Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
doQB3WJ.png
The club bumps. Bassy thumps. Wrists twist. Drugs dumped,
I'm a fixer, drink mixer, heartbreaker, world shaper, here to spread legs, squeeze dregs and make paper.

Five more sluts for the wetrooms, sixth one lost her way, stumbled into the club today.
Rauncorn's good. Knows the score. But I took him aside and I tell him:
"shit man, learn the difference between a lady and a whore."

Bar girl's not my type, I can tell.
Got a nose for it, and fuck, she smells.
She's got delusions. Thinks drinks is all she's gotta sell.

She's got that immigrant pudge, so we all cat' she's new meat.
Stinks of expensive freshers, spaceships, warm beds, heated seats.
Maybe she'll be ass-grabbed.
Maybe she'll slap the wrong guy,
Maybe she'll scream, maybe she'll pout,
Maybe I'll let Rauncorn have her first,
Maybe then she'll suss it out.

They don't get it. At all.
I built an empire from dirt.
Stone walls, brass balls, close calls.
Stole from the rich and fucking kept it.
Even when the wounds went fucking septic.
Cut off the dead flesh and stapled in the iron.
No-one fucks with the Jackrabbit.
This girl's tryin. I ain't buyin.
If she don't learn,
someone's dyin.
 

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster

//

Perseus stood leaning over a recently installed holodisplay in the Cotopaxi's engine room. Sounds of cargo lifts and working engineers echoed throughout the steadily filling engineering department. Workstations and crash-couches were bolted down, and a loose pattern somewhat in line with the agreed upon floor plan was taking shape.

The Resistance engineers that had fallen under Perseus' command were certainly eager, even if they didn't quite have the love of protocol the Lustrian shipyard workers did. It was a mix of approximately 20% old-resistance greybeards and 80% new blood. A lot of raw talent. Some of the new engineers were ex-navy, but they were a minority. Gone were the days of the Resistance getting a steady source of defectors from the Navy, enough to crew her flagship with the cream of the ex-navy crop. These days, the crew was in large part made up of young and passionate engineers, fresh from Imperial oppression, not Imperial training.

Raw talent. A starting point. Not battle-tested, not yet. Hopefully the Greybeards could impart some wisdom.
At least the repairs had gone well. The 'Paxi was built for zero-g dry docks, not high grav atmo, but they were managing. The engineering problems led to a lot of interesting solutions; Perseus had been astonished by some of the younger engineer's use of reverse-modulated grav plates to create areas of the ship that experienced low gravity, the weight of the ship relaxed slightly to allow for necessary repairs (though he had had to step in at certain points to avoid his people applying full zero-g where it would cause the ship to experience unacceptable shearing stresses on the already over-taxed hull).

The main issues had been addressed with aplomb; the gouges where railgun rounds had ploughed through the ship had been repaired, and the damaged subsystems and hull had been patched or replaced. Thankfully the ventral and dorsal keels, the ship's structural spines, had avoided critical weakening stresses, which explained the old girl's ability to limp to Zhar despite all her wounds.

Now the old lioness' wounds were knotted scar tissue, reinforced thrice over by the engineer corps. The Cotopaxi had a gleam in her eye and a spring in her step.

Long range comms and sensors were replaced in totality and fully tested. It was some eye-wateringly expensive gear: Full EM-spectrum transmittance, able to receive in any band the galaxy had to throw at it, with incredibly acute receivers. The rest of the bridge had been refurbished, too. The helmsman's cockpit was repaired, prepped and ready for a helmsman to plug their brain into the ship's core and interface brain-to-brain with the ship's AI. Perseus had replaced the captain's chair personally, and the new model was top of the line. Perseus had installed a variety of gadgets and surprises for the captain, including but not limited to customisable haptic-feedback touchscreens on the arms, Real-time tactical holograms projectors, a hidden emergency compartment containing a standard issue las-pistol, gravity-plate stabilization, and a fold-out cup holder.

Bringing his mind back to the present in the noisy engineering bay, Perseus checked over the holodisplay one last time, pulling up the latest report.

SHIP DIAGNOSTICS
OVERALL STATUS: FULLY OPERATIONAL

POWER
Main Reactor - NOMINAL - Currently idling. Overclocking software installed.

Life Support
Heat Exchange and Management - NOMINAL - Currently functioning at 80% capacity due to high external temperatures.
Atmospherics - NOMINAL - O2​ generation at 20% capacity, stress testing complete, all checks passed.
Liquid Recycling - NOMINAL - Coolant, drinking water, grey water and Hydroponics nutrient management fully pressurized and monitored.
Nutrition Replication - NOMINAL - Nutrient slurry vats full and vacuum sealed, hydroponics shipping fully functional, molecular printers nominal.
{Zharian recipe list installed}

FTL SYSTEMS
Hyperdrive System - NOMINAL - Charge-up time pre-jump estimated to be around [20 seconds]
Wormhole Conduction Array - NOMINAL
//Note from Mechanical Engineer Mangrove: 'We got the conduction array fully functional, but what the hell happened to it? This thing was pushed way past red line.'

DEFENCE SYSTEMS
Railgun - NOMINAL - 99 rounds worth of shot-mats loaded.
Mass drivers - NOMINAL - Ventral turrets 1-3 reporting all green. Dorsal turrets 1-3 reporting all green.
LRPD Laser point defence array - NOMINAL - Arrays 1-16 reporting all green.
CRPD Plasma lance point defence array - NOMINAL - Dorsal and Ventral array reporting all green.

INFORMATICS
Sensor Suite - NOMINAL - New hardware installed. THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING THE APOAPSIS DYNAMICS ALPHA-8 SENSOR ARRAY. PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING LICENSING MATERIALS: [message hidden]
CPU MAINFRAME - NOMINAL - Security scans located approx. 4.6 terrabytes of corrupted data, which has been archived.
AI CORE - FUNCTIONAL - New AI installed. Acclimation 60%. Ship management at 60% efficiency.
//Note from Informatics Engineer Mima: 'The new AI's called EVE, apparently. Some kind of cutting edge new hardware. She'll acclimate to the ship, in time.'

REALSPACE MOTILITY SYSTEMS
Main thrusters - NOMINAL - Thrusters 1-6 reporting all green.
Manoeuvre thrusters - NOMINAL - Thrusters 1-38 reporting all green.

ALL DAMAGE REPAIRED. ALL SYSTEMS FUNCTIONAL.

Perseus nodded to himself, straightening up to look around the engineering department. Engineers worked to pack and lock down spare parts, cases of equipment and material, and get the last of the workstations sorted. Through the viewscreens, Perseus watched his engineers busy themselves putting finishing touches to the cable management and plumbing casement in the engineering space between the internal and external hull.
Some of the older members of the crew had been a little frosty to Perseus' leadership initially, but his contribution to the recovery of the ship was making his age easier to look past, and for once, Perseus was actually thankful for his father's reputation; some of the grumpier hold-outs from the old-resistance days did a full 180 once they found out who his father was. The downside of this meant that he had to listen to several stories about his father's insufferable competence back in the old days. No pressure or anything...

Perseus tapped a command into his curved wrist comm, recording a message: "Alright Gabi, the readouts are telling me the 'Paxi's purring. We can get the crew aboard and start figuring out the bunking arrangements. Oh, and I set you up a new chair on the bridge, since the last one was a little, uh, melted. Take a look-"
His train of thought was cut off as a notification popped up on the engineering holodisplay and wrist comm alike:
Non-standard ammunition loaded into ventral mass driver 2 - contact weapons specialist.
"-Gotta go."
Ending the message and turning, Perseus stormed out of the Engine room, making a beeline for the large cannon at the highest point on the Cotopaxi's hull.
"BLASTERRRRR!"


TIME TO GO // TIME TO GO // TIME TO GO// TIME TO GO!
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
It had taken days and days of begging, but Dmitri had finally agreed to do a “woman’s version” of labi rata training. When she’d shown up half an hour ago to their first session and he’d handed her a long wooden training rod instead of an actual weapon, she’d been insulted, but as he knocked her to the ground for the tenth time, she was starting to feel glad of it. She’d have been cut to pieces by now if he’d used a vibroblade. She staggered to her feet. “I think that is enough for today,” she said in the Dina language, struggling to catch her breath, but Dmitri ignored her and launched another attack. She barely got her own rod up in the air in time to block it.

“The enemy will not stop because you ask nicely,” he replied. She tried aiming for his stomach and swung the rod down as fast as she could, but she was still too slow. He took advantage of her forward movement and leaned forward himself, sliding his rod behind her knees and flipping her upside down as if she weighed nothing at all. She landed hard on her stomach. “This is why a woman cannot learn,” he said, sounding smug, but he offered her his hand and helped her up regardless.

“It is hardly fair when you know the forms and I do not,” she retorted, irritated.

“Disarm me and I will show you. Use any means you can,” came the amused reply.

An idea came to mind at his words, and she dropped her rod to the training mat. “Maybe you are right. Maybe I cannot learn,” she said, dejected. She turned away, as if to make for the exit, and heard his footsteps behind her. He clapped her on the shoulder good-naturedly, the training rod in a loose grip by his side. “Do not blame yourself.”

She stopped walking and pivoted on her heel so that she stood in front of him. “Where we are going will be dangerous. Will you protect me, since I cannot do it myself?” she asked, peering up at him through her eyelashes. She could practically see his chest puff up at her words and had to work very hard not to roll her eyes.

“I swear nothing will ha-” he started to say, but before he could finish his sentence she’d snatched the rod from his fingers and whacked him squarely in the chest. He blinked at her, stunned, before bursting into laughter. “You do not fight with honor.”

She shrugged and walked back to where she’d dropped her own rod, picking it up and crossing the room to put both away. “Show me the forms tomorrow,” she said as her eyes fell on her commlink, which she’d removed at the start of their training. It was blinking with an unheard message. She popped in the earpiece and tried to ignore the way her heart fluttered at hearing Perseus’s voice, but there was no stopping the grin that spread across her face at what he said. She looked over her shoulder at Dmitri. “It is time.”



A short time later, after she’d cleaned up and packed a bag, she made her way to The Cotopaxi with BD-13 and Dmitri in tow. The other crew mates had similar bags slung on their backs and shoulders. She greeted a few and, after dropping her things off at the captain’s quarters, began winding her way through the ship, hoping to find Perseus. As she looked for him she took in all the upgrades and repairs he and the engineering team had made in such a short span of time. It was…impressive, to say the least. It barely resembled the ship she’d grown up on, and for that she was thankful.

Meanwhile, Blaster was taking full advantage of the lack of supervision on the loading deck for the ship’s biggest and most impressive cannon. He had just finished stuffing the last of the fireworks inside when he heard Perseus’s angry voice behind him. Quickly, he launched himself at the empty boxes and pushed them as far out of view as he could, into the shadow of the cannon. But damn, that lettering was bright! Maybe he’d get lucky and the Lustrian wouldn’t notice…

He turned around in time to see him arrive and blinked up at him innocently. “What crawled up your butt and died? I’m just checkin’ our battle readiness!” he said as Gabi also came into view, though she was walking past the cannon instead of stopping, having not seen them. “Captain!” he called to her. “C’mon, we should give her the tour,” he said, hoping her appearance would distract Perseus. Then the real show could start later!
 

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster

//

Thundering into the prop area for the 2nd Ventral cannon, Perseus barely had the time to make a face before the furry little bastard started scrambling around. “What crawled up your butt and died? I’m just checkin’ our battle readiness!” by the time Blaster was done spouting Perseus had taken one of his boots off and was in the process of chasing the 'weapons specialist' around the cannon room. This sorry state of affairs only ended when the rascal scampered over to a rather poorly timed Gabi.

“Captain! C’mon, we should give her the tour!” Perseus grumpily stomped up to Blaster where he stood, hopping slightly as he put his shoe back on and generally acting like he hadn't been trying to assault a fellow officer, before poking a finger at Blaster and barking “Nonono, you don't get outta this that easy. If you're going to put non-standard munitions in the biggest non-railgun weapon on the ship, you're going to have to tell me in advance so I can adjust the weapon upkeep arrangements. Come on! You've been teaching firearm safety and care since I got to this planet, why do you have such a hatred of protocol!?" Perseus paused, breathing heavily, partially from running around, partially from the speech, before realizing he was forgetting protocol as well. “Oh, uuh, speaking of- captain on deck...?" Perseus tried saluting, gauging Gabi's response. While he stood to the best attention he could manage, he muttered out of the corner of his mouth to Blaster; “What were you even loading in there, anyway?"
 

Verran

Illogical
FOLKLORE MEMBER
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Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Fantasy, Scifi.
The Sleeper

Velshia's back itched. It had begun as soon as the Jackrabbit had leered Akorra up and down. Not too much to say about his attitude. The usual rubbish of a power-hungry and power-crazed individual with enough pride to inflate a storm balloon and then some. Pretty stock standard, really. But something about him seemed off. A discordant step in the play. Now, Velshia was a young agent, but everything she had heard and had been taught by agents who had lived to old age said to trust her instincts. So, she did. Velshia couldn't put her finger on it exactly, but something had slipped. And it was with her if only because she was the only Imperial element in play at the moment. Her act? Her appearance? What?

Meanwhile, Akorra skittered about the club. The music beat strongly enough to replace her heart and drive nails into her head more effectively than a jackhammer. Now, Akorra wasn't particularly adverse to the throbbing beat, but it did feel like it was a bit much. Velshia quietly despised it. There was a strong beat, to be sure. Drumming along as sure as rain. But the sound was discordant. Abusive to her ears. Violating her mind as it attempted to blast all coherent thought. She supposed that, for people trying to forget, anything and everything that helped was a boon. Akorra's outfit was as dreaded and obvious as the neon sign outside. A bunny leotard with reflective deep blue speckles and horrendous poofs at her thighs, wrists, and ears. At moments, it blended in perfectly with the glitter-splatter walls. At others, it stuck out as the neon dance lights lashed across her and splintered into innumerable shafts of light. She kept a basic, fake metal tray to bring drinks to the various patrons. Often ordered by the irate barman. Sometimes bellowed by the patrons. With practiced balance, Akorra wove through and bore with the grasping hands, catcalls, and lewd eyes. Keeping just flirty enough to not enrage anybody but just out of reach enough to avoid being snared. Business as usual.

Akorra kept a good and healthy distance from the walls and the doors along them, despite that they were the clearest paths around the dance floor and to the upper levels. Already, she had seen three servers disappear into those doors. One had looked furtively around before slipping through one of the doors. The second had tried to run when the door opened but had been violently grabbed by alien tendrils before being dragged with muted screams and pleading eyes into the room. The third had also tried to flee but had stopped, rigid, as if by invisible command, before walking, with blank eyes, into the room and closing the door behind her. Of the three, only the first had returned to the floor, missing her poofs. And those were the ones she saw. Since the night had begun, there were at least seven less servers than originally.

Her eyes glanced over the mechanical body of I-6 and the form of Elazar who had arrived fifteen minutes ago. Steadily, yet randomly, she had begun tracing a path to the duo. The former being his perfect machine self. A delightful guard to the fleshy body next to him. Perfect in both appearance and function. Which, to be fair, was entirely in his programming. It didn't even need to act. The other, however, was looking like he wanted nothing less than to murder half the establishment. Then placing the survivors under arrest to be interned for life sentences. What had set him off now? Her eyes traced his glare and landed on the figure of Jackrabbit, entertaining or intimidating some patron. Inwardly, she groaned. Now was not the time for this! They had to be moving as soon as they could converse and discuss a plan.

The details on the escape were fuzzy to her mind, but there were several ways to start. One was to grab Jackrabbit right here and now. Bold and highly dangerous. Yet feasible if they had a strong exit distraction. Her electronic hacking had yielded success in the department of armored-automated taxis. The automation was, after breaking past the firewalls, was easily reconfigured to be piloted by I-6. They just needed a strong distraction to begin to pull it off. Part of that was already at hand… The other plan was to crack into his fortress of solitude above the club. A more dangerous, yet, paradoxically, more secure option. Should they successfully break into said fortress, they would have a strong point that was incredibly isolated. If their actions could be kept covert enough, they could prevent that fortress from becoming a trap and have all the time to pick apart Jackrabbit's brains while having immediate access to his computer systems. The possibility lay to end this all tonight and make much of the rest of the operation far, far easier. But risky. Quite risky. She hadn't been able to crack its firewall and almost revealed herself in one of her more brazen cyber-attacks. With the fact that something had slipped, decisive action was needed and needed soon. It was time to get some fresh perspectives and plans. With one glance at the Wild Card, she set up her approach vector.

The Wild Card, El. So much energy as to be barely predictable. Erratic beyond reason. Explosive beyond hope. Yet still, barely it may be, she was predictable. And malleable. Already, they had become fast friends, in El's eyes; and friendship meant that, where one went, the other would follow. So, it was simply a matter of plummeting into the awaiting Elazar's arms and waiting. Fifteen minutes until El noticed and five minutes more until she fought her way across the room. Either to A: save her hapless Akorra from the gross arms of a patron. Or B: assume that Akorra had struck gold with a wealthy patron with a droid bodyguard and to be whisked away from this life of poverty with her friend. Velshia smiled inside. Either would be perfect in beginning the chaos they needed to enact either plan.

Akorra flitted and squeezed between tables and, with a precise mistake, tripped over a chair leg and went stumbling into Elazar's waiting arms. Immediately, she began babbling apologies. Starting to extricate herself.
 
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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.



The Ą̵̧̫̥̗͉̪̙̱̩̙̺͖͉̘͉͉̪͕̹̣̖͙͂̀̀̇̈́̑͊̔́͒̊̇͒̐̇͆̓̑̚͜͠͝͝͠Ç̴̢̛̛͕̥̥̪̠̜̘̿̑́̌͌̐̅͆͒͋̀̅̃͒̆̏̐͘͘͝͝L̸̢̤͎͓̖̤̖̯͚̭̦̞̩͚̦͙͇̓̉̓͌̑̾̅̈́̈̍͋̊̿̔͜͜ͅJ̶̡̧͈̻̗̣̖̦̥̙̺͓̩͎̱̲͎͔͖͖̩̏́͋͛̈́͛̽̄̇͊̕̕͘͝K̸̡̪͈̲̝̭̦̣̭͖̯̣͙̤̘̘̲͂̀̾͜ͅË̸̡̨̡̛̜̹̣̭͇̯̜̤̥̣͍͕̫͍̖̝́͗̇̉̋͐̉̀̈́̋́̃̅̀͝ͅD̶̛̤̀͘L̶̢̡̨̧̟̲͚͕̪͍̹̲̭͈͈̹̱̳̞̞̥̺͖̻͎̹̩͚̮̏̀͂̐͑́͗̔̊̆̃̒̈̆̋̃͂̾̍͒̓͘͜͠͠ͅK̶̨̛̫̳̖̥̫̟͓̠̣̘̠̱̪̰̣̥͍͙͇̓͊͆̒̌̍̊͆̉͑̓͗̎̂̾͆̔̈́̓̄̍̾͘̚͘͘̕͜͠͠͝



Aiko awoke to stomping feet and straining muscles. With a growl and sweating brow, she strained to take another step as her machine half bore down its weight. Stomp. So this is what it thinks of me today, she thought. Stomp. Her eyes lanced upon the room. Spearing in instants the half-dozen individuals. Stomp. They watched her, everyone watched her in the back of their minds. Their eyes flicking to her and back to what they were doing. Stomp. Must have been here at least an hour. AIZ-KoleCKToKordon! Stomp. One of the fellows winced and touched a hand to his head. 'Roid dust. She'd spoken too loudly. Stomp. Still, she wondered where she was. Having fallen asleep in her quarters and now was, well, wherever. It was a strange room. Wasn't it? Stomp. With spheres and cylinders of metal. Bars and bars. Some long loop with people running and lifting and grunting. Stomp. Yet the name of it tickled the back of her mind. Work? Out? Workout? Workout at a…gym. A gym. Gymnasium. Medrakkar. Stomp!

Immediately, she felt that she had taken enough steps and, with a shrug, hurled her metal half down onto the ground with a clang. Panting, she leaned forward before grabbing the proffered water bottle and downing it. At the same time, her metal half had seemingly filled with water, from who knew were, and dump some on her head. Though she reveled in its coolness, Aiko didn't dare relax. Knowing full well that this wasn't the end. Sure enough, after her short break, the order to pick up the metal came in again. This time, however, it felt far lighter. Although it was truly just doing more to support itself, rather than anything else. Time to start running. Pack laden, she shot off to the track and began her loops around this gym. Her white suit with black shoulder stripes and legging stripes beginning to glisten with the sweat of her exertion.

Aiko wasn't particularly clear on the date. Came with falling asleep and waking up with no ordered schedule beyond 'you've had enough sleep now do things' or 'you've done enough things so sleep.' But she felt fairly certain that something was happening today. There wasn't a lot of people working out in this gym. And she could smell a tensity in the air. Anticipation. Eagerness. Readiness to set off. In her own waiting to depart, Aiko hadn't talked to much of anyone. Just her machine juggling how it saw her, saw the world, and how to deal with it. Aiko rolled with its decisions, as usual, and trained. Trained her body. Ironed her mind. And painted smiles like a clown.



The Good Doctor

Reginald poured of dossiers. Names flowing passed his eyes and stored into his brain as streams of information. Memorization, learned by practice, that was augmented by the machinery and wires in his head. Ship out day. Eve, the AI, had informed him of the Captain's arrival a short while ago. Reginald had thanked it but made no move to leave his work. He'd drop in on Gabi later. Or she would come by or ask him to the bridge. No need to stop work at the moment. With a crew as diverse as this, there were numerous considerations to deal with. He'd worked closely with his new staff, the galley staff, the quartermaster, and marine sergeants to prepare various medical stations, habitats, diets, and everything that a crew would need to remain as healthy as possible.

Hundreds of crates with blood, thousands of vials of medication, a million boxes of clean gloves, and on and on. All had to be examined, sorted, and stored. Special considerations for various crewmembers also had to sorted and accounted for. Prescriptions refilled and prepped for months to years for however long the voyage took.

All this was balanced against the needs of the various departments and how much could be stuffed aboard. Crammed aboard. Fit into every space available that could have been considered. Which had instantly led to bickering, chiefly instigated by Blaster, who claimed that they would hardly need any medical supplies if they simply blew the enemy up before it could hurt them! It had taken the majority of Reginald's patience to simply tell the furball that the idea was absolutely out of the question and not suggest that, instead, they should go through all the contraband Reginald was certain that Blaster had stored on the ship, removed it for supplies, and then left him in suspended animation until they were well away. They really could have used their captain in all of this. Both to mitigate the competing staff members alongside the constant suggestions and interference from the various Resistance members ranging from captains of other vessels to councilmembers. Whose thoughts all ranged from modestly useful to downright ludicrous. Instead, she had chosen to fly off to stars knew where to do stars knew what while all of this was going on! Leaving him to seemingly be the chief voice of reason that was backed up well enough by Perseus by him usually giving to cold, hard facts as to what and what couldn't be done. Only to return a few days before.

Reginald sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. Letting his frustration seep out of him, before returning to his review of the crew dossier before a sudden ping caught his attention. A new member had been added to the dossier by Eve. "Dimitri Trastámara – Dina Amor. Male. Little other data known" it read. Reginald groaned. Placing the dossier data pad down, he began scrolling through his main computer to read up on the medical information on full-blooded Dina Amor.
 

muffinphobia

dancing witch
BLASTER

Blaster was quite proud of himself for outrunning Perseus and his nasty boot, but as soon as the opportunity presented itself he scrambled behind Gabi’s legs for protection. Just in case. This guy was clearly insane! He poked his head around her and stuck his tiny tongue out as the head of engineering began to lecture him about protocol. “Because any time you start talking about it I wanna shoot you in the foot! And myself! I know what I’m doing! I ain’t going to hurt anyone…well, I mean, it probably won’t,” he muttered the last part to himself. He’d never actually tried loading such a big cannon with fireworks before, but how could it go wrong!? He had blind and absolute faith that it would work. Mostly.

Meanwhile, Gabi looked uncomfortable at Perseus’s salute. “That’s really not necessary,” she said to him, then looked down at Blaster and frowned. “What did you put in the cannon?” she asked with a stern note in her voice.

“Classified. Sorry, captain.”

“That’s not going to work anymore,” Gabi said, her lips twitching as Blaster’s expression morphed into one of dismay - well, shit. “Tell me what’s in the cannon. That’s an order.”

“Fine, fine!” he howled. “It’s fireworks, alright?” He walked into the corner and pushed the firework boxes into view. Busty Bunny was emblazoned on the side in neon letters, along with a cartoon of a scantily clad female rabbit sitting astride an enormous firework. He smiled at the logo fondly, though it looked a little demented and creepy to everyone else in the room. “Top of the line!”

He looked up at the captain to see an amused expression on her face. “Why?”

“Because we’re finally getting off this rock! I’ve been so frickin’ bored! We gotta celebrate in style!


 

muffinphobia

dancing witch
elAzAr : weApons mAster
Elazar stood beside I-6 on the street outside the club. For the first time in years, he felt well and truly uncomfortable. Covert operations were hardly his specialty, especially not when he had to pretend to be someone he was decidedly not, especially not when he’d have to treat a fellow crew member poorly, and especially not when leaving his mask behind had seemed the best way to deflect attention from the Jackrabbit or any other undesirable party. The whole damned mess had his stomach in a tight knot, but his expression was stoic as he gazed at the flashing neon sign. At least his “bodyguard” was behaving as expected. He glanced up at the impassive robot beside him, nodded once, and then crossed the street choked with vehicles and aliens of all descriptions. He ducked between a Lustrian woman carrying a screaming child and the back of a cart laden with rotting food, and then he found himself striding through the entrance and into the club proper.

It was…as expected. The music, specifically the bass, was turned up to such a degree that he could barely feel the beating of his heart or even hear his own thoughts. At least they’d be able to talk without risking someone hearing them, he supposed. His eyes swept the room once, the briefest of scans. In the dim lighting, punctuated by the occasional strobe or dance light, he saw both the dance floor and the patrons seated on dark leather couches a short distance away from it. Most couch clusters had a reinforced glass table dead center for drinks, food…or dancing girls. That’s when he noticed them: young women patrolling the establishment as servers, some bold, some bored, some frightened, all clad in next to nothing, whether it was a leotard and tights or just lingerie. Of course, they all wore bunny ears atop their heads. How original.

He swallowed the rage he could already feel building in his throat and made his way to an empty couch, his eyes on the floor, I-6 hot on his heels. He stepped over broken bottles, pools of glitter (likely from the girls’ outfits), and a few condom wrappers to a relatively secluded spot in the corner, next to the staircase that led to the second level. From here, he could see the dance floor in its entirety and nearly all of the seated customers. There, in the center of it all, sat the Jackrabbit, a girl on either arm, roaring with laughter at something his companion had said. He watched as the man squeezed one of the girls on the arse and slapped it, sending her off for another round of drugs or drinks, who knew really. Elazar couldn’t help himself this time - the fury he’d felt since setting foot in this wretched place crept into his expression. How much misery was this piece of trash responsible for? How many girls were abused, tortured, raped, in this establishment alone? How many others were there? He’d certainly find out…

Mercifully, distraction came in the form of Velshia. He spotted her on the opposite side of the room - the extra pair of hands was hard to miss, and judging from the way a few men leered at her he had a feeling he wasn’t the only one who thought so. The getup she had on was as equally depressing as the others he’d seen. He sighed and squeezed his eyes shut, pinching the bridge of his nose between his fingers. Surely the captain knew she’d made a serious lapse in judgment, sending him here. Give him a bloody battlefield over this any day.

But here he sat, I-6 standing beside him, Velshia subtly working her way through the crowd towards them. Plan, plan, plan, he thought in tune to the thundering bass. They needed a plan. It was sorely tempting to grab the Jackrabbit here and now and shoot his way out. However, they’d run the risk of harming innocents, not to mention Velshia probably wouldn’t go for it anyway with her pragmatism. The drink he’d ordered a few minutes prior arrived, and he did his very best to smirk menacingly at the girl who delivered it. He supposed it worked, since she turned red and nervously skittered away. The alcohol did little to improve his disposition, unfortunately - instead he found himself watching the Jackrabbit again. The temptation to cross the room and smash his perfect white teeth in was almost too much to bear.

But then there was a flash of bright color from the corner of his eye, and one of the girls had landed in his lap seemingly by mistake. Velshia. He knew what he was supposed to say now. Some disgusting comment about her breasts, or her legs, or anything. Try a raunchy pick-up line, maybe. Demand to take her into one of the rooms he’d seen other girls disappear to. But as he looked at her, he…he just couldn’t bring himself to do it. He did his very best to keep the blatant discomfort from his face and instead said quietly, “Are you all right?” Not surprisingly, his voice was softer, less mechanical without the distortion of the mask. He forced himself to wrap an arm around her waist, all the while fighting every instinct that told him to push her away.
 
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Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster

//

"Aww, well that isn't so bad." Perseus exclaimed, exhasperated. Throwing up a hand in blaster's general direction, he continued "If you'd have just told me, I woulda... Hold on... How many fireworks? Just a couple pounds right?" Blaster grinned maniacally “Yeah! A couple!” "Oh, that's no problem-" "…hundred" Perseus did a double-take at that last muttered aside, before pausing, frowning, and... Deciding to give Blaster the benefit of the doubt. If he stopped to think about it, the council (or maybe even Gabi?) had put Blaster on the Cotopaxi for a reason. The least he could do was wait for the first big cock-up before he started second guessing the weapon's specialist. "I'm sure you know perfectly well what this equipment can take, Blaster. Sorry for flying off the handle. I'll let you get the light show ready while I give Gabi a rundown of the ship status. Oh, if you have the time that is, Captain?" Gabi seemed to switch gears after Perseus mentioned the status report, and nodded, "Sure, I'm having trouble making sense of the engineering report you sent me. Could you walk me through the important stuff?" Perseus nodded, eager to show off his department's work; "Yes! For sure. Let's start with the weapons situation and work our way round." And in a few moments Perseus was off at a march, all business and deep in thought, activating wall mounted panels and navigating past the recently-boarded crew, busy finding their stations and familiarizing themselves with the Cotopaxi.

"So for weapons, I can report that all systems are functional. The biggest weapon on the ship is the railgun. It runs the entire length of the ship, dead in the centre. You can imagine it as a big cannon, except instead of an explosion sending the ammunition at the enemy, it's a big ol' electromagnetic coil and a system of gravity accelerators. It uses a massive amount of energy, but is by far the most powerful weapon on the ship. I'm telling you, the kinetic energy in a slug fired from this thing is nuts. The downside is once we fire it, it takes the capacitor banks a long time to prepare for another firing. With our current rate of recharge..." Perseus paused, tapping a quick calculation into his wrist-mounted personal computer, flowing around a couple petty-officers that hadn't got the memo about not needing to salute the Captain just yet, "It'll take the railgun about twenty minutes to recharge after we fire it, assuming it gets the usual amount of power alloted to it. If we're willing to sap power from other systems, for instance, switching off power to artificial gravity, thrusters, the computer, etcetera, we can squeeze a faster fire rate out of the railgun. We could also increase the fire rate by overclocking the reactor (which I wouldn't recommend doing often, by the way). All told, the theoretical minimum 'reload' time would be 8 minutes, but to be honest that's an entirely theoretical minimum. I imagine turning off our thrusters for almost ten minutes while in combat would be a good way of getting ourselves killed." Perseus shrugged "But hey, that's not my area of expertise."

Perseus weaved down the main ventral corridor of the ship, heading for one of the many personnel elevators that would take them to the core corridor of the ship. "Aside from that, you've got mass drivers, which are more classical bang-shoot guns that fire kinetic ammunition, nice and simple and easy to maintain (when the weapon's specialist isn't filling them with fireworks, that is). One thing I'm not a fan of is how they're arranged; two lines of three, one trio along the top of the ship, one trio along the bottom. It's not the best setup, as it means that a lucky or well-placed shot could take out half our mass drivers at once if the enemy knows the ship, which, let's be honest, everyone does." Perseus pulled up a short video on his wrist comm, showing a simulation of just such a shot. "However, one benefit I can see is that due to the wedge shape of the ship, it means that we can unload a truly unholy rate of fire on anything directly in front of us. It's obvious that this ship was built from the ground up to be an ambush predator. Additionally, there's not a single spot on the outer hull that we don't have a firing solution on. Any boarders would have to be inside the ship before we even spotted them, or we'd be able to pop them off like a barnacle."

Perseus stepped into the crowded elevator, before turning back to Gabi "Aside from the cannons we've got long range and close range point defence, which is basically for fighting small craft and missiles. It's made up of a bunch of smaller turrets dotted all over the ship, that shoot out lasers and plasma lances, destroying any un-armored target smaller than a car in seconds, and wreaking havoc with missiles and fighters, so long as we have a good target lock. See, since the Cotopaxi doesn't have any missile capability, it's used the space and logistics we'd usually need to put into missile storage, loading racks and firing tubes into beefing up its other weaponry instead. That's also why we're able to have both hyperdrive and Wormhole FTL." Perseus paused, his brow furrowing a little as a thought occured to him, "Though that does mean we're outgunned in a longer term engagement. The 'Paxi's an ambush predator through and through, like I said. Looks like our goals in combat are to get in to close range, unload everything we've got, and get out before the enemy has a chance to react. Then once the railgun's recharged, we pop back up and do it all again."

There was a chime, a light hiss of opening doors, and Perseus and Gabi exited the elevator smoothly. They were now almost at the dead centre of the ship. The core corridor was busier than the ventral corridor by an order of magnitude. The sounds of conversation filled the air, and people were everywhere, groups on orientation tours, teams calling to each other completing last-minute checks, groups having walking meetings, or heading to the mess hall for chow- It was busy as any corporate office or workshop floor. Busier, even.

Perseus turned and began walking towards the front of the ship. Behind them was the main mess hall, currently filled with chatting voices and laughter as the various crew members got to know each other. around them was the infotech and informatics offices, with the command offices and main bridge beyond that, at the front. The corridor was wide enough for eight people to walk comfortably abreast, but apparently, even this wasn't enough. Towards the halfway point of the corridor was a large crowd of folk dressed in New-Resistance technician gear, all trying to get a look through a set of open doors to the main AI chamber.

Perseus began to squeeze his way through the crowd of lollygagging crew members. It looked like mostly informatics and infotech engineers, though there were some from other departments. They were all gawking through the open doors of the AI chamber, where it looked like the head of informatics was giving some kind of demonstration. "I was hoping to show you, but I don't think we're going to get the chance. In there's the new AI. Dunno much about it aside from it came in a big white crate and every nerd on the ship is apparently obsessed with it- Oi, outta the way, I'm tryin' ta show the captain around. Ahem, it's the main intelligence of the ship. About as intelligent as a group of people working in perfect synchronicity. A real multitasker. Apparently it's not quite as capable as a human at improvising, but is more than capable of keeping the ship running when we're not looking. I know I'm going to be as nice to it as I can. Never know when these things are going to become self-aware and begin thinking of things with a bit more ego, y'know?"

As they surfaced from the crush of bodies, Perseus and Gabi were at last able to move freely, passing by several armed security officers as they made their way into the command area of the corridor, past the officer's quarters, and finally, at last, the relative quiet of the bridge. "Here we go."
It was almost unrecognizable compared to the bridge of the derelict they had escaped from. The workstations were carefully arranged to allow access to any station in a hurry, spread apart slightly in banks of two or three, with a main walkway down the centre. The helmsman's cockpit dominated the front of the bridge, of course, where currently one of the shipjockeys currently sat, plugged in to a number of terrifying looking biotech cables, acclimatizing herself to the cyberspace of the ship.

At the centre of the bridge was the captains chair, regal, without being throne-like. Perseus cruised over to his handiwork; "I know it's a little... Ostentatious, but I had to make it look reputable without letting it get.... Empire-y. Oh, take a seat, take a seat, it'll adjust to your body when you key in your credentials. alright, ready? Okay, the features include:" Perseus began to rattle off features of the captains workstation, and as he did so they popped up, ready to be selected on the arm touchscreens; "customisable touchscreens on the arms that can function just like keyboards, customisable holographic screens that can be activated or deactivated when you need more screen space, that you can move around to wherever works best for you. Real-time tactical holograms projectors. A hidden emergency compartment containing a standard issue las-pistol. gravity stabilization that'll let you ride out a battle without even a seat belt, and a seatbelt anyway because why not!? Oh! and don't forget the fold-out cup holder and built in back massagers." Perseus, very pleased with himself, trotted over to the right of the captain's chair, where he had made sure that his chief engineer's workstation had been set up as near as possible to the captain for... Entirely professional efficiency reasons, of course.

"It'll let you know with little hologram popups if there are any emergencies on the ship. All of it can be customised and made larger and smaller, turned on or off, you know. And all of them look different! That one that just popped up there, for instance means there's been an unauthorised intrusion on the Cotopaxi." Perseus smiled, finishing his spheal, before pausing. "Wait-" Perseus looked around at the staff on the bridge. "Is that right? why's there- Ah shit."

And then, of course, the alarms started.

//
 
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Quake

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[01000101 01010010 01000001 01000100 00100000 01001001 00101101 00110110]

Having entered the Jackrabbit’s club, I-6 closely followed Elazar's footsteps through the raucous noise and flashing strobes to a corner table. The lights, sounds, smells; all were a shock to the senses. Fortunately, I-6 didn't have to do anything but present size and look menacing; a performance given without effort. As its boss took a seat, the bodyguard droid took up a place at his side, forearms crossed, chest out. This was a suitable location. The ERAD now possessed surveillance of the entire main floor, a defensive corner booth, and close access to the upper levels if things went hot. Maneuverability couldn't be underestimated in enclosed spaces, especially for one as large as the black and gold bot. Now the pair just had to wait. I-6 noted a slight spike in Elazar's vitals. but said nothing. Had something startled him? Angered him? I-6 had noticed the slight change as they had walked in, but there hadn't been time to address it. Maybe it was Lang? Or perhaps it was something simpler...more plain. I-6 shelved the notification, rolling it's eyes if it could. Of course. These places catered to the male appetite, so it wasn't surprising Elazar was 'affected.' Perhaps the medical bot would need to start carrying cold packs in the future. Now was hardly the time.

"Please." it said flatly; It's eyes forward, electing not to elaborate further.

A drink order was taken, and the duo looked out onto the dancefloor in silence. The robot had heard about places like this, but never anything good. Dens of iniquity, they had been called. Humans apparently found some kind of animalistic enjoyment in these places, but it wasn't anything I-6 found particularly noteworthy. The drone's appetite was more specialized, it's attention solely focused on the silver-haired target ahead. The ERAD had initially picked up on Lang the moment they entered, his smug overconfidence and loud antics drawing the attention of the room. Peculiar. For one as cunning and dangerous as he was, was he really so confident in his safety? I-6 could close the gap between them in three seconds, which meant his teammates could do it in less. To be this carefree seemed incredibly foolish.

As the pair waited for contact, I-6 performed a few base scans searching for a way into the club's programs. Little success. Without disregarding subtlety, there wasn't much that could be done from here. The assault drone could brute force its way in, but not without being physically present at the security mainframe's heart and setting off every alarm from here to Sentris. An easier alternative would be to just find a device already connected to the system. A techpad or phone would work well enough. Maybe their undercover agent could nab one, I-6 thought, but the idea seemed unlikely as the Deskasra was presently stumbling and bumbling her way into Elazar's lap.

Contact made.

As the stammering Velshia tried to apologize for her accident, I-6's gaze swept across the room, scanning the clubs occupants for anything out of the ordinary. Everything seemed to be going well. Her stunt had drawn some attention, but most patrons had their attention vested in other activities, be it drink, dance or woman. Recognizing no need to sell the situation further, I-6 remained still; arms crossed, its eyes transfixed on Lang. If the best course of action was to go after him right here, then no further attention needed to be drawn their way until they were ready to strike.
 
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Verran

Illogical
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The Sleeper

Really? The "Kindly Gentleman" card! Now?! Not what Velshia wanted. But fine. She'd work with it. Time to bring this house of cards down. Immediately after his question, tears burst from Akorra's eyes. Bawling, she reversed from trying to escape and, instead, curled into Elazar's arms.

"No! I'm sorry. I'm not…I AM alright. It's just…no, I…I didn't mean. I'm sorry! Please don't…I'm sorry. I just need a minute, just a minute and I'll be…"

Deeper and deeper, she curled into her shipmate until her mouth was pressing against his neck when her voice suddenly changed. She still shuddered and wept as if the entire world was crashing down upon her. But her whispered words could only be heard by Elazar and, hopefully in a moment, I-6 too. Clipped, quick, and to the point.

"Turn on your communicator. Tight beam to I-6. Don't worry about it. Just do it. I'm likely made. There are but two paths forward, as I see it. Either we take the Jackrabbit away and interrogate the location of the black box out of him, or we secure his private bunker above the club with him in it as quietly as possible. The former, easier. The latter, gets us closer to the objective far more quickly. Now, you two, tell me everything you have seen and everything you have done. Whisper it into my hair. He has men watching the place and cameras. Bet a number can read lips in this noise. Stroke my hair too. Either plan to be comforting or grooming me. Decide quickly and play the part. I-6, stop staring at the Rabbit. Find us every goon in the place. And tell me everything in under fifteen minutes. We're on the clock."
 

Pigiron

Shipcutter
Original poster
doQB3WJ.png
You don't get rich in Dresden's Orchard by being incautious, it would seem.
Lang looks down from his balcony booth with a sneer of derision. pulls out a communicator that looks like an old earth flip-phone, how quaint. Mutters a few choice words. His voice is lost in the roar of the club music, but the intent is clear.

"The new bitch is making a scene. Take her to the wetrooms and show her a good time. If the white knight gets brave, kill him. I smell a rat."
And there Lang stands, arms wide, gripping the railing in a wide stance, flanked by armed bodyguards, ready to turn and go for the first floor outside balcony if things get a little too hairy.

Lasers and strobes are thrown from the DJ booth as three, four, five roughs (not counting the two flanking Lang) make it clear that they weren't here for pleasure alone. One swaggered out of the wetrooms, buckling up his belt, straightening his body armor, an eager smile on his face.
Two stood up from a table near the front door, a pair of Lustrians in neon-lined gas masks, their tall figures made bulkier by paramilitary looking ceramo-kevlar vests and thick pistols holstered on their thigh. As they unhooked the stun batons clipped to their hips, they left their pistols holstered.
One stood across the dancefloor, by the stairs up to the wetrooms and VIP balcony, non-chalantly pulling out some kind of laser-uzi, keeping it hidden, preventing panic, clearly only for a critical emergency.
Finally, the biggest. Rauncorn, stepping inside from the front door. Rauncorn's got a... sad, jaded look about him. Like one of the women forced to do what they have to to survive. He's got his stun baton in one hand, using his other meaty mitt to pull out a set of chunky handcuffs, his SMG hanging on a strap to one side. Clearly he's not expecting to need it.
 
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Tutari

Custodian
"Entering the home system of Zhar; Torpor cessation well within mission parameters."
Tyko's red eyes flickered open at the sound of the AI's declaration. He barely managed to suppress the feeling of claustrophobia as his vision clears. Greeted by a view of the 5 foot diameter pod, the small viewing screen giving some respite. 'Siege Pods' is what his father and Master Galatea seemed to have settled on; Spacecraft housing only a single occupant but able to travel great distances in a shorter amount of time and resources. "We have approximately one hour and forty-five minutes before entering Zhar's atmosphere and the start of the operation; prepare to review mission objectives." Tyko's excitement on entering the Zhar system was replaced with anxiousness. Right, first big mission, professional. His view of space quickly vanished as it was replaced with a multitude of screens, bombarding him with the information he tried to memorize in his stupor like state. Wait a second, something is off...

"Uh.... D0x, is the time right? Says here we experienced a three-hundred and thirty six hour lag period in the FTL travel?" His Lustrian was still slow but he since sacrificed speed for clearer diction with the language. He learned much in two years, at least he was proficient enough to digest the Lustrian's AI response. "It is correct, Captain Burnett went AWOL for that exact period of time." There was a huff of indignation, followed by a husky Lustrian response. "Bodes poorly for The Cotopaxi, if her own captain is quick to abandon her during repairs." Tyko could only give a soft grunt to his senior. The Lustrian woman seems to have found the same name Tyko was just looking over as she continues; "Dimitri Trastámara, that's new, D0x?" There's an uncomfortable moment of silence. Tyko lets the white noise of the pod occupy him as he is suddenly caught in daydreams of Zharian beaches.

"What the actual shit? There is literally nothing on him, that's fucking impossible."
Tyko almost lets out a startled chuckle at the AI's indignation. He's getting more use to their unusual frustration of not knowing something, but it is odd. "Sounds Dina in origin and if that's the case..." Matron already filled in the blanks for him. "Most likely fresh off of Dinaxis, meaning very little information going around." D0x lets loose a string of curses that Tyko could barely register as Matron continues, "We have as much information as the council has regarding the crew of The Cotopaxi, this does not change the objective." Right, the goals. His screen shifts to the dossier of crew members and resources. Highlighted are a couple of names that suggest their priority in this mission, but all three of them share one bolded name.

Takeda Aiko


"D0x begin comet formation and continue until we pierce the ocean surface of Zhar. Then set the course to ocean entrance 5-B." Tyko feels the shift in his pod and couldn't help himself closing one of the screens to stare into space. Previously the three pods were orbiting each other in a spiral pattern, with a singular pod taking point and being the gravitational center in planned intervals to preserve energy. Currently Matron's pod is leading, with Dox and Tyko spiraling in orbital rhythm. He squashed the fear of colliding with one of the pods as they almost danced with each other. Slowly Matron's pod extends further out and the gravitational system releases him and D0x, until they fluidly align with one another. The comet's tail; this time a name Tyko had the privilege of making himself. A sudden jump and the three mercenaries were seeing the blue jewel of the galaxy within their view ports.


"Look mommy, a shooting star!"

Backlit by the late afternoon sun, the child points excitedly at the blazing comet in the distance....



-----------
SIEGE OF THE COTOPAXI

"Maintenance Hull; Shaft C-12."

"Inner Hull; Cannon Room."

Tyko takes a shuddering breath as he tries to center himself, his SHELL emitting a dense haze of condensation as it compensates from the heat of the core. His entry point is possibly the most direct, but that is to be expected. An individual wearing a royal blue EV combat suit, that is producing steam is hard to miss. Even now his mere presence is already being clocked by various resistance members as he stomps to the main docking port of the ship.

"Approaching the Main Docking Bay."
"Your our starting point Blue. Kick us off so I can begin the show~" He has already begun his stride and the security personnel, at first hesitant, are now aiming down their sights at him. "Huh, alarms aren't set off yet. Security forgot to called it in. Well... I suppose I can give them a hand." A momentary ping that reached all three of the mercenaries helmets as D0x sets off the alarm. Tyko watches with mild amusement as the Docking Bay door begins to seal itself. The two personnel at the door must be fresh as they both react to the sudden shift of movement, turning behind them. That's all Tyko needed. In the apex of his stride he pushes off the soles of boots and his acceleration activates. He clears the distance between him and the door, narrowly avoiding getting crushed, as it seals behind him. "Aaaaannnnd locked! Well until our fledgling Captain shows us her skill qualifications that is." Tyko begins a cursory check on his equipment, ignoring the blaring alarm. "Matron how long before you set off the-" A worrying rumble is felt from his position. Not enough to activate his gravity denser, but when he heard there were fireworks within one of the railguns chambers he did not expect... that.

The Cotopaxi crew in Cannon Room would have first row seats to a terrifying yet dazzlingly display. An array of colors and smoke are set off within one of the ventral mass drivers, popping and hissing following after. Before they could assess the damage a figure calmly steps out the smoke. A crimson EV suit adorned/marked with ash and surface level damage. On the chest a symbol of two serpentine creatures maws agape, attempt to devour each other heads first. Written in a mix of Lustrian and Dina below it reads; Akkanar's Blood.

The entity slowly walks out from epicenter of the fireworks display, calmly looking over the engineers and specialists within the room.

"D0x, begin the message."
--------

"Is that the alarm?" An Zharian engineer exclaims as he continues navigating the guts of the maintenance hull. Ahead of him a Lustrian mechanic looks down at the display on his wrist. "Probably a drill, I'm more curious about this foreign object that seems to be giving off a foreign signature." Ignoring the steady siren going off they continue into the complicated and congested maze before them. "I think I found something! Is that a EV helmet?" The Zharian shouts over the alarm as he creeps over to his discovery. Nestled snuggly into the ships veins, seems not only be a helmet ,but a multitude of parts of an armored suit. "That doesn't make sense." The Lustrian catches a glimpse. "Are they attached to something?"

"Attention Cotopaxi crew."
A light turns on from the helmet, a constant thrum of energy that slowly begins rise from the parts around it. The two crew members are paralyzed with the sudden activity as it continues on....


"You are harboring fugitives and renegades from a multitude of interstellar government bodies."​

The crimson form marches steadily to her audience.

"Reginald Meadows, Perseus Galatea, Gabi Burnett. These are just a few."​

Tyko moves calmly but with purpose through the core corridor. Non-combative crew stand aside as the temperature lowers around them. Their breath caught in their throats.

"We are Akkanar's Blood, surrender so we may not shed yours."​

The helmet shifts to stare directly at the petrified crew near it. A soft click comes from it, followed by silence.

"So what should I do with the two of you."
 

Verran

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Fantasy, Scifi.



The Ą̵̧̫̥̗͉̪̙̱̩̙̺͖͉̘͉͉̪͕̹̣̖͙͂̀̀̇̈́̑͊̔́͒̊̇͒̐̇͆̓̑̚͜͠͝͝͠Ç̴̢̛̛͕̥̥̪̠̜̘̿̑́̌͌̐̅͆͒͋̀̅̃͒̆̏̐͘͘͝͝L̸̢̤͎͓̖̤̖̯͚̭̦̞̩͚̦͙͇̓̉̓͌̑̾̅̈́̈̍͋̊̿̔͜͜ͅJ̶̡̧͈̻̗̣̖̦̥̙̺͓̩͎̱̲͎͔͖͖̩̏́͋͛̈́͛̽̄̇͊̕̕͘͝K̸̡̪͈̲̝̭̦̣̭͖̯̣͙̤̘̘̲͂̀̾͜ͅË̸̡̨̡̛̜̹̣̭͇̯̜̤̥̣͍͕̫͍̖̝́͗̇̉̋͐̉̀̈́̋́̃̅̀͝ͅD̶̛̤̀͘L̶̢̡̨̧̟̲͚͕̪͍̹̲̭͈͈̹̱̳̞̞̥̺͖̻͎̹̩͚̮̏̀͂̐͑́͗̔̊̆̃̒̈̆̋̃͂̾̍͒̓͘͜͠͠ͅK̶̨̛̫̳̖̥̫̟͓̠̣̘̠̱̪̰̣̥͍͙͇̓͊͆̒̌̍̊͆̉͑̓͗̎̂̾͆̔̈́̓̄̍̾͘̚͘͘̕͜͠͠͝



Aiko was just toweling from a delightfully languid shower at the conclusion of her workout when the transmission began. Sitting on one of the convenient benches that seemed to plague locker rooms the galaxy over. Kicking her legs idly out as the collective buzz of the ship's internal speakers as these intruders started to declare their intentions and then themselves. When only part of the first sentence was out, time slowed to a crawl that even a snail could beat.

Well…not really. Even Aiko knew she couldn't control time, though she distinctly had the vague memory of someone telling her to 'give us more time! We've almost got it!' With some obvious explosions in the background. Vaguely, she wondered if she was able to give, whoever that was, the time they asked for. These thoughts were pushed aside as the…TI something something kicked into gear. More holes…she knew what that was once. But it was working as intended. As, while Aiko could certainly not control time, her ability to process during each individual second was increased at an exponential rate. The quantum links between her brain and her suit's central processing system had been ignited. Parceling through every bit of information reaching her senses. Comparing it against all other known quantities that may have relation. Then coming to conclusions that were distinctly personal. Broader speculation was possible, she knew this for certain, but only with the proper…integration with her peers. They were not in her squad, so to speak, so they did not enter into the calculations by the TI…thing. The ship almost did.

We're harboring fugitives, yes, she thought, am I a fugitive? Maybe. Renegades. Come along come along. From interstellar governments. Obvious stated. Who knows how many people on this ship are running from or ran from or were born from runners. Ol' Regi, a bloke I haven't met yet, and sweet, sweet Gabi. Then some others. Hmmm. Only a few. How unhelpful! Be specific! Who and what's an Akkanar and why is its blood so important? And if they think that the Resistance will surrender, they must be insane.

Well, I suppose to have begun this stunt, they must have some degree of insanity already. Still, I can't see how this is much of a threat to me at the moment. They did their initial entry quiet enough. Only detected after they were on board. But they want to be known. Why? Their operation would have had a greater chance of success in silence. The Resistance won't back down, so they must want them to resist. Goading. The goads! Do they want the Resistance to stop them?
Now that was an amusing idea. Almost hilarious. Because it seemed as likely as the idea of actually trying to take the people off planet. Ah, it was good to find some humor outside her own. And with that, she began the long, long process of bouncing to her feat. Well, long to her point of view.

So, what to do about it? She thought and thought and then it came to her. A delicious idea. Scrumptious! Delectable in all respects. Time returned to its normal flow. Up popped Aiko. Eager anticipation bounced her running feet as the game in her mind took beautiful shape. Blooming as daisies in Springtime. Skidding to a halt, she checked her complexion in the body length mirror. Ignoring the mess that was her face, Aiko blessed the Kami that had seen fit to make her short.

"Come on, come on," Aiko snapped her fingers impatiently. Silver flowed up her. Bulking her out a bit, drawing up her height, slithering over her hair. Then, in a flash, Gabi Burnett was standing in front of the mirror. She touched her face, looking herself up and down. The image was perfect to look at. The skin, harder than iron to touch. Couldn't help that. All the data the suit had collected from their interaction came into play. From the blushes of high hormones to the heat signature of her body. Some of it wasn't perfectly precise, but, to all visual appearances, Aiko looked like Gabi. Pleased, the Gabi simulacrum nodded and the armor grew and molded into a perfect copy of Reginald Meadows. Aiko only spent a second on that image. Even she had enough proprietary to not play a man in the women's locker room. Naughty naughty! Gabi's face returned. Here, though, Aiko paused. She hadn't actually met this Perseus yet. Not unless she'd glimpsed him in one of her many wanderings of the ship. There was only one thing to do about that!

"Oh Eeeve!" Gabi's voice sang in Aiko's cadence, "Eve, tell me tell me, send it to me do. All about Perseus, his public image too!"

Aiko communicated with Even with a specific, thoroughly isolated and especially fabricated communications device. AI were tricky and thought as fast as Aiko did on a bad day. Who knew how one would slip under Aiko's guard? Eve felt the same enough. Not wholly trusting the Ghost in the Machine, as she had first mistaken Aiko as. As such, Eve only allowed direct communication through a specific set of fire walls to prevent any aggressive Phoenix Nebula programming from even having a chance of breaching the system. Even if the programs were as scrambled as Aiko's thought process, Eve wasn't about to take chances. Still, she was hungry for even glimpse of knowledge on the journey her ship and crew were about to embark upon and eagerly fenced with Aiko's machinations for such a glimpse. The only other exception is if Aiko was accessing the computer through one of the ships hard terminals. Partly because the risk was far smaller and partly because, as Aiko was on the crew manifest, she was entitled to all the rights and liberties of a crew member. Including computer access. Whether Aiko recognized that it would be unsporting to abuse such power over her electronic debate member in their back and forth or if it suited some other purpose in the chasms and labyrinths of her mind, none could say. But she didn't utilize the computer to cut straight to the answers she demanded.

So it was that they communicated and danced in this oblique way. Eve, in secure curiosity, tried to gain access to whatever Phoenix data she safely could. Aiko simply delighted in the game of keep away. It was perfectly natural that Eve's response was a very flat NO. Declaring that frivolity had no place when the ship was BEING INVADED!

Time slowed for Aiko again as the two entities communicated. Each other's electronic hardware more than capable of keeping up with the lightspeed debate. "Oh, Eve, don't be like that!" Aiko chided.

Eve's reply was the quantum computer's assertion that she would be exactly as she pleased to be and wouldn't share any information on Mr. Galatea anyway. And, besides, EVERYONE, hint hint, would be needed to repel these INVADERS!

"Really?! Invaders! My oh my."

A very strong affirmative blasted through the communicator.

"Don't worry Eve, I have a plan that will most assuredly help."

Obstinate doubt. Aiko would assuredly treat it like a game.

"Hey now, everything's a game! Ah well, I suppose I don't need to know Perseus much. He's that one human who cleans the railgun, right?"

For her information, Mr. Perseus is a Lustrian and the Chief Engineer! …wait.

To late did Eve realize her mistake as Aiko, given this critical information, immediately searched through her suit's recorded video. Lustrian significantly cut the ship's population. Engineering sliced it even more. And the Chief, well, that was a matter of parsing out footage of the person everyone in the department seemed to listen to. Leaving…bingo! Seen about five times on her many wanderings of the ship, awake or not. With cackle of delight, Aiko shot a picture of the golden boy to the irate Eve whose curse would have made any sailor jealous, if it could be translated, followed by a declaration that Aiko had cheated.

"I thought we weren't playing games!" Aiko cackled just before cutting the communication and returning time back to its normal speed. Peering furtively out into the medrakkar, she saw it empty. With a giggle, she shot off, returning to formless silver. She slipped into a service hatch and disappeared from the scanners. Becoming a dense spot of nothing to those seeing outside of the visible spectrum of light. Usually, such crawl spaces with necessitate long hours on one's hands and knees or, if fortune was with them, they could use a hover or roller board. Aiko, however, flowed like an ooze. A terrifyingly fast blob as out of an ancient horror movie's modern remake. Inside, the mind wondered who she would find first. The sweet captain? The good Doctor? The engineer of meaning? Or one of these invaders.



The Good Doctor

Reginald froze when he heard the declaration. Then took a deep, steadying sigh and sat back down. He hadn't realized he had shot from his seat. Realistically, there wasn't much he could do yet. Until the bullets started flying, his brand of expertise remained unneeded. If it came to combat, Doctor Meadows easily came up at the shallow end of the pool. Far more likely to get in the way than provide meaningful contribution with a gun. Not that he even wanted to fire one in the first place. No, he'd leave all of that affair in the more capable hands of Gabbi and the marine teams.

Still, he found it mad for these Akkanar fellows to attempt this before the Cotopaxi was even properly underway. Employing such a bold strategy to boot. Reginald distinctly remembered the times, while being smuggled to the Resistance through several systems, the times when he or one of his compatriots had been found. The first were by Imperials themselves. Who had also announced their presence and demanded surrender. When the silence defied them, they had utilized overwhelming firepower to blast into the hiding place. Which had just so happened to be a gang's hideout who had more than happily returned fire. It was in that chaos the information broker had slipped Dr. Meadows out. The other two times had been bounty hunters. Both of whom had employed stealth to attempt to get the Doctor out and back into Imperial hands. Both had failed and were buried in unmarked graves.

Reginald sighed and leaned back into his chair. Battling the rising nerves and fear that sought to gnaw at him. Again, there was nothing he could do for now. Even if he could, would he want to? A crux of the matter. Reginald had never described himself as a pacifist. War, as horrible as it was, sometimes was justifiable. If, for example, an entity was so overbearing, unrelenting, and unchanging in its oppression of others, then war was certainly justifiable. Not desired, but justifiable. However, Reginald himself had never held a firearm. Or a cannon. Or a grenade launcher. He could remember a time when his ignorance of weapons could span across the spectrum. No longer.

Yet was the Empire that? That answer seemed to change on the day. On days like these, it seemed a bit closer.

At the moment, Reginald was alone. Save for Eve, technically. All his staff were out and about. Either stealing the last minutes of relaxation or preparation for the voyage. He doubted it would remain that way for long. Either crewmembers or mercenaries would come to join him soon. The thought of running didn't really occur to him. An after thought worth as much to him as a pistol in his hands. After all, running right now was just as likely to lead him into trouble, becoming trouble, as it was to lead him out of it. Adding chaos would solve nothing. So, Reginald sat and awaited a doom he had long wondered about. Pondering the mysteries of weapons and war. Eventually, he brought up, to his mind's eye alone, schematics. Formulas and equations. Living organisms to be deployed by warheads that could bring ruin to planets. Raze entire systems. Doomsday. Reginald almost fell into the memories but, at the last moment, pulled away. Now was not the time for this. Strangers wanted his life, perhaps alive or perhaps dead. But he would await it as calmly as he could.
 

muffinphobia

dancing witch
elAzAr : weApons mAster
It was unnerving to say the least, seeing Velshia’s transformation into a frightened escort up close. Every imaginable thing was different, from the way she carried herself down to her cadence of speech. He gritted his teeth as she wormed her way closer and pressed her face into his neck, hoping whoever was watching mistook his extreme discomfort for other heightened emotions. I-6 certainly had, judging from the neutral ”Please.” But at least she was speaking normally again. He thanked every god he could think of for that.

”Turn on your communicator. Tight beam to I-6. Don't worry about it. Just do it.” He shifted his weight, sinking further into the couch and pulling her down with him, using the movement to turn on the comm at his wrist. He connected it to I-6’s and listened to her plan, stroking her back to keep up the pretense of comfort while keeping the other arm around her waist. It was then he noticed it: a few of Lang’s personal bodyguards had begun to eye them specutiavely. Shit.

He closed his eyes for a brief moment, shoving down the rage and overall awkwardness of the situation, then opened them again and did as instructed, caressing her hair as gently as he could. He turned his head to the side and lowered his face so that it became partially obstructed by locks of brown hair, though he was extremely careful not to put his lips anywhere near her skin. He began to mutter under his breath. “Haven’t seen anything important until now. Seven guards for Lang.” But you probably knew that already, he thought. “I-6 and I might be able to take them all. The bunker plan is ideal. Subtle. But…we won’t have the chance,” he said as two of the guards began to approach them.

“We need her. Boss’s orders,” the taller (and uglier) of the two men said, nodding at Velshia.

It took every ounce of self-control he possessed not to stand up, pull his knife from its concealed hiding spot in his boot, and gut him on the spot. Nothing would have pleased him more. Instead, he forced himself to say casually, “She’s rather occupied at the moment.” He threw in a smirk for good measure.
 
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Quake

Desires For Donuts
FOLKLORE MEMBER
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Fantasy/ Sci-Fi.
[01000101 01010010 01000001 01000100 00100000 01001001 00101101 00110110]

“Understood.”

I-6 emitted a low, muted pulse from it’s EMP core, lacing it with fragmented code copied off some shop hardware that had been downloaded during the bot's time in the shopping district. A local code; it would pass through any security protocol systems with relative ease, allowing the ERAD’s tracking system to operate mostly uninhibited. The vibration was low, but was easily amplified as it traveled through the building. From the time they had entered, I-6 had noticed the club possessing multiple drones that flew around periodically; their build and make nearly identical to the dropbots the drone had encountered at the police station. If I-6’s hunch held any weight...

•[Ping.]
•[Accessing Coding 255.]
•[Generating Technical Code: 131_1_1E Security.]
•[Match successful.]

Bingo! These machines might not have had the signature CCPD paintjob, but their programming was almost exactly the same! This was an exploitable oversight, and a welcome one. Modifying the tracking pulse once more, I-6 released a second, more focused discharge, pinging off each of the different drone's individual systems like a ladder spiraling up throughout the building. As the pulse climbed, nodes lit up on a mental layout of the club I-6 had generated, each colored point representing a possible threat. Just like that, the team now possessed ephemeral vision of their upcoming battlefield. The ERAD's second pulse had been set to loop, meaning the map would slowly update as Lang's thugs were periodically pinged by the system. The Jackrabbit's safehouse was still locked down and off limits, but approximately eighty-five percent of the club had now been roughly mapped.

I-6 quietly messaged the living map and information to it’s teammates, making a note to mention the dropbots. It was important the team knew they were faulty, and perhaps their lack of proper software could still have some future use. While these events transpired,, I-6 noted two of Lang’s men begin to approach. The droid glanced around. More people had taken notice of them, but that wasn't all. The atmosphere of the room had changed, and even to a bucket-of-bolts it was clear that things were about to kick off. The first thug that approached tried to retrieve Velshia, but Elazar's short remark made his wishes clear. The birth of a snide comment had just slipped past the second guard's lips when I-6 rose and placed itself directly in front of the two men. The ERAD’s wide shoulders and massive chest denied them further access to Elazar and his guest, instead forcing them to stand face-to-face with the towering steel behemoth leering down at then with an expressionless animosity. It was clear this conversation was over.
 
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muffinphobia

dancing witch
don't you dare look out your window, darling, everything's on fire
safe & sound
As the tour began, Gabi slipped her tinted glasses onto her face and activated its recording feature using the link at her wrist. She knew she’d likely be able to ask their new AI for the information Perseus was walking her through, but having her own record of it made her feel more…captain-y, somehow. She was quiet as they walked, trying to commit as much of it to memory as she could. As they passed the AI chamber, Gabi tried to get a good look, but there were too many people. Had it always been this crowded? Maybe it had, and she’d just never noticed. After all, their safety and wellbeing had never been her responsibility before. Now, it was unbelievable how many it took to crew the ship fully, and how much she didn’t yet know about how it all worked. The curious glances from the crew members she’d yet to meet formally were making her fidget. She was a step away from feeling completely overwhelmed when Perseus steered them away from the crowds and towards the bridge. Finally. Familiar ground.

Sort of.

The bridge she stood in now hardly resembled the one from her childhood, or even the one from two weeks ago. A chorus of ”Captain on the bridge” rose up from the officers already at their workstations, and she felt the ever-present imposter syndrome creeping in once again. Perseus, on the other hand, was clearly in his element. His enthusiasm was the only thing at the moment keeping her from marching off the ship, up to the council chambers, and resigning in the name of finding someone with actual qualifications. As he pointed out the captain’s chair her eyebrows shot up. “I know it's a little... Ostentatious, but I had to make it look reputable without letting it get.... Empire-y,” he said. Ostentatious might be an understatement, she thought.

She hesitated at first when he told her to sit, then did so gingerly and keyed in her credentials, all too aware that most of the bridge had paused in their various duties to watch. As Perseus began to run through the unbelievably long list of features, the hairs on the back of her neck stood up, and somewhere in the back of her mind she could hear an alarm blaring. Nausea twisted her stomach. They were already here? This mystery trio certainly wasn’t wasting any time…

”...turned on or off, you know. And all of them look different! That one that just popped up there, for instance, means there's been an unauthorised intrusion on the Cotopaxi. Wait-"

And then the alarms were real, not just in her head, and there was a scramble as the officers present tried to figure out what the hell was going on.

“Attention Cotopaxi crew. You are harboring fugitives and renegades from a multitude of interstellar government bodies. Reginald Meadows, Perseus Galatea, Gabi Burnett. These are just a few. We are Akkanar's Blood, surrender so we may not shed yours.”

Gabi swallowed and looked around the bridge, which was swiftly descending into chaos. Her eyes landed on Perseus’s face last, which had become a steady gradient of confusion to dread as he realized what was happening. His name was on that list, he was here in this situation all because of her. She took a deep breath and stood up. “Everyone, stop!” she said loudly. It fell silent almost at once.

“It’s highly unlikely that a real threat would have made it this far into the base without detection. We need to find the intruders and question them. Ms. Kin,” she said, looking to the head of informatics. “What is our new AI’s name?”

“Eve, captain,” she replied.

“Task Eve with triangulating and backtracking their points of entry. There are three of them. Have her switch the crew’s comms to a new channel as well. Mr. Stone,” she said, turning now to the head of security. “All non-combatant personnel should congregate in the emergency location. Send 20 security personnel to guard them. The remaining eight should begin sweeping the ship. Eve will alert them when she has eyes on the targets. Set phasers to stun.” Her eyes swept over the remaining officers on the bridge, but to her dismay Reginald was nowhere to be seen. She turned to the head of communications instead. “Hail Dr. Meadows. Ask him to ready the med bay.”

She sat back down, her earlier apprehension about the chair forgotten entirely, and opened a shipwide comm. The blaring alarms silenced as she did so, though they still continued to flash. “Attention, crew. This is Captain Burnett. All non-security personnel, please report to your assigned emergency location. Any unusual activity should be reported to the bridge immediately.” She closed the link as soon as she’d finished speaking and stood back up, unholstering her blaster and checking the charge with clean, rapid movements, more muscle memory than conscious action. Her eyes fell on Perseus. “I saw them last night,” she said, quietly enough so that only he could hear her. “They won’t harm anyone. But please stay here.” And with that, she gave command of the bridge to the head of security and disappeared through the wide doors, heading for the central hallway where she’d seen Tyko the night before.

Meanwhile, in maintenance…

The two crew members appeared frozen as D0x’s helmet clicked in the relative silence and gloom. “So…what should I do with the two of you?”

The Zharian glanced at his partner, nodded, and reached into his pocket. “You should let us take you to the captain peacefully, ya freakshow, or I’ll scramble your brain,” he said, holding up the grenade-like weapon in the dim light. The EMP was harmless…for now. The other “engineer” had removed his blaster from its hiding spot under his shirt and was pointing it at the suit. He was starting to regret ignoring the captain’s suggestion of bringing the other device capable of scrambling electronics. He’d doubted that her prediction of an attack in the middle of the base would be accurate, and now he was facing this…thing.

Meanwhile, in the cannon room…

Blaster was going to frickin’ lobotomize whoever set off the fireworks early! AND they hadn’t even done it right! His BioBank account was empty for no good reason at all now, and he wouldn’t get the satisfaction of pulling off the coolest space show in the last decade at least. Perseus was never going to allow him to do anything fun after this…

He raced on all fours down the hall to assess the damage, colourful swears drifting in his wake, but he came up short as the entrance came into view, as that was the precise moment when the alarms began to go off. He blinked, nonplussed, and pulled his glowing shortsword from its holster along his back. He peeked around the corner cautiously, caught one glimpse of the Matron, and turned on his comm. “Hey, uhhh…bridge? There’s a dame down in the cannon room, but she don’t look too friendly,” he said, the tail end of his sentence muted somewhat by Gabi’s announcement. He may not be security personnel, but he could sure take this lady in a fight! …he was pretty sure, anyway. “HEY! LADY! That’s far enough,” he said, jumping from his position along the wall so that he stood directly in the doorway.
you'll be alright, no one can hurt you now
Code by Jenamos
 

Tutari

Custodian
"Attention, crew. This is Captain Burnett. All non-security personnel, please report to your assigned emergency location. Any unusual activity should be reported to the bridge immediately."

Any unusual activity should be reported to the bridge immediately, as if your asking to be compromised, but that makes my job easier. D0x waited patiently to see if these two brave souls would follow the chain of command. "You should let us take you to the captain peacefully, ya freakshow, or I'll scramble your brain," When the Zharian prematurely revealed the EMP, time slowed for the Lustrian AI. Oh? Speaking of compromised~ Odd! The council member made a big deal of ensuring the crew knew nothing of the operation. D0x follows the aim of the blaster drawn by the Lustrian. No response to the Captains chain of command... I guess I'm dealing with security personnel. Hmmmm, how the fuck did that happen. D0x began running a multitude of scenarios within the nodes scattered throughout it's detached body. Currently the two crew are trained on his helmet and chest plate. Thankfully the AI's wiring seemed to camouflage almost perfectly within the ships skeleton. If these were engineers he wouldn't have much time before they notice the slight movements happening in the dim light. D0x made it paramount to not infiltrate the ships system directly, in an attempt to avoid the ships AI. In fact over the past years he found it surprisingly fruitful (and fun) to go through more mundane methods then battling another computer. Communication devices.

The need to communicate, whether with voices or behind a screen is a crippling design flaw in any organic security. Trysts, family calls, parties, homesickness, gossip, mourning and reminiscing; someone has something to say about something, especially in the lonely vacuum of space. Piggybacking on the conversations or orders sent by others, D0x affectionally explained to Blue at one point, "I'm taking a one way train! And continue to keep taking one way trains until I like my destination~" It wasn't the easiest way to gain control of a ship but it proved essential when infiltrating the most difficult security systems. Which is why D0x is currently overloading his 28 nodular computer cores trying to figure out how his location was discovered so quickly. The only thing to come up through his search, is clear indication that Captain Gabi Burnett KNEW something was going down. Even now as D0x ceases his movement, he stews as EVE begins moving comms to another channel, waiting for the ship AI to be done with their task before taking a ride down the Security Chief's messages. Eight personnel to sweep the ship, but that was after this, interesting... Gabi Burnett.

D0x finally registers the two figures before him. "You know what that's a good idea, I might need some help however...." His wired ligaments stretch discreetly to the Zharian, like a spider extending their web. "I'm a head without a body-" Like a coiled serpent set to strike, wires wrapped around the arm that held the EMP. A sickening crunch followed shortly behind, as the device drops from the Zharians grasp. The Lustrian hearing his comrades yell from the pain fire accurately at D0x's helmet, hitting it squarely in it's visor. More wires flowed out of the damaged helm as they quickly wrap over the rest of the Zharians functioning limbs. A thick coil wraps around the Zharians neck, a glowing green orb of light permeating from the center of it. Weak grunts of fear and frustration escapes from the Zharians mouth as the Lustrian holds his aim, a bead of sweat forming on their brow. "And if your friend isn't careful you will be a body without a head." While damaged, the helmet slowly gets picked up by the remaining wires, glowing green lights interspersed at odd intervals. "Take me to your Captain..." D0x's helmet slowly nestles itself in the crook of the Zharians neck, almost as if he grew a second head. "I want to have a chat."

_______________________________

Matron listens intently at Burnetts message. Standard protocol, good, hope your crew follows it- "HEY! LADY! That's far enough," Right... the Vulpes. With a quick flick of her wrist, a small pop releases a metal cylinder that launches from her left arm band. With a practiced fluid motion, she catches it as it telescopes out into what looks to be a metal quarterstaff. Her visor locks onto the fox and the prerecorded message plays over her helmet speakers. " Ah, Blaster is it? Thank you for the explosive introduction." Two security personnel soon join the creature, weapons raised as they begin assessing the situation. "Without your fireworks it would be quite difficult to infiltrate this ship. After all, hard to look for discrepancies when well, with you around I think chaos is a daily task?" The two security guards glance at Blaster from the corner of their eyes but remained focused on Matron. At least security has their act straight, but- A melodious cacophony of angry frustrated yells and disbelief escapes from the various engineers and technicians fifty feet behind her. "Oh? I take it this isn't the first time you caused problems for others?" If this wasn't standard engagement for her and D0x, she would find the melding of her voice and the AI unnerving. "I wonder how long before the Captain weighs your usefulness with the crews safety?" A shot is let loose from one the guards as Matron deflects most of the energy off her stave. The residual energy thrums off the weapon and she feels a slight twitch as it goes across her hand. Set to stun, I might have to change engagement tactics for whatever the fox has in his hands however...

Getting into a dense crouch she braces herself as a chuckle not quite her own leaves her helm. "How long before you get-" With an explosive push off the balls of her feet she dashes towards Blaster and the two security personnel. "MUZZLED!?"

___________________________


Crouched over an unconscious crew member, Blue discreetly checks them, his blaster trained at the three non-combative personnel. "Everyone one wants be hero." Blue grimaces slightly as the pre-recording comes out of his helmet. I never met an AI who just has a collection of recorded shit talking. After confirming that the knocked out human male was not too worse for wear he slowly stands back. Just a little bruised, good job me! After giving himself a mental pat on the back from restraining himself from harming a rather bold crewmate, he turns to regard those still in the central hallway. For the most part when the Captain came on the intercom, many of non-combat crew were glad to follow instructions and flee. These four had other plans in mind. Or maybe dreams? Delusions sounds like Matron would say. D0x would probably call them stupid.

"Better follow chain of command, it will be easier than..." He looks down at the body on the ground. "Whatever the hell that was." They hesitate for a moment, one of them gripping what looks to be a small taser like weapon. Seems to be standard issue, nothing fancy, but still. "Come on guys! Didn't you hear both my message and the intercom?!" Blue in mock frustration points a thumb at himself. "Akkanar's Blood? Black OP mercenaries?" One of the crew drew a personal blaster in that instant, taking a shot at Blue. "We wont let the Empire take us!" Reflexively he combat drops avoiding the shot before taking one of his own at the instigator. A clean hit to the shin as the energy arcs and causes them lock up before crumpling to the ground. The technician of the group seems to take the open opportunity to initiate a forced lock on the doors in their current vicinity. Grabbing the shocked and unconscious friend near them, they dragged her out as the doors begin to seal themselves shut. Blue tries to close the distance. Crap, I need to go in that direction! He gets almost ten feet to the door before something in his gut forces him to stop and look back. He watches in horror as the doors behind him are also are getting sealed shut.

His fear is not for his presumed entrapment though. "Shit shit shit, nonono!" He begins his run back, as he watches the human crewmate he dropped about to be vivisected by the door. Pushing off the sole of his boots he accelerates. The door is less than a millisecond from beginning its gruesome task before Blue launches most of his body in between the crew and the door. Sensors aren't responding to the body! Realizing the manual force lock override the usual safety sensors, Blue tries to keep it from completing closing, using his own body to wedge himself as he tries to move the non-responsive crewmate. Its taking all my effort just to keep us from both getting crushed! Rushing, he tries sending a message to D0x. "Problem at Central hallway, need you to override the mechanism of gate 21-" Tyko heart drops as hears the tell tale sound of a pre-recorded message starting up. "Ah, Captain Gabi Burnett! Glad you can finally join us, was worried leaving the resistance to fend for themselves was some sort of genetic trait!" That's not suppose to play, it's proximity! That would mean....

He's glad that he is helmeted, otherwise the fear on his face would make the position he's currently in almost comical. There she was, the Captain of the Cotopaxi, coming his way.
 

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.



The Ą̵̧̫̥̗͉̪̙̱̩̙̺͖͉̘͉͉̪͕̹̣̖͙͂̀̀̇̈́̑͊̔́͒̊̇͒̐̇͆̓̑̚͜͠͝͝͠Ç̴̢̛̛͕̥̥̪̠̜̘̿̑́̌͌̐̅͆͒͋̀̅̃͒̆̏̐͘͘͝͝L̸̢̤͎͓̖̤̖̯͚̭̦̞̩͚̦͙͇̓̉̓͌̑̾̅̈́̈̍͋̊̿̔͜͜ͅJ̶̡̧͈̻̗̣̖̦̥̙̺͓̩͎̱̲͎͔͖͖̩̏́͋͛̈́͛̽̄̇͊̕̕͘͝K̸̡̪͈̲̝̭̦̣̭͖̯̣͙̤̘̘̲͂̀̾͜ͅË̸̡̨̡̛̜̹̣̭͇̯̜̤̥̣͍͕̫͍̖̝́͗̇̉̋͐̉̀̈́̋́̃̅̀͝ͅD̶̛̤̀͘L̶̢̡̨̧̟̲͚͕̪͍̹̲̭͈͈̹̱̳̞̞̥̺͖̻͎̹̩͚̮̏̀͂̐͑́͗̔̊̆̃̒̈̆̋̃͂̾̍͒̓͘͜͠͠ͅK̶̨̛̫̳̖̥̫̟͓̠̣̘̠̱̪̰̣̥͍͙͇̓͊͆̒̌̍̊͆̉͑̓͗̎̂̾͆̔̈́̓̄̍̾͘̚͘͘̕͜͠͠͝




Aiko almost burst out laughing! Here was a merc trying to save a crew member from a messy end. Who had, evidently, assumed that she was Gabi and began giving a preplanned speech. If a man wasn't about to be…oh who was she kidding, the situation was absolutely hilarious! She retained her laughter somehow. There was clearly something afoot. The slight about Gabi's father had to be planned and Aiko filed the information away for later. Still, time to act the proper part and play this two-bit horror comedy show for awhile longer. And Gabi would certainly do this: shooting forward just after a swiftly concealed look of shock and a hint of pain. Determination was the only thing left. Gabi had to save her crewman, no matter the risk or potential for a trap.

Aiko launched into a power-slide and caught her captain's crewmate with enough force to get them both clear of the danger. But that wasn't enough. Hoisting up the crew-fellow, she sprinted through the hall, around the corner, down a bit more, and then did a quick check on the man. Looked fine enough to her! Unceremoniously, Aiko stuffed the man into a nearby empty room and, still immaculately Gabi, cautiously crept back to where the pinned fellow should be. But he may have broken free. Drawing a pistol that she totally had. Which, to be fair, wouldn't even shoot if she tried. Suit said no threat. No threat, no guns. Well, even in a number of threats she'd may get no guns. It was a matter of attitude! Tutelly attitude. And the queen of whimsy certainly did not need a cannon to add to her arsenal. Pity, truly a pity. There was sooo much she could do with a cannon. But, focus, Aiko, focus. She was Gabi. And a comedy horror.
 

muffinphobia

dancing witch
don't you dare look out your window, darling, everything's on fire
safe & sound
The Lustrian had little choice but to obey D0x’s request. Jaw clenched, he led the suited…thing to the hatch in back of maintenance that would grant them access to the ship proper. They climbed up the ladder where the Lustrian punched in his access code, shooting D0x murderous looks over his shoulder the entire time. And then they were standing inside one of the brightly lit corridors of The Cotopaxi. It was a bit of a walk to the bridge but Gabi’s most likely location.

They began to walk down the maze of corridors, the Lustrian taking a few “accidental” turns as he led the way, hoping someone else from security would happen across them. It worked better than he could have hoped for - on his third little detour, they turned a corner and the captain herself was at the end of the long hallway, her weapon drawn. She didn’t look terribly surprised to see them - in fact, she almost appeared relaxed, of all things!

On the opposite end of the hallway, Gabi activated her comm and spoke quietly into it. “Security, I’ve found one of the intruders. Corridor 2-C. Bring the equipment we discussed.” She took a few steps forward and raised her voice so that D0x and the two security guards being held hostage could hear her. It was then she noticed that the Zharian in D0x’s grip was injured - a broken arm by the looks of it. Worry clenched her stomach, along with a bit of nausea at the way he’d so thoroughly wrapped himself around one of her crew, but she forced her expression to remain neutral. “Hello, D0x,” she said. “I understand you’ve been looking for me.” Behind her, three security guards arrived, one of them wearing an odd machine on his back. It almost resembled an antique fire extinguisher.
you'll be alright, no one can hurt you now
Code by Jenamos