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 SC - Fugitives 
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Despite one incident that had seemingly turned out to be nothing, the past handful of days had been the most peaceful and content Ava had ever remembered being. She had spent much of the time alone with Nick, really learning to be comfortable with her own emotions. This stay on Kalisti had been the longest she had truly gotten to spend with him, since they had met, where they weren't cooped up in a dropship with other people. It was really the first time Ava had been able to sit down and take the time to explore her own feelings; to be able to work on separating her own from what she was picking up from others, from Nick even. Maybe especially from him. With the strength of his emotions for her, sometimes it had been hard to tell what she was merely picking up and what she was feeling herself.

Also, over the course of the past few days, she had made a point to.. integrate more with the people of this planet during their celebration. While she had still been reserved, even aloof, she had taken the time to be among them, to be able to.. feel their minds, each individual and how they meshed with each other, learning to understand even the most basic of human relationships a bit better. She had come to realize too, though, that her mind still worked a little bit differently than these peoples'. The inhibitor might have been gone but her own thought process and emotions were.. structured. Part of years with the device in her head and upbringing, she supposed. Despite that though, she had been able to start figuring out the norm when it came to interactions, and especially in relationships like hers and Nick. She felt more confident knowing at least that she wasn't getting it all wrong.

Today, she lay on her stomach on her bed as she leafed through a book. This was one of the very rare times that she wasn't wearing her environmental suit, which was currently crumpled up on a chair near the end of the bed, where she had thrown it last night. Right now, she was wearing what would have been deemed normal clothes by the population of Kalisti; she had wanted to just... be normal for a change, to get used to it. Nick sat at the desk nearby, composing a message he was going to send to Sid from the mercenary group detailing the fact that Nick wasn't sure he would be returning to the mercenary group after all.

The ghost glanced over, feeling Nick's divided feelings over what he was writing. Ava frowned, wishing she could do something to help but.. she knew she couldn't She would feel the same way were she in his place. While he had chosen to be here, the Illician Irregulars had been his family for a long time and he felt a loyalty to them that he felt he was breaking by making this choice even though many mercenaries ended up eventually choosing other pursuits after a time, be it love, or a course of vengeance or family or anything else that took precedence in their lives. She was just about to go back to her book when Miranda's call came from the other room.

With a quick glance to see he was following, Ava got up and headed out to the living room where Miranda was waiting in a chair by the window. Ava arched an eyebrow curiously, feeling hints of excitement from the doctor. "What's going on?" she asked.

Nick paused, surprised to be asked about the Irregulars just as he had been in the middle of trying to compose a message to them but finally answered with a nod. "Sid was always complaining when some piece of outdated tech decided to give out. It was a pain in the butt to repair too..." he confirmed. "Sid would probably jump at upgrades for anything, to be honest."

Ava frowned as she picked up from Miranda's mind exactly what the other woman was getting at. More than just some old ship, more than just some salvage, or a couple of laser batteries even. It was something they had discussed once or twice but Ava had always been doubtful. Ava's eyes widened as she swallowed hard. Miranda continued, confirming out loud what Ava had picked up. Nukes. While they were something Ava had trained for quite a few times, she had never actually directed a real nuke. The thought of the power of directing such a thing, of painting a target for a weapon of that destructive scale was... intimidating. She had always put off the thought as a mere daydream when Miranda had brought it up in the past but.. now the prospect of finding some of these devices was much more real.

She listened to Miranda's thoughts on plans for any of the other salvage, some going to the Irregulars, some to Alexander... some of it could perhaps even be integrated into Kalisti's systems despite not being a ship. But what Ava was interested in was the nukes. She was sure that her friend wasn't planning to hand those over to the mercenary unit but keep them for their own use. "I won't argue that nukes might come in useful for some situations but... if we take them, how do you intend to launch them?" she asked. "Alexander might be a technical genius but I really can't see our dropship being able to deploy nukes..." she stated doubtfully. She frowned, doubting her own doubt now. "Can it?"

To be honest, she was even having trouble imagining using a nuke at all, on anything... with the exception perhaps of the Zerg. And Ava would have preferred keeping her distance from those things. Not only were they terrible, horrible nightmare creatures that had turned her sister into a monster, but the fact they had taken Sarah and changed her into what she was now had made Ava wonder what they might do if they got their hands on another class 10 Psionic. She didn't want to find out, she decided.

She took a deep breath as she thought. "If other some crews went in and didn't come back out.. was there any hints of why? Zerg? Protoss? Pirates? Any hints so we can try to prepare before going in?" she asked. She thought of something else. They might have had a stealth ship but the Irregulars didn't. That meant their dropship would be scouting ahead. Which probably meant only one or two of them would be sent to scout the battlecruiser.... after they made sure the surrounding space was secure enough. Which likely meant that Ava would be sitting, helpless, in the dropship, with no real way to contribute to the mission. She would have to be there to scout the BC when it came to it but.. she had a feeling a lot of this would be outside of her field of expertise. A job was a job though. "When are we heading out?"

( Is it bad that I am kind of half tempted to eventually get Ava a pet Zergling? XD )

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Tue Sep 03, 2019 8:30 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda looked at Ava with complete serious expression as the ghost voiced her concerns about actually using tactical nukes for real. The doctor thought for a moment onto how to reply before seh continued speaking." It's not impossible... Depends on the type of nuclear device we get. There are a few different ones, some are the size of a normal crate, in other words a pair of marines could carry it about like a picnic basket... others are bigger. These ones will be target ship to ground nuclear missiles, so they will be bigger and more powerful in general, but the main bulk comes from the engines, fuel containers and the guiding systems. In any case, carrying a single nuke should be possible even within the dropship, not the safest, but possible. Might be hella in handy to have for when we actually need it in any case. I've discussed it with Alexander. He confirmed that he can construct a carrier chassis with the neccessary systems that can fire the most standard nuclear missiles type devices that the confederacy uses. Preliminary estimates put the size of the platform to about the size of a siege tank give or take, maybe somewhat bigger for a full tactical yeld nuclear missile." Miranda explained, she had planned it out to a degree. It was still in the planning stages though. The plans for the nuke launcher were solid though they were suspecting it wouldn't be possible to fit even in the bigger dropship because of the way they've transformed the cargo space to a living area.

"In any case, a launcher platform will be assembled for field use. It's mobility and size are still in the process of early stage of testing and planning." She concluded the topic on the nuke use. She basically informed Ava that they WILL have a way to carry it about and lunch a big tactical missile if htey wanted. It was just a matter of time. The basic schematics the doctor and the engineer had gotten down were basically a siege tank, but with a NUKE instead of a cannon. It was a working design, one based off ancient ones from Earth that were used to fire balistic missiles. Not the prettiest, but it was going to work!

"Actually... there's been no word on that." Miranda admitted with a sigh." The crews that ventured into there were not even as good as equipped as teh Irregulars. They were mostly low level salvage crews with freighters or other smaller civilian vessels. From what I heard a wing of early gen fighters went as escort, not wraiths, no cloaks or any stealth but even the fighters didn't return. Sensor probes also didn't get anything. Whatever is there is taking good care of not showing, so I'm pretty sure it's safe to rule out the zerg at this stage. There be no traces of zerg swarms in that region of the space. Same with pirates... this doesn't seem like pirates according to Mark and his friends. I'm betting on either protoss or some kind of temple like the one we found on redstone, that temple was friendly, no one can say all of them are though."

"As for when we can go..." Miranda stopped talking and looked at Nick." This will be a joint operation if we really want to salvage anything. Nick contact the Irregulars and set up a meeting location. I will be negotiating a deal with Cid in person. After we scout out the area and if we confirm it's safe now their crew will be doing most of the salvaging, we lack the numbers or the trained staff for it and if it IS dangerous, we will require the Irregular's fighting force to fight for it or escape. Even an older BC is still a great fighting force. Ava, we will be going in full force, so check your gear and make sure you lean more onto the EMP rounds. If it really is protoss.. their shields would be our death... better be prepared."


Tue Sep 03, 2019 5:27 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava cocked her head to the side. "Would a battlecruiser be carrying around the stationary type nuke on a regular basis though? What would the chances of actually finding that be? On the other hand, it is standard procedure... at least now, to have the nuclear missiles at the ready on such ships.." she answered. "In any case, there are 3 of us, only two with CMC armour for carrying the former type of nuclear device. That's not the best setup to use in a hostile situation. You two carrying, me covering... setting it up somewhere under fire... and then getting out as well? I don't like the odds.... If we are using it more clandestinely, in a first strike scenario maybe but... " She shrugged. "The missiles with a ghost painting the target are just far more effective." she added.

She paused as Miranda expanded, saying that carrying one of the missiles on the dropship might, in fact, be possible. Her eyes went wide. "Yeah, definitely not the safest..." she agreed but sighed. "But... given what's going on out there in the sector.... it might be worth the risk, huh?" she asked. "Siege tank size..." she repeated quietly, imagining it. She had seen some of those on Redstone I, part of the Irregulars group.. those things were pretty big. She shook her head. "I may have underestimated Alexander.." she added finally. She hadn't really thought the would be able to do anything about a launcher but.. she knew by now that if he said he could, he could. That it would be launched from the ground rather than actually from the dropship made a bit more sense to her now that Miranda elaborated. Still, the idea of being the one to control such a device was daunting.

The news about the hazards around said battlecruiser being completely unknowns however was less than heartening. She had hoped that, as they KNEW where the cruiser was, that someone had made it back with intel about what was picking off the work crews out there. If Miranda was right and it was the Protoss though, Ava at least would be able to be a good early warning system; the mental network of the Protoss was strong enough to at least detect from a good distance for the ghost. At least, it was if they were around... The way she had seen them warp into systems, first at the one Dominion supply base, then later in the Redstone system, had been without much in the way of warning. If they came cloaked though, at least the three terrans in their dropship had an advantage: while both were cloaked, the Ava was the only high grade Psionic on board and would be harder for the Protoss to zero in on than it would be for her to pick up the psionically stronger Protoss minds aboard their ships. Probably. She hoped.

Nick frowned for a moment, scratching the side of his head at the request. "Right, I'll set that up then..." he answered, then gave a sort of lopsided, half-grimace, half-smile. "Well, I guess I'll be telling Sid my plans for the future in person rather than through a message... I guess that will be a better way to break the news to him that he needs to find a new Vulture scout anyways..." he added. "I can tell you though, he will jump at this.. I'll be right back, let me go and send it quickly..."

Ava watched him head off, feeling how pleased he was to be able to erase what he had currently been writing but then her focus was brought back to Miranda. She nodded at being told to gear more with the EMP rounds. "We picked up a good size ammo box of the EMP from that one supply depot." she confirmed. "I may... need to go out and do a few tests on the tundra with them before we leave though.... They are a newer version than what I had trained with."

She had a bit less experience with those types of rounds and didn't know if the newer version had different specs. They could be dangerous for her as well. Hitting an object too close to herself with an EMP round meant that her own power cell would become instantly drained as well, making her lose her own cloaking for a time. A ghost without a cloak in battle was... well, a dead ghost, basically. She would need to do some testing to make sure of the ranges when using those, probably by taking a few and shooting them off in an unpopulated area while she had her cloak and seeing at what range they would drain her own power.

She realized there was a point that hadn't been made clear yet which would be vital to her use of EMP rounds. "Is this battlecruiser adrift in space or did it crash somewhere?" she asked. If it was on a planet or something, the EMP rounds would be useful to anything on the approach to the ship.... If it was adrift in space though, that meant that Ava would only be 'on foot' actually inside the battlecruiser... which meant twisting, narrow corridors mostly. Confined spaces. Not the best scenario in which to use a round that could knock out her own cloak at close range.

Ten minutes later, Nick came back. He had brought with him when he had come to Kalisti a portable communications relay device.. actually loaned by the Illicians to him, which tapped into the colony's comms to send out messages. It had currently been set up in Ava and his' room so it hadn't taken too long to place the call to Sid. "Well, might be in some luck.. The Irregulars are currently back on Pridewater, finishing up the current recruitment and training drive... and without a current contract." he explained. "I didn't tell Sid exactly what the objective was... just that we had a way for him to maybe update some of the Irregulars' equipment... His curiosity and interest were definitely piqued... He said they would be waiting on Pridewater for us." he added.

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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda was nodding in a pleased manner as the makeshift briefing of Ava and Nick went well until the man went to contact the Irregulars. She looked at Ava, eyes serious and slightly narrowed at the question that came. This was a rather... tricky issue. She made a half grin half sigh and nodded." Yeah we've got at least hte info on the state of the ship." She confirmed." One of the sensor drones they send got the data on it. THe BC is 'crashed' within the debry belt. Rather deeply within the belt in fact. The causes for it are unknown, but it's... well... let me show you. Mark send me a few of the sensor data readings." MIranda decided that showing would be easier than explaining as she handed Ava the datapad.

The pictures on it were recreations from the sensor readings and scans gotten by teh sensor drone before it stopped working. It basically showed a the BC that had like a quarter of it 'crashed' into a massive asteroid. A really massive one, it was basically not quite the size of a moon, but it did dwarf the ship. Since on first sight the ship's structure was mostly intact, chances were the front left side of the ship for some reason might have gotten stuck into an opening in the asteroid. After such a long time, chances for survivors were zero. What htey had was a massive ship, that was tied down to that field.

"It lacks a lot of details since it's not really detailed scans or sensor data, but it appears that the nuclear silos weren't damaged, otherwise that ship wouldn't be there. There does seem to be some damage, but overall a lot of it will be salvagable. The Irregulars would benefit greatly from this and while keeping all the nukes might sound great, it's not really a good idea to bring those here on Kalisti. I suggest we leave most of them with the Irregulars and just keep a small number here for use. We can always resupply later, Cid's not really the type to screw us over."

The doctor sighed as Nick returned. She nodded and looked at the couple. Miranda had a grin on her face." So... what are you two waiting for? The roof to cave in?" She asked and clapped with her hands." Get moving people. We are leaving for Pridewater tonight at midnight." The word was given. It was not yet noon and while the nights on Kalisti were somewhat long, so they had a great many hours to get ready. THey could sleep and rest on hte road afterwards.

"Ava, confirm the effects of the EMP rounds." Miranda nodded." Me and Nick will prepare the rest of the ship in the meantime. Nick go buy up food supplies, I will go to the storerooms in the meantime and bring over the weapon supplies and the power armors. Alexander had pulled out all the weapons(aside teh hidden emergency ones) and armors from the dropships for maintenance. Our CMCs are all repaired and fancied up, same with the weapons. Apparently he improved the coils to increase efficiency." She informed them.

"By the way, Ava." Miranda suddenly recalled something and called out, pulled a hard case container with a red cross on it." Here's the medkit I said I'd get you." She informed. It wasn't overly big, in fact it was barely bigger than a regular canteen and could easily be kept up in any equipment tool belt, or harness or anything else. Perfect for a ghost." Has all that you might require... painkillers, needles, threads, antibiotics, bandages... Not the biggest kit, but Everything inside is especially tightly and efficienently arranged. Should be able to handle a few wounds at least. It also has an single use injector of nanites preprogrammed for internal bleeding wounds. Internal bleeding is very dangerous, this might safe your life."

"Okey, I suppose we all have our tasks. Comms are ready? Good, we all have our tasks. We should keep each other updated on them as we complete them."


Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:32 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava frowned slightly as she listened to the intel about the ship. So it was in space... She took the datapad from Miranda, swiping through the constructed images. The asteroid was large.. large enough for perhaps ground forces to be outside of the ship. Maybe. Then again, maybe not. "This asteroid isn't very big, is it... Were we planning to dock with what's left of the cruiser or.. attempt to land on the surface nearby?" she asked. "I'm concerned about the amount of gravity on an asteroid this size..." she added. She had next to no actual experience in zero-G or low gravity environments, and while being fit and agile enough that she was confident she could make do movement-wise, getting into combat in such a situation was definitely more dangerous.

She kept looking at the images, trying to study them, the state the ship was in and whatever she could see of the surrounding area around the crash, looking for any more obstacles to the mission. The asteroid wouldn't have any sort of atmosphere, and it was more than likely the ship had lost any atmospheric containment when it had crashed. That wasn't an issue though. Her hostile environment suit, or skin suit as they had called it at the Academy, was more than good enough, at least for a time. It was rated against the cold of space and had a full life support system that would support her for a fair amount of time in such conditions. No, her only real concern was the gravity then.

She nodded. "Sid wouldn't cross us." she agreed. She had felt his mind working for him. She knew he was honourable enough. There were mercenaries like Mira Han and then there were others. Sid, unlike Mira, was from a much more strict background; he was a military man and stuck to a strict code of morals and duty learned in such environments. Ava trusted him over Mira Han any day. The ghost was also glad to hear Miranda say that any nukes they kept would be in limited numbers. If they stored them far enough away from the Terran settlements on Kalisti, they would be no danger to anyone, even if they were set off. Kalisti was thankfully mostly barren.

After Nick returned and gave them the reply from Sid, Miranda began to hustle them into action. At hearing Miranda's words, Ava began reacting as she would have during training but had to actually stop herself from rushing off to begin packing, realizing that the doctor wasn't finished talking yet after all. The ghost also had to force herself not to salute upon being given her orders. A lifetime of training was very hard to break.

Nick laughed at hearing that Alexander had improved the gauss rifles. "You better be glad that that man isn't coming with us.... Sid would try to snatch him up to work for the Irregulars in a heartbeat.." he said.

Ava glanced wide-eyed over at Miranda as a thought of the reply to that went through the doctor's mind: Sid would have to fight her for Alexander if that were so... and Miranda was more than confident at who would win such a contest. Ava had to realize that such a thought was not meant to be taken literally. Probably... Maybe. She was just about to head over to her room to get in her skin suit and armour when Miranda called her back. She took the small case that the doctor handed her, studying it. The red cross on it made it more than obvious as to what it was. The ghost opened it up though, checking the contents as Miranda began to list them off.

Ava nodded as she finally closed the case back up. "Might not be the biggest but it should be more than enough for most situations." She glanced up at Miranda. "Anything needing more than what's in here is probably more than I could treat myself anyways..." She trailed off at hearing that there was a single dose of nanites within too. This was.. an expensive first aid kit it seemed. On the other hand, they were programmed for internal injuries which... was not something that Ava would be very good at diagnosing. It would be a guess at best on her part if she was hurting that badly. Still, perhaps it would be better to use it and ended up not having really needed it than vice versa. "Thank you." she replied though, sincerely.

Without further ado, they each moved out to complete their own tasks. Ava headed into her room she shared with Nick, closing the door and then stripping quickly, grabbing her environment suit and slipping into it. In short order, it was on and with a quick thought, the fibres of the suit reacted, fitting tighter to her form as pulses of light began to move down channels in the suit, as its very design began to help channel her psionic powers. The suit almost felt a part of her as she channelled her energies through it. She had promised herself that she would try spending more time without it, more time in the clothing that normal people wore. Today had been the first day she had started... Well, that hadn't lasted very long.

Quickly, she pulled on the rest of the armour pieces, fitting the first-aid kit on her belt before pulling the hood of the suit up over her head and putting the mask on. She swung her canister rifle over her shoulder and headed out. Miranda and Nick had both headed out already on their errands so Ava activated her cloak and headed out the door, not wanting to scare anyone with the presence of a ghost but needing to be wearing the gear for her testing. She jogged through the snowy air, heading for the landing pad where both sets of their dropships were parked. She headed to their old ship, opening it up and heading inside, where a fair bit of their previous loot was still being stored, including the EMP rounds.

She grabbed a few clips, securing them to her belt alongside the new first-aid kit, as well as some of the lockdown rounds before heading off the ship and beginning to jog out away from the colony, out into the bleak whiteness. After fifteen minutes, she had judged herself far enough away and deactivated her cloak. While waiting for it to recharge, she scanned the area, making sure there were no people about, no errant hunting parties or anything and soon enough, she was confident that the area was clear.

Loading in a clip of the EMP rounds, Ava switched on her cloak and took aim a distance off, noting the it in the range finder in her heads up display, and fired. The shot hit her mark, sending crackling energy for some distance around where it hit. She hadn't expected it to affect her cloak at this distance and was pleased to see she was right. She repeated the process, moving her target closer to herself, keeping tabs on the distance. Again, the shot didn't affect her cloak. She moved the mark closer again. She knew she wouldn't be close enough that the tendrils of crackling energy would reach her but she was pretty sure that the EMP range went beyond what she could see. She fired again and this time, her cloak rippled and flickered. The power amount in her heads up display started flashing a warning as it grew low. After a moment, it steadied, although the charge had been greatly diminished. One more test then. She took aim just a little bit closer from her last shot and fired again. This time, her display went dark. Ava pulled the visor off her face, noting that her cloak had also stopped functioning completely.

It seemed to take a minute or two but eventually she could hear her head up display regain power and pulled the visor on again, watching as the built-in computer system began to boot itself up. It began to display the power supply again and she watched as it finally, slowly began to recharge as it usually did with the cloaking offline. The last shot had been at a distance of five meters away which meant the field was about a ten meter diameter, though there had been disruptions to her energy at the ten meter range. To be safe then, no shooting EMP rounds at close than ten meters then. Unless it was a dire emergency.

She opened up the secure comm line to the others. It would be best to use codenames, she decided. Just in case. "Skadi's objective is finished." she said over the line. She checked the time on her display. She hadn't been out here for much more than half an hour. "Idunn, do you want me to head to the ship or home for now?" she asked. "Also, will need some more of the EMP and lockdown rounds on the Sessrumnir." she added. She had only taken a couple clips of each but had since decided that heading out with a crate of each might be more advisable. Those crates would be better carried by someone in power armour though.

After a long moment, Nick's voice came through the comm, though quietly. "Umm.. Njor here?" he said, still not really used to the code names. "Still at the supplier. They just got a load of supplies in so I have to wait while they finalize that... Shouldn't be too much longer I think though... Going silent for now so I don't end up looking like a crazy man talking to myself..." he added in a hushed voice.

Ava smiled to herself at the mental image of that as she put her rifle back on her shoulder and began to jog back towards the colony.

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Fri Sep 06, 2019 6:41 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda's trip to Alexander's workshop didn't take too long. Soon enough she walked through the armored door and entered into the palce. It was a former hangar that was big enough to house even their big dropship and that was a good thing to have happened. Turned out before they arrived here, the place was just gathering dust and cobwebs, used to house all the broken down equipment that they couldn't make use of or repair. Mostly being pulled for spare parts every now and then. Since Alexander arrived, he got it for his workshop from the mayor. Many of the broken down beyond repair machines were completely disassembled, usable parts were arranged neatly and the spare scrap was put for reprocessing. Now the hangar was quite neatly arranged and clear. Alexander had even put some of the spare parts together to make a few machines for the coal miners in the colony.

IN any case the whole Workshop was now brightly lit, clean and somewhat busy. From the initial only Alexander working in it, he had gotten a few eager apprentices form the local teens that were too young to work in the mines or as foresters effectively, but showed potential and desire to learn engineering. The kinds weren't really quite aware of everything that was happening since they weren't working there all hte time. Sometimes longer sometimes shorter. Alexander didn't want to involve the kids into their merc business. He was only teaching them stuff that they would have use of in general. Weaponry systems weren't in the class planning...

In any case, Miranda found Alexander, performing some maintenance on a huge farming machine that would be used to clean snow and cut big trees into logs and even planks if it had to. Most of the buildings here used metals and crystal composites, wood was used for furniture and the like. THey had central geothermal heating so they didn't burn much coal or wood anyhow. It would be generally sold off world. The dropship was here until yesterday when he finished examinging and working on it." Hey." She called as he looked at her and took of his black goggles for welding.

"All's prepared, not exactly standard types of upgrades to gauss rifles, but it does basically the same job." He said and gestured for her to follow him to teh workbenches where a pair of riffles were at. She ran her hand across one of them. It had a small golden apple inlay on the side of it. This one was hers." Did the works on yours, if you get me some specilized components I can upgrade them further. I can make do with what we have, but it's going to be slower to get and not comfortable for mass production." He sighed. He alone couldn't compare to the grand factories that produce the different types of rifles and their upgraded variants. He could make handmade versions that do the same, but it took time.

"That's fine." She said and with both her hands picked up the gauss rifle. A feat of it's own given that one of those weighted quite a lot, but now her bodies had recupperated for a while now and she had gotten even stronger. She still wouldn't risk firing a needler rifle without her CMC though. That was just asking for broken bones and unhinged shoulder joints." Even for the few of us, we needed these updates on the gear. Scary stuff are out there. We might be facing the toss this time around. Unless we bettered the rifles, their shields would be our death." Miranda told him and placed the rifle back on the workbench.

"Yeah about that, there isn't much I can do in the shorttime to help you." He sighed." Kalisti isn't well developped so they don't have many resources. The mines produce mostly coal, iron and copper and a few others. Not exactly the greatest industry supply, the minerals deposits here are minimal, barely any, none spare. They need all of it for patching the buildings and machinery that keeps hte colony running." That was his greater regret. Luckily his research into the toss crystal thingy was slowly progressing. The shield would probably be operational within a few weeks and he had indeed confirmed some of the crystal that gets grown could be used to replace the regular minerals into the alloys. These grown crystals in theory could be used to grow over damaged or weak points in teh heating system. He was still experimenting on that." Ohh yeah... your CMCs... I tweaked them a little as well." Alexander commented as they went to the CMC stands where he had hanged both hers and Nick's armor.

"What did you do to them exactly? Aside the obvious..." She asked. THey had new coats of paint over them. Hers was altered a little bit more. It seems to have had some sections made more protected and the combat shield of it was clearly better, somewhat broader and thicker.

"Not much on yours aside some external minor changes. Since you have the tendency to be reckless." He said, trying to sound angry at her." Though I did fix an old factory bug in the system that would usually lock your armor paralyzed if it got damaged to a degree. So at least you wont be caught unable to move if damaged. Also fixed a few other minor things. Anyways Nick's armor saw more work. He was working off the older model to begin with, it was lacking. I upgraded his armor plates with new ones, reinforced weak links and boosted the performence of his reactors. He should feel it pratically flying from what it was before." The engineer sounded really pleased with himself." Ohh yeah, here's a gift for Ava." He suddenly added and pulled a small backpack like device." External power supply. Not useful for all situations, but it can replace the power generation of her suit's inbuild one should it ever malfunction or get damaged. Alternatively she could use it for extended operational time in the meantime."

Going through other stuff that he had made or prepared in the last day or so, it wasn't before she heard the comms coming to life and the voices of Nick and Ava." Roger." She replied." Njor, stand by the ship. Arriving with the truck carrying the armors and weapon supplies in a few minutes.." Miranda informed him as Alexander already appeared from the other side of the hangar with a forklift to bring the CMCs onto the truck. As the truck exited the warehouse, he followed with the forklift, cause these also had to get loaded into the ship as well and CMCs weren't really light."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
About a Week Later Pridewater
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Sessrumnir was already landing on Pridewater. The journey was mostly uneventful if you didn't count the random dominion patrol near a position they had one of their jump exits at. Didn't get to a fight, cause they stealthed to evade it, but it was curious what they were doing in the middle of nowhere. Still they had arrived unharmed. Miranda wasn't wearing her CMC right now. It was a business deal after all they came to arrange. Still armed though, her two pistols on her hips and she had the White Fur cloak across covering most of her body. Final detail was teh many tiny braids on the sides of her hair, made into cool designs. It wasn't completely ancient norse, but somewhat close. She actually liked how it turned back on Deadman's Rock and decided to use it while they were on the work. Was good to keep up an image for the theme.. like how Mira's forces all had spikes and jagged edges. Miranda right now looked cool, and confident.

While she wans't the true telepath here, she could vaguely feel that Pridewater felt... well stressful. One could basically feel the nervousess of the people about the place. She suspected they had finally realized that the war with the zerg wasn't over and that they could be next. Above in orbit, they had spotted a good deal of planetary defenses and ships. Many a merc crew was called to protect and patrol the area while the Dominion was busy neglecting their new territories while it's leader was engaging in personal vendetas and greed.


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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
The underlying tension on Pridewater was definitely palpable to Ava as they disembarked their ship, and it was making her feel a bit skittish. The patrol that they had only just avoided hadn't helped either. While Ava's mind had been more centered around the enigmatic Protoss on their trip to Pridewater, it was easily clear that it was the Zerg that was the cause for so much anxiety here. She didn't really blame them as it seemed the Zerg were spreading unchecked across the sector and despite the heavy defences in the Pridewater system, Ava knew that if the Zerg came in force, as they had on Tarsonis, it wouldn't matter. Tarsonis had been even more heavily defended, being the jewel of the Confederacy, and it had fallen within hours. Yes, these people had a right to be concerned for their own safety against such an enemy.

Still, though, that was not her concern, she reminded herself. They had a mission to get to. There was something else though that she was picking up. An undercurrent below the anxiety. One that... could be useful to their ultimate goal, perhaps. 'There is discontent with the Dominion here.' she sent to Miranda. 'Discontent with Mengsk... They feel that they've been abandoned by the Dominion.' It was hard to pick up details when it was only bits from so many minds but.. there was that general feel at least that she could get because it was repeated so much. 'I don't think they are nearly at the point of open rebellion but.. we may be able to find allies.. or perhaps even recruits in such circumstances..' she suggested.

It wasn't long before Nick pointed out Sid's arrival at the edge of the port and the merc leader's approach towards their small group. He stopped before them, looking at each in turn. "It's good to see you three again. I hope it's to stay, but I got the feeling from Nicky's message that it's only a temporary visit.." he trailed off, disappointment clear in his voice at the assumption. He sighed. "Well, let's go somewhere more... secure so we can talk." he added, gesturing to them to the waiting vehicle in which he had arrived.

Ava cast a quick glance at Nick, with an amused smile. "Nicky?" she whispered to him. She had not heard anyone call him that before when they'd been with the Irregulars, but... they had been in the field at the time, on a job. Still.. it was cute, she thought in amusement. Nick's reply was a roll of his eyes and a shrug. A nickname he had earned here because the others had thought of him as a kid, she sensed, one he had tried to disassociate from but had failed in his years with the unit.

As they walked, Sid turned to Ava. "You're not wearing your.. gear?" he asked, hinting at her ghost equipment and rifle. The red-haired woman was dressed in what looked like typical, well-covering clothing along with a long, black duster coat. Her hair was loose, different than the ponytail he had always seen her in before too.

Ava frowned. "It's probably not a good idea to advertise..." she answered flatly. They had never told him that she WAS a ghost but it had been fairly obvious and he had guessed that it was so. 'Probably should confirm to him what I am once we get to this more secure place to talk.' she sent to Miranda. She knew that Sid was not being deceptive in the least about the secure location either. Though there were very few Dominion defenders stations here, there was a perhaps justified paranoia that there might be Dominion spies around, especially with the growing unrest on the planet. 'Operationally, it will help him to know what we.. have in the bag, is the term I think?' she added, hoping she was right in the use of the term, that it meant what forces they could bring to bear if need be.

Sid grunted in acknowledgement of her reply. He wasn't exactly happy with the situation either. He wasn't from Pridewater personally but the Illician Irregulars had made this planet one of their more used bases of operations and recruiting for many years. Many of the Irregulars were natives of this world and so he well knew of the unrest going on. Getting to the vehicle, he ushered the group in and got in with them. The only other occupant was the driver up front, one of his long-standing and trusted soldiers. Once they were on their way, Sid began. "So Nicky told me that you had a deal to make. If it's not you all staying with the Irregulars, what is it?" he asked.

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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
'They don't feel like they've been abandoned... They ARE abandoned.' Miranda corrected Ava as they walked the streets.' The Overmind might be dead, but the zerg are even more rampant nowdays. Apparently there are even different broods fighting each other. The sector is a mess as a whole.' Miranda informed Ava of the newest info that was reaching over the grapevine. THere was a lot of chaos out there and sadly Ava's sister was still at teh center of it. Rumor had it, she's been trying to put all the broods under her control and she's been actually putting some alliances... weird ones out there. At least that's what she was hearing from the Medic grapevine from colleagues and friends who were in active service out there and could be trusted.

'I will take care of it.' Miranda mentioned as they were getting into the vechile. She wasn't afraid of anything bad happening Sid was a good man." Before we start, Skadi mentioned to me that we should probably confirm this.. yeah she's is. Now that's aside let's talk business." Miranda said flatly as she pulled a datapad from her pockets, basically skimming over the fact that Ava was a trained ghost.

"Yes, it's not about us joining you all." Miranda confirmed, at least not for now anyways. Who knew what the future held and they were going to need more people eventually if they wanted to fight Mengsk. Now that he had consolidated enough, getting to him was hard and just the three of them it was not possible to take on the whole Dominion. In either case she handed Sid the datapad." We've got the lead on a prime salvaging target. Near brand new well preserved Confederacy special forces Behemoth Battle Cruiser." Miranda said with serious voice as she knew it would attract Sid's attention and it did, it didn't take a telepath to see it.

Sid was visibly interested. The old Leviathan the Irregulars used was well outdated. Battlecruiser components were near impossible to find because of the strict restrictions from both the Confederacy and now the Dominion. Their ship was basically running of salvaged civilian parts. Even the majority of the turret mounts on the ship were not standard issue military grade ones. It made it that despite being a BC, it lacked the proper punch of one. Hell even the Warp Drive wasn't the standard one. This was a godsend. If they could salvage all the equipment from that ship, even an old Leviathan could become a real fighting force and if they could basically repair that ship it would be even better! That said, his eyes narrowed on Miranda. He wasn't stupid." What's the catch exactly and what do you want of this?" He asked as he was studying the scans on the crashed into an asteroid ship. It was clear the ship had damage, it was a lot, didn't seem like too much structural damage though. IT would require on spot inspection to decide if they could repair the ship itself or they had to strip it for parts.

"Well... we highly suspect there might be a protoss force of some kind in that asteroid field." The doctor informed him." Ship isn't salvaged and not covered in zerg infestation. Leaves only one option, unless it's yet another alien race lurking out there... that or some remnant from bygone age like that temple on redstone... Which shouldn't be the case. Anyways we want full control over the nuclear weapons the ship's carrying." Miranda stated, she had withheld all information about location on the datapad for the moment. Until the deal was finished up." If the ship can be repaired it's all good for later, but if it's not, nukes aside, you can take most of the equipment from it. We will require some pieces of it though, some of the generators and a few of the weapon batteries. Nukes not counted, we will take a tenth of the general equipment such as the weapons, generators, other misc systems, don't need the warp engine or the shields. Everything else will be for the Irregulars. After all the equipment is stripped of it, you can melt the husk for spare alloys if you wish."

Sid turned quiet. All in all Miranda's offer wasn't too bad. Nukes were dangerous and he had no desire to use them willy nilly anyways. The number of nukes wouldn't be too high to begin with. That he could agree with, though he did think it was better to have at least one nuke for the Irregulars as a trump card. The rest of it wasn't too bad either. A tenth of the equipment wasn't too much. They could more or less replace all the systems of the Irregulars BC with it. They also didn't want the warp engine and the shields which was the main things of importance. A few weapons and misc systems weren't that critical even if htey kept the current subsitutes they used." That's a fine deal, I'm thinking of accepting, but this about a protoss force is worrysome. What's their force present? Our ship is not up to fight one of their Carriers. What's more, we lack the fighter contingent. From our two wraiths the one that survived is still grounded for repairs. If it comes down to a firefight in space, we will be blown to pieces." Sid frowned.

"That's why we will use our ship to scout the area first." Miranda's grin was wide and mischevious." Our ship's a stealth one. Don't worry." This came as a surprise to him, but there was no point in hiding it for much longer anyways." Don't think of it as a dropship, it's an stealth gunship." It wasn't a lie. It carried missiles and balistic cannons in addition to being able to stealth. It was a gunship!" After we scout the area, we shall decide on the plan of attack. If it will be a ground based surgical strike to take the toss out before we move in to salvage or if we may be able to avoid fight entirely. We might even be able to level them to the ground before they realize what's happening if we discover their base and manage to sneak into the BC first to salvage a few of the nukes."

"Whatever the case is, it's only a win win for the Irregulars. Worst case scenario, you just perform a few jumps and back without getting into fight."

Sid was quiet for a while before he threw a look at the driver who just nodded and used his comm to inform all Irregular members to prepare for operation. " Alright, let's do this, you three. But you will owe me one of the nukes is for the Irregular's use." Sid stated and with a nod from Miranda they shook their hands." You 3 are lucky actually. We just picked up a brand new set of equipment." Sid grinned as they were nearing the area that was the Irregulars' base of operations on the ground. It was basically a ground based military outpost outside of the city. For the Irregulars to prepare for an operation and bring all supplies and equipment to their ship would take about a day. On that note in the barracks grounds there were two brand new siege tanks parked there. They were all shiny too, apparently fresh off the factory. There were also a few fighters landed. It wasn't wraiths, but a ship like the Irregular's mobile base BC couldn't go without any fighter escort for long to begin with. Wraiths with stealth were hard to come by and even the ones wihtout the stealth drive were hard to pilot and maintain. These fighters weren't as hard to control and cheaper to maintain. THey may have lacked some of the firepower and the sheer maneuvering potential of a wraith, but htey weren't bad.

"Seems you've been busy." Miranda commented, throwing a look at Sid who shrugged. Miranda could notice that some of the crates scattered about the barracks carried logos of a research foundation of some kind around." I see you've managed to sell the artifact."

"Yeah. It came with an even better price than the original estimates. We've managed to replace all the lost machines and even add new ones as you saw. Don't worry they aren't tied to the dominion." He quickly informed Miranda and Ava cause he was sure htey didn't want that thing to get into the hands of the 'Emperor'. Suddenly the vehicle stopped as a few pairs of mechanical legs walked in front of them and stopped on the side. A trio of Goliath walkers were just being parked. The irregulars appeared to be in full swing. They were training people for all the new gear they got. A new siege crew was being trained after some of the old ones got killed, injured or retired. Pilots were taking courses from the ace pilot of the crew. The recruitment drive seemed to have hit al all time high.


Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:03 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava nodded in conceding at Miranda's correction. It was true enough, she supposed. If Mengsk could 'dispose' of a loyal lieutenant just because he had no further use for her, what would that bastard care about some fringe world. Ava sighed. It seemed humanity as a whole was just a collection of tribes all out for themselves, with no concern or compassion for others. She, herself, was proof of that. A child stripped from parents and made into a weapon to carry out the desires... no, the dirty work of the state. Then again, the Dominion didn't NEED Pridewater. It wasn't really a critical world or staging point. Looking at it tactically, Ava had to concede that it made some sense to set up defences elsewhere in more critical zones. The Zerg's motives were.. unknown, seeming to simply devour worlds at their own leisure so it was hard to predict where they might strike next. As Miranda sent, without this Overmind, the Zerg were now even more unpredictable as well. Sometimes the extraneous had to be sacrificed for the good of the whole. She didn't like it, but it did make sense.

What came next to Miranda's mind, following what she had sent, Ava picked up and it stopped the ghost in her tracks. This was information that Ava hadn't known. She didn't really watch the news feeds, usually having little references for the events going on, and had no other direct income of information and news herself. Somehow she hadn't picked this up from her friend's mind until now either, until it actually had come to mind. Ava's shoulders drooped, feeling the news about her sister.. especially as Ava suspected that Sarah might be behind the increase in Zerg activity.

Nick, noticing, stopped beside Ava. "Something wrong?" he asked quietly.

Ava took a deep breath, glad that he was there, and hesitantly shook her head, starting to walk again, feeling him keeping step with her. "Just a reminder about my sister." she whispered back. 'I had really hoped that with the Overmind apparently dead, that Sarah would have.. well.. been freed?' she sent back. 'I guess that really isn't the case, is it....' If there was nothing controlling her sister now... well, that didn't bode well for Ava's far-fetched hope to one day save the sister she had never known. Finally they got to the vehicle and all got inside. Ava and Nick both seemed content to let Miranda do most of the dealing, Ava because a lack of knowledge in... barter and Nick, because he felt too loyal to both parties.

Sid frowned at Miranda's opening words. "She's what?" he asked, looking between the three other people. It had been a couple of minutes since his mind had been on that topic so it confused him for a second or two. His mind was currently headed in completely opposite directions.

Ava smiled in amusement at some of the thoughts. "Wow.. not even close.... " she said in reply to what she was picking up. Pregnant was the most outlandish one. "Woah, woah... really not even in the same sector with that one..." she added. It was at that point she felt the truth dawn on the man when he realized she was hearing his thoughts. "Yep, there you go.."

Sid was wide-eyed. "You're reading my..."

Ava gave him a flat look, interrupting him. "Not important right now." she said, gesturing to Miranda to continue. As soon as Miranda handed the man the datapad, his mind was no longer holding on to the concern it was being read by the ghost, nor the fact that he was sitting so close TO a ghost. Something else she was picking up too though was Nick's interest in what Sid had been thinking before, about the ghost issue. Nick had seen and heard Ava's reactions to it and.. he was at least curious. She turned to him, mouthing the word 'later', turning back to pay attention to the deal.

She could feel Sid was unsure of a ground based surgical strike, let alone sneaking a nuke to use it against an enemy base, knowing the Protoss were.. not easy to deal with toe to toe. Even a dropship turned gunship with stealth was... limited to deal with some things. Plus he had heard that some of the Protoss actually had stealth of their own. His eyes slowly settled on Ava, who nodded, giving him a grim smile. Between her and the ship, each flanking any Protoss they found... it wouldn't be too hard to wipe them out.. so long as they weren't detected. She could feel his sudden realization at just how effective a ghost operative could actually be, how many lives could be spared in combat by just one ghost being in the field.

Ava's focus moved away from the minds around her as she turned to look out the windows of the vehicle as they moved into the Irregulars' base. It far outshone what it had been before. Even Nick was surprised at it. Ava stared in amazement at the giant walking machines that came to a stop nearby. She recognized them as Goliath units but had never seen an actual one really, definitely not this close up. A thought hit the ghost. None of the units here were of any use in space.. or the air to be honest. Anti-air, yes but.. not pure air. Sid had said that their one remaining Wraith fighter was still undergoing repairs.

'What about helping them.. obtain a contingent of fighter craft in the future?' Ava sent to Miranda. The more they gave this unit, the more loyal they would be, the more willing to fight on the trio's side... Plus, it would help the mercenaries grow which could only help if called on in the future too. Ava had no doubt that it would be difficult at the least to get their hands on Wraith craft but... well, anyone would have said it would have been impossible for Ava to upgrade her ghost gear to the latest Umojan tech. But it had happened. They could probably find a way.

Sid turned to them. "We are going to start shipping gear and equipment to our ship. If you like, you can land your ship in our cruiser's hanger for the trip out. Will save you fuel and provide some more safety." he offered. "And, to be honest, there are people around that wouldn't mind socializing with Nick again, and actually you two ladies as well. You made quite the impression even during your brief stint with us... I'm sure the trip out to this salvage operation is more than a day or two and.. I can't imagine your own ship is all that comfortable for an extended trip, or at least not as comfortable as our cruiser is." he added. A cruiser had a hell of a lot more amenities than a small dropship.. or gunship hybrid would have. "We can stop short of that system, drop you off for the final jump in just to be sure if you want."

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Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:25 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda caught Ava's thoughts and frowned.' They aren't without any strike crafts, Ava.' Miranda send a thought back and brought the ghost attention to the couple of new fighter ships that were landed nearby. She had spotted them pretty fast just moments earlier, but she suspected Ava might have missed them via the simple fact it wasn't the Wraiths she was used to. After all ghost education was limited in some fields.' Still... it might not be too hard. A BC comes with it's own squadrons of wraiths or other fighter crafts for protection. Since the BC is in such a great condition, chances are there might still be landed ships in it's hangars that could be salvaged. The 3 of us don't have use for any of those, so we can leave those to the Irregulars as well.' Miranda explained to Ava. That aside, the alternatives of getting fighters was hard, especially because the fact all of Terran type fighters were not capable of warping on their own. Even if they 'liberated' a number of them, it would still require a carrier ship of somekind to bring them away.

"Very well. That works perfectly." Miranda confirmd with Cid and with a flick on her datapad, the man recieved a package of data." This is everything I've gathered on the location and the derelict BC. You can have your own people take a look at it, confirm it, search for more and also prepare a tactical map of the area and so on." Miranda said wit ha smile. There wasn't much that could be done with poorly explored region of space after all.

"Skadi, Nick, you shall stay behind and coordinate with the Irregulars." Miranda said as the vehicle was parked and they disembarked into the yards of the base. They all were already busy with preparation, what was going to be left behind on Pridewater would be the scheduled crew for base guards. Minimal skeletal crew. After all to begin with most of the Irregular's supplies, equipment and assets were located onto their Battlecruiser. This was just a staging ground for obtained resources, ground based training and so on. The doctor highly suspected that the merc crew had managed to come to agreement with a military machine factory of some kind. While military hardware was technically not avaible to the general public per Confderetate and now Dominion regulations, money as always did wonders. And to be able to replace 2 seige tanks, get a number of Goliaths and even those second grade fighters, it would be hard to simply purchase second hand ones so fast and these ones were NOT second hand goods. It was clear as they that those machines were walking straight out of the production lines.

"I will later proceed back to the port and bring our ship up to the BC." Miranda informed them with a smile. " Sid, inform your crew to clear a landing spot in one of the hangars and to make sure there's nothing around it. Ship's significantly larger than a standard dropship. If they prepare a spot that's surrounded by other things, there will be collisions in order to land." She informed the man. For the Irregulars it wouldn't be too hard, they weren't using all of their hangars to begin with, but she wans't sure how many of htem were operational. The stealth ship would require proper maintenance and refueling, so they needed working hangar.

"Alright." Sid replied, and threw a learned look at Miranda." Consider it done. By the way, Nick we've got a few hours before we start to bring up all the heavy stuff. Can you go hop by the vulture scouts and check up on them? Your old buddies have been rather concerned since basically no news were coming about you for a while." Sid said. That was true, but it was also true that the other scouts were cursing at Nick cause he got a girlfriend while all of the mere still single. Naturally it was NOTHIGN really malicous, just hte usual boys will be boys stuff. That wasn't needed to be said.

"By the way, Sid, did the Dominion pull away from Pridewater completely?" Miranda asked, having recalled the fact the usual planetary defenses that should have been here from the Confederacy were nowhere to be seen. It wouldn't surprise her, but might as well confirm it.

"Yeah, almost so." Sid replied." Maybe a week and a half back, most of the Dominion forces retreated from the planet. There was a small band of marines left behind to guard and 'keep order' around their abandoned base, but those guys bailed too. Currently there're no official Dominion forces here. The government decided to hire mercenary crews and rely on militias in case something happens. Most of the forces in the area have gathered here. The people in control have been putting up brave strong fronts, but honestly the Government of the Dominion has already lost power. Just no one had tried to prove it yet."


Mon Sep 09, 2019 5:07 pm
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