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Author Topic: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01  (Read 31253 times)

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Offline dark_dragon

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #100 on: November 17, 2009, 12:55:53 PM »
"I simply hope that when you find yourself in a similar position to ours in the future, you'll be willing to come to a stranger's help. Your word to that effect would be all the thanks I require."

Alice looked at the many screens in the room thoughtfully, and turning back to the captain with a sad smile, added: "Of course, as Erik of the Starvoid Clan mentions, any proposal for mutually beneficial endeavours are welcome, but I doubt that you are in any shape for this right now. Perhaps after our respective ventures conclude?"

"In the meantime, Is there anything else you need?"
« Last Edit: November 17, 2009, 12:58:07 PM by dark_dragon »
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."-Philip K. Dick

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #101 on: November 26, 2009, 02:46:12 AM »
"I can imagine common profit in the future, captain - as soon as the Long Haul is capable of hauling again." Danasheth was surprised at how quickly her years in the diplomatic corps came back to her, and with them the wish to weave, make deals. Just in case.

"You seem to have a far higher cargo capacity than us - meaning that when we come across bulk goods, you'd be the one we'd entrust them to; we can also agree upon mutual support in the future - for example, sharing your flight plan for an operation would allow us to plan ours accordingly, in case we need support, and vice versa. But for now, it would be excellent if your crew aids us in patching up our own vessels."
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #102 on: December 07, 2009, 09:52:26 PM »
It is with a rueful chuckle that the captain of the Long Haul chuckles. "To pay it forwards.. yes, we have, and been paid in kind today, it seems. As for your proposal, tiny, well, we'll do what the company will let us, when you give us the call. " He shakes his head then, as he taps away on what's left of a touch screen display, miraculously still functioning. "We can spare a little plate for you folks, and maybe a hand or two. Brian! Do what you can for these nice freelancers. We owe them our skins."

--

With some boisterous camaderie, jury-rigged repairs on the several ships proceed apace. It is a full day drifting in the black later that the freelancers finally separate from the much larger vessel, giving it a final shove sunward bound. It was a worthy day, however, with a great deal of repair work finished, and a small reward burning its way out of the freelancer's pockets.

Here, deep in the velvet blackness of space, there is no sunrise, the distant arc of the sun barely more than a dime's width in through the polarized windows an ever-burning presence. But it is none the less a new day, and the spirits of that day's promise beckon even the mechanical heart forward.

Offline Kassil

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #103 on: December 08, 2009, 09:59:47 AM »
During the downtime, Erik gathers what unusable scraps he can to make a few cobbled-together replacements for the ammunition for the heavy weapon of the Karloff, and takes the time to transmit an encrypted message for relay to his cousins in another system; in it the Salvorathan related his experience in the system so far - the boring but roughly profitable gas-mining to be had from the hot giants, the presence of space pirates, and the name and identification code of the merchantman the freelancers had come to the rescue of - and his exact role in both the defense and repair of said vessel. Even small favors added up, over the lifespan of a Salvorathan Clan, and now the company the merchantman belonged to owed the Starvoids a small one.

--

As the merchantman departs sunward, Erik surveys local space from the bridge of the Karloff and nods. "Right, then. I'm ready over here if you lot are. Let's see if we get shot at any more on the way to where we're headin', shall we?" The gleaming grin that splits the dark purple skin of the space dwarf is brilliant, and full of a weird breed of glee at the idea of luring more void vermin out to crush into so much scrap. Still, he's a Salvorathan with a Clan to help rebuild, and so he knows that getting his share of the space hulk they're after is more important than any pirate baiting he might fantasize about.

With that, he directs the Karloff back on course, following the directions given by his fellows into the void, toward the riches that await.
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline dark_dragon

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #104 on: December 10, 2009, 12:11:11 PM »
As the repairs finalised on the motley assembly of vessels, and both the Long Haul and Old Ben regained some much needed hull integrity, Alice considered how to avoid falling into a situation where the Old Ben would make a predictable and attractive target. Clearly the ancient, ponderous thrusters had not been sufficient to allow him to manoeuvre his vessel against the pirates. So, gathering a large amount of almost valueless scrap metal, he set about building two large, identical sets of gimbals. Much welding and bolting later, the two large and sturdy structures dwarfed Kestral's newly repaired Militiaman in Old Ben's cargo bay. As soon as the required tonnage of appropriately shaped metal could be found, and the calibration performed, Old Ben would dance like a ballerina.

--

Connecting one last time to the merchantman, Alice spoke with both sadness and joy in his voice: "Godspeed, Long Haul. May fortune smile on you."

Having just received Erik's message, he primed the engines, programmed his vector and opened a channel to the other freelancers. "Action is the foundational key to all success, so, friends, let us now act"
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 12:15:52 PM by dark_dragon »
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."-Philip K. Dick

Offline valadaar

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #105 on: December 10, 2009, 06:06:12 PM »
Kestral checked over his fighter, scarred metal covered over by welded plates.  He would have to be more cautious next time - this one had been too close.

He looked up in wonder at the rig that Alice was clambering over. He really did not want his fighter sitting the hanger when the system was tested - even though he did not doubt the quality of he workmanship.

Kestral climbed into the fighter and brought up the computer record of the brief firefight.  He would _not_ make the same mistakes again...
   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #106 on: December 14, 2009, 02:24:48 AM »
The Chanson safely docked and newly patched up, Danasheth examined the holes covered with cruder plating. Soon, the whole fighter would look like that - if she survived.
A strange melancholy set in - this was the first time she was actually fighting for herself, not others; it was different, more gritty, less exciting. No-one would thank her for surviving.
As she headed down the trail of thought, "what is the point?" crossed her mind; shaking her head, she headed over to the big folks to distract herself, perchance find that point.

"Mister Alice - are you in need of assistance? I feel strangely idle after all this excitement."
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 05:21:51 AM by EchoMirage »
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Offline dark_dragon

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #107 on: December 14, 2009, 04:30:25 AM »
As the freelancers continued their silicon-set course in the void with only each other and the remote stars for company, Alice welcomed Danasheth's distinctive voice, and an opportunity to rise from his own tumultuous considerations.

"Ah, Indeed, Idleness does tax with heavy hands. It forces combat  on the battlefield of the soul. I would not wish for you to tarry in this devil's workshop any longer, Danasheth. I fear, however, that I have little to keep your hands occupied. Why not begin by elucidating the matter of this fabled derelict you are taking us to? Perhaps the exercise will go some way to quieten your mind."

<ooc>Hey Echo, Where is the Mirage docked?</ooc>
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 05:06:23 AM by dark_dragon »
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."-Philip K. Dick

Offline valadaar

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #108 on: December 14, 2009, 02:22:44 PM »
Finishing his review, Kestral requested permissions to disembark his fighter - he would relocate to one of the external mounting points for his fighter. 
   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #109 on: December 14, 2009, 02:47:57 PM »
"A curious cruiser, catatonic in the cold, carved by coherent coruscance to its core" she mused, adding: "Of unknown make, of hidden origin, incomprehencible in markings and messages it emits - yet concievably within the reach of impromptu repair, and convenient salvage."

On a crate she sat, gazing at the wall panel simulating a panoramic window. "An uncommon prize, unless alien ships are wont to drift through Sabrontir on a regular basis. No? Still, I shall consider it a welcome gift of space to me, an opportunity to lay the foundation, a healthy start for a new life. Bounty is aplenty, it seems, ours for the taking."

Simply nonchalantly speaking, with no tension, was a relief after such a long time of solitude and subterfuge on her flight. She visibly relaxed, and unfolded her antennae, taking in all that was this curious  Alice, eager to know.

(OOC: docked on an external mount, methinks)
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 04:03:07 PM by EchoMirage »
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Offline dark_dragon

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #110 on: December 16, 2009, 06:03:35 PM »
"A Laser-marked alien cruiser, you say. My My. That is indeed most uncommon. My grizzled memory does let me down today. I cannot recall any engagements in this sector. I shall be most interested in seeing this silent sphinx of space for myself."

Opening the Cargo bay doors for Kestral, Alice gazed at the illusory port, into the unforgiving blackness of space. Exploring a powered down alien cruiser in nothing but our spacesuit is unlikely to be conducive to good health Alice's artificial arm and leg attested to many hours spend crushed in a dark and confined space, reducing his personal affinity for such somewhat.

"A cruiser... Hmmm... I wonder... Perhaps, after all, there are thing that we can do to keep our hands occupied while our metal clad carapaces cast through space. What do you say to building some remotes, so that they may carry out the dangerous and unrewarding task of scrutinising the mundane sections of this derelict, while we concentrate on exploration more beneficial?"

A smile crossed his lips before adding: "Of course, Déformation professionnelle oblige, This is how I usually spend my time when restlessness itches my fingers. So my perception of the utility of spending said time so may be skewed appreciably."

<ooc>valadaar: Of course!</ooc>
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 06:05:06 PM by dark_dragon »
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."-Philip K. Dick

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #111 on: December 17, 2009, 03:32:32 PM »
"Mindless metal minions, a moron might muse" she smiled, and booted up her wristcomp. "My mindset is miles away, mind you; minute marching metal men magnify my merriness."

Thinking back a few cycles, she had to share. "I modified many myself, improvised some, military or more menial; the military prefers to have its most expendable assets mechanized, and I could not agree more. Later, I learned to be even more grateful to them, for they can go to places I cannot, and do not object to be sacrificed and left behind, some even carry the seed of their doom within, and when all is done, but a whisp of smoke hints at their previous presence."

Toying with a drone's sensor array and browsing her datafiles for useful designs, she decided to speak on. Classified or not, an anecdote it was. "These little wonders once made the envoy of Kashemen fire all his staff, believing they were selling him out; rather, we had developed these low signature energy cells..."
« Last Edit: December 17, 2009, 03:35:59 PM by EchoMirage »
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Offline Kassil

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #112 on: December 19, 2009, 10:52:09 AM »
Erik, for his part, listens in to whatever of the conversation is transmitted by radio, preferring to keep close to his patchwork slab of flying armor. He does, however, take the time to keep in touch with his fellow freelancers.

To Danasteth, once he catches up on the conversation, he sends a question: "Possible to repair, y'say? That could be an interestin' proposition. I don't suppose y've got any hard data on the ship's design and model, or even some images to study?"

To Alice, as he inspect the salvage, he sends a suggestion: "I'm sure you're not a serious fightin' man, Alice, but y'might want to consider mountin' these weapons on Ben if we can get them workin'. At least point defense is better than tryin' to dance in circles when dealin' with fighters."

To Kestral, having done his part to help repair the heavily damaged fighter, he offers this: "Y'already seem good enough with your weaponry - and I'm sure y'don't want more armor slowin' y'down - so since y're a big slab of inorganic, hard t'squish materials, we could try improvin' the speed of this little bird. Reinforce the structure to handle higher G-forces and more oomph to the thrust - y'won't be able to go as far, but y'd be a nasty surprise to anyone expectin' a normal model."
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #113 on: December 19, 2009, 01:26:04 PM »
"I actually do have data from the sensor sweeps I performed, Monsieur Eric. My curiosity is hard to satisfy, certainly you understand. Thus, I and the Chanson can offer, on a silver platter, its measurements, approximate weight, estimated trajectory and available prime quality advertisement space on the bird in question. The turkey, in this case."

She patched her wristcomp into the projector and the comm uplink. "My curiosity is sated, but please, satisfy yours."
« Last Edit: December 21, 2009, 05:23:44 AM by EchoMirage »
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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #114 on: December 20, 2009, 10:47:34 PM »
The ship itself, as shown by the statistics, is large. Easily matching the mass of a Terran Destroyer, or a large hauler,  the vessel is a bit under a half a kilometer long, and nearly a quarter thick along the spine of its pill-like shape. With its mass topping a half million metric tons, the experienced eye may estimate it to be a container or cargo vessel of some sort - complete with cargo, despite the ragged, fifty meter hole burned through it along its shortest dimension, nearly dead center in the ship. Twenty two decks can be counted there, opened to the void.

Without further adjustment, it will become a long-period "comet", swinging in ever shrinking ellipses around Sabrontir, until it disintegrates at last in the corona of that brilliant star.

Offline Kassil

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #115 on: December 21, 2009, 12:17:12 AM »
"Step one," the Salvorathan muses over a tightbeam to his fellow freelancers, "is naturally to scout the wreckage and see what surprises might be waitin' for us. Step two, if we don't find or deal with anything on board, is patchin' up those holes and see about gettin' the thing a functional drive. I don't know about your species, but that's the kind of thing a Salvorathan Clan could build a fleet around - provided we can scan out the technology of it."

He pauses, and then admits with a touch of ruefulness, "It's certainly nothin' I've ever laid eyes on before."
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline valadaar

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #116 on: December 21, 2009, 06:15:48 PM »
Kestral listened with interest to Eric's proposal.  Once the structure had been brought back to spec, additional modifications taking his physiology - design really, into account, would indeed be welcome.

But it seemed there would be no time for that now.  Instead he went back out to his fighter and made ready to take a look around.  Not even his robotic nature could suppress the feelings of avarice that a wreck that size - he could do much good with his share of such a rich take.

Sealing the hatch and closing his visor, Kestral released the docking linkages and pulled away into space. 

"I do think Drones are a good idea, but we're racing others to this trove aren't we.  Can we get a thermal reading from anyone? This has been here long enough to even out - so any distinct readings on shadow-side might indicate somethings still running.."

   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #117 on: December 21, 2009, 02:49:44 PM »
"Fear not; for all I fathom, we are first. For sure, foreigners and scavengers will frantically follow, yet we could have our price secured until then. If not, then some competitors can be reasoned with, some might have to be shot. The first approach is far more to my liking, for the second is rather final."

She proceeded to assemble a drone while she talked, her four hands flitting across the spare components, and mounting them with the certainty brought by years of experience.
There; six magnetic legs, a camera and sensor array and a multi-interface for interacting with a wide variety of machinery should do the trick, especially considering that she'd be doing all the actual work once the drone stuck the connector into a device, remotely. A manipulator arm completed the setup. The programming would take some time, but she already had plenty of existing code, and once she did it, it would be easy to fit it to other improvised drones.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #118 on: January 02, 2010, 02:38:30 AM »
Time passes. Preparations are made. Seconds blur into minutes, hours, and even weeks, before acceleration makes its presence known once more, the fearsome grip of momentum screaming a primal echo of gravity throughout the foil-thin hulls that keep that studded mantle of black from crushing the life from your bodies. Yet, that same acceleration brings the small fleet to dance with its chosen partner, a tiny speck among the drifting debris that was the birth of the now-far away sun.

Through the void, the oblate ship sails, nearly free of rotation save for a slight turn about its central axis, as dark and cold as the Black beyond. Through the telescopes, it is only resolvable when you begin to close, its blackened, battered surface holding back just enough of the light to make detecting it optically an interesting proposition, and it is first seen not for itself, but for eclipsing a far star behind it.

Still, it is readily apparent that it is a huge artifact, and badly battered and beaten. Still, its only major war-wound is that single, enormous hole. Its engines, though, appear small for the craft, though it is hard to tell what it would have massed with its apparently crippling injury.

(OOC: If you want details, ask them. You may approach as you wish - the ship has no active defenses, nor does it have standardized docking equipment. Places where force-docking is theoretically possible do exist. )

Offline valadaar

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #119 on: January 02, 2010, 11:57:46 PM »
Kestral thumbed his comm - "Lets send a probe in through the hole.."
   
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Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #120 on: January 04, 2010, 07:03:45 AM »
"Let us, indeed!" To Alice, she passed the controls to the three robots, and headed over to the airlock.
Danasheth suited up and loaded the probes onto the exterior of her fighter, and their feet locked onto it tight. So did the small craft when it reached the immense hull. Once there, she placed them near the breach, and they merrily crawled inside, feeding data back to Alice, as if through invisible umbilical cords.

As for her, she was more than content to return to the Chanson, and let its more powerful sensors sweep the wreck, nice up close. Likewise, her data feed was linked back to Benjamin, and the Kiranti enjoyed the feeling of feeding it bits of knowledge, along with her commentary... it felt so familiar.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

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Offline Kassil

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #121 on: January 04, 2010, 08:16:51 PM »
Erik, for his part, floats in the relative freefall of his vessel, adding his own sensors to the sweep of the derelict, focusing on what systems he can pick out of the wreckage, particularly puzzling over the ship's drive. He shakes his head at the apparent small size of them. "Either this bird was meant to limp along as a floatin' fortress, or we're not seein' somethin' it used to push along." He contributes his own sensory data to the collective assembly, slowly maneuvering the Karloff in a slow loop to give his sensory equipment every possible angle to scrutinize the hulk. "I certainly hope we're not goin' to meet whatever made that hole - it'd gulp us all down like a hungry man eatin' cocktail snacks."
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."

Offline Siren no Orakio

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #122 on: January 16, 2010, 09:21:38 PM »
From outside, maddeningly few things remain visible. There is little writing on the hull, and few viewports besides a large one that opens up into what appears to be an otherwise empty and dead bridge. As the Karloff's lights shine through it, it appears almost new, even shrink wrapped with a thin, white film

The probes, meanwhile, have somewhat more success. As they drift into the floors of the hulk, that same thin film is everywhere, though wherever the maneuvering jets of the probes touch the walls, it vanishes, sublimating and vanishing into the exposed void as the gases of the jets abrade it away.

The entry point of the first probe is into a large, and tightly packed space. Surprisingly, not far from the circle of destruction, much remains, a variety of packages, from the size of a human head to larger than a man are stacked upon shelves, and hanging from shelves. A touch of fine camera work reveals that each of these packages are secured to their shelves by something not entirely unlike velcro. Each as well is labeled clearly, in an alien script that appears to be written so that it is oriented 'vertically' in comparison to the shelves. As Danasheth peers at the incoming data, she realizes first, that this language is syllabic in its writing form, each character being a defined syllable. Second, both she and Alice expect soon after this realization that they are looking at a vast store of food, between the repetition of what is likely preparation instructions and quantities, and the thick, powered construction of the shelves, upon which thick 'ropes' of the white substance are visible, as if they were  tracing out refrigerant coils beneath the surface.

The second enters into what appears to be a residential room, on a level near the surface, where the walls between the rooms are of double panel construction, not entirely unlike a frame-and-sheetrock wall. However, aside from the damage of the energy weapon, and the ever present white film, the rooms it can enter at that level from the void show no signs of having ever been habitated.

The third, meanwhile, enters into a large room where a number of massive polymer crates are stored, attached to the floor by that same velcro-like material. A handful have been opened by the through-blast of the laser, and half-melted wreckage is visible within. It is Alice that recognizes them first, as the remains of fabrication machines.

Offline EchoMirage

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #123 on: January 18, 2010, 06:28:32 AM »
"Given its design, content and my feeling, we might be looking at a supply hauler, perchance a smaller colony ship - who knows?"
Examining the footage, she steered a drone towards the nearest doorway, to examine it and find out whether it was possible to open it or not, or to interface with some ship system through a dataport.

"What makes me wonder is the snow - is it just frozen atmosphere, or perchance more?" A quick set of commands sent a probe to scan the material, to find out whether it was solid gas, metal, or biological of origin - a more profound examination would take a lab, but this information would be enough for now.
"Captain, the buttocks are moving from the pink into the red and purple spectrum! We cannot maintain this rate of spanking any longer!"

Authentic Strolenite (though spanked) (C) (R)

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Re: [Starkin] The Edge of Civilization - Chapter 01
« Reply #124 on: January 26, 2010, 06:38:30 PM »
Erik, patching himself into the relay of the freelancers to watch the probe data even as he brings himself to a stationkeeping position above the immense hole in the vessel, opens a channel to the others. "Perhaps we should consider pickin' up one or two of those boxes - if nothin' else, we might be able to tell a thing or two about the owners from the composition of the contents. I'm wonderin' if perhaps there's somethin' on a different deck that might be life support of a sort - like cryostorage, maybe, or a genebank."

He turns the Karloff's sensors to the engine, attempting to gather as much information on them from the outside as he can before the inevitable descent into the vessel by hand - setting the equipment into motion, he goes looking for his little-used EVA suit. While little in the void can concern a Salvorathan, much less one of the lucky few who are truly adapted, the interior of an enigmatic alien vessel is another concern entirely. There was no telling what strange things might lie within - twisted proteins that might behave like plague virii, components toxic to a Terran-bred race but not to the original builders, or even remnant pockets of atmosphere.
"I grab the sword!"
"Mmkay, you're dead."
"What!?"
"You just grabbed the sword of the god you were just personally responsible for banishing from the world for the next ten thousand years. You just got zapped by around a billion volts of Angry Divine Power. You're dead."