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The Claimant (SWG Semi-closed FT)

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:11 pm
by Skaugra

"How long has it been since we set this in motion, dear King of Heroes?"

Shi'pan Erina Arnork, First of Her Name, Last of Her Line, rested her head upon the man's bare chest, both laid upon a lavish Ottoman made of the finest velvet and Bantha fur. Her finger idly circled the man's breast, teasing the outer edge of his nipple as she lost herself in the past. Her people's exile from their home world so many thousands of years ago had culminated in a culture that had long since abandoned tradition and sought power beyond the Force. She recalled learning of the time when the Triumvirate had first formed. Of when the the Dwarfs and the Strange Men had stumbled upon the Exiles of Teta. Of the long exodus throughout the uncharted regions of the deep core. How the Dwarfs, master craftsmen and engineers, had taught the her ancestors how to harness the power of stars. How the Strange Men had opened their minds to the Ether and its mysteries that defied even the Force.

Erina's eyes gazed out the windows of the observation deck of her personal ship. Before her sat a half dozen stars clustered tightly together, dominating the the void and blocking out all other light from distant stars. Their vibrant, destructive natures played against one another as their countering gravity pushed and pulled one another, ripping large chunks of their neighbors out and trading back their own plasma in a conflagration that would make hell seem as but a paradise. It had not been so long since these stars had once threatened to rip apart any ships that ventured too close, yet she picked out the dot of a ship as it passed between a pair and gradually drew closer to her own ship.

The so-called King of Heroes that she rested upon remained silent - half due to his own arrogance, yet also half because he knew that it was a rhetorical question. Erina raised herself from the man, the thin fabric of a sheet hanging lazily from her small frame, yet leaving nothing to the imagination as a small, supple breast danced against her chest as she walked across the observation deck. Gilgamesh reminisced of his home of Uruk as he watched her - of a time when such dress was commonplace. She reminded him of the women of Uruk, yet she carried with her a grace and sense of purpose that even he had to acknowledge as a rival to his own.

"My armor," she called, to which another man far larger than Gilgamesh simply materialized beside her. The mountain of a man, adorned in armor likened to the ancient Macedonians, carried with him several pieces of armor, atop of which was a singular black octagonal device. Erina let the sheet fall to the floor as she lifted the device from the armor and placed it upon her sternum and pressed a small button on the device. Their was an audible snap, and a black substance burst from the device, wrapping itself around her from pelvis to shoulders. It tightened to her form quickly, and Erina winced in a mix of pain and pleasure as it cinched down before the device locked itself in place. It then burst forth once again, deftly removing the bronze-colored armor from the man's hands. First the torso armor, matched perfectly to her figure, then her gauntlets, then her pauldrons, followed shortly by a mixed silk and metal skirt, and then her grieves. All snapped into place and held by the almost-organic bodysuit that now turned from opaque to transparent save for what could be construed as undergarments.

Erina smiled lightly. "Thank you, Iskandar."

"Of course, my Master," Iskandar replied.

"Has Semiramis completed her preparations?" Erina asked, reaching out to her left. Another being materialized at this motion - a girl not much smaller than Erina, bearing a sheathed, thin sword. Erina grasped the hilt, retrieving the weapon from the more-heavily-armored girl, her coloration of blue and silverish steel contrasting Erina's own bronze.

"Yes, my liege," the girl replied, her alto voice contrasting her own frame. "The last ship has returned from the Cluster with the necessary energy required for the plan."

"Excellent," Erina stated. Her smile played upon her face widely now. She set the sword to her hip, to which the black substance reached out and looped itself to the sword, holding it against her hip. "Inform the fleet we are moving out, Artoria."

"At once," the Saber-class Servant replied, disappearing in a wisp.

Erina's smile turned into a grin. "Let the game begin!"

Across the "Northern" Koros Trunk Line

It happened slowly, but reports began to come in to Coruscant and Empress Teta at first about mysterious raiders in ships never seen before. By midweek, reports were regularly coming in, reaching a crescendo as the planet of Jerrilek sent out a single distress signal before all communication was cut between the Deep Core and the Core, and traffic began to mysteriously disappear at the system.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:28 pm
by New Dornalia
Situation Room
Los Angeles, CA, Earth SSR
Colonial Republic of Earth

To shamelessly alter a line from Huey Lewis and the News, the heart of the Republic was still beating--even at the dead of night. Those who said New York or Hammertongs or even New Sapporo in the fuddy-duddy straitlanced land of New Hokkaido were the cities that never slept, would make a grave error by leaving out Los Angeles from that list. The capital of the Republic never seemed to sleep, and given the fact that well, it was the capital of a polity engaged in any number of interstellar shenanigans there wasn't a need for it to sleep.

Such was the case at the Situation Room within the executive mansion. The ritual of working long nights dealing with any number of intergalactic crises was a now well established one. First, the Skyriver Galaxy and the War on Chaos and the Thrashian Exile to the MWG, which caused a vaccum in the old Thrashian Territories. Then, the various activities associated with the Nassau Accords and the Great Displacement--including the crisis with the Shenandoah. And then on top of that, the dimensional chaos known as the Great Cataclysm in Dornieland, which resulted in the rural backcountry of Nova Louisiana becoming home to Daedra, spooky pirates harassing Luxembourgia County and the return of the Coredians, who were long thought dead. It had been a trying time so far, and that didn't even count the NORINCO Affair which kept the public glued to their TVs, with endless Senate Hearings and talking heads commenting one way or the other and kept the markets abuzz with rumors that the Treasury Department wanted to repossess NORINCO and split it up.

And now, this.

President Haggar sat over what was likely his fifth cup of coffee this evening. He had planned on a day of rest too. Time in public meeting and greeting, some practice sparring with Yogi, and then time spent with the family. Alas, that had gone well until Nadine's people presented an update from the Skyriver Galaxy. Namely, a report that all contact between the Deep Core and the Core was cut off. The Northern Koros Trunk Line was now as dead as a Peking duck, and the galaxy--which had recently been torn to shreds by the Chaos War--was now once more in a panicky mood.

The reports had been read, the briefings given. Now, Mike, as usual facing his colleagues--Supreme Commander Wachowski, Director Nadine Huntleigh-MacIntyre, Secretary of State Simons, so on--looked at them all and uttered his summation of the situation.

"So, lemme get this straight. The Deep Core and the Core are effectively cut off from one another, and mysterious raiders were sighted doing that?"

Nadine nodded. Before she could speak, Mike held his hand up and went, "Right. I think we need to get down there and investigate the situation. What's available?"

Supreme Commander Wachowski said, matter of factly, "We have assets we can quickly deploy to the region. I have spoken with Director Huntleigh-MacIntyre, and considering the mysterious nature of the events, I believe it would be best to deploy an asset from the Naval Corps of Engineers to investigate. Namely, a Heinlein-class Exploration Ship--the CRS Bulychev. These individuals would be able to determine what has occurred, and in turn what steps need to be taken next. I can say that if this is the work of a foreign aggressor, we should be prepared to act accordingly--especially with the way the Skyriver Galaxy is currently, anything could happen."

"Very well." Haggar then nodded and said, "Get to it."

PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:11 pm
by Telros
Tizion Protectorate, Core Systems Sector
Tizion System, Warden's Reach


Zord Vedo sipped from his coffee mug, enjoying radiating both from the container and down into his body as he considered his report list for the day, the list scrolling automatically down the holographic screen in response to his implant. The implant technology the Imperium had brought with them had been one of the more hotly desired after items in the Protectorate. The Assembly was still considering both sides of a debate on regulating it properly; they had offered their laws on it in the Milky Way Galaxy, but too many groups found it too 'loose'. It was their choice, the Imperium was here to make things better for the galaxy, one sector at a time, while getting credits, resources, technology and more. The Treaty of N'zoth secured their right to self-governance, to an extent, and the Solar Assembly for a voice in their affairs, even under the Imperium. The Archon and nation back home were willing to play the long game, considering how the last 'tenants' had up and abandoned them during their time of need. They would need to gain trust before moving to integration, but that had been the plan all along. Flipping through the reports, he scanned them briefly to get a sense of what the agenda was for today.

Pirates in Joruna again, the White Talons again. When will they ever learn? Still, the Third Fleet could use some more experience with the recent class of Academy graduates joining their number.

Elcorth and Faz squabbling over tariffs and taxes again. I'll expect I'll have to listen to them yell at each other like a married couple for seven hours again.

Zord paused at that and then his eyes flashed. NOTE: HAVE GYAKORNOK PREPARE A FRESH BATCH OF CAFF FOR THE MEETING


Now let's see, oh I see Dooku is convening the Jedi again. Hrm, will have to have an observer sent to see what he has to say. One of our Jedi will have to go as our representative.

At one report, he finally paused and set down his coffee, mind reading and rereading the report to ensure he had it correctly.

Code: Select all

After seven years of peace and rebuilding, the horrors of the Chaos War and the economic wasteland left by the Thrashian Empire's exodus being left behind with progress to a stabilized galaxy, now this. It was very strange for an entire sector of the galaxy, the Deep Core, to go silent like this. It was one of the central places of the galaxy, even after the Thrashian's leaving. It had history, and still a lot of economic and productive clout, and now it had gone silent. With a thought the screen minimized and brought up a screen that showed the face of his Twi'lek assistant, Riksocu.

“Yes, Lord Warden?”

“Connect me with Agent Fyor Ren, N'zoth channel.”

“Of course, milord. Patching you through now.”

For a few moments, the symbol of the Protectorate could be seen before it was replaced by the human face of Fyor Ren, who snapped a quick salute, fist over chest. “Power through prosperity, Lord Warden. I trust you got my message.” His grim demeanor already informed Vedo things were much worse than his message indicated.

“Indeed, Agent. Now report.”

The other stiffened, hands going behind his back and gaze staring forward as his mind began the report.

“Four days ago, at around 0900 hours, our AVATAR operators noticed communication from the Mando Motors, Dromor Motors and Damorian Manufacturing corporations, indicating that several shipments of materials, weapons, and other items had not been reported received by their clients in the Deep Core. We initially flagged it as a piracy alert, but the follow up communications convinced the operators to inform their handlers. All attempts at communication with the Deep Core failed, with no connections able to be established. They sent agents of their own to investigate, and a day later failed to report back, when their time tables indicated they should have been there within four hours.

At this point, Intelligence Command had us send a discreet force of scouts at all known routes into the Deep Core, they reported in all the way until the final jump in and then...nothing. It was at that this point that the decision was made to inform you with our recommendations. The corporations in question have kept things quiet for the moment as they decide what to do not to alarm their shareholders. We feel it is best for the Lord Warden to call the Assembly and inform the Protectorate, while also informing the galaxy. If authorization is granted, we will also begin contacting our polities in the galaxy to see about what they know while we prepare a strike force to investigate.

It is a risk we are taking, as we may end up loosing all the military hardware, personnel and ships in such a move, but we need to know more before we barrel in with our full might. With the lack of information we have, it could be a well-designed trap to weaken the galaxy's military power before another invasion. It could be Chaos, a return of the Sith or another empire that is not known to us. End of report.”

The Lord Warden nodded and the agent relaxed his stance slightly, hands dropping to his side while Vedo considered this information. “The lack of information is concerning; I assume we already tried probes outside of the outer systems to read the light over the past few days.”

“We have seeded the outside and are working on interpreting the light scans but they are going to take time. We will need a few days to prepare the strike force, so we hope to have a better idea of what's going on in the outer reaches at least.”

“Very well, Agent. I authorize the mission, do we have the Dornean commander available?”

“He was already contacted and has accepted.”

“Good. Get this done, but be careful. Power through prosperity.”

“Power through prosperity, milord.”

The screen went dark but was quickly replaced by his assistant's face again.

“Was there something else you required, milord?”

Vedo was already pulling on his jacket.

“Yes. Inform the Solar Assembly I am calling an emergency session to announce news I have received and to explain why some of our military assets are being activated. You are also to inform Fleet Command to begin calling up fleets from the rear echelon and preparing for possible combat operations.”

Her face sombered upon hearing the instructions. “Understood, Lord Warden.”

The video cut and the computer shut itself down as the Warden pulled his boots on. With a thought, the lights in his room dimmed and he exited, his aide Jerc Vantal was there, folders of holopads under his arm. “The Assembly is wanting to know why military personnel are being activated.”

The aid fell into lockstep with the Warden, who didn't slow his pace at all. “ Riksocu is informing them about my intent to explain at an emergency session.” It was moderately irritating that the Assembly was hypersensitive to any of his movies still, but at least it made gathering them for the meeting much easier.

“Are we expecting trouble, Lord Warden?”

Vedo chuckled, his headfeathers fluttering to reflect his amusement. “In the seven years I've been Lord Warden, Vantal, I've learned this galaxy is nothing but trouble.”

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2018 3:55 pm
by Menelmacar
(Tag, dibs on this spot. I'll write something here in a day or two, but it'll ICly happen now.)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:36 pm
by Balrogga
(Tag for this spot. I will post something when I get some rest.)

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 5:36 pm
by Malgrave
HMNV Ambitious Puffin,
Koros Trunk Line

Konstancja Wronski idly sipped on her tea as she inspected her last remaining card, ignoring the fierce glares she received from her colleagues assembled across the table. In order to pass the time between in-flight training lessons she had proposed a card game she had picked up from the Dornalian Republic, the current game had started around thirty-five minutes ago and could theoretically last for hours or it could end within the next few seconds.

"Just flip the card already for ancestors sake!" Jakub Weld exclaimed holding his hands up in exasperation. "It's highly unlikely that you'll be able to beat the card that I just placed, so just go ahead and move," he added, around five minutes ago he had placed an ace on the table, only a few select power cards could ruin his chance of victory now and he was feeling rather confident that his temporary rival had a bad card.

"You can't rush these things," Konstancja said before taking another small sip of tea, "I just have to believe in my believing heart," she said stealing a phrase from a recent famous Malgravean magical student, of course, she wasn't that confident in victory but that didn't mean she couldn't gain some pleasure from annoying her co-workers.

"Just say that again when we're in orbit around Koros and we're still waiting for this game to be over." Izabela Amato complained before sipping her own tea, she was enjoying the break from training but she didn't fancy waiting another five minutes for no reason.

"At least I am not trying to theorise how a simple game of connect-four could start a global nuclear war. " Konstancja said glancing at Iolanda De Campo before turning her attention to her remaining card. "I think i'm ready as well." she added in ancient before she flipped her card over and placed it on the table.

A series of groans quickly spread across the room as Konstancja somehow managed to place a two on the table, one of the few power cards that could defeat Jakub's ace.

"Are you serious? I can't believe you managed to win again." Jakub said before placing his head into his hands, he was certain he was on track to score his first victory but once again it was snatched from his hands at the last moment.

"It just looks like the luck of the ancestors was on my side," Konstancja said with a sly grin, of course, she had no idea that she was going to win but she once again couldn't resist pestering her colleague.

Iolanda just frowned as she started to collect the cards from everyone on the table "I'm just saying that it's possible that someone could declare war after losing a game like connect-four." she said before adding. “We have seen that certain civilisations tend to be led by rather temperamental, emotional and militaristic leaders and that isn’t a particularly health combination. I’m just saying that I could see someone ordering a military strike or even just a simple beating after losing a game like connect-four of chess, and we’ve seen how these rather simple gestures can descend into full-blown war.”

"I don't think anyone is interested in another four hour debate on the potential reasons behind a global military conflict," Jakub said with a sigh. "I just hope that the ancestors guided us to this galaxy for a reason. Shouldn't we be concerned about threats back home?"

"I believe the ancestors guided us here for a good reason." Sofia Capello said with a smile. "We have already established a connection with the ancestral energy that flows through this galaxy, and the pull to this particular spot could mean that we come across a local ancient outpost or another source of understanding."

"It also mean that we're now able to wield lightsabers and use our ancestral abilities in combat situations." Sabrina Merlo said as she gently floated her own lightsaber over the table, it's curved hilt design inspired by her own background in fencing. "I'm here because the ancestors directed us here, but the government is also interested in gaining a technological and economic advantage that it can use to fight against potential threats against our homeworld."

“I’m just glad that my friends in secondary school managed to convince me to join the local fencing club,” Konstancja said as she hovered her own lightsaber alongside Sabrina’s, it shared a similar curved-hilt but it had the white imprint of Royal Pakosc University, a small ancient city protected by an energy shield contrasting against the simplistic black colour of the hilt. “It’s quite a dangerous galaxy and I suspect it’s why the ASG required people with a background in fencing and combat.”

“It’s also easier to teach people lightsaber techniques if they have a basic understanding of how to wield a sword,” Sofia said, her lightsaber also shared a similar black curved hilt design but instead of a white RPU logo her hilt had a golden outline of two otters holding hands, with the phrase Solidarity and Unity above. “Just be glad that we don’t have to oversee anyone that only has received military training from the TDF.”


Nadzieja Walentowicz stifled a yawn as she continued her checks of the flight systems, she was quite proud to be one of the first Malgraveans selected to pilot a spaceship but that didn't mean she couldn't get tired or bored during a fairly routine long-haul voyage. "You think the local Menelmacari will be glad to see us?" she asked her colleague, breaking the comfortable silence that had formed over the past few minutes.

"I don't think so." Antonio Abbiat said with a slight chuckle. "I mean we're only here because the ancestors are guiding us to this area of space, right?" he added continuing when he received a light nod from his co-pilot. "I don't think they'll be pleased to see a bunch of people from the ASG arrives to explore the local systems, but I am willing to be surprised."

Nadzieja frowned for a second before saying. "I guess so, but I imagine the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the ASG have already communicated our flight path and mission to the local authorities. It’s not like we’re just randomly jumping in without telling anyone, although that does sound like something that we would’ve done a few years ago. " she then added. "I'm just thankful that everyone on board as some experience with the lightsabers we received recently. It's not much but I guess the ASG picked people with a fencing and combat background for a reason."

"It's a dangerous galaxy," Antonio said, he preferred using a simple blast rifle based on the AR-2 but he still appreciated the amount of time his colleagues had spent in training sessions over the past few months. "Just be thankful that we're not on the outer rim at the moment....Padawan?” he said seemingly unsure of the local term.

“It’s Padawan for the moment, although I know the ASG leadership are already attempting to think of unique ranks,” Nadzieja said, although a small part of her suspected that would most likely take several years and end in a massive national protest.

"Just don't expect them to come up with something s--" Antonio said his sentence cut short as the console in front of him started flashing. "I think somethings wrong with the hy--" he said once again finding himself interrupted as the YX-180 began to shake before exiting hyperspace completely.

"We can't be over Koros already, right?" Nadzieja said as she began to check the systems in front of her. "It looks like the main hyperdrive has failed completely for some reason," she said frowning as she continued to work the consoles in front of her. "I can't even get the emergency hyperdrive system to activate, and I know we double-checked both systems before setting off so it shouldn't be a mechanical issue."

Antonio sighed as he began checking the information from the ship's sensors, if anything was preventing them from traveling artificially then they should be able to detect it and formulate a suitable response. “I don’t think the Dornalians would’ve sold us faulty equipment,” he said, the YX-1980 he was piloting was just one of the transport ships purchased by the Malgravean government for the purpose of locat exploration. “We also didn’t detect any problems with the engines earlier, and our other sensors don’t indicate a problem in the engine room. It’s likely that we’re looking at either an artificial or natural barrier that prevents hyperspace travel.”

Nadzieja rubbed her forehead in frustration, a simple routine transport mission had quickly devolved and she just hoped that it didn’t get any worse. “I’ve activated the emergency communication system,” she said, the system would simply broadcast an open emergency signal informing nearby ships and systems that the HMNV Ambitious Puffin had experienced mechanical failure and required immediate assistance, along with information on its location and the number of crew and passengers it currently carried. “Let’s just hope that the ancestors are watching over us.”

PostPosted: Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:08 pm
by The Ctan
The ship coasted at superluminal speed, a great ring of yellow plated metal as it soared in the form of a tachyonic object across the galaxy. In its present state it was traveling at perhaps two million times the speed of light, for a ship in hyperdrive, this was not especially fast, at least by local standards, indeed it was positively cautious. The ship’s masters had heard of the dangers on the Koros trunk line.

Rumours of pirates had been mounting for some time, and that had caused some consternation among smaller ship captains, the masters of this particular freighter were not concerned with petty pirates, it was too large a target for anything short of the biggest and most imposing of pirate bands such as the fearsome Fireknives; and even then, the livery would scare most off. The garish yellow with the shield-mounted symbol was known from one end of the galaxy to the other, and the bulk of the ship was imposing in itself, a ring five kilometres across, it was spindly but formidable, designed for transporting tibanna gas extraction plants from one part of the galaxy to another it was lined with modular containers not dissimilar to those found on diminutive BFF transports and with rows of hangars to allow it to be put to many uses, its aft quarters were a tangle of potent engines and spherical hypermatter reactors, and there was nestled a standard intermodal core-ship, a sphere with sizable towers on it, all emblazoned with the industrial warning-yellow stripes of the Mining Guild.

The Mining Guild had history with the Empress Teta system, it had been there for more than a thousand generations, before the Galactic Conclave had first been founded when early core worlds expansions had been based around carbon-freeze, the planet had provided early supplies of carbonite and still had even after twenty six thousand years, some stores of the volatile substance that were still mined, though hardly any.

What they had was not Carbonite but holds that stood empty, a ship like this would normally carry an inbound cargo as well, but this time none had been loaded. The disappearances were suspicious, and the Mining Guild wanted an investigation.

The Mining Guild was the oldest of all remaining the quasi-sovereign commercial entities in the galaxy, and if not the most profitable then at least the most widespread, their operations covered billions of metal rich planetoids throughout the mid and outer rims, and soaring cities in gas giants that extracted everything from corusca gems to tibanna gas. The Mining Guild was not the same kind of organization as the Techno Union or Trade Federation, instead it was a true guild, an organized affiliation of miners from across the galaxy in any number of specialized trades with profit sharing and other abilities. They had affiliated all those thousands of years ago to invest in and control automation, and spread like wildfire with the hyperlanes, a vast employee-owned cooperative that was as stable as mountains, seeing competitors rise, fall, and rise again over the millennia.

Out from Empress Teta. The system was not the head office of the Mining Guild, but it was a major recruitment center and traditional hub of administration and when signals had been cut off, the Mining Guild had dispatched the ship to go forth.

As the ship tumbled out of hyperdrive, pulled as if in a magic net back to baryonic space as the ship was hauled back below the speed of light, alarms blared.

Captain Kasha Barrl raised both her eyebrows as she examined the space around them, “Warning status off, sound general quarters, raise shields,” she directed. The crew of the Lath Hill were of many races, drawn from across the galaxy, hundreds of them, mostly miners or former miners, prospectors and specialists by trade before they had moved to service in the fleet arm of the Mining Guild.

“Where are we?” she asked.

The computer flashed a response immediately, a hologram filling the space before her with a projection of the local system. They were in a known system, though the scanner was designed to show high resolution prospecting images from the thousands of probe droids the ship might carry on its longer pilgrimages when mated to explorer craft that plyed the outer reaches of the galaxy, giving it a high-definition coloured grain.

“Jerrilek System,” she said, “gravimetrics, signs of interdiction mass-shadows?”

“None,” Analytics, the ship’s sensor coordinator said, “we have no sign of what caused the hyperdrive reversion, we’re analysing the systems now, it could be sabotage?” Analytics was her name, she was an Assembler; her presence on the bridge was a hologram of shimmering blue that projected her image from her nest among the vast computer system of the Lath Hill.

“No, this is something else,” she said, one of her eight arms adjusting the hologram, “It’s happened to other ships, by the debris pattern. We’ve got a light freighter transmitting nearby. Another of the Besalik captain’s hands reached out to one of the array of controls around her station, pushing a crimson button to address the internal crews.

“Launch alert fighters, combat patrol pattern. Run out the guns, and power up main communications array, let’s see what we’re dealing with,” she said. “The ship?”

“Malgraveans, Ambitious Puffin extragalactic though the ship is equivtech, likely a recent purchase, closely aligned to our new friends,” Analytics said. “Surprising to see them here. We should offer them shelter.”

Kasha nodded, and switched over to the local-space radio, “Ambitious Puffin, this is the Mining Guild Enhanced Conveyor Lath Hill,” she said, the ship was named after an ancient mining disaster that the guild had once endured, though it was far larger than the original Lath Hill site, “We have been affected by the same interdiction as you, and would suggest you come on board for the duration, as local pirate activity is believed to be responsible.”

Across the ship, hangars opened on the inner ring, and dozens of fighters were launched, the Mining Guild’s own aftermarket modification of the TIE fighter, which removed sections of the panels to provide greater visibility, at the cost of somewhat reduced heat dissipation capacity.

On the outer ring, gun-ports opened, and casement laser cannons were run out, while concealed plates slid back to elevate hidden turbolaser batteries into place on the upper and lower surfaces of the Lath Hill, forming a bristling castle in space. Within it, the newest models of binary war-droids produced for the Mining Guild and the Intergalactic Banking Clan were stirred into operation, grasping long blast rifles, as they dispersed to action stations.

Attacking the Lath Hill would be a test of resolve for anyone.

Related Posters: Malgrave and C'tan

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 4:53 pm
by Skaugra
Act 1 - Part 1 - Portense

Jerrilek, 12 light seconds from the Lath Hill, 88 Light Minutes from primary

Hiding in the shadow of a gas giant, Battlegroup Mordred stalked its prey. A large ship, bigger than anything that had shown up in system before, had dropped in beside the original target, a smaller transport ship. The Knight of Rebellion herself stood in full war gear, her helm retracted to show her countenance to those on the bridge. A large grin played upon her face like that of a jackal thirsting for prey. She'd been stalking this edge of the system for the better part of a week now, and nothing had come through her part of the net. Now, finally, something had fallen into her area. If she brought this ship in one piece, she knew, without a doubt, that her father and his master would surely be pleased. She watched the Oracle Lens as her prey deployed weapons and small craft, her excitement barely contained. Her ships' crews matched these motions in preparation, needing no words from her to know what needed to be done. In the back of her mind, she was thankful for that. Dwarfs rarely needed prompting to get anything done, and other races would often follow their lead due to their confidence and commandeering nature. The Thane at her command was a reputable, ambitious dwarf; the Son of the High King. Fitting, she had thought, as she was also the Son of a King.

"Oooh~! Two at once! Lucky!"

Mordred's face soured as a high-pitched voice broke through the din on the command deck. Of all the things she could fair to stand in this existence, this one person was someone she'd wished she'd not been cursed to be teamed with. A pink-haired, battle-skirt-donning thing, in Mordred's opinion, bounced its way up close to the Oracle Lens. Astolfo, of all people, was possibly the most annoying person in this universe second only to her father's Court Mage. She clicked her tongue in distaste at the though of him and banished it quickly. Astolfo was more than enough to irritate her alone.

"Shut up, Rider of Black," Mordred barked.

"Ah! I'm telling Grand Master Erina on you," chided the pink-haired palladin. "You know the rule. No class designations!"

"Oh shut the hell up, you damn cross dresser!" Mordred roared. "I can't help that that's how I know you by!"

"Nyahaha~!" Astolfo cackled in delight that teasing Mordred had worked yet again. "That's mean! If anyone's cross dressing, it's you, oh 'Son of Arthur.'"

"You-" Clarent, Mordred's sword, materialized into her hand in the snap of a red bolt of lightning.

"AHEM!" Mordred and Astolfo stopped in their tracks, their banter ceased by the commanding presence and disdainful glare of Thane Thorbald. "If it would please milords, all jump-capable ships have been deployed and their weapons stand primed. We await your command, Knight Prince."

At those words, Mordred's grin returned. "Thanks, Thorbald." The Thane returned with a smirk and a nod.

Mordred stepped forward, a pedestal rising to lift her slightly as a series of sigils and runes materialized as a display around her. Her hands drifted out, clutching and realigning the Ethercraft incantation to form a string in front of her. "Battlegroup Mordred! Align Ether reactors!"

The collected ships hummed in unison. The primary capital ships glistened in a red hue as the Ether enveloped them, and their smaller craft surrounding them soon joined in, and their collective light shined brighter. Mordred's helm snapped shut at the apex of the the Ether's collection. Bringing her sword up, the Ethercraft incantation imbued itself upon it, and red lightning danced upon the sword. "Jump!"

At her now-metallic-sounding command, a booming thunder clap resounded through the void near the gas giant, instigating on that world a storm that would last millenia, and in that moment the fleet disappeared from its shadow. In exactly the same moment, the same cacophonous thunder clap boomed through the void as Battlegroup Mordred materialized some 5,000 kilometers to the port side of the Lath Hill, with the Ambitious Puffin caught between them. The Grimnar-class Grudgebearer led the formation, her guns already bristling and trained forward, while the Atanon-class Palladin's Charge shadowed behind her in a hull down position, revealing only her dorsal main cannons from over top of the Grudgebearer. Flanking both ships were their accompanying small craft. The Palladin's Charge had deployed two line formations on the wide port and starboard flanks, making up three Magister-class, five Magus-class, and five Hydra-class respective, accompanied by 30 Wyvern fighters and 18 Golem heavy fighters each. At the front flanks of the Grudgebearer, two delta formations sat alongside her port and starboard bow, making up two Magister-class, two Magus-class, and one Hydra-class respective, accompanied by four Wyvern fighters and three Golem heavy fighters each.

The lightning on Mordred's sword cleared with a wide swing, and she stepped down off the pedestal. "I leave you in command, Thorbald. Don't disappoint me or you'll owe me a Bugman's."

Thorbald laughed. "Try not to get yourself killed, manling."

"Same to you, short stuff," she retorted. "Let's go, Rider."

Astolfo pouted. "Geez, no class names!"

With that, both disappeared with a wisp, leaving Thorbald on the command deck. He swung his right arm opening a short-broad-range communications channel. His image would display a dwarf who was nearly an exact younger copy of his father, albeit with a slightly shorter beard, if anyone cared to notice.

"To those who sail before me, Thane Thorbald Thorgrimson; you trespass into territory rightfully claimed by my father, High King Thorgrim Grudgebearer, and his ally, Shi'pan Erina Arnork. To the obvious belligerent ship, stand down and state your intentions. To the transport ship, power down any shielding you may have and submit to Triumvirate escort."

PostPosted: Thu Jan 25, 2018 8:32 pm
by New Dornalia
CRS Bulychev
Jerillek System

The CRS Bulychev and its sister Heinlein-class Exploration ships had been commissioned to do many things. Explore strange new worlds. Seek out new life and new civilizations. Solo entire enemy fleets in hostile territory if those new civilizations didn't like interlopers. Travel quickly using a proprietary Flux Capacitor drive to deliver a Stone Cold Stunner to a very reluctant time, space, and physics. Take many, many punches and eve divide its unusual, wedge shaped saucer into multiple smaller ships to tear into an enemy with extreme prejudice. Basically, the Bulychev was meant to be the ultimate exploration vessel-cum-badass command ship--like the kinds that Hollywood heroes used in any number of sci-fi epics to save the day. And it looked like nothing in Skyriver Galaxy--although that part didn't really stand out much. Indeed, with its unusual twin nacelle, small middle section, and wedge shaped saucer, it was as if it came from a completely different context altogether.

Of course, all that badassery, all that Hollywood-movie-script-level shielding and defenses--bought for a princely sum from General Motors, no doubt--wasn't going to do the Dornalians much good...if they couldn't get past the FTLi fields blocking their path.


Onboard the Bulychev, Captain Darlene Abboud looked every bit the that particularly Dornalian way.

Sitting on the Captain's Chair with her legs spaced apart, she leaned forward to look at the viewscreen and the sight in front of her. In one hand was the ever-present Abboud family drink--a bottle of Corvid Cream, the chocolate flavor this time. In the other hand, a surprisingly archaic tool she had acquired from an old boyfriend. A tessen--a heavy war fan used by Japanese warlords for centuries as a covert self-defense weapon. This version had been modified with a short range holdout blaster on the inside and a lightsaber resistant construction. Expensive? Yes. But when your ex was one of the Collins family kids....and the one what ran a marine insurance firm.....yeah. The Tessen was open, and it displayed the Naval Corps of Engineers logo upon a blue background. Her hair--long, black, and well kept--was tied in a French Braid behind her head, so as to avoid getting it caught on anything. Her uniform, the standard Working Uniform with its utilitarian four-pocket BDUs and blue color scheme, was well kept and displayed appropriately muted badges of rank. And, unlike other Dornalians, she wore no morale patches.

Darlene's face, bearing at least some Lebanese ancestry, looked more akin to a watchmaker working on a fine watch or a Roman statue, gazing into infinity. Her expression was contemplative, and troubled all at once with a hard gaze and a squint. Her eyes darted from sight to sight on the view screen, eagerly dissecting the information within with each sip of Corvid Cream. As she stared at the viewscreen, she snapped the tessen shut with a loud SNAP! sound. The sound didn't disrupt the men and women on the bridge. As it was, they were busy enough trying to sort out what was going on. One moment, they had been traveling at FTL using their Flux Capacitor drives--and the next, they were dragged out of FTL into reality. The viewscreen showed multiple ships in front of them--one big, one small, and a fleet of unknown ships which didn't match anything known in the Skyriver ship logs.

As to what caused them to exit FTL....well, Darlene had to ask. In a commanding voice, she asked, simply speaking into the air, "Engineering, status report. What's keeping us from using FTL?"


Down below, a young woman--wearing the same coveralls as Captain Abboud, but with a much less formal bent to it--could be seen moving around a tablet computer busily discussing the situation at hand with various crewmembers a frantic, overcaffinated voice whose accent was clearly from someone who was either born in Hawaii or raised in some other area where Polynesian, Asian and American cultures met. Her rank badges and the deference the others paid to her as she spoke--not to mention, the Morale Patch which read simply "Your Lack of Faith DIsturbs Me"-- signified she was the one in charge of the Engineering Department. Her nametag read "Lum," and her short stature didn't seem to compromise the fact that she was the one in charge of keeping the ship running mechanically. Certainly, she had the swagger of one trying to untangle a mystery, darting about from department to department...and then the Captain called. A pair of dog's ears on top of Lum's otherwise normally human head perked up, as did the tail she had.

Annoyed, Lum muttered, "Not now." Tapping the radio affixed to her left breast pocket, she said, somewhat tense as Darlene's image came to life on the small holoprojector, "Chief Engineer Lum here. I wish I could provide you with an answer, Captain. But I don't have one. Whatever's holding us here? It's holding us tight. Flux Capacitor won't work, and let's not get started on the Jump Drive. Even the jump computers are stuck. It's like they wanna calculate, but then keep freezing up." Turning to one man she shouted, "Get that shit in gear! Move it you lolo!"

Darlene immediately shot back, her voice flat and stern, "How long until you can get me an answer, Chief Engineer?"

Lum looked around at the engineers hard at work running scans and trying to figure out what was what, and could only say with a sigh, "Hard to say, Captain. Damn things are just refusing to cooperate." A pause, and then she declared as she walked, the holographic image following along, "I'll keep working on it, but I'm not making any promises."

Darlene then took a sip of Corvid Cream, and asked bluntly, "What systems do function, Ms. Lum?"

The Chief Engineer stopped, and tapped her tablet to bring up a few screens, all of which reported various systems were functioning as intended--both from the Engineers' point of view and from Gracie-Bulychev's reports. Lum then replied to Darlene, quickly but not as tense, "Well, we do have everything else. Weapons, Saucer Seperation Servos. Except for the fact we can't use FTL, we're otherwise good to go."

Abboud would then simply say, with a cough, "Keep at it, Ms. Lum. Make sure we have weapons and sublight drive in case things get violent." Before Lum could reply, the comms went off and Lum shrugged with a simple, "Yes, sir" in a sarcastic tone, moving to fix something else.


Darlene then sipped her Cream, and then, perhaps out of nervousness, opened her fan again with a snap of her wrist. Fanning herself, she then heard a Russian-accented voice next to her.

"You are....nervous."

At that, Darlene raised an eyebrow and turned to the source of the voice. The source was an unusual figure. Namely, it was a woman in what looked like a throwback to the old pre-Apocalypse days of space travel, when men could barely make it to the moon and when cutting edge meant sending space probes with golden records with sound samples on them into the distant unknown. The figure wore a suit which looked comparatively frumpier than Darlene's, with a safety orange veneer, considerably more bulk and zippers, and a motorbike style helmet which had the letters "CCCP" above the visor. The figure then lifted its hand up and removed the helmet, revealing the visage of a young woman with platinum blonde hair in a hime cut. The figure looked at Darlene with a smirk, and added, "You are nervous. I can tell. You only snap your fan like that back and forth when you are nervous."

Darlene replied, simply, as she looked at the figure with raised eyebrows, "Merely excited, Gracie...merely....excited."

Gracie nodded, and smiled knowingly saying, "Whatever helps you sleep, Captain. Anyway, I should tell you something about our current situation."

"Do tell, Gracie. What has changed?"

"This, actually."

With a flick of her fingers, Gracie displayed a readout of the current situation through a holographic display, showing a holographic model of the YX-1980 in front of them.

"To begin, we've managed to cross-index the two known vessels. One is a small freighter, a YX-1980 ship. We're picking up an emergency signal from the vessel, and it appears to identify the ship as the HMNV Ambitious Puffin."

Darlene gestured to the ship with her fan and ordered, "Play the signal?"

"As you wish."

The Ambitious Puffin's signal played for all on the bridge to hear, and Darlene nodded at the signal and the ship registry code with a curious, "Malgraveans? What are they doing here?"

"I am not sure myself, Captain," Gracie said with a shrug. Swiping her hand in the air, the image then showed a series of scans and flashing database entries as Gracie explained, "I do know however, that PKE scans indicate that the ship itself likely possesses individuals of considerable Empowerment, with energies corresponding to the Force and possibly Ancestral Magic." Gracie then said, stroking her chin, "Presumably, they have come to the Skyriver Galaxy for exploration? Or to learn secrets of the Jedi?"

"Perhaps. Either way....." Darlene said, looking at the bigger ship, asked, "What of the bigger ship?"

"That is the Lath Hill. Armed merchantman belonging to the Mining Guild, a major megacorporate concern focused, as you may guess, on resource extraction. They did have interests in the system, I think--although Mining Guild works all over Skyriver."

Darlene nodded, moving her fan about as she contemplated the scene.

"Obviously, the Guild's concerned about the fact their people are going missing. I mean, you don't send an armed merchantman to a pirate ridden zone unless its either to trade or to protect trade with extreme prejudice." With a sip of Corvid Cream, Darlene then said simply, "Then, I think the other party....those gents are the unknown quantity." Turning to Gracie, Darlene asked, inquisitively, "Think these are the gents who projected the FTLi?"

"Hard to say. One could guess this would be so, but correlation does not equal causation." Gracie said that as the situation unfolded.

Darlene, at that point, took a sip of her Corvid Cream once more, and then snapped her fan shut. Extending her arm and the fan out to the viewscreen, Darlene leapt up and stood ramrod straight, declaring, "Helm, take us closer to the scene. Tactical, scan the unknown vessels, I want to see what they're up to. And, open channels to each individual vessel, on my signal."

As the ship began creeping forward closer to the Mexican standoff in front of them, the Communications Officer turned to Darlene and informed the Captain that all frequencies were opened. To that, Darlene nodded, siting down in her wide legged, leaning forward, stern stance from before, and snapped her war fan open as she spoke.

"HMNV Ambitious Puffin, this is the Colonial Republican Ship Bulychev. I understand you have been suffering from mechanical trouble. Please state the nature of your emergency, over."

With a whipping snap of her fan shut, Darlene then had a channel opened to the Lath Hill

"Merchant Vessel Lath Hill, this is the Colonial Republican Ship Bulychev. I understand there is a hostile standoff ongoing. Do you know anything about the unknown contacts in proximity to you, ourselves and the Ambitious Puffin? And do you require assistance? Please advise, over."

And then, Darlene opened her fan again, causing Gracie to open a channel to the unknowns on all frequencies.

"Unknown vessels, this is the Colonial Republican Ship Bulychev. We mean no harm, but it appears there is a situation involving yourselves and the other vessels." Pausing, Darlene then coughed and said, providing a slightly inquisitive pretext to the call, "Particularly, it appears that there is some sort of force interrupting local use of Faster Than Light travel. Do you require assistance?"

Hopefully, the responses would be....interesting, but not too interesting. Still, this did not look like a good situation.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:01 am
by The Ctan
Lath Hill Computer Room

Analytics was an Assembler, and many would take that for her title, but it was in fact the name of her species; her kind had a term they referred to themselves as, of course, but their own language was quite unpronounceable to humans and their cousins, though she could in fact speak basic as well as her own species’ vocalizations. She was never quite content with the name Assembler though, for though it referred to what her kind did; they assembled information, not physical objects; compiler would have been more suggestive she felt, but Assemblers had been in the galactic community long enough for the name to have stuck.

She had made her nest in the Lath Hill’s computer core, warm, and refreshing, she kept it dark; she had spun her webs here when the coreship had first been constructed, almost sixty years ago, and she’d never left in all that time; her speciality was in computers and information analysis, a skill that was not second nature to her kind, but first nature. The evolutionary ancestors of the Assemblers had spun webs, like many arachnid-form creatures across the cosmos, but those webs had been more than simple traps, their silk was not a restraint, but a sensor web that contained optical fibre spun from her spinnerets; on their shrouded homeworld such webs had provided an ability for a single ancestral Assembler to perceive hundreds of acres of territory, and as the species had developed, to form intricate social networks through the forests and caves of home.

As they had developed, they had naturally integrated information processing into this existing faculty, and when they had made their tentative reach into space and joined the great Galactic Conclave, adapting their own technology to the galaxy’s had been only natural.

Analytics’ nest was ensconced in the computer rooms, linked to banks of transfer ports that worked with the devices around her; she required no other input/output devices, and rested on a broad acceleration couch that protected her when the vast merchanter entered hyperspace. She was surrounded by hundreds of her nodes; sub-sapient juveniles of her species. When she died, they would consume her carcass in a feeding frenzy, and ultimately each other, each held a part of her memories, and she could remember her foremothers’ experiences in part; nodes could develop to adulthood if separated from the parent at the right time in their life-cycle, too, and she had occasionally sent them out, her daughters were scattered across the galaxy.

She sat with her legs folded under her, and let the information pulse through her body. Thane; Thorbald Thorgrimson; High King, Thorgrim Grudgebearer, the terms pulsed through her mind, and she untangled them as one of her nodes might untangle an aging part of their webbing before reweaving it. Patronymic, a pattern that identified the name as a reference to a legendary fleet-commander, or a god, or a type of stone, or more, she pulsed through information, she could tell that the group were ExGals, another set of recent immigrants perhaps, and that accorded with the fact that they had some form of interdiction technology that had defeated the Lath Hill’s engines; she would not say that all recent immigrants to the galaxy had superior technology, far from it, but they had come up with some surprising ideas and abilities, and she tasked a part of her labyrinthine mind with dredging information on this force, while another examined their ships with the Lath Hill’s sensors.

Their translation hadn’t been hyperspace, there hadn’t been the pseudomotion or wake rotation of a hyperdrive translation, nor were there other signs, it was as though they had teleported, she wondered at that, and saved the recordings, but that was only informative in how perhaps they were avoiding the problem that had beset the Lath Hill and the other ships.

They were a hornet’s nest, she read hybrid troopships and attack frigates capable of carrying thousands of troops, perhaps a whole division, headed toward them. The Lath Hill outmassed any of the ships that opposed it, considerably so in fact, and even accounting for the fact that the ships they faced were true warships, she was confident; engine power counted for a lot, and the Lath Hill was designed to propel huge masses through hyperspace, she had five substantial reactors capable of vast outputs, and all of them were now coming to full power, ramping up the ship’s shields and charging capacitors that sat beneath each turbolaser battery.

Analytics watched the enemy formation; there was a ship they were keeping back. It was unusual to shelter a ship behind another like that, such ships were enfiladed – allowing shots that missed the first to hit the one behind, the classic ‘crossing the T’ of sail-warfare if they missed the first – unless the protected ship was vulnerable or valuable beyond the lead ship’s value. She bet on ‘vulnerable’ – the ship was a carrier, a super-carrier, with hundreds of small craft aboard.

She looked with her jewel-like compound eyes toward the hologram of the captain before her. “Roll us to port and bring our prow ten degrees to starboard, bring all dorsal batteries to target the carrier at aft; if they want to protect it, a few hundred target locks on it might dissuade them,” she said. She did not think two-dimensionally, but then, she was a web-building spider not a biped; it was easier for her.
__ __ __

Lath Hill bridge.

“Good idea,” the captain said, “helm yaw starboard ten degrees, roll port ninety degrees,” she said, “All dorsal turbolaser turrets to director-fire. Directors, lay in single target firing pattern, rangekeepers to be updated, active sensor ping on target for converging fire on ship designated threat-force two, and stand by for firing order, and arbitrary ballistics.”

Kasha Barrl looked back to Analytics’ hologram, “Any more good ideas?”

“We’ve an inbound transmission from the new contact, they’re Dornalians typically impulsive sorts but could be good news,” she said, and waved one pointed leg, the the dornalian message played.

“We definitely need assistance,” Kasha said, “these people seem to have laid an interdiction field over the entire system out of nowhere and are denying free travel, we’ll forward you the message we received,” she said, and Analytics nodded that it had been done, “I’m just about to reply, one moment,” she said, and cut the transmission that she’d narrowcasted to the Dornalians.

“What do you think?”

“I’m sending you some points to hit,” Analytics said, “channel open in three, two, one.”

“This is Captain Kasha Barrl of the Mining Guild ship Lath Hill,” she began, “we reject the accusation that we are ‘obviously belligerent’ in this situation; we intend to proceed with our lawful business in the accustomed manner, since our forefathers’ forefathers’ eldest days we have held navigation rights here from the Navigators’ Guild and will have no talk of interdition nor tarrif over these customary rights; such has been our right for twenty five thousand years, we will not submit to the dishonourable intentions of pirates. If you, Thorbald Thorgrimson, wish to make claim to impede us, then I would have the details of this, by what right do you lay this claim? Wherefore comes any claim that counteracts the ancient and honourable Navigator’s Guild’s rights of passage, laid down from the earliest days? Without the most convincing evidence of such claims, which I would need to communicate to the Elders and Guildmasters of the Mining Guild to discuss, I can only take you as a brigand.”

She cut the transmission, and hailed the Ambitious Puffin, “You guys may be new to this part of space, but I wouldn’t trust these fellows,” she said, “this situation is part of a recent string of piracy and shows nothing but contempt for legal norms and ancient usage.”

“I have a mapping protocol,” Analytics said, as she ended the transmission to the Malgraveans.

“Execute it,” the captain said.
__ __ __

Lath Hill, Jerrilek

The ship rolled to its side for a simple reason; where it had previously been a narrow ‘saucer’ like area it soon became a wide disc, such that no matter where the Palladin’s Charge moved, unless it were to come almost close enough to touch the other ship, which would present obstacles of its own.

On the dorsal side of the ship, the gun turrets that had been run out previously began to move as one, tracking toward the Palladin’s Charge, targeting scanners pinging the ship as they rotated and came to bear.

Meanwhile, from the underside of the ship, pods were launched, heading away from the system’s primary, dozens at first, while another squadron of TIE fighters were deployed.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 26, 2018 4:08 pm
by Malgrave
HMNV Ambitious Puffin
Jerrilek System

Nadzieja grumbled to herself as the computer system in front of her continued to highlight the fact that the ships hyperdrive system was still out of commission, it's blinking lights seemingly mocking her very existence. It had been established a few moments earlier that a specialised interdiction vessel wasn't responsible for the sudden outage of the FTL system, and so that had narrowed down the possibilities to a natural event, an engine failure or some sort of unknown technology.

Antonio had quickly assigned himself to look for something natural or artificial in the system, the Malgravean had trained himself extensively in the local sensor systems and he was currently hunched over one of the computer systems looking at the information coming in from the ships scanners.

At that point, an additional voice filled the cockpit as someone used the ships in-built communication system to send a quick update from the engine room. Just one of the advantages of being in a ship crewed by members of the ASG was that they didn't have a shortage of engineers and scientists on hand, and Konstancja Wronski had been quickly selected to visually inspect the ships hyperdrive system.

"I don't think it's a mechanical issue," Konstancja said. "I mean we haven't made any modifications to the original engine so I can't see anything here that would explain why we can't engage the hyperdrive."

As Konstancja finished her explanation another series of alarms filled the room, this time indicating that the Malgraveans were no longer alone in the system. Nadzieja simply looked over at her colleague who quickly got to work.

"It's a large freighter called the Lath Hill, apparently operated by something called the Mining Guild," Antonio said. "I've heard that they've got mining interests across the galaxy, so it's possible that they were simply travelling to a site when they got pulled into the same disruption as u--" the Malgravean said the end of his analysis cut off as the ship informed the cockpit that they had received an incoming communication.

Nadzieja paused for a moment as she contemplated the information. If the local Mining Guild operated anything like the state-owned Mining interest back home she doubted that they'd have an incentive to block all FTL traffic. "I think it would be beneficial to accept their offer of protection at the moment. I wouldn't want to be caught in the middle of a fire--" the Malgravean said her words cut short as the ships system indicated that an entire fleet had jumped into the system.

"It looks like a couple of capital ships with accompanying defensive escorts and fighters. I can't say much beyond that." Antonio said, the confusion evident in his voice, the Malgraveans were still rather new to this part of the galaxy and so their database on local ship classifications and organisations was somewhat limited.

"It's entirely possible that they were sent to investigate the recent failure of the FTL system in the region, but it's also possible that they are the ones responsible," Nadzieja said with a frown, she would've preferred a simple transport mission but it looked like the ancestors had other plans for her ship, of course, her earlier assumption changed when a strange dwarf suddenly appeared on the ships short-range communication system.

"High King? Triumvirate? If they start talking about the Holy Chronicles and the benefits of pine tea I'm putting Admiral Rope in charge." Antonio said as the entire ship appeared to contemplate the information, the only High Kings the Malgraveans knew were responsible for the loss of the original Malgravean homeland, and a series of incidents and conflicts over the years that had resulted in much pain and suffering for the Malgravean people.

"I don't feel comfortable surrendering these individuals," Nadzieja said, in normal circumstances, she would've considered going along with their request but the rank of High King had reminded her of the Imerians and the blood eagle punishment they liked to threaten Malgraveans with from time to time.

"Thane Thorbald Thorgrimson, this is the HMNV Ambitious Puffin. We were transporting delegates from the Ancestral Study Group when our hyperdrive system failed and ejected us into this system.” Nadzieja said, as she sent this message the Ambitious Puffin would start moving towards the Lath Hill, she didn’t like the odds but she hoped that her ships agility and the shielding system she just deployed would prevent them from being immediately destroyed by the nearby fleet. “Prior to your entry into the system the Lath Hill offered to protect us from the potential threat posed by pirates and we would prefer to accept that diplomatic offer.”

As the YX-1980 began to move towards the Lath Hill an increasingly familiar noise filled the cockpit as the ship informed the crew that yet another ship had entered the system.

“Seriously? If this isn’t a sign from the ancestors I don’t know what is.” Antonio said as he checked the nearby computer. “It’s the Dornalians. I don’t recognise the class of ship but I can sense the dramatic pauses from here.”

Nadzieja grinned as she continued to maneuver her transport ship, the sudden arrival of the Dornalians was a welcome surprise considering the situation they now found themselves in and she quickly sent them a message.

“CRS Bulychev, this is the HMNV Ambitious Puffin. We were transporting delegates from the Ancestral Study Group when our hyperdrive system failed. Any assistance that you could render would be greatly appreciated.” she then sent over a message to the Lath Hill.

"Mining Vessel Lath Hill, this is HMNV Ambitious Puffin. We are thankful for your earlier offer of assistance and we're still willing to attempt to land within a position of safety inside your ship if the offer is still open."

PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:57 pm
by Skaugra
Aboard the Grudgebearer

At the arrival of the Bulychev, klaxons flared, putting a furrow in Thorbald's brow. Without waiting for the bridge crew to call it out, Thorbald swiped his hand and grasped the image of the new ship. It was an odd design, for sure. An exploration ship, perhaps? It was certainly sleek, much like the ships the pointy ears had made as descibed in the lore of old. It was undeniably a manling's handiwork, though. The paneling on the exterior was too rough-looking, like but unlike those made by dawi hands. He grunted dismissively; these details mattered very little. They were his last concern. Kasha Barrl, Captain. He would remember this name. Twenty five thousand years? He scoffed to himself before opening a closed channel with Mordred.

"Are you ready, princeling?"

"I was born ready," came her confident reply.

"Good," he stated, swiping his hand to open the channel between all ships. "Respective Captains, but most notably you, O' Kasha Barrl. You claim ancient heritage as though you speak to an ignorant fool, but I ask you this, umgi. What does a claim of twenty five thousand years hold to a grudge of five hundred thousand?"

He let his words sink in for a moment before continuing. "My people, the dawi, or perhaps you might know us as Dwarfs in legend, have traveled the stars in diaspora since before your primitive ancestors had developed sublight technology. We were driven from our home of Karak Skaugra by the filthy Kuarans and the oathbreaking Gree, and our time has finally come to collect on this debt older than your bloodline.

"Let it be known, Kasha Barrl, that a dawi never forgets anything; be it an oath, a debt, a favor, or a grudge, all dues are recorded, and none in more detail than in the Great Book of Grudges that my father carries with him. All dawi have read this ancient tome, and grudges beyond time comprehensible to you are still well remembered. To come between my people and our rightful reacquisition of home and territory over your own and that of the Navigator's Guild shall warrant nothing less than war.

"However," Thorbald paused, his tone lightening. "Should you value the sanctity of ancient rights and claims, and submit to escort, I shall personally take you to an audience with my father and his oathkin, where they shall impart all that I have spoken of and more to you. The choice is yours. You have ten minutes to discuss this amongst yourselves."

PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2018 3:10 pm
by The Ctan
“Payload, lock tractors onto the Ambitious Puffin, bring them in,” Kasha said, one of her many arms switching external communications to tight-beam, dialling in a channel on the Puffin from one antenna and the Bulychev with another, hitting the button for the Puffin first, “Puffin, stand by, you’re in for a rough ride,” she said, the tractor beams were prodigious, intended to lift a mining station out of a gas giant, and and the operators imparted a random vector alteration as the TIE-fighters from the Lath Hill closed in to provide escort; the random modulation of the tractor beams would not be felt by the passengers aboard the puffin, the ship was small enough to be entirely enveloped in the force fields they projected, accelerating every particle; accelerating the crew just as much as the space-frame, only slight shaking would be felt as the transport’s inertial compensators contra-operated slightly.

She keyed into her advisor’s line a moment later, “What do you think of this?”

“It is not possible to negotiate with a nexu when your head is in its mouth.” The argument was Analytics’ succinct comment to the offer proposed by the blockade force. If they did disarmed their weapons and went under escort, they would be unable to turn back, and likely to meet whatever fate the previous ships had encountered, one that no-one had returned from.

“Your claim may be valid or not, we’re not able to tell, as you are jamming our communications and transport. I am not inclined to trust anyone who makes their claim in the darkness and makes ships going peacefully about their lawful trade ‘vanish’ without trace; these are not actions that inspire confidence. As for your grudges, they may be sacrosanct, but if you prosecute them on those you come to as thieves in the night and robbers on the highway, I doubt there is any way to avoid conflict; drop your interdiction and signal jamming, and we will talk; even better, drop your interdiction and talk to someone else. Diplomats and guildmasters,” Kasha said, “better fitted to be the guests of your great king than myself, and better equipped to treat with him.

I am no diplomat; I am a miner, and I will keep what is mine; my rights and my goods. And I will keep to my word; to friends and enemies alike. Approach within one thousand kilometres of this ship without my leave and you will be fired upon immediately. Restore navigation and communications and we will have no quarrel here.”

PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 8:09 pm
by New Dornalia
Darlene could only watch as the situation escalated dramatically, with a sigh and a calculated, iron stare broken only by the odd sip of Corvid Cream.

From going without FTL, to the Lath Hill suddenly aiming at the enemy, to all the various comms and even the Ambitious Puffin being sucked into the Lath Hill--it was becoming less a standoff than a carefully calculated chess game. In this case, all the maneuvering lead to some particularly difficult options. Namely, the Mining Guild was throwing down the gauntlet and challenging the newcomers--the "dawi" they called themselves. The "dawi" could cut the blockages and let them all pass. Or, they could try the Mining Guild in combat. A dichotomy without much nuance, but hey--the Lath Hill was captained by someone who admitted they weren't a diplomat. Not that Darlene Abboud was one either, but some capacity to jibber-jabber with unknowns with some degree of nuance was beaten into those who were going to work for the Naval Corps of Engineers.

The captain sat there for a few awkward moments, contemplating how the Dornalians would respond. Would they too join with the Mining Guild and seek to force the reopening of the area? Or would they comply with the Dawi? Or was there a third option? The stakes were quite significant. One wrong move, and the Mexican Standoff which the Dawi had imposed would ignite a full scale fight. A full scale fight was something that even with the deep down, Darlene really wasn't interested in. She also had an inkling that the Malgraveans didn't want one either--they had been unfortunately sucked into a bigger scenario, really, on their quest for Tython. A quest which was unfortunately interrupted. And yet--the Guild had a point. Ships had gone missing. Something had to be done. Navigation had to be protected.

The moments were only punctuated by sips of Corvid Cream.

Then, she snapped her tessen closed, with a mighty snap. She then produced a handkerchief, wiped her mouth, and then pocketed the handkerchief and placed the Corvid Cream to the side. Then, she then sent a simple message to the Lath Hill and Ambitious Puffin, indicating on narrow bands to the two ships, "Bulychev Actual here. I'm with Kasha Barri here. I'm more than a little skeptical myself of just following these people into uncertain territory without something more. Let me try to speak to them, I'll keep you all copied."

With that, punching in the Dawi's comms channel and copying all others, Abboud declared, trying to bring the discussion down a notch with a more reasoned yet firm "good cop" tone (which normally would be best delivered by that of a Shakespearean actor in a space opera), "Thane Thorbald Thorgrimson, this is Captain Darlene Abboud of the CRS Bulychev. I do not doubt that you have ancient claims, and that your people have made the long sojourn to find a place they can call home. I do not doubt that you have long memories, and that you have long records stretching into ages past. But, from my perspective at least, while I would not mind discussion over your claims, ancient as they are...I must join with my colleagues in saying that I would prefer it if you would cease the jamming and faster-than-light interception before we proceed.

As you may understand--and i am sure you do--ships have been disappearing recently. Without assigning blame to anyone in particular, the fact is that the disappearances have raised considerable alarm amongst those outside this sector, as we're not sure about the fates of those crews and cargo which have vanished, especially given the nature of the Galaxy as of this point. Now, lowering those barriers, such as you have put in place, would be a considerable gesture of good faith that would allow us to more effectively hear what you have to say."

PostPosted: Thu Mar 15, 2018 3:13 pm
by Malgrave
Antonio muttered something in Ancient as the ship began to gently shudder from the force of the tractor beam, the fact that they were slowly being dragged into the Lath Hill wasn't problematic since they had made the decision to dock inside the vessel until the situation had been resolved but it was still slightly surprising.

"I guess they decided that they can't wait for us to make a landing under our own power," he said as the ship began to slowly drift towards the large mining vessel, "Or they just don't trust us to make a landing without crashing," he added with a chuckle, the prideful side of him was slightly offended by the notion that the CO of the Lath Hill lacked confidence in his flying ability but it made sense considering the unfolding situation.

"It seems like the Lath Hill suspects the fleet led by the so-called High King of blockading FTL and communications in this sector," Nadzieja said frowning as she cycled through the somewhat limited database on the local galaxy, the SIS would certainly need to work to improve the quality of the information provided to pilots in the future, and she made a note to complain to someone in the Foreign Ministry if they survived, "If that assumption is correct and this so-called High King doesn't comply I suspect that the situation will deteroriate rapidly, and we're going to want to be inside the safety of the Lath Hill when that happens."

"You know it," Antonio said bumping Nadzieja's fist, "I didn't exactly envision being caught up in the middle of a local dispute when I accepted this mission. Let's just hope that the ancestors are watching over us."


Konstancja and Sofia both withdrew their lightsabers before deeply bowing to each other, the two had been in the middle of a brief training session but the slight vibrations being felt across the ship had activated their inner engineer, and they soon found themselves back in the common area of the ship.

"It looks like the inertial compensators are putting in a bit of work," Sofia said before taking a small sip of an energy drink, "I'd say we're being pulled in by a tractor beam, and since we haven't been contacted by the cockpit I think we can safely assume that the action is being performed by a friendly vessel."

Konstancja shook her head in disagreement, "It's also possible that we're entering a localised gravity well," she said before adding, "We can't say anything for certain before we have more information."

Sabrina nodded in agreement at Sofia's suggestion, of course, it was also possible that they had been caught up in yet a natural phenomenon but she understood that the transport they were travelling on was lightly armoured, and she could certainly see the pilots attaching itself to a larger vessel for protection, "If the phenomenon blocking our FTL system is artificial in nature I don't think the organisation behind it is going to react kindly to our presence," she said before activating the ships internal communication system, "Can you settle a bet for us? Sofia thinks that we're being pulled in by a tractor beam but Konstancja isn't so certain."

"It looks like you'll have to pay up for once, Konstancja," Nadzieja said with a laugh, she had surrendered quite a few Malvians to Konstancja's card tricks so she was quite pleased to know she was on the losing side of a bet for once.

"I didn't put any money down for a bet," Konstancja grumbled muttering something to herself in Ancient before handing Sofia a small amount of Malvians, "So as we're being transported somewhere do we need to get ready for action?"

"You don't," Antonio said before adding, "It's a friendly ship so I am certain you can find plenty of other folks on board to try and hustle around the gambling table."

"In that case, we'll just head back to the training room," Sofia said with a smile, "Unless you feel like feeling any more bets, Konstancja."

Konstancja could only grumble in response as she returned to training.

PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2018 3:36 pm
by Skaugra
Thorbald's response to Darlene was swift. "Favors given in good faith are often taken advantage of, Captain Abboud. This is a lesson my people learned the hard way when we were banished from our home." Thorbald's face darkened. "Even if it were within my power to remove the inhibiting field, who is to say that it is not simply a ploy by those who hold Koros or Karak Ska-u-gra to reopen communications to coordinate a strike against us? No, Captains. Only a fool would agree to open the gate of their fortress."

Thorbald paused for a moment, his thick, calloused finger hovering over a particular rune on his console. With a light sigh and his tone turning somber, he spoke once more. "I can already tell that you have the head of a Dawi, Kasha Barrl. Were this any other situation, I'd have had no qualms with allowing you safe passage. However, you've stepped into a war whose rules you can never escape, and one that can not be treated upon conventionally. If you will not come willingly, then my charge will bring you uncompromisingly." He depressed the rune.

It was no secret what was happening next. Over the next few seconds, the Grudgebearer's spinal rail gun began to charge itself. Pulsing blue light shined brightly across the interior edges of the main cannon as the projectile slid into place. Atop it, though likely unnoticeable to anyone in that moment, Mordred stood with her suit fully enclosed. She raised her sword cockily to her shoulder as she flexed her free hand in anticipation. A grin, concealed by her helm, was plastered across her face. Placing her left foot forward, she planted her stance in preparation for a lunge, both hands gripping the hilt of Clarent, her sword, and bringing it back for an underhand swing. A deafening whine encompassed her as the rail gun's charge reached critical mass. In that moment, the massive slug was propelled forward at 500km/s, and a dull thud reverberated through the void as blue, electromagnetic arcs dancing along the slug and the tip of the main gun.

Mordred's eyes were on the prize. The Lath Hill was hers.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:36 pm
by The Ctan
“Fire!” Kasha snapped, the moment the enemy craft fired, and she waved one of her arms as another held the intercom button down, “All batteries open fire.”

From the outside of the ship it lit up with blue fire, pulses of it emerging from the upper gun decks where the guns had been run out. The blast shields that had covered the turbolasers had run down on distinctive rails built into the outer hull, and they had already stood ready for the order for some minutes, elevated and turned, optics between each quadruple turbolaser mount locked in on the target vessel. The battery fire system allowed all the guns to operate with a trifecta of computer systems inside the Lath Hill, the control stations, director computers, and plotting room.

The directors were mounted on the upper and lower hull of the freighter-battleship, rectennas within geodesic domes of sensor transparent material that still provided shielding from atmospheric effects and micrometeroids. These computers were master optical systems that were dialled in on the Palladin’s Charge, and in their current operating mode, the fire control stations near to these, close enough for signal lag to be less of an issue and for maintenance access to be possible, contained three beings each.

Of these, one was section-chief Jan Keil, a Corellian, she was the epitome of a naval professional. The dorsal fire control room was her domain and from its periscope optical column she could see the Palladin’s Charge, the entire gun array on the dorsal side of the ship was linked into a single trigger, and when she squeezed it, the ship rumbled with thunder. From her fire control room, the central plotting room was automatically updated, mounted in the core ship, this fire control room held direct mechanical links from its computers to gyroscopes that updated the ship from nanosecond to nanosecond to accommodate the recoil of its guns.

These guns were turbolasers, a hybrid tibanna-plasma and electromagnetic beam weapon, and each shot’s recoil was significant, not just from the gas but the sheer energy of the EM emission of the gun was itself a recoil – in the same way that photon engines propelled a ship.

When turbolasers missed, as seemed distressingly common to lay observers, it was because of failures in the twin processes of aiming and ranging, often the latter; not so here, here the Lath Hill had been given plenty of time to both aim and establish the range of its primary target; not one shot would miss. Furthermore the guns had been set to continuous aim on the Palladin’s Charge; they would move with it, tracking it automatically. Unlike hectic battles trying to acquire small freighters and similar insurgent craft, where the less reliable selected level aiming – the gun only firing when the computer established a firing lock – this model of aiming would allow continuous volleys on the Palladin’s Charge.

The rangekeepers were dialled in too, computers that kept the fire control solution on the Palladin’s Charge from drifting no matter how she manoeuvred.

In its current position the Lath Hill had to do three things that used up most of its energy output, it had to maintain its shields, to reel in the Ambitious Puffin, these three tasks drew down thousands of times its hotel load – that required to keep the oxygen scrubbers and heating elements and lights and internal gravity running – and the systems that ran from it were mounted on massive power columns, trunk-like superconducting power busses tens of meters wide.

The fields that held the Puffin were limited by the small area it presented for contact with the tractor beams, and the number of tractor beams that could be actuated onto it, as well as the inertial compensator safety limits of the smaller craft - if they had a mind to override safety limits the tractor beams would make an impressive if impractical weapon – and the ray shields only drew down enough power to control the neutrino dispersal radiator systems that operated as heat sinks, and to keep their power systems operative – their power draw had highest priority, and would increase the more the Lath Hill was attacked. Other shield systems used more power, including the power-hogs that were the particle shields, often left down on ships in peaceable situations. All of the other power along these massive power trees was free to flow into the guns on the dorsal side.

And flow it did.

The trio of reactors of the Lath Hill were bigger than those of a star destroyer, bigger than the ; she was not a wholly efficient warship, for she could not drive all of her power output into one set of guns, instead she had to rotate them and allow internal elements to disperse waste heat; to make up for this the guns were fired in sequence, routing the energy of the weapons through one turret then the next, in sequence, forming two rows of blasts that circled around its dorsal surface like an illuminated clock face.

The Lath Hill had already targeted one ship, and its blasts were all liable to miss the Grudgebearer – the more formidable enemy ship was not going to be able to manoeuvre to block all of them from striking the presumably more vulnerable enemy; simple parallax prevented this; the Lath Hill was a very wide ship.

Mordred had a problem set ahead of her, in fact she had two, the first was the ship’s deflectors, the second were its particle shields. Deflectors were a more active defence, known more generally as deflector screens, the generators for these shields were set ahead of the ship, generating forward facing fields that dispersed energy refractively, directing targets to the side; of course, against weapons grade projectiles that was no problem, but for someone actually riding a projectile, the risk of those energies was greater, they were intended to bend weapons fire away entirely, canted to one side. This system was one of the reasons that so many shots seemed to track before hitting.

This though, was a minor effect, compared to the particle shields. The energy density of the particle shields of the Lath Hill was significant, the moment the ship’s close range superluminal sensors detected the projectile, and pre-emptively increased the power of the shields; enough energy to vaporise a projectile coursed through the particle shields, enough to serve as a proxy solid barrier long before she hit the hull.

The ship’s docking bays began to grind open to receive the Ambitious Puffin, slipping the ship into the voluminous docking bay chosen as swiftly as possible, armed binary droids waiting with weapons charged should any uninvited guests appear.

Captain Barrl had only one other thing to say, one of her other hands touching the communications array, “To hell with that,” she said.

PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2018 11:17 am
by New Dornalia
Meanwhile, aboard the Bulychev, things were going into overdrive.

Pauline and Gracie's observation of the situation was...well, it certainly aligned with the obvious conclusion here. Things were going pearshaped. And fast.

The Dawi had essentially told the Dorns to go to hell. In their dense, lyrical threatening tones invoking the names of ancient enemies and stolen homelands, Thorbald had made it clear he wasn't in a trusting mood. He also evidently was not in a peaceful mood, because a single shot had been fired from one of the spinal railguns at the Lath Hill.

At this, Pauline pushed a button on her chair and said, sternly out of annoyance, "All hands, this is the captain. Battle stations. Repeat. Battle stations. Red alert."


Down below, Lum's crew heard the klaxons and began to assume their stations. For her part, the moment the klaxons sounded, Lum shouted, “Let’s go, let’s go! Places! NOW!”

Lum could be seen running around, walking and talking as she gestured for people to take care of business. They would need all the energy they could get at the moment for defense and offense, and Lum was proud of running a tight ship. Tight ships didn’t leak after all.

The engineering crew could be seen getting to consoles and conduits, grabbing tools and preparing for anything. Lum could also be seen tapping on her communicator, shouting orders to various departments, receiving communications, and providing updates to Captain Abboud.

“Bridge, this is Engineering. All systems are nominal, but FTL is not online as of yet. Will keep you posted.”


On the bridge meanwhile, Abboud looked at the tactical officer and asked, politely but firmly, “Status report, Tactical.”

“Okay, we’ve got only one shot so far fired by those assholes at the Lath Hill,” The Tactical Officer then could be seen frowning at the dialogue screens on his console. Abboud’s raised eyebrow--skeptical and concerned--was met with a reply from the Tactical Officer of simply, “Captain? You better take a look at this.”

“Onscreen, tactical.”

The Tactical Officer punched a few buttons and put up an image of the single shot from the Spinal Gun. In turn, readouts on screen confirmed that the Lath Hill had put up its shields and deflectors.

All in all, mundane so far. “So?” was Abboud’s skeptical reply, issued amidst a skeptical sip of Corvid Cream.

The Tactical Officer zoomed in and said, smiling slyly, “This is why.”

Sure enough, Abboud stopped talking and saw the sight on the screen. Getting up a bit, holding her tessen firmly as she continued to focus her gaze on the screen, Abboud’s stern, samurai-esque expression wavered little--but it did waver a little. Inside, Abboud couldn’t believe it. And frankly, if she had to guess correctly, no one else on the bridge could either.

After all, it wasn’t every day that an enemy could be seen surfing in space on a railgun slug about to collide with a friendly vessel, wearing what looked like an armored red and silver dress with a sword.

Abboud’s only thought was to sip some more corvid cream, and remain privately impressed with the sheer chutzpah of the situation. Still, she had to wonder who would be crazy enough to surf a railgun shot in battle--and what that said about the opposition. Externally, she could only ask, “What of the Puffin?

“Puffin got sucked into the Lath Hill, Captain,” Gracie said with a nod.

“Send a message to the Lath Hill and the Ambitious Puffin, let them know we will be prepared to teleport the Ambitious Puffin onboard if things get worse. Also, get us closer…and prepare our weapons to fire. Track that shot, if practicable, shoot a phaser shot at it.”

And sure enough, the tracking sensors and energy weapons went to work....

PostPosted: Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:34 pm
by Skaugra

The flash of light from a weapon system was all that Mordred had to react on as the Bulychev's tracking system squared in on her. In typical Servant fashion, this wasn't enough to catch her off guard as she brought Clarent up and caught the beam, holding it.

Six seconds.

Her helmet retracted back to reveal her face against the void of space and a red energy burst around her, now turning the energy weapon into a wireless power conduit.

Five seconds.


Four seconds.

She stepped into an off-stance, keeping the blade between her and the laser now acting as a charger. "BLOOD-"

Three seconds.

Mordred kicked off the slug, throwing her legs out in front of her path, directed at the Lath Hill. "ARTHUR~!"

Two seconds.

Mordred's arms threw the sword down between her legs, the point aimed directly at the Lath Hill, and a brilliant red light burst forth as a beam from Clarent's tip. In that moment, Mordred's velocity reduced significantly as the force of the beam pressed back on her.

One second.

Mordred grunted against the force of her overcharged noble phantasm as the hull of the Lath Hill rushed up at her on her peripheral vision. Her noble phantasm was weaving off slightly, but it stayed true, pushing against the shields of the Lath Hill until she was so compressed that she was throttled around by the implosion that pushed her further past.


Mordred hit the Lath's hull with the back of her shoulder first, but her instinct to drive her sword down, gouging the metal beneath her to slow her velocity. The sword gave way as she rolled, but her grip with her offhand bought purchase and she rolled over and drove her hand down. Plates tore and flipped in her wake as she bowled over once more and slammed Clarent down once again, this time wrenching her to a full stop and her shoulder joint clear of its socket. She roared in pain and defiance as her voice was eaten by the void, and her helm slammed shut so she could breathe once again. Planting her feet square beneath her, she rolled her shoulder back into place with a displeased grunt, then rolling her head and neck to work out the further kinks before she grasped Clarent once more. She swung once, against the hull in front of her to bisect the path of destruction she'd done to the outer hull, and then crouched and pulled herself into the superstructure.

Aboard the Grudgebearer

"Enemy return fire!"

"Raise shields to wartime!" Thorbald's voice boomed across the bridge as the first shots soared in on her and the Palladin's Charge. They struck true across vast sections of the passive shielding, with some of the shots even penetrating and blasting a few sparse holes into the hulls of both ships. Thorbald kept his balance as the ship rocked against the blast. "Respond!"

Forward went the support fighters, with the Wyverns quick to initiate the Lath's own fighter compliment, with the Golems quick to follow suit. The gunships then arranged to form a cubed screen around the forward section of the Grudgebearer enveloping her forward section as the main and secondary batteries began their responding volley fire against both the Lath Hill and the Bulychev. The Palladin's Charge, in her own right, responded by emptying her bowel-like hangars of her immediate interceptor compliment as several hundred midget fighters sprang forth into action, with many inbound against the Bulychev itself in support of a rush of Golem heavy fighters.