Date: 5/7/3030 – 5/8/3030
Two ships waited in orbit above Ord Melul. One blocky and angled, and the other sleek and smooth, they were studies in contrast. The angular ship, the Star Horizon, was captained by Wayne Harre, and contained a motley, half-trained menagerie for a crew. The smoother-hulled ship, the Dawn Voyager, was captained by Jack Yorke, and contained a motley, experienced band of professionals for a crew. The one area they were similar, however, was their employer.
Both men had bought their ships from Lloyd, a Handler in the enigmatic Bounty and Contract Association. While the BCA is well known throughout the galaxy for its work in disseminating contract employment, its leadership and operations are conducted in mystery which has given them an - not entirely undeserved - Illuminati-like reputation.
Both crews, however, were eagerly awaiting their first contract to pay off their debts. Within the Dawn Voyager's communication room, a wall panel shifts, and careful, amplified observation can show the nanoscopic filaments within that produce the textured, volumetric display. The screen abruptly flashes blue, and fades into an image of Lloyd.
"Greetings. I trust you are eager to begin work?" Without waiting for a reply, he launches into the details. "Your first contract - well, not the first for Bob, but the first for the rest of you - is nice and simple. You are to salvage parts of a ship. You will be paid 5 Aught and 7 Aght each for this, and the excess from reacquiring your ammunition will be placed in your cargo hold.
"Now this ship's got some valuable stuff - it had a Hadron Supercoil, just like your ship, which malfunctioned and sent the ship through a rogue star. Everyone on that ship is dead, and most of the electronics fried, but it came to a stop at the coordinates I'm going to upload to your ship. Now, the circumstances here have created several unique metals and alloys, found nowhere else. Naturally, this is extremely valuable to us and others. It is imperative that you reach the starship, find it, and bring back any salvage you may find. Do hurry, since the antimatter containment will likely shut off soon. I'd rather not have another of my employees die on their first contract."
On that cheerful note, the screen abruptly shuts off, and the filaments retract slowly back into the wall.
That's one way of getting us motivated. Telling us that if we don't getting moving that we'll end up being vaporized by this ship. Yorke thought before turning his head in the general direction of his pilot and navigator. "Basta and Bob, I need you two to come over here!" he shouted towards the two, getting both of their attentions who began walking towards the Captain.
"Good. We're going to need to decide the best course of action here and get it done before that antimatter containment ends up destroying the ship. Any suggestions?" both nodded their heads as form of confirmation. "I may have a few ideas at hand." BOB-5 said intent on showing off his skills as the pilot.
"Time to convince you that you made the right decision here." Basta said with a smirk crossing her face. "Good to hear." Yorke said and began typing something upon the console before a small star map rose from thin air. "We're here." Yorke pointed towards an area upon the map which zoomed in and began to display Sector 7. "And our objective to reach Sector 13." with a few flicks of his wrist the display began showing the connection between the two sectors illuminated.
After a few moments of debate between the three and weighing out their options, before coming to an agreement of the best method. "Alright. Now that we have our method, return to your posts and make the preparations to reach Sector 13." Yorke said returning to his own respective post as did the others.
Location: Wreck of the Flame of Ares, Sector 13
The Dawn Voyager had arrived at its destination before its counterpart the Star Horizon. Yorke smiled knowing that his pilot and navigator had managed to make their method much quicker and effective. Getting out his seat, he began to speak towards the crew. "Since we've arrived, I'd like to take the opportunity to give you all your respective jobs at this time."
- Jack Yorke
"The rest of you will be staying on the ship." Yorke said towards the crew after announcing the members who'd board the ship with him.
"Looks like we got here before our competition." Yorke finished was still smirking from reaching the wrecked starship before the Star Horizon, showing Lloyd the effectiveness of his ship and its crew.
"What matters is that we get more salvage than the competition." Har-Bak added.
"Not sure about everyone on the ship, Captain..." BOB spoke up as he tinkered around with one of his handguns, waiting for the airlock to end and the scavenging to begin.
"What do you mean, BOB?" Yorke replied.
"No one back on the ship is very trustworthy in my eyes. Don't want to come back to her with everyone dead."
"Stefan and Rh'ka will have things under control, don't worry."
"Ha! The nice kid and the druggie? They'll only let a fight start. Abram's a criminal. Basta's too unpredictable. They all are."
"And what about me?" Har-Bak groaned and interrupted.
"You? You're either a good meat shield or a killing machine. I personally hope it's the latter."
"Trust me, robot. It will."
"Well, we'll deal with that fork in the road when we come to it, for now, let's get this job done." Yorke finished off the conversation, and the airlock had opened to reveal the cold and dark starship in front of them.
Har-Bak cradled his Org-Lancer in his bottom two hands, nervously surveying the dark room. His top right hand held a single Stingray revolver, the other holding a flashlight out to illuminate his pathway.
The trio of veterans trekked forward slowly, keeping their weapons handy and keeping quiet. The ship was all but silent, the only sound being the echoing of their feet.
"'Ey BOB, if you don't mind me asking, what exactly did Lloyd mean by saying this wasn't your first contract? What did you do with them?" Har-Bak whispered, attempting to strike up conversation.
The robot pondered the question carefully, before replying. "Well mate, that depends on why you want to know."
Har-Bak shrugged, and replied shortly with "I'm hoping it was stuff like this, because frankly the only ones I'd trust in a real fight are you two."
Yorke listened as his soldier and robot began to chit-chat amongst themselves. Adjusting his shoulder-mounted flashlight, the human veteran began scanning the long hallways for any possible signs of movement or visuals of their objective. "Thanks, Har-Bak for the compliment. You aren't so bad yourself." Yorke says in response to the alien's previous statement about trusting them both.
"Nothing to thank me for Yorke. I said what I meant since you two are just about the only ones that seem to be ready for a real fight from what I've seen." Har-Bak said with his tone not even giving towards the slightest bit of dishonesty. "What makes you say that?" responded the human with his curiosity as his flashlight continued cutting the darkness in front of their path.
"Well for starters, Bolts over here is more than willing to draw his firearm and pull the trigger if he finds anything off about someone. Our engineer for instance learned that not so long ago." Har-Bak said his lower left elbow motioning towards the synthetic. "And then there's you. Now I haven't seen your actually combat prowess yet, but I've seen your approach to situations. You've managed to diffuse the situation that I mentioned previously and created an entire crew for that ship of yours. Throw in the fact that the BCA showed enough interest in you and that gives you some respect and trust in my book."
"Had I known that you felt about me like that, Scorpion, I would've given you a pat on the back the first time we met." BOB-5 said with his tone hinting at some form of sarcasm, but underneath it was the possible feeling of sincerity in it. "Maybe you aren't just a meat shield or killing machine. Perhaps, you're still one of them, but maybe you're one that I'll buy a drink for."
Upon hearing this Yorke was smiling internally and began thinking that things were starting to look up for the crew and himself.
"Enough lollygagging, we aren't here to chit-chat, we're here to make moolah, mates. Now, let's get to gold digging!" BOB-5 spoke up, stopping in his place and observing the several paths the abandoned starship had split into.
"Should we split up? We might find more parts that way." Har-Bak released a puff of smoke and flicked his cigar off to the side.
"Scorp's got a point. You give the orders, Captain." BOB replied, turning to Yorke.
"It's a good idea. Har-Bak can handle stuff on his own. BOB, you're with me." Jack replied.
"Aye aye, but first, let me set up a beacon." The robot kneeled down and opened up his chest storage unit, opening up like a trash chute, and revealing a cylinder
"Now, this'll emit a light and some annoyin' noises so we can find our way back to the path that leads back to the ship. Just make sure you don't get lost." BOB tinkered with the beacon and sat it down, illuminating the area.
"Let's go, spaceboys."
Har-Bak groaned, looking in yet another empty room. As he ventured down one final halfway, Har-Bak sadly grimaced.
I swear, if these ones are empty too…
Finding several of the rooms empty, Har-Bak- pounded his fist in frustration. "C'mon, gimme something useful."
Well what do we have here...
Har-Bak set his rifle to the side, examining the room he had just walked into. Inside, amassed on large metal shelves, multiple types of luggage, crates, and such were strewn all around.
Eurypt examined the crates, noticing noting of true value. Shining his light around a little, he noticed a clip board. On the clip board, he read what he could decipher, as most of the papers had been ripped or damaged.
Flame of Ares was what he could see, and noticed the faded logo that resembled a commercial liner company.
Satisfied, he called his captain on his com link.
"Yorke, I'm in the storage hull. Most of the junk is useless, but I found a manifesto. Turns out, this ain't nothing but a commercial vessel."
"Alright, Har-Bak. Grab the manifesto, and keep searching around the ship."
"You got it boss."
Yorke and BOB-5 continued to walk through the corridors of the once proud commercial vessel intent on looking for any possible valuables. "About how much longer before we find something that isn't just the emptiness that this ship is going us?" the synthetic said as his eyes began scanning the long hallway. "Not much longer if I had to make a guess. Just hope the others on board are ready to take off as soon as we're done here." Yorke responded adjusting his H&C assault rifle.
"Listen, I ain't trying to get your hopes down or nothing, but leaving them behind with the bartender may have not been the best call if you wanted that to happen." BOB-5 chuckled lightly at his comment. Suddenly, Yorke put his hand up causing BOB-5 to stop dead in his tracks. "I heard something." Yorke said, while his flashlight cut rapidly through the darkness when the faint noise once again returned. "Looks like something finally decided to wake up." BOB-5 said as he heard the noise and tried pinpointing the location.
Both began running towards the location of the noise as it continued to get steadily louder as they got closer to the position. Before long they reached the doorway and upon closer inspection noticed the scarred door and fried code pad. "Hope you're ready to pull this door open, because that code pad isn't going to get us in." Yorke said as he grabbed one part of the small opening as did BOB-5 grabbing the opposite side. Both slightly raised their firearms as they began to pry the doors open.
The door to the cockpit opens with a crash, and the first thing Yorke and BOB-5 see is a crude metal arm fixed to a motor. The second thing they see is a single, well-preserved human corpse, with the shattered and chewed skeletons of the other crewmembers and fried, blank monitors scattered around him. One computer, however, seems to be active.
"BOB, can you interface with that computer? Maybe pull up some schematics and see if we can find any other survivors?" Yorke asks, a little too calmly. The synthetic gives a light chuckle in response.
"There won't be any, Cap'm," BOB says, "I've been on these jobs before. The only survivors 'r in properly shielded 'n reinforced compartments - the cargo hold the Scorp found and this cockpit. I'll download the schematics, though; it'll help us find the crew quarters."
"If there's no survivors, how will getting to the crew quarters help?"
BOB-5 chuckled darkly. "Mate," he says, "Tha'll be where the most valuable shit is."
"Now, let's see here." BOB pulled out a universal computer interface from his storage unit, connecting it to the half-broken down computer and tapping into the ship information and schematics, uploading it to himself.
"You seem to have everything you need in there, eh?" Yorke initiated small talk, referring to the robot's seemingly endless pit of tools in his storage compartment.
"I come prepared with any shit I might need on a job, it's what makes me reliable." The synthetic replied, whatever constitutes as his "eye" glued to the computer screen.
"Get any good info yet?"
"Plenty, boy. Plenty." BOB finished downloading the information and packed up his UCI, turning to Yorke, leaning against the rusted ship wall.
"Ship's the Flame of Ares. Commercial liner transporting good denizens of our galaxy from Earth to Bliss. Odd fuckin' route they took though." BOB revealed.
"Why's that?" Yorke responded, moving off the wall slowly.
"Let me show you." BOB moved his left arm and hand up, a small flap unfolded and a pale blue light dimly shined. BOB took a few small steps back from the Human and quickly the dark room lit up with a map of the galactic sectors in the Milky Way. Yorke gave an astonished look on his face, and BOB chuckled.
"Work with Lloyd pays off, sonny."
"I can see that."
"Let's get down to business. There are plenty of ideal routes
"There are plenty of ideal routes to take to take to get to Sector 10 from 15, going through Sector 13, is not one of them. Not only would it take longer than an ideal route, but it's a dangerous sector as well, with the Skeaver and all. Going through Sector 7, cutting through 1, and going through 2 to get to 10 would have been much less costly and quicker. Hell, going through 7, 8, and 9 would have been better, or even 16 and 17. Anything would have been better than going through Sector fuckin' 13." BOB went on and explained.
"Why do you suppose they went through Sector 13?" Yorke asked, puzzled."
"Idiotic navigator and pilot? I don't know, nor do I give a flying fuck. I'm here for the job and the money involved."
One segment of the mercenary team attacking the Dawn Voyager patrols the hallways within the Flame of Ares with cutting torches, trying to find the most valuable spots to harvest. They split up into two teams at a juncture containing a beacon, one team of three going aft to check the cargo bay and another of six heading fore towards the cockpit and crew quarters.
Har-Bak walked slowly back to the beacon from the cargo hold, his Org awkwardly slamming into his side as he hefted a crate between his two arms. His top arms casually hung at his side, one holding a Stingray revolver and the other his flashlight.
The Eurypt grunted once more, repositioning his load to be more comfortable. As he swung his Org around in his sling, he was surprised to hear a deep voice.
"Who the hell is that?!" The voice announced itself, thick with a human Yankee accent.
Har-Bak immediately dropped his crate and aimed his revolver around, hastily arming himself with his Org and second Stingray.
"That's none of your business boy. Now, just come on out and show-" Har-Bak attempted to reply, only to get met with a hail of gunfire.
The bullets collided with the Eurypt's hard skin, and Har-Bak hissed in annoyance. Bullets hardly did anything to him, but they hurt the Eurypt.
"So much for negotiations then!" He yelled, spraying a burst of return fire with his Org.
"Ah shit, it's a goddamn Scorp!" He heard someone yell out, before three mercs all emerged from cover and fired at once.
One was the human from earlier, his dark skin being barely visible beneath his helmet as he fired his rifle. His comrades were a single Niso male, wielding a small Heckler & Colt submachine gun, while the other appeared to be a Skaakian with her shotgun.
As the small firefight erupted, Har-Bak grimaced as he looked at the crate still left in the middle of the hallway...
"Fuck this shit," the Niso says, dropping his submachine gun. He ducks behind the corner and reaches for the plasma wave grenades he carried.
The Skaakian, meanwhile, edges towards the crate Har-Bak dropped, keeping low and firing the occasional slug from her shotgun to try and keep him off-balance.
The human, meanwhile, continued firing at Har-Bak with uncanny aim, who constantly had to keep moving to avoid being hit in the exposed joints of his exoskeleton, preventing him from returning fire properly.
"Goddamn cyborg-augmented little..." Har-Bak growls, firing several shots with all three weapons, which the human avoids with the same augmented precision as his shooting. Using the fire as cover, he retreats behind his own section of wall.
"Yorke," he says into his communication device, "I've got three mercs here. There are probably some headed your way. At least one of mine is augmented, and with some good stuff."
"Acknowledged," came Yorke's reply.
Har-Bak takes quick stock of his weapons, and looks up to see a plasma grenade roll around the corner towards him.
Clicking off his radio, Yorke's facial expression gave off the impression of something was going wrong and BOB-5 seemed to take note of this. "What seems to be problem, Yorke?" BOB-5 said as he began to disconnect again after checking the systems over again for another interesting tidbits of information. "Har-Bak. He ran into some trouble and we might be getting some of our own company soon." Yorke responded and began looking out of the room for the first sign of trouble.
The robot seemed to be livelier after hearing the news and the grip on his rifle seemed to tighten more. "We finally get to see some action and here I was thinking that this was going to be a boring job." The robot's own line of vision turned towards the darkness as his flashlight began swaying slowly. "Shouldn't we make a plan before they get to us?"
Yorke began feeling the walls next to the door with a smile crossing his face as realization hit his face. "One step ahead of ya." he motioned BOB-5 to come closer which he obliged. And relaying his plan to the synthetic he backed away slightly. "Sounds good to you?" Yorke said with BOB-5 responding with a simple, "Those mercs ain't going to know what hit them."
Six mercenaries are walking through the halls intent on finding any of the valuables aboard the vessel and more than willing to 'handle' any obstacle which enters their path. The Altaic of the group seemed to be most talkative as he began speaking about what he'd do with his cut once they finished up here. "I'm telling you guys, once we're done here we'll be rolling in a fortune."
"The crew of that ship probably doesn't even know what hit the-" his speech was cut off by a burst of fire hitting him several times in the chest and one into his throat. The muzzle flash cut through the darkness and revealed the location of the attacker. The mercenaries pointed their flashlights and firearms towards the area where the shots rang out. The target was slightly to their left and was taking cover behind the doorway of the room.
Their firearms went off in wonderful display as the clanking of rounds echoed throughout the hallway as the rounds slammed against the wall. As a Human mercenary was busy recharging his magazine, his eyes were assaulted by a sudden flash of light hitting his eyes; before rounds began hitting him in his chest and dropping him.
Yorke had popped out from his own cover, an overturned desk in down right corner of the room. This interruption of enemy fire gave BOB-5 the ample time he needed to move from his doorway position to a group of crates. His plan had worked like a charm and they effectively gained the drop on the group.
BOB-5 was to wait for the group within the room and using his various optical settings to spot them. Once they were within range he'd draw their fire after killing at least one of the members. Meanwhile, Yorke was to hide around a corner to the right of the men and while they were distracted by the machine. He'd turn his light back on and flash it into their eyes causing them to lose their aim and becoming momentarily blinded by the light. This lead to the moment which had just occurred and caused the death of the human mercenary.
Three of the four remaining mercenaries all duck outside the door, sending in several potshots to keep Yorke and BOB-5 in cover. While they did so, the fourth mercenary strides in.
A Eurypt wearing what seemed to be sheets of tank armor on various points on his body, covering up the joints in his exoskeleton. A similarly crude helmet gave him some extra protection, and his four arms were occupied with two Trident Tech TXM-130E Heavy Repeaters, each one carrying a 1000-round drum magazine of .87 caliber plasma rounds. He scans the room with his eight eyes and then gives the room one sweep with his guns.
This is going to be fun. BOB cocked and loaded his D-49 "Banana Slug" Assault Rifle. Very much a futuristic AK-47 plastered in an obnoxious bright yellow paint, but that wasn't a bad thing. Armor piercing rounds wouldn't hurt either, well, only to his enemies. BOB positioned himself across from the front of the door, hidden behind a wall of metallic crates. A small crack in between two crates allowed the robot to place his weapon and still angle it for effective firing. Activating his thermal vision to detect the incoming mercenaries, BOB was ready for action.
As the heavily armed Eurypt stomps in the room, BOB and Yorke receive a message from Basta. "Yorke, Har-Bak, BOB-5; grab whatever you have and get your asses back here! We're under fire and I don't know how long Stefan and Rh'Ka can hold them off." Don't give a damn, cat, I got scorpion to fry.
Unfortunately for the two, the message was overheard by the Eurypt invader. Readying his two Trident Tech Repeaters and smirking, the walking tank swept the room with hot shots of plasma from left to right. Still smirking, the Eurypt waved for the three other mercs to come in and help salvage the ship's goods.
Ah, Black Eclipses. Scanning the armor of the mercenaries, BOB recognized them as rivals to his old mercenary band.
Even more fun to kill As a Drothian mercenary stepped in the room, Yorke and BOB recognized him, in completely different ways. Staskav Riker. Yorke remembered him as Itslthmis Rh'ka's opponent in the fight club and thought nothing of him. BOB recognized him as a multitude of things however. Partner. Coward. Target. Didn't matter now though, it only added more fun to this mission to the robot.
"Wonder if that Skaakian bitch is here, I saw her chattin' with that pretty boy human, lucky guy, he probably tapped that ass on board his fancy sh-."
"Can it, freelancer! Now get haulin'!" The Eurypt scolded Riker as he sat down his two heavy repeaters and examined the wall of metallic crates. "These crates should make good loot."
"Alright, alright. Just sayin' it would be nice to get some good 'ol fashioned revenge on that whore, y'kn- OH FUCK!" Riker dropped to the floor as a bullet pierced through his left knee.
"What the fuck was that!?" The Eurypt traced the gun fire to the crates in front of him, gripping his four hands on one and effortlessly tossing it aside. Looking down, BOB waved at the Eurypt while aiming up at the monster with his rifle. "Say Cheese, big guy."
A hail of gun fire blinded the Eurypt, causing him to step back and trip backwards onto the wounded Riker. Yorke acted quickly, jumping over the overturned desk protecting him and blinding the remaining mercenaries with his flashlight. The duo acted quickly and gunned them down, only before turning their attention to the menacing laughter of the Eurypt retrieving his heavy repeaters.
"Aw fuck, this Scorp's still alive." BOB remarked while reloading his rifle using strapped together dual mags.
"Too bad YOU......WILL DIE!" The Eurypt aimed his repeaters at the duo, who leaped and ducked to two different sides of the room for cover. The Scorpion carelessly and recklessly fired in rage.
The enraged Eurypt keeps firing, trying to spot his two adversaries. He's not overly worried about running out of ammunition; he has more than enough to riddle the cockpit with holes. He then spots what appears to be a human shadow. The Eurypt turns away from it and backs up slowly, still firing. Once he gets close enough, his tail lashes out at lightning speed, skewering the man. He then whips the tail back forward, throwing the body into the air and trains his TXM-130Es on the body and fires, disintegrating it.
Well, so much for that plan, Jack Yorke thought, But at least that corpse was useful.
The Eurypt makes another full sweep of the room, firing indiscriminately. After a few seconds, BOB-5 and Yorke find the chance they've been waiting for; the Eurypt stops to reload.
"Goddammit!" Har-Bak screamed, using his tail to haphazardly sling the grenade back. The blast knocks Har-Bak back, however, and scorches the end of his tail.
"Holy...MMPH!" The Eurypt screamed, attempting in vain to muffle his voice, as it showed the pain he felt. Taking careful aim and breathing shaky breaths, Har-Bak lines up his sights on the Niso merc, who had emerged from cover to throw another grenade.
Har-Bak chuckled lightly as he fired his Stingray, watching the bullet connect with his enemy's arm. The male yelped in shock, only for the bomb to explode as it fell out of his hands.
The human cyborg looked back at his comrade, before sighing and continuing his rain of bullets. Har-Bak cautiously peered around his cover, firing a burst from his Org. The cyborg dodged his shots with ease, sliding effortlessly behind cover.
The Eurypt soldier took a stock of his weapons, unslinging his Org. "Screw this..." He said, abandoning his machine gun. Pulling a mine out from his bag, he threw it with all of his might in front of the human's cover.
With that done, Har-Bak drew his Mark 17 shotgun and CalTech submachine gun, firing the guns alongside his Stingrays all at the Skaakian.
The Skaakian mercenary stuck to the crate to use as cover against the Eurypt bearing down on her. As far as she could see, she had two options. She could fight and get killed by the Eurypt or she could hold off until her augmented commander gets off his ass to help her. She looked around frantically, trying to find anything that might be useful.
She spots her cutting tool lying on the ground. It was a high-powered plasma torch, using carefully regulated fields and some quantum effects she barely understands to create a narrow arc. Tracking Har-Bak by the smoke still emanating from his singed tail, an idea takes shape in her head, and she dives towards her tool.
She reaches it and breaks off the safety regulator as well as the field limiter. She now has a very large, very powerful, and very unstable plasma flamethrower. She rolls out from cover and fires it at Har-Bak.
The Eurypt barely dodges out of the wide beam, and flicks his tail out and strikes the Skaakian right under her jaw. The barb goes through her brain, killing her. The human cyborg - having just finished disarming Har-Bak's mine - steps casually out of his cover, leveling his rifle at Har-Bak while they Eurypt menacingly brandishes his weapons.
The cyborg just smiles. "Come on, Scorp," he says, "You know it's hopeless. I have the latest Trask-model macro and micro implants from CyberAug. I can fire with perfect accuracy and dodge your bullets just as well."
Hearing the infamous clicking sound of guns running dry, BOB-5 lifted himself from his cover and began firing towards at the occupied Eurypt. Several rounds impacted his chest, but did little to pierce through the armor. Seeing that these attempts to get past the armor would be futile adjusted his sights upon the machine guns themselves. Rounds escaped the barrel of Bob's rifle before impacting one of the machine guns and rendering it useless.
With a roar of anger the Eurypt threw the now useless firearm towards the synthetic, who sidestepped the attack before returning to his cover. "Come on out, bolts!" the scorpion shouted as his spare arms began reaching for a fresh magazine. "I've already killed friend of yours. Why don't we both make this easier on ourselves and let me just end this with a few dozen rounds shredding you apart?" he said with his tone growing in confidence as began inserting the fresh magazine.
The Eurypt felt something hit his foot and looked down at the small sphere. He began to process what the object, before the realization hit him like a ton of bricks. The small dim glowing red light and sphere-shaped appearance gave away the explosive which lay before him. Whipping his tail around to grab it before it detonated was in vain. The moment his tail grabbed the object was when the spikes burst from it and deeply embedded themselves into his tail. His face was covered in shock as the explosive detonated before his very eyes.
His screams filled the room as spikes shot out in various directions and some even managing to break through his visor and embedded themselves into his eyes. While, the explosion itself didn't destroy his armor, the force of it was more than enough to knock him back and cause some damage to it. His arms were clawing at his face with a determination to rip the spikes from his very sockets. His tail was simply destroyed and his Trident Tech TXM-130E Heavy Repeater lay on the ground having become virtually useless from the damage it had sustained.
Yorke peaked from his cover and saw the crippled Eurypt screaming his heart out as he attempted to rid himself of the intense pain he was suffering. The gamble paid off. Good thing I always save some of those Needler grenades. Was Yorke's first thought as he lifted his H&C rifle over the desk and crouched before he began firing as downed walking tank with his aim alternating between the upper body and face. BOB-5 appeared from his own cover and joined his captain at firing upon the downed alien.
The Eurypt grunted in pain, all four of his left eyes blinded. He felt the human's bullets eating away at his face, while the synthetic had pulled out a heavily modified D-66, which now fired depleted Uranium rounds, which impacted his chest and tore through the armor.
One of those two finally ruptured a vital organ, and the Eurypt bled out within a minute.
Yorke sighed at the sight of the beast's corpse while BOB holstered his D-66 and laughed. "That was a good fight."
"We need to get back to the ship and help; there won't be any point in salvaging this stuff if there ain't something to load it on." Yorke looked down at the Eurypt's corpse and back up at BOB, still breathing heavily from the fight.
"We still have one more problem, Yorke." BOB pointed at a figure behind Yorke in the hallway.
Being finished with the walking death machine, Yorke and BOB turned their attention to the remaining mercenary, Staskav Riker, slowly trying to walk away from the bloodbath that had occurred behind him, making slow single steps with his left leg while dragging his bloodied right behind him. The duo chuckled before reaching the Drothian in mere seconds.
"Save your smart-ass remarks and kill me now, you bastards!" Riker stopped and sighed upon hearing the footsteps ring louder and louder, closer and closer behind him. Turning around hoping for a quick death, the Drothian is instead greeted by a metallic boot to the face, knocking him flat on the ground. Riker looks up, surprised and scared at the individual in front of him.
"Gladly will, Riker." BOB draws one of his Demon pistols, shoving the barrel just inches away from the Drothian's nose. "Or would it be better if I just shot your little cooling chestplate and gave you a slow one?"
"Oh, great, it's BOB." Riker sarcastically remarked, expecting death even more so at the sight of his worst enemy.
"In the flesh, now, you better get ready to-." BOB taunted, before being cut off by his foe.
"You don't have flesh, fuckwit." The Drothian interrupted.
"You get the saying, bitch. And I don't think you're in any position to be callin' names either, fuckwit."
"Whatever, get it over with, rust bucket."
"Nah, man, nah." BOB chuckled and holstered his pistol. "I'd rather stand here and laugh at you. Reflect on the shit you got yourself into."
"You know this guy, BOB?" Yorke stepped forward and interrupted, Riker turned his head to the Human, recognizing his face from the fight at Bronson's.
"Yeah, you can say that."
"This guy got his ass kicked by Rh'ka back on Ord Melul." Yorke smirked as BOB burst into laughter while Riker burst into rage and embarrassment on the inside.
"Hey! Fuck you, pretty boy! I was here for the Skaakian, but I'll cut your throat too!"
"No, you....hey! This here's my new employer, and he ain't very fond of shit talkers." BOB was quick to defend Yorke, pointing and yelling in the Drothian's face.
"You came all this way to kill a woman who beat you fair and square fist fight? That's kind of sad."
"No, Yorke, it is sad. Very sad. I cry every time."
"She beat me with a chair!"
"It wasn't against the rules..."
"Whatever...say, Human, BOB over here ever tell you about his last employer?"
"What about my last employer? Very nice and attractive Skaakian lady, nice breasts and ass, but that's beside the point."
"Since when did robots find anything attractive?" Yorke curiously remarks.
"Besides. The fuckin'. Point."
Okay then, I'll just ask later... Yorke thought, still puzzled. "What do you want to do with him, BOB?"
"This 'lil shit's too fun to kill, why don't we take him on board? Do some sick P.O.W. shit on him, Russian Roulette, 'Nam shit."
"That's a bit eccentric..."
"Fine, then we'll just escort him back to the Eclipse ship and leave him as the only survivor, he'll tell the tale of how you don't fuck with the Dawn Voyager!"
Primary editing focus:
Basta leaned over the counter as she began measuring various liquors and flavors prior to mixing them up in a shaker, pouring them into a coup glass. The drink looked a unique shade of sea-foam green mixed with a hint of teal as she poured a few more glasses.
"Itslthmis, Stefan, come here." She called out, "I need you in here for a bit."
She set the shaker down, and wiped up a bit of the mess as she waited.
((OOC: Drink being used -- Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster))
Itlsthmis walked over.
"What's up, Sekmet?"
Itslthmis asked, surveying the concoction that Basta made.
Stefan stretches a bit and heads over to the bar area.
"Whoa nice!" Stefan takes a look at the drink.
Stefan leaned against the bar area as he and Istlthmis examined the drink.
As Abram walked around the ship he heard Itlsthmis, Stefan and Basta. He walks and sees the drink.
"Did you make that?" What is in it?
As he continues looking at the drink.
"So how do you think everyone else is doing outside is doing?" Abram asks
Basta shrugged, "I was going for a citrus tasting drink, there's some bourbon, gin, curacao, and some other fruit flavors and some syrup to sweeten the deal. Trying to make do with what I was able to filch from Shezmu's Blood." She handed Stefan and Abram their glasses, "As for the others, I'm sure they'll be fine. Between BOB-5 and Har-Bak, they should be able to break their way through and load up."
Itlsthmis looked over the drink.
"Looks like an interesting combination."
Stefan took his drink, and began to walk back to his quarters. He took a sip from the glass, Hmm this is good. I can't remember the last time I had a drink this great.
Stefan sat down near his bed and turned on his computer. 'Maybe I'll give Cassi a call, see how she's doing. Stefan typed in a number and waited for her to answer.
"Hello, this is Cassi Visilais," said a calm and gentle voice. Stefan smiled a bit. "Hey Cassi, it's me Stefan." "Stefan! Oh it's good to hear from you again! How are you doing?" she asked. Stefan leaned back on his bed and took a sip from his glass. "I'm doing great, my new occupation is better than what I expected. Met some good people as well. How about you?" "I'm doing fine, thanks again for giving me some of your credits. It's really helping me out here." Cassi replied cheerfully. "I'm glad they are," Stefan chuckles a bit.
Stefan grabbed his drink and took another sip from it. I'm glad she's doing all right...
Abram takes his drink and observes it. He sees Stefan walk down the hall drinking it. After concluding it would not harm him if he drinks it, he takes a sip from it. It tastes strange but at the same time good.
He hopes that at least Yorke would be alive. He was the only thing keeping the robot away from him. He then walks down the hall and towards his living quarters. Inside was scrap metal and spare parts from various devices. He needed them in case the ship was damaged. He then begins to put random pieces together and taking things out.
Seeing the other two crewmates walk off with their drinks, Basta knew that she wouldn't be getting their opinions any time soon, so she turned her attention to Itslthmis as she flicked her tail, "So Itslthmis, I got the curt intro at Yorke's meeting, but tell me more about yourself." Basta took sip of her new drink, trying to come up with a name for it...
Itslthmis took a drink, sliding it towards her.
"Well, I’m a veteran of the Skaakian-Drothian war, Special Forces, took part in an event that helped us get a major hand in a war, and got hailed as a hero."
Itslthmis took a sip from her drink, continuing.
"Besides that, I like making different concoctions, like cigars, music, and art. Movies are good too. Specifically human movies. Back in training, they would show us human war films to pump us up for battle."
Itslthmis took another sip from her drink.
A soft humming reverberated through the Dawn Voyager, signaling that one of the other docking arms from the Flame of Ares was reaching out to another ship. Drinks forgotten, Itslthmis and Stefan both hurriedly arm and armor themselves, heading to the airlock.
There, they see a team of six mercenaries walking towards the Dawn Voyager, holding several old Heckler and Colt rifles. Of more concern were the five state-of-the-art Trident Tech Plasma Explosives. Karnoff and Rh'ka nod to each other and take cover, aligning the mercenaries in their sights.
Abram Abakumov, having noticed a few dents from space debris on the hull, had walked out to repair them. Seeing easy prey, the mercenaries open fire without warning. Abram is able to dive into cover, but not before a bullet grazes his left arm, scoring from his hand up to his bicep.
He screams briefly in pain, and looks at Karnoff pleadingly, silently asking the ship's medic to cross several meters of exposed ground and treat him.
Stefan sees his comrade wounded on the ground. Shit, I won't be able to make it across there without any cover fire. Stefan preps his MK rifle, and starts to breathe easy. Six enemies using rifles...no, that won't work...
Shots began raining down onto the enemy mercenaries. "Sharpshooter! Take cover!" yelled out one of the mercenaries. Rh'ka continued to lay down fire on the mercenaries. Rh'ka signaled over to Abram. Stefan nodded and began to run towards Abram's location.
"Goddammit! Those bastards managed to get a lucky shot off of me!" said Abram. Stefan took out his medkit and started to patch him up. "Just keep calm; I'll have you patched up soon enough." Stefan took out a pair of scissors and started cutting up some medical wrap.
Stefan puts on the medical wrap and then Abram gets up and says "I am going to run for the security rooms close the reinforced doors it should keep them out. I am also going to turn on the security system." Abram then begins to run for the security room. Upon getting there he closed the reinforced doors on the room where the crew was, shutting them in. The mercenaries were shut outside of the room the crew was in. All they had to do now was wait for the boarding crew to come. This is the one time he would be happy to see Bob - 5.
Abram also turns on the alarm in case anyone had missed the gunshots and take aims with SMG at the door.
The mercenaries shut outside plant one of their plasma mines on the door and trigger it, melting the door down. They stay out of the line of fire as Abram Abakumov recklessly empties his entire clip into the breach. As the engineer runs out of ammo, the human leader of this party nods to what appears to be a distortion in the air.
The distortion is a synthetic, a brand new model in Dazzer Co.'s assassin android lineup. Metamaterials completely mask any auditory, thermal, olfactory, tactile, and gustatory methods of observance, as well as blocking 99.5% of ocular observance, resulting in a synthetic that is completely undetectable to all but those trained to work with it.
It extends its arm blades and charges in silently. Caught completely unaware, Abram Abakumov gets hamstringed immediately, taking him out of the fight, and the synthetic grabs an EMP grenade and detonates it, disabling his cybernetics.
Basta scrambled into the bridge to get the ship ready to go.
Dammit....I shouldn't have distracted everyone on-board. If I hadn't pulled everyone into the bar, those mercs wouldn't have gotten the drop on us. Basta was still kicking herself as she got to the bridge and scrambled for the radio.
"Yorke, Har-Bak, BOB-5, grab whatever you have and get your asses back here! We're under fire and I don't know how long Stefan and Rh'Ka can hold them off." Basta turned her attention as she heard the explosion outside; she then looked back to the radio and swore in Altaic before she began getting this ship ready to get the hell out of dodge.
Chances are that Lloyd is going to have my head for this, and on the first mission too...
Itlsthmis Rh'Ka looked around, trying to see where Abram's assailant was. Unable to detect anything, she fired her weapon blindly, hoping to hit something.
In this case, that was a mistake.
The noise alerted the synthetic, which charged her position, arm blade extended. It moved down quickly, spraying blood as it severed her jugular and cut down to her ribs. Still alive, still in pain, Rh'Ka spasms as she tried to get a look at her attacker. The synthetic simply lifted its arm and bifrucated her head, finishing the kill with a decapitation.
This was, however, a little too messy. Rh'ka's blood sprayed on the robot. While the metamaterials that comprised its skin were able to shield it from direct observation, it was not able to do the same to the copious amounts of blood now covering its frame.
Stefan kept fending off the mercenaries near the hold. As his rifle clicked, he quickly reached for another magazine. Ah dammit, out of mags already! Stefan grunted in disbelief and quickly switched to his Foley sidearm. Better fall back to the bridge, has a better defensive position.
Stefan returned fire as he fell back to the bridge. The mercenary leader held up his hand as Stefan got away. "We'll let our new addition take care of him and anyone else." The group nodded as they reloaded their weapons.
Basta was sitting near the radio as Stefan entered the bridge and quickly sealed the doors. "We need to call Yorke now!" said Stefan. "Already did, I sent out a message after we were under attack. Now it's just a matter of having to fend off the enemies till they arrive," said Basta. Stefan nodded as he reloaded his Foley.
"Any word on Abram or Rh'ka?" asked Stefan as he kept his eyes on the door. "I thought Rh'ka was with you after you helped Abram?" asked Basta. Stefan shook his head. "No, we got separated in the crossfire. So I made my way back to the ship, and I would have assumed she would've done the same. As for Abram, I can assume he found a safe area and hunkered down." Basta nodded.
"So hopefully Yorke, BOB, and-" A loud thud was heard coming from outside the room. The crew members quickly went into a better defensive position. All was silent for a couple of seconds when another thud hit the door, this time even more loudly than the first. Stefan and Basta aimed their weapons at the door...
"Stefan Itslthmis is dead!" Abram yells into his radio. "Some kind of Assassin droid cut my arms and legs and then killed Itslthmis. I need some help. I can't move if you can hear this please respond." I repeat there is an assassin droid on board if you can find it kill it. They are equipped with plasma mines the reinforced doors will not last long. I am also highly damaged I can't move at all." Abram then lies down and waits for the mercenaries to come in.
Har-Bak had retreated through several hallways, trying to get the drop on his opponent. As the numerous scores on his exoskeleton showed, he was not very successful.
"Heh... planning to run to the escape pods? Never figured a Scorp for a coward," the augmented man said, "But considering what happened to this ship, there's not a whole lot for you to escape through."
Har-Bak moved further back, occasionally firing to taunt his opponent to come after him rather than his considerably less-prepared crewmates. He moved into the escape pod area and hid between two pod bays. As he scanned the pod area, sans the empty bay in front of him, a thought sprung to his head.
CyberAug's Trask line is named for a bounty hunter back in the twenty-first century. If I remember right, he wasn't a skilled close-in combatant...
Har-Bak readied his hatchet and stinger, and opened his mandibles slightly in case he needed to bite.
The man walked in, holding his rifle.
Har-Bak charged the human, slamming his shoulder into the cyborg. Caught by surprise, he could only fire a few shots from his rifle at Har-Bak, hitting the Stingray out of one hand and shooting his axe-hand.
This did little to stop the charging four-armed creature, using his two remaining good arms to pound the cyborg. Har-Bak flashed his tail, the barb piercing the cyborg's leg. He let out a scream of pain, before being thrown into a wall.
The Eurypt lifted his foe up with one arm, slamming his fist into his jaw and roaring. Drawing his second Stingray, he smiled and saw something he never expected; Fear, just a slimmer of it. This quickly disappeared, replaced with anger.
"C'mon boy, just do it! Come on you ugly mother-" He bellowed, only for the Eurypt to pistol whip him with his Stingray. Har-Bak chuckled, before shoving the barrel of his Stingray into the cyborg's chin.
"Adios, space cowboy."
Yorke reached for radio as both him and Bob were running through the halls of the ship, intent on returning to their own and helping calm the situation which had been brewing there. "Har-Bak, this is Yorke, please respond." the human spoke into his radio and hoping to get a status update. "I'm still alive, Yorke, although I can't say the same for those who thought they could kill me." A small chuckle echoed through the radio. "Who are things on your end?"
"Bob and I handled the men sent after us and we managed to capture one of them." Yorke was going to continue, but the robot cut in before he could, "The Drothian shithead is knocked out cold and lying on my shoulder as we speak." BOB-5's free arm pointed at the unconscious Riker for effect and dropping him because of it. "Good to hear. Any word of the others?" Har-Bak responded and from the sound of it began pacing around his location.
Yorke got deathly quiet for a moment before he responded, "I haven't received any updates recently. Bob and I are heading back to the Dawn Voyager as we speak to provide back-up if the situation worsened." Har-Bak's pacing on the other end seemed to stop as his captain finished the sentence. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go kick some ass!"
"That's a negative on your part, Har-Bak. I want you to stay and begin scavenging the ship and get the alloys out of here." Yorke responded with voice remaining firm in his approach. "Do you expect me to just stand by and just begin tearing this place apart for supplies?!" Har-Bak's voice seemed to have a hint of anger in it.
"Yes. We still have a job to do and we can't just end up losing this entire opportunity just because we all went somewhere that might no longer be in danger." Yorke took a pause before continuing, "And if the situation take a turn for the worse, then you can damn well trust me and Bob to get the others out of it."
Har-Bak stayed silent before responding, "Just don't you go around and try playing hero with the robot."
"Before I go, where is your current location?" Yorke spoke quickly as he began to pick-up the pace. "I'm in the escape pod section of the ship. Why?"
"See if you could find any clues as to what happened here or if anyone managed to escape, while you begin to gather the supplies. Good luck out there, Har-Bak." Yorke said before turning off his radio and continuing his way to the Dawn Voyager with BOB-5 and their unwilling prisoner.
Before long BOB-5 stopped and asked for Yorke relax for a moment. "I can't exactly do my best fighting with this dead weight on my shoulder." Yorke looked Riker and then turned his attention back to the robot, "What do you suggest we do?" BOB-5 seemed to almost grin at the question, "I got an idea."
Moments later, Yorke & BOB-5 are speeding off towards their ship determined to make up for lost time, leaving a cuffed Riker onto a pipe.
Har-Bak glanced at his handiwork. It was hard, but he managed to salvage what he could from the quarters and gathered it in the escape pods.
"Let's see, what can I do now?"/The Eurypt questioned, analyzing a passenger and crew roster. Apparently, all of the crew was human, save for one Revnorian. Bit odd, I'd expect such a popular company to employ all kinds of people. The passengers were far more varied.
Left to his thoughts, he heard a distress call from the ship, albeit scrambled. "Stefan…Synthetic…Help…Please…"
Enraged, Har-Bak called Yorke immediately. "Yorke, you better haul ass back to the Voyager! Looks like Abram is being beaten down like a sack of rocks!" The Eurypt waited for a response, seriously hoping he would be allowed to help fight off the mercs.
Yorke and BOB-5's return to the Dawn Voyager was nearly complete. He gritted his teeth as heard Basta speak through his radio, "We'll be there, Basta! Just hold out a little longer." Yorke shouted into the device as he kept running alongside his mechanical companion. Damnit. We're almost there, but they need to just keep them at bay until then. He couldn't tell how the rest of the crew was doing, but he tried remaining optimistic thinking that Stefan and Rh'ka were holding the line.
Within moments of that thought crossing his mind; both Yorke and BOB-5 had arrived at the beacon. "Bet you're thanking me right now that I put this beacon down when I did." BOB-5 said as he took a swift glance at the beacon as both knew their destination was nearby. Both took a momentary break as they looked their equipment over. Loading fresh magazine and turning off the safety on their respective guns.
"Yorke, you better haul ass back to the Voyager! Looks like Abram is being beaten down like a sack of rocks!" Har-Bak's voice boomed into the captain's radio. "BOB and I are only quick run to the ship. I'll update you on the situation if anything goes wrong." Yorke spoke into his radio before turning the safety off of his Heckler & Colt rifle. A determined look appeared on his face and both of them prepared to make their run towards the ship.
Yorke and BOB-5 sprint towards the hangar, worried about the safety of the Dawn Voyager's crew. They burst in, peripherally noticing the prone figure of Abram as well as the mangled body of Rh'ka. They see the synthetic towering over Stefan, and immediately fire at it to divert its attention.
The synthetic turns towards them, growling mechanically. As it processes its new assailants, Stefan quickly rolls out of the way, muttering something into his communicator.
The area around the synthetic lights up, as the incandescence from several plasma discharges sear Yorke's corneas. Nothing was left of the assassin, and his crew was safe for now.
"Nice work with those plasma guns, furry," BOB-5 says, "And as for you, criminal, only an idiot would think those are lasers. You sure this bugger's qualified, boss?"
"Not as the guy to man to explain defense systems, but then again I never hired him for that job." Yorke looked at Abram, "You're our engineer and until I can see that you can't accomplish that task you'll be stuck on this ship with us." The Russian sighed in response.
"We should get the hell out of here, the rest of the mercs may return to do to us what happened to Rh'ka..." Basta spoke up, still frightened at the near-death situation that had occurred.
"I'd be more scared of an immortal shapeshifter with hundreds, if not thousands of blood-hungry and greedy bounty hunters at his disposal than some Black Eclipse mercenaries, Basta. You don't double-cross Lloyd, and if you do, I'll give him your fur as a present. Hope that's clear." BOB laughed and turned to Basta, baffled at her proposal.
"It is now."
"Good, now, let's go back and grab us some loot. Oh, and I've got a prisoner to attend to..."
"So what's the tale, boss" Har-Bak asked, eagerly awaiting combat.
"Relax, Scorp, we're all good on the Voyager." BOB-5 interrupted, causing the Eurypt to groan.
"I don't get to shoot anything else? Darn. Well, I'm heading for the crew quarters; see if I can't find anything good."
Yorke gave his permission, and Har-Bak slowly trudged from the escape pod bay to the quarters.
Yorke turned off his comms after giving his approval to Har-Bak to explore some of the ship in pursuit of the crew quarters. Turning his attention to the wounded Stefan and immobile Abram, and seeing their conditions gave him an idea for the recommended course of action. "I'll be with ya soon, Bob. Need to get these two to medical." Yorke said to the robotic figure, who in return simply gave a thumbs up.
Have to get this wrapped up before I keep losing any more blood. Stefan thought as he ripped some of his sleeve to create a makeshift bandage. "Stefan, I'm going help bring Abram into medical. Want to lend a hand?" snapping his head back up to look at his commander's face before answering, "Sure thing, Yorke." As both headed over & lifted the immobile engineer from his sides and began making their way to the infirmary. "Thanks again for the save back there, Stefan. I thought I was a goner till you showed up." Abram said with gratefulness lining the words he spoke. "Any time, Abram. Just not all the time."
Within a few minutes the trio had reached the medical bay and walked inside. Yorke and Stefan lay their wounded comrade down upon the bed. "I'm going to head back into the Ares with BOB-5. You sure you two will be fine, while I'm gone?" Yorke asked as his gray eyes began looking at Abram's wounded figure with his eyes shifting to Stefan's bloodied bandaged hand. "I've gone through worse than this." Stefan said lifting his hand, "Finish our job, Yorke." he said as began making his way to the medical cabinets.
Yorke nodded before making his way out of the infirmary and began heading back to the Ares. Have to get this job done soon and prevent anymore unwanted deaths or attacks on the ship. These mercenaries aren't your average run off the mill. Whoever hired them he's paying a lump sum.
Yorke and BOB-5 stepped back out onto the dark and deserted airliner, prepared to do what they were here to do in the first place. The two walked silently and stopped at the bright beacon, pondering what path to take.
"I sent the Scorp schematics of the ship and directions to the crew quarters; he'll get the good shit. We got a prisoner to attend to now, Yorke." BOB said, and Yorke nodded in reply.
Riker was already awake by the time the duo arrived. He wasn't sure whether to be sad or happy at the sight of them. Anything could happen.
"Here to free me, friends?" The Drothian sarcastically asked.
"Shut up, asthma-man. Yorke, I'm going to take care of those mercs with Riker."
"And how exactly do you plan to do that? They're too dangerous and Riker will backstab you."
"Once those mercs know their bot's dead, they'll leave. I'm gonna gift Riker to them with a lovely note."
"Don't die on me."
"Not a chance." BOB raised his rifle and turned to Riker below him. "Nighty night." Riker was once again knocked out from a rifle butt to the face.
Har-Bak checked the scanner BOB had lent him, looking at the slag in front of him. Satisfied, he cut and scooped in sections of the alloys and compounds into the crate he had brought with him.
"Hey, um, Yorke. This may just me being a fool, but I'm seeing a wide variety of alloys and shit here, but it's weird. Most of the passenger's components are as varied as the crew was narrow. Also, none of it seems to have Revnorian origins. I'm not the only one that thinks that's just a bit odd?"
Yorke's voice entered Har-Bak's ear. "Hmm, that is just a bit weird."
The mercenaries attacking the Dawn Voyager were more than happy to kick back outside the ship and let the assassin synthetic handle things. They were sitting back, talking, and smoking when their leader gets a distress call.
"What happened?" one of the mercs ask, slightly perturbed at the look of shock on his commander's face.
"The team scouring the rest of the ship is down."
"Seems a man and a synthetic took out Ard-Pol and took the newbie, Riker, captive."
"And the ones with that freelancer?"
"Those two were taken out by a Eurypt. Hayashi signaled that his current body was killed, too."
The mercs look at each other for a second.
"Fuck it. Damn Revnorian isn't paying us enough for this shit," one of them says, spitting.
"Agreed," the leader says, "We'll let BROS-EX* take care of the rest of 'em - he's got one disabled and another killed already - and get the hell back to our ship."
Nodding, the rest of the mercenaries head back to their ship and prep for takeoff.
*OOC: BROS-EX stands for Battle RecOn Stealth - EXperimental
Keeping her shotgun trained on the door, Basta reached out and grabbed the radio, "Yorke, it's me. Stef and I are holed up on the bridge at the moment, ready to fire as soon as the door opens."
Turning back to the door, she bit her lip. Sure, she was read to fire her shotgun as soon as the doors started to open, but Basta was pretty sure that if those mercs came through the door, the two of them wouldn't stand a chance. Already worried that Lloyd would hark on her for distracting the crew, the last thing she needed was to sound like a coward, so she swallowed her fear and called into the radio again, "You there Yorke?"
Stefan continued to aim at the door, the constant pounding made him get more and more nervous. Dammit, I should've known that something like this might've happen. And because of that, they've got the jump on us.
All of a sudden the pounding stopped. Stefan and Basta kept their weapons aimed at the door. "Something tells me things are about to get hot," said Stefan. Now if only I had brought my Bower, then Basta and I would have at least some decent amount of fire power.
"Basta, I think I might know of a way to deal with this situation," said Stefan. "It's risky, but it could work." Basta's expression changed. "What do you have in mind?"
The assassin synthetic turns away from the doors to the ship, judging it too much of a bother to break down. Oblivious of the antipersonnel point-defenses mounted on the outside of the ship, it walks back towards the airlock hangar. There, it plans finish off the wounded engineer and grab a few plasma mines from the mercenaries who brought it here. Those should break down the door nicely.
Abram sees the synthetic walking towards him, still covered in Itslthmis Rh'Ka's blood. Slightly panicked, he squirms forward until he can use the fallen comm system with his teeth.
"Stefan, Basta, that stealth synthetic's coming back for me. Please do something... Please."
His plea made, all he could do was sit and wait while his death drew nearer.
Basta raised an eyebrow to Stefan, "I'm listening, but I have a hunch this has the chance to not end well..." The last thing that she wanted was to have two dead crewmates.
Through the radio, she heard what sounded like the strained voice of Abram came in: "Stefan, Basta, that stealth synthetic's coming back for me. Please do something... Please."
Basta looked back to Stefan, if she shot down Stefan's idea, then chances were looking really good that Abram would die; conversely, if she said yes to his plan, she had a sinking feeling that Stefan would die. Damned Catch-22....no matter what I choose, someone else is going to die....
She thought back to her family home on Altaicia. Sure, she left them, but the last thing she wanted to do was crush them with the news of her death. Then there was Min...No, the last thing I need is to think of him.
Taking a deep breathe, she looked between the radio and Stefan before settling on Stefan, "What is your plan?" Secretly, she was praying that Jack, BOB-5, and Har-Bak would get back in time...
BROS-EX continued stalking towards the downed human, savoring the kill. The dread rolling off him was palpable, even to his artificial senses. The synthetic unsheathes his arm blades, intending to go in for the kill. He looks out the doors for a second and comes to a halt. His comrades seem to have vanished.
He'd received no call to retreat, nor had his sensors picked up anything resembling the sounds of a battle. BROS-EX was the first of his kind, so another stealth droid was ruled out. The only logical possibility is that they had aborted the mission without telling him.
The synthetic turned back to his helpless foe. At the very least he'd be able to kill one more of his targets.
Abram closed his eyes. This is the end for me. Did it have to end like this? A shotgun shell hit the synthetic body. BROS-EX turned around and saw another human standing on the opposite end of the room. "Hey over here! Come and get me!" The human fired another shell at its body and ran off. BROS-EX began to pursue him.
Back on the bridge, Basta was monitoring Stefan's movements and was typing commands onto the console...
--A few minutes earlier--
"Are you crazy?! That's suicide!" replied Basta. "We've already lost one member already, and we might lose you and Abrams too if you're plan fails Stefan!" Stefan loads up his pistol. "Look we've got to find a way to deal with this synthetic assassin. Our small arms aren't making a dent on it, so our best option is using the ship's defense armaments. I'll be the bait and lead it to the cannons, while you prep the guns to fire."
Basta remains silent towards Stefan. "Basta are you with me or not?" Stefan begins to unseal the doors. Basta lets out a deep sigh, "Let me prep the ship's guns then." Stefan nods and runs out into the hallway. Better grab my Bower then, luckily the med bay is close to the bridge...
I sure hope you know, what you're doing Stefan. Basta remained focused on arming the guns.
Stefan kept luring the synthetic outside of the Dawn Voyager. "That's it keep following me..." Stefan fired off another shell at the synthetic as it continued to follow him near the ship's hold.
Basta monitored the ships security cameras. "The guns are almost on Stefan, keep on luring him to the trap," she said on the comms. "Ok then, just make sure the guns know which target to shoot at," replied Stefan.
As Abram lay still on the on the ground, not able to do much else, He says to himself
"I hope that Stefan knows what he is doing if not I am screwed as he hears the guns outside of the ship fire. Using the ship lasers eh, smart man" as he then lays back down hoping that the stealth syndicate is dead.
BROS-EX charges at the fleeing human, certain of his victory. The synthetic couldn't believe that the human had actually come out of his armored, protected starship. One of the human's blasts had hit his torso, but hadn't even penetrated. The human turns, firing again, and the synthetic swiftly lashes out, scoring a hit on the human's left hand.
The synthetic moves in for the kill when he hears several gunshots and feels them impacting his armor. He turns to see another Human and a synthetic - a BOB model of all things - firing at him with an assault rifle and two Demon pistols, respectively. The human's rounds merely dinged his armor, while the synthetic's dug in, almost getting through in places. Growling in rage, the synthetic hears a mechanical whirring sound. Ignoring it and preparing to charge, he doesn't register the plasma blasts firing until it's too late.
Basta took a deep breath as she collapsed to the floor in relief, letting BOB-5's slur pass by. Less than a week ago, she was working in a bar, only using her shotgun to stop massive bar room brawls, but now she was having her life threatened by cybernetic assassins, mercenaries, and degrading antimatter containment fields.
The funny thing was...she wasn't at all scared by this; in fact, she was kind of enjoying the adrenaline rush. She actually felt like she was doing something with her life instead of hiding.
Picking up the radio, she smiled, "The thanks goes to Stefan, it was his suicide idea to save Abram. Speaking of, how is he doing?"
Stefan, relieved to see Yorke and BOB, got up and walked up to them. "Good to see you in one piece Stefan," said Yorke. Stefan panted as he got near them. "Hehe glad to have done my part then." Stefan manages to catch his breath and stands up straight. "Basta you all right up there?" asked Kanoff. "Your plan worked like a charm Stefan!" replied Basta.
"Glad to hear it," said Stefan. "Well we better do a clean sweep around the area then, who knows if more of those synthetics have been sent by those mercenaries."
Well I managed to survive this time, but I was just plain lucky that Yorke and BOB was able to show up. Who knows what would've happened if I was still being pursued by that synthetic assassin....
As Abram lay on the bed he looks at Stefan "So how did you get that wound? Did you get shot or slashed by the thing. Anyway I can't move. So I am sort of stuck here until it heals."
Relieved that everything had calmed down for the most part, Basta left the bridge and stashed her shotgun back in her room.
I should check in with Yorke...let him know I'm doing fine after all that commotion.
Leaving her room, she decided to check around the ship to find him, eventually winding up in the med bay where she stumbled across Stefan tending to Abram who was in obvious pain.
"Good call back there Stef," Basta said, leaning against the entrance to the room, "You managed to save Abram's life."
The medic nodded as he began to work on Abram's legs. While Basta had seen a few nasty injuries from bar room fights, this was new to her. Averting her eyes, she asked Stefan, "Where's Yorke? I was going to check in with him."
Not looking up from Abram, Stefan shrugged, "Said he was going back to the Ares with BOB-5. Hand me the disinfectant please?" Basta tilted her head upon hearing the word. Not getting anything, Stefan sighed, "The red bottle with the purple cap." Nodding, she picked it up from the cabinet before handing it to him.
Sliding out, she caught Stefan say something along the lines of, 'This might sting a bit', but was quickly cut off by the sounds of Abram hollering in pain.
Wandering around the bridge, a thought crossed her mind, Didn't Lloyd say that antimatter containment thingy was going to fail soon? I'm no rocket scientist, but I know bad things can happen when antimatter is free...mainly, things go boom.
Heading back to the bridge, she had two goals in mind: figure out how long 'till the containment field failed, and to let Yorke know.
Stefan continued to patch up Abram's wounds. We may have survived today, but just the thought of....no just concentrate on helping Abram. Man, I wish we were really prepared for this.
Stefan grabbed some scissors and began cutting shrapnel out of Arbam's flesh. "Aaaarrghhh!" "Hold still, I'm going to administer some morphine into you." Stefan injects a needle connecting to a container with the morphine.
"You may start to experience some drowsiness or numbed feeling, but that's the side effects of it." Abram gradually stops moving, and falls asleep in the med bay. Stefan wipes sweat off of his forehead and takes out some more tools.
Ok, remember what you've been taught. Don't overdo the incisions...
Back at the bridge, Basta was cross referencing when the Flame of Ares had lost contact against how long antimatter containment lasts after being nuked by a star...and the results cause the fur on the back of Basta's neck stand on end.
Grabbing the radio, she tried to calm herself down so that the others could hear, "Yorke, grab whatever you guys can get your hands and get back in here. If what I'm seeing is true, then we don't have much time before that antimatter core fails and goes boom. I'm not sure about you, but I don't want to chance death twice in one day."
Not entirely waiting for a response, Basta made a beeline for the navigation tables, plotting a course that would take them anywhere that wasn't here.
Yorke began thinking about the tidbits of information that Har-Bak had just presented him. Given the current information and the events that just transpired. Are the two related in any way? Yorke shook his head. Too early to draw conclusions, but I should keep it mind from now on. He continued walking around the ship wanting to waiting for BOB-5 to return before heading to the crew quarters with Har-Bak.
"Just keep your eyes open for anything else out of the norm. Me and BOB-5 should arrive shortly, but until then begin retrieving the alloys." He said into his comms and waited for Har-Bak's response. "Aye aye, Captain. Just don't keep me waiting here too long; don't feel too comfortable being cramped up in these rooms." Har-Bak's response echoed through the radio within Yorke's hand.
"Wouldn't dream of it, Har-Bak. Yorke out." And with that he turned off his radio and looked in the general direction that the robot and his prisoner had gone.
"Let's get your pretty face back in your ship, eh, Riker?" BOB crouched and analyzed the slick black ship across from him whilst muttering to an unconscious Riker, A sign of either humor or loneliness. You couldn't tell with the synthetic.
"How we gon' get you in there? Knock? They'd just shoot...blow a hole in the back? No, too risky...I know!" BOB tightly grabbed the collar of the Drothian's shirt, dragging him with one hand, raising his assault rifle with the other. Sneaking to the cargo bay entrance at the back of the ship, he dropped Riker hard on the ground with his rifle, now pulling with all his might on the back door.
"AHAHA! NOTHING STOPS ME!" After the door slammed open, and grabbed Riker with both hands, tossing him inside the cargo bay, closing the door, and escaping.
Several mercenaries rushed down to the cargo bay, guns loaded in hand. The squad stopped at the site of Riker. A Skaakian mercenary crouched down and ripped a paper note written in red crayon off the freelancer's body, reading it out loud to his cohorts.
"Here you are you fuckin' cunts, now fuck off. P.S. Your shitty robot's been murdered the fuck out of. I'd send you spare parts but it's in ashes."
The mercenaries took a few seconds to stare at the note, and then looked at each other.
"These guys took out Toro, Ard, and Brobot. I don't care how much we're getting paid for this shit, it's not worth it against these fuckers."
"Agreed. We're getting the hell out of here."
"And what are we doing about this guy?" one of them asks, nudging at the unconscious Riker with one foot.
"Hmm... Let's maroon him on Lachesis V. Not much he can do on that ball of ice, and it's more merciful than what the boss would do to him."
Satisfied, they trudge back and disengage the ship from the Flame of Ares, leaving.
Har-Bak looked at his bounty so far, roughly 20 tons of slag from the passenger quarters alone. He still had a few cabins left to clean up, but for the most part he was done.
"Yorke, I'm nearly done with everything in the passenger's quarters. It's all in crates at the beacon the bot set up. I'm going to finish up here, and meet you back at the Voyager."
The Eurypt's radio crackled, before the human responded. "Good on ahead mate, we're just about finished as well. We'll meet up there."
Har-Bak agreed, then slowly jogged to the next cabin of slag.
Yorke looked up and saw BOB-5 returning with a triumphant stride as he began getting closer, "I'm guessing everything went well?" he questioned with a smile crossing his face. "More than well. It went perfectly and our 'little' friends are probably hauling ass as we speak." BOB-5 said with confidence as he made it to his comrade’s position.
Upon reaching his position there was the sound of a ship disengaging and the sounds of an engine starting up echoed throughout the Ares. "There they go." the robot said with a cocky tone in his voice. Yorke chuckled at the remark and the sounds became louder until they soon became more and more distant. "Har-Bak updated me on the salvaging. So far our progress has been going pretty well, in the quarters alone so far he's collected 20 tons of this slag and he isn't even done." Yorke said as he began walking towards the synthetic and heading back to the beacon.
"So, where'd he leave the rest of it?" BOB-5 said as he walked beside Yorke as both turned back on their flashlights. "That beacon of yours never ceases to help us out. He's moved it all to that position and he wants us to head to head back to the ship.” Yorke said as both continued their way to the beacon intent of looking at the current haul and silently hoping that it would be more than enough to satisfy Lloyd.
"Bloody hell, it's about time!"
"This mission's dragged on way too fuckin long. Least we got some good loot from the Eurypt and friends back in the cockpit." BOB tossed around the bright green beacon around, getting stares from the slightly annoyed captain.
"Can you stop tossing that around?" Yorke asked out of the blue.
"Sure thing, was more entertaining than this mission though." BOB opened up his storage compartment and dropped the beacon in the dark, endless abyss.
"Mercenaries weren't enough for you? I'd hate to see what you really like to fight, then."
"Black Eclipses ain't shit. I like me a real challenge, not unprofessional bitches. Hey! I spot a Scorp!" BOB caught Har-Bak loading the salvage in the cargo bay, and the duo rushed towards the ship. As they approached, the Eurypt finished up and slammed down the hatch to the back of the ship.
"Let's get the fuck out of here."
Har-Bak nodded, facing his captain and the synth. "Alright, I count about 70 tons of slag recovered overall. What about you guys?"
Yorke grinned at their bounty, before replying. "BOB and I salvaged a few small arms from the cockpit, as well as two very big arms." Har-Bak glanced at what the duo had brought, and his Eurypt face broke out into a childish grin.
"Ah, two Trident repeaters! These'll work just nice." Har-Bak continued to examine the heavy guns, seemingly forgetting all about his crewmates.
"Oi Scorp, don't wanna kill ya bug boner or whatever, but we gotta go!" BOB yelled, abandoning the two and continuing up the cargo bay.
"Damn synthetic. Yorke, what do you want me to do with these things?"
"Take everything we got from the Ares onto the Dawn Voyager. As for the Trident repeaters, I have a few ideas in mind on what we could do with them after some repairs and modifications." Yorke said to Har-Bak who simply nodded in agreement. Both began to board the ship and taking their haul with them into the cargo bay.
"Yorke, I'm going into my pilot's seat so that we can get away from this bomb as soon as possible." BOB-5 shouted as he began making his way out of the room. "I'll be there in a minute. Just get us disengaged and tell Basta to set us a course for us." Yorke shouted as BOB-5's figure left the cargo bay. Despite the figure leaving the room, he heard an affirmative shout from the robot's 'mouth'. Overlooking the haul once more, Yorke lips curled into a smile looking at the vast amount of slag that was collected by his team's collective efforts. "That look on your face gives me the impression that you're more than satisfied with my job of collecting." Har-Bak said, breaking Yorke's concentration.
"You can say that." Yorke said as began looking at the exit of the room. "Go ahead, Yorke. I'll clean up here and get the cargo hatch closed up. The others are gonna need ya to see us off." Har-Bak said to his captain, who simply nodded and began making his way to where BOB-5 and Basta are.
BOB-5 looked at Basta's frame prepping the ship for takeoff, "Looks like the navigator is realizing she was over her head." He said as he walked towards his seat and began getting the feel for the controls. Basta continued to work in silence as she created the set course for quickest way out of here. As she began finishing up is when Yorke entered the room and Dawn Voyager began to disengage from the Ares.
"Everything is in order then?" Yorke said to BOB-5 as replied back, "Of course it is. Never doubt my abilities boyo." With that confirmation, Yorke headed towards his seat as the ship began taking off. His thoughts of the mission began flooding to him as he sat silently and as those thoughts continued to swirl through his mind a realization hit him. "I'll be heading to communications room. If there are situations that you feel I must be updated on, then contact me on my radio." He said as he began walking out and made his way to the communications room.
Upon entering, he looked at the blank screen as the lights began to shine. The door behind him closed and he began making his way towards the control panel. Just as he was about to type, the screen lit up with a name written across it. It shone brightly across the screen and suddenness of it gave an ominous feel.
Yorke nervously hit the button to accept the call. He'd only just started working for the BCA, but he already knew that Lloyd frightened the hell out of him.
As the nanofilament display shifted, changing from the shapeshifter's name to his form, the human calmed himself and prepared to give an account of the mission.
"Yorke," Lloyd says, tone casual and pleasant, "Since you are about to lift off I trust you've completed your task. We'll meet in person soon, but I'd appreciate a preliminary analysis."
Yorke took a deep breath and started to give a brief report. "The mission was, overall, a success. We have seventy tons of salvage on board. We were, however, attacked by a group of Black Eclipse mercenaries, and Rh'ka was slain by an assassin synth. The same synth also injured Abram, who's going to need a good deal of medical care."
"The Skaakian's dead, eh?" Lloyd says, seemingly unconcerned, "Set a course for Sujaj in the Stokan system. I'll meet you there and give you your pay. If you've brought her body on-board, I'll send it to Scryia from there."
"Will do," Yorke replies, moving to cut the connection.
"And one last thing, Yorke," Lloyd says, "The Star Horizon was lost in Slip-Space. All indicators point to their tunnel collapsing on them."
As Yorke processes this, the screen abruptly turns off.
The Star Horizon is gone.... Yorke processed the news in this head. Being a former merchant and military man, he more than knew what being lost in slip-space meant and it wasn't a pretty picture. Those haunting images of the effects of people exposed to slip space had crept into the back of his mind. The twisted and horrified faces of those who had been begging for death as the insanity had surrounded them. He shuddered at the memories of those who had gone through the events. Its memories like these are the reason, why I stuck with the Dawn Voyager.
He began walking his way back to Basta and BOB-5 as they both stayed firmly in their positions looking over their respective stations with much attention, but BOB-5 seemed more than confident in his abilities and was much more relaxed in his stance. BOB_5 was the first to take notice in his captain's return, "So how'd things go with our friend?" he asked waiting for Yorke's reply. "Better than expected and I can't exactly tell, but I think he was satisfied with our haul." Yorke replied as he took his seat.
"I'm assuming he set up a place where he wants to collect the stuff?" BOB-5 questioned he began getting into position ready to change course. "Yeah, he mentioned where he wants us to move to. Basta." Yorke said and getting the attention of the feline. "Where to, Yorke?" she responded as she took at the map and began looking for which way would be the best course for the upcoming area.
"Set the new course for Sujaj in the Stokan system." Yorke said with conviction as she began scanning the map for the nearest possible route to Sujaj. And within a few minutes, Basta had found the route and began relaying the information to Yorke. Thanking her, Yorke turned towards Bob and sent him the route they were to take.
The Dawn Voyager touches down on Sujaj, across from the Moirai. The cargo bay opens, and Jack Yorke walks down to meet Lloyd, who's lounging against his ship.
As Har-Bak walks behind him, bringing out the massively heavy crates, Lloyd simply extends his left arm, splitting it into dozens of different arms and hands and using them to take hold of the crates and move them back into his ship.
"So, Yorke," he says, dropping a small bag of money into the captain's hands with yet another arm split off from his left limbs, "What else do you have to report?"
Seeing how easily Lloyd's extra limbs held the crates filled with slag and his mind was becoming curious as to what else his employer could accomplish. "While my crew and I were on the Ares we've found something of interest that you may want to know about." he uttered and looked at Lloyd's face who stared at him with intent, clearly wanting to know more about what they found.
"Go ahead." Lloyd said waiting for the continuation of the discovery. His extra hands continued putting in the remainder of crates into his ship.
Taking a deep breath, Yorke continued, "While on the Ares, we discovered that only one escape pod designed for crew usage only had managed to launch from the ship. Har-Bak here discovered and told me about a Revnorian whose escape pod and supplies from the crew quarters was missing. And while Bob and I were in the cockpit, he linked himself to the system and discovered that the route to their destination was off. There were several other routes they could've picked from which were faster and ultimately safer than what was chosen." Yorke took a brief pause before continuing, "There might've been some sort of foul play involved."
"Hmm... foul play by a Revnorian? That's certainly possible. Tell me, what were the passenger compartments and makeup like?"
"Well, the passengers were apparently very diverse. Har-Bak found a passenger list in the cargo hold, and it showed that there was one of almost every species on there. Har-Bak also took care of most of the cutting and lifting, and he informed me that the passenger compartments were sealed shut."
"Let me guess, each passenger room had compounds which would only make sense with a single living being?"
"It did, and there were a few with compounds which would have been altered if there were organics in there."
"Classic experimental setup. Control values, the empty passenger rooms, and single variable changes, the filled rooms... This is all circumstantial, but it strongly supports the Revnorian theory. It would also justify the unexpected call I've been ignoring from one of my fellow Revnorian Handlers," Lloyd says as he finishes loading his cargo. His left hand comes back out of the ship with another small bag, clicking with money. "Here's a little extra for that info. There's one Aught and seven Aght for each of you. And lastly, do you have the Skaakain's body on board?"
"Yeah, while we were loading up the cargo, Har-Bak brought her on board." Yorke said with a hint of sadness in his tone. Har-Bak nodded, "Or at least what was left of her. That assassin didn't let her go in the prettiest way." after that he began reaching for his radio.
"Where is her body now?" Lloyd said casually as the rest of the extra limbs began retreating into him and transformed back to his left arm.
"Currently in the med bay on one of the beds and wrapped under layers of blankets. She'll be out shortly." Yorke responded as Har-Bak headed back into the Dawn Voyager to retrieve the corpse from the med bay after he finished contacting Stefan on the topic.
Lloyd looks on as the Skaakian corpse is brought out and placed on the ground in front of him. He nods and turns to Yorke.
"Lift off and orbit this planet. I'll contact you with your next mission as soon as I'm done with disposal."
As the Dawn Voyager lifts off, Lloyd retrieves a canister from the Moirai and haphazardly tosses the corpse within. He then punches in a series of coordinates, and reenters his ship as the canister lifts off and sets a course for the nearest Scyrian spaceport.
He scrolls through his shortlist of jobs for the Dawn Voyager crew, trying to determine which would be best suited for a team that had only five functioning members.
The Star Horizon hurtled through a Slip-Space tunnel, on the way to their first mission. The navigator and Pilot were both glued to the controls, while the rest of the crew disappeared to check out their accommodations. The journey was uneventful, almost boring. The ship rounded a small bend in the tunnel, traveling quickly.
The ship lurched to an abrupt halt. The sensory deprivation measures hadn't lifted yet, which only meant one thing.
The tunnel had collapsed on them.
"What the hell just happened?"
Wayne Harre ran from his bunk to the cockpit, pulling on his clothes. Why'd we stop? I thought you said we wouldn't arrive for another hour or so."
"The slip-space tunnel's collapsed," his pilot said. "The engineer is trying to see if she can get the drive to open an exit."
Harre nodded, satisfied. The crew relaxed, until a loud bang announced the airlock hatch getting blown in.
Wayne Harre backed up against the far end of the captain's cabin. Slip-Space itself seemed to have rushed into his ship, judging by the screams of his former crewmates. Harre had ran, sealing every single door between his cabin and the cockpit. He heard screams for what seemed like hours, but it had been silent for quite a while.
Wayne Harre's last thought was simple surprise when the doors opened, letting death and madness rush in and take him.