Aug 16

The Clone Wars Movie: A Shattered Hope, or Star Wars Strikes Back?

Category: News,Star Wars

Star Wars: The Clone Wars is the latest of the Saga, fitting in between Episode II and Episode III. And truth be told, it had a huge name to live up to. Did it? Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but it didn’t quite live up to my expectations (although that didn’t stop me from seeing it four times on day one… and I’m not a virgin… I swear). I’ll sway from spoilers incase anyone hasn’t had the chance to see the movie and wants to figure out if it’s even worth watching…

The Darkside

  • Story plot… although it’s not really bad at all, it just doesn’t have the appeal that came from the six Episodes… It lacked the… epicness of the Death Stars, and somehow managed to lose the massiveness of the clone force that we saw in Episode II and III.
  • The musical score… Perhaps its just me, but the music played a huge role in the success of Star Wars. Without the Imperial March, the Empire loses our fascination. Without Duel of the Fates, the lightsaber duel of Anakin and Obi-Wan is just a clash of sabers… And in Clone Wars… I haven’t heard a single new piece that wow’ed me. The music fits, but that’s about it. Electric guitars and the like… just isn’t Star Wars
  • The comedy… seemed cheap. Overusage of the droid humor from Episode I was far too common. I don’t mind a cheap laugh once in a while, but if it’s all the humor that’s there, it just doesn’t appeal… and some of it is too predicable… where’s the ‘who’s scruffy looking?’ type humor? Droids can only fall from heights so many times before it becomes a groaner. And at one point, a droid can’t even get the numbers right that another droid tells him… And I thought they were connected to the same ‘core-system’ … I dunno why they even speak to eachother >.
  • Dialogue… I was expecting… more.. even if the movie was aimed at kids…
  • The opening crawl… (take a deep breath) … nonexistent… Instead we have a voice getting us up to speed with the events of the Galaxy… ruining a defining opening moment…

But not all is lost! Here’s the Lightside

  • It’s Star Wars…. Let’s face it, it brings out the kid in you. The saga continues, it hasn’t died out at all, and that brings joy to all of us here.
  • Action… You’ll find more than plenty of this, and the animated format gives you some things that you might not dream of seeing in a live-action movie of Star Wars.
  • Characters…
    • You’ll come to love Ahsoka, or your heart has turned hard. She might make you skeptical at first, but she’ll win you over just as she wins Anakin over. She’s still annoying to a point I’ll admit, but I think how she was introduced was below par, and the voice acting left much to be desired. Hopefully in the future they’ll work with her much better than they did here.
    • As for Ani, he seems much more mature than in any of the prequels,a breath of fresh air there. And although the character development doesn’t come up to par with the rest of the movies, I couldn’t really find fault with it at all…
  • Jaw droppers… There’s only one that truly stands out, and to be honest, nothing can compare to “Luke, I am your Father” so I’m going to be fair and not judge it on an impossible scale… so expect a surprise when you see an AT-TE transport after they get off the first planet and onto another… anything else would ruin the surprise… Of course it could have been done better, but that doesn’t make it less of a jaw-dropper.
  • No Jar-Jar or any Gungans for that matter… ’nuff said.
  • It’s Star Wars… It bears repeating.
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Aug 12

Biological Experiment goes wrong on Science R&D Platform, Vectra System

Earlier this morning, Naval High Command released a statement confirming the rumors that there was an incident aboard a Naval Research and Development Platform within the Vectra System. The incident resulted in the quarantine of the section of the system, along with the eventual destruction of the platform. While Naval High Command declined to give a statement for the Vast Empire Today, a surviving over-watch guard from the platform accepted our offer. He had this to say,

 

“It started out like any regular day, the higher-ups of the platform were conduction experiments on fighters, pilot gear, weaponry, and medical equipment. It was looking as though it would be normal throughout the day, no major tests or experiment going on. There was one experiment in the medical field, one that damned us all.” The guard said during the interview.

 

“They were trying to create a system that would put the pilot and the medical droid in a linked form, one that would allow the pilot to fly the craft, and an onboard medical droid to immediately assess, determine, and treat and ailment. They had a few volunteers to test it on, a few brave pilots, none of them are alive right now. The pilots went into a simulator, to fight against each other during the test, up to that point, nothing looked wrong … nothing at all.” The man said during the interview, as he said it though, he got tense.

 

“The pilots started the simulation, no problem … until the first shots were fired.  Then all hell began to rise. The Pilot’s adrenaline began to go up, and it kept going up. It got to the point where the medical droid began to think it was a ailment and began to pump stuff into him to make it go away. Each of the pilots had this happen to them. The stuff the droids pumped stopped the adrenaline … and each pilot’s heart. They all died, or so we though. After their hearts stopped, the droids went insane, trying everything to revive them. The droids began to mix combinations of chemicals together in a vain effort to revive them. It worked, but horribly failed. All six of the pilots rose back up, but the monitors showed no heart beats, and limited brain waves. They were dead… but alive.” He said and then stopped, and stood up. “That’s all I know. They put the section of the platform into lockdown after that; Moved up all away, and eventually to shuttles and escape pods.”

 

To continue this story, recently lowered from the highest classified levels is are the incident reports from the platform. It shows vague information as to the events that happened, but explains the story a bit as well. As per the documents, after they moved everyone away, two doctors approached the once dead pilots, they stood near them, trying to get a reaction from them. Then, almost instantly, they did. As if it was instinct, one of the pilots bit into the doctor’s arm, taking a small chunk with him. The remaining guards opened fire onto the pilot who attacked. It took over 30 rounds to put him down. The injured doctor was rushed out of the area, where later a plague spread like an infection across areas of the base, first the simulator room, then the medical room where the doctor was, then after that the surrounding halls. People apparently died and rose up as reanimated corpses. VEN-HC sent out rescue craft, and evacuated the non-infected survivors. Once the survivors were rescued, the platform was destroyed, and all chunks of it were decimated to destroy all signs of the infection. Within the next weeks, VEN-HC is expected to declassify the names of the personnel lost on the platform from this incident. To which the VET will make a report to, when it happens.

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Jul 28

The Scoop on the upcoming Terminator movie

Category: News

The new Terminator movie coming out is called Terminator Salvation: The Future Begins. It is slated for release in North America on May 22, 2009 and may be rated PG-13, unlike the previous rated-R movies. The film is set in 2018, focusing on the original war between humanity and the Terminator computer network Skynet. It abandons the formula of the series (Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Model 101 Terminator time traveling to the present to protect or kill someone of future importance). Filming began on May 5, 2008.

The film stars Christian Bale, star of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight, as John Conner, Anton Yelchin as Kyle Reese, a teenaged soldier who was sent back in time to father John Conner, Sam Worthington as Marcus Wright, a decommissioned Terminator who befriends Conner and Reese, Bryce Dallas Howard as Sarah Conner, Moon Bloodgood as Blair Williams, a pilot in the resistance who is suffering from survivors guilt, Common, a rapper, as Barnes, John’s right-hand man, and Roland Kickinger as the prototype T-800. This will be the first Terminator film in which Arnold Schwarzenegger does not play the Series 800 Model 101 model, because he is serving his second term as the Governor of California. Additional cast members include Jadagrace as Star, Chris Ashworth as Richter, Chris Browning as Morrison, and Jane Alexander. Helena Bonham Carter has been confirmed to star in a small but pivotal role as a character named Serena, who may be the lead villain.

On May 9, 2007, it was announced that rights to the Terminator series had passed hands from producers Andrew G. Vajna and Mario Kassar to The Halcyon Company and Derek Anderson. The producers hoped to start a new trilogy based on the franchise. John Brancato, Michael Ferris and David Campbell Wilson wrote the script, which Paul Haggis polished, and Shawn Ryan rewrote six weeks before filming. Jonathan Nolan also contributed.

In addition to a novel, there will be a prequel novel and two spin-offs, the first spin-off will be published in September 2008. Due in January 2009, it follows Connor rallying together the resistance in 2017, as well as examining normal people overcoming their intolerances to defeat Skynet.

This plot synopsis was released on May 23, 2008 by Warner Brothers.:

”Set in post-apocalyptic 2018, John Connor (Christian Bale), the man fated to be the leader of the human resistance against Skynet and its army of Terminators, and the future he was raised to believe in is altered in part by the appearance of Marcus Wright (Sam Worthington), a Terminator whose last memory is of being on death row. Connor must decide whether Marcus has been sent from the future, or rescued from the past. As Skynet prepares its final onslaught, Connor and Marcus both embark on an odyssey that takes them into the heart of Skynet’s operations, where they find out a terrible secret that may lead to the possible annihilation of mankind.”

There it is. I hope everybody who reads this enjoys it. Every bit of information came from Wikipedia and nowhere else.
Until next time everybody. Goodbye.

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Jul 16

Down With the “Sicness”

Category: News

Today I sat down with Cheif Petty Officer Sicario. He is the Executive Officer as well as the Flight Leader of Flight two in Viper Squadron, one of three squads that make up the Vast Empire Navy. Not only is Sicario an accomplished writer, but he is the newest, but still a wonderful, Executive Officer to the VEN. Now, may I present you with CPO Sicario.

Stormz: How long have you been in service to the Vast Empire?

Sicario: I’ve been here since December 14th I believe, of 2007. I suppose I still qualify as a newer member, though my ambitious nature sort of balance’s that out. I plan on being here for a long time, there’s so much that needs to be done, and I hope to be one of the leaders in getting those things completed.

Stormz: What is your current role in the VE/Navy?

Sic: Trying not to get in trouble 😉 Honestly, I’m the Executive Officer of Viper Squadron, as well as Flight Leader. Basically, I handle the smaller problems among our pilots, make sure my flight keeps active, and help Ibram with whatever he needs. And let’s face it, I’m the hotty of the group 😉 Also, I am currently an Ink Slinger in the VEEC, journalism is sort of my passion as well. I had an Army character, though due to my business in the Navy, I haven’t gotten into it too much.

* Stormz laughs.

Stormz: How long have you been the Executive Officer?

Sic: I’m coming up on my 4th week as Viper’s XO, and I plan to remain here for many more weeks to come.

Stormz: What has been your most rewarding moment as both a Naval Pilot and Squadron XO?

Sic: Great question. As simply a pilot, my most rewarding moment was to discover I passed my SAE with distinction, I felt quite proud after that. Now, as Viper’s XO, easily the most rewarding is to work under Squadron Commander Ibram Tyrol. He has a great mind and a firm grasp on exactly what he wants. It’s also quite rewarding to see such great interaction between the squadron both in posts, and in personal conversations.

Stormz: I must admit that it is very inspiring working under a knowledgable Squadron Commander.

Sic: Indeed, he keeps me going.

Stormz: How do you feel the lastest operations went as a whole for the Navy?

Sic: Well, personally, I feel Viper’s Operation: Typhus could have run on longer. With a few more posts, I think it could’ve have been far more exciting than it turned out to be. But that’s the biggest downside to the VE, real life comes first. Anden Beliam, Tomas, both had to exit Typhus prematurely, and that hurt post numbers. But Viper isn’t the only one, Reaper has had a bit of a lack in posting, and Kaph has had a switch in its members. Overall, I think we’ve done alright, though we’ve certainly done better.

Stormz: Are there any upcoming goals for the VEN’s newest XO?

Sic: Certainly are. As with other new pilots, I have those smalled, everyday goals. But my biggest as of now, is to be recognized as an elite, and to hopefully make it into Reaper. I also decided to not post anything short of two-thousand words, and that has proven to be a bit difficult, but a fun challenge.

Stormz: The latter is quite a feat.

Sic: Yeah, thanks, it’s taken a lot of hard work.

Stormz: How do you approach your goal of posting nothing shorter than two thousand words?

Sic: Well, as with all my posts, I think of how I want to end it, and work from there. If I get an idea in mind for how I want Phineus and others to cone out in the end, then I can fill in the rest. And basically I sit here in my chair, occasionally glance out of my window, and completely engross myself in the Star Wars universe. I imagine that I -am- Phineus, and that the world around me is in a galaxy far far away. After that, I just write. It just sort of comes to my mind. I’m really motivated to write these posts, and that certainly helps. It also helps a ton when the people around you give you a lot to work with, and I have some excellant people around me.

Stormz: what interests you more, Personal, Flight, or Squadron stories?

Sic: That’s a good one. Hmm. They all have their ups and downs, clearly. I think it’s a tie between Personal and Squadron. I get to carve Phineus’ story and mold it the way I want, without any restrictions, in my personal stories. But with Squadron missions, I get to interact with some of my favorite VE members, and that is never dull. For example: in my next post in Uprising, I’ll be taking Ryno under my wing as it were, trying to help him cope with everything and realize his potential, and that is fun to write. So yeah, Personal and Squadron stories take the cake.

Stormz: That is great. There is no substitute for excellent squadmates. What would you say was your “big break” that hoisted you out of the Flight Member Position and into the Executive Officer’s seat?

Sic: Haha, in all honesty, Anden Beliam and Tomas going on leave. I was primarily promoted due to what I call, “next in line status.” If you read my old work from prior to my hiatus, and compare it to my new stuff, it’s clear to see I wasn’t worthy of an XO position. But I continually strive to prove my worth, one of the reasons I post 2K words at a time.

Stormz: I was in your same position so I know exactly how you feel. Could you explain the current mission that Viper squadron working on?

Sic: Sure. Uprising is a clear cut mission, at least so far. There is a Rebel uprising in the Epsilon system, and we’re called in as reinforcements. Our job is to take the Rebels down, basically bombard them as best we can. I particulary like this idea, and hope the squadron can blossom with this story

Stormz: I see, sounds like a very exilerating story. Kaph’s story also takes place within the Epsilon System, is this a joint operation?

Sic: As far as I’m aware of, no. But then again, Ibram keeps a good bit of info to himself, so even I get surprised.

Stormz: Very well hehe. How far along are you into this new mission?

Sic: I think we only have 7 or 8 posts up. Strictly Character Development at the moment, though within a few more posts, we’ll be airborne. The biggest problem is that our Squad currently has a lack of activity. Blue is on leave, Aleia and Arkan haven’t been seen, so there’s that. But if everyone gets back soon, we’ll get it going.

Stormz: I think we can all relate to the effects a few people have when they are inactive or on leave.

Sic: Yeah, it certainly takes a big toll on the entire squadron.

Stormz: That it does. You mentioned earlier that you are aiming to become a part of the newly organized “Reaper” squadron. Can you expand on what it is they are? Also, what exactly do they do?

Sic: Well, they are a bit of a “hush hush” organization at the moment. But from what I understand, it’s chock full of the Navy’s elite posters. Veteran guys who can hold their own under any and all circumstances. I believe I fit the criteria, just need to keep up my work and get noticed.

Stormz: I know you are busy so I will ask only one more question. What is your lastest personal story called and what is going on in it?

Sic: It’s called Acidic Love, and it’s the sequel to Rodian Raiders. Acidic Love is going to be a long one, as it has so much to set up. At first, Phineus gains some answers to the questions he’s been having, and discovers a bit more than what he bargained for. He finds out that he is the heir to the Gageus Family fortune, and gains his own droid army, capital ship, and possibly his own moon. Then, he discovers that his fate goes hand in hand with that of hundreds others. Lives are in his hands, both friends and foes. And it really puts a lot onto his young, naive shoulders. He’s been forced to grow up far quicker than anyone should, and now he needs to accelerate even more. He treks out on many adventures to discover the complete truth of what’s going on. Death, and life, come about. He makes strong friendships, and stronger enemies. As the title implies, he falls in love. However, he falls for the enemy, a spy sent to “woo” him, making him drop his guard, and she then attempts to take his life. Now, this destroys Phineus. The woman he loves turns out to be an assassin, and he has to personally kill her. It’s not an easy decision, clearly. But it’s his life or hers. But at first, he thinks of gladly giving up his life so that she can have hers. But sense snaps into him. Overall, Acidic Love will be full of twists, betrayal, friendships and love.

Stormz: Sounds like an intriguing story. I can’t wait to read it. Not only is it action-packed but it is going to be a somewhat romantic story, not seen very often within the Vast Empire. Well I thank you for your time Chief Petty Officer Sicario. Do you have any thing you would like to say in order to finish up this interview?

Sic: Thanks for having me, Stormz, was my pleasure.

Stormz: The pleasure was all mine.

This is Stormz saying goodnight. You stay classy VE.

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Jul 16

Dark Jedi Order Update

Category: News

The Application Requirements have been modified slightly. One element has been added to the current list of requirements. The new Application Requirements is as such:

—————————

1) At least 6 months of consecutive active membership in a division.
2) Have a letter of recommendation from at least two people above you in the chain of command, preferably your immediate unit commander and either a wing/platoon commander or a member of your division’s HC.
3) A roughly one-page writing sample. This can be in the form of either a link to a topic in which you have heavily participated or a completely independent writing sample, we don’t have a preference. We just want some easy way of taking a look at something you’ve done.
4) Must maintain a minimum of at least 4 posts per week in your respective division. The minimum of 4 posts per week must be consistent for each week.

—————————

People NOT giving Letters of Recommendation:
Cosmic
Japheth
Talon
Kadann

Who to send your applications to/who the LoR’s need to be sent to:
Cosmic
Japheth
Talon
Kadann

For the moment, please send your applications/LoR’s to the above recipients via ComNet Message Center.

It may take us a few days to take a look at each applicant (especially since we’re anticipating quite a few for the next few weeks). It will take time to read over and evaluate writing samples and to make decisions on who we accept or reject. Keep in mind that, if you are rejected, you may reapply after a two month period, but we will likely have expected you to improve in some respect (which we may or may not tell you).

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Jul 12

A View From the Bottom [Darr-Rann]

Category: News

 Ah yes, Darr-Rann, aka Demonic. He’s been here for three years, and has been apart of all three divisions of the Vast Empire. I wouldn’t say he’s at the bottom of the VE, but hey, we’ll keep the series intact. Enjoy, I know I did.

Sic: Darr, you’re a member of both the Army and the Navy. Is it difficult keeping up with both? Do you have a favorite of the two?

Darr-Rann: Hm. That’s an interesting question. I’ve actually retired from the Navy before, because it became to much – I only came back recently, to start up a privateering idea I got. I cant really say I have a favorite, because they really are two different beasts. I’ve probably been more dedicated to the army, considering I’ve been there longer, but I did create my army account first.

Sic: Now, you also do work for the VEEC, care to elaborate on exactly what it is you do?

Darr-Rann: Ah, yes, the R&D department. Well, for a while, Riqimo and I have been planning on restarting the “Pure Engineering” part of the engineering corps. He’s currently on an extended leave of absense, but we’ve been placed as “Chief Engineers” in the new Research and Development department. Basically, we’ll be doing coding projects for the VE. To join, you’ll have to talk to me – A reasonable knowledge of programming or graphics/art is required.  We’ll eventually have an apprenticeship program for people who want to learn, but that’s further down the road

Sic: You’ve managed to work your way up to Ensign in the Navy, First Sargeant in the Army. How much effort and time did you have to put in to attain these ranksing, and how proud of you of them?

Darr-Rann: heh. Well, I’ve been here over three years. I just kept at it. The Navy one came rather quickly, when I look at it. I’ve been double promoted at least a couple of times. There was the Elite Squadron competition (Where I won Top Pilot), and taking on Captaincy of the Tiamut, so my navy carrier has been kind of high-velocity. With the army, I just stuck around, doing work here and there. If you keep at it long enough, people notice. I’m proud of my accomplishments, but I know there are plenty people above me. I’m not emporer of the VE yet 😛

Sic: Haha. You started the so-called “Elite” Reaper division. Tell us, where did the idea spring from, and our you at all a little disappointed in the lack of posts?

Darr-Rann: Well, I was thinking about the navy, and how I wanted to get back into it. Personally, I like Demonic as a character better then Darr-Rann. Better developed. I was thinking about the Tiamut, and what to do with it, and suddenly the idea of Piracy came to me. Well, privateering, to be precise. I talked to some people about it, and Jegora decided to take on getting the project set up with the brass.  He came up with the idea of adding Reaper, an elite squadron, to the mix. I thought it’d be pretty fun. Reaper’s recent performance has been dissapointing, but when I start up the new story I expect that to change – It’s an elite squadron, and membership is a privilege. Still, we’ve got a pretty good bunch of guys, so I dont imagine it should be a problem when we get the ball rolling

Sic: Ok, you’ve been here for 3 years so far, and have checked in over 1800 posts. What is your fondest memory about your time here? And regarding the VE, what is your favorite, as well as least favorite part?

Darr-Rann: Hm…That’s a very good question. Fondest Memory… I dunno – Making Friends here, I guess.  It’s the people that really make the VE what it is. My favorite part is probably sitting around, chatting with everyone. My least favorite part… when the VE goes through tough times. When recruits are slow, and the squads are struggling.

Sic: Do you have any upcoming plans, relating to story writing, or progressing even higher up the chain of command?

Darr-Rann: Heh. Well, there’s the Privateering story and Phantom when the army is doing a bit better, and I work out a good roster for it. If opportunities arise higher up the chain of command, I’ll give it a shot, but I dont know of any at the moment 😛 and I’m not hoping for someone to leave so I can get a promotion

Sic: Phantom? The Army equivalent to Reaper? So, would you say you’re carefully ambitious?

Darr-Rann: I’m also planning for a new Chardev. Phantom is kind of the equivilent, but to be fair, Phantom was around first 😛 Phantom is kind of like the VE’s version of Splinter Cell. Stealth based On-Field intel and assassinations. I’m kind of like the Lambert – I guide the troops through their missions and give them orders. Though you cant chose to shoot me in the fourth story 😛

Sic: haha. Very intriguing stuff, makes me want to get Celota up to work a bit more (my Army Char.) So elaborate on this new CharDev you have planned for us.

Darr-Rann: heh. Well, it’ll be about Demonic, my navy character. Darr-Rann’s storyline has kind of been dealt with in Losses of Vandetta, so I want to go into exploring Demonic’s past He’s an Orphan, has no clue what world he’s even from, much less who his parents are.. It’s gonna raise alot of questions about his origin, and I think people who read it will find a few surprises along the way

Sic: Yet again, you intrigue. Do you plan on making Demonic a larger part in the Navy post-wise? Or is this just for yourself?

Darr-Rann: hm… Well, technically, Demonic isnt even in the navy right now, story wise. He left a while ago to find himself. He recently made a deal with the VEI/Navy. They’re supplying him with fighters, supplies, pilots, and intel and in exchange, he’s taking up privateering missions for them. Hitting certain targets, getting intel for them. Giving them a cut of the profits. This will really expand Demonic as a character. It’ll have an impact on him navy-wise, but it’ll be alot more towards the personal aspects

Sic: Do you prefer Personal Stories as opposed to Squad stories?

Darr-Rann: hm… They’re different kind of things. Squad stories you get to hang out with a group, do group stuff. But with a personal story, you have alot more control of the plot and character development.  Though it’s alot of fun if you have a friend along for the ride too. I’d say I probably prefer Personal Stories, but I love the squad stories too

Sic: Speaking of, have you collaborated on a personal story with anyone? Do you plan to?

Darr-Rann: Well, Losses of Vandetta with Ae (Though she was Hellra/Evani at the time) As for the future… stay tuned 😛

Sic: Hah, thanks for leaving us hanging, I get a whole lot of that. How is it being a ComNet Marshall? What are your main responsibilities and how much time do they take from your day?

Darr-Rann: Oh, in the VERPG?

Sic: Yes, sir

Darr-Rann: my job is really just to keep out topics that dont belong and regulate random RPGs people spring up without getting approval. Just a reminder to people, if you want to start an RPG here, you need to come see me first. Otherwise, I’m deleting that post 😛

Sic: When did I give you permission to talk to people? ;P Alright Darr, we’ll begin to wrap things up here. Tell us about your involvement in the FES’ Shadow Army

Darr-Rann: oh, that. I joined on a whim, never really did anything 😛 lol. I really have no involvement.. It appears they linked up the accounts nicely though…

Sic: haha, nice. Favorite band?

Darr-Rann: Favorite band…. Oh, god, I have no clue :P. I’m really lame in that I like to listen to music from video games and stuff like that. I guess you could say my favorite “artist” is Nobuo Uematsu. I dunno, I’m lame like that 😛

Sic: haha, good enough. Well, that’ll be all Darr. Thanks so much for the time

Darr-Rann: No problem.

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Jul 12

A View From the Bottom [Verkur]

Category: News

A second interview from my View From the Bottom series, this time featuring the fan favorite, Verkur/Paradox. A good friend of mine, and a collaborator as well, it was my extreme pleasure to have this time with him.

 

Sic: Awesome, Verk, thanks for giving me this opportunity

Verk:  No problem Sic

Sic: Firstly, you have characters in both branches, Navy and Army. Is it difficult to write for both simultaneously while also having personal stories up?

Verk:
 Yes and no. There are days when I can easily write up a decent post for all of the stories I am currently in. And then there are days were it can become a bit overwhelming

Sic: I can understand that, trust me. You’ve been in the VE for enough time to know the great things, and the bad. In your opinion, what are the best things, as well as the worst things about the VE?

Verk:  I would have to say, the best part of the VE is the community on which it thrives. If it wasn’t for the people who dedicate their time to write the posts for the stories we partake in, or the time to setup events and add new features, the VE would not be what it is today. As for the bad, I have not really experienced anything that I really disliked. However, if viewed from my position as the ASL of Jester, one of the things I dislike most can be the lack of interest of some of the new recruits. For instance. Reports are can become an annoying issue to deal with, yet it only takes a few minutes to complete. Reports help not only the squad leaders, but it helps the command staff to know whats going on so that fun events such as competitions can be planned accordingly.

Sic: Ah, yes, recruits, we love em and hate em. Now aside from your duties with the Army and Navy, you also are the co-founder and writer of Sith Reborn: Path of the Fallen, as well as Life of an Assassin. How do you go about planning a collaboration?

Verk: Well, the first, and most important part of any story is how it starts; with an idea. For Life of an Assassin I wanted to give others an insight into the past of my army character. Each post will be it’s own story, and each a new assassination. So after I think of an idea, I try to build up details around it. Some of these include where I am going and who the target is. Most of my planning does not even take place at my computer. Most of the time I am going about my day, and when a thought pops into my head, I try to tell the story to myself, sometimes as if I truly was my character and I was doing the things I write about.

Sic: The Army and Navy are truly quite different, do you prefer one to the other? What do you like most about each?

Verk: I prefer the army. Mostly because I have been there longer. I think though, that as time progresses, I will come to enjoy each equally. One thing I really enjoy about having a charcter in both divisions, is the fact that it keeps me busy, and I can usually find something to do, whether it be a personal story or a squad story. On top of that, I also get to write alongside not only some of the best writers, but some of the best writers from both divisions.

Sic: Where did the name Verkur come from?

Verk: Most of the time I am able to come up with names by myself. Then there are times where my brain just won’t comply, so I find myself some help. In my search for a name I liked, I decided to go to an online translator that has served me well in the past. I picked a language to translate to, and then just dropped in a few words to see what happened. In the end, I came across the name Verkur, which in icelandic means pain. Pretty fitting for an Imperial name in my opinion.

Sic: As do I. Verk, you’ve climbed the ladders of the Army, working your way up to ASL. Tell me, how much responsibility comes with being a high rank. What do you like and dislike about it?

Verk: Well I wouldn’t call Corporal a high rank. As for the responsibility part, I help Kami, the squad leader of Jester, run and manage the squad. One of my main things I have become accustomed to as ASL of Jester, is handing in an unpgarded version of the normal Report. This “upgraded” Report gives the post count for the story our squad is currently in, who has handed in their reports, and any suggestions I might have. One thing I really like about being ASL, is that I can take a more direct approach with advancing the soldiers in Jester. A sort of min project I started with the squad is trying to get everyone to create their own wiki page. Yet, even with this responsibility, I have yet yo find anything I dislike about my position.

Sic: Alrighty, we’ll finish things up here. Do you have any future plans, or certain goals you up to reach in the upcoming future?

Verk: One of my major goals for the future is to join the Dark Jedi Order. That is one goal I would really like to see come true, and I will do whatever is necessary to get accepted….

Sic: Sounds good. Favorite band?

Verk: Disturbed, Just like me =P

Sic: Not bad, thanks for the time Verk!

Verk: Don’t put that last part in there {laughs} No problem Sic, glad I could help

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Jul 12

Behind the scenes with Major General Rizzit

Category: Interviews,News

Now, here is an exclusive interview with Major General Rizzit, the Army Company Commander.  

Questions: 

Hunter-Morrell: Has there been any major changes?

Rizzit: Well, I want to say no: having just returned not too long ago, I can’t fairly make that call. I’ve seen a few command changes in Storm and I’ve seen some more guidelines become rules and being enforced, but aside from that, no not really.

Hunter-Morrell: What is the status of the division?

Rizzit: I would say the status of the army is uprising. I have high hopes for what the future brings especially if things continue the way they are going. Currently, we have six squads practically full. Two platoons that continue to challenge each other to be greater. Of the full squads, each of them push activity to the brink. I don’t think there is enough praise for them, but that isn’t to say that we haven’t seen better time for dealing with the times that we are….I would say that this is an extremely good overall result we are seeing.

Hunter-Morrell: Has there been any changes in the number of recruits joining the army?  

Rizzit: An interesting question. Recruits fluctuate and therefore we never really have a set number that we can say join every month. I think the real number is the number of recruits that leave the academy.

Hunter-Morrell: So, what about the recruits you just mentioned? The ones that leave the academy.

Rizzit: I think it would be safe to say that it has diminished somewhat from about say 6 months ago?

Hunter-Morrell: Are there more members quitting than joining?

Rizzit: No. Unfortunately, members do leave us. Its usually never a happy time for either side of the spectrum. There used to be a time when we had people refusing to leave. But now, our numbers are just at the point where people are coming in and it still seems a bit dwindled.

Hunter-Morrell: You may not have as many recruits coming in as you did before, but what recruits you do have are so much better at writing and have the needed general skills that make a good member on here than some of the past members.

Rizzit: I disagree with you. It is true that some of them have a hell of a good style of writing, but some of the old veterans could still run circles around them. Though, this newer variety of troopers has developed a new habit which the platoon staff has called “quote-posting”.

Hunter-Morrell: What is your opinion on the current state of Vast Empire? The Army?  

Rizzit: Like I said earlier I do have high hopes for the Army. Things show a lot of promise, but as far as the current state of things…I still feel they could be better. That really isn’t to say anything on any one person or thing because we all have lives, but things just aren’t how they used to be.

There it is. The interview with Major General Rizzit. I hope it has been an enlightening experience. I have to thank Rizzit for giving me a chance to interview him.

Until next time everybody. Goodbye.

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Jul 11

Viper Squadron: Sailing & Prevailing Through Rough Waters

Category: News

Straining. Both mentally and physically. Operation Typhus truly threw its weight on Viper Squadron; it surely lived up to its diseased name. Pilots were lost- Anden Beliam was injured, as well as Tomas, Hunter-Morrell was transferred over to Kaph for aiding purposes, and Phineus Gage even lost his right hand. Not all things were lost, however. Blue-Leader, formally of Kaph Squadron, was sent over to replace Hunter-Morrell, and has proven to be a very ambitious and determined addition. To replace the gaping whole Sir Beliam left behind, CPO Gage was promoted to Executive Officer. A new recruit, Kotaro, also known as Fenris, was recruited to fill the whole that the loss of Flight 3 left behind. It seems as though things have certainly been looking up.

Ibram Tyrol, Viper’s Commander, has handled the bumpy, gravelly terrain with utmost professionalism. Between losing key members, and gaining new ones, he has kept the ship from sinking as well as possible, floating atop the rough waters, traversing unscathed. His leadership combined with his maturity has made him a prime example for young, ambitious pilots to look up to. Commander Tyrol is certainly the best captain for Viper’s sea faring boat, which at times, has been beaten down to a sad canoe, yet somehow, Ibram manages to pull the ship back into the port.

A ship cannot be successfully sailed by one person, however, and Commander Tyrol surely has a strong crew behind him. Starting with Phineus Gage, the ambitious yet sometimes immature Executive Officer. Phineus, better known as Sicario, has been with the Navy since December of 2007. Sicario went on a temporary hiatus from March to June, yet has been showing promise since his return. Other strong members, such as Fulfiller, Aleia, Mira, and Ryno, make life a little bit easier. Their hard work certainly garners them recognition, without them, Viper would surely be dead before the ship even sank.

Where would Viper be without new meat? Where would anyone be without fresh recruits for that matter? Certainly, losing the battle against the ice bergs. However, thankfully, new up and coming pilots such as Arkan-Thran, and Kotaro, set up the navigational routes for this venomous, green ship. As with life in this increasingly difficult galaxy, things are bound to get rough, but Viper is a prime example of a Squadron that just won’t go away, and never gives up.

What’s on the horizon for Viper Squadron, you ask? Well, the up coming months look promising. Activity is growing, a new mission is forth coming, and with Ibram Tyrol at the helm, the sun will certainly begin to rise, shedding light on the darkened course Viper travels. As long as the hard working members stick together, and continue to let their bond grow stronger, Viper will undoubtedly be here to stay, and prosper in the Vast Empire.

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Jul 10

Operation: Typhus

Category: News

Task Force: Typhus was formed and launched due to a large Warlord threat in the Ios System and the neighboring Yetton System, as Task Force: Typhus was only meant for the Ios System, Task Force: Iron Sweep was made for the neighboring Yetton. As the Ios System had not been heard from for some time, the Task Force was sent at the behest of Grand Admiral Japheth. NAVCOM didn’t have any info on the Ios System, therefore Typhus was going in blind, that is why the Naval High Command supplied the Task Force with a venerable amount of ships and support craft, including Viper Squadron. The following is quoted from a Viper Squadron Member’s datapad:

“At the behest of Grand Admiral Japheth, a Task Force Typhus was also created with the intent of heading straight to the Ios system. Their main goal was to investigate the situation in force, but also retake the system if possible. They would travel along the eastern frontier, and arrive from roughly the same direction as any would-be attacker.”

Even though the Warlord was not identified to the public at first, it was rumored to be Imperial Splinter Warlord Drakan, who has been reeking havoc on the Vast Empire Eastern Frontier. The Task Force initial purpose was to discover the fate of the Ios Imperial Garrison, which was unknown at the time (that makes up for the huge amount of allied forces). The inital start and forming of the Task Force was when a Code 0 Alert from the Yetton System Listening Outpost: Viverro was recieved. Since the only hyperoute into the Yetton System is through the Ios System, Naval High Command sent the Typhus Task Force to the Ios System. When Captain Dak Zalter wrote a full report of the Ios and Yetton System and then published it at 5 O’clock Vectra standard time, it released some insight to the battle:

“When the NHC felt the need to have a forward bases protecting the eastern frontier of our space, the Ios system was chosen to be occupied and developed into a ‘fortress’ system – this is one of the many that have been built, and more are being planned to be bult.

The small settlement that we created was locatest on Ios Delta, the only planet closest to the hyperspace lanes that lead into Vast Empire Territory. We brought in a smaller version of the Rendili StarDrive Space Dock was towed into orbit and two Golan II space defence platforms, they we’re strategically placed near the dock. At the beginning of this ‘project’ if you will, Ios became a powerful outpost and garrison

But In order to maintain efficient communications between this forward out post and the rest of the Empire, the Yetton system was chosen to also be occupied and developed to include a relay network along our Easter Front. The hyperspace lanes in the area meant that you could only reach the Yetton System either by coming from Vast Empire space, or by going through the Ios Hyperspace Lanes. Our theory was that only a smaller garrison was needed at Yetton, as any would be invader would first have to go through Ios, or one of the other border outposts. We were proved wrong.

In the year following the collapse of the Galactic Empire upon Palpatine’s death, at the hands of the Rebellion, an Imperial Warlord by the name of Drakan fled the known galaxy, and made his own ‘mini-empire’ in space not far from that of the Vast Empire’s. We did not know this, this is a fatal error.

Drakan then wanted to expand his holdings, his eyes fell upon the vulnerable Ios System, distant from the Vast Empire capital and also a hyperspace lane into the profitable Yetton System. His eyes fell upon the Bannth, and Yetton Systems as well. War would soon span the Eastern Frontier.

With his eyes set on Ios, along with the profitable Bannth asteroid facility further up the Eastern arm, Drakan assembled an invasion force in secret, unknown to our intelligence. And unknown to us, his mischievous plan would start with the open Yetton System, as it was barely guarded by any Vast Empire Naval Forces, or Army Forces…”

The full brief is available at our Center, you may visit one of those locations. If you have any information regarding Drakan, than please – report it to the Vast Empire Officials immediately. Anyway, back to business. When the Task Force arrived in the system, a battle pursued. It was discovered that the Ios Outpost was completely demolished, and the forces accompanying the Outpost did not meet a better fate. The Warlord Forces fought valiantly, but they met the same fate as the outpost-KIA. Except for some of the ships, this was fault to two ISDs entering the system and letting the ships retreat. The last piece of info was published at the end of the Captain’s brief book:

“…Ultimately, the Second Battle for Ios was a victory for the Vast Empire. But this victory came at a price. The task force had been decimated, the instillations at Ios ruined, and there was now a huge gap in the eastern front. The Drakan crisis had lived up to its name.

Ios would remain a mystery to our tacticians for some time after the incident. The official reports from both the Typhus and Iron Sweep Task Forces stated that, at the very end, two new Imperial-class Star Destroyers entered the system. Admiral Piatt, Analysts of the Eastern Front has assumed they were part of Drakan’s fleet, and that the warlord had sent reinforcements to continue the push into VE space.

It’s unclear however as to what happened. All that has been shown from the logs of the Serenity, a Dreadnought that entered the system after Typhus’ retreat that the two ISDs retreated. Their reasoning is unknown.

This made our analysts puzzled, as combined the two Imperial Star Destroyers’s had enough firepower, if now more to wipe out what was left of the fleet, the Serenity powered up her weapons, and no response came from the enemy. Naval High Command has issued that there will probably be counterstrikes, and it probably wont be long until the eastern front was at war once more. This is why we are issuing a Code Black on the Eastern Front, and sending reinforcements to the East side of our space…”

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