its phonetic similarity, as well of choice of letters in the name.

The Naggarok was an alien exploratory vessel that arrived in the Galaxy just under 1 million years BHL bringing with it a life form later named The Beast.

The Naggarok journeyed to the Homeworld galaxy from a neighbouring galaxy, using an experimental hyperdrive of immense power. When the ship emerged from hyperspace it was carrying a strange and malevolent form of life which had not been present at the start of its journey. When the aliens onboard the vessel realised this lifeform's destructive capabilities they decided to destroy the vessels engines and communications array, thus trapping the creature inside.

However, the ship launched its emergency beacon with a small sample of Beast cells onboard. That beacon was found almost one million years later by Kiith Somtaaw.

The Beast was trapped onboard the Naggarok. For one million years the Beast listened to the subspace communications travelling back and forth between the various civilisations. Not only it learned to speak Galactic Common perfectly, it also became aware of the power struggles within the galaxy. So, when the Naggarok was discovered by the Taiidani Imperialists, the Beast proposed an arrangement to them: repair the ship and help the Beast, and in exchange they would be given fully half of their galaxy to rule. The Taiidan swiftly accepted.

Kiith Somtaaw engaged these Taiidani forces when they were trying to repair the Naggarok out on the Galactic Rim. They were unsuccessful as eventually the ship managed to escape.

Later on, the Beast in the ship promised the Imperials control of the Nomad Moon. However, Kiith Somtaaw destroyed the battle station. Seeing this, the Imperials agressively attacked the Kuun-Lan, who managed to determine how the Naggarok can move so fast. Although they managed to "stun" the ship momentarily using EMP blasts, they would have been defeated had not the Bentusi arrived at the last time. Apparently, the Beast told the Taiidan that the Bentusi are dead. When the Imperialists confronted the Beast about this, it revealed it's plans: it had no intention to honor the deal whatsoever.

"You are what all life to us: FOOD!!!" — The Beast
Hearing this, the Taiidan realized they have been taken advantage of and turned on the Naggarok, only to be defeated swiftly. The Beast then turned on the Kuun-Lan, feeding on Somtaaw ships to repair battle damage and manufacture Cruise Missiles. The Kuun-Lan retaliated with a squadron of Bentusi-designed Super Acolytes, ripping the Naggarok to shreds, causing the Beast to emit a hideous scream before succumbing to the adverse effects of ion cannons hammering it's hull.

The Naggarok was vested with several advanced technologies, rarely seen in the known Galaxy.

The Naggarok's weaponry was composed of two primary subsystems. The Ion Cannons and Phased Disassembler Array.

Eight Ion Cannons were belted 360 degrees around the ship. Each of them had a range of nine kilometres, making this the long range weapon of the Naggarok. However the Ion Cannon was not very powerful, because of a low damage rate and a high reload time.
Much more devastating was the forward mounted Phased Disassembler Array (PDA). It was capable of deconstructing matter on a sub-atomic level, in essence converting a target ship into its deconstituent elements in a matter of seconds, which the Naggarok then harvested and used in the construction of its Cruise Missiles. The major weakness of the PDA was the requirement for the Naggarok to remain stationary while the target was being deconstructed, leaving the vessel vulnerable to attack, although firing the Ion Cannons was still possible. When the decomposition process was completed the Naggarok would launch its most invasive weapon, Cruise Missiles, which carried the Beast virus, causing any vessel infected to come under Beast control.

The Naggarok had a highly advanced reactionless drive system. This was similar to the one used by the Bentusi, in that it had no visible external thrusters; however it also involved technology unseen anywhere else. The drive allowed the Naggarok to accelerate almost as fast as a fighter class vessel, fly faster than any other known unit, and stop in a moment, without any g-force effects. When the drive was engaged, the ship was surrounded by a pulsing turquoise-blue field which most likely reduced its apparent mass, and thus its inertia. The pulsing varied from ship hull sections.

The Naggarok used a highly advanced Hyperdrive unit. It was capable of extragalactic jumps, putting it on par with the Progenitor hyperspace cores. However, any details of its construction or its full power capabilities are unknown.

There is a possible chance that the 3rd Hyperspace Core Makaan found may have been installed inside the Naggarok, as it had all the same Far-Jump capabilities as that of the Bentusi and the Hiigaran's. However it's unlikely since the Naggarok came from another galaxy.

The entity's command of Kushan-la is based on vocal and textual analysis from various sources. While competent enough to state its thoughts, the disjointed nature of its speech is easily noted by anyone. Also, the Beast is unable to maintain a single vocal profile by itself when directing transmissions to non-Beast vessels, alternating between a deep masculine voice and a raspy female one several times as it speaks. It sounds a lot like the Kuun-Lan's bridge officers.

Subverted vessels retain their original voice profiles but the Beast taint is apparent; words are spoken with a telltale unearthly rasp.

Its writing ability is composed of short deliberate sentences, with composite words being separated. As such, the Beast would render "The missile carries a polymer warhead containing a dense payload of the Beast that discharges upon impact" as "Self carried in polymer war head medium. War head medium keeps self safe from explosion. Medium sticks to enemy parts when missile hits". It should be noted at this point that the Beast appends suffixes to all ships. Fellow Beast vessels as "-Self", groups as "-Selves" and any unsubverted ship as a "-Part" or "-Parts" for a group. For example, "Command self is pained! Command self must flee from parts!".

The largest collection of Beast entities, the Naggarok vessel, is capable of speaking in perfect English Template:Audio, but still with the aforementioned alternating vocal profile. It has presumably gained this ability by spending its million Hiigaran years of isolation listening in to communications chatter from the galaxy around it, going so far as to state that "We know you better than you know yourselves".

Despite being an aggragate of simple cells, the Beast is anything but a simple being. It shows innovation, tactical and strategic prowess and a very rapid rate of assimilating new information.

The Beast's motivation can be summarized by its own simple words: "We'll harm and consume". Much like viral entities here on Earth the Beast seems intent on simple consumption of eligible matter (in the Beast's case this is not limited to organic life forms). The Beast is looking to multiply endlessly through assimiliation of ships, life forms and technology.

While its motive is simplistic, the Beast is uncannily shrewd in achieving it. It puts emphasis on absorbing powerful enemies as fast as it can (as seen when its first target after the Kuun-Lan escaped the initial battle site was to go after a Bentusi Exchange). the Beast is quick in absorbing data and using it for its own ends. It was quick to get a leverage on the Imperialist Taidan forces by exploiting their desire to return to the glory days of the empire and get revenge on the Higarans. The Beast shows its true intents towards its Imperialist allies when, at a moment of pressure it admits the Imperials, like any other life forms out there, are nothing more than food for its consumption. However its willingness to withold attacking the Imperials in order to further its own goals shows a remarkable strategic thinking. Likewise, the beast shows tactical prowess. In one instance it uses an assimilated Republican heavy cruiser to lure away the escorts of a refugee convoy, leaving the unarmed transports an easy prey for its cruise missiles. At another, it uses the Clee-San's advanced sensor array to deactivate a Sentinel ring around a Hiigaran scout base, opening the way for a surprise attack. When the Beast tried get the Kuun-Lan in order to retrieve the information carried by the alien beacon pod, it assimilated the Caal-Shto and used it to try and lure the Kuun-Lan straight into the maw of the Beast Mothership. If the Kuun-Lan wasn't swarmed by Imperialists, this could have ended badly for the struggling Kiith Somtaaw.

Infection only requires that the Beast entity come into contact with a suitable surface, with any ship being compatible. Once done, the Beast begins an extremely rapid process of breaking down the ship materials in order to construct more of itself, and when it comes into contact with organic matter, it likewise breaks them down and reassembles the cells for use as living biocircuitry. The Beast interfaces this living computer system into the ship's electronics, merging them into one. It is apparent however that the new system still retains the memories and thoughts of the original crew, making this a truly horrific way to continue life (that is why the Bentusi was particularly afraid of the Beast: they would not die, but neither can control the ship, nor can communicate, trapping them inside for eternity). This however allows the Beast to rapidly assume control of the new vessel, as opposed to using trial-and-error to find out what everything does.

Ships that come into direct contact with an infected vessel risk subversion if they are not properly engineered or trained to withstand an infection. Examples including the Somtaaw mining tugs and Worker units. Without the proper precautions, a mining tug will immediately acquire the Beast entity when attempting to ram it, and a Worker will pick them up when it tries to salvage one. Unmanned ships such as the Somtaaw Leech-class Breaching Pod are immune to direct infection as they are controlled remotely and therefore present no organic matter to infect.

Most heavy-class ships in the Beast fleet grow specialized beam emitter nodes all around the vessel. When activated, they generate a charged particle beam that the Beast entity can ride on and onto a target. The charged nature of the beam allows it to jump to neighbouring ships, depending on how much mass the ships have. Several fighters can be infected with one beam shot, compared to one or two frigates. As the beam operates at relatively short ranges and is instantly generated, it is impossible to avoid the weapon. Only vessels that have implemented the necessary safety protocols can ride it out. Unmanned ships are instantly destroyed by the beam as they present no organic matter to infect.

Drawing upon schematics and designs available from captured engineering data, the Beast conceived a spacefaring cruise missile carrying a warhead densely packed with the Beast entity. The warhead was a polymer-like substance which would protect the payload up to the point of impact. Once the missile itself had rammed through the victim ship's hull, the warhead would finally break open, and the Beast entity could begin the process of subversion. If the hull could withstand the impact, it wouldn't matter either way as the Beast entity can work just fine from outside of a vessel.

The cruise missile itself is equipped with a corvette-class fusion drive that allows it to reach speeds almost comparable with a fighter-class vessel, and grants it high maneuverability. The navigation and guidance equipment can track its target over a significant distance, and may remotely receive new data from a commanding Beast vessel. The entire package weighs in at 490 tons.

Armoring of the missile is relatively weak and as such can be disposed of easily, but usual Beast tactics are to attack from multiple vectors and in massed groups, vastly diminishing the chances of interception. The weapon's engineering permits rapid and cheap mass production, making this a common tactic for a Beast fleet to consider.

The tip of the warhead is organic in nature, allowing it to slip through the charged field of a Sentinel wing, effectively rendering forcefield technolgy useless.

Initially, no ships were safe from Beast infection as it was an entirely new threat that no one knew how to deal with. This was later dealt with via development of new biohazard sterilization procedures stemming from stolen Imperial Taiidani bioweapons research and the implementation of ad hoc emergency purging protocols onboard ships.

Workers can be upgraded with an Infection Vaccine that allows them to safely engage an infected vessel for salvaging, by sterilizing the Beast entity forcibly. This allows a ship that would otherwise have to be abandoned to be returned to active duty. The technology and protocol for this came from the aforementioned Taiidani research.

The purging protocols mentioned are quite brutal. It involves flushing decks under threat of infection with surplus superheated plasma from the fusion drives, instantly immolating everything in the area including crew, unshielded equipment and the Beast entity itself. This is based on the rationale that it is infinitely preferable for the crew to be instantly killed than to spend an eternity as part of a Beast biocircuit, and that it would be better to lose a few decks than the whole ship.

Subsequent refinements in the technology and protocol resulted in all traces of the Beast being destroyed in the years succeeding the events of Cataclysm.

The Beast Mothership was originally a Kuun-Lan hangar module. An emergency beacon which contained a small portion of the Beast was brought into this hangar module; this part of the Beast then grew, subverting more and more mass into itself. Finally, in Tel Sector, the infection began to kill people. As a result, the ship's biohazard alarms were triggered, and the module was jettisoned.

First stage of Beast Mothership creation process - Subverted Kuun-Lan hangar module
Added by SkywalkerPL
The subverted module's first victim was the Clee-San, a Somtaaw vessel sent to investigate what had happened inside the hangar. The ship was hit by an Infection beam, a weapon which subverted Clee-San and its escort; they also become part of the Beast, after which the Beast quickly adapted new designs and begun to build fighters. Another early victim was a Turanic Raider Heavy Cruiser and its escort of frigates. Lacking the ability to face such a powerful array of vessels, the Kuun-Lan was forced to retreat.

The Kuun-Lan did not encounter the Beast Mothership again until arriving at a debris field in Koreth's Rift.

"Martyrs of Kharak! Look at what that thing has done to our old lower deck section! It's grown an entire mothership around it. What is this thing?!" — Kuun-Lan
By this time, the Beast Mothership was completed, having grown new structures around it's lower decks. It also sent a demand to the Kuun-Lan.

Kuun-Lan parts! We want beacon brain. Give us data, or we take data with your parts. _the Beast Mothership.

The subverted Caal-Shto provided additional support during this encounter.

There have been reports across the galaxy the mothership called itself the "Stradetch." It was enough to launch an investigation, but the case was shut down when they heard Kiith Somtaaw destroyed the mothership in a trap at the Sojent-Ra System.
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