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Found 22 results

  1. Henjin_Quilones

    [K-G09] The Old Geyser

    The Old Geyser Location: G09 - Greater Drigo Tags: Exploration, Land Vehicle, Spaceship Previous story: "Someone else has been here, Sir," said the voice of Kiri, his walkie-talkie personal assistant. "That is a Kawashita KX-1902b Planetary Observer, and has not been there long." "I can see that, Kiri," said Henjin Quilones, the intrepid explorer. "I wonder who else has been sent to Greater Drigo. Kiri, do the logs show anyone else in this quadrant?" "Checking logs now...no, Sir, I see nothing here." "Very strange; very, very strange," said Henjin. "I wonder if I should call this in and report it..." He drove his Kawashita ATV around the rocks and saw a geyser lake, one of thousands that dotted the landscape. "Detecting a large amount of seismic activity, Sir," Kiri said. "Please be careful when driving near that lake. It may not be safe." Henjin ignored Kiri, as usual, since she seldom gave good advice, unless one asked for nearby restaurants or for pickup lines. He drove his ATV right up to the reeds on the water's edge. He would have driven it further, except the wheels got stuck in the thick clay and refused to spin. "Ah well, I guess we'll do this the hard way." He leaped off of the vehicle and began to patrol the area on foot, noticing how the geysers were behaving more like fountains, with continuous streams of water gushing forth, instead of a great big burst. He made a note of that in his exploration report and walked a bit further around the edge. There, on the ground by the shore of the lake, was a Kawashita Exploratory Corps uniform, and by the fit of it, it was a woman's. However, there was no woman in it now. "Oh no!" cried Henjin. "Somebody killed one of my corps-mates, and stole the body!" "Shall I call for help, Sir?" asked Kiri. "I...I don't know." "Oh, hey Henjin," called a fair voice from the lake. Henjin turned and started towards the voice, thinking it was some foul Drigonian geyser-lake mermaid, perhaps the one that had left that Kawashita explorer dead. But it was just Stefannie Stryyk, the one woman in the Corps who had ever even glanced his way. And she was lightly clad, bathing in the geysers. Very lightly clad. That certainly was not regulation swimwear. "The water's warm, Henjin, and there's room enough for two in this old geyser..." More pics:
  2. Henjin_Quilones

    [K-TECH] Project Philosopher's Stone

    <<TOP SECRET: PROJECT PHILOSOPHER'S STONE>> Deep beneath the surface of Orinshi, Kawashita Group keeps its laboratories always working and turning out new and impressive technologies. In Dr. Dak Ralter's laboratory, his long awaited dream was about to come true. He had summoned his bosses, all higher-up military types, along with Mr. Suzuki, a CEO-type person (in the lab all of those people were the same: CEO, CFO, COO, VP, or whatever), to watch the first trial of his new machine--the first trial, that is, with properly adjusted specs, as he had already failed three hundred twenty-four times before. Dr. Ralter could see the doubt in the eyes of Commander Gorn, Major Karrus, and Admiral Kordo, but he chose not to focus on their negativity. Instead, he instructed his assistants to stand by. "Lucas, make sure the aureometer is calibrated to null, and Jeff, be ready to open the primary diffusion channel on my command," he said. His assistants obeyed him without a word, the previous three hundred twenty-four trials having accustomed them to the job. It was automatic now, as was the sinking feeling that the three hundred twenty-fifth time would not be the charm. Mr. Suzuki coughed politely as he looked at the screen on the viewing platform. "Gentlemen, I have asked you to come to witness one of the most glorious moments in the history of mankind," Dr. Ralter began. "Our ancestors, for thousands of years, have been trying to isolate the process by which one element, the coarse, heavy, unimportant lead, can become another, beautiful, refined, and precious gold. I believe that, at long last, we are finally able to say that we have done it. What you are about to witness should stand in the history books alongside the development of the GATE drive. This machine, which I have named the "Philosopher's Stone", after the long-sought alchemical artefact, can undo the atomic structure of one compound and reorganize it into another. The final tweaks have been made, and I have pored over the extensive calculations one final time, and now, Gentlemen, the moment of triumph." "Open the primary diffusion channel, Jeff." The initial reactor began to hum and glow redly, causing a great deal of warmth to wash over the observers, but the secondary reactor, with its refinement coils, was glowing with a warm yellow light. After a few moments something began to happen. To the doctor's left, in the collection chamber, gold began to fall from the hose's mouth, gold, precious gold. "Eureka!" cried Dr. Ralter. "Incredible," said Mr. Suzuki, staring lustfully at the gold. Dr. Ralter could only smile as more and more gold collected in the chamber. "I've done it," he whispered. This build is not to be judged, but was made to acquire Alchemy for Kawashita Group. More pics:
  3. Henjin_Quilones

    [K - C09] Hangar 6

    Hangar 6 Location: C09 - Orinshi Tags: Spaceship Note to judges: the hangar itself is largely re-used, with the only changes being the reversal of the 9 for a 6 and some crates being rearranged, and thus should probably not be judged... The previous story: "Alright, Explorer Quilones, here we are," Commander Gorn was saying as the two men approached what was hopefully the correct hangar this time. "I have read the list properly and switched no numbers around this go around, see," he said showing the list to Henjin. "Very good, Sir," was all the annoyed explorer could say through his gritted teeth. The walk from 9 to 6 had been an unpleasant one, filled with inane chitchat about the commander's niece-in-law's newest child over on Lorstan II. Who cared that he could walk by the time he was two months old and could form complete sentences by four months? But the first sight of the ship through the hangar bay doors took Henjin's breath away and banished all negative thoughts he had been having about Gorn. Maybe the commander was not all bad... When they were inside they could see the lead engineer overseeing a technician putting the final touches on the exhaust piping. "No, no, two turns clockwise, you moron!" the engineer shouted. Engineers were always like that, Henjin realized, bossing everyone else around as though they did not know how to do their jobs. "Of course, Sir," said the technician. "But isn't this the reverse polarity exhaust filtrator, Sir? Thus having the coupling joined with counterclockwise turns?" "What?" asked the engineer in some surprise. "No, it isn't...wait, let me check...darn, you were right, Jim, it is counterclockwise." "Wow, is that one of the new models of walkie-talkie you have there," said Henjin to break the tension in the room. "One of the ones without the bulky handle and antenna?" "Why, yes, it is," said the engineer proudly. "They're calling them 'smarttalkies' with a really neat touchscreen and all of that, of course. Fit into a back pocket and everything." "Of course," agreed Henjin, looking down at his clunker of a field device. "So, is the ship ready for me?" "Sure is," said the technician, drawing a glare from the engineer. "You wanna start loading her up?" Henjin went over to the hatch and climbed up the ladder, putting his stuff inside. The backpack and walkie-talkie took up hardly any room in the spacious hold, so he was quickly out again and going over the checklist with the commander, ready to head out on his first off-world mission with the Kawashita Group in his brand new spaceship. What would he name her? He did not know yet, but it would have to be properly epic, like Tantive V, The Century Eagle, Servant I, or The Executive. Something cool like that... More pictures:
  4. VK-318

    [K - A06] Refurbishment

    Previously: Introducing Viktor Kramer Back in Business An Opportune Moment Special Orders Package Retrieved We Pillage, We Plunder, We Rifle and Loot ... Package Delivered An Unfortunate Oversight Season Unending To Love and Protect To the Pain Electrified Rosenhaus Assimilated Stardate 3816.5.6 Stardate 3816.12.6 Streitkeule Location: A06 Guinevere Tags: Civil Spaceship, Piracy ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Captain's Log, Stardate 3816.14.8 Approaching Guinevere, picked up an drifting ship by passive infrared scans. In answer to hails, the captain claimed to be awaiting landing clearance. Story not confirmed by port authorities. Ship did not answer further hails, so we moved to board. Some damage was sustained in the course of disabling the target ship's defenses. The #2 port shield generator suffered catastrophic damage, and two hull breaches formed - one in the port shield generator compartment, and one in the engine room. Additional damage was sustained by the starboard radiator plane. Aft hull breach and radiator damage will be repaired by the local company yards, while replacement of the shield generator will be managed at next fleet rendezvous - hull breach in that compartment will be allowed to remain until that time to facilitate generator replacement. Ship was found to contain a cargo of control chips for cybernetic slave collars, along with the associated signal processing hardware and control computers. In accordance with fleet policy, cargo was documented and re-sealed, and the hull was flagged for pick-up by a company shuttle. Crew will be delivered to port authorities for prosecution. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Captain, I have an incoming message." "Who is it?" "Caller identifies as Solomon Greene, sir." "I'll take the call." "Viktor! It's been a long time! How are you doing?" "Good to see you, Solomon. I'm doing well, thank you. To what do I owe the pleasure?" "Heard you signed up with the Kawashita Group?" "I have. I presume you're looking for a berth?" "Right you are. Got room for a former crewmate?" "Get passage to Orinshi and I'll stop by next chance I get. There's some hoops involved, but there should be no trouble. Say, what do you think of the uniform?" "Not bad, not bad! Looks a bit formal for you, though." "Notice anything different?" "No - wait, is that - what happened to your leg? You don't have a peg anymore!" "Bingo!" "Why'd you replace it?" "Two reasons. One, Kawashita paid for it, so that helps. And I'm going to be competing in the Andromeda Olympic Games, so I need a regular leg. It's within 5% capability of my other leg, so it's legal." "What will you be competing in?" "A few things. As far as the uniform goes, it's a dress uniform. Silvia and I are attending a ball celebrating the event. We've got a little work to do there." "Where's Silvia?" "Getting ready. Ah, here she is." "Good to see ya, Silvia!" "Solomon? How've you been?" "Not as well as you, seemingly!" "Well! Thank you, Solomon." "I hear you two have somewhere to be, so I'll be going. Best of luck, see you soon." "See you soon." The holoprojector was put down on the desk, and RT3-KU went about his business again. "Are you ready for this, my love?" The walking stick's tapping echoed on the tiles. "I think so. How do I look?" "Never better. Shall we be on our way?" "Why not?"
  5. VK-318

    [K-F09] Streitkeule

    Location: F09 Arium Minor Tags: Military, Spaceship ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ From: Agent Maeda To: Internal Affairs c/o Task Force Greengrocer Subject: Streitkeule - suspicious activities lead? ------------------------- Honorable Overseers: I have followed up the first shipyard contract, located within the Andromeda Galaxy. Results are likely positive. The shipyard in question has recently begun deliveries of a new model of starfighter. Full schematics are attached; a summary is here provided. The fighter design, named "Streitkeule," is a one-man heavy fighter. Its design is not Kawashita standard: aside from a few superficial similarities to existing designs, namely the two sets of four pylons, which seem to exist purely due to engineering necessities, it carries little of the Kawashita design philosophy. According to my research, the design name means "mace" in an archaik language called "German," and refers to the heavy, blunt, unbalanced weapon designed to penetrate armor. Whether the name is based upon some aesthetic similarity or a harmony of purpose is unclear. The cockpit is located at the extreme nose of the fighter. The ship is intended to dock in a position vertically aligned with the local gravitational field, meaning that any force not absorbed by the ship's acceleration dampeners will be in a direction that will least disorient the pilot. Control is via helmet-linked HUD - controls are projected onto the helmet's eyepiece lenses, and the movement of the pilot's hands to interact with their perceived location is tracked by the helmet and relayed to the ship's computer. In this way, all controls can be encrypted so that, should a vessel fall into the hands of hostile forces, interface with the computer will be difficult at best. Each Streitkeule is heavily armed. The four center pylons each bear a standardized weapon hardpoint, allowing a customizable loadout for different missions or task forces. The standard design shown here is equipped with two plasma cannons on the lower hardpoints, a missile launcher on the viewer's upper right, and a smaller-caliber rotary plasma cannon on the viewer's upper left. The nose of the fighter mounts an additional weapon: a small point-defense plasma turret with limited utility against enemy craft. The Streitkeule uses a tachyon thruster as its propulsion system - the four fin-like pylons surrounding the thruster mouth contain the electromagnets necessary to control the tachyon stream. This propulsion system was developed by multiple entities some time ago because of its usefulness as a FTL warp-style drive system, but was abandoned upon discovery of the GATE network as obsolete, being considerably slower at FTL than a GATE jump, and prone to catastrophic explosion should its drive system experience certain categories of malfunction. Note that standard combat damage almost never triggers this category of malfunction. Technical details can be provided if necessary. Twenty fighters have been delivered at the time of writing, and production is expected to accelerate. The full order is for two hundred. The source of funding for a project of this magnitude has been difficult to find. In addition to standard confidentiality regulations which had to be bypassed, the payments were made by a dummy holding which I have so far been unable to trace. The fighters are being delivered by employees of the purchaser. Upon the completion of a batch of ships, a group of trained pilots arrive and take custody of the ships for deliver. Each pilot appears to be of early middle age, and though they are equipped with what appears to be Kawashita-type flight suits, I suspect that they are not Kawashita-trained. They were not forthcoming with the location to which the fighters were to be delivered; however, a check of local flight plan registration showed their listed destination as "Rosenhaus." Pending further orders, I will continue my investigation with the next shipyard lead. With respect, Agent Maeda
  6. VK-318

    [K - G10] Stardate 3816.12.6

    Location: G10 Onix Tags: None ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Captain's Log Prisoners still in custody - dispatched to Onix in response to reports of pirate activity. Fleet intelligence advises suspected connection to band eliminated prior to formal hiring. Jump made in good time - traffic at Onix GATE continues to be low. Fleet intelligence indicates only known Octan traffic composed of weekly mail courier, one science ship departing, and some activity in low orbit en route to former pirate base. Assess as likely transit lockdown following earlier Kawashita activity in this sector - Octan fleet is far away and unable to provide significant support or escort, and most armed ships likely drawn to provide logistics for Octan-M.A.N.T.I.S. conflict elsewhere. Captain's Log, Supplemental I strongly doubt that FI is correct. Some visual footage of suspected pirate ships was provided, and the hull configuration does not match that of any vessels we encountered previously in the Onix sector. Of more interest is why pirates are raiding Kawashita shipping in Onix. There are several other sectors that are equally vulnerable, given the current disposition of the fleet, and almost none with less traffic than Onix. Certainly they would be more likely to be detected in other systems, but as a rule, in the sweet trade the important part is to get away, and being spotted in the process is unimportant. I do not care to speculate, therefore, concerning what might be these presumed pirates' motive for raiding in Onix. Diary of Silvia Kramer Viktor is worried about the word from the fleet. He's sure the fleet is wrong. I told him I was sure he had finished with the pirates before, and the fleet must be wrong. But he said he hoped it would turn out to be the same pirates. I wasn't sure what he meant, but I didn't get a chance to ask. The corporal came in with some questions for Viktor, and I had to let it go. I've been thinking, though, and I think I get it. Pirates from the base we visited would still be operating there while they try to recover and get re-organized. But new pirates in that system aren't looking for loot - they're looking for ships. That's why they haven't stopped the Octan mail courier - they want a Kawashita hull, and a merchant one, too. But why? The freighters that run those routes are tubs that only mount one turret! Captain's Log Encountered hostile activity in Onix system. Weapons fire was spotted over Onix's moon, concealed from the planet surface by the moon. Upon approach, conflict was identified as a battle between a Kawashita freighter and an unknown hostile craft. An attempt was made to hail both craft. Neither responded. We moved to approach, but before we arrived, contact with the freighter was lost. Thermal contact dropped off, followed a fraction of a second later by loss of radar and visual contact. Fate of freighter unknown at this time - fluctuations in local gravity commonly associated with GATE anomaly/drive failure not detected. Boarding party sent aboard hostile craft. Assessed as non-Human design and construction. No life signs detected during approach, and none found during thorough search. Assessment is difficult. Lacking evidence for clear-cut evaluation, hostile craft has been flagged as category-red quarantine zone. Transponder attached - reporting directly to Variga. Will inform fleet once more complete assessment of situation and threat posed by unknown craft are more complete. Have issued security ID cards to crew, and instituted automated checkpoints throughout vessel until further notice. Corporal Nodachi concurring. Captain's Log, Supplemental The corporal may not be useless. He agrees with my assessment. Someone or something far more advanced than ourselves has taken control of one of our freighters, and intends to use it for unknown purposes. Diary of Silvia Kramer I'm afraid, and so is Viktor. We're pirates, not soldiers, and this isn't our kind of mission. But I don't think we should tell the fleet. Then we might loose a line cruiser, or even a dreadnought. This way, if something does go really, horribly wrong, the Kawashita Group is only down one corvette, five people, and a couple of robots. Andromeda isn't quite our galaxy yet, and we don't know who or what is really out there, in the hundreds of systems not connected to the GATE network. May God help us all. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So, I bought a game called "Stellaris" a week or so ago. It's a sci-fi, 4X, grand strategy game that is devouring my life. This doesn't have anything to do with my build, or the plot arc I'm starting, except that I spent so much time playing that I never got around to building anything new for this week. So, I dug through my drawers of Legos and found some old ships that I build a few years ago and never shared here before. The green one is inspired by the Dragon Pod, from the X-Pod series of a decade or so back, and the Kawashita freighter is inspired by a Highlighter market and by General Grievous' flagship in Revenge of the Sith. C&C welcome.
  7. VK-318

    [K - C09] Stardate 3816.5.6

    Location: C09 Orinshi Tags: Civilian, Spaceship Note to judges: the micro Variga is reused and should not be judged. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Captain's Log Made landfall at Fleet HQ on Orinshi to pick up our zampolit. Corporal Nodachi's dossier lists him as a proficient sniper and distinguished officer after four years of service. During his service aboard the Variga, he is to have veto authority over the captain's actions under certain circumstances. Captain's Log, Supplemental The man is the most uptight, pretentious person I've ever seen carrying a sniper rifle. We shall have to hope that he will forbear from interfering too regularly with the command of my ship. Diary of Silvia Kramer Viktor and the new crewman hate each other. Since Nodachi's supposed to be on the bridge during combat, this could make things interesting. Will have to find something for him to do to make himself useful. If we're lucky, we might get until our next shore leave without anybody getting shot. Captain's Log Encountered suspect vessel in Orinshi system far orbit. Contact report filed with fleet command. Various requisitions made. Prisoners currently being held in the brig, pending delivery to the fleet. Mission Report - 3816 5 Junali Location: C09 Orinshi Mission: Interception; Search and Seizure. Target: Hull 38ACY-B9B - Bay Lines Fackrell-class Light Container Freighter Action Report: Encountered target in far orbit of Orinshi. Upon sighting, hailed, as orbital location atypical for craft awaiting commercial docking. Target reacted by initiating hard burn on thrusters toward sensor shelter of a nearby ring system. In accordance with standing vessel operating orders, engaged target as presumed smuggler or slave-trader. Intercepted successfully, and boarded with minimal hull damage. Boarding Report: Boarding party consisted of enlisted crewmen and Captain Kramer. Enemy crew: captain, supercargo, three enlisted. Due to armed resistance, lethal force was authorized by order of Captain Kramer. Two enlisted died from injuries sustained in boarding. Third enlisted attempted to escape through airlock - died due to vacuum suit malfunction. Body recovered for deliver to family. Captain and supercargo surrendered - latter suffered minor wounds during boarding. Post medical treatment, delivery to fleet is pending. Actual status of hull and crew as Bay Lines employees is unconfirmed but presumed valid - smuggling activity assessed as non-localized. After Action Report: Docked containers searched; contraband discovered. Quantities of chemicals not matching permitted standards contained in starboard container - analysis suggests unlawful recreational narcotic. Military-grade explosive ordinance found in ventral container. Food, medical materials, and various sundries requisitioned as per fleet policy. Hull flagged as military property and flagged with proper transponder - coordinates attached. Mission Status: SUCCESS Diary of Silvia Kramer "Various sundries" include: one-tenth of a dimensional ton of explosives, an as-yet uncounted cache of precious-metal coinage found in the supercargo's footlocker under a false bottom, and a collection of Bay Lines uniforms, passcards, and other items "just in case." It was my job to keep Nodachi busy on the bridge while the others brought the gear aboard. He is impossible to make small talk with. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ C&C welcome. Thanks for reading - I'm trying a new format.
  8. AG_Rosenhaus_01 Located in a clearing in the Orinshi jungles, few people know of the existence of this building. AG_Rosenhaus_02 Built in the shape of a cross or a T, the owner of the property is listed in documents only as, "K." AG_Rosenhaus_03 It is large enough to house an entire military base, but appears from the outside to be a civilian residence - a mansion of tremendous size. AG_Rosenhaus_04 The architects were sourced from the Milky Way, as Kawashita architects have little experience with rotundas and other such distinctly Western architectural styles. AG_Rosenhaus_05 There is, in fact, a front door, a very large one indeed on the ground level of the rotunda. However, at present it merely leads out onto grass - there is not another building or a road for hundreds of miles in any direction. AG_Rosenhaus_06 The building, listed in legal documents as "Rosenhaus," appears to be undefended - there are even trees and a fountain under the crystal dome that tops off the rotunda. The two layers of the rotunda below are composed mostly of balconies, including an open-air dining room and a running track that circles the rotunda on the third level. AG_Rosenhaus_07 Orbital imagery suggests that there may be military hardware concealed under the irregular surface of the larger dome. AG_Rosenhaus_08 The east wing of the mansion has a roof garden, which is in fact more like a grove of trees, around a square with a fountain. AG_Rosenhaus_09 On the other side, the west wing of the Rosenhaus boasts an outdoor pool. AG_Rosenhaus_10 The north wing is more mysterious. It is by far the largest portion of Rosenhaus, but is fitted with only one row of large windows. Orbital analysis indicates that the northern wall conceals a massive door, but it has never been seen to open. Whether some weapon or vehicle is contained within, or whether this is merely some sort of gigantic warehouse, is unknown. AG_Rosenhaus_11 The roof is used as a landing pad for ship identified as the Variga, suggesting that "K" stands for Kramer. A large elevator provides passage from the roof directly into the north wing, or there is a main entrance on the north side of the rotunda. AG_Rosenhaus_12 Efforts have been made by multiple parties to infiltrate or break into the Rosenhaus, so far without success. The difficulties involved are compounded by the use of a highly automated staff, making the use of a mole essentially impossible.
  9. VK-318

    [K - G10] Electrified

    Location: G10 Onix Tags: Civil Building Note: All parts of this build except the parts shown in the spoiler are re-used - that is, the main room, torture rack and restraints (but not the larger frame around it), and the two small implement-holders are all re-used, and therefore should not be judged. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "AAAAAAAAAAAAUGH!" "AAAAAAAAGHNOOOOOOO!" Clunk. "What was that?" "What the ..." Crack! Thud. Crack! Crash. "Silvia!" "That's far enough, Viktor." "Girault. You're going to pay for this." "I don't think so." "I don't know how you managed to get this far into my base without raising any alarms. For that matter, I don't know how you even managed to enter the system. But I really don't care. Torture is so much more effective when you it's somebody else suffering, and your wife has been most uncooperative." "No.. Please, no ..." "It's under control, Silvia." I fixed Girault with an icy gaze. "It won't take but a minute. In fact ..." If you want to break a standoff, do it in the middle of a sentence. In fact, do it in the middle of a conversation, if you have the option. It delays your opponent's reaction time by a critical fraction of a second. I snatched a hammer from the wall and threw it as hard as I could. He fired, of course, but his aim was off and I was already out of the way. Then the hammer struck him in the head and he collapsed limply. Not dead - just out cold. "... It's already taken care of," I finished. "Let me get you out of that thing, Silvia." "I can't move," she said weakly. "He's stuffed me full of drugs." "I know," I said. "T1-N1 had a chat with their computers while I was on my way. I'm so sorry, dearest. I came as fast as I could." "I'm just glad you made it," she said, sighing with relief as I loosed the restraints. I wrapped her in a cloak and cradled her in my arms. "Just one more thing to do, and then we can be going." With one arm already full, it was not easy to remove Girault's shirt, or to drag him up onto the torture rack, but I did it. He had loaded Silvia with stims to keep her conscious through the torture session, and the syringe he had been using was almost empty. I injected what was left of them into him, then waited for him to wake up. It only took a few seconds. "I'm sorry I don't have the time to properly thank you for everything you've done for my wife," I said, "but I hope you'll accept this parting gift. As soon as I'm gone, the Variga will destroy this base, and I don't plan on waiting around, so you probably won't have time to pass out from the pain, but you should be well entertained until you die. Goodbye, Girault." I pulled the lever, and the machine came to life. With Girault's screams echoing off the metal walls, I carried Silvia out and down the corridor. "Are there any more pirates here?" she asked. "I don't think so. T1-N1 sealed off most of the base, and I've lost count of how many people I've killed. My bolter's power clip must be about drained." She sighed. "I'm so tired. Can I rest now?" "Yes, dearest." I smiled. "Once we get back to the Variga, we're going to rendezvous with the fleet. They'll patch you up. You're safe now. You can rest all you like." "Thank you, love. I think I will." And she did. This week, I did two new builds that expand on something I did previously. I had more story to tell in this particular location than I could tell in one week, so I came up with some expansions that can stand as a build in their own right. They're in the spoiler. C&C welcome!
  10. VK-318

    [K - G10] To the Pain

    Location: G10 Onix Tags: Civil Building ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Boss? She's here." "You sure took long enough. Bring her in." "Silvia Kramer. Allow me to welcome you to my home, or at least, one small part of it. I hope you will enjoy your stay." "Save the pleasantries, Girault. You know my husband will be coming for you." "We'd better get down to business, then. Jason, would you do the honors?" "With pleasure, boss." "Now, now, Silvia. You shouldn't struggle like that - you've gone and gotten yourself a nasty bruise. This way, please." "Please make yourself comfortable, ma'am. We've got a lot to discuss." "Girault, you know Viktor. He's not going to let you get away with this." "I'm afraid he'll have no choice. Just this last week, we completed the installation of a new sensor relay station. If any ship comes out of the Gate, I'll know right away. Besides, no luxury cutter has the firepower to breach our defenses. "Humans have been in the business of inflicting pain on each other for such a very long time, but when the victim struggles, it can make a torturer's work so much harder. Awesomnium has provided us with an invaluable aid to this process. "This syringe contains an awesomnium-based solution that I think you'll find most interesting. We bought the original from a fellow called Laszlowe, from M.A.N.T.I.S. It was supposed to serve as a long-lasting sedative, a hibernation drug. But it didn't work quite as planned." "I - I - I can't move. I can't move!" "But you can still feel, can't you? That's the beauty of it. Your sensory receptors are still firing, but your brain can't send anything back but critical body functions. It's the perfect torturer's tool." "Don't do this, Girault." "I'm afraid I don't have much choice. I need the passcodes for the Kawashita Group's private Gates, and I don't have time to convince you to give it to me. This is quicker. "Also much more entertaining." "No - no, please - no - AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "Kramer to Variga, good work. I'm through the breach." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yep, we're still pretty dark over here. I promise I'll lighten up in a few more builds. The name is a reference to The Princess Bride.
  11. Location: G10 Onix Tags: Civil Building (Spaceship Interior) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Silenia, Zakec and I were waiting in the hold. The young man from the restaurant had been brought aboard, along with the remaining speeder. "Ugh," he groaned. "Where am I?" "You are aboard the ship Variga, and I am Captain Viktor Kramer," I said coldly. "You're just in time for your trial. Get up." "Trial? What? But - you're not a judge!" "This vessel is in the employ of the Kawashita Group, or did you not know that when you attacked me earlier? As the commanding officer of a military vessel, I am authorized to conduct rials and deliver sentences in a military tribunal." "The charges are assault and kidnapping. As the evidence is overwhelming, the verdict is, guilty. You are hereby sentenced to death by beheading." "But - but - death? I thought that was outlawed!" I whirled around. "You think that I care? You kidnapped my wife, you son of a Kre-O brick! And I'll do the same to every one of your filthy friends. Silenia here is a hypnotist - we already know everything you could tell us. I could lay a hundred more charges as bad as those two if I chose, but I don't really care. You're done. On your knees." "Zakec, clean that up." "Aye, aye, cap'n. Any preference what I do with it?" "Space it if you like." "You can eat it, for all I care, so long as I never see it again." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We were making a long, and fairly complex, series of GATE jumps, and taking the slow way in on our target to avoid detection. The ship was on auto-pilot, with the robots watching and ready to wake us if anything went wrong. We would need to be well rested if we were to have a chance at surviving our next mission. I, however, was not in a mood for sleep. I was standing at the bay window to the master bedroom, on the port bow of the Variga, when RT3-KU entered. "Sir, I have an urgent message from Kawashita HQ." "Who is it?" "Executive Ender's office, sir." I sighed. "Bring it up." "Greetings, Captain Kramer." It was the Executive himself, I noted with surprise. I wondered what could be so important. "Greetings, Executive. You must excuse my appearance - I was on my way to bed." I took the holocom from RT3 and signed for him to return to his post. "What can I do for you, sir?" "I have an assignment for you, but your ship has not reported back from leave." "Apologies, sir. I'm afraid the Variga is otherwise occupied." "Otherwise occupied?" "Have you received my report of the recent incident on Greater Direstan?" "It's been a busy day. Something involving an assault?" "Assault and kidnapping, sir." "..." "The victim was my wife, Executive." "I see." "We have interrogated the captured assailant, and determined that the location to which she is being taken is on Onix. That is where the Variga is headed at this moment." "I assume you know that this is tantamount to desertion? You swore an oath -" "Sir, before I accepted the deal Kawashita offered, I swore another oath. 'To love and protect?' With all due respect, I know exactly what I'm doing." There was a moment's silence. "We have intel on a pirate base on Onix," Ender said. "You and your crew don't have a chance." "Sir, as long as my wife is in the hands of those pirates and I have the means to rescue her, my duty is clear, 'as long as we both shall live.' I will report back as soon as my mission is complete. You may then, of course, take whatever disciplinary measures you see fit to impose. Should you not hear from me within the next two months, you may conclude that I live no longer, and can offer no further services to the Kawashita Group." "Understood. The decision, and consequences, are yours. But I wish you good luck. Good night, Captain Kramer." "Good night, Executive." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Going pretty dark again. Getting to see the other side of Viktor's personality. Two scenes for this one - I just had too much story to tell this week for one build to work. I hope that my use of Ender is accurate to his character - I did my best. All those tools are Lego original - they come from the same set as the Octan blazer in "Package Retrieved." I located this build on Onix because they are in the GATE system for the duration, and so not really "on" any world - Onix is their destination. If this is not acceptable, I will select A08 Crentium as the location. Comments and criticisms welcome, of course. Apologies for the image-heavy post - so much story to tell!
  12. VK-318

    [K-B08] Season Unending

    Location: B08 Greater Direstan Tags: Land Vehicle, Civil Building ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Although the Kawashita Group, and, to a lesser extent, M.A.N.T.I.S., has a strong presence on Greater Direstan, much of the colonization effort here has not been overtly affiliated with one megacorp or another. The Golden Rocket is an excellent example of this. Built a only a few short years ago, this establishment offers drinks, music, and relaxed dining, offering fresh-backed New York Style pizza - a delicacy among spacefarers, since the ingredients are too bulky to carry aboard warships, even ones such as the Variga, during extended cruises. Silvia and I were here for dinner. It was the last evening of our three weeks' leave, a special thank-you gift from branch executive Ender for the letter-perfect execution of our part in Operation Star-Lord. The details of what it entailed were above the pay grade of a crew of freelancers such as ourselves, but we must have pleased somebody back in the fleet, because leave time can be hard to find for special forces. It had been quite some time since Silvia and I had had a chance to sit down together for dinner. With the crew of the Variga being so small, we often had to cover different watches. That routine can take a toll on relationships, and I was glad of a chance to enjoy my beautiful wife's company and have a good time. Perhaps I was enjoying myself too much. I never heard the door open, and before I knew what was happening, I heard the low throb of a stun ray, and Silvia fell forward onto the table. My combat-trained reflexes kicked in, and I just avoided the second shot. There were four of them - two men, and two things that appeared to be robots. Even when on vacation, I am always armed. I rolled out of the booth and whipped out my concealed pistol. My first shot caught the younger man in the thigh, and he went down with a high-pitched cry. The two robots went down with a shot each, and I turned my attention to the remaining man. To my horror, he had dropped his own weapon and hauled Silvia out of the seat. He was on his way out the door, dragging her behind him. I struggled past the robots and the moaning form of the young man and burst out the door - just in time to see my dearest's unconscious form stuffed unceremoniously into the front of one of a pair of brightly-colored speeders, followed a moment later by the mustachioed man. The engines were already running, and before I could stumble down the steps and catch hold of the speeder, it was gone. I fired after it, but in vain. My small pistol had no accuracy at range, and the speeder was gone in seconds. I touched the communicator at my belt. "Variga, two and a speeder to pick up at these coordinates. This is a code red." "As of this moment, we are at war." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My biggest minifig-scale build yet - also my biggest and most detailed interior yet. I planned on building a flower garden between the foundation and the pavement, but I ran out of time and energy. The speeders are my first minifig-scale vehicle in years. I build the micro version (kinda blurry, will have to get a decent picture of it up tomorrow), and then decided I would need minifig-scale version or two. I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out, considering that's not exactly my area of expertise. There have been so many great versions of Viktor Kramer's face over time - I'm really enjoying being able to tinker with his expressions now. "Season Unending" is a reference to The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  13. Location: G10 Onix Tags: Exploration ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "I think I've found it, boss!" "Looks like a Kawashita probe, alright. The sensor dome's still intact!" "Good. We'll need that." "Bot, crack the dome open." "Wouldn't it be simpler just to take the whole thing back with us, boss? I bet Octan would pay well for something like that." "Trust me, Jason, we don't want Octan to know we've been here. See that little green thing in there? It's this probe's onboard computer. That would tell us what ship launched this probe." "So what?" "Let me ask you something, Jason. Which would be better: finding a space probe that we can't use and can't safely sell, for fear of getting turned in for theft of proprietary technology? Remember, Octan and Kawashita aren't at war any more. Or, getting our hands on Viktor Kramer? And the navigational codes for the entire Kawashita Group quadrant?" "The second one, of course. But what's the connection, boss? I don't get it." "What do you think the odds are, eh? A red and black ship captures Dr. Gregorovich, a top Octan scientist, and his top-secret prototypes. Then, out of the middle of nowhere, a Kawashita probe shows up, in the very same system where Gregorovich got grabbed. Pretty interesting, no?" "How do you know it was Kramer?." "I saw the footage of the ship. Octan may not know what the ship is, but I do. It was the Variga - I'd stake my life on it. This little thing is what's finally going to let us get our hands on Kramer - and maybe a few nice secrets with it? Bots, push this dome into the lava. We don't want Octan to figure out we were here. Let's get back to the ship and see what this baby can tell us."
  14. VK-318

    [K-TECH] Spaceship Mastery

    From: Major Kartofski To: CEO Raven Subject: Status Report - Project Star-Lord ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We have taken delivery of the package, and work has begun on Project Star-Lord. The work is proceeding quickly. We are currently using the standard Octan mounts for Dr. Gregorovich's propulsion designs - however, due to structural integrity issues caused by design conflicts between Octan and Kawashita conventions, especially when implemented in a dreadnaught-scale vessel, we are currently operating an ancillary project to develop new mount designs of greater practical value. The hull is currently unpainted. We anticipate that Dr. Gregorovich will remain with us for a further week - until that time, only Spyrius equipment and techs are present, as per your orders. Our initial assessment, supported by small-scale tests, indicate that Dr. Gregorovich's work on direct-conversion power sources will provide an immediate 7% increase in power supply capacity in allied vessels if properly implemented. Retrofitting of direct-conversion reactor plants could yield efficiency increases in excess of 45% for dreadnaught-scale vessels or land-based reactor facilities. Benefits will be smaller for smaller vessels, but are expected to remain significant at all output levels. My commendation to the crew and captain of the Variga. Dr. Gregorovich was delivered unharmed and in full health and, as nearly as we can make out, good spirits. How Octan Corporation's scientific community is able to flourish with such ... difficult individuals at its heart is a subject worthy of further study. The design prototypes the Variga delivered were also in sterling condition, and have proven invaluable to the rapid completion of Project Star-Lord. Approximately two weeks of construction remain. Much of the superstructure has been completed, and currently the pace of construction is limited primarily by available surface area for work. After completion of the vessel, approximately two further weeks for trials and testing will be required. You will be notified when the this period commences - we look forward to turning Project Star-Lord over to Kawashita for its shakedown cruise as quickly as possible. The designs you have provided for "flying hand" construction vehicles have been invaluable in this phase of the construction process. While the inclusion of a second thumb is an ... interesting choice, there can be little doubt that much is owed to the versatility of this design. Project Star-Lord is currently running 17.5 hours ahead of schedule, with no major obstructions anticipated. Go forward with honor.
  15. VK-318

    [K-B06] Package Delivered

    Location: B06 Sorn Tags: Civil, Building, Water Vehicle ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The nice thing about a water world like Sorn is that it has far more usable surface area than a dryer world like Onix. In addition to the planetary surface, many facilities are build submerged in the water or on the seafloor. Many of these are hydroponic farms, but some are research labs. Differences in pressure, buoyancy of materials and staff, and relative safety from espionage satellites and spacecraft are just a few of the reasons for building dry or flooded laboratories in the seas of Sorn. "Is that were you're taking me, then?" "Yes. Spyrius has arranged for you to be delivered here. Once you have completed your work with them, you will be provided compensation, as well as funds sufficient to buy you passage anywhere you want to go." "Spyrius?" "Yes, Spyrius. They're an old company - been around almost as long as Exploriens. They did robotics and stealth technology. They were not, however, a very large business, and a nasty sequence of media disasters more or less finished them. They still have plenty of facilities in the Milky Way, and even a few out here, but they've never really been able to compete. This operation is their bid for a comeback." "How long will this take?" "Not very, I shouldn't think. I'm told that most of what they need is contained in that cargo we took from your courier ship, and the rest shouldn't take long. They don't need to you build anything for them - all they want is your theories." "As if they would tell you," Gregorovich muttered. "I don't take a job until I know all the details," I said. "You will be treated well, and you will be on your way home as soon as possible." "I'll believe that when it happens." I shrugged. "Again, it's your choice. The more you cooperate, the quicker this whole process will be, but I assure you that no one is sending you home until Spyrius has all the information they need from you." "Spyrius?" Silvia asked, after Dr. Gregorovich and his cargo had been left with Spyrius agents. "Yes, didn't I tell you? I was sure I did." "No, sweetheart, you forgot again." "Oh, bother. Sorry. Yes, Spyrius really is a corporation - or was. The Kawashita family bought them up quietly a long time ago - they're a puppet company, but the ownership, I'm told, is buried in seventeen layers of trust funds and holding companies. They still conduct research - things like spaceship design, stealth technologies, alternative propulsion, and the like." "Okay, I get that, but why bother?" "Generally speaking, I would say that it's helpful to have alternate companies to conduct any research you'd rather not be caught doing. In this specific case, the only people Dr. Gregorovich will see, speak to, or hear about will be employees of Spyrius - and ourselves, and he thinks we're mercenaries. Octan doesn't have a file on us and our crew yet, and it could be quite some time before they do. By the time they figure out what was stolen from them and by whom, it'll be to late for reprisals." "Clever." "I know, isn't it? We have no new orders for the time being, and that last mission gave us a splendid little bonus. Set a course, won't you?" "Where to?" "I'm not particular. Somewhere you'd like to go." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Didn't have as much time to work on this as I hoped. The water is not something I'm very proud of. Please note that the Variga is from a previous build and not to be judged.
  16. Location: G10 Onix Tags: Spaceship, Building, Exploration ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Onix. A harsh, inhospitable world - alas, such worlds are common in this foreign galaxy. What little of its surface is not tortured by volcanism is stalked by the strange and hideous wildlife of this hellish globe. "Where are you taking me?" Doctor Gregorovich was proving to be a rather annoying passenger. I suppose it made sense that, with such an inquisitive nature, that he would be such a great scientist, but that, combined with his arrogance, was not endearing him to any of us. Even the robots disliked him. "Nowhere yet. With Kawashita still so close by, your people will have all the Gates closely watched." "Why are we flying over a lava plain?" "We're not. Sending the signal now." "What is this place? Octan didn't build it. Who did? "Rum smugglers." "They build it a few years ago - killed this volcano by drilling it a new vent ten miles from here, cleared away the ash and basalt, and put in a little base with stealth and heat shields." "Where are the smugglers now? This ship doesn't seem like a smuggler." "With the little flash-in-the-pan of a war a few weeks ago, the smugglers decided they needed to clear out. They left the base, though, in case they got a chance to come back after things cool down a bit. I made a deal with the smugglers - got the access codes to turn the stealth on and off. Everything still works." "So you're just parking the ship here? Next to a volcano?" "You don't park a ship, you berth her. And yes. We should be quite safe here, until it's time to leave. I'm being well payed to see you delivered unharmed, and I don't intend to risk you or my ship, let alone my wife, in a structure I don't trust completely. You're safer here than aboard one of your own starships." "So it seems." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Yes, I really did build two nearly-identical micro volcanoes. The title's a Pirates of the Caribbean reference, if you were wondering. If any of what I built is too small for a tag, that's okay. I'm in this for the storytelling and the building, not the points.
  17. VK-318

    [K-G10] Package Retrieved

    Location: G10 Onix Tags: Building (Spaceship interior), Piracy Note that both micro spaceships have appeared in previous builds and are therefore not to be judged. They are presented here for narrative purposes. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ When our probe reported the detection of the Octan courier, we moved in. We accelerated to a high speed, then cut engines as we approached thermal imaging range of the target. We would have to be very close before they could pick us up if our thrusters were not burning, and by that time it was too late. I fired the harpoons and made our ship fast to theirs, and, after a few moments of chaos as the two ships, moving in very different directions, adjusted to a single trajectory, we began the docking procedure. Naturally, the Octan ship did not open its airlock for us, but any good pirate ship is equipped with special mating collars on its airlocks that can make an airtight seal against the hull of another ship while the airlock itself is forced. While our two new crewmates and RT3-KU boarded and subdued the small enemy crew, Silvia and I waited at the controls, in case we had to make a hasty exit. No one has ever credibly accused Octan employees of cowardice, but the skeleton crew aboard this courier were far outmatched. It was only a few minutes before the crew was rounded up and disarmed. Silvia and I boarded at once. "Captain, we've captured the captain, the pilot, and a security guard," Zakec, the Red Zoid told me. " 'Er Ladyship is looking for the scientist." "Check the main hold for a cargo crate marked CTK401," I told him. "Get it aboard the Variga." "Aye, aye, Captain." "How did you know we had a scientist aboard? And why do you want him," the pilot demanded. "Are you slavers?" The ship's captain stared straight ahead, the very picture of discipline. I hoped that this incident wouldn't hurt his career too badly -- he seemed a decent man. So too for the young, red-haired pilot, who was trembling with what was probably equal parts fear and rage. I hoped Zakec had not been too rough with her. He did have a reputation. "No." I shook my head sternly. "I've killed more of those scum than you'll ever meet, unless you're very unlucky. Dr. Gregorovich will be returned to his family alive and unharmed as soon as possible." The soldier on her left wasn't buying it. His scowl was probably intended to be unsettling, but it just came off as annoying. "I've found our scientist," Silenia, the alien mystic, said. "NO!" It was the soldier. "You're not getting away with this!" *ZOW!* *thud* "Is he all right?" Silvia asked. "He's still alive, but bleeding badly," the pilot gasped. She was in shock. The captain remained where he stood, his expression unchanged, but his face had paled a little. I nodded. "He'll make it. As soon as we're off your ship, activate your emergency distress beacon. I expect rescue vessels are on high alert, with the Kawashita fleet so close by. The stimpacks in his armor should keep him all right until them. Keep him warm and comfortable until a doctor arrives." "What is the meaning of this?" Dr. Gregorovich had found his voice at last. "Is this some sort of abduction?" I looked him dead in the eye. "Depends on how hard you make it, Doctor. If you come quietly, you can remain conscious. Otherwise, we can knock you out and drag you with us. You will not be asked to take up arms against Octan, or against anyone for that matter. We want some information, and you can provide us with it. In return, you will be well compensated, as will your wife and children in your absence. I didn't want the first casualty, and I don't want any more." "This will be much easier and more painless if you cooperate with us rather than fight us." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
  18. VK-318

    [K-G10] Special Orders

    Location: G10 (Onix) Tags: Spaceship ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ One of the pros of working for a big organization like Kawashita instead of freelancing is all the extra equipment. Take these search drones. Only about six feet long, fully automated to search a star system for a given target. They are equipped with a small onboard reactor, making them capable of independent flight, but, as you might imagine, a hull so small does not permit including a Gate drive. Still, they remain much, much faster than manually scanning an entire star system from your own ship. One of the cons of working for a big organization like Kawashita instead of freelancing is that, while a freelancer doesn't much care who he raids, so long as they're lightly armed and carry valuable cargo, Kawashita occasionally sends along orders to raid a specific vessel. In this case, we're looking for a courier, which Fleet Intel assures us is bound out of the Onix system any day now. Thing is, Octan is getting jittery, what with our fleet hanging so close on their borders, and especially so in the Onix system. Any sight of an unfamiliar vessel and the courier would run straight back home, carrying its priceless cargo with it. So, we're hanging just past 30 AU, with drones (too small to read on radar or thermal imaging from the planet's surface) keeping watch for the target. Guess Fleet Intel was right after all. For the moment, they're doing dead slow - probably they suspect some sort of ambush, and are trying to keep thermal emissions down. Too late for that. We're on their tail, between them and the Gate. Octan, here we come ...
  19. Location: Arium Minor (F09) Tags: Building, Piracy, Civil -------------- Have you ever tried to walk silently with a peg leg? It's not easy, especially on metal flooring. But, in my business, you take whatever chance offers itself, whether easy or not. The Kawashita fleet had rendezvoused with an alien fleet, ostensibly for diplomatic purposes. Honestly, I didn't know much about why they were really meeting, nor did I care. All that mattered to me was the opportunity it presented. If we were planning on engaging in serious piracy, we needed a bigger crew - and I had a couple of people in mind. All I had to do was break them out of prison. "What've you got there?" "Prisoner transfer from the fleet," the arriving guard said. "Orders said the place is gettin' crowded, so these two'll be sharing a cell." "Hear that, lady?" the insectoid guard said. "An old friend's here to visit." "Well, well. Finally caught you, did they?" This was taking a long time. I needed one of the guards to come a little closer to me. "Step away from the door, witch!" the insectoid said. I heard his footsteps on the floot. Now. I choked up my grip on my staff and, as I stepped out, I swung it as hard as I could. My aim was good. The insectoid fell without a sound - dead or unconscious, I didn't know, nor did it matter. The prisoner dropped forward, out of the line of fire. The green-skinned female was rattled. Her one shot went wild - then I drilled her. She fell with a hiss. Definitely dead. I helped the bug out of his handcuffs, and we quickly moved the bodies out of the way. "Viktor Kramer! Can't say I expected to see you here," he growled. "Why did you come all the way out here? I doubt it was just for fun," the woman in the cell purred. "I've got a little proposition for you," I said. "Open this door, and let's discuss it." "I want you two to join my crew." "Piracy?" the bug said, twitching his mouthparts into what I guessed was a grin. "Privateering. We're working for the Kawashita Group, and I could use a few hands for the Variga." The woman shrugged. "What are we waiting for?" -------------- P.S. Not completely sure about the Piracy tag. Do rescued prisoners count as being "stolen"?
  20. This post is intended to introduce my character in "Andromeda's Gates," and also to briefly introduce his companions. It is not intended to be counted or scored for the contest itself! AG_Intro_crew_01 by David Hansen, on Flickr At age 25, Viktor Kramer has had a rather full life. When he was sixteen, he was pressed into service in a pirate crew. He took to it well, and rose from a lowly technician to being the crew's quartermaster in five short years. At age twenty-one, he lost his leg in a boarding action, and had it replaced with a peg. It is made of a titanium alloy, covered in a hard, matte synth-wood coating to make it quieter and less reflective. A year later, he retired from pirating with a pardon, and used his share of the bountiful plunder to have a ship of his own constructed: the Variga. It was completed just months ago - the same day that an old friend from his pirating days got in touch with him. Now an agent of the Kawashita Group, his friend offered him a bargain. In these days of thinly-veiled war between the great corporations, privateering can be a profitable enterprise indeed, and with his newly-wedded wife Silvia, Kramer prowls the Andromeda Galaxy, wielding his customized F-11D plasma bolter in search of plunder once again. AG_Intro_crew_02 by David Hansen, on Flickr Far from being just another pretty face, Silvia Kramer has been flying since she was tall enough to reach the controls of a hovercar. Thanks to the advanced automation provided by Kawashita Group, the Variga needs only two human crewmen, and while Viktor operates the guns, Silvia pilots the ship with an expert hand and a pirate's flair. She, too, was once a pirate - she was pilot for a year aboard Viktor's ship, while Viktor was an engineer. When they retired from piracy, she invested with him to make the Variga a possibility. Now twenty-four years old, she wields her pistol with lethal accuracy in the service of Kawashita Group. AG_Intro_crew_03 by David Hansen, on Flickr A venerable but efficient product of the Kawashita Group, RT3-KU is a factotum robot, designed with a human-like shape so as to easily perform tasks originally intended for humans. Not everything can be retro-fitted with automation, so factotums like RT3-KU are used to fill in the gaps. With strength greater than that of most humans, he wields a massive laser rifle in combat to aid Kawashita Group in achieving its goals. AG_Intro_crew_04 by David Hansen, on Flickr T1-N1 is a robot technician so old that, although its logic systems remained functional, its body was entirely obsolete when Viktor joined his first pirate crew. The enterprising technician found ways to improve the old chassis, and now it follows him everywhere. Within its oddly-shaped body are a myriad tools, from cutting torches and welding gear to basic medical gear and even an AED. It serves its master dutifully in the struggle against M.A.N.T.I.S. and the Octan Corporation. AG_Intro_variga_01 by David Hansen, on Flickr The Variga. Originally to be painted all black, she now wears the colors of the Kawashita Group. AG_Intro_variga_06 by David Hansen, on Flickr Originally designed to transport a few wealthy passengers in luxury, the Variga is somewhat larger than many vessels of her type, but this is of little concern to her captain. She is approximately to scale with the microfigure in this picture. Within her armored hull, however, she holds luxurious cabins, a well-appointed kitchen, a small library, and even a swimming pool. But she is also equipped with an advanced sickbay and a small garden and poultry farm tended by robots, allowing her to remain comfortably in space for weeks or months at a time if need be. AG_Intro_variga_04 by David Hansen, on Flickr She is well armed, too, carrying two plasma turrets and a forward missile turret, granting her firepower not often found on ships of this size - a reflection of the piratical origins of her owners. AG_Intro_variga_03 by David Hansen, on Flickr Only a fool operates in hostile territory without shields, and the shield generators on the Variga are the finest generally available. She is also equipped with several different types of communications antennas - it's a lot easier to find your next target if you can pick up its transmissions. AG_Intro_variga_05 by David Hansen, on Flickr The Variga's three massive thruster pods were some of the most expensive components included in her design. Although she certainly can't compete with cutters or small fighters and bombers, the Variga can generally show her heels to anything she can't take head-on. P.S. The Variga's design is derived from that of Eurobricks member Anio's UCS Republic Cruiser model. If you're interested, it's well worth checking out the album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.c...157628682301835. He has made instructions available for a very moderate price. P.S.S. I am returning to Eurobricks after a long absence due to college and other real-life responsibilities. I am trying to adhere to the rules of Andromeda's Gates, but it is quite possible that I have overlooked something. If so, please let me know and I will correct it at my first opportunity. Thanks!
  21. VK-318

    [K-F10] Back In Business

    Location: F10 Arium Major Tags: Piracy, Vehicle, Spaceship, Military Rumors of war were everywhere. The Kawashita Group had its fleet stationed over Arium Major, and nerves everywhere were on edge. The planetary governor of Arium Major, fearing an attack and lacking the fighter cover to protect both ground facilities and the water convoys, had broken up the conveys. Tankers now flew solo, departing from a number of points in a variety of directions. Perfect for foiling a fleet attack. But I wasn't planning anything that massive. With a small crew, of course, boarding ships was something to be avoided. But there are other ways of taking an enemy ship's cargo, especially when that cargo happens to be water. "There's our target." "Accelerate to attack speed, and give me a target vector." "On what? The turret?" "No, the tank! Remember the plan?" "So, you're planning on getting us shot?" "Just do it , before they spot us and send fighters!" "I'm clear! Firing the plasma cannons now!" "Ha! Direct hit!" "That's great, now can we take out the turret? You know, so they don't shoot us back ?" "Bit late for that! Evasive action!" "Aye, aye, Captain Obvious! SHOOT THE @#^& THING, will you?" "Firing plasma cannons!" "Is it a hit?" "It's a hit. Man, this thing works like a dream!" "What's that? Near where we hit the tank." "Looks like they've sprung a little leak. Bring her alongside while I ready a mooring cable." "We're coming alongside. Aim a bit farther forward - we don't want to get tangled in the tanker." "Cable's away! Looks like their cargo is coming clear quite nicely. Wouldn't want it all to freeze before it comes out of the hold, now would we?" "Looks like the cable's caught in the ice." "Perfect! Just a few more minutes and we should be ready to go." "All right, that looks like all of it. Shall we be going now?" "I think so. Wouldn't want Octan to come along and ruin our little party, would we? I'll signal the fleet and let them know where to pick up our little package." My first weekly build. I'm experimenting with the storytelling style that seems to be going around, but it's pretty image-intensive. I think I got the tags right ... *Edited 1/31/2016 to correct plot exposition regarding war.
  22. mccoyed

    [K - C09] Swift Reprisal

    Garden Path Orinshi - 3185 Dr. Markham knew what he was doing was dangerous. Especially now. But the money was too good... and the retirement package? Wow! Still, he would be lying if he didn't admit to a tiny twinge of regret when he realized what was following him. But maybe it's his imagination. Maybe he's just so afraid KG knows his plans that he is seeing things that aren't there. Yeah, that must be it... Koro kept pace easily, hopping from Torii to Torii. He even let Markham see him, just once, his neon blue cyborg's grin flashing like a jack-o-lantern. Scary stuff. But for disloyalty, Dr. Markham deserved to be frightened at the very least. A tingle in his ear warned him that Narbilu-sama was checking on his status. He reported, sending his thoughts through the interface to be translated as a voice in Narbilu-sama's ear, wherever he was in Andromeda. He requests direction... does Kawashita find the rumors of Markham's treachery to be compelling enough to demand he pay the ultimate price? Narbilu-sama confirms the Kill Order, and Koro stops playing with his prey. He drops down from the Torii to strike while Dr. Markham is trying to decide what kind of orbital yacht to buy with his ill-gotten gains. Kawashita accepts no traitors, and today, Koro is Kawashita's closed fist of swift reprisal. Alternate Shot: