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Found 415 results

  1. Eki1210

    Anti Gravity Racing Ships

    In this topic i´d like to show you some AG Racers i came up with. Designwise they are inspired by the Wipeout game series. Anti - Grav - Racing by Henrik S, auf Flickr Racing through the Living Room by Henrik S, auf Flickr Racing through the Living Room by Henrik S, auf Flickr Anti - Grav - Racing by Henrik S, auf Flickr Anti - Grav - Racing by Henrik S, auf Flickr Hope you enjoy!
  2. goatman461

    [O - H05] Getting a Closer Look

    Location: H05 - Livgorn Tags: Civil, Vehicle, Spaceship / Airplane, Exploration H05-1-A by Ryan McBryde, on Flickr H05 - Livgorn - Octan Pilot John Hannibal recons the area surrounding his ship's landing site. Hiding below the short but dense foliage, vast amounts of awesomnium and some sinister beasts intertwine. Edit: tags
  3. Chapter 28: Blinding Light She is lying down... the air is cool. She hears a rustling sound, a pitter-patter. It’s raining. I’m getting wet. The smell of rain on stone, her breath is short, she is tired. There is another sound... crying. The pressure of hands upon her chest. The taste of iron in her mouth. A creature kneels over her, tall, etherial. It leans towards her. “You must find Upsilon” it whispers, its lips unmoving. “You must not lie down.” Why can I hear you? “You must not lie down.” it repeated. I failed. Her reply came as a thought but she could not make the words. “You have not yet begun.” the voice whispered a reply within her mind. I don’t understand... “You must not lie down.” The creature reached out, placing it’s hands on Yseult’s chest. From it’s eyes, a blinding light, pierced with red... growing brighter, hotter. A hum behind it, whirring, faster. Suddenly, a blinding light... The smell of burnt hair and scorched metal filled the air as the laser skewed away from Yseult’s face, narrowly missing her ear. Around the black creature’s tail was a black metal hand which raised the creature aloft, writhing and screeching in panic. Another large black metallic hand encompassed the creature’s body and a moment later, they were separate, pulled into two with relative ease by the dark behemoth that was Yseult’s saviour. The laser, now discarded, smoked upon the hangar deck and as the dismembered creature writhed, desperate to escape the dark clutches of whatever had it. It would not writhe for long though as the free hand of its captor now reached for its head and with a short jolt, the creature became limp. Discarded to the hangar floor, its lifeless body landing with a deadening clank, Yseult was finally able to take in the thing that had come to her rescue... It was huge, mighty, a plethora of black bone and spikes... It had four legs, two huge arms and from its back, two larger versions of the smaller creature’s laser... Its chest was a maze of black metal work that was difficult for the eye to make out and above that, a head... Similar to the creature’s but with larger horns, the two were clearly kin. It looked down at Ysuelt with its piercing, merciless single yellow eye. Repositioning itself, it crouched, lowering the torso as much as it could and with a whirr, the cage that formed the chest opened up. Ellie was dwarfed by the monstrous exo-suit that surrounded her. She was breathing heavily, adrenaline in her veins, beads of sweat on her brow... relief in her eyes. For a moment, she just breathed. The carefully stepped out of the frame and climbed down, cautiously looking for foot-holes in the dark skeletal bodywork. Yesult was already standing by the time she got down and had stepped towards her. The two just stared at each other until finally, Ellie’s arms reached out and vigorously embraced Yseult who, after a moment of feeling somewhat out of her comfort zone, more casually did the same. She could feel Ellie’s heat pounding. The rush she thought. Ellie wasn’t used to it, she was an engineer, not a soldier. The emotions racing through her were obvious - panic, courage, fear, relief... all rolled into one hectic mess of adrenaline. Fuel for the soul. But Ellie was a different person, not used to this... That may have to change. Ellie released the embrace and Yseult followed suit without hesitation and instantly felt a little more at ease. Ellie was breathing deeply, regaining control, bringing herself back down. Her hands on her stomach, like she was stopping herself form being sick. “Okay?” Yseult asked. She didn’t know what else to say. Ellie nodded, her eyes closed, slowly, she was regaining her composure. “Don’t.” she finally said... “Touch... Anything...” There was a short awkward pause before Yseult found she couldn’t stop her cheeks tightening and a cheeky smile growing on her face... it was contagious and as soon as she noticed it on Ellie too, it only became harder to suppress... They both burst into short laughter, Ellie putting her hand to her face in embarrassment. They looked at each a moment, unsure what the right thing to say next was. Yseult pointed up at the exo-suit... “Can I have a go?” she asked, a wry cheeky smile on her face. Ellie couldn’t help it and laughed again.
  4. Chapter 27: Previous occupants Somewhere far from the edge of one of the darker regions of the moon where the black daytime sky did little to illuminate the jagged features and the gas giant it orbited even less so, the last sliver of its banded clouds fading as it approached its daily eclipse of the surface, cruising across the landscape, a small glint of light defied the darkness. With one side of Ganymede always facing Jupiter, daytime on the jovian hemisphere meant the king of the planets was always in between the moon and the distant Sun and an eclipse was a daily occurrence... each day being just over seven Earth days long elongated the process and soon, the dark surface below the dark blue transport would have even less light to reveal its character to the pilot steering her ship down a gentle glide-slope as she approached the co-ordinates she had been given. Yseult carefully watched her instruments; there would be no approach lights for this landing, no illuminated apron. The hangar was built into the side of a steep rocky slope... Difficult to find... That was the idea. She didn’t know how Riddaeon had found it, he just provided her with the co-ordinates and the approach vector. Despite the bland field of darkness before her, the primary flight display clearly showed where she was headed and she reduced the throttle accordingly to maintain a gentle approach. The hangar’s internal lighting became visible only at the last minute and finally, Yseult was able to use her natural senses to guide the Speedy Owl in. With a shudder, the passed through the atmosfield and the growling hum of the engines acquired an echoed resonance as they entered the enclosed space. Bringing the ship to a hover in the centre of the hangar, she throttled back on the lift engines and with a loud clunk, the Owl set down of the hangar deck. As the engines spooled down, Yseult looked up out of the canopy at the hangar... It wasn’t the bright, well lit industrial space she’d expected. Black surfaces oddly lit by yellow glow - it was difficult to see the details. ‘Maybe that’s the idea’ she thought. Even from within the enclosed confines of the cockpit, there was a foreboding feel to it. The hangar floor was black. So were the walls and the ceiling save for a few stark details is contrasting bright yellow. The air was cold and had a deathly silence, broken only by a random clank somewhere that echoed off the walls enough to hide its true origin. Yseult tried to determine whee it came from, the only evidence that they were not alone was another vessel parked neatly in one of the designated bays. Yseult had landed the Owl right in the centre over the large triangular markings that adorned the floor... No-one had told her otherwise so she parked where she liked. The other vessel, in stark contrast to the hangar was grey and red. She knew the design but the Cylbruda Starglider was a classic, there weren’t many around, certainly not in the condition this one appeared to be in. A moment later, Riddaeon appeared from behind it with Ellie, they were discussing something and pointing at various parts of the chassis. When Riddaeon noticed that Yseult was out on the deck, he left Ellie and came over. “What do you think?” He asked as he neared her, his arms open indicating the hangar. Yseult looked briefly around while maintaining her usual non-plussed expression. “I don’t like it.” She said. “Well, we need to stay off the scopes.” Riddaeon replied. “Everybody’s... Including M.A.N.T.I.S. so we need somewhere...” He considered his words for a moment, as though avoiding an unfortunate truth. “... they don’t want to go.” Yseult’s gaze had returned to him, sceptical, as usual, but with more concern than he was used to. He didn’t blame her. This place was the kind that stories were told about. But with Big Sal on the run and still back in Andromeda for all he knew, M.A.N.T.I.S. were showing more interest in Riddaeon’s ‘side projects’ than he was comfortable with. They needed to be tucked away somewhere... They needed a home of their own. “It’ll do until we go back. For now, we need to get this place running properly, we’ve only got basic power at the moment... Did you bring the gear?” Yseult merely leaned her head back towards the container she had brought in with the Speedy Owl. Riddaeon took a breath and gave an assured nod... “Let’s get to it.” The blast door slid open with a reluctant creak that screamed of the neglect the base had suffered in the absence of its previous occupants. It had taken Ellie nearly half an hour just to open it. She hoped, being the door from the hangar that it would be the most difficult - the first line of defence if intruders came. She went to step forward into the corridor but a hand across her chest stopped her. Riddaeon’s eyes scanned the stale murky air, dimly lit with yellow wall lights. His eyes, narrow, took in the details - looking, suspecting... they settled on a small detail on the wall. He found a matching feature on the opposite side; It was about 1.5 metres off the ground and about half a metre away from them. He knelt and took a piece of equipment from the bag next to him. Like three sides of a square, the frame had a padded handle and control on the middle edge. One the insides of the two that protruded forwards perpendicular to the handle were a row of small nozzles and either side of them, narrow field emitters. Riddaeon activated the device and a wafer thin cloud of gas flowed between the top and bottom nozzles. Cautiously, Riddaeon approached the space between the wall features and inserted the device directly between them. The smooth and steady stream of cloud was disrupted and as he waved the device gently back and forth along the line, escaping remnants of gas revealed the detection laser crossing the corridor in front of them. Deactivating the device, he turned to Ellie. “Can you deactivate them?” He asked. “It’ll take time.” She replied. “They could be all over the place.” “Work on it.” Riddaeon said to her. “Yseult and I will work on detection. An hour later the party had made progress through the main corridors. Riddaeon and Yseult were hunting for lasers, Ellie was deactivating them as they went. It was getting easier with each one - Ellie had to hack the individual detector and change the power surge parameters that caused it to reset into a safety mode, now only requiring the smallest of fluctuations which was then easily caused with a small plasma pulse charger. By the fifth or sixth one, it had almost become routine and Riddaeon and Yseult had even split up, taking two different routes through the base. The inner doors had also been easier to overcome; the technology was decades old. It was laborious rather than difficult. Yseult checked the inner frame of a door Ellie had just opened to what appeared to be some kind of storage room. “I’ll go see where Riddaeon’s up to.” Ellie said as she turned and walked back down the corridor. So far, they hadn’t found any detectors in any rooms, only corridors and certain doorways but Yseult still proceeded carefully. This particular room looked much like storage, it wasn’t as well lit as others they’d found, nor was it as tidy. It was also more black than the others with only a few blinking guide lights on the corners of crates and containers giving a fluttering of life to and otherwise void-like space. Her instructions had been clear: Don’t... touch... anything. Yseult hated following instructions. Their first priority was to locate main power and the atmosfield generator. The first was needed to make the base fully operable again and second was critical to ensure their safety; while it obviously still worked, they were losing heat and gas and Yseult’s container had brought equipment and parts to bring it up to modern standards. Yseult had seen the videos as a child; space workers in full suits with air tanks, just incase the atmosfield failed. Over time, the equipment shrank and the technology became more reliable... Habits changed. Yseult paced cautiously forward, her eyes systematically assessing each part of her field of view. A few of the containers had signage, written in an obscure lettering, almost alien-like... She widened her view and looked at the whole word... It was English, it was just the font that was so abstract. Deciphering each letter, she read the label... ‘BIOMASS’. Others nearby were similar. Then she noticed a large container near the back of the room. This one was different to the others. In stead of clean lines and flat surfaces, it was an odd, almost organic shape. Around the corner edges were rib-like contours, curved with rounded off joint-like corners. There was something... Beautiful about it. The dull flat metal of the other containers was in stead an intricate mesh of contours reflecting glints of light in a thousand different places. It was hard to make out the precise shaping. Her fingertips brushed along a bone-like ridge, allured by the the desire to see, not with eyes that failed to discern such subtle variations in the darkness, but with fingertips. Without realising, both hands now caressed the frame and soon, the lengths of her fingers wrapped the ridges. She twisted her wrists and allowed her palms to press against the wider side of the framework and firmly slide towards the outer edge. There was something about it... alluring... tactile. Suddenly, the lights in the room brightened and the whirr of a power surge filled the walls. In surprise, Yseult jolted and looked around... The main power is on she thought. “Yseult?” Ellie’s voice came over the A-com. “Yes.” She replied, more alarmed and shorter of breath than she would like. “We’ve got main power back and have located the atmosfield generator.” Ellie said. “We’re headng back to the hangar to get the equipment.” “I’ll be right there” Yseult replied. She looked back at the black container that had captured her attention so much, enraptured her and taken her away from where she was and what she was doing. Her hands, still holding the front ridges had moved when she jolted... and the ridges with them. Just a couple of centimetres outwards... a notch... a click. Yseult tensed her hands and pulled. The ridges snapped back inwards to where they were. Gently, she let go and backed away slowly before turning and leaving the room. She hadn’t noticed that this container had not had a blinking light on it before... She didn’t notice that the light it had now didn’t blink... slowly it brightened, and slowly it dimmed, pulsating... breathing... waking. Yseult was about to turn into the corridor when she heard the sounds... Turning, she saw the containers ridges opening and unravelling and from within a long curved tail of some kind unraveled. At the end, some kind of red glowing spike. out of the sides, interlaced with the container’s ridges emerges legs. Two, four... no, six and at the front, between two black fang-like protrusions... A glowing yellow eye... It looked at her... She ran. Behind her, a half mechanical screech echoed and metallic claws tap, tapped against the floor as whatever it was followed. She turned a corner... then another... and hoped she remembered the way back. Eventually she stopped to catch breath... She had to compose herself. She reached for her A-com. “Riddaeon!” She said urgently and loudly as she dared. “Go ahead.” Riddaeon’s voice came back. “We have a problem.” She would have explained more... She needed to, but the metallic sound of scuttling tips drew close... She edged backwards. She couldn’t run forever. She didn’t even know what this thing was. The scuttling became faster, another screech echoed off the walls. She stopped. Stand firm she thought. She poised herself ready to run... in which direction she didn’t know yet... Then it appeared, so fast it half climbed the wall getting around the corner. It resembled a scorpion but with six legs and instead of pincers at the front, two small cannons of some sort were attached to its belly. Instinct consumed her... Yseult was no longer thinking, not like normal people do. She ran. Not away, it would have cut her down, but towards. Not straight, it would have cut down even sooner, but at an angle. The creature, if that’s what it was, had half of its legs up on the side wall otherwise it would have simply crashed into it, it had been travelling so fast... it was oddly poised. It’s belly tipped sideways facing the wall. Yseult ran to the other side. The sound of a few shots rang through the tunnel that was the corridor but moving out of the cannon’s field of fire, Yseult forced it to rethink and it repositioned itself, the red spike on its tail glowing brighter, the sound of a weapon charging filling the air. The corridor walls have vertical struts at intervals that encroached inward at 45 degrees at the ceiling and floor. As the creature turned and closed in on Yseult, she planted her right foot on one and launched herself over the creature’s head onto its back, grabbing the base of the glowing red spike as she did. The creature tried to adjust... it was too late Yseult used her body-weight to yank the head of the glowing spike down and as the laser fired, a bright red beam shot through the outer shell of the creature, through its body and out of the bottom. Panicked, it began to flail, whipping it’s tail and throwing Yseult to the floor. It was hurt, the cannons on its belly were in pieces but otherwise... it reared up, poised and let out of fearful screech. Yseult scrambled to her feet... This time, she ran away. “Get to the hangar.” Riddaeon’s voice came over the A-com. Yseult was too busy running to respond. Her heart pounded; she could hear the creature behind her... She’d had a head start but it wouldn’t last. Finally she reached the door to the hangar. Riddaeon and Ellie were no where to be seen. Grabbing the frame, she swung round and hit the door control. The heavy doors screeched closed... The tap, tapping of the creature’s feet getting closer. She couldn’t see it, she didn’t know how far behind it was. The doors were almost shut... relief. It didn’t last as the creature burst through the gap, stumbling almost but with six legs it was quick to steady itself and immediately turned to face Yseult. She went to run but something caught her leg and she tumbled to the floor. She rolled onto her back, the creature upon her. She crawled backwards until she was against the wall... No where else to go. A high pitched rattled hiss emanated from the creature like spite and hatred had been given a voice. It looked at her, its solitary eye showing only a desire to kill. The hum of a weapon being charged, the red glow. The spike on the end of its tail close to touching Yseult between the eyes, as though it wanted this to hurt more... Revenge, she recognised... Yseult heard sounds but she couldn’t discern them; mechanical clanks... they didn’t matter. She stared the creature back in the eye and returned a look of equal despise. If this is how it is to be, I will not die scared. The hum reached its highest pitch, the red its brightest glow... and the laser fired.
  5. Above Earth... Lotus Blossom, this is Sakura Leader. GATE activity detected...a single vessel coming through. It appears to be a M.A.N.T.I.S. vessel...a Razerclaw Corvette class. It's transponder identifies it as The Dutiful Sister. It's headed towards Earth. Don't worry, brother. Sister is coming to clean your clock...
  6. Orange Leader

    Three Little Subs

    Every space colonizing corporation, group or private company, needs their own submersible to explore, harvest or kill the deep ocean floors from planets, moons and comets. The following three submersibles are build to represent their own faction. My own submersible for AG back then, was the Kaito Mk1 from Kawashita. I did some subtile modifications so it does not break as easily (its still not recommanded to play with it, though). Octan GUPPY かいと (Kaito) Mk1 Stealth Sub V2
  7. The pilot dipped the cutter down out of the low clouds to get a better bearing on his surroundings. Scanners weren't picking up very much tech in the area, though their records showed that their destination was close. This would require old-fashioned visual guidance. Below them a partially frozen river wound through the narrow valley, alongside an ancient dirt road that had been carved out of the rocky mountainsides. It shouldn't be too much further now he figured as he angled the craft towards a gap in the mountains. Still, he wondered if this guy was really worth all this effort. I've been sitting on this for a long time, just haven't had a chance to photograph it until recently. C&C welcome on this, my first (posted) build for AG.
  8. Shobuda entered the building slowly, brushing past the creepers and vines near the garden entrance. "Otousama," he called. "Otousama, are you at home?" "Yes," came the reply, "I am over here, tending to the anthynia. I found some kuwagata larvae destroying the roots, and I..." The older man broke off as he stood and saw the young officer before him. "Why, Shobu-kun, have you been promoted?" Shobuda beamed. "Yes, father. I am a captain now." The older man smiled as the young man continued, "and we are going back! At long last!" The older man's smile faded instantly. "Going back? But...why? W-w-when?" "Reports have come in saying the zone is safe. Our departure date has not been announced, but Octan is already preparing. Our forces have been commanded to be ready at a moment's notice. Your presence in Kawashita's science branch would mean much toward discovering new species and..." He trailed off, as the older man turned away wordlessly, squatting to perch himself at the edge of the small fountain in the center of the greenhouse. "Are you not proud?" Shobuda asked. "I am proud, but my pride is overshadowed by worry." "You need not worry! The Kawashita High Command has assured us..." "And that is my worry!" The younger man stood in surprised silence, interrupted only when the older man asked, "for what noble deed did they advance your rank, musuko? For bravery and honor in conflict and battle?" "...Yes," Shobuda started, beaming again despite himself. "What conflict? What battle?" Came the retort. His question answered by his son's resumed silence, the old man continued. "There has been no conflict since the Gates were locked, and armed competition has been outlawed in this solar system. Why reward you now when the conflict has been over for months?" Again, the younger man remained silent, his proud grin becoming replaced with an angry scowl. "I presume many of your compatriots have also been promoted?" Shobuda gave a sharp nod. "The danger is real my son. Not danger of war, of sabotage, or of any human creation, but of greed. I believe you worthy of your promotion, Shobu-kun, but I do not believe your superiors would grant it to you upon merit. I see that they would rather buy your allegiance, that they may use you to enrich themselves." Incensed, Shobuda stood unflinching. His father slowly turned to face him, and when their eyes met, Shobuda could take it no longer. "You are an old man, and know nothing!" he cried. "The world has changed much since your time! You will sit idly by and watch, with your old ways, while I will inherit a new future!" "My son, please reconsider..." "No. I am going. I will prove myself and you will see! You stay here and waste away, I have worlds and riches before me!" Cursing under his breath, Shobuda turned and stormed out through the arbor. The older man sat silently, sadly, for several minutes. When he came to himself, he stood up wearily and returned to his work, collecting the kuwagata grubs in a basket. He had a game of Go in the afternoon, against an old ex-marine friend from Mantis. He would be delighted at the gift. C&C always welcome. Here are a few fig-less shots:
  9. I've really enjoyed writing for AG's first era - it's helped to develop my characters and writing more than I could possibly have expected. My recent chapters have introduced a lot of characters though and I'm conscious that it may be hard for new readers (or even ones that have read them all) to keep track of what's going on. So here's a character summary to help anyone who needs a refresh (please note, it may contain some little spoilers you didn't notice reading the full entries). Yseult Brenneaux. A tempestuous freight pilot who isn’t afraid to get into a fight. She is French and was raised in Bordeaux with her Father, an aerobatics pilot who inspired her love of flying [Rest]. Often referred to as ‘The red-haired Woman’, she makes friends with difficulty and enemies with ease. She is a survivor and much of her past is unknown. Discovered by Big Sal working as a con artist on Marphacia, Yseult Brenneux (using a different spelling to help mask her past) was lured into a trap to force her to join MANTIS [The Mark]. She was initially stationed at a communications outpost called Uplink [Uplink] where she met Riddaeon. She paid off her debt to Big Sal working on the outpost’s Walk-lifts [Pay Dirt] after which she had initially intended to return to her previous line of work. Riddaeon convinced her to give life in MANTIS a try and after contemplating the hard life she had just left behind, she agreed [Departure]. Yseult quickly passed though the MANTIS pilot training programme on Aeristus gaining notoriety when Training Officer Briskett’s attempts to humiliate her by giving her an impossible scenario in the simulator backfired when, despite crashing, her reactions resulted in one of the highest evaluation scores possible [Gyrocube]. Her first mission was to pilot a new spying ship designed by Flight Engineer Eliana Seyka [Darksight] to Donwarr to try and discover how supplies of liquid mithril were disappearing during transport [Jade Sun]. She uncovered a clue and followed a small vessel but was discovered by the Octan Quadstar escorting it and was shot down. The pilot, Vyken Tyros, landed nearby and, after being disappointed that his mission had not been uncovered by a more famous MANTIS agent, tried to kill her when he was interrupted by the mysterious appearance of Gnarl Graves [Fighter Escort]. As the two fought, Yseult caught Vyken off guard and was able to knock him out [Reflection] before falling unconscious herself after she used an almost fatal dose of anaesthetic to sustain her during the fight [Rest]. Following her recovery, Yseult spent some time piloting a Lineopeia class passenger transport [Charter Flight] before her next mission to Freegate to steal a cypher from an Octan heavy speeder using Vyken Tyros’ stolen Quadstar. The heist was succesfull but when she returned to orbit, her ship’s GATE drive was missing [The Cypher] leaving her stranded. She was able to escape by latching on to an unmanned cargo ship [Autofreight], narrowly avoiding being fired upon by MANTIS patrol craft. Meeting with Riddaeon back on Donwarr, she was finally told that Big Sal believed she could help them find Upsilon, the key to uncovering a mysterious force that is making changes to space and time. He informs her that Big Sal believes that her unpredictability is key to drawing who, or whatever is at work out into the open [Upsilon]. She tells Riddaeon he needs to get her a ship so they go to see The Forwarder, an independent freight forwarder that Yseult knows from her past. He calls her by her real name (Brenneaux) but she corrects him and they discuss getting her a new ship and potential work from him. Yseult is reluctant, however, to do certain types of work that she has done for The Forwarder in the past [The Forwarder], including smuggling [Rogue Orders]. Having purchased a ship, Yseult and Ellie make repairs while Riddaeon secures fuel and supplies, then the two Women depart in their new ship [Speedy Owl]. Their first job, however, involves getting past Octan and MANTIS forces unnoticed [Wraith] with a container. They get through but cause an incident [White Hawk] that is denied by both corporations. Following delivery, Yseult spends some time attending a local bar where she keeps getting into fights before returning to the ship where Ellie treats her. She eventually allows Ellie to go with her where they see a report on the news about the incident they caused and have an argument about the merits of the corporations and their mission to find Upsilon [Old TImes]. Riddaeon A MANTIS operative, Riddaeon is an administrator who works behind the scenes to further MANTIS interests. He aides Big Sal on certain projects, notably the recruitment of Yseult Brenneaux. He first met her on Marphacia at the communications outpost Uplink where he assessed her character [Uplink], reporting back his findings to Big Sal [Pay Dirt]. RIddaeon managed to convince Yseult to remain with MANTIS once she had repaid her debt [Departure] and followed her to Aeristus to watch her training [Gyrocube] Riddaeon was involved in the planning of Yseult’s first mission for MANTIS [Jade Sun] and visited her on Donwarr while she recovered from a crash during that mission, after which he reported her progress back to Big Sal and was informed that there was a new mission for her involving the stolen Quadstar [Rest]. In preparation for the mission, Riddaeon visited Ellie who had designed and built a detachable GATE drive for the Quadstar. Riddaeon continued to lead the mission despite Big Sal disappearing and being pronnounced a fugitive of MANTIS [The Engineer]. Having intercepted Vyken Tyros’ communications with Octan, Riddaeon posed as an Octan agent and picked up Vyken, helping him to get safely back to Octan space [Rendézvous]. In a later communication with Big Sal, Riddaeon is warned that such action could be treasonous. Riddaeon defends the decision explaining that Vyken may be able to help them convince someone who’s help they may need. He then met with Yseult to explain Big Sal’s belief that someone, or something is altering reality but the motive and who or what is unclear. He tells her that Big Sal’s calculations have revealed that to draw this potentially malevolent force out, they have to find Upsilon and Big Sal believes that Yseult is essential to helping them locate it. Yseult accepts the new mission but insists they get her a new ship [Upsilon]. Riddaeon accompanies Yseult to meet The Forwarder to arrange the purchase of a ‘box runner’ container freighter [The Forwarder]. While Yseult and Ellie make repairs to their new purchase, Riddaeon steals fuel and anti-matter for the ship. After they take-off, Riddaeon used the ship’s landing platform’s communication dish to access the Octan network and upload a programme [Speedy Owl]. Gedron Briskett A MANTIS flight training officer based on Aeristus. He has a reputation for being hard on recruits and has a chip on his shoulder. He doesn’t like the idea that anyone else can tell him what it takes to be a good pilot. he considers himself to be the best and looks down on civilian pilots, considering their skills to be ‘less advanced’ than those he trains. He is prone to rash decisions, however, and and tried to embarrassed Yseult by forcing her to fail a flight test simulation [Gyrocube]. It backfired and the computer that analysed her efforts gave her one of the highest scores possible [Darksight]. He doesn’t like Yseult Brenneaux. Elliana Seyka A MANTIS Flight Engineer called ‘Ellie’ for short who works in design and development of new spacecraft. Ellie was the project lead on the new spy ship Darksight, an experimental ship whose first mission was brought forward causing the original intended pilot to have to be replaced by Yseult owing to her demonstrated flying skills [Darksight]. She also designed a detachable GATE drive for a stolen Octan Quadstar to allow trans-anomaly deployment without using a carrier [The Engineer]. Ellie accompanied Yseult in the purchase of the Speedy Owl, assisting her with repairs before they departed together. [Speedy Owl]. She accompanied Yseult when they smuggled a container on to New California [Wraith][Old Times][Yseult Brenneaux] and spent time with Yseult on the planet, treating the pilot’s injuries after bar brawls. She is finally allowed to go along to one of the bars and the two argue about the merits of corporate membership. Special note: Ellie is seen leaning over Yseult in the stone square in Yseult’s dream though she is not mentioned in the text. [Rest] Vyken Tyros A special forces operative in Octan. His last recorded mission was escorting a freighter that was stealing liquid mithril from MANTIS [Jade Sun]. When Yseult discovered the operation he shot her down. When she crash-landed her ship, Vyken set down nearby and he was about to kill her when Gnarl Graves appeared and an epic sword fight ensued [Fighter Escort]. Vyken was knocked out by Yseult during the fight and awoke later to find his personal Quadstar fighter stolen, though his sword and rations had been intentionally left behind [Reflection]. He was later able to contact Octan and arrange for an Octan agent to collect him and return him to Octan space [Rendézvous]. He is highly skilled in blade weaponry choosing the Katana for close combat. He is an old friend and mentor to Emily DuPont and it is from him that she acquired her sword-fighting skills. A man in a suit A man of unknown name, affiliation or origin. He appeared in The Forwarder’s container/office after Yseult departed, and appeared concerned with her activities. He has an uneasy relationship with the Forwarder but appears to levy control over him [The Forwarder]. Special note: This is the same character that Yseult saw in a dream where he was sitting at a desk writing the letter ‘Y’ on a piece of paper over and over again [Rest]. The Forwarder A freight forwarder who once held a high position in the Independent Freight Association when it was the largest and most influential freight organisation in Andromeda. During this time, Yseult worked for him and he holds her skills in high regard. There is a suggestion that she may have worked for him as a smuggler [Rogue Orders]. When Yseult reappears after a significant absence, he helps her to acquire a new ship and work as a ‘box-runner’ [The Forwarder]. After the withdrawal of the corporations, the Forwarder is visited by an old acquaintance who has discovered Yseult's attempts to hide her past and asks him what he knows about her [Yseult Brenneaux]. Captain Aurixx Commanding officer of the MANTIS cruiser Shadowfall. When an unidentified object passes through MANTIS-controlled space between them and the Octan fleet around New California, he dispatches an Interceptor to investigate [Wraith]. The interceptor destroys the Octan ships that respond [White Hawk] but the loss of the ships is publicly blamed on a mechanical failure [Old Times]. He receives orders to withdraw to the main fleet and feels that being taken from the front line is punishment for causing a ‘sensitive incident’. Convinced that all is not as it seems, he asks Vashin to remain in Andromeda when the fleet leaves to try and discover what really happened and who is responsible for ruining their careers [Rogue Orders]. Vashin Tulka A MANTIS pilot stationed aboard the Shadowfall. When he responds to an unidentified object passing through the no-fly-zone between MANTIS and Octan forces around New California, he attracts the attention of Octan orbital defence fighters [Wraith]. A firefight ensues; Vashin hits one of the two craft in his initial volley and out-manoeuvres the second allowing him to pursue and destroy it [White Hawk]. When Shadowfall is withdrawn from front-line operations, Captain Aurixx convinces Vashin that it is punishment for causing an incident and Vashin agrees to remain in Andromeda when the fleet leaves to search for those resposible for the unidentified object [Rogue Orders]. Lynton Bryss An Octan pilot in the Orbital Defence Unit stationed at New California. He responds to a MANTIS interceptor approaching the Octan fleet [Wraith] but when a firefight ensues, his ship is hit and burns up in the atmosphere, exploding before he can eject. He had a Wife and children [White Hawk]. Octan officially blames his death and the loss of the ship on a mechanical failure [Old Times]. Vex Obryn An Octan pilot in the Orbital Defence Unit stationed at New California. He is Lynton Bryss’ wingman when they respond to a MANTIS interceptor approaching the Octan fleet [Wraith]. He is hit in the initial exchange of fire and he and his ship are lost [White Hawk]. Octan officially blames his death and the loss of the ship on a mechanical failure [Old Times]. Vex wakes up in the New California desert near his damaged ejection seat, presumably having successfully survived the accident. He is able to walk to a small settlement where an old Woman cares for him and he learns that in fact, four months have passed since the incident [Hard Landing]. Dangerous Woman A woman of unknown name, affiliation or origin who visits The Forwarder, asking about Yseult. She has an interest in the red-haired pilot, having discovered that Yseult was using a mistyped surname to try and distance herself from her past. The Woman and The Forwarder have some History with each other but have not seen each other for four years [Yseult Brenneaux]. Dangerous Man An associate of the ‘Dangerous Woman’ [Yseult Brenneaux]. The Sentinel An associate of the ‘Dangerous Woman’. His face is adorned with various cybernetic implants leaving only small sections of skin visible. He appears to require a respirator to breath, even when in clean breathable air [Yseult Brenneaux]. Drakin A mercenary who has worked for the Forwarder in the past and looks to have met Yseult at the time. He sees Yseult in a bar on New California around the time that two White Hawks are lost above the planet and presumes that she is likely to be involved given what he knows of her past. He does not know her name but meets with MANTIS pilot Vashin Tulka to divulge his knowledge in exchange for a fuel cell [Rogue Orders].
  10. “I have seen beyond the vale. Those of us that saw the true nature of Andromeda have been touched by a power greater than ourselves and greater than these mighty corporations can ever know. Their petty squabbles will be their end. The Dawn of Order approaches...” Sheep. Thought Yseult as she gazed over the crowd that had gathered to listen to the oddly-dressed character on the platform protruding from the temple entrance. He had recently become a kind of overnight celebrity, preaching about the future of Human-kind in vague ideological terms. He was ridiculed my many as an attention seeker, latching on to people’s fears and discontent with unfounded rhetoric, yet to so many, he had become a visionary, someone who spoke the truths that no-one else dared to. “... I was once like you, a slave consumer, blinkered by the empty promises of corporations. Lured into their cycle of temporary fulfilment... I was blind, but now... I see. They went to Andromeda to further their own greed, but they have kept from you what they discovered... The future of Mankind. I have seen this future, with my own eyes... But when I open the door to this future to you all, I will not sell it wrapped in a package of lies, I will give it freely to all those whose follow behind me.” There was a cheer from the crowd. They seem so easily pleased. Yseult thought as the man on stage that had termed himself ‘The Shadowmancer’ moved on to his next well rehearsed soliloquy of crowd-fodder. “I didn’t expect to see you here.” A man’s voice said behind Yseult. She turned, tensing, as if expecting trouble but it was Riddaeon who stood there. “It’s you.” She said, sounding disappointed, though self-loathing would have been more accurate. She hadn’t liked that someone had approached her without her knowing. She relaxed and turned back to the podium. Riddaeon stood beside her, taking in the crowd and the figure on stage. “Doesn’t seem like your...” Riddaeon looked for the right words. “Cup of coffee.” He said, recalling what Yseult had done with the one he took her on Donwarr. He doesn’t see it. Yseult thought. Few would have in her experience. It was both a blessing and a curse; usually the latter that she could see disparate and apparently unrelated things and make the connection between them. She knew when people were lying, or just improvising and hoping no-one would notice, when the facts didn’t add up. But of course, most of the time, there’s no way of proving to people how you know. She’d challenged plenty of them, sick of seeing them get what they want with carefully placed lies. But with no proof, most of those instances ended in fights. A few she won, many had been part of the lesson not to bother anymore. Let the liars lie, I’ll go live my life elsewhere. Some would tell her she looks into things ‘too deeply’ but to her it was obvious, apparent and glaring. She didn’t know why no-one else seemed to see it. They’re all idiots, happy to be taken for a ride... Not me. “Upsilon.” Yseult finally said to Riddaeon. “What?” He asked in reply, the word being so out of context. “Upsilon.” Yseult repeated. “Big Sal believes something is changing reality, the Universe. I think this man has seen it too. The difference: Sal wishes to understand it, this man wishes to worship it. But what he says... I think maybe they have seen the same thing...” The crowd suddenly dropped to complete silence and Yseult turned to see the Shadowmancer stood at the edge of the platform, his bejewelled staff pointing straight at her. After a moment, He brought it back upright, stamping the end on the platform with a deep thud. Before Yseult, the crowd cleared to make a path to the steps up to the platform. “Do not fear child.” The Shadowmancer said, his words echoing across the silent crowd from the loudspeakers places out side of each set of steps. Yseult looked him in the eyes, barely visible though the shimmering vale that covered his face. She hadn’t expected this, a chance to get closer to him, to evaluate him. She didn’t want to go up, she wasn’t one of his little sheep... But she also couldn’t resist the opportunity. Cautiously, she left Riddaeon and walked to the bottom of the steps, a disorderly array of stones at different heights. She stopped for a moment at the bottom of them as she decided how best to ascend. “The path to enlightenment is never obvious.” The Shadowmancer’s voice echoed out. “We must each learn to find our own way.” Yseult thought for a moment... A test she realised. He’ll use it to make a judgement about me. She observed her wider surroundings, there was no other way to the platform which was about head height... With a stride, Yseult leapt forward and launched herself up. Her hands finding the platform edge, she pulled herself up, managing to get a foot on the platform as the rest of her followed with ease. The Shadowmancer stepped back in reaction, giving her room. As she stood before him, he stared at her, looking almost dazed. “Interesting.” He said in a quiet, half mumbled voice. Remembering his intent, the Shadowmancer gestured for Yseult to stand in the middle on a rectangular purple dias. The crowd was silent in anticipation as she stepped into position, as though some sacred ritual had begun. The Shadowmancer stood before her, holding his staff out to his side, an aide silently stepping in to take it while he gazed at Yseult’s face as if analysing her features. Both hands free, he gently placed them to cradle her face, moving it carefully from side to side. “Another orphan to corporate greed.” He announced loudly to the crowd who jeered and shouted to express their anger at the corporate enemy. The Shadowmancer analysed Yseult’s features some more. His face changed, eyes widening... A realisation. “Tell me child...” He asked. “How did your father die?” Yseult’s face changed instantly and the Shadowmancer’s hands were pushed away before a right-hand swing caught him square in the face. He stumbled back, falling to one knee and his aides moved quickly to restrain Yseult. “STOP!” The Shadowmancer shouted, his voice echoing through the loudspeakers. The crowd’s brief uproar once again became a sea of silence at his command. Slowly, he brought himself back to his feet and gestured to receive his staff. Once in hand, he stood before Yseult, contemplating, wrestling with his decision... “Let her go.” he eventually said, nodding to the aides to ensure they understood. “Let her go.” As Yseult jumped down from the platform, the crown had made a new path, this time directly away from the temple. The heads of every person following her every step as she walked away. Upon the dias, behind a shimmering violet veil, the eyes of the Shadowmancer narrowed beneath a furrowed brow.
  11. Chapter 26: Unofficial Business Freight is the blood in the veins of Human society. It moves everything from where it starts to where it ends and everything starts somewhere different to where it ends. Freight goes everywhere and the Forwarder goes where fright goes. The rig felt remarkably still for a floating facility, the submerged ballasts resisting the swell of the waves. Even so, the Forwarder felt unusually sensitive to the movement... Too long in space He thought to himself as he looked out over the azure horizon. The Independent Freight Association has over a hundred such floating facilities across the globe, the cost of what land wasn’t reserved for homing people, or growing crops to feed them being so high. The Association didn’t make their locations public but he was quite sure the likes of Octancorp had mapped them all and captured movement around them... to some degree at least. He recalled a statistic he’d heard once about how less than zero-point-one percent of all the data collected by Octancorp’s surveillance programme was actually viewed by a real person; the rest was just... filed. They were looking, but watching?.. The two were not the same. It made him cautious, however. If you think no-one is watching, you get careless... And then you make a mistake and real people start looking through all that filed data. Octan’s Regulations Enforcement Department had been a constant niggle in his operations. He’d had to ‘sign their charter’ just like all the rest... What choice did they have? Tramp freighters were starting to be worth more as scrap than a way of moving cargo. There had always been freight lines to compete with but these mega-corporations were a different beast. Octan had the brute resources to push any operator out of the market... and their livelihood. “Work with us” Octan had said to those who wouldn’t apply for ‘employee status’... They had described it as an offer... It was taken as a threat. And so, one by one, they all signed in terms that did all but bind them at the wrists. Some fell in line and made the best of it, others... like him... and a certain red-haired Woman, he thought with an involuntary wry smile, didn’t like being told what to do. That’s what R.E.D. was for; external contract enforcement. It was because of them, the once head of the I.F.A. now worked out of a shipping container and never stayed put for too long. It was because of them that it had taken so long to get back to Earth avoiding all of the checkpoints and ultimately the corporate blockade at the anomaly that was ‘keeping everyone safe’ from the radiation in Andromeda. His return had been for a single purpose. He had managed to contact, discreetly, the president of a renowned starship manufacturer. Cylbruda Starworks were known for their high-end premium models in the freight and civilian markets but they had never created a bespoke military design; their rugged and manoeuvrable C118 Quadstar had been adapted, even by Octan for ‘defence roles’ but the original was an orbital utility vessel used for towing. The manufacturer had, at times, proudly boasted that it built for trade, not conflict... But times had changed and even they acknowledged the threat posed by large corporations building their own fleets. The process had been slow; Cylbruda took pride in their work and progress had also been hampered by the need for secrecy, from the corporations, from him. But it had been worth the wait. He just hoped it would be worth the investment. He’d been there nearly an hour by the time it arrived, soaring gently overhead at a low subsonic cruise. It performed a wide arc - customary for a visual approach and leaned back to arrest its forward motion, revealing in full detail the large antimatter rotors that kept it aloft and the array of weaponry that adorned the central body. On final approach, the lower extenders retracted, the landing gear deployed and the drooped nose that was a hallmark of Cylbruda design slid out and upwards through a mechanism that kept it vertical and reduced the clearance that would be required for the ship to land. The upper section of the nose now obscured the pilot’s forward view though the pilot was likely using his side view and instrumentation at this point anyway but the Forwarder immediately considered the protection it afforded the cockpit on approach... He had a feeling that was a feature, intentional or otherwise that might prove its worth. With a heavy ‘gerchunk’ the craft settled on the pad, a reverberating shudder passing through the floor and into the Forwarder’s legs. Finally, he could take a moment to look at it properly. He’d seen schematics and images during development but it wasn’t the same. Now it was... real. He heard the electric whine of the ramp opening at the rear of the craft and after a few moments, a figure appeared. Phalen Lux was an I.F.A. pilot, very skilled but with what most considered to be some kind of personality disorder, though no-one could agree on which one. He was skilled but prone to erratic behaviour so he was generally only assigned to the more... ‘unpredictable’ missions. He seemed to live in his own Universe and didn’t ask difficult questions. It was for those reasons that the Forwarder specifically requested him for this; not the delivery - a mere taxi run but it was what would come next that contained the most unpredictable element of all... A red-haired Woman with a bad knack for survival. Phalen greeted the Forwarder, doffing the tip of his cap which the Forwarder immediately noticed had a visor fixed to it above the peak. A useless addition, he thought, noticing that there was no way of lowering it down as the peak was in the way. It puzzled him for a moment... It didn’t make sense but then, there were many things about Phalen Lux that only made sense to Phalen Lux. “Mr Forwarder.” He said by way of a greeting. “How is she?” the Forwarder asked, his gaze raising to the ship. Phalen turned and looked with him, returning to the Forwarder after a moment. “Something special.” He said, a bright glow of excitement in his eyes. “She’s a bit heavy in atmo but in space... With the extenders deployed... She can dance.” “Good.” The Forwarder replied. “Better give me the tour then.” It took the best part of an hour for Phalen to show the Forwarder everything his new ship had to offer from armaments and flight controls to fuel management and the minimal amenities. “So what’s the plan?” Phalen asked as they returned to the payload bay from the cramped cockpit. The Forwarder recalled his conversation with the man in the suit... The man who had no name, or at least none he was willing to give. “Make the arrangements” he had said... He had spoken to the Forwarder several times and it had always felt like he was using the Forwarder to to execute some small part of a greater plan that would never be explained to him. That was the idea he thought. His mind turned to the significant events of the corporate fight for control over Andromeda - the execution of John Hannibal on Donwarr that ended the Quarrel. Kawashita’s relentless pursuit of the Dust Demons and M.A.N.T.I.S. putting a bounty on the head of one of their own executives... Could the man in the suit have been the architect of it all... and me a pawn. Surely not. It was easy to dismiss the notion as ludicrous though, and that worried the Forwarder; those were the most dangerous notions sometimes... And this, he thought, would be the most dangerous yet. If Phalen did not succeed, she would find him... She knew how. He did not find the thought of that confrontation palatable... They’d worked together for so long, they knew each other so well. How could he do this on the whim of a man in a suit?.. “The plan...” He replied to Phalen, trying to hide the reluctance he could feel was in his words. “... is to kill Yseult Brenneaux”.
  12. Location: Iceland Tags: vacation Previous vacation related post: Currently... We're going to Iceland, honey? Yes, while we're waiting for Andromeda's Gates: Second Era, I thought it would be nice if we visited one of historic precursors of Mitgard with Ethel, as she travels to learn about her ancestry. I see. Bqllr! ++++++++++ So, where's our first stop? Well, we would be remiss if we did not visit the Icelandic Phallological Museum in Iceland's capital city of Reykjavik during our trip. It houses the world's largest display of penises, including 280 specimens from 93 different species. Here are some from the common seal. Bqllr! And here's one from a sperm whale. It's impressive, but it's not as impressive as yours, honey. I know. Bqllr! ++++++++++ Here's the famous Hallgrimskirkja, a Lutheran church finished in the ancient Terran year of 1986, which is a popular landmark for tourists in Reykjavik. And right nearby is a statue of Leif Eriksson, one of Ethel's ancestors. Contrary to popular belief, Christopher Columbus wasn't the first European to discover North America; that honor belongs to Leif Eriksson. Bqllr! ++++++++++ Where are we now? We are at the Þingvellir National Park, part of Iceland's famous Golden Circle. Not surprisingly, it's full of tourists even during off peak hours. It's still beautiful! Bqllr! ++++++++++ These are geysers! Yes, we are at the Geysir location along the Golden Circle. My favorite one is named Strokkur. It erupts every six minutes. That is some impressive endurance; but still, not as impressive as yours, honey. Bqllr! ++++++++++ What interesting rock formations! Indeed. These are the famous basalt column cliffs near Snæfellsjökull National Park. There are so many incredible things to see in that park, such as these beautiful rock formations at Arnarstapi. Or Mount Stapafell. Or the glacier capped volcano the national park is named after: Snæfellsjökull. Bqllr! ++++++++++ And we'll end our trip by hiking on the Sólheimajökull glacier. It's so hard and slippery! Bqllr! ++++++++++ Wow, that was a great trip! Iceland is such a beautiful country! What's next, honey? I believe now we spend our time preparing for Andromeda's Gates: Second Era. Bqllr! Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  13. LucByard

    [Freebuild] Rogue Orders

    Chapter 24: Rogue Orders. Vashin Tulka looked around the dim bar he had ended up in somewhere in a remote settlement in one of the least populated provinces of New California. Where the dregs wash in. He thought as he surveyed the patrons. Any one of them could be the one he’s looking for, assuming he could trust his contact. It had taken weeks of searching, making contacts, asking the right questions. Captain Aurixx was right. He thought, recalling the conversation that had before he left the Shadowfall. “Six days.” Aurixx’s voice was full of disdain and loathing. Vashin had noticed the digipage on his desk when he had entered the ready-room and guessed that it contained the orders they had received shortly after the incident. Despite Vashin’s success in his engagement with the Octan fighters, the Shadowfall had been ordered to return to the main MANTIS fleet. Aurixx had told him personally to reassure him that it was no criticism of his actions. “For six days, we were the front line of MANTIS operations on New California.” Aurixx continued. “Face to face with the enemy, where corporations are made and broken.”And now we’ll spend the rest of our careers on patrol duty supporting the main fleet.” He stared into Vashin’s eyes, a burning desire flaring behind his pupils. “I don’t know why they covered up what happened... I don’t know why MANTIS let them. But I know the answer is in the signal you were tracking before you engaged the Octan ships...” The air hung thick with tension as Aurixx prepared himself to say something he would rather not have. “I cannot order you to do this.” He said, his voice low and husky. “But I can ask.” He allowed a moment for Vashin to to take in the meaning. Any official business would be a simple matter of giving the order so a request meant ‘off the record’. “The fleet leaves Andromeda tomorrow. Once we’re gone, so is any chance of finding out what that signal was... Unless I send you on a routine patrol shortly before we depart... And you don’t make it back in time.” He gave Vashin a moment to take it in. He was asking him to be voluntarily left behind. On his own with little corporate support. “I can’t tell you that finding the answer will put everything right.” Aurixx added. “But at least you’ll have an answer”. As Vashin surveyed the dim backwater bar once more, he wondered if he had ever really needed that answer, or was he just here out of some potentially misplaced sense of loyalty to his captain. It didn’t matter now anyway; the fleet was a Galaxy away from here. “I take it you’re the one.” A low gravelled voice said from over Vashin’s shoulder. It belonged to one of the patrons, a man with long black braided hair, a grimace upon his face and the garb of a professional mercenary. He was the latest link in a chain of contacts but whereas the previous links had merely led Vashin to more links, this one had claimed to know who it was Vashin was looking for. It would come at a cost, however. The man’s eyes were wrought with suspicion as he looked over Vashin. A wry smirk grew in one corner of his mouth. “You even look corporate.” he added. Vashin had hoped it wouldn’t have been so obvious. “You have the payment?” The man asked. “If your information is reliable.” Vashin responded. “It’s worth nothing if I can’t trust you.” The mercenary considered his words for a moment. “Let’s get a drink.” Vashin swallowed a mouthful of the bright green liquid the mercenary had ordered for him and couldn’t help pulling a face. It was some kind of distilled larvae juice. He’d had it before around MANTIS but there it was always drunk with a mixer - now he knew why. The Mercenary smiled a wry smile. His name was Drakin, a disreputable ‘hand for hire’ that, like so many, had flocked to the Quarrel to offer their services when the conflict between Octan and MANTIS had escalated. The corporations never admitted to hiring mercs publicly but over the past few weeks, Vashin had heard plenty of stories. “I did jobs for a guy once.” Drakin began. “Hard to find type - always moving around. He did a lot of deals under the table, took a lot of jobs that shouldn’t be taken. To get those jobs done, he needed mercs... and smugglers.” “You think I’m looking for a smuggler?” Vashin inquired. Drakin hesitated to answer, considering his position. “You have the payment?” He asked in place of an answer. Vashin reached down to a bag. Lifting the item in it carefully, he placed the MANTIS fuel cell on the table between them but kept his hand firmly on it. Corporate fuel cells were, it turned out, highly sought after among the non-corporates; the were cleaner and more efficient that the recycled or refurbished units most of them were getting by on. A MANTIS fuel cell like this could keep a family in light and warmth for around a year. Somehow, he doubted this one would go to anything so noble and while he could ill-afford to lose a fuel cell, being out on his own now, it would be worth it if this mercenary had what he was looking for. “I have the payment.” He told Drakin. “Do you have the name?” Drakin stiffened. He doesn’t have it. Thought Vashin. His mind raced, surveying the surroundings. Could it be a trap? Who was nearby? Where was his pistol? Where were Drakin’s hands? Where were his eyes looking: Vashin? The cell? Nearby associates? Vashin tensed, ready for a confrontation. “I don’t have the name.” Drakin finally admitted. “No-ne here does... But I know who you’re looking for.” Vashin remained cautious and kept his hand on the cell. Let the merc feel like he has to prove himself if he wants the deal. “The pilot on the job was some box-runner.” Drakin explained. “Pretty as hell but twice as crazy in the seat; they said she was his best pilot. Not sure why, she had a knack for all hell breaking loose. Anyway, few months ago I’m in here and who should walk in just days after the first reports of your little incident. She comes back a few times, makes a few contacts, picks a few fights. But no-one knows her name. Few weeks later, her and her friend take an interest in Octan’s report that the whole thing was just a malfunction. Never saw her again after that. ” “Can those contacts get in touch with her?” “Remember the guy I did the jobs for?” Drakin answered. “They call him the Forwarder. You want to get to her, you need to go through him. When you get a pilot with a bad attitude, a French accent and red hair...” Vashin processed the information carefully. It was hardly proof but surety was in short supply these days. He figured the merc was drawing reasonable conclusions though; it’s easy to write things off as coincidence rather than trying to fathom the connections between disparate events. Slowly, he removed his hand from the fuel cell. “The red-haired woman.” He said, a final subtle question - is she the one I’m looking for? Drakin cautiously reached forward and took the cell... “The red-haired woman.”
  14. LucByard

    [Freebuild] Hard Landing

    Chapter 23: Hard Landing. It felt like being hit by a heavy speeder; given how far he’d fallen it was actually more like being hit by a planet. His head pulsated with pain, coarse sand hurt sore fingertips as he tried to push himself up... No use. He tried to recall how he’d got here... Nothing. He couldn’t remember, but then, he had just hit a planet. He thought he lying on the floor but it felt like he was standing, forced against a sandstone wall, a bright light in his face, hot, burning. That’s the sun. He thought, I must be on the ground. He sighed and his arms relaxed. It was easier if he didn’t fight. “It’s easier if you don’t fight.” The voice echoed. A gust of wind blew grains of sand onto his lips; just enough to give him a sense of them, a fragrance, an aroma... It was familiar. I know this sand. He thought. The geological makeup of sand was different from region to region and very different from planet to planet. Spend long enough among it and you start to be able to tell the difference. This one had a feint saline tint to it. He racked his brain. Where am I? He tried to open his eyes. The bright sunshine pierced the first gap in his eyelid with blinding power. He forced them shut again. I must be on the ground. He told himself. Summoning all his remaining energy, he pushed with his arms and forced his head away from the gritty surface. He started to lift a knee up under him but the dizzyness stopped him. He had become unbalanced, pushing himself away fro the wall and lifting one leg off the ground, He felt like he was about to fall over backwards but never quite did, stuck on the edge of falling and feeling more and more sick with every moment. He woke some time later. The air was cooler and more refreshing though the smell of stale vomit prevented him from feeling the benefit. His head was clearer and in the dimming light, he could just about tolerate opening his eyes enough to see. He was still unsteady but he raised himself up slowly and looked around the harsh grit-filled landscape that had been his resting place for who knows how long now. A moment later it came to him: The dusty landscape’s saline sand. It was from the evaporating lakes the planet was known for. New California... I’m on New California. He tried to remember how he’d got here. His memories were a haze of voices, sounds, lights... Bright hot lights, or was that the sun. How long had he been out here. He surveyed the horizon. He had no idea where on the planet he was but a column of steam and the the hazy dim outline of towers gave him hope that civilisation wasn’t too far away. He stumbled forward but kept his feet. His legs ached. Looking around the nearby vicinity, he noticed a broken pilot’s chair. I must have been thrown from it when I landed... A hazy memory formed - Space... Fire... Alarms... Voices... Several voices, static. I must have been in a firefight. He surmised, trying to piece together the remnants of what had happened before. It was like trying to remember a dream, only moments ago yet already distant. He checked the wreckage, relieved to find the emergency ration package in tact on the underside. He removed it, clipped the water bottle to his belt, divided the nutrient packs between his suit’s various pockets and started walking. The night was cool but never cold as the sun never quite fully dipped below the wide, flat horizon. He must have been fairly far North or South but he wasn’t sure which. The mild climate allowed him to make good progress and as the Sun began its slow and steady ascent into the proceeding morning, he reached a small settlement. The steam and towers were still in the far distance but he needed to rest. He was exhausted, most of his water was depleted, drank to recover from his waking condition. It would take the bottles condenser several hours to extract enough moisture from the air to refill it. He made it far as a sheltered porch-like area protruding from the nearest building before his legs insisted on not supporting him anymore and he dropped to his hands and knees, rolling onto his back. He closed his eyes... He shouldn’t. Anyone could live here. But he was so tired. And it was starting to get hot again. He closed his eyes. Just for a bit... Just for a bit. He woke in cool air, fresh and clean. He ached all over but he was comfortable, lying on a soft bed. He heard a clatter, the sound of water. Someone appeared and sat over him before dowsing his brow with a wet cloth. “I was wondering when you’d come to.” An old Woman’s voice said. He didn’t recognise it. “How long?” he asked instinctively. “Two days.” the old Woman replied. “Didn’t think there was any of you corporates left.” She added. He didn’t understand the question. He looked down at his clothes - A flight suit, white with a red arm and leg. The old Woman noticed. “We’ll contact the nearest outpost once they all come back.” She said. “Hmpff.” She added. “If they come back.” The old Woman got up and walked off. “I don’t suppose you’ve got a name.” She asked from across the room. The man went to answer but caught himself. He tried to think... It was on the edge of his tongue but he just couldn’t quite get it. He thought for a moment, closed his eyes, cleared his mind. He had said his own name so many times he tried to not think about it and just let his mouth form the sounds. “Vex.” he sounded out. It started to come back to him. The hazy pieces became a little clearer. Not fully formed but... Then he remembered. “My name is Vex Obryn.” He tried to collect his thoughts. What had happened? The Woman’s comment suddenly clicked. “Wait... You said When they come back?” Could they really have abandoned him. He’d been gone around three days, maybe five depending on how long he’d been lying on the ground out there before he came to. They wouldn’t have abandoned the search for him. There were nutrients for a week in the ration pack and the bottle continuously condensed water from the air and filtered it into drinking water. They wouldn’t leave yet... After so little time, from an Octan controlled World. He knew MANTIS had been making a move for the planet but ... The hazy memories became a little clearer. A MANTIS ship... Fire and smoke... I was hit. He had to contact Octan immediately and report his survival. He still didn’t remember much but being alive, he presumed he somehow ejected before his ship was destroyed. “I have to contact Octan... now.” He stated, trying to get himself up before the aches became sharp piercing pains that halted his progress. “I told you, they’re not here.” The old Woman said. Vex heard what she had said but It didn’t make sense. MANTIS couldn’t have forced a withdrawal in five days. Octan were too strong. The corporate newsfeeds had been full of analysts talking about how close they were to victory. “When did they leave?” he asked without realising. “About a month ago.” She replied. Vex froze... “A month?” His mind raced. It didn’t make sense. “It's Janurali.” He said aloud, though it hadn’t been meant as a question. It was received with a short sharp laugh that verged on a cackle. “You’ve been out in the sun too long.” The Woman replied. “But not that long... It’s Maian... Janurali was four months ago.” ...
  15. LucByard

    [Freebuild] Yseult Brenneaux

    Previous chapters can be accessed from the Andromeda's Gates player list. Chapter 22: Yseult Brenneaux. The Forwarder stood tense, one hand behind his back, plasma pistol charged and ready. The yard foreman hadn’t warned him they were coming, he hadn’t had a chance, or a choice. The Forwarder had picked them up on his tap into the freight yard’s security system. Fortunately, his own system was better than the yard’s at flagging suspicious activity. Years of input and tweaking had achieved that. He remembered the feeling of dread and inevitability when he spotted this one. Little more than a feint shadow off the quarter of a bigger vessel; traffic control probably wrote it off as an echo and so it slipped by. They’d have been more wary if the signal had been stronger as it could easily have been another vessel but ships don’t give off signals this weak... And so it slipped by. But the Forwarder saw it and the Forwarder knew. The corporations preferred those fancy cloaking devices; heavy, cumbersome and power hungry, they worked but weren’t seen by everyone as a practical way to go unseen, especially those who were here before. Once the ship was within scope a visual scanner, The Forwarder trained every resource he had onto it as it glided gently towards the Freight Port’s cargo terminal... Nothing, just blackness. A glint of light flashed, a shimmer emerged, then disappeared, bad memories returned and the outline of a black ship became apparent. Despite the feeling of dread, he couldn’t help but smile. Of course. He thought. The corporations had recently agreed a unilateral order to leave Andromeda due to some kind of anomalous radiation coming from the Galaxy’s centre. With everybody used to corporate control, who would step in? And who would stop them? The ship put down behind a hangar, tucked away. He did his best to follow the three figures that disembarked but they split up, rejoined and split up again, leaving a silent and unseen trail of bodies behind them. From what he could see, they were working their way across the freight terminal through every line of defence to... Here. Every set of eyes he had in the yard were as good as blind. Even he didn’t see most of them until it was too late. They would be here soon. He swallowed, suddenly finding it something he had to think about doing. He activated a control on his terminal and folded it away, the conference table lowering in its place. He removed his plasma pistol from its holster on the underside of the table and stood, tense, one hand behind his back, plasma pistol charged and ready. They didn’t knock. They didn’t need to. The door to the Forwarder’s container office gently swung open and a figure stepped in, slender, wearing a black flight suit covered in metallic and bright green attachments. He’d never seen the design before but the helmet the figure wore... That, he knew. Black with a luminescent yellow/green visor, the inside of which was a constantly changing display of data and information for the wearer. The Forwarder’s arm tensed. He fought the urge to draw his pistol too early, the figure stood just inside the doorway, analysing him, assessing him, no doubt aware that he was armed. The figure didn’t carry a weapon in their hands. They don’t need to. He reminded himself so as not to foolishly think he had the figure out-gunned. The figure’s hands raised to their helmet, there was a click, a release of pressure and hands raised the helmet off, short pitch-black hair around a pale face with high prominent cheekbones. and sharply-pointed eyes. The tension in his arm disappeared, his brow un-furrowed, but his breathing remained always did around her. Why is she here? After all this time. He thought. “You look the same.” He said. He wasn’t sure what else he could say and certainly didn’t have anything more pertinent. The woman looked at him, her thin eyes thinning just a little more as she assessed his appearance. “You look different.” She replied. “Four years is a long time.” The Forwarder responded, apologetically. “A lot has changed.” “Not so much.” the woman calmly replied with definitive confidence as she took a step towards the Forwarder. His nerves jolted. “I don’t do business with you anymore.” He said in instinctive reaction, a cautious assertiveness in his voice. The woman looked around the confined container that had become his office, that had become his life. “Everyone does business with us.” She responded calmly, her eyes inspecting every corner, every nook, every shadow. “The only difference...” She added, her eyes returning to the Forwarder. “Is whether or not they know.” She placed her helmet on the table and activated a control on her suit. A moment later, two additional figures entered the container behind her. One had already removed his helmet, A man the Forwarder didn’t recognise in a similar suit to the woman. The third wore a different black suit with piping and metal work around it. Its helmet was still on but the visor was opaque black and unlike the other two, it wore respirator tanks on it’s back. The woman sat down in the chair beside her while the man surveyed the container with equal attention to detail. The third figure stood in the entrance, sentinel-like. After a moment, the man nodded to the woman who in turn nodded to the third figure. A variety of quiet gentle electronic whirrs went silent and the figure reached up , activating a control on its helmet. The black visor raised, allowing a thin cloud of super-chilled air to woosh out and curl into a feint mist in front of it. As the mist dissipated in the warm air, the face of the figure became seen, or some of it did, being mostly covered in metallic augments and devices. Sections of exposed facial skin contorted and pulsated as it breathed. It’s still alive under there. The Forwarder thought as he viewed the assemblage of metal plate and technology that now constituted the wearer’s face. He wasn’t sure if it was looking back, it just stood there, watching presumably. The Forwarder knew about cyborgs and AI mechanoids, Kawashita were known to utilise them for their most dangerous missions and assassinations but he’d never seen one integrated like this... He’d heard stories though, about experiments that left the subjects in such pain, only constant supplies of anaesthetics allowed them to function. This one, he noticed, was using a respirator and he wondered what gaseous concoction was within those tanks. “So.” The woman said in a contemplative tone, her gaze fixed upon the Forwarder. “Tell us about the pilot.” The question caught the Forwarder’s attention and brought his gaze back from the augmented cyborg in the corner. He sat down and cautiously replaced his pistol into its holster under the table. “The Galaxy is full of pilots.” The Forwarder replied, trying to be clever. “Unfortunate incident.” The woman said, appearing to change the topic. “Those two Octan ships over New California... What were they doing out there?” The Forwarder opened his palms into a gesture that said ‘I don’t know’. “The minutiae of the corporations is beyond my ears.” He said. “They weren’t lost to a malfunction.” The woman said in a stern tone, her eyes fixated on the Forwarder. “They were pursuing a MANTIS ship... Which was pursuing our consignment.” That caught the Forwarder’s attention. The woman was right, the difference was whether or not you knew. He liked to think that he was the one in the know, that he had more information than whoever was across the table from him. He didn’t like being out manoeuvred, out strategised. Maybe that’s why he stopped doing business with them, or had tried to at least. “The pilot was a red-haired woman.” The woman added. “We’re interested in her.” That’s bad news. Thought the Forwarder. “So.” The woman continued. “Tell us about the pilot... Tell us about Yseult Brenneaux.” “Brenneux.” The Forwarder corrected her. The woman stared at him, silent, considering her next move. Her eyes thinned again. “There is no Yseult Brenneux.” She replied. The Forwarder’s face changed. Following his meeting with Yseult, he’d done his research having been corrected himself. At first, probably like so many would, he just assumed he’d been pronouncing it wrong or spelling it wrong, the name using a French letter combination, a language of which he had only the most rudimentary knowledge. But the Forwarder was suspicious. He didn’t like that he’d got it wrong and rather than just write it off, he checked it out. That one little letter had allowed the red-haired woman to all but eliminate her past when she joined MANTIS less than a year ago, appearing out of nowhere on Marphacia. The woman repositioned herself in her chair. “Yseult Brenneux.” She began. “Appeared in a MANTIS flight training schedule on Aeristus last Junali. She has been connected to MANTIS activity on Donwarr and Freegate but before all of that... She never existed... There isn’t even a record of her arrival in Andromeda... Yseult Brenneaux, on the other hand, was one of your regular freight pilots who captained a ship with a certain... Reputation. Until three years ago, that is... When they both apparently disappeared.” The woman was right, Yseult had just vanished. It wasn’t unusual for that to happen, between accidents and Dust Demons, there were plenty of reasons a ship and its captain could go missing. The captain’s just don’t usually turn up three years later on some classified corporate mission acting like no more than a day has passed. “So.” The Woman said, confidence behind her voice. “Tell us about the rad-haired woman... Tell us about Yseult Brenneaux.”
  16. Umbra-Manis

    [M-G03] The End of the Journey

    Location: G03 - New California Tags: Location: Current Temporary Office of CEO SpacerSteve A voice spoke over the intercom, "Holo Transmission for you sir. Broadcast content unknown." and promptly the voice faded out. Spacersteve turned to the central projector, awaiting yet another news agency requesting comment on Octan's Impending victory perhaps, or another report of equipment failing that he didn't have the people to fix. The transmission flickered into view in the shape of Captain Pangolinus, previously listed as MIA following his disappearance in Octan territory, but recently returned at the head of a battle fleet, which reports claim is engaged in heavy fighting. "Sir, if you are receiving this message, then I have given the order to abandon the Osiris, and for all MANTIS craft in the system to retreat. I will stay with my ship til the end, as my service life is nearing its end. I was given a drug which resulted in rapid deterioration of brain cells while in captivity, and the antidote I obtained from an octan facility bought me only two weeks more of brain function. It has been twelve days since that antidote and I feel myself fading back into an abyss. If you should have need of my starship designs in the future, they are in the care of the Morph Program. I will not explain where or how, but if you need them, you will find them. Agents Urtem and Aryna perished in the attempt to rescue me, honor them well. I regret that my return has been so brief, but my brain will not last. If the internal affairs department figured out where I came from, you may send my remains to rest there, if not I shall rest on Torresta. I wish a fond farewell to my fellow members of M.A.N.T.I.S. and especially my fellow pilots. This is Captain Pangolinus, Signing Off"
  17. Location: H06 - Farmolis Tags: Technology Currently, aboard the Axle... What are you working on? I'm composing an email, Eshey. In light of what we've recently accomplished, I wanted to thank all our hard working coworkers. Of course. ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Dear all employees in Octan's Andromeda Galaxy Division, This is your chief operating officer, Pombe. I know right now, as I compose this email, all of you are going about your routine and handling your various assignments. I write this because we have reached a momentous occasion and I wanted to share my thoughts with you. We set out almost two years ago into the unknown: a new galaxy. And through our dedication and hard work, the Andromeda galaxy is now known. From our adopted home planet of Farmolis, we explored system by system and discovered new lifeforms, new technologies, and new exciting ways to generate a profit for Octan. It was long journey, and I am so proud to have done it with such an amazing and talented group. There were many stories of incredibly long hours, homesickness and depression, experimental disasters, and tragedies of lost friends and companions. Despite these setbacks, we never stopped driving forward. I have read stories of brand new spaceships and land vehicles, new friends and alliances, heroic adventures, new romances, and even the return of those we believed lost. In the end, we created something even greater than we could have possibly imagined at the beginning; we created something awesome. And just as we changed Andromeda, Andromeda has changed us. Andromeda has shown us new ways to look at things and allowed us to imagine the impossible. From the harvesting of space whale poop to building ships that can sail the stars, nothing is off limits to us. If we can see it in our mind's eye, we can and we will accomplish it. That is not to say that we were alone or that only Octan accomplished the incredible. I want to take this moment to acknowledge our competition, the corporations of Kawashita and M.A.N.T.I.S.. Any business person worth hiring knows that corporations need each other. While we do compete for sales in the same markets and do our best to steal market share from each other, we also buy and license products from each other. No one corporation owns all the intellectual property necessary to complete many products, and just as there are Octan parts in Kawashita and M.A.N.T.I.S. products, there are Kawashita and M.A.N.T.I.S. parts in Octan products. I have been in these debriefings, and when your parts are in the other corporations and their parts are in you, you understand why these intercorporate relationships are vital. And don't forget: depending on the job application and hiring process, any one of us could have been working for a different company. In fact, my own dear sister works for our rival, M.A.N.T.I.S., as does Dr. Long's. Anyways, I wanted to share with you my pride and reflect on what we've achieved, and I believe it's time to wrap up this email. I have asked Hombre to start gathering all the employees for a group photo. The time and the conference room should show up on your calendar once you receive this email, in case Hombre misses you. Afterwards, we will begin a new chapter. In fact, I have already put all the awesomnium we have gathered to its actual purpose. I hope that all of you will continue to enable Octan to beat analyst expectations and that we will continue to see our employee bonuses and Octan's stock price soar. Yours truly, Pombe ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Later... Now, after nearly 2 years, we can finally proceed to the next chapter. The next chapter? Yes, Eshey. We now have enough awesomnium to open the portal. A portal? Where are we going? Andromeda's Gates 2. What? You mean we're not at the end of the journey? Silly Eshey. Andromeda's Gates was never about where the journey leads you. It was about where you lead the journey. I see. Are you ready to continue the journey with me? Yes, I am, honey. Comments and criticisms are all welcome! I wanted to thank Bob and the rest of the Andromeda's Gates staff: Lady K, Narbilu, Big Sal, and EpsilonEta. I'm sure it was an enormous amount of work and effort, and I wanted you all to know that it meant very much to me. Andromeda's Gates solidly brought me out of my Nth dark age and spurred my imagination to build things I never thought I could and tell a story that...well...was certainly beyond anything I had ever thought of before this. It also brought me into contact with so many incredible builders and storytellers from whom I've learned so much. And though I am cheering on the accomplishments of the players of Octan that brought us to this victory with this final entry, I really want to also thank all the players from all the factions. Many inspirational builds and narratives came from builders and authors outside of Octan whose talent I can only ever dream of having. All together, we worked through nearly 90 weeks and 2000 MOCs. Thank you, everyone. I mean it. I hope all the players stick around and continue to build and tell stories in Andromeda's Gates 2. Finally, for those reading this but did not participate this time around, I want to invite you to join Bob and the rest of us in Andromeda's Gates 2 when it begins. It will be a rare opportunity to be able to tell a story fresh right as a game begins, and I hope you will take that opportunity to share your MOCs, your stories, and your vision with the rest of us.
  18. pombe

    [O - E10] Universal Laws

    Location: E10 - Traig IV Tags: land vehicle Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Traig IV... finally merged. This build is recycled Yes, yes we did. I guess this was the logical conclusion to things. I wonder why it took so long to happen? You weren't ready until recently. It took a long time for your eyes to finally open. But I get it now. By the way, I have something to show you; my latest land speeder. Oh? It takes advantage of one of the universal laws to both save energy and save animals that would otherwise be euthanized. And which universal law is this? The one that states that cats must always land on their feet. Come, let me show you. So we rescue cats from animal shelters and offer them employment where they are attached by their feet to the bottom of our land speeders. Because these cats can no longer land on their feet, the land speeder is perpetually suspended from the ground, thus saving both energy use from anti=gravitational units and the lives of cats in the overcrowded animal shelters. This is genius, Eshey. The ride is surprisingly stable and smooth. Initial tests with just one or two cats resulted in very unstable platforms for the ride. Our results suggested that three cats were optimal for stability and a smooth ride. I'm so proud of you, Eshey. You've come a long way. This is all thanks to you, for opening my eyes. Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  19. mediumsnowman

    [O - E10] Curtain Call

    Location: E10 - Traig IV Tags: Civil, Building, Spaceship Traig IV, Octan Canal Settlement. Previously... Jeb: Goddamnit CLAPPIE, make this thing go faster! CLAPPIE: I'm sorry Jebediah, but you chose quite possibly the slowest escape vessel in the entire shipyard. By the way, Archive Security fighters are closing in, ETA 22 seconds. Jeb: [expletive deleted] thanks CLAPPIE. Appreciate the heads up. CLAPPIE: Of course. Jeb: We're hit! CLAPPIE: Systems critical. Jeb: Aaarrrgggggg!!! CLAPPIE: Complete failure imminen- *skaddosh* *boom* Fighter Pilot: There's no way anyone could have survived that crash. I can't say I understand why President Business ordered us to shoot down our own top special forces agent... Fighter Pilot 2: I'd rather not ask questions- I'm sure the big boss had his reasons. A week later, onboard the OCS Axle, hazardous materials lab: Lab Tech: Dr. Long? Long: Yes? Lab Tech: I have a parcel and letter to be delivered to 'Danielle' Long: Don't call me that. Lab Tech: Sorry, ma'am. *shuffles away nervously* Dear Danielle, I'm sure you think me dead, they all do. It's better that way. I'm afraid I have a few confessions to make. I never told you everything about my experience with your time machine. To be honest, I met myself. In the past. I am not proud of who I was. I did many, many, terrible, dark, awful things. And I am not proud of that. I also met your mother. She seemed like an amazing woman, taken from this life by a desperate fool stretched to his limit. That man was me. From the bottom of my heart, I'm sorry. I'm not the man I once was. Enclosed you will find the full tapes from Project ICARUS. I sincerely hope they have the answers you seek and can finally bring some closure to the life of your mother. You will also find the tapes from a very old initiative called Project EAGLE. Selective mind manipulation - President Business used it on me to turn me in to who I am today. I was done killing, I wanted out, and President Business turned me against myself. Don't trust him- he will use you just like he used me. Don't come looking for me. You won't find me. I'm done living a lie. I'm out, for good. Your friend, Jebediah
  20. Planet: E10 Tags: Vehicle We made it, Ronin! We actually made it back to the Octan Main Space Ship. I thought we would be stuck on this Planet for a long time, but not only did we make it back to the Ship we manage to bring this back with us. Octan Is going to like this. Where ever it came from our Scientists and Engineers will figure it out. Week 83 by boxerlego, on Flickr
  21. Location: I06 - Yetornius Tags: civil building, land vehicle Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, on Yetornius... You look happy, ma'am. As I should. Natco's initial public offering has gone gangbusters. You, Tracy, and myself are now gajillionaires. We're rich? Not just rich, Peyton. We are evilly rich, moohoohaha! And now, with this evil Wolf-Chicken-Walker mech, we shall crush Octan once and for all! Now, we shall head to Octan's hidden base! Yes, ma'am! Meanwhile... Beautiful Man, thanks for coming. I need to talk to you. Yes, sir. How can I help you? It regards your honey, Evilshey. The time has come for me to merge with her. I understand, sir. The truth is that she will never accept me as her honey. To fill the hole in my heart caused by this realization, I've been consoling myself with Ishmael's physical affections. I do not mind, at all. In fact, please keep consoling yourself with my physical affections. Thank you, Ishmael, I'll do that. Anyway, sir...Evilshey was never mine. If you can win her heart, then by all means, merge with her. I appreciate this, Beautiful Man. <blam blam blam> Sir! We're being attacked! Right on time. Outside... ATTACK!!! Yarrrrr!!! <door hisses open> Alright, stop this attack. Oh crap! It's Pombe! His skill with his sword is legendary! Peyton, don't fear this man. Afterall, he has no control over us! Actually...I do. What?! See, Evilshey, your evil plot had an evil flaw. You had an IPO. couldn't have! Yes I did! I bought enough shares to have a controlling interest. No!!! And now, is time we merged. You mean Octan and Natco? Yes, but not just the companies. It is time for you and I to merge, as well. You mean like Voltron? Yes, and I will form the head. I see. Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  22. mediumsnowman

    [O - F10] Start Your Engines

    Location: F10 - Arium Major Tags: Civil, Land Vehicle, Spaceship, Building Octan Shipyard near Octan Archives, Arium Major Branch. 1200 Hours. Male Tech: Cap off the tank and we're good to go. Geez, nothing interesting ever happens around here. It's fix that, repair this, repeat. This hunk of junk has been in use since the early days. When do you bet it's going to retire? Female Tech: I don't know. I agree this one is pretty outdated soon. I heard in the lunch room the other day we might not even need these smaller transports soon what with the advancements in GATE technology! Male Tech: That would really be something... hey, who's that? Jeb: Jebediah O'Reilly, Octan Special Forces. I'm commandeering your vessel. Male Tech: You can't just commandeer any ship you want, there are rules and regulations- Jeb: Consider them overridden. Female Tech: It doesn't even have a full tank- this thing isn't safe- Jeb: CLAPPIE, can it get me to the next system? CLAPPIE: Calculating... 70% success rate. Probable. It can fly. Jeb: Excellent. Please move before I move you. Jeb: CLAPPIE, plot a course for the Axle. I need to find Dr. Long. She can help me make sense of this... and she needs to know what is on that ICARUS tape. Business hasn't told anyone everything, that lying snake... he used me... Female Tech: Don't take off! The airspace isn't clear! Jeb: Let's get going CLAPPIE. We don't have much of a lead, Archive Security will be after us as soon as they realize what's missing. *woosh* Male Tech: Hey! Speaker: *****RED ALERT. ROGUE AGENT JEBEDIAH O'REILLY IS ARMED AND DANGEROUS AND IN POSSESSSION OF RESRICTED, CLASSIFIED DATA. APPREHEND AT ALL COSTS. REPEAT, APPREHEND AT ALL COSTS. RED ALERT***** Female Tech: Is that the guy we just let go...? Male Tech: We didn't exactly let him... I think so. Hold up, I'm scrambling the fighters. Female Tech: He won't get far in that transport... C&C welcome.
  23. pombe

    [O - F10] Panzer General

    Location: F10 - Arium Major Tags: civil building, land vehicle Dramatis Personae: Previously: Currently, somewhere on Arium Major... And finally, Peyton, our tour ends here at Natco's state of the art engineering bay. Welcome to Natco as our first official hire. Thank you, ma'am. I'm sorry our CSO, Tracy, could not be here on your first day. She is busy meeting with our evil investors. I understand that start ups are pretty hectic and busy, ma'am. I'm sure I'll get to meet her in due time. Of course. In any case, here is your first assignment. I'd like you to field test this evil tank drone. It responds to voice commands, so use this walkie-talkie. It has been programmed to only respond to the voice signatures of Natco know, for security reasons. But ma'am, I don't understand. Didn't you hire me for my skill with a sword? I did indeed. Tell the evil tank drone to "transform". Transform. <mechanical sounds> See? Now it has a seat. Go ahead, get in. Yes, ma'am. Now, you can command the tank to drive up to our enemies so you can hit them with your sword. Genius, ma'am. Absolutely evil genius. Yes...and this is just the beginning. With our evil technology, we will crush Octan...moohoohaha... Comments and criticisms are all welcome!
  24. mediumsnowman

    [O - F10] Access Granted

    Location: F10 - Arium Major Tags: Civil, Building Octan Archives, Arium Major Branch. 19 Febrarali 3817. Robot: Hello sir. Welcome to the Arium Major branch of the Octan Archives. How may I help you? Jeb: Yes, I need to pull all files related to Projects EAGLE and ICARUS. Robot: The files you have requested are classified. Jeb: Override code [REDACTED] Robot: Approved. The files you have requested can be found in Section C18A23.6 Jeb: Thank you. Later, in Section C18A23.6... Jeb: CLAPPIE, please pull all hard copies for Projects EAGLE and ICARUS. CLAPPIE: I'm sorry Jeb, but I'm afraid I can't do that. Project EAGLE is restricted to Security Clearance Levels 10 and above. You are Level 9. Jeb: Override code [REDACTED] CLAPPIE: Override failed. Jeb: Execute protocol [REDACTED] CLAPPIE: Override failed. Jeb: Goddamnit CLAPPIE! Override code [REDACTED] CLAPPIE: How did you get President Business' credentials...? Jeb: That's not important. Pull the files. Wipe the servers clean once I have them in hard copy. CLAPPIE: This is highly irregular. These files are read-only, and you shouldn't be reading them anyways! I will have to alert the proper authorities once they've been extracted, per my Octansoft deception detector alarm(TM). Jeb: I'll be out of here by then. Pull the files. CLAPPIE: Very well. Robot: I trust you found everything well. Have a nice day. Jeb: Indeed. Today was most... profitable.