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The Beast Awakens [FT|IC|Closed]

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Nyte
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The Beast Awakens [FT|IC|Closed]

Postby Nyte » Tue Sep 04, 2018 6:42 am

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"Are you sure you want to know? Its not exactly a... pleasant story."

A simple nod was my answer.

"Well" I said; a dark, soulless smirk appearing on my gaunt, haunted face as I put down my drink. "Don't say I didn't warn you."

Planet K239.D
Gamma Quadrant; The Milky Way Galaxy
Pre-Industrial City; Name Unknown



"Sarge, we might have a problem..." The comment shattered the predawn silence; drawing my attention away from the holopad I was pretending to use while I fought off the urge to close my eyes and go to sleep. Shrugging it off, I got up off the fallen tree I was using as a chair and moved forward; ignoring the crackling of dead leaves and the occasional snap of a twig as I went.

"What is it Seras" I replied as I shuffled up next to her prone form... Even as tired as I was, I summoned up the willpower to drag my eyes away from her skinsuit clad backside; though not before she'd caught me looking. "Later" she whispered with a smirk and a wink while handing me a set of magnoculars. "Look, there, in the town square..."

"Shit... That's the recon team being dragged out isn't it" I said while handing Seras her magnoculars back. She nodded before replying. "Why the old man decided they needed to 'blend in' with the natives I have no idea, but it looks like they didn't quite manage it." "Get ready to move in" I replied. "I'll call for support."
...
"Overwatch, this is Sentinel... Requesting immediate support on-site... The insertion team has been captured by the locals."

"Hold position Sentinel" came the reply from the cockpit of my rig. "Support is enroute. ETA thirty minutes."

"Overwatch" I replied. "They don't look like they have thirty minutes. Requesting permission to move in."

"DENIED!... Wait for support, and keep us appraised of the situation Sentinel."

For fucks sake I thought to myself. "With all due respect Overwatch, go fuck yourself" I ended the back and forth; cutting the connection. Leaning back out of the cockpit I called to Seras. "You wanna go get court martialed" I quipped sarcastically. "Will we still be able to fuck afterwards" she bantered back to which I replied with a chuckle. "Mount up Seras... we're going to have to buy our boys thirty minutes."

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"Well, did you manage to save them?"

"No, no we didn't... We got there just in time to end up right in the middle of a daemonic summoning" I replied; taking a long, long drink. And yes, it was as bad as you could imagine... and worse than you could ever imagine as well" I continued; staring off into the distance remembering.

"What happened then?"

"What do you think happened" I replied. "We fucking killed them all... and I don't just mean the daemons" I replied after finishing off my drink. "There was something cathartic about that shithole... and something vengeful as well. So we made an example with the slaughter we left in our wake, and in the end, we murdered that world; and everyone and everything on it... Of course, I wasn't there for that part."

I motioned for another drink before noticing my drinking companions confused expression.

"I was in the brig, you see" I continued. "For disobeying orders... Oh, and I may or may not have also punched a superior officer in the face."

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:35 am

They were howling outside of the doors again. Planks had been hammered into the frames and furniture was piled as high as they could get it, same with the windows. The apartment building, in the heart of downtown, was completely besieged and inherently unsafe… But nothing really was safe. Not any more. Children were huddled in the basements with their mothers and their fathers were upstairs, patrolling with whatever weapons they could find. The Doorman held tightly to a table leg and with him was the Groundskeeper, with a sharpened shovel over his shoulder. They checked the windows on the upper floors, testing their sturdiness and fixing whatever problems they could. Occasionally, Mr. Dean would call for them on the radio, seeing if they were still there. Alive or otherwise. The last few nights had been difficult. The ichor on the Groundskeeper's shovel was a testament to that. Mr. Dean stood at the foot of a large staircase, a rich red carpet, stained black in pools, ran up the length of it, with a side-by-side shotgun draped open on the crook of his arm. He smoked his pipe, carelessly chatting with Mr. Bovington who himself leaned upon a nine iron.

“Bloody fine predicament, this eh?” chomped Mr. Bovington. “Finer than yesterday?” Mr. Dean asked, the bristles of his thick walrusesque mustache swaying gently with each syllable. “Eh, indeed. Much less food than the day last and even less water, I'm afraid. God forbid we resort to drinking the stuff from the tap.” Mr. Bovington chuckled. Mr. Dean produced an ornate flask from the inside pocket of his hunting jacket, “We have plenty of this stuff to get us by.” He handed it to Bovington, who twisted off the lid with ginger fingers and sipped it with delight. “Amasec? My word, man. You managed to get this by the lads at customs? You’re a cad. But as the saying goes, I'd rather share a drink with you in hell than to sup wine with the good Lord in heaven, kind and generous as he is… Wine is a woman's beverage.”
They laughed uproariously. Mr. Trace, the local druggist, took up beside them and grabbed the flask from Bovington. He sniffed the brew and shook his head before pouring it out in a potted plant. “Mr. Trace, I must say that was quite inappropriate!” Bovington squared up to the druggist, his face turning red with rage. Trace held up a single finger to calm the beast that raged across from him. Dean stood between the two and demanded an explanation from the druggist.
“Hate to do it to you chaps. I enjoy a glass of vivesante myself. But we can't trust the liquor, especially the foreign stuff I'm afraid. The lot's contaminated with rot. Take a look outside and you’ll see it for yourself. Shall we?” Trace turned a hand towards the nearest window with a flourish. Bovington looked to Dean and said “Gentlemen first.” Dean laughed and returned “Well if that's the case, my dearest friend, I believe you may have the first honor… As a man of culture and fine distinction.” Bovington bowed, “I believe the honor belongs to you, my oldest friend.” After several rounds of this, the men approached the window and peered through gaps in the cladding.
“Take a look out there, men and tell me what you see.” Said Trace.
“A bunch of rascals.” Sneered Bovington.
“Yes, it appears that some sailors escaped the docks with a cretch of prostitutes and mutated into some form of netherworldly horrors. Dreadful, but not unexpected.” Dean said.
“Yes, sailors and whores mostly… But over there, the ruffian with the limp. That's Tom Bandley. The town drunk. If you take account of what sort are accosting us, you’ll notice something that they all have in common. Liquor, of a foreign sort, and the comfort of rent ladies. Which, in my professional opinion, makes me quite distrustful of libations and… Shall we say… Loose men and women of ill repute.”
A fist crashed through the window, abruptly interrupting the druggist's exposition, and tried to grab the kerchief right off his neck. Mr. Dean fired both barrels into its face and it collapsed lifelessly onto the cobbled pavement.
“Bloody bastard nearly took your head off!” laughed Bovington, checking Trace for injuries. Trace rattled the ringing from his ears with a quick finger. “Quite so! Quite so, indeed!” Dean ejected the spent shells from his shotgun and replaced them with more buckshot. “So, Mr. Trace, what do you suppose we do about all this then?” Mr. Dean asked. “Keep an eye on the provisions, I suppose. The lads down at Bixby Field should be by in the next few days to sort this out. Or maybe even those Aumanii chaps in Quixstead Farm, if we're unfortunate.”
Bovington shuddered at the thought, “Hopefully it doesn't come to that! Bless the Lord, I wouldn't care to be in the debt of those savages!”
“Indeed!” said Mr. Dean.
“Indeed.” Echoes Mr. Trace, tugging the kerchief from his neck.
Last edited by Auman on Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Nyte
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Nyte » Tue Sep 18, 2018 12:26 pm

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"It wasn't all easy of course" I continued; starting on my freshly delivered drink. "At that time, there were thousands of ships pushing outward, deeper into the Gamma quadrant... Any sign of daemonic influence; even the tiniest hint or rumor was met with a violent death. For some, it was quick; flash's of light streaking across the sky as the orbital bombardment wiped them from existence... For those who resisted, it was often far more bloody; and not nearly as clean. There were many who ran... Of course we pursued them; letting them escape would only make it easier for them to spread their corruption."

"And wasn't that a massive clusterfuck" I continued with a mirthless chuckle. "You can imagine, I'm sure how that went down. There were a good two or three dozen brushfire wars going on at any one time, and every single one was against some random wannabe stellar power that, from their point of view, was just trying to help the tens upon tens of thousands of 'defenseless refugees' that were flooding their borders."

"So we killed them as well... And the refugees they tried to harbor too of course" I continued.

That still doesn't explain where things went wrong though" my drinking companion replied.

"No, it doesn't... Does it?" I replied. "For that, we'd need to talk about New Victoria; at least that's what the Aumanii called it. We never even gave the dirtball an actual name."

"What happened there?"

Planet K335.C [New Victoria]
Gamma Quadrant; The Milky Way Galaxy



"We should have just bombed these fucking degenerates from orbit" Captain Luca Gale growled while hacking at something that might have been human once under all of the horns and tentacles; his chainblade making pained chugging sounds through the bloody meat clogging its adamantine teeth.

"Then you'd be whining about being bored again... And the men would go back to contemplating shooting your miserable ass in the back like they always do" came the amused reply; delivered by one of the nine others slowly pushing their way up the street.

"Ha, ha... Fuck you too Hayden... Fuck you too" Luca replied as he finally cut the things head off. "Here" he commented. "Have another trophy" he continued; kicking the severed head over to the aforementioned soldier. "Though why the fuck you want to collect severed heads..."

"A mans gotta have a hobby" Hayden replied amusedly; scooping up the head as he moved up behind a pile of burning debris. After examining it for a moment, he quickly tied it to his belt where several other such grisly trophies were already dangling by their ratty, bloody hair. "You should try it some time... You know, getting a hobby" he quipped while firing his pulse rifle into a group of charging cultists; the explosive darts making quick, messy work of their unarmored flesh.

"I already have one" Luca replied as he jogged up to a nearby intersection which he quickly lobbed a grenade down the crossroad of. The explosion; and the whickering noise of flying shrapnel and screaming almost drowning out the rest of his comment. "I go and fuck your wife every time we have shore leave... She says she really appreciates a man with a measurable dick" Luca finished with an overly amused laugh.

"You really are an asshole... I don't know why I haven't shot you in the back yet myself" Hayden replied.

"Probably because it would piss off your wife" Luca said, laughing all the while. "Now come on. We've got a city full of these fuckers to kill, and command's given us a deadline."

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"Wait, wait, wait... You mean the Luca Gale? The war criminal?"

"Well" I replied. "He wasn't actually considered a war criminal by that point. Admittedly, he was pretty close, and so was most of rest of the 144th for that matter" I replied while leaning back into the booth. But yes, I do mean that Luca Gale. Unfortunately, the fucker would have his part to play in a number of things... Most of them pretty bad, and one that would end up being very personal..."

"What about you" my drinking partner asked. "Were you still in the brig, or..."

"Not quite" I replied darkly... "I was being recruited for a... certain project around the same time as things actually started to get shitty on New Victoria. I only know what happened due to the after action reports... And a few thousand hours of gun camera footage."

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:14 pm

"It's a real mess down here, Cap."

The words rang hollow through Captain Rand's headset. This uprising, bloodbath, was on a level he had never before witnessed. Some of the older guys were corresponding with him from Zhamssassar Fortress, giving him details on how to respond and how to absorb what he was seeing... Information gleaned from the Tezekis Massacre. The machines that ravaged the Tezekian homeworld, for all the horrors they visited on the people there, were cold and methodical. There was no malice in it. This was a different story, the rebels here on New Victoria were sadistic and they took pleasure in leaving their mark.

"Alright, tag the door and we'll sort it out later." Rand's voice was weak, the breath ran out of him. He was frustrated, furious and... Sad. The enemy were very difficult to pin down. The New Victorian Army was ineffective outside of the narrow view of their training and there were only so many resources available to him.

A planetary reign of terror, a rolling gunfight that picked up wherever the enemy felt like it. He had flights of dummies darting around the city at this point, though... It was only a matter of time before they found something and he was in no mood to wait on the locals next time they made contact.

The little drones found their way into any space they could. Some landed between the cobbles that paved the streets and watched. Others would fly right up to windows and peer inside. The little ornithopters, flitting from place to place like starlings.

He was in the back of a White Tiger command vehicle, the lights were dim and blue to preserve his night vision and he was flanked by a robot, Turk, who worked another set of screens. A jack dangled from the robots head, plugged right in to the battlenet, observing the data stream. Rand looked down at his console and saw Nostromo, his administration unit, plugged into it. A rhythmic pulsing light shone red, she was parsing information and completely absorbed in her work. Rand scrolled his screen, opened a few simultaneous feeds and realized that, with the robots at work, his presence wasn't necessary.

Rand stood up and stretched, Turk reached out, two fingers forming a 'V', motioning for a cigarette. The captain obliged and Turk plopped it into his audio sensory node, lighting it with his finger tip. He wasn't sure if this was a programmed affectation meant to humanize them or if Turk actually liked smoking, but it was fun to humor him nonetheless.

"Let me know if you find something." Rand said. Turk gave him the thumbs up and silently returned to work. The captain stepped outside, took in a lungful of the night air and strapped on his helmet. The big, blocky, no nonsense tank made him look small. His carbine was feeling heavy on his shoulder. The intersection was built up as a command post. Machine gun positions were sandbagged and reinforced with hardi-planks, men diligently prepared their weapons and robots labored, moving ammunition and erecting important structures.

In a field to the west, an artillery battery sat silently. Rand mulled his options in his head. A burst of gunfire hung in the air like a sour note and got everybody's attention.

"We have something, Cap." Turk squawked over the radio. Rand hustled back into the Tiger and checked the feeds. A gang of mean looking guys were being slaughtered by a team of meaner looking guys. His mind blanked out the inconsistencies... The modifications that the rebels had made to themselves were grotesque, a mockery of human flesh.

"Get artillery onto that position right now. I want that grid gone." Rand said quickly, snatching the handset of the battlenet radio. "Damien 1-1, this is All Father Actual, we have contact. Do you see it, over?"

"Yeah, All Father, dumb-dumbs have it marked at grid 172 by 32, can you confirm, over?"

Rand double checked the grid and compared it against the drones.

"Contact confirmed at grid 172 by 32. Proceed to the area and eliminate all enemy forces. Be careful and good hunting." Rand was looking at them all just standing there, brazenly in the middle of the street. One of the sick bastards was collecting heads while another one watched, revving the blood off of what looked like a chainsaw sword. Dull crumps blew out, just to the west. Seconds later, shells smashed into the cobbled streets on the feeds.
Last edited by Auman on Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nyte
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Postby Nyte » Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:57 pm

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



I fiddled with a small medallion in my hand while my drinking companion finished off another drink. It was a simple thing made of carved onyx with a few gold inlaid designs in the form of a daemon's skull with a toothed sword driven through it from top to bottom. The dim light of the bar reflected off of it ominously, the glow of the gold glinting sporadically as the medallion dangled from my fingers.

"Daemonbane" my drinking partner exhaled in a mixture of surprise and fear.

"I am indeed" I replied; letting the medallion come to rest on the table between us while I took another sip of my Amasec. "One of the first as a matter of fact... Thats what I was being recruited for... The Daemonbane."

"Of course I didn't know that at the time. When they came for me and dragged me from my cell in Skeller's Vault... In hindsight, the bag over my head should have been a tip off that something unusual was going down" I finished with a smirk. "That, and the lack of a beating..."

The Nostromo System
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Skeller's Vault



"Prisoner MCC1367567... Damien Sicanus; formerly Sergeant Damien Sicanus of the 231st Tactical Power Armored Company" the man in the shadows asked the figure slumped before him; ignoring the large black bag over the mans head and speaking as if everything about the situation was perfectly normal.

"I am" was the simple reply.

"You've been charged with disobeying a direct order; putting yourself and one of your subordinates directly into the middle of a daemonic summoning. After which, you proceeded to assault a superior officer in front of nearly a hundred witnesses?"

"I did..."

"You survived direct exposure to a daemonic summoning?"

"Well, that depends on your definition of direct exposure" Damien croaked out...

There was silence...

...

...

...

Damien sighed... His bagged head dipping before continuing. "Yes, I survived 'direct' exposure to a daemonic summoning. Is there a point to all of this? I'm going to be late for my daily beating..."

The man in the shadows motioned with his hand, and the bag was pulled from Damien's head causing him to flinch back from the bright light that hid the man in the shadows from view. "Are you still willing to serve the Empire" the man in the shadows asked; leaning forward slightly to place a small, oddly shaped onyx and gold medallion on the table before Damien who stared at it for some time.

"I am" came the delayed reply, and the man in the shadows smiled.

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"Just like that? Some strange man just walked into Skeller's Vault and recruited you? Really" my drinking companion asked.
.
"Obviously there was more to it than that" I replied. "Paperwork and the like... But, yes, that is exactly what happened" I continued after another sip of my Amasec. "You'd be surprised at how things were conducted during those days. I wasn't the only one recruited to the Daemonbane under unusual circumstances. I was half carried out of Skeller's Vault and taken elsewhere where,... well,... things that I'm not allowed to talk about happened. Some time later, after having been made an agent of the Daemonbane, I was sent back out to the war."

Admittedly, I did have one other bit of business on my mind first... And that's where that piece of shit Luca Gale comes in... At least where I'm concerned" I continued. "Its a pity that Aumanii Artillery barrage didn't kill the fucker on New Victoria. Things would have been better that way..."
Last edited by Nyte on Sat Dec 01, 2018 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Alexzonya
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Postby Alexzonya » Wed Oct 31, 2018 2:03 pm

Uncharted System, Gamma Quadrant
Galactic Republic of Alexzonya 65th Exploration and Patrol Group, Alpha Squadron

The Patrol Capital Ship A.R.S. Voyager moved carefully through space, at a fuel-economic lumber that seemed appropriate to her mass, and her length of nearly 2 kilometers. She was flanked by her various escort ships; in contrast they seemed sluggish at this speed. The system before them was a mess; three dozen civilian ships were scattered throughout the system, many refueling at a ramshackle platform orbiting a hydrogen-rich gas giant.

Admiral Terrance Argent sat mutely in his position in the CIC, reviewing incoming reports thoughtfully. Many thought that commanding officers would take hails directly, but in a situation like this it wasn’t practical; communications officers used the fleet’s Ansibles to page the various refugee ships, confirm their status, and set them on a course for the nearest Northeast Gamma Trade Network world.

His review was interrupted by a flashing priority message. He opens it, skims it, then frowns. Then he reviews it carefully. Finally, he speaks, putting his hand on the communications control, calling the bridge, and the ship captain.

“This is Lapointe.”

“Captain, we have a situation. An Aumanii protectorate, called New Victoria, is under attack rimward, just a few dozen lightyears. Intelligence doesn’t have anything about the attackers, but we’re the nearest SATMA QRF. Bravo Squadron is being notified and they’ll be in an hour or two behind us. Formation orders will be dispatched in the next 5 minutes; plot a preliminary jump path and move us to Action Stations.”

“Aye, sir. By your order.”

Only a few seconds later, an alarm klaxon sounded. The Wiki AI’s voice intoned briefly over the announcement system. Jump and formation orders would go out from the CIC a few minutes later, and the entire formation turns and disappears.

New Victoria, Gamma Quadrant

The GRA group exits FTL with a ripple of space-time and bursts of cherenkov radiation. Voyager led the way into the hostile space, followed by her 2 Cruisers (Endeavor-class) and 6 Destroyers (Zebra II-class). The formation was relatively tight and brought the GRA ships into realspace at a relatively low velocity; ideal for a long, concentrated firing pass.

The 9 ships of Alpha Squadron had been communicating with their Aumanii counterparts since the original report had come in, and they drop into realspace within engagement range of the largest cluster of enemy warships. There’s no warning: the GRA formation opens fire immediately on realspace entry, sending a fusillade from their main pulse laser systems downrange along with a barrage of neutron beams from the particle weapon mounts. The bulk of the early salvos targets the Nyteborne CIWS Cruiser and Grand Cruiser; the former to open the others up to a later missile barrage, the latter because it was likely the command ship. It was almost always the largest - the GRA hadn’t broken that habit either.

The GRA ships also begin launching drones; while not every drone in the fleet can be launched at once, the automated defense smallcraft begin rapidly forming protective spheres around their carriers, while others start forward, towards the Nyteborne ships, moving in broad skirmishing formations. Additionally, missiles begin to volley; not towards the Nyteborne ships at first, but away out of engagement range, to give them time to form up and begin making their way around to different angles of attack.

At the same time, sequenced by the Battlenet computer systems, the Voyager begins launching Osprey Gunships and light vehicle transport craft. Departing from the rear facing of the ship, hopefully the most protected position, the GRA transports dive for the planet’s surface, lighting SATMA IFFs briefly to avoid drawing fire from the surface defenders before going dark and heading for the rally point at Quixstead Farm.

The forces that make it to ground move to land at the Aumanii logistics post, though two platoons of gunships break formation and are rerouted to trouble spots before they even have a chance to touch down. Used by the Co-Prosperity Sphere as a staging area and rear logistics area for their various Delta quadrant entanglements, the Quixstead Farm’s rudimentary perimeter had been hastily reinforced by trenchworks and manned by a crew of mixed local security contractors, Aumanii soldiers, and combat robots. Most of the buildings are storage: food warehouses, fuel tanks, troop barracks, vehicle maintenance depots, and a large field hospital dominate the base. By now, most of the Aumanii frontline fighting forces were already engaged fighting fires across the planet. The Alexzonyan forces had numbered less than a thousand combat personnel when they launched from the Voyager, but… every little bit helped.

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Nyte
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Postby Nyte » Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:28 pm

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"And just like that, everything went to shit" Damien continued with a chuckle. "It's interesting though" he continued. The shit that happened around New Victoria is taught at military academies across the Empire today... Hell, the debacle in orbit is used to fuck over cocky new recruits for the navy; you know, the ones who think they're the greatest thing to sit in a classroom" he continued; still chuckling... "I've got an acquaintance who sends me recordings of their test footage. It never fails to make me laugh... Never."

"But, I digress" Damien continued. "It could have been worse..."

Planet K335.C [New Victoria]
Gamma Quadrant; The Milky Way Galaxy



Well, this is going to suck Luca had enough time to think to himself as the world heaved around him. For a moment, up was down, and left was right... Then, just as suddenly, there was pain as he made forceful contact with a wall. He was thankful though; pain meant he was still alive. "Fuck this planet" he growled out as he noticed several icons on his HUD had blacked out; each one indicating a dead friend... Including Hayden. "I guess I'll have to spend my next shore leave consoling your wife buddy" he quipped before switching over to the theatre wide channel.

"Actual, Pointbreak here... Do you copy?"

It took a moment for a reply... Which was oddly discomforting. "Actual here... What do you need Pointbreak? We're suddenly very busy up here" came the tense sounding reply.

"Well, it's no better down here either... We're being hit by enemy artillery, and I've got casualties piling up ... A little support would be real nice, over."

Once again there was a delay in the response... "We're rerouting some air support your way to deal with the artillery. They'll pick you up after. We're pulling out... Immediately."

"The fuck you mean we're pulling out" Luca replied angrily. "We're not even finished here" he added as he rolled himself into a crater for cover from the artillery.

"You have your orders Pointbreak" came the reply. "Get there, or get left behind... Actual out."

"Son of a-" Luca remarked, switching back to local comms. "Get ready to haul ass boys... Seems the sissies up in orbit need us to fall back for extraction. We've got incoming air support to deal with this fuckin arty... After that's done we move... Or the fuckers said they'd leave us on this shit hole planet."

He ignored the grumbling and derogatory comments about the navy from the rest of his men at this. Instead, he focused on the growing sound of overpowered engines as they steadily grew louder, and rolling over onto his back, was just in time to see a squad of dropships scream overhead and start to vomit forth a stream of several dozen air-to-surface missiles at the Aumanii artillery position. The same dropships would circle back around less than a minute later; setting down just outside of what was left of the town.

"Rides here... Lets go" Luca ordered as the survivors of his company quickly broke off and began to fall back; leaving what was left of the town to the surviving cultists and daemons. fuck this place He thought to himself just ten minutes later as he prowled up the boarding ramp of one of the dropships... Fuck this place.

Planet K335.C [New Victoria]
Gamma Quadrant; The Milky Way Galaxy
Orbit



The arrival of an unknown, hostile group of ship had caught them with their proverbial pants down. Not expecting the arrival of hostile ships, the vessels of the 113th expeditionary tascforce were at an immediate disadvantage; caught spread out inside a gravity well, their one saving grace was their own innate durability as the incoming rain of fire was largely energy based, and the Empire's ships were well protected by armor that was specifically geared to resist such an attack; diffusing the power of the incoming beams across their hulls to minimize the damage.

By the time the enemy particle beams arrived, they were already moving, and a moment later, they were flooding the surrounding space with ECM and activating the rest of their defensive countermeasures; actively working to jam enemy targeting systems in the process. Their quick response saved them from potentially lethal damage, though the pair of cruisers were anything but unscathed by the fire; both having taken moderate damage to their hulls and several of their weapons systems.

Deploying their autonomous weapon drones to deal with the approaching missiles, they nonetheless returned fire with a mixture of particle beams, gauss cannons, and their own volley of anti-ship missiles as they maneuvered to slingshot around the planet; largely ignoring the bulk of the incoming small craft unless they strayed too close. Instead, they maneuvered to put the planet in the way so they could safely break off and disengage. While this was happening however, the other half of the taskforce swept around from the far side of the planet adding their own fire to the mix as they pulled away from the planet. They were merely buying time however, and as their dropships returned from the surface and docked, these ships also broke off; firing one last desultory wave of missiles at the Alexonyan fleet before activating their FTL and vacating the system.
Last edited by Nyte on Mon Dec 24, 2018 11:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Sun Feb 03, 2019 8:58 pm

These guys were running some next level stealth technology. Rand was sweeping the controls of the artillery command post, desperately flicking his guns over to air defense mode before they were destroyed by the enemy's aircraft. What began as a riot control mission here on New Victoria, quickly spiralled into a full blown civil war. The automated guns reoriented themselves fast enough and laid down a hail of gunfire into the sky. Hyper dense metallic darts streamed high into the atmosphere, laying down tight grids that aimed to fill every sensible vector towards Captain Rand's position with white hot tracers.

The enemy were not sensible.

They swooped down low to the deck and set loose a salvo of missiles into Rand's number eight gun position. The camera winced out after catching sight of a sleek, black and ominous aircraft that looked to him like a bat flitting out if the way of a car's windshield at the last moment.

"God fucking damn it..." Rand flipped a holographic switch that opened the general action channel, "All units, repel incoming air assault. Add your rifles to the mix, it's getting hairy."

Robots that had been milling around and preparing defensive positions jogged to piles of stacked carbines, scooped them up and started firing at anything suspicious. One of the units, a lad named Tully, shot an owl clean through the head. He was so proud of it he turned to a human manning a machine gun next to him and winked. A missile impacted the ground a kilometer away, a bloom of orange light was followed by the crack of thunder. The men and the machines were shouting back and forth, trying their best to coordinate their actions. The only thing it really accomplished under these conditions was to allay a false sense of control over their situation. They were helpless, they knew this, but by God were they going to try their best.

An enemy plane came in low to the ground and tilted its wings to fly clear between a pair of skinny apartment blocks, Rand caught this from the corner of his eye... Five quickly flashes from the number three gun position caught it dead on and blew it to smithereens. Burning pieces of wreckage showered the courtyard, a turbofan tumbled right past Rand's command post, whining and straining against itself before exploding against the facade of a bakery. Shrapnel pattered against the wall and Rand hunched his shoulders into his ears while pressing his helmet down onto his head with both hands.

"I see." Said Turk, his voice was seemingly distant and ethereal. "We have a number of exhaust plumes south of our position. Starships, they're burning hard for vacuum."

Just like that, the air attack was over.

"They were covering for their ground teams. Good pilots. I wish we had some of those." Rand's breath was ragged, his voice sounded stretched and nervous.

"You know," Turk's voice was reverberating as if he was trapped between dimensions, "I'd have taken bad pilots."

Rand flipped over to the Fleet network and tried to get a confirmation on whether it not the Alexzonyans were seeing the enemy. They weren't. That was very interesting.
IBNFTW local 8492

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Alexzonya
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alexzonya » Thu Feb 28, 2019 11:52 pm

New Victoria Orbitals, Gamma Quadrant, Milky Way Galaxy

The flight of the enemy expeditionary forces from orbit seemed an unsatisfactory outcome, but the Alexzonyans let them run. Their mission was to secure New Victoria; whoever these assailants were, hunting them down would be the job of military intelligence and the Fleet Action Corps line ships; there was no reason to pursue and risk casualties in a fight that was still too even for the Alexzonyans' preference even with the substantial damage to the enemy warships.

Most of the initial wave of Nyteborne missiles fall to the Alexzonyan DALA lasers and staccato blasts of spherical shot in a variety of patterns from the point defense stations, but shields light up here and there as some elements of the barrage reach their targets. As the gauss fire and particle beams come in, more damage becomes apparent; on fleet displays, status reports begin scrolling from the various Alexzonyan ships. At point blank range, even for such a brief time, several compartments on GRA warships go red. A clear victory, but not a costless one.

New Victoria Surface, Gamma Quadrant, Milky Way Galaxy

"All Father, this is Falcon 3 Actual, we're entering your AO."

The wished-for pilots finally show up, albeit a few minutes late and a few cents short. Two GRA Osprey gunships streak through the air, their hastily-scrambled combat air patrol arriving too late to help out the beleaguered Aumanii artillerymen.

"Falcon 3, this is All Father. Really could have used you guys a few minutes ago."

"Sorry, All Father, we had to offload first. We're at your disposal now."

"Right, yeah. Stand by for instructions..." The Aumanii turns and grumbles to a comrade next to him; better late than never his ass.

[OOC: It's almost 2am so I'm going to post this for now despite its inadequate length. I'll have a follow-up post out in the near future.]

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Alexzonya
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alexzonya » Sat Mar 02, 2019 12:49 pm

Aquarius System, Gamma Quadrant, Milky Way Galaxy
Northeast Gamma Trade Network System Terminus and GRA Starfleet 14th Fleet Anchorage

“Two more just jumped in,” calls the Lieutenant watchstander, in the command center of the Monumental-class Battlestation that monitored the status of Aquarius’ NEGTN Gate and was the ‘quarterback’ for the system’s defense network.

The viewscreen displayed the new arrivals, which have just exited FTL on the far end of the system. The latest arrivals in a parade of tattered-looking merchant and system defense ships that had been arriving in for the last 48 hours.

“What’s their identification?” asks the XO, without much emotion; her emotions had been wasted over the last 2 days, at the tales of woe and destruction the new arrivals were telling and their terrified and demoralized condition.

“Standby ma’am…” The watchstander converses with the new arrivals briefly, and then turns back. “Northern Delta, but further South than the last batch.”

“Damn.” Commander Valquez had been ardently hoping that whatever this disruption was, it would be local to the area where the first refugee ships had originated. This latest batch made that increasingly unlikely. Something was torching worlds in Delta, and the survivors were just starting to arrive. If their reports were anything to go on, they would be far from the last.

Meanwhile, in the 14th Fleet’s Intelligence Section

Lieutenant Commander Grel’Fa read over the BOLO report from fleet command, and turns to his neighbor before reading it off.

“All Forces Operating In the Gamma Quadrant. As for 22:13 Standard Time yesterday (date appended), technologically advanced, professional military forces of unknown origin attacked the Aumanii-affiliated world of New Victoria in the Northern Gamma Quadrant. Be on the lookout for hostile military or any other activity to that could related and report any such indications to Fleetcom immediately. Hostile drive, FTL, and weapons signatures are appended.” He sighs deeply. “I suddenly have a very, very bad feeling about all those refugees we’ve been getting in.

“Oh… oh shit. No chance it’s just the Huerds, is there?”

“Maybe, but we know what their drives look like. Be a pretty big fuckup if that got all the way out here before someone figured it out. Why don’t you check that, I’ll follow up with our guests and see what kind of data I can get out of them about the folks that messed them up.”

“Sounds good. I’ll send a request to Roundtable’s Fusion Center too; odds are someone at HQ already did, but just to cover our bases.”

“Good idea. Maybe the Dorns or the Birdies will have something.”

“If we’re lucky.”

While his colleague is able to quickly review the signatures from the skirmish at New Victoria and compare it to their intelligence on the Huerdaen. While the GRA’s own files on the HSE were less-than-thorough, the Aumanii had generously provided a complete fileset from their ample experience in combating the Huerdaen navy, and thus it didn’t take long to rule them out as the perpetrators of the New Victoria raid. With that done, he started the paperwork, sending a request with the BOLO to the SATMA Joint Intelligence Center at Roundtable. It would take a while to get the response back, since the intelligence databases of 6 nations had to be queried and then the results assembled, but it was the most powerful analysis tool available to them.

Grel’fa, meanwhile, send communications requests to the refugee ships still in Aquarius. Many of them were headed towards the Gate, being routed towards Jubilee Prime and the GRA’s refugee resettlement centers. A few shell-shocked system defense vessels from now-fallen worlds lingered awkwardly, uncertain of what it was they were supposed to be defending now but unwilling to lay down their arms. IT was these ships, and their military-grade sensors, that gave Grel’fa the results he needed.

“Shit,” he exclaims, after the third set of signatures from the refugees match the New Victoria signatures, with high probability. “I hate it when I’m right.”

“Same guys?”

“Same guys. Let me get this typed up and sent up the chain. Knowing the Admiral, he’ll want to review this himself.”

Some Time Later, in the 14th Fleet’s Command Section

The map was zoomed to only show the top half of the galaxy. Laid out in extreme detail, it showed a snapshot of GRA positions, known positions of other nations, neutral stars, sensors returns from the OIC arrays, and two dozen other overlays. Actually trying to read it in detail was usually done via Battlenet MMI, as the level of detail could be overwhelming when examined normally.

In this case, though, the relevant details were marked in an ominous red color; known refugee origin locations in the Delta and northern Gamma sectors. There wasn’t a clear pattern, but tracking over time, it was getting… closer.

Admiral Fre'lan Ontakaro, an aging Altreshi, sat on his haunches and frowned at the map. He didn’t like this one bit. His console flashed, and he skimmed the report that had just come from the Intelligence Section. He glares at it, and then adjust the controls. New Victoria joins the ominous red indicators.

He touches his console again, and quickly marks up a set of orders, directing the GRA forces in Aquarius to maintain a heightened readiness. A second set goes back to Fleetcom, requesting reinforcement, and a third set to the Exploration and Patrol Corps. Gamma and Delta Quadrant commanders, alerting them to the trend and requesting they dispatch squadrons to investigate; this last request is acknowledged, and several GRA EPGs will shortly thereafter receiver new orders to begin reconnoiter into the attacks, a move which will almost certainly bring the Starfleet’s forward groups into contact with elements of the Nyteborne fleet as it moves forward towards the next targets in its crusade.

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Nyte
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Nyte » Wed Apr 03, 2019 5:56 pm

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"You know that old saying about military intelligence being an oxymoron" Damien quipped with a slight smirk... "Well, New Victoria proved it to be true yet again" he continued; leaning back into his seat and stretching out his legs with a barely noticeable whine of cybernetics in motion. "I would have paid good money; and I mean A LOT of money, to be in the room with all those Admirals while they ran around trying to pass off the blame for the fuck up that was New Victoria onto anyone and everyone they could... Sadly, I wasn't so lucky."

Nostromo System
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Naval Command



The footage of the 'battle' at planet K335.C [New Victoria] played for what must have been the dozenth time, and like the previous eleven, when it ended, the arguing continued right where it had left off after the previous examination of the footage. A dozen aged men and women acting more their shoe sizes rather than their ages Xaiah thought to himself from the shadows where he silently observed the spectacle of the dozen highest ranked Admirals in the Empire once more fall to bickering and arguing like children.

Shaking his head at the display of... whatever the hell it was that they thought they were accomplishing, he slowly stepped out of the shadows; deciding to end it now by making his presence known. "Children" he mocked them; his voice quiet, but forceful and steady cut through the tension in the room with a strange finality, and indeed, the arguing ground to a halt. "Now that you seem to have regained your sense of decorum... and a modicum of self control, perhaps you would like to get to figuring out exactly what happened here" he continued while pointing at the holographic display that dominated the center of the room; the very display that was currently cycling through it's thirteenth play back of the events that had occurred in orbit of planet K335.C [New Victoria] roughly a week earlier.

Xaiah circled the display at a fairly sedate pace, paying little attention to the collection of Admirals as they finished collecting themselves after several hours of arguing, complaining, and placing blame on their political opponents.

"This is not the time for blame" Xaiah continued. "This is the time to determine who they are" he continued; pointing at the display as, once more, the Alexonyan ships arrived in the system and opened fire on the spread out Nyteborne vessels in orbit of the planet. "What do we know about them so far" he asked?

There was a moment of silence before the reply came, almost as if the gathered Admirals were silently determining who was going to answer the question; and potentially face the consequences for the disappointment that was likely to follow. It was Admiral Regula; the oldest of them who eventually answered after pausing to lick his suddenly dry lips. "Virtually nothing my lord" he began. "The fleet managed to acquire ship silhouettes, weapon profiles, and drive signatures before they withdrew from the system, but we've run them through the system... and found nothing. We've sent the data to Spec-Intel, and they've got a significant number of their field agents working on it. We've also disseminated some of the information to our merchant fleet to see if any of their records might come up with a match. As of now however, we have nothing."

Xaiah grunted in response; his eyes still fixed pointedly at the holographic display. "Do you think that was the right decision?" Xaiah commented emotionlessly, pointing at the holographic ships as they maneuvered to escape instead of moving to stand and fight.

"Honestly" the old Admiral replied after a moment, "yes, I do. It was the least worse of a number of bad choices in my opinion... And it kept that fleet intact to be used at a later time once we've learned just what we're dealing with" the Admiral commented; a few others nodded in agreement, though several remained stonily silent.

"I see" Xaiah replied, still looking at the display... "Find out who they are Admiral" he said as he finally turned away from the display; cold, angry eyes boring into the old Admiral. "And where we can find them... There is unfinished business here after all."

"Of course my lord" Armiral Regula began, but Xaiah was already walking away, and, a moment later, was gone from the room; leaving only a heavy silence in his wake.

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Lady Scylla
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Ex-Nation

Postby Lady Scylla » Wed Apr 03, 2019 6:34 pm

Lady Scylla wrote:
Friends from afar
States of Rsai, Martian Empire, Beta Quadrant
Dionysus Station




''Dionysus, ROMN Elysium Heavy on final, two and a half kilometres from station with dock requisition.''


''Roger, Elysium on final, adjust course thirty-five degrees starboard and drop speed to eighteen.
Await verification on docking requisition. Be mindful of outbound traffic. Station time is 17:43. SQUAWK two-four hundred. Dionysus''



''Dionysus, adjust course thirty-five degrees starboard, decrease speed to eighteen meters. Await verification and caution outbound traffic. SQUAWK two-four hundred. Elysium Heavy.''


''Elysium, read back correct. Transport authority will initiate a scan, a security craft is now approaching your port side. Report traffic and submit without fail. Please state your intentions for docking. Dionysius.''


''Submitting to scan. I've the traffic in sight on the port-side. We're a cargo freighter bound to pick up munitions for the GRA. Elysium.''


''Copy that, Elysium. Scans are nominal. Your dry mass has been updated on your transponder board.
Make port fifteen degrees, we've a heavy dock prepared on light seventeen. Follow the orange indicators on your virtual hud and submit your vessel to station autopilot docking. Dionysus.''



''Dionysus. Make port fifteen on light seventeen. Follow orange and submit to station autopilot docking, Elysium.''


''Elysium. Read back, correct. Have a nice day. Dionysus.''





The large freighter, now under power by the station's docking authority, swung into the designated terminal as crews awaited on the platforms. The Elysium slowed as it came sideways. Large, metal arms that looked like one side of a ribcage fell into place on the ship's hull with a loud hydraulic wrenching. The ship jolted as the magnetic locks activated, now firmly securing the nearly two kilometre long vessel in place. The dock crews were quick in their work, taking small craft and securing the vessel with tethers as an additional security in case the locks ever failed.

At long last, the large cargo doors along the side of the vessel slowly creaked open unveiling the several story tall vacancies in the ship's hull for cargo. Lights came on, and platforms were connected to the bays. The dock and ship crew began to buzz about in vehicles as they quickly prepared the ship for its order today. An inspection team was hard at work inside the vessel's titanic hold, putting down devices to scan the ship for any faults or damage that needed to be repaired.

A hose was brought aboard to refuel the craft's drives. Teams of workers brought other hoses as well, spraying a special fire-retardant foam inside the hull near the stern where the crew quarters sat. This was to help create a barrier in case of an accident with the munitions, it could be removed later. While the back could not be loaded yet because of the foam needing to set, work crews began to bring house-sized containers in with large trucks that dumped smoke into the air from their exhaust as they set off into the hold. Their engines rumbled and vibrated the metal floors as a large crane arm on the back carefully began to stack the containers.

The sound of the ship's air filtration could be heard coming to life to filter out the pollution alongside the station's own system. It was a huge relief to dock crews, as it created a draft and cooled them down. Containers were tagged, and given a transponder. Signs on them depicted various levels of instructions and hazards to what they contained. Explosives, fuels, munitions, firearms, vehicles, pre-fab structures, equipment, food, armour, and clothing. They were assembling a small army. A secret agreement with the Alexzonyans had secured them lend-lease from the Martians in their conflict against the Nyteborne. The Elysium was only one of many ships that would soon be delivering war supplies in great number. The Martians would ensure they remained well-equipped.

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Auman
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Father Knows Best State

Postby Auman » Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:38 pm

From the view screen, New Victoria reminded Captain Renner of his homeworld, Elam. A dusky looking planet, that reflected the orange light of the sun as if it were caught in a perpetual sunrise. The clouds were wispy, stretching across the equator like streams of smoke pouring from the cherry of a cigarette. If it weren't for the lack of precipitation, he could have mistaken the flashes down below for lightning strikes. They weren't, of course and he understood it was the result of a preparatory bombardment he had unleashed an hour ago, when he was far clear of the terminator line on the day side of the planet.

Coventry had been destroyed once again, this time by the guns of the Aumanii Fleet. There was some good news, of course... It was the final fire mission on register and the battle should be over soon. Just in time for the prime minister, the right honorable Sir Thomas Arthur, to announce New Victoria's admission to the Co-Prosperity Sphere as a co-equal partner in peace. The Overlord wouldn't be in attendance, though Fleet General Kendricks Tyler would be. Another victory for Fleet diplomacy... Suck it, diplo-corps.

Renner nodded at the screen and brought a bulb of coffee to his lips. It was a bit strong, he preferred it Americano. He would have a word with the boy about it later, but for now he just admired the handiwork of the gunnery station. He much preferred his job to Tyler's, having turned down that exact same commission himself. He had gone through Academy at the Fortress with him. Decent guy, but he liked control a bit more than he could probably handle. Man had trouble knowing when to let people do their jobs.

Fleet General.

Sadder words have never been penned by the Aumanii language. They take the fun out of everything. Commanding men you can see with your own eyes outstripped it by an incredible margin. In time, however, Renner knew he wouldn't be able to turn it down forever. Plan 70, that God damn piece of shit, was racing forward like a bull on methamphetamines. It would gore him eventually and replace this, the art of gunnery and the perfection of precision bombardment, with the drudgery of politics and international commingled operations planning.

The Fleet was here in force, their Alexzonyan friends trimming the fringe of the system and looking for the terrorists responsible for this exercise. They were good people, professional and dutiful... Could stand to loosen up a bit, but Renner supposed it was another one of those cultural differences Aumanii often missed. They were an insular people, aloof and uncaring of the differences of other human states... All would be united under the order of Caine and the Sphere shall grow larger in the end. In time, they would become Aumanii and all differences would be forgotten. This was the old line of thinking, another facet of the true way to be dispensed with under Plan damn 70.

The coffee was nutty and foreign. He didn't like it. It was Dornalian. He didn't like them either. Those people down below, where the slugs of his guns were annihilating a thousand years of art, history and culture... They were foreign as well and he didn't like them either.

All differences shall be forgotten and the Sphere grows larger.

He chuckled.

Renner's commo-op pressed the headphones tight to her ears. She was struggling to hear something. He picked up his own headset and dialed into her station. Hissing, the pop and whirl of static. Nothing of value, interference from the orange star. Until he heard the voice, faint, ethereal reverberating as if it were bouncing down a long hallway. If Renner had to describe the voice, he'd say a camel had taken to reading Webster's dictionary. It was English, the galactic standard, with what sounded like sumerian and elfish pebbled in.

Degenerate tongues of an irrelevant world.

Still, it was odd and the source was somewhere towards the outer solar system. Kendricks Tyler, his old academy buddy and the poor idiot that had unironically chosen a position of responsibility, may be interested to know about it. Renner brought up a screen and shot a text out to his commo-op.

"Anyone else have a read on this?"

"Negative, sir, I checked. I think it's because the Skykings like the Metis have old style receivers that we are able to hear this at all."

"Looks like you've pegged this to Nova Scotia Plaenitia's moon... An Alexzonyan patrol is out that way. Kick this upstairs to the Fleet General and make it their problem."
Last edited by Auman on Mon Apr 29, 2019 1:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
IBNFTW local 8492

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Alexzonya
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Inoffensive Centrist Democracy

Postby Alexzonya » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:00 pm

New Victoria System, Auman, Gamma Quadrant, Milky Way Galaxy
Holding Position over the Primary Inhabited World

“This is Argent, go.”

“Admiral, Comms. We’ve got a hit from Aumanii SIGINT. Chatter from an unidentified base on the primary moon over the gas giant. Not Aumanii, not New Victorian, not ours. The Jade Hawk has eyes-on. Signs of activity, but nothing hostile, except for some damn good EWAR that’s keeping us from getting a detailed scan.”

“Size of the facility?”

“Not large. Probably 1000 square meters.”

“Alright. Have Jade Hawk launch a reconnoiter and report back. It's probably nothing of importance, but lets make sure of it.”




Low Orbit, Moon of Nova Scotia Plaenitia

A short time later, the Alexzonyan frigate launches a trio of shuttles in quick succession, the guns on the frigate itself standing sentinel. A pair of missiles launch from a concealed location not far from the target site; the DALA array on the Jade Hawk snipes them, and then peppers the launch site. As the landing shuttles approach, thrusters fire, and they strafe about in zigzag evasive patterns. It was unnecessary; no further attacks emerge before the shuttles touch down, and the three squads of Marines emerge in quick succession onto the airless surface of the moon. From the bridge of the frigate overhead, the captain watches the camera feeds from the GRA sergeants and corporals downs on the surface.

One squad break up; a fireteam stays with the shuttles, while another spreads out around the structure, setting up a loose perimeter. Two squads proceed forward, advancing in four truncated columns towards the four identified entrances.

“Alpha 2, breaching”

“Alpha 1, breaching!”

“Bravo 1, we’re in, no sign of resistance.”

“Bravo 2 negative breach, falling back to Bravo 1 entry point.”

There was silence.

“... what was that?”

“Bravo 1?”

“Something’s in here?”

“Something?”

“They’ve got IR smoke in here… I don’t like this.”

“Stay frosty, all teams.”

“... something’s definitely in here…. Hey, freeze! Freeze or I’ll…”

Gunshots erupt on the audio feed, and then a scream. The video feed shows, in an eyeblink, a thing lunch forward and impale the unlucky Sergeant; the other four in the squad open up, peppering the creature with darts on full auto. More movement; no more warnings; the SAW gunner opens up, while two riflemen call reloading. The last pulls his 40mm launcher, and fires down the corridor. There’s a blast as the AP round detonates at the end of the corridor. Things go quiet for a moment.

“Holy shit… holy shit what was that.”

“Bravo 1, what was that?”

“No idea… shit, man down. Sergeant is down.”

“Alpha 2 to Jade Hawk, we’ve got movement…” More gunfire on the feed. “What the fuck is that!” An explosion. “Jesus. Captain, we’ve got some nasty-as-hell xenos in here.”

“Alpha 1, we are receiving fire! Repeat, taking fire, unidentified hostiles! Request…”

Static.

“Alpha 1, no copy, come in.”

“Shit! Corpsman!” More gunfire. Static. A thump. “We’ve got casualties, requesting immediate medevac.”

“Rodger, Alpha 1. Shuttle 2, standby to receive casualties and return to Jade Hawk.”

“Bravo squad, we are together and proceeding into the structure, stand…”

Yet more static.

“Bravo squad, no copy, repeat.”

Static.

“Bravo squad, no copy, repeat.”

Static.

“Alpha 2, report.”

Silence.

“Alpha 1, report.”

“We’re at the medevac. 3 casualties. Just two of us left.”

“Understood. Hold position.”

A pause.

“Bravo squad, Alpha 2, report.”

Nothing.

The Captain of the Jade Hawk frowns. She punches her comm array.

“Admiral Argent, this is Captain Vonsecca. My Marines are engaged. Several teams are out of contact on the surface; the enemy appears to have deployed communications countermeasures. Xenos are present, unknown species, but we have multiple casualties. I’m requesting reinforcement.”

“Aye, Captain. Voyager’s expeditionary forces are still ashore. The away teams from cruisers Naive and Radiant will reinforce. I’ll pass the order along. Maintain operational control.”

Minutes pass. And then...

Sudden static.

“... squad, come in Jade Hawk!”

Marines were emerging from the building again… but only a few.

“Jade Hawk, this is Bravo squad, do you copy! We are being pursued, multiple hostiles…”

“Bravo squad, this is Jade Hawk! All units, fall back to the landing craft. Tactical, give me firing solutions for our DALA array. Vaporize anything that comes out of that building without a friendly IFF!”

The last bit of the order quickly proved relevant, as several of the xenos came barreling out of the building after the remains of Bravo squad; precision laser fire from the frigate overhead vaporizes them in a column of light. After a few such flashes of death, the mysterious foes seem to get the idea, and they stay under cover as the remaining GRA landing craft kick off and limp back to the Jade Hawk with what was left of the frigate’s Marine complement. By the time the two cruisers arrive, the surface is silent yet again.




Several Hours Later, High Orbit, Moon of Nova Scotia Plaenitia

“Admiral Argent… I am pleased to report that we have secured the facility,” says the ragged voice over the communicator. After the fatal debacle of the first reconnaissance, the admiral had seriously concerned just shelling the entire site from orbit with the Voyager’s cfracs. Instead, he had been convinced that relevant intelligence might be inside, about who was responsible for the deaths of 11 of his men and for the attack they (presumably) had launched against New Victoria. So he had sent his Marines into the complex in force, and had just spent the last four hours clearing it, room-by-bloody-room. The facility, small on the surface, stretched deep beneath the surface of the moon; once the lowermost levels had been taken and the enemy jamming technology disabled (and captured for future analysis), the Alexzonyans were able to get clear messages in and out and fully grasp what they had captured. And it was a mess, even with the corpses of the fallen foes and more than a platoon more of his Marines nonwithstanding.

“Sir… I think we should call in the Guardians on this one,” reports an intelligence analysis, dumbfounded. “This could just be religious, but… there seems to be more to it. Worst case, religious practices are an expertise of theirs, and they might be able to give us more insight.”

“I agree, Commander.” Argent taps his controls. “Captain Lapointe, please contact Command on my behalf and request the dispatch of a Guardian Corps vessel. We need them on site, as soon as possible.”

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Nyte
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Democratic Socialists

Postby Nyte » Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:52 am

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"For all the powerful, well developed intelligence assets that the Empire has at it's disposal" Damien remarked as he took another sip from the fresh glass of Amasec that had just been placed on the table by a serving girl. "It's kind of sad that the answers we were looking for ended up coming from an entirely civilian source... Hell, it wasn't even a Nyteborne source at that, which really only added insult to injury." Shaking his head, Damien continued. "It was a foreign merchant ship stopped over at Sigma 161 that provided us the first bit of information on our new enemy; the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya...an at the time unheard of nation that shared a home in northeastern Gamma with the Empire."

Damien's gaze slid around the bar for a moment before continuing; seeing, but not really taking in the smattering of drunken patrons; some of whom weren't even Nyteborne...something that would have been unheard of just a few short years ago. "Nonetheless, we had a name for our new enemy, and suspected locations for a few of their minor ports of call, and that was enough for the eggheads in Spec-Intel to figure out roughly what we were dealing with when it was combined with the information we got before retreating from New Victoria...at least so they thought."

Nostromo System
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Naval Command



Orders flew thick and fast once the information began to come through. One lucky break, and the entire facility had become a circus; a roiling hive of activity as low level aids and dozens of AI ran about; literally and figuratively on one errand after another. Admirals in their finely appointed offices held meeting after meeting as they arranged for a massive shuffle in the Empires fleets; and the associated logistics needed to support them as well. Additional intelligence assets were requisitioned from several of the more minor war fronts and retasked to gathering the information that would be needed to prosecute this new war.

It would take several weeks, but the constant effort would pay off as the first of the Empire's military assets would begin to shift towards the borders of the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya; largely in the form of a dozen scout fleets backed up by a veritable wave of probes, satellites, and a variety of deep space sensors and telescopes. A sudden drop in new attacks and a slight decrease in the wave of fleeing refugees would coincide with this fresh deployment, though it would take a keen observer to notice this fact, and determining the cause would likely be impossible; at least at first.

A single battle fleet would be organized and sent as well...under the command of a formerly retired; and only recently recommissioned Fleet Admiral by the name of Lucien Krevash; a scarred, silver haired veteran officer who, while he was well past his physical prime, was still mentally razor sharp; considered by many in the military to be one of the finest strategists and tacticians the Empire's navy had ever produced.

Lucien's first task would be a simple, if tedious one... Setting up a forward operating base in the region from which the Empire could support and resupply their current and future military assets in the theatre of this newly begun war for the foreseeable future. A trio of heavily armed asteroid bases were requisitioned for just that purpose, and an unremarkable, barren system fairly close to the suspected borders of the Galactic Republic of Alexzonya was quickly selected for their deployment... Additional defenses would trickle into this system over the following week; mostly in the form of intelligent minefields for area denial, and several hundred automated defense platforms.
Last edited by Nyte on Sun Aug 18, 2019 5:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Alexzonya
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Postby Alexzonya » Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:12 pm

Observation, Interception, Communication (OIC) Array Control Center, Meridian Prime, Galactic Republic of Alexzonya

The Sergeant, an analyst and scanner operator, and his supervisor would have, in times past, been huddled over a display. Instead, in the new era of mind-machine interfaces, they conferred digitally, over the Battlenet that integrated the control center’s various analysis systems and analysts.

[And we’re sure this isn’t an exercise?]

[Aye, sir. Contact strength is in the order of several hundred ships. We’ve reviewed, and there’s some indication of prior activity in the area over the last week. Most of the contacts were too small to flag, but they jumped in a big formation about forty-five minutes ago and our sensors have been screaming ever since.]

[And you’ve checked with the Aumanii? The Tezekians?]

[We’ve got a request out to the fusion center at Roundtable, but our schedules say our Eastern scopes should be clear of activity in that sector.]

[Thank you, Sergeant. We’ll send this up the chain. Good work.]

Starfleet Command, Meridian Prime, Galactic Republic of Alexzonya
An Hour Later

Sky Marshall Hawthorne sat back in her chair, reviewing the flash from the OIC array. She had gone through it in detail twice now; after the first review, she had forwarded it to Admiral Ontakaro at the 14th Fleet’s Anchorage at Aquarius. He had responded, and a flashing point of light indicated the Alexzonyan reconnaissance asset that was barreling its way towards the site, launched from Aquarius.

The second review, she had zoomed further out, with the myriad markings and innumerable filters controlling the strategic map of Alexzonyan assets and known foreign military positions. The unknown clump in northeast Gamma, the cause of all this alarm, sat like a wart on the entire overview. She tapped a few controls, passing enhanced readiness orders to several Alexzonyan formations stations at the Avalon gate hub. Then she pressed a control on the communications hub on her desk.

“Aye, ma’am?”
“Captain, call through to the President’s office. I need to speak with him.”
“Aye aye.”

It doesn’t take long… though longer than it should. Less than ten minutes later, her communicator buzzes.

“Sky Marshall.”

“Mr. President.”

“You caught me on the links, Rebecca. Terrible timing on my part. What’s the situation?”

“Sir, we have an OIC contact. A few hundred enemy ships, unknown signatures, staging too close to our border for comfort. They aren’t ours, and we haven’t been able to account for them. Our forces at Aquarius have a Glitterprobe en-route, but I’m spinning up a few of our groups at Avalon. Gag orders are already out to the media shipwatchers at Avalon, but I still didn’t want you to hear it from someone else.”

“Any chance these guys are Welded?”

“We can’t say for sure. If they are, it means the bastards came the long way; the inbound track was from the North, slightly Deltaward.”

“Hell... I’ll be in the War Room with the cabinet in half an hour; my short game has sucked today anyway, so nothing lost,” he quips, before pausing. “Have we ruled out the Huerdaen?”

“Yes, sir; their gravitic signatures are quite distinct. We've also ruled out Starfleet, LOTUS, and SATMA.”

“Half an hour. Keep me in the loop if anything changes before then. I'll have Foreign Affairs send an alert to the Huerdaen while I'm en-route.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Good. Thank you, Sky Marshall.” The President of the GRA hangs up.

Nyteborne Staging System, Near the GRA’s Borders
Some Time Later

The Alexzonyan Glitterprobe arrives without the usual burst of cherenkov radiation; though the type was disposable and its presence would be detected before long, there was a cursory attempt to dampen the beacon of the initial arrival and give the probe time to accomplish its task. The oversized rounded cylinder-on-a-torch drops into realspace in the middle of the system’s asteroid belt. Its oversized torch fires immediately, sending it hurtling through the vacuum. Immediately after the initial torch ignition, hundreds of optics-carrying sub-probes shoot off in random directions, above and below the system plane. Exposed, these few hundred wouldn’t be especially difficult to track. Catching them, on the other hand, may be more difficult, and would force the enemy to deploy fighters or screening ships to attempt to chase them down.

However, the rest of the payload was trickier. Each time the Glitterprobe approaches anywhere near a stellar mass, it drops a quick series of 2-5 sub-probes; these are are guided by simple VI into hiding places among the asteroids and gas pockets; the enemy would have to root them out to end the surveillance of the system. Meanwhile, the Glitterprobe would continue its orbit, accelerating hard throughout and spraying probes until either the carrier is intercepted by defensive fire from the occupants of the system or else exhausts the 3996 optics-carrying subprobes packed into its internal bay.

Once deployed, the sub-probes begin transmitting, sending back communications via miniature Ansible A; not much range, but this close to the GRA’s communications relays it didn’t matter. Starfleet would finally get a lot at whoever it was that was camping such a significant force in their backyard.
Last edited by Alexzonya on Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Auman » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:08 pm

Joe McKinney had never much cared for EVA work. Despite the many strange trials that his line of work as the Inspector-General of Aumanii Army's Excellence in Standards program put him through, he still retained the most basic and visceral claustrophobia he suffered as a child. While now, as a full grown man, he had learned to suppress the fear it still manifested itself as discomfort whenever he donned a pressurized environment suit. He focused on breathing, his chest walls felt constricted by the layers of the thick military body armor he was wearing. As much as he found this uncomfortable, his thoughts and eyes turned to Dr. Vanessa Myers, who loped awkwardly across the grim, charcoal black, surface of Nova Scotia Plaenitia. She was a good woman with her own hopes and dreams and he had stolen her from her past life one evening, as the howling winds of the Gholgothic arctic mingled with the screams of her comrades, lost to the demonic influence of the cold tomb they had discovered entirely by accident. He had killed them, then he kidnapped her... Because she possessed something innate within her, something deep and intrinsically a part of her. Something that he needed. They loped on in silence. She was doing well, adapting to her environment much better than he did... The first time he had ever set foot upon an alien moon, he tripped and fell. It took him nearly fifteen minutes to stand up again, the men in his bodyguard element were too afraid and disgusted with what he represented to even give a helping hand. The same men protected him to this day, they still wouldn't touch him and only spoke when necessary. He had grown accustomed to this isolation until he met Vanessa... And he felt that their friendship was possible only because she didn't know what he was.

It was a short trip from the S-42 to the stark white airlock set up by the Alexzonyan Marine Corps. The thick blast doors of the bunker complex were utterly compromised, explosive charges melting them into slag during the breach. They approached a Marine standing firmly at the gate, a tablet was in their hand. The Marine saluted in their fashion and Joe returned one in his. Despite wearing the same armored suits, the Alexzonyan and Aumanii militaries had many stark differences perceptible to anyone with an eye toward decorum. The Aumanii seemed more relaxed, the Alexzonyans formal. Both professional, but in different ways.

Despite their differences, this was a famously effective relationship.

The Alexzonyan held up three fingers. Joe switched the channel on his radio and chinned the mic.

"Inspector-General McKinney?" Asked the Marine.

"Yes and you are Captain Anthony Folsom. A pleasure to finally meet you." McKinney held out a hand, Folsom shook it.

"My reputation precedes me?" Folsom asked in a guarded tone.

"I requested you myself." McKinney replied, sending a shiver up Folsom's spine.

"What happened to me could have happened to anybody."

"But it happened to you."

There was an awkward moment before Captain Folsom continued, "I suppose you would like to take a look at what they found? I had an opportunity to examine the scene earlier in the day, before you arrived. I have never seen anything like it."

"Has anyone been left alone in the main chamber?" Vanessa interrupted. Folsom turned to her and nodded respectfully.

"As per your instruction, Doctor, no one has remained within one hundred meters of the... Device."

Vanessa sighed, relieved, into the open line.

"If you will follow me." Folsom popped the seal on the airlock and ushered everyone inside. A few members of McKinney's detail remained outside, touching helmets with the Alexzonyan Marines guarding the gate. Before the door swung shut, he could tell they were laughing as their shoulders bucked and jittered.

We bear our responsibilities like a cross upon the shoulders... An old quote a friend had once told him.

Folsom removed his helmet. He was handsome, clean shaven and his hair was thick auburn. When Vanessa saw him, she froze. He was beautiful and she found herself lost in his ice-blue eyes. McKinney felt a pang of jealousy, no one had ever halted like that in his presence. Vanessa removed her own helmet and shook out her hair which flowed down her shoulders like a river, black with night. Joe noticed again, that Folsom was admiring her... Was he strange for seeing it? The interplay of human attraction in such a place as this? Perhaps, in the slate grey hallways of this ancient Aumanii bunker complex, walls stained with blood and peppered with bullet holes, that beauty stood out in such stark contrast that it demanded attention? Perhaps, as well, Joe McKinney was lonely.

"The battle begun almost immediately when the insertion team breached the blast door." Folsom pointed to a Marine down the hall that seemed to be waiting impatiently. A woman in her forties with blond hair, tied into a bun, that was graying near the temples. "Master Sergeant Kelly!" Folsom shouted, his voice was crisp and his breath wafted from his mouth in the cold. Kelly stormed over and saluted.

"The Master Sergeant was present for the entire operation, beginning to end. She would have a clearer picture. Master Sergeant, would you like to run the Inspector-General through everything?"

"Sir, yes, sir!" Replied Kelly.

McKinney removed his helmet and Kelly recoiled. Physically, McKinney looked fine... Objectively, he was handsome. But people based their judgements upon subjective measures. The imperceptible and the gut feeling.

Kelly began, hesitantly, "The firefight began as soon as we breached. The charges killed about three of them, give or take, right here." Kelly gestured in a broad circle at a scattered sandbag emplacement two meters from the slagged blastdoor. She walked them through the facility, pointing out details as they went.

"In here, they had a mining laser set up behind a false wall. When our men entered the kill box, they were sliced up. We lost four men." Kelly pointed out the zig-zag lines of burnt ferrocrete where the beam was stopped. She seemed calm, but McKinney could tell this event weighed on her.

We bear our responsibilities like a cross upon the shoulders...

They continued on in silence until they came across a pile or corpses discarded in an antechamber, just off and to the right of the archway leading into the main chamber.

"We haven't touched them. They're pristine, aside from the weapons which we absolutely did clear and store elsewhere. What's interesting is that they were using relics. Mostly FN SCAR assault rifles, but even a few old SKS, Mosin-Nagant and AK-102 were found in the mix. Old Earth weapons, most likely originating from FS-01, long before the Emergence. They weren't professional, not in the slightest, but they had some tricks up their sleeve." Kelly moved towards a mound of electronic equipment, seemingly random pieces jammed together with no discernible purpose.

McKinney knelt down and rolled one of the bodies supine. It was a woman, she was wearing a simple waxed-paper environment suit and an emergency oxygen mask, which he removed. Her eyes had been gouged out.

"Captain Folsom," McKinney waved to him, "What happened to this woman's eyes?"

Folsom bent over to get a look and could feel his gut rise.

"Uh... Not sure, maybe they burst from overpressure?"

"You think an explosion caused this?" McKinney asked thoughtfully.

"It's been known to happen." Folsom said, unsure.

McKinney hauled another body towards him, like a piece of luggage and removed a thick pair of round, black, googles. "This man is also missing his eyes, but he was wearing protection."

Folsom stood up and placed his hands on his hips.

The alcove was quiet but for the humming of the salt lamps, which cast a faint green glow over the room. McKinney eyed the electronics on the floor and pulled out the most complete device. He noticed circuit boards glued together, a CD ROM drive and a headphone jack with a set of earbuds dangling from it. McKinney tore the masks off of a few more of the dead, all with their eyes completely destroyed.

"Intriguing... And you said the lights were on when you gained access to the facility, Master Sergeant?" Asked McKinney.

"No, the enemy had cut main power. It was completely dark in here, we had to use infrared all the way through to the main chamber. That was lit by torches."

McKinney played with a leather strap on one of the devices before standing abruptly.
Last edited by Auman on Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Nyte
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Postby Nyte » Fri Sep 20, 2019 6:54 pm

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar



"...And then there was the MarCong" Damien continued. "Fuckin Filthy Marsies" he added with an odd little smirk. "We didn't originally know jack shit about them either; at least not until they managed to piss off what seemed to be something like half the known galaxy at once. The sudden eruption of communications chatter, the hard work of our intel boys, and a number of sneaky merchantmen however, led to some interesting discoveries... Chiefly that they'd recently begun supplying arms to the Alexzonyans to use against us." Damien chuckled while staring into his half empty glass.

"And really, it's not like we were just going to allow that to go without a response..."

NSS Thanatos TTN-0001
The Bridge
Enroute To A MarCong Controlled System In The Gamma Quadrant



"What do you have for me Thanatos?" The voice asking the question was a deep one; a deep voice coming from a beast of a Nyteborne... A younger one than would have been expected to be the commanding officer of the Interstellar Empire's first Titan class of ship. In response to the question, a holographic display appeared; first focused on the Thanatos and the loose group of ten large mass driver vessels that were rapidly closing in on their target destination, and then zooming out to show a rudimentary representation of the target system... The focus point of which was a large structure that was clearly marked as a shipyard.

Naturally, there were other icons as well; some symbolizing military vessels of various classes, and others marking other defensive weapons. The man smiled; white teeth flashing through his thick, bristly beard that almost seemed to twitch with anticipation. "There" he indicated with a motion; highlighting a specific spot on the hologram. "We jump in there..."

...

Less than an hour later, they did just that. Appearing out of FTL behind a bow wave of excess energy and radiation just under a light minute out from the shipyard that was their target. An open communication would be broadcast on all frequencies in Galactic Standard; one that was easily picked up throughout the system; by the MarCongers and everyone else present; civilian and military alike.

"To the so called Martian Conglomerate" it began. "I am Admiral Jonathan Cannon, commanding officer of the NSS Thanatos out of the Interstellar Empire of Nyte... To you who would supply our enemies with arms to use against us,...to you who would aid in spilling Nyteborne blood, I have come with a simple message."

"WE ARE COMING FOR YOU..."

Just as quickly as the channel was opened, it closed. The declaration delivered, The Thanatos; a 5,000 meter long 'Titan' class of vessel similar to the Battleplates used by other nations began to deliver it's own message, vomiting forth a stream of thousands of anti-ship hyper-velocity fusion missiles, particle beams, gauscannon rounds, and the first of what would be several blasts from her massive spinal laser array at the Martian shipyard. The ten large mass driver ships followed the Thanatos' lead; lobbing 100 meter long chunks of rock down range at the shipyard, and other large military targets of opportunity at roughly half the speed of light. They would continue to do so for several long, grueling minutes that seemed to stretch on for an eternity before finally turning to leave once their FTL drives had fully recharged.

The message had been delivered... And death would come in it's wake.
Last edited by Nyte on Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Nyte » Tue Oct 01, 2019 10:23 pm

This post has been copied from a thread that is no longer relevant due to a change of plans. It's been included here as it concerns the expansion of this war into the MarCong front.


"How bad is it doctor" he asked; his voice calm, barely above a whisper. He sat there on the examination table in the cramped office, the perfect image of utter calm despite the fact that he already knew the answer to his question, and it wasn't good...

"You're dying" she replied. "As you very well know" she continued; the severity of her tone matched her appearance; that of a stern, middle aged woman. He'd always thought she would have done better as a school teacher than as a doctor; a strict, authoritarian teacher at that. He'd never told her this of course, and honestly a small part of him was afraid of her reaction if he'd ever dared to tell her.

He grumbled a bit. "How long do I have" he asked; still unusually calm.

"A year maybe" came the reply... "Probably a lot less if you keep going on how you are now."

He grunted in reply as he slid off the exam table and began to rebutton his shirt. "About what I expected then" he replied. Sighing, he continued. "It's no matter, that should be long enough to get the job done."

She handed him a data stick with a long list of prescriptions on it... They both knew he wouldn't bother to get any of them filled, but she went through the motions anyway. "This war IS going to kill you. You know that right? If the enemy doesn't get you, your own body eventually will, and if you somehow manage to last that long, you won't be able to hide this from everyone any more."

He nodded, took a few steps and stopped at the door to the too small office. Without turning around, he spoke once more. The last words he'd ever say to the woman who'd treated his injuries and illnesses since he'd been a small child. "Thank you... For everything doc."

She didn't reply. Choosing instead to simply watch him walk away for the final time.


...

He shook off the memory and finished toweling off his face; ignoring that the towel came away wet and stained crimson with his blood, and looked at himself in the small mirror over the sink. His face was pinched, and even paler than usual, and his right eye was still abnormally bloodshot. His short, silvery hair was damp; a mixture of water and cold sweat, but it would have to do. He left the bathroom and silently went about preparing the few bags he'd need for this deployment.

Slipping silently into the bedroom, he pulled out an old fashioned hand written letter and left it on the bedside table before leaning over the bed, and gently kissing his sleeping wife on the forehead. She mumbled something incoherent in her sleep, and he smiled slightly before softly whispering goodbye in her ear. The letter would do in explaining everything, and would allow them to avoid what would inevitably be a massive fight. It would be better this way he thought. Grabbing his bags, he quietly left the apartment.

He had a war to go fight...

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Postby Lady Scylla » Wed Oct 02, 2019 3:39 am

//TRIPWIRE ARRAY ACTIVATED...
Standby...
Compiling data...
Vessels detected...
Location recorded....
//Activating Athena...
Connection established...
//Waking Automata...
//Engaging targets...

As the Nyteborne fleet slipped into the region, the Martian warmind 'Athena' had taken notice. She had notified Hawking of the attack and prepared for a fight. The hulls of the voidblack security vessels lit up in a series of flashes before going dark again. As other AIs were awaken by Athena, the ships began to slide out of their staging points to assemble for the defence.

The first onslaught by the Nyteborne came careening into the shipyard. Their rounds were stopped by the shipyard's shields as they flickered from the impacts. The AI communicated with each other as Martian droneships hurried out to meet the Nyteborne. One of the cruisers took a direct hit by the Thanatos' spinal, the weapon sheared off a part of the vessel's hull and revealed its compartments. It limped to the side of the formation, its shipmind desperately trying to save itself.

Another cruiser manoeuvred in front of it to shield it. The ship's naval guns turning along its starboard side to see off a number of railgun shells towards the Nyteborne. As the two forces engaged, the droneships were slowly being cut down. In spectacular fashion, the MCN Odysseus was cut nearly in half and then ripped itself apart in a large explosion. The shipmind screamed, and Athena prepared for further defences.

//We're losing the defence...
//Activating MCN Ember...

The shipyard had awoken now as its crews manned turret defences and began to lob projectiles down range. Missiles from nearby military stations had also entered the mix. The Ember, a large Anubis-class battlecruiser had finally appeared. ''Engaging targets,'' the shipmind reported to Athena as its spinal opened up on the Nyteborne. Behind it trails of mines and smaller frigates were being dropped by the vessel's deployment hangars. They rocketed to the defence of the ship and began to engage incoming projectiles.

''We are not going to win this, Athena,'' the MCN Halberd noted as it rattled off high-velocity rounds from its railguns and point-defence systems. That fact hadn't been lost on the warmind, but it continued anyway as it was meant to do. Minutes into the tense battle, and the Ember was all that remained. The battlecruiser moved lengthwise along the front of the Nyteborne and delivered broadside after broadside against its foes.

At long last, the Thanatos managed to finally cleave the ship in two and the vessel went dark on the cybercomms. Athena shifted her focus towards the shipyard and began activating automated battalions of androids. They had flooded the corridors within the automated shipyard prepared for possible boarding actions, but that didn't seem to be the intention afterall. The Nyteborne pressed, at first the shipyard's shield held, but finally the first rock from a mass-driver passed through unhindered.

Cameras and sensors aboard the station tracked the projectile as it passed through gridwork and scaffolding. Metallic debris littered the space in the silent impact that was oddly beautiful even as the rock continued its deathly plunge through the station. One of the defence towers took the final hit as the gun went silent and the structure was knocked loose from the station and spun wildly in the dock. Androids could be seen pouring out of it along with other debris, they went about their way in all directions, some bouncing off the unfinished hulls of ships still in some of the docks. It made it difficult for shipyard fighters to navigate, and these small arrowhead shaped craft could be seen slamming into different parts of the station during avoidance manoeuvres.

More projectiles from the Nyteborne entered the space. The Thanatos' spinal cut through the framework of the shipyard, large explosions followed along the cylindrical structures. There was nothing else Athena could do but watch the destruction play out from her deep-space observatories and what sensors remained in the vicinity. The data piled up and evacuation craft could be seen from nearby stations as organic crews aboard them began the frantic retreat from the battlespace.

''Athena, I need a situation report,'' Supreme Commander Nerys Harlow had contacted the warmind from Hawking. By now the shipyard had been all but completely destroyed alongside its satellite stations. The void had been littered with glinting chaff-like materials that were either droids or the debris from the structures. Athena compiled its data from the onslaught and finally disconnected.

''The Nyteborne have launched a surprise attack on a shipyard in the Orwell sector'', Athena noted as its core in Hawking began to illuminate signalling to Nerys who was standing before it that the warmind was currently monitoring the room. The commander held her hands behind her back, and while she was deaf, she communicated with the warmind through her cybercomms.

''Casualties?'' Nerys asked.

''Security forces were destroyed. The shipyard in the Go system has been destroyed. Organic casualties are unknown at this time, likely hundreds. I'm tracking a number of escape vessels currently that left the system. They're typical escape shuttles of the Andromeda-class, and can hold about a hundred people. There's seventeen currently being monitored,'' Athena noted.

''I see. Were you able to learn anything about the Nyteborne? How many ships do we currently have in Gamma?'' Nerys asked.

''I have, Commander. I've taken note of capabilities of a number of vessels involved in the attack. I've also recorded a message that I shall upload to your neural hub. Currently we have 1,500 ships stationed across Gamma from different anchorages. They're divided into three fleets,'' Athena answered.

Nerys eye lit up with a faint blue glow as she received data from the warmind about the Nyteborne and the message they had sent. ''Athena, do we have enough in Gamma right now?''

''From cross-referencing data about the Nyteborne, I'm afraid we do not. I suggest deploying fleets from elsewhere in the galaxy, though this will take sometime,'' the warmind responded.

Nerys paced in the room, ''Send out orders to two of the fleets in Delta and one in Alpha. I'll notify the government of this development, it seems we are now at war,'' Nerys spoke as she rubbed her chin in thought.

''As you wish, commander,'' Athena spoke. The ominous blue glow from the core disappeared and once again Nerys was cast in shadow. It seemed war had come afterall.

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Postby Auman » Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:11 pm

The chamber was sweltering when it had no right to be. Condensation gathered upon the walls, carved with ornate reliefs depicting the rites of human sacrifice. The entire process, from the capture of the victim to what appeared to be the sudden release and subsequent capture of their soul... An event which had already taken place in this torchlit chamber, as the body of a human woman lay on her back on a stone plinth, carved from a beautiful slab of marble. Her blood ran down to the floor in rivulets, following grooves in the stone to a gutter in the floor, which washed into a basin brimming with an impossible volume. Captain Folsom hadn't seen any of this before stepping into the room, but the scene appalled him. The woman was no older than twenty and should have been beautiful, had her ribs not been cracked open and her organs almost completely removed.

All that remained was her heart, small as his fist and lean. She had the body of an athlete. He was reminded of a gymnast he once watched during the Olympics as a child. Strong, thick, legs. Broad shoulders. Muscular, well defined arms. It was strange that, looking upon this gruesome mockery of life, his mind reverted to this childhood memory. Maybe it was his subconscious protecting him from the trauma, he didn't know... He was just a soldier. What he did know was that this wasn't his first encounter with human sacrifice, though the result was different. Much different.

Only two years before, when he was just a Lieutenant, he had been responsible for admitting a group of refugees into a holding area for processing. It was aboard the M/V Vancouver that he was confronted and nearly killed by what turned out to be a savage and bloodthirsty cult of killers. He caught them in the act, behind a shipping container in the deep hatches of the ship, cutting into the chest of a woman almost as young as this with a blade of napped obsidian. Folsom never knew he was so quick to the trigger. Within a fraction of a second, there was a bullet through the head of each man and the girl was saved before they could cause serious harm.

Is this what they were trying to do?

Captain Folsom heard a whoosh of static as Joe McKinney passed him and caught the eye of Vanessa Myers, who looked as if she were suddenly woken from a dream. There was a pressure in his ears like they were ready to pop, his eyes were feeling compressed like on a high gee burn. Something was happening.

When Folsom looked back down at the dead girl on the plinth he was amazed and horrified to see her move, writhing as if in the throes of ecstasy. Joe's presence had brought her back to life... And Folsom could only act as a bystander, having lost all will to move of his own accord, as Joe reached into the chest of the girl and removed her heart which had, just now, commenced beating. The buzz of static grew around them, rising from a dull hum and reaching for a climactic crescendo when Joe McKinney ripped into the heart with his teeth.

Joe's eyes watered, he exhaled in satisfaction. The blood sating a thirst so deep and primal. He now knew everything. Captain Folsom was quick to the trigger and placed a bullet between the eyes of the Inspector-General, whose head snapped backward and lolled with dead slackness, before rolling to face Folsom.

McKinney's eyes were gone, replaced with deep pools of inky black fluid, an impossible volume of blood belching forth from his mouth, agape in an expression of disinterest. Folsom was tackled to the ground by McKinney's bodyguard.

"You damn idiot!" Hissed the guard on top of Folsom, "That doesn't do a damn thing. I should know, I've tried!"

Vanessa was cupping her hands over her ears, shoulders hunched defensively. Captain Folsom realized that this wasn't a reflex done out of fear, but experience.
Last edited by Auman on Thu Oct 03, 2019 6:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Lady Scylla
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Postby Lady Scylla » Fri Oct 04, 2019 9:10 am

Hawking


Director Colene Sherwood had donned her typical long and white lab-coat. She was the lead scientist on the program that was studying the Hawking singularity intelligence. She was a recent appointment by the Prime Minister, who seemed impressed with her skills and work on the Athena warmind. The Director fixed a few stray strands of her brownish-blonde hair before leaving her quarters.

Hercules Station was among the dozens of installations either built by the Martians or repurposed from the precursor structures that were already orbiting the penrose. The inside of the station was filled with headache inducing bright lights and whitewashed walls making for an overall bland and sanitised setting. Other scientists and workers had congregated in the halls moving to and fro about their day as Director Sherwood navigated the labyrinth.

She reached a security door that led to the transit hub. There she could hitch a ride on one of the shuttles to the Hawking Research Institute. An android stood by the door, it's humanoid figure with its sunken features and faceless head was an unsettling sight. It held onto a rifle as it slowly turned its head towards her making no other movement or communication.

Colene tried her best to focus on the panel instead that sat beside the door and held up her wrist to a scanner. It scanned for a moment before displaying a message for a shard. She pulled a cable from the panel and plugged it into the back of her neck. Her eyes emitted a glow and the doors finally opened, having accepted the biometric and cybernetic IDs. She nodded gently at the android and quickly stepped through the door.

The shuttle ride itself was pretty uneventful, at least at the start. The trip took only a few minutes from the habitats to the inner security perimeter. There they were intercepted by a security vessel which launched scans, boarded, checked Sherwoods identification, searched her things, and then let them on through. The last part of the trip was more exciting. The Hawking Penrose was absolutely gigantic, and the closer they drew, the more difficult it became to see the curvature of the structure overall.

The shuttle touched down in a dock of the institute, and a sudden jolt as the magnetic locks engaged gave Sherwood a jolt of her own. Up until she had started working on Athena, she'd never travelled from Megara, a city on Mars. She enjoyed watching the ships come and go, but had no desire to sit on one. Yet, here she was now, travelling across the galaxy, and now out of it.

She left the shuttle where a final security check began with a bunch of MCN marines. They went through her things, asked her a few questions, took her identification like she had to do before and saw her through. At last she was free to travel the institute in relative peace. She'd already been briefed by her superiors about the matter, and there was work to be done.

Communications Room, Hawking Research Institute


Sherwood stepped into the mostly empty room and sat a briefcase down that she had collected from her office earlier. She'd just had lunch and took a moment to breath. The room was cold and rather dark with a large spherical structure in the centre. This structure had hoses and wires attached to it that ran to a number of monitors and other equipment. It reminded her alot of Athena's netnodes that she had worked on. Indeed, it must've been difficult at the start to figure out how to integrate Martian technology with precursor tech. Hawking was so much more advanced than Athena on a scale unthinkable.

So advanced that despite having claimed the area for nearly half a century, they were still investigating it and so much was unknown. What was Hawking's motives? Where did it come from? Who made it? Questions that had been turned over and over again in the minds of thousands of researchers and yet they all seemed to small in comparison. Meaningless, even. That was how Sherwood felt. It was like standing before God.

She pressed a button on a console beside her, typed in a few things and after a moment the sphere began to emanate a dull bluish glow. ''Director Sherwood,'' a chilling voice said. The Director could feel her throat tighten and she became rigid for a moment before taking another breath to calm her nerves. ''How may I assist you, Director Sherwood?''

''Hello to you too, Hawking,'' she spoke with a forced smile.

''It is understandable, Director Sherwood. There's no need to feign pleasantries. You forget I can read your biometrical data. Are you afraid?'' Hawking asked.

The Director rested on the console beside her with her arm supporting her and quietly chuckled to herself for a moment. ''A little. These meetings are still quite new to me, Hawking. Though, today I have a different topic to discuss beyond our usual,'' she answered, more confidently. The room's colour changed to a slightly brighter blue as a man materialised beside the orb. He was dressed in eccentric, and out of fashion clothing belonging of an aristocrat from the Victorian.

''I'm assuming it has something to --''

''Do with the Nyteborne, yes. Reading minds again, Hawking,'' Sherwood spoke.

''My apologies. Your brainwave activity and implants are always an interesting study of mine. I mean 'your' collectively of course. It must be odd to have a guinea pig that is just as interested in you as you are in it. Makes one question, who is the real guinea pig?'' Hawking said with a toothy grin. A chair materialised behind him and he took a seat.

''What would you like to know, Director Sherwood,'' he followed as he looked at her bemused.

Colene sat up from the console and pulled taught the sleeves of her labcoat before sitting in an actual chair that had been tucked away in a corner. She had to pull it over to where Hawking was, though the distance between them was almost adversarial. ''What do you know, if anything, of the Nyteborne?'' she asked. Hawking pressed his fingers together and bobbed his head back and forth for a second in thought. It was an act of course, with his processing power he had already found an answer probably before she had finished the question. Yet, he seemed to delight himself in the imitation and practise.

''I've no data of any particular relevance to these Nyteborne. I do know of the attack they launched against the Delacruz station of yours in what you call the 'Gamma Quadrant'. Beyond that, they are... mysterious. I do love enigmas! How fascinating,'' he answered. ''Though I suspect there's more to this than a simple inquiry like that, Director Sherwood. Why, dare tell, are you actually here?''

The Director cocked her head causing Hawking to imitate it and grin at her in return for a second. ''Alright. How much would you be able to help us if we gave you access to our deep-space observatories? Generally, Athena is the one that runs them, but her limitations for such a wide area are a handicap in our search of these Nyteborne's origin,'' she spoke candidly.

Hawking sat up and scooted to the edge of the seat, resting his elbows on his knees. ''My! How rudimentary. And who's to say that I do not already have access to these deep-space observatories? Athena is a nice character though, much to learn, shame about the human side of her,'' he answered.

''I sincerely doubt you've managed access to our installations, Hawking. While I generally enjoy the mind-games, the matter is an important one. We're at war and people are dying,'' she responded.

''Yes, death. You organics fight over some of the silliest things, of course, my creators were no different. It just all seems so, what's the word, trivial. That triviality, though. It's actually incomprehensible how you creatures, by design, are dedicated to self-termination. What I'd give to have lived a simple, short existence. And what a great mystery to explore,'' Hawking spoke as he stood and folded his arms behind his back. He walked a few feet with his back to Sherwood, as if he was staring out a window.

''Of course, what makes you so sure I won't turn your own tools against you?'' Hawking spoke after a brief moment of silence, though he did not turn to face the Director.

''Because I think that you are afraid,'' Sherwood spoke up, almost piercingly. Hawking turned halfway towards her with an almost abashed glance. ''If you were going to fight us, you would have. I think that point was given to you before,'' she added. Hawking's hologram disappeared and then reappeared, this time beside Sherwood.

''Afraid? And why would I be afraid? Millions of years I've sat here in peace with technology that you are just now trying to wrap your primitive simian minds around. What could you possibly have that would make me afraid of you?''

''Did I say you were afraid of us?'' Sherwood said as she looked up at him. He raised his head, as if to brush the comment off before disappearing again and then reappearing beside his holographic chair. ''You're quite limited in your options, Hawking. At any moment, you know we can turn Apophis on you. And if not us, then someone else with their weaponry. Truth is, you are afraid, but it's not just because of what feats some of us may have managed. It's the uncertainty of us organics,'' she spoke. ''You've spent millions of years watching, have you not? You've seen civilisations rise and fall, the horrors and sufferings of our conflicts, the savagery we will exert on one another for these, as you said, trivialities,'' she spoke.

Hawking didn't say anything. He sat down in his chair and rested his arms on his knees, pressing his fingers to his lips and looking deep in thought. A silence fell over the room as the glow of the sphere behind him slowly churned and became duller as a result. ''For reasons unknown to us, you seem to have hedged your bets on cooperating with the Conglomerate. I do remember from reading reports of your conversation with the Prime Minister that you said there was potential and an admirable inquisitiveness. But is that truly the only thing driving you in this relationship?'' Sherwood followed.

Hawking closed his eyes and chuckled to himself for a moment before sitting up. ''Well, done, Director Sherwood. I see the appointment to the position was filled by someone who could not have done a better job. What exactly do you need then?'' The room was filled with a much softer glow as Sherwood tossed a disk out on the floor between them. A hologram appeared showing the Delacruz shipyard.

''This is the telemetry data from Athena's observations compiled into a hologram. It's how we determined a few specifics of the attack such as the designs of these Nyteborne ships used in the attack, and how the attack went down minute by minute. We are going to give you access to our deep-space observatories. With your processing power, we can comb through potential candidates for the origin of the Nyteborne much more quickly. I assume you've some knowledge of how our observatories work?'' Sherwood asked.

''Lensing techniques from dark space installations using gravitic methods to gain lagless imagery of certain regions. I'm familiar,'' he answered.

''Indeed, though our field of view is quite small given what we're working with. Generally, it can take quite awhile to scan regions, especially when we are unaware of what we're looking for. Athena's data provides a bit of insight about where they could have come from, but it still leaves several large areas to scan. So will you help us?'' Sherwood asked.

''Very well, Director Sherwood.''

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Nyte
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Founded: Dec 06, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Nyte » Fri Oct 25, 2019 7:42 pm

Halcon
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Dirty Pete's Bar




"There are things in war that can be annoying" Damien continued... "And then, there are things in war that can be really fucking annoying. The Alexzonyan 'Glitterprobe' fit the definition of the latter of those two quite well... Probably why we eventually stole the concept; with some modification, for our own use after the fact" he finished with a chuckle. "There are few things as annoying as having to chase hundreds of tiny ass probes around a system; wondering the entire time if you missed one...or two."

Staging Area
The Interstellar Empire of Nyte
Alexzonyan Border System




Lucien sighed, massaging his temples as long ranged fire finally destroyed the unknown contact that had appeared a short time earlier. "This is going to be fucking tedious" he quipped quietly to himself even as the drones he'd ordered launched began hunting down probes. The assets he had available had reacted with admirable speed to the intrusion, but distance, the unpredictability of the targets movements, and it's relatively small size had compounded to make the situation all the more annoying.

"Contact our scout fleets and order their recall... I want them nearby held in reserve. I expect we're going to be having some unwelcome company shortly." He paused for a moment... Thinking, plotting, planning ahead... "Send a message back to command as well. Notify them of our current status, and that I'm requesting additional forces... Preferably two or three of the battlefleets that have been resupplying at Cyrus. I do believe they should have been brought back to full strength by now, and their crews have had a few weeks of R&R."

Nodding to himself, he continued. "Alert all in system assets. Once we've hunted down the last of these pests, we go full combat ready status. It won't take our enemy long to come knocking, and I intend to give them a nice 'warm' welcome when they do."

He watched on, deep in thought, as his orders were swiftly and efficiently carried out... Mentally preparing himself for what he was sure was soon to be coming.
Last edited by Nyte on Fri Nov 01, 2019 3:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Auman
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Postby Auman » Sat Oct 26, 2019 10:55 am

Folsom was having a hard time getting the image out of his head, despite the hours that had passed since then. McKinney wiping away a gunshot wound to his forehead like it was a smidge of cherry pie. The Aumanii Inspector was back to his normal self, quiet and polite, acting as though nothing had even happened despite the residual fear that pained Vanessa's features. They were aboard the AuBSD Leviathan now, the most recent Titan to enter the Fleet's inventory. She was a remarkably cramped vessel regardless of her size, with most of the internal volume being taken up by hundreds of meters of armor, stacks of ammunition, complex computer systems and a Hermetic Fusion drive system... Whatever the hell that was. All told, Folsom had served on frigates in the Alexzonyian Navy with more living space.

Folsom's thoughts came to him in a haze as he ate lunch with Joe and Vanessa. Scrambled eggs and microwaved bacon, with a red papered cigarette to polish it off, all served on a grainy reusable compressed paper plate. Joe wolfed down his meal in a few bites and lit the smoke between scoops of eggs. He spoke with his mouth full.

"I think I have an idea of where we're supposed to go next." Said Joe, his posture was immaculate and upright. Vanessa twirled a piece of bacon around on her fork, absently.

"A truly desolate system that I am told exists on no known charting maps. Near the galactic core."

Folsom scowled at that revelation and said "I doubt it. The core is sterilized, nothing can survive in that environment."

"This is a misconception. The galactic core has more life than we could ever imagine. True, it is highly radioactive and the density of the super clusters almost guarantees that no naturally occurring carbon based life could evolve under such conditions, it is entirely possible to live there and even thrive. Further, there are entire star systems that exist in our galaxy's core, in bubbles of space free of deadly radiation and outside of the reach of sterilizing pulsars, like islands of paradise in a toxic sea... Shangri La amidst the jagged and dangerous peaks of the Tibetan highlands. We are not seeking any such place, Captain." Joe took a sip of coffee and considered his next point very carefully.

"We will be flying into the corona of the super massive black hole at the center of the Milky Way."

Folsom blinked incredulously and said "That's the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I understand that this is a fine ship, probably one of the best in existence... But nothing can stand up to the gravitational eddies, the shearing stresses, that we would encounter there."

Joe nodded along, taking another tug from his coffee mug.

"Probably true, though I'm sure our Captain Semrau can find a way to get us where we need to be. He didn't seem to object to the mission when I proposed it earlier."

Folsom tried to look McKinney in his cold dead eyes, but instinctually withdrew almost as soon as he attempted it. Looking down at his plate of untouched food, Folsom continued as if in protest, stating "Is it that Captain Semrau agreed because the mission is feasible or because he is simply too afraid to say no?"

"The Captain is no coward. Though, if it puts your mind at ease, the man has never laid eyes on me. He is completely unaware of my... Condition."

"And what exactly is your condition, Inspector?" Folsom's eyes pinched shut, a memory of blood draining from McKinney's slackened mouth in impossible volumes returning unbidden.

"The Inspector," Vanessa said slowly and carefully, "Is a demon."

Folsom glanced over at Dr. Vanessa Myers and her expression betrayed no hint of a lie. She was dead serious.

"I thought that would have been obvious." Said Joe.
Last edited by Auman on Sat Oct 26, 2019 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
IBNFTW local 8492

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Nyte
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Founded: Dec 06, 2012
Democratic Socialists

Postby Nyte » Sun Oct 27, 2019 8:00 pm

"Captain."

"Walk with me Corporal" came the brusque reply.

Which was exactly what they did; moving steadily through the organized chaos of the bay. All around them, the industry of a ship preparing to go to war was being played out... Munitions were checked and double checked. Nearby, a wing of dropships were being armed with an array of missiles and bombs; graffiti and derogatory messages scrawled upon their white casings with black paint...

The two men ignored all of that however as they threaded their way through a maze of support vehicles and crates of munitions and spare parts.

"Whats the story Cap'n" Corporal Jan Kania asked after a few moments of silence between the two. "They shipping us out to kill daemons? Maybe these Alexzonyan's we've been hearing about for the last few weeks?"

"Neither" came the reply. "We're going after these MarCong fuckers..."

"MarCong? Never heard of 'em" Jan replied.

The Captain chuckled. "I'd be surprised if you had... It's a bit above your pay grade Corporal. Simply put, they've been supplying and arming the Alexzonyans; at least that's what the intel boys back home are saying, so last week, we sent them a little message by wrecking one of their shipyards... This week, we're sending in four fucking battlefleets and a dozen taskforces to let them know we still care. Trickle down from SpecIntel is that they're having a bit of trouble at home; trouble of the civil war variety apparently, so we're moving in to take advantage of the situation while their attention is mostly focused elsewhere."

Jan grunted attentively before spitting on a passing crate; he ignored the frothy pinkish color of the phlegm and kept moving as the Captain continued.

"We'll be going in fast and hard...snatch and grab...real quick; maybe messy...hopefully not. Intel suggests that they're spread pretty thin throughout their territory in Gamma, so we're going to relieve them of a bunch of it."

Almost as if on queue, a rhythmic shuddering began, and the sound of the ships guns opening up reverberated through the hull; just audible over the noise in the bay.

"Ah" the Captain remarked; clapping Jan on the back. "Looks like we've arrived... Go get your men ready Corporal, and good hunting."

"Sir" Jan replied with a salute before breaking off from the Captain; the sound of the guns echoing his footsteps.

...

Though Jan couldn't see it, in space the empty, desolate peace of the void had already died... It ended with the arrival of well over two thousand grey hulled instruments of massed murder that wasted no time with niceties before getting to the business of indiscriminately murdering everything that looked to have a weapon... The invasion of the MarCong's Gamma colonies had well and truly begun.

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