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A Matter of Opinion

Discussion in 'General Role Play' started by Chadwyck, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. OoC: Alright, this RP was invite only. So if you didn't get a message from me, and you wanted to join, I'm sorry, but it happens.

    BiC:

    There was a point in time when people called space "The Final Frontier" because it was a great mystery, Torin always got a laugh out of this particular fact. Space was nothing great in his opinion, he'd been born on a space station, the connecting port between the Latus Prime and New Mars, in fact, and he knew that space was nothing but a festering pit of thieves, murderers, and pirates. So much so that the Ally Armada couldn't deal with it all at once, so they would put prices on some of the more troublesome offenders heads.

    Torin walked leisurely down a path, to his right were many shops of legitimate business and questionable tastes, each with a particularly obnoxious neon sign flashing on and off in the faces of the passers-by. To his left were bridges spaced at one about every twenty feet, each bridge connected one side of shops to the other, and each was connected to a flight of stairs that would take you down to the park that was the center of Tsartavi Station, which had been built on the surface of an asteroid that orbited around a rather large, uninhabitable celestial body called Aerthus II. If you were to look at the station from above, it would resemble a target. The park was the bull's-eye and the various shops and hotels made up the outer rings.

    The space station was rather small, if you were to start walking from the docking bays toward the other end of the station, you would reach your destination in a little under thirty minutes. The only thing that made the station big enough to house so many travelers was it's ten stories, which made the station seem more cramped than anything. Each story was stacked on top of the others in a circle around the park, which was the most important part of the station because it provided roughly fifty percent of the oxygen in the station.

    Torin was dressed in a plain white t-shirt, that he wore under a partially buttoned up black dress shirt. He had black jeans, and white hi-tops on his feet. He had on worn, fingerless gloves, and a long, grey coat that reached down a little ways above his knees, with the sleeves rolled up past his elbows. His dark red hair was creeping down past his shoulders, pushed out of the way so that his face was clearly visible. His pale, green eyes surveyed the area in front of him, reaching out from his pupils there was a thin ring of gold.

    He had lived on this station through every one of his twenty years of life (Standard Ally Time, of course) and knew each and every street like the back of his hand. The station was supposed to be used for people to make rest stops between planets, so very few people actually lived there. He passed down the same streets every day, on his way to work at the docking bays, but since the death of his father six months prior, he had been looking for a way to escape the confines of this place.

    He passed into the district before the docking bay, a large, open room littered with benches and potted plants, a rush of people moved this way and that through the crowds. This was where all the new travelers would come into the station. It was very much the equivalent to the airports of the past, there were check-in counters for visitors just arriving, answering questions about how long they would be staying, what was the business of their visit. Just the average questions that needed to be asked to ensure the safety of those aboard Tsartavi Station, but the main reason for the continued safety was the weapon check. All visitors had to relinquish their weapons for the duration of their stay.

    On the other side of the room were the check-out counters. These were never quite as busy as the check-in counters for a few reasons, one of them being that some travelers decided to stay on station for longer than they intended, and requested an extension. And the other being that many of the visitors were picked up by Alliance patrols in the area that had deemed them criminals and taken them away.

    Torin passed through the sea of bodies, slightly moving people aside with light taps on their shoulders. The last thing he needed was to give somebody too much of a shove and start a fight, last time that happened, he had to spend two days in a cell for "disturbing the peace". As he passed through this room, he always looked up, the ceiling was a rather impressive clear glass dome: shatter proof, bullet proof, magic proof. The only thing that could get through it was a wayward ship that crashed into the station, in which case, a shattered glass dome would be the least of their worries. The dome provided the best view on the whole station, the stars glittered in the distance, and planets passed in and out of view according to their orbits. The longing to see the universe when Torin looked out of the dome almost made him forget how crime ridden it was.

    As he approached the huge, metal doors to the docking bay, he noticed an Alliance commander calling the room to attention. There was already a crowd forming around him, waiting for his announcement. "Ladies and gentlemen," He said in a booming voice that was gruff from shouting orders, "There has been an alarming rise in piracy within this sector, and the Alliance is issuing orders to recruit new teams of bounty hunters. Any persons interested in signing up are to assemble in front of the Allied check-out counter in two hours. That is all." He finished and headed off toward the large doors that led to the rest of the station, no doubt to give the announcement to everyone else on board Tsartavi Station.

    Torin stood there, the crowd already beginning to disperse, with a grin on his face. "This is it," He mumbled to himself, "This is my chance off of this rock."

    (OoC: Alliance = Generic name ftw. Ahem. As for the title... Work in progress? I couldn't think of a name >< )
     
    #1 Chadwyck, Aug 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  2. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "Good gods, where am I now?" muttered a woman as she made her way off of a public transport. "Tsartavi?" she asked herself while glimpsing a sign. "Oh, Tsartavi Station, silly me." She shook her head as if she should've known.

    Of course, she didn't.

    Hours before she had set foot on a transport with even knowing her destination, which was something she did quite often; it kept things fresh in her opinion.

    The woman walked along the corridors with the other people making their way to various checkpoints. She was a bit tall as far as the average went, standing at a good 5' 9". She was lean but not overly thin and was draped in dark clothing. An ornate dress floated lightly behind her as she took confident steps in heeled, brown leather boots. Gold wisps-designs went along the bottom of the dress. The dress had a coal gray corset with gold lacing. The black sleeves were open from the lower half of the upper arm to the upper half of the lower arm, the two halves connected by a length of fabric that went along the elbow. The end of the sleeves ended in finger-holes around her middle fingers as well as flowy-lengths.

    Her hair was long and silver-colored, with two blue streaks in the front that cropped her pale face, which allowed her fifty-year-old body to pass for forty. Of course, she was much, much, much, much, very much older than fifty. Her facial features were strong, and her sapphire eyes striking.

    The woman also wore a dark cloak with the hood down, else it would prevent her from wearing her most distinguishing piece of clothing; her witch's hat, which was also black and bent curiously. A ribbon of blue fabric was wrapped around the hatband and flowed out behind the woman as she walked.

    She was indeed a witch, and a rather powerful one at that, having had many years to master many magical arts. She spent most of her time going to unknown destinations, exploring and meeting new kinds of people. Her aimless journeys had brought her to the Tsartavi Station.

    The woman waiting in line patiently for her turn to speak with the person at the check-in counter. She noticed quite a many curious looks cast towards her, but there were stranger people than her walking about, and so ignored the gazes.

    "Name?" the perfectly bland individual at the counter asked her.

    "Sorena," the witch replied.

    The person shot her a look. "Last name?"

    "Don't have one," she replied quite matter of factly.

    "How can you not have one?"

    "Trust me, I'm quite the dinosaur," she explained, eyes wandering about the room as she spoke.

    The receptionist entered the name into the system with skepticism, and was decently surprised to find that there was a Sorena with no last name.

    The magical being leaned over the counter and looked at the screen. "Ooh," she murmured sadly. "I really should update that picture, it must've been some two hundred years ago that I took it..."

    The receptionist stared wide-eyed at her. "Looks like it was taken today!"

    Sorena frowned, looking down at herself. "My gods, you're right. I need some new outfits."

    The person shook their head and moved on. "How long are you planning to stay?"

    "No idea," she replied straight-faced. "I'm quite as like to stay here for a decade as I am to leave in the next five minutes,"

    The person gave up on the woman and simply entered a certain amount of time into the system. "Any weapons to relinquish?"

    Sorena raised her left arm and from the sleeve a sword was revealed. The receptionist's eyes boggled for a moment, as that fact that the sword was in her sleeve was impossible. Of course, Sorena had the ability to say, "A wizard did it."

    The sword was of a peculiar metal that seemed to shine on it's own. The handle was black and a large sapphire was embedded into the base of the blade. Two strands of blue fabric were tied onto the grip. The witch handed it over after saying, "Take care of this, I've no doubt this sword is worth more than the combined wealth of whatever country you grew up in."

    As Sorena was about to turn away she paused and turned back on her heel. "Oops, almost forgot this thing," she added, tossing the receptionist a knife from the hilt she kept it in the small of her back. "Take care of-"

    The person glared at her. "And is this worth more than my hometown?"

    Sorena blinked. "Oh, goodness, no. But I am really fond of it. Lot's of sentimental value and all that. Ta," she ended the conversation with a wave and left.

    The witch had to walk only a short while before hearing the shouts of a man somewhere in the vicinity. Something about crime and something about bounty hunters. She completely stopped going the direction in which she was traveling and went towards his voice. In only a few seconds she learned that she had to go back to the check-points anyway.

    Grinning, Sorena went back and formed herself into the same line she was in before.
     
  3. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "Docking sequence complete. Entering standby mode."
    "Finally. Best not truck about here for too long, bloody Alliance stations."

    When it came down to it, she didn't really need a ship - but she found it easier to keep up appearances and carry whatever supplies she needed that way. She modified the small gunship to fit her own special needs, of course, but without a careful inspection, it was impossible to find what exactly the modifications were.

    She slowly gathered her thoughts as her form solidified again, and she proceeded to stretch, catlike, surveying herself in the mirror. Her favorite appearance - closest to what she vaguely remembered she used to look like. shortish-average height, a petite, athletic body frame with a darkish complexion. Black, curly hair held back with a green headband, piercing green eyes set in a mischievous, elfin face, and a complex-polymer exoshell in green and black, with a curious helix-pattern motif.

    She looked perfect to herself for a few moments before she realized something was missing. Oh yes, this whole breathing thing. Humans did that. She shifted her composition to appear as if she was. Better.

    She stepped out of the airlock, seemingly a perfectly normal human female - though she moved with inhuman fluidity - and was immediately reminded why she didn't like Alliance stations. They tended to be stupidly crowded and have those blasted military types on them. She didn't like the way the Alliance ran things, really, but she supposed that they served a purpose of sorts.

    Navigating her way through assorted lines, she finally made the checkpoint.

    "Name?" the random receptionist-or-equivalent-thereof asked.

    "Emerant Cirrus." she replied, matter-of-factly as possible.

    The receptionist entered the name into the system, and furrowed his brow when nothing came up.

    "Your real name, please." he said, agitatedly.

    "Emerant. Cirrus." she replied coldly, placing her hand on the monitor and shooting the receptionist a dangerous look. Something about her voice seemed distorted. "Do I need to spell it out for you? Eme like Emerald, Rant like what I do at your ridiculously faulty technology when it fails to recognize me time and time again, and Cirrus with an I and two Rs. Like the cloud formation, assuming you even know what that is."

    The receptionist gulped slightly. Normally, when dealing with someone who was being threatening, he would activate the silent alarm and security would have removed the offender in a heartbeat. But somehow, he could not bring himself to push the button. Maybe he did make a typo. Even though he was sure he got it right... He typed the name again in the database, and this time, something DID come up. The photo matched the woman almost perfectly.

    "Ah. See? You people can do something right after all." the woman smirked.

    "How long are you planning to stay?" the receptionist-person chose to ignore the comment.

    "For enough time to restock on supplies and get off this rock." she said "Here on business, nothing more than that."

    "Any weapons to relinquish?"

    "None." she replied. "None whatsoever. Will that be all?"

    "Yes, that would be all. Welcome to Tsartavi Station." the receptionist said, with an attempt at a curt nod, which seemed a bit too stiff to have been done as anything but protocol. She rolled her eyes slightly as she moved away from the checkpoints and into the station proper. It's not that she was rude by nature - far from it. She just had little tolerance for bureaucracy and the rigid, law-bound Alliance. She was a freebird - a drifter, a mercenary, travelling across space on her own with no particular loyalty to any faction. She kept a low profile to the best of her ability, taking on odd jobs on various sides of the law to obtain the money she needed to obtain whatever supplies she needed to keep flying. Laws and borders were little more than limitations to her, and she knew the ways to bend them, just to get by unscathed. She could never get the people who would completely disregard the laws for their own profit, but seeing as some of her jobs involved tracking down these pirates and bringing them down, she didn't mind their existence all that much. Someone had to provide her with entertainment.

    ~*~

    As she returned to the docking bay area after her round of shopping for resources and supplies, a voice caught her ear - some puffy alliance commander basically announcing that the sector was full of pirates and the Alliance was so desperate for help they were 'recruiting' new teams of bounty hunters. She couldn't help but chuckle. Typical Alliance, their forces too incompetent to deal with threats on their own so they had to pay bounty hunters to do the job for them. She pondered it for a moment - the Alliance paid well, or at least relatively well, and her restocking was not cheap. On the other hand, was she really interested in selling her soul to those Almighty Pompous Incompetents?

    Eh, she had two hours to consider it. Would take some time for the loaders to bring the supplies she purchased on board her gunship, anyway. Emerant Cirrus had time to kill.
     
  4. It was a rare occasion for the Alliance to open hunter registrations on the space stations, they tended to stick to the larger systems to do their recruiting.

    A planet of one billion people was just more likely to have qualified persons than a space station consisting of only two thousand people at any given point. If he didn't register quick enough, it could close again, and someone else would get the pleasure of hunting down all the bounties out among the stars.

    It was a particularly happy thought to become a bounty hunter, which was rare in Torin's ever increasing pessimistic existence. Better to start a day expecting it to be particularly boring, that way if something interesting did happen it seemed even better. At least, that was his personal life-style choice, "pessimism for the sake of optimism". It had a certain ring to it.

    Being a bounty hunter just made sense to him. Torin had been raised to be able to defend himself, and he was a pretty decent at hand to hand combat. He'd been trained in magic as well, at the request of his mother when she still lived, but had never been a prodigy exactly. He was fairly adept at lightning spells, however. In addition, he had agility, and was fairly quick-witted in his own opinion.

    He had all manner of odd jobs when he was growing up, and every one of them bored him to tears. He'd either end up fired for not showing up, or he'd quit because nothing exciting ever happened.

    He'd been waiting for the Alliance to open up the bounty hunter registration for a long time, he decided not long after the death of his father that the only real excitement was to be found out in space, drifting from place to place, seeing new sights. At least this way, he could make money by drifting out amongst the planets. And he'd be paid well, depending on the bounties he brought in, hopefully he‘d be able to go after the good ones. Living in a ship, with no where to go, and no place to call home, fighting pirates just so he could keep on drifting. For some reason, nothing had ever sounded so appealing in his life.

    He decided he needed something to kill time before the registration, and there wasn't any chance of him going to work any more. No more loading supplies onto other peoples' ships for him. He didn't know what to do in the meantime but he would figure something out.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    "Docking sequence complete." Beeped the ship's computer. The doors opened with a hiss and the exit ramp lowered to the ground, Torin's boss stood ready to greet the crew and explain the laws of Tsartavi Station, had Torin showed up for work he would have stood behind his boss ready to answer any questions that his boss didn't want to. Then he would load any supplies that they purchased from the basic food stores that were in each docking bay.

    Eight men came out of the ship, they walked down the ramp single-file and began to form a group in front of the docking officer. "Hello, gentlemen, welcome to Tsartavi Station. If you would just continue through the doors, you'll find the check-points and our weapon check station, if you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them for you." He said as he wrote down the ships ID number on his clipboard.

    "I have one." Said the biggest of them at the front of the group, "Do you believe in heaven?" The man next to him to the left drew a knife and plunged it into the docking officer's chest, who crumpled to the ground. "Go blow that door open, time to make an entrance." The leader said, and the other seven went to work planting the explosives on the door.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Torin turned away from the check-points and began walking back toward the shopping district, when suddenly there was an explosion from behind him, he turned in time to see the huge docking bay doors fall with a loud crash. People began to panic, the mass of people turned into a sea of discord. There were people running in every direction. In the smoke there were eight figures who stepped forward, they ran into the crowd and started to attack random people, looks of sheer delight on their faces.

    This was a bold move, even for pirates. Attacking an Allied space station was just asking to be put into their graves, but it looked like they were going to be sending quite few people to the grave before them. The one that Torin made out to be the leader headed straight to the Alliance offices tucked away in the corner nearest the docking bay, and he opened fire with his repeater into the open door, laughing while he did it.

    He was a tall man, creeping up toward seven feet, he was dressed in a dirty, brown trench coat over a blue vest, his eyes were a piercing blue, and his black hair was a mess of tangles and curls.

    Torin pushed his way through the waves of terrified people, he ran up and jumped over a check-in counter. There was a receptionist crouched on the ground, "I need you to open the weapon check room." Torin said as calmly as possible, the room was about ten feet away behind the main check-point, it was a heavy metal door and only the receptionists had a key. "Give me the key!" He yelled over the increasing commotion when the receptionist just stared at him in shock. He handed Torin the key and Torin ran through the panicking crowd toward the weapon check, he didn't know what he intended to do by himself against eight people, but he couldn't just stand by and do nothing.

    As he approached the door, one of the pirates stepped in front of him. He was quite the opposite of the pirates' captain. He was about five and a half feet tall, his eyes were bloodshot, and he wore a sadistic grin on his face. In his right hand, he held a dagger, and on his left arm running from his wrist to his elbow was a metal plate, presumably used for blocking. Torin sighed and cast a lightning spell at the man. It was a direct hit, but the lightning didn't seem to have an effect, the metal plate on his arm began to glow. It was a nullifier. Only an exceptionally powerful spell could penetrate the shield that it generated around him, Torin cracked his knuckles, hopefully physical attacks would still work.
     
    #4 Chadwyck, Aug 14, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  5. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Sorena waited patiently in line in order to get her weapons back. She looked about the room, taking random notes of useless facts. What time it was, how nice the glass dome looked, how shiny the floors were. Useless things. She crossed her arms and sighed once she moved up a space in line, now thinking of whether or not she should change her fashion up a bit.

    The explosion from the doors shook her from her thoughts.

    "Hm?" the witch expressed as she looked over to see what was the cause, which was made difficult as most of the people began running around in all directions. After another second or two she was able to pick out the shapes of eight figures. "Ooh, pirates, that would explain it."

    Still in her place, she looked in front of her to realize that she was next in line; all the people in front of her having run for their lives. She walked up to the counter to find that no receptionist could be found. Looking over she saw one handing a key over to a young man that loomed over him. He didn't look much like a pirate, so Sorena figured he was trying to get into the weapon room in order to fight off the attack.

    The witch began to follow after him when she saw the short man get in the kid's way. She also saw the pitiful lightning spell he tried to use on the pirate as she neared him.

    "No, no, boy. Do it like this," Sorena instructed as she raised her right arm and snapped her fingers. A condensed orb of electricity appeared in her hand and proceeded to be absorbed into her hand as she shot a single bolt of lightning from her palm towards the pirate. The single bolt had thrice the power of any natural lightning bolt and, needless to say, over-powered the nullifier. The shield shattered and the owner was left sufficiently cooked.

    "Like that," she affirmed. "Now go get whatever weapon you're looking for," she said as she began to turn. "Oh! And get mine too! It's a sword paired with a knife! Sword kinda glows, can't miss it!" she shouted after him before facing the rest of the pirates. Cracking her knuckles, she held her fingers out towards her opponents and began expelling lightning from her fingertips.
     
  6. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "Oh, eff you, Irony Gods."

    That was the first thing that passed through Emerant's mind the moment the cargo bay doors blew open.

    Pirates. And dumb ones. She just loved the sort. Randomly attacking civilians. If you were going to take hostages, you could have been a bit more subtle about it. But then, sending a team of eight to attack an Alliance station seemed about as logical as sending a 10-year-old to infiltrate the secret headquarters of a crime syndicate. You couldn't expect much from the sort who would do that - although it may have just been dumb enough to work. All depends on the levels of their equipment of course.

    The female smirked. This was going to be fun

    She scanned the room quickly in search of what looked like the nearest target. Sure enough, she found it — a hulking, balding mountain of a man with his lips painted red, massive, unkempt eyebrows and a beard, a pair of huge visor-like sunglasses and a red tattoo that ran across his head and seemed to spell some kind of a curseword. Red and black dominated the man's outfit — if you could call it that. The pirate was dressed in a skin-tight black complex-polymer bodysuit, like a wrestler's (clearly designed more for intimidation than for protection), and an enormous pair of red, metallic Power Gloves and Power Boots — clearly with some kind of boosters attached to them for extra swing. On top of that, the man seemed to wear what looked like the collar piece of a space marine exoskeleton, painted red to match his power gloves, assorted obscenities scrawled upon it. The boots had a blue line going along their side, and both boots and gloves had a yellow star painted on them. The man seemed to be composed of 95% muscle mass and 0.1% complex neurological pathways. As for the rest of the 4.9%, it seemed like that was too much of a mathematical complexity for the man's mind, and that is why he was beating the crap out of every person that he could find.

    Yes, this one would do nicely.

    "Hey, Muscle head!" she called out "Why not pick on someone who can fight back, for a change?"

    The man paused, turning his head slowly, followed by the rest of his body, towering over the female. He smirked, surveying her with what appeared to be nothing more than pity.

    "Ohhh? You think you can fight back? Ha ha ha. I want to see you try. Go on." The pirate bellowed in a deep, thickly Russian-accented voice. He shifted his stance a bit, planting his feet on the floor plating and flexing his oversized muscles. "Punch me, if you dare."

    The girl smirked.

    "You asked for it, knucklebrain." She said, forming her hand into a fist and backing it up, preparing to strike. The pirate seemed to not even brace himself for impact.

    BIG mistake.

    The girl's punch flew, connecting directly with the precise point at the center of the man's chest, what could only be described as a small gravitic shockwave spreading from the point of impact. The pirate, wind knocked out of him, was knocked off his feet by the power of the impact, sliding across the floor and smashing unceremoniously into a wall, leaving a slight dent in the wall and killing the pirate's last remaining brain cell.

    The pirate shakily rose to his feet, coughed some blood out, and then charged, berserk-like, at the female, with only one thought in his mind: vengeance. The female only grinned, shifting her stance to a fighting stance, readying her fists.

    "Showtime." She smirked.

    When the pirate's first fist flew, it was intercepted by another punch from the female, the gravity shockwave from her punch nullifying the gravity shockwave from the power glove. The man's attempt to strike with his other hand was foiled by another punch, followed by Emerant grabbing hold of the pirate's power gloves and proceeding to launch a quick series of kicks to the pirate's chest and face, climbing atop his shoulders as she kicked. The pirate's vocabulary was reduced to the typical villainous grunts of rage typical to the powerhouse brute villains of cartoons from the 80s of 20th Century Earth — but all the grunting in the world couldn't help him shake the grinning girl off his shoulders — girl in question was currently holding on to a pair of handles on the man's collar and hanging on — with the sole purpose of, apparently, pissing the pirate off — and doing a very good job at it.

    Then she sensed — more than she saw - a bullet ricocheting off the man's collar. So, the thing was bulletproofed. She was not surprised — she was pretty certain that the power gloves were made of the same material and were just as defensive as they were offensive. Another bullet confirmed her suspicions — prompting the girl to jump off with an impressive backflip, blocking another flurry of punches with her own punches. She turned her head quickly to the source of the bullets and managed to notice a small, jittery looking man with an unhealthy-looking yellowish skin tone, reddish-pink eyes and a Mohawk of wiry hair. He reminded her a bit of a sick chicken.

    Emerant rolled her eyes - Pirates these days had no sense of honor and fair fight, did they?

    No, they certainly didn't. Once the girl wasn't so close to the first pirate's head, the second pirate allowed himself to burst into maniacal laughter and unleash a flurry of bullets from his gun — an automatic fire round. The bullets pierced the girl's body and proceeded to ricochet off the man's power gloves and complex-polymer bodysuit, apparently bulletproofed as well) as he moved away. It did not stop for a very long time.

    "Crap. Out of bullets." The gun-toting pirate screeched in the sort of voice one would imagine on a Jurassic Park Velociraptor.

    "That's nice." Came a chuckle "I think you might have got a particle or three. Of course, the fact your bullets are made of metal which I could use to absorb and regenerate didn't really help matters."

    Both pirates froze. What they were currently beholding was impossible.

    The girl stood there, several holes neatly and cleanly carved through her, grinning like mad. There was no blood. There was no anything. In fact — these weren't entrance or exit wounds — it was as if the girl's body simply parted to let the bullets through. And if that wasn't enough, as if to mock the gunman, the holes sealed completely in a matter of seconds, leaving the girl looking utterly unharmed.

    "What the flying fuck ARE you?" screeched the second pirate.

    "Whatever she is, she's MINE!" the first pirate roared, slamming his fists against each other, charging them with some kind of aura… and then he paused.

    For the girl's arms transformed before his very eyes, now resembling metallic, long, segmented blade tendrils, segments connected vaguely to each other by what looked like clouds of glowing, green particles. The girl sighed at the two pirates.

    "You know, it figures." She said, taking an experimental lash with the right tendril, knocking the gun pirate down. "You start a day, get aboard a space station, just to pick up some supplies and get out of there…" She lashed out with her left tendril, leaving an array of jagged cuts on the man's black bodysuit. "No fuss, no muss. But nooooo. Some fuckers like you just have to show up and screw up my plans for the day." The girl lashed with both tendrils at once, leaving a deep slash all across the power gloved pirate's collar armor and chest, and forcing the second pirate into a scream as he realized that the severed arm that just spontaneously appeared next to him was his own.

    "And you know what?" the girl said, flailing her tendrils and probably maiming the two pirates beyond recognition, though she didn't seem to be all that bothered "I'm REALLY not in the mood to draw this out any more than it's already been drawn. So, you guys were a really sweet distraction, but…"

    The girl paused. It happened in a single flash of tendril extension — the tip of the blades pierced the two pirates' bodies simultaneously, expanded into a hook form, and drew the two in. She smirked at the terrified eyes of the two soon-to-be-ex-pirates for a moment, before transforming a pair of blade segments into hands, and grabbing the backs of the pirate's heads.

    "Nighty night!" She grinned cheerfully, banging the pirates' heads against each other and impaling them with smaller blades that emerged from the palms of her hands. She proceeded to retract the blades and let the pirates' heads to drop lifelessly down.

    "Heh. Pirate hookshot. I loved that game." She smirked, morphing the hooked tips of her blade-tendrils into their more typical blade form, and retracted the tendrils, morphing them back into arms. Whatever blood and fragments of tissue that were still on her slowly disintegrated as they were absorbed, broken apart to their basic atoms and integrated into her structure. She surveyed the carnage she just inflicted on the two former pirates.

    "Ooh." She cackled "They're gonna have to glue you back together. IN HELL!"

    She moved away from the scene of the carnage with fluid indifference. There were still more of these goons on board — and she could tell that a few have already been dispatched, through what looked like magical means. Ah well, would only mean that she could get off this rock quicker, before she had to explain to those alliance buffoons how those two men managed to trip and tragically fall onto a thousand different sharp, painful pointy objects.

    She shrugged, and proceeded to seek out the next target. Pirates. They certainly don't make them like they used to.
     
    #6 StellarWind Elsydeon, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  7. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Sorena was able to dispatch another pirate with her lightning magic, meaning there were at least two of the eight down, perhaps more if anyone else was aiding her, which she think there was at the sound of the nearby gurgled screams of two men.

    She lowered her arms and looked around for another pirate to take care of when a flash appeared out of the corner of her eye; a large fireball was rocketing through the air straight her. She took a step forward with her left foot, drawing her left arm up across her body. The light of the incoming flames glistened off the sapphire ring on her hand. With precise timing Sorena back-handed the fireball where it careened off into a wall.

    "Think you're pretty tough, don'tcha grandma?" came the jeer of one of the pirates. This one seemed to be built similarly as the ancient witch, he sported a trench coat with some generic ripped clothing and a peculiar hat. It was clear that he was the one who had fired the attack at her.

    "No, but I bet you do, trying to beat up an old woman," she grinned wickedly. "Nice hat by the way; you look like a Smurf."

    Frowning, the mage-pirate launched another fire-ball. to which Sorena responded by fluidly moving her arms around her before aiming them at the attack. The fireball was thoroughly doused by concentrated water from the air, putting it out. She followed up the maneuver by freezing the leftover water and sending it at the man in the form of darts.

    The man smiled as he ran his fists into the ground, sending up a wall of flames to melt the darts. "Nice trick," he snorted.

    "Trust me, I know a little otter-thing who does it much better than I do," she responded before sending an electric blast from her palm.

    "Too bad they ain't here!" The man held up his own palm and created a magical shield and managed to block Sorena's attack, though his face look pained as if he struggled to keep the shield up. "It'll take more than that, hag."

    Sorena dropped her arms to her sides and stood pondering for a moment, as if thinking of something interesting to do. After only a moment her form seemed to dissipate away, streams of black smoke flowed away from where she was, pushed by the rushing of air to fill the gap she once did. She reappeared not even a second later as an expanding cloud of smoke out of the air next to the pirate. She struck out with her leg before the veil vanished; sparks danced about her foot and she connected the low-kick with the mage's shin.

    The man howled and Sorena shut him up with a solid slap across the face, also augmented with her magic. "You're quite the silly man." Sorena stated as she grabbed him by his shirt collar, slammed him against the wall and held him up against it using magic to aid her strength; his feet dangled a foot above the floor. "You're also a clumsy magician. I'm sure you think very highly of yourself, able to set buildings and people ablaze all by your self," she began to smirk. "I'm sure you're this crew's hailed fire-raiser, giving you slaps on the back as they watch the black columns of smoke while enjoying the spoils." She sent a mildly powerful shock into the man's body, causing him to spasm. "But this was your big mistake. Thinking that you could do anything here and live. Doing any thinking period was also a big mistake." Another jolt. "Good rule of thumb is to know your enemy; and you have no idea who I am." Sorena shook her head as she dropped him and teleported away back to where she was before, leaving the man very embarrassed.

    Enraged, he unleashed on her what could only be the most powerful fire spell he knew; and she had to admit, it was rather powerful. Sorena reached out at the jet of flames with her left hand, taking hold of it with her magic and causing it to swirl around her arm while she raised her right hand in the form of a closed fist to her mouth. She blew into it as her hand opened, causing a large ball of flame to bloom from her palm, pulsing and bulging. The witch manipulated its path above her head, allowing it to grow before she made it flow into the other stream of fire around her left hand. The two attacks combined and Sorena shot her left hand at the pirate. The stream of fire condensed into an orb which flew directly at the man. It enveloped him completely for several moments before dying away. leaving only ashes behind.
     
  8. Torin watched as the woman's lightning spell collided with the man, overpowering his nullifier and dispatching him without so much as a follow up spell. This caused Torin a certain amount of embarrassment at the mediocrity of his own spell, he had always thought he was decent at magic, apparently not.

    After a short sentence, the woman had turned and walked away, back into the fray. Torin wasn't about to allow the action to end before he even had a weapon to fight with. He pulled open the heavy, metal door and ran inside. The room was actually a long hallway lined with lockers stuffed with weapons. He had to work fast, first he found the glowing sword with the knife that the woman with the strange sense in headwear had mentioned after throwing aside many of the more useless looking weapons. He set them aside, now he had to find a weapon for himself, he dug through the lockers. After about a minute of searching, something caught his eye. Chakram, there were two of them, and they were exceptionally crafted.

    Each one was a half circle, the flat edge of which was an ebony handle wrapped with leather for a better grip. The blade along the curved edge was serrated, and had multiple protrusions that were three inch long blades that came off from the blade, and were evenly spaced.

    What drew his attention to them, however, was that with a twist of the wrist the blade would detach itself from the handle, still connected by two metal, yet still very flexible, cables. This gave the weapons a very appealing range attack that, with proper training, would bring the weapon right back to your hand after you'd thrown it. He put them both in one hand and ran out of the room.

    From the looks of things, a few more of the pirates had been dispatched. Torin spied the woman in the crowd and called out to her, "Hey, lady! Here's that sword you were looking for!" He slid the sword along the ground to her feet before turning and surveying the area for the nearest target. It didn't take him long to pick out the lummox of a man standing before him, taking swings of an impressive sized club to random people running past.

    He wasn't exceptionally tall, perhaps six feet five inches, but he was wide, it was very much possible to compare this man to a tank. His shoulder span was enormous, and his arms were as thick as tree trunks, a relatively new tree, but tree trunks none-the-less. He was wearing a beanie that was entirely too small for his thick skull, and his clothing was stretched to the point of tearing over his musculature. He wore a black peacoat that was pulled over a plain white t-shirt. His pants were tearing at various places because of his leg muscles flexing. He had a cigar protruding from his mouth that emitted a foul smelling smoke into the air around him.

    To make matters more interesting, perched on the wide man's shoulders there was another pirate wielding a high powered beam rifle, which he fired nondescriptly into the crowd, randomly frying people as they ran. He was thin, and was dressed in a single piece white and black uniform, and black boots. He had long, blond hair, and he wore a scope over his right eye, which would adjust to zoom on whatever target was in it's cross-hair.

    Torin ran forward, shifting his newly acquired chakram so he had one in each hand, the man with the rifle had spotted him, and grinned as he readied his aim on Torin, "Look what we got here, a would-be hero." He laughed in a nasally voice.

    Torin approached a bench and leapt off of it in time to avoid being hit by the bolt of energy that passed from the nozzle of the gun directly where he had been only a second before. "What the hell?" Said the nasally voice again.

    He readied himself to strike the pirate perched upon the tank man's shoulders, but the wide man's attention had been drawn to him as well. He swung his club at Torin, who twisted and kicked off of the club in time to use the momentum of the swing to propel him up and over the pair, the rifle pirate completely unaffected by the movement, he kept his balance near perfect. The rifle pirate turned and fired at Torin without even taking aim first. Torin managed to avoid it by rolling to the side, thankfully the pirate's aim was slightly off to begin with due to his rushed shot.

    The club pirate spun, dragging his club along the ground as he did so in a backhand swing, Torin jumped, and the club passed by beneath him. When the pirate stopped, he was slightly off balanced, Torin decided to use what little time he had to try another attack at the rifle pirate, he leapt again as soon as he touched the ground. Just as the rifle pirate was turning to take another shot, Torin's foot connected with his face, and he was sent flailing through the air falling to the ground a few feet away from the tank man. Torin landed on the tank's shoulders, who then swung up at him with the club.

    "Not a very intelligent brute, are you?" Torin asked sarcastically as he leapt out of the way of the incoming attack, which connected with the tank's head, he was still standing, but dazed for a moment. Torin landed back on the club wielder's shoulders, he saw the rifle-toting pirate begin to stir. He stabbed one of the chakram into the hulking man's shoulder's, who responded with a cry of pain, and twisted his wrist so the the blade detached itself, and he wrapped the cords around the man's neck a few times.

    He jumped to the ground as the rifle pirate stood and shook his head a bit, he was missing a few of his teeth. He growled as Torin rushed toward him, the pirate raised his gun, but Torin was quick enough to make it next to the pirate in time. He threw a punch that plunged his left hand chakram into the thin man's abdomen. "Let's see if my lightning is sufficient this time." Torin said as he conducted a lightning spell through the chakram's blade directly into the man's body, frying him from the inside.

    At the same time, he sent a spell through the wires of his right hand chakram, the metal cords conducting the electricity as it went, electrocuting the tank as it coursed around his neck before channeling through the blade of the chakram. Both opponents fell to the ground, their bodies still twitching from the energy still coursing through their bodies from the attack.

    Torin withdrew his weapons before turning toward the crowd again, there weren't many more left. "Shame," Torin said with a grin, "Things were finally getting interesting," He cast another look at the two bodies and then at his chakram before moving into the fray once more.
     
  9. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Three more of the hostile signals disappeared - leaving only one signal - the pirate leader. She surveyed the man - seven feet, just about, piercing blue eyes and generally messy appearance. He was armed with a repeater which seemed to fire short bursts of energy with the speed of a machine gun. A curious little weapon, she thought Would certainly make life more interesting.

    And he was completely oblivious, it seemed, to the fact that all seven of his men were dead. He was still randomly shooting, laughing like mad. He felt completely safe.

    Emerant smirked. She was going to prove him wrong.

    She picked up the gun of the pirate she just dispatched. She recognized the model - it was an alliance model, generally used by the military - stolen, obviously. She hated the things personally - guns, that is. Point, click, someone dies. Very unsportsmanlike. But she wasn't going for a kill - she was going to catch his attention.

    Remembering, vaguely, that the screechy pirate exhausted all his bullets when battling her, Emerant snapped the loading compartment open. She smirked as an idea formulated in her mind. With a bit of concentration, she allowed several tendrils of her hair to detach and fall into her hand. She placed these tendrils inside the loading chamber. Another burst of concentration, and the detached tendrils dissolved into a cloud of particles, taking a new form - the form of a bullet round compatible with the weapon. She closed the loading compartment. Her hand instinctively reached to release the safety, but then she realized it was already released. She checked her line of fire was clear and there was no one between her and the pirate leader... and pulled the trigger.

    A lone bullet whistled, leaving a trail of green light behind it before slamming into an invisible barrier around the pirate leader and shattering. Personal shielding. No surprise there.

    That certainly had the effect she wanted. The pirate turned to her, laughing.

    "Useless, useless!" he cackled as he started releasing rounds of energy at her "You can shoot all you want, stab all you want, cast whatever magic you want, and I'll just take it with a smile. This shield is unbreachable! I'm untouchable! UNTOUCHABLE!"

    Emerant rolled her eyes as she dodged the rounds acrobatically. There was a confident one - but too reliant on technology. She grimaced - that would be his downfall. She'd just have to keep distracting him...

    The situation continued for a while - the girl firing a bullet that shattered against the shield, causing ripples like on the surface of a soap bubble to appear on its surface, and dodging rounds of energy. The pirate was so occupied with the girl he didn't even bother firing at whatever few innocents who haven't managed to run away yet. Soon enough, the girl ran out of bullets as well. She shrugged - she probably got the effect through. As she continued evading, she giggled.

    "What's so funny?!" the pirate leader smirked "I wouldn't say running out of ammo is very funny - or dying."

    "It just amuses me that you just don't know much about particle physics." she says "Every shield, even the most powerful one, has its weak spots. Microscopic weak spots, an utter bitch to find. On your model, they even more around a bit. But they exist."

    "What do you mean?" the pirate smirked.

    "I mean something small enough can get in. And these bullets I shot at you weren't ordinary bullets."

    The man stopped. Something was wrong. He shot a look to his hip. Something was shooting sparks.

    "These bullets," she said "Are composed of nanomachines. Exceptionally tiny. When they splattered against your shield, they weren't destroyed. I simply commanded the bullets to split into fragments, search for a weak point and widen it just a bit - just enough for more nanomachines to flow in. Enough nanomachines to find your shield generator and do this."

    The shield flickered and died as the control box on the man's hip collapsed into dust.

    "Bad move, woman." the pirate growled.

    "Only for you." Emerant grinned. "All your men are dead. Give it up."

    "I'm dead anyway." the pirate said, a flicker of dementia in his blue eyes "If I have to go, I'm going to go with a bang!"

    The pirate cackled, shedding his trenchcoat and revealing the device attached to his back - a rather powerful array of explosives was wired to the man's back.

    "This little baby here?" he said with a grin "It has enough power to vaporize this entire station. It's wired directly to my nervous system. If anything is to happen to me... Boom. Pirates can be recruited. A brilliant leader is irreplaceable. And now you're going to let me go, because I doubt you want to die or have all these innocent lives on your conscience."

    "I hate to prove you wrong, but guess what." Emerant smirked. "I don't give a damn."

    The smirk was the last thing the pirate saw of the woman - because seconds later, the woman's form dissolved into a chaotic, swirling, roaring cloud of particles - a nanomachine tempest - which proceeded to engulf the pirate leader whole, swirling faster and faster. Individual nanomachines began their assault, settling in droves on the pirate's body and silently breaking his cells apart into their basic-most chemical components while at the same time attacking, dissolving and neutralizing the explosive array on the man's back. As the deconstruction moved faster and faster, the pirate could not help but attempt to scream - a scream that was stifled as even more nanomachines swarmed into the man's body through his mouth. In a matter of a minute or so, it was all over.

    Emerant recomposed herself, her hair slightly shorter as she used an array of nanomachines to contain the useful, raw elements that used to compose the pirate leader's body. They may be useful later. Concentrating for a moment, she sent the containment orbs away to her ship. So much for the supplies she bought. Bah. Money was no object to her. She could obtain the necessary components elsewhere. For now, she had to leave. She's already exposed far too many of her abilities.
     
  10. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Sorena blinked. "Now THAT is neat!" She exclaimed, pointing at nano-girl while looking at Torin. She began walking over to Emerant. "Why can't I do that?" she muttered to herself as she grinned at the girl. "Hi! I'm Sorena."
     
  11. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Emerant paused. She heard a new noise. Turning her head rapidly in the direction the voice came from, she noticed a woman randomly approaching her. It didn't take her too long to see the woman radiated power - A magic user, and a very powerful one at that. Her outfit, of course, matched the role perfectly.

    Oh joy, she thought, Witnesses. Then she realized that if she was still here while this chaos was going on, then she must have been the magic user who fought along with her. All of a sudden, her thought processes as the woman jovially introduced herself as Sorena.

    Emerant couldn't help but smile in response.

    "Emerant Cirrus." she said, nodding in greeting. "I can see that you and I have some things in common - We're both much more then we seem... And we've been fighting off these goons, whoever they may have been. They don't make pirates like they used to."
     
  12. Torin stood awestruck, before he even had a chance to move on to another target, he saw that they had all been defeated except for the leader, who was currently engaged in combat with a girl. At least, she looked like a girl until she turned herself into a storm of nano-machines, and, quite literally, tore the man apart.

    He saw the magic user who had asked him to find her weapons for her walk over to the girl, and they began to talk. Torin figured he might as well go over and join them. "That was pretty impressive," He said as he walked over to them, "I mean both of you, of course. Though I must admit, I've never seen anything like that nano-machine thing." He looked around at the scene that had been left behind, "These weren't exactly the most competent pirates, were they?" He shrugged, "Oh well, name's Torin."
     
    #12 Chadwyck, Aug 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  13. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    OOC: Shortpost is short.

    "Frankly, I'm surprised they have the gall to call themselves pirates. In some of the places I've been to they would have shot them on sight and hung them off the communications array of their ships for giving pirates a bad name." Emerant grinned, then paused, clearly pondering something.

    "But just what were they trying to accomplish by this? Other than get killed, that is. Almost too reckless and stupid. Of course, it could be that they were just incompetent pirates... But then, this may have also been a distraction for an attack from another side. Am I the only one who finds it very convenient that the Docking Bay wasn't crawling with Alliance Security Goons the moment the explosion happened? Something doesn't feel right... Either way, I don't intend to stick around. I don't feel like being held for questioning."
     
  14. OoC: Meh, it's a pretty short post. Oh well, hopefully it will work

    "You know, I hadn't really thought about that," Torin started looking around the room at all the chaos that had ensued, "There wasn't a single Alliance trooper to be found during that attack. Very strange." He said taking note of the injured, and those who were even less fortunate. "You don't really think that the Allian--" Torin was cut off by the sound of the doors opening at the entrance to the check-points.

    Alliance troopers began to file in, about a dozen of them, they stood with their weapons raised all aimed at Torin and the other two. "Don't look now," Torin said looking at the nano-woman, "But I don't think you'll be getting out of here without answering a few questions." Behind the soldiers, the captain that had made the announcement about the registration walked in.

    He surveyed the scene, a look of disbelief on his face. His gaze fell on the three who were left standing. "What in the hell happened here?" He half yelled in the same gruff voice as before, only this time it had much more wind in it, like his throat was struggling to force the words out. Obviously, his throat had taken more of a toll than Torin had first thought. He walked toward the three of them, still looking around the room at the destruction, the squad followed him with their guns still fixed on them. "Are you responsible for all of this?"

    Torin couldn't help but laugh spitefully, "Us? The only thing we're responsible for is stopping the pirates that attacked while all you clowns were off doing god-knows-what." Perhaps he had been a little bit too straight forward, the captain's face grew a deep shade of red, Torin guessed that it wasn't because of embarrassment so much as anger. Snapping at a fully armed Alliance squad may have been a bad idea. At this point, however, he just decided to keep on going, "If it weren't for the three of us, the whole of Tsartavi station could have been blown to oblivion."

    The captain's face return to it's average shade. He tugged some wrinkles out his forest green Alliance uniform and straightened the matching hat he was wearing. His uniform was decorated with an array of awards that Torin hadn't noticed before. "You three stopped a pirate attack?" He asked looking around at the scene yet again, this time he seemed to have noticed the bodies of pirates that hadn't been completely vaporized. "It appears that you three work well together, if you are, in fact, telling the truth."

    He turned his back on them and began to walk away. He stopped a short ways away from them, "You will tell us everything, and following the interrogation, if your story checks out, I'm prepared to offer you three a position as Alliance bounty hunters." He turned around again giving his men an order to 'escort' the three of them to the local station, "And since the three of you do seem to work so well together, I'll even pull some strings and make the three of you a crew." He seemed to think of it as a very kind gesture, "Consider it my way of thanking you, and that doesn't happen often." He added as he walked out the doors.

    Torin looked at the men surrounding them now, "Well," He said to Sorena and Emerant, "What do you guys think? I‘m not a big fan of being shot at." He said taking note of the weapons that were still raised, "Especially not from twelve different angles."
     
    #14 Chadwyck, Aug 18, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  15. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Sorena, who had previous to the captain's entrance been intently focused on Emerant's body, even if she couldn't actually see any of the nanomachines, (She found it all incredibly interesting nonetheless.) stood very straight and attentive when he spoke, her hands folded before her.

    The witch grinned slightly when he said that they seemed to work well together, when that wasn't entirely the case. Of course she wasn't thinking that the three of them couldn't work well together if the opportunity arose. She grinned at the captain's suggestion, finding it to be a perfectly good opportunity for some adventure, plus she would get to do it with these two fine people.

    Piping up at Torin's question, she noticed for the first time that there were indeed guards all around them. "Well, you don't really have a choice, do you, boy?" she responded, hinting that she and most likely Emerant could, as some people say, 'blow this joint'. "C'mon, it'll be fun," she said as she tugged him along by an arm.
     
  16. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Figures. Emerant rolled her eyes This day just keeps getting better and better.

    Too late (as ever), the Docking Bay was crawling with Alliance security. She briefly pondered simply Nanoblasting her way out of the station, but she figured that if she attempted it, her newfound companions (of sorts, anyway) might get randomly shot, and, well, they seemed like nice people, a shame to let them get hurt for no good reason. She chuckled slightly at the Witch's comment. Naturally - she'd probably be able to pull something off too.

    "Charming man. If by charming you mean obnoxious self-important military douche, that is." she murmured "I've seen them all before. But eh, might as well see what they want. Who knows. Maybe by the time they're done with their interrogation, or whatever, those sodding people will finish loading my supplies onto my ship. I paid quite a bit for those tritanium/duranium alloy rods, y'know."
     
  17. Torin wasn't sure he appreciated Sorena's comment about how he had no other choice, he wasn't exactly helpless. "Hey, did you see the size of the pirate I brought down? That guy was like a walking tank," He said indignantly, "I may not be some all powerful mage, or made up of nano-machines, but I can still--" He was cut off by Sorena grabbing his arm and pulling him along after her. Torin didn't see what would be so fun about being interrogated by the Alliance, today definitely wasn't going as he planned.

    "You know," Torin said after hearing Emerant's statement about loading her supplies, "Before all this happened, I would have been one of the people loading all your supplies, even though I'm only supposed to be answering any questions visitors have." He stopped for a second, "To say that today has been strange would be a severe understatement."

    They turned a corner and arrived at the Alliance policing station, Sorena still tugging him along by his arm. The station was an older looking building tucked away between the outer wall of the station and a row of restaurants. They were brought straight in, and led by the guards into a room where the captain was waiting for them.

    "You all took your sweet time getting here." He sounded as if he'd been waiting for hours, when the three of them couldn't have been more than five minutes behind him. Torin fought the urge to comment. "I don't see any reason to split the three of you up and get separate accounts of the incident. This should just be a simple case of question and answer." He leaned back in his large metal chair, it creaked as he did so. He lit himself a cigar and sat for a moment, "Now then, who wants to tell me what happened?" He took a puff of his cigar and exhaled it in the trio's direction. Torin leaned back in his chair. Great, this is going to be boring.
     
  18. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "Oh! Oh!" Sorena raised her arm, looking back and forth from Torin to Emerant. "I'll do it." Lowering her arm, she folded her hands in her lap and cleared her throat. "Alright, so. It was after I had checked in that I heard about you and your recruiting of bounty hunters to take care of crime; because that's totally the way to go about solving the problem," she inserted with a smirk.

    "I thought; why not? Could be fun; shot at some adventure, because you'd be surprised how many old bags like me want adventure. Because really, you think women who look my age are completely happy washing clothes, but they're really wishing they could go out and seriously screw someone up good, I'm telling you."

    She paused, shifting her eyes around before continuing and seeing the look of irritation and impatience in the man's eyes.

    "Anyway," she resumed. "I went back in line at the checkpoints to get my things back, minding my own business and admiring the station; you have really clean floors by the way." The witch nodded, her eyes completely sincere. "And then there was the explosion. I looked over, wondering what the heck it was, and I saw pirates. I thought that was all well and good: pirates and explosions go well together, whether they're causing them or being killed by them."

    Sorena chuckled. "I looked around, half-noticing that all of you were bloody gone, and that the pirates were starting to kill and plunder and all that stuff. Torin here was getting into the weapons room to help, I got rid of a pirate that was in his way, asked him to bring me my weapon while he was at it," she looked over at him and added, "Thanks by the way."

    "Then I just went about dispatching the little buggers. By 'dispatch' I mean, well," she shifted her eyes around again. "you know..." she leaned in closer. "Avada Kedavra and all that..." Leaning back she resumed. "Torin and Emerant were there too, Torin eventually got hold of some weapon, as for Emerant, Emerant! She-" Sorena paused, biting her tongue.

    "I'm not sure what she was doing but she was helping out somehow... I think she picked up a gun or something, you know, one of those ones that make big messes of people." The woman thought it wise not to mention the girl's amazing ability. "Gross, really. Anyway, before we knew it, it was all over and then you guys showed up, and then we followed you, and now we're here with me talking at you, telling you about our amazing day!" She expelled a sigh and then she was quiet, folding her arms across her stomach and eying the other two in case they had anything to add.
     
  19. "Yeah, that's about it." Torin said shrugging, he didn't think the captain was going to buy it, "Pirates attacked, and the three of us killed them. Simple as that." Torin leaned back again, waiting for the captain's big speech about how he didn't believe them and whatever other nonsense he could think of, but instead he just smiled.

    "Well, I'm glad to hear it." Was all that he said, it was odd seeing an Alliance captain smile when usually they were all business, something didn't feel right about how easily he dismissed it. It was almost as if he expected them to know something more; like there was something that they had missed. Torin was shaken from his thoughts by the captain dabbing out his cigar. "We finished identifying the bodies, and it turns out that particular crew had gotten themselves marked."

    He stood up and crossed toward the door, motioning for all of them to follow, "You will all be paid at the front desk for your services, consider this your first bounty as bounty crew zero-one-one-seven." He led them to the front desk, where the receptionist was already preparing their payment and marking the targets as disposed in the Alliance database. "Speaking of your new crew, do any of you actually have a ship, or should the Alliance issue you one?" He asked folding his arms, "If we issue one it'll only cost half of your earnings for three months, depending on the bounties you bring in, of course." He smiled again.

    "Well," Torin said eying the captain, "I don't have one, so we're out of luck there." He shrugged his shoulder's looking to the other two, and then back at the captain. He seemed so eager to get them off of the station.

    Something definitely didn't feel right.
     
  20. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    Sorena was at once quite serious by this strange turn of events. There was indeed something more than could be seen, and it only proved to draw her in further.

    Standing up, she replied, "Assign us a ship please," she said, not knowing whether or not Emerant had one, but she figured if the girl did she would speak up. "And don't bother with any of that pay-cut nonsense; here." she dropped her right arm and a chinking sound could be heard as a pouch fell into her hand with a clink. The witch tossed the money onto the desk. "It's not the currency you'd prefer, but I'm sure you'll find it more than acceptable."

    She knew it was in actuality much more than she needed to pay, but money wasn't a big priority for her; she actually had forgotten that she would even get paid for the job. With a tip of her hat she turned on her heel for the door.

    "Come on, then," she said, tugging at her companions' arms. There was a greater mystery to be solved.
     
  21. Needless to say, Torin was surprised at the amount of money that Sorena dropped so willingly onto the desk. So much for the pay deductions, which worked just fine for Torin. He did, however, feel slightly guilty at the amount Sorena had just payed for them to get underway.

    Apparently the captain was equally as surprised as Torin was, he didn't speak again until they were already on their way out the door, being tugged along by Sorena, "Your ship is in docking bay six!" He called after them, as if just remembering where he was, "You'll have access to the list of posted bounties in the ships computer, and you'll receive calls if a particularly special case arises!" He continued, he didn't know if they had heard the last part, but they'd find out soon enough either way.

    "That was quite a bit of money you threw down back there." Torin said as they headed toward their new ship, "Thanks for that." He said still feeling rather guilty.

    "I guess we'll be getting to know each other rather well in the future, huh?" He said with a smile at his two new companions, "Bounty crew zero-one-one-seven, I suppose it has a certain ring to it." He continued to smile though his thoughts were racing, what exactly was going on with the Alliance? He hoped to either find the answer, or to be kept too busy to care.

    Not too long later, they entered back into the check-point center where not even an hour prior, they had fought off the pirates. Amazingly, there were hardly any signs of the struggle left, "Hm. So the Alliance cleans up pretty fast when it's something they don't want people to see." Torin scoffed as they entered into the docking bay.

    Just as the commander had said, in docking bay six there was a ship waiting for them. It wasn't extraordinarily large, and it didn't have to be for only three people, it was the size of a small flagship. There would be a living quarters, a small relaxation room with a television, hopefully, a kitchen, and the bridge. The bridge had a position for a navigator, weapons specialist, and a pilot. Along with a few other, non-essential positions, such as the captain's seat. Wouldn't exactly matter since the three of them all got paid evenly depending on the bounty, naming a captain would just be a waste of time.

    The ship was blue and silver, and near the nose of the ship there was a stamp painted on reading 'Alliance Vessel 2486'. That would have to be the first to go. "I think we should think up a name considering it is our ship now." Torin suggested, "Just so we can paint something over that Alliance ID stamp." He hoped his companions would be up for it, just as a way to break-the-ice so to speak.
     
  22. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Emerant raised an eyebrow at the ship. Her first thoughts were "Brilliant. We have a mothership. Name it Jenova and I nanoblast you." Well, it was large enough to accommodate her gunship, and that's all she really needed.

    Upon hearing Torin's comment, she grinned slightly. The ship WAS ridiculously alliance. It could definitely use SOME modifications. A complete reformatting would be preferable to her, of course, but starting somewhere small, like the name, would be a good idea.

    "Hn, I agree. I'm not a huge one for semantics, but anything is better than some kind of alliance number-based moniker. You can say a lot for the alliance, but not that they're the most creative bunch."

    I am never going to be a number again. she thought, briefly. A fragment of memory. She shook it out of her mind - she reinvented herself to avoid this sort of nonsense, and she really wasn't sure she liked what just happened. After all, she was used to working alone, undercover, in a craft that wasn't easily identifiable and without anyone looking over her shoulder. Especially the Alliance.

    Well, if all else failed, she could always split, get a new appearance and get on with her life. That would be a terrible shame though. She liked this form.

    There was one thing she had to do now, though.

    Hey, Sorena, Torin." she said, nodding at her two 'crewmates' "You two go on ahead. I still need to pick up my ship. Didn't mention it during the briefing because it would be rather useless to you. I'll contact you to let you know when I'm ready to dock with this... thing."

    She nodded again and turned away to head to the docking bay where she left -her- ship. Hopefully the supplies were on board by now. Otherwise the station would have had more than just pirates to worry about.

    She briefly considered scrambling the main computer core's language processors to make them sing arias in Northeastern Czechoslovakian instead of talk right before she left, but she cast the idea aside as being too much effort for too little chaos for the Alliance. Their efficiency wouldn't be affected either way. It sucked when the systems spoke English, too.
     
  23. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "A name, yes," Sorena agreed after waving at Emerant as she left. "Well, I'm all for naming it, The Ship. So unless you have a better idea..." she trailed as she looked at the exterior. "It's big isn't it? Might as well paint 'Hi! We're here to kill you,' in red on the side," the witch noted sarcastically.

    "I'm going on board," she told Torin as she began to walk up the ramp. "If you need me I'll be wherever there's less chance that I'll blow something up."
     
  24. Torin gave Emerant a wave as she walked off toward her ship. He hoped that they had finished loading her supplies, he hadn't known her long, but he could speculate that nothing good could come from her being displeased.

    He was woken from his daydream of Emerant tearing apart some poor docking bay worker with some shape-shifted weapon of some kind by Sorena's comment. "Yeah, it is rather big, but maybe after we collect a few bounties we can get our own personal ships to dock in this one, Emerant seems to be ahead of us on that point." He said with a shrug of his shoulders, "As for a name." He thought about it for a moment, "How about something like 'the Wayward Star'? We can run it by Emerant when she docks with us."

    Sorena began to walk toward the ship, "I'll join you, I want to check out the ship's interior." He took one last glance at Tsartavi Station. He couldn't wait to leave, but he had grown up here, and it felt strange to really be going. He sighed a contented sigh, and followed Sorena inside.

    The interior of the ship wasn't anything special, a few wall monitors to contact one part of the ship from another, an automated life support and climate system. He had hoped to see a rail system running along the top of the ship carrying little robot cylinders that channeled the ships main computer, he had heard about something like that somewhere. Oh well, just one of the things the new ship lacked. The decor was all very plain, most everything was grey, but he was right about there being a television. At least they could watch the news for any reports of pirate attacks from whatever system they were close enough to.

    He didn't know exactly where Sorena had went to, probably to the room with the television, provided that she felt like she wouldn't blow anything up in there. Torin headed the opposite direction, toward the front of the ship where the bridge was located. He sat at one of the consoles, various charts and maps meant it was the navigator's position, he tapped the nearest planet to their location on the screen and a list of statistics began to run across the screen. The planet's name, how long it would take to get there from their current location, the current weather conditions, simple things like that. Then a list of known criminals who had been spotted in the area popped up, each was listed with an individual name, and the names of known accomplices, and lastly the price on their head.

    Torin smiled, what a nifty little machine. He'd never had access to the Alliance Bounty Database before. Suddenly a beeping came from another console a few feet away, undoubtedly the pilot's seat. He walked over and saw a little flashing button, he pressed it and the Alliance captain appeared onscreen, "I trust everything is to your liking?" Torin looked around the bridge.

    "Sure, I'm just about to run a system diagnostic now." He scratched his head, "I thought that the Alliance wasn't supposed to check in with bounty hunters, captain?" He said in a tone that clearly meant 'why are you on our screen?'

    "I'm not checking in, boy," Torin bit back another remark, "I'm giving you an update on a special target, since you are the closest to the location at this point in time." Torin scratched his head again, that was fast. "A particularly dangerous group of pirates have been spotted near New Mars, we believe they may be docking there to resupply, the price for their capture is seven-hundred-fifty thousand. Dead or alive, of course. The information will be sent to your computer."

    With that the screen closed, and Torin was left standing there, wondering whether this was actually a coincidence or not, but at this particular moment, he didn't care. That was a decent amount of money, and it meant that he was really about to get off of this station. He pressed a button that opened the communication to the rest of the ship, "Hey, Sorena, can you come to the bridge? We got a pretty decent target not far from our location." He closed the communication and began running the system check to prep for take off.
     
  25. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "And what are these?" Sorena wondered aloud as she eyed the object in her hand. It was a bag of a popular brand of cheese snacks. She was indeed in the lounge with the TV and had stumbled onto a stash of snack food next to one of the seats.

    A small pop was heard as she opened the sealed bag. Carefully, she inserted two fingers inside and pulled out one of the crackers. After an extensive inspection from all sides, she popped it into her mouth and began chewing.

    "...Oh, gods..."

    Immediately she shoved her hand back in the bag for more. As she was obliterating the bag of snacks Torin's voice came up over the com system, asking for her presence in the bridge. Shifting her eyes around the room, she quietly took the rest of the small bags of that particular snack out of the stash and put them in their sleeves, where they were pulled into a magical pocket.

    The witch stood up as if nothing had happened and walked calmly out of the room towards the bridge. She tipped her hat at Torin as she entered and sat down in the captain's seat as she skimmed the information of their first target.
     
  26. Torin nodded as Sorena walked into the bridge and took a seat. "They aren't too far from here, the data says New Mars." He walked over to the pilot's seat, he looked at all the controls, and smiled. "I've never actually had to do this before." He scratched his head nervously. "Computer?" He said, hoping that this was a ship with an AI computer system.

    "Yes." Answered the computer in a bored, female voice It sounded like a high pitch and low pitch voice speaking at once. Torin was relieved that he even got an answer.

    "Prep the ship for take of." Torin commanded, mostly because he didn't really know where to start himself.

    "Why? You're too incapable to do it yourself?" Said the computer sounding slightly irritated. "Pardon me, that was a stupid question, after observing you for the past several minutes it is obvious that you are not qualified to press a button on a microwave."

    "No, not because I am incompetent, but because you're the ship's computer and you should know how to do so better than anyone else does." Torin was confused, he'd never heard of a ship's AI acting this way.

    "Of course, I live for nothing else." Said the ship sarcastically.

    "Maybe we got off to a bad start here, please prep the ship for take off?" He asked sounding as polite as possible.

    "Very well, at least you had the decency to say please this time." Said the ship's computer, monitors began to beep and buttons flashed, "I took the liberty to simply take off, seeing as how that was undoubtedly your next request." She said as the ship began to levitate off the ground and float slowly backwards out of the hanger.

    "Well, yeah..." Torin trailed off, feeling slightly uneasy that the ship was moving of it's own accord, "When we get off the station, hover for a bit. We have another crew member who is going to be docking with us." Torin said as he took a seat at the pilot's seat, just in case.

    "Oh joy, I am looking very much forward to meeting yet another person who will soon be wandering around inside my hull." Torin could imagine this woman rolling her eyes, it was slightly irritating. Actually, something tells me that the ship might not mind Emerant so much. Torin thought with a smirk.

    "By the way, passengers, address me as Sylvia." She said as they arrived just outside of the gravity field of Tsartavi Station.

    "Well, you can call me Torin. She's Sorena." He said pointing to the seat that Sorena was in, "And the person docking with us is named Emerant."

    "You seem to be under the impression that I care who you are." Sylvia said in another bored statement, "Chances are you'll all be dead by the time you encounter your first targets. Then I shall be assigned to another crew, who will also most likely die some painful way at the hands of pirates." She stated matter-of-factly.

    "You're a cheery one aren't you?" Torin mumbled, "Just wait here for Emerant to dock," He was about to get up and head toward the kitchen area when he remembered, "Please." He added. He got up and walked past Sorena, rolling his eyes as he did so.
     
  27. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "Well, say what you want about the Alliance, they sure do recover quickly." Emerant muttered as she surveyed the cargo manifest of her craft and discovered that the supplies she purchased were all loaded and accounted for.

    The Voidrunner - the name she gave the small, one-person gunship that she called home - was, on first glance, not the most impressive of ships. It appeared to be constructed of a mish-mash of salvaged human and alien ship fragments which somehow formed an aesthetically pleasing, streamlined shape - like many other craft out there. That was part of the Voidrunner's beauty - its relative anonymity. In a universe where space piracy was rampant, space debris were common. In a universe where space debris were common, it was not uncommon at all for people to salvage said debris and profit from selling salvaged technology. As such, craft like this did not stir any suspicion.

    Until you looked inside.

    The Voidrunner lacked several things that most craft would never be seen without. Control panels, for one. Or internal gravity. Or a life support system. Things that most living organisms needed to pilot a ship through the darkest reaches of space. Things she didn't need because she wasn't a living organism, nor did she pilot the ship. She became the ship.

    The interior of the Voidrunner's cockpit consisted of a complex-polymer seat (the last unmodified remnant of the cockpit - she liked it. It felt a bit more sensible to materialize a humanoid body on) and an exceptionally smooth and streamlined panel that was built in a circle around it. The panel had assorted data ports on it, and intricate array of almost biological-looking metal cables twining out of it and climbing along the walls of the cockpit and into the back of the ship, where they integrated with the ship's power core and central computer core. The panel and the cables themselves had assorted arrays of lenses and glassy patterns merged seamlessly into them. The tubes themselves appeared to be filled with some kind of fluid - though exactly WHAT kind of fluid was a good question.

    She shuffled into the seat, relaxing, her eyes closing. Within seconds, there was no sign of the girl - the nanomachine cloud that composed her form dissolved entirely, slowly flowing into the system, energizing it. The Synaptic Fluid within the system was vitalized, emitting a faint green glow as electric and ethereal pulses ran through it. The nanomachines coursed through the vessel with the fluid's natural circulation, breathing life into it - A biomechanical system combining magic and science.

    Where the girl was, there was now nothing more than a green crystalline object, softly glowing, floating through the air. A light, synthesized sigh echoed through the ship. Emerant was fully relaxed now, her nanomachines freely floating within the synaptic fluid without her having to control them. Blissful Entropy. She lived for little moments like that.

    She made a slight adjustment in her mind, sending a command into one nanomachine, which transferred the command to countless others through the Synaptic fluid. The ship's energy core ignited to life, and the un-docking sequence from the station began. The Voidrunner floated a little, then set its course towards the Alliance-issue Vessel that she was to dock with.

    She liked the small gunship. It had all she needed. Come to think of it, having to travel on board a large vessel of Alliance make was going to be a serious nuisance. But she could always keep to herself and to her ship when she wanted to be alone.

    The docking procedure with the larger ship went surprisingly smoothly. Allowing herself a few more moments of sweet entropy, she finally concentrated her thoughts again, drawing the nanomachines from all over the ship to surround her core again, Emerant's form coalesced into her favorite appearance yet again. She stepped out of the Cockpit, stretching.

    "Right. Time to explore this thing." she muttered, leaving the ship's docking bay behind and entering the corridors of the ship itself. Thank whatever pseudo-deities people thought up all Alliance ships were so simple to get around in.
     
  28. Torin was in the small kitchen area of the ship, he was looking through the supplies that were in the cabinets. They hadn't given them very many supplies, but they could always stock up once they got to New Mars. He wandered out into the small lounge and began to poke around, he had yet to inspect the ship and was getting his curiosity out of the way now. He opened a small compartment next to one of the seats. An empty box of cheese snacks? Torin furrowed his brow, then he heard the computer's announcement.

    "Docking sequence complete."

    Torin looked off in the direction of the back of the ship, "Hey, Emerant!" He called in the direction he heard her foot steps, "What do you think of naming the ship the 'Wayward Star'?" He smiled before he walked over to the closest wall monitor and pressed the button to open the comm to the bridge, "Hey, Sorena, would you mind asking Sylvia to set a course to New Mars?"

    "You could just ask me yourself," Said the moody AI, "I'm not deaf, after all."

    He shook his head, "By the way, Emerant, we got our first targets, they aren't too far from here." He called back again, "We'll fill you in on all the details." He hoped that she could even hear what he was calling back to her, but then he decided that even if she couldn't she'd find out soon enough. He could feel the ship already beginning to switch out of it's idle state and it's engines began to warm up. They were on their way at last.
     
  29. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    Upon hearing the AI's voice, Emerant could not help but raise an eyebrow.

    "... How quaint. An Alliance ship that thinks for itself." she muttered "Which is more than can be said about the entire Alliance put together, sadly."

    She shrugged.

    "In any case. Wayward Star..." Emerant murmured, as if tasting the name "Has a nice ring to it. I like it. So. New Mars, huh? Haven't been around THAT rat-hole for quite a while. Red is seriously not my color."
     
  30. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "You do realize," Sorena said after Torin had left the room. "That I will always want to talk to you." She was sitting quite lady-like in the captain's seat, looking out of the view-screens that displayed the outside.

    "You do realize," the droll voice of the AI answered. "That I won't be answering."

    "We're not as death-prone as you think," Sorena went on, not allowing herself to be halted by the AI's lack of interest. "And you'll find us quite competent; though I admittedly am rather clumsy with most technology," she said quite honestly.

    "Clearly," Sylvia replied.

    "I'll get you to like me, you'll see," she rubbed her knees and rocked back and forth, admiring the chair she sat in.

    The AI sighed. "Fine, do as you please. As if I have any choice anyway. Just, don't dare ask me what the meaning of the universe is."

    Sorena waved a hand dismissively. "Oh, that's an easy one," she rolled her eyes. "I'll ask you things like... If you owned a home in the high reaches of some mountain chain, and it was autumn, and you had a room with a large window that directly faced the setting sun so that it burned brilliant orange every day at dusk; what color couch cushions would you use?"

    There was only silence from the AI for a moment, as if she were wondering if the witch were actually serious.

    Sorena sat patiently for an answer.

    "...Maroon."

    "Oh, me too!" Sorena clasped her hands together. "My gods, we're simply destined to be friends!"

    Torin had begun talking by this point and The Wayward Star was on its way to New Mars in a matter of moments.
     
  31. "We will be arriving at New Mars in approximately eight hours." Sylvia said over the ships comm system. "And it would be wonderful if you could not spend the entire trip speaking to me."

    Torin wasn't exactly sure what the last part of the statement was referring to, he just shrugged his shoulders and went back up to the bridge. He sat down at one of the empty seats and opened up the Alliance Bounty Database. Like the captain had said there was a more detailed description of the targets that they had been told about.

    According to the records, they had been preying on smaller colonies out at the edge of Alliance controlled space until a few months ago. It appeared that they had gotten cocky and decided to raid an Alliance freighter that was delivering supplies to one of the larger systems. They managed to steal most of the supplies and weapons onboard, and then they overloaded the ships engines and escaped before the explosion. They had then taken to picking off similar Alliance targets, choosing bigger systems, drifting closer and closer to the center of Alliance space, no doubt recruiting more and more pirates as they did so. If they took out Alliance targets, they must not be as incompetent as the other pirates we encountered.

    The main target was without question the captain of the crew, he didn't look anything like Torin expected. He was actually a decent looking man, no dirt or torn clothes. He had long blond hair pulled back into a ponytail and he wore a brand new navy blue suit. Without the suit on he would be hard to pick out in a crowd, he had a rather common appearance. Well, this mission would definitely be interesting.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The view-screens finally showed what they had been waiting for. New Mars filled up the entire screen as the ship drifted closer to their destination. "Now arriving at the New Mars system." Sylvia said bringing the ship in closer. The planet looked almost identical to the Mars that belonged to the same solar system as the Earth, except for the fact that it was slightly bigger, and water was clearly visible even from orbit. New Mars supported life just as easily as the Earth did, it's air being comprised as the same basic elements. The largest city was called Borealis, and was the central hub of activity on the planet. If they were going to find any information about their targets, it would be in that city.

    "Sylvia, take us in for a landing in the city of Borealis."

    "I already set the course, people are such predictable creatures sometimes." The computer said as the ship came in for it's landing. The screen flashed on, and there was a docking officer standing before them.

    "Can I help you?" He sounded bored, Torin knew the feeling.

    "This is bounty crew zero-one-one-seven aboard The Wayward Star requesting permission to dock." Torin said fluidly, he'd heard enough people say it to know the procedure perfectly when he worked the docking bay on Tsartavi.

    "Very well, come in to land at docking bay forty-three." The screen closed.

    The city's docks were enormous, there were hundreds of ships flying in and out at any given point, it was quite different from anything Torin had ever seen.

    As for the city itself, it was huge. Streets stretched outwards like a spider's web, crossing and winding around large buildings that were made from some strange mixture of metal and sand-stones. The world seemed to be in a haze because of the red sand that was being lifted and moved around by the ever changing wind currents. In the center of the city was a huge spire that seemed to sprout up from the planet's crust. Transports could be seen moving in and out of small openings on every level of the spire, and at the top waved a gigantic Alliance flag. It was blue with a silver circle in the center. In the center of the circle was simply a golden 'A' and the phrase 'With Alliance There Is Hope' emblazoned across the top and bottom. No doubt it was visible from any point in the city.

    After they had landed, the doors hissed open and they stepped out onto the main platform, Sylvia could be heard as they stepped out, "Take your time, no need to hurry back." And with that, the door slid closed.

    "I figure we should asking around the city for any information as to where to find these guys. Any idea where we should start?" Torin asked looking at his two companions.
     
  32. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "Well, we obviously need to find the less sunshine-y streets and explore the underground societies. Black Market is a good start," Sorena stated. "Another good place would be the news stations; they'll obviously have had aired stories related to pirates. It'd just be a matter of asking around or hacking into their computer-whatevers."

    Sorena finished with a nod and began to look around. "Also, this isn't totally necessary, but please; my outfit screams, 'Burn the witch!'"

    Seeing that no one was around, she snapped her fingers and her form began to dissolve away in a trail of Sorena-colored smoke. A small form walked out of the veil; a black cat, the size of any regular house-cat. It had sapphire blue eyes, tufts at the ends of the ears and longer hairs at the end of the tail. The edges of the face were silvered in color that gave the cat a sense of age and wisdom. It was no doubt Sorena; she had simply transformed into a more suitable form for sleuthing and overall a bit less conspicuous.

    The cat jumped jumped onto Torin's shoulders. She adorned his neck and looked at the two patiently for them to pick a destination to start at.
     
  33. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "... You guys do that." Emerant nodded, raising an eyebrow "I'm going to go to check on a few of my old contacts. Alone, I'm afraid. My contacts aren't really the most trusting people."

    She smirked, an array of nanomachines seeming to disengage from her form and forming a loose brownish hooded cloak around her body.

    "I'll meet you back at the ship. 'Ta." she said, in a voice that seemed slightly distorted from her usual, and walked off with the same inhuman fluidity that always characterized her steps. A rustle in her cape happened as another change took place. That sodding breathing thing. One day forgetting to do that would be the death of her.

    ~*~

    Simply put, the One-Eyed Sandhopper was a pub. More complicatedly, it was one of those gritty saloon-pub dealies that one would expect to find in an old Western - only given a strange, steampunk twist. This was the future after all.

    But all the key elements were there - a mostly wooden interior given assorted touches of iron, an out of tune musical instrument resembling the bastard offspring of a piano, a pipe organ and a meat grinder being viciously assaulted by an equally out of tune musician and gruff clientelle who was most likely toting more guns than that one scene in The Matrix, entertaining themselves with what passed as alcohol, smoking what passed as cigarettes and playing what passed as card games.

    Typical day. The air was full of smoke, the lights were dim, and the music, if one could call it that, was joyful.

    The door to the outside world opened briefly, and a caped figure walked in, helping herself to a nearby barstool, and shooting a look from under her cape to the barkeeper - a bald, muscled, hulking mountain of a man who had an Amphisbaena tattooed on his scalp and a large decorative golden hoop piercing his right, slightly pointy ear.

    "Barkeep. Fix me a Burning Valkyrie, and oxidize it." the caped figure uttered in a sultry, husky and unmistakably female voice.

    "On the rocks?" he growled in a deep voice.

    "Maybe later." the figure smirked "When we know each other better."

    "I've seen this coming a mile away. You've got a lot of nerve to come back here." he said, in what almost sounded like a threatening bellow. The musician stopped. There was an uneasy silence.

    Then the man burst out into deep laughter, a happy smile on his face "At least without giving me one hell of a hug!"

    The female laughed as well, casting her hood aside and revealing her face - she had shortish orange-red hair and three parallel scratches - clawmarks - covering the left side of her face, what looked like an eyepatch covering her left eye. She had a short, muscular build as well, and looked like an amazonian warrior. She leaned over the counter, wrapping her strong arms around the musclebound bartender in a bear hug, which was returned in kind, as the musician resumed his playing.

    "Well, well, Little Vicky." the bartender laughed "What brings you to see me after all these years?"
    "Same as ever, Gerome." she smirked "No one in the universe can mix up an Oxidized Blue Valkyrie like you can. Figured I could drop by, have a drink, have a chat, catch up on what's been happening, y'know."
    "You're still a tease, Vicks." the bartender smirked, pouring the contents of several vials kept under the counter into a shaker and mixing it together, pouring the resulting blue fluid into a martini glass. "Just the way I like ya. Now watch carefully. It's your favorite part."
    the female grinned as Gerome dropped a small, sugar-cube sized and shaped lump of waxy material into the drink and backed away - just in time, for in a matter of mere seconds the cube dissolved with a rushing cloud of bubbles and the surface of the drink caught fire - blue fire - for a few moments before the flames died. The girl emitted an 'Ooooo' at the combustion, then took a hold of the glass, smirking at the bartender, and downing the drink in one shot.

    "Ahhh. Still refreshing as ever." she grinned "You haven't lost your touch."

    "And damned if I ever will!" Gerome grinned back, proudly "You've got to be sharp as a watch in this business or you're fixing to lose your job."

    "I trust you're never missing a tick?" Vicky shot the bartender a smirk, which he returned.

    "Never. And speaking of watches, I assume you'd love to know how my collection is doing." he said, mixing up another dose of the flaming blue drink.

    "Glad to hear you're still in the hobby." she smirked "Any new acquisitions?"

    "A few, here and there." Gerome nodded, dropping the cube of waxy material into the drink and passing it to the girl as it combusted "Although, dig this - this one watch I had for a while and thought was out of batteries? It started ticking again all of a sudden, and it's been ticking really fast too. TOO fast."

    "Really now?" Vicky raised an eyebrow, waiting for the flames to extinguish and downing her drink again "Think I could take a look?"

    "Sure. I think it's tough enough to handle even you." the man laughed heartily, and reached out to an inner pocket of his coat, pulling out an old-looking pocket watch, handing it over to the girl. "Think that off-worlder friend of yours can fix it?"
    "I'll have her take a look." the girl smiled.
    "Good." Gerome nodded "Now, enough about me. How're things in the wilderness? I'd admit, I thought that after all these years you just found a nice man somewhere, bashed him over the head and settled down somewhere!"
    "Pfft, please." Vicky cackled "A nice man? On New Mars? I'd sooner find another Clawstalker to get the rest of my face."
    "Oh, I'm sure you could find someone easy, knockout like you." Gerome grinned, giving the girl a friendly pat on the back that would have probably flattened a normal person. She countered with a pat on his back that would have probably crushed spines. The series was abruptly cut by the door hissing open again and a new group of men walking in.
    "Aw, but look at the time. Looks like I've got more customers to attend to." the bartender nodded.
    "That's all quite fine, Gerome." she grinned, swiping a cashcard through a reader, and watching a sequence of beeps register onscreen - payment for her drinks. She stood up, making a motion of tipping a hat towards the bartender and walked out of the bar, heading back to the streets. She chose a new path this time, casting her cloak's hood over her head, and vanished into the streets.

    ~*~

    The doors hissed open and the girl climbed aboard, the doors closing immediately after. The cape the girl was wearing dissolved into a cloud of Nanomachines, revealing the form of Emerant Cirrus - she has taken care to revert to her favorite appearance before approaching the ship. She couldn't trust its sensors to be able to determine her identity in a different form.

    "Oh. You're back." came the sarcastic voice of the ship's AI. "I don't suppose you've discovered anything remotely useful along the way?"

    "That remains to be seen." Emerant raised an eyebrow, and then she shot one of the ship's cameras a freezing death glare, her voice becoming a distorted, threatening chaotic harmony of voices. "And if you continue giving me that tone, you alliance scrap-heap, I'll upload a diagram of merely one of my nanomachines into your AI core, and giggle like a little girl as your pocket calculator of a brain chokes of complexity."

    That seemed to silence the AI. With a little smirk, she made her way to the bridge, settling on one of the chairs and taking the pocket watch out of a side compartment in her exoshell, where it was perfectly preserved. She smirked, knowing that the device was anything but a watch. Flipping it open, the girl set the time to 2:12 exactly and heard a click. With a satisfied smile, the girl opened the compartment hidden in the watch and removed a tiny data crystal from inside it. She clamped the watch close again with a fond smile, and placed it back in the side-compartment of her outfit. She'll mail the watch back to Gerome when they left the system - that was what they always did when she needed information from him.

    Uploading the data from the crystal into the ship's computer, she sat down and watched the playback. A smile crawled to her face. The rest of the crew would love this. Her contacts pulled through for her again, after all.
     
  34. "Well, all right then." Torin said as Emerant turned to leave, a cloak forming around her, "You sure you'll be okay on your own?" Torin asked, but it didn't matter, she was already gone. He had really asked out of instinct, there was not a person alive who Torin thought would be more okay on their own than Emerant. Except maybe Sorena, the two of them could probably live through anything.

    "I suppose it's just you and I, Sorena." He looked at the cat neatly perched on his shoulders, "And with you in that form, I suppose it's up to me." He said scratching his head.

    The first place he decided to check was the news stations, there had to be some news about pirate attacks in nearby systems. Even if they had a rumor about where the pirates would be if they had come to New Mars would be better than nothing.

    The main news station in the city was a huge building that stretched up at least twenty stories. It wasn't an extraordinarily large building, but anything seemed huge compared to the tiny, claustrophobia-causing size of the shops back on Tsartavi. The front doors opened with a swish, and a torrent of cold air escaped the opening and blew past the pair. Torin stepped into the streamline lobby of the studio and received a fair share of odd looks from passers-by before their gazes fell on the feline Sorena on his shoulders. He just sighed as he approached the front desk.

    "I'm sorry, sir, but we don't allow animals on the premises." The girl behind the counter said through an exaggerated smile of pearly-white teeth. She had her hair pulled back into a bun, and sat behind an all glass desk. She was wearing a navy blue suit that greatly resembled the outfit a flight attendant would wear. She was quickly typing on a Holo-Keyboard, and wore a hands free commsystem in her ear.

    "Oh, I'm terribly sorry about that, but hopefully I'll just be in and out." Torin said leaning on the counter, which got him an irritated look as the secretary saw the hand prints form on her spotless-glass desk. "You see, I'm a bounty hunter, and I'm looking for information." The secretary stopped typing and put her hand to the commsystem for a second.

    "Hello, sir." She paused as the person at the other end answered. "No, sir, there's a bounty hunter here looking for information." There was a long pause this time. "He'll be right down." She said at last, it took Torin a moment to realize that she was talking to him again.

    The elevator doors opened at the far end of the lobby and a short man in a brown suit approached him. He had a dark brown mustache and a glistening bald spot. He spoke in an accent equivalent to a New York newspaper editor. "What can I do for you, my boy?" He asked as he clapped his hands together.

    "I'm looking for a particularly dangerous band of pirates, has your station heard any news?" Torin followed the man to a set of chairs that were abandoned by the front door.

    "My boy, all my station hears is news!" He laughed, apparently he thought he was hilarious. "But I'm afraid I haven't heard anything about pirates." He said with a smile on his face.

    "You have got to know something." Torin said flatly.

    The smile vanished in an instant, and all that was left was a look of agitation, "I know that punks like you shouldn't stick their noses where they don't belong. If I get anything on these pirates it'll be in a news wave, other than that I'm afraid I must ask you to leave." The look on his face said that he was no longer going to discuss this.

    "Okay, I tried to be nice." Torin stood up and grabbed the man by the lapel. Only afterward did he realize that he was surrounded on both sides by a pair of eight-foot-tall androids.

    "Show him the door, boys." He man said through clenched teeth, apparently he couldn't uphold his jovial facade for very long. Torin was grabbed by both arms and thrown effortlessly out of the large glass doors.

    "This is going to be a long day." He said as he picked himself up off the ground, "Sorry about that, Sorena." He looked down at his companion. "But at least we learned one thing," He smirked as he dusted himself off, "There's something in there they don't want us to see."

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The rest of the search passed with little incident, and little success. "Hopefully Emerant found something," Torin mumbled as the doors hissed open.

    "Oh you're back." Sylvia sighed, "The other one is sitting in the bridge. Watching a playback of some kind." The AI offered.

    "Thank you, Sylvia."

    Torin walked into the bridge and saw Emerant sitting there with something in her hand, she had found something. That much had been confirmed by Sylvia at least, he decided to tell her what they'd seen at the news station after seeing what she had uncovered. "So, Emerant, what is it that you found out?"

    The playback began and a hologram appeared in the center of the bridge, it was a full three dimensional model of a ten-man crew. Each of them had a unique size and build, and it looked like each of them was proficient with a different type of weapon. At least things would stay interesting. Various data began to pop up in the hologram. Sylvia began to read the data aloud.

    "This is the pirate crew of the Nova Runner, most recently seen docking in the wastelands north of Borealis." Sylvia recited absentmindedly, "Currently wanted for outstanding offenses such as: murder, rape, high theft, and attacking Alliance freighters, this crew has been branded traitors of the Alliance and are wanted dead or alive." A pause for them to take in the information. "The captain is a different kind of pirate, relying mostly on his intelligence and ability to command others over brute strength, he is a short man with a quick temper and has been known to hide behind a front of legitimate business in between heists."

    The image changed to a short man in a suit, he had long hair and a full beard. An image flashed in Torin's mind, it was the man from the news station, he was sure of it. "I know him!" Torin exclaimed. "He was the owner of the news station, that must be the business he uses as a front to his piracy. That's why he wanted us out so badly." He stood up and examined the hologram closely, "That's definitely him, right, Sorena? No wonder no one can find them, he withholds any information about his crew. It's a Pirate-run News Station." He said looking at the other two.
     
  35. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "The nerve of them!" Sorena yelled as soon as she was back in her human form. She stopped before a mirror inside the ship and adjusted her cloak and hat. "I haven't been tossed out of anywhere since I told some governor's son that he was ugly." She walked away from the mirror. "It was true too!" she waved her finger at the air. "Not my fault he would get more kisses in life as a frog..." she voice fell into a mutter.

    The woman walked to the front of the ship, joining Torin and Emerant. "I still say we could have taken those silly androids and ripped them along with the fat man to bloody shreds- Oh." she blinked. "Hey, Em," she waved before slumping into a seat. "How long have you been waiting for us?" Her mental cogs turned and she began speaking again without letting Emerant answer. "You know, life would be easier if we had some phones," she nodded to both of them, quickly jerking her head up and down.

    "Sylvia?" she cooed. "What are some good phones?"

    It took a while for the ships AI to answer, as if reluctant for some reason. "You could use some phones, it's not like you're a magical being or anything." You could tell she was rolling her nonexistent eyes.

    Sorena frowned. "No, that's silly," she dismissed the idea with a wave of her hand. "Emerant is already a walking, well, everything. She's the bloody Swiss Army Knife of techno-whatever. And Torin," she gazed back at him. "He's a young man, young men like gadgets," she whipped her head around back to talk at the screens. "And I'm not too old for a phone; I want to be... hip? Yes, hip. Cool, hot, wicked, sweet, bad, smoking, and all other manner of misused words."

    "... Might I suggest the newest Blackberry?" Sylvia answered, probably spouting off some random cell phone model to get the woman to shut up.

    Sorena's sapphire-blue pupils darted about the room before squinting. "Blackberries function as phones now? What next?" The witch continued blabbering to herself until Sylvia began rattling off the info that Emerant had found. She listened intently, taking in every detail. Once it was over Sorena answered Torin. "Yes, that is most certainly the rude president. You know what this means right?" she leaned in closer to them, her voice in a whisper. "Revenge," she uttered with a glint of glee in her eyes. "But!" she leaned back in her chair, tapping the tips of her fingers together. "This man's position puts us in a difficult one. We can't very well march back up to the station and ask to kill the pres; we need a plan."
     
  36. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "Hn. Yes, quite the situation we've got here." Emerant murmured. "We know where their ship is, but attacking the ship directly would be, quite frankly, suicide. I know a thing or two about the Northern Wilderness, y'see. As for knocking out the leader... Well, as Sorena put it, we need a plan."

    Emerant stretched - she didn't really need to, considering, but some habits die hard.

    "We have an advantage - we know his cover, and he doesn't know that we do. Since it's likely that most bounty hunters with half an ounce of sense would ask the News Station for information, it's likely that he still has that security blanket. This however puts us in a bit of a difficult situation. He has a legitimate position of power, which means that if we attempt to take him down as is, he could simply contact his people, have them subtly shuffle off, and at the same time have us arrested. Or worse." She turned to Torin "I'm willing to bet he has eyes and ears everywhere, and that by now he knows exactly who you are and who is travelling with you. If I were a pirate, I'd keep a close eye on people asking the wrong questions."

    She closed her eyes for a moment.

    "As long as that cover is still up, he's untouchable on New Mars. So, we need to tackle this from a different angle... If we can't take the head down and watch the body follow... We need to subtly work our way up to the head from inside the body. If we can infiltrate the pirate crew somehow, and let a few choice communiques between these pirates and their leader... slip, so to speak, into public transmissions... We could blow his cover. I'm sure he can work his way out of any Alliance security, but he's not dealing with alliance. He's dealing with us. We take the pirates out from the inside, then we bring him in. The question is, how do we gain their trust. If they're even recruiting that is."
     
  37. It was a tough situation, Torin leaned back in his chair and rested his head limply against the head rest. Infiltrate the pirates. Take them out from the inside. It was a good plan, and really the only one they could follow.

    It would be nice to play up the fantasy of the invincible heroes, busting into the building, blowing everything to hell, and revealing the sinister plot behind it. But they were not heroes, they were bounty hunters, they were not invincible. Nor were they above the law, as Emerant pointed out, they could be arrested themselves if they made a wrong move. Or even killed, which was the more likely of the two.

    So the question that needed answering was this: how do they gain the pirates trust and infiltrate their crew? "Emerant," Torin began as a thought formed in his mind, "As Sorena said, you are a walking mass of machines. Now, they may have done a background check on us, they may know who we are, but they'll only have what the Alliance has on us." He stood up as he continued to think it through, "If you could change your appearance, they wouldn't have any idea who you are."

    He smiled as he concluded his thought, "Without proof that you are a bounty hunter, it would only be a simple matter of gaining their trust. And I may know a way to do so, but it will be potentially dangerous... especially for Sorena and I." He looked at Sorena in the chair and then back at Emerant, "If you were to gain their trust by bringing us in as prisoners. Tell them that we were poking around for information, and you brought us to them because you wanted to join their crew, or some other such lie. Once we were on board and you were in, all we need is a way to insure they don't kill us. That's a particularly important part of the plan, obviously. Maybe an escape, once they trust you, me and Sorena fight our way out of their ship, we'll do so without your help so there's no chance of blowing your cover. Then you contact us when you've got the information we need. We'll have to get those phones like Sorena mentioned."

    He sat back down in the nearest chair to him, "Unless either of you have a better plan, if not we just need to reinforce this one." Torin knew it was dangerous, he knew it was reckless, and knowing that is what put the smile on his face as he awaited his companions' answers.
     
  38. Sem

    Sem The Last of the Snowmen
    Former Administrator

    "Good plan, boy, but it's also very cliché," Sorena began. "Firstly, how the heck would Em know about either of us before getting recruited? It just smells of suspicion and something you'd see in a movie. If it were me I'd kill all three on the spot." She smoothed out her dress. "They will have information on us two, yes, but that doesn't mean we have to follow that plan."

    She got up and stood before them, waving her hands and fingers in fluid motions while chanting, leaving patterns of blue light in their wake. Her form began to shift and change. She grew a little shorter and her form became more hourglass, white skin darkened to that of a milky light brown. The wild silver hair shortened and styled itself, turning crinkly and pitch black. Her blue eyes went to a lighter blue and any wrinkles smoothed out. The witches attire changed dramatically; dark washed skinny jeans covered her legs, a form-fitting purple blouse with ruffles along the v-neck color appeared on her top. It only came down to right on top of the jean, so that skin showed if she stood in any posture other than straight, partly because of her now larger bust.

    A cream colored coat unfurled from nowhere, coming down to the back of her knees and the sleeves ended in cuffs. A lime-green sash snaked through the jeans' belt loops and tied itself into a knot where a buckle would be; a healthy length of the scarf was left to float and wisp about as the woman moved. Black, leather, high healed boots covered her feet and went all the way up her shin. All in all she looked quite stylish, but the inclusion of green makeup around her eye and the way she held her mouth gave her a "bad" vibe. Bad as in the watch-how-you-handle-me-or-I-will-bite-you bad. All in all she was a very attractive hispanic-looking young woman, with enough badass-ness in her attitude to make any recruiter seriously reconsider any notion to turning her down after the fact of the attractive thing, which couldn't fail on a group of pirates.

    "You seem to forget," Sorena said in a new voice that suited her new look perfectly as random accessories popped into being on her body. (No doubt things with charms to replace the accessories of her former outfit.) She held up her hands and harmless sparks flew out of them. "That I'm magic." The witch leaned down and pulled Torin up out of his seat quite forcefully with on arm. She hooked her arm into his and stood right next to him. "Call me Casilde Selvera," she nodded. "And I think it'd do us all good if I stayed a witch."

    "Now, I can do the same for you, Torin, give you a new look and all that. Emerant certainly has a persona she can use, or if anything she could create a new one. We could pose as a small group who have done some minor criminal offenses; robbery, assault, drugs, the usual. Only we're bored and want to get into the bigger and far more exciting world of pirates, Jack Sparrow and all that." She unhooked her arm and began to walk about the room, her heels making distinct noises on the ships floor.

    "Emerant could easily forge personal and criminal files along with news reports and court papers, fines, for each of our new identities: whatever's needed," she pointed at the nanomachine girl. "It would be good if she could hit up another contact and find out where we could 'enlist.'" The woman twirled on her toes for no reason, seeming to enjoy the new look as a twenty-something year old. "If we get in, they'd no doubt require an initiation mission of sorts; if any innocents are in danger our observers could be fooled with some illusion magic." Sorena walked back and plopped back into the chair. "Once we're in, we're in, and then we can go on with the sabotage. It'd have to be quick. Can't hope to fool them with illusions and mind control for long; I'm not perfect despite what you must think," she grinned and then suddenly decided to apply a dark, maroonish-brown lipstick.

    Getting up again, she walked to Torin, her hands aglow with the same transformation spell as before. "Well?" she asked him while holding her hands out to him.
     
    #38 Sem, Sep 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2014
  39. "That plan does sound much better than mine." Torin said as Sorena approached him with glowing hands, "Not to question your magic prowess or anything, but are you sure the disguises will last long enough?" But Torin's objection fell on deaf ears because Sorena's magic was already beginning to affect his form, and he could feel himself beginning to change.

    The shoulder length, dark-red hair began to retract into his head, so that now it was above his ears, and it was a mess of tangles on top of his head. It turned to a sandy-red color. His pale-green eyes turned brown, and a pair of wire-frame glasses materialized in front of them. His appearance changed from that of a younger man, to that of a man that was in his late twenties to early thirties. His facial hair also went into overdrive, so that now he had a full lower jawline of stubble that matched his hair color.

    He got a slightly more muscular build, and wider shoulders. A dark blue blazer jacket appeared over a white dress shirt. He had normal jeans, and on his feet he wore generic boots that one would wear on a fishing boat back in the days before space colonies. All in all he did feel very pirate like, but it felt strange being in a body that didn't belong to him. "That felt interesting, is it normal for my fingers to be numb?" Torin asked as he shook out his hands. He took a glance at his reflection in one of the ships monitors and shrugged, "I look like a sailor of some sort, so I suppose it's best I go with that. A fisherman looking for something more than a boring life at sea. As good a cover as any." He paused, "As for a name, considering the orangish hair tones, best go with something like McGinnus. Phineas McGinnus." He shrugged again and scratched his head, "At least it sounds believable."

    He looked to his crew-mates. "Well, I suppose all that's left now is to run off and join the pirates?"
     
  40. StellarWind Elsydeon

    StellarWind Elsydeon Armblades Ascendant
    Staff Member Administrator

    "Vell then, darlings." Emerant murmured, as her nanomachines swirled and she assumed a new appearance - a short, mousy-looking brunette wearing a pair of high-tech red-lensed goggles. Something about her seemed to scream 'techie' - or maybe even 'hacker'. She had a slightly demented looking grin - almost predatory. She wore a white wifebeater undershirt, a pair of multi-pocketed martian camo cargos and a matching jacket thrown loosely over her frame, a worn alliance patch on her shoulder that signified some form of a communications division.

    "Jennifer Hale, but you can call me Galatea. My handle on the Wired." she smirked - her voice was soft, silky and had a hint of an accent "I'm a deserter - used to be qvite a hacker in my day, joined ze army because I vas interested in comms, left because it bored me. Vhoever gets me, gets all my advanced knowledge about Alliance comm protocols."

    She grinned slightly, licking her lips for a moment "Vhich I hacked out of their servers. They vere just begging me to crack them open."

    Then she blushed lightly, leaning subtly against a control panel, she let her nanomachines work her magic.

    "There. Phinneas and Casilde, you're in ze system now. As for me, I already -vas- in the system. Just needed to, you know, revive myself."

    She assumed her ordinary tone "Galatea was one of my personal projects." she grinned "I hunted her down for quite a while, but she eluded me quite a bit - You know, when you get to know an enemy well enough, you can easily become them. She went and offed herself, picking a fight with the wrong cruiser, but they never DID find a body. The cruiser was pretty damn thorough. It wouldn't be surprising for good ol' Gally to somehow manage to miraculously escape. All I needed was to create a potential sighting... and the record is instantly updated - from 'Presumed Dead' to 'Alive and At Large'. Naturally, said sighting was very very far away from here. That's the sort of thing She'd do if she really wanted to get back in business."

    "Now, time to use her record for my advantage." she murmured, closing her eyes as she commenced a search or three through several hundred relays across a hundred worlds - just to make things hard to track. Finally, she locked on.

    "Hey hey, guess vhat, zey ARE recruiting." she grinned "And I know exactly where, too. I think it's time ve paid our piratey pals a little visit."
     

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