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[Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01

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Siren no Orakio:
The green star Sabrontir burned its ancient deposit of hydrogen, the stellar engine of heat and gravity performing the duty assigned it billions of years ago, but today it was not alone. Arrived a fraction of a heartbeat ago, on the scale that Sabrontir might measure the time, new things performed the eternal rite of fusion, but these things were not stars, but far tinier, and far more quick and intense. The Starkin Federation had come to Sabrontir, had assessed the bounty of the rocks and pockets of gas that had been out of the star's ability to swallow at the beginning of its life, and it had dubbed them good. And so, they had come to take what they could. In one of those rocks, the second planet, they had found that most precious of things, liquid water, and it was then that they decided to stay.

The half-completed elevator hung over Sabrontir II, turning its slow, majestic lock step with the orbit, while dozens of freighters made the run from the three asteroid belts to the orbital foundries, feeding its appetite for metals and carbon, while below, masters of bio-technology began the process of seeding the planet with more favorable forms of life, letting the tiniest and simplest of creatures begin their frenetic dance. Above, in even higher orbits, and in still other arcs and courses flew the protectors and privateers, for here, there was wealth to be had. And where there was wealth to be had, there would always be those seeking to claim it, with or without the right, and unafraid to make others bleed for it.

Even so, the mood of the sophonts on the elevator was, over all, a bustling, happy one. Recently, after all, the upper decks had been cleared for habitation, and commerce had begun, and the cantina rang with music, and the buzz of half-drunken (and fully drunken) patrons, while near by shops rang up purchases by the dozens. Truly, colonization had begun, even if few had yet stepped on the ground below.

And as Sabrontir shed its light freely upon all those in orbit around it, one more newcomer arrived, falling from its tightly-folded hyper space into normality as it felt the tug of Sabrontir's gravity, drifting into that gentle, distant embrace, sending out a repeated message in the electromagnetic spectrum, one uncomprehended, even unnoticed at first, as it began its cometary path towards the green star, its vast mass slow and majestic as it started to fall...

the Wanderer:
Connor leaned back in the pilot’s seat and relaxed. After a long transport to the Sabrontir system, he was glad to be out in open space again. This was the life…no one to answer to but himself. He gave a wry smile as a light on the control console began a slow steady blink. “d**n system diagnostics again” mumbling to himself.
   Picking up a long yellow cable from the side of his chair he pulled his hair to one side. He reached his hand to the back of his neck, the jack of the cable between his fingers. He winced as he fitted it into the port at the base of his skull. Always hated the way that feels…
   The console in front of him came alive with lights; blinking, pulsing, and burning steadily as he sat back again and looked blankly out of the forward window. He’d have this done in a short second. The system still hadn’t processed the new configuration to take in the several empty compartments now hidden throughout the ship. A simple recalibration would do the trick….
   He set his sights on the stars outside. According to his display, Elevator wasn’t that far now…three quarters an hour at most. GG2 laid a ways behind him. Not that he didn’t plan on making a stop there eventually, he just had more pressing business to tend to. Most of the lights on the console, including the one that was troubling him, had gone out again.
“Problem fixed, my dear” he spoke almost too loud. He’d never had too many people on his ship, so talking to “her” was the most conversation he had in space. It seemed natural, comforting. When he was a boy his mother told him a long time ago on Earth, men named their vessels. It was a tradition, or so she told him. He remembered this often, and feeling the need to continue the tradition he named his ship. A renovated yacht, really.  “Lunasombra” was her name now…
   He disconnected the cable from the cyber jack and stood up slowly. He’d be at Elevator soon, he had things to do. His weapon systems were on-line and running, now he just needed to double check his “cargo areas”. No use leaving them wide open for anyone to see. He trudged off to the lower levels of the ship to get to work. He had a while before making port, but he wanted to relax a bit before he went scouting for gainful and lucrative employment…

Erik Starvoid drifted, slightly, in the microgravity aboard his ship; a patchwork horror named the Karloff at the suggestion of one of his only other surviving Clanfolk, a Salvorathan woman with a fondness for relics of ancient Terran culture, it ran along the upper edge of the innermost world of the system, a massive gas giant. The ship's sensors studying the gaseous medium around it, even as other portions of the machinery sucked at the mix, pulling it away to be filtered and compressed for storage; although he was merely scouting out the planet, there was no point to wasting time hauling back an empty hold. The Salvorathan pilot-owner was only halfway paying attention to the ship's course; for something as simple as skimming the atmosphere, the ship's autopilot was far more than sufficient. Instead, he studied the readout of the ship's sensors, making note of the strata of atmosphere below; while the freighter itself couldn't descend into the heated depths, the information might sell decently to someone with a vessel capable of making the dive.

He half-absently kept a fraction of his attention for the communication bands and other sensors; one never knew when someone else might decide to drop in and either want to talk or start talking by opening fire on you, in a frontier system like this one. Sometimes other pilots might even let it slip where they'd found something more profitable than upper-fringe atmospheric gas, and it wouldn't do to let that go by unnoticed. Meanwhile, he kept to relative silence - although given the way the freighter leaked radiation much like an antique sieve leaking water, his odds of going unnoticed by anyone looking were slim at best - though if they weren't paying attention, he might get dismissed as a fluke of radioactive material caught in the giant world's magnetic field.

Nice Digs

 Kestral looked about the dreadfully cramped 'apartment' he had managed to obtain on the Elevator.  No windows, no furnishing - at least none that could support an Oraki, only a pair of heavy equipment pallets (probably stolen) with a few spare blankets.  Though prosperous, eveything was hard to get here, and few would cut a deal with the Oraki. 

 He had plenty of credits - he had found much employment as a convoy guard with his fighter, a Boeing Militaman he had had painted with broad white stripes on its navy blue hull.  "Invasion Stripes" the artist had called them.  But the flights were boring and uneventful, so he had come here, where things did happen, and blood did boil into the vacum. Someday he might like to take boring runs, but not yet.

Stopping his thoughts, he got up and checked his gear - all internal systems in working order, and he picked up his close combat tool, tucked the standoff blaster into a pocket and stepped out into the hallway.  He was bored and needed to take a look around.

It took a while to bring him to the canteena - his room was far from anything, but he enjoyed streaching his legs after all the time aboard ship. The canteena was an interesting place - the organics were in the process of poisoning themselves and losing what control they had.  He waited to see what the reaction of those few patrons who noticed him would be...

<ooc All of his heavy gear is stowed aboard the fighter - until I find out what the rules here are on carrying his heavy ordinance..>


The heavy freighter "Glory of Rome" readied itself for the voyage between the stars, to leave Sabrontir behind laden with precious merchandize. Unnoticed, a cargo hold lost pressure and spewed forth its contents, small pieces of existence in the void at the edge of the system.

The merchant ship's drives flared, illuminating the emptiness of space with the radiance of a thousand suns for a fraction of a second, and gone it was, laughing at the speed of light while chagring ahead through the ephemeral semi-existence that was hyperspace.

As the last ripples it left behind smoothed out, a piece of cargo came to life, dim blue light emerging from a container. Laser flashes cut through its surface, setting free a small vessel that lit its drives, and headed towards the cozier reaches of the system on a tail of blue.

Within, Danasheth stretched, filled with relief - finally, she had run far enough.

The last month was entertaining, if one preferred adrenaline sports - hopefully, though, it would stay her private joke.
From the day she left the poor Jelena, a naive cadet to-be, drugged and took her place on the board of the Star Streak, an older carrier used for training purposes, and faked an accident ending in her demise during a training exercise, to hide amongst the cargo of unwitting merchants hopping from system to system, not leaving any tracks - until she ended up here - beyond, the star maps spoke 'Here Be Dragons'.

Which was fine.

Her fighter, reprogrammed, believed itself to have been sold as military surplus to an anonymous mercenary squad, where its trail lost itself.

Which was fine as well.

Having accelerated enough, Danasheth shut down the engines, and enjoyed the silence of space.


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