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Offline Ria Hawk

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Manifest Desolation
« on: August 12, 2007, 03:12:13 AM »
Tellariel Sigma looked like a dull glass marble, hardly different than the surrounding space.  Frankly, there wasn't much to look at, so it really didn't matter.  Blue Heaven, on the other hand, was brightly lit.  The station was fairly large, and could easily accomodate several ships much larger than the one Crowe Industries had provided.  Despite that, however, something didn't seem right.  The phrase that popped to mind was "The lights are on, but no one is home."  The comms were dead silent, and the only traffic originating nearby they could find at all, on any channel, was the station's automated location beacons.

The tall, middle-aged executive who owned the station, looked at it broodingly.  "This is John Crowe, president of Crowe Industries.  Security protocol M37HSL4.  I repeat, this is John Crowe.  Respond."  The hail was ignored.  After about thirty seconds of dead air, Crowe shook his head.  "If they won't answer that, they won't answer at all."  He pointed one of the docking bays out to Derek Longshaw, who'd talked his way into piloting the long distance shuttle.  "That's the maintainence dock.  It'll be the most convenient." 

((OOC- If you guys want any interaction before the shuttle docks, go for it.  Otherwise, Derek can dock at once.  Guy, Derek, Syrus, & Dr. Malcan are on the shuttle, along with John Crowe, Joshua Dietrich, and some unnamed NPCs.  Feel free to interact with any of them; the two unnamed guys can be played by anyone in their posts, but the named NPCs are mine.))
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 02:37:00 AM »
The long-range shuttle Cheshire was a basic Linus-class commercial transport, hardly the sort of craft that would have been ideal for the mission Mr. Crowe had outlined.  A vehicle more efficient than comfortable, it had little space for the passengers and their equipment.  Dr. Tran supposed that it was more luxurious than the sort of military transport the other passengers were apparently accustomed to, but by any other standard, it was Spartan.  Mr. Crowe, apparently more accustomed to luxurious transport than his staff, seemed particularly uncomfortable.

As the small craft locked onto its final approach vector, Malcan’s head began throbbing with the headaches again, much worse than he remembered from his previous work in the Tellariel Sigma system.  He found the memories distracting him, as he tried to analyze the updated data from the ship’s limited sensor suite.  The station’s computers weren’t linking up properly with the transport’s, and the code they were transmitting was making the Cheshire’s computers balky.  The ship’s computers were apparently just smart enough to become confused by the station’s malfunctioning equipment.

Wincing with the pain exploding in his head, the researcher outlined his ideas for approaching Blue Heaven.  “Mr. Longshadow, could you place us into orbit adjacent to the station without docking yet?  I’d like to reconfigure one of the Spiders to take a better look at the station before we go in,” he suggested to the assembled team.  The Spider maintenance systems were designed more for minor repairs in hard vacuum, but were versatile machines, with limited AI and numerous attachments that could be adapted for their purpose. 

“I’m not going to be able to control the spider inside the station if we don’t find a way to tie into Blue Heaven’s systems.  We can take a walk around the exterior, but inside, the station’s rad shielding will block any signals between us and the spider.  If one of you could try your luck at untangling the mess their systems are putting out, Tech Griswell and I can get the Spider set up.  What do you all think?”


« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 02:39:15 AM by Wulfhere »
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 07:48:39 AM »
"No prob bub,  always a good idea to take a good look-see." , and Derek keyed in the new course, a nice tight orbit skirting the edge of the massive station, taking care to take into account its non-negliable gravity field.  Close enough that some of the communications arrays flew by the shuttle.  Derek glanced back to see how his passangers were enjoying the trip.

'How ya planning on getting them in?  Them docking-rings really don't like opening to space, 'specially if they's malfunctioning.  They still got an airlock, of course, but there's no sense in wasting good ole oh-two.  Unless you override them, you got to bring yer ring to their ring and consemmate the relationship.  We can force em open with an emergency code though, but we still need to be pretty close.  Shyte, Guy, you know that right? This is yer specialty! Waddya think?

There mighten be a main't hatch nearby though, but somebuddys gotta override it's security tuh get in.  And that's hands on work. 'Spose one of them der spiders might be able tuh."


(ooc - I assume everyone is wearing pressure suits - entering spacestations of unknown status without them might be a little... risky.)


« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 07:57:04 AM by valadaar »
   
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 12:07:42 PM »
Guy let out a small sigh as the spider drifed from the shuttle towards the station. It was his speciality breaching spaceships and stations, but it wasnt so much a matter of getting docking rings to open. Those were defensible positions, and often were defended. No, spacers fought dirty back in the Chaos March, they would place directional charges and breach the hull in a secondary area, sucking out the atmo and leaving whoever wasnt suited up sucking space like a fish. Guy didnt feel like telling these boys that, the younger fellow had their heads full of images from the entertainment feeds, laser pistols and duels with plasma blades, not the quick and dirty tactics of can popping, flash bangs, or venting fuel tankage into a ship's interior.

((IC: Guy would like to scan the surface of the station for evidence of combat damage, as well as ships that might be docked at the station.))

'If you want to take care of that rad shielding problem, use a tethered spider. Rad shielding doesnt interfere with a hardline connection." Guy said as he panned the scanners across the hull of Blue Heaven.


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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 01:25:34 PM »
Flickers of light danced at the edge of Tran’s vision as he popped a pair of anodyne tabs against his neck.  The light painkillers were twice the usual dose, but barely enough to dull down the migraine’s throbbing misery.  Tech. Griswell was on-line with the Spider, adjusting the adaptable device’s programming as it began its new mission as a jury-rigged remote.  Apparently intimidated by Mr. Crowe's presence, the meek technician had barely said a word to anyone since he boarded the Cheshire.

Dr. Tran's voice was strained as he responded to the mercenary’s suggestions.  “A tether might work in the evacuated zones of Blue Heaven, the engineering and small craft bays, but the areas I’m most interested in appear to still be under pressure.  The partial reading that we picked up reads at .93 standard atmospheres, so they should still have solid life support in the lab spaces. 

“We could throw together a signal amplifier and have the spider stage it on the station’s hull, but I’m afraid that the station’s defense protocols may still be partially on-line.  If so, it will certainly read that as an attempt to compromise station security and will jam the signal.  There’s no way that we have the power to punch through the station’s ECM if it goes defensive; it may be outdated, but it’s still military grade.  Based on that, I'd like to get into their ops computers, at least enough to see which systems are still up.”
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 02:31:51 PM »
"Well, pretty much any way yah cut it, you're going have ta send some signal in. Which means beating their security.  Figure Mr. Crowe should be able to help wit' that. "

(iC, will scan for any debris nearby, overly high radiation and if the current orbit of the station is stable.)

"Mr. Crowe - would anything yose been doing here involve Gravity flucuations - let me know, cause we's flying real close and I don't want no surprises. Might make this an exciting, if short, trip."  Even as he spoke, he keyed in the commands to the computer that would check for gravity-based 'alterations' to the flight plan.

"I'll put us in a full scan orbit - we'll hit every inch of the station if we keep to it long enough.  While y'all figure out whacha doin'"

"Oh, and is this here place armed?"


« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 02:34:48 PM by valadaar »
   
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2007, 01:42:22 AM »
The scans were going smoothly.  There was no trace of any sort of combat damage on the surface of the station, and the only thing that looked a little suspicious was an unmarked, sort of beat up shuttle attatched to an inconveniently positioned airlock.  There wasn't even any space trash around the station.  Radiation levels were nominal, and the orbit looked perfectly stable.  "Mary Celeste," Dietrich said absently as he looked at the screens.

At Longshaw's question, Crowe shook his head.  "I do research gravitationals, but not here.  That shouldn't be a problem.  And the station does have a small arms complement, but they must be deactivated.  We'd know it by now if they weren't."

Tech Carter had been working on the computer while the scans were running.  "I think I've got the ops computer online, Doctor."  Dr. Tran scanned the readout, automatically translating the computer terminology.  Life support was still fully online, as were the power systems.  The station's security system, however, seemed to be offline, as well as the communications system.  

Meanwhile, Griswell had finished jury-rigging the Spider.  "I'll send it over for an outer hull check at your word, sir."  Crowe nodded, and Griswell launched it.  It sailed over to the station easily, and started scuttling around the surface.  It had been fitted with a video feed directly to the Cheshire's monitors.  It confirmed what they had already seen, there was no structural damage.  Griswell guided it over to the windows, trying to get a look into the station.

There were no signs of life inside.  The hallways were brightly lit, and completely empty.  Nothing moved inside at all.  It took ten minutes to find something that wasn't an empty area.  In what looked like an unused lab facility, there were seven space suits lying on the floor in a neat row.  It was hard to get enough focus to tell anything more, but it didn't really look like there was anyone in the suits.  
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Offline valadaar

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2007, 07:58:33 AM »
Crap, they won't believe me if I say the place was fulla bugs. 

"Can you let us in on _what_ they do here?  If all hell broke loose with wunnyer 'speriments, what could happen?  No maniac AIs or somethin? Give us somethin' to go on to form a plan and all.  And that thar shuttle - youse expectin' company?"

"Guy, d'ya pack a flamer?.. Oh no reason.."


   
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2007, 12:05:12 PM »
"It's a Firebat 6, compact model, but yes, I do have a flamer." Guy said. "The station looks clean from here, how about we just dock with the thing and stop dicking around with the 'bots?" he said. He had a bad feeling about Blea Heaven, but it wasnt the pirates with needlers bad feeling, more of a macabre mode of seredipity, where the events would unfold as to the fate of Blue Heaven in a series of discoveries each a bit worse than the last one so that by the time they found the festering heart of the manner all of the spacers would be numb from steadily applied horror.

There was a word for, diegogarcity or something silly like that, some nonsense about islands in the pacific back on old earth. He started humming the beat of an old Beach Boys songs that was about islands, though Guy, never having been to old Earth, didnt quite realize that all of the islands he was humming about were quite solidly in the Caribbean and not the south Pacific.


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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2007, 03:36:36 PM »
Crowe shook his head.  "No AI work, so you don't need to worry about that.  I'm afraid anything I could tell you about the projects they're working on here wouldn't mean much to you; it's based on a fairly specialized field of study.  Archaeoxenoanalysis, mostly.  I can't imagine how 'all hell would break loose' with anything being studied, but in the unlikely event that it did, I really don't know what would happen."  He frowned at the shuttled that was docked.  "That's not one of mine, and it doesn't belong to anyone who has any right to be here."
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #10 on: August 14, 2007, 04:53:16 PM »
"I can take a hardsuit and investigate." Guy offered.

((sorry for the short post))


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #11 on: August 14, 2007, 06:50:51 PM »
They don't let morons fly spaceships. Ok, they study alien artifacts. Sure, nothing can go wrong there.

"Sounds like ya were lookin at something someone else wants to gander at.  Can we bring up the specs on that shuttle type? If its pirates or the like, maybe we can figure out how many of them could be there."

(i - will scan the shuttle for lifeforms, and how 'cool' the reactor or engines are - we should be able to get an idea of how long it was parked..)
   
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #12 on: August 14, 2007, 07:33:27 PM »
The shuttle is a small one, that on closer inspection looks like it was modified in a hurry to make long hauls.  There's no life signs on the shuttle itself, and the reactor is dead cold, like it's been parked for weeks.  However, now the instruments are picking up a life reading on the station.  One life form, human by the looks of it.  In fact, it's a little peculiar that it didn't seem to be there before.
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Offline Wulfhere

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #13 on: August 15, 2007, 12:57:02 AM »
A rictus of anger flickered across Dr. Tran’s face as he listened to the mercenary’s impatient comments.  The man wouldn’t have lasted an hour on one of the digs Malcan had supervised.  His hands flew across his terminal’s touchscreen, calling up the chilling message that Mr. Crowe had shared with them.

"This is my final entry.  Everyone's dead.  Every single one of them...  Something we couldn't find on the scanners took us out one by one.  Even the ones who tried to quarantine themselves fell apart in their suits…”

The scientist, trembling with suppressed anger, stabbed his finger down on the Pause button angrily.  “If the information from the ops computer is accurate, there were 45 men and women on that station.  They had a contingent of 7 marines, as well.  None of their small craft have left.  If fact, no ships have left the station for over two MONTHS.

“You want to bull in there and stir up whatever took them out?  I commend your boldness, but I am not so sanguine about whatever may be in there.  When I was here before, the marines were Stockard Colonial troops, genemods with the full combat enhancement sequence.  They were equipped with Concordance Integrated Combat Harnesses and the latest in hand weapons:  The only thing they didn’t have was battlesuits.  I doubt that a few flamers will be enough to keep us safe, no matter how skillful their users."

“We should send the spider in near that unidentified shuttle.  I’d rather not go in there before we…” his words trailed off.  “Mr. Longshadow, I'm getting an anomalous reading near the maintenance bay.  Are your instruments reading life signs in that area?" 

Clambering rapidly from his accel. couch, he shoved himself in next to Griswell.  Pointing at the tech's console, he indicated the service port for the station's maintenance bay.  "There!  Redirect the Spider to enter there!"
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #14 on: August 15, 2007, 02:27:10 AM »
"Freaking genemods should fall apart in their suits, d**ned scientists playing god. The bastards probably caused this mess." Guy said. "As for the rest, DOCTOR Tran, garrison marines tromped off to stations like this are RARELY experienced, and like yourself have NO CONCEPT of finesse or subtlty. I'm sure you can split DNA or atoms or your own godd**ned hair with a laser scalpel without looking, but for just ONE SECOND consider the fact that someone besides your ARROGANT ASS might have some experience with this." Guy said, his voice seethed with acid.

"I was part of the quarantine troop that locked down the Ingero III biogenics station. You might remember that was the one with the viral weapon that got loose, made people melt from the inside out while they went nuts from optic hallucinations. Sum&^%$@es couldn't find it on their scanners, there are meter long bugs on Zerus that dont show up on scanners, iron shelled barnacles on Crematoria that dont show up on scanners even though they weigh tons and are the size of your hovercar." Guy said.

"Now if you want to play with the radio, why don't you find a synth-classical channel and shove a tranq up your ass."


((Long night, venting mucho fun,  :up: Wulf! Well played))


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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #15 on: August 15, 2007, 03:40:34 AM »
"Will you two kindly stop acting like children?" Crowe said with suppressed wrath.  "If you want to risk a hardsuit to take a look, that's what I'm paying you for.  If you think you need to send the Spider over to get more info, then send it.  Or do both at once.  We can decon once we get onstation, if it seems necessary.  I still think we're dealing with a simple case of homicidal space madness."

"Sir?  You should see this."  Dietrich had been looking at the video feed while everyone was arguing.  The Spider had scuttled over another window on it's way to the maint dock.  A dead man, with graying hair and wearing what was apparently a scientist's uniform was laying on his back, just in view of the camera.  It was hard to tell from this angle, but it looked like he'd burned a hole through his head with the laser pistol still clenched in his hand.  If the state of his body was any indication, he'd been dead for quite some time.  "That's Dr. Gerard, isn't it?"

Crowe scowled.  "Yes.  Space madness, like I said.  I don't care how you determine if it's safe, but get us over there.  I want to know what happened to my staff."

Meanwhile, Griswell guided the Spider over to the service port and sent it scuttling in.  "Well, it doesn't look like I tripped the defenses, so that's good.  Although it doesn't look like- the hell?!"  He zoomed the camera in.  A man was standing on the stationside of the airlock, and he looked up as the Spider drew his attention.

Dietrich looked at Crowe, puzzled.  Crowe looked somewhere between puzzled and angry.  "Now who in God's name is that?"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thrask looked up as he saw a small robot enter what was apparently a service port.  He knew enough about robots to recognize the camera attatched to it, and enough about cameras to realize it was focusing on him. 

((OOC: Bio, you can post now if you want.  The shuttle hasn't docked yet, but the Spider bot is now looking at you.))
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #16 on: August 15, 2007, 04:02:52 AM »
What the? Thrask took out his pistol, and slowly approached the bot. It didnt move, even when he was sure it was watching him. "I didnt kill 'em. I just wanted a place to lay low." He mumbled. "And already they found me, godd**nit." He took aim, and shot at the camera. Then he disabled the droid. Now to find a ship off this rock.

[OOC] I decieded to lose the power bands. Kind of cheesy, and pretty useless.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2007, 04:05:13 AM by Bio-Terror »
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2007, 12:03:51 AM »
"Well.  Isn't THAT interesting," commented Dr. Tran, taken aback by the Spider's sudden demise.  He rewound the bot's video feed and froze it at a point just before the stranger's hand weapon had fired.  Scrutinizing the man's appearance, he didn't recognize him:  The station's personnel records didn't contain a match either.  "Since we have no record of who he might be, I'll designate him as subject Jonah."

"Since that trigger-happy fellow isn't part of Blue Heaven's complement, I would guess that Jonah arrrived in that shuttle we found.  I expect that he has something to do with this disaster:  Only a fool or the truly desperate would enter a station after it has had some sort of catastrophe.  If what happened here is simply a case of space-madness, as appears probable, we have to be careful:  Space madness can be triggered by a variety of causes.  I've heard of some prion-based microorganisms left over from the Zeran wars that wrought havoc in closed environments, and airborne toxins have caused strange reactions on several occasions.  Those causes seem unlikely, however:  Blue Heaven isn't like some sort of run-down mining station where they don't inspect the filters regularly. 

"Of course, some sort of alien tech could be responsible for this.  In the Lyrani ruins, the Damrell dig found psi-amplifiers that triggered auditory hallucinations and vivid nightmares in the whole team."

"Perhaps we should check out the shuttle before we give that gunman a chance for further target practice," mused the scientist.  "The more we can find out, the more likely it is that we can capture him alive and find out how he's involved with this.  This is starting to look like a job for our military associates."
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2007, 12:29:03 AM »
"Aiyah."  Crowe rubbed his temples like he had a headache.  "This is lovely.  Theories are all well and good, but I'd like some d**ned answers."  He looked over at the mercs.  "When we get over there, try to take him alive if it's reasonably practical.  But I would like to get on-station; if that fellow is up walking around, then I imagine there's nothing deadly there, and if we're careful, then we won't catch whatever it is."
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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #19 on: August 19, 2007, 03:41:00 AM »
Guy opened his weapon's locker and removed a rather laughable grey and purple gun. He sighted the weapon and slid a long clip into the weapon. "Pleonastic chloroform darts, one of these will put a rhino in a stupor, two will drop a raging Tlaxian berzerker, three is generally lethal. Get us docked and I'll take care of Captain Shooty." Guy said, slipping on his common looking spacer's suit.

Mr. Crowe hadn't seen one like it though, since the base suit was composed of synthsilk-Kevlar which had a rather unique texture if you knew what to look for. Thicker panels of cloth shimmered with the tell-tale iridescence of ablative materials. It wasnt space marine armor, but it was enough that the man inside could take a couple of glancing hits or a singe direct hit and keep going.


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Offline valadaar

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #20 on: August 19, 2007, 12:07:08 PM »
"Sure enough! Suit up folks - no tellin' how many systems are f'd up - and please stow any loose gear."

Quickly donning his helmet, he dropped the visor and switched over to full life support.  He always had nightmares about decompression - especially since he saw what it could do a few missions back.  No matter that the pr|k deserved it...

"Kay, dialed in - I'll be giving control to the docking computer but I'll keep my hand on the stick in override mode in case someone gets all creative on us."

"Docking 'bout ten seconds - hold on, I'm not goin' to be gentle..."



   
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #21 on: August 21, 2007, 07:24:30 PM »
It was not gentle.  The shuttle quaked as it ground to a stop against the station, sending some things crashing to the floor.  Fortunately, everyone had either strapped themselves in or had a good grip on something, so no one went tumbling.  As the airlock sealed, Deitrich pulled out a very large gun, more accurately described as a small cannon.  "I hope he doesn't make me use sleepgas grenades," he muttered.  "It's hell to clean up, and with the systems as screwed up as they are..."

The docking light blinked on, signalling that the airlock had made a proper seal.  "Well, children, I believe it's time," Crowe said drily.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2007, 10:43:38 PM »
 Thrask heard the airlock opening and quickly ran into the closest room available.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2007, 11:40:43 AM by Bio-Terror »
Good. Bad. Im the guy with the gun.

Offline valadaar

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2007, 10:23:21 AM »
"I sayd secure yer stuff! Sheesh."

As the others prepared to debuss, Derek put the shuttle into standbye mode. As a precaution, he instructed the computer to only accept instructions from those currently aboard.  "Goin' tah leave the reactor on-line - ya never know we might need amscray quick!"

Knowing he wouldn't be planetside, during the trip he had switched his slug-thrower to gauss-mode.  The weapon resembled from the exterior an ancient black-powder revolver, and could be used in that mode. However, chemical propellents in enclosed, high-oxygen environments were bad news. So instead, the pistol would use the accelerator coils built into the short, multi-purpose barrel.  Where the chambers contained both bullet and propellent, instead each of the 6 chambers contained a small cartridge with 6 short gallium/fullerene slugs, giving the weapon a capacity of 36 shots.  The relatively soft slugs would deform without fragmenting, and could punch a fist-sized hole in flesh, but would not pierce armor or structural materials. 

He would leave the intruder to the others, his weapon didn't have a stun setting...

After a moment's consideration, he dropped several metal-jacketed gunpowder cartridges into one of his pockets. You never know...

   
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Offline Ria Hawk

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Re: Manifest Desolation
« Reply #24 on: August 22, 2007, 01:56:09 PM »
((Posting for Lith the Blade, I forgot he was in this.  My bad.))

Syrus had kept quite the whole time, refusing to talk, and staying mainly in the background. He was a little pissed at the way things were going. Five people to check out a space station where god know what has happened? Insane. Syrus had suited up, and went with the fools. His days as a marine sniper and scout told him that those spiders wouldnt be able to do much. He himself had taken out many similar robots on his scouting missions. He gripped his revolver's handle. This isn't going to go easy, something living has to be in there. And if it is, its likely not to be friendly, Syrus thought to himself. But this job was worth quite a bit, and he needed the cash. With things as they were, he would stay unnoticed untill the fighting broke out, if it even did.
Sometimes angels fall from grace, and sometimes heroes die.

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