I had been trying to make a big, four-campaign story about Jamesh, but the plot for the second half was terrible, I suck at level design, and I generally ran out of steam.
Below is the script for the first two campaigns. If anyone wants to make use of it for this contest - or anything else - feel free.
Hello. My name is Jamesh, and I would like to tell you a story. I know that you are anxious to leave, but what I have to say is really very important to both of us. I am, or was, a Raberata, part of a race that the Bavakh consider slaves. Under the guidance of Panothe, a great Raberata leader, a small number of us managed to escape Bavakh bondage and colonise a world in a foreign galaxy. Of course, our Bavakh masters had dealt with this sort of thing before, and would have easily killed us had it not been for three things: # # The first was an amazing technology I managed to develop in secret, which allowed lifeforms to transcend both space and hyperspace to reach a new dimension called pathspace. With it, we could attack any Bavakh who tried to follow us through hyperspace. As its creator, and as the only person who was familiar enough with it at the time, I was the first to ascend. # # The second was a unique hyperspace irregularity around the world we chose to colonise. This forced the Bavakh to spend much of their assault moving painfully slowly. Other patches of pathspace had similar properties, but none of them lasted quite as long as this one. Really, the only downside was that it would disrupt its defenders’ connection to the rest of the galaxy. # # And the third was the fact that this time, the Raberata revolutionaries would not be alone. The galaxy we came to contained dozens of different races that would work with us, against our masters, for the protection of all. Our new government sent pathspace conversion machines and messages to all nearby worlds with sentient life, hoping that they could adapt them, and ascend as I did and fight the Bavakh alongside the Raberata race.
C1 “Lighter times”:
Raberata: Jamesh? Are you receiving this? # #I know you will be unsure so soon after the pathspace conversion, but we need you to get started on neutralising the Bavakh attackers as soon as possible. Their advance guard have already entered the system, and will easily crush us if you fail. Don’t let us down!
Fear Point: Hello, Jamesh. I am your Fear Point, and I’m going to do my best to help you fight. # #I know you are afraid, both for your people and your stranded body. But you mustn’t give into that fear! You must use it, focus it, and turn it into another way to hurt the slavers! I deal damage to them, I slow them down, and I weaken them so that you can do more damage. I’m useful, aren’t I? # #You should console yourself that you aren’t the only one afraid. The Bavakh must be terrified of you. As far as they know, a barrage of ghostly shots came out of nowhere at them and reduced their scoutships to ashes. Quick, attack the main body of their fleet while they’re still panicking!
L3: “Fear and Focus”:
Ortho point: I am the Ortho Point: the mathematical and logical aspect of your personality. As a Raberata, and as a scientist, you will rely on me both to fight off the Bavakh and counter your fear. # #I am the part of you that understands what you fear, but does not give in to the fear on the simple basis that blind panic will be of little help to you. I deal splash damage at ninety-degree angles, and am especially useful when there are a lot of relatively weak and slow Bavakh ships to deal with. # #Logic dictates that the Bavakh will keep on attacking until it becomes evident that the risks of doing so outweigh the potential rewards. They have already sent another fleet into the system; teach them a lesson they won’t forget.
Courage Point: Deftly done; now, let’s bring the battle to the Bavakh! # #I am your Courage, Jamesh. You won’t be seeing much of me; I know you prefer to use logic to allay your fears, and you have seen too much Bavakh bravado to truly make use of my magnificence. But sometimes, you need raw courage to do what is right; in this case, launching an attack on the Bavakh ships that are massing on their nearest base before they can send them against our colony. # #Into the fray!
Love Point: I am the Love Point. I am that part of you that exists to help and to strengthen, and that refuses to deal damage on its own.
Place me near your other points, and I will make them stronger and more effective. Love is crucial to a proper defence; if you have any sense, you will build most of your tower formations around Love Points.
And this is how it should be. You ascended to pathspace to help your people, not just to spite the Bavakh. You’ve done enough damage; it’s time to return to the defensive, and take care of the Bavakh that have accumulated near the colony in your absence.
L6: “The Spark”
Strategist Point: I am the Strategist Point. I am your spark, your reason, your imagination and your adaptability.
Strategy can go a great way towards evening the odds against stronger enemies; I remove a percentage of your target’s current hitpoints, and always follow your lead rather than blindly shooting whoever’s closest like some other points I could mention. Use me against the Bavakh as they first attack to get the most out of me.
Speaking of which, the Bavakh seem to have been making some clumsy attempts at strategy themselves. They’ve managed to modify some of their existing ships to absorb more damage, and plan to use these against our colony. Evidently they think a little extra defence will let them blow right past us. Time to exploit this miscalculation . . .
Raberata: Well done, Jamesh! The Bavakh are fleeing! Don’t chase after them, though; if we push the advantage too far, they will attack with their full force, and I don’t think you’re quite prepared for that yet. Let them get distracted by other races and problems while we find our feet, alright?
I remember you saying that path defenders could be able to construct obstacle courses to train with when no Bavakh are attacking. Maybe now would be a good time to test that theory?
L8: “The Great Aa”
Aa: Hello? Hello? Is that you, Jamesh?
I am Pul Wat Aa, of the planet Oss, and I urgently need your help. We’ve managed to use the Pathspace technology you invented to let the most suitable member of our species – me – ascend and fight the Bavakh. I managed to stop some of them, but it was not enough; my people barely fended the survivors off. They won’t be able to withstand another attack!
Please, oh great Jamesh! Follow me to Oss, and aid your new allies!
Aa: Thank you for your help, Jamesh, but they are undeterred. I cannot rely on you forever; I must learn to defend my own people.
A training course? Thank you again, oh Jamesh! Continue defending my world, and give me time to prepare.
Circuit Point: We are the circuit points. We are the aspect of your will that deal with friendship and connection. The lines that appear between us, or between us and your path cursor, are death to any Bavakh that touch them.
Alone, we are weak, but as more of us come into being, we can create more connections and make ourselves stronger as a whole. Connections can only exist when we are close enough to each other, however.
Do you think we are a little like path defenders, Jamesh? Together, you and this Aa could do far more than you could ever manage apart. And he is only the first. As your machines reach more worlds, more aliens will ascend and join the fight against the hated Bavakh. Imagine what, say, a dozen of you could accomplish . . .
Aa: Ah, Jamesh! I have finished your course, and I believe I am ready to face the Bavakh alone. Stay with me until I am sure, though; my people cannot afford a loss now, especially one due to pigheaded pride.
Oh, and incidentally, don’t feel the need to worry about your own planet. I wrote them a message in its sky just after I contacted you, explaining where you were, and that you would return to them immediately if they needed you.
Don’t you know how to do that?
L12: “The Torch”
Aa: The Bavakh are as ashes before our combined might. Behold our power! And there is more good news still . . .
I’ve learned to summon a new Point. It shoots green energy at the Bavakh, and it’s far more accurate than the points your course taught me how to use. Were you waiting for me to become more experienced before explaining its function to me?
Jamesh, what is wrong? Are you envious of my newfound strength?
Raberata: The Bavakh are massing their forces again. It was a good idea to help Aa and the people of Oss, but they come second to our preservation. Return to the colony now, and protect us!
Raberata: You have done well, but there are more arriving by multiple conduits; far more than I think you can handle. I fear that our little revolution may have been doomed from the start. But we shall not give up. In the name of every Raberata, living and dead, free and enslaved, we must fight on. Though we may fail, our struggle will inspire others to rise, and show the evil Bavakh the strength of those they oppress. And that is victory enough for us.
Make us proud, Jamesh.
Aa: Do you need a little help, Jamesh?
Why did you not ask me to help you when you left Oss pathspace so abruptly? Did vanity prevent you from seeking my aid as I sought yours? Do you think that I do not need you as you need me?
You cannot match my strength, but I cannot match your skill. You cannot summon Limited Points, but I cannot summon Strategist Points. You cannot write messages in the sky as I can, but I cannot create pathspace courses from nothing as you can. It is our differences that make us great, and it is our differences that will let us stop this invasion together.
And we can always be together, Jamesh. Now, let us face the Bavakh!
Of course, things are never quite that simple or perfect. After saving my colony and crippling the Bavakh armada, Aa and I drifted apart a little. I was cut off by the very anomaly that had made my world possible to defend, and spent the lulls in battle training and experimenting with new strategies. But we still spoke when the Path allowed it, and still were there for each other.
And as more time passed, others were there for us too. More races worked out how to use my technology and had their champions join us in pathspace. My courses taught them to fight without me needing to get involved, but they always wanted to meet the hero Jamesh, the one who made all this possible. We were an army of angels, beating back the Bavakh wherever they struck. It was glorious . . .
I wish it could have stayed like that.
L16: “Endless Assault 1”
Pride Point: I am the Pride Point. I am your ego, your mental strength, and your identity. At first, I am weak, but I learn quickly and can prove invaluable at defeating your strongest foes. And unlike some points I could mention, I never miss.
I know that Aa said that you were equals, but really, he’s the stronger partner in this alliance. The only way you can become equal to him is if you further hone your unparalleled skill. I think that your new, modified training course will be best for practice. Try to survive as long as possible, and spend all the cache you can.
C2: Darker times
Aa: Ah, Jamesh. It is good to see you again. Since we last met, I have discovered two new points: the Cut point and Turning point. I don’t think that you can handle the latter, but Cut points should be of great use to you, especially considering your skill-over-strength tactics. Try using charged attacks near the mines they give off . . . I will graciously defend your people from any Bavakh that slip past due to your clumsiness.
Aa: Jamesh? Is that you? Where am I? What is going on? And what has happened to the Bavakh?
I do not like this place, Jamesh . . .
Aa: That . . . was very odd. It appears that I have developed yet another ability that you have not. I will have to experiment with it at some point . . .
Ah. It seems I must leave. Oss is reporting Bavakh forces mobilising in their direction. A newcomer, my only equal here, owes me a favour; he and I should be able to stop the invasion and crush the Bavakh Empire permanently. I would ask for your help, but I know that you must remain to defend your people, and frankly, your efforts will not be needed for me to bring about my final victory.
L4: “The Beginning of the End”
Raberata: Jamesh! This is urgent! Reports are coming in from our allies that many of their Path Defenders have become erratic and begun to lose their sanity. The madness seems to start when they first use a certain type of Point: a small, mobile one that deals permanent damage and moves in a seemingly random pattern. Refrain from using Points of that description, and distrust any Path Defenders who you see with them.
Aa: I killed them, Jamesh.
There were too many for us to fight, for anyone to fight. I told the Bavakh that I would work with them if they attacked my partner’s home instead of mine. They slaughtered his people, at the cost of their leaders’ lives.
Poor, weak, simple Jamesh. I know that you will not understand my actions. I know that you will refuse to speak with me. But trust me when I say that this needed to happen. Now that the Bavakh are once again leaderless, my people will be able to conquer them with ease. This should be the last wave of Bavakh to ever endanger your little colony; let us fight them off together, one last time, before we part ways.
L6: “The Armada”
Raberata: Jamesh! A huge army of Bavakh ships just appeared out of nowhere! They seem to be heading for us! What’s going on?
L7: “Appealing to Fear”
Bavakh: Attention, Raberata Path Defender. This is Alastion, leader of the Bavakh fleets.
Oss forces have declared war. They are well armed, fanatical and backed by the most powerful Path Defender in existence. Meanwhile, the Empire has lost its leaders and is in utter chaos. Rather than try to fight the attackers, we have decided to take the best and brightest of our people, flee, and set up a defensive position. The only problem with this is that your people currently occupy the ideal site; oppose us in any way, and that won’t be a problem much longer.
If, however, you let us pass, we will accept the Raberata into our new Bavakh Republic. They will not be slaves, but citizens. Second-class citizens, of course, but citizens nonetheless. We have attempted to make this offer to your ‘government’ but they refuse to speak with their former slavers. The choice, therefore, is yours.
L8: “Appealing to Reason”
Bavakh: Are you a fool, Raberata? Do you not see this opportunity for what it is? Do you not realise that our fleets are capable of passing you by easily and reducing your people’s civilisation to dust?
Oh. I understand. You are an even greater fool than I imagined. You think we lie. You think we will steal your devices and home to defend ourselves, and then make your people our unconditional slaves.
Tell me, Raberata, did you honestly think that the greatest empire in history would be incapable of stealing, capturing or duplicating your race’s precious Pathspace machines? Did you really believe that, if Bavakh Path defenders could exist, you would not have seen one by now? The cold, the loneliness, the madness; none of our test subjects could resist it for more than a few hours. We need your people to defend against the encroaching Oss forces that will come after us. We would treat your planet-bound citizens with care, though not respect, in order to keep the Path Defenders loyal.
However, this does not mean that we won’t enslave you if you continue to resist. We could have other ways of keeping you loyal to our cause. For example, something like fifty thousand innocent Raberata tortured to death for every Oss ship that slips through your defenses would be appropriate. It’s not as though you could intervene from so high in the sky.
L9: “Appealing to Tactics”
Bavakh: Have you wondered why you are the only Raberata path defender? Didn’t they intend to send others to join you? And I would wager that their transmissions to you have become short, few and far between. Are you curious as to why?
I will tell you why. Our scans show that your primitive, foolish race can barely generate enough energy to sustain themselves. They cannot bring to bear the massive amounts needed to send another Raberata to join you, nor amass enough for more than a brief message to you.
However, in the centuries since you first ascended, our researchers have made remarkable leaps in the use of cold fusion. When we arrive, we will be able to ascend and maintain a connection with as many as twelve of your people.
You need this. Do not think that Aa will hesitate to turn on his fellows as soon as the Bavakh empire is under his control. If either of our races are to survive, you must let us pass now.
L10: “Appealing to Loneliness”
Bavakh: Think about the implications of our offer for a moment. If you let us through, we will send more of your fellows to join you, and keep you updated on events on your homeworld. Don’t you want that? Hasn’t it been lonely up there, ever since both Aa and your people abandoned you?
This is your last chance, Raberata. Let us pass, or your people will suffer the consequences of your foolishness. And then . . . there will be nobody to speak to you ever again.
L11: “Appealing to Vanity”
Bavakh: I think that you do not understand what you are doing. The ships you have been destroying are not the ones you are used to, warships manned by heartless, mindless warrior drones. These are refugee ships, populated by as many civilians as we could pack in before Aa attacked. What you are doing is not war, it is slaughter.
We are ready to admit that the outcome of this conflict is now . . . uncertain. If you let us pass now, we promise that we will let your people be considered equal to us in our new society. And as for yourself, we will know you as a great creature that had mercy on a race fleeing tyranny, abuse and potential slavery. Does our predicament, perhaps, sound familiar to you?
Please, great path defender, stop this needless slaughter and let us pass now.
L12: “Appealing to Independence”
Bavakh: Why do you continue to kill us, Raberata? Does our offer not appeal to you? Or are you merely too afraid of deviating from your people’s decisions? I doubt that they would refuse such a generous offer if their stubbornness didn’t prevent them from receiving our transmissions.
L13: “Appealing to Honor”
Bavakh: We . . . we give up. You win. We cannot endure your wrath any longer. What ships we have left are turning around and preparing to surrender to the Theocracy of Oss.
The good news is that most of our people are still alive. The majority of our civilians were kept in spacious, lightly-defended ships at the very back of our fleet. I would estimate that you only caused the death of about twenty percent of our refugees.
There is one other thing. A few of our captains, driven by madness and an inability to accept defeat, have continued their suicidal assault on your colony. I know I can’t stop you murdering them.
The Bavakh are now defeated, shown the cruelty we once showed you, and driven to slavery under the Tyrant God Aa. You have become that which you once feared and hated, Raberata. I . . . I hope you’re happy!
L14: “Boosting Resolve”
Raberata: Excellent work, Jamesh! The foul Bavakh are beaten back yet again, and we Raberata can live in peace once more. Many of us, myself included, had doubts about whether you could resist such an all-out attack alone, but you certainly proved us wrong!
But . . . why aren’t you going after them? Their armada is weakened and scattered; they’re helpless! Now is the perfect time to strike! We can wipe out the last free Bavakh once and for all! Don’t believe that rubbish about wanting to surrender to Oss; Bavakh are too stupid to ever give up. If we let them leave now, they’ll help the Bavakh slaves that Aa conquered achieve freedom, and then they’ll start launching attacks on us again.
You know what to do. Make us proud, Jamesh.
L15: “Appealing to Mercy”
Bavakh: Stop! Stop! What is wrong with you? We surrendered! Stop killing us!
We are leaving! You win! We are trying to join our brothers, working as slaves to the Oss cultists. Isn’t that what you want? Have you no mercy, Raberata?
We will do anything! We will be your slaves, if that is what you desire! Just stop killing us! Stop killing us!
Why won’t you stop killing us?!
As I left the scene of my act of genocide, another tragedy presented itself to me. Aa, once the Bavakh were enslaved, had declared himself god-king of Pathspace and busied himself wiping out the worlds of Path Defenders that refused to act as his heralds, before finally dying at the hands of one of his victims. At least, I think that’s what happened: all the Path Defenders but me had developed Turning Points, and so none of them could really be relied upon for an accurate explanation. And one by one, they began to do as Aa did, letting their minds rot, descending deeper into darkness and vanishing.
L16: “Endless Assault 2”
Limited Point: I am the Limited Point; a part of your will that you never had while mortal. I am the essence of mystery and knowledge; I care only for understanding and that you survive long enough to gain such understanding. You envied Aa’s mastery of me, didn’t you? Well, rejoice; that act of perfect heartlessness against the Bavakh was enough to finally earn my power.
Now, listen carefully. Your people may be at peace with Oss, but that does not guarantee their safety. Aa is dead, for whatever reason, and most of his followers with him. Bavakh slaves outnumber their remaining Oss cultist masters fifty to one. A revolution is therefore inevitable. Rather than trying to stop it, you must prepare for its effects. Go to your training courses, develop new strategies and become stronger. Then, perhaps, you might be able to defend your people when the Bavakh break free and seek revenge for your artful slaughter of their fellows.
Oh, and one last thing. Don’t worry if your Points begin to talk to you more now that you’re alone. You are inevitably going to talk to yourself, like all the lonely spirits who wander through the dark folds of Pathspace. Just make sure that you know you’re doing it . . .