No game enders (e.g 'And then everyone died, the end.')
Don't kill other people unless they've confirmed that you can.
No mind-control or making other people do your bidding.
Try not to make an impossible scenario. Use common sense when introducing themes to allow the story and RP to flow.
You can introduce new elements to the story, just make sure that it does not it effects everyone else drastically or existing threads.
Plan these events and build to them over a number of posts.
At some point your path will cross the path of another player. If there is a need to discuss plotlines and how they will affect both characters or storylines we encourage players to discuss ideas between one another via private message to add to the overall story being told and avoid conflicts.
If you would like, you can post a quick little snippet of a description or backstory of your character, such as their name, planet, faction, etc.
And lastly, have fun! Remember, it's a roleplay, it's not a matter of life or death. Don't get too worked up over it if something goes wrong.
Following the fall of the UBank and the complete collapse of the Units system in the Galaxy, the nomadic pirate faction known as The Armada moved from their hunting grounds in the outer rims of the galaxy towards the Centre, leaving a path of destruction in their wake, bringing war to the High Council in what came to be known as the Bloodshed Uprising.
The war and conflict leaves an already reeling Galaxy on its knees. No Units, no established powers or factions, no leadership or guidance and above all the disappearance of the Sentinels.
The High Council leadership is assassinated. The Atlas at the centre of the Galaxy is destroyed by their forces attempting to prevent anyone gaining access to the power stored at the gigantic facility.
A safety mechanism inside the Atlas dissipates its most important components in the form of fragments throughout the Galaxy in an attempt to concealed them, preventing the destruction of aeons upon aeons of knowledge.
Established factions and new emerging powers race to gather the fragments for themselves. Some for altruistic motives, others to claim the power of the Atlas.
The race to gather the Atlas fragments* has begun! What path will you take? How will your choices affect the Galaxy?
* The Atlas fragments no longer are sentient. They are just extremely powerful artifacts. Some are vast repositories of knowledge, others are weapons, others can affect technology in some unique ways. Use your imagination but avoid creating God like pieces.
Holly watched the Elevation leave the bar, 'I don't trust his intentions' he heard One of the blacks ops, Tremper, think. 'Neither do I but he seams to not want to get on our bad side', Holly thought back. Kain stood up from the both and stretched his back, "Well it's time we best be getting to the auction", He said in a yawn. Holly and the rest of the COTA black ops rose too and as they left took up positions flanking Kain.
They were heading to an auction on the other side of the station where it was rumored someone was trying to get rid of a shard. When they entered the auction room they dispersed themselves amongst the crowd and after a few minutes the auctioneer settled down the crowd, the action was about to begin.
They sat there for about and hour listening to the various items. A emulet from a lost civilization, some sort of rare tooth, and the robe of one of the Armadas dead councilmen. Holly looked up after the the robe was auctioned off and noticed 3 men who looked like they belonged to the Armada sitting a few rows in front of him. 'Look alive there are Armadans here', Holly warned. He had to turn his attention back to the auction however when the auctioneer announced they were bringing the last piece out.
Holly watched as the auctioneer pulled the Atlas piece out and started to auction it. People were whiling to trade all sorts of things, even ships. Just before the auction came to and end with the last bid being someone's freighter ship Kain stood up.
"There will be no need to continue", Kain said smoothly, "I'll be taking that off your hands." The whole room went silent until one of the Armada men started laughing. "You're a funny one but why don't you sit your butt down and let the men finish the auction." He sneered. There was a moment of silence before Kain sighed, 'Now' he thought and Holly and the black ops stood up. Holly looked around and saw the Armadans and a few other spectators in the crowd stood up too, 'this is going to get ugly.' He thought.
Alyssa Virtus was taken to the place where her brother was being held. It was a shelter the had been previously unoccupied and was now better fortified to prevent Jacob's escape. Looking through a one-way window that had been recently installed, she saw her brother was very still. He sat on the edge of the bed, looking at the floor. His red, shaggy hair covered his face at that angle. He breathed slowly, and calmly.
"Scanning his brain, we've found a beyond normal amount of brain activity." Said Erica, the doctor that had accompanied Alyssa on her first trip outside in years, "Particularly, the areas that cause anger and aggression are especially stimulated. His responses to our questions show that the Atlas Fragment is at the forefront of his thinking. It affected his psychology for the worst."
Alyssa nodded, "He's not..." The amount of times she had been called this had inspired a sting in the next words she said, "... Crazy... Is he?"
"No." Erica said, "But dangerous."
"I want to talk to him." Alyssa said.
Erica looked at her patient, "I'm not sure if-"
"Please." Alyssa interrupted softly. There was a long silence. Erica eventually nodded and requested clearence to enter.
Eventually, clearence was given and Alyssa walked into the shelter. The air was tense, and almost hostile.
"You can tell Murphy to screw off" Jacob said.
"Jacob." Alyssa said. Her voice made him jump. She had spent much of her adolescence unable to talk to him, he still visited every chance he had.
"Alyssa!" He said quickly. "You've got to help me."
"You did this to yourself," Alyssa responded, with a look of disappointment.
"Alyssa, Murphy won't help us get Jaime and Shawn back. You need to help me get out!" Jacob pleaded.
Alyssa shook her head, "I know what your problem is " She said, "You need to fix this." With that, Alyssa had made up her mind. She turned and left.
"Alyssa!" Jacob shouted, his restrains preventing him from leaving the bed., "Alyssa! We have to save them! Please!"
Alyssa ignored him. She knew what had to be done. On her way back to her quarters, she began to devise her plan.
Everything is as it is, but almost nothing is as it seems.
Moham leaned back in his seat, satisfied with the payment he received. It was an interesting trinket, the Atlas fragment. It was a deep blue color, much like an ocean, and reflected the surrounding room off it's surface. Moham scanned it. The most interesting characteristic of the fragment was it's image at a molecular level. Even there, there was no visible bumps imperfections. He had always heard the creators of the Atlas achieved such an impossibility. Moham held perfection in his hand. Also great danger, as the Atlas cult (bHollydeustriplo) coveted these objects and were growing in power.
Moham looked up at his client. A Korvax priest, that looked at Moham with disapproval. He wore armour, and a cape; the traditional garb of an experienced Korvax Warrior. "The Teacher Entity," this one was called, for his willingness to teach Korvax ways to other races.
"I wish to know the location of Wallace Kershire." The Teacher said.
"Walker?" Moham responded, his curiosity peaked, "I thought you had given up on the boy."
"The Echoes tell me I must find him." The Teacher said.
"And why is that?" Moham asked. The teacher didn't respond. The Teacher Entity said nothing. Many Korvax Disliked Moham for his choice to disconnect, and his insisting on keeping himself alive at all cost, even going so far as to take control of other dead Korvax. "I see. Well, be on your way." Moham linked Walker's coordinates to the Teacher, "I would prefer you didn't kill him. He pays very well."
Everything is as it is, but almost nothing is as it seems.
"i'm discontinuing the current ideals of The 4 Horses." i say.
the korvax clones then had no purpose and left the galaxy.
Like once before i was once again alone. i scoured my galactic map for some kind of civilization. "Devian Ahm Dakri? Alright then guess i'll seek refuge there." I made 2 system jumps and arrived at my desired location. "Space station first." i say looking at the surrounding planets. i pull in and land. i enter and pull up a seat at the bar. in my best Vy'keenian i say "one lemon lime bitters" i trade a technology blueprint for it seeing as the galactic economy is in ruin for another 900 decades. after enjoying my beverage i inspect the bounty board as well as the job board.
"Of course" I say. quite a few Armadians on the list pretty much the usual. no body takes the bounties of the largest pirate organization. because not only are they highly skilled but there are too many of them. and with the economy up in flames who knows what they steal or plunder now days. i've got bigger things in mind anyway.
I see a guy at the window of the station peering out. of course my first instinct is to ask whats up. "Gday mate" i say being my casual self. "oh hello..." pretty quiet fella this guy. "what's up out there?" i ask peering out into the vast system. "dreams, dreams being created and crushed." he says. must be some sort of poet at heart i think to myself. "oddly specific but i see your point. so many people aspire to become something more than themselves they join either the GPF or the Armada."
A breif moment of silence passes before he speaks again. "So you understand too? I thought i was the only one that saw the recurring theme." "Quite the contrary. i understand what this galaxy does to people these days. it's kill or be killed. and the only safe work that the two dominant factions overlook are the bedouin cartographers." i reply. "So i reckon you want to know what i do for a living" he says while turning to face me. "sure why not, oh i'm a freelancer myself right now although i'm going to become a mercenary" i say. "I'm freelance myself" he says. "tough line of work isn't it?" i reply. "indeed but i have one question for you" he says. "go ahead". "will you let me work along side you?"
A new partner eh? "Of course infact we're going to be stand alone mercenaries under my banner "The Four Horses". i say and he replies with "Alright then, but it's only you and me right now right?". indeed we're gonna have to recruit more people to become even noteworthy. "yes it's only you and i but i have a plan to recruit more people and it starts with this network tapper i have here." this is the moment we truly take off. "Watch the screen once i use the network tapper the whole galaxy will hear our advertisement."
Citizens of euclid! hear my call i am the leader of the Four Horses, Chukesys. I give all lifeforms of euclid a chance to be part of my mercenary group. if you are unemployed, homeless or need something to occupy your time head to these coordinates they lead to a system called Lombaru IV here we will establish a base of operations we will pitch in, get on our feet and work hard.
once done. we will work for the highest paying clients pay doesn't have to be in units anymore. if you're intrigued at the offer tell anyone else who you know would like an opportunity to be apart of something bigger than themselves and be part of a family of brothers and sisters willing to stand alongside one another. once you arrive you will be briefed,
your bonuses for signing aboard include: Housing, Food and drink, New Multi tools and exosuits and much more as we get on our feet like starships. the best part is that it's no strings attached. thats all for now. Farewell -Chukesys
"Most impressive" says my new friend "I try my best and by the way i never got your name" i say. "My name is Matthew, Matthew Webb nut just call me Matt or Webb if you prefer.". "pleased to meet you Webb anyway lets move to the system" "Right behind ya"
Whew its been a while but ive made this post and this paves the way forth for the Four horses in the RP you can expect to hear me more in the RP now.
"Welcome folks to the best opportunity money can't buy because we earn our way to the top. Now I'll be frank with you right now the mercenary line of work is full of ups and downs and lots of danger." "We work for the highest paying clients and only them no body will cheat us of our rightful payment." "Of course... *Sigh the units have completely bugged out on us. so we accept payment in essentials."
"By that I mean Food, water, weapons and that sort of thing" "But before we get our payment we get to work. i'll be dispatching teams of 6 each that is 33 teams each comprised of 6 members to look for contracts. if it involves conflict with the two dominant forces GPF and Armada we don't take it. the reward may be a hefty sum of food, water and weapons but we aren't ready for that level of combat."
"I propose we work with locals for now. the more support from the people we can gather the stronger we can get. we will protect the citizens that are being terrorized by local wildlife, thieves and that sort of stuff. if its pirates from the Armada we gather intel and perhaps negotiate trade to reduce conflict same goes for any government soldiers. we aren't close to them yet. BUT...."
"If they fire first ANNIHILATE THEM ALL! A skirmish like that will not cause too much concern but will draw attention to us. IF that happens we go neutral, ease up, slow down the horses. that way they won't look our way and see that we only did it out of defense.
"alright now onto some more exciting stuff... WE are going to have different divisions And they are. Intel everyone who signs onto the Intel division will be in charge of Intel of course, Mapping and supply. Our next division is Combat. it's self explanatory you'll be on missions, defenses and claiming new territory. And our final division is the Drone division. The drones will be working here. and they will be manufacturing weapons, armor that sort of thing."
"Now we work you'll be instructed by our Coordinators. they worked hard to learn the 4 languages and as such our Korvax leader will be teaching you about intel and that stuff. if you like combat you'll be getting acquainted with our Vy'keen leader. and of course if you don't like either of those Our Gek leader will be teaching you about the Drone division.
"You'll all be trained to a basic level of combat needed to survive out here. And as i said earlier the 33 teams of 6 which is all of you will be looking for work as your first assignment. i will be attending to... Other matters. Now go forth and bring success to THE FOUR HORSES..."
"Just stay where you are and let your fear subside. Just stay where you are if there's nothing to hide" -Rob Swire (watercolour) Pendulum
Holly and the rest of the COTA black ops followed Kain out of the auction room. It had been a successful day, they managed to acquire 2 Atlas shards without the loss of any of the black ops lives. They were to return to their base on the planet Avion. Avion wash a beautiful planet with huge open expanses of yellow grass and dense forests. There were also huge lakes of crystal clear water filled with species of huge fish and other aquatic plants. However when the sun went down viscous predators roamed the lands and anyone not in a base was easy pickings.
The days following the creation of the COTA Kain led his followers to this planet to settle down. One of the founding members knew of a base that was abandoned when the owner left for fear of being killed or assimilated into the ranks of the Armada. The base was previously used as a Heridium mining post and would have racked up huge profits judging by the cargo that was still in the main hangar. Although there was only a masters bedroom where Kain would sleep, there were plenty of rooms used for the extraction of the Heridium that could be transformed into sleeping quarters for the barely 50 followers.
As they arrived, Kain, Holly, and Bone split from the rest of the black ops and headed to Kains private quarters where the Atlas shares were kept. Kain put the shard that was acquired at the auction in a special case and as Holly was about to do the same with the one Elevation sold them Kain put his hand on it, "No, not this one." He said in a distant tone, "I shall keep this on me." Kain took the shard and placed it in his chest piece, "What if that crazy kid(Fennec) comes looking for it?" Holly asked. Kain looked over his eyes full of content, "That's why I have you two." He said looking to Holly and Bone.
Jacob stared at the wall. Unblinking. His mind was growing ever more clouded with the last images Auraxis had shown him. He needed to help her. He needed her. She needed him. The way out of the Atlas. He knew the way out of the Atlas. He was the only living person who knew the way out of the Atlas. The fragments need to be rejoined. Perfection must be achieved.
Fennec shook away the thought. What was he even thinking about? He needed to help his brothers. He stood up, and looked out the small circular window. He wouldn't survive if he broke his way out. The radiation on this planet would kill him in seconds without the protection of the cell. A guard was always there. Three different guards would take turns, but these seemed far from the best the Ether Foxes had to offer. They needed their best to carry out missions to maintain the colony until the leaders felt the Foxes could leave without trouble. If he could perhaps tempt the guard to enter the cell somehow...
He looked around the room for something he could use as a weapon. He couldn't find anything too useful, though. Hand to hand would simply have to work. Then it was a matter of figuring out how to get the guard inside. Obviously, he couldn't feign sick or anything like that without being obvious because Fennec had never had any medical condition.
A fire. He'd start a fire. This was a cell, yes, but it was originally a shelter. An Avalonian plant hung on the wall, this plant was known for the high amount of Oxygen output it had and would often be used by Foxes to maintain life support on hostile planets without the use of artificial Oxygen supplies, just in case. Fennec began looking for anything he could use to light fire to the plant. Easier said than done.
After a long time of searching, without warning, the door opened, the protective shield on the door activated. Fennec looked to find Alyssa holding a multitool. A guard lay behind her.
"What did you do?" Fennec asked her.
"He's only stunned." Alyssa said. She was breathing heavily.
"Why are you here? I thought you made up your mind." Fennec replied, a particular hardness resided in his voice.
"I did, but they couldn't know that." She said with little conviction. She was obviously scared, she spent much of her life in a psych ward. Fennec didn't know how or why she became so suddenly able to communicate with people, but those were questions for another time.
Fennec nodded toward the guard. "Get him out of the open, before someone sees." He thanked whatever God there may have been that there was minimal security at the compound.
Alyssa nodded and dragged the guard in, closing the door behind her. Fennec took the guard's multitool and leaned it against the wall. He then took the guard's exosuit. Once it was on, Fennec looked to his sister. "Thank you." He said kindly. She nodded.
They took advantage of the extraordinarily dark night and made their way to the landing area. Around fifteen ships were there, virtually unguarded. Fennec and Alyssa took one of the smaller, and faster ones. It would typically be used for dogfighting, something Fennec was extraordinarily good at. The two took off, and warped out of the system.
Everything is as it is, but almost nothing is as it seems.
The Teacher Entity remembered Wallace Kershire, or "Walker," as he now called himself, when he was just a boy. Angry, dirty, and spiteful. Most of all, the hard life amidst the inner cities of the rich planets that came if you were poor had hardened him... As well as made him selfish.
The boy had so much potential. It was often that the homeless would cower from The Teacher Entity's temple because of superstition, but not Wallace. He practically stormed the temple, demanding he learned to fight like a Korvax, and a Human. This was the advantage of teaching humans, their shape were so similar to the Korvax they had the capacity to learn the techniques of both races. Still, The Teacher Entity did not conclude Wallace was capable. Wallace seemed nothing more than an orphaned boy with dreams of grandeur. He needed to clear his mind.
So The Teacher Entity had Wallace placed in a pit with two exits. An always open window that would lead him to his old life of begging and stealing, or climb into the dark unknown that his the ceiling. First he had to create a method in which to employ to climb out. In the end, he found a way by using nails and a makeshift hammer he had made from a wooden table in the pit to climb out, and he chose the darkness without even looking at the window. He did this in a shorter period of time than any of the The Teacher's students before.
So, The Teacher taught Wallace. Wallace became almost devout in the beliefs of the Korvax teachers... The belief that the only true "Gods" are the sentient races of the universe... The belief that their destiny lies in working together someday... Putting aside grudges and differences. Wallace became a vicious, yet clever fighter. He did not conform to one move set or strategy. He was adaptable, agile, strong, and unpredictable. Years of training would make Walker the most formidable student The Teacher had produced, and he was proud of the boy.
Still... The boy was but an animal with an animal nature about him. Korvax were sentient, yes, but the echoes is the only thing that conforms them to a certain behavior... Unlike the Humans, Vy'Keen, and Gek, the Korvax had no other instinct than to gather knowledge. Humans, on the other hand, were very selfish, and deep down Wallace was even more so. The Teacher should have predicted that Wallace would betray his teachings for his own desires. The desire for that girl. Wallace loved fiercely. Nothing was wrong with this, and The Teacher was happy for his student. But then came the collapse of the economy. Then came chaos. In the proxy wars raging throughout the Galaxy, the girl Walker had loved was killed. Murder at the hands of soldiers fighting for the High Council and who had lost sight of their duty. Walker was hardened... But he was still rather fragile.
So Walker left. He took to the stars and never came back. Soon word began to spread of his misdeeds, and his corruptions. An extremely skilled bounty hunter that had no morals and a cheap price. He killed innocents, he helped the Armada, and he had stolen and traded countless properties of other people. "The Most Dangerous Coward in the Galaxy," they began to call him. The Teacher was ashamed to have taught that man. He had to correct his mistake, and redeem himself before the echoes. For three years, The Teacher had been hunting Walker. Every time he'd get close, Walker would slip away silently into the void.
Not this time. Walker would not escape this time. The Teacher was close. No longer would Wallace Kershire be such a danger to himself and others.
Everything is as it is, but almost nothing is as it seems.
Elevation exited warp and came face to face with a huge space station. However this was no ordinary space station, the station almost glowed with green bacteria like substance. Everything about the station spelled danger. The station was falling apart in some sections and the main docking areas were destroyed leaving Elevation with no choice other then to jet pack over from his ship. He piloted his ship to a maintenance hatch and suited up.
Elevation opened the emergency hatch in his ship and pushed off, floating over to the maintenance entrance. The hatch was barely hanging on and with a few yanks the hatch broke off completely. Inside was a frightful sight. The green bacteria substance covered the walls and dead bodies floated everywhere. Elevation pulled out his multitool and carefully proceded through the hallways.
After an hour of wandering Elevation came to what looked like the heart of the station. It was the old core that used to power the whole station. He noticed where the reactor was the bacteria subtance seamed to be pulsing like a heart. 'Now that is weird' he thought to himself. He pulled out his backpack and opened up a sample jar to collect some of the bacteria. He used his multitool and cut out a cinch about the size of his head from the core.
After he had the chunk sealed he started to turn but then he heard a noise coming from the hallway behind him. Elevation whipped around and held his multitool up. What he saw shocked him, standing before him was a body covered in the green substance and it's eyes were glowing green. As he turned around he noticed he was being surrounded by more and more of these zombies. "Well shit I knew this was too easy," he cursed, "Well I don't care what on murrays earth you are, you're not getting in the way of me and my plans!"
The zombies started to advance on him. Just as they were in arms reach he launched himself up in the air with his jet pack and shot a land disruptor blowing up the lower reactor area. He continued up to another maintenance hatch and pulled it open. He was greater by two zombies grabbing him by the legs and dragging him down to the floor. He switched his multitool to the mining laser and cut the two zombies in half. He got up and started running as fast as his legs would carry him to the hatch. Just as he was approaching he heard the structure creaking and then the hallway started falling apart.
Elevation was dodging pieces of the decaying metal and other zombies as he rushed to the exit. He knew if a zombie or part of the structure even made the slightest cut in his suit it would be game over. As he neared the exit he pulled out his multitool and shot the door open. He heard an aweful crashing noise and before the cealing could fall he shot imself out of the small hole with one final push of his jet pack.
Elevation wasted no time climbing out of his gear and getting into the cockpit and punching the location in of the nearest system. Within a few moments the autopilot took over and he warped out of the dreaded system. Elevation pulled out his sample jar and instpected the weird bacteria. 'Whatever the hell you are...' Elevation thought to himself, 'you're going to help me take over the Galaxy.'
Alyssa didn't like going into such a crowded space station. She still carried the weight of a prodigious fear of other people. It discomforted her especially to have to go amongst such a shady group. Jacob said she could stay on the ship if she wished when he noticed her distaste for the venture. She refused. She knew she spent far too long letting her fear control her. So, she walked with Jacob, hoping her discomfort wasn't too noticeable.
Jacob came to get information on the location of something. Alyssa questioned what it was and how this would help them get their brothers back but Jacob dismissed it, simply saying it just would. She hoped she could trust his judgement. It's all she really could do at this point.
Jacob soon stopped at a small booth that was covered by a blue curtain. They entered to see a large Vy'Keen male sat alone. They joined him at the table.
"Do you have the payment?" The Vy'Keen asked.
"You know me." Jacob said. He lifted a bag of some unknown blue resource and handed it to the Vy'Keen, who opened it and gave it a short sniff. He grunted in satisfaction. It then reached under the table and lifted up a large, vicious-looking multitool. It almost looked alive, with glowing green spheres on the side that seemed to pulsate. Decorative teeth of monsters the weapon had slain were imbedded into the weapon. A blood-red horn of some kind of slain beast was attached as a bayonet. This wasn't normal technology. Alyssa felt afraid of it.
"Is this what you seek?" The Vy'Keen asked.
Jacob nodded in response, "I'll have to test it before we finalize the trade"
The Vy'Keen grunted again, "When did I ever let a client down?" He asked. It was a serious question.
"Can't be too careful," Jacob responded.
"Indeed. If it does not meet your satisfaction, I shall be bound by honor reverse the trade." The Vy'Keen said plainly.
"Now, in the way of the information you promised..." Jacob said, he turned to Alyssa, "Could you wait outside the booth?" Alyssa opened her mouth to protest, but he stopped her, "Please. There's a reason for all of this I promise." He looked at Alyssa with apologetic eyes. She knew protesting further would be of no avail. She stood and walked out of the booth.
The area around her was filled to the brim with Humans, Gek, and Vy'Keen alike, all in a drunken stupor. Alyssa observed them. It was amazing how drink could change a seemingly rational person into something they are not when it was practiced too excessively. She looked to see a man hassling a clearly uncomfortable woman. She kept shoving him away and slapping him, but the man would laugh it off and come back. Alyssa became enraged at the sight. Her blood began to boil as she curled her fist, and even through her fear, she was able to take a step forward. This was shattered by a large man stepping in front of her. He was obviously rich or was rich at one point judging by his clothes, he smelled terrible, though. He carried a drink in his hand and looked at Alyssa with stupid eyes.
"You're pretty." He said, touching her hair. She began to breathe heavy. She couldn't look at him. "What you so nervous about? M'name's Eon." He said. She didn't respond. "You hear me? What's your name." She was frightened. Flashbacks of Genudine began to race through her mind. She couldn't speak. Eon was offended by her silence and roughly grabbed her arm, "You're being rude!" He growled, "I should teach you manners!" He raised his fist, ready to punch her as hard as he can, when suddenly, a shot sounded off and his disappeared and Eon fell to the floor, dead. It wasn't bloody, his neck where his head once was was perfectly cauterized, and the ashes that once were his head lay on the floor. The bar fell silent.
Alyssa turned to see Jacob holding the weapon he had received, which was smoking at the barrel. The Vy'Keen male stood behind him.
"I'm satisfied,"Jacob said. The Vy'Keen nodded. Jacob looked to Alyssa, "Let's go," he ordered. --------------------------------------- Alyssa stood looking at herself in the mirror in the bathroom her and Jacob's room had. She looked tired, her long black hair remained unbrushed. She saw her brother kill a man. She knew he had killed before, but she had never seen it. She had never seen him in that way before. There was a darkness around him. He wasn't the little brother she grew up with, who was so taken by exploration and wonder. That boy had died with the people he had to kill and she knew it. She knew it would have to happen to her. She could not be a victim in this world.
She looked at herself in the mirror. Her hair was too long. Too easy to grab. It wasn't enough for her to simply tie it up, it'd have to go. She took out the knife Jacob had given her after apologizing for leaving her alone, and used to cut off her hair. She cut until she was barely recognizable. She wore short, wild hair that made her look somewhat older. She nodded to her reflection.
Everything is as it is, but almost nothing is as it seems.
Lilith walked the corridors and wide galleries of the Elder vessel, Rancour, greeting and nodding at a few now familiar faces she encountered, even exchanging some words and pleasantries with a selected few in her way to the lower holds of the capital ship. Everywhere she went man and women stopped to look at her. A few dark oiled smeared children even ran after her following her path downwards amazed that they looked at one of the killers of the Councils. Wild stories and rumours ran through the Armada and a few like her were already legends to the Armadans.
Many cycles ago ago when on instinct she decided to stay with Nomad in the pirate flotilla to keep an eye on their progress and goals she had hated that people stared at her. She had always hated that. She saw lust, rage, disgust and even jealousy in their looks. The men especially, who seemed to run their eyes through her curves and drink in her beauty, with a dangerous hunger lurking behind their eyes. Slowly however she came to realise she had always felt like this among strangers. And that how she felt was more to do with her feelings towards herself than what others thought of her. The more time she spent with Nomad learning the Armada's way of life and indeed helping with the aftermath of the Bloodshed Uprising and the tool it had taken, the more she realised that they to were a family, a family like the one she had found with the Ether Foxes.
She heard much about the brutality the pirates brought against their foes and the devastation they caused with their plunder and assimilation tactics. But she heard many stories about freed slaves and indentured that were given an new lease on life and jumped at the chance to join those that fought their oppressors. She saw awe, respect, admiration and even gratitude in their looks to after a while. And it made her even more uncomfortable than she could have ever imagined. In the beginning she did not dare to leave Nomad's shadow and people appear to avoid her but slowly and steady she started to inteacr with the crews. One day an old shoulder woman kissed her hand and pushed an old Gek relic into her hand without saying a word. A young man shared some protein paste with her whilst working on repairs to the starboard rail guns. A few sols later a small child wandered from her parents and raised her tiny arms to the Fox to be picked up in the galleys of the engine rooms. She had a lump in her throat the whole day after that incident and only broke down in tears and violent sobs with the memories it brought back when she reached her quarters with Nomad.
As she used an old escalator to reach the lower levels of the aft section of the Rancour she shook her head and grinned. She remembered how he had let her cry in silent and stroking her hair with a calloused no saying a word. "They feel like holes in our soul, the losses we endure, but they are actually what keeps us together." He had told her eventually before she drifted to sleep. How this brute could speak to her soul and to her heart was a mystery to her. And so she stayed. Telling herself that with Finn dead, she had little else waiting for her and that a new path in her live opened in front of her. He made no efforts to try to know her or even understand her. He cared nothing for her past or the accumulation of experiences and hurts that made Lilith who she was. He took what he gave her and returned it in kind. Never assuming, never expecting or demanding, but drawing her ever close with his occasional words and actions that would sometimes made her feel like their was more to their union than the flesh they shared.
She crossed a small area that acted as market of wares for the lower levels of the Rancour, where traders and peddlers bartered their goods. The small crowd parted as the now familiar figure of Lilith crossed walked among the brethren. She wore a black exosuit that hug her sumptuous figure with dark green stripes over the outside of her legs and arms. Two twin barrel Turyonrader hand guns swung from holsters around her hips. The suit, a gift from the Black Finger Lodge. Over her chest hang the Khukri crossed knives necklace symbol of the first Archangel.
A shout came from a stall. "TA`ALA..." Lilith spun and caught an Ingara fruit thrown to her with lightening reflexes. The man bowed his head slightly and smiled. Many now referred to her in the old archaic Void word for Fox. Lilith smiled and continued her walk towards the new camp she had helped established. She would give the fruit to one of the little ones. Fresh fruit was quite rare in the Armada and the man could have traded it for at least 3 sol ration of protein paste.
Sometime later she arrived at section Emminbar. There was only a few families here, no more than 15 souls, but she was glad they had accepted the safe haven the Armada extended to all pirates and outlaws. Here in a corner of the Rancour, a few Ether Foxes would survive and live on. A couple of little ones ran in her direction as her familiar figure entered their enclave, laughing and shouting her name.
"Looks like everyone is back. Alright now I've been told by Ganymede squad that they've found a contract and it's mainly removing hostile wildlife." "I've also heard rumors of kind of supernova 649 light years away we'll head to surrounding systems and recruit the unfortunate souls."
"4 squads consisting of 4 members each will be dispatched to eradicate the beasts that terrorize the villagers." "We've also received funding from Titan Communications as well as a communications boost so we can report in from up to 800 light years away"
"Betelgeuse squad will continue finding work. and Arcturus squad will escort me to Alnitak Ammunition Stockpile"
"Report back in a weeks time and i'll have more orders DISMISSED!"
"Just stay where you are and let your fear subside. Just stay where you are if there's nothing to hide" -Rob Swire (watercolour) Pendulum
Holly walked down the hall of the COTA black ops living quarters. He was exhausted after and long and quite successful day of "sharding" as Kain liked to call it. As he reached his room he turned and pressed his palm into the panel and watched as it scanned his DNA. The door opened with a quick swish and Holly shuffled in. He proceeded to take his multitool out and put it in its locker and then removed his smaller back up blaster on the night stand. Holly sat down on the edge of his bed and stared at the floor.
His mind raced all over the galaxy it seamed, his thoughts just couldn't sit still. He thought of the Atlas shards, the start of the COTA, the Armada piliging it's way through the Galaxy, and even when it all started when he watched the U-bank fall on his home world. Holly was also filled with worry, the COTA was a small faction that was just taking root. The system they settled on was spared by the Armada for whatever reason but that made it a bigger target since its rescources weren't depleted. After the news of the Armad breaking up into smaller fleets he worried they would set their targets to smaller systems that were untouched. The fall of Ether Foxes(ProxyFoxFennec), a group almost 10x the zize of the COTA, didn't help calm him.
Holly shook his head to snap himself back into reality, too much to do to worry about 'what ifs'. He reached behind his head and pushed too little buttons on the side of his face mask. The mask opened with a quiet shhhhhh noise. The light blue pulsing imidiatly turned off and he reached up and pulled it off. He placed his mask on the nightstand next to his blaster and layed back into his bed. It was mere moments before sleep carried him off.
"All personnel please report the the meeting hall! I repeat all personnel report to the meeting hall!"
Holly awoke with a jump to the sound of the intercom. He rolled over and smiled, the voice was none other than the beautiful Celine. Holly looked up to the time projected on his wall, "Damn I was out for 2 hours!" He exclaimed. The quickly changed out of his black ops cloths into some casual pants and a red tee-shirt with a small Atlas logo on the left over his chest. 'What could Kain be announcing in the meeting hall?' Holly wondered to himself as he left his room and headed to the hall.
She reclined in the cool, moist atmosphere of the arboretum and gazed out at the desert vista beyond the Coryzygen glass of the biosphere. The muted browns and oranges of the craggy landscape dotted with the brighter colors of flowing cacti and bands of mineral laden rock were a far cry from the watery world she was born on and for which she was genetically modified. She thought that might be why it fascinated her. She glanced lazily around at the collection of blooms, blossoms, branches, and vines that grew in the arboretum’s hydroponic perimeter. Species as varied as the worlds from which she had plucked them grew here, reminding her of her life before she retired from the Scout Division. The squawk of the intercom startled her from her reverie. She almost threw her drink at the damned thing, making a mental note for the thousandth time to change that stupid alert tone. “Fueling and maintenance cycles of the Gray Lady are complete. Manifest and supply order are awaiting your seal.” The vibrato tones of Scientist Entity Kumho emerged with precision from the speaker. “Acknowledged.” She replied curtly. Kali unwound herself from her hammock and stretched languorously. Drink in hand, she walked to the down ladder. She stepped off into the opening still holding the glass in her right hand. Her feet spread to the sides, making contact with the smoky plexi-steel shielding. She descended in a fall controlled by the friction of her footgear, maintaining balance with body control and her free hand. She dropped through decks 3 and 2 then halted her progress by grabbing the top rung of the ladder as she reached the ground level. She stepped out of the ladder well without spilling a drop of her Lemurian brandy. The Gek was waiting for her, documents in hand. He smelled like smoked fish. She examined the supply order closely. Opok smelled too pleased with himself to be trusted. He reached for the PADD just as she found where he had padded the order for a little personal profit. His cachet changed to a sour, salty whiff of disappointment as she deleted the unauthorized items. Kali sealed the revised order with her thumbprint and handed it back to Opok. He waddled off to his station muttering unhappily. She walked to her quarters to change into her flightsuit. It still fit her like a glove, she wore virtually nothing else for so many years that she never felt quite right in anything else. She glanced at the transport portal as she passed, its swirling blue illumination made her skin crawl. It might be the most cost effective transport for goods to and from Tixlaqix Station, but the thought that a living creature might choose to have their atoms scrambled and shot across space-time seemed to her the height of senselessness. Dressed in her flight suit, she entered the Armory. Rendar was an exiled Vy’keen warrior. His appearance had been made even more unusual by the prominent scarring which laced its way across his face and neck. Radioactive contamination from the volatile elements with which he worked had eaten away one hand. That had been replaced by a prosthetic she had had Kumho design. “Interloper, I hope you appreciate what I have done for you!” He growled. “May you die with Hirk in glorious battle.” Kali replied in Vy’keen. “Interloper, you know nothing of honor!” Rendar barked, but his discomfort seemed marginally less. He held out a massive two-fingered paw cradling an elegant spike of dull grey metal set in a matte-black polymesh wrapped grip. Kali held the knife in her hand, feeling the heft and superb balance of the smaller version of a true Vy’keen style dagger. She slid it into the integrated sheath under her left arm of her suit. “The blade is an alloy of Titanium and Crolium, Rendar rumbled, it has a magnetic signature that is distinctive enough to be tracked by the right equipment. If you are hiding like a coward you may need to lose it. It is strong enough to pierce armor and keen enough to cut through anything except an interloper’s stupidity.” “Were you able to upgrade the multi-tool”, she inquired ignoring his last remark. The Vy’Keen extended his other massive hand, revealing a grey-toned multitool that sported a phased photon emitter, a plasma bolt chamber and a small projectile launcher. “A bit lighter, that’s good. What about capacity enhancements?” “Grah!” Rendar declared. 10 % improved mining laser duration, projectile homing, and spreadshot for the Boltcaster.” Kali was pleased. “Your family will honor you.” She told the scarred warrior. The sky was bright and hot as she stepped out onto the Launchpad and looked up at the Gray Lady. The Lady was a Class A Explorer whose exterior told the story of many journeys through vacuum and atmosphere. The web of tiny pox and scratches from interstellar dust and micro-meteor strikes, the faded patina of the registration markings bleached by the light of a hundred suns, the scuffed and worn down surface of the landing struts. Kali had spent a good portion of her life in there, and she loved it. Though she knew that Kumho was tediously scrupulous, she still went through a visual check of the ship’s exterior. It was a habit so ingrained that it had taken on the character of a ritual as necessary as physically climbing into the cockpit. She entered the cockpit and did a quick scan of the systems displays. She checked the coordinates for the jump to Urugawaraz IV. She had been offered a contract for courier work by a wealthy Gek trader but she was not in the habit of accepting blind commissions. Nor was she in the habit of letting clients know the location of her base of operations. The Urugawaraz IV station was one of several meeting sites she used that were remote enough from this base to maintain her privacy. Before the fall of the U-bank and the subsequent chaos, such measures had seemed excessive to some she dealt with. No one questioned it now.\ Kali keyed the launch thrusters and the Gray Lady rumbled off the launch pad and into the atmosphere. She felt the familiar pressure of acceleration as the boost engaged propelling her through the smoky clouds and into the black of space. She checked the coordinates again and engaged the warp drive engine. The world dissolved into streaks of luminous green, white and yellow light.
-"A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects." - Robert A. Heinlein
Elevations ship exited warp in the system called Urugawaraz IV. He set up a scan to locate the nearest space station and once was found he set the auto pilot to take him there. Elevation arose from his seat and walked back to where his sample jar was, if he wanted to accomplish anything with the bacteria he would need a hell of a lot more than what he had collected. He took the the jar and placed it in a cloning station that was commonly used in the medical field to clone areas of skin or intestines for patients who suffered extreme injuries.
Elevation returned to the cockpit while the machine duplicated the bacteria. He took back manual controls and piloted it to opening of the station where the blue attraction beam took over and pulled his ship in. Once he was docked he went back and saw that the first test tube was full of the glowing green substance.
"It has begun" Elevation said in a hushed voice. He pulled the test tube off the machine and pocketed it. He made his way through the station and after about 5 minutes of wondering he saw what he approached a restaurant that was flocking with customers. Elevation quietly slipped in and headed for the back kitchen. After scouring the kitchen he found a huge pot of soup and quickly poured the green bacteria in. 'That should do it', he thought to himself.
After Elevation slipped out of the kitchen unnoticed he waited for a waiter to carry a bowl of soup out to a table. It was a few minutes before a waiter came out and delivered the bowl to a Gek family. Elevation watched intently as the Gek father took a huge spoon full and ate. He watched in suspense as the Gek swallowed, "This is the best soup I've ever had!" He exclaimed and proceeded to dig in. Elevation got up and made his way back to his ship feeling a little sorry for the horro that is about to consume that family but shook that thought from his head and continued.
'No going back now', he thought to himself as he departed the station.