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Just took a peek at that CS, and holy shit. BTF "euthanizing" people sounds unethical as fuck. Here's hoping their leadership ended up dumped on a Pluto prison-camp or something.
Adam Gilford


Adam's heart was hammering in his chest as he was struck by an unpleasant familiarity. His cockpit was lit orange by the fiery glow of the atmosphere as his Orbital dropped into Kitezh's atmosphere. He was having trouble telling if the shaking was him or if the Starstrike was getting some rough vibration from turbulence. The rhythmic tapping of a loose panel suggested it wasn't him, but he couldn't be sure. "Can't believe I'm going to let one bad drop spook me like this." He dialed up his cockpit's sound-dampening as the shaking increased. He checked his status display and cursed to himself.
WARNING: FOMAR-221 At Thermal Capacity. Weapon Disabled For Cooling Cycle.
He adjusted the positioning of the rifle to sit better within the shadow of the Starstrike's entry and increased retrograde thrust to reduce the heat trying to melt the barrels of his only real weapon.

the Starstrike maneuvered itself little by little into a more shallow drop, the trajectory gradually angling away from the ground. In no time the Orbital met it's target altitude and aligned itself with the planet below, it's thrusters flaring and accelerating against the planet's gravity. The projected arc climbed higher and higher as the burn continued, The cockpit rotating internally so that the force would press Adam into the back of his seat instead of crushing his spine. As the G-forces grew, Adam fell back on his training to keep him awake, a hard-won gasp every few seconds keeping him from blacking out. As the Orbital's torso pitched forwards, it straightened it's legs, no longer needing to use it's shin plating as thermal shielding. New thrusters took over as they came into alignment, and it's altitude levels out. As the end of the deceleration came, Adam angled back towards the designated LZ in a long banking turn.

Adam glanced down at his post-reentry readouts.
Status: Thrust heat maximum exceeding 60%.
Thrust maximum output temporarily reduced.
Thrust output efficiency temporarily reduced.
Thrust maximum runtime temporarily reduced.
...

"I know, I know it's hot. Not much we can do now but wait for the heat to dissipate."
Adam dialed back his throttle and began coasting, putting out just enough power to maintain altitude. It would take a while to slow with how fast he was still moving, so he had some time to let his Orbital cool down without losing too much speed. He 'passed' the Bedwyr close enough to spot it's red arm.

<<Coming in overhead. Well boys and girls, anyone seen Adam and Eve?>>
<< I could probably recite the entirety of Genesis if asked. I'd rather not receive infractions for proselytizing during a mission, though.>>
<<No offense Castle, but I feel like praying ten minutes into a mission would be a bad sign on it's own.>>
Adam didn't bother keeping the jovial tone out of his voice. A bit of banter to ease the tension. Lord knows I need it.

He set the Starstrike to maintain it's flightpath and started sweeping for activity. His own Orbital didn't have anything too fancy in the way of sensors, but eyes were eyes, and the bird's eye view he was transmitting back to the Bedwyr might still come in handy to someone.
That's a fun discovery.
Color code 8F8F8F plus bold makes text look fuzzy. at least to me, anyway.
Two of the Starstrike's three optics stared back at the Bedwyr as it took position on the second catapult, tiny movements and adjustments making the smaller Orbital seem alive in an otherworldly way. It's limbs made small rolling adjustments, the legs seeking better stability on the catapult while the arms maintained balance in the artificial gravity. As the Bedwyr nodded, the Starstrike turned it's head to better view it's launch companion and returned the gesture before returning it's attention to the launch port. <<Shall we, then?>> Adam's response was swift. <<Race you there>>
<<This is Stojanovic. I'm headed out.>>
<<This is Adam Gilford, Ready to launch.>>

As the mag-clamps engaged and the pair of catapults began accelerating, the Starstrike's thrusters warmed up in preparation for it's first powered flight in fifteen years. Adam was pressed against the back of his pilot seat, but he was used to the acceleration. As his Orbital cleared the launch platform, it's thrusters pulsed, and the machine dropped from the launch trajectory. Adam pushed his Starstrike into an extended hard burn, rocketing towards the alien planet and away from the Pyxis.

<<Launching.>>

<<Initiating descent. See you all planetside.>>

Adam white-knuckled his controls as he pushed the throttle higher, his Orbital virtually glowing with EM radiation as it poured power into it's propulsion. Despite everything going on, the loudest sound in his ears was his own labored breathing as the physics of acceleration pressed upon him. in the eerie silence of space, his body straining against hard acceleration, Adam's eyes wandered over the image of Kitezh on his viewscreen illuminated by an alien star. He struggled to focus on any single point, focusing on maintaining control and awareness through his flight. With a small chime, a speed threshold was met and propulsion cut out, the Starstrike drifting along it's course. With the lack of acceleration, Adam heaved a sigh of relief and set his Orbital to spin into correct orientation. So far away from his allies they barely registered on his optics, and the distance between them was quickly growing.

<<Castle Two-One to all units. Forming drop convoy right behind the Aurora. Ground units, fall in line behind me.>>

<<Moving to flight team advance position. Think they'll let my feet touch the ground at all?>>
Nav Data loaded, Trajectory Display enabled.
Adam angled his Orbital to fly along the newly displayed trajectory, his higher speed resulting in a more shallow projected curve.

"Passive Sensors. Prep for reentry braking." His voice shook as unpleasant memories invaded his mind. His Orbital's generic pilot-assist voice chimed helpfully in a synthesized response. "Switched to Passive Sensors. Limb orientation to reentry burn aligned." There was an unsettling pause and text scrolled across the maintenance screen by his right hand.
WARNING: planetary gravity/distance mismatch detected. Calibration error in flight instrumentation likely.
Adam was confused enough to re-focus entirely on this new problem, forgetting his fear for the time being. It doesn't recognize the planet, so it can't calibrate for an unknown, huh? Adam rolled his orbital to face Kitezh and started improvising. "Set name for waypoint, LZ-1 Planet Kitezh. You just had your eyes checked, you're just seeing something new. all of us are." He saw text scroll across the screen again
Logging planet: Kitezh. Data found: Probe_Scan_Data
Gravity Calculation Estimate: Earthlike
Atmospheric Conditions Estimate: Earthlike
Flightplan unmodified: attempt braking in higher atmosphere. Maintain altitude for Scout/Interceptor operations.


The Starstrike pulled it's primary weapon off it's magdock on it's back and prepared for the heat of reentry by pressing it's lower legs together into a low-end thermal shield, knees bent for maximized coverage. The silence of space faded away and was replaced with the sound of a thin atmosphere protesting against the Starstrike's intrusion.

<<This is Adam Gilford, I'm hitting the upper atmosphere. I'll relay once I'm through reentry how the marshmallows I stuck on the antenna turned out. Over and out>>
No fudge needed, just need to run out ahead of everyone else with our higher acceleration/better thrust and we should be fine. that's how I'm flavoring my post, anyway.
Fantastic info, though if a flight-capable orbital descends without a shield by slowing itself, that does mean they have to drop early or risk arriving late.

also: working on a post now.
It was a BIG deal. The Outer-Orbital Legion was a legitimate mercenary organization, and a massive one at that. It took two years of active investigation by an international criminal investigation task-force to connect all the dots, as it were.

When the joint task force made their move, they were able to seize effectively all of the Legion's inner-system assets, it was everything else the Legion had scattered throughout the rest of star system that was the problem. When they realized what had happened, the Legion grabbed everything they had and ran like hell.

This is what resulted in the six month system wide fleet-hunt. The-Powers-That-Be mobilized every asset that they possibly could in order to capture the Legion. As a result, all the major powers had patrols and/or task forces hunting for the Legion. So while a lot of people were activated for the hunt, at most maybe a third of them actually saw any action.

As of 245 SA The Legion was no more. Any members who hadn't been caught were either doing their best slip back into regular society unnoticed or had become backwater pirates of little importance.

I think that fleshes out the details, any remaining questions?


In that case, Adam was active, and was probably mobilized for the hunt. Mars isn't going to sit around and not use their shiny new military toys, since them seeing use justifies the spending. Probably saw action, considering his promotion to a variant model Orbital.

Yep. There was almost certainly more than what was listed, but I felt like that covered the highlights nicely. Also the fact that the majority of the Legion chose to run and fight rather than surrender is what resulted in the massive military response. Nobody wants several small "fleets" of paramilitary forces turned bandits and outlaws running around in their proverbial backyard.

The amount of housecleaning that was required as a result of all the bribery also contributed to the desire properly hunt them down. You don't want to let a problem like that slip back into the woodwork. That, and letting a system-wide trafficking ring go unpunished tends to be really bad PR.


Kinda seems like it went from 0-100 real quick, but a refusal to comply with the law while you're packing a small nation's worth of heat isn't the brightest idea. I'm more surprised their low-end grunts didn't surrender though.
How much military involvement do you think the Outer Orbital Legion hunt saw? If we're talking at least partial involvement beyond dedicated pirate-hunting taskforces, accounting for cryo time Adam actually might have seen some combat against OOL forces.

Edit: I foresee the editing of some numbers on character sheets in the near future.
Adam wasn't involved in the OOL naval hunt, so he primarily fought the smaller crews and groups that arose after the OOL's dismantling inevitably left a power vacuum.
Adam broke into a jog as the group of pilots dispersed into the hangar, seeking out their own individual Orbitals. He was having trouble spotting his smaller Skyhammer among the mix of heavier artillery platforms and frontline units filling the Orbital bays. Luckily, he didn't have to go far before he spotted the recognizable matte white paintjob of his personal SFC-11. He frowned as he looked over the factory-standard color. It looked impersonal, soulless and it gave the model a more unsettling appearance. His eyes were drawn to a familiar crest painted on the right torso; an oblong diamond sitting in the nadir of a thin crescent angled down and to the left. He hadn't had time to have his replacement Orbital done-up like his first, but seeing the small customization carried over as he slept helped. He spotted the maintenance crews pushing a diagnostic cart into storage at the back of the bay and made his way over.

"How's she looking? Everything ready to fly?" He nodded towards the Starstrike II, and the lead mechanic walked over to him, dressed in Martian Naval colors. "Your Starstrike is ready to go. Just had to double-check the flight controller after we fed it a data-set Bell-Isle sent us. Communications were irate about the bandwidth being choked for two months, but we argued them down. She held out her hand to shake, and Adam returned it. She had a strong grip, because he could feel it through their gloves. "Name's Amber, nice to meet you Adam. Didn't have the time or supplies to paint it, but Sam found enough to get it's emblem up a month ago. The real paint will have to wait. As for right now, all that's left is for you to so is make sure the control surfaces work and wake sleeping beauty up. Good luck out there." Before he knew it, she and the rest of the work crew was gone. He fit his foot into the lowered reel-lift and looked out at the hangar as he was raised into the cockpit. He saw Amber and company filter heading for the hangar. Adam stepped into the opened cockpit and settled into the seat just long enough to run the Orbital's boot-up process. The reactor began it's ever-present hum as low-resolution text scrolled down his viewscreens and the hatch folded shut in front of him.

MARTIAN ANTI PIRACY UNIT: RED ATLAS SPECIALIST ADAM GILFORD

Welcome Back, Pilot

SFC CoreBoot...SUCCESSFUL
11G(C) Module Boot... SUCCESSFUL
Oberth Reactor............... OK
Capacitor Submodule..... OK
Flight Control System.... OK
Reentry Supplemental.. OK
Motor Control System.. OK
Optics Array................ OK
Sensors Array............ OK
Weapons Systems.... OK
Thrusters....... TEST PENDING


Adam heard and felt the countless thrusters covering his Orbital power up and blast through the thruster test, each pair of twin reversible engines pulsing "forward" thrust and then then inverting. The output was a minuscule fraction of the maximum, but it made a lot of noise, and blasted the area around it with uncomfortably hot thruster exhaust. The thruster check completed after a few seconds and the cockpit screens switched to exterior view. His instruments indicated the capacitor cable had disconnected from the wall and that the Orbital was now running fully on reactor power. HUD elements blinked into existence as passive sensors identified numerous nearby Orbitals. Adam punched in a command and the yellow "unidentified" pin-marks were replaced with green chevrons indicating friendlies. Adam finished his prep just as orders were handed out. Sounds simple, but we're dropping with zero intel. Let's hope SAM launchers don't grow on the trees down there.

Adam guided the Starstrike out into the center of the hangar before walking it towards catapult access, an optical sensor sweeping each side of the facility to build up it's list of logged Friendlies. His grip tightened on his controls to suppress the shaking in his hands.
Warning: Pilot heart rate elevated: stress
"Just the pre-mission jitters. That's all."
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