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Page 1 of Clear and the Hopeless is part of the spin-off series Clear and the Hopeless and starts off the entire series. Page 1 introduces many of the major Characters of the chapter, including Clear, the protagonist, herself and her ship, The Hopeful, often nicknamed "The Hopeless" by Clear and her friends. Used to her miserable life gathering salvage from her own dead and conquered planet, Mars, Clear is unhappy with the sudden change of circumstance when Note, the ship's artificial intelligence, suddenly makes a jump across space and into the Perseus Arm. She's joined initially by humans from Earth, Hebedee and Green, but Hebedee is accidentally killed during a confrontation with a transvestite man named The Boss. She then become embroiled in the politics of warring factions in the Perseus Arm, More TBA
Main article: CatH Post 1
The opening post to the Page is a Non-Story Post explaining the existence of the thread and the intentions of the writer, Britt the Writer in its future. Opening threads with such a disclaimer is commonly done to allow potential readers and writers to understand what the thread will be about and, therefore, if they should invest time in it[CatH 1].
Posts 2 - 5
The Hopeful, a massive derelict ship orbiting Mars, has been home to a young salmitton woman named Clear for most of her life. The ship isn't ideal as it's in constant need of repairs and is in a pitiful state. To ensure the continued functionality of basic systems, Clear makes trips down to the planet to scavenge through the abandoned towns and cities of her people for anything salvageable[CatH 2]. Some she sells to people on the human spacestation Saffron 5, the rest she gives to Note, the ship's A.I., to be used in the repairs (citation needed). To make trips away from the ship, she uses a battered old transport ship she named The Bug and in the Bug is ALEX, a robot specially designed for salvaging. After one such salvage mission Clear returns to the ship to talk to Icer, the former captain of the ship who has been frozen in time within the Command Deck. Her real name is unknown but some burnt letters can be seen on her jacket that seem to spell out "Icer", owing to her nickname. However Note suddenly forces the ship to jump through space, something he's never done while Clear has been aboard and something she didn't even think could be done with so few resources. Hebedee, another crew member and active mechanic, believes that the Earth has disappeared from the Sol System and that Note must required the planet in his sights to maintain a presence around Mars[CatH 2]. Soon Note does run out of fuel and requires Clear to salvage some. However they're in an inhabited system and instead Clear decides she'll have to try to trade for fuel at a spacestation. While Hebedee looks more into Earth's disappearance, Clear goes to find the third, and newest, crew member named Green. Green, who has magical powers over plant life, has filled an entire portion of the ship with magical plant life that Clear must navigate to find the small, unusual human. Green is unable to communicate normally and so she creates small plants to create vibrations into a communicator that will create the illusion of speech through Clear's comm. She is very enthusiastic at the opportunity to accompany Clear on her trade mission and is eager to get to know the last salmitton[CatH 3].
Narrative exposition reveals that after humanity conquered Mars, disease was what finally wiped out the last of the Martian races. The human conquerors kept Martians on reservations where they couldn't grow decent food and couldn't get the medicines needed to fight off the alien diseases. Clear was likely spared this horror because she lived on The Hopeful with her father. After wiping out Martian life, the humans turned several derelict Martian spacecraft into museums, which is where Clear admits she learnt most of this information. Humans then settled Mars with sporadic, often lawless, towns and one huge monument to their success - Saffron 5. Business of Saffron 5 had declined, however, since the destruction of Jupiter.
Faced with the alien and vibrant spacestation, Green seeks comfort from Clear and holds her hand, which Clear reluctantly allows. When Green tries to get closer, Clear backs away aggressively. Clear leads them through the bars until they find darkest and most dirty, where she expects to be able to get fuel for very cheap via illicit channels. After asking the robot bartender for possible buyers, she's directed to a group of humans. The leader of the, however, appears little more than a skeleton in traditional Earth-type pirate garb. He introduces himself as Kaptin Kwanza but when Clear offers to trade him rare Martian goods, one of his crew realises she's a Martian herself and, therefore, worth a lot of money to someone. The pirates decide to kidnap her instead of trade with her[CatH 4]. Clear and Green run through the spaceports bars and eventually hide in one of the cellars until everything seems quiet. When they emerge they see two of the humans looking for them and before Clear could stop her, Green rushes out to use her power against them. Hundreds of vines spring from the metal floor and lift up the two men, wrapping them in vine-cocoons. The two women then head back to The Bug and take-off, only to find Kaptin Kwanza has his own ship, The Jolly Wanker, and the chase continues through space. Clear demands that Note ready the jump drive and the A.I. does so, despite lacking further salvage. Kwanza makes a warning shot at the Bug but they fly into the hangar of The Hopeful and escape with a hyperjump[CatH 5].
Posts 6 - 10
Clear is distraught that she should be reduced to a commodity, her life now having a literal value for what she is. Clear resorts, as usual, to drink. Having amassed quite a pile of empties, Hebedee comes to her door and asks why she shut off her comm link with Note. She doesn't want to collect salvage, she wants to be left alone. When Hebedee points out they do still need the salvage, she shouts at his voice through the door and throws her bottle at it. Hebedee leaves her alone and she weeps blue-staining tears. After a while she sobers up a little and takes a steam-wash before heading to Hebedee's Workshop to apologise to him. Note, however, informs her that he and Green left the ship after being invited to a strange, crystalline vessel where they hoped to get the salvage required[CatH 6]. Clear accepts her own invitation to board the ship after debating if she should leave them behind. The ship, called the Oh My Love!, sends over a transport ship since Green and Hebedee used the Bug. Once board Clear is taken along a tunnel by anti-gravity tractor beams where she can see into windows that show full-on party rooms. She's unable to right herself and is afraid of looking like a fool as like a top down the tunnel. Once at the end she's deposited in a hall where a robot gives her a pass to enter the bars. Room one she meets the barmaid, who is able to conjure a perfect drink for Clear's tastes. The barmaid tells Clear that The Boss, the own of the pleasure yacht, is in Room four. Clear passes through Room Two, which is an oxygen high room, into Room Three which is a wide-open, grassy lawn. Finally she enters Room Four where she meets the same barmaid. The barmaid reveals that she is able to split herself into several clones of herself and creates another perfect drink for Clear. She then points to The Boss in the corner and Clear ventures forth. The Boss is a transvestite, human male who has a group of lackeys sitting with him. He welcomes Clear and reveals that Green told him all about her and her tragic tale. He admits that his ship can please almost anyone but doubts it would please Clear as she has no true identity - torn between cultures. He tells her Green is in Room Three and Hebedee is in Room Six before he spanks her bottom and tells her to loosen up. Mortified, Clear goes to find Green[CatH 7]. Clear finds Green high on orange smoke being poured into the air by plants. When Clear comes over to Green, Green is dancing languidly and uses plants with lips to try to talk to the salmitton but barely manages the task. Then Clear sees guards chasing Hebedee through the room with laser guns. She has to drag Green, who moans, in pursuit[CatH 8]. Clear attacks the guards chasing Hebedee after dropping Green, who just falls to the floor. Hebedee reveals that he's stolen a power source from the Engine Room of the Oh My Love! and intends to use it in The Hopeful's power core. The Boss arrives to stop them from leaving and demands that they lower the box gently. Sensing it could cause trouble, Hebedee throws the box at The Boss and his guards, who all scatter instantly. The box lands and an explosion sends everyone falling to the ground. Clear attacks one of the guards when she gets up while Hebedee reaches for the power source. He ignores a cry from The Boss for him to not touch the device. When he touches it he instantly disintegrates into energy as he's absorbed by the power source. Clear grabs the box with the object inside and, dragging Green again, she tries to escape down the anti-gravity tunnel. The Boss, however, turns it off and they have to run the rest of the way to the Bug. In the Bug they escape the Oh My Love! but are then trapped by its tractor beam. The old Bug has one piece of very advanced technology that Clear installed a long time ago and now, for the first time, can use it. The Bug's tractor-shears activate and cut the beam, allowing them to escape. Just then, however, The Jolly Wanker leaps into the system having followed The Hopeful's warp signature. After firing at the Bug, the Oh My Love! instead uses its tractor beam on The Jolly Wanker, pulling them in. Despite all its upgrades, Kaptin Kwanza has no tractor-shears on his ship. Clear and Green jump out of the system aboard The Hopeful. Not informs Clear that Hebedee is dead and cannot be returned. Note insists that they must use the power source to power The Hopeful, despite that very energy being Hebedee. After a lot of protesting Clear reluctantly relents and places the power source into the power core of the Engine Room[CatH 9]. Note jumps The Hopeful several times, much to the annoyance of Clear, until the ship becomes stranded by a gravity generator on the ice planet Ledus. Clear heads down to the generator plant aboard the Bug and shuts off the well. Note then jumps away, leaving Clear behind[CatH 10].
Posts 11 - 16
Clear is found by a group of Stormtroopers, led by Captain Londris, and is taken aboard The Excellence where she is interrogated by Deonal Strang - or Warlord Strang. He reveals that several warlord's broke away from The Galactic Empire of the Milky Way after Grand Admiral Thrawn's death on NeS1 Page 6. Just as Strang seems to believe that Clear is not a rebel of the Rebel Alliance, her Bug, which was left on Ledus, is seen by the ship's crew to be flying through space and doubt is once again cast upon Clear[CatH 11]. She vows that the ship is hers but she doesn't know who is piloting it. When the Bug is tractored in it turns out to be a robot named Wai. He inadvertently tells them that he's spent a lot of time with some rebels on the planet and Captain Londris is sent down to deal with them while Wai is put in prison. Strang, again having faith in Clear, takes her to the Bridge to watch Londris deal with the rebels on Ledus through the bridge's screen. After the fight Strang orders Londris to execute the aliens but take the human prisoner. Strang then agrees to help Clear retake The Hopeful[CatH 12]. Clear boards The Hopeful, finding that is has been overrun with hostile, magical plantlife by Green. The plants attack the group and Clear manages to save Pully from death, though she is too injured to continue and returns to the Bug. Clear is also attacked by the plants and is rescued by the team's medic, Toolkit. Pully communicates to Captain Londris that two prisoners from The Excellence, the human and Wai, have stowed-away on the Imperial transport and are now on The Hopeful[CatH 13]. One of the creatures of Green, called the plantworm, attacks and leaves Turbo in critical condition until driven off by flamers and Londris' sticky bomb. Toolkit looks after Turbo while the rest go to the Command Centre. Vix and Sindra go to the Engine Room to try to get power. Unfortunately the prisoners arrive in the Command Centre with Toolkit at gunpoint. To prove he means business, the human shoots Clear in the stomach[CatH 14]. Duke Hyperon, the human, orders Londris and Toolkit to strip out of their armour and Toolkit is allowed to try to heal Clear as best he can with bacta. When Vix and Sindra are attacked by the plantworm, Clear speaks through an open mic through the ship to appeal to Green to stop attacking. It works and the two stormtroopers reactivate power to the jump drives. Not needing the stormtroopers any more Hyperon executes Londris and Toolkit. He spares Clear because she's an alien and not an Imperial. Wai tries to access the ship's computers but his mind is switched with that of Note. Note, in a powerful robot body, kills Hyperon and then heads to the Engine Room to kill Vix and Sindra. Clear lies dying but is taken to safety by Green's plants and is taken to Green's room[CatH 15]. Clear manages to connect to Vix' headset and guides her and Sindra to a vent to take them out of the Engine Room and escape Wai/Note. Note, however, catches Sindra and kills him. Vix narrowly manages to escape and meets with Clear and Green in the Processing Room. The door is locked and Clear has to bypass it while Vix stands guard. Note kills Vix and then throws Green into one of the processors. Clear escapes to the hangar and boards the imperial transport with Pully. When Wai/Note enters the hangar she crushes him with the ship. Finally she blows him up with a launcher and is left to mourn his death, knowing he was driven mad with centuries of inadequate care[CatH 16].
Posts 17 - 20
Clear returns to check on the unconscious Turbo while waiting for support. Wai, now trapped in Note's place as the ship's A.I., instates Clear, finally, as Captain of the ship. A while later and she's in the medical bay with Turbo and Pully. Turbo is ordered, by Strang, to The Excellence for advanced treatment. Strang announces that Clear, as Captain of The Hopeful, is now in his employ, pressed into service without option, and tells her that her ship will be repaired at XL-Sigma 4. Pully requests to transfer to The Hopeful under Clear's command and Strang agrees[CatH 17]. Clear and Pully go in search of Green, who was last seen being throw into a giant food processor but Clear believes that she is alive after scans revealed life in her quarters. Pully tells the story of her life, how she was born on Terra Flux and entered the imperial military. She tells of the civil battle aboard The Excellence when some wanted to defect from The Empire. She joined Strang and saved Londris and was entered into the elite squad. After the tale they find Green but she's cut to ribbons and they have to get her medical aid. Pully, though she hates Green, knows a doctor on board who she can blackmail into keeping quiet about Green. Dr Alexis Thrain requests a new medical bay be applied to The Hopeful and must remain aboard for the duration of the bay's construction - giving her time and appliances to heal Green in a bacta tank without Strang knowing[CatH 18]. It turns out that Green is able to transform into spores, which spared her life but she was still injured and has to sleep in a bacta tank. Clear must then save Wai from the technicians keen on wiping him from the ship's memory banks. She rebuilds his robot body from spare parts she finds in Hebedee's Workshop, including wood, and downloads him into it[CatH 19]. Pully must save Clear from Thrain as Thrain drugs Clear so she can perform an examination on her body for biological renown on the Imperial Database. Thrain subsequently apologises, a rarity for her, while Pully and Clear decide to open a mysterious casket that broke out of hyperspace near to Strang's fleet. Once opened there is a woman inside who turns out to be Princess Aurora Briarose of the destroyed planet Algernon[CatH 20].
Posts 21 - 25
While Clear, Thrain and Pully argue about what to do with the princess now she's awake, she gets annoyed and stressed by them until she shouts at them, drawing the attention of Captain Kraftlight who arrests her. The three women are later summoned to a meeting aboard The Excellence to sit in a meeting with negotiators for the Rebel Alliance. The negotiators is an Æon Knight named Telkrin Izep, and his students Ffion Heul and Kokoro Lymn. Aurora is present at the meeting in chains, as is Strang with his Imperial Royal Guard. Strang tells Telkrin that he wants to trade Aurora for the rights to the graveyard of Algernon, which he intends to mine. When Telkrin says the alliance would refuse that offer, Strang tells them he will do it anyway and simply kill the princess. The meeting is abruptly ended when one of his guards kills the other guard and then kills Strang himself. The guard reveals that he is Kiron Nightstrider and a proud son of Algernon that will save the princess. The others in the room are forced along with him by events, else be arrested for the murder of Strang[CatH 21]. They have to fight their way out of the station and get aboard The Hopeful. Wai, still acting at the ship's A.I., gets them away from Excelsior Station but they take a great deal of damage. Pully is angered by all of this, having been loyal to Strang. Aurora requests that they go to the Rebel Alliance where they would all be rewarded for her return[CatH 22]. They arrive at the planet Oeurwood where Aurora expected to find a rebel base but there's no sign of rebels. As they prepare to go down to the world in the Bug, Clear and Kokoro go to find Pully. Kokoro explains that she is in training to become a consular, Ffion is training to be a guardian and their teacher is a sentinel - marking their clothes and colours differently to reflect their statuses. She shows her hilted ruhand, which is formed by projecting her soul through the hilt. Wai has discovered a Synthetics Laboratory in which he creates synthetic clothing for Clear and Aurora to protect them from the humidity of Oeurwoud. As they fly down to the planet, Kiron becomes disturbed by the outside appearance of The Hopeful but doesn't say why[CatH 23]. They land in Aggran Forest on Oeurwoud and hope to find the missing rebels. Soon, however, Telkrin Izep senses a great calamity has befallen the world and urges that everyone leave the planet. He insists that he must remain to investigate the problem and would meet them later. However when the team have gotten back onto the shuttle the whole forest is suddenly enshrouded by the Black Water. They attempt to fly low and save Izep but he is consumed by the Darkness and they have to flee the planet without him. Izep's parting words were that hi students should go to Tangris and tell the Æon Lords of what they had seen[CatH 24]. Aurora, however, wants them to deliver her to the Alliance first, much against the wishes of Kokoro Lymn who wants to go straight to Tangris. While Clear agrees with Lymn, The Hopeful is too damaged to make it all the way and must be repaired at the rebel world of Dacato first. Aurora explains to Clear that she remembers nothing of her time in the casket, only recalling her last time at the grave of Algernon. She doesn't remember anything of Earth (as seen in HFO Post ?). She also explains that she has ALS and will eventually die as a result of her disease. Filled with depression, Clear goes to get drunk with Pully[CatH 25].
Posts 25 - 30
Clear is found by Ffion Heul in Pully's Room, much to Clear's own surprise as she was very drunk the night before. They attend a conference with Governor Oit in the Command Centre who is happier to hear of Strang's death than the safe return of the princess. He welcomes them to the planet and allows The Hopeful to dock with Twithran, the spacedock, for repairs. Aurora suggests that they venture down to the planet for a break while she returns alone, despite Kiron's desire to attend her[CatH 26]. Ace Lander, a rebel captain and leader of Glytch Squadron, leads them personally to The Voyager Hotel - thanking them for rescuing Aurora, him being from the planet Algernon himself. Once ready, Clear meets with Thrain, Green and Kiron in the lobby where she must explain that her people were killed by humans to Thrain. She also explains how those left alive after the human war were put into camps where they died of Earth diseases, resulting in her being the last of her species. Once everyone has arrived they go shopping[CatH 27].
Clear and the Hopeless References
- CatH Post 1, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 2, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 3, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 4, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 5, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 6, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 7, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 8, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 9, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 10, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 11, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 12, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 13, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 14, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 15, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 16, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 17, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 18, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 19, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 20, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 21, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 22, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 23, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 24, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 25, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 26, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.
- CatH Post 27, CatH Page 1, Clear and the Hopeless (Story Arc), Clear and the Hopeless written by Britt the Writer.