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 SC - Fugitives 
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava frowned at Miranda's reminder of their original attempt to find a way to assassinate Arcturus Mengsk. How could she forget that trip? The frown grew deeper but one eyebrow raised in realization as the ghost sensed where her friend was leading with the statement. Her jaw dropped just a bit as she came to understand what had happened. She closed her mouth, grinding her teeth as she really thought about it for a moment. "So, Umoja wants Mengsk out of the way too.. for whatever reason. Well, I guess with what he did to take the seat of power, he might not stop with only one empire. I wouldn't be surprised if Umoja feared that he wanted to consolidate this sector.." she thought out loud.

So they were right not to trust the Umojans though. They were probably just as bad as Mengsk, and as the Confederacy had been. All wanted power and they would do whatever underhanded things they needed to, no matter the cost in human lives. That really hit close to home for her; not just her lost sister but even just her own twisted, abomination of a life. Power was worth any price to these people.. but then again, it wasn't them who was directly paying it either... it was people like Sarah, like Ava.. Like all the people of Tarsonic and countless others.

That brought her to another point though, what had not been spoken but obvious enough. "So Mengsk escaped this assassination." she stated flatly. It wasn't a question. She shook her head though at the means they had used. "These remnants must not have much resources but... if Umoja was helping them.. wouldn't they have given them a better way to kill the bastard?" she asked. In her mind, attacking his shuttle was.. iffy at best. Kills were best made in person, either face to face or through the scope on a rifle. Anything else was.. less than sure. Perhaps she was biased but.. it was what she knew.

Still, if Umoja had backed this attempted by the leftovers of the Confederates, why had the attempt failed? Actually, that was something she needed to ask Miranda. "So why did the attempt fail then?" she asked. The broadcast had shown the Emperor's shuttle under attack but it cut off midway, not showing what had happened. It could be that the Dominion had had a bigger ship that had been able to come in and give reinforcements.. but if so, why hadn't the Confeds counted on that? On the other hand.. did Mengsk's shuttle evade them? Cause that would only show ineptitude on the Confed's part. The only other thing she could think was that the Umojans themselves could have 'come to the rescue' in an attempt to hide their complicity. She was curious if it was any of these or something else entirely.

Nick nodded at Miranda's warning for Sid. "I've been talking to him on this trip... I didn't tell him anything of what we have been doing but I did.. offhandedly warn him that we had some.. issues with Umoja. That they had their own agendas and.. yeah.." he confirmed.

Ava's eyes came up at the mention of Mark. She knew he was the kind of person that would pop up sooner or later, would find his feet and get back to business so to speak but.. it was what this resumed contact might mean that caught her attention. What Miranda began to explain further interested the ghost. "Military installation?" she repeated, a hint of smile growing on her face. She needed the action. Post-mission always left her feeling a little down and this was exactly what Ava needed. She arched an eyebrow. "So what would the goal here be? Supply run? Try to get the base working again for our use? Or perhaps for the Irregulars to use?" she asked curiously, trying to hide her sudden excitement at a new mission.

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Thu Nov 28, 2019 8:48 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
"Umojan Protectorate started up as an answer to the Confederate expansion and consolidation of power. Umoja saw that the Confederacy was looking to dominate the sector and formed the Protectorate to halt their expansion and protect their own interest. Now that Mengsk had more or less proved the same if not worse than the Confederacy, naturally Umoja would want him out, even if they worked with him until not too far back." Miranda scoffed in annoyance, looking at the tv screen and turned it off in the end, too angry to look at it anymore.

"HMhmphm..." The doctor didn't seem pleased when Ava pointed out that Mengsk escaped." They underestimated him... It was mentioned his own son was involved in some capacity. Though now that you mentioned it something was odd here." Miranda mumbled and pulled the broadcast again, narrowing her eyes at the list of people reported KIA." There might be more to this than I initually thought..." She suddenly said and pulled her datapad, recalling some of Mengsk's data she had cracked. Having Ava pulling her out of her emotional high, she suddenly regained her clarity of thought. Something was off here, off indeed." You know this doesn't seem like Umoja Related op at all. They act a lot more covert." She mentioned and looked at the daeth list." And there are quite a few confirmed deaths on Umoja side too that got involved.

"Doesn't matter." She suddenly stated in the end." Even if there's more ot this than it appears, there's not enough information to go by right now. In any case Umoja's in a bit of way maybe better than Mengsk, but not by much. WE should be wary of them as well. Better keep them as far away from our own interest as possible. We need to keep screening any new recruits from now on for possible Umojan or Dominion Infiltrators."

She looked at Ava when the topic moved to the instalation." It's a military instalation, old one. First goal is to actually confirm if it's still exist. Sometimes they strip everything when they abandon some of these. Anyways, we should first confirm if it's operational. It being that old, there's a chance that it might be something Mengsk wasn't aware off. Mark did mention it was supplied by smugglers with some hard to acqurie goods and that most of those smugglers ended up suspiciously dead soon after. Apaprently he escaped it by going dark for a bit and not too much later he even ended up as a slave so the COnfederacy never got to him. So we can assume it's a secret one."

"Still, main goal for the mission is recon. After we confirm the state of the facility we can move in further with aditional tasks. We shouldn't use the facility. Even if it's secret facility, tehre's a good chacne Mengsk will eventually find it, after all he's got control of all of the Confederacy's Databases. No matter how secret a facility is, there's still some kind of trail to it. We should use this chance while he's got bigger problems to worry about, to salvage and get everything from underneath his nose before he's got the chance to grab or destroy it first."

"There's also teh chance albeit miniscule that there might be still Confederate forces there, thus we will be going in in stealth. Now go inform Sid about this." She sat up with a cringe, holding onto the stitches for a moment." By the time you are done with that, I will be ready to leave this place. And for the love of god I want a fat juicy hamburger...." She stated and looked incredibly serious.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
4 days later
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Miranda piloted the ship slowly out of warp quite the dsitance away from the planet. That way they'd escape getting located from any sensors, going in only with the stealth. The world didn't appear anything special from orbit. It's moon was mostly destroyed which rose some questions, as of how that happened." World appears dead quiet from orbit. But it could be radio silence." She explained as she made the first run of the surface to scan. It was a mostly habitable world, though it wasn't hospitable. A majority of the surface was covered in desne swamps, the equators were a lot more rainy and dense closer to rainforest rather than swamps hoever. The only solid ground that could easily be found was on the moderete zone of the northern hemishpehre. It wasn't much, but it was there some plains and the like. There were 3 big oceans. that could be seen from orbit as well, but the color wasn't relaly healthy looking overall. Who knew what was mixed in with teh h2o. She had to go down and check later.

"Wait a moment, I think I found something." She suddenly called the others as seh pulled the holo screen to display the thing the sensors picked up. It was located within a mountain range, near the equator. heavy rains pretyt much every day, but on the side of the mountain for certain was a man made construction of some kind, likely including heavy underground faciltiies as well, using the sturdy mountain side to dig in and build it rather than the muddy swamps and the like.


Mon Dec 02, 2019 9:41 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava stared out the front viewport of the dropship, watching the planet they were approaching with great interest. From what she could see so far, there was no obvious sign of civilization on the surface of the world from orbit. At least, not like some of the other planets she had seen. That would make this place the perfect spot for a clandestine base. The young ghost frowned, looking at the scans that Miranda was conducting, seeing the majority of the biomes on the planet being swamp or rainforest. For either, that would make for harder travel... not to mention landing of their craft to begin with. Chances were, if this base really had been meant to be hidden, it would have a landing pad somewhere but.. probably a distance away from the main base to prevent detection. At least, that was how she would have done it.

Her head turned at Miranda's exclamation, then turned to look at the screen as the doctor pulled up a display of a mountain range. Hm, smarter. Build the base and landing pad IN the mountain, only partially exposed apparently. Searching for a relatively small structure on the side of a mountain somewhere on a planet was not an easy thing to do.. it was probably pure luck they found it as quickly as they had. Ava frowned though at such a base situation though meant. "So this isn't going to be a ground based entry..." she stated. "We are going to have to find a way to fly in there, right? What if there are still people in there? How are we going to do that?" she asked, still studying the holo image of the mountain as it zoomed in further. The mountain face was steep... jagged and sheer with what looked like heavy water erosion from constant rains. Likely very slippery with algae in such moist with the constant moisture. Not the most ideal climbing conditions. "I can.. try to climb it if I need to.." she added finally, reserved about the idea but... if she had to, she had to.

She frowned again. "Well, the first thing we need to find out I guess is if its operational. Get us close enough to it and I can see if I can sense anything.." she began to suggest but then thought of something. "But if it IS a military base... it might have automated detector defences..." she added. "Whether or not there are people there, it still might be able to spot us and take us out..." She frowned again. "I AM going to have to climb, aren't I?" she asked. "Unless you have another idea?" Ava snuck a glance back towards the rear of the dropship. Nick was sleeping back there somewhere and she knew he wouldn't be happy knowing that she might have to scale cliffs like that. Heck, SHE wasn't that happy about the idea of it either. But she wouldn't resist it if that was the only way. She was kind of hoping that Miranda had another idea though...

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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
"I'm not picking anything on the sensors, but it doesn't ensure lack of hidden anti air detection and defenses." Miranda nodded. It wasn't a rare trick to hide up detection and AA guns. Should the dropship be spotted and defenses active, even this gunship wouldn't escape unscratched, might even beforced to crashland, which on this world could be a very bad thign to happen." We cannot approach too close from teh air." Miranda in the end stated. She wasn't in her CMC right now.

"You aren't going to be doing this one alone." Miranda in the end stated as she pulled a map of the area that her scans had formed up. The base was decently high no doubt about that, but it wasn't anything impossible to climb actually. There were a few natural ways up the mountain base that would lead to the base within a day of climbing. Problem was that there weren't any suitable landing locations in the base of the mountain, the base of the mountain was somewhat bare and the ship wouldn't be masked by the vegitation or geography there. It could maintain stealth for a good deal of time, even more if it's turned off, but not for days. So Miranda flew it a distance to the foot of the mountain, flying into the jungle there, finding hte most stable place to land the ship. It was raining and even in the pretty dense vegitation, the drumming of the rain could be heard on the hull. What's more on the cockpit's glass one could see the yellowish liquid. Miranda narrowed her eyes as she ran some additional scans on the area.

"Ohh... the rain's acidic... not the strongest acid, but it would be uncomfortable, cause rashes and the like. Long exposure might actually affect CMCs unless kept under proper maintenace." Miranda commented throwing a look at Ava and then at Nick." Nick you are guarding teh ship on this one again. No need to risk CMC damage on this one, besides a big hulking thing like that would be hard to lug up the hill and be very easy to spot." She stated and moved off the pilot seat. Miranda instead walked to her locker, opening it up. From the bottom of the locker she pulled a decent sized case and lugged it over to the shower cabin, entering it.

"Me and Ava will go scout out the base. The geological formations that are leading up, would provide good cover. It would allow us to reach the base with decent protection from both elements and any possible scanner activity. The mountain has big concentration of certain minerals and metals that would hinder scanner activity to a degree. 2 humans should sneak in well enough without being spotted." She explained from within the shower cabin.

After a couple of minutes the door of the cabin opened up and she stapped out, dressed in something very similar to what Ava was wearing. An enviromental suit. It lacked the psi reactive fibers and direct camo device, but otherwise worked the exact same function. It Would allow her to venture into the acidic rain with no problem. It even came with a mask not too dissimilar to the one dominion ghosts used, again lesser tech, but same overall work. The suit's color was dull gray, so it shouldnt' stick otu as a sore thumb along hte mountain hills." Nick, you can monitor the situation from here, should you notice something inform post haste, but maintain relative radio silence." Miranda mentioned and looked at Ava. In difference from the ghost, Miranda didn't actually have a canister rifle that she could use, she only chose to bring her pistols, only after she made sure ther were in a fully sealed holsters on both hips, not wanting to expose them to the hostile elementso n this owrld needlessly.

"You ready?" Miranda asked, throwing a look at the ghost.


Sat Dec 07, 2019 9:42 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava's head whipped around towards Miranda. That hadn't been something she had picked up on, Miranda coming along on the mission too... The doctor had learned to mask certain thoughts from the ghost fairly effectively, though Ava never pushed either. This one had been a surprise and not one that Ava was all that enthused about either. Not only was going solo easier when being able to go at her own pace but... Miranda had a record of getting pretty beat up for a number of previous missions in a row and Ava worried for her. But it was Miranda's call and the ghost would offer no objections. Ava would adapt her mission performance accordingly and hopefully prevent a repeat of the former missions.

As they entered the atmosphere and lowered below the cloud level, Ava began to stare in wonder at the odd sight of the yellow rain as it ran down the window, her jaw dropping slightly in surprise. She stood, leaning over her side of the console to get a closer look through the windshield. She'd seen rain before, of course, and she was now well accustomed to Kalisti's snow, but yellow rain? That was new. Yellow.. not a bright happy yellow but a sickly yellow that almost seemed to have a hint of military green to it. What she could feel from Miranda made her realize that this wasn't a common occurrence in most places.

Seeing that Miranda was busy trying to analyze the precipitation, Ava moved back from the window, beginning to head out of the cockpit, telling Miranda that she was going to go wake up Nick. Heading into the rear compartment where they had set up a de facto bedroom, she knelt beside the two cots pushed together that made up the 'bed' that she and Nick used. Nick was lying on one side of it, completely passed out, one forearm draped of his eyes. He'd had a migraine earlier so Miranda had given him some meds for it and practically ordered him to get some sleep, as the meds would make him groggy anyways.

Ava hated to wake him but.. with a mission about to get started, she didn't really have a choice. "Hey.." she said in a low voice, not wanting to startle him right off the bat. No response, though not unusual; Nick could be a heavy sleeper she had learned over the past months. She called his name in a louder voice. Still nothing. Poked a finger into his shoulder. Nope. Just a bit of a grunt and reaction to her touch but he quickly settled again. Well, at this point, it was either shake him or... She smiled to herself. She leaned over with a long kiss.

Nick's eyes flew open, the grogginess of a medically assisted sleep only adding to the confusion of what was happening. "Whaa..?" he barely got out through the lips pressed against his. It took another moment before he realized who it was kissing him as Ava finally pulled away, a smug and amused look on her face. "What's going on? Not that that wasn't.. nice but... uh..." His brow furrowed as he tried to get his bearings, rubbing at his eyes with a fist as he tried to wake his brain up. "Didn't Miranda say I should sleep until the meds and the after effects of the migraine wore off?" he added, finally recalling that much of it. He didn't have migraines often, thankfully, but when he did, some of the grogginess could last hours, even up to a day afterwards.

"I should call you that one.. fairy tale princess. The one that slept for so long and was awakened with a kiss..." she teased. Nick had shown her some ancient stories meant for children, ones that formed the basis of childhood knowledge among most of normal Terran societies.

"Sleeping Beauty..." Nick managed to get out.

"That's the one!" she agreed, feeling Miranda's amusement at picking up what was going on psionically. Ava's smile turned apologetic, head tilted slightly to the side as she crouched beside the bed. "You've been sleeping nearly eight hours... full night's rest... and we just hit the planet." she explained. She sighed. "Miranda is tagging along on this one so that means you are going to have to guard the ship. Think you are up to it?" she asked standing up and grabbing one of his hands on the way, pulling on it the way an excited kid tried to get a reluctant parent up out of bed, not even giving him a chance to answer. Her eyes brightened. "You have to come see this rain though!" she said, pulling him up despite his groan. And, despite the groan, he staggered up and followed.

Ava pulled him all the way back to the cockpit but maneuvered him into the co-pilot's chair she had just recently vacated and pointed out the window, noticing that they had also found a landing spot in the meantime. "See?" she asked enthusiastically. "Weird rain, right?" Her whole life had been so.. staid, so routine, and so lacking in emotional capacity, that now she couldn't help having childlike wonder towards new things. She frowned, looking at the odd colour of the precipitation again. "I don't think I'd want to drink something that colour..." she said offhand. To that statement, Miranda answered, apparently having found out more about the rain. "Okay, definitely no drinking the water here..." she added at hearing the reason for the colouration.

Nick grunted a reply at Miranda's orders that he stay and guard the ship. It wasn't a disagreeable sound at all. He was glad to stay behind this time and let himself get his bearings a bit more. Without a word, Ava moved behind the seats to a small unit where they kept some snacks on hand for the pilots after Miranda had gone to get changed, and grabbed an insulated thermos out of it. She had prepared it a little while before, as they had gotten in-system, knowing that one way or another, Nick would be getting up shortly. She passed it to him as Miranda spoke from further back in the ship. "Coffee..." she mouthed at him, nodding towards the thermos as he took it, watching as his face took on a grateful look as he opened it up. Ava's nose wrinkled at the sharp smell of it. She couldn't get used to the smell or taste of it but Nick loved the drink and she had prepared it just how he liked it.

He looked over at her. "I would say you don't know how much I need this right now..." he whispered back with a half smile. "But you do, don't you."

Ava just grinned smugly and gave a small shrug. "Helps being a ghost..." she whispered back before turning her attention back as Miranda finally returned. An eyebrow raised at seeing what the doctor was currently wearing. It was.. closely familiar. Close but not quite. A uniform dull grey as opposed to Ava's environmental suit which was off-white along with grey, and Miranda's suit lacked the lit stripes which were in large part powered by the ghost's own psionics and lacking in the non-ghost variety that was more common in use. Once Ava put her armour on, the differences would be even more apparent but.. it was still odd seeing Miranda in something that closely mirrored Ava's own customary garb. Some deep-seated, though very small part of her almost felt defensive about seeing Miranda dressed near to a ghost, almost that it was a fallacy since Miranda was not a ghost. It was an irrational thought and was gone as quick as it had come though. It only made sense and that outfit was a standard environmental suit worn by... thousands who were not ghosts in circumstances when it was needed, she told herself.

"Let me go get the rest of my gear." she said, heading to the sleep area where she kept it in her locker. Miranda and Nick, who had been revived just a bit by the coffee, followed as she and Miranda would have to use the rear hatch to disembark and Nick would close it behind them from there. Quickly Ava pulled on the armoured boots and chest armour, followed by her own mask and hood and then the two armoured gloves, the right one still fitted with the Protoss psi blade. A quick test to make sure it was still in working order and she grabbed her canister rifle, slinging it over one shoulder for the moment.

After Miranda gave comms orders to Nick, the doctor turned to Ava, asking if she was ready. Ava nodded. "Affirm." she answered. As Miranda turned to head to the hatch, Ava snuck a quick kiss to Nick, which she usually did when she had to head out on a mission and leave him back. Being a ghost was a dangerous job anyway you looked at it and she couldn't waste an opportunity. "See you post OP." she added before turning around and pulling her mask over his face, sealing the suit completely and following Miranda out the hatch. "Lead the way." she said through the built in comm system inside her mask.

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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda took a moment to get used to the feeling of the suit. It was a bit more form fitting than any clothing she had ever wore. After a few moments and as she moved, she soon stopped minind it though. It was kinda reasurring to feel your body tightly wrapped in the warm secure material of the suit. The mask too wasn't as uncomofrtable as she initially assumed. In any case the moment they stepped outside of the ship, she could feel the rain hitting the suit. THe suit wasn't hard after all. She didn't felt cold or uncomfortable because well it was protecting her perfectly, but she did feel lightly teh drumming of the rain and it was rather nice. She didn't wiat for the ship's doors to close as she started walking." Very well." Miranda replied with a smile, hidden by the mask. Her suit's power supply was a long lasting small generator located on a pack by the waist. It was there in case the suit required to provide additional life support services such as extreme temperature regulation.

She walked into the jungle, they weren't too far from the folds of hte mountain after all. The fauna and flora of this world were fascinating and she couldn't stop herself from well stopping to study a type of tree that seemed to be secreting some kind of sticky substance that was not reacting at all to the acid rain. It was acid resistant resin it seemed. And the resin was...green. Very curious, she made a note to remember the type of tree so she takes some samples on the way back. The animals were mostly not present because the acid, but there were a few bird like things hiding from teh acid in holes in the trees. These were 'birds', they had 3 eyes, feathers were colorful and well... it's beak was horizontal to open.. kinda like mandibles on insects. Then there was the fact it had 4 wings... no wait 2 of those weren't wings, it was small arms...? So it was... a dynosour type of something?

Soon enough the acid rain intensified as Miranda stopped walking underneath a big tree. They were near the mountain already, the trees were less dense and the swamp soil was turning solid." We are near." Miranda said and pulled ehr datapad. It was crafted to be acid resistant so it needed no additional protection. She fiddled with it for a moment, raised it up and ran it left and right for a moment." Not picking any signals still, there shouldn't be any scanners or detection here. There's also the fact that the ship's scanners had troubles detecting deep within the planet's surface. There must be minerals hindering scanners, perfect place for a hidden baze after all. With this being the case, even if they have generetaors and the like, scanners wouldn't be able to detect anything from orbit or sky scanner sweeps, even if you knew where the base was. I'm actually surprised htey even build surface facilities that could be picked on scanners. Ideal base would only have maybe a single hangar entrance or a few smaller ones scattered about, that way scanners wouldn't pick them on scanning sweeps. This place shouldn't have any surface buildings like the ones we picked up, wonder why they did this." Miranda wondered as she looked at the ghost.

The doctor had stopped walking to catch her breath for a moment, mostly because the now mostly healed stomach injury was slightly bothering her. It was itching... she couldn't quite scratch it over the suit, but rubbing it a lil settled it for the moment. Miranda fell on a knee and pulled out her binoculars, starting to study the path up the mountain they were going to take. She stopped midway as she spotted a weird shape due to a flash of lightning." Ava, spot, direction 12 o clock, distance aprox kilometer." She started calling out the position of where she wanted the ghost to inspect.

The place didn't appear too different at first, but there was a very weird rock formation, there. Miranda's was pretty certain something was up with it, so she decided it was best for Ava to check it. THe rock formation was a bit... weird. It had a few too straight angles and lines on it. Then there was also teh case that there was a small horizontal strip on it that seemed to be dark inside." What do you think? Observation or sniper post?" She asked. Miranda was pretty certain that was supposed to be a manned station of some kind, but she didn't know if it was manned right now. It appeared NO to her, but she wasn't sure if it was made to look that way on purpose.


Wed Dec 18, 2019 8:02 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava didn't even glance back as she moved out into the forest, her mind now completely in the moment, on the mission as she unslung her rifle into her hands. Glancing around, she took stock of the environment, looking for any threats. Nothing on first glance... She quickly switched to infrared vision on her visor, adding another scan of the area which did pick up a number of hits. There were creatures up in the trees, the first specimens she could see with.. wings that looked nearly worthy of the zerg... though she was fairly certain these were natural creatures to this planet.

There was something else moving about, only a little bit bigger than the flying things... but its shape almost looked like a cross between a monkey of some sort and a cat.. but rather than be furred or hairy, its body was completely smooth and seemed to be scaled, though it was difficult to tell from this distance. The head shape looked more akin to that of a thin-nosed crocodile with snagletooth jaws though... which the one she saw use to great effect in reaching in and pulled out one of the 'bird' creatures out of a hole in a tree. Apparently lunch. She only saw one of the croco-monkey-cat though so, assuming it was a predator by its actions, it seemed to be a solitary one and by its size, it wasn't a threat to two grown women.

Checking the rest of the sensors in her suit as she began to follow Miranda, the suit's HUD reported that the chemicals it could pick up in the nearby vicinity were not dangerous. Despite Miranda's warnings about the acid rain, the effects should they be exposed to it were not life-threatening by any means and the Dominion had never had any concern over their ghosts' physical comforts so.. skin-irritating chemicals in the rain was deemed not worthy of warning. That such caustic liquid to get into a ghost's eyes at a critical moment and distract them result in their deaths was not even enough reason to fine tune the warnings. Of course not.. the Dominion, and the Confederacy before that, did not care enough about the lives of its slaves despite the cost and time of training of a psionic.

As they progressed through the woods, Ava kept her gun up, ready for anything, her nerves on edge. Though she was well trained enough for being a ghost, this was not the type of environment her trainers had generally placed her in. Assassination targets were more often in urban environments. Not that she hadn't taken survival training but.. most of that had been in the badlands on Tarsonis, considerably different to this rainy forest. Lack of familiarity and not knowing what threats might lurk out there only added to her vigilance. Eventually though, the rain began to come down so heavy that Ava was forced to turn off the infrared mode on her visor, the wavelength getting so refracted by the acidic rain running down the mask that it was making it difficult to see. Even with just normal vision, it was still blurred and dyed her vision with the off-yellow green hue of this planet's rain. She shook her head, trying to clear some of the drops on the mask's visual sensors.

Thankfully, Miranda stopped them under one of the bigger trees in the area, giving Ava a moment. As much as she wanted to reach up and wipe at the lenses on the visor, she knew her armoured gauntlet wouldn't really help and could scratch the delicate equipment so she shook her head again, trying to dislodge as much of the moisture as she could in that way. A little better.. for now. That done, she checked over her rifle and then her suit's sensors and her protoss gauntlet, making sure none of it was suffering any ill effects from the rain. It appeared it was all still good.

When Miranda stated that they were near to the base, Ava scanned around with her mind, trying to pick up anything. Behind her mask, she frowned and then shook her head. "I.... can't get anything. I can only feel you and me here.." she replied, not all that happy about that. Whether it could be minerals, or the sheer amount of rock over the base... or maybe it HAD been abandoned, she didn't know. She would assume one of the first two though. It would be better to advance as if this place was armed to the teeth only to find it empty than to be caught unawares.

Her masked face turned quickly over to the doctor, the only sign of the sense of surprise Ava felt was the quick movement and what Miranda would be able to pick up psionically. She hadn't seen or known about out-buildings but.. then again, Ava had been in the back with Nick on the ship for the close approach and landing. "There's outside buildings?" she asked in confusion. That seemed... stupid for a hidden base to have such obvious structures. "I don't like it..." she stated, voicing her suspicions. It wouldn't stop her from going in, not by a long shot... but it would definitely put her more on guard. "You only risk discovery of a place like this if the need is great enough.. Something too dangerous to be connected to the main base? Why not hide the other buildings too though? Something dangerous that had to be sheltered or contained too quickly to have the time to build more clandestine facilities?" she theorized.

Suddenly Miranda stopped, falling to a knee. Ava got a clear sense of caution from her friend, feeling the adrenaline hit. She stopped as still as a pole, her rifle tracking very slowly around, watching for any threat or movement. Miranda called out the direction and distance and Ava's rifle immediately snapped around, but rather than look through the scope, she merely zoomed in with her visor which had its own powerful binocular ability. With the internal computer tracing and enhancing lines, she could see the irregularities immediately, especially the dark strip. There was no question about what that was. "Sniper post." she answered back, training her vision on it, looking for any movement in the darkness. "There's no glass...." she added. She would have been able to see the rain on the glass had there been any, and even reflections of the grim grey light of the day. It was just a dark recess though.

Quickly, she switched her infrared back on. Where they were currently was keeping enough water runoff away from her that it wasn't obscuring her mask quite as much but it would make it very hard.. to target at that distance. Still... it would give enough of what she was looking for.... "There is someone in there..." she said, seeing the hint of a warm body part move past the colder background inside the dark slit before moving out of view. "I can't sense them.. I don't think it's the distance.. though can't be sure.. but I saw them in there. Not enough to get a shot if they show themselves again... and it wouldn't be smart to warn whoever might be in there, but.. there is someone in this base at least. I would say likely more than one someones...."

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Fri Dec 20, 2019 8:02 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
"There could be a multitude of reasons why external buildings were created. First of all this planet isn't really considered for settling. Even getting to this place was a hasstle, it's too distant from other settled world and nowdays it's technically outside of Terran space. There aren't any other major Terran worlds around. But the major point is that... excavating the underground is a long process. What happens when you require to rapidly accomodate more people than the base's planned for?" Miranda asked, tossing a look at the ghost." Either you alter facilities to become housing or... you prepare emergency housing facilities. Depending on the type of research facility this is, adapting facilities for housing could be hard." This was the simple reasoning Miranda was using right now but it made sense. It's not been too long since the fall of the Confederacy, less than a year really. This was a secure confederate location, unknown to Mengsk likely." I'm thinking this is a good indication that there could be important things here... or important people."

Then Ava confirmed her thoughts about the place. The doctor aimed the bynoculars again at the sniper nest. Now that she had confirmation about it, she knew what to look for." Yeah... it's still operational instalation after all." She grinned underneath the mask and started looking the way upwards to the mountain path." They are too far to sense them? Hmm well even a ghost could have troubles reaching out over a kilometer away. Even though you are a level 10 psionic, training would be required to have that much precise control. Though it could also be affected by the location? Maybe this planet has psionic dampening or at least dulling properties to a certain degree?. I feel our connection mostly the same so even if that's the case it doesn't affect us at this close a range." The doctor had started going on a tangent about the scientific side of it, but realized what she was doing and decided to leave that for later.

"Let's see..." She mumbled and looked up the way to the sniper nest." From what I can see, that nest has a pretty decent coverage. Honestly if it was night, I wouldn't have troubles getting over without being discovered... aside the obvious navigation and movement at night is harder even with night vision." The doctor said as her vision traced her initial intended path upwards the steep slope. It was still possible to scale it easy enough, provided decent coverage as well, however the sniper nest was now in the way. About halfway between here and the way up, there was a decent overhang of the rockface that could be followed up using as cover from the sniper nest, but it was still half a kilometer of distance from the base of the mountain. Luckily with swampy area, the folliage and flore extended pretty much to the very edge of the mountain so there wasn't any dead grounds between the trees and the mountain cliff where they were absolutely no cover.

"Okey, I can scale it at night if I have to, but I'm concerned over this sniper nest. You go in ahead, I will wait at the base, using the folliage as cover from the sentry." Miranda stated and pointed at sniper nest." If they are distracted and not looking at this direction, I can probably scale the base of the mountain up to the overhang in short notice should they be distracted. There are also a few spots that could be used as cover on the way to that point as well, should I require to make that part of the climb in a few parts." She stated as she confirmed it and looked at the weather that was still stormy." Just be careful."

Sending Ava ahead alone wasn't something Miranda liked at all. She wanted to acompany her, but she couldn't risk being discovered at this point, worst case scenarion she'd indeed wait for nightfall to climb up. In any case, the ghost wouldn't take too long to get to the sniper nest. Half an hour tops with the climbing and the like so she just had to wait patiantly. Like this Miranda started some light studies on the location in the swamp. Stuff like testing the plants, studying other critters that she finds as well. Like this, she was left utterly stunned at this weird plant that actualy turned was not a plant. It was a big insect that resembled a stalk of green grass. Then it moved to a three and it changed it's color to brown and became like the tree bark. She had heard of such bugs before, first time she found one however. Most were at locations that weren't really lived by humans. Then there was this plant that seemed to be secreting some subtances that was adhesive, when an insect got caught in it, the plant would close it's petals like a flower at night.

Over at the sniper nest, things were actually pretty quiet overall. As Ava gets close to it, signs of artificial work could be seen. Such as there were a rather obvious pathway leading from behind the nest that had a big sturdy on the back, facing the mountainside. The path wasn't too big, just enough for a single person, however it was too uniform to be an animal trail or natural formation. Inside the nest there indeed was a single person. A man, who wasn't in a CMC. Heck even his rifle wasn't set at hand. He was currently sitting on a chair, smoking, looking at a book and occasionally checking the area. He was in a grumpy mood, nicely getting along with the storm.' Fucking nobles...' He thought, passing the pages on the book.' Fucking confederacy, fucking dominion and fucking job...' His head was filled with cursing and other unpleasant words.' Every day's the same thing... well... I guess I shouldn't complain, still better than those poor suckers at base command. At least no one's bothering me here.'

With that he gave the area a sweep, but honeslty it was just with bare eyes, wasn't even using a scope or bynoculars.' No one's going to arrive at this place anyways... who's dumb enough to dare risk landing here. Especially with all the shit in the Sector.' He suddenly placed the book on the small table next to him and stood up, taking a metal cup of some hot drink, possibly coffee." Shit... they cut the supply rations again... out of coffee. Guess Imma trading ammo for grains and smokes again... sigh."


Sat Dec 21, 2019 9:05 pm
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Ava grunted in reply, not truly agreeing with Miranda's reasoning. Sure, it COULD be that they needed to bring more people than they had planned.. but this was a SECRET base. In the ghost's experience, personnel of such facilities needed to be carefully monitored and planned for, including planning ahead for any population growth. Not anticipating the sudden need for an increase in personnel was just sloppy.. not something she would have expected of the Confederacy. If there was someone else here other than the remnants of the Confederacy though, that might make the difference. In the end though, it didn't really matter. They would find what they would find during this operation. A ghost's place was not to question but just to do their job. Take the intel given, adapt to what you found during the OP. That was the job. That was how she had been raised and trained all her life.

She let out a sigh, hidden behind her mask. Though they had as of yet only seen or sensed one individual inside the base, she suspected that Miranda was right: the base was fully operational.. and staffed. That right there increased the difficulty of the mission a hundred fold. Especially with an operative who could not cloak. There was no telling how big of a security force a place like this could have.. though likely it would be at the least a fair size. She frowned behind the mask as Miranda began to concede the limits of a ghost's abilities. Though the observation post WAS a good distance, it.. didn't feel right that she couldn't pick up something on the guy within. While it was far even for a level ten psionic like herself... she DID have a lot of training in the use of her abilities.. even if her abilities had been inconsistent before her escape. Since, she had come to trust in her powers. She KNEW she should be able to at least sense that man's presence if nothing else. And she couldn't. She shook her head. "I think its the location." she confirmed. "It could even be that there is something IN the mountain range there that's causing it, whether intentionally or not." she added with a half shrug.

Ava paused for a moment, staring at the observation post, considering Miranda's attempts at a plan. Finally she turned back to Miranda. "As long as they don't have a detector between here and there, I can get there easily enough... and if there are only few people in the post, I think.. I can influence them to look the other way so you can make an approach. If I can sense you here, I should be able to sense them if I can get close..." she answered back. "If I can't contact you psionically from that distance,... I was going to say the comms but perhaps we should be careful about that too. Watch the area near the sniper nest with your binocs. I will give you a signal when it's safe to approach." she concluded. She gave one sharp nod at the warning to be careful and then took off at a steady jog as her form faded as her cloak took hold, showing only the odd splash in puddles on the forest floor.

Keeping in very good shape turned out to be a very good idea as she ran through the forest and then began the climb. It wasn't a sheer cliff by any means up to the sniper post but it was broken rocks and boulders up a steep slope which made the approach more of a workout for the ghost than anything else. In a little under a half hour though, Ava was up to the lookout post. And up this close, she could sense minds beneath the ground. A lot of minds. This was most definitely an active base. Balancing precariously, Ava managed to lean into the windowed opening of the sniper nest, getting the best survey of it as she could. One man within still, another two very close though. This man was supposed to be the lookout, the sniper.. the other two were backup and ones that could send up an alert if need be, but.. none of them seemed on high alert. With the remoteness of this base, it was unlikely they had never been found out or needed to send up an alarm for real. They had become lax.

Ava hunkered back, finding a more comfortable position. From here, she couldn't see inside as well but she didn't need to: she could feel the minds. There was a bit of fuzziness, something like her old inhibitor but on a much weaker scale and it was all around, not just in her head. It was too weak though to disrupt her powers here. She began to focus on the mind of the man in the sniper nest, slipping into his thoughts, into his mind surreptitiously. He was tired. He had been on shift for a while now and had been up late the night before and was trying his best to keep awake with a stimulant drink. Coffee. He damned wanted to take a nap, both out of lack of sleep and just sheer boredom of this posting. Gently, Ava urged the thought of a nap on, without words sending the impression that nobody would ever find out if he closed his eyes for a while. It didn't take long until she felt his mind recede into unconsciousness. She checked on the other two minds. Distracted. It wasn't their job to keep watch so they were watching some form of entertainment.

Ava glanced back out at the dark forest where she had come from, where she had left Miranda. She tried catching her friend's mind but... just as she had expected, whatever this interference was, it was limiting long distance sendings or receivings. That left one thing. Hoping that Miranda was paying attention, Ava briefly shut off her cloak and lit up her psi-blade before shutting it off. Instead of recloaking though, she lay down, flat against the rocks. Despite the new power systems, the new and improved suits she had, they still had limits to how long the cloak could remain on before needing to recharge. She was in an innocuous enough position right now and her suit, mainly whites and greys wouldn't stand out too much amongst the grey rocks. Here, she could wait for Miranda to make the approach while being able to monitor some of the minds within the base at the same time. Every so often, as the minutes past and she waited, she sent another psionic message out at Miranda, trying to judge the distance when her friend would actually be able to detect her again...

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Tue Dec 31, 2019 6:46 am
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Post Re: SC - Fugitives
Miranda's studies on the surroundings didn't take too long, because eventually she spotted the light caused by a brief flash of a psi blade. She grinned underneath the helmet, standard signaling tactic there. Good job Ava! The doctor was very pleased as she stood up and started moving forwards towards the mountain side. Had it not been the psi-blades, it could have done the same job with a flashlight. In any case it worked and she was already moving through teh last of the vegetation.

Honestly the planet wasn't the worst out there, there seemed to be something odd about it, but there were worse worlds overall where colonies had been set up. Admittedly this was just a very brief observation and the major problem of the world was it's lack of solid ground. The fact the majority of the world was some kind of jungle or swamp wasn't very good for human settlements. The local flora and fauna had evolved to match it however. Then there was the mild acidic rain, it didn't seem to bother the local creatures, but humans would be bothered by it even if it wasn't lethal.

Dashing through the last bits of muddy earth and vegetation, she found herself at the base of the massive stone mountains. It was honestly a bit intimidating, looking at the giant ground formations from their very base. Honestly scientist specializing in the field of studies of geology, biology and so on would find this place a treasure trove. So of course the Confederacy had basically made it impossible to even know it exists. Sadly how much lost potential for civilization as a whole, who knew what they were doing here. She was suspecting some kind of psionic related experiments now though, given the world's seeming psionic dampening properties. Though if she knew her former 'employers' there was probably a variety of experimentsi n different fields here. They will see soon enough.

Miranda's climb was a bit slower than Ava's... well she still was making a decent progress though. The hurt from the stomach wound was still there, but she was nearly done healing, so it wasn't much an issue and didn't hurt that much anyways. However she realized a small thing, maybe she should take up her fitness regime a notch... Wouldn't hurt to be in even better physical shape. She wasn't in bad shape anymore, god no especially considering what she was like when they escaped the Dominion at the start. Still luckily this mountain had this way up which was just climable without climbing gear. Though Miranda wished to see how any CMC armored soldier would make it up. She herself had to at times move on all four because it was steep or had to hop over a ledge. With a deep breath she had just haled the distance, reaching the spots where there were nice overhangs to hide. As such she decided to catch a breath for just a moment and stopped, overlooking the surroundings again. Better be safe than sorry after all, right?

On the plus side of it, she was starting to feel Ava's mind again. Honestly being completely cut off from the ghost's presence for a bit htere was weird after them spending so much time at the very least remotely connected. She had felt the same when they were separated during the Dead Man's Rock deal. The doctor couldn't reach out and completely sense thoughts or the like coming from the ghost, but at lesat there was the faint presence. Having taken her minute of rest she moved up the mountain again, realizing how great these enviromental suits were! It was comfortable and easy to move in, granted it was very form fitting, but that was a given, what's more if it's coupled with the psi-reactive fibers that the ghost suits use to increase physical power, it was no wonder why Ghost were equipped with that gear after all.

After a bit more time she got near the nest and finally started to sense Ava's presence properly. She suspected that the sweet spot for the planet's dampening field was about 300 meters in their case. Beyond that it was increasingly hard to reach out with psionics and given the ship's sensors, any type of scanning equipment. Finally after some final bits of effort she crept her way towards where Ava was.' This was honestly harder than it appeared initially.' She reached out with a thought, but her general mood was mostly joking. Now that htey were both here the fun stuff could begin.

The only real way towards their destination was the created mountain trail that these people used to come to their post here, since the mountains were increasingly harder to navigate from now on until the base's entrance that was up there some way still.' We will have to follow the trail up. From the looks of it, there might be places on this trail where it's so narrow 2 people cannot pass side by side. So we should be careful. We've got a good thing happening however, it appears the rain might be growing worse, so we shouldn't be concerned as much about being seen.' With that at mind, Miranda started moving again, but let Ava take point. If someone was getting near the Ghost would sense them first anyways. Better not be in the way of her shot. At the very least, at least they had a proper path to follow! One meant for humans and that included a more normal inclines that didn't reaquire one to scale them on all fours!


Sat Jan 04, 2020 7:38 pm
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