Pigiron

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The Phoenix Nebulae title card 2.png
Main thread | Interest thread | Test/drafting thread | Profile thread
тнє sтoяy

After centuries of turmoil, The Galaxy of Ordaeus has a chance at peace.
However, as sages have stated for millenia, peace is but the time of preparation for the next war.

The Empire of Ordaeus, a human-ruled coalition of systems have proven themselves time and again as a dominant force in the galaxy. Controllers of several critical resources and galaxy-wide production bottlenecks. Defenders of a staggering number of loyal systems, with a population in the hundreds of billions. Ship and weapons technology rivaled by few in power and none in supply. Their Galactic Navy; peerless in size, with extensive training and unmatched equipment. The aegis of an empire unmatched in all of history.

Unmatched except, perhaps, by a small group called the Resistance. To some? They are criminals. Scum that prevented the Empire uniting the galaxy and bringing about a golden age. To others, they are the last hope of a free galaxy, where all peoples are free to live life as they see fit, free of chains and the rule of a tyrant. Still others tell a tale of their origin; a movement started by Navies rising from the anonymity of the ranks of their fellows, and taking a stand against an empire they thought to be unjust, harsh, and regimented to the point of dehumanization. One thing is for certain, for better or worse these fighters have proven themselves courageous, skilled and lucky, time and time again.

The asymmetric war between the Empire and the Resistance raged for years. Many lives were lost, and it would have continued in that path if not for the plague that overtook the entire galaxy in the form of the Khivux. A parasitic species of slug-like creatures, they crawl in through the ear and take their host's brain, mind, body and soul as a personal slave. Once they happened upon the den of misery that is war, there was no stopping their takeover. Before anyone even knew they existed they had already taken several systems, not discriminating between the carefully controlled Empire systems or the wild freedom of the Resistance-backed systems.

The Empire and the Resistance were forced to band together to keep the galaxy safe, but even with the two old enemies working together, the Khivux continued their unstoppable march throughout the stars. Only one thing saved the Galaxy from enslavement: just as the Khivux bore down on the last systems not enslaved, a chemical admixture named "Mindfire Toxin" was distributed out to all naval and resistance ships. A gaseous substance, when the toxin was breathed in by a Khivux host it performed a dizzying sequence of reactions, that ended with the parasite dead, yet leaving the host relatively unharmed.

The year is now 5032, Imperial Calendar. With the last Khivux being hunted down on the fringes of known space, sides are beginning to form again. A truce, hastily agreed upon, starts to strain, fraying at the edges. The Empire, and by extension the Navy, has started preparing to return to it's old expansionist ways. However every action has an equal and opposite reaction; the old embers of resistance flare once again. "The New Resistance" grows by the day, eager to maintain this fragile fingerhold on freedom.
Tensions are running high everywhere. Ambition threatens to swallow whole the fragile truce. One thing prevents a return to the old war:

The Phoenix Nebula.

An almost mythical place. Seat of a mysterious ancient race long passed; a treasure trove of advanced technology. The source of the Mindfire Toxin that saved the galaxy.

The only problem? The saviors that brought the weapon to Empire space; Those brave men and women that braved unknown reaches of the galaxy for a hail-Mary shot at salvation all died in the line of duty. Their ship's computer was damaged beyond repair, and their final desperate wormhole jump sent through a ghost ship demanding it's precious cargo be collected from amongst the crew's corpses. The Khivux were defeated, but now the spectre of that incredible place looms large.

Find the Phoenix nebula, find the power to rule, or save, the galaxy.

The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
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яuℓєѕ

1. Try not to keep others waiting too long and to avoid one-liner posts. Make each post at least a couple of paragraphs long, but by no means do you have to write a novel every time!

2. Join only if you are okay with conflict and if you are equally okay with losing said conflict. often conflict will be just as interesting to write if your character "wins" or "loses". If you're in a PVP situation, try to come to an agreement with the other player OOC on what makes sense in character for the outcome of conflict to be. You can also agree to simulate the elements of the conflict that are out of either character's control by using dice rolls as needed. That is to say, if you are uncertain of the outcome of a situation with two characters (ie, in a standoff) then with the agreement of the other player you can figure out the outcome with dice rolls. Consider adding modifiers to one of the rolls, such as +1 or +2 if you both agree one side has an inherent advantage.
Also consider what would happen in the event of a tie, IE both parties get shot.
Ultimately, this is not meant as a nice, everyone-gets-along RP. It's more about the conflicts taking place and the possibility of losing said conflict.

3. Let's try keep the ratio of members even here. IE, there's a million Resistance members and three Navy sailors consider joining the Navy please!

4. No god-moding/auto-hitting, especially during battles involving entire ships. Anything that has a major impact on another player's character (Imprisonment, Injury, Death, etc) requires enthusiastic consent from that player.



The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
Bird eye.png
ρяσƒιℓє ѕkєℓєtσи

Please read about which side you're joining before you actually apply to join it: Information about both Navy and Resistance can be found in the two posts after this one!
PM to Muffinphobia and/or me and we will post it in profile thread!
Please title Navy applications "We want order." And New Resistance applications - "We want freedom."


Code:
[u]Name:[/u] [first & last name here]
[u]Age:[/u] [minumum age 18. Ask ahead of time if you want a character younger than this.]
[u]Race:[/u] [Human, robo, alien, whatever, I merely request one thing - NO werewolves, vamps, ect. Sci-fi, not fantasy.]
[u]Home system/Planet/town:[/u] [Feel free to make up a system/planet/town, just please give a breif overview of what the place was like.]
[u]Chosen ship:[/u] [Pick out the ship you want to be on. If you have no preference leave this section alone and I'll just put you on one with other players.]
[u]Rank:[/u] [Captain, first officer, weapons master, head cook, ect- please check the existing characters on either side before choosing a rank!]
[u]Personality:[/u] [Traits. Just make a list/use short sentences.]
[u]Bio:[/u] [Paragraph minimum. Get creative! Also, include what tools/weapons they use. Five Tools/weapons max.]
[u]Appearance:[/u] [Image please. No IRL pictures please. if you need a picture edited I will be happy to help make adjustments (eye colour, minor alterations, etc.)]
[u]Puppet master:[/u] [your username here]


Also, if you wish to write about a System/planet/race, use the skeleton below. This is completely optional and in no way mandatory. PM to me and/or Muffinphobia.

Code:
[u]Alien Race:[/u] [b]insert name of race here[/b]
[u]Home planet:[/u] insert name of planet here
[u]Territory:[/u] Insert name of the number and nature of the star systems/planets controlled by the race (if any). Max number is five, not including home planet.
Canonically the Galactic Empire is meant to be the predominant force in the galaxy, and having another large contender would interfere with the Resistance/Empire dynamic we're looking to create. That being said, let us know if you think you have a good argument for a larger territory for your race, we'd love to theorycraft with you!
[u]Culture:[/u]
Write a paragraph about the culture here. Make this (and all slots, really) at least 4-5 sentences. What is the government like? Is it a democracy, oligarchy, etc.? Are they Empire aligned, perhaps already among the Empire's client races, or are they aligned with the resistance?
[u]History[/u]
Stick your history paragraph here. Try to get creative/detailed. If you get stuck, look at the other histories that have already been written. Talk about the population of the planet as well - is it populated? What specie(s) live there? Does it have empty space on it or is it densely populated?
[u]Economy[/u]
Write about the economy here. What do they primarily trade to other planets? Are they well-off economically or is it in a tough spot?
[u]Military[/u]
Write about the military here. What kind of fighting do they tend to do? Do they fight for Resistance/Navy? Do they fight for anyone at all?
[u]Technology[/u]
Technology stuff goes here. For instance: FTL travel. Do their ships primarily use Wormholes (instant travel, but makes a lot of noise) or Hyperspace (takes minutes or hours instead of seconds to travel long distances, but has other applications, like stealth and weaponry)
Where are they ahead of the rest of the universe, if anywhere? Where are they behind?
[u]Preferred Climate/environment[/u]
Will you freeze your arse off on their planets? Is it nice and sunny? Do they need to breath liquid arsenic to survive? Be as detailed with this as you like.
[u]Appearance [/u]
Do all members of the species share a certain characteristics? Are they Humanoid? any extra eyes or organs?
~~contributed by (your username here!)


The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
1657738491445.png
тнє ηєω яєsιsтαиcє

The New Resistance is the rebel organization that rose from the ashes of the old Resistance coalition, after it was forcibly disbanded as part of a peace treaty with the empire. Now as the empire's ambitions convalesce, so too do those willing to fight for their freedom.

Goals
- Galactic peace
- Checks and balances for any power block that threatens to tyrannize the Galaxy.
- Government in the form of a democracy, specifically a galactic senate.
- Freedom for any oppressed races who are being used as slaves.
- A focus on exploration of new planets and understanding new species.

New Resistance Ships (Most general operations are run by AI)
-The Cotopaxi
xxxxHer Crew
xxxx-Captain - Gabi Burnett
xxxx-First officer - OPEN!
xxxx-Chief Engineer - Perseus Galatea
xxxx-Weapons Specialist - OPEN!
xxxx-Explosives Expert - Blaster
xxxx-Head of navigations/communication - Harli Gesmel
xxxx-Head of Informatics and computer systems- OPEN!
xxxx-Chief Medical Officer - Reginald Meadows
xxxx-Any other position (A.I., Cook, ect), include on application and I'll put it up here.


The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
1657738566605.png
тнε ιмpεrιɑℓ ɳɑvy

The Galactic Navy was formed to protect the Empire of Ordaeus. Their rule extends throughout the galaxy, although their grip gets progressively looser the farther one travels from their home star system.

Goals
- Galactic peace
- The Empire and it's imperial navy acting as an aegis over all the galaxy, preventing anything like the Paranoia War from ever happening again.
- Prioritising defense over exploration, allowing for new contacts only after all races are properly integrated.
- Avoiding petty squabbles with a centralised government that represents the interests of ALL people, not just a tyranny of the majority.
- Ensuring that indentured servitude is minimised only to penal legions and those races that accept servitude as a way to pay their way into being a full member of the empire.

Navy Ships (Most general operations are run by AI.)
-Imperial Navy Black Ops Light Cruiser The INS Ophelia
xxxxHer Crew
xxxx-Captain - Cpt. Bernadette Angstrom
xxxx-First officer - Runi "Blazing Hair" Kindler
xxxx-Chief Engineer - OPEN!
xxxx-Weapons Specialist - Elazar
xxxx-Head of navigations/communication - OPEN!
xxxx-Head of Informatics and computer systems- Velshia Tordren
xxxx-Chief Medical Officer - OPEN!
xxxx-Security Chief - OPEN!
xxxx-Security Officer - I-6
xxxx-Any other position (A.I., Imperial Diplomat, ect), include on application and I'll put it up here.

The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
тιмεℓιɳε

5005 - The Empire Of Ordaeus begins an expansionist military campaign to take over all of known space. They are countered by a coalition of planets and species known at The Resistance.
5012 - After seven years of on-and-off war, the Empire and Resistance, weakened by extended conflict, are taken by surprise as seemingly out of nowhere, the Khivux, a race of insidious, mind controlling parasites are discovered already infesting multiple systems. After an emergency meeting between Resistance and Imperial Ambassadors, a temporary truce is declared.
No longer can one trust ones neighbor, friends, even family.
The Paranoia War begins.

5013 - With all sentient life fighting a losing battle, the Empire and Resistance join forces to try and defend the rapidly diminishing free systems. All sentient life is now fighting the existential threat that is the Khivux.
5015 - The Khivux make their way to Imperial space. The first Empire planet is taken.
5020 - Dina Amor and Lustre fall within the same month. A mass exodus takes place as populations evacuate the path of the rampaging Khivux.

5021 - The crew of The INS Troubadour, an Empire Black Ops ship, are discovered by Resistance forces. All computer storage seems damaged somehow, the crew are all dead, even the books and written manuals on the ship are scrambled, made indecipherable as the printed letters seem to have been rearranged on the pages. But there is one thing saved, a thick tablet of repurposed titanium, etched carefully with the equipment the crew of The Troubadour had on hand, with instructions on how to create a chemical weapon known as the "Mindfire toxin", that would target a unique quirk of Khivux physiology and kill the creature, with only middling damage to the host. The Resistance copies the information and sends it through to the Imperial Navy, but all Khivux ships in the sector bear down on the Resistance detachment that recovered the tablet and they are forced to leave The Troubadour behind, taking only the Tablet with them.
5022 - The Counteroffensive to the Khivux begins, and for the first time, the parasites begin to lose ground. First, ships are flooded with Mindfire toxin. sleeper agent hosts are discovered and cured. Eventually, planets are doused in the chemical weapon, doing irreparable damage to countless ecosystems... But purging the Khivux from the planets for good.
It's said the Mindfire toxin being used was like a pale white mist descending on the planet, glowing with a very minor exothermic reaction. "Like Heaven itself had descended, and the Khivux could not bear it's light." Dina Amor and Lustre are among the first planets recovered.
5024 - The final Khivux controlled systems are over taken, and after furious fighting, the hosts in the system are forcibly cured.
At last, the Paranoia War is over. Galaxy-wide celebrations are held.

5026 - A Galactic peace summit is held. New borders are drawn. A "permanent" peace deal is agreed upon.

The Empire made the following concessions:
The dishonourable discharge and imprisonment for the war criminal War-Admiral Maddox Abaddon. He is treated as a Imperial martyr after his sentencing.
An end to expansionist overtures, on pain of a mutual defence treaty of the free planets of Ordaeus coming into effect, which promised the empire swift and united retribution from a truly united galaxy if the Empire tries ever again to become their overlord.

The Resistance made the following concessions:
The Resistance, as an entity, would be no more. The mutual defence treaty of the free planets of Ordaeus having now fulfilled the purpose they were purportedly working to resolve.
Select top figures in the Resistance were confined to a single planet of their choice, usually their planets of origin. The crew of the Resistance flagship, The Cotopaxi, to be scattered to the four winds. The Cotopaxi itself was lost and faded into legend, in the confusion of post-war bureaucracy.

5032 - The Empire begins to quietly gather it's strength, aiming to seek out the Phoenix Nebula and the power and retake their rightful place as heirs apparent to the Galactic throne. The New Resistance is formed in secret, aiming to find the Phoenix Nebula first, and use it's power to maintain the fragile peace.


The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
Reserved

The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
Reserved



The Story///Rules///Profile Skeletons///The New Resistance///The Imperial Navy///Timeline///Reserved
 
Last edited:

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
(- Hope you got your things together -)
(- Hope you are quite prepared to die -)
(- Looks like we're in for nasty weather -)
(- One eye is taken for an eye -)
PostBanner1.png
P.png erseus' teeth gritted as he threw himself out of the airlock, an O2 transfer tube hissing as it detached from his salvager's hardsuit helmet.
Somersaulting slowly, Perseus tumbled into the salvage yard. Steadily, he took a good hard look at the assortment of ship carcasses in front of him, surrounded on three sides by a great U-shaped salvage station. His HUD lit up, highlighting one in particular in blood-red, flashing a warning beside it:
///REACTOR CRITICAL: IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUIRED
Perseus subvocalized a command to his suit, and with a slight finger movement and a sharp hiss, manoeuvre thrusters spaced out across his hardsuit sprayed reaction mass, arresting his rotational velocity and moving him into a beeline for the highlighted ship.
For a few moments, Perseus was left in silence, hurtling toward it.
Below, the gold-tinged expanse of Lustre stretched out, silvery clouds sprawling across the planet, making the entire planet look like a Jeweller's fantasy.
Above, the smear of the hundreds of billions of stars making up the Ordaeus galaxy, twinkling in innumerable whites, blues, purples and reds...
"I'm clear! Thanks Perseus, I dunno what I hit, but the coolant's everywhere!" the voice crackled in Perseus' earpieces, breaking the moment of reverie. Another salvager, Takeo. Perseus spotted him, throwing himself from the wreck.

Perseus wished he could rub the back of his mitt across his forehead.
In the rush getting out the airlock, he had forgotten to put on a sweatband, and brackish sweat was pooling up there. The zero-G was forming it into a wobbly lump on his gold-tinged brow, and he knew the salty liquid was going to get in his eyes soon.
Now here he was, in the hard vacuum of the salvage-yard, face to face with a half-salvaged ship and a very unhappy fusion reactor.
There it sat, amongst the ribs of what used to be an independent fuel tanker, nestled in a spherical plasti-glass cell of coolant, glowing with the eerie not-quite-real light of Cherenkov radiation. The reactor currently threatening the lives of Perseus and the six others in the orbital salvage yard had been top of the line in its day, capable of powering not only the every need of the ship's crew, but also the colossal engines that moved the tanker from star to star through great spherical holes torn in spacetime.
Now here it sat, at death's door, mere minutes from turning its coolant into equal parts burnt black paste and superheated plasma, dumping all its energy into itself and the surrounding material in a catastrophic explosion, taking Perseus and a good chunk of the salvage yard with it.

Takeo, the greenhorn, had been given the ship to break despite multiple warnings to the yard manager that newbies with less than a few weeks on the job were not to be saddled with the horrible things until they'd at least had basic nuke training.
But as always, the yard manager had pushed his people too far too fast, and now everyone was in danger. Head in the game, Perseus. Perseus licked his lips, tossed his head slightly to get the sweat out of his eyes, and began subvocalizing and gesturing commands to a swarm of delicate 10 cm spider-like salvage drones, that began to climb from slots in his backpack and throwing themselves into action, preparing to tease the reactor's baseplate from the ship's Plas-titanium hull.
"Easy... Easy..."
One or two drones had already given their little synthetic lives, as overheated coolant began to spray from lines haphazardly cut by Takeo a few minutes previous, before the warnings had started blaring over site comms and Perseus was dragged in to help.


PostBanner2.png

Ever since the resistance got its claws into Lustre, the whole planet's been steadily descending into anarchy. Perseus couldn't let his anger effect his work, but the thoughts continued; Nobody follows protocol any more. Everyone's looking to "break with tradition", even if it means ending up as a thrice-damned stick of charcoal floating in thrice-damned hard vacuum!

A string of commands ran drones to a nearby bay, collecting grav plates and grav rings, the plates for close-range grav manipulation and the rings for longer distance grav-tunnel setup. They moved swiftly through the vacuum, shepherding the devices with little bursts of propellant from tiny thrusters at the end of their back legs.
A similar hive of activity prepared a specially built emergency containment system a hundred or so meters away, a straight shot from where Perseus calculated the reactor's egress point would be. Warnings about radiation levels and high material heat came in thick and fast now. Perseus spoke nervously, mostly to his drones; "Alright fellas, we're only getting one shot at this-"
The last bolt pinged away as the reactor, coolant chamber and all, began to roll through the vacuum, down the tube of artificial gravity, toward the waiting containment system, with its stasis grid and auxiliary coolant systems "warmed" up and ready.
The graviscanner built into Perseus' helmet took readings of the reactor's journey as Perseus made fine adjustments to the grav rings. It wasn't his first emergency egress tunnel, and it certainly wasn't going to be his last, if he could help it.

A moment of silence, punctuated by the sound of Perseus' heartbeat, and-

///REACTOR NEUTRALIZED

A long exhale.

"Alright Takeo, go ahead and finish this up. I've gotta get to my section and make a start on my ship."
Perseus turned away as Takeo sent through a confirmation. Spider drones made their way back to Perseus, skittering across his hardsuit, making their way to their charging nooks in his backpack. Perseus began floating between derelicts, towards the husk that would be his responsibility this shift.
With the emergency over, Perseus almost subconsciously took stock of his gear:
- Eight spider drones, down from the usual twelve. Now nestled in their charging nooks in his backpack, the little drones were built with two laser cutter legs, four multitool legs (containing the basics like pliers, screwdrivers, electrojacks, etc), and two manoeuvre thruster legs. The little guys took months of training to learn, and it took years of practice to learn to control more than one or two at a time. Perseus was proud of his abilities, but he'd seen people orchestrate the actions of thirty of them at a time, not to mention the AI-controlled swarms you sometimes found out in the lawless fringe systems.
- One plasma cutter, magnetically attached to his left outer thigh. Capable of firing a thin plasma beam that, in the space of a few minutes, could cut through most types of ship hull and structural elements. The cutter had some issues with certain types of armour, that usually required deconstruction from the inside, but it got the job done where the Spider-drones' little cutters couldn't manage.
- One grav-grapple, magnetically attached to his right outer thigh. Able to pull Perseus and another solid object toward each other (if used on a very heavy object, it would pull Perseus toward the object, a light object would get pulled toward Perseus, and an object about the same weight would meet Perseus in the middle.)
- An extended-spectrum Analyser HUD, built into his helmet, with capability to switch to three views aside from standard: Infrared (for heat sources), gravimetric (for density and mass measurements, as well as the visualizations of artificial gravitational fields) and Spectrometer (to get an idea of the materials he was observing, at a glance).

Gear checked, Perseus looked up at the ship he was slated to destroy today-
And a lump formed in Perseus' throat.
Stencilled larger-than-life on Cryo-titanium armour, pock-marked by the unconcealable marks of years of freedom-fighting, punched by mass-driver impacts and burned by Plasma-fire, was a name.
Subject of his father's bedtime stories.
Subject of a million whispered rumours.
The ship that was sighted in a hundred systems at once.
The ship that sowed the chaos of freedom into the minds of billions.
The scalpel of the mad surgeon that was Hyde Burnett and his crew of misfits.
The flagship of the biggest underdog story in known history.

THE COTOPAXI

Shouldn't this be in a museum or something?
It can't be the real one, can it?

Perhaps... Perhaps it wouldn't hurt to look around a little, first.

PostBanner3.png
(- Don't come round tonight -)
(- Well, it's bound to take your life -)
(- There's a bad moon on the rise -)
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
if i'm dead to you, why are you at the wake?
my tears ricochet
The dreams were becoming more frequent and more terrible the closer her ship traveled to Lustre. Sometimes, she dreamed of things that had come to pass. The light leaving her mother's eyes as Gabi beat her fists against the protective glass separating them. Elazar lowering his blaster from her face and turning his back on her, vanishing into a cloud of fire and smoke. The cheers of her shipmates as The INS Ophelia disappeared on the distant horizon, tinted orange and pink by the setting sun. Others were the strangest visions that she couldn't begin to explain to anyone, least of all herself. She saw Elazar dead, eyes empty and staring, in a grand throne room at the feet of a cloaked man she knew only by reputation, not by face. She saw a man with gold skin extending his hand to her, and for reasons that eluded her she trusted him more than even Zama. But other times she saw the gold-skinned man dead at her feet, laying next to Elazar (the Emperor nowhere in sight this time), and her deep satisfaction at it terrified her.

Now, her worst fear confronted her: a Khivux settled in Zama's ear, feasting on his brain bit by bit. The whites of his eyes ran red with blood as he screamed at her to run.

She awoke by bolting upright in bed, covered in a sheen of sweat and tears, her own scream mangling her throat. She dragged her sleeve across her eyes and took several deep breaths. Everything was fine. Zama was fine. Elazar was probably also fine, although who the hell knew, really. The Emperor was worlds and worlds away. The Khivux were gone, and the gold-skinned man didn't even exist. She was dreaming of one only because she knew any Lustrians she met on this trip would look like that. Everything. Was. Fine. She continued to repeat this in her head until it was almost believable.

Once her heart rate had slowed to a normal pace, she swung her legs over the side of the bunk and crossed the room to the 'fresher. After a quick shower she headed to the cockpit and checked in on her ever-faithful droid, BD-13. "How much time is left until we arrive?" she asked, wincing at the rasp in her throat.

Five minutes, he chirped in a series of beeps and whirrs.

"Alright. Same drill as before. Do not come back for me until my signal." She paused and rested her hand atop its rather flat head. "Maybe we'll get lucky this time," she added in a softer tone, then turned and headed for the back of her small scouting ship.

In the back, she pulled on the New Resistance's standard-issue hardsuit over her normal attire, making sure that the chip containing a holovid from Zama was safely tucked in her pocket before zipping it closed. She strapped her blaster to one thigh and her knife to the other, though she knew the chances of actually using it were slim to none. It was more of a good luck charm than anything else. She eyed the disruptor rifle hanging on the wall for a brief moment, but ultimately decided it would be overkill in friendly airspace and left it be.

Minutes later, the ship dropped out of hyperspeed long enough to launch her from the hatch at its top and then disappeared just as quickly in a silent flash. She went to activate the HUD built into her helmet but paused as her gaze dropped to the salvage yard and planet beneath. For a moment, she forgot her mission and was awestruck by the sight of quicksilver clouds swirling atop a golden surface. Better than searching deep space by a long shot. She made a mental note to show it to BD when he returned for her.

She tore her eyes away from the planet's surface and refocused on the salvage yard. Pieces of scrap, all of varying shapes and sizes, floated lazily between larger pieces and even entire ships. It was difficult to tell with the naked eye which pieces of junk were taking the path she needed, so she activated the HUD and did a quick scan of the nearby debris. After a minute, she spotted it: a chunk of durasteel just big enough to hide behind. Before it had the chance to float out of range, she used a short burst from the jetpack on her back to propel into it and awkwardly wrapped her arms around it as best she could, praying nobody assigned to infrared had noticed her ship drop in briefly or the fact that someone in a New Resistance suit was clinging to a piece of old garbage. The secrecy and sneaking around probably wasn't necessary, as the New Resistance had made quite the name for itself here and anyone she came across would probably be quite happy to help, but she felt the fewer who knew about the objective of this mission, the better. She used her vantage point to scan the yard for any signs of her query, and after a few minutes her heart jumped into her throat and began beating rapidly. Finally, after months of following up on dead ends, there it was. The Cotopaxi was within reach.

After taking a deep breath, she again used a short burst from the jetpack to nudge the chunk of durasteel in the right direction, careful to stay on the opposite side from where she thought the base of operations for the salvage yard workers might be. Forcing herself to match the motions of the floating debris and not make a beeline straight for the ship was the ultimate test of her patience, but at last she was able to let the durasteel go and found herself floating just a few feet from the stenciled letters. She ran her fingers over it, doing her best to ignore the shaking of her hands and the tears rapidly forming at the corners of her eyes. How many years had it been?

Cry about it later, she admonished herself, then went to check if the boarding ramp was down. She found that it hadn't been disengaged properly, but time and the general wear of being in space for so long had caused a small gap to open, one just big enough for someone her size to squeeze through. Before going in, she activated the long-range comm built into her suit and said, "BD…you're not going to believe this. We found it." Her voice cracked. She cleared her throat and continued. "Based on its appearance, I'd say it's been here for a long time. Alert the Resistance quietly."

Maybe the smart thing would have been to wait for backup, but she couldn't help herself. Using a final burst from her jetpack, she propelled herself through the gap and inside, completely unaware of the fact that the ship had caught someone else's eye, too.


(Notes: Zama is Dina for uncle.
Picture of BD-13.
Pictures of Gabi's blaster and knife.)
cursing my name, wishing i stayed...
Code by Jenamos
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
Captain Bernadette Angstrom
Ship time 1223 hrs, 03/01/5032
Dresden's Orchard System, Planetary Lagrange point L1
Flickering_cursor.gif



Angstrom.png
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
Angstrom sat silently in her office, reclined in a curved chair, her left hand relaxed on the armrest, her monstrous right arm sitting on the glass-top desk beside her. Anyone watching her might have got the impression she was staring off into space, but in truth, her vision was focused on a series of dossiers only she could see.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
The fingers of her right hand had formed into something akin to eagle's talons, silvery and reflective. Occasionally they drummed a staccato rhythm onto the glass. The dossiers in front of her eyes, projected there by an AR contact lens for her organic left eye, were similarly interpreted by her right bionic eye, creating a single augmented reality image that seemed just as real as the chair she was sitting in.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
The chief engineer reported that the INS Ophelia was perfectly capable of staying in its current position indefinitely, as far as the coolant systems were concerned. Her ship was currently sat on the sunwise side of a great solar shade, in the Lagrange point between the system's only star and Dresden's Orchard, the planet the coming mission would take place on.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
The planet had once been a budding human colony. But it decided it didn't need the aegis of the Empire over it, and now it was being squeezed for all it was worth by a host of megacorporations, human and otherwise. Immigration had gone out of control, and now it was a melting pot of beings being worked to death in silicon mines for starvation wages. Her comms agent had run a passive sweep on the planet, and had sent her a digest of local news. The local authorities stank of corruption.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
An open investigation was out of the question here. A naval ship, even one such as hers with the ability to shift its drive signature and transponder signal at the drop of a hat, would immediately cause raised eyebrows and questions to be asked by the locals, and that would add fuel to the rumours going around about Navy presence in the sector.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
No. This needed to be a tactical insertion. The light cruiser carried two unmarked civilian shuttles for just such an occasion. One could be sent on a ballistic trajectory away from the Lagrange point, and approach from a direction that wouldn't raise any suspicion. The shuttles didn't have FTL capability, but wouldn't need it. Now, for the team.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
The target was a broker of information. Juzibar Lang, Codename: the Jackrabbit. So named due to his advanced double-jointed bionic legs. Military grade. Not to be underestimated. Additionally. He was surrounded by teams of henchmen, from personal security to investigation and hacking, and according to not only his own word but various sources elsewhere, the man had information regarding the location of the computer recovered from The INS Troubadour. Unfortunately for the Jackrabbit, the Navy believed him, and his particular brand of dealmaking; sending messages to anyone that would listen about what he had and how he would sell it to the highest bidder, was not particularly ingratiating to the powers that be.
Tak-tak-tak-tak.
The team would need to be comprised of individuals that would not raise suspicion. A large group of humans would stick out like a sore thumb in the multicultural melting pot of the Dresden Orchard cities and shanty towns. Sending down a team of marines from the onboard platoon was right out, with their jar-head demeanour and matching haircuts. Captain Angstrom permitted herself a sigh. The pointed talons of her right hand melted away, the digits forming into a perfect reflection of her left hand's fingers.
A gentle series of touches on the glass surface and a hologram appeared of all the personnel she had on the ship, standing at 1/10th size, arranged in neat little rows standing at parade rest. With a subvocalization, the marine complement, just over a third of the ship's personnel, disappeared, and the remaining crew were arrayed out evenly across the tabletop.

Captain Angstrom stood, considering them for a moment. Weighing up the skills this mission was likely to need, and the likelihood each individual would cause suspicion that the navy had infiltrated the sector.
Eventually, the team made itself clear.
She spoke quietly, as if to herself:
"Computer. Notify Weapons Specialist Elazar, ICS Head Velshia Tordren, and security officer I-6 that they are to prepare to be deployed planetside. Have them meet me at my office at thirteen hundred hours ship time for briefing." The meeting time was in just over half an hour, but she knew her people. They would make ready. "Have the hangar staff prepare civilian shuttle alpha for tactical insertion plan S-2."

The figures on the table disappeared. Angstrom began using the records of city maps and recent localnet data to build a city scape of the last known location of the Jackrabbit. Ultimately, Angstrom would have to trust her people once they had been dispatched. Thankfully, delegation was one thing she was very well practised at.
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
elAzAr : weApons mAster
Some might call the INS Ophelia’s training room a symptom of Elazar’s paranoia. He preferred to think of it as being extremely prepared. He stepped into the dimly lit space with nothing but his vibro double-blade strapped across his back, relishing the cool whoosh as the glass door behind him slid shut. He approached the control panel built into the wall and brought it to life with a tap of his fingers. Eleven categories of environments, seventeen categories of mission objectives (with support for neural-net development of thousands of adversary types, of course, ranging from miners with plasma cutters to fully armored Lustrian marines). Each environmental category contained thousands of randomly generated arenas, and each mission objective category contained several hundred variations on themes such as “target recovery” or “data destruction.” Prepared for every possible scenario. That is what the crew would be.

Today, however, his objective was simple: destroy. He didn’t activate an environment at all, instead opting for a simple “surprise” attack carried out by three Dina Amor combatants. The assault began as soon as he’d activated the protocol - his fingers had barely left the panel before there was a blow to his ribs. He removed the double-blade from his back and twirled away from the first assailant…straight into the second, as he’d suspected. The end of his double-blade clashed with the faceless man’s knife as the first combatant made a bold slash at Elazar’s face. He ducked and parried the blow, timing it so that it blocked both the first man and the second, as the other had been aiming for his legs. He kicked the second man in the face, sending him crumpling to the floor, when the third flew it from overhead and landed squarely on his shoulders. Immediately, Elazar leaned forward so that the skulls of the first and the third men crashed together. While they were still disoriented, he took advantage of that split second to drive his blade upwards into the third man’s heart. He exploded in a dazzling array of purple particles. Grim satisfaction bloomed in Elazar’s chest.

He twirled away from the remaining two and sank into his favored stance for engagement, most of his weight balanced on his back foot as he held the vibro-blade perpendicular to his torso. There was a beat as the remaining two assailants seemed to size him up, and then they were both on him, running parallel to each other with their knives held high above their heads. He shifted the blade so that he held it between both hands and twirled it so quickly that neither of the men could find an easy blow to land. Using the momentum he’d built, he whacked the first man across the chest with the blade, winding him, and then twirled to plunge the other end of the blade into the second man’s gut. He was rewarded with a second explosion of purple particles. Excellent. He turned back to his final victim and kicked him in the chest as hard and as viciously as he could, knocking him to the ground. But then, as he stood over him, blade poised to kill, the strangest thing happened. He was no longer standing in the training room.

He was somewhere else. Somewhere worse.

And it wasn’t a faceless opponent gazing up at him. It was Gabi, propping herself up on her elbows, abject terror written across her face. “Hyde?” she whispered, her lip trembling.

The vibro-blade lowered a millimeter.

But then she was gone, and he was once again in the training room, although it was far brighter now than it had been a few minutes prior. He blinked and looked around, then realized the control panel across the room was blinking with an unread message. It must be urgent for it to have overriden the simulation. Sighing, he returned the vibro-blade to its holster on his back. He glanced over his shoulder at where the fallen faceless figure had been, though the spot was now empty. Pity. He didn’t like unfinished business.

Once he reached the control panel, he opened the message and scanned it quickly. The captain needed him for a mission planetside. He frowned - this type of covert maneuver wasn’t really his speciality - but clearly she thought he would be of use somehow. He left the training room without looking back, ignoring how the other crew mates gave him a wide berth as he made his way to the nearest turbolift, although it was difficult not to smirk as he noticed a new recruit very quickly change direction from the lift to the stairs once she realized he was the only one standing in it. He made a quick stop for the essentials - his knife, his pulse cannon, and a few other basics he may need on the planet - before reaching his final destination: the corridor where Angstrom’s office was situated.
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
She's ready to shoot // She'll weigh her best shot // She's ready to shoot // Her neck feels hot // She wants it to be a one-hit // She wants that a lot

The inside of the Cotopaxi reminded Perseus of a Frilled Lungfish he once saw in the mud at the seaside. The thing had been assaulted by some predator or another, but was refusing to die. Even with skin pockmarked with bite marks and its gills torn, Even with its blood making it's little fin-limbs slick, the thing just would not stop dragging itself towards the water. The Cotopaxi... As Perseus entered the ship's maintenance space through a particularly heinous gouge in the exterior, he was sure the old girl was a fighter. You got a sense for some ships the moment you clapped eyes on them, and this old girl... This old girl gave strong first impressions.

Perseus' suit thrusters retracted, slipping into seams in the weave of his suit. No need for them in here. He pushed off, floating toward the ventral spine of the Cotopaxi; as good a place to start as any. Didn't feel right to have the drones cut this bit of history up though, so he reached for the plasma cutter on his hip. Looking up at the main hull girders, and... wow. Not double redundant, but triple redundant hull reinforcement. This ship was built or rebuilt by someone with acute paranoia. Then again... It's not paranoia if the largest empire in the history of the galaxy IS out to get you.

Perseus steadied his plasma cutter and prepared to cut, his finger on the trigger.
...
"Measure twice, cut once, kiddo." Orion had said, not to him, but to Aquila. The young Lustrian girl had been building her first engine at 14. Horrendously talented.
...
Perseus decided not to start here. Better to get the blueprints off the nearby control box computer first. Just up the spine, past the main airlock.

And as he floated toward the metallic box, just a few metres away, he passed a window in the inner hull, giving a view between the outer ship maintenance space and the inner ship corridor. By chance, his action was mirrored inside the ship, unnoticed by neither Perseus nor the Resistance agent beyond. They floated along, side by side, before they both passed the window.

He reached the box. Something in the back of his mind tickled at him, like he had missed something. He checked his O2 and Argon levels. All fine... Perseus blinked and shook his head. Whatever.

He opened the control box, jacked his helmet computer into the little computer terminal inside, and had a look at the status of the derelict. Wow, that's... Impressive. The old girl was still almost functional. The engines needed flushing and a spin-up check, the life support was fucked, but the reactor, the heart of the ship, was in good condition. It was in low power mode. The Light cruiser was slumbering, not dead... What the crash?
...
"Perseus, You'll find your place. I know you will. When I turned up at the Cotopaxi I was a dumbass kid, exiled in all but name, told to go and make something of myself with the weirdos trying to fight their entire race." It had been the first thing to make him laugh after the... after he washed up. He guessed, in a way, this ship had been his father's salvage yard.
...
Perseus shut the control box with a click. He turned to the rear of the ship. Alright, he was procrastinating and he knew it. He had the blueprints loaded into his helmet computer now. He had full chief engineer access rights to the ship - it was legally his after he paid the tariff to take it onto his salvage portfolio. No more messing around. He began pulling himself, hand over hand, steadily weaving his way around hull breaches and mangled plating, making a beeline for the engine room. It'd be accessible from maintenance and the main ship corridors. It took a few minutes, but eventually... Yeah, there. Perseus rolled into a laddered access port and found himself in the engine room proper.



Even now, low power lights lit the main reactor control panel in a light blue glow. Not dead, just sleeping.
Perseus floated up to the panel. He brought it to life with a tap. The touchscreen flared to life. The sudden light made him blink, pausing. He entered the main control menu and took a look at the reactor. Fuel pellets to spare, the plasma sphere magnetic containment field empty and cold, but green across the board. Wow...
Perseus' hand tapped into the decommissioning menu, tapping to decommission the ship for good.
A warning box popped up, noting that the ship would be completely inoperable if he did this, asking for the captain or chief engineer's approval codes. He typed it in and... paused. His hand hovering over the confirmation button. Hanging there in space. He took a deep breath in. A deep breath out. Well, it was a nice story for his Dad, maybe he'd save the old man a- "Wait! Please don't!" "HO-GOLDEN FUCKING WINDS-"
The voice cried out over short range public comms, scaring the SHIT out of Perseus. He flailed, grabbing the edge of the panel in front of him as he arrested the rotation his jolt of shock had started. He turned around to see... WHAT!?
"Wh-who the crash are you and what are you doing on my derelict-" He spotted the insignia on the hardsuit. It looked pretty similar to the old resistance logo stencilled on the wall behind the figure... "Oh. Oh no."


A wobbly layer of sweat once again began to form on his brow.

Ripping the seams off of acceptable human behaviour // My baby's got a gun, she's going to use it for her saviour
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
if i'm dead to you, why are you at the wake?
my tears ricochet
Seeing the state The Cotopaxi was in after all these years caused the hairs on Gabi’s arms to stand up. It had been viciously attacked at some point, and as she made her way through the hull, deactivating the jetpack as she went, she had to force herself to look away from some of the worse gouges. It was…a lot to take in, and it was difficult not to speculate about what had happened since she had last been aboard. But then again, what had she been expecting? For it to be here in perfect shape, ready for flight, ready for her? It was ridiculous.

She drifted towards the inner corridor, hoping it would be in better shape, and for the most part it was. Her eyes darted back and forth, taking in her dimmed surroundings…dim, not completely black. The ship was in low power mode! For the first time since spotting the ship, she allowed herself to breathe. Hope wasn’t completely lost, then. Maybe it was salvageable - but she wouldn’t know for sure until she reached a control box, not with her limited knowledge of a ship’s functions. She pushed off from the nearest wall and floated towards where she thought she remembered the nearest box to be, completely unaware that her actions were being exactly mirrored by a stranger only a few meters away from her. She was too caught up in memories of her old life here. In her mind’s eye, she saw sitting in the mess hall with her brother, flicking green beans off the end of her fork at him until the cook, a petite girl with huge, round glasses, walked over and told her to stop. She’d been promptly rewarded with a glob of mashed potatoes to the cheek from Hyde. Gabi could see the two of them racing down this very corridor, ignoring their uncle’s plea to slow down - “You never know when someone’s walking around with an explosive in this place!” She shook her head and swallowed around the sizable lump in her throat. Now wasn’t the time.

Gabi finally reached the end of the corridor, where she was fairly certain the closest box would be. She pulled herself around a corner and her heart dropped into her stomach. There at the box, one of many lined up in a neat row in maintenance storage, floated a stranger - a Lustrian, if the gold tinge to the back of his neck was any indication. Probably one of the salvage yard workers. She swore quietly and drew her blaster. Of course someone had beat her to the ship. This would just make everything messier - especially if this person had noticed the name emblazoned on the hull. What if he was some kind of Empire sympathizer and wouldn’t give it up? She and her crew had no chance of sneaking away with it now. She drew closer, thankful for the vacuum of space silencing her movements, and peeked over his shoulder to see what he was doing. A warning flashed on the screen, confirming….no!

She quickly switched her comms to the short range public channel, unable to think of any other way to get his attention, and blurted, “Wait! Please don’t!” She unholstered her blaster and aimed for the man’s chest as he whirled around, the orange glow from the weapon lighting up both the insignia and the name G. Burnett stitched onto her chest. Shooting someone wasn’t high up on her list of priorities, but she’d do it if necessary. She looked at his face for the first time, intending to gauge his reaction to her unexpected appearance.

Only muscle memory saved her from dropping the blaster. Gazing back at her, terror all over his expression, was the Lustrian from her dreams.

Holy. Shit.

There was a buzzing in her skull now - this was impossible. Had to be. And yet…she had seen that face every night since she had decided to check Lustre for The Cotopaxi. She knew it almost as well as her own at this point. There was no mistaking those remarkably unique red eyes for anyone else’s. Or the hair. Or the cheekbones. Or the kind of handsome face.

What the hell was going on?

Her brain finally caught up with her ears and she realized he was speaking to her, very quickly. “Wh-who the crash are you and what are you doing on my derelict-“ His eyes were on the insignia stitched into her suit now. “Oh. Oh no.”

“It’s okay! It’s okay. I’m not here to hurt you. My name is Gabi. Just move away from that box and I’ll explain everything,” she said, hoping her voice was less shaky than her mental state. She readjusted her blaster to its former position, as she had unconsciously lowered it upon recognizing him.

“H-how do I know you’re not going to shoot me the moment I move away from this console?” he asked. The man was visibly sweating inside his helmet and looked about as calm as she felt.

Some instinctive part of her recoiled at the thought of ever harming him - she could never! The logical part of her brain immediately replied, You have never seen this person in your life. Get it together. Focus.

She took a deep breath. “I promise I won’t. I just don’t want you to decommission my home.” Not a total lie. “Once I’m sure you won’t do that, I’ll put this away and we can talk. I swear. Please move.”
cursing my name, wishing i stayed...
Code by Jenamos
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
She's ready to shoot // She'll weigh her best shot // She's ready to shoot // Her neck feels hot // She wants it to be a one-hit // She wants that a lot

Perseus took a deep breath and tried to steady his shaking hands.
The gun looked imposing. He hadn't seen one before. It glowed. Were they supposed to glow? Was it powering up or something? He considered throwing himself to the side or something, drawing his plasma cutter and... What? Try and kill someone? Even if you weren't filled full of holes, (which you would be, you fool, life isn't an action movie) you're not going to cut someone in half with a plasma cutter. Perseus squared his jaw and tried to clear his head as the silence stretched. He saw the name on the suit and his breath caught.
"I... alright, I'm moving away. You're a Burnett? You're related to Hyde Burnett?" Perseus swallowed. The woman began to speak, "I'm his nei-" but words began to tumble from his lips unbidden, words he had wished he could say when he pictured meeting resistance members, but here and now he was just talking without thinking and- NO STOP WHAT ARE YOU SAYING YOU'RE GOING TO GET SHOT- "You, you know, a lot have things have changed since the resistance arrived." There was a pause, as Perseus floated slowly away from his only leverage. Perseus didn't really expect a response, but- "Changed how?" ...Oh. Oh well, in for a penny; "Some things got better, yeah. People are allowed to choose their own jobs and where to live now, but... Everything that made us Lustrians is just... Disappearing. People are cutting corners everywhere I look. N-nobody follows protocol any more, even when it's really important that they do. Everyone's looking to "break with tradition", even..." Perseus swallowed, but a fire was rising in him now. Fuck it- "Even if... Even if it means ending up as a thrice-damned stick of charcoal floating in THRICE-DAMNED HARD VACUUM!" Perseus finished, breathing heavily. He slowed his breathing, closing his eyes. Oh well, maybe she'd think about his words after she was done shooting him.

Ripping the seams off of acceptable human behaviour // My baby's got a gun, she's going to use it for her saviour
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
if i'm dead to you, why are you at the wake?
my tears ricochet
Gabi wasn’t sure how she had envisioned conversations with this person going. In her dreams she had only ever been able to discern how he made her feel - if any talking had taken place, she couldn’t remember it.

This bizarre confrontation certainly wasn’t what she had been expecting. She stared at him, her eyebrows drawn together in confusion, as words spewed out of him at an alarming rate after a simple question on her part: ”Changed how?” Clearly, he’d been building up this resentment for a long time. In the ringing silence that followed his final proclamation - “Even if... Even if it means ending up as a thrice-damned stick of charcoal floating in THRICE-DAMNED HARD VACUUM!” - she holstered her blaster and waited a beat as he closed his eyes. Finally, she said, unable to keep the edge of sarcasm from her voice, ”Feel better?”

Watch it. You won’t get anywhere with an attitude, a voice that sounded very much like her brother’s reprimanded her. She sighed. ”I’m sorry. That wasn’t nice. I don’t know what a…what did you say? A hard vacuum. I have no idea what that is. But I do know that you’re right. Things tend to change when the Resistance comes barreling in, for better or for worse.” While they’d been talking, he’d pushed away from the control box as she’d asked. She took advantage of this to slowly drift closer. A glance down at it told her she was laughably out of her depth. If she could even figure out how to work the thing, it was doubtlessly encrypted at every turn. She needed her crew here, and soon.

She turned her attention back to the man in front of her and studied him thoughtfully. ”Who are you?” she asked, unable to keep a lid on her curiosity any longer.
cursing my name, wishing i stayed...
Code by Jenamos
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
She's ready to shoot // She'll weigh her best shot // She's ready to shoot // Her neck feels hot // She wants it to be a one-hit // She wants that a lot

Perseus paused. Still alive, not shot, that's nice!
The woman had put away the gun, good! And she was... Being a little sassy? "Feel better?" Well, you are being a bit of a twat, Perseus. "Yeah, I... Yeah, I probably deserve that. Sorry, part of it was the gun. Not really use to having one pointed at me. Never really even seen one before, outside of shows." Perseus took a deep breath. Now the gun was put away, Perseus took a moment to think.
The fact that a Burnett was here meant that the resistance was still around. Now, Perseus had suspected that that particular group wouldn't just disappear, but how and why did they think they were needed? The big galactic defence treaty was in place. Wasn't that meant to keep the Empire in check now?

Burnett had started to explain things; ”I’m sorry. That wasn’t nice. I don’t know what a…what did you say? A hard vacuum. I have no idea what that is. But I do know that you’re right. Things tend to change when the Resistance comes barrelling in, for better or for worse.” there was a moment of silence as Burnett floated over to the console and began... prodding at it, a little aimlessly. At least she cancelled out of the dialogue to shut down the reactor. Small mercies. "Oh, hard vacuum, yeah. That's cutter lingo. I picked it up from the other salvagers. It's just a way of talking about working in space, where the only thing stopping you from popping is your own mindfulness of working outside an atmosphere. Following protocol, attention to detail, treating your equipment with respect, that typathing." Perseus just hung there for a while, watching Burnett aimlessly prod around the menu "You know you're probably not going to be able to make it chooch, if that's what you're trying to do, you need chief engineer or captain-level rights to-"
He paused as she turned toward him with a pensive look on her face. "Who are you?"
...
What a question! "I'm... Perseus." Perseus didn't like being recognized exclusively as his father's son, so tended not to introduce himself with his surname. That being said, the letters GALATEA were picked out on the front of his work suit, on a raised name tag. "I'm an oath-taken shipwright, which, umm, which I guess is the Lustrian equivalent of a master's degree in ship engineering and architecture, but I work in cutting them apart, which probably tells you a lot about how my career's been going... Anyway yeah, if you want to take this ship, I uuh... I kinda sorta... Own it, legally speaking. When a salvager starts on a derelict, he buys it from the salvage yard for salvage value and sells the parts back. Kinda incentivizes us to make the most out of every ship we work on, but also means if you find a fixer upper that you decide you wanna keep, you're well within your rights to take it home, assuming you've paid off any debts to the company, and you can get it out of the salvage yard before it starts racking up fines." Perseus shrugged; "So yeah, the biometrics are linked to me and the ship computer considers this-" he tapped his helmet "to be the identifying PC of the chief engineer."
Perseus tilted his head a little to one side; "From the jazz hands routine you're currently showing the console, I'm guessing you're more the secret agent type and not the 'get the ship working' type?" Perseus smiled warmly. He couldn't help it. The eagerness to walk someone through a technical problem and help them fix it was starting to bubble up. He hadn't wanted to destroy the Cotopaxi before, but now the only thing stopping him from saying fuck it and helping this cute space-girl fly off with it was some misgivings about the Resistance's nature. "I could help you, if I wasn't so unsure about... Well, the Resistance. Why do you still exist, these days? Isn't the empire kept in check by the Galactic defence agreement, or whatever it's called?"

Ripping the seams off of acceptable human behaviour // My baby's got a gun, she's going to use it for her saviour
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
if i'm dead to you, why are you at the wake?
my tears ricochet
Perseus. She finally had a name. For a brief moment, her eyes flicked down to the name tag on his chest, and it took a concentrated effort not to look surprised. How common was the last name Galatea for Lustrians? It had to be a coincidence…or maybe it wasn’t. She was starting to believe in those less and less. Regardless, she decided not to ask. She understood only all too well the desire to identify as one’s own person, not as a descendant of some larger-than-life legacy.

Listening to his explanation of who he was was nothing short of fascinating. Whatever her ill-defined expectations had been for this person she’d been so convinced didn’t exist, he was defying them at every turn. She noted what he said about his career with interest and filed it away for future reference. Maybe she could ask him about it another time, when they knew each other better. If they ever even got to that point. It was difficult to hide her disappointment when he said he was the owner - the very last thing she wanted to do was haggle over price (maybe he’d be open to selling it to them?) and/or have to threaten him. This situation was only getting more complicated the more the minutes ticked by.

”From the jazz hands routine you're currently showing the console, I'm guessing you're more the secret agent type and not the 'get the ship working' type?” She flushed, a retort on the tip of her tongue, but then he smiled at her. Her brain short-circuited and she lost her train of thought completely. It took a second of desperate scrambling to remember what they’d even been talking about. “I..uh..yeah. I guess you could say that,” she mumbled, looking away. What the hell is wrong with you!? Stop gawking at him!

She took a deep breath, trying to clear her head, but then he said he might be willing to help. Holy shit! That was the best-case scenario! She had assumed he wouldn’t want to, not after that episode of shouting. She’d never been more glad to be wrong about something. ”Why do you still exist, these days? Isn't the empire kept in check by the Galactic defence agreement, or whatever it's called?”

She didn’t respond immediately. How much could she tell him, realistically? After a moment of inner debate, she returned her gaze to him. ”We didn’t exist - or at least weren’t active, anyway - until recently. You’re right about me. My speciality is gathering information. A few months ago, I found evidence that the Empire has decided to break the peace terms. They’re keeping it quiet for now, but they’re gathering more forces than ever before. So, we came out of retirement, if that’s what you want to call it.” She chose her next words carefully. ”They’re looking for something…powerful. More powerful than anything in the known galaxy. If they find it, any semblance of freedom we have now will be gone forever. They’ll use it to take back any planets they once controlled by force and more.”

Her gaze wandered back down to the box, which was flashing an angry error message at her for even daring to touch it. ”Look, I’m not…I can’t claim to believe in some lofty set of ideals that the Resistance was founded on. I want to protect the people I care about, and of course they’re putting themselves on the front lines of this thing.” She took her hand off the box and the angry flashing subdued. ”I also want to live my life on my terms, and that is something the Empire wants to take away. I promise you that.”

She realized she was starting to ramble a bit. It was difficult not to - he was easy to talk to. ”Anyway. The first step is to get this ship up and running. Za- my uncle seems to think using it will help with recruitment. But as you’ve pointed out, I have no idea what I’m doing.” She turned her gaze back to him. “I need your help. You’re kind of my only hope here,” she said quietly.
cursing my name, wishing i stayed...
Code by Jenamos
 
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Verran

Illogical
FOLKLORE MEMBER
Invitation Status
Posting Speed
  1. 1-3 posts per day
  2. One post per day
  3. 1-3 posts per week
Writing Levels
  1. Intermediate
  2. Adept
  3. Advanced
  4. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Scifi.
ICS Velshia Torden

Routine Protocol

Operations were always a delightfully delicate thing.

"Date 03/01/5032. Ship time 1223. Head ICS log number 33 of INS Ophelia. Log total: 12,357."

Yet, despite that, they could be awfully routine.

"Computer core holding strong. Ran it through the anti-viral scans and found it clean. Given the vessel's isolation, that isn't surprising. Still, I must wonder how it interacts with exterior systems. I look forward to the opportunity of putting it through its paces. Simulations and testing certainly indicate pristine performance, but that's nothing for good hard data. AI continues to confirm this need as it develops on its own paths as soon as the vessel is released from drydock. Regardless of the intentions of the programmers. How the general isolation it has from other systems will affect its overall performance remains to be seen, but it runs the ship as smooth as a dream to me."

Velshia idly kicked out her legs, lying in her bunk. Her rank afforded a room to herself. A pleasant upgrade from her previous posting.

"Speaking of isolation, our Weapons Master spends an extensive, perhaps excessive, amount of time in the ship's training room alone. Only noteworthy because the time spent certainly stress tests the simulations systems," a chuckle escaped her lips before she continued, "well I can't complain about that. And it's holding up perfectly despite everything being placed upon it. Still, I must confess that I'm still not too familiar with the system. The INS Bridgette was old enough to not have anything near so complex. Unfortunately, the manual isn't much help. Electing to paint only in broad strokes rather than actually give any useful detail."

The report ran on and on. Drifting across the major ship systems and sorting through every subsystem and even touching upon almost nebulous lines of code. If anyone were listening through any of the observation devices, it sounded like a completely bland, broad log. Avoiding most of the nitty gritty of technical jargon for the sake of any superior who'd want to review ship logs and understand the state of the vessel.

The cameras were equally bland as they simply viewed the small compartment with a tall woman with pale blue skin. One of her four arms holding the recording device to which she was making the log to. Certainly, the camera noted the device and dismissed it as quickly. It was, of course, standard issue. If the chief engineer dismantled it, there would be no added hardware to it. If the most skilled software engineer of the empire went over the device, they would find no tweak to the basic programs. The recording device was just as it appeared. Just as the report she was making was all according to the proper codes and standards of conduct of its officers. Perhaps she was a bit more thorough than the average technician. But then again, she was the ICS. It made sense for her to go over every system more often than anyone else.

The log was stored, as per protocol, in the ship's databanks after the voice was copied into a significantly smaller text file. Both were safely categorized and placed behind the appropriate firewalls and security programs. Accessible by those who had the appropriate codes and clearance. At this point, the ship's computer would make another copy of the text file, compress it, and route it towards the ship's black box. This too, was standard protocol. In the event of catastrophe, the black box would, hopefully, survive the event and could be recovered later and examined by Imperial technists of the highest clearance. No one on the ship had the ability to legally access those sacred files on the black box. Not even the computer could see inside it. Ensuring the safety and security of the data within.

Yet when ICS Velshia Tordren completed her log, that's not quite what happened. As the file whizzed at the speed of light down the electronic pathways of the ship and reached the black box and simply passed through it. The black box wasn't simply a black hole to absorb information. A few functions lay within it. Calibrated to precisely to respond to the sequential advancing numbers of Velshia's reports. It was not accident that the report number 12,357 was hundreds of integers away from anyone else's report. Nor was it accident that, when the number was read, the file was routed and attached to the next outgoing transmission and the system prepped to receive report 12,358. And it was certainly purposeful that the number doubled as a marker deep in the transmission's text files for Imperial Intelligence operatives. Who would see the file, flag it, extract the report from it, and ensure it reached that bastion of information, Imperial Intelligence Headquarters. Where analysts read the report and translate the basic, yet secure, code that Velshia spoke in. Translated, the report began:

"Captain Angstrom is preforming perfectly. Engaged her with the traditional Imperial conversation 757, loyalty check. Responses well within parameters. Given her isolation from outside parties and being surrounded by Imperial crew members, this is unsurprising. Whether or not her loyalty holds pure when Captain Angstrom interacts with outside elements remains to be seen. However, everything indicates that it will. It must be commented that Captain Angstrom is certainly one of the most dedicated captains and has kept the ship running smoothly so far."

And on and on ran the report until every sentient individual, everthing capable of independent thought, was listed, examined, and relayed to her superiors. Finishing the report, Velshia flicked her eyes at the chronometer. Pleased to see that she had ten minutes before her weekly staff meeting, she reached out for one of her books. Another luxury allowed her station was the fairly sizable simple shelf for personal items. But her finger had barely brushed the cover when the chime from the computer informed her that the good captain had need of her. Suppressing a sigh of disappointment, Velshia let her finger fall from Cassadrel: The Opulent and got up. Her blaster, on her hip as ever, was checked and confirmed to be in perfect condition. A datapad joined her hip along with some planetary supplies. Possible reasons as to why Captain Angstrom would want such a collage of individuals to suddenly report for planet-side operations danced across her mind before she dismissed them. She'd hear what the captain had to say and then speculate. A quick once over of her appearance fixed the wrinkles her relaxation had added and removed a snarl from chestnut hair. She gave her appearance a fanged smile. Healthy, though dry, purple-blue skin reflected back to her with pale blue eyes reflected back at her as she nodded. Looking sharp! A quick heel-turn and she was off, out of her quarters and down the corridor. Still, there was a delightful sense of anticipation. Whatever lay ahead promised to not be routine.
 

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
She's ready to shoot // She'll weigh her best shot // She's ready to shoot // Her neck feels hot // She wants it to be a one-hit // She wants that a lot

Well she was remarkably forthright, he had to give her that. Perseus spotted Gabi glancing down at his name tag. Her controlled expression was something he was used to seeing. Then again, hers said Burnett. "Looks like we're both trying to find our way down off of the shoulders of giants, right?" Perseus' smile wavered a little.
The claims she was making were... Concerning. He had seen the Hypernet rumours, but the empire clearly didn't want a war it was possible to lose, so the idea that they were going after some weapon... Sounded like one of the legendary precursor civilizations, maybe. It made sense. But he couldn't just trust a stranger, even one with Burnett as her surname.
"Why would they think such a thing even exists? Why don't we just let them chase ghosts until the empire collapses under its own weight? What proof is there that they're even mobilizing for that?"

Something else bugged him, too. This was... So perfectly timed. He had been thinking more and more about what he was going to do with the rest of his life, recently. He was spending his lunch breaks looking at job opportunities, but nothing really struck him as something he wanted to do. Perseus knew Orion would be telling him he was being difficult, not accepting the opportunity life was handing him. But how could he not ask questions when so much seemed up in the air?
It certainly helped Gabi seemed nothing like the anarchists the conservatives on Lustre had painted the Resistance to be. He was already regretting flying off the handle at her (though in his own defence she had had a gun pointed at him at the time.) and it was seeming like more and more of a good idea to just...
Fly off to see the stars with someone you just met? Worked for dad.
...
Perseus was on the fence, until Gabi turned to him and, showing the first sign of vulnerability since he had seen her, uttered; “I need your help. You’re kind of my only hope here,”
...
She's probably playing you.
...
This is probably part of her skill set. Manipulation of dumb guys who can't say no to someone vulnerable asking for help.
...
Perseus let out a long sigh, dripping with the sentiment of a man with no idea of what he was letting himself into.
"Alright, You got it."
Perseus pushed himself gently toward the main reactor controls, ready to stop if Gabi moved to intercept.
When he reached the console, he performed a series of commands that would run a few system tests, and, if all was well, start up the reactor, that in turn would start charging the distributed accumulators throughout the ship and, crucially, begin to bring the Cotopaxi's electronics off of low power mode and back to life. As he was working, the trepidation he had felt faded, and steadily... Excitement rose in its place.
By the time he was finished, the smile was firmly back on his face. He felt energized, more alive than he had felt since he washed out of the shipwright business.

"She'll wake up at her own pace. Walk-err, float with me. We'll figure this out together."
Perseus turned and pushed off, travelling to the doorway that lead to the internal corridors beyond. He subvocalized a command and sent a notification to the salvage station that he was going to take his lunch break, and he was exercising his right to claim the ship, rather than decommissioning it. It would almost completely drain his BioBank account, but part of him knew that the money he had been saving was always meant for something like this.

Perseus travelled for a while, making his way from the back of the ship all the way to the front. The Cotopaxi had, at some point, been fitted with a giant railgun, almost the length of the ship itself. It was dead centre of the ship, and many of the decks were built around it. Perseus just started to follow that. "Some abandoned ships are tough to figure out. But sometimes there's a secondary backup of the captain's access key in the captain's cabin. It's as good a place to start as any." Gabi and Perseus made their way through the halls of the Cotopaxi, silent and still. He admired the clean panelling, the smooth corners, the recessed lighting. As they passed through the drone bay, more recessed lighting began to flicker into life, illuminating old drone parts and tools, floating in the air or secured to the magnetic desk surfaces. After that, a workshop. They floated over a large catwalk that overlooked a wide, empty hangar bay. They passed through a canteen, and passed by a series of doors leading to the carefully shielded AI core, or at least where it should have been. Perseus was notified on his helmet's readout that the AI was heavily damaged, something about improbability exceptions. "Sheesh. AI's busted. We're going to have to use whatever bookmarked locations the Resistance would have hard-coded into the flight computer. Any idea what they might be? Oh, good news is it looks like this ship is capable of both wormhole and Hyperspace travel, which is cool." Eventually, they made it to the command centre. Perseus headed toward the captain's cabin. Naturally, it was right by the bridge.

"Well, captain's quarters... After you."


Ripping the seams off of acceptable human behaviour // My baby's got a gun, she's going to use it for her saviour
 
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