About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

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The Troglodyte
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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:11 pm

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Captain’s Log - Nov 16, 2157 - Alpha Tauri 1 (Ilwrath Homeworld) - Red Alert

There were no more stray Ilwrath ships moving in to prevent us from reaching their home planet; they all were apparently too busy packing their little webbed bags for their big trip to Draconis to eliminate the Thraddash. As soon as we began to enter orbit, hundreds of ships uncloaked all around us, preventing our escape!

Image

They welcomed us with pleasure in a delightful manner, which of course turns the stomach more than it flatters, knowing their joy comes from inflicting pain and causing death. They told us we had arrived just in time for something they call “The Festival of a Thousand Screams.” Great! Perfect timing… And as one might have expected, the main festivities include cracking us open like eggs and pouring our insides into a giant frying pan for their gods.

Speaking of gods, the Ilwrath priesthood was more than willing to tell us all about Dogar and Kazon, and like many religions, they believe that Dogar and Kazon have an omnipresence all throughout the universe, and their belief that everything meets Dogar and Kazon, since everything eventually dies, reinforces this fatalistic viewpoint that the Ilwrath relish with each and every moment of their lives… and deaths I suppose.

We asked them to give us more background information concerning their religion, and inquired if they ever had any good gods, and they indeed have had many gods in the past, but that was done away with a long time ago when the ruling priest caste decided to get rid of any other god besides Dogar and Kazon, and the very foundation of Ilwrath society rallied around in approval of this notion and over time has shaped their entire race into the most loyal, evil-crazed adherents we know today.

It’s blatantly obvious to see that the Ilwrath priesthood may have been granted too much power, and it would also seem that the only source that can keep the priest dudes in check is hearing from their gods “in spider” (as opposed to “in person”) speaking holy commandments through HyperWave channel 44. I’m not sure how it all went down when all of this channel 44 stuff first happened, but it all seemed to have occurred about 8 years ago when the Umgah first used their curious ’Caster to get the Ilwrath’s attention, proclaiming to be their gods to get them to do their bidding… for their own amusement.

Their devotion is not confined to inflicting suffering on others, they themselves even undergo many different types of rituals of pain, which can sometimes (or probably often) result in severe injury or possibly even death. It kind of reminds me of Klingon pain rituals, but instead of jabbing pain sticks into each other or cutting your palm and sharing blood with your fellow comrade via a firm handshake, the Ilwrath will lose entire limbs during their demonstrations of love for the D.K. twins, but they eventually grow them back like a lizard’s tail. I wonder if Ilwrath children put their dismemberments under their pillow for the “Leg Fairy”?

As far as the Ur-Quan are concerned, the Ilwrath really didn’t seem to mind being conquered by them in the end, since the Ur-Quan in-turn made them into battle thralls and improved their technology, making their murderous ways more effective and even more satisfying for them during their involvement in the War with the Alliance. But that’s about where all the love between the spiders and their conquering caterpillars ends… The Ilwrath actually consider the Ur-Quan to be too “nice and kind” to please Dogar and Kazon. Well, in fairness, the Ur-Quan directed the Ilwrath to cease their plans of creating “Mountains of Flesh”, where they likely would’ve killed all of us humans, and they had to forego their plans and empty out their cargo ships filled stem to stern with thousands of altars, gowns and knives for all of the sacrificial fun. I can imagine “Altars R’ Us” and “Blood Gowns Boutiques” got great business that week!… followed by an equally long line of Ilwrath in the merchandise return aisle after the Ur-Quan threw up the genocidal stop sign.

Then the Ilwrath decided to give us a rare treat, a glimpse into their hideous and violent customs in the form of allowing us to witness a birthing ceremony. The announcement brought in a flood of Ilwrath from the outside, and the scraping of the scurrying Ilwrath legs against the floors, walls and ceilings could be heard as all of the Ilwrath fortunate enough to make it within the hatchery chamber gathered around, many clung suspended from the ceiling overhead, and the chittering sound of them clicking their mandibles together echoed throughout as they pressed in towards the center that held the numerous eggs, some of which were already pulsating and convulsing giving every indication that they could burst forth at any moment.

The priestly ones were easy to detect, and not because they wore flowing robes or carried scepters around or other usual priestly things as one might expect, but they still stood out from the rest. All the other Ilwrath were pressing in against each other, vying for a better position to set at least one or two pair of their many eyes towards the slightly recessed area where all of the eggs lay, but none attempted to enter the row directly behind the eggs’ nook that made up the priests, but instead gave them a wide berth with the massive mob flailing all around them.

The priests, about a dozen in total, loomed over the hatchery, and each of them held a smaller Ilwrath located directly in front of them clutched tightly with their appendages, and while all of the other Ilwrath in the room rubbed their forelegs together anxiously in anticipation, the priests rubbed the bristly hairs of their lower legs on the backs of hindlegs of their respective smaller, likely younger Ilwrath disciples, and the priests also kept the tips of their lower abdomens firmly pressed against the back ends of their devoted votary servants as they looked on with undivided attention.

Then, the first egg sac cracked, and the shrieking and crackling sounds grew quickly into an uproar of sheer madness, and many of the eggs began to bounce as their live contents became eager to emerge, and as if they were cued to proceed as such, the Ilwrath all began bouncing up and down as well -- all except the priests, whom seemed contented at watching intently while stroking their submissive subjects. Fights amongst the Ilwrath attendees had already broken out as several of the combatants rolled around on top of the crowd like tandem body surfers. The gorging had begun indeed!

Many species on earth and other worlds, especially those of the insectoid world, have numerous offspring at once, since so many of those early life are susceptible to perish very early on, either in the form of predators or terrain hazards, and many have even been known to be subjected to cannibalism from within their family, including some species of mamma bears, amphibians, reptiles, fish and many others -- and yes… spiders too. But it’s not usually the children eating each other.

Everything became a blur… A loud, mind-numbing, violent and insidious blur. The eggs expelled a bubbly white and yellowish foam as each hatchling emerged from the massive pile of eggs numbering in the hundreds… possibly thousands. As they did, the seconds born Ilwrath instinctively turned on one another, biting and attacking each other, their newly formed exoskeletons still soft, therefore offering little resistance to any damage inflicted, and more assorted bodily fluids began to join the egg juice in the form of much frothy blood mingling into what had clearly become an orgy of simultaneous birth and death. At this rate, not even half of the babies were going to make it, but it seemed like that was how nature, the Ilwrath’s nature that is, intended it.

Occasionally, some of the Ilwrath couldn’t help themselves and would reach in and scoop up some of the unhatched eggs or newly born hatchlings with their appendages and toss them into the air as others would fight over the remains, shoving them with their appendages and mandibles into their mouths. At this point, even the priests couldn’t control themselves and some would motion for their confined servants to grab a hatchling that had ventured astray and chomp on it like popcorn as they continued to enjoy the ceremony. Another acolyte entered the hatchery confines with a large mesh bag and began shoveling the remaining hatchlings into it, as the loud screams began to lower into wails and groans, like someone who had just finished enjoying a large feast, and the fullness that it brought was both painful and satisfying. The sack of kids was then carried off and out of the ceremony chambers, possibly to be taken into some kind of incubation room to allow the survivors to mature properly.

As the ceremony drew to a close, I made a passing comment about how evil they are, and the high priest retorted “Of course we are evil!”, almost as if he was insulted by the matter-of-factness of my observation. I pressed a little further, questioning that if it is their customary practice in society to behave in an evil manner, then aren’t they all, in accordance with their culture, being good? I mean, they all must work together cooperatively for survival, so I assume the farmers drive the tractors, bail the hay and feed the proverbial chickens, while the factory workers meld and construct using their tools of their trade, vigorously working on installing giant flamethrowers on their starships, but they both clock out to go to the next bloody sacrifice or pain ceremony, and this would be their lifestyle routine… although I’m sure life insurance prices are through the roof!

The leader became confused by my remarks as he momentarily contemplated my words, pondering that they could consider themselves good by their own set of standards, but this brief installment of hesitation I inadvertently caused set the Ilwrath’s temper into a sudden fervent rage, calling us blasphemers, accusing us of angering Dogar and Kazon. They have terminated communications and have become invisible, so I should probably end this log entry.

We are going to battle stations! Captain out.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Draxas » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:29 pm

The Troglodyte wrote:Their devotion is not confined to inflicting suffering on others, they themselves even undergo many different types of rituals of pain, which can sometimes (or probably often) result in severe injury or possibly even death. It kind of reminds me of Klingon pain rituals, but instead of jabbing pain sticks into each other or cutting your palm and sharing blood with your fellow comrade via a firm handshake, the Ilwrath will lose entire limbs during their demonstrations of love for the D.K. twins, but they eventually grow them back like a lizard’s tail. I wonder if Ilwrath children put their dismemberments under their pillow for the “Leg Fairy”?
And now you know why that pilot image only has 5 legs. Lovely, no?

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:13 pm

Draxas wrote:And now you know why that pilot image only has 5 legs. Lovely, no?
Even back when the makers created Star Control 1 they knew that any Ilwrath would willingly lose half of their legs in a fight for the honor of flying the Avenger, as long as they have strong enough mandibles for pulling the hellfire spout lever left over! ;)
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Draxas » Thu Dec 07, 2017 10:47 pm

Well, yes, the Ilwrath undoubtedly tear the legs off each other as well. They are evil, after all.

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by krulle » Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:02 am

Seeing that space in space ships is usually rare, and space ships are cramped, it may even be a requirement to become a captain/pilot.
You're smaller with less limbs, and lighter.
Thus making it a win-win for the engineers who have to fit a pilot and make the ship light, maneuverable, small enough to not be a large target, yet offer sufficient room for the crew to be able to do the necessary things....

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Angelfish » Wed Dec 13, 2017 10:15 am

Draxas wrote:
The Troglodyte wrote:Their devotion is not confined to inflicting suffering on others, they themselves even undergo many different types of rituals of pain, which can sometimes (or probably often) result in severe injury or possibly even death. It kind of reminds me of Klingon pain rituals, but instead of jabbing pain sticks into each other or cutting your palm and sharing blood with your fellow comrade via a firm handshake, the Ilwrath will lose entire limbs during their demonstrations of love for the D.K. twins, but they eventually grow them back like a lizard’s tail. I wonder if Ilwrath children put their dismemberments under their pillow for the “Leg Fairy”?
And now you know why that pilot image only has 5 legs. Lovely, no?
Nowadays we see unity asset flips that work in quite the same way :). They must've thought 'any spider will do' ;).

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:46 pm

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Captain’s Log – Nov 16, 2157 – Near Alpha Tauri I - Red Alert

***** BATTLE REPORT ****


We scrambled the fleet as we headed for battle stations, and every Ilwrath had vanished, still present but now a massive cloaked fleet, and they seemed content in sending in one ship at a time to take on each of the ships in our fleet, giving every indication that they were toying with us, just like in the same way we’ve seen them play with their food/offspring.

The first Arilou ship, the H.M.S. Discus had great success, and it managed to take down 15 Avengers by flying in circles around each ship and firing as the Ilwrath vessel remained in a steady flux of cloaking/decloaking/firing and an occasional Skiff laser blast would sneak past the puffs of space fire (I’ve always wondered how fire could exist in the vacuum of space, but whatever) until the ships were vanquished, but eventually after a few mistakes the Discus was finally destroyed.

The first of two Pkunk ships, the H.M.S. Bgak! (or something to that effect, since the translation of their language mostly comes out as squawks and screeches, and unlike the Arilou who didn’t care what we named their Skiffs, the Pkunk already had their ships named) put up a valiant performance, and although they were blown up 6 times, they took down 5 Avengers, but their sixth explosion ended in an Ilwrath theme song as opposed to another “Hallelujah!” resurgence.

The Zoq-Fot-Pik crew of the Stinger vessel, the H.M.S. Hornet, must’ve fell asleep at the wheel, because after whittling down an Ilwrath to less than half their crew, they casually glided into the flamethrower’s wake (I assume for an exciting tongue attack finishing move) and fizzled out as they were sizzled up.

The Orz ship, the H.M.S. Fishbowl # 1 (which is only differentiated from the 2nd “bowl” by the big number ‘1’ painted on one of its wings) had a great degree of difficulty in knowing how to handle the Ilwrath in action, and it sat drifting while rotating the Howitzer Cannon in an attempt to get a fix on the cloaked ship’s position, and, as it neared, the Orz hit their thrusters and released some marines as the Avenger uncloaked for an attack, and several of the marines boarded (while others were left stranded outside as they lost track of the recloaking ship) and finished off the Ilwrath. Unfortunately, another repeat of the tactic proved fatal for our unconventional allies, since they failed to put enough distance during the second attempt and soon became scorched, crispy fish fillets.

The H.M.S. StarGazer, the other Spathi vessel besides Fwiffo’s Voidship, found itself in immediate trouble, since it warped in near a planet, which the Ilwrath took instant advantage by using its gravity well to close in fast on the disillusioned Discriminator and flamed it down to less than a third of its crew in one strike, and after a few more minutes of the Gazer’s crew attempting to locate the Ilwrath ship and hurl a few torpedoes and missiles at them, they made a fatal error and charged when should’ve retreated (And really folks… of all species, the Spathi should know when the most prudent time is for retreat!)

Next up was our second Ariloulaleelay ship, the appropriately named H.M.S. Hockey Puck, and by using the identical tactic as the previous Skiff, it took down 7 ships before they too didn’t retreat or even utilize their teleporters in time, and were subsequently fried.

Even worse, the next Pkunk Fury (also named the H.M.S. Bgak!, which is, I mean was, basically the name of the previous Fury vessel, but instead you say the word “Bgak!” more in the back of your throat) jumped right into the afterlife momentarily, revived itself, and then shot right back into the Pkunk permanent dead zone with scorched feathers by a relentless Avenger.

Like the previous Orz Fishbowl, “number 2” was sent in and took down the Pkunk killer Ilwrath using the marine deployment while being literally under fire. The next Avenger ship arrived to meet an undercrewed Nemesis, which was now more hesitant to unleash its few remaining members, so it tried its hardest to rely upon the Howitzer Cannon, which lasted awhile while getting in a few lucky hits, but ultimately the Orz found themselves on the opposite side of the fire spout.

The H.M.S. Tobermoon charged in, but perhaps charging in wasn’t the brightest ideas, because before the had fully realized the error of their ways, the Avenger had uncloaked off the starboard bow and singed the hull, and the entire human crew was evacuated from the Cruiser via the large gaping hole provided by the Ilwrath, but unfortunately none of evacuees had adequate time to grab their space suits during the ship abandonment, and perished in space, which might actually be a good thing, considering what we now know what the Ilwrath do with “rescued survivors”.

It was down to either the last Arilou or the Spathi ship, and Fwiffo once again drew to short Ta Puun stick and was sent in with the H.M.S. StarRunner, but the Spathi were resilient and battled for a good, long time, blasting through 2 Avengers, fully using hit-and-run tactics, but eventually some planetary interactions drew the Spathi vessel in too close on a few occasions and eventually succumbed to the fire.

The H.M.S. Country Biscuit didn’t do quite as well as the previous 2, and they only wiped out 4 Ilwrath ships before making a critical error and suffered defeat through a sustained scorching after the biscuit bounced off a nearby asteroid.

The fleet was gone, but we made our final stand, and destroyed 6… uh, correction, I mean 60… yeah, you heard correctly… 60 Avengers until the Vindicator itself was finally destroyed. All of the Ilwraths in the vicinity uncloaked and fired upon my time portal containment module (the only remaining piece of our flagship) in unison, so I activated the time portal before it too, would’ve been burnt to a crisp. Total battle time: ~45 minutes.

Well, suffice it to say, it doesn’t look like we’re going to get past the Ilwrath’s home guard fleet. Therefore, we will set course for Procyon and see if the Ilwrath have been drawn away by our little trick of sending them to Draconis to go on a Thraddash killing spree. Captain out.
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“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Draxas » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:57 pm

Considering your last big battle with the Ilwrath was probably a good 80 or so pages back, how is the improvement in your skills?

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by Tormuse » Wed Dec 20, 2017 5:59 pm

Out of that list of ships, I'd expect the Zoq Fot Pik to fare the best, since it's fast and fires in a spread that's good for uncovering the location of a cloaked ship. (I guess the AI just doesn't know how to handle it; I'm assuming you're still relying on the AI to fight your battles for you?) The flagship can also be pretty good if it's outfitted for it, say with a Hellbore in the nose and the rest of the ship filled with Shiva Furnaces and Dynamos so it can just spam the area with fire but I suppose you weren't outfitted for that at the time and were wasting energy with ATS modules.

It surprises me that the Arilou ships did so well! I would've thought that their homing lasers would be ineffective against the cloaks.

(EDIT: Damn typos)

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Re: About to try to beat Star Control 2...no spoilers!

Post by The Troglodyte » Thu Dec 21, 2017 4:36 pm

Tormuse wrote:Out of that list of ships I'd expect the Zoq Fot Pik to fare the best, since it's fast and fires in a spread that's good for uncovering the location of a cloaked ship. (I guess the AI just doesn't know how to handle it; I'm assuming you're still relying on the AI to fight your battles for you?)
Yes, you’re right Tormuse, if I were the one at the helm of the Stinger, I would’ve done much better than drifting right into the spider’s fiery den of death. Since I already knew the battle was futile, I was curious to see how the AI would fare and record the results (in my usual overly dramatic style, of course) and the outcome brought courtesy of cyborg mode was unsurprisingly a big disappointment, especially in the ZFP’s case.
Tormuse wrote:The flagship can also be pretty good if it's outfitted for it, say with a Hellbore in the nose and the rest of the ship filled with Shiva Furnaces and Dynamos so it can just spam the area with fire but I suppose you weren't outfitted for that at the time and were wasting energy with ATS modules.
I can still best any Ilwrath that comes my way with the configuration, even though you’re correct about the unnecessary massive ATS drain. I’ve discovered the trick is to create ample distance and then thrust to the side slowly to get lined up and then unleash your salvo, spamming until you get a positive hit. Thrust a little the opposite way and unleash the load, a few hits later and the cloaked ship erupts… but how come it doesn’t decloak upon destruction? Hmmm… the cloaking device gets destroyed in the process, but sometimes it’s just an explosion with a black void as a backdrop, or the rare strange mid-cloaking white or cyan-colored Avenger explosion… Okay, now I’m just getting carried away so I’d better stop. Oh! But just one other thing, using the side cannons are effective when you need to thrust diagonally to move in a little closer, since they propel directly in line without a target to lock on.

This obviously also explains why the flagship only scored 6 kills (that I exaggerated into 60) since the ridiculous AI thinks it’s a good idea to fly close to full speed directly towards the cloaked ship and only decides to retreat when the flame nozzle has literally come into contact with the Vindicator as it bounces off, and then, just when you think the battle tactics couldn’t get any worse, it absurdly activates the Point-Defense Laser repeatedly on the stream of flames, which are basically unaffected and a big waste of energy. Pitiful. Just imagine me throwing up my hands in disbelief and you’ll have a good idea of how the ending of this long battle; and no exaggeration on the 45 minutes part, by the way, but the Vindicator didn’t contribute much to the length of that effort.
Tormuse wrote:It surprises me that the Arilou ships did so well! I would've thought that their homing lasers would be ineffective against the cloaks.
This one is another curiosity, but I believe it boils down to the AI’s mechanics when operating both vessels and performing the various calculations for the cloak. It’s a programming conundrum I suppose, since the computer automatically “knows” where the cloaked ship is at all times, but it’s programmed to “pretend” as though it doesn’t. I remember Death 999 mentioning it before, and I think he said something to the effect that the opposing ship (the Skiff in this case) is programmed to believe the cloaked ship is located in a percentage displacement of its actual true location. Then we’re dealing with 2 ships that have short-range weapons, so naturally they both try to get close to each other, so they’re each content with making that part happen, but whenever the Arilou outmaneuvers the Ilwrath’s slow turning rate and gets too far outside its firing range, the Avenger will recloak, and although the Arilou knows where Ilwrath is whilst the cloaking effect is taking hold, it will then fly slightly differently as the Ilwrath’s background goes fully dark, adjusting for its programming kicking in, creating the simulated “confusion” (usually in the form of a brief retreat) but it also understands that firing its weapon at that point is futile because it will fire directly outward from the center of its headlights without a target in sight. The end result is the Skiff flying in circles while trying to stay close enough to the Ilwrath’s cone of firing range, but far enough outside of the flame’s range to continuously fire its laser, which unfortunately is blocked often as a result. And with 3 Skiffs in my squad, they contributed the most to the bulk of the fight in terms of kills and time.
Draxas wrote:Considering your last big battle with the Ilwrath was probably a good 80 or so pages back, how is the improvement in your skills?
Back on Page 45 to be exact! Yeah, I have gotten much better at battling those troublesome Ilwrath, but I find the cloak a major nuisance whenever using a regular ship, so I’ve made sure I’ve gotten quite effective at using the Vindicator against them (using the tactics described above) in case it becomes more important or necessary at some point to take them on more directly.

Hey! How about a blast from the past?

I have an interesting relationship with the Ilwrath, and it dates all the way back to the early 90’s… that fateful day when I first picked up that box with a strange alien claw on the cover entitled simply “Star Control” and flipped it over: (insert nostalgic dream sequence accompanied with harp gliss effect)

Image

I immediately noticed the Ilwrath uncloaking for an attack, and I chuckled as I read the “Poor Tactical Positioning” bit, and it was at that point that I decided to go ahead and purchase the game. I even chose the Ilwrath the very first time I played (in practice mode) but I quickly learned how precarious the Avenger was to operate, especially upon discovering the learning curve needed to handle the momentum mechanics. So you see, if it weren’t for the Ilwrath, I may not even be here today… Well, I mean, I would still be here, as in alive, but perhaps not here in this forum.
“He tasks me. He tasks me, and I shall have him! I’ll chase him ’round the moons of Nibia and ’round the Antares maelstrom and ’round Perdition’s flames before I give him up!” ― Khan Noonien Singh

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