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 SC - Fugitives 
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava was anxious to be getting back to the planet and it wasn't soon enough for the dropship heading back to get prepared. But finally it had. She was surprised though when Wesker had intercepted her on the way to board it, handing her over a bottle of some sort. She glanced down at it as he passed it to her hands, her face currently maskless. She had taken off the mask shortly after the ship had been officially declared secured. Alcohol. That's what was in this bottle. Not something that she'd be drinking. Apparently that was something customarily given as a token of thanks though. Aged Whiskey he said? Well, perhaps Miranda.. or even maybe Nick wouldn't mind some.

She gave Wesker a look with a raised eyebrow at being called his lucky spook. She knew ghosts were sometimes nicknamed spooks, of course, but she was neither his nor did she consider herself very luck. She had worked for everything she had managed to do. She merely gave a small nod as she took the bottle more firmly in hand. "Thank you." she began, not knowing how else to respond. She was going to add more, about it being no trouble but.. well, it had been. Not to mention that what she was picking up from this guy was putting her on the defensive. He knew she was a Psionic, that she was a telepath but Wesker made no attempts to conceal his thoughts nor apologize.. or even explain them, which at least Nick had had the decency to.

She frowned. "Tempting offer but, sorry. Me and my friends have our own plans. Thank you for this," she said raising the bottle slightly, "and thank you for coming to the rescue in that hanger." He wished her a good journey at that and she headed into the dropship for the ride back to Dead Man's Rock.

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

During the flight back, Ava had taken the opportunity to get some well-needed sleep, curled up on one of the bench seats in the rear. A strong rumbling vibration had awoken the ghost, which shortly preceded the dropship pilot calling back that they were soon going to land on the planet. Ava stretched and headed up to the cockpit for the final approach. Soon enough, they were on the ground, the engines winding down. As the hatched was opened, Ava headed down. She still felt like she hadn't slept enough, her head was down, watching the ground as she headed over to where she could sense Miranda's presence. Drawing closer, she finally looked up and saw her friend for the first time since they had parted ways for the mission.

The change in Miranda's hairstyle was the first thing she noted, but that was quickly forgotten when she saw the state of her friend's face. Ava frowned at seeing the bruising and cuts. She heard Miranda both yell out her codename and scream out her real name through her mind and Ava winced at the strength of it. Even worse, Miranda threw her arms around Ava, hugging tightly. Hugging was not a terribly usual thing for the ghost, but that wasn't the issue. Ava flinched as her injured shoulder was squeezed too tightly against her pauldron, but she could feel how pleased Miranda was to see her again, and she was just as happy to be back with her friend. "Careful of the shoulder.." she said in a low voice to Miranda.

She glanced up as Mira Han's voice interrupted and it was then that Ava saw the bodyguard behind the pink haired woman who was just as beat up looking as Miranda, perhaps even more so. There was.. some sort of... The guard was surreptitiously keeping his eyes on Miranda. 'What's all of that about? You and that guard?' she sent psionically just before Miranda continued on explaining verbally what was going on, for the moment, avoiding answering the question. It was good news that the captives were safely off-world. She smiled just a bit at hearing that. Her smile grew even more to hear that Nick had gotten back safely as well. She wished he had been out here but, she supposed, he was watching their dropship.

She let Miranda lead her away, anxious to go and see Nick as well, though as they passed, the guard with the beat up face, made a move to speak to Miranda, which the doctor quickly rebuked. Oh! Ava finally got it, thanks to stray thoughts from both Miranda and the man. Ava suddenly felt extremely awkward, having picked up on that. It was, at least on Miranda's part, the sort of thing that had made Ava extremely uncomfortable back on New Sydney. Though she understood the... physical matters a little bit now... the lack of emotional connection still made her uneasy. It was Miranda's life though, Miranda's choice. Ava had needed Nick and all that he had brought to her, so she wouldn't judge whatever it was that Miranda had needed.

Ava nodded. "I want to go home too. Some cooldown time will be much appreciated..." she agreed but waved off the concern over her shoulder with a hand. 'It's not too bad. Just will need some ice I think. Took a bit of shrapnel too, a long plastic splinter but it should heal up fine. Banged the shoulder up a bit too so it's mostly the bruising that hurt.' she confirmed. It seemed to take too long to walk but eventually they arrived where the Sessrumnir was parked. Miranda opened the hatch and they made their way inside.

Nick was waiting just inside, his rifle close at hand just in case, as he didn't have the psionic powers of either of the two women. When he saw it was them, he rushed over. He couldn't help grinning at the smile that Ava gave him. The past two weeks he had been on edge. The dull travel time had left him with little else to think about than the ghost's well-being and safety. He ached to take her in his arms but was still hesitant, still rather letting Ava decide.

Ava pulled her rifle off her right shoulder, letting it slip to the ground for the moment and put her good arm around Nick, drawing him into the embrace she could feel he so dearly wanted. Mostly one-armed though wasn't enough and he pulled her tight. Again, something she would not have normally minded but it pained her shoulder. "Ow.." she said with a grimace. Interrupting Nick as he was about to ask what was wrong, she turned to Miranda. "You want to take a look at the shoulder now? Don't think there is much to do but ice it... but I wouldn't say no to some pain killers..." she said to the doctor.

She turned to Nick. "Help me get my armour off." she asked him as Miranda went to grab some medical supplies and/or equipment. Nick quickly moved to assist getting the two shoulder pauldrons plus the breastplate off which was carried over and got piled beside Ava as she sat down on one of the cots in the quarters area, waiting for Miranda to come examine it. With his help, Ava managed to pull down her environmental suit low enough on the left shoulder to expose it. This was the first she had seen of it since she had injured it.. twice. She couldn't quite see where the puncture had been, back against her shoulder blade, but the top and sides of the shoulder was an ugly deep splotchy purple.

Nick studied it too. "What the hell did you do?" he asked.

Ava sighed. "Well, apparently a battlecruiser going at full warp and then suddenly stopping without proper slowing procedures will through you around some. I knew it was coming and even still, I got thrown into a wall.. Just a little bit." she answered. She kept her green eyes on Nick as he moved around behind her, taking in the puncture. "Yeah, that's not from the same thing..." she said before he asked about it. "Someone got a lucky throw with a grenade. Well, at least almost lucky. It blew up some plastic crates and I guess I took some flakk from one.." she added. "That one isn't too bad. Shoulder blade stopped it. The bruising hurts more." she explained. She did jump however when he lightly poked at it. "Okay, okay.. it does hurt.... a bit." She craned her neck around further to meet his eyes. "How bad does it look?" she asked.

"Looks pretty clotted. It's not bleeding or anything... Still gotta say that looks like it hurts..." he answered as he came back around before her, just as Miranda was returning.

Ava gave the doctor a lopsided smile, gesturing to the shoulder with her head. "What do you think of that colouring?" she asked jokingly about the bruising.

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Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:49 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda was an adult and she didn't have to honestly explain what had transpired. She was a lone woman, stressed out and rather emotional at the time. It just happened as it sometimes does. In the heat of fury, they somehow had ended up sleepign together instead riding on teh elated adrenaline and emotions at the time. It was nice and relaxing, but at the end of the day she thought absolutely none of it. She wasn't one to simply sleep with random people for no reason, but sincei t happened she wasn't going to deny it. In either case, she wasn't planning on doing something like it again randomly.

Finally they had gotten back to the ship as Miranda went to the cockpit to pilot the ship and do pre flight checks, she left Ava and Nick who had their adorable reunion whil she was ensuring the ship was in tip top condition. Once that was confirmed she returned to the cargo area, nodding to Nick to get going to pilot the ship out of the planet.

"Well... at least you've got your arm still." Miranda commented as she took a seat on the side of the ghost and gesstured to her to turn to the side so her back was facing the doctor. Once that was done, she studied the injuries really in detail." Wow... a plastic actually punctured through the suit... were you at the end of your energy when it happened? Maybe we should invest into some balistic weave of some kind for add to the inside of the suit, to bolster defense." Miranda asked as she really carefully touched the damaged area to judge the extend of the damage and teh possibility of infection. There was a danger of infection actually.

"Hmm... well the blunt force trauma on the shoulder would stay with you for a week or two. The wound itself might be around for a little while longer, but it's... worse than it looks actually. I think from now on, You aren't going anywhere out of my sight without a proper kit to deal with injuries." The doctor said as she pulled the ship's medkit that was very well stocked, she made sure of it and from a small pill case she pulled 2 pills from it. One big capsule and a round pill." One's a broad spectrum antibiotic... wound is showing early signs of possible infection and it was actually dirtied... probably something from inside teh crate." Miranda commented." The other is to lessen the side effects of the antibiotic on the stomach." With that she also handed her a bottle of water. Once those were drank, she pulled a small syringe." I'm going to inject the location with anaestesia... need to clean it and it will be too painful otherwise." She explained and injected it really carefully, though because of hte injury and the imminent irritation from the startnig infection, it would hurt like hell even with the barely noticible syringe needle.

When the numbing started working, Miranda pulled the wound desinfectant and cleaning, pouring it over the loud as it started bubbling rapidly, with dirt and other materials were expelled from teh wound. It would sting slightly even through the numbing. When even that was over with, she pulled a small tube with some gel and carefully spread it onto the wound, before pulling a bandage and using a medicinal tape to get it in place." It will be fine... the antibiotic would stop the infection right now, though it should eat something to not be on empty stomach right now while it takes effect. In all cases, it would stop hurting from the stab in maybe 12 hours or so when infection vanishes and it would be just the pain of a wound being stretched adn the like." Miranda explained and started to put the medicinal things in the medkit again, but not before she pulled a pillbox and handed it over to Ava." Here, prevantive antibiotic. Next time you get wounded in a place you cannot clean by yourself and I or another doctor isn't close, take one of those. It would help from getting the wound infected. Doubly so if it's a zerg caused injury. Put it into one of the pockets of your utility belt or whatever. just have it at hand when needed. Shouldn't take more space than a singel canister shot."


Fri Aug 23, 2019 6:11 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava turned as the doctor asked, wincing as it stretched the wound and sore muscles. "Yeah, the piece of plastic was like a sliver, needle-sharp and thin... and yeah, I was just about out of energy when it hit me." she confirmed. "Wasn't just the power cell's energy, but mine too. I'd been cloaked for quite a while and... well, you know how part of that is me actually using my psionics to affect the fibres of the suit to cloak AND to strengthen it.. I could only choose to put my full concentration in one and at that time, the cloak had been a bit more important." she explained. She bit her lip as Miranda began to probe at the wound. "I think a ballistic weave still might have let something like this through though... it's more meant for something a bit blunter like a bullet." she added while wincing. "It was just unlucky. At least I didn't take the whole grenade...."

She had no illusions about the bruising on the shoulder. She was more than familiar with bruising, even on this scale. During her "training", she'd had plenty of it over the years. She glanced back over her shoulder though at hearing that the puncture would was worse than it looked. She mentally sent a questioning thought about that even as she listened to Miranda talk about carrying a medical kit. "Actually.... that's not a bad idea. Ghosts are actually sent into the field with a small first aid kid to treat their own injuries, but when we left, I only had what I needed for the training session I was in at the time..." Ava responded. "Didn't need a first aid kit for the shooting course I was on... though I was trained how to use the standard one, of course."

She accepted the pills then sighed as Miranda answered why the wound was worse than it seemed. "I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I don't even know what was in those crates or had been kept in them as I was kind of under fire at the time." Ava took the bottle of water and quickly washed the two pills down without question. The ghost hunched over forward, creating an easier work site for the doctor, not even flinching when Miranda stuck her with the needle. Truth be told, the bruising still hurt more than a needle, she thought in amusement. Then again, it was a broader ache that overwhelmed the more localized pains.

Within a minute, soothing numbness spread over the area, even taking away some of the bruise pain. Some of it. Well, enough that she could notice the difference. As Miranda worked, Ava would have almost dozed off had she not been in the awkward position, hunched forward. The lack of sleep not just over the previous couple of days but over the past two weeks was getting to her and now that they were finally in a safe, familiar environment, Ava was beginning to feel that she could let her sleep get some of that much needed sleep.

Soon enough, though, Miranda was finished debreeding the wound. Ava sat back up, wanting to stretch her arm and shoulder but deciding not to because of the new bandage over the wound. Her suit would be a bit of a pain to pull back up though. Would have to be careful not to disturb the dressing on the wound. For now though, she took the small case that Miranda gave her and began to pack it away on her belt. "I think maybe, the next time we get a mission, we should prepare a more typical first aid kid that a ghost would carry too." she suggested. "With some field dressings and the like... And that one gel that can help stop bleeding."

She flashed a glance at Nick who was kneeling beside her. She could tell he didn't like any of this talk about needing first aid supplies because that meant she could be injured, but being a soldier, he at least understood and so he didn't comment on it out loud. "It's a just-in-case thing." she told him almost under her breath, waiting for his reluctant nod, before she turned back to Miranda. The doctor had advised food to go with the pills she had taken but Ava was far more tired than she was hungry at the moment. She sent that mental, wordless thought across to Miranda, half-jokingly, almost seeking the parent-like admonition she knew she would get in reply.

"We are heading home now, right?" she asked. "What's going to happen with that other job, the bodyguard job, we had discussed before we accepted this one?" she asked. Ava frowned slightly. "For that matter, what about the pay from this job? Did we get it?"

Nick took that second question. "We got paid for the rescue. I handed it off to Miranda when I got back to Deadman's Rock." He gave a wide-eyed look. "We not only got what we were contracted for but that Governor gave us a bonus for bringing back his daughter alive, even if injured. He was really grateful that she was alive and mostly whole." he added.

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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
"Still not a bad thing to have." Miranda commneted about the balistic weave." Though getting a proper balistic weave setup for an enviromental suit might be a hard thing to find. It's not impossible, but probably going to be a while to find something like that. Might have to check the regular market for Enviromental Suits. After all not only ghosts use them, there's a wide market for regular ones out there, many different additions have been put on sale, might be able to find something there at least. OTehrwise we can get Alexander tinker on it." The doctor stated, she wanted Ava better defended without loss of performance or having the suit turn uncomfortable. One future possibility is personal shields like the toss, but those were possibly so far away that it wasn't even funny.

"This is just a back up..." She nodded at the pills she gave Ava." I will get you a proper combat first aid kit, that is suitable for a ghost to carry about size wise, later." Miranda explained. She was going to gather up, set up and arrange a perfect kit for the ghost, but htey had to get back to kalisti first. She didn't have all the supplies here, not that Kalisti was that much better supplied, but all the medicinal loot they got from Mengsk's base, most of it was on Kalisti. She had just set up the dropships with a decent kit for the travel. There was no need to lug around a big crate of medicine that takes so much space all hte time when it was needed. That why loses would be cut down as well if something happened to the ships and they lost them. As such only essentials and potential essentials were kept on the ships at all time. Which is to say, enough ammo to ressuply in case they ever needed to and a few backup rifles hidden away across the dropship.

"Payment has been secured. It will go ways to secure daily expenses, no worry." Miranda confirmed. There were already stuff to be bought and secured with that money. Stuff like food, clothing, misc consumables. THey still had a lot of bullets and the like so they didn't quite need to restock on those right away, but that mentioned it wasn't a bad idea. With the zerg danger getting worse even with the Overmind killed, pricess would skyrocket soon.

"Here... you may be tired, but you won't be going to bed on empty stomach, not on my watch." The doctor stated firmly with almost parental air about her as she handed Ava a protein bar. This however was not your regular run of the mill protein bar! It was a special strawberry flavored protein bar! It even had an adroable drawing of a strawberry on the wrapper." Nick, your responsibility to make her eat it all before falling asleep!" Miranda suddenly handed the duty to the boyfriend as she put away the medkit and headed for the cockpit.

There was a long journey ahead of them as luckily they had a stealth ship to bring them off this world. Dead Man's Rock... she sure as hell wished she wouldn't be back here anytime soon. Some of the stuff she went through the last 2 weeks wasn't nice, it wasn't that bad, but not nice at all. She wasn't happy with how Mira Han ran stuff, she wans't horrible though. Miranda was pleasantly surprised that Mira Han was rapidly turning Paradise to ever safer location and one ruled by law rather than anarchy of drugdens. Granted it was her law, but it wans't too bad for regular people. In fact Han had already gotten her help with setting a massive refugee camp for the people who appear to the planet running away from teh zerg.

In either case, Miranda set up the warp drive and had the ship Warp away, just as she watched a ship flying the mark of O'Bannon on the side, jump away towards somewhere. Miranda could only assume he was searching for the BC. Ohh well, the doctor was happy, The psi-emitter was gone, that madman was dead and all was good on that front.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It's been about two weeks and they could finally see the familar sights of Kalisti from orbit. The planet as usual was covered completely by snowstorms as she pilot them into the atmosphere. Miranda was in a good mood because Ava's wound was healing rather nicely. They had also spend some time in one of the refuiling stations that was orbiting a gas giant in a system that was uninhabited, but since it was a transit point, it had it's own space platform for travelers to dock to, rest, resupply and the like. It wasn't a bad thign. In either case, Miranda noted that actually for a change, the skies above their town weren't snowing... it was as usuall impossible to actually see the sky from the heavy clouds, but it wasn't snowing. INstead it was a clean white day, somewhat dark because well heavy curtain of clouds blocked a lot of the sun, but it wasn't night pitch black either.

"Home sweet home." Miranda said as she landed the ship on the heated platforms that were devoid of snow.


Sat Aug 24, 2019 6:59 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava frowned at listening to doing any sort of tinkering with her suit. Alexander might have been a talented engineer for ships and whatnot but.. a ghost's suit was something very, very specific. The psionic-reactive material was very, very particular tech and Ava wasn't keen to risk any chance of breaking that function, especially since her current suit had only been obtained by killing a Shadowguard. True, she did have a backup suit but, the Umojan design was so much superior to her old training gear. She could understand why Miranda wanted the ghost's gear to be a bit better in terms of defense but.. that was never really the main point of ghost gear. Invisibility, agility and her own extended senses were more important than armour, and Ava was just a bit doubtful that her gear could do all of that better at the same time.

Ava took the protein bar from Miranda almost reluctantly but inside was a sense of smug victory, like a child who had gotten what they wanted all along but didn't want to show it outwardly. Ava, holding it now, sat staring at the packing with reticence. Though she was tired, she did like these particular protein bars... she just didn't want to admit it at the moment. She made to object, just more out of the principle of the matter but Nick cut her off as Miranda headed to the cockpit.

"You are going to eat that." he ordered her. "When was the last time you ate anything?"

Ava paused, her brow furrowing as she really had to think about it. "Before they snuck me onto to the battlecruiser, I had an MRE that was lying around, so.." She trailed off as she calculated. "Has to be close to twenty hours ago?"

Nick rolled his eyes then took the bar out of her hand, unwrapped it, then forced it back into her hand. "Eat. Now." he ordered. "With that empty of a stomach, you really wouldn't like what the antibiotics are going to feel like..." he added, running his hand along the side of her face.

Ava gave him a beset smile. "You know, I was going to eat it.."

"Yeah, uh huh..." came the sarcastic reply.

"I was!" she protested. "I just... have to keep up my image as a super-human ghost..." she added with a wide-eyed deadpan expression. She caught the look he shot her. "Okay, okay! I'm eating!" she said, taking a big bite of the bar. She quickly finished the bar, a bit sad because she would have liked to savour it but.. she had actually been that hungry. She rubbed at her face, then started to take the rest of her armour off, specifically the large boots and hip and belt pieces, piling them up with the gloves, breastplate, shoulder plates and mask near the lockers. She turned back to her cot, staring at it for a long minute.

"What's wrong?"

She gestured at the cot. "These things really aren't made well to sleep on your side... and I'm not sure I'm keen on trying to sleep on my back with how my shoulder is starting to feel again now that the pain killer is wearing off..." she answered.

Nick held up a hand and began gathering some of the blankets and two of the three pillows, then led her over to a corner area where there were benches. Instead of using the actual benches, he piled the pillows and blankets on the floor in the corner and then sat down himself with his back in the corner. He motioned for Ava to join him on the side where her right side would be against him, leaving the injured left shoulder from pressing against anything. Ava cozied herself up against him, really beginning to feel the tiredness now. It was more than just from her, she realized.

"When was the last time you slept?" she asked him sleepily, his tiredness definitely affecting her too.

Nick half shrugged. "Flying that dropship for two weeks single-handedly, I didn't want to spend too much time not monitoring what was going on... so... it's been a while since I've had a decent sleep." she answered.

She could feel it was more than just that though. He had had trouble sleeping from worry about her. Well, he didn't have to worry now, and Miranda was currently flying. "I think we can both use a nap then." she said, curling up to him more tightly. She was asleep in what felt like seconds and Nick dropped off not long after.

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

Ava had been in the rear of the ship, stretching and going through a light workout when Miranda's mental message came to her from the cockpit. The ghost stood, rolling her shoulder, testing its mobility. Pretty much back to normal. There was a slight tugging at the puncture wound, though it was healing nicely and only the dimmest ache from the bruising, an ache that was easily ignorable at this point. Over the past two weeks, the colour of the bruising had changed as well and now it was the sickly yellows and greens of a bruise on its way out. Terrible looking but almost healed away.

She entered the cockpit, leaning against the co-pilot's seat where Nick was currently sitting, and she rifled her fingers gently through his hair for a second, giving him a smile when he looked over, which he returned. As the ship descended through the atmosphere of Kalisti, Ava noted that it was one of the more rare 'good' days. "See, Nick? It doesn't always snow.." she said in amusement. "But those clouds aren't that great looking... the weather might not last long. Hmm.. I have a theory. Whenever you are on Kalisti, it's non-stop blizzard. We go away, it stops... maybe it's you." she teased.

Nick gave her an amused look. "But, Skadi, you're the one that has the power over winter..." he answered. When he had had to choose a code name, he had had Ava go over the background of her own code name too.

Ava was about to say something in return but stopped, thinking it over. He did have a point. The goddess she had chosen represented winter amongst other things. "I guess.... you're right..." she answered eventually with a shrug and a chuckle. She looked over at Miranda as they touched down. "So, how long are we at home for this time?" she asked. "Was that other contract time sensitive or are we going to be planetside for a while?"

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Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:46 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
"The second contract actually got taken in the meantime while we were dealing with the stuff on Dead Man's Rock, so we are here for at least a week while I'm searching for a new job." Miranda said to Ava as she turned off the ship's systems until it was compeltely dead and then headed off to the lockers. She pulled her bag from the locker and tossed it over her shoulder.

"Let's go, we can rest for now." She added as they disembarked the ship and she closed it afterwards. Alexander was going to come over to check it as usual, she was sure, but he had access codes of his own, so he could enter whenever. In any case, this 'clear' weather was actually very rare and a cause for celebration. In fact this celebration wasn't unnoticed by the locals as it came to be realized the moment they passed by the landing control room and saw the way to the village's center. The usual empty and heavily covered in snow ton center was actually cleared up, presumably by machinery, but it was cleaned. Additionally a lot of temporary stalls were set up, people were actually set up for a fair of sorts! There was food being offered, trinkets of different kinds, other stuff for barter and many more. Prices were of course basically just a symbolic, nothing too grand, this was all simply for enjoyment and celebration, set up so EVERYONE can enjoy them, even the poorest in the settlement. Still the small amount of money that was collected was put for use for good use like buying more medicine or the like.

"Well this was... unexpected... ehh wait... I think they told me something about something like this a while back...." Miranda said when she saw the events happening. She didn't pay much attention to the town's center when they were descending, cause she was approching from a tricky angle and she didn't look in the direction, but it was a pretty big thing actually. Hell there even seemed to be a huge pyre that was being set up in the center for later.

Some of the locals saw them and started waving with happy flushed up faces. Faces were flushed up from both the cold air and the wine, mead and the other few alcoholic beavareges they had about." Welcome back!" The tailor of the town called Miranda and crew as she came closer and handed them over 3 knit scarves. It was obvious they were machine knit and not hand knit, but the woman wouldn't have the time to knit enough scarves for everyone in the colony." Gift for you all, this is the first time you are actually present at the 'Summer Festival' right?" The woman asked with a happy laugh.

"Yeah... Why summer though?" Miranda asked, mildy amused at the irony.

"Well, it's what the settlers called it from the moment they came here. Well it's actually the first clear day of the season. Kalisti as you basically know only have 'winter' season all year round. Well not quite true. Starting from a week ago for the next 3 months, the weather cleans up a little. It's still snowy and cold, but with less blizzards and more days where it's not snowing. This Summer Festival is the first Clear day of the season." She explained as she gestured them to join the festivities. There were many a different things to take part of. For example the guys who were dealing with the hunting game, were selling out roasts and nice pelts. There were games for the children of different kinds and much much more.


Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:39 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
While Ava was a bit disappointed they had missed out on the other contract, given the choice of the two, this one had very likely been the more interesting and action-filled one. The other had sounded like simply bodyguard duty.. which probably had had a fair chance of being routine. Which also meant tedious. So, as she thought about it, Ava figured they had gone with the better assignment in the end, despite the injuries. But now was downtime, at least a week as Miranda had said. Though Ava liked Kalisti, she had quickly found that there wasn't much to do on the snow planet. Or much to see. Before Nick had arrived, the ghost had been nearly going stir-crazy at the lack of things to do. Well, at least she had a few more options now, she thought to herself.

She made a thoughtful sound in her throat before speaking. "So how many of these jobs do we need to do before we can... proceed with the primary mission?" she asked curiously. She wasn't used to the idea of having to go in such roundabout ways to get the objective, or at least not for such a drawn out amount of time. The target was Arcturus Mengsk. Her first instinct was merely to go to Korhal, set up an ambush and one shot would be all she needed. Of course, it wasn't really that easy to GET to Korhal in the first place. Probably. They needed to grow their operations to eventually gain that chance. So she had been told. And somehow, these jobs would be helping them to grow their operations? Ava shrugged mentally. She did as she was told. If Miranda said this would eventually gain them Mengsk's head, then Ava would do it, tedium or not.

Ava moved to follow Miranda back after the ship was powered down, pausing only long enough for Nick to get up and follow as well. The ghost moved over to her own locker, grabbing her bag and then quickly began to fill it with her gear that was still in a pile on the deck nearby, though donning the armoured boots. She glanced down at her environmental suit, frowning. She could have easily just walked to their house with only the suit on... but her identity as a ghost was still something kept from all the Kalisiti people with the exception of Doctor Byrne. Well, Byrne and Alexander, now that the tech had taken up residence here too. She glanced up at Miranda, sending a thought psionically. 'Do I have to keep hiding what I am here? From the people of Kalisti?' she asked as she pulled on the long coat that had also been in her locker.

Finally everything packed up, Ava and Nick followed Miranda off the ship, closing it up behind them. Ava scoffed at the idea of rest. "I've rested enough for the past two weeks on the ship." she complained quietly.

Nick reached up, squeezing her shoulder, fairly gently but it was enough to cause Ava to flinch and make a small sound of discomfort. "You so sure you don't need to rest up a bit more?" he asked.

Ava glanced over at him, with an annoyed look for a moment, wanting to make a retort but... he was right. She was currently carrying both her rifle and her back on her right, uninjured shoulder and it wasn't the most balanced way to carry her loads. Had her left shoulder been better, she would have been using it for her bag. And that was an innocuous example of what she couldn't do right now. She knew she wasn't in top form at the moment. Another week would probably fix it up as good as new. He was right. She signed in resignation. "I guess I could use a few more days to heal up more..." she conceded.

She paused outside the ship for a second. The clear air felt.. warmer than she remembered it being on Kalisti. Not that it was warm, but.. the biting chill that was usually present seemed to have lost some of its teeth. Hmph. As they made their way into the city centre, there was a more definite sign of change. The area had been cleared of snow and people were out in.. droves, or at least what counted as droves on Kalisti. It looked like the whole population was out here and there were booths all around. It was unlike anything Ava had ever seen, though from what she was picking up from both Miranda and Nick, they understood the concept of what was happening and were excited about it. Yet again, it was something that seemed a part of normal experience that she had missed out on; she was out of the loop in terms of social customs once again, she thought, frowning.

"What IS this?" she asked when Miranda said she had been told something about this a while ago. She didn't get much of an answer before some of the townspeople came rushing over to greet them, giving them each some sort of... long, rectangular piece of cloth in an assortment of colours. Ava looked at the item she had been given, unsure about what it was. She gave the woman who had handed it to her a polite smile and a thank you at the mention that, whatever it was, it was a gift and that was the appropriate response.

Ava was looking all around, frowning as she tried to see what she could, still not understanding some of it. "I get that these people are in a.. happy mood because of the better weather... I can feel it, but... I... don't understand what's going on. What's with the... gifts? These pieces of cloth?" she asked, confused, her voice quiet enough for Miranda and Nick to hear but not for the locals that had come closer. "Why are many of the adults intoxicated? What are those children doing?" she added about the kids playing games. She motioned towards the stands. "What are all of these for?"

( Poor Ava doesn't know what childrens' games are o_o, nor what a scarf is XD.. or even what a fair is.... )

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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
"Ahhh..." Miranda made a sound of realization as Ava started asking questions in a rapid manner. She had almost forgotten that the ghost had a lot of catching up to do." This is... actually a good thing!" She suddenly exclaimed as she took the gift that Ava was given and very gently helped her put it on in motherly fashion." This is a gift. It's called a scarf, made from wool or other clothes." She smiled." It's used to wrap around hte neck, to keep warm in teh cold winters."

"On many worlds people have different holidays. Days of the year that they would celebrate for one reason or another." Miranda explained as she looked at Ava with a kind smile." On such a day, people rest, they have fun, they often exchange gifts. Adults allow themselves to enjoy a hearthy drink and meal saved for special occasions, children are allowed to spend the day often playing and many other similar things. The stalls are the people who produce goods that sale them on this case on symbolic prices. It's a good thing to experience." She smiled, especially for Ava who probably never have felt such a concentration of joyous emotions and happy thoughts.

Miranda looked about and saw a bunch of children that were using toy bb guns to shoot at bottlecaps target that were attached to a wall on a device that could obviously spin to add difficulty, but it was turned off cause the children really weren't that good at shooting cause well they never shot a gun. Children on Kalisti were well protected, people cared for them and naturally they wouldn't be allowed to venture out of the town where the wild creature could endanger them." Hey, Nick, Ava why don't you two go there and teach the kids how it's done, I'm sure they will be happy." Miranda asked as she patted the two of them on the shoulders with a wink.

Truth was that for whatever reason the kids here on Kalisti REALLY liked Ava, more so than they liked Miranda. The doctor didn't have a decent logical explanation for this, but she suspeted it was subconcsious on some level. Ava had this innocent side to her that children seemed to like.

Meanwhile Miranda instead headed for a nearby stall where they were selling heated alcohol and bought herself a cup. It was made from some of the few fruits that grew around Kalisti even with all the snow. It was a hard to find adn some of the locals were growing them, but it was hard and there weren't many of them. So this was indeed a drink that could be drank only on special occasions. There was naturally more offworld stuff like whiskeys and so on, but this one was local specialty after all.

Looking at the joyous surroundings, Miranda was overtaken by a rare feeling of being content right now. She could spot Alexander and family already having a blast of it, though his wife was a tad heavierly dressed than usual, on account of her being pregnant for sure. Alexander was quite the protective and loving husband. Going by the talk of the people at the stall with the alcohol, the heaters scattered about the clearing were his handy work. Apparently he had repaired more than half of them since they were steadily breaking down for years now and he had fixed them all for this. There was nothing else that was needed right now, Miranda just let herself enjoy it. She needed something nice, warm and fuzzy like this. Especially after 2 weeks of working for Han. She had about had it with that mercenary crew.

Out in the vast expanses above Kalisti something huge appeared for a moment. A weird ship of alien design that stood there having seemingly appeared from nothing. It didn't move or act for a long time, still hidden from teh sensors of the planet below it. Instead after a while, it shimmered out, blurring and finally vanishing from view as it left this world behind, moving into the void.


Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:18 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava froze as Miranda took the long piece of cloth and began winding it around the ghost's neck. She knew there was no threat involved in the action, especially with it being Miranda but.. it felt awkward. She frowned, pulling the scarf a bit more loose around her neck. "Seems like a good way to get choked by someone sneaking up behind you.." she answered. "If I had to take someone down and they were wearing one of these things, that would be an easy way to do it... It seems like it's just giving an assassin an easy option to kill you."

Nick shot her a look, thinking she was joking at first but frowning when he realized she wasn't. "I.. don't think I've ever heard anyone else theorize how dangerous scarves are to wear.." he said slowly.

Ava raised an eyebrow back at him. "And how many people do you know who were trained to be assassins from childhood and would be hunted until captured or killed if their location made it back to certain people?" she asked. Even had she not been trained to be always wary and aware of her surroundings, the threats against her should the Dominion ever find out that she was still alive and where she was, was very real. Kalisti was a quiet, safe corner of the sector but if the Dominion found out she was here, it wouldn't remain so for very long.

Nick signed. "Point taken." he answered, but pulled her closer with an arm around her shoulders and gave a kiss to the side of her head. "But a scarf here is just a scarf, not a dangerous weapon, and besides, it looks pretty on you." he added.

Ava couldn't help but smile. "Fine. I'll wear it.. for a little bit..." she conceded. She turned back to listen to Miranda begin talking about the rest of what was going on. Holidays. There had been times at the Academy when the staff had been reduced to skeleton crews, when certain social.. observances were going on. But what had been called holidays had never directly affected Ava's own schedule. Such days had been treated as any other day by those who commanded her. "So.. it's a day meant to forget the rigours of daily life and... just enjoy oneself?" she asked. It made sense. Everyone needed a break from routine every so often. It made even more sense here, being able to do so when the break from the months of blizzards and storms arrived, being able to take a day just to enjoy the better weather and revel in the friendship and shared bonds within this community who had chosen to live on a harsh world.

She could feel the mood of the people around. The people of Kalisti generally were in good cheer, a way of standing up against the bleakness that this planet could offer, but today... there was an almost wild abandon to happiness and enjoyment being projected out, something that Ava had never felt on such a scale. It made her feel... happy that these people were happy. They were good people. They deserved to feel like this, she decided. She glanced over at Miranda, then at Nick. Hell, they deserved to be this happy and carefree too. They had just been on a mission to save lives.. and they had. It had been a tough mission but they had done what they had set out to do and they had did it well. So why not celebrate that success too? The one issue was... Ava had very little experience in how to celebrate a success. By her training, a success was expected and was treated as such. She didn't want to live by that creed though and she vowed to change in that at least.

Ava frowned when Miranda suggested that she and Nick go over to the kids and help them. She was still quite uncomfortable around children, not knowing how to treat them properly and had usually kept her distance from them. It hadn't only been that though that made her keep her distance. Their minds were innocent and she.. she was a killer. She didn't want any of what she was to... corrupt them. She was going to object but Nick began to drag her over, coaxing the ghost to go and help. All the good cheer was influencing her and she knew it, making her not want to be contrary and get into an argument over it so she let herself be pulled to where the kids were shooting at a target.

Stopping just behind the kids, Ava put down her bag, studying the current child holding the weapon. Terrible stance.. not controlling breathing, finger wrapped too tightly around the trigger... the child had it all wrong. The child, a boy of perhaps twelve years, shot, one of the small metal pellets hitting nearly a food away from the target. Another shot barely corrected the awful aim. Ava made a dissatisfied sound with her tongue. The group of six kids turned. Ava gestured. "Let me see that gun for a second." she said, waiting till the boy handed it to her.

She could feel them looking at her with.. awe. She supposed that she had always remained aloof but there was still something these children were drawn to when it came to her, what she wasn't sure. Their parents had been wary of the ghost for a span after they had arrived on Kalisti which had made Ava seem far more interesting to these children though and... to be honest, though she was calm and confident, she wasn't really all that much older than these children. The boy, she was perhaps ten years older than, but some of the other children were much closer to her age, being perhaps only four or five years older than the oldest present.

Ava turned the pellet gun, studying it with the experience of one who handles weapons, testing its balance, its aim, its weight. It was obviously a toy, not meant to be a true weapon.. but those were not obstacles but merely variables she took into account as she aimed the gun. She let out her breath and very lightly caressed the trigger. Bing! The pellet hit her target, one of the bottle caps, dead centre. Two more shots followed in quick succession, hitting the another target and another target. She fired one more, hitting yet another target dead on. She lowered the rifle, turning to the kids with a hint of a smug smile.

"How did you shoot like that?", "Can you teach us?" followed by a chorus of pleading for her to teach them came in the wake. Most of them, while not knowing what she was, knew as did all the other townspeople, that she routinely hunted the "wolves" while planetside, something that very few people did and no one else did as effectively as she.

Ava handed the rifle back to the boy who had had it before. "Hold it up, rest the butt against your shoulder..." she instructed. "Keep your feet separated, one slightly forward.. you need to brace your weight against the recoil... A bit more... Good." she told him, correcting his posture. "See how you can see down the sights better now? Line up the first target with that sight.. at this distance, there won't be any bullet drop so you don't need to compensate.. No wind either..." she explained. "No, don't put your finger over the trigger like that. You're holding it too tightly. Just the very tip against it... Don't squeeze it, just pull it back gently when you are ready to fire... and let out your breath just before you do... and hold it..."

Bing! The first target swayed as it was hit. Ava urged the boy to the next target. He wasn't nearly as fast as she had been but his second shot eventually hit as well, as did his third. The boy turned, his eyes wide as he looked at Ava in surprise, passing the BB gun off to the next child. "That was... that was easy.." he said. "I would have never thought of doing those things different but.. I did and I could hit the targets like.. every time!" he added excitedly. "How did you learn that stuff?"

Ava froze, not knowing how to answer. She glanced for a second over at Nick. "I am.. I was.. well am kind of a soldier I guess." she answered finally. "I learned all about weapons. I started learning about them even before I was your age..."

The next child, an older girl, had stepped up to the firing line and using Ava's previous instructions, was now also hitting the stationary targets with more ease. After a few shots, she had passed the rifle on. She then turned to Ava. "Can you teach us about more of this stuff? About more weapons? Maybe real rifles? I want to be able to help going after the wolves... and helping to keep the town safe from them."

Ava frowned as the rest of the kids joined in, begging for her to teach them. "Uh... I don't know that that's a good idea..." she replied slowly. Teaching these innocent kids about weapons would be the first step towards.. them losing their innocent natures. Towards maybe one day having to kill. Even killing animals took something from you. People were worse but.. even the wolves did too. Even if Ava was drawn to hunting the wolves, she still knew that she was paying a price for doing so. "I don't think your parents would approve." she added as an excuse. That excuse wouldn't work, she realized, when she felt the older girl's thoughts of asking her parents to ask Ava to teach her, that some parents on this world would approve of their children having the means to defend themselves if it became necessary. Well, that would be something to deal with later, she guessed. Ava sighed, closing her eyes for a moment. "We'll see.." she said.

Nick, standing beside Ava, chuckled, kissing her temple. "There's nothing wrong with being a soldier, of having the means to protect.. especially protecting those you care about..." he told her quietly, watching her eventually nod at that. He also noted that the boy who had been taught first was eyeing Ava, not just in awe but what looked like the beginnings of a harmless, childhood crush on an older woman, something he was finding a bit amusing at the moment. The kiss Nick had given Ava had not been unnoticed by the boy either.

The boy gave a look at Nick then turned to Ava. "Is he your boyfriend?" he asked.

Ava looked over at Nick, then back at the boy in surprise. She still thought the term 'boyfriend' was an odd one but, she understood the unsaid meaning behind the simple words of the phrase now. "Yeah... he is." she answered, sensing the boy's obvious disappointment at the answer, obvious but confusing to her at least.

One of the younger girls joined in the conversation. "Are you two going to get married?" she asked, perfectly innocently. "My mommy said that if two people love each other, they get married. Like my older sister is going to tomorrow." she added.

That really stumped Ava. Marriage was something that she really didn't know or understand much about. She vaguely knew that certain couples were.. married, like Alexander and his wife, for instance but... that was the extent of what Ava knew about it. Not how it was done, what it involved, what the requirements were for such a thing... She was barely becoming comfortable with where they were at right now. It hadn't been all that long really since she had been able to admit that what she felt WAS love towards Nick. What was even worse is she could feel Nick's interest in the question too... and his conflicting thoughts over it. And his fear over how she might answer.

She reached down, taking Nick's hand in hers, holding it tightly but gently caressing it as she thought of how to answer. She didn't want to commit to something she certainly wasn't ready for but at the same time, had to be careful about Nick's feelings too. She could feel that he didn't want to answer either because he was worried about the same kinds of things. That actually did make her feel better. "We do love each other but... " she trailed off. How could she explain to children that she still needed to understand things about herself, about the world in general? About needing to learn how to open up and not be always on guard?

Thankfully Nick came to the rescue. "But we met only a little while ago and are still getting to know each other first." he answered.

Ava took a relieved breath. While it wasn't exactly true, it worked as an excuse and she could feel from Nick that he knew that she knew why both of them weren't ready for such a step. The answer seemed to satisfy the little girl. A few of the slightly older kids looked disgusted at the idea of romantic stuff... and the oldest girl there, probably seventeen or eighteen years old, was looking at Nick with interest. Thankfully Ava knew Nick's mind and knew how he felt about her, letting Ava feel secure in their relationship.

She picked up her bag from the ground, wanting to put some distance between herself and these kids right now. "Why don't you all go back and practice your shooting. We just got back from a long, tiring trip and need to go put our bags away back at home." she said, urging Nick away with telling the kids they would see them around.

When they were walking by themselves, Nick leaned his head in towards her. "You're okay with what I said, the answer about..." he began.

Ava nodded. "They can understand what you said at least. I mean... I'm not saying I wouldn't want... but... I know you well enough already but, there is still so much I need to learn about.. other things. About myself. About how to be.. a person.." she trailed off. She could feel his confusion at that. It was so hard to put to words. "The inhibitor, I guess... for so long, I wasn't in control of myself."

"Marriage wouldn't mean that I would control you.." Nick began.

"No, no.. that's not what I mean.. " Ava interrupted, realizing she had put it wrong. She sighed. "The inhibitor cut off my emotions for so long; I'm still learning.. how to feel. How to feel emotions and deal with them like a normal person..." she explained. "You know how you hesitate around me.. How you fear scaring me off with any action or gesture that is too forward..." she continued. She laughed a small laugh at his reaction to that. "Of course I feel that..." she answered without him saying anything.

"I can feel your thoughts a lot better than most other people's now, with the exception of Miranda, though she has a bit Psionic too." she added in a quiet voice as the walked. "But you hesitate with me... Waiting for me to make the first move a lot of the time. And that's because I am.. guarded, defensive. I know I am. I.. do fear my own emotions at times. I realize that. And it's because I'm still getting used to them, to feeling...." she explained. "It's been a few months now without it but.. after over ten years with that damned inhibitor... it takes time, I guess..."

They had made it to the front steps of the home they shared with Miranda. Ava stopped, turning to Nick, staring into his eyes with a thoughtful frown. "I don't want to be guarded anymore... but with what we are going to have to do, a part of me wonders if it's better to remain so.... If one or the other of us won't... come out of this in the end..." she said. "If guarding myself will save me pain later on... well, I don't care now. I want to live, for now. For you. For Miranda even. If I die because doing this makes me soft... then.. so be it."

Nick frowned. "Is that what you thought? That opening yourself up would.. make you lose your edge?" he asked.

Ava laughed a small, humourless laugh. "Part of it, I guess... I haven't really thought it all out in detail... When you have a perfect weapon, why risk changing the way its already balanced, I guess..."

"You're not a weapon..."

She laughed again. "There are a lot of people out there who would disagree..." she answered, then paused. "I AM a weapon.. but I am not only a weapon.... and I want to be able to explore the rest of that, the rest of me... and I do want you here with me to help me figure that out too." she said finally. "And I want you to not have to feel like you have to hesitate or.. reserve yourself with me... Maybe I did need that before, up till now but.. I just want to be treated like any other person now..."

Nick ran his hand under her hair, around the back of her neck, holding her gently. "You aren't just any other person though..." he said, drawing her towards him and kissing her.

After the long kiss, Ava drew back, almost speechless, trying to make sense at the strength of emotions. She couldn't help the smile on her face though, a smile that Nick shared too as they gazed at each other. Finally she found words, telling him that she loved him, which he responded in kind. Though she wanted to be alone with him right then, it was time to be a bit more sociable with the community that they were now a part of. "I suppose we had better dump our bags then and go and... what's the word? Mingle?" she asked, as she keyed the code into the keypad to open the front door. They put their bags inside, Ava wanting to leave her bag in the safety of the house because it contained not only her ghost armour but the psi-screen in a case AND the bottle of whiskey that Captain Wesker had given her. Once the bags were inside, they closed and locked the door again, heading to find where Miranda had gotten to.

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Sun Sep 01, 2019 7:23 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
It's been a few days since they arrived on Kalisti. The holiday ended in a grand celebration of joyous laughter and dances around the huge pyre, dances and celebrations that suddenly turned into shouts and even more laughter, and amusement as the weather suddenly changed and it started snowing heavily for a little while again. Sure the weather was generally milder in this period, but it didn't mean it had stopped snowing for good. It wasn't a full deadly blizzard, nor did it had heavy winds. It was just heavily, but gently snowing directly downwards. People didn't stop the end of the celebration and instead danced around hte pyre in the snowing weather. It was a grand jolly occasion that warmed the heart with the degree of resident happy thoughts that were projected in the whole colony.

After that things had mostly returned to their regular schedules just without the deadly blizzards for a while. It was more clear than usual and even when it was snowing it was weaker and without heavy winds. All in all it was an idealic situation that made Miranda spend a whole lot of time on the next few days sitting by the window by a heater, watching it snowing outside and the occasional going on visit to the neighbors and the like to leave Ava and Nick some privacy, she even took the psi-screen sometimes.

In these calm and peaceful days, Miranda was busying to a degree at least with setting up their next course to follow. The job on Umoja to try to take out Mengsk was a bust. In fact while they were dealing with the stuff on Deadman's Rock, he had visited Umoja. News and rumors had it that it was a mess, apparently confederate remnants showed up. There were fighting and even mini Mengsk made a move. She still regretted not having seen for herself what his son was like. If he was like his father, she wouldn't mind killing him to safe the sector another one.

There were a few other random events happening, she was sure for a while there might have been some kind of psionic presence in the vicinity, but it vanished after a while with no traces and even Ava hadn't found anything or anyone. This reminded her of the dark templars. Well it was entirely possible one to show up and go about without anyone noticing, it was their forte after all and Kalisti didn't have the advanced sensor towers of any kind to check for such presences. That was a couple of days ago though, nothing had happened so she suspected they might have been curious about Ava or the toss tech they were installing in the colony's systems for protection. Probably wasn't their friend from a while back, she wondered what the Nerazim woman was doing now.

In either case, Miranda had decided on their next course of action. With some chats with Mark, a lil bit of info pulled from Mira Han's servers, other general data she gathered that was avaible, she had triangulated the coordinates of the potential BC they could salvage some nukes from. It's condition was likely unsalvagable, but if it wasn't looted, it should have a few nukes laying about. Though a thouht ran through ehr mind, a rather optimistic one, what if the ship was salvagable? That was rather exciting thought, but Miranda shook her head. Even if it was, the 3 of them wouldn't be able to salvage it on themselves now would they? And a ship of that size would take a whole lot more than 3 people to actally run. The minimal skeletal crew they'd need is something the size of the Regulars. She then thought of something else.

"Hey Nick, Ava, come here for a moment." Miranda called loudly for them, waiting in the armchair by the window, watching the snowing skies outside." Nick, are the Regulars interested in updating some of their base tech? I seem to recall they were trying to at least upgrade their old BC's weapons and shields." Miranda asked, throwing a look at Ava." We've got the traces and leads on that ship. Mark came through with the data of it's last course. Apparently he knew a guy or something." She shrugged, the old man had connections, she gave him that. Apparently those didn't die out while he was a slave, maybe they even deepened." He confirmed, officially and unofficially none of his contacts have stated they've salvaged the ship. Some crews outright vanished while attempting, but they didn't have a stealth ship. We should check it out. Those nukes would a god send for sticky situations and whatever remains of the ship might be of quite the worth for the regulars. Whatever they don't use, we can simply sell for scrap or bring here. I bet ya that Alexander would do wonders with some of the equipment and materials from a ship that grade."


Mon Sep 02, 2019 5:28 pm
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