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Topics - Dunder Moose

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Halo Reach General Discussion / Winter Contingency Jackal
« on: January 05, 2011, 16:46:00 »
Man have I missed y'all.  This MBA program is kicking my butt.  I haven't even had time to play Reach.

This week though, I did finally nail that Jackal that you hear on the roof in the first Covey encounter on Winter Contingency.  I headshotted him with the mag on Heroic.  I watched it from several angles on the replay, but it looks like he only drops his needle rifle.  He had me thinking of the flood that drops the skull on H3.

It's the first clip in my fileshare.

Anyway, it might be worth trying to kill him on Legendary to see if he drops an extra datapad or something like that. IDK, maybe this has been done.  Sorry if you have already covered all this, I have a lot of catching up to do, and my next classes start on Jan 10.

Moose Out

Halo Reach General Discussion / Halo Reach Manual
« on: September 15, 2010, 01:24:24 »
Here is a thread where we can weigh in with the eggs/clues and so forth we find in the manual.  I immediately noticed the all too familiar "shotcode" on the back cover.

Also the front cover, and the first page: Welcome to Noble Team bear strikingly long barcodes.

SGP Task Force: 7 / Task Force 7 Priority
« on: November 30, 2009, 03:55:20 »
Just trying to get a sense of which mystery we feel most compelling.

We all have our pet projects, and I wouldn't dream of asking to set those aside, but how would Task Force 7 feel about lending some neurons toward a single project for a set amount of time.  The spike in computing power could yield faster results.

ODST Fan Fiction / Perchance To Dream
« on: November 26, 2009, 04:21:24 »
Perchance To Dream

Part 1:

Sierra 417 decanted from the chryopod, put its boots on the line and initiated startup sequence. James recovered from hypersleep slower and often woke up during systems check. The techs called it wet bootup, the period of confusion before James the man and Sierra 417 realized they were the same being.

The thaw was far quicker than the freeze, and James was fine with that. As far as he saw it the ice crystals could melt as fast as they wanted, provided they froze nice and slow. If they froze too fast, large jaggy crystals form, puncturing cells. It’s like taking a dozen needlers on full auto at the cellular level. You couldn’t tell until you thawed the poor guy and saw him rot faster than apple slices on the counter.

For another thing James 417 liked the slow freeze. Sure it felt like dying of exposure, but that was the only sleep where he dreamed true human dreams. Once the Spartan entered full freeze his subconscious was caught up in a battery of procedural refresher dumps, weapon and vehicle specs, technology and tactical updates (years could pass and he’d need to be current with warfare), but most of all training simulation. In the coldness of his pod he fought battle after battle against all types of enemies to keep his reflexes and intuition razor sharp for combat. Most sims involved him fighting other Spartans, Spartans with outrageously colored armor going by names like Stompy, Noodle and Grumpy.

The room snapped into heightened focus. The machine-weapon merged with the man-weapon. He was now James 417. He subconsciously cataloged every weapon in the room as well as entry points, exits (both built-in, and ones he could make with the weapons) and set up arcs of fire likely for taking the room or defending it. He didn’t think about these, just knew them as well as the technician knew c followed b.

The technician gave him thumbs up.

“Hold it.” James 417 popped his helmet.

“Something wrong with your display?” the Tech asked.

James 417 scratched his nose.

“Been needing that for a year and a half.” he said.

The tech just stared.

Frag! James 417 thought. Spartans don’t joke often. That one had been wasted. He’d forgotten the Spartan’s characteristic slack facial expression didn’t sell humor well. Those who have seen a Spartan’s face usually feel relieved when the helmet goes back on. They find Spartans’ strange humanity even creepier than the faceless man-tank.

Time to find out what they need, James 417 thought. He loaded an assault rifle, pressed it to the tracking on his shoulder and stalked out toward the bridge as it secured to his back. It was presumptive of him to take it. Usually the Spartan’s first weapon on awakening is a Magnum personally handed to him by the ship’s Captain.  A century’s old tradition saying: “You are the finest arrow in my quiver. I loose you against our foe.” James 417 had just woken up on the wrong side of the pod today.

Part 2

James 417 stalked into the mess hall and grabbed a tray. The place quieted immediately. He went through the whole line grabbing only a bulb of Sierra Dew and a candy bar. He turned, looking for a table and saw every eye on him.  A tech beckoned him over to their table, but he kept scanning.  He’d rather eat with a an elite.  Sure their mouths looked like an octopus crotch, but they didn’t take the techs’ mothering tone with him.  He was sure each tech saw him more like their prize sports car than a person. Not to take anything away from how disgusting an elite’s mouth was.  They had four jaws like a squid and a shark had a baby. Each tentacle had serrated teeth and they were soft and loose when punched, but without a Mjolnir glove on you’d pull back a bloody pom-pom for a hand.

He saw a table of ODST’s but decided to sit with Marines. Jarheads love a good Spartan. They love him like the sight of a Scorpion coming over the hill, a wing of Hornets streaking toward the enemy, almost as much as they love the sight of an empty Pelican landing with open doors.

James 417 had found ODST’s to be polite, professional, and distanced.  No doubt they were used to being the top dogs on the respect chain and resented any time one of his kind were thawed out.

He took his seat at the table and popped his helmet.

“Nice ‘stash!” said a Marine across from him in a drab tank top, “Been a few decades has it?”

“Not so long.”

“No, Judson,” said another Marine, a female named Velazquez, “after you’re dead and they unthaw him for the next mission, that will be the style.  He’s just planning ahead, man.”

Suddenly the ODST table erupted in laughter.  The Marines looked over, then back at each other.

“My name’s Velazquez, this is  Hucks, Rooke, and the mouthy one is Judson.” she said indicating the Marines in turn. Rook nodded. Hucks was playing with a combat knife, making it walk down his fingers, and flipping it around the back of his hand.

“James 417”

“That’s a mouthful, I finna call you Tank.” said Rooke.

Judson was still staring at the ODST’s

“Fraggin’ Peas man. I heard one of ‘em attempted the ONI test.”

“Here we go.” said Velazquez.

“Yeah, man.  They had three applicants, a Jarhead, a tech and a chick from ODST. They told them, ‘We have your spouse in that room, the final test of loyalty is to take this loaded pistol and shoot them. The leatherneck goes in, sees his wife sitting in the chair and cuts her bonds.  He comes out and hands the pistol back.  ‘I can’t do it. She’s my wife.’ he says. The tech, who’s lucky to even have a wife, just breaks down cryin’ in the room and they have to drag him out. The ODST fraggin’ goes in there and they hear the entire clip go off. Then they hear all manner of screaming and ruckus. Finally she comes out wiping blood off her fists and says, ‘That pistol you gave me was full of blanks so I had to beat my husband to death.’” Judson looked around the table to see if they laughed.

Velazquez rolled her eyes. James 417 laughed. He’d not heard that one before.

“Yeesh man, smile when you laugh!” Judson said.

“You know any jokes?” Hucks asked him.

“Yeah, Tank, how ‘bout it?” Judson added.

Just then an ODST walked over, turned a chair around backwards and sat across from James 417.

“I’m Riddle,” he said. He gestured to the magnum on James 417’s thigh, “you’ve talked to the Captain, do you know what’s going on?”
The room went quiet again.  There was a series of screeches as the other ODSTs moved their chairs to join the group.
Riddle went on.  “The ship’s been busting subspace and we’re on high readiness, but we haven’t heard squat and the Cap’s too busy to talk to us.”

The Captain had turned over the magnum without any ceremony on the bridge.

“A transmission came to prep for deploy and wake me up, but it cut off. I saw ship debris and a damaged Pelican out the viewscreen.”

“I’ll speak to that in our briefing in 30.” came a female voice from the port. An operative in dress whites from the Office of Naval Intelligence walked toward them. Everyone stood to attention.

“As you were.” she said.

“Have a seat Major!” Judson called, “Tank here was gonna tell us a joke.”

“Tank?” She looked impatient, but curiosity drew her mouth into an unwilling smile. She didn’t know Spartans could joke.
“Sierra 417, ma’am. James.” He tried to think of something funny.  There was one moment that always tickled him when he thought about it.  Sierra 228 and he had been in a firefight with a covenant battalion. They were doing very well for themselves when a lucky grunt had clipped 228’s arm off with a Fuel Rod Cannon blindfire. The grunts danced around his body.  When 228 got up they were shocked.  He sprayed them all down with his assault rifle, one armed. James 417 chuckled every time he remembered the way their little faces looked when 228 stood up.  Their little eyes went wide and the methane breathers bobbed as their little mouths fell open. But that wasn’t really a joke. More of an incident where something funny happened.

“Come on, man, what’s a good Spartan joke?” Judson asked.

“I could do the cut-puppet.”

“Yeah, man, whatever.”

Quicker than any of them could follow James 417 grabbed Judson’s left arm in one hand and caught Hucks’s knife in the other. He drew the blade across Judson’s bare biceps and squeezed to either side of the cut. The red wound bulged open and shut. 
“Hi my name is Cutty and I have a drooling problem, waaugh!” James 417 said in an odd high pitched voice as the cut bled down Judson’s arm.

Judson screamed. Chairs clattered as the ODST’s stood and drew their pistols, clicking safeties off and aiming at James 417’s bare head. The only other sound was Velazquez’s laughter. After a while James 417 said, “She gets it.”

“Stand down!” the ONI commanded loudly, then softer, “Stand down. He may have forgotten how slow we heal. To Spartans that’s probably a good one, huh?” she said, turning back to James 417 as the ODST’s holstered their side arms.

“Only a little funnier than tripping somebody.” he admitted, handing Hucks back his knife. Rooke and a still smiling Velazquez lifted Judson by the arms.  She shook her head as she sprayed a little med foam over the cut.

“Sorry Judson.” James 417 said.

“No man, it was a good one!” Judson said wild-eyed. “Glass you!”

“Get him to sick bay, the rest of you prep your gear for drop and assemble at briefing!” the ONI said. The room cleared. James 417 sighed and put his helmet back on.

“Major.” he said before leaving.

“Noble, Amelia.” she said.

“Major Noble, thanks.” she couldn’t know what her defense had meant to him.

“You’re making quite a start of things.”

“I’m better in the combat theater.”

“You don’t say.” she smiled.

“The truth is I am having trouble fitting in.”

“Keep trying, Tank. Give them a chance. Just don’t hurt anybody.”

He was way over the normal Spartan’s word limit for the day, but something about her compelled him to go on.

“There’s not many Spartans left. I,” he didn’t know how to continue.

“I know. It’ll be alright. We just gotta get to know each other.” She patted his armored shoulder. “Now move out.” He thought she meant the whole Unit, but part of him wanted to believe she was talking about the two of them. She spanked his armored flank on his way past her.

Part 3

James 417 leaned against the acceleration as he pushed his booster frame in a high-g turn. He was with the Defiant Answer’s Broadswords, out in the debris field looking for spacesuits. His shields kept lighting up as bolts, shrapnel and silverware struck it.  A mug drifted past with part of a hand affixed to it by a ball of flash-frozen coffee

The briefing had been short and sweet, because there wasn’t much to tell. The Defiant Answer received a data splash from the Cost of Dereliction commanding them to thaw the Spartan, prep for engagement and jump to this location, but it cut out before a sitrep could come through. The Defiant Answer arrived to a massive debris field and a drifting Pelican.

James 417 rounded a warped disc of reactor shielding and swept scanners over the Pelican. Red light played over his face as his visor lit up.

“Major, I have something. Minimal life support on the Pelican, heat and 02 only.”

“Copy that, Tank. Couple and bring it back. Do not crack the Pelican, we don’t know if the survivors are prepped for depressurization.”

James 417 matched speed and rotation approaching the bird from above it’s six.  About 4 square miles of hull plating was lazily spinning toward the Pelican, he had to make it fast. It would take too much time to couple and power up the Pelicans controls, much less slave them over to the booster frame.   At the last minute James 417 rolled the booster frame and reached up to grab the gantry hooks behind the Pelican’s cockpit with both hands.  He toed the throttle to max and gritted his teeth as the two ships tried to shear him apart.  The myomers in his back and shoulders whined under the force, but the Pelican accelerated, pitching down slightly, out of the path of the hull plating. He let go and realigned the booster frame for the coupling and control-slave procedure. Twelve minutes later they were back in the Defiant Answer’s landing bay.

There was no movement inside when the Pelican’s back hatch lowered. The medtechs pulled an unconscious man out on a stretcher. James 417 looked at Major Noble.

“He’s the only survivor.” she said. “Capital warship blasted to bits and only one person made it.”

“Major, he’s in a coma.” one of the techs said as they wheeled him past.

“Great.” she said.

“Ma’am there’s more.” James 417 said, “In all the debris we scanned there isn’t one fragment of the Cost of Dereliction’s engines.  We have the onboard computer from the Pelican, but Amelia, the AI is missing.”

“You’ve got to be fragging kidding me!” She sighed. “Let’s brief the Captain. I want you in on this James.” She whirled and strode off toward the bridge with James 417 stalking after her.

Captain Ridley took the news well.  His face remained composed although it drained white. He looked at Cerebello, the Defiant Answer’s AI. Cerebello was a perfect foil for Captain Ridley.  Where the Captain was short, stocky and graying, Cerebello looked like a hairless Greek Olympian in black and green striations.  Cerebello was also currently one sixth the Captain’s size as he was projected from a computer node before the starfield battle plan screen.

“Medbay report!” the Captain shouted.

“Sir!  He’s in a complete coma.  We checked him for implants, found none, Sir.  He’s a civilian.” came a medtech’s voice over the intercom.

“Deck officer?”

“Sir! We’ve scanned the Pelican’s flight log, sending it now.” Another intercommed voice.

On the starfield screen’s top corner a window opened with the dimensions and flight log data from the Pelican. Cerebello promptly translated it.

“The Pelican indicates a massive asteroid in this location.  There is no sign of it presently.” Cerebello’s voice was deep and clinical.  The Starfield screen zoomed into the location to show the ghost image of the missing asteroid.

“How the frag does a glassing asteroid that size disappear?” the Captain asked. “Did we find any mineral deposits in the Cost of Dereliction’s debris?”

“None, Sir, but as I’ve pointed out to the Major, the ships engines are missing.” James 417 said.

“Are you saying someone stuck the Dereliction’s engines on the asteroid and shot it off somewhere?” the Captain asked.

“It looks like it, Captain.” said Major Noble, “We did find debris from the Hyperdrive core so we know it couldn’t jump away unless it was already equipped.  Assuming it’s moving at subluminal speed we can track it, and catch it. That’s what I want you to do.”

“Yes Ma’am, but we still don’t know what hit the Cost of Dereliction.  We don’t want to jump into a trap.”

“Yes Sir, we do.” said Cerebello. “The Cost of Dereliction was deliberately scuttled according to the Pelican’s logs.”
They were all silent at this.  Why would the Captain deliberately scuttle his own ship after the AI and Engines were already gone, with everybody aboard?

“Well it will take months to collect and analyze all this mess.” the Captain waved a hand at the debris.

“In the meantime we have a missing ship’s AI and only one very strange theory on where it went.  Let’s track down this asteroid Captain.” Major Noble said.  Her tone of voice said, “that’s an order.”

“Yes Ma’am. Cerebello, call in the Broadswords and get me a fix on those engine signatures.”

“Course already plotted sir.” Cerebello said as a yellow path appeared on the starfield.

“Lieutenant, get my ODST’s ready to drop.” The Major said into her com as they left the bridge. “What the frag is going on?”

James 417 said, “I look like Sherlock Holmes to you?  Just give me something to shoot.”

"Sherlock who?" she said.

Part 4

“Scramble fighters, scramble fighters.  Battlestations all.” Came the Captain’s voice over the Comm.

James 417 sprinted to the hangar bay and plugged into his Booster Frame.  He connected with Cerebello long enough to hear that  the Defiant Answer had come across a ship while tracking the asteroid.

He launched with the broadswords but pulled up to flank as they took point in a v-wing formation.  The Defiant Answer shone orange beneath him in the light of a distant supernova.

The lone craft before them winked brightly, reflecting the dying star’s rays. The light winked out and it became apparent the ship was in an uncontrolled roll.

“Unidentified vessel this is the UNSC Defiant Answer please transmit ID codes, over.”
James 417 waited.

“Unidentified vessel, I repeat this is the Defiant Answer, beam us your codes, over.”

James  417 tensed.  He saw a flare of blue as the ship came about.  As it got closer the electronic Friend Or Foe identified it as a broadsword.  He heard sighs over the comm. Sighs of relief or maybe frustration. James 417’s neck tingled.  The broadsword hadn’t transmitted its codes and it was accelerating.

“Unidentified broadsword this is Blue Leader, cut speed and join formation.  We’ll bring you home.”

In response the Broadsword opened fire with chainguns.  Blue Leader’s broadsword shattered in half and set off beautiful silent explosions as it’s ammo cooked off in nightmares of color.

Blue wing scattered and regrouped, but the Broadsword was accelerating toward the Defiant Answer.  Before James 417 could site the broadsword in his eyes were dazzled by the staccato strobing of the Defiant Answer’s foreward batteries.  The Broadsword disappeared in a rain of light leaving blue afterimages on James 417’s retinas despite the protection of his visor.

“What the frag?” He asked.

“James get back on deck.  It’s time to chemically awaken Mr. Pelican and get some answers no matter what it does to him.”

“Aye, Ma’am.”

Twenty minutes later he was standing in the medbay watching Captain Ridley grit his teeth and punch his palm.  Amelia Noble’s head tilted back, eyes closed and she pinched the bridge of her nose.  The mystery civilian lay on the gurney flatlining.

In his helmet and in the medbay’s speakers James 417 heard Cerebello’s voice.

“He mumbled in his coma.  Here is a processed sound clip.”

The clip played.  It wasn’t very clear but he clearly said the sentence, “Don’t worry sweetheart, we’ll be rich and famous.” He also said soldiers or maybe salvage.

That was it. Their only witness was dead on the bed.  He didn’t bother anyone again until he was on the bridge shooting the Captain.

SGP Task Force: 7 / J Banner 7
« on: October 25, 2009, 23:12:28 »
There is a J sign that has me puzzled.  In sector 5 there are J signs with code above the J.  Here's a couple looks:

And here's another sign in the same sector

At first I thought it was definitely a Baudot code, but it only has four bits instead of the standard five.  I though it might be Braille, but those are only three deep and two wide.  So, one less than Braille, one more than Baudot.  Is it significant that Baudot's code is based on an earlier code developed by Carl Friedrich Gauss and Wilhelm Weber in 1834?  There is a thank you to the Gauss Ammunition people in the end credits.

I'll keep on working on it.  I wonder if the barrier codes might provide the missing dots in the Baudot somehow?  Has anyone seen any more of these dot images in the other sectors?  And does anyone else have the UNSC Eagle image with Spoiler instead of the picture in your gallery for in game photos?

Here is a web page with a Baudot code key about halfway down.

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