NATION

PASSWORD

Nightmare Resurgent [IC, Closed, FT, ATTN Kilrany]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Huerdae
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1972
Founded: Feb 28, 2009
Corrupt Dictatorship

Nightmare Resurgent [IC, Closed, FT, ATTN Kilrany]

Postby Huerdae » Fri Oct 08, 2021 9:31 am

Kiesta Colony
Garden, Coreward Delta


The team had arrived a scant few months ago, investigating a series of abnormal events in the small town called Kiesta, one of the larger settlements on the world. The world itself could be considered by many to be nearly 'ideal' with a wide habitable belt and few threats to its population or infrastructure, but it was far from any trade lane and uncomfortably close to a number of polities known to be too willing to prey upon others to further their own agendas.

Kiesta Colony (now called just Kiesta) was once a poster child of some corporation in some nation somewhere that was trying to blaze a new trail, became a stagnant world of small towns and empty, prefab structures once ready for an influx of hopeful souls that never appeared. It was the smaller of the two surviving primary settlements, though towns and villages dotted the world in haphazard ways. Agriculture and infrastructure were set up and left with no demand for their produce, leaving most of the early residents stuck on a world with little chance of income at the whim of outsiders they would never see. Some had managed to scrape together the funds to escape, stowed away in hopes of a better life, or taken to other means to leave the world, but many remained. Those that remained were stubborn and distrusting of outsiders, who they blamed for many of their troubles, but few had any good path off-world, even if they desired it. The settlements of the world had been sent as a first wave to seed the planet for further industrialization and colonization, so while they could gather raw materials, the factory works had never appeared to use any of what they had gathered.

Mines sat silent, and farms built to feed millions sat fallow, feeding a few hundred thousand across the world. The entire world was full of destitution, desperation, and silent despair as people struggled to make a living on their 'ideal' world. The world, renamed Garden of Loesar to drum up support amongst those who believed in Loesar, a deity of vibrance and hope, now brought such shame to the faithful of Loesar that they had recently paid a large sum to the residents to get the planet renamed merely to "Garden", enough to get them out of most of their initial debt, but not all.

All of this lead to the conclusion that the towns and settlements of the world would be desperate for items of real, practical value, but Kiesta had been spending every spare cent now for the past ten months on parts and construction expertise for a large-scale, high-bandwidth entanglement communication system. A system the likes of which wouldn't be required for a colony with twice the population of Garden, let alone Kiesta.

On top of that, the small mines designed to feed the greater colonization that sat dormant in other towns were up and running in Kiesta. Some proceeds were sold, nowhere near enough to justify the expense of running the mines, but much simply wasn't accounted for. The large stores of raw material that had been gathered were now mostly empty, and the town seemed to have little or no difference to the others on the world for all this.

All of these things indicated something was happening out of sight of the galaxy at large, but none of it quite fit. Bar'Densi had been tasked to take his team here, to this dirt-ridden planet to find out why, for fear that another Winger had escaped and was operating in the area, but there was no pheromone saturation in the atmosphere, near or around the town. It didn't rule out the start of an infestation, but it was strange. It meant, unfortunately for him and his team, they would be here a while.

To that end, they had set up outside town, in a home designed to once manage the food production of a little over ten thousand acres of land. Now, it sat amid the empty fields, thirty kilometers from Kiesta. They had spent the first week carefully subverting the systems designed to observe the empty cropland to allow it to interact with their devices, working as a central point from which they could observe and record the events within Kiesta.

Kestin Werna Sikissa had been making regular trips into town for supplies that could be expected of a group living on the outskirts away from town. Food, tools, and other supplies as they were deemed needed. The Sikissa had seemed to take some joy in bringing some business to the local economy, despite the open disgust many of the locals have for him. Some of the ire decreased as their new 'neighbors' realized they weren't there to farm, but the dislike of new faces was still palpable, and there was no level of trust awarded to the him even during his weekly visits. His slightly-too-large eyes and sharp carnivorous teeth that set him apart from the humans that dominated the population just made him an easier target. Though there were many other non-humans among the population the distrust had easily fallen onto new 'outsiders'.

The distrust was deserved, of course. They weren't here to settle, or grow with the town, and no one on the five-person team had any illusions to the contrary. They were there to make sure that the Ikittitl hadn't taken hold of this world, but what they found concerned them. While there were no Ikittitl thralls, there were some people showing abnormal nanomachine activity. It was possible it was used to subvert their will, but so far their ability to identify who was affected was agonizingly small. Only a single individual had so far been flagged, a foreman at the mine, and he had since avoided them.

This meant that their attempts to identify individuals that may have been compromised or get samples to analyze was limited by the participation of the people who distrusted them. It was long, slow work that left most of his team waiting for results from the carefully planted suggestions that Kestin left behind during his visits. Even Keni'Tala Sanbuchi (Most just called him Kenny) had little to do as their operations agent. Observing feeds, making sure all the deployed sensors were reporting in, and keeping Ahma Chiyo and In'Hidora on task reviewing data.

Kenny was a Huerdaen-born Kitsune tod, with orange fur bright and full in such a way that he got more attention than the rest of the team combined, all of which went unrequited. He had few markings, but a white dash on his brow drew everyone's attention, giving him an even younger, more vibrant look to his face. He was, however, fully committed to the job, and never left his Akki or the Blood Corps powered hatchet behind. The hatchet was a matter of some discussion, but Kenny had maintained a standoffish attitude that made asking about it or its acquisition impossible.

The primary investigator, Ahma Chiyo, was a Pankrees Slayer, but their interest had always been more in the hunt. Testing themself against intelligent, elusive prey. Ahma had a slightly unnerving presence to them, with a steady gaze that felt a little too unconcerned at all times. They spent most of their time in the adopted farmhouse, going over data or performing the semi-ritualistic blade practice of the Slayers. They favored being up close, carrying a Hellfire and puppy, and withdrawing to more favorable ground if a conflict at range seemed indicated.

Secondary investigator fell to In'Hidora, the most amicable of the bunch other than Kestin. She was outspoken and a Shield veteran. The whole team liked and trusted her, enough that even Kenny didn't mind her presence for extended periods. She often spoke at length, but she was a capable team member and her past experience let her serve as the backbone of the team in more ways than one. Her Maedar bruiser was a welcome addition to their small arsenal, letting her serve as a firebase when things got difficult.

And that left Bar'Densi himself, the team lead. It was probably the fourth time today he had gone over their current situation, weapons, and team, but there really wasn't much to do. Sitting back with a sigh, he glanced over to his own preferred weapons. As a corporate militia vet, he had a carefully maintained Scorpion SMG and Arachnid pistol laid out nearby. Right now, he was supposed to be helping Kenny manage the team in their operations but there was so little data, the tod had no need for the annoyance he would cause. Perhaps, he could be attempting computer intrusions, but without a good idea of what they were looking for, or where, it was an unreasonable risk to attempt.

So he sat, going over the roster again. Drinking quietly and staring at the sensor displays, looking for anything strange other than that vague, barely-perceptible signal overlay that seemed to center somewhere around Kiesta. It had been there the whole time, but try as they might, they couldn't lock down any specifics on it.

The door archaic, hinged door slamming against the wall as it was opened nearly made him tumble out of his chair as Kestin surged in.

"Bar, we got a hit. One of the locals reached out to us, says she has something she wants to show us."

For a second, the team leader collected himself, looking the Sikissa over before responding. "And you think it's legit? Didn't you say it could be another month before we get any good leads?"

The Sikissa nodded, but pushed forward regardless. "That was my guess, yeah. But she's got something here. Sent me a scan of some nanomachines. I don't know how she got it, and it's bad so we can't learn much from it, but it's not local. If I can get to her and get that sample, maybe we can crack this open."

"When does she want to meet?"

"Tonight, out in the dark district in three hours."

"And you're okay with that? Isn't that where most of the drugrunners move?"

The Sikissa looked more than a little annoyed. "Who do you think my contact is, boss-man? You gonna give me the green, or no?"

After another split second of considering, Bar nodded, gesturing to the door. "Talk to Kenny, get a plan together. I want a way out. I'm guessing just you, right? Make sure you've got your bike nearby so you can bail. I don't trust these locals any more than they trust us. Play it safe."

The smaller, almost-childish-looking man nodded, hurrying from the room to prepare. There wasn't much time, and while the skidbike could make the journey quickly, they had to make sure they weren't risking everything on a trap. Kestin was good, he was very good, but he was excitable and quick to jump at an opportunity.

Bar sighed, and went to get something that would help him stay up for the meeting tonight. They'd all have to be awake tonight.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

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Kilrany
Diplomat
 
Posts: 725
Founded: Feb 04, 2005
Corporate Police State

Postby Kilrany » Wed Mar 02, 2022 11:20 am

“Look John, I’m not trying to disagree with you or the Colonel, I get it, we need to support the militia, but we’re critical here on the budget and people are getting antsy with your secrecy on it. It could seriously affect the chance of re-election next year, let alone keeping the colony from complete collapse.”

Elected Governor Jonathon Taylor looked suitably grim as he sat back in his office chair, listening intently to his minister of finance, Alex Menard. The concern was a valid one and not the first time it was brought up, but all the same it was getting a little tiresome.

“I know Alex, but please, trust me a little longer on this, Paul assures me this is necessary and I believe him. I understand the secrecy isn’t the best for anyone, but we don’t want any raiders or pirates getting wind of the specifics for what the militia can do. Word spreads fast here and you know how people gossip. The most expensive of the investments are done, we just tighten our belts a little for this year and next year we’ll have that surplus to help paying down our debts and actual turn things around properly.”

Alex sighed, “Is there nothing in this mess we could sell off-world to offset at least some of the costs? I get whatever you’re building for the militia probably can’t, but at least some more of the ore from that mine? Even that could help reduce this deficit you have us in.”

John nodded his head and gestured in a placating manner with his hand, “Alright Alex, I’ll talk to Paul, make it clear he had to cut back on some of the production and put aside some of the ore to sell.”

“At least half,” John sighed but Alex continued quickly, “Please John, I’m not kidding, this was a dangerous level of spending.”

John held up both his hands in mock surrender, “Alright, alright, you win, I’ll make sure Paul concedes on this for you.”

“Thank you. It will help put my mind at ease.”

John nodded and Alex turned to leave the modest office, going back to his audit of the contractor expenses he had been asked to. Behind John’s eyes the aspect of Svyet inhabiting him wanted to scream in frustration at the limitations imposed both by this body and the experimental conditions of her deployment on this planet.

She’d lost the proverbial coin toss when the split from her core self had occurred and ended up the one in a biological body with a very limited processing capability. She could still remember having had greater power, but had to settle with only that for now.

Technically she wasn’t even the original split that had come to the colony in the first place but that’s where things kind of got weird when aspects had to be fully disconnected to maintain a low profile. Part of the experiment here specifically was to limit the number of subverted to essentials only, so while it may have been easier for her in the long run to spread herself to Alex; or even the whole colony, she left him be as he was only a minor irritation.

Completing the current set of paperwork Svyet had John reach for the nearby phone next, an antiquated looking device that still worked off a solid land line. The colony was far from wealthy and though in the long run she was going to turn that around, for now it left them to fall back on some older and cheaper tech to keep the colonial budget intact. In some ways the mix and match nature of it all was certainly convenient for Svyet’s role here over the last few years as it usually helped cover certain oddities and signals all the noise.

After selecting a quick dial options and a moment of ringing later, a man answered in an exasperated tone, “What do you want now John?”

John smiled and let that carry into his tone, “You’ll never guess who I just had a meeting with Paul.”

Paul practically growled through the phone, “Again? His penny pinching is going to give me an ulcer that even the med-techs can’t do anything for … don’t tell me you’re giving in to him?”

John shrugged even though he knew it couldn’t be seen, “He makes some good points Paul, and if the colony goes bankrupt we’re not really going to have anything for the militia to protect, or you know pay them with.”

Paul grumbled again but his tone was more conciliatory, “Yeah, yeah. The boys will just have to make due and hope the new toys aren’t needed anytime soon. How bad?”

John winced in anticipation of the coming reply, “Half the ore from the mine for at least the next year.”

Practically on cue Paul exploded over the phone, “Half! That God damn-” before abruptly going quiet to take a moment to collect himself, “Fine. I’ll let them know. I don’t like it, not one damned bit, but I’ll deal with it. You fight your battles with the army you have and all that bullshit.”

“Thank you for being so understanding Paul.”

“Yeah, yeah, fuck you too John.”

With that the governor hung up the phone and pulled up the next set of papers.

Svyet contemplated both discussions she just had with Colonel Paul Kader, head of what passed for the the Colonial Militia and another aspect of Svyet. Alongside the obvious conversation there had been a second encrypted conversation disguised within the natural static of the old land line, and much like its creators, to understand that conversation one had to deal with the loosest of translations.

<Has our financier uncovered anything that might explain the initial Huerdaen interest yet?>

<Sadly no, he’s only human after all and too much of the budgetary data and sub-contractor invoices are still in bloody hard copy, so I can’t just crib his notes to skip ahead of the process. By the Gods why couldn’t we have been a control group.>

<It would have made things easier certainly, but some of us had to get the short straw. It does remain a possibility that they originally came for reasons other than us, the colony is relatively close to their space, they may simply be assessing it for integration, but that feels too optimistic.>

<Non-zero chance of it I suppose, but their interests since arriving tell the story, especially with their pointed inquiries regarding the local nano-tech and interest in our foreman aspect.>

<She is running with a more overt line of nanites then most as part of the experiment. If it had just been about the mine I’d be less concerned but it hasn’t been. Either way our aspect overseeing the local criminal rings has made arrangements to try and draw one of them out in isolation with questionable material. Hopefully the indirect approach will keep the waters muddy long enough for us to get more data out of this and find out what precisely tipped the off Huerdaen.

<As if we’re not accustomed to necessary evils.>

<Indeed. She’s called in an outside contractor to handle the specifics. Not the most efficient way of doing it but that in itself helps put some distance between it and us … maybe anyway. Worth trying if it helps disrupt pattern analysis.

I do have some other concerning news however. Last night one of the weather satellites detected a brief thermal bloom in the atmosphere in an isolated region. I had the G-C-M Defender make an orbit but that old frigate is far to primitive for my liking. Either way its sensor sweeps saw nothing out of the ordinary.>

<You suspect creators?>

<Unfortunately that’s my main concern, yes. It could have been a small meteorite that slipped through the local satellite grid; Gods know it’s pathetic enough for that, or perhaps some new smugglers looking to make inroads into the local black market, but the timing lines up with the freighter Tongheard being overdue for contact. I’m trying not to jump to conclusions but if Creators are here we don’t have much time left.>

<Wonderful, keep me updated.>

-----

As far as looks went, Urien Ducote was a plain looking fellow for a human, average and non-descript being apt descriptions for him, some of which was natural, some helped along in the past by a few key surgical operations. This served him well most of the time in keeping a low profile when he wanted to, though sometimes things didn’t work out that way, especially here in the backstreets of Kiesta as he waited mostly obscured in an alcove for his mark. Dressed perhaps a little too well for the area, a few rowdy locals had already needed some encouragement to move on as well as one overly persistent dealer who thought he was looking to score.

He had been assured by his employer that such problems would be kept looked after for him to do his work this night so it left him with something of a diminished opinion of the local crime boss. Not that he held a backwater wannabe in much regard to begin with, but they’d had the proper contacts and funds to find and hire him so maybe it was just a lack of good underlings.

He shrugged at the thought and a little smirk flashed across his face, good help could be hard to find sometimes of course. Not everyone could rely on having someone like him on their payroll.

The smirk turned to a frown as he patted the pistol he’d been supplied with for some reassurance before scolding himself mentally for doing so. Sure the locals couldn’t be relied on but he’d gone over the weapon with a fine tooth comb and it was at least sufficient, perhaps not high end but it was the kind of old and reliable weapon you could expect to find on a colonial world such as this.

Turning his attention back to his ‘sunglasses,’ he fell back into patient observation as he watched the feed display out of one eye and the low light display of the immediate area in the other. He’d set up a few disposable spy cameras watching the approaches to the meeting spot to give him some better warning of anyone coming.

He didn’t exactly know the identity of his mark beyond a pretty good picture of what they looked like. His employer claimed they didn’t have the specifics either, just that they were an outsider asking the wrong questions whom they believed to be trying to make moves on their territory.

It was a good enough reason as any for Urien, he held no illusion as to what he was and had no qualms about this. It was important to be able to enjoy one’s work after all. It didn’t much bother him who wanted someone dead or what that reason may be as long as he was paid. Or at least in this case sent a message to back off he supposed.

-----

Out beyond what passed for Kiesta’s city limits, where the land gave way more heavily to crops and pastures, it was equally dotted with homesteads in varying states of repair and habitation. One in particular had drawn some outside attention that evening.

Small but well maintained with room to expand, it was home to a couple that had arrived with the early waves of colonists when hope was still high for the future of the settlement. While that hope had diminished throughout most of the colony, the couple had thus far maintained their determination through this ordeal, keeping themselves afloat and their dream of a future here with a family.

That drive to continue impressed Toma as he sifted through the pairs’ memories and the Kilrany Synthetic felt a pang of pity that such people could get such a raw deal. Laid out on their backs in what was probably their living room, Toma was knelt between the unconscious pair, and though outwardly he would have passed for a local, the fact that his fingertips merged into their foreheads would have clearly said otherwise. Despite their current state the pair showed no sign of discomfort, and Toma had taken a moment to place a small pillow from off their furniture under their heads.

As Toma was finishing up, his unit commander came into the room and began to speak with him using infrasound burst transmissions, <Their personal devices are surprisingly clean, no spy software to be found and enough locally stored data that I don’t need to risk pushing into the colony’s public networks for more. If Svyet is on this planet she’s being remarkably restrained in her activity. This is a drastic change in her usual behavior.>

Toma would have nodded in agreement if he’d felt it necessary, <Doubly troubling then since its clear something unusual is happening here then. They’re memories show most people haven’t picked up enough, but there are some unusual patterns to be seen, even if these two show no signs of infection. At least between what I’m seeing here and what you got from their computers we have enough to pass as locals convincingly enough for the short term. I’m just collating it all together now as I finish the tweaking of their memory for the last few hours.>

<Have to go with anything out of the ordinary?>

<Fortunately no, while not common this wouldn’t have been the first time the two fell asleep in here watching an entertainment program after supper, so I’m sticking to that so it won’t stand out. We’ll put them in their seats there when I’m done. Do you want me to leave a tripwire in them to signal us if they become infected after we leave?>

<Debating that. If we do it’ll pretty much ensure that whoever infects them knows someone else was here first … no, leave them clean, if Svyet is here and chooses to infect them now it’ll because our presence is already known, there’s no reason to come for them now otherwise if they haven’t already been targeted.>

<Fair due. I’m done, care to move the husband to the couch Klava?>

<Certainly.>

With some care the pair proceeded to set up the scene for the couple, laying them our or sitting them down and turning on their equivalent to a television to a program they typically watched for when they woke up. When the stage was set the pair left the home and rejoined another pair of their fellows keeping watch outside in the darkness using a crop of trees for concealment along with some active camouflage systems.

From this point Toma and Klava dispersed their collected data between the four members of their small infiltration unit using the same short ranged and encrypted methods they used to speak with each other in the house.

<Marya, I’m assuming your silence on the matter means you haven’t encountered any suborned local wildlife yet?>

<None Klava, but I’ve kept my reach very small all things considered. If she’s here, Svyet is being as selective with the wildlife as she is the colonists. Needle in a needle stack and all that.>

<Alright then, let’s move towards Kiesta proper. Once we reach the outskirts of the settlement we’ll break into pairs and start working through different neighbourhoods. Priorities isolated individuals, no unnecessary risks. We know the freighter made a stop in this system but that may have been as a decoy operation. Svyet hasn’t been this subtle in the past so stay on your toes. Marya and Efrem, you two will continue to stay together and Toma will remain with me.>

After a round of acknowledgements Toma and Klava also triggered their active camouflage while still concealed by the trees and began a fast march towards the town.

-----

An assortment of local wildlife made Garden it’s home long before the colonists arrived, most filling the usual niche positions in any active ecosystem and much like when happened when humans came to call a place home, they had to adapt. One avian species in particular was very much like an Earth Owl, and though it was given its own scientific name, most locals took to simply calling it by the same name due to its similarity.

One such Owl in particular happened to host a more subtle aspect of Svyet and had made a nest for itself in a tree near the home the Huerdaen team had in turn made their own. Keeping a distance, it watched them passively from afar as it hunted for prey, or supposedly rested for the day. On trees with a clear line of sight but not too close, it planted nanotech cameras to observe different angles and periodically returned to them in a hunting pattern while out to physically download the logs, avoiding any wireless transmissions.

No attempt was made to lay any listening devices on the home itself. Huerdaen technology was too much of an unknown and pushing the limits of it at this stage had been too much of an unnecessary risk in the collective opinions of Svyet’s aspects, as some small hope had remained that the Huerdaen team would just move on.

To maintain its version of radio silence, it would fly to a nearby power and communication pole to physically tap into a line to send and receive updates from other aspects. Tonight, knowing of the arranged meeting, it perched atop that pole now, watching the home under the cover of looking for prey, ready to transmit a heads up if it looked like any of the Huerdaen were heading out to take the bait.
Last edited by Kilrany on Thu Mar 03, 2022 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
English is a language which chases other languages down foetid alleyways, pummels them unconscious, and rifles their belongings for vocabulary. - Russkya
(MT) The Kilrany Empire - Emperor Ivan Semyonovich Sviatov
(FT) The Kilrany - The Quinquevirate (Council of five)
Demonym: No alternate, Kilrany is the catch all term
Pronunciation: Kill-Raa-nee
General Purpose Kilrany FT OOC Thread

User avatar
Huerdae
Ambassador
 
Posts: 1972
Founded: Feb 28, 2009
Corrupt Dictatorship

Postby Huerdae » Fri May 27, 2022 11:47 am

Kiesta Colony, Dark District
Garden, Coreward Delta


The whine of the electric engines that powered the skidbike tore through the night as the Sikissa shot down the driveway and swung around onto the main paved road, the wide wheels throwing dirt and gravel far out into the fallow fields as he shot past the observing owl. The rocks rang unheard off the idle farming equipment as the skidbike shot away at just shy of 200 kph under the control of the dedicated Sikissa operative. Bar's warnings had been reasonable, so he had brought his weapons along, a simple carry-variant Arachnid pistol with a foldout stock to account for the Sikissa's weaker bone structure and hands, and a thin dirk of a knife with a powered edge. The dirk he kept concealed against his thigh, hidden inside baggy pants with large pockets, but the pistol strapped to his lower back. Despite being outsiders, nobody in this part of the galaxy ever expected to see Huerdaen unarmed, even if it wasn't entirely legal. It was suitable cover.

The meeting had come out of nowhere, which left more than a few questions. Still, the information promised looked like it could very well be good, even if there was a significant danger. That danger, of course, was mitigated in every way they could come up with. A concealed personal shield generator was built into the inside lining of the jacket he wore, enough to no-sell most incoming fire for a few rounds, and the Sikissa's natural advantages mixed with Huerdaen augs meant that night was as good as day for him.

But the terrain was the problem. As he slowed the bike upon encountering the outskirts of the city, and then again as he got further in, that was becoming more and more obvious. While the Dark District wasn't large by any means, it was the center of commerce after dark. The presence of a starport nearby also made it a popular location for unknown faces, meaning that his knowledge of the locals was of no use. Worse, he stood out like a sore thumb, riding the very-Huerdaen nuclear-powered bike at a slower rate into the heart of the small district, a few square blocks at best. As he passed by Urien, he didn't even seem to note the man as he settled the skidbike a dozen meters away, at the entrance to the given alley, turned around so it was facing the main road and could quickly be used to escape.

At first glance, he looked little more than a child, not even reaching five feet in height, but as he pulled the streamlined helmet off and hung it on the bike, the minor differences were quickly apparent to anyone with the equipment or knowledge to see them, including Urien's shades with their HUD. The feed clearly identified the species as his eyes turned the man's way, light reflecting off the man's slit-pupiled eyes like the night hunter species the Sikissa were. The golden-brown appearance in the split second they lined up in the light unsettled many, but the gaze didn't linger.

Instead, wide-eyed, frail-looking man turned his back and strode into the alley slowly. It clearly showed the pistol, as well as the folding stock, to Urien as he did so, though this was hardly something out of the ordinary in the less-civilized dark district. Barfights, muggings, and unwanted advances were common in the area. If anything, the child-like appearance of the Sikissa operative served as greater justification to move about armed in the area.

His walk into the alley slow and confident, calling out lightly in the gentle-sounding voice, almost feminine. His arrival was within moments of the agreed-upon time, and his eyes searched the darkness of the alley, flicking upward along the sides of the looming buildings as he spoke. As soon as the woman stepped out of a door, his eyes shot to her, almost unnaturally fast, and he came to a stop in the middle of the alley, waiting for her to make the first move.

"You wanted to meet with me?"

Back in the farmhouse, Kenny and Bar sat quietly together, watching the monitors while In'Hidora remained on standby, her big Maedar resting in her lap as she grimly waited for word from the others. Nearby on the ground, Ahma had their eyes closed, looking for all the world to be asleep if not for repeating hand motions they used to help maintain focus during meditation. Bar sighed, watching their best feed - one pointed vaguely at the entrance to the alley where they could see the front half of the skidbike, but not into the alleyway itself. They weren't worried about the bike, it was gene-coded to the Sikissa, so stealing it wasn't particularly viable, especially with how deceptively heavy the reactor in it was. Rolling it away without power wasn't as easy as it would otherwise seem. No, they sat quietly listening to the Dark District's unique noises from the surveillance equipment, nowhere near distinct enough to make out anything going on inside the alley. In effect, they were blind and they knew it. The thought of it made Bar's teeth grind in frustration, and he got up to get a glass of water while they waited for something to happen outside their sight.
The Huerdaen Star Empire is an FT Nation.

Xiscapia wrote:It amused her for a time to wonder if the two fleets could not see each other, so she could imagine them blindly stabbing in the dark, like a game of tag, if tag was played with rocket launchers in pitch blackness.
[17:15] <Telros> OH HO HO, YOU THOUGHT HUE WAS OUT OF LUCK, DID YOU
[17:15] <Telros> KUKUKU, HE HAS REINFORCEMENTS
[17:15] <Telros> FOR TELROS IS REINFORCEMENTS MAN

Rezo wrote:If your battleship turrets have a smaller calibre than your penis is long, you're doing it wrong.

User avatar
Kilrany
Diplomat
 
Posts: 725
Founded: Feb 04, 2005
Corporate Police State

Postby Kilrany » Sat Jul 30, 2022 7:29 pm

The pseudo-owl stirred from it's position perched atop the power poll, startled momentarily by the sound and sight of movement near the house. Its gaze drawn from the nearby field it had been scanning for a short while now, it watched the Huerdaen for a few moments, bobbing it's head slightly as it tracked him.

From within, the aspect of Svyet it played host to sighed mentally, lamenting it's isolation from it's sister-selves as she logged whom she could see leaving. The nature of her infection of the now debatably wild animal did not require her to use it's eyes, but she had a role to play and she knew the owl would not have ignored the change in its environment. She supposed she could have let the owl do this much on it’s own, but her own boredom from this assignment encouraged her to maintain direct control.

Oh how she longed to reform with the others. How much simpler it would have been to be part of her core-self, assuming any one separated aspect of her mind could still be called such. Part of her half hoped everything would just go to shit on this under-developed mud-hole already and give her an excuse to break silence. It probably wouldn't end well for herself, but that wouldn't really matter if she made a connection with a sister-self first.

As the sound of the skidbike faded in the distance, Svyet sighed again before using the cover of the aging infrastructure her host rested on to send an encrypted burst on whom she saw leaving. Free to return its gaze to one of the fields around it, mere minutes passed before she allowed the owl lock in upon what passed locally for a field mouse and dive silently down upon it before returning to its nest to feed.

-----

Marianne Auguste was not a happy looking woman as she hurried along a primary street, trying and probably failing not to look like she was in a hurry. Her thoughts were a tangled weave of frustration and worry that she was doing a slightly better job of keeping off her face.

Why in gods name did the off-worlder want to meet her on such short notice? She was doing all she could to look into why some of the better off assholes on the planet had better med-tech then the rest, or whatever nonsense had got him and his ilk so interested in Garden all of a sudden. Sure she’d tried to piece some of it together, after all if his people were interested enough in this fashion maybe others would pay for it too and she’d finally have enough money to leave Garden and properly disappear. Leaving alone was probably not good enough given her current employer.

She managed to do a slightly better job of surreptitiously checking to make sure she wasn’t being followed then looking casual before she turned off onto a side street. Though calling it a side street may have been generous by the standards of more well off cities, Garden had to make due with that it could.

Passing a few smaller side streets and alleys before finally reaching the meeting point, Marianne slipped her personal comm out of her pocket just enough to check the time. Relief briefly warred with her worry as she could see she managed to make with a few minutes to spare.

She was still trying very hard not to look around nervously when Kestin came walking up right on time and she turned and started moving towards him.

“What do you me- oh shit,” her annoyed response cut off and she froze in place as Kestin’s question properly registered, only spin around in dread at the distorted, but oddly prim and proper voice a scant dozen meters away.

“Oh shit indeed Ms Auguste.”

-----

Urien had deliberately added a hint of an aristocratic drawl into his voice that he knew would still carry through the vocal distortion of a handy little gadget he’d switched on before stepping out from a branching alley. Part and parcel with that little toy was a visual distortion effect over his face, bending the light in multiple directions and blurring his features to anyone looking at him as a further added precaution.

Behind that effect he frowned again at his fellow off-worlder just past Marianne. He hadn’t liked what he saw in the video feed from his little cameras and he cared even less for the look of Kestin with his own eyes. Something about the smaller individual set off warning bells that he knew better then to ignore.

Still he was a professional; at least in his own mind, so for now he settled for keeping hist distance near the mouth of the alley he come from and keeping the pistol he’d already drawn in close and aimed in clear view above his waist towards the pair, his finger on the trigger guard. The weight of the small flash grenade concealed in his left fist helped ease his mind if he needed to make a quick getaway.

As he spoke again, Urien first turned his head slightly towards Marianne even as he kept his eyes on Kestin, “You should know better then to go around trying to make deals behind your employer’s back, it makes them uncomfortable, leads them to doubt your loyalty,” then shifted back towards Kestin, “And you appear to be rooting around in the business most entrepreneurs like to keep private, I would advise you, as a concerned citizen, to go on home.”
English is a language which chases other languages down foetid alleyways, pummels them unconscious, and rifles their belongings for vocabulary. - Russkya
(MT) The Kilrany Empire - Emperor Ivan Semyonovich Sviatov
(FT) The Kilrany - The Quinquevirate (Council of five)
Demonym: No alternate, Kilrany is the catch all term
Pronunciation: Kill-Raa-nee
General Purpose Kilrany FT OOC Thread


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