ZedneWebLibraryStarcruiser Anonymous → Synopsis

Synopsis of Starcruiser Anonymous

What follows is a highly condensed retelling of Starcruiser Anonymous. Note that parallel events are not given in the same order as they are in the full story, mostly to avoid having to switch between plot threads every paragaph or so.

This document contains some spoilers for Starcruiser Anonymous.

The rise of the Zakavian Empire

As the result of a mysterious circumstances, Vakaz becomes ruler of the Blargoloid Conglomerate and the Caphanite Interstellar Alliance, combines the two into the Zakavian Empire, and declares himself Emperor. To keep his military busy, he sets them to conquering nearby worlds.

One such world is Planet Arorua, which was once protected by the mighty robot Ampron but is now largely defenseless. The Aroruans are not too happy about being conquered, but the Zakavian occupation forces are even less pleased, as nothing that exciting ever happens on Arorua. Their leader, Captain-General Tvanir attempts to rouse the local rebels to justify the strength of her military forces, and when that seems to fail, seeks other avenues of influence.

Elswhere, Captain-General Rtali of the Zakavian Eighth Fleet prepares to launch a rebellion against the Empire, which he sees as pretty much a bad idea altogether. He puts the Imperial loyalists in his fleet under the command of Captain Mselt and sends them to gather information on the Solar System.

The Anonymous becomes entangled

During a period (described in earlier installments of Sfstory) when the northeastern coast of the United States was repeatedly bombarded by space debris, a group of communities in northern New Jersey band together to find some way off the planet. The answer turns out to be the Anonymous, an ancient starship of immense size and obscure origin. Under the command of Captain Harrison, they head for Saturn and orbit peacefully for several years.

Naturally, Saturn is where Captain Mselt begins his scouting mission. Concerned that the Anonymous might pose a threat to the Empire (and suspecting that Rtali does as well) Mselt captures a small craft being tested by Blue Squadron, one of the Anonymous’s five fighter squadrons, and decides to take them directly to the Emperor at Planet Gloom.

When it becomes clear that Blue Squadron have disappeared, Captain Harrison sends Green Squadron on a mission to find them. One can get a sense of Green Squadron’s confidence level from their decision to name their ship Futility. Fortunately, they quickly encounter Orliss SoFah, a student minoring in space heroism at Interstellar University. Orliss identifies Blue Squadron’s captors as Zakavians and suggests two places they can check: Planet Gloom and the Crelm System, where the Eighth Fleet has been spotted.

Green Squadron split up. Roy Gaelen and Megan Kadar (who had stowed away on the Futility) accompany Orliss, his cousin Horlun SoFah, and Horlun’s girlfriend Anme Rifba to Planet Gloom. The rest of Green Squadron head towards the Crelm System.

Blue Squadron escape

Upon reaching the Fortress of Gloom, Captain Mselt rushes to inform the Emperor about Rtali’s suspected treachery. Blue Squadron are sent to the fortress’s prison, but manage by a clever ruse to escape their handlers. They steal a shuttle, attempt to flee, and are shot down. Wandering through the City of Gloom, they encounter a wounded, disgruntled agent of the Mysterious and Powerful Guild of Vending Machine Technicians who gives them a set of Guild uniforms to use for disguise.

Blue Squadron then sneak back into the fortress, where they are mistaken for Guild members and offered a job upgrading the machines on the newly-promoted Mselt’s flagship. Figuring that wherever Mselt is going has to be better than Planet Gloom, they accept.

Unfortunately, in all the excitement, they somehow manage to leave without Jen Kadar.

Mselt, it turns out, is taking Prince Lotekh to Arorua in response to a report from Captain-General Tvanir that Governor Jjana is working against the Empire. Unaware that Jjana is pretending to date Princess Elim in order to spy on the local rebellion, Lotekh accuses Jjana of treachery, slays him, and takes Elim captive.

The Aroruan rebels, meanwhile, unaware that Elim was using her pretend relationship to spy on the Zakavians, decide that action must be taken soon before their operations are further compromised. At this point, they encounter Blue Squadron, who have snuck down to the planet’s surface, and request their assistance.

New allies and new dangers

Accidentally left on Planet Gloom, Jen Kadar is re-captured by the Zakavians, who mistake her (again) for a vending machine technician. Commanded to demonstrate her vending machine repair skills, despite not possessing any, she makes the fortunate acquaintance of Bob, who is visiting Planet Gloom on business of his own and knows a few things about the Guild—like the fact that they sometimes hide powerful weapons in their machines.

Meanwhile, Orliss SoFah and his intrepid crew reach Planet Gloom and announce themselves as reporters from Conqueror’s Quarterly here to do a profile on the Fortress of Gloom’s décor. The Emperor, unwilling to admit that he’s never heard of their magazine, welcomes them warmly. Given free reign of the fortress, young Megan Kadar “borrows” a suit of Zakavian combat armor and then runs into her sister.

Although Orliss and the others have arrived too late to find Blue Squadron, they soon learn of a much more serious threat: the Empire’s secret superweapon known as the EDIT. The Zakavians have nearly completed it, and Bob is there to make sure they never get a chance to use it. Despite some mutual distrust, they agree to work together to thwart the Empire.

The Anonymous visits Planet Gloom

Meanwhile, Green Squadron arrive at Crelm IV where they meet Rtali and the Eighth Fleet. After a brief misunderstanding, Rtali informs them that Blue Squadron have been taken to Planet Gloom after all and recommends that they take the Anonymous there as a show of force. (Secretly, he hopes that any resulting conflict will weaken the defenses of Planet Gloom, saving him trouble later.)

Green Squadron return to Saturn and report this to Captain Harrison, who, surprisingly, orders the Anonymous to leave for Planet Gloom at once. This does not sit well with some of the ship’s inhabitants, who are not keen on the idea of flying into a potential war zone, but for now all they can do is stew.

On Planet Gloom, the Zakavians finally see through Orliss’s Conqueror’s Quarterly ruse and arrest him and Jen Kadar. Moments later, the Anonymous arrives and exchanges unfriendly words with the Imperials, leading to a demonstration of the EDIT’s destructive power and the Anonymous’s impressive shielding.

Bob sends Roy, Horlun, and Anme to warn the Anonymous about the EDIT’s terrible power, while he and Megan stay to free the others and continue their efforts. Captain Harrison, learning that Blue Squadron have already left Planet Gloom, quickly leaves the system and heads towards Arorua.

The Defender of Niceness returns

The leader of the Aroruan rebels explains his new plan to Blue Squadron: inside the palace are the keys to reawakening Ampron, Arorua’s legendary robot protector. The four of them, joined by Arorua’s Prince Boltar, must find the five Penguins of Ampron and use them to drive off the Zakavians. This plan works surprisingly well, even though they can only find the keys for four of the Penguins. The Zakavians pull back to defensive positions, and Captain-General Mselt decides to fight giant robots with giant robots and asks central command to send the Empire’s robot Alpha Ra.

Once Alpha Ra arrives, Mselt and Tvanir implement a two-pronged assault. While Alpha Ra distracts the Penguins of Ampron, Tvanir and a group of select commandos break into the Aroruan palace to take out the rebel leadership. As the Aroruan’s situation grows grimmer, the fifth key is found and Ampron is made whole once again—just in time to fight a battle to the death with Alpha Ra. Although the Ampron Force are inexperienced, they manage to prevail over the Empire’s more powerful machine.

Prince Lotekh, livid, calls for more backup. In response, the Emperor orders the EDIT sent to destroy Arorua.

Hearing this, Bob and Megan rush to free Jen and Orliss from prison before the EDIT leaves and dooms Arorua. Working together, they create enough confusion that they are able to infiltrate the EDIT undetected.

The battle of Arorua

Having defeated the Zakavians on land, the Aroruans decide to take the battle into space. Ampron is fitted with its space frame, giving it the ability to maneuver in orbit, and sent to face Mselt’s forces. This proves to be much more difficult than they had anticipated, but before their situation can deteriorate entirely, the Anonymous arrives, followed closely by Rtali’s rogue Eighth Fleet.

This is not a situation any of them had anticipated.

Mselt tries to set Rtali and the Anonymous against each other to buy him some time. This doesn’t entirely work, but the Anonymous does agree to stay uninvolved as long as they are not provoked. Ampron, by this time, has activated its Ultimate Defense Barrier, temporarily removing itself from the battle. Captain Harrison sends Green Squadron out to reinforce Ampron and Blue Squadron.

While Green Squadron and the Ampron Force discuss exit plans, the final shoe drops as the EDIT translates in-system. Things have gone badly for Bob and his band of saboteurs: he and Jen are in custody and Megan and Orliss have had to seal themselves in the Shield Control Center. Outside, this new addition to the mix throws the opposing Zakavian fleets into a frenzy of activity as the Eighth Fleet tries to win before the EDIT makes their efforts moot.

Captain Harrison orders the Green Squadron and Ampron to retreat, unwilling to remain in the same system as the EDIT, but her orders are ignored and Ampron moves to attack. Resigned, Harrison orders the Anonymous to cover them. Mselt, in response, orders the EDIT to destroy the Anonymous.

Ampron’s first strike against the EDIT is easily brushed aside by its powerful shields. This inspires Megan and Orliss to disable the superweapon’s shields, leaving only its super-strong armor to protect it. Jen takes advantage of the distraction to capture control of the bridge and contact the Ampron Force, but the EDIT’s captain uses her distraction to begin the firing process. Unable to stop the chain reaction, Jen tells the Ampron Force to fire into the EDIT’s maw. The resulting blast disrupts the firing process and blows the deadly superweapon into pieces.

Furious, Lotekh orders Mselt to unleash the Third Fleet’s planet-killing bombs and retreat. Rtali’s fleet also leaves, figuring they might as well slip away in the distraction. Racing against the clock, Green Squadron and the Ampron Force manage to destroy all the bombs before they go off. Arorua is free at last.

What happens after

The Ampron Force agrees to stay and protect Arorua for the time being. This isn’t much of a sacrifice for them, as the Anonymous also hangs around, having nowhere else to go (see the Anonymous Chronicles [1] for more). Jen and Roy take up Orliss’s offer to show them Interstellar University (see Out of Space to learn what happens on their way). Bob saves Princess Elim from the void of space and offers to teach her a trade, now that her people despise her (project forthcoming).

Dave Menendez