Remnants

Re: Remnants

Postby Tamzarian » Tue May 28, 2013 10:43 pm

Lyssa's ship exited wrap space at the standard safe distance from the station. Travelling the rest of the way would give her plenty of time to prepare for her mission. Staring at the dot that was Kel Arcol in the distance, she had the same dark thought she always had when exiting wrap space with an inhabited place a destination: "and what if I didn't keep a safe distance?". If not for the coupled singularity inductors acting as a wrap space shield protecting the station, the damage would be devastating, and even with the shield there was a small chance all wave function would align, and destroy her and the station anyway. This "smallness" of this chance is what prevented a suicidal wrap jump from being used as a weapon, and even the most powerful computers could not perform the necessary computations to get around this. Following her thought, as usual, she shook it from her mind with a reminder that she should keep the dark thoughts at bay.

She examined her uniform, her badge and her paper work. "Rienne Darnek, Universal Directive Field Officer, Third Class". Eh, another fake name to get used to...

The Universal Directive, unlike some of the more legitimate enforcement agencies, was a borderline paramilitary/vigilante group. It's center of operations was distant from Kel Arcol and this was the reason it was chosen as her disguise: UD was respected enough to where most would stay out of her way, but due to their remoteness and relative lack of organization it would take a while for anyone to verify that Rienne Darnek wasn't on Kel Arcol at all. She just had to be careful not to step on the toes of anyone too powerful. Entering the station was a standard process: an exchange of hails, docking, identifying herself as UD. She explained she was here on a bounty-hunt for a convicted felon about whom she knew very little, save for the fact that Kel Arcol was his likely destination. This gave her the excuse to ask for as much information about recent events as possible, and fortunatly the station's security bought her crap.

"Leshander would have probably solved whatever system of equations that information entailed by now, but I'll have to do this the old fashioned way" she thought as she strolled into the Cavern, phase blade and pulse pistol ready to draw. First thing was to arrange a meeting with Serood or his men: the artifact was top priority.
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Re: Remnants

Postby MissM00gle » Tue May 28, 2013 11:16 pm

Ix came to the realization that he was in an alley, bent over staring at the side of a waste barrel. His HUD appeared to be trying to analyze a particular stain--fruitless, of course. It stopped at a mere thought, then returned to it's default view. A small golden arrow at the very edge of his vision indicated the location of Mel. Didn't Mel just say something to him...only a moment ago...he shook his head, trying to clear the cobwebs, his thoughts fuzzy and fragmented. He must have drank much more Dshin than he thought. He opened a direct line of communication to Mel. "Mel, I need a status report. Also, how much of that damned Dshin did I drink?"
Mel's indicator flashed between gold and green, which indicated that Mel was moving towards him. A second later the mobile AI perched atop Ix's head and peered at him upside down through his visor. "Status report, Ix! You murdered the bartender. And apparently, that bar was famous. And apparently, red headed humans are rare. Do you recall me mentioning he had red hair? And, apparently, because you murdered a rare red headed human, the IIA has been notified, and they're sending out a specialist. Now we have to high-tail it out of Kel Arcol, because I don't feel like dealing with a damned IIA specialist in the middle of a Dantar controlled space station. Their security force is QUITE formidable, Ix. Quite."
Ix stood, lost in thought for a moment. He knew why he killed the bartender...he was one of them. They all must die. He could not tell them his secret. The IIA was nothing compared to them. He could handle the IIA. He could handle the Dantar...but they terrified him. There were too powerful, and they were everywhere. His best bet would be to escape and look for adventure at some other space station. He sighed. He had rather liked Kel Arcol. Mel pecked at his visor, and Ix swatted at him. "Now that you have berated me, status report?"
Mel linked with the Ix's HUD and projected a map onto his view screen. It showed a detailed 3D map of the Cavern, the lowest level of the giant space station, a vast, seedy, seething city that was always dark, the only light shining from thousands of neon signs advertising casinos, clubs, bars, restaurants, and a myriad of other nightlife pleasures. A flashing blue arrow indicated Ix's current location in the Cavern, while a lighter blue line that traced his path back to the Star Slammer Bar and further, disappearing into the lifts that had brought them down from the second level of Kel Arcol. "It has been 3 hours since you murdered the bartender and left the bar. You have walked 1.68 imperial leagues from the Star Slammer Bar, and you are currently in an alley between between a Gentlemen's club called Peaches'n'Cream and a Oosqui bar called Smokee's. You have been standing in this alley for half an hour. The body was discovered in the bar 45 minutes after the murder occurred. The IIA was notified one hour after the murder occurred. The specialist was dispatched 2 hours after the murder occurred. I estimate the agent will arrive at the scene of the murder to investiage 12 hours from his initial notification of the case. This gives you 9 hours to avoid detection by the Dantar security force and escape."
Ix listened intently, nodding himself, seemingly unconcerned. He reached up and held his forearm so that Mel could move to it. He lowered his arm once Mel was situated, then stroked Mel's beak. "I have no doubts that you have formulated a most excellent escape plan, my friend?"
Mel clacked his beak. "Of course I have."
"Well?"
Mel clacked his beak again. "Upon analysis of the archives of this station, security documents and files, architecture, layout, and patrol schedules, I have calculated the most probably actions of the Dantar Security Force. I will map their projected patrols on your HUD map, and highlight areas to avoid in violet."
The map in IX's HUD became a smaller size and moved to the top right of his view, the patrol paths highlighting in a bright red. "I discovered the location of an ally we can convince to smuggle us off station and back to our ship. I suggest staying in shadow skin and using the rooftops. Stay near the bright signs and move cautiously, the skin will make it extremely difficult for you to be spotted. I have laid out 3 different routes for you to select depending on your...mood. "
3 copies of the map popped on the HUD, each one with a green dotted line showing a unique route to get to the station lifts. "The lifts have a security checkpoint. There is no other way to get to the second level?" Ix asked.
Mel shook his mechanical head. "the lifts are our first destination of a couple. I have been scanning every device that captures image I can, and I have discovered that our ally is en route to the lifts right now. We will intercept him, obtain his aid, then let him continue to his ship, through the security point. You and I will be taking a cargo lift, which is here. This is the cargo lift that is closest to Serood's ship. It should be fairly simple to reach his ship"
A point flashed on all 4 maps on his HUD, miles from the central lifts. Ix snarled. "This will take time."
Mel launched himself from Ix's arm and shot into the air. "We should be stepping off that cargo lift about the same time that IIA agent will be stepping onto the crime scene. That should give us just enough time to get on Serood's ship and get the hell out of Kel Arcol. Time is of the essence, Ix. Get a move on."
Ix took a moment to examine the three suggested routes, and then with a thought and a flick of his eyes, selected the one that Mel had suggested, over the rooftop, through the lights. Turning towards the wall in front of him, Ix mentally commanded his suit to enter climbing mode. Tiny nanobots, in his gloves quickly formed millions of microscopic hooks. The same happened in Ix's boots. Upon reaching the wall, Ix reached up and began to climb it effortlessly, the nanobots in his suit gripping the wall as an insect's appendages might. The shadowskin made Ix next to impossible to see, his slow and deliberate movements causing minimal blurring. Circling above him, Mel had entered stealth mode. Anybody looking up at him from below would see nothing but the darkness of the Cavern. He also had a sensor dampening field around him, along with a device that caused any standard surveillance cameras to record static when he was within their field of vision. He accessed the cerebral interface of Ix's suit and activated its own sensor dampening field. The dampening field and the shadowskin combined with Ix's genetically engineered body and intensive training made him invisible, a ghost, haunting the rooftops, flitting from glowing light to glowing light while people lived life to its utmost fullest below.
It took an hour for Ix to reach the central lifts. Mel scanning camera images, tracked Serood's movement while Ix traversed the rooftops.
Ix crouched on the lip of some silly old building mean to look like some giant fancy castle. A casino, some vague arthurian reference. How droll. His HUD flashed as caught movement below. "That's Serood, there." One of the figures suddenly glowed in Ix's HUD. A squat figure, thoroughly cloaked a cowled.
"How do you plan on approaching him?" Ix asked.
Mel giggled through the direct communication line. "Just drop down in front of him. I will swoop and land on your arm. Do not fear...he will recognize me. His men will not attack."
Ix nodded, shrugged, then launched himself from the rooftop. He flew through the air, somersaulted, and landed directly in front of Serood. He landed with agility and grace that seemed unnatural, not just to his hulking form, but so quick and precise, he seemed more machine than living creature. As he landed, he held his forearm out and Mel made a fearsome screeching, then landed on Ix's arm with a great flash of gleaming copper alloy and blue lights.
Three of Serood's entourage of twelve fell flat on their butts. The rest all gave a cry or exclamation, and began to reach for their weapons. Serood's fist shot up in the air, and he gave a strange grunt. Everybody froze. The face hidden in the cowl peered up at Ix, then turned ever so slightly to examine Mel. There was a distinct sagging of Serood's shoulders, and a great, tortured sigh escaped the cowl, followed by a gruff, gravely voice, like leaves crumpling and rocks tumbling. "........Mel?" The mechanical bird nodded its head, once. Serood seemed to sag even further. "Aw, fuck."
Ten minutes later, Serood made haste towards his ship so he could prepare it for departure, and Ix and Mel were back on the rooftops, traveling with as much speed as possible towards a cargo lift far across the giant space station. Time was of the essence.
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Re: Remnants

Postby mindule » Wed May 29, 2013 4:23 pm

Now THIS was the life! Bud's mouth was too busy finishing off a rather large bottle of something potent, but his eyes grinned. As a member of the insectoid/crustacea-like species known as the D'mics, Bud had been in some pretty terrible garbage pits in the past. He'd hopped countless starships, stowing away with the rest of the vermin (sometimes using them as an improvised meal), to finally get to this wonderful place: the lowest levels of Kel Arcol's "Cavern". The eternal night, the seediness, the total lack of accountability! Bud had been a terrible soldier and a useless worker, but scampering in dark alleyways was something he was particularly good at. Bottle still in hand, he snatched a few smaller, far more potent flasks, and pocketed them.

The bartender happened to look in Bud's direction as the last drop of liquid went down. His eyes widened in fury and then slammed shut as the now empty bottle of expensive, toxic liquid caught crashed into his forehead. The bottle, thrown rather lightly by Bud's feeble arm, bounced off his forehead and smashed on the floor. Curses and threats filled the air, but the cowardly D'mic was nowhere to be seen. Bud, clinging to the ceiling of the establishment, quickly continued to scamper through a vent and eventually outside.

Something is not right. Something... is right? A long forgotten feeling, the ethereal chatter of kindred spirits, filled Bud's mind. This many D'mics, in this place? The ability to make signals in an extradimensional space was common to all D'mics, and was likened by other species to telepathy. Maybe more of his kin had heard of this incredible spot than Bud had imagined... but no time for that now. The otherworldly harmonics of his people were filled with fear and agitation. Something, perhaps the now strengthening feelings of intoxication, compelled Bud.

"I'm going now!" he slurred to no one in particular, as he scampered in the direction of the upper levels.
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Re: Remnants

Postby Jteezyweezy » Thu May 30, 2013 12:41 pm

I had been trying to clam Donaley down for about 10 minutes. Evidence that had been collected at the Star Slammer crime scene had seemingly been stolen. "Don't worry Donaley, I'm sure that Draykus had a good reason for taking the evide--" In mid sentence, the door to the bar opened and in walked the man of the hour himself. Judging by the smile on his face, he had heard Donaley's rants from outside. Draykus quickly walked over to Chief Laric and explained the situation. Judging by the amount of both of the men's laughter, this had been quite the misunderstanding by Donaley, which I was beginning to learn was something to be expected. While Donaley was hard working and honest, he wasn't exactly one who thought things through to a rational conclusion. Soon Laric brought Draykus over and we had a formal introduction. I learned that Draykus had been given clearance by Lieutenant Luganis to aid in the investigation and that he was simply running the evidence bags to him for further testing. After talking for a while, Draykus and I had come to the conclusion that the Mechan who was seen entering the bar was the most likely culprit. After discussing a few ideas, Draykus and Laric decided that the best course of action would be to divert energy from two fusion reactors on the station to establish a disruption field. They felt that this was the only way to distinguish the Mechan technology in the suspect's suit, from the Mechan technology used by the space station itself. I was skeptical of this, it was so low tech, why didn't this station have a better security system? Did they not think that anything like this could happen? Draykus must have seen the look of disdain on my face because he looked at me and gave a quick shoulder shrug. Laric stepped aside for a moment to talk to some engineers to relay the plan that he had just constructed. As I was trying to listen to Laric on the radio, Draykus turned to me. "Well Detective, what do you make of all this?"

All I knew at the moment was that I was tired of being in this bar that was starting to smell from the stench of decay and dried blood. "Tell you what Draykus, why don't you and I go out for drinks and talk things over, I really doubt that we are going to get any proper thinking done here." "Sounds great, why don't we catch the Darter up to the upper section of the Cavern, I'm sure that we can find a perfectly respectable bar there." As Draykus and I were discussing our plans, Laric came back over and gave us an update. "Well gentleman, I can't seem to get a clear answer on the percentages with diverting the reactors, I am going to have to take a Darter train to the upper ring to sort this all out." This was the first time that I realized that I had never asked about the upper ring of the station, I knew that the central ring was where many residents of the station lived and I knew that the lower ring was where the onsite prisoners were kept (when it wasn't filled to capacity) but I had no idea what was housed in the upper ring. "What exactly is the upper ring used for Chief? I feel silly, but I suppose in all the rush and commotion, I simply forgot to ask." Laric gave a quick chuckle and answered. "That's perfectly alright Kraaus, the upper ring is where all of the government facilities are located. All of the major decisions that happen on Kel Arcol take place up there. I will go ahead and make my way up there now, it will take almost 2 hours via the Darter since we are on the other side of the station. Lieutenant Luganis will be accompanying me with the evidence from the Star Slammer. Why don't you, Donaley, and Draykus go discuss the case and meet us at the science facility in the upper ring in say... 3 hours." I was pleased that Laric wanted to go ahead, he probably planned on using the time that we weren't up there to sort out the reactor issue with the engineering specialists. Whatever he was doing, it didn't really matter, Draykus, Donaley and I were going to go get some drinks.

The three of us waited about 5 minutes at the Darter platform, Luganis and Laric had taken the train right before ours and were headed to the upper ring. We were all making small talk when the familiar blue light that signaled the entrance of the Darter shown brightly in front of the station. Silently it lowered itself to the ground and we climbed aboard. "Well we have about 10 minutes before we reach the upper section of the Cavern, what say we discuss other possible ways of finding this Mechan." I realized that it was rude to contradict Laric's plan with the fusion reactors but it simply didn't seem to be a solid, and for that matter safe plan. We discussed other possibilities for the whole ride, none of which seemed to be plausible. Where was this Mechan hiding? Why was he so hard to find? As I was pondering all of these questions, I looked out the window and saw that we were arriving at our destination station. As we stepped off the Darter, we immediately saw a bar directly behind the station. "Looks like we have a winner!" Donaley said. Draykus and I looked at each other and shook our heads, laughing at Donaley under our breaths. The bar that we had spotted was called the Cosmos and it was blazing brightly with orange and green neon lights. The sign even had a comet on it that shot across the roof of the bar. It was quite the spectacle. We quickly entered the bar and found a seat. With the Darter ride we had only left ourselves with about 50 minutes to discuss the case and get some drinks. Luckily we had a very quick and courteous waiter that took our order almost immediately when we sat down. "Two Shock Rockers and One Cosmic Collider? Will that be all?" "That will get us started, thanks." When the waiter left, the three of us took a few minutes to get to know each other a little bit better. "Why don't you tell us a little about yourself Draykus?" I said with a smirk. I could tell that Draykus was sensitive about his identity as periodically he would subconsciously cover the section of his badge that said "Escalon Aegis." "Well to tell you the truth, I had initially planned on working here on the station undercover. Once I saw the horrible state of the crime scene, I figured my services would be better used if I joined the investigation." I thought that this was very interesting, and I wondered why exactly he would want to go undercover in the first place, but since we were still getting to know each other, I didn't want to pry into his business too far. About 40 minutes later we had all been through our stories and I had been through 5 Shock Rockers. Donaley had been talking to Draykus for about 5 minutes asking him various questions about how he became a commander, many of which he was not answering.

While Donaley and Draykus were talking, I took a moment to look out the window of the bar. At this time, I can't deny, I was drunk as a skunk so the dazzling lights that the Cavern had to offer where that much more hypnotizing. I finally settled my sights on a particularly interesting sign, a gentleman's club called the Wild Thing. This sign was not neon, but was entrancing because it was a large plasma screen that stretched the whole length of the building. On the sign were some of the girls who worked the club, they were scantly clad and saying catchy phrases to draw in customers such as "Come on in, we don't bite...unless you want us to." Just as I was about to turn away, something caught my eye. The large sign seemed to have a small area of distortion traveling across it, almost as if someone was walking by with a pane of glass. Had I not been staring at the sign I would have never noticed it, what in the world could it have been? I almost turned to my companions to share my concern, but then I had a realization. I was so drunk that I must have been seeing things that weren't there, "How embarrassing," I thought to myself. Shortly thereafter, it was time to get on the train and head up to the science facility located in the upper ring. I could barely walk back out to the Darter station. "Geez Kraaus, such a lightweight. You're lucky that we have a 2 hour ride ahead of us, I would hate for you to go into the governmental sector stone cold drunk." Even though he said it sternly, I could tell that Draykus was giving me a hard time because every time he would say something about me, he would elbow Donaley and smile. After what seemed like an eternity, the Darter train finally showed up, by now I was feeling the full effects of the Shock Rockers, the whole Cavern was spinning in a Kaleidoscope of different shapes and colors. Donaley and Draykus took me under the shoulders and, together we boarded the train. Shortly after we had taken off we took a sharp turn towards the exit tunnel of the Cavern, that's when it happened. "Oh crap! I'm gonna be sick!" I quickly opened the window of the train and leaned outside, the incredible speed of the train whipped my head and sent wind screaming past my ears. With a quick and violent exhale, I quickly rid myself of the 5 Shock Rockers that I had consumed. Of course since the train was in such rapid motion my offering was evenly spread over most of the windows immediately behind me. As I sat back down in my seat and closed my window, I could hear the commotion of the passengers that were seated behind me. I had never been so embarrassed in my life, red-faced I turned around in my seat to about 30 angry eyes staring at me. "Sorry" was all I could muster, I quickly turned around and settled myself low in my seat. This was going to be the longest two hours of my life.

Finally, after spiraling through many tunnels and many areas of Kel Arcol, we arrived to the Governmental sector. During our journey all of the passengers on the train, with the exclusion of my company and one woman, had gotten off at various stops throughout Kel Arcol. Each of them had a different comment that they shared with me as they left. "Gross!", "Lousy Drunk!", and "Sicko!" were just a few. At least, during the 2 hour ride, I had sobered up considerably. "We are about 5 minutes away from the station Kraaus, how are you feeling?" "Much better." I said. "I feel pretty much back to myself." "That's good, because Donaley has something that he was wanting to tell us about the Governmental sector." For the first time during the whole trip, I sat up from the slouched position that I had put myself in. I realized at that point that I had put a horrible crick in my back. Oh well, deserved I suppose. Donaley suddenly turned to me and with a proud look on his face began his commentary on the Governmental sector. "As I'm sure you have noticed by now, we have spent most of our time together in the central hub of the station. We are now going to be traveling to one of the outer rings." I already knew what Donaley was going to say, he was going to talk about the lifts on the station, I had ridden one when I had first gotten here to get myself out of the central ring. I didn't want to spoil Donaley's moment though so I let him go on. "If you noticed when you were approaching the station, each ring has spoke-like connections to the central hub, kind of making it look like a large bicycle tire. Each of these spokes houses a lift system to send you to and from the outer rings. They are quite fast and efficient, we will only spend about 5 minutes in the lift to get to the upper ring from the central hub." "Excellent Donaley!" I said with fake enthusiasm. "Let's head to the nearest lift then." After about a 5 minute walk we noticed a large sign. "Lift B - Science Facility" "This is the one!" Donaley said with unwarranted gusto. As we entered the lift, I was amazed at how large it was. It seemed to be about 100 square feet in total. "Wow these are the largest lifts I have ever seen." I said with amazement. "Yeah, we have large amounts of people who use these lifts everyday so we have to make them this large so there aren't wait times during the busy portion of the day." "This must not be the busy portion then." I observed. There were only the three of us and the one woman who was traveling with us on the train in the lift. The woman was busy looking at a data pad and it appeared that she was speaking with someone. "Anyone know who our tag along is?" I asked curiously. "Not a clue, but based on her clothing she looks official. I suppose we should leave her alone since she seems to be busy." Since it was Draykus who had said this to me I took it much more seriously and left the woman alone for the remainder of the ride.

When we arrived to our stop the lift door opened to a very industrial setting. Most of the buildings were a metallic gray color, which was a stark contrast to the Cavern where we had just left. The science facility loomed large about 200 feet in front of us. "Wow, look at that, it's huge." I was truly amazed by the sight of the massive building. "This is one of the greatest research facilities in the galaxy!" Donaley exclaimed. "Let me show you gentleman to the forensics lab so that we can have a closer look at the evidence." As we entered the massive building, we were greeted by Lieutenant Luganis. "Hello gentlemen, welcome to our facilities, let me take you to the lab." We followed Luganis down a short hallway, turned a corner and entered the lab. "Now this is what I have been waiting for!" For the first time I had actually seen evidence of amazingly advance technology on the space station. Forensic equipment that I must admit, I had never seen before was covering tables and advanced mathematical charts where projected on the white walls. Luganis led us over to where he had placed the evidence. "There is a specific piece that I want you gentlemen to look at. I think that it might be a piece of the Mechan's armor. It may have broken off during his struggle with the bar tender." Interested I waited for Luganis to pull out the bag. "Oh my...Oh my, oh my." Luganis said in monotone. "What is it? What's wrong?" I was concerned now. "Well, the piece I wanted you to look at, it seems to be missing."

Without thinking, I snatched the bag from Luganis. "How can this be?!" I said frustrated. I crumbled the bag up in my hand and was ready to throw it in the trash can when I noticed something strange. "I don't think that this bag is empty gentlemen." I said with an astonished tone. "The contents inside seem to be cloaked in some manner." "Oh my god, do you know what this means!" Luganis said in a tone that was half fear half frustration. "Mechan armor is designed with nanomachines that are inherently connected to the Mechan's brain waves. The nanomachines from each Mechan's suit will only react to what that Mechan thinks and does. Even though this part of the suit has broken off, the nano machines are still connected to the Mechan's thoughts and actions. The bastard has cloaking abilities, and I imagine he will be employing them until we catch him or, God forbid, he escapes. I think as long as this piece remains cloaked, we can safely assume that the Mechan is still on the station. Quick take out the piece and lets see if there is any visibility." I unwrapped the bag and removed the small piece. It kind of resembled a small piece of glass, somewhat visible but only if you were looking for it. I was about to share the observations with the rest of the men in the lab when it hit me like a ton of bricks. "Oh. My. God. I saw the bastard, I saw him!" It came flooding back to me now. "When we were at the Cosmo Bar getting drinks, I was looking out the window, I saw a distortion very similar to this in a sign across the street! The bastard is trying to escape via the rooftops! We need to find Laric and see how his progress is coming along with the engineers! This Mechan is going to be almost impossible to find, as much as I am against it, we need that disruption field!" "Alright calm down Kraaus." Luganis said smoothly. "We will go down to the engineering block and inform Laric as to what we have discovered. We'll get the bastard, don't you worry." As the three men were leaving the forensics lab they were met by the woman they had seen in the Darter and in the lift. "Can we help you young lady?" Luganis said with a smile. "Yes, actually you can, I'm looking for a Lieutenant Luganis." "Well, you have found him, how may I help you?" "I am here to hunt down a criminal that is here on Kel Arcol, my sources tell me that you gentleman are on a hunt for the same man. I am offering limited services to aid you in detaining this criminal, although I prefer to work alone, I would be stupid not to enlist the help of so many qualified men." "We could use all the help we can get, what's your name young lady?" Luganis asked. "Darnek, Rienne Darnek. I have to run an errand down in the Cavern, but I would love to meet with you gentleman in the near future to discuss the details of the case." "Sounds like a plan!" Lugais said. "We will meet you back here ASAP for a debriefing, time is short." With a quick nod Rienne quickly make her way back to the lift. As soon as the doors to the lift were closed and the lift was in motion she half smiled, "I'm in." she said to herself as the lift took her back to the central hub.
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Re: Remnants

Postby Clarion » Fri May 31, 2013 12:25 pm

Unbeknownst to the investigating agents, the bafflingly long Darter trip from the cavern to the Upper Ring combined with the ill-advised bar incursion led by Kraaus had allowed Mel and Ix an additional three hours to aid in their escape.

The automated security clearance system at the cargo lift was easily bypassed by Mel's hacking prowess. He and Ix boarded the lift and it rose rapidly along an angled column toward the dock of Serood's ship on the Central Ring. Mel cheerily flew circles around Ix's head, transmitting a form of musak created by complex mathematical formulas wirelessly to Ix's brain for their mutual enjoyment. Spectrometers along the column, designed to detect hazardous or contraband materials, recorded the distinct alloys of the Mechan technology in Mel and Ix but did not alarm, as Mechan technology was commonly traded and therefore unrestricted. An alarm would have been recognized and properly relayed by redundant systems, but in this case Mel was actively blocking all low-priority records associated with their escape plan from reaching the network. Otherwise, security would have likely put two and two together.

This action on Mel's part had an added, unexpected benefit -- When Serood and his men passed through the checkpoint to reach their ship's dock their identities were recorded as usual, but those logs were not transmitted to the primary network either. As a result Commander Draykus was not alerted via his monitoring program of either Serood's transit or the movement of cargo to his ship.

As the doors groaned open at the top of the cargo lift, Serood was waiting with two of his men. He held his hands out and spoke in his gravely tone, thick accent no match for the efforts of the universal translator: "Alright alright, you guys don't get big kruvloshes okay? I agreed to get you to safety and this is it okay?" He motioned backwards toward the airlock to his vessel. "You will be safe on the ship. They don't know where you are. But I have business here still. You know, business?" He glared at Mel. "Half a drokin of my jobs you have always found way to jam a gruflot in, but not this time. This is big time, catfeesh?" Mel and Ix stared at Serood blankly. "Well do you understand? Here is what happens. You board ship and we wait. We wait because I still wait to hear from buyer. I cannot leave with this merchandise you see? There is too much money for me here. It should not be long now."

Ix looked expectantly at Mel, who looked back at him. Serood may have been bold but he was still visibly nervous standing before the behemoth that was Ix. He tried not to think of all the different ways this Mechan could probably just storm his ship and thrash everyone apart if he were so inclined.


[We've gotten a bit ahead of everyone it seems. Meg, you still have the three hours or so to catch up with where Draykus and Kraaus are so you can proceed as you like.]
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Re: Remnants

Postby MissM00gle » Fri May 31, 2013 5:30 pm

Ix's progress across the rooftops of the Cavern was steady, but tedious. Many times he was forced to backtrack, or wait in shadows and silence as a patrol passed nearby. Nonetheless, Ix moved along faster than Mel predicted, which was most beneficial. Mel stuck close to Ix, monitoring his progress while simultaneously keeping an eye on the crime scene at the bar and the activity along their projected path to the cargo lift. He had even managed to hack into a droid designed to clean the streets, paths, and walkways of Kel Arcol and reprogrammed it to keep surveillance on the dock to Serood's ship. He had also managed to establish communication with the AI that ran a large portion of Kel Arcol, and the AI had agreed to notify Mel when the IIA agent arrived at the crime scene, along with notifying him of any other official agents and investigators that arrived at the station. The ingress of officials was constant, and Mel took a moment to compose an algorithm that would weed out the types that were of no concern. The algorithm worked quickly, and a list of thousands became a list of 5. Two were Harisshzai priests, who weren't of great concern but could cause an annoyance. The Harisshzai, an extremely religious and completely insane race of reptiles, carried an age old, deep, and powerful hatred of the Mechan. They were a stupid, overzealous race filled with bigotry and hatred, and had formed their loathing of the Mechan hundreds of years ago based on misunderstanding and miscommunication. So, while not normally a huge threat to Ix, the priests could bring unwanted attention, and so were to be avoided.
Next was an agent of the Eskalon Aegis. While Mel was sure the agent wasn't specifically after Ix and him, the Eskalon Aegis was filled with highly trained, extremely intelligent agents that were a strong governing force in the known universe. Mel did not like to interact with the Eskalon Aegis unless it was absolutely necessary. He decided to learn a bit more about the agent, and opened up a dialogue with the Eskalon Aegis mainframe kept in Kel Arcol. He was instantly met with a hostile AI along with a slew firewalls and security blocks. Mel quickly quashed an alert that would notify the Dantar that an unauthorized AI had attempted to access, and then cut off communications to the mainframe. He was processing too much to worry about accessing the mainframe. He had a visual of the agent from various security cameras, and decided that would do.
The last two on his list were both the most and least worrisome. The first was the IIA agent, and the second, someone working for the Universal Directive. Mel didn't usually bother with the Universal Directive, they were rather clandestine and obscure, but it was always better to err on the side of caution. He had no face yet, but a name and rank, Rienne Darnek, Universal Directive Field Officer, Third Class. Not exactly a red flag, but Mel definitely made a note to proceed with extreme caution.
Suddenly, the direction indicator for Ix dropped down, and Mel brought his focus to his surroundings. he had been running on auto-pilot, setting it to follow Ix as closely as possible. They had arrived at the cargo lift. Ix leaned casually against the door of the cargo lift, his face turned towards Mel. "We're here. Let's hurry up and get inside, Mel."
Mel folded his wings and dove down, landing gracefully on Ix's forearm. He took a moment to scan the cargo lift, then hopped of Ix's arm and hovered in front of the control board for the lift. "I'll have to access this one directly, give me one second."
Mel leaned forward and opened his beak. What should have been his tongue was actually a special plug, consisting mainly of nanobots, that could reshape itself to fit and communicate with any port. It was extremely effective and useful, even though it looked rather absurd coming out of Mel's mouth. Mel plugged in and easily bypassed the security and ordered it to head to Serood's airlock. He double checked the schematics and system of the cargo-lift, and decided to block all low-priority records and notifications, just in case Ix's unique Mechan suite tried to set off any sort of alarm. The doors silently slid open, and Ix stepped in, followed by Mel. The doors closed behind them and a soft hum indicated that the cargo lift was moving. Mel flew circles around Ix's head, composing frivolous muzak from complex equations, which made Ix chuckle.
The trip was fairly brief, but the quiet of the lift and the soft, yellow light gave both Mel and Ix a brief moment of peace. Especially Ix, who's mind was often in constant, tortuous turmoil. The low humming ceased, and the door silently slid open, followed by the groaning of a secondary blast door. Serood awaited them outside the lift with two of his men. He approached them, his hands held out in a soothing gesture. "Alright alright, you guys don't get big kruvloshes okay? I agreed to get you to safety and this is it okay?" He motioned backwards toward the airlock to his vessel. "You will be safe on the ship. They don't know where you are. But I have business here still. You know, business?" He glared at Mel. "Half a drokin of my jobs you have always found way to jam a gruflot in, but not this time. This is big time, catfeesh?" Mel and Ix stared at Serood blankly. "Well do you understand? Here is what happens. You board ship and we wait. We wait because I still wait to hear from buyer. I cannot leave with this merchandise you see? There is too much money for me here. It should not be long now."
Ix looked expectantly at Mel. Mel looked back. He could tell that Serood's statement had enraged Ix. His neural synapses were alive with electricity, and his breathing and heart rate were starting to increase. He immediately accessed Ix's cerebral interface and went to work calming Ix, but Mel had a feeling it was too little, too late. "Did you just tell me what to do?" Ix asked in the most terrifyingly cold and mechanical voice Serood had ever heard. His men tensed and pulled their blasters from their holsters.
It was the absolute worst thing they could have done, as Ix did not respond well to threats. Quicker than the eye could follow, Ix drove his fist into the face of the man on Serood's left. With his genetically and mechanically enhanced strength, the bones of the man's face offered no resistance and Ix's fist drove clean through the man's skull, splattering blood, bone, and brain. Simultaneously, Ix's long, wicked tail whipped over and up, slashing Serood's leg, but tearing through the groin of the second man, ripping him asunder up to his belly button. The man opened his mouth to scream but the tail whipped back and forth like lightening, a spike on Ix's armor impaling him through his throat. Serood threw his hands up and turned to run, but very suddenly he felt a cold dead weight on his head and sharp, copper talons ready to pierce his throat. "Don't you move a muscle. We can work this out peacefully. How much, Serood?" Mel asked.
Serood's only reply was a terrified croaking noise, his eyes bulging in horror. Ix stepped closer to loom over him, his massive armored feet making a disgusting squishing noise as he stepped in a particularly large splatter of gore. "Answer him. Now."
"How much for what!?!" Serood squawked, then unexpectedly pissed himself in fear.
Mel clacked his beak in annoyance. "You said you had something to sell, and that you couldn't leave before you sold it. We will buy it. That should solve the whole 'waiting' issue."
Serood looked at Ix, looked at the mutilated bodies on the ground, then fainted. Mel squawked in annoyance and quickly flew to Ix's forearm. Ix snarled in annoyance and bent down, intent on killing serood, but Mel stopped him. "No, Ix. We may need him. On top of that, the corporation finds him valuable. Pick him up, and bring him on board."
Ix complied, gently picking up the unconscious and damp smuggler. Mel settled on Ix's shoulder, and they walked into the airlock and boarded the ship.
The ship seemed small from the interior, but Mel was certain that was because of all the secret places one could stow illicit materials, contraband, and illegal cargo. Serood had a total of five crewmen, two of which Ix had killed. The other three were in the Cavern, performing tasks for Serood. Mel locked the doors to the ship, then scanned the ship manifest. It seemed Serood had sold most of his cargo, but there were a few items that remained. Two piqued Mel's interest. The first was an automated mobile hologram droid of Mechan technology that could be programmed in a number of ways to be used as a decoy. Mel immediately sent Ix to fetch it from one of the various cargo bays on Serood's ship.
The second item piqued Mel's interest because there seemed to be very little information about it. It was simply labeled "Item 6534 A", and was categorized as a "historical artifact." The process of deduction led Mel to the conclusion that this was the item he was going to purchase from Serood. He speculated on why Serood seemed to think it was so important, but since it was secure, here on the ship, he could worry about it later.
At that moment Ix returned with the droid, which appeared to be a small cube with wheels. "Haha, this is great, Mel. Don't see these around much. It's an older model, the newer one has the latest breakthroughs in nanotechnology. Still, it's in great condition, and has never been used."
Mel fluttered his wings and tossed his head, and sign that he was pleased. "Excellent. I am going to program it to look like a shadowskin and program it to a random path on the rooftops of the Cavern. That should send them in the wrong direction."
Ix clapped his massive hands together and giggled, overwhelmed with a childlike delight in the simple and clever deception. "That idea is spectacular. How long until this ship is operational and ready to go?"
Mel connected to the ships systems and did a quit diagnostic, then gave hiss. "Damn, you'd think Serood would have a nicer ship considering how much money the corporation pays him alone! This ship will take an hour to initialize, and we will have to get customs and the docking master to okay the ship for take-off. It will take some time, but we should be quite safe as long as we stay aboard the ship. When it is time to depart, I will set a course and then you and I will stay in the extra-dimensional secret cargo bay. I know Serood has one. I estimate this ship will be ready for departure in about 3 hours. for now, you can go the crew quarters and relax while I get everything underway. Once I'm free, I want you to come to the secondary cargo bay with me, so we can examine this item we're purchasing from Serood."
Ix nodded, then took a moment to affectionately stroke Mel's beak. He turned and wandered off into the interior of the ship. Mel turned to the hologram droid, took a few seconds to program it, then sent it out the the airlock and down the cargo lift. He locked the ships doors again, then began the tedious departure process for Serood's ship.
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Re: Remnants

Postby mindule » Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:59 pm

Bud was confused. It had been a few hours since he'd felt the overwhelming sense of unease and the delicious drink was beginning to loosen its grasp on him. With every passing step, he regained clarity and alertness, but that extra-dimensional melody had almost completely disappeared. Before, he'd be so sure he was headed to the source of the signal, but now he really had no idea. The establishments whose rooftops and gutters he'd been scurrying along were becoming somewhat nicer, meaning he'd likely left the lowest levels of the Cavern. He finally came to a complete halt and decided to evaluate his situation. And maybe have another drink.

He sipped a flask of something fiery and let his mind relax. What he was about to do, he'd not done in a while. The vibrations of a very special piece of biology, a small organ somehow outside of the normal space and time, started slow but grew quickly. No D'mic would forget something so elementary, so natural. In the inaudible tone, he sang a simple question: "Where are you?" He sat, eyes closed, and listened. A faint twinge... nothing like before, but certainly there, coming from... Bud's eyes sprang open, flask returned to his garments, and began scurrying once more. This had been a friendly tone, but with elements of caution and surprise. Almost as though this or these D'mics hadn't expected him. How could that be, if there had been enough of a signal before to feel the fear and anxiety wash through him?

The quick and agile insectoid reached the source of the signal in just a few minutes to find nothing but a dark alley. He signalled again, with no response. Quietly, a grate in the ground lifted, and a pair of stalked eyes popped out. The being gibbered in common D'mic: "Who are you? How are you here? Have you seen Tikallik?" To which Bud replied: "Hello fellow! I am Bud, and I got here by hiding in the filthy sewage holds of several cargo ships. I have no knowledge of Tikallik. Who are you?"

"Impossible!" The D'mic growled," the only D'mics here are of the clan Tskarra. If you do not know of the great Tikallik, you do not belong." The stalks receded and the grate began to lower.

"Wait!" Bud hopped to the street as the grate slammed down and a noxious gas sprayed out. He quickly scaled the wall to escape the apparently hostile D'mic's rather disgusting natural defense mechanism. Bud's own particular mechanism was far more potent anyway, he thought, as he raked his mind for the name Tskarra and sipped his flask. No bells rang, and Bud shrugged. Who had he heard about his place from anyway? It certainly hadn't been a D'mic, probably some scurvy starship deckhand or -

An incredibly strong feeling washed through him. The same as before... and now, Bud knew, certainly nothing the D'mic he'd run into was capable of producing. In fact, now that he got a better feel for it, it was completely unlike any signal any group of D'mic he'd ever met could make. As abruptly as it started, the signal ended. But now, Bud had it pinpointed: definitely in the upper levels, near some of the very loading docks he came in on. It wouldn't be quite as easy to sneak about up there, but it would certainly still be possible. He raced across the rooftops, heading up. This feeling... he was drawn to it. He MUST figure out what it is.

After several more hours of climbing and scurrying through the innards of the station, climbing atop and clinging to a strange and very fast transportation system when necessary, Bud was now in the roof of the Cavern. He'd noticed other beings going into and out of a large lift device, and had attempted to get as close as he could. A particularly fortuitous discovery of an open air system vent allowed access to the enormous shaft. Such a fancy construction, even the lift itself was seamlessly connected to the ventilation system. Safely in the roof of the lift, Bud waited. He could hear chatter below, and the lift began to rise. He knew that once he reached the upper level, he'd have far fewer scurrying opportunities, so he intended to stay in the vents as long as possible. He finished a flask and discarded it quickly in the vent as the lift came to a halt. Crawling through narrow passages and ripping through several filter systems, he was finally in the upper level.

A lingering memory, almost like a faint scent, still marked the source of the magnificent signal from before. He hadn't stopped thinking about it on the way up... he couldn't have stopped thinking about it. Why didn't the other D'mic he'd met feel this way? Perhaps that had been the source of his hostility. Whatever it was, he needed to see it with his own eyes. Only a few months of living in this paradise, and now he was choosing to leave for something far, far better. Bud continued pushing through the vents, surly and determined.
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Re: Remnants

Postby Clarion » Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:00 pm

In the station's security command center, routine operations continued mostly unaffected by the manhunt. One officer scanned through a set of spreadsheets and got on his radio. "Checkpoint 5-Blue, this is Command." "5-Blue here." "5-Blue we haven't received your throughput data for the past three hours, is there any problem with your systems?" "Negative Command, we're all green. I'll call it up and transmit manually." "Copy that," the officer responded. Within a few minutes the data spooled onto the sheets, including the list of passengers, revealing Serood.

In the Upper Ring, Kraaus and his party were boarding a lift for the Engineering Block. Immediately as the command center's network received the data on Serood, the monitoring program that Draykus had set up on his wrist computer went ballistic. Draykus was flooded with adrenaline as he looked at the reports on the small screen. "Three hours?!" he exclaimed to the momentary confusion of the others. He quickly realized that he was too far away to expect to reach Serood's ship on his own, and that the time codes of the ship's various launch procedures indicated that there could only be minutes before it departed. "Lieutenant there's no time to waste! I'm enlisting your security force for the apprehension of a person of interest to the Eskalon Aegis!" Draykus held his wrist up to Luganis to show him the details of the ship and its docking location. Luganis stared intently for a moment and clutched his radio. "Luganis to Command. Lock down the cargo ship at Dock 53 and send all available response teams to the airlock. The target is Captain Gular Alik Serood." In a matter of seconds the call was returned. "Command copies, two teams are in Blue section and a third is proceeding from Green. Will advise." Luganis nodded to Draykus as he redirected their lift to the Darter station. "My ship is on the Lower Ring, is there any way for us to get there faster?" Draykus asked. Luganis thought for a moment. "If you can put your ship on auto-pilot, I'll authorize it to dock with one of the emergency hatches on the habitat. We can be there in a matter of minutes." "I think that's our best shot, let's do it." Draykus punched in some commands on his computer as Luganis redirected their lift once again. Fortunately, his ship was much smaller and less maintenance-intensive than Serood's cargo hauler and would be able to warm up in time to meet the agents at their airlock. Draykus had also instructed the ship to send out an encrypted message on an Aegis frequency. "Do you think there's any chance that this Serood has a connection to our man the Mechan?" Kraaus asked. "Very unlikely" Draykus replied, "The Mechans have little interest in the kind of cargo Serood is carrying and I've never known him to employ one."

Several light years away on the bridge of an Eskalon Aegis military cruiser, the message from Draykus's ship was already being received. "Captain, incoming Alpha Priority transmission." "Let's see it." A screen at the command station in the center of the bridge displayed the decrypted message:

Starship Keloden from Commander Draykus, D at station Kel Arcol.
Engaging target, requesting assistance.
No cover, arrive with weapons live.
Coordinate with Kel Arcol Security Force.
Transmission ends.
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Re: Remnants

Postby MissM00gle » Fri Jun 07, 2013 7:33 pm

Mel set the initialization and various departure procedures of the ship on auto-pilot, and focused on monitoring Kel Arcol's numerous official channels and downloading the ships logs. Ix spent an hour and a half roaming around the ship, ransacking the crew quarters and rifling through the various cargo bays. He had placed Serood on the ships bridge with Mel, and Mel had used a tranquilizer dart (a part of Mel's built in defense system) on Serood to keep him unconscious.
While exploring, He made sure to avoid the cargo bay that Mel had specified earlier; he would wait for his friend before he entered and examined the artifact they were purchasing. He helped himself to whatever currency he came across, and also found a number of useful, curious items that the scanners on his suit indicated to be useful. Most notable of all, he found a crate that was actually an extra-dimensional room(Extra dimensional rooms are in fact, ancient alien artifacts that have been discovered throughout the universe. These rooms consist of an "entryway", something that someone can crawl or walk into, such as a crate, or a door. The entryway leads to a place that is literally in another dimension. These places are never very large, and are usually a comfortable room with a washroom, bathroom, and bed. These artifacts do not give off any sort of strange readings on any sensor, and in all essence, appear to be nothing more than what they are. They are beloved by smugglers, and cost a small fortune to buy. The technology used in these artifacts is unknown.) After exactly one and one half hour, Mel opened up a direct line of communication to Ix and asked him to meet at the cargo bay with the artifact.
As Ix approached the doors to the bay, he saw Ix flying slow circles near the ceiling. Just as Ix stepped into range, Mel did an acrobatic aerial flip and landed neatly on Ix's shoulder. The bay doors squealed open, clearly in need of some oiling. Ix shook his head, snorting disdainfully, then stepped inside. This cargo bay had been designed for fragile items, and was filled with cushioned pedestals and modular stabilizers that held items in place with force fields. Shelves of varying sizes and depths ran along the walls, and the entire bay itself was specially designed to remain stable in even the roughest of turbulence. It was not the type of cargo bay that was usually found on the class of ship they were on, and checking the ship's logs, Mel saw that Serood had only recently had this cargo bay rebuilt.
All of the shelves and pedestals were empty, except one. Directly in the middle of the cargo buy, gleaming ominously under the bright glow of a spotlight, sat a simple specimen containment case. Ix started to walk towards the case, then paused, looking up at the spotlight. "It's a bit...dramatic, isn't it?" He motioned at the dim lights, then the bright spotlight on the specimen case.
Mel shrugged his wings, then began scanning the case, assessing it's radioactivity, thermal signature, visual dimensions, an numerous other details. Ix stood for a moment longer, shrugged himself, then walked up to the case. His suit's visor relayed to him all the information Mel gathered from his scanners, and used some of his suits scanners as well. "Hmm...nothing particularly abnormal, Mel...I'm just going to open it."
Mel continued to scan the case, but made a small noise of agreement. Ix bent to his knees, then used a long, armored claw to open up the access panel and initiate the open sequence. There was a pneumatic hiss, then the top of the case slowly slid open. An interior light in the case glowed softly. Ix leaned forward to peer in. He stared for a long time. Mel leaned forward to peer in, and joined Ix in his staring. The silence seemed to drag on, Ix and Mel staring blankly into the depths of the specimen case. Slowly, Ix rocked back on his heels, then turned to look at Mel. Mel stared back at him. After a few seconds, both of them, at the same time, went "huh?" Ix hit the "seal container" button, then got to his feet. Mel launched himself from Ix's shoulders, and flew out the cargo bay doors. "How much are we paying him for that?" Ix asked.
"Too much, either way." Mel replied.
Ix barked a laugh, then followed Mel up to the bridge.

"We'll be departing in about 3 minutes." Mel fluttered over to where Ix sat on the bridge, landing on his helmet. Ix shook his head violently, making Mel flutter over to land on a control panel instead."
"It's about time." Ix grumbled, idly fooling around with a 3D Galaxy Map Interface.
Mel began to formulate a reply, when alarms started going off in his head. Kel Arcol Seurity forces were moving in on Serood's ship! And even worse, it seems the Eskalon Aegis was becoming involved. There were multiple hostiles inbound, and things were about to get very hairy, very quickly. Mel hacked into the helmet cam of a security force team member and waited until the airlock was full before he disengaged the ship suddenly, sending a large portion of men out into the cold, dark, crushing void of space. Ix leaped to his feet in alarm. "Mel, what's happening?"
Mel quickly sent a visual projection of the situation to Ix's HUD. Ix took a moment to review, then quick as a thought, communicated to Mel an idea he had forming in his mind. Mel took the idea, analyzed, and perfected it in moments. This dynamics between Ix and Mel in times of duress were awesome to behold, the culmination of the most theoretical, breakthrough, and powerful technology the Mechan had to offer. Mel landed on Ix's shoulder, and Ix headed towards Cargo Bay 4C, where a very unassuming crate full of unassuming rocks sat in a dark corner. Mel programmed a flight path for the ship, setting up contingency plans for the arrival of hostile forces, then accessed the ship's communications system and sent a heavily encrypted message. He used temporal cloaking to hide the existence of the message. He took moment to double check that everything was in order, then disconnected from the ships interface. Ix entered cargo bay 4C and walked over to a large crate that seemed to be full of uranium ore. He walked around one side, then spent a few moments running his massive clawed hands around the edges of the crate. Suddenly, there was a tiny beep and the side of the crate seemed to dematerialize. Mel gave a skree of appreciation at what he saw inside, then flew through the entryway, Ix following close behind him. The side of the crate rematerialized, and all was quiet in the cargo bay.

Several light years away, a large military cruiser class vessel orbited an uninhabited gas giant, scanning the planet for resources. The commander of the cruiser, one General Syler, stared intently at a message he had just received on his Personal Assistant Device. He reread the message three times, then deleted it. He also deleted all evidence that the message had ever been received, then smashed the PAD on the floor, grinding the components with his heel. He grabbed his communicator from his belt, then contacted the bridge. "Lieutenant Gerkis, set a course for Kel Arcol, full power, initiate both mass-folding engines. Arm plasma guns, arm accelerator cannon. This is a red alert. I repeat, red alert. We will be going in hot."
General Syler replaced his communicator and ran towards the bridge, the Red Alert Alarm flashing and howling.
As the mass-folding generators initiated and the ship began to speed off towards Kel Arcol, the symbol of the Eskalon Aegis could just be made out on the side of the ship in the light of the red sun of the solar system they were in.
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Re: Remnants

Postby Tamzarian » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:47 am

... Lyssa threw her head to the left, narrowly avoiding an iron clad fist. Anticipating a follow up strike from behind courtesy of one of Serood's other henchmen she dropped and rolled. Her foot then made an arc, knocking the man behind her off his feet. Her abundance of cybernetic enhancements and training would have made this a very one sided fight except for her handicap: she didn't want to kill them. Both on principle and because they were the quickest source of information about Serood's whereabouts, and his plans with the artifact she sought. Unfortunately they didn't feel like talking, not even for a price.

"It's nice of them to abide by the rules of a bar fight and not draw fire arms. Though little do they know that's what's keeping them alive" she thought as she tossed the other one over the bar's counter in response to his furious charge. The bartender, however, was not so courteous, but by the time his weapon was aimed she was behind the first henchman, her phase blade at his throat and her pulse pistol pointed at the bartender.

"Gentlemen, we're having a fatal misunderstanding here, I have a deal with Serood. I need to know where he is and I need to know if he has sold Dr. Leshander's package yet" she said.
"I don't care what you need! You're destroying my bar" was the bartender's response, one that a bartender in the cavern gives unpleasantly often.

Everything was quiet as the bouncers moved into position, but made no further move: her handling of Serood's men left them with little confidence. She glanced at each of her opponents and gave the bartender a wicked smile, this prompted him to break the silence.

"Just tell'er she wants to know! She's UD, you think she can't find out some other way?"

With some hesitation the man behind the counter, having gotten up, complied: "We got a communication from him just now, he's at his ship, he's in a hurry somewhere, don't know where or why. I'll send the location to your communicator. And I don't know nothin' about the package, he never answered questions it, just said it was valuable. Like he was scared of the damn thing"

"That wasn't so hard" she said as she slowly began lowering her phase blade. Keeping her eye on Serood's men she glanced at her communicator and slowly made her way to the exit. "If you lied to me I'll be back!" were her final words to them.

She hurried to Serood's location now. "Leaving suddenly? Something is clusterfucked, I'm too late..." she thought.
--------------------

Leshander's pacing was interrupted by a blinking light on a starship flying in the distance. To anyone else it would have been just a blinking light, but Leshander noticed a pattern. The ship orbited the station, remaining in view from his isolation pod, this was no coincidence either. He wrote down the message passed by the blinker. It was convoluted, and unusual code. A simplified version of a cipher he designed on a project for the Silvar once. No coincidence, he soon concluded. The message was meant to get his attention, and if he understood correctly it told him to stand in the center of the isolation pod.

"Are the Silvar planning to break me out? They certainly have enough tricks up their sleeve to do it despite whatever objections Kel Arcol's security might have. Certainly this has to do with the artifact." He glanced over his calculations, there was a whole new realm of possibilities he hadn't considered.
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