Redemption

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Poetic Ghost
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Redemption

Post by Poetic Ghost » Sun Apr 01, 2018 3:33 am

R E D E M P T I O N
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Hub Authority Capital Ship, The Arbiter
The Hub, 85 AC (After Contact)


"Do you really think this will work, Commander?"

Chernova rapped her against the table, and stared down the man that she called Mr. President. McConnelly had always been a prick. A charismatic prick, but still a prick. He had the kind of face that could get up on television and promise for a brighter future, a future where no one would have to fear terrorists and xenophobes, and you could believe him. But if you saw the bastard in front of you, you'd slap him right across his smug face.

Regardless, he was the President of The Hub, which meant she had to show him some respect when it came to the public matters. War was bad publicity, Chernova knew this better than anyone.

"I believe it's the best option at this point. Especially after we've gained confirmation of the presence of a Nova-Mass Bomb." Chernova said in a solid tone. She knew the severity of this situation, filling in the President shouldn't have been her priority, she wanted action.

McConnelly sighed and leaned in his rolling chair. "This is some serious stuff, Andromeda. If the media, or God forid, the Council hears about this? I'll be out of office... you'll be out! And who will they throw in? Probably Gyver, that furry sonavabitch..." He swore, and got up from his chair to fetch himself a drink from across the room. "You need to deal with this shit, Chernova. Because if you don't, it's all our necks on the line."

"So do I have your support?" Chernova straigtened her gaze on the man.

"Do what you have to... but don't let it get back on me if it hits the fan, Andromeda." The President drained his glass of alchohol, and greedily filled another.

"Don't worry, Dick. I'll handle it."

- - -

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Planet Volker, Unincorporated Aurelius Space


"Elector Deatholme? The men are waiting."

Konstantin Rutger Deatholme pulled his black leather gloves over his scarred hands, shivering as they linked into the full bodysuit that encapsulated his horrible body. "One moment please, Hans." Deatholme said, his voice was surprisingly smooth for such a monster as he was. He reached for the bottle of pills that sat next to the reflective mask that stared at him with empty eyes. Deatholme counted out six pills, six perfect pills, and swallowed them in an effortless, waterless gulp. Almost instantaneously the burning sensation left his exposed skin, and he sighed in relief. Finally, he grabbed his mask in a light, considerate grip, and slipped the helm over his head, locking it into position with the lower segment already on his neck.

"Which uniform will you be wearing to address your troops today, Elector?" Hans called, opening the case that stood next to the immersion tank that Deatholme had stepped out of moments prior. "I was thinking that the cape over the colonel's uniform might look a tad stereotypical, and come off as slightly hack-ish, what were your thoughts?"

Deatholme secured his breathing apparatus and walked over to where Hans was now looking through his uniforms. "My leather uniform, it achieves the menacing, new-world leader look that I wish to achieve," he said, the voice that was once smooth and calming now sounded metallic, and inorganic through the mask that protected his head from the environment of Volker. Deatholme dressed quickly, and strapped his sidearm and blade to his belt as he made his way to the door and out the hall.

"Sir, I hate to bring this up, but some of the men are getting restless. Many of them are simply mercenaries, and may not truly hold your ideals... some considered a coup..." Hans said as the pair made their way towards the balcony.

"Did you make an example of them?" Deatholme questioned, pulling his gloves tighter around his hands as they prepared to unto the balcony.

"I thought I'd let you do the honours, sir." Hans opened the door, and stepped aside as his Elector walked out over his army.

Deatholme looked out at the crowd. More than a thousand Humans, standing in perfect symmetry. He walked out to the balcony's edge, and immedietly the men began to cheer.

"My fellow homo sapiens... I have built this Brotherhood of Adam with my two hands, my human hands. I took my vision of Humanity's future and I set it into action..."

The cheering only grew louder.

"...and yet, some among you have chosen to abandon your Human brethren... some of you have chosen to break the creed of man and live with the lesser races, those animals. I understand I cannot save everyone... some are not ready to accept the future. But when you came here, you swore an oath, not only to me, but to your brother, your sister, your forefathers... and when you break that oath, you must understand that let your betrayal go unpunished..."

The doors behind Deatholme blew open as Hans dragged the bloodied form of a man through the doorway, bound at the hands. Deatholme turned to the man, and felt a shiver of delight as the man stiffened and began to beg for his life. Deatholme approached the man, gliding across the snow beneath his feet. The man, once a soldier under Deatholme's name, now stood at his mercy. Just as he began to cry, Deatholme placed a cold leather hand on his shoulder, and leaned in close.

"Forgive me, brother."

In a series of quick precise jabs, the man's nerve froze and he began to bleed from twenty different holes. His face was a mess of pain and horror as he stared into his own dying eyes through the reflection in Deatholme's mask. As he fell back into the snow, he had only the blackness of the Volker sky, and the devil to stare up at.

"Now, my brothers. In who do you believe in? In who do you place your trust, your lives, your future!?"

"DEATHOLME!"

Beneath that horrible mask, the monster smiled.

- - -

I can still remember that day... the day I let my platoon die...

They called me Ghost back then... it wasn't just a callsign, it was a statement... I had no soul, no conscience...

My men believed that... they watched my decisions in battle and thought that I was heartless... they believed that I saw them as disposable...they believed I didn’t love them...

Maybe that was true... maybe I am just a Ghost...


\
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Planet Baikonur
UHC Weapons Research Station
80 AC


"This is the official report of Colonel Cameron J. Armstrong of the United Human Colonial Navy, dated 04/24/80.

Baikonur had been a research and development site for the Colonial Military for sometime. As The Hub seemed hellbent on limiting our borders as much as possible. It only seemed right that the Colonies establish a forward listening post on our outward border in case of an attack from outside. As time went on, and no attack came, my superiors decided to use the desolate rock for developing a prototype defense system, codenamed; Achilles. Not many people knew about it, I myself had little knowledge of it until the planet had already become under siege.

My capital ship, The Impending Dawn, was already in the system when the attackers arrived. They made no attempt to bargain, they simply began to deploy ground troops to storm the facility. They utilized purely energy-based weaponry unlike any kind I had seen before. I would like to note, their battle cluster seemed to be made of scout vessels, not warships. It is my belief that the aliens were scouting new space, and did not expect to find life on this arm of the galaxy. I will present my findings to the Office of Colonial Defense once we return to Terra.

Upon my arrival on the planet, the Office of Colonial Defense gave me direct orders to destroy Project Achilles and erase all relevant data. At this point, the alien force had complete ground and air control, making the planned evacuation of on-site personnel difficult, and anyone planning on destroying the Achilles prototype would be committing suicide. With no volunteers, I assigned an engineer battalion known as the Hellfire Corps to do the job, led by a Sergeant, callsign; Ghost. The Hellfire Corps had a track record of demolition jobs, making them prime candidates for the assignment. Hellfire Corps successfully made it to Hanger 210 with minimal casualties. However they soon ran into complications...


~~~

"Where is our goddamn evac?!"

Plasma shells flew past the Corporal as he hid behind the flipped wreckage of his transport. They had been promised extraction, even if they hadn't been sucessful, they knew that the Colonel would never leave them behind. Still, the situation had gone from bad to worse, and Corporal Petrovic feared that the circumstances had changed.

"I joined the Corps to defend the colonies, not get my ass shot up on some rock by aliens..." a soldier whined, loosening his grip around the rifle in his hands. "This whole op has gone to hell, man. First we lose the jeep, and now Sarge is missing? I thought Ghost was lucky?"

"No, they just said he couldn't die... that he wasn't human anymore." Petrovic slumped onto the rocky ground, and looked at the ammunition indicator on his rifle. Half a clip. He swore under his breath and peaked over the wheels of the jeep towards the aliens that stood only a hundred yards away. "Guess they were right... we're done for." he lamented.

A chuckle came from his left, a marksman that laid prone to make himself smaller. "No... we were dead from the start." He said solemnly, before pulling on the trigger of his rifle and unleashing a high-velocity round at the head of one of the aliens. "Back when we got paired up with Ghost, I knew we were going to end up here."

"The hell are you talking about, Chen?" The other soldier questioned.

"On his last mission, our fearless leader, Sergeant Ghost? He let his entire platoon get slaughtered, and he didn't say a word, didn't even flinch. He has no emotion, no soul." Chen answered, ending his sentence with a slam of the bolt of his rifle.

Petrovic slammed the back of his helmet against the jeep. "I guess that's why he's called Ghost, because he isn't even human!-"

A huge ball of green plasma sent the truck flying, and the three soldiers went straight for the ground. In the distance, they saw alien lifeforms moving towards them, weapons raised.

Petrovic raised his head, and peaked across the battlefield, just as a ball of energy came flying from one of the angular tanks. "He really did leave us... this is it..." He closed his eyes, and prepared for the warm embrace of plasma.

Suddenly, a ball of fire came barreling out of the Hanger, and landed in front of the scattered men. The plasma came down agaisnt the fireball, but dispersed agaisnt it's surface. The soldiers took a moment to wait as the dust cloud dispersed before they finally could see.

"It's the Prototype..."

Image

"...but who's piloting it?" Petrovic slowly got to his knees and stared up at the fifteen-foot tall tool of war.

"Ghost to Hellfire Corps, fall back to the evac site immediately, ignore the enemy." The suit spoke, still facing the enemy forces.

Petrovic stood slack-jawed, and turned to face the other soldiers. "Alright, you heard his orders, let's get out of here."

Chen cut in," he's not supposed to be using that suit! We were supposed to destroy it!"

"That's an order." Ghost said, glancing over his shoulder in the hulking suit of armor.

The thrusters on the back of the suit flared, and the suit flew forwards, dodging plasma fire. Ghost spun the minigun on his arm and fired a volley of rounds towards the alien attackers, blowing them apart into chunks of multi-colored flesh. As he landed in the middle of the battle, he heard the voice of Colonel Armstrong come through his helmet.

"Can you hear me, Sergeant?! What do you think you're doing? Your orders are to destroy the suit and all related data. You are disobeying direct orders!"

"No sir, I am following my orders."

"Explain yourself."

"I have destroyed all the data, and I'm using the time left on this suit to evacuate my soldiers. I am not leaving until all of my people are safely-"

"That is not the plan! I am ordering you to stand down and-"

"There is no other choice. The mission cannot be jeopardized..."

"...and I am still responsible for these soldiers' lives..."


"Wait, Sergeant! Ghost? Listen to me... Ghost!

~~~

I lost my entire squad... every one of my soldiers... and that's when I truly became a Ghost... just a shadow of a Human being...

~~~

Plasma and bullets flew everywhere. The Prototype suit used every weapon at it's disposal to distract the enemies while the soldiers retreated. All the while, Ghost was watching his timer.

"In order to activate the self-destruction of the nuclear core, the pilot must speak a voice command... they designed it for reason, didn't they?"

"Sergeant?.."

"Just get my men off this rock... Ghost, over and out."

Ghost powered the thrusters and flew into the air as the troops began to swarm him. The Achilles suit was powerful, but it wasn't invincible. The heat of the plasma had begun to overload the shield generator, and melt through the armor. Ghost switched to the missile pods and fired towards troops that crowded around him. Shrapnel and fire exploded around him, enveloping him in flame as he set back down upon the ground.

Just as he cleared the area of targets, a enormous ball of blue energy crashed against him, breaking through the energy shield and blasting the suit into the ground. As the cloud dissipated, he could finally see the stars, and the tails of the transport ships as they broke the atmosphere.

Image ~~~

I had made up my mind that night... the night I let my platoon die...

I looked up at the stars and something died inside me... a conscience is just something that gets in the way...

That's all it is, an obstacle, something we all need to overcome...

I can't atone for failing to protect them...


~~~

\\
\\\
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COUNTDOWN COMPLETE: VOICE AUTHORIZATION REQUIRED

SPEAK THE VOICE COMMAND EXACTLY AS DISPLAYED:

"I AM HUMAN"


~~~

"Sergeant, I know you're not really a Ghost... I know that deep inside you is a human being... a human being with a pure heart and soul. They say you don't care, and that it's your lack of caring that makes you good. But I know that you are the best because you care the most out of anyone in this army..."

Her name was Amy... she was born on Christmas, on Terra... I hadn't ever seen anyone prouder to wear army green... I think she loved me, in that way that only a woman can love... but I knew, I knew I could never love her back...

"...it's your love for your soldiers that keeps you going... but you never show it. Why can't you just show it? Why can't you just admit to yourself that you are a human being?"

...


~~~

Image

"V-voice command authorization... callsign Ghost..."

"I. Am. Human."


DETONATION AUTHORIZED, CORE WILL REACH CRITICAL STATE IN 3.. 2..

And now maybe... just maybe I can be human again...

~~~

Transmission from The Impending Dawn: Col. Armstrong, C

"Research Containment Protocols enforced, all weapons, prototypes, and research data has been destroyed...

The soldier, Sergeant "Ghost", whom I previously had ordered to court marshal is... I redact that order... that soldier is officially missing in action, lost during heavy combat on Baikonur. He demonstrated honorable conduct not only as a soldier, but also as a human being. His sacrifice should be noted, and posthumously awarded the Colonial Cross.

We're heading for rendezvous with the UHC Memories of Peace... over and out.


- - -
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Hub Authority Capital Ship, The Arbiter
The Hub, 85 AC (After Contact)


Jax

"So, Captain Blackwell, are you ready to go over the candidates?"

"Don't call me Captain, please." Morgan opened the folder. "Let's start with this one, Jax."

Chernova straightened. "Okay, Jax is one of the Awoken... ancient synthetics built-"

"I read the file, I want to know what the black ink was covering." Blackwell said, looking over at her from the file.

"Oh, well. He is immune to most psychic or mind control, he can regenerate, understand almost all languages, he is a master of martial arts, and he has something of a criminal record."

"Any chance we can get that fixed?"

Chernova laughed. "Who do I look like? The Minister of Justice?"

"Oh, I guess not?-"

"I am, Morgan... I am the Minister of... let's just move on..."

~~~

Chellis

"A Silwin? Hmm... she's real pretty."

"Yeah, I thought that too, unless you realize that they're a proto-hive mind... wait a few millennia and they'll all look the same."

"But Chellis, why is she on the list?"

"She's an empath, and one hell of a medic. We found her working in a triage on some war-torn Frontier world, imagine that? That pretty empath is a long way from home..."

"Yeah, I know the feeling..."

~~~

Lilith

"Lilith Treble, born on... Melbourne? The prison planet?"

"Yeah... hell of a mechanic and pilot... plus her cybernetics give her an advantage over most organics..."

"Growing up in a prison? That's no life for a kid..."

Chernova sipped her drink, and spoke halfway. "Sge wussint a prisnur."

"Pardon?"

Chernova finished her drink with a heavy gulp and wiped her lips. "Sorry... she wasn't a prisoner, her Uncle was stationed there as a mechanic."

"Still, growing up around so much violence... I couldn't have been good for the kid."

"You'd know all about that, wouldn't you?

"Watch it, Andromeda."

~~~

Haed

"Time Vampire? Who is this girl?" Morgan looked over the file on Haed, none of it made sense. He had never heard of Time Siphons. For a moment, it seemed like the failed plot to a comic book.

"That is some crazy stuff... we've had quite a few of these Time-Benders locked away in a special containment facility, since they can bend time and space, it makes them a bit hard to control when they get anarchistic... and she's almost three-hundred, Morgan."

"Spooky stuff... can she freeze bullets?"

"Yes. Yes she can, and it's quite cool."

~~~

Karana

"No... no no no, I don't want to babysit rich kids." Morgan crossed his arms and placed Shiori's file back on the table.

"Come on, Morgan. She's a star diplomat-"

"And apparently a secretary? Chernova, I'm not letting the heiress to some megacorporation onto my ship. We're hunting for terrorists, not the best sale on designer clothes."

"She's a mathematic genius, and her bank account is practically bottomless."

"Can she fight?"

"Maybe?"

"Fine... but she has to pay for gas..."

~~~

Vivoriana

"A super soldier? This is exactly what I wanted! Someone who can really take the fight to these Humanity Front bastards."

"A pretty obvious candidate... though she has something of a rebellious streak, she is a valuable asset to Nine-Tailed Fox."

"...and that armor... such curves..."

"Can't argue that, cowboy..."

~~~

Farris

"A card shark? Heh... see what I?-"

"Well he's actually not a shark-"

"Don't ruin it for me."

- - -
Image
AMP-Vehicle Hanger, The Arbiter

Morgan was already waiting in the hanger by the time the mercenaries and assorted specialists arrived. He had taken time to look good for the men and women that he would lead into battle. While he wasn't wearing his hat, he did wear cowboy boots and his maroon leather duster, with the sleeves rolled to his elbows, and of course, strapped to his thighs were his dual pistols, marked with spades on the grip. He was certain of his façade.

The mercenaries all arrived at once, brought into the ship in a shuttle, together to insure their would be no need to repeat themselves when it came to dispersing information. Once they had all gathered, Morgan spoke up.

"Hello, my name is Morgan Blackwell... I've been hired just like all of you. Only my job is to keep us all on the right track. For any of you who might have a grudge on the Hub, just know I'm only here for the money, same as you. So with that out of the way, are their any questions before we get called by the Commander?"

- - -

Welcome to Redemption Chapter 1! I have big plans for this series, and I'm looking forward to writing this along with all of you. Before we begin, a few notes:

- None of you were forced to take this job, even those of you who may have been incarcerated. It was your choice.
- The Hub aren't just the bad guys because they are a superpower. There are many factions in Aurelius, and many walk the path of Neutral.
- Don't use OOC knowledge to influence how the game plays out or how your character reacts, that ruins the purpose of roleplaying.
- Any and all questions should be posed to the OOC or my PM box.

Player List:
Annasiel as Chellis, "Empathic Enigma"
Myrn as Lilith Treble, "Aussie with Attitude"
Quirbles as Jax, "The Tin Man"
LunaHawk, as Haed, "The Time Thief"
Illirica as Karana Shiori, "Silver-Tongue"
Azra as Vivoriana Lionfang, "Bounty Hunter: Prime"
SomeGuy as Farris Whepet "Abe Sapien with an Ace up his sleeve"
Last edited by Poetic Ghost on Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:58 pm, edited 6 times in total.
~~ You are but a grain of sand, in the sands of time. ~~

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LunaHawk
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Re: Redemption

Post by LunaHawk » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:47 am

Haed road the transport shuttle with everyone else on their long journey. Two guards flanked her and she had been strapped into the seat by straps that were carefully run over the black alloy shackles which held her hands together, were locked in place over her shoulders and clamped over her waist. A grilled mask of the same material was strapped over her face like a cage. Haede was silent during the trip and sat with her eyes closed, one finger tapping out time on her right thigh, the only sound coming from her the clinking of black chains with the tiny movements.

The two guards could not have been more different. One was somewhat overweight, large and clearly older, a man who had been doing his job for a long time and had all the confidence of those years of experience to back him up. The other was a young man, slender, nervous and clearly uncomfortable being near the woman he was guarding.

Haed wasn't half as blind as she looked. She was studying the crew compartment with her temporal vision, analyzing the temporal lines of the people who would become her new squad. Her relative youth meant she couldn't delve into their pasts or read their potential futures, but it was enough to know if they would make for good...prey. She shifted in her seat, turned her head to the side and opened her eyes, staring straight at the younger guard. He jumped, clearly startled.

"Calm your tits kid." The older guard said. Haed simply turned her head forward again and closed her eyes once more, pushing a little smirk from her mouth, hiding it beneath the grill of her mask.

He's afraid. He should be afraid. Did you tell the kid how long you've been starving me? Did you tell him the flaw in your defenses? Did you tell him you brought him along for the ride because if I were to break free I'd attack him first and his agonized death would buy you time? No...I suspect not.

She felt the shuttle decelerate and soon enough felt it rock softly as it landed. The shuttle's ramp lowered and everyone began to file out. Once they were out Haed was unbuckled from her seat and walked down the ramp. Her eyes were open now, taking in every detail of the landing bay and the people inside. She felt at last, after more than fifty years, the weight of the black alloy being stripped from her shoulders and then her waist. The last to go was her mask...they kept her hands clasped together in front of her.
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9dd56ce23d509c8da8e015f1177b7370.jpg (55.53 KiB) Viewed 530 times

The younger guard reached out as Mr. Blackwell spoke, about to grab one of her arms just above the shackle while he moved to undo the remaining locks. The older guard suddenly intervened, jerking the poor man's hand away. He looked...bewildered. Haed smiled and whispered to the young man. "Contact erases your defenses. He just saved your life."

Once the guards, more carefully this time, removed her restraints she ignored them completely and returned her gaze to the hanger, judging it, judging the people in it, judging its size, it's newness, it's every detail. Hm...Not disappointing. To tell the truth, she was impressed. Clearly the Hub had money, more importantly their employer had significant amounts of both it and power. That meant she had a real chance now, an opportunity she had been correct to seize when it was offered. She was here to get out of prison, it was true, but she was also here to re-establish her life...and doing that meant a need for cold, hard, cash. If she got to eat a long the way? Well...so much the better. There was no look of defiance on her face now, not even a look of malice. She adopted her disarming demeanor, instantly appearing submissive and eager to obey orders.

Haed rubbed at her wrists as if the cuffs had hurt both mentally and physically and when it was time to ask questions...she raised her hand like a school child before speaking.

"Just one sir. When do we get to eat? It was a long trip over and..." She rubbed the back of her neck nervously, as if concerned she might offend him for even asking. As if it would bother her if he were offended. "and my blood sugar is low." Code words now, she didn't know how much the others knew of her...or how much this Mr. Blackwell knew. If he knew as much as she assumed he did he would understand that she needed temporal energy from something, anything. If the others knew they would probably back away subconsciously. It was a win win scenario...one that hopefully involved someone at least handing over a piece of deck plating.

"Two, actually." She corrected quickly. "Are all of our vehicles already on board?" She knew it was very likely the answer was yes but in this way she could probe how many people had other vehicles, where they might be stored (if not in another part of the hanger) and perhaps most importantly she would continue to lay the ground work as a person who was not bright enough to know that, on top of the submissive posture and tone she adopted to her voice.

After years in prison, pretending to be harmless was second nature.

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illirica
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Re: Redemption

Post by illirica » Sun Apr 01, 2018 4:51 pm

Karana Shiori sat straight-backed in her chair, a cup of tea steaming atop a saucer placed to her right, seeming entirely at place there. The second teacup in the set was in front of a man who looked about as far removed from the sort of man who understood porcelain teacups as possible. She smiled, an expression completely indifferentiable from common politeness, not revealing in the slightest how much she enjoyed how out of place her companion was. She had long ago mastered the fact that interviews went two ways, and she may not have turned the tables entirely on this one, but she had at least evened them out.

Unfortunately, she doubted the man before her had any appreciation for the niceties of subtlety. A shame, really, but Karana would certainly enjoy it on his behalf. He'd reached out to her about an organization looking to hire - the intriguingly named 'Nine Tailed Fox.' The Hu Shen was merely a fragmentary text these days, like most relics of old, but Karana had read the remnants anyway.
"Since the beginning of the Tang, many commoners have worshiped fox spirits. They make offerings in their bedchambers to beg for their favor. The foxes share people’s food and drink. They do not serve a single master."
She wondered, rather, whether that bit of script had been considered in the naming of the organization, or whether - like many organizations - someone had merely named it after the first powerful-sounding thing to come to mind. From such failures of reseach came such corporations as Platypus Weapons Consolidated, LLC. Or perhaps it was all an indication towards a grand betrayal, and at the end there would be someone with a cold smile and the harsh words "You were warned, if only you had bothered to read the signs."

Either way, it had been enough to catch Karana's interest. From the way that the interview had gone so far, she had the distinct impression that she had been expected to refuse the meeting entirely. The man across from her turned his cup in its saucer, a giant's paw engulfing an eggshell for a moment, but leaving it uncracked.

"Let me make it clear to you that you were contacted because someone thought it would be a good idea to, ah, 'diversify our portfolio.' Is that what you stock market junkies call it?"

"Let us say the value of the statement approaches the value of its intent," Karana answered, amused, offering nothing but a politely blank smile at the look he gave her, which was hovering between what did you just say? and you're mocking me, aren't you? Karana picked up her teacup and took a delicate sip. "You were saying?"

If she'd rattled him at all, he rallied effortlessly. "I was saying that whoever it was wasn't me."

"I assure you, sir, my record is impeccable."

The man across the table hid the beginnings of a grimace behind the motion of taking a drink. "I know, Miss Shiori," he told her, "That's what bothers me."



That had been the auspicious beginning of her foray into the Nine-Tailed Fox. The group, such as it was, had come from whatever diverse corners of the galaxy they had most recently haunted, and been herded onto a shuttle to arrive shortly at the hangar of a ship named the Arbiter. As names went, Karana considered it less auspicious than Nine-Tailed Fox if also rather less inventive. She had spent the shuttle ride over sitting quietly in the back, reading on a tablet. There was a certain invisibility in being a neat young woman sitting quietly in the back of a shuttle, reading silently.

Like the others, she had spent what glances she could sizing up the rest of them before they were released into the hangar, but information gleaned was limited at the time. A cybernetically-enhanced young woman, likely genetically altered human stock by the hair and eyes. A small nonhuman of a humanoid race, gray-skinned and gray-haired, with deep black eyes. Karana had identified her easily as Silwin; the Silwin were natural empaths, and often discussed in Karana's psychology coursework. Further, a number of them went into psychologically related fields, and the Shiori corporation generally considered them valuable target customers for their developing pharmaceuticals.

Another humanoid encased in a metallic shell, or perhaps it was another cybernetic, or perhaps an android. A young woman that looked both human and insane, the sort Karana's mother would have told her to avoid. Another young human-looking woman, with bright eyes that suggested a hint of gene therapy as well. A green-skinned amphibioid, more easily identified as Herrun by her system, although Karana didn't know much about the Herrun. Her database stated that they were indeed amphibious, and not much else. She flagged the species lists for later research, as the shuttle was arriving at its berth.

Karana lined up with the others as they exited the shuttle, listening to the man who introduced himself as Morgan Blackwell, evidently hired with the rest of them. Karana glanced at the assembly: Five, six, seven, Mr. Blackwell makes eight, and the called-Commander nine. She smiled to herself at the mathematical precision, and wondered if that had been deliberate or merely a whim of the universe. It was, of course, entirely possible that other members would show up at some point, at which point the mathematician in Karana would be disappointed and the executive in her would be pleased.

Karana considered correcting the man's statement that they were 'only here for the money,' as she was privileged enough that money was hardly a concern, and experience of far greater importance. Ultimately, she decided to let the remark slide - objection would be self-alienating, and act against her interests. "Thank you, Mr. Blackwell," was her only statement on the matter, along with a nod of her head. The young woman she'd mentally marked as likely difficult had a few questions, mostly reasonable, although Karana could not help but notice that she failed to introduce herself before asking. Socially, it was a faux pas, but it seemed that manners weren't likely to be high on the list of things the recruiters had been looking for.

She didn't try to answer the specific inquiry, as she had no knowledge of the answers, instead letting herself subtly shift position from a linear group meeting an officer to a more arc-like inclusive group. "My name is Karana Shiori. I look forward to making all of your individual acquaintances." It was, no doubt, going to be a very interesting set of meetings.

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Poetic Ghost
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Re: Redemption

Post by Poetic Ghost » Mon Apr 02, 2018 8:36 am

"Just one sir. When do we get to eat? It was a long trip over and..." She rubbed the back of her neck nervously, as if concerned she might offend him for even asking. As if it would bother her if he were offended. "...and my blood sugar is low."

"Well, I think-" Morgan began, before Haed quickly cut him off.

"Two, actually."
She corrected quickly. "Are all of our vehicles already on board?"

Morgan gave the woman a slightly annoyed look, which quickly disapated into a calm smile as he addressed the entire crew. "All of your vehicles are in this hanger, if you take a minute to look around you." Morgan said, gesturing to the various walkers and ships docked in the hanger. "Oh, and Miss Lionfang, the prison took the liberty of sending your armor and other equipment directly to us... here, feel free to look it over and tell me if they missed anything." Morgan added quickly, signaling over to a large protective case with a handprint sensor.

"...and Haed? The Commander has a solution for your eating habits." Morgan said, trying to not make her condition as a Time Siphon apparent, though he doubted she would be able to keep her secret for very long.

"For the rest of you, if there is anything in particular you need to have, or need done, just bring it up now. Commander Chernova wants to get us on our way as soon as she can."
~~ You are but a grain of sand, in the sands of time. ~~

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Re: Redemption

Post by Myrn » Mon Apr 02, 2018 9:23 pm

Ah yes, nothing beats the good ol fashioned way of intergalactic traveling like your run of the mill shuttle ride. Bunch of fuckin weirdos this side of the galaxy it seems. Got herself some real walks of life this ride. Lilith near grimaced at the sight of the silwin, best to avoid that thing, for her own sanity at least. Although there's lots of things to scrutinize, Lilith was far more intrigued by the tin bucket next to her. Normally she wasn't the talking type but man this box of bolts was a looker. She had to probe it... and get her hands on him.. they were gonna work for the same guy, yeh? Oh, the opportunities were positively endless.

"What ya in for, mate?" It was more a joke than some jab seeing how most were the shifty lookin' types. Obviously, they were all capable in their own rights, why else would they all be hired for a dangerous job?

"I murdered 7 people in a tavern. This was what they called a plea bargain." Straight to the point, none o' that bullshite beatin' round the bush. She even reckoned he was the type to stab ya from the front even. Noice.

"Oh shite man. Good to know, yeh? Guess we ain't all that far off from each other." She was pretty sure everyone here had a similar case or something related to the sort.

"So, where'd you get those?" He pointed at her arms. Ah, he a curious one.

"Oh, these? Yeh, 'specially made on Melbourne. Noice piece o shit work ain't it?"

"I've seen better. In fact, 'could prolly do better," The robot responded. Owch. That hurt what little pride she had.

"Well fuck me for not havin fancy shite on that waste of a planet ye dig mate?"

"Believe me, the last thing I want to do is go back there." Lilith had quieted after this statement. If it meant what she thinks he meant by it.. Shite, was he on Melbourne before her? This had her think some more to herself, long enough for the shuttle to have reached the hangar and they were all herded off like cattle. They even had unwittingly lined up nice and pretty like for their employer, oh fun. Some real nice presentation there. But now that Lilith had a good looksie, she was fancying the idea of dismantling one of them fancy bad boys. Their captain showed up and introduced himself and there were questions and all that bullarky shite, nah mate. What she really wanted to know was..

"Yea, yea, yea.." She seemed to have waved off whatever the others were saying as she was about to touch the gnitty gritty of this conversation. "I'm a mechanic, I see vehicles I reeeeeeally want to get, acquainted with, if ye know what I mean. So what say you we get this shit done and I can get started, yeh?"
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"He seemed the sort to even Dream in suave."

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Re: Redemption

Post by Quirbles » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:38 am

A match struck in the corner of the hangar, raised to hover just beneath an unlit cigarette held between robotic fingers. The quickly burning flame on the end of the wooden match caught the end of the butt, creating a small trail of smoke that dissipated a few inches above it. The hand that held the cigarette brought it to a mouth without lips, hanging loosely out of the robot's mouth and declining towards the ground, only slightly.

Jax took a drag from the Marley Texan-brand cigarette, breathing in nicotine and a horrible mixture of other substances along with it. Despite the plentiful warnings that the things had on the side of the packs they came in, taking a breath of the toxic cloud gave him a sense of security and calm that he hadn't felt since the incident in Backwater. He gave a barely visible shudder at the memory before looking around at the people he'd be working with.

The Conscious was no stranger to group missions, and the vast collection of mercenary work under his belt made sure of that. But this shit? A little different. The size of the squad he was working with was the largest contrast from previous assignments— seeing as he'd mainly worked with groups of 4 other PMCs, maximum— and looking around, he saw more than a few who wore their entitlement on their sleeves. He just hoped that the trust-fund babies knew how to handle a gun, because the last thing he wanted was to put his life in the hands of a pussy; cowards have always had a way of screwing Jax over. The only person he trusted when out on the Frontier was himself, and it seemed like that would be the case for this plea bargain.

Having zoned out for almost the entirety of the conversation, Jax reintroduced his attention just in time to catch the tail-end of a conversation. One of the people in the squadron, a shackled woman, asked to have a bite to eat of all things; he'd have bit his tongue, had he been made with one. Unfortunately [or fortunately, rather], he let a chuckle escape. Blood sugar levels?

"What, forget your insulin shots back at prison?" He said aloud. Despite the jab at the shackled woman, his facial expression remained completely vague and neutral; whether this was due to his robotic lineaments making his face hard to read, one wouldn't know. He took another drag from the cigarette before letting it drop to the ground and moving his foot over it, grinding the nearly finished butt with the ball of his foot. He let out a small sigh, this time at another woman who'd spoken up and felt the need to introduce herself to the entirety of the group. The way she carried herself, her tone while speaking... Jax didn't have a doubt in his mind that she was one of those entitled types.

You're a long way from Kansas, Dorothy.

He began looking for that girl he talked to on the shuttle ride over. Pink hair wasn't hard to spot in a small crowd, and moments later he found who he was looking for; she was busy talking to Morgan about fixing up vehicles, he guessed from the snippets of conversation he was able to pick up. She seemed like one of the "good ones", per se. Only thing that was off-putting about her was the ogle she was giving him on the transport over here.

Just do what they want. Get out. Then you're free.
Last edited by Quirbles on Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Redemption

Post by Annasiel » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:31 am

Chellis stood stock still against the hangar wall, black eyes watching the others impassively. Everything about her, from her plain black sweater to her rigid arms to the slow, sweeping motions of her head was efficient, more robotic in demeanor than the actual robot. From her spot, she surveyed the room. There as an air of apprehension, a sense of waiting for something important, coupled with smaller impressions of nonchalant dismissal and curiosity. A group of guards were freeing a bound woman who was... cold, to put it simply, and even from here Chellis could feel their fear. That woman was dangerous. She didn't need to see the restraints to know it.

Another woman, the source of the quiet curiosity, blended into the background with the way she acted. Reading a book moments before, she now addressed herself to the group - a hallmark of self-importance, or merely a high regard for etiquette? Whatever the case, it was notable.

There was a metallic creature smoking in the corner, and from it, Chellis saw... nothing. He was a void of impressions, a hollow buzz in the loaded air. The more she tried to focus, the louder the buzz grew, until she had to pull away just to avoid the noise.

Curious.

Again, notable, but much more distressing than the last case. She idly considered approaching him after and trying to probe into the nature of this anomaly, but decided it would be better to watch him for a while longer before making any active moves.

He had been speaking with a rough looking woman with metallic arms who carried herself with great confidence. Overconfidence to the point of cockiness, a sharp contrast to the light tinge of insecurity Chellis felt wriggling beneath the surface. Perhaps more interesting was the disgust that had flashed from her direction when she first caught sight of the Silwin.

Some happy green thing (overstimulatingly saccharine) that she couldn't hope to pin the race of was with them too, and - of course - this Morgan who was addressing them. He felt ambivalent, almost a bit sullen. Not exactly the sort of impression you wanted to get from someone who seemed to be in charge.

So, this was it. These were the people she was supposed to be working with.

Chellis held her tongue as, one by one, the other spoke up, but as soon as a lull was reached, she spoke as well.

"I am Chellis," she said to no one in particular. Her voice was soft and level, reminiscent of a whisper without actually being one. "Mr. Blackwell, are there any concerns regarding this mission we have not been made privy to?"
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Re: Redemption

Post by Poetic Ghost » Tue Apr 03, 2018 10:07 pm

"Mr. Blackwell, are there any concerns regarding this mission we have not been made privy to?"

Morgan held his breath. It was Chellis, the Silwin, The Emptath. Queen of Hearts. She could read his emotions, not his mind, but his heart. He had learned to block mental invasion, psychic attacks and the such, but Empaths were another breed. He tried to clear his mind, to let the Silwin glance into his emotional state and see a heart at peace. But of course, he failed, and his conflict bled through.

Morgan turned to address the group, not just Chellis. “The Commander can give you the full version, but from what I’ve been told, we’ve been contracted to engage a Human Superiorty force, they have plans to activate a device that could cause planetary destruction.” He said, before stopping to listen in on the dialogue coming from the mechanic, Lilith Treble.

I'm a mechanic, I see vehicles I reeeeeeally want to get, acquainted with, if ye know what I mean. So what say you we get this shit done and I can get started, yeh?"

“I agree, we need to get this job done. The sooner we can get rid of these terrorists, the sooner the galaxy will be in a safer place, and you’ll be nicely compensated.” He added, almost ignoring the fact that she intended to vandalize Hub property. “...and any damages may or may not be taken out of your pay. Just a word of warning.”

“Chellis, can I speak to you?” Morgan called.
~~ You are but a grain of sand, in the sands of time. ~~

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Re: Redemption

Post by LunaHawk » Wed Apr 04, 2018 12:50 am

"...and Haed? The Commander has a solution for your eating habits." Morgan said

A flicker snapped across her face, a flicker of something...primal, starving...predatory. For those in the room capable of detecting emotions her emotional temperature may as well have hit absolute zero as for a brief, brief moment, she became more animal than person...a cruel, terrible monster lingered beneath the gentle and submissive surface.

She cast her eyes to Jax. Her face remained a submissive mask, save the barest, briefest hint of a Stygian smile. "It happens, when they starve you." Despite the smile there was nothing threatening in her tone and it remained soft. She returned her gaze to the front, focusing her attention as best she could on the man answering the questions rather than on how truly hungry she was and how absolutely delightful some of her companions would taste.

"Oh, thank you, I apologize for my lack of...observation." She told Mr. Blackwell. Her gaze shifted around the room until she found her vehicle, as if she'd not known where it was the entire time. She smiled to herself a little, glad to see the machine she'd made with her own two hands what felt like half an eternity ago. It was still intact, looked like it still functioned and no one had done anything stupid to it. Yet. Her eyes shifted to the self proclaimed mechanic. She would have to keep her eyes on that one.

Haed smiled brightly to the young woman who decided to introduce herself to everyone. What was the cattle's name again? Oh yes. Karana Shiori. Maybe they'd all prove themselves to be more than cattle. That's enough of that.

Oh is it now? The caged animal in her mind inquired in her thoughts, like a whispering agent lingering in the back of her subconscious.

Yes. They might be useful, maybe they'll even try to be nice. Haed scolded the thing.

Mhm...and my name is Santa Claus.

She bit her lip briefly and refocused her starving mind on something else, anything other than the dark thoughts caged in the corner of her soul.
The young Time Siphon allowed the others to ask their questions, done with her own and not intent on interrupting. Instead she moved ever so casually towards the back of the group where she could get a better view of her mech. It was, perhaps, the one great achievement of her life. She had done other things of course, most of them murderous...but this had been all her, pieced together by her hands, imagined by her mind...it had taken no lives to construct it, enslaved no menials to acquired its pieces and it had been stolen from no one. It and the blade...

Who has my box?! She swiveled on the spot, turning her gaze back to Mr. Blackwell but held back her question. She would find out. If the prison had it she would have to retrieve it later. It's not as if they could destroy it. As for the sword, I'm sure they'll want me to have that, it's probably in my quarters, wherever those are.

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Re: Redemption

Post by Azra » Wed Apr 04, 2018 1:33 am

Vivoriana honestly couldn't be more elated to get the job started her foot tapped nervously while in the transport vehicle as she waited. Way things usually went the military found a job to do and shipped her off, the tasks were hit or miss. Sometimes she got to fly or work on interesting craft, or be dropped into a theatric combat zone, sometimes they told her to work on the hover car of some spoiled brat. Of course she had a preference for which but more importantly this time she got to actually pick for herself.

She'd work on the Arbiter a ship she thought rather pretty, paint scheme even was a bit more fun in design. Seemed like so many just went with the color of metals and alloys a rather underwhelming choice to Viv. Vehicles said everything she thought about a person. When you walked into a port and saw someone land a fighter another friggite and another a modified cargo carrier you knew the core of the people. See the craft find the dents and scars to find hints of the many small stories. A look st the repair jobs and paint or lack of told of the value put into the ships. To some they were just transport, others found it home. And if Viv was being entirely honest she hoped this mission would be long enough to think the Arbiter a home.

She sat cross legged on the floor looking over a data pad herself the seats of the transport vehicle weren't comfortable to her. Something about the model bothered her in the corners. So she took the floor and looked over what information they would let her on the Arbiter. Probably wasn't a lot and they probably didn't want to give her to much access to roam about, the ship was more intriguing then people though. Her crew was her crew she shouldn't need to worry she felt.

Yeah maybe one seemed to be gagged and bound in a nonfun way but that was just security being paranoid over a criminal probably. You bite one alien in self defense and people might think you crazy. There was a robot of some kind, A.I maybe she didn't deal in robotics though and he smoked. That alone was something to in Vic's eyes establish more character to him then some generic it. Empathic aliens were cool as far as the blonde was concerned and Viv didn't really mind someone picking up on the idea of her being happy. There was another lady very curious about mechanics and honestly that was all Viv needed to see to be in support of such company. The last one on the boat seemed to be the political type, which she thought was great. It wasn't like Viv was going to talk down a invading pirate after all.

They land and the captain is met, or least she assumed he'd be the leader anyway. They asked about food the blonde just looked about the area trying to get an idea of the transports about the area. Maybe a little bit nervous as to where the Lioness was. Karana introduced herself, was a pretty name but Viv was still just looking for her armor. Her attention snapping into focus when addressed and told where to look. ""There you are!" her voice perhaps a bit more enthused and high then necessary as she bolted over to where it was housed and started unpacking it. The navy blue suit far more preferable over military prison garb. "Just call me Viv" seemed like a good moment to squeeze in the ever boring introduction bit and move on. Syncing her data pad to the one documenting the handling of the Lioness armor and its schematics Viv handed the original over to the other mechanic "Just don't take her apart without me, it's the only junk I give a fuck about ya know?" Really she didn't have any questions to toss out at the moment on her end other then maybe where a changing room was to slip on something more comfortable for now she could just hold onto her suit though and follow along.

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