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  1. 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:
  2. rodiziorobs

    [M - C02] Come Sail Away

    Dhjsdjcjd Location: C02 (Hunston) Tags: n/a Previously... I've come to help you. Even after I took you hostage and held a sword to your throat, huh? No. I mean yes, I mean... I don't say this kind of thing often, but I appreciate it. That Seliman is a piece of work, if you hadn't intervened she might have killed me by torture a few minutes ago. Wait...she tortured you? Oh my gosh! What happened to your leg? That's her. She did that in just a few minutes. Look, I'm tough, and I've been around, but I've never seen a weapon like she had. Oh no, that means... Listen. Things aren't what they seem around here. There have been some rumors about a kind of underground crime ring here at MANTIS. I never believed them but suddenly a lot of things are making sense. Like why Seliman let a convicted slaver escape? Exactly. If the rumors are true, then she probably won't let you leave no matter what the general may have said. But I am pretty sure I can get you out. How? That's what I came to talk to you about when I first arrived on the Strata, but I've realized more about you now. It's about Scorpio? ************************** ************************** There, Farrs? Do you see? She kind of responded. In a trance like sort of way. I see it. Try again... ************************** ************************** Why yes, how did you... Scorpio? I knew it. You are his sister, aren't you? Yes, I am. Is he here? I thought I heard him. Scorpio I'm here! Where are you? Oh...dear. Sorry to break the news to you, but...Scorpio...he's dead. What?! ************************** ************************** Farrs, how can I figure out exactly where I am? I told you, you are Here. But...where is everything else? Everything...Else..? Yes, you can see the universe above but how do we get there? I need to find where my sister really is; this is kind of her, but more like a ghost of her. I have a feeling she isn't really here at all. I have heard of a Place far away toward the center of Nowhere but I have never been. Do you have a way we could try and get there? Yes. I will come with you. There is nothing really for me Here any more anyway. Perhaps Somewhere Else will bring me new purpose. ************************** ************************** Farrs' ship was unlike any Scorpio had ever seen. It looked like a sort of gondola, but Scorpio could see no way that it stayed aloft. He and Farrs loaded Arsenica's cot into it and then climbed on. Farrs guided the ship to where Scorpio directed. He didn't know where he was going, but he had to solve the mystery of what had happened. More pics and stuff below. ************************** ************************** I had wanted to build the scene between Jex and Arsenica but there wasn't time. I really liked the way the gondola turned out, but it was a remarkable pain to photograph. I had to counter the weight of the ship with a PAB cup in the back behind the cloud backdrop, which threw off my already poor photo space. AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 69 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr In the end, I knocked everything off my table to the ground, including the ship C&C always welcome!
  3. rodiziorobs

    [M - C02] Past and Parallel

    Location: C02 (Hunston) Tags: Military Building Recap: Previously, Jex had gone to the MSS Strata to find more information about Scorpio's missing sister so that she could receive his final belongings after his funeral, including several weeks' worth of back pay. While there, she discovered that Scorpio had caught a prisoner, which, according to MANTIS' prisoner regulations, made him ultimately responsible for the prisoner's fate. Before Jex was able to interrogate the prisoner, there was a breakout in which two slavers--who had hidden their acts by disguising themselves as Zoids--tried to escape. Scorpio's prisoner had also escaped her cell and, in an apparent act of revenge against the slavers, killed one while the other managed to get away in the ensuing chaos. To bargain for her own freedom, the prisoner had then taken Jex hostage until General Teague had shown up and settled the scene. In the hours that ensued, mysterious forces set themselves to discover who this prisoner was, and how she might present a threat to their unsavory operations. Meanwhile, Scorpio has awoken, but is not sure where or when, or most perplexing, how. **************** The prisoner was muscled into a small room and cuffed to a chair. A woman entered the room, whom she recognized to be Seliman, the commander who had halted the prison break."You cannot keep me here!" she shouted. "Your general himself granted me clemency when I swore to hurt no MANTIS personnel, and that my only wish was to catch that scumbag slaver you let escape!" "Yes, but the general isn't here now, and I need information you might have..." Seliman responded, brandishing a glowing red prod. The prisoner noticed that it looked nothing like any MANTIS technology she had ever seen. "Tell me who you were working for when you were taken prisoner." "I answer to no one," came the terse reply. "Not anymore." "Then why are you listed in our records as being a Kawa prisoner, yet were initially apprehended in an Octan uniform?" The prisoner said nothing. "Tell me!" Seliman roared as she jammed the prod into the prisoner's leg. She screamed as the rod burned her flesh. ********** "Do you see?" Farrs Farkas inquired. "Come closer! She is more restless than ever!" Scorpio looked on helplessly. "Should we wake her?" he asked. "I don't know if it would kill her," Farrs replied. "I knew it was safe to awaken you because your color had returned." ********** Seliman waited a few moments, then stabbed the prisoner with the rod again, in the same spot. "Tell me who you are connected with in Andromeda," she asked simply. "As you have been in this prison for over a year, I am guessing that no one will come even notice if you never turned up again. But I am curious, and the people I work for even more so, so I am going to give you one more chance." The prisoner managed to see through the blinding pain and looked up at her captor. And remained speechless. "Fine then, the hard way it is." Seliman raised the rod, almost bringing it down on the prisoner's chest, when a voice interrupted through the intercom. /\/\/"Seliman, we have an urgent order from General Teague. The prisoner has a guest--a Ms. Jessica DuBois--who has requested an immediate visit. General said to comply ASAP."/\/\/ "Don't you think we're through here..." Seliman groaned as she walked out. To the guards she said,"take the cuffs off and put her in visiting room C." ********** "She stopped. She is peaceful once more...what does that mean?" Scorpio wondered aloud. AG week 68 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr "Perhaps her bad dream is over," Farrs mused. Scorpio thought to himself. The last time he had seen his sister she was a prisoner at MANTIS. He hadn't had a chance to negotiate her release before Laszlowe had sent him on that fool's errand. What had happened there? He had been spying on Octan with Jex, when they had escaped on their boat and ... Oh no. He remembered suddenly. The crushing pain, the suffocating vertigo, the slow agony and tears and then... ...and then nothing. That was it then. He was dead. Except he wasn't. Obviously, he was still here. Or, he was Here, as Farrs had said. And if he had died, Jex would probably be Here, too. Unless of course she had survived. But then why was his sister Here? "I'm going to try and wake her," he said, over Farrs Farkas' protestations. **************** Even though the vignette is small, C&C is always welcome!
  4. Location: C02 Hunston Tags: n/a "Wake up, Virginia," a voice called, from the other side of a dream. "You must wake up." One by one, conscious thoughts came drifting into focus, the drowsy fog lifting and chasing sleep from his eyes. He heard a different voice mumbling, a voice that was familiar and yet that he had not heard for what seemed like ages. After a few moments, he realized the mumbles were his own, and managed to twist them into a single word: "Wut?" Followed by a more distinct "Who?" The first voice, clearer now, gave the reply: "Ha ha, why it is you, Virginia! You are finally coming to. Good." He understood the words spoken, but had no idea what they were supposed to mean. He opened his eyes, but the misty sunlight made him close them again. As his brain struggled to decode the sudden flood of information from his long-dormant senses, he sat up from where he had been lying, pushing off the sort of gauzy blanket that had covered him. Eyes still closed, he turned to where the voice had come from. "But I'm not...I'm name is not Virginia," he stuttered. "My name name is..." As he cast his mind around for this once-known fact, he opened his eyes and looked up at the being who had woken him. If he hadn't been so disoriented he might have been startled at the sight of the four-armed man before him. Instead, he simply kept staring, and said, "Scorpio. My name is Scorpio." "Scorpio, not Virginia? A pity, I liked Virginia better. Although the others suggested even more unusual names, I suppose it makes sense that your real name be the most unusual of all." Scorpio was thoroughly confused, and wasn't altogether sure he wasn't still dreaming. The four-armed man continued. "My name is Farrs Farrkas. I was once a chieftain of my people, and I have been looking over you since your arrival." "My arrival...? How long have I been here? And where is here? Scorpio inquired. "You are simply here. Where all Things are. Although we have rarely seen anything such as you here. You have been here for several months by our reckoning. "Several months...?" Scorpio's mind was going wild, searching for anything to connect to, when he was interrupted by Farrs: "Your companion arrived at the same time, but she has not shown any inclination to awakening yet." Companion? Scorpio looked over to the other side of his cot. There, also lying prone, was his sister. His sister, Arsenica, whom he had not seen in years. What has happening? Then he noticed the scar on her face and it all came rushing back: his captivity in Octan, the transfer through the Gate system. The swirling green vortex was the last thing he remembered seeing, usually the Gates weren't green, were they? What had happened? The woman who had captured him had been his sister all along? How had he not recognized her? He turned back to Farrs. "Where did you say I was?" "Where all Things are. We have never given it a name because it is where we have always been. Except that...after you arrived, my people were broken. Conflict, which had never been known before. They all left in an exodus and are no longer Here." "Your people all left you? Why? Where did they go?" "Come sit with me in the bowery. Eat. Drink. I will tell you." "We have been observing your activities--your people's, I mean--and many of my people saw your arrival as an omen. They saw their own doom as your people transversed the realm you had overrun to arrive in ours. They said they were leaving Here to establish a New Here. I suppose they are now Someplace Else." As he spoke, Farrs gestured to the sky, where Scorpio could see faintly in the clouds several small spheres with invisible lines connecting them. It took him a moment before he recognized what it was he was looking at. He recognized Torresta, and saw that he was probably on a world correspondingly close to that. Or something. Scorpio looked at the heavens, then back to the motionless form of his sister, and then back to Farrs. "So, what do we do?" "I was going to ask you the same question, Virginia." "I told you, my name is not Virginia, please don't call me that. It's Scorpio, okay?" "Sorry. That is what my people elected to call you when they were still here. I will try and remember. Scorpio." "Thanks." Scorpio felt an unexplained trust for Farrs. Surely the fact that he had been watching over him for so long was part of it, yet it felt deeper than that. "Aha, do you see? This is why I wanted you to awaken." Scorpio looked and saw his sister's face contorted in pain, then relax again. "She does this sometimes. You did it too, even to the point of screaming, but then were still and color returned to you. And now you are awake." Perplexed, Scorpio looked at his hands and began screaming. "What happened to me? I used to be...normal! Now I'm...I'm..." He looked and noticed that Farrs was also a lighter pale color, almost white or sand yellow. His sister, however, was still a healthy bright yellow. What was going on...? **************** If you remember much of Scorpio's story (and even if you don't), this entry probably raises a lot of questions (like: 'wait, isn't Scorpio dead?' short answer: yes) while hopefully not being too undiscernible. I had planned for this story to come later, but with AG1 potentially wrapping up in the foreseeable future, I figured I had better start on it if I wanted to get anywhere with it. More answers will come later, but for now know that everything that will happen relies on story threads that were either laid down by me myself or piggybacking off of hints made by @LucasLaughing or @woofmcmoose in entries of theirs from way back. *JUDGES: the building seen is an official set (Starlight Inn) with very few modifications, and should not be judged. The landscape and tree and such is all original work, and although the crystal part at the base of the tree resembles the Elves Crystal Cave, it differs significantly enough that I consider it my own. The tree: AG week 67 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr The Bowery, Bizarro Scorpio, and Farrs Farkas AG week 67 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr
  5. rodiziorobs

    [M - G02] Another thread of web

    Location: G02 (Freegate) Tags: none Previously... An unknown ship orbits silently through Freegate's atmosphere, turning as it passes... A screen comes alive suddenly, and in response a voice speaks. Explain to me your failure, Seliman. It was not failure. It was-- Gibson is dead, and you don't believe you failed?! Gibson was expendable, and Mercer still escaped as planned! Besides, Gib was weak. If he hadn't known the breakout was already arranged he would have squealed weeks ago. But the prisoner that killed him has an unknown grudge against Mercer and will soon be free from MANTIS' custody. Don't worry, we were able to detain her long enough that she won't catch up to him. As for the rest of SPIDER she doesn't even know we exist. Do you know that? Do you know anything about her? ... That's what I thought. My own intelligence on the issue has been disappointing and I hadn't expected that you could add to it. We don't even know who she is? No. Nor what she knows, nor who she is connected to. We have reports she has been connected to both Octan and Kawashita and there are even rumors about a gang of Pirates or the Gods of Andromeda themselves. There are too many threads to know which are actually true at this point, or if they are all altogether false. ...I'll find out. I doubt it. I will! You will not! I worry she may be a very real threat, dangerous enough I dare not act unknowingly. I will not risk revealing SPIDER's involvement in this just for you to try and a shot at redemption. ... Now, go. Keep an eye on General Teague for me. This mishap may cause him to look deeper into recent events and I don't want him getting suspicious. Give me a final chance. I will discover her identity and-- No. I will handle this. Go now. ********** A few minutes later, the same voice calls up another screen, and speaks a few pre-arranged words... I would like the race results from this morning. "Grand Arnaut in first." Who came in third? "Ugly Duckling." That's too bad. I had 500 credits riding on Galindo. *>click<* Go secure? *>click<* "Speak." Leonne, we may have hit a snag. Mercer is fine, Gib is taking a long nap. An unknown actor, possibly connected, Sel is acting wolf. Yes, I have every confidence she'll get it. **************** Fully-lit shot in the spoiler, C&C welcome!
  6. rodiziorobs

    [Challenge 5][Cat D] Pago Pago

    Reverse trike, with tilt function. IRL, a rider would lean into the turns and the wheels would tilt like on a motorcycle to give better maneuverability and control. Will add story later. AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr **************** Edit: AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Because the minifig cannot actually lean (like most Lego models, it relies on hand-of-god steering), I put a lever in behind the right wheel to activate the tilt function. AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr I had wanted to go all-in with independent suspension and steering, as well, but the size constraint made it impossible. Some undercarriage shots follow, along with the required size proof: AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG Cat D by rodiziorobs, on Flickr
  7. rodiziorobs

    [Challenge 5][Cat C][Fusion Wave]

    The Fusion Wave is part of the team representing M.A.N.T.I.S. in the GARC category of the Space Olympics. Piloted by Roskin Jargons, the Fusion Wave was a last-minute addition to the team, due to the simple matter of resolving the pilot's criminal record before he could be cleared to compete. Not that Jargons is a dangerous felon, but let's just say that he has always enjoyed fast racers...even if he didn't own them. AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG GARC entry by rodiziorobs, on Flickr
  8. Location: F03 (Forring) Tags: Military Building An epic sword fight had ensued in the corridors of the M.S.S. Strata. At least three prisoners had escaped: two slavers posing as Zoids, and a Kawa who Jex was hoping could help her find a missing person. The Kawa had some kind of history with the slavers and had already killed one in his attempted escape, and her prolonged battle with the other had led them away from the prison sector to the ship bay. Jex and the prison guard had raced to keep up, the guard radioing in for support as they ran. As they came around the corner to the bay--the dueling prisoners, followed by Jex with the guard--there was a sudden eruption of sirens and the sounds of clanging metal, and a voice called out, "FREEZE! Drop your weapons!" Turning and seeing the MANTIS squad already assembled, weapons primed, the duelers immediately came to a halt, and the slaver dropped his sword. The Kawa saw the opportunity and in a flash, brought her blade around at the slaver. He moved to dodge, but the blow caught him across the shoulder. Blood spattered, and he called out in pain. "DROP IT I SAID!" called the MANTIS commander, and the MANTIS soldiers rounded on the Kawa. The slaver slumped away, clutching his shoulder, but all the soldiers' eyes were on the Kawa. Sensing the soldiers' hesitation, she swirled around, grabbing Jex by the arm and sliding her blade against her throat. To Jex she intoned, "look, despite the way this looks I actually don't want to hurt you, so don't make me. No sudden moves, got it?" Jex nodded as best she could against the blade. "Listen up! I don't want any trouble and I mean MANTIS no harm, but if you charge me or get in my way from avenging myself against that slaver, I will show no mercy and your girl here gets it!" "Keep your weapons trained on her, But wait on my word!" the commander called to her troops. "I'm warning you!" AG week 62 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr "What is the value of your hostage? A mere pilot in the balance of us catching a deadly prisoner?" The standoff was momentarily interrupted by the sound of a ship taking off; the slaver, unchallenged, had escaped. "Deadly prisoner is the one you just let get away!" The Kawa spat. "This is your last chance!" The commander was about to give the order when another voice sounded over the bay. "Lower your weapons, this is general Teague!" Obediently, the soldiers backed away. The general approached the commander and in a low voice said, "Seliman, I admire your tenacity, and under normal circumstances your decision would have been correct. However, this pilot is Jessica DuBois, she is the one who survived the space/time anomaly on Jurin II. She is valuable to us, and we must tread lightly here." "You want to negotiate with a prisoner, sir?!" Commander Seliman retorted incredulously. "We are still trying to learn what happened, and she is our biggest clue. We cannot afford to lose her. And it seems..." the general nodded toward the bay, "that you already let one prisoner slip through your fingers. We'll have words on that later. Understood?" "Understood, sir," came the reply. The Kawa had not heard the discussion, but she could tell that the hostage she held was more than she seemed, if a general had come down to intervene--suddenly there was an ace in her hand. If she acted quickly, there might still be time to catch up with the slaver before he got too far. She whispered to Jex, "you said earlier that you could help release me. Maybe this isn't what you had in mind, but it's time for you to make good on that promise..."
  9. Location: F03 (Forring) Tags: Military Building Previously… Jex was shocked to discover that the mysterious claim ticket she held was for…a person? She turned to the guard, who had clearly been expecting the reaction. He pulled her aside and explained MANTIS’ policy on prisoners: agents who captured prisoners were entitled to a percentage of the bounty or negotiable benefit with other corporations, where applicable, and given a ticket to assert that claim. If after a year, no benefit was forthcoming, then the prisoner could be released at the capturing agent’s discretion. Jex then asked the guard how long the prisoner in question had been held. Checking the record, he replied, “since Septembrinali of last year* *The relevant story for the prisoner’s capture is in the TL;DR spoiler of the linked post (Ice Planet MANTIS). The guard noted that the record showed that nothing had come of her capture—Kawashita had tried a covert operation to recover her a few months after her capture, but that the prisoner herself had foiled the operation, revealing a Kawa mole in MANTIS in the process. Jex realized that the ticket in her hand was a get-out-of-jail-free card for the prisoner. She could use that to get the information she needed about Scorpio’s sister, if indeed the prisoner knew anything at all. She turned to address her: “My name is Jex. I am trying to find some information, and if you help me I can assure your freedom.” “Ha! I don’t believe that for a second. That fool Laszlowe tried to sweet-talk me with the same thing, and in the end, he turned out to be as low as the scum you put in the block with me!” Jex looked down to where the slavers were being held two cells down. “You know them?” “What, personally? Of course not. But I know who they are. I have seen them and I know what they have done. And if I ever get the chance…” Jex wondered what kind of past this prisoner had with the slavers, but her thoughts were interrupted as the prisoner continued: “what have I ever done that put me in here, getting the same treatment as those lowlifes?” And to that, Jex had no answer. Suddenly, the power fluctuated and surged. “Uh-oh,” the guard said. “that can’t be good.” And then the lights in the cells turned off—meaning that the restraints had as well. The prisoner stood for only a moment, until she saw the slavers racing down the corridor. “Speaking of…” she murmured, but then she was barreling out of the cell, knocking over Jex and the guard as she dashed after the fake Zoids. Alarms began sounding and lights flashing all around the compound. “Let’s go, we can’t let them escape!” Jex called as she helped the guard to his feet. She rounded the corner just in time to see that the prisoner had already caught up to the escaped slavers—-one of them at least. Somehow, both the woman and the remaining slaver had gotten hold of weapons. Needless to say, an epic sword battle ensued. ********************************************* Although the posing of the figs and some minor changes are new in the prison cell build, only the scene after the prison breakout is actually new and should be judged: Scene without ‘figs by rodiziorobs, on Flickr C&C welcome! Edit: like others, part of my build this week is a tribute to Gnewal Gwevus/Pvt. Gnarl Graves. Also, I hope I have done justice to what other AGers have written concerning the Zoids. While there have been some conflicting stories, MKJoshA managed to reconcile them pretty well here. I maintain that the villains in my stories have been impersonating Zoids all across Andromeda, causing troubles both for Kawashita and ALIEN (by besmirching their reputation) and for Octan (adding to the crisis northern Andromeda was facing by the real Zoid slavers), and for MANTIS (the PR scandal involving Laszlowe, etc).
  10. rodiziorobs

    [M - F03] Return to B Sector

    Location: F03 (Forring) Tags: Military Building (prison) As Jex was guided down to B Sector of the MSS Strata, she wondered what the claim ticket could be for? The claims agent said it wasn't what she expected. She couldn't puzzle this one out. Looking around, she guessed that B must be on the other side of the prison compound--she recognized the slavers Agent Blond had caught that she had read about. One of them tried to reach through the energy barrier and got himself shocked, while the other made rude gestures. Why would they build the ship so you had to go through the prison? It just didn't make sense. "Here we are," said the guard. "B Sector, cell 68. Ms. DuBois, meet prisoner #C04-k2." "Wait...what?" **************** I'll try to add links in to refer back to other stories, since this post ties together a lot of loose threads. More photos below, C&C welcome!
  11. Dona Flor had heard the news and couldn't wait to tell everyone: the three biggest corporations in the galaxy were hosting a series of games, just for them! The Space Geriatric Games. Did I mention Dona Flor was a little hard of hearing? Anyway, it wasn't hard to put together a five-man rowing team from the local homesteaders, and Dona Flor herself would be the coxswain. When the team arrived to claim MANTIS sponsorship, the MANTIS agent was sure that rowing wasn't an actual event, but after checking the rules, it simply said "boat race" and had only a size requirement, not age. "Why not," he thought to himself. "At the very least, it'll give those NBC morons some more human interest crap for their broadcast," and he signed them up. Besides, he had learned not to ask too many questions. **************** "Did he say to put on our tuxedos?" "I want some taquitos!" "Look, ma! I'm on TV!" **************** Pictures to show size. The red buoys mark every 5 studs from the dock to the yellow buoys, exactly 20 studs, and there is a space of 10 studs between the rows. Boat Race by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Boat Race by rodiziorobs, on Flickr
  12. rodiziorobs

    [Challenge 5][Cat A][Lucha Verde]

    Presenting Lucha Verde, competitor for the Mech Wrestling event, representing MANTIS. AG Olympics - Cat A by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Controlled by former two-time Robo-Force champion Anne Galloway, Lucha Verde is a middle-weight class mech, designed for quick, destructive punch-outs. Although not very quick on its feet, it has a very stable stance based on its large footprint and can turn about easily in one spot. AG Olympics - Cat A by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Furthermore, it is equipped with medium-grade (as per regulations) gravitic dampeners at its heel to help dig in when on a rally against its opponents. AG Olympics - Cat A by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Each arm is also equipped with rockets at the elbow to help accelerate its fists when delivering a crushing blow, and each armored arm also has a large shield at the back of the fist, for both defense and striking. AG Olympics - Cat A by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG Olympics - Cat A by rodiziorobs, on Flickr The frame encompasses a 20x20 square: AG Olympics - Cat A by rodiziorobs, on Flickr **************** This is the first mech I've actually ever built, so feedback is very appreciated!
  13. rodiziorobs

    [M - F03] Claim ticket

    Location: F03 (Forring) Tags: none Another week that's story-heavy despite being light on build. Enjoy! **************** After weeks of searching, Jex was no closer to finding Scorpio's sister than she had been at the funeral. She had to make sure that his remaining belongings reached his next of kin. It only amounted to a few books and journals, along with some claim tickets for some things still in MANTIS' possession, but in Jex's mind they weren't legally hers, and she sure as heck didn't want them, anyway. Because she was technically still on medical leave, Jex was able to go anywhere in Andromeda that was currently under MANTIS' control; her search had led her through several gate jumps to here, Forring. She was after the MSS Strata, a supply ship that was engaged in an operation in Forring's atmosphere. MANTIS supply ships were versatile, designed to reinforce a number of possible MANTIS operations in any circumstance, including mining, spying, piracy, troop and material transport, and war. Jex wasn't exactly sure what she would be finding here, but one of Scorpio's claim tickets stated that he had a possession that was currently held aboard the Strata. Maybe whatever it was would hold the clue to help her continue her search. After some asking around, she found the claims desk--or at least, the closest thing to it. "I am here to redeem this claim stub, and pick up whatever it is for. Says here the location is MSS Strata B68 #P-C04-k2." Minifig(s) on a Plate. by rodiziorobs, on Flickr "B68, you say?" "Yes, #P-C04-k2. Do you have it?" "Yeah, lady, but if it's down in B-block then it ain't what you seem to think it is. That ain't no normal claim stub you got there." "What do you mean?" "Come down with me and see for yourself. We'll have to call them to let them know we're coming..." ( be continued...) **************** I should have done this earlier, but I got a new photo setup. Bought a Daylight LED and poster board at WalMart for less than $5. I always thought it would be so much more expensive, which is why I put it off The above photo hasn't been altered at all. C&C welcome.
  14. rodiziorobs

    [M - C03] Dearly Beloved

    I'll add story tomorrow, but at least the photos are here for now. UPDATE: Story below (a long one ), pics same as before. "Dearly Beloved, we gather today to mourn the passing of one among us, MANTIS scientist 1st Class Scorpio Starstriker. His life was [...]" AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Jex shrugged and tried to stay awake. She didn't want to be here, despite her doctor's insistence. "It'll help you find closure," he said, "to put the whole episode behind you." Hmmmph. While Scorpio's death was still fresh on the minds of everyone at MANTIS, it had been two years ago for her. She had already done her grieving. After the explosion and all the mysterious circumstances that followed it, Scorpio had been all she had. She had tended to his wounds as best as she could, but in the deep swamp of...wherever it was they had ended up on, she couldn't even remember...there was no helping him. She talked to him, and sometimes he talked back, and then he was gone and that was that. She was alone. But his death steeled her will to survive. She held out hope that MANTIS would somehow find them. She looked up again at the ceremony, trying to gauge how much longer it would go on. She didn't see a reason why she should be here, although she did think it nice that Scorpio was finally being laid to rest. AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr "And now while Brother Armando plays a hymn on the organ, Brother Jacobim will offer a solemn chant as we prepare to give our final respects. The doors you see behind me symbolize death, the portal that will take the deceased to the great beyond..." "Too late,' Jex smirked. 'He's already at the 'great beyond', or whatever it is you call it, Father. Two years ago." The music was soothing, though. Perhaps her doctor was right, and this would help her find a little more closure. She didn't share the beliefs of the priests of the order of San Corbin (having been a Davidite in her youth), so while she found their practices somewhat silly, yet she admired their dedication to them. She was aware that everyone was beginning to stand and approach the casket. She remained seated, allowing the others to leave before rising herself. AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr "Poor Scorpio. You really didn't have a chance. Perhaps, if there is another place you've gone to, it will treat you better than this world has." AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Jex was surprised by Brother Jacobim standing behind her. "Pardon my interruption, but are you Jessica DuBois?" "Yes, what do you need?" "Well, we have some documents we need you to sign. Next of kin sort of stuff." "I'm...not his next of kin." "I know that, but your corporation said since he had no next of kin that you would be the closest..." "I'm not. Before he died he told me he had a sister that was also at MANTIS." "A sister? Well our MANTIS rep made no mention of that. Well his belongings were entrusted to us after the funeral arrangements were made, but it seems then that we cannot transfer them to your custody as we were instructed." "How long can you hold them?" "Well there isn't much, but to be rid of it all sooner I'll say...a week? maybe two?" "Fine. That should give me time to find her and let you know where to forward them to." "Very well, thank you miss. My condolences." AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Jex turned and headed for the door. She was intrigued by what Scorpio might have left behind, and also wondering, if Scorpio's sister was also at MANTIS, why didn't she attend the funeral? **************** Last week was my 1 year mark, but I was unable to get anything built. Oh well, Scorpio was already dead then anyway. I thought of using this post to reminisce of some of my builds from the past year, but the story had too much going forward to take very long looking back. C&C welcome! Pics of the priests and organ below: AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr AG week 50 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr
  15. Here is my entry for Category B (Maze control system). MAZE joystick control by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Rather than relying on an etch-a-sketch style control system (in other words, rather than the forward/backward tilt movement and left/right tilt movement being controlled with separate knobs), all movement is controlled by a single joystick. MAZE joystick control by rodiziorobs, on Flickr The joystick is attached to a ball joint mounted pointing upwards, which gives it a wide range of motion. A similar ball joint attaches the maze platform to the base. The movement of the joystick is transferred to the column that supports the maze by two control arms within the housing: one arm controls the left to right movement, and the other controls the movement back and forth. Below is a video clip that explains and demonstrates the function of the control system (clicking the video will take you to Flickr to view it there). These features are also explained in the text below: Video by rodiziorobs, on Flickr MAZE joystick control by rodiziorobs, on Flickr These control arms have a reducing effect on the movement of the maze tilt platform, meaning that large movements of the joystick will only effect small movements on the column. This allows greater control over the tilt of the maze in any direction. The reduction effect works because the control arms are attached very close to the base of the joystick but very close to the top of the maze support column. Moving the joystick moves these control arms a proportionate amount in any horizontal direction. The arms move the same distance for the maze support arm, but because they are farther from the pivot center, the change in angle for the support column is smaller than for the joystick, resulting in a reduced tilt. The housing is decorated with an electric blue and black design with white accents. The knob on the joystick is also the storage for the marble/soccer ball. The maze board design is just the official design used in the LEGO Ideas set, based on the project submitted by Jason Allemann, but redesigned in a fiery lava color scheme (which contrasts nicely with the colors on the base). It is for demonstration purposes only, and not considered part of my entry. In fact, you might have seen it on Andromeda’s Gates recently. (Go MANTIS!) MAZE control box, detached cradle, and maze board by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Thanks for looking over my entry! And thanks to Bob for organizing the contest! Good luck to all participants. More at my Flickr page: rodiziorobs
  16. rodiziorobs

    [M - C03] Reflection/The Cracks

    Location: C03 (Torresta) Tags: N/A TL;DR blah blah blah character development blah blah blah Jex' rehabilitation was going quite well. Mentally, she was in keen shape, and physically, she had nearly recovered from her two years of wilderness survival. Emotionally, however, she still had occasional breakdowns, particularly under stressful situations. For that reason, her doctors had recommended she not resume combat missions yet. This was fine with her, as she acknowledged her need for further healing and stability, and felt a little rusty behind the controls. So, she willingly accepted the transfer to Torresta to help train New cadets. Intermediate trainees were sent out to a lava flow in the Torrestan highlands where there were some interesting rock formations. Pilots would race in and out of the towers, and down through the maze of valleys. Jex enjoyed the familiarity of the terrain, as she herself had trained here nearly three years earlier--a funny thought, she realized, since MANTIS had only arrived in Andromeda a little over a year ago. Recovering from a time displacement was definitely going to take some getting used to. She heard about the experiments that Moose and Big Sal's team were doing, trying to understand the GATE anomalies, and hoped they would shed some light on her own experience. Those scientists always seemed so smart, like Scorpio had been. Even though he was kinda dumb sometimes, he was always pretty good at what he did. The funeral was to be held back at the Core, Torresta's capital, in about a week. She had thought about not going, but Dr. Urie said it might give her a little closure to the whole ordeal. Her thoughts were interrupted by the voice in her earpiece: "DuBois, you ready? You're all refueled and ready for another dozen tours out there." Jex shook off her thoughts. Time for that later."Yes, I'm ready." "All right. You'll be taking Gareth out this time and it's his first time around the cracks, K? so go easy on him. He's just getting strapped in right now." Jex smiled. Another greenie. Perfect. "You got it." *************** C&C welcome, a few more pics below: *************** My apologies for the low quality photos. It's late so I'm working in less than optimal lighting conditions, and on less than optimal sleep The ships and the race platform The maze layout--yes, a Torrestified 21305--that I will be using as part of my entry for Bob's MAZE contest, but only to demonstrate my Cat B, so don't worry--I didn't disqualify myself.
  17. rodiziorobs

    [M-F04] Zoidfinger

    Location: F04 (Terrial Minor Illustria) Tags: Spying Agent Blond's mission against the Zoid slavers had been a complete success. At least, right up until the point he got knocked out. Perhaps "MANTIS' best spy" was a bit of an exaggeration... He awoke and found himself strapped awkwardly to a table. He tried to regain his composure and assess his surroundings for escape, but at that moment one of the Zoids burst through the door. Then, to Blond's horror, the Zoid began taking off his head. Why, he wasn't a Zoid at all! "Good evening, Mr. Blond! I see you are finally awake!" "Who are you? Where am I? Blond inquired. "In our secret base on Illustria! But ah-ha! I already tell you too much. You should not be the one asking questions here, Mr. Blond! That's my job!" "Do you expect me to talk?" "No, Mr. Blond, I expect you to die!" This was not spoken by the first man, but by a second as he entered the room. Blond could see he also wore a Zoid costume. "So much for our 'secret base' Gib," he added. "Sorry boss," the first fake Zoid replied. As he came in the second man grabbed a controller hanging from the girders above, and with a cruel chuckle pressed the button. Blond felt the room suddenly get noticeably hotter. He looked down towards his feet, and knew he had to act quickly... Although his hands were bound, he was able to reach out his MANTIS™ Death Ray Blaster© Pocket Edition™, and fire a beam at the laser. Nooo! The slavers cried. Blond then shot off his restraints, turned on his captors, and said, "Now, sirs, I believe it is you who will be doing the talking, and unless you cooperate, the dying as well." **************** This was a build I did a couple of weeks ago but missed the posting deadline. It's been on my Flickr for awhile, but never posted anywhere. Been itching to do a Bond reference for awhile C&C welcome! Edit: I got the planet name wrong. It is supposed to be F04, Illustria. That's what I get for using the dynamic map on mobile
  18. Challenge 4: Cat B Location: C03 (Torresta) At the outskirts of The Core lies a poor, neglected district. Not so neglected that the crime is rampant or out of control, simply neglected to the point where nobody bothers to go there anymore. Like this building, which most recently was rented out to the Torresta chapter of a charity, but is now boarded up. The only part of this area which sees any life at all is, ironically, the local cemetery. No one of great renown is buried here, nor probably ever will be. Although is looks like there is a freshly dug grave. I wonder who it's for? **************** I wanted to do some of the lesser-seen city elements here, hence the shack and the cemetery. I had planned to build them together on a common base with some landscape to connect them, but didn't leave myself enough time to finish, so you'll have to settle for them merely sharing the same sidewalk out front.
  19. rodiziorobs

    [Challenge 4] [Cat A] Labor Camp

    Challenge 4 (No Place Like Home) Location: C03 (Torresta) ****** Forgot to put Cat A in the topic title ****** Admitting his own guilt of his crimes against humanity at the MANTIS High Court, former Supervising Accountant Laszlowe had to stand and face his sentencing. Agent Raven of the Kawashita delegation offered several...unique...suggestions for the sentence, but the MANTIS judge insisted that the punishment fit the crime. The nature of Laszlowe's crimes had not been to inflict death, but suffering and enslavement. Therefore, he would not be sentenced to death, but rather a lifetime of hard labor. He was transferred to a remote outpost in the Torrestan deserts, and set to work in the Awesomnium mines with an armed guard around the clock. **************** "Hey down there, Laszy, heard some rumors you've been up to more criminal activity. They say you even sold a secret pain formula to some terrorists." "I have already been committed to my sentence, Private Rannen, and confessed all my guilt! Why do you..." "Eh, as for me I figure that's just giving you way too much credit. You ain't clever enough for anything like that." "..." **************** While MANTIS believes in uncompromised justice, it also believes in the supremacy of mercy; as such, Laszlowe's punishment was not merciless. Upon his arrival at the mines, Laszlowe was given a small syringe with a potent toxin specially formulated to his own DNA but inert to any other being. If he tires of the work, or of Private Rannen's particular brand of humor, Laszlowe holds his own life in his hands. Such an escape--a quick death--his victims would probably be grateful for if it were offered them. It was agreed that this sentence was fair and just, while still offering a measure of mercy, even if the guilty scum deserved none. 50% of the proceeds from the Awesomnium mined by Laszlowe will be donated to Andy's Orphans, a non-profit charity in Andromeda which assists in the rehabilitation of former slaves or the otherwise oppressed, and to defray the costs of relocation and counseling services of the same. Laszlowe's tiny cell is sparsely furnished, with only a bed and a sink inside. The sink is supplied by an external water tank. There also is space outside to hang his tools. The guard station towers over the small prison and surrounding dunes.
  20. rodiziorobs

    [M - E01] Black Box Recovery

    Location: E01 (Donwarr) Tags: Spying, Land vehicle **** Advance apologies for the quality of some of the photos below. I'll see if I can get some better shots up later in the week. **** Aboard the MANTIS flagship Petticoat: "Look General, I know the paint job isn't regulation, but there isn't anything we can do about it until we return to the docks in Torresta in a few weeks when we deliver Laszlowe to begin his sentence." Well look into it immediately! It's a complete disgrace! **************** Shortly thereafter, the Petticoat picked up an uncommon transmission--one from a black box. MANTIS engineers had managed to reduce the size of this technology, meaning virtually every MANTIS craft could be equipped with it. This enabled the location and recovery of practically every ship, to help engineers better equip the rest of the fleet against future malfunction or mishap. Also built in was a switch that would only turn on after most or all other systems were unresponsive for a determined length of time. Normally, MANTIS black boxes sent tracking emissions only intermittently, so as to conserve battery life. However, this meant that such a signal was unlikely to be picked up by scanners unless they were specifically looking for it, as was often the case when rescuers were searching for a downed ship. This particular emission was even more of a rare case--the black box code identified it as belonging to a small speedboat, the last ship assigned to Scorpio Starstriker and Jessica DuBois, who had vanished on a spying mission nearly two months prior. This was not the most intriguing part, however: the boat had been dispatched to Jurin II, not Donwarr. Although there had been mishaps with the gates before, they were not yet understood. Therefore, a recovery team was dispatched immediately to go down to the surface and bring the black box back for analysis. **************** Later, on Donwarr's surface... Ick, you know Williams I don't usually mind tough conditions, but the smell here is horrible. That's just the Octan you smell, Private. Figures that this mysterious signal would come from an unrecoverable swamp--probably the only one on Donwarr--that also happens to be crawling with Octan speeders. I hear one coming our way, now! Stay low, and keep your blaster ready. I'll see if I can spy it... Should I take it out? No, it would only reveal our location to the rest of Octan. Only shoot if we're already caught. Looks like he's moved on... Well, which way do we go? North, we're already pretty close. **************** Last known location is right here, and look, there's some wreckage. And what appears to be human remains. Climb in there and get the box, and a bit of the body. See if the lab guys can match the DNA. Yuck. Shut up, Private. **************** Suddenly, there was a soft woooooosh sound, as Private took a dart to the neck. Captain Williams spun around to face the assault, but too late; in a flash, the assailant was on top of her, knife in hand. In the swampy marsh, she could get no footing, and found herself completely disarmed and vulnerable. Who are you? Why do you come to this place? ... Answer! Captain April Williams, MANTIS Marine Corps North. ...MANTIS! After all this time! The attacker relaxed her grip on Williams, who slipped in the mud, from surprise as much as anything else. You've finally come for us. It's been two years! Two years, do you hear me! Where have you been!? Do I...Should I know you? Here my name is only Jex, but before I was Jessica DuBois, MANTIS pilot Second Class. This here is Scorpio Starstriker. Please take us home. ****************
  21. rodiziorobs

    [M - F03] Class Dismissed

    Location: F03 (Forring) Tags: Military Building, Spying **************** MANTIS military academy, Forring ...and so, cadets, that is how fleet maneuvering works, leading us to MANTIS' current position in northern Andromeda. Given the tenuous relationships between our corporations lately, MANTIS has not been able to perform full-scale military incursions. However, we must maintain our fleet ever-ready, even anticipating-- General Teague, I hate to interrupt you but this is urgent. What is it, Maynes? It's Blond. Agent Blond? Yes Sir. I'm on my way. Students, please read sections 10.2-10.5 while I am gone, Shearer you lead the discussion questions. I'll be back shortly. Colter are you texting in class?! **************** [ Well, sir, we've got the tracer back online, after Blond's signal blinked out. Looks like the Zoid ship made a gate jump, that's what caused the malfunction. So where are they? Do we know what has become of Blond? Still gathering that intel, General. But, I was analyzing the last bit of thermal imaging from Blond's report--the one that convinced the court to sentence Laszlowe--and things don't add up. How so? Well, the scanner picked up five signatures, all of them human. So? We know the Zoids had slaves aboard the ship at that moment, maybe there were more, and that's where the extra signatures came from. Except there were no Zoid signatures at all. Only human ones. Look for yourself. Well, I'll be. That certainly is odd. Yet even in his testimony, Laszlowe confessed he had been meeting with Zoid agents, so how can this be? I think someone has been trying to hoodwink all of Andromeda, Sir. Is Blond's signal live? Yes, Sir, but I have yet to completely decode the data packets. Well, keep on it, and let me know what you find. Good work, Maynes. Thank you Sir. **************** Class dismissed ***************** C&C welcome!
  22. Location: F03 (Forring) Tags: Land Vehicle, Military Building When Supervising Accountant Laszlowe returned to M.A.N.T.I.S. HQ after making a deal with the Zoid slavers, he was met by a special task force who immediately clapped him in irons. Agent Blond had been sent out to apprehend the data from the Zoids and put a tracer on their ship to follow them. Not returning from the mission, Blond had nevertheless been able to transfer a copy of the data Laszlowe had sold, as well as photographic proof that the Zoid ship was carrying slaves. The data in question turned out to be a detailed description of all Octan movements and known civilian locations across most of northern Andromeda. In exchange for this information--which the slavers had used to prey on helpless merchants and other civilians in those sectors, as corroborated in Octan documents--the Zoids had been paying Laszlowe handsomely. Unbeknownst to Laszlowe, his rendezvous with the Zoids had all been recorded by a D.O.R.I.S. (Drone of Really Irritating Surveillance), video evidence which will be shown in court today along with Agent Blond's revelation, on the illuminated panels seen below next to the guard station. With the overwhelming amount of evidence against Laszlowe--in addition to months of records uncovered this week by M.A.N.T.I.S. auditors--formal charges were brought against Laszlowe for his crimes against humanity, including 18 counts of human trafficking. It will be the Court Recorder's duty to keep minutes of the proceedings. He has not arrived yet, but his booth is shown below, next to the guard station. The trial has been scheduled for this evening the 20th of Marzn, 3816, at the M.A.N.T.I.S. High Court on Forring. Delegates from both Octan and Kawashita were invited to be present to witness justice carried out. After all, even if the three corporations squabble or even occasionally fight an all-out war over control of the resources the galaxy holds, no one wants there to be civilian casualties. Also, M.A.N.T.I.S. wants it known that it will not tolerate such atrocities committed under its roof, and will punish to the fullest extent those who perpetrate such crimes. The judge today will be a member of the Council of Five, and the case would be decided by a nine-member jury. All of the jurors and the judge have yet to arrive. Jurors' booth And here are the Octan and Kawashita representatives arriving on their speeders. The attendants will escort them up to the observation deck, where the respective corporations' colors are hung. The representatives arrive Octan representatives in their booth Kawashita representatives in their booth Here is the accused being led into the chamber as we speak. The military police maintains a presence on the ground level of the courtroom, should there be any need to enforce order during the course of the trial. In addition to the human trafficking charges brought against Laszlowe, internal audits revealed he had also embezzled funds from multiple employees of M.A.N.T.I.S., including Scorpio Starstriker, Scientist First Class. M.A.N.T.I.S. agents were trying to decide if there was any connection between these crimes and Starstriker's mysterious disappearance nearly two months earlier. However, at the present time these events appear to be unrelated. **************** This week's build is based on set 10223, the Kingdoms Joust, a set I wasn't quick enough to get when I came out of my Dark Ages, but I thought would be interesting to adapt into a courtroom. All of the smaller pieces of the MOC correspond to a part of the actual set, except that I couldn't think of any kind of parallel for the jousting list so I omitted it. Waiting for the judge and jury More pictures below, C&C welcome! Defendant's chair High Court judgement seat Jurors' booth Representatives from Kawashita Representatives from Octan Money shot of the M.A.N.T.I.S. logo--my best one yet!
  23. Location: G02, Freegate Tags: Spying, Land Vehicle In order to thwart a dangerous enemy working from within the corporation itself, MANTIS calls upon one of its best spies, Agent Blond. **************** Agent Blond, let's get right to it, shall we? General Teague, this mission had better be important. It is, I assure you. Important enough to delay my vacation? I had the condo already booked on the Torresta Riviera, with a stellar view of the lava fields. If I lose my reservation because of some daft mission on this ice ball... Relax, Blond. This mission should not detain you more than a few hours. Moments ago a few of our Spydar technicians discovered a serious threat to MANTIS integrity. Evidence indicates that Supervising Accountant Laszlowe has been selling secrets to a third party. Given our already uphill battle with PR in Andromeda, we need to make sure this is handled discreetly. He's been selling info to the Zoids, huh? We weren't sure, but as we look at the evidence we are convinced something is at work here. Additionally, our scanners picked up a signal from an unknown ship entering Freegate's atmosphere only an hour ago. Laszlowe is allegedly en route to a rendezvous with them at this very moment, and we have a D.O.R.I.S. tailing him and recording his every move. NB: Laszlowe's speeder is carried over from last week and should not be judged More pics of the ship in the spoiler: Well if you've already got surveillance, why do you need me? Just wait 'til he returns to the compound and bust him then. That is part of the plan. However, there is more to it: First, we need to verify the nature of the information Laszlowe has been peddling to determine the severity of his crimes. You know the Zoids have been called, among other things,slavers. If Laszlowe has been an accomplice to this he must be tried as a war criminal, for justice's sake and to let Andromeda know that we condemn such atrocities. You must retrieve that information. Second, apprehend Laszlowe. Our team here will do that when he returns, so your job is to simply stay out of his sight so that he suspects nothing. Third, identify the information's intended recipient with a dummy tracer. If we can find out who this information is destined for... will let us know if the Zoids at large are really slavers... ...or if there are just some rogues among them committing these crimes. Precisely. So: infiltrate, transmit the data back here for verification, replace the files with a tracer, and stay out of sight. Any questions? Yeah, if things go pear-shaped with me and the Zoids...? You must not engage them if at all possible. Until we at sure who it is we are actually dealing with, we cannot afford to take such bold action. However, you are authorized the use of force if necessary for you make it back. Good luck, Agent Blond. **************** And so Agent Blond set out on a daring quest to put a stop to Laszlowe's nefarious dealings. Speeding across the tundra to the rendezvous, Blond whirled the speeder around, and dashed aboard the mysterious ship just in time... **************** First things first: I have to retrieve that data. Establishing uplink to MANTIS secure channel...transmitting...replacing files with tracer...done! And now I've got to get off of this ship undetected, and get back to my Torrestan cruise.!..what the...?! But what Agent Blond saw on the ship was beyond anything imagined... Good heavens! It's true, these guys are slavers. Running their operation right under our noses! The Zoids can't be allowed to take them back to their wicked abode! I must hurry before the ship takes off! And so Agent Blond set about quickly trying to free the Zoids' victims from their cruel captors, when suddenly... ...where did you come from? *ZHWOOP* **************** To be continued...
  24. rodiziorobs

    [M - G02] Whack-a-Mole

    Location: G02 (Freegate) Tags: Spying, Land Vehicle TL;DR (in the spoiler): Well let's see what's on the repair backlog today...hmmm...well I finished the Jurin II satellite calibration, I can check that one off..and that one... Hey, Scroggins, you up to much right now? Oh, it's you Anders. Nah, I've already fixed this broken D.O.R.I.S. (Drone of Really Irritating Supervision). I might try and see if I can get that new modulator to work in it, but that's all I have. All you had, you mean. Laszlowe's got a job for us, 'n it sounds like actual spy woik dis time! **************** Thank you both for being available. I know interrogations aren't something you normally do, but since that idiot Starstriker is missing-- Scorpio is missing?! --Ahem. Since know one seems to know where he is, we'll have to do with you. Frankly, I think we're better off without him... But I'm just a mechanic! When can we start? Are dey savage killas?! I hope dey'ah savage killas! I'm gonna grill dose suckas right outta Andromeda if I hafta! --or maybe not...Ahem. You will be interrogating three Merchant Confederacy pilots from ship that Hawk apprehended last week. They may have important knowledge about Octan's movements, but certainly aren't hostile. ... ... This way, please. We'll use interrogation room 18. We believe they will comply with the interrogation, but they may take awhile to feel comfortable sharing any information. It is believed that average people like yourselves will help them feel better at ease than professional interrogators. However, if you have any problems, I will be in my office for the next hour or so. Alert me of anything urgent. **************** Aw right, you goons! Start spillin' youh guts or I'll cut ya! ... I said start blabbin'! I don't wananny funny bizniss from you guys! Anders, maybe we should try another approach? ... You guys are merchants, huh? Where were you headed? ... What kind of freight were you carrying? ... ...uh, You guys seen the new prototype Gemini engines? I was just reading in Andromeda Today about it, but personally I don't think it'll provide the thrust the makers are claiming it will... What? What, did I say something wrong? ... How yoou think Gimini weel not provide soofficient throost? It is designed foor freighters like the kind we fly. What, you think they are for real, then? Ceartainly, yoong man. My coousin was one of the testers for theece neew engine, and he says they have made major breakthroough. Well, but you have to agree that given the conversion capabilities of the fuel system... ... **************** 3 hours later... **************** Soo I says too Mabel, I says... ...Can we get on wit it already?! What is prooblem? We've been heah all day and if I have to sit through one more story or joke I'm gonna cut ya! Alluhya! EVERYLASTONEUHYA! I'm afraid she means it this time, guys. What woould you like to knoow? We were under the impression you had some information about Octan's activity in the sector. Perhaps their fleet movements or something? Why shoould we have sooch informatioon? Well because...ww thought with your encounters with the Zoids you would have... Everyboody knoows the Zooids get their informatioon froom MANTIS. WHAT?! Yoou doo not sell your secrets to them? Of course not! We may be Mean and Nasty but we still have a moral code! But aren't you all drapers? Nonsense! Why should we all be drapers? I myself prefer upholstery... ... It's true, he does. ... ... Anyway, I can assure you we would not be selling information to a ragged group of slavers like the Zoids. Then it is yoou whoo dooes not knoow. Foorst, not all Zooids are slavers. Also, we knoow that Zooids get informatioon from MANTIS. Poorhaps there is insider? You think? Anders, this is big; we need to let Laszlowe know at once. Oh, wait wait wait! Would you happen to know the whereabouts of Scorpio Starstriker? Whoo? I have never heaard this name befoore. Soorry. Well, thanks anyway. Let's go, Anders. **************** Laszlowe? Laszlowe! He ain't here, Scroggins. Maybe he's back with youh new best friends... Come on, they were perfectly nice guys, and their information might be valuable. Laszlowe! Where could he be? Yeah, well three hours of my life back without havin' to listen to those borin' stories would be moah valuable to me! Didya heah dat crap about the Terrilian ape? I mean... The D.O.R.I.S.! What? I'll send the D.O.R.I.S. I just fixed to find Laszlowe, and then we can open a secure channel to inform him. **************** Ok, it's all programmed in, it should get a lock on him within a few minutes. I'll monitah da video from heah, so we'll know when we've found him. Ya know what, even though we'ah trackin' one of our own, it finally feels like we'ah doin' some actual spy woik! 2016-03-07_01-19-21 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr ...and there he is! Move in closer... But...wheah is he? He ain't even in da buildin' no moah. Yeah, that's strange. He's outside the complex in the cold. And why? 2016-03-07_01-16-43 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr Waitasecond! Didya see dat briefcase? Do ya suppose them pilots was tellin' da truth about an insidah in MANTIS? What if Laszlowe...? Anders, have the D.O.R.I.S. drop back but stay on him. Try and keep it out of sight! I'll go inform the CEO... Aw right, I'll start recording and letcha know in case it was all a false alahm. Now dis is moah like it! 2016-03-07_01-17-39 by rodiziorobs, on Flickr
  25. rodiziorobs

    [M - F02] Radar love

    Location: F02 (Lesser Drigo) Tags: Spying, Land Vehicle I’ll be at my destination in about 3 minutes, Scroggins. How you comin’ up there? Easy, Anders, I just got my tether secured. You’ve got 3 minutes then, to get those updates installed so we can start the calibration. MANTIS isn’t going to give us all day, you know. Besides, I’m dying down here, it’s so hot! No problem, Anders, I’ve already got the new filters in, now I just have to wait for it to reboot. Who knew that the atmospheric conditions around Lesser Drigo would mess with the algorithms Starstriker built into the Amplified Radar? Once we get this calibrated to the planet’s conditions, we should be able to keep tabs on Octan’s every move. Yeah, yeah, whatever. I didn’t sign up for a science lecture, okay? I wanted to learn to be a spy, that’s why I signed up for the Spydar™ program. Instead they got me drivin’ around in the friggin’ desert listening to Mr. Wizard here. Didn’t they tell you the Spydar™ program was maintenance of the radar programs we’ve put up all over Andromeda? Besides, work for MANTIS long enough, and you’ll be a spy yet. Seems like everybody lately has been… Save it, Scroggins. Geesh. I’m here, just let me put up the dish and we can get this calibration over with. Gaaah, it’s so hot… Ready when you are. Okay, calibration starting…got infrared online, thermal coming on…Hang on. It says it’s waiting. Yeah, just push through all the prompts, it should resume. Got it. All righty, Scroggins, looks like we’re through here, I’ve got visuals on everything…Wow who knew Octan had so much going on down here. And why? It’s so friggin’ hot on this blasted planet. They better have a Maggot-rita© ready for me when I get back to base… Good work, Anders, good work. Hey did I tell you I met Starstriker once? I wonder what sort of daring mission he is up to now... Enough already about your hero Starstinker, Scroggins. Or whatever his name is. See you ship-side. ***************** C&C Welcome!