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Found 415 results

  1. mediumsnowman

    [O - F04] Drone Testing

    Location: F04 - Illustria Tags: Vehicle, Spying Jebediah tests out a new spying drone on the rocky planet of Illustria. Bit of a throwaway build this week as I ran out of time, but the drone turned out nice. A bigger, better entry into Jebediah's murky past hopefully coming next week! C&C welcome!
  2. LucByard

    [M - F04] Upsilon

    Location: F04 - Illustria. Tags: Military Building. Previous chapters can be accessed from the AG player list here. Chapter 16: Upsilon. “It was dangerous…” the fuzzy holo-image of the hairy man said, his words only just discernable above the crackle and static of a signal that was being bounced and routed through countless locations and servers to avoid detection. “… Aiding the return of an Octan operative when you could have eliminated him… Treasonous, even.” It was a suggestion Riddaeon had contemplated himself ever since leaving Vyken Tyros at the spaceport with his false identities and his tickets back to Octan. But in that time, he had also reasoned his answer. “If you’re right…” He responded. “… And we cannot tackle this alone, MANTIS may not be enough, we need contacts in the other corporations and we need the measure of them.” “And what is the measure of this one?” The holo-image asked. Riddaeon thought for a moment, recalling the Octan agent he had picked up in the clearing on Donwarr. Tyros had been careful about what he had said in their conversation. Riddaeon had gleamed no secrets, but he hadn’t tried to. He wanted to know the man, not the corporation. “He’s loyal…” He answered. “… But principled. It will be where those two separate that we will have leverage…” Riddaeon paused for a moment, considering. “His time on Donwarr has affected him. He’s seen what The Quarrel did to the civilians. The kind of things employees don’t get told.” The holo-imaged crackled as the signal re-routed. It couldn’t stay connected the same way for too long. “Do you think he will be able to convince her?” the hairy visage asked. Riddaeon thought for a moment. That would be a feat. She was not easy to convince of anything. She was an idealist, a believer. But so was Tyros. “Maybe” he finally replied. “But he wouldn’t do it alone. He’d convince someone else first.” “Who?” The image asked. Riddaeon’s eyes gleamed with the knowing of a plan not yet fully formed. “Someone who trusts him.” He said. “His student… and her aide”. The hairy visage contemplated the revelation and the disapproval turned to near excitement. “Then we are ready?” it asked. Riddaeon nodded. “Good.” The image continued. “I will send you the information retrieved with the cypher Yseult acquired… She will find Upsilon for us. And then… So many questions will be answered.” An hour later, Yseult entered the small makeshift office that Riddaeon had made for himself somewhere deep within Sentinel, a surveillance outpost that had been built at the end of The Quarrel on the edge of MANTIS territory to observe and analyse Octan activity, of which there had been too much lately to ignore. She sat down in a seat at the end of his desk, a sheen glass black desk with a built-in keyboard and transparent 3D holoscreen display. “So.” Riddaeon opened with. “I hear you managed to crash another ship into yet another one and lose the new engine we built for it all in one mission.” He let it hang there for a moment. Yseult wasn’t sure if he was being humorous or if she should floor him for the criticism. She just sat in silence which she immediately realised probably made her come across as cold. I hate when people aren’t clear. She thought. I never know how to respond. Riddaeon sat back in his seat raising his hands to concede that his quip probably hadn’t been as successful as he had hoped. “You're a good pilot" he added to try and ease the unintentional tension. "You make it back when others wouldn't, and I think you’re ready for your real mission here.” That caught her attention. “Real mission?” She asked. “You probably figured out that you joining MANTIS wasn’t a coincidence… You were marked for recruitment, by me, to a specific task. A covert operation that no-one else, even in MANTIS knows about. Except for Big Sal, of course.” Yseult recalled her uneasy conversation with Riddaeon in the depths below Uplink the day she nearly rode away from it all. He tried to tease her with information then too. He wanted her to want to know. She had a feeling he was just as eager to tell her anyway. “Lucky for you I chose to stay this long.” She proposed. “Well… Quite.” Riddaeon conceded. “A number of Big Sal’s recent experiments have...” He looked for the right words. “... Not yielded the results we expected. When Big Sal reviewed the data, he found that the experiments didn’t fail, they were never, even on paper, going to achieve what he was trying to do.” “Why even do them?” Yseult asked. “When he re-did the equations, they all came out different, yet familiar. He believes he did them right the first time, but someone... or something was changing them”. “Sabotage?” Yseult proposed. “We thought so.” Riddaeon responded. “But that possibility has been eliminated. No, either Big Sal is actually the worst scientist in the Galxy, or some... thing has somehow been changing the equations and forcing his experiments to fail.” The revelation seemed lost on Yseult who’s face told him on which option should would put her money. Riddaeon knew why; from the outside, could you blame anyone for not taking Big Sal seriously? If he was to convince Yseult, he would have to let his guard down a little. “He may look like a crazy wild-eyed mad scientist from some comic book.” He said. “But I’ve been through more with Big Sal than anyone knows. I wouldn’t be here if it were not for him.” Riddaeon looked pensive. What he said next, he said with complete conviction, complete belief. “If Big Sal says the equations were altered... Then they were altered.” “I am just a pilot.” Yseult responded. “You’re unpredictable.” Riddaeon quickly interjected. “Big Sal ran new equations... traps. He believes that to bring whatever is doing this out into the open, we need something he called ‘Upsilon’. He doesn’t think the corporations can find it, they’re too organised... Too predictable. He believes that to find Upsilon, we need something...” “Unpredictable.” Yseult finished. Riddaeon opened his arms, palms out and gestured. And here we are. Yseult was considering the proposition. “What is this Usilon?” She asked. Riddaeon was hesitant in his admission. “We don’t know.” He replied. “We don’t know what it is or where it might be. Big Sal is working on a way of detecting it. He’s using the cypher you extracted to access Octan’s sensor network. If he picks anything up in MANTIS or Octan space, he’ll tell us where to go. That’s why we need you. Everyone else is too... Corporate.” Yseult considered the plan. It didn’t make much sense to her; it sounded full of things she wasn’t being told. “And if I walk?” she asked. Riddaeon grimaced. Any other employee would’ve saluted and been half way across the Galaxy by now. Why did she have to be so difficult? “Then we may not find out ‘who’, ‘what’ or most importantly ‘why’ until it’s too late.” Yseult recalled the dreams she had on Donwarr, the creature kneeling over her, speaking to her. You must find Upsilon. Coincidence? It didn’t seem likely. It felt like Riddaeon wasn’t the only one wanting her to do this. She looked Riddaeon in the eye, a confidence had appeared on her face, and was that even a small smile. “I need a ship.” She said. “No problem.” Riddaeon responded. “This is MANTIS. Take your pick”. Yseult was shaking her head and the smile had grown. She’s got a plan. He thought. “Not one of your ridiculous flying advertisements.” She said. “A real ship... A proper ship... A box-runner”. Her face changed. She’s remembered something. Riddaeon thought. Nostalgia. Something from her past. “And I know who we must see to get one” She said. Her personality had changed. There was something in her eyes that Riddaeon had not seen before. Life. He leaned forward. The tables had turned; now she was the one in the know. He was the curious one... And he had to know... “Who?” Thank you for reading. All comments welcome.
  3. Location: H04 - Crofter's Ridge Tags: Land Vehicle Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Crofter's Ridge... Bruce, are you taking your new spaceship for a test flight? My what? Miss Kolai, this is a mining drill. Are you sure you're alri...MY WORD, what in the blazes are you wearing?!?! What? You mean you're driving a land vehicle and not plioting a spaceship? Of course, this is a land vehicle! Miss Kolai, your attire is entirely inappropriate as an employee of Octan! I'll have to report you at once! Please adhere to our regulations and protocols; they exist for your safety! Are you well enough to make it back on your own, Miss Kolai? Do you need an escort back to base? Are drinks still on you? Miss Kolai, I'll have you know that I find your advances highly offensive and will be reporting that as well to HR! Now, if you're done making a mockery of our jobs, I bid you good day! Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  4. LucByard

    [M - G02] Autofreight

    Location: G02 - Freegate Tags: Vehicle, Spaceship. Chapter 15: Autofreight. Her breath had never felt so loud… Or so deep. Conserve your air she told herself. The adrenaline made it hard. She was sat still but her body was in survival mode… Panic. High above the bright white pearl of Freegate, in a quiet and lonely orbit, just far away enough to touch the blackness and silence of deep space, a solitary Quadstar drifted gently, the planet below and the debris-like specs that were the hive of orbiting Human and alien activity visible through to large dome-like cockpit windows… It was beautiful… The round concave window giving the lone occupant a deceptively wide view of open space and the sheer vastness of even this small section of the Galaxy… Yes, it was beautiful… And scary as Hell. Over the previous two hours, Yseult had run through all the options a MANTIS agent in a stolen armed Octan fighter had. There was MANTIS activity on Freegate and plenty of it, but with Octan recently taking control, how close could she get in a fighter? Her mission was covert, even MANTIS didn’t know she was there. She could go to Octan… She has the ship to get there, but what then? She’d heard that Octan didn’t keep prisoners; just took their belongings as a fine and turned them loose. Why pay to keep a criminal when you can profit from one? But that was non-corporates - the contractors and workers who broke the rules… True or not, those rules won’t apply to me.. She thought. I’m with MANTIS now. She thought of approaching an independent vessel but with talk of spiders and Dust Demons… Could she take the risk? Her thoughts turned to the GATE drive: If Octan found it will they know what it's for?.. Will they be looking for me? Presumably the missing Quadstar had been reported by now, the fight on Donwarr was so long ago. Her attention was caught as an ominous black outline drifted slowly into the bright light of the planet below. By its relative size and position, it eclipsed a significant portion of the illuminated planet. While it wasn't as big as the Jade Sun. the external containers' black clean finish made their size difficult to gauge but it was clearly an old AutoFreight unit of some kind: Harking from the pre-GATE era when trans-Galactic travel was a long and dangerous business, Unmanned freight avoided the risks associated with an occupying crew. The containers were massive to reduce trips and black to make them harder to detect for potential pirates. Only the colour-coded lines belied any information about them at all: Greens for biomass, blues for water and so on. Fitted with GATE drives, they were still used… A big box floating in space… No-one to look… No-one to notice. Yseult recalled her mission on Donwarr: the escort. How had he followed that small freighter through the anomaly?.. She suddenly realised. Of course! The large Autofreight unit was underpowered for its size, using multi-orbit slingshots to get up to speed efficiently. Before the anomalies were discovered, ships like that used slipstream to travel between the stars but while smaller types of vessel like the Speedy Owl or Shire class used raw power to reach slipstream velocity, larger bulk vessels took their time using the planet's pull to gain speed. The same is still true today in respect of reaching the anomaly, it's just easier and the freighter might do it in two orbits rather than five. Yseult's only hope was to intercept the freighter, unnoticed and latch on, riding it back to… Well, Lesser Drigo hopefully. If not… One crisis at a time, she thought. Even with her transponder off, there was no way to maneuver to the freighter without being noticed. She began running calculations through the Quadstars navigation software. Monitoring the freighter, she estimated its course… She was a long way off and… Two blips emerged from behind the freighter. She looked down to the planet, barely making out two black flies buzzing protectively around it… An escort… With MANTIS transponders. As the freighter needed slingshots to reach the anomaly, she hoped they were just there to safeguard it around Octan space: The two megacorps had taken up positions on opposite sides of the planet and tensions were rising. Perhaps when they neared the anomaly, the escorts would back off. That’s my chance. But it would be a high powered dash. She set the computer to monitor the freighter’s time to the anomaly compared to her own at full burn… If the first got smaller than the second, she wouldn't be able to reach the freighter before it entered the anomoly. Right now, with only life support active all she could do was sit in the pale glow of the planet’s light… and wait. The next time the Autofreighter passed it was much closer and well on course for the anomaly. Yseult wished for a moment she’d lowered her orbit; she could have latched on now with time to spare but then she glimpsed the two buzzing flies… still there. She wasn’t after a firefight, especially not against MANTIS. She calmed herself; there would come a moment when she would have to make a move or it would be too late. Not yet, not yet. Once the freighter was ahead of her, Yseult began to power up the Quadstar. One system at a time so as not to cause an energy spike for any listening ears. She tracked the freighter: it was ahead of her now. Not much time. She started the engines, as easy as she could and held the throttle. Her breath deepened, she tensed her arms to stop the adrenaline from shaking them. An alarm sounded: the timings had equalised… She looked at the two escorts – still there. Could she really fly towards them, a fighter at full speed? Was she afraid? She was losing time. You have to do it. You have to. The display in her Quadstar changed as two small blips peeled off. They’re backing off! Her right hand had already pushed the throttle lever to maximum and a bright trail of exhaust plasma streamed from behind the Quadstar’s engines as it powered forward. She gained on the freighter rapidly, angling the fighter slightly towards the planet to shorten the route. She would have to adjust for that later but she needed everything just to catch up. She monitored the freighter. Closer, closer and the escorts: Where were they? She widened the scope on her navigation screen… Both of them were pulling a hard turn back towards the freighter… no, back towards her. Yseult’s left had tensed on the flight-stick. Her index finger brushed the trigger as she tried to tell herself she was ready to use it. If she didn’t make it to the freighter, a fight would ensue. A voice came over the A-com. “Unidentified vessel, this is Watchdog nine; you are on our scope. You are in MANTIS controlled Freegate orbit without authorisation. Power your vessel down and prepare to be escorted to the surface. If you resist, you will be fired upon.” They’re too far away. She told herself, but the blips were coming round fast. She watched their arc – nowhere near as tight as a Quadstar could pull but they would be on her soon. The freighter loomed much closer but her time to GATE entry was still too high but not by much. “Unidentified vessel…” The voice repeated the earlier instruction. Yseult ignored it, a vocal blur on the periphery of what really mattered. The gentle dive had given her extra speed, now she had to get back up again. Normally she would just pull up but that would divert thrust from forward motion… She couldn’t afford that. The lift engines she realised. The antigravity repulsors worked the same as with her hoverbike, a small centrifuge of anti-plasma distorting space-time outwards. The amount needed to reverse the curvature caused by a planet at surface level was significant but up here. It should barely be anything. Activating the lift repulsors, Yseult applied power and the Quadstar began to move back into a higher orbit. The shortcut had given her speed and saved time but she wasn’t sure how much. The new manoeuvre confused the computer’s estimate. After a few seconds, a new figure appeared; desperately close to the freighter’s, its timer ticking down a mere fraction before Yseult’s. Alarms sounded as Yellowish-green streaks blasted past the Quadstar. The escorts. They were almost on her, closing from either side. The freighter, only seconds ahead. She was still gaining. Five seconds. She rolled the Quadstar 90 degrees. I won’t catch it she realised. But it was too late, she was going too fast and a tenth of a second after the freighter disappeared… so did she. Inside the anomaly, the gravitational eddies and currents buffeted the small fighter like a fly in a hurricane. Yseult wrestled the controls. Every anomaly was different inside; age, distance and the amount of space-time that had leaked in from outside all affected the length and difficulty of the journey. With no GATE drive, it was only a matter of time before her ship was torn apart. She was so close to the freighter, but close was no good. Trying to maneouver the Quadstar directly was useless. Inciting a barrel roll, Yseult sent the fighter out and round as tight as she could, knowing that there wouldn’t be enough room to complete the roll; there was a freighter in the way. But that was the point and Yseult accentuated the roll to make the Quadstar hit the side of the huge container floor first, the magnetic floor grappling on. Please hold. Please hold. Alarms and warnings were blaring from the impact… but it held. Thank you for reading. Any and all comments and criticisms are welcome.
  5. Orange Leader

    [K-C09] - Defense wall happenings

    Location: C09 - Orinshi Tags: Building, Land vehicle Log #007 – 26 Novembrinali 3816 It was a very calm night. And when It's calm outside, I like to drive a few rounds around Orenshi's HQ defense walls with my High Speed Kart™. The guards are okay with this and the long stretched road, mostly used for transport by day light, is a very fine looking road. I wish I could say that as well to the walls themselves; looks like Kawashita is cutting down on gardeners around here. Not much later on, one of the guards signed me to stop. While I did that, he walked to me and informed me that we had an intruder. The intruder by now is dead and charcoaled when trying to hop over the wall. The poor soul had probably no idea that the empty space between the vertical generator and the beams, is twice as hot and causes instant death. We have no idea ATM who or to what this individual is affiliated with. But I suppose someone like Dr. Jakob could trace this person's DNA and suit origins in his lab. More information and pictures under the spoiler tag:
  6. mediumsnowman

    [O - G10] 'Twas Not But A Dream

    Location: G10 - Onix Tags: Building, Civil Onboard the OCS Axle in orbit around Onix, within Jebediah's quarters... Our favorite special agent sleeps soundly... or does he? "Oh my god... what are you doing..." *SCREEEEEECHHHHHH* "Stop... STOP... I'll give you anything... ANYTHING...." "The Head takes no prisoners." *BANG* "AAAHHHHHH... oh my god... it was just a dream... you're okay... it was just a dream." C&C welcome.
  7. pombe

    [O - H04] Warped

    Location: H04 - Crofter's Ridge Tags: Civil Building Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Crofter's Ridge... Bqllr! With Ethel here, we can't lose! Hee hee! The Intergalactic Space Turkeys don't stand a chance now! Hmm...where's the boss? He's with Dr. Long doing some super top secret experiment? Hee hee! Nothing could possibly go wrong with that! Alright, let's head out. Wait. Whoa...what's going on?! What?! Why are we flesh toned?! WHOOOAAAAAAA!!! Eshey?! What in the testicles are you wearing?! We're about to disembark on an assignment!! Oh for $@$%%&^#@$%^&^#*^#$%^, not this again!!! Hombre? Ethel? For the last time, Eshey, my name is Herman! Why in God's nipple do you keep calling me Hombre?! That's racist and if you do it one more time I'm reporting you to HR!! Why aren't you wearing your Octan regulation approved environmental suit?! Is that a bikini?! !#$%$^%#@%$#%^%^@#$^#@!! And where's your helment?! Are you trying to sabotage the mission?! Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  8. Location: H04 - Crofter's Ridge Tags: None Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Crofter's Ridge... <pew> <pew> <pew> Hombre, look out! Don't do anything rash! Help is on the way! <pew> Why are the turkeys so well armed?!?! GOBBLE!!! <pew> Because they're interstellar space turkeys, Eshey! Remember, you and Hombre started this! <pew> <pew> Sir! Commander Conner from the 4th Reindeer Black Ops Division reporting, sir! Commander Conner who? I can't see you! <pew> My apologies, sir! We have to wear black because we're black ops! That's why you can't see us! <pew> In any case, thank goodness you're here! Grand Admiral Rudolph dispatched us as soon as he saw your distress call! My men are flanking the turkey's position right now, we'll have you out of here soon, sir! <pew> It looks like the North Pole is saving us again! Nonsense, sir! Without you, there wouldn't be a North Pole! We owe you everything, sir! <pew> <pew> Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  9. LucByard

    [M - G02] The Cypher

    Location: G02 - Freegate Tags: Vehicle, Land vehicle, Spying. High above the bright white pearl known as Freegate, tension had been slowly mounting. Octan vessels moved freely while independent and alien presences were monitored, cross-referenced and where appropriate, directed to a boarding station for inspection. The name hung in the air like a stale fog – MANTIS. That knowing feeling… They’re there but always just out of the corner of your eye. It had been only six months since the quarrel had ended; on Donwarr in Aprilin - the execution of a famous Octan pilot, sending a shockwave across the Galaxy… But the dust had barely settled, the borders drawn, when Freegate was retaken. When you’re being too careful, it’s easy to miss little things. Like a small Octancorp pod-like vessel appearing from Freegate’s nearby anomaly, receiving the formal greeting from traffic control and being left to go about its business. It was easy to miss when it assumed a high orbit and detached the GATE drive it had used to get there. It was easy to miss when it relayed the position of all the local traffic back through the anomaly and barely worth noticing when the white, green and red Quadstar descended towards the planet and entered the atmosphere. How the previous owner had ever kept this damn thing level through atmo entry was a mystery to the red-haired pilot of the Quadstar as it was buffeted around by the thickening atmosphere. Quadstars were renowned for their manoeuvrability, clearly this came at a cost to stability. Eventually she was through and gliding towards the surface. Transmitting the traffic data to BigSal had been the easy part; if only that had been her only mission. She hadn’t been told much but that was intentional; at least they’d been honest and told her that her part was high risk. They were looking something thet Octan had, data, co-ordinates maybe but if it were restricted it would be protected by a high-level cypher, and that cypher would be held by R.E.D., Octancorp’s Regulations Enforcement Department. It turned out they had gotten lucky; a source had suggested that R.E.D. were relocating secure data servers to a new facility across Freegate’s icy deserts by heavy speeder. They were well shielded from remote hacking but not impervious… if you can get close enough. To stop anyone getting close enough, each heavy speeder was protected in relay by a fighter escort… a Quadstar. Yseult’s mission was to reach the speeder shortly before a handover, relieve the previous escort, hack the container, then allow the real relief fighter to take over and depart without anyone knowing she was there. It was a short window but that wasn’t all. Quadstars don’t have GATE drives and with the escorts being locally deployed, she’d had to leave the GATE unit that brought her here in orbit; it would be obvious she wasn’t local if she turned up with one. If it’s not there when I go back… I’m stuck here. Her sensors located the speeder… Right where they said it would be. She closed in and contacted the fighter escort, reading its callsign from the transponder telemetry on her screen. “Oscar X-ray One Six Seven, this is Bravo Bravo Four Four Zero. I am here to relieve you.” She waited tentatively… “Copy that Bravo Bravo. You’re earlier than expected.” Yseult relayed the answer that had already been prepared for just that question. “There is a strong tail-wind on the intercept leg. You should return to base at higher altitude or you may not have enough fuel to get back.” Silences of even a second felt like small eternities… “Copy that Bravo Bravo…” the voice finally came back. “I stand relieved”. Through her side-facing canopy, Yseult watched the previous escort begin to climb and bank away. Don’t have long… let’s get this done. She immediately contacted the heavy speeder. “Red box two, this is Bravo Bravo…” She announced. “… I am going to perform a visual inspection, please stand by for close proximity formation.” The speeder acknowledged but she was already closing in; she wasn’t asking for permission. She activated the equipment Ellie had installed on the Quadstar and it automatically went to work, giving Yseult’s HUD progress information. The Quadstar was directly along-side the speeder, as close as she dare get without spooking the drivers. Progress was slow… Painfully slow. She manoeuvred up over the top… Slightly better once the equipment had adjusted to the new position. Before long, the hack was in and was extracting the cypher. A blip appeared on her screen. The telemetry registered it: Charlie Alpha Nine Two Two… the real relief Quadstar. Yseult looked at the progress bar. The extraction was taking too long… too long. “Bravo Bravo…” a voice came over the comm. “… This is Charlie Alpha… Almost didn’t see you there, is everything alright?” Think, quick. The hack was nearly done… just a little longer. “Charlie Alpha, this is Bravo Bravo. I am performing a visual inspection after the driver reported a vibration.” She checked the scanner… closing fast; they’ll be visual soon. The previous pilot was unlikely to have looked at Yseult’s ship in any detail but if this new one were so inclined, it wouldn’t take much to spot Ellie’s modifications and start asking awkward questions. The other fighter was close now, approaching from the rear… I’m an easy target like this. She thought back to Donwarr and how she’d been shot down. She felt her heart beating, her breath shortened, sweat formed on her brow. A nervous twitch in her left index finger as it hovered over the trigger… “Bravo Bravo, this is Charlie Alpha, I’m in position… Don’t stay too long… There’s a strong tailwind on the intercept leg, you don’t want to run out of fuel on your return to base.” Panic set in… He knows, he knows. He must have seen the previous escort and contacted him… I tried to send him higher… hoped they would miss each other… What do I do? What do I… Yseult’s HUD beeped… ‘Package complete’. Get out of here. “Copy that Charlie Alpha.” She tried to say as calmly as she possibly could, cursing every nervous wobble in her voice. “I’ll try a higher altitude.” She cut the communication and didn’t wait around any longer, pulling back on the flight-stick and forward on the throttle, she climbed as fast as she could. Away, away. As she reached low orbit, she checked her scanner… she wasn’t followed. A deep nervous sigh of relief filled her helmet as she tried to convince herself to calm down. She looked about… it was busier. Something was going on but she couldn’t see what. Her Quadstar had automatically encrypted and transmitted the captured cypher to wherever Big Sal was expected to be by now… All she had to do was leave. I took around thirty minutes to inconspicuously manoeuvre the ship around into the high orbit she had left the GATE drive in, now all she had to do w… GONE! It was gone. Yseult frantically checked her scanner. It must be here, it must. She checked and checked and checked again, there was still no sign of it… What do I do? What do I do?
  10. Kodan Black

    [O - H04] - So Many Questions

    Location: H04 Crofter's Ridge Tags: Land Vehicle Previously... // PERSONAL DIARY // I'd brought Dr. Hawkins up to the Axle my meeting with Dr. Long. It had been a chance meeting, but had left me quite perplexed. How did Dr. Long know about my robot dog and what ED-208 was up to with the dog? How did she know about the dog's programming? Why was she so concerned for a robot pet at all? I hadn't heard from ED-208 in a while and that was concerning. Despite having so many questions to ponder I knew that I couldn't keep Dr. Hawkins waiting, that would be impolite. I went down to one of the engineering spaces on the Axle where I had Dr. Hawkins looking over a prototype speeder. I felt it would be a good addition to the corporation as it was small, fast, and efficient. It would be an ideal choice for getting between points on a planet that were not far enough to warrant a ship. The speeder was unarmed, but it had speed and agility to keep the user safe. The power output was such that it could also be used to recharge equipment or run a small individual encampment. Eventually it would be painted to best match the needed use, but for now it was just primer gray. Dr. Hawkins had suggested increasing the size of the heat exchanger so that on hotter planets or ones with more dust there would be no degradation of performance. A wise insight. I was tempted to talk to him about some of the recent things that had been going on with the mysterious lab and most recently my run in with Dr. Long but I had to remind myself that he was from Mantis. Normally I'd talk to ED-208 but it seemed like there was something going on with him so that wouldn't be possible. I could try to seek some clarity from Dr. Long herself, but I know how busy she is. Overhead: Axle Bay: Speeder:
  11. pombe

    [O - H04] Giving Thanks

    Location: H04 - Crofter's Ridge Tags: Exploration Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Crofter's Ridge... I guess we must need a lot of biomass, since we've been sent to look for some more. I guess preparations for that huge Octan Thanksgiving event will require a lot of food. Hee hee. I'll say, hee hee. Hmm...what's this? Are you a...turkey? Hee hee. I wasn't aware that turkeys existed on Crofter's Ridge. Gobble gobble gobble gobble. Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble. Gobble gobble. Gobble. Your name is Cecile and you are part of a group of interstellar turkeys that escaped Thanksgiving persecution back on Earth by creating spaceships and fleeing to Andromeda? Hee hee. Gobble gobble. Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble. Gobble. How interesting. Hee hee. That's nice...HOMBRE NOW!!! GOBBLE!!! Hee hee. No one messes with Thanksgiving. Hee hee. Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  12. Boxerlego

    [O-F04] Under the Water

    Location: F04 Tag: Land Vehicle, Vehicle, Spaceship, Civil building (Boxerlego Testing out a Mantis Under Water/Space Construction Vehicle) Week 67 by boxerlego, on Flickr
  13. Dannylonglegs

    [O-H04] Double Blind

    Tags: Science, Land Vehicle, Civil Building Planet: Crofter's Ridge (in orbit) "Ah, Dr. Black. Funny how we coincidentally were walking down the same corridor of the Axle at the same time, considering how truly immense this vessel is. Why is it that you're all by yourself?" "Hello, Dr. Long! You mean why I'm not with Dr. Hawkins? He's on a tour, actually, with..." "No. I meant to ask where your defense drone and robot dog had gotten to?" "My robot dog? ED just took Gidget on a walk..." "Hmm. I was concerned, because, the last thing I saw was it being viciously attacked by your defense drone." "I'll have to look into that." "Please do." "That does seem odd, though..." "I thought so too. Your robot dog isn't programed to be confrontational, after all." Moments later... "Major Alcock. I'd like to thank you in person for all your hard work preparing the Lab for project Birthday Boy and Suburban Soccer Mom. I take it you have brought with you the machine I requested?" "Your thanks are unnecessary. Corporate pays me well." "I know." "Then you know I'm not your lab assistant. I serve Corporate." "I do too." "And you believe that Kodan doesn't know the nature of "the lab"? It is suspicious that his dog has gone offline." "I have the utmost faith in Dr. Black. He, in a way, is a model Octan employee. He asks appropriate questions... and accepts the answers he is given. Let's get going then." Several rooms over, in the health wing. "The Doctor will see you now..." "Oh boy! I hope they ask me to cough a few times! Hee hee hee!" "Hello Ms. Kolai." "Dr. Long? I thought this was just a well check!" "Well, in a way it is." "No offense, but I didn't think you were a medical doctor!" "I'm not. My father used to refer to me as 'the kind of doctor that doesn't help people.' he stood by that joke for years before I started paying his medical bills. That made him quiet. No, I'm not a medical doctor, but I am here to help. I want to ask you a few questions." "Okay! Gosh I can't even remember the last time we met, it's been so long!" "Interesting... doesn't remember last meeting. So, Ms. Kolai, you've served as our CEO's aid now for well over a year... and I have a few questions to ask regarding your... work relationship. "Alright! Ask away! I've had a lot of character development under his direction!" "I'd like to know if you've noticed anything... abnormal about Pombe or events that occur around him." "I'd be hardpressed to point out anything abnormal about my time with him! everything totally normal! infact, this scenario right here feels more abnormal than anything else! I mean... why does this room only have 2 walls?" "two walls? you mean you don't see the third and fourth wall? huh. are your glasses on straight? I will admit I did approve of your being hired personally, considering you displayed pragmatism and logical thought patterns during your probationary period... but you mean to tell me you haven't noticed anything... strange... about Pombe?" "Nope!" "Nothing... supernatural?" "Apart from his superhuman fashion sense?" "Hmm. So you are saying to me very clearly that you have not noticed him displaying... subconscious powers capable of warping the very fabric of reality and space to suit his his eccentric tastes?" "I can't seem to think of anything..." "huh. by the way, why are you wearing a helmet?" "because we're in space! duh!" "I see. Well... thank you for your testimony. We're going to run a few tests on you now." "!!!" "we're going to need you to remove your helmet and lay down on this slab please. Remove any metal you may be wearing, such as glasses, and hand them to my armoured assistant. We'll now conduct several minimally invasive test to analyze your mental health." "But you haven't even taken me out to dinner first!" "We don't have to. It's in your contract." "What if she doesn't survive? She's no use to Corporate dead." "She will be fine. I'd be more worried about permanent damage from her time enduring Pombe's psychic backlash. But we will see. We will see." ~Insectoid Aristocrat
  14. mediumsnowman

    [O - F03] Transfer Station

    Location: F03 - Forring Tags: Civil, Spaceship, Vehicle, Building "Please provide security code for classified shipment LL249X34 on the Icarus Project, over." "Alpha Delta nine nine one eight six eight one, over." "Please proceed to the checkpoint, there's some fighters waiting to take you up to the Axle. I want proof of delivery received from Dr. Long, over." More photos in spoiler: C&C welcome.
  15. pombe

    [O - H04] Gluteus Maximus

    Location: H04 - Crofter's Ridge Tags: Land Vehicle Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Crofter's Ridge... Sir, is everything alright? Hello Ishmael, everything is fine. In fact, I was about to watch Hombre field test a new mech design. Why don't you join me? I'd love to, sir. Hmm. It doesn't seem that he has any sort of control interface for the mech. Is he controlling with telepathy? Is such a thing possible? No no, Ishmael. I wish. Hombre's actually controlling the mech with his gluteal muscles using an interface on the seat. The seat can detect when he contracts and relaxes his gluts. Well, I do know from experience that Hombre has fine control over those muscles. As do I, Ishmael. As do I. Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  16. Mesabi

    [K-A06] Turbulence pt. 4

    Location: A06 Guinevere Tags: Spaceship, Civil building Turbulence pt 4 by North White, on Flickr "Well, we made it to the escape pod." Said Captain Mesabi "I just want this day to be over." Said Bo'sun Jacobs Turbulence pt 4 by North White, on Flickr The escape pod launched from the ship, streaking out into the night sky. Turbulence pt 4 by North White, on Flickr "Hang on, we're getting some turbulence." Said Captain Mesabi as they entered the atmosphere. Turbulence pt 4 by North White, on Flickr The Escape pod barely held together, before smashing hard into Guinevere. Turbulence pt 4 by North White, on Flickr "Okay, I should have landed that." Muttered Captain Mesabi. FIN Thanks for reading, this week was a bit rushed, so apologies. This marks the end of my Turbulence story arc, C&C appreciated.
  17. Orange Leader

    [K-C09] Jakob's ladder

    Location: C09 - Orinshi Tags: Science, Building r Log #006 – 31 Oktobrinali 3816 Because of my lack of activity within Kawashita, I'm doing simple chores for other people on our home planet Orinshi. At least I can keep wearing my pilot costume which I take pride in. The other day, on halloween, I had to get a ladder for the hallway janitor, from a doctor who experiments with alien lifeforms. I thought It was illegal to do that to other sentient beings. I don't want to think If alien lifeforms will experiment on us. And I don't like seeing open flesh wounds and organs... So, with much hestitation, I went in and see the doctor for borrowing his ladder. The man greeted me with a warm sounding welcome with a thick German accent. His name is Jakob and when I asked him If I can borrow his ladder for the janitor in this hallway, he started to laugh out loud. "Jakob's ladder!" he reexclaimed twice. I had no idea what's so funny, but maybe It's a German thing. But I may borrow 'his' ladder ofcourse. When facing the ladder, I saw all the things I ignored or blocked out of my field besides Jakob: A huge monitor screen with nothing but bloody organs, wings getting dissected, alien bugs in jars, a huge eyeball staring at me. I grabbed the ladder anyhow without thanking and greeting Jakob and fell unconsious with the ladder on the hallway. More information and pictures under the spoiler tag: EDIT: English can be hard.
  18. Dramatis Personae: What are you guys watching? You're kidding, right? The zero-g one on one basketball match between Gregory and Hombre is on! Zero gravity basketball?! How does that even work?! it me or are the basket and backboard floating, too? Sigh... Chaaa... Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  19. Note: the TV studio is from a previous build, and shouldn't be judged. Hello everyone, and welcome back to OSPN, your completely impartial source of news from the Olympics. I'm Joan Hapley, and you're joining us for the exciting final of the mixed doubles lawn tennis between Octan and MANTIS. With me are former galactic lawn tennis champion John McMurray... Hi Joan! ...and the head of Alpha Centauri University's History of Sport Department, Professor Alfred Perry. Afternoon Joan. Now, looking at the live feed from the court it seems the players are still warming up, so John, for those tuning in who aren't familiar with the game, perhaps you could give us a quick introduction? Sure thing Joan. May I say first how lovely you're looking today? Aw, thanks John! Now, lawn tennis is an ancient sport from Earth which we still play by the original rules. In Old Earthish, 'lawn' was a word which roughly translates as 'lethal wall of fire'. Generally speaking, the aim of the game is to hit the ball through the wall of fire in the middle of the court and set the opposing team on fire. How exciting! Now, Professor Perry, apparently there's some controversy about whether the rules we play by today really are the original rules? That's right Joan. For example, we know for sure that tennis was first invented by King Henry VIII of America way back in the 18th century. However, my research indicates that the game might have been played on grass courts and- That is completely ludicrous! This is a game in which the ball is usually on fire! A grass court would immediately go up in flames! Well, the thing is- Joan, I don't know how clear it is to those watching at home, but here in the studio it's very obvious that the Professor is an enormous nerd. I can confirm that's correct. Hey- And we all know nerds don't know anything about sports. Especially "Professors" of "History" of "Sport". That doesn't make any- That seems to be a compelling point John, but I'm hearing that the match is about to start, so let's go live to courtside. But- It looks like Octan have won the toss and have chosen to serve first. A good choice: Ms Walliams has a powerful serve that regularly A.C.E.s her opponents. A.C.E. is a term from the original rules, standing for 'Absolutely Combust Entirely'. Actually- Oh! It seems there's an altercation on the court. No doubt the MANTIS team is causing trouble. Octan's players, of course, are known for their strict sense of fair play. We'll take this opportunity to go to a commercial break, while the umpire hopefully disqualifies the MANTIS team. Stay tuned in to OSPN, your completely impartial source of news from the Olympics. Thanks for reading! Not a very involved build, but it looks like I'll be super busy next week so I wanted to at least get something up now. I may expand it if I have time. C&C welcome!
  20. mediumsnowman

    [O - F09] The City With No Name

    Location: F09 - Arium Minor Tags: Building, Exploration "Get HQ on the line... we found another one." Might update with a better picture and more text later, if I remember.
  21. Location: H04 - Crofter's Ridge Tags: Land Vehicle Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Crofter's Ridge... Hey, Gregory. Is something wrong? It's midnight. Lois got worried and asked me to look for you. I'll say. It's midnight, but the sky's still blue. (The base is recycled and should not be judged) Anyways, you said Lois sent you? Yeah, she mentioned that you seemed a bit down. I guess. I's been over a year since we've come to Andromeda. And really...what has any of the corporations done? I'm just feeling like we haven't really achieved anything. You found Lois in Andromeda. That's true. It's just that...well...I mean...besides me getting the super powers to fold paper really really fast, I really haven't improved much as a corporate employee. I think I know just what you need, Gregory. And here it comes now, though a tad late. What is it? It's the midnight train going anywhere. Thanks! This is exactly what I needed. I'm so happy, I can't stop smiling! Comments and criticisms are all welcome!!!
  22. LucByard

    [M - E01] Rendezvous

    Location: E01 - Donwarr. Tags: Vehicle, Land vehicle, Spying. Previous chapters can be read on my website here. Chapter 13: Rendezvous. It had taken 3 days of walking to reach the rendezvous point. Emily’s plan to send a transport to extract Vyken had hit a complication. Since Octan took Freegate, MANTIS had tightened its operations on Donwarr; it was getting nervous and the locals Vyken had been around last few weeks were getting twitchy and nervous. After a long and drawn-out conflict, MANTIS had ‘won’ the quarrel and controlled everything from Jurin II to Freegate, but Octan were on the move again and the residents were worried about the potential turmoil. Vyken wasn’t sure why… Why wouldn’t they want Octancorp to retake the quarrel and bring its people the peace, prosperity and opportunity that Octan stood for. Instead, they lived with the uncertainty of MANTIS… An organisation that probably stole from itself so that it can sell its own goods on the black market at a higher price… He wished the people he had met could see how Farmolis had developed under the guidance of one corporation’s singular vision. Without thinking, his hand reached to his left breast where, in one of his suits inner pockets, he kept his copy of the Corporate Handbook. A ceremonial gift from his Mother when he formally became an employee. It was a paper copy, sentimental more than it was practical but he kept it with him at all times. Over the last few weeks, he’d needed everything of value he could find or earn for food and shelter and eventually, access to the off-world Galnet. Only then had he been able to contact Emily, his protégé, and start the process of getting off this rock, so in the long nights, he had read his handbook… Speeches: 2:14. Without it’s employees, a corporation is but an empty shell. The rendezvous point was a clearing at the foot of the Viirven mountains where the trees thinned as the hard ground turned the lush deciduous forest into a region of flat, shrubby tundra, mixed with patches of damp boggy marsh-land stretching North until the soil changed again and hardy pines signified the next range of mountains. Vyken stood, waiting and inspected his sword to pass the time; a good swordsman knows every knick and scratch on his blade… His fight with Graves had added several more. Eventually, the rustle of leaves and tweeting of the local birds was joined by a low hum and soon, emerging from behind a clutch of trees, a vessel appeared. It approached in a wide arc, the driver clearly gauging the situation before coming too close. Vyken was equally wary and instinctively held his sword behind him, obscured, but ready to used if needed. The vessel was a speeder, a hover-van. Vyken recognised the type immediately – a small 46-B local courier vessel. He had wondered if Emily was serious when he first saw her plan, having informed her of the tightening MANTIS security, she made arrangements for Vyken’s extraction via ‘alterative routes’. Turning up at Donwarr in an official Octan transport was going to get noticed, quickly, so she had used Octan contacts on Donwarr to get Vyken to a spaceport with false documents, a shuttle to orbit and passage on a freighter to Kaalin. There was a lot that could go wrong but he trusted her. After all, it was him that had shown that fresh-faced girl out of the academy how all that theory worked in the real world. If it could be done… She could do it. As the hover-van landed, Vyken noticed the discoloured paintwork – this one had seen better days, probably abandoned after the push to take control of Donwarr earlier in the year has come to a halt. When Octan had decided to move its focus elsewhere, most of the resources it had ploughed into this planet were withdrawn but MANTIS’ reaction had been swift, and vicious, and anything broken or under repair had been left. The local population had been swift to scavenge and repair what they could and transports like these were known as ‘Oc-vans’. In the weeks that he’d been stuck here, he’d learnt that the basic design and cheap parts made them popular and they were now not uncommon. The rear door opened and a man in a white flight-suit emerged. Emily had arranged a pass-phrase; a pre-determined conversation that informed Vyken he was talking to his driver and not a random passer-by by accident… or worse. He couldn’t help but smile when he read the phrase; Emily has nailed her wry sense of humour to it. The man stepped down, his hands visible. The moment before he spoke hung in the air like a fog. “Did you leave something behind?” He asked. The right phrase. “Yes…” Replied Vyken, as he’d been told. “… How to use a sword… apparently.” The man’s face showed a brief moment of surprise. I wasn’t supposed to say apparently. “You should take up fencing”. The man replied after a brief moment of consideration. It was the response Vyken had been waiting for. He stepped towards the man, holding his sword at ease. “I suppose DuPont sent you?” he asked. The man gave a nod. “Doctor Long’s orders. Emily’s plan… I’ll brief you on the way…” He said, climbing back into the van. “… You have a shuttle to catch.” The first spoiler contains additional images. The second spoiler explains the spying tag but also reveals a plot-twist if you haven't noticed it in the images. For clarity. I've realised after posting that I've picked costumes that have similarities to Jebediah O'Reilly's and John Hannibal's: It's a coincidence, it's not them. Thank you for looking, and especially for reading. All comments, feedback and criticism welcome. Luc.
  23. Big Sal

    [M - G07] Fugitives Pt 2

    Location: G07 Hennigan II Tags: Land vehicle, spying Previously... Just admit it, you're lost. I'm not lost! I'm just not exactly sure where we are, or where the Octan outpost is. But the woods seem to end over there, so let's head that way. Ah hah! Told you! That's a guy in a mech, not an outpost. Yeah, but I'm the master of natural charm and quick wits. I bet I can smooth talk him into telling us where the outpost is. And then we can download those maps we need. Follow my lead... Greetings fellow employee! Ssssshhhhhhhhhhhh! Can't you see I'm catching butterflies?! Oh... yeah... obviously. Errr.... why? I'm after the rare black-bodied orange-wing! It only emerges from deep in the woods for a few days each autumn! That doesn't really answer my question... But anyway, we're just a couple of Octan workers who have lost our way - could you point us in the direction of the top-secret outpost? What am I, stupid? You're quite obviously M.A.N.T.I.S. spies! Every Octan employee on Hennigan II knows how important catching the rare black-bodied orange-wing is! Listen you- Uh, Long? There's something on your head... Oh wow! It's the rare body orange... black... thing! That you were talking about! Don't be an idiot. If a real rare black-bodied orange-wing was on your head, you'd know about it. Trust me. No, I think this really is one! Maybe it's like a baby or whatever! Ugh, fine, I'll have a look, just to shut you up. Now Long! Get him! What the- So much for smooth talk. Hey, it worked didn't it? And now we have an Octan disguise AND a mech. And sorry guy, but unless you want a real beating from Long here, you'd better tell us where the outpost is. sniff... fine, it's due north, about ten minutes in the mech. You M.A.N.T.I.S. folk really are mean and nasty. Yeah, yeah. Say, what's that noise? Butterflies! We need to run! Ooh no, I'm sooo scared of some butterflies! Er, Sal? I think he might be right... Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhh! A rare black-bodied orange-wing! I'm starting to think I should have taken my chances with S.P.I.D.E.R... Thanks for reading! C&C welcome! Those with long memories may recognise this as an homage to shmails' awesome build from week 2, where he came up with the great design for the giant butterflies. More pics in the spoiler.
  24. Planet: F04Tags: Military, Civil, Building, Vehicle, Land Vehicle, Spaceship (After the capturing of the Mantis SAM Base, The Higher Ups at Octan unveiled more of their secret black project to Boxerlego.) Week 66 001 by boxerlego, on Flickr Boxerlego in his New Mantis Engineer Uniform talking to himself on the heavy transport vehicle: "Wow look at this, what is it doing here. I got to check this spaceship out." Week 66 002 by boxerlego, on Flickr Boxerlego thinking to himself as he exists the heavy transport vehicle: Now that they (Higher Ups at Octan) got me working for Mantis and checking things out around here, I wonder what this has to do with the mission Not much has been said other then check things about and report back thing of interests. Its clear to me now that they wanted me working for Mantis since they wanted me to capture the SAM Base but why me and only me, Even for this Mantis base its still weird that nobody is here to my knowledge, strange. I just hope this Mantis Engineer Uniform and the credentials works for me otherwise its lights out. Week 66 003 by boxerlego, on Flickr Boxerlego at the computer station for the spaceship: Wow, Now this spaceship is a modified Mantis Space Assault Vehicle that is capable of being converted to a Infantry DropShip, Now That is Interesting. Looks well armored too. But what is this next file there is not much here, it don't read like its for a spaceship at all. Now that sounds like a big cannon right there, no way this ship here could mount a cannon of that size. Now this is something of interest, I better save this and send it back to Command. See what they say about it. End.
  25. Kodan Black

    [O - H04] - A Friendly Flame

    Location: H04 Crofter's Ridge Tags: Land Vehicle, Civil Building, Science Previously... // PERSONAL DIARY // Dr. Hawkins has been enjoying his time with us and we've really had a great time working on new scientific discoveries. Most recently he and one of his colleagues had joined me in the science facility to work on Awesomnium infused Biomass fuels. While not practical for larger spaceships and the like, having such a portable fuel supply could be useful for smaller vehicles and also for remote outposts. It is exciting to have a new scientific mind to bounce ideas off of! Dr. Hawkins has been very open with sharing knowledge and has complimented Octan for our fantastic science facilities. We both hope that despite working for rival corporations that we can continue to work at progressing scientific research for the benefit of humanity.