Hidden 7 yrs ago Post by Jb
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Jb Because we're here lad

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Taenarum, sometimes called the planet of ill will, was something different to any different people; to some it was a lifeline to possibly their only source of income, while to others it nothing more than a wretched hive of scum and villainy - better to be destroyed than allowed to survive in it's current state. True, it was a planet which held the largest single population of individuals that would fight for coin, bartered goods or even for the thrill of war itself, and there were plenty of brothels and watering holes for a thirsty or lustful warrior to quench themselves, but overall it was well organised and not half as violent as off-worlders seemed to believe.

The aim of almost everyone on the planet, from the lone wolf to the larger companies and to the towering machines of war, alien or human it made no difference, was to be hired out by a greater power for a cause that was hopefully greater than their own. In theory this was easy! One would await a contract, ever seeking one out or being sought out in turn, from an employer of some form - these could be mighty star empires, lower domains with less population, or even major and affluent lordlings or religious orders - the term would then be agreed upon by both groups and, before long, forces would be mobilised and the cycle of war could begin anew.

The planet itself was more like a continent wide city surrounded by water, not a patch of earth to be seen otherwise, and to the four eyes of the Valnaur emissary only recently arrived from a verdant plains world at the western-most fringe of the freshly isolationist sovereign, it was something completely new. His own home world was sparsely populated, diplomatically neutral in most conflicts, and absent of the flashing lights, loud voices and general clamour of Taenarum, his furred arachnid brethren living in underground burrows beneath the earth of the vast open plains and - in spite of their admittedly ugly appearance - their warlike tendancies were nearly nil.

In one of his clawed limbs was clutched a missive from his Emperor instructing him to hire a company for...well...that would be telling, and it was classified; first he needed to find an individual to negotiate with.

Unsure of where one might find such a man (or alien), Teeruk'nok'tanar of Yurach headed toward a square covered in hawkers and merchants attempting to seel their wares. In the middle of the square flowed a fountain, and it was here that Teeruk took a seat, his typically swollen abdomen positioned comfortably enough that he could dip a claw into the clear water as he surveyed the area around him, searching for those he sought and clacking his mandibles together irritably.

Why was it so hot?

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Hidden 7 yrs ago 7 yrs ago Post by POOHEAD189
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Virgil Bartholomew leaned against a clay wall at the edge of the square, smoke billowing from his cigar with every breath. He slipped two fingers around it, and removed the stick of tobacco for a moment. Eyes sharp as a hawk, he took note of the odd sight of a Valnaur planting itself practically at the center of town. He still had plenty of prejudice toward that particular race and empire, but the way it moved had him curious.

He slipped off the wall, and strode over further into the square. His face was a mask of shadow due to the wide brimmed hat he wore, and the light from the sun, beating down from above. Clad in a dark brown duster, his leather boots made audible noises of pressing into the dirt street as he approached, not uttering a word. He stopped before the emissary, and took a long drag of his cigar, staring at the alien with a dangerous gaze. A gaze that most Valnaur didn't live to see twice.

"Showing yourself on a human world," Virgil said rhetorically, smoke wafting from him. "You must be lost, or someone worth of note. Or you're looking for something. Or maybe someone..." He took another drag from the cigar, before he dropped it onto the ground. The heel of his boot crushed it into the dirt.

"I'm thinking if you're looking for something done, you're willing to pay a handsome price. Question is..." Virgil lifted his head a bit, allowing some of the sun to illuminate his face. He had a chiseled jaw, and an impressive handlebar mustache. "What's making you do it here, and not asking any of your own kind?"
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Hidden 7 yrs ago Post by Indy Cooper
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"Yes, and make sure to keep the dressing clean or you'll get an infection," the small robot chimed at the human leaving the little tent Ahk-khrat-rhaz has set up just outside the main forum area. The male human waved noncommittally, and Ahk sighed, producing a whirring roar of wind from her breathing organs on her flank, rattling chitin and frightening the poor man half to death. He hurried himself out, cradling his freshly bandaged forelimb and not looking back. Ahk was certain that she would see him again in a few days with either a new wound or an infection. Humans were so stubborn about wound care, and she would never understand why.

She patted her little translator droid on the head affectionately with one of her fine-work forelimbs before folding it away and rotating herself to survey her equipment, racked as it was against one wall over the operating/diagnostics bed. she had very little, most of it jury-rigged and obsessively cleaned scavenge, though she had sprung for an up-to-date diagnostics wand and a brand new set of IncisionWare scalpels and saws, since those were always too blunted to recover, though she had already had to sharpen one or two blades. The damnable things were far harder to keep sharp than most realised, even given modern metallurgic techniques. She would have loved to get her hands on an adjustable laser scalpel, but that was far beyond her price range. And the power supply would no fit into her tiny tent.

All in all, she had a decent collection, and even better than to be expected from a non-descript tent in a dusty corner of the square with a poorly painted sign declaring 'Wounds and diseases treated, cybernetics examined, low cost, no questions', in several languages, hanging at an angle over the door flap. Inside, visitors were treated with the sight of the translator droid sitting, legless, on the front counter, and Ahk's bulk barely small enough to fit into the exam/treatment area with enough room to work. Probably intimidating to the smaller mammalian races, but thankfully she hadn't had to deal with many of them.

"Or much of anyone really," she thought to herself, 'theropod' head swinging out over the counter to glance outside. Without customers, she would not stay afloat, and then would be forced into homelessness. While that would make it arguably easier to get recruited by mercenaries, it would most assuredly make it harder to be recruited for her skill set instead of her sheer physical properties. She stared out into the crowded square, idly calculating infection rates of various diseases through the multi-species area and taking noted by diction on her droid about various theories her home planet had wrong about some species movement and colouration patterns, and waited for another patient to come in.
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Hidden 7 yrs ago 7 yrs ago Post by SrslyAnArtist
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SrslyAnArtist Badass Bitch / Struggling to live

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A dangerous looking man dressed in dark leathers wove his way through the crowd. He had purple tinted tawny skin and long, braided black hair that exposed slightly pointed ears. He walked stiffly, heading for the nearest medical tent. His mismatched gold an violet eyes had slitted pupils that contracted and expanded in response to the varying shades if light and dark that he passed through. At almost seven feet in height, he stood a good deal talker than most who walked the streets.

The Ga'iyan male sighed as he entered the shade of the tent, bending to avoid the top of the entrance. He saw the medic was a Zkz'Karni, and greeted her in a close approximation of her own tongue, which had been the hardest for him to learn. Unlike most people, he knew that the Zkz'Karni were more than the stupid beasts that people often thought them to be.

"Could you help me?" he asked, still in the same tongue. "I simply cannot get the bullet out of my right leg." He sat on a cot and rolled up his pantleg to expose the side of his calf. He would have been able to get it out himself if it weren't for the fact that it was at an awkward angle and the blood had made it too slippery.

Stupid, chemical drinking puss bag of a human had been high on whatever poison he liked when the son of a cur had shot him. Having had savage discipline as a youth, he knew better than to strike back at a chemmie. They weren't in their right minds when they did or said half the shit they did, so he wasn't inclined to retaliate anyway. You could only punish the insane to a certain extent before justice became cruelty.
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Hidden 7 yrs ago 7 yrs ago Post by Tsar Gatto
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Tsar Gatto African or European?

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The stench of poverty flowed through the streets in the bronze quarter, the dwellings around these parts may once long ago been luxurious and even lavish, however that was clearly long ago he thought to himself. These days this part of the city was rarely visited by the majority of the offworlders that have come to call Taenarum ‘home’ temporarily or otherwise. Thick with first, second and even third generation refugees this area had succumbed to the plight of crime and squalor that often accompanies such an exodus and resulting influx of so many lives forced to occupy such confined living quarters. Between the older buildings there were shabbily constructed shanties that had grown as did the population, and everywhere there were the signs of neglect and lawlessness. It was not a nice place to be.

Few took notice of the shadowy figure that walked the twilight streets, clad in a dark faded ferbosium bodysuit with several mismatched pieces of combat-scarred armour – only half hidden under the worn dark navy jacket - it was clear to most this stranger had seen and dealt in death. A rifle slung across his back, a bulky sidearm and his hand resting on the hilt of his blade the few that did take notice quickly thought better of it and began to search for a new much easier, less well armed mark. His helmet was nondescript, though any survivors of the Galen-Tiese systems might recognise its makings, it was all but meaningless to the rest of the universe. The figure turned off the main street and made his way down a small alleyway between two towering blocks, grimacing as he was again assailed by the stench of filth he wished he’d brought an airtight helmet instead of his openfaced one. Before him he could see his destination, a small drinking establishment built again rather poorly and cheaply with only a non-functioning neon sign to give away its presence. ‘The Dead End’ it was called, ‘Ironic’ - thought Sinval to himself as he trudged down through the filth towards the shanty. Along the way he passed piles of rubbish and even a pair of corpses, not long dead by the look of them, practically naked and stripped of everything of worth he guessed. He didn’t linger on the thought of their fate for more than a few moments, cruel as it may have been.

Steeling himself he removed his sturdy Draxentine sidearm and entered the premises, pushing open the wooden door with his free-hand before his eyes took in his surroundings as rapidly as he could. There was one central room with two other doorways, the leftmost behind what was once the bar, now covered in rotting food containers and rancid chem paraphernalia. He summarised that the first door would likely lead to some kind of small storage room, the other door though looked like it might more-so lead into another room judging on its more central position. He was surprised by the lack of any guards of hired thugs of any sort, but then again this looked like it’d been converted into ramshackle living quarters of sort as he took count of the several bedrolls scattered about the room – it didn’t exactly look like a high class operation to say the least - no wonder the job was for so little money he reflected sourly.

He took a step forwards and at that moment the second doorway opened, emerging from it a rather muscular human thug who took more than a few moments to realise Sinval was even there. He cried out in a guttural street language and scrabbled to pull his own weapon free and scramble backwards at the same time. Sinval quickly fired a single shot which took him clean in the skull, sending his body thudding backwards as he saw several more figures looming through the doorway and returning his cries. Vaulting forwards he closed the distance and threw himself against the doorway for cover as they returned fire, several light rounds whizzing past before embedding in the wall behind him. He waited patiently for a lull in their shots and counted two shooters and tried to determine their rough positions based on the sounds he could hear. His moment came and he whipped around the corner and rapidly fired two shots at each of the men. Before they could even react the shots found their marks and they crumpled to the ground. “Amateurs…” he mumbled to himself as he made his way cautiously through the room towards what he figured must be the final doorway based on the size of the place. As he did suddenly someone on the other side opened fire and sent a rapid hail of shots towards him. He lunged to the side though he did feel a round ricochet off his shoulder guard and he gritted as he again lunged into cover beside the doorway and landed with a thud. He quickly held his gun against the door and blind-fired several shots which tore through the wood, he continued to fire until the shots stopped. Again taking the first opportunity he pulled the door open and quickly glanced through ready to fire if necessary. The small room had offered little cover to his foe and his shots had found their target. Laying writhing on the carpet was the unmistakable Feilond criminal he had been sent to kill, his ‘distinguishing’ appearance proof enough of that.

Sinval took a few steps more into the room as he drew up above the reptilian Feilond and kicked the machine pistol away from its clawed grasp. “Waaait… I’ll p..p..pay you!” it croaked feebly in Humanitas. He wasted no time as he levelled the gun to its skull and fired another round, its grey scaled head half exploding as he executed it without pause ending its pitiful life. He took a few moments as he removed a small bio-sampler and took a sample of its blood to verify the kill before he again slipped it into his pack and turned to leave. Back in the main room with the bar he took again a few moments to cautiously check the other door, but he recoiled as he pushed it open as he discovered it had been converted into a toilet of sorts - or so he quickly gathered from the stench. He hesitated before leaving, he recognised he had been fortunate that the majority of the Feilond’s gang were obviously out elsewhere likely terrorising someone. Though the bounty was only for the leader, the thought of leaving so many armed thugs alive didn’t quite sit well with him. After a few moments thoughts he dragged the bodies of those he had killed and dumped them in the room with the Feilond. As he left he carefully set a tripwire attached to the doorway which would trigger a pair of heavy fragmentation charges. It seemed overkill somewhat but it was one way to ensure the returning gang members would be eradicated whenever they did return, their godsforsaken shack with them.

As he made his way out and back towards more civilized parts he pondered on why he felt the need to leave such a fatal gift for whomever would return – not that he felt morally it was wrong in anyway. He had come to think of criminals like that as the worst sort in this life, cowards that would take things only from the weakest and least fortunate in society. Truth be told it was an opinion that had heavily been branded on him from childhood, the old Tolok Mathiti mantra of ‘the only good criminal is a dead criminal’ ringing in his mind. Of course the Tolok Mathiti had thought that about dissidents and sometimes even intellectuals of any kind, when it came down to it. He realised it had been a long long time since he had thought about home and he let his mind wander as he walked the streets back towards the more central districts. Though he did so from experience his eyes continued to dart around and his hand continued to rest on his blade. He longed to spend some of what he would earn from this bounty on a quiet meal somewhere, but he knew already the money was earmarked for the god-awful accommodation he had been forced to rent.

With a sigh and the grumblings of his stomach, he decided at the very least to get some street food from a vender in the central markets. With the thought of at least a meal of some kind in mind he put one foot in front of the other and made his way towards his destination. At least, he thought somewhat bitterly, he had one way or another made this world a better place, if only slightly.
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Hidden 7 yrs ago Post by Jb
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"Showing yourself on a human world," Virgil said rhetorically, smoke wafting from him. "You must be lost, or someone worth of note. Or you're looking for something. Or maybe someone..." He took another drag from the cigar, before he dropped it onto the ground. The heel of his boot crushed it into the dirt.

"I'm thinking if you're looking for something done, you're willing to pay a handsome price. Question is..." Virgil lifted his head a bit, allowing some of the sun to illuminate his face. He had a chiselled jaw, and an impressive handlebar moustache. "What's making you do it here, and not asking any of your own kind?"

Teeruk flinched on unconscious impulse at the rather abrupt confrontation, his eight limbs flickering at the same time and his mandibles clacking together as he eyed the human. He had neither expected to be so abruptly questioned (his own people were a rather neutral race in the last great war after all!) nor to have to explain himself – the man with the impressive facial hair was correct though, he was here with a purpose, and he was looking for a resource that was more prevalent on Taenarum than anywhere else in the galaxy; he only wished he had come armed now.

“You think this issss a human world?” half-coughed the emissary, one set of limbs waving around the square without much thought, “where do you think you are?” It was a solid enough question, even now there were at least a hundred different species on this planet all after the same thing, and although it was nominally in human space it did not belong to either of the giants of the galaxy. That was exactly why people made their ways here.

“What I am doing here, silly human, isss the ssssame as any other employer!” There was a sharp edge to the tone of the slightly irritated diplomat, not used to the heat or to such brusk treatment from strangers, “and I will have you know that my own people are less warlike than any found here.” His Humanitas was good, almost flawless, but what could one expect from a trained mediator, “now...what can I do for you?”

All eight eyes – blacker than a ravens feather – swivelled to peer at Virgil, and although it was impossible for Teeruk to pull of what humans called a 'smile', he had a good and disturbing go at it anyway.
Hidden 7 yrs ago Post by Indy Cooper
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Ahk blinked as the brusque creature walked in and sat on the cot. Her smaller forelimb just managed to pass a disposable cloth under the wounded leg as it sat down, and then she rocked back slightly to take in the creature's form. Large, probably male humanoid. Purple skin and pointed ears, walking in a somewhat cat-like fashion. It took her a moment trying to remember species statistics, something she would much rather do herself instead of the droid, though for specifics it was best to use the computer so as to avoid potential mistakes. While she thought, however, she spoke to her patient, the droid translating automatically as it had been programmed to do.

"Yes, bullet wounds tend to be easy enough. I am impressed you know my language, but please refrain from trying to speak it again. Your mouth formation makes your pronounciation atrocious. Please do not bleed on the floor." She rotated in place and retrieved a small diagnostic tool from behind her, holding it in her mandibles while she reach over the patient and grabbed a probe. Eyeing the whole in the flesh, she mentally grimaced. This was one of those thrice-damned shapeshifters. She had done simulations, read texts, but had no practical experience with them. They were bipedal mammals, though, so it shouldn't be too complicated. Two notes from her text book stood out as cautionary advice, so she cleared her mind and glanced into the creature's face.

"You are from Ga'iya, correct?" The droid auto-switched to Ga'iyan as it translated. "A few questions before I begin. Any allergies to specific common compounds, such as antibiotics or cleansing fluids?" As she spoke, she dropped the diagnostic tool from her mandible and deftly caught it in her free forelimb.

"Also, have you recently coated yourself in any exotic substances as a defensive measure that I have to worry about?"

She held the diagnostic tool at an angle where she could tilt her head slightly to one side and see the display, which was currently showing her a live-feed ultrasound of the wound, and a fine tipped tube was gathering x-ray data. She had to grin whenever she thought of the frankly barbaric methods she had read in human textbooks from early in their history. Of course, her own species had gone quite some time by simply killing the crippled, so perhaps she shouldn't make too much fun of them.

"Do not shift abruptly in pain, or this could become a much more complicated procedure." The diagnostic machine beeped, and the display highlighted the foreign object. Swiftly, she plunged the probe into the wound, where it extended tiny claws, seized the bullet, and held on as she pulled it out and laid it into a bath of sterilization fluid the droid had prepared while she was searching. Dropping the probe into the droids waiting hands, she snatched a small spray applicator and hosed down the surface of the wound and several square centimetres around it with a combination antiseptic and painkiller spray. Thankfully, the cheap ass kind she got happened to also be hypoallergenic, so she didn't have to worry about that bit. Cloth bandages followed, along with a bit of adhesive tape. A small bag was put together by the droid containing spare bandages, tape, and a skin ointment it had been busy mixing for the specific species to avoid drying out of the wound.
Hidden 7 yrs ago 7 yrs ago Post by SrslyAnArtist
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"My apologies, doc," Amaranth replied in common tongue, glancing down at the floor. "As for the bleeding onto the floor, it's slowed at least, and partially dried. I do not think it will be an issue. Even if it is, I'll be the one to clean it up." Then he tilted his head at her in consideration as she glanced at him. Most creatures would be unnerved by her appearance, especially the mandibles, but Amaranth only saw a doctor.

"Aye, I'm from Ga'iya," he nodded. "No, not allergic to any of them as far as I know. I've been treated with about 90% of antibacterial medicines. No, I have not. I find it unbearable to put anything besides clothes and metal upon my skin."

Amaranth watched, fascinated, as she went about her procedure, noting the way she held her tools, the xray tube and the way she carried herself.

Confident in her skills, he decided. Strong. Willing to fight, as she must have done to get her training. Racism is pretty strong, still. Damn the Empire and it's close mindedness.

"I'll try not scream like a little girl," was his dry remark. Though he was used to being performed on and no stranger to pain, Amaranth ground his teeth when the medical instrument was plunged into his leg and then pulled out, the bloodied bullet in the tiny claws of the thing. He only cringed a small bit when the wound was sprayed with antiseptic and painkiller spray. Cloth bandages and a bit of adhesive tape. Amaranth watched as a small bag was put together by the droid containing spare bandages, tape, and a skin ointment it had been busy mixing for the specific species to avoid drying out of the wound. He studied the bandaged wound. It was already numb, the bandages were tight, but wouldn't cut off circulation and he could probably walk just fine without the bandage slipping down.

He pulled his pantleg back down and studied the doctor with gold and violet eyes. His pupils contracted slightly at the light that gave off a sort of radiance that only he could see. The Ga'iyan smiled at her, one with pointed canines.

"Thanks, Doc," he said. "I'll be sure to recommend you to all I meet. I know a good healer when I'm treated by one. Hey, did you ever go to Ga'iya for medical training, perhaps? You would have found yourself welcomed. My people love to teach." His words told her that he knew how racist people could be and that it could be hard to get an education based on your race.
Hidden 7 yrs ago Post by POOHEAD189
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Virgil listened to the diminutive alien while he stuck some tobacco in his mouth, chewing nonchalantly as Teeruk spoke to him. He seemed a bit on edge. Of course it could be the fact that Virgil (a dangerous looking fellow) had singled him out on this backwater planet out of the millions around them. But he had a good enough grasp of reading people to know that wasn't the case. 'Least, entirely.

"What do I want?" The weapon's expert echoed, not being able to help himself with a smile. "That's a loaded question as well. But I suppose renting my services to an employer who needs something done is a good way to put it. 'Course, I don't wait on table or clean your shoes..."

He rested his hands on one of his pistols, the gesture speaking volumes of exactly what he did. "If you were wanting something wholesome done, you'd be looking into one of the stalls yonder. Seeing as that isn't the case, I assumed. But...you do you. Sorry to bother ya then," Virgil tipped his hat, confident that if he turned away, the Alien would halt him.
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