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Silver

The APC jerked from side to side, swerving around a large pothole in the centre of the road. Inside, Silver was hunched over, his hands locked onto his thighs to stabilise himself as he performed a systems diagnostic. His HUD lit up with reading after reading, analysing both his suit and the internal systems that kept him functioning. According to the reports he had spent half a cartridge of rifle ammunition trying to take out the bioconstruct and the puncture he had received in their crash landing had been repaired/healed without issue.

With Silver’s focus elsewhere, Jerry was keeping a watchful eye on the cyborg's surroundings. The AI was running a behavioural analysation program in an attempt to predict any hostile action before it materialised. The little robot recorded every scrap of information it could, from the subtle nature of body language to the obvious utilisation of tone and discourse.

“Host, Silver,” The AI’s innocent robotic tone reverberated around the voidhangers helmet, quiet enough that only he could hear. “The humans have engaged you in dialogue, their tone and demeanor suggests they are attempting to offend you.”

Ugh, humans. Silver thought, rolling his eyes. You always can count on them to be the most close-minded species in the universe. So quick to project their issues onto everyone else.

“Their words are meaningless,” He said out aloud. “Just let me know if you pick up any hostile actions. Otherwise I’m not interested in their bullshit.”




Some time later the APC ground to a halt. Silver opened the door to see they had reached some sort of facility but couldn’t be sure if this was their destination or just a spot to resupply. The look of things didn’t help either, war torn buildings surrounded them, left to rot as nature slowly enveloped everything. The troops around the group began to fan out, scanning all around for any signs of movement. Despite the silence, tension gripped the air with only a nearby waterfall daring to make any sound.

Silver slowly eased off the front line, taking up a position behind a large contingent of well armoured troops. Several figures began to materialise from a treeline far away from the buildings, leaving the cyborg certain that had he still possessed a biological gut, it would be twisting a large knot. Everyone’s rifles swiveled to meet the emerging group as they cautiously moved forward. From the looks of their armour they weren’t Sect troops but hostiles wouldn’t have given away their position either.

So who are they? Silver thought before being tapped on the shoulder. It was one of the tarrhaidim troopers who had been riding in the same APC.

“Don’t you think it’s a little odd their scouts simply hailed us like that?” He asked, his tone distance and with a hint of a quiver. “No radio signals, nothing? They just popped up out of the woods and rolled in, not even in their APC’s.”

Silver shrugged, looking over the new group before returning to meet the soldier’s gaze.

“This whole damn mission is off to me. Just do your job and I’ll do mine.”

Suddenly the cyborg’s radio crackled to life with the comm chatter revealing it was another team working for the Sect. The word spread quickly among the troops and everyone began to ease up, taking stock and resupplying.

Silver, on the other hand, still wasn’t at ease. Why had they not seen anyone from the Sect? Why were they not receiving any direct communication for themselves? It wasn’t adding up and this new group were just more puppets, dancing on the strings for who knows entertainment. The commander of the mountain base introduced himself via the comms but the cyborg was done for the moment. They had been made to be pawns, sitting ducks waiting to be taken out and Silver was close to cracking.
Cal



Gin'ibak'aosame


The Arrival



Gin breathed a sigh of relief upon hearing the loud crack from his sternum finally giving way. Closing his eyes, the chiss continued, rolling his head around while feeling distinct pops coming from the bones in his neck. The motor powering the drop ramp of the light freighter screeched, cutting his relaxed feeling short and overpowering the sonorous goings on of The Bitter End’s main port. It was a surprising achievement to be sure, especially considering that the docks sat directly under the factories of the city.

Unsurprisingly, however, the engine overheated not a moment later, stopping the ramp in its tracks halfway down from the ground. Gin took a break from stretching to side eye the ship's captain who was standing next to him. The human smiled weakly, taking a single long side step over to the motor and giving it a hard hit with the side of his fist. Without breaking eye contact the captain gave a small, yet forced, chuckle.

“You know how these things go, the Imps don’t like to inspect ships that look like rust buckets.”

Gin pursed his lips, raising his eyebrows and giving a short set of nods in feigned agreement. Another punch and the engine screamed back to life, managing to bring the loading ramp all the way down without further incident. The smuggler slid his way back over to the chiss like a hutt to a banquet, extending out his hand expectedly.

Long gone were the days of people being honoured to have a Jedi passenger; free rides in luxurious ships, entire rooms to themselves, no hassles with crew and so on. Those were the times. Not that anyone from the Order was supposed to enjoy such things but look at where that had gotten them.

We will each be challenged. Our trust... our faith... our friendships. But we must persevere.

Obi-Wan’s final message echoed throughout Gin’s mind as he wondered if the Jedi Master had ever been stuffed in a smuggler’s ship's crawl space before.

A clearing of the captain's throat returned Gin to reality, watching as the human slicked back his greased hair. The chiss smiled back, staring into the smugglers eyes as he clasped the humans shoulder. The former Jedi let out a long breath through his nose before taking in another just as deep, his chest visibly rising and falling in a rhythmic pattern.

The smuggler opened his mouth to talk but his tongue failed him, refusing to utter even a single word. All he could do was cock his head to the side and give a faint look of confusion. Soon his breathing fell in time with Gin’s, as the Sentinel allowed the Force to ebb and flow between them. Like wind passing gently through reeds, he used the Force to venture back behind the captain's eyes. A sense of calm swept over the human as his eyes glazed over, allowing Gin to fill his mind with fog.

“Captain, walk with me a minute would you?” Gin kept his voice low and soft, letting the Force carry it into the smugglers mind.

“Walk with you a minute.” The captain repeated, mimicking Gin’s tone.

Together the two strode down the ramp, Gin continuously beaming a smile to all who walked past while keeping a hold of the humans shoulder. Once formally off the ship, Gin turned the captain to face him once more.

“Now, you don’t really remember seeing me before do you? In fact, you can’t be sure you’ve ever seen a Chiss in person, let alone smuggle one out of Hutt Territory, right?”

The captain nodded slowly as his jaw flopped open. A single strand of drool spilled out from his mouth, falling onto Gin’s boot.

Whoops, a little too much. The chiss thought, holding back a disgusted look.

Slowly, the former Jedi removed his hand from the human’s shoulder, flipping up his hood and bringing his skin tight scarf up from around his neck to cover the lower half of his face. The captain's eyes fluttered to life, raising an eyebrow as he quizzically studied his surroundings, his head whipping back and forth.

“Hey!” Gin shouted, throwing the captain off balance.

“I said, where is the local cantina? Are you deaf or something?”

The captain's eyes snapped to the hooded figure in front of him.

“I… er… it’s over that way.” The smuggler pointed weakly towards a large elevator off to the side of the port, unable to wipe the puzzled look from his face.

“But…”

“Thanks!” Gin cut him off, pushing past the human and blending into the crowd. A knot twisted through his stomach as he glanced back one final time at the bewildered captain. There was a time where such a technique was used to help reveal information about a target, cut through dishonourable liars, help prevent assassinations and bring criminals to justice. Now it was just a cheap trick, employed to hussle an innocent man out of his credits and cover the former Jedi’s tracks.

Well, Gin reasoned, considering what I saw in his mind, he wasn’t all that innocent.

The Force crescendoed in a place like this, reminding Gin of the smuggler’s moon, Nar Shaddaa, or the lower levels of Coruscant, so much life sandwiched tightly into such a small space. Market stalls skirted along the sides of the port, their owners desperately rushing out and attempting to drag customers in for a closer look at their wares. Hulking four legged creatures shuffled carts of goods, grunting and growling their way up and down the loading bay. Buildings hung high above them from the ceiling, ironically imitating stalactites, while layered on top the rumbles of factories and a much larger cityscape could be heard.

Gin ducked and weaved his way through the diverse crowd, zigzagging through at a decent pace. Artfully, he managed to avoid a particularly keen looking quarren gesturing towards his stand before steering back into the bulk of the rabble, dancing around a couple of colossal weequay. Together they flanked a rather regal looking Falleen, shooting harrowing looks at any who dared to step near their boss.

It wasn’t until Gin stopped at the foot of the towering elevator shaft that he noticed his blood was racing. Adrenaline surged through his body causing his breath to shorten to a pant, like a dog hungry for a meal, while the muscles in his limbs screamed at him for action. As the elevator doors opened to trade loads of aliens with the port, Gin couldn’t help but be reminded of his time hunting Callidus in the Unknown Regions.

True, this place was almost as off grid as you could get but the trail had been too easy to pick up. All it had taken was a few credits here and there to some seedy characters, hidden in plain sight in Hutt Space, to find out that Callidus was supposedly here. Really? A man with the might of the Core Worlds bearing down upon him, an entire galactic Empire on the hunt and the secrets of his whereabouts could be found with the scum of the galaxy? No, Gin knew better than to underestimate the former Jedi Master, something was afoot here.

The chiss had gone over this during his time cramped up in the smugglers crawl space and there were only three possibilities he could think of.

One. Pissing off the most powerful being in the galaxy had left Callidus with so few friends that attempting to cover his tracks was near impossible.

Eh, maybe, but least likely.

Two. An acolyte had made a mistake. The Jedi Council had once feared the pull of the Dark Jedi’s teachings and they were right to. Gin had seen it first hand, his followers were fiercely loyal, following Callidus with a religious like fervency. His teachings jacked the acolytes up, winding them so tight that killing and dying for the man came as easy as breathing. But they were also the only fault in his plans, in fact, they were the only reason the chiss had cornered the former Master in the Unknown Regions. If it was a mistake on their part then at the end of this trail there would be a dead body, another lamb led to the slaughter.

Three, and the most likely of the possibilities, this was deliberate. Callidus was really here but it was an intentional ploy. Maybe to recruit more followers, maybe to bring those hunting him out of the dark, who knows, his past plans had been too intricate to bother with guessing.

The elevator jolted as it moved over bumps in the metalwork. Deep under his cloak and clipped to his belt, Gin felt his lightsaber rattle against his backside. The chiss’ fists tightened as a long drawn out breath caught the back of his throat. No, this was the reason, it had to be, and justice for the Order would be served.
Name: Gin'ibak'aosame
Species: Chiss
Sex: Male

Profession: Gray Jedi, Jedi Sentinel/Investigator

Reason for being present in the Bitter End: Finishing the final job given to him by the Jedi Order, pursue Callidus to know if he has truly fallen to the Dark Side and if so, bring him to justice.



Personality Description:

During his younger days in the Order, Gin was always a bit of a larrikin, rebelling against his teachers in small, yet annoying ways. There was one master, however, whose teachings always resonated with the Chiss. What began out of a childlike fascination of a shared similarity in name, Qui-gon quickly became an idol for the young boy as Gin took a serious fascination with his work, including the masters criticisms of the order.

The young Chiss had always understood why he was offered up by his parents to the Jedi for having ‘the Sight’, but did find himself at times missing being among those who resembled him. As such he spent a lot of time alone, choosing instead to tinker with his lightsaber and hone his force awareness skills.

As with most beings in the universe, the transition into adulthood was both abrupt and filled with hardships. Major heartbreak and the devastating loss of the Jedi Order has left Gin reeling and in pain. He has lost sight of the teachings of the Jedi, seeing the flaws in their ways as the reason for their ultimate destruction. Though to say he has fallen to the Dark Side would not be true. Instead he seeks balance, he is angry about the injustice done to the Order, he is passionate for his former lover and he seeks to do right in the galaxy, which has since become a cold and cruel place. Gin’s strong sense of duty is now what drives him, to finish what he started and find balance in the process.

With the title of Jedi Sentinel/Investigator, Gin also possesses the skills and knowledge of problem solving, critical thinking, attention to detail, keen understanding of sapient species behaviour and psychology and excellent tracking abilities. The majority of his force powers have been sharpened to exacerbate this.

Character Bio:

In the closing days of the Republic, hearsay snaked its way through the Order with word that Jedi Master Valens Sarethi was in fact alive. Impossible, the council was quick to dismiss such rumours as nothing but whispers in the dark, firmly believing that such nonsense would dissipate in the shadow of galactic war. They should’ve known better than to underestimate their former colleague as theories began to spread like wildfire in the Temple of Coruscant, with each iteration getting wilder and wilder. First he was a fallen Jedi who went by the name of Callidus, then a Sith Acolyte, then a Sith Lord and finally a Sith Lord, Darth Callidus, who was drawing up a new Order.

Preposterous, the Force did not echo with such darkness and so the council held true to their belief, until the theft of the Jedi Temple’s Vault. What was taken is still unknown to this day but the act was so blatant and audacious that it forced the Master's hand.

As such Jedi Shadow Ashuvehe was assigned a new, fresh faced Padawan, Gin'ibak'aosame and both were tasked with following Callidus into the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Gin was chosen for both his emerging abilities as a Sentinel and Investigator, and the fact that Chiss were quite a common site in the Unknown Regions. Ashuvehe, a Mirialan, was a well renowned agent of the Jedi Shadow arm of the Order, despite being quite young herself, leaving the council quite confident in their ability to find the wayward Jedi.

Venturing into the unknown, the two quickly formed a bond with their skills as Jedi meshing together seamlessly. As their time pursuing Callidus went on, Gin and Ash slowly became infatuated with one another. With them being so far out from the Order and away from its strict teachings, love quickly blossomed. Gin was quick to stray, pointing out the flaws in their doctrines, while Ash was torn between the two, fearing that their love would lead to the Dark Side.

Despite the confusion, the two still remained effective in their pursuit, cornering Callidus on an urban world in the Unknown Region. They had narrowed down his location to a city on the planet's surface and were preparing for apprehension when a message from the order came through. The Masters had grown more desperate, sensing that a critical moment in the war was approaching and they needed all hands on deck to finish the fight. Ash was asked for an evaluation of Gin’s skills, if he was ready to become a Knight, then she would have to return to known space, while the Chiss would be ordered to follow Callidus but not to engage him. Once this critical moment had passed, Ash would return and together they would confront Callidus.

Gin protested this, saying that if they moved quickly, they could capture Callidus and return together. Ash was much more hesitant, telling Gin she could not disobey direct orders and that even if they returned together, this would mean they could no longer be a couple. The young Chiss raged at the notion and upended their room, cursing the Order. Ash’s fears had been realised, seeing that the Dark Side’s influence had begun to grow as a result of their love. In the middle of the night she left, leaving a small message as to why and stating that another Jedi would return to capture Callidus. She begged Gin not to follow her and keep to their teachings but also said she would always hold a special place in her heart for him.

Gin, though heartbroken, did as commanded. It was only when a massive disturbance among the force was felt, as well as Ash being in pain, that Gin abandoned his post. Returning to known space, the young Chiss quickly learned that the order had been destroyed, receiving the message from Obi-Wan to hide and survive. Gin attempted to look for Ash but the destruction of the Republic and the ruthless nature of the Empire left little evidence of any sort of trail.

Accepting defeat, Gin did as he was asked, hiding on backwater worlds and surviving by any means necessary. All until the rumours of Callidus’s infamy surfaced once again, once again he had stolen something of value but from the Emperor himself. Gin wasted no time in taking up pursuit once more, hopeful that if Ash was still alive, she would do the same but also seeking redemption in the eyes of his dead brothers and sisters.

Name: Gin'ibak'aosame
Species: Chiss
Sex: Male

Profession: Gray Jedi, Jedi Sentinel/Investigator

Reason for being present in the Bitter End: Finishing the final job given to him by the Jedi Order, pursue Callidus to know if he has truly fallen to the Dark Side and if so, bring him to justice.



Personality Description:

During his younger days in the Order, Gin was always a bit of a larrikin, rebelling against his teachers in small, yet annoying ways. There was one master, however, whose teachings always resonated with the Chiss. What began out of a childlike fascination of a shared similarity in name, Qui-gon quickly became an idol for the young boy as Gin took a serious fascination with his work, including the masters criticisms of the order.

The young Chiss had always understood why he was offered up by his parents to the Jedi for having ‘the Sight’, but did find himself at times missing being among those who resembled him. As such he spent a lot of time alone, choosing instead to tinker with his lightsaber and hone his force awareness skills.

As with most beings in the universe, the transition into adulthood was both abrupt and filled with hardships. Major heartbreak and the devastating loss of the Jedi Order has left Gin reeling and in pain. He has lost sight of the teachings of the Jedi, seeing the flaws in their ways as the reason for their ultimate destruction. Though to say he has fallen to the Dark Side would not be true. Instead he seeks balance, he is angry about the injustice done to the Order, he is passionate for his former lover and he seeks to do right in the galaxy, which has since become a cold and cruel place. Gin’s strong sense of duty is now what drives him, to finish what he started and find balance in the process.

With the title of Jedi Sentinel/Investigator, Gin also possesses the skills and knowledge of problem solving, critical thinking, attention to detail, keen understanding of sapient species behaviour and psychology and excellent tracking abilities. The majority of his force powers have been sharpened to exacerbate this.

Character Bio:

In the closing days of the Republic, hearsay snaked its way through the Order with word that Jedi Master Valens Sarethi was in fact alive. Impossible, the council was quick to dismiss such rumours as nothing but whispers in the dark, firmly believing that such nonsense would dissipate in the shadow of galactic war. They should’ve known better than to underestimate their former colleague as theories began to spread like wildfire in the Temple of Coruscant, with each iteration getting wilder and wilder. First he was a fallen Jedi who went by the name of Callidus, then a Sith Acolyte, then a Sith Lord and finally a Sith Lord, Darth Callidus, who was drawing up a new Order.

Preposterous, the Force did not echo with such darkness and so the council held true to their belief, until the theft of the Jedi Temple’s Vault. What was taken is still unknown to this day but the act was so blatant and audacious that it forced the Master's hand.

As such Jedi Shadow Ashuvehe was assigned a new, fresh faced Padawan, Gin'ibak'aosame and both were tasked with following Callidus into the Unknown Regions of the galaxy. Gin was chosen for both his emerging abilities as a Sentinel and Investigator, and the fact that Chiss were quite a common site in the Unknown Regions. Ashuvehe, a Mirialan, was a well renowned agent of the Jedi Shadow arm of the Order, despite being quite young herself, leaving the council quite confident in their ability to find the wayward Jedi.

Venturing into the unknown, the two quickly formed a bond with their skills as Jedi meshing together seamlessly. As their time pursuing Callidus went on, Gin and Ash slowly became infatuated with one another. With them being so far out from the Order and away from its strict teachings, love quickly blossomed. Gin was quick to stray, pointing out the flaws in their doctrines, while Ash was torn between the two, fearing that their love would lead to the Dark Side.

Despite the confusion, the two still remained effective in their pursuit, cornering Callidus on an urban world in the Unknown Region. They had narrowed down his location to a city on the planet's surface and were preparing for apprehension when a message from the order came through. The Masters had grown more desperate, sensing that a critical moment in the war was approaching and they needed all hands on deck to finish the fight. Ash was asked for an evaluation of Gin’s skills, if he was ready to become a Knight, then she would have to return to known space, while the Chiss would be ordered to follow Callidus but not to engage him. Once this critical moment had passed, Ash would return and together they would confront Callidus.

Gin protested this, saying that if they moved quickly, they could capture Callidus and return together. Ash was much more hesitant, telling Gin she could not disobey direct orders and that even if they returned together, this would mean they could no longer be a couple. The young Chiss raged at the notion and upended their room, cursing the Order. Ash’s fears had been realised, seeing that the Dark Side’s influence had begun to grow as a result of their love. In the middle of the night she left, leaving a small message as to why and stating that another Jedi would return to capture Callidus. She begged Gin not to follow her and keep to their teachings but also said she would always hold a special place in her heart for him.

Gin, though heartbroken, did as commanded. It was only when a massive disturbance among the force was felt, as well as Ash being in pain, that Gin abandoned his post. Returning to known space, the young Chiss quickly learned that the order had been destroyed, receiving the message from Obi-Wan to hide and survive. Gin attempted to look for Ash but the destruction of the Republic and the ruthless nature of the Empire left little evidence of any sort of trail.

Accepting defeat, Gin did as he was asked, hiding on backwater worlds and surviving by any means necessary. All until the rumours of Callidus’s infamy surfaced once again, once again he had stolen something of value but from the Emperor himself. Gin wasted no time in taking up pursuit once more, hopeful that if Ash was still alive, she would do the same but also seeking redemption in the eyes of his dead brothers and sisters.

Definitely interested
Silver
The Park


Silver stood, allowing his cloak to envelope him once more. Sure the bioconstruct wasn’t completely dead but the cyborg was confident enough those around it would be able to get the job done. Besides, that floating piece of coral was hell bent on reducing this area to nothing but ash, something that Silver was not keen on sticking around for. Pressing off, he continued down the road, weaving through the carcasses of cars heading towards the park.

As Silver moved, a familiar beep rang out beside him, Jerry had returned safe and sound. The little drone dipping up and down, clearly happy it had completed its little mission. Deep down the Voidhangers knotted stomach untwisted itself, though he would never voice it, he was glad to see Jerry. The drone zipped up to his owner, seamlessly dropping back into the hole on the side of his leg armour.

The air from the park was thick, heavy with the tension of soldiers preparing for battle, Silver swore he could almost taste it as he waded through. As he entered the cyborg decloaked himself, there was no point trying to hide from their obviously advanced equipment. He would be better off to seek out the leader of the troop under a fragile white flag, taking him as a hostage if things went south. The Voidhanger was a little taken aback by what he saw, admittedly he wasn’t expecting that amount of firepower to be successfully hidden so close by.

Several large, heavily armoured APC’s sat just beyond the tall gates of the park, a few of their gun turrets pointing towards the ongoing battle behind Silver. Others had their cannons swiveling back and forth across the buildings of the city, reminding the cyborg of Jerry’s earlier warning regarding a second welcoming party of enemies. The troops clung to the crumbling walls of the park and the tires of their vehicles, donned in thick, black, lighter armour. Whose ever army this was, wasn’t obvious, there were no insignias or otherwise identifiable gear among them.

It was stupid really, this whole damn thing was so ridiculous. Silver cursed himself for being so trusting of his new employers. He was caught between two very hostile enemies and literally standing in front of one unknown army. Of all the ways to die in this universe, this would be one so undeserved of the reputation he had spent over half a century calving out for himself. Cautiously Silver returned his rifle back to its magnetic plate on his spine, moving his arms in a very slow and obvious fashion, wary about setting anyone off. With his hands back at his side, the cyborg moved forward, approaching one of the troops.

“Who is in charge here?” The cyborg asked.
Sam 'Ollie' Oliver
Down the Rabbit Hole


A flash of violet coloured lightning streaked across the crusted cheap carpet, leaving a single wisp of pinkish purple smoke to rise up from the ground, winding its way towards the ceiling. Moments passed before another round of lightning struck again, tearing off in a different direction. Then another and another, each round coming in quicker and brighter than the last. Paper began to dance in the air, desks and chairs were upended as anything not nailed down flew across the room. The force from the event grew stronger, until a final blinding flash of light lit up the former office space.

Left in its stead was a man lay face down on the charcoal covered floor. It sizzled as Ollie groaned and shifted about. The detective could feel an immense pressure squeezing his mind, like a headache but on crack. His chest was heavy, seemingly glued to the ground, as if someone was trying to drag out his soul. Where was he? Had he died and gone to hell?

Pushing himself onto his hands and knees, Ollie made an attempt to open his eyes. His world spun, not just his vision but his emotions too, as if his entire body was circling in a drain of depression and anger. Shifting his weight, he tried to wipe the discomfort from his face, before trying again to open his eyes. Perhaps it didn’t matter, wherever he was, it was too dark to make out anything significant anyway. Instead the detective opted to flip over onto his backside and wait out the spin.

The air was thick, laced with a potent odor, stuffing it’s way up the detective’s nostrils. Ollie’s nose wrinkled as the rest of his face contorted. Everything was off, like someone had taken his world and shifted it, leaving everything crooked and out of place. How long it took for his eyes to adjust was anyone's best guess but eventually his vision came together with the rest of his senses following along.

Finally. He thought to himself. Now where am…

Ollie froze, inhaling sharply, unable to even finish the thought.

What. The. Fuck.

Disbelief hit the man hard as his eyes darted around the room. The building was in shambles, it looked like a bomb had gone off but hundreds of years ago. Just metres from him the ground opened up, as vines snaked their way up from the floor below, growing through whatever was in their way. But they weren’t the type of creeping plants you’d find in a rainforest, it was like someone had taken tar, stretched it like licorice laces and banded them together. They dripped wet with thick black ooze and whatever didn’t fall through the crack, pooled, emanating a kind of faint, dark pulse, that slowly danced in line with the beat of his heart.

The vines were everywhere, a perverted form of nature had reclaimed the building with barely a cubicle left standing. A soft breeze rolled in through a huge chunk of missing wall, exposing the outside world. Thunder rumbled off in the distance, as flashes of lightning silhouetted everything around the room.

Ollie’s jaw had dropped so far that it was attempting to unhinge itself. His brain was rejecting the images reflected by his eyes and his skin began to turn ghostly white. The detective's body screamed retreat, urging him to crawl into a fetal position. Moments away from obeying, his right arm began to tingle. It was kind of like someone was lightly pressing the feeling of pins and needles but localised to this one spot in the middle of his appendage. Slowly the feeling grew, managing to pull Ollie back from the brink.

The detective stood, moving towards the gaping hole in order to get a better look. A small black spot appeared, looking like someone had tattooed his skin. But something was off, it looked as though this dot was growing, appearing to get larger, one millimetre at a time. Ollie’s head cocked to the side as his brow furrowed, slowly he combed his mustache. Surely his eyes were still messing with him.

“Nope.” he denied, rubbing the spot against his dress shirt. “Nope, nope, nope.”

Ollie brought his arm back to the light, not only had it not rubbed off, it had gotten noticeably bigger.

“What the…”

Suddenly the feeling of mild discomfort took a sharp dive into searing pain, tripling in strength, as the darkness surged forward, climbing towards his hand in a sudden movement. Ollie gripped the base of his arm and screamed, collapsing to his knees. His skin began to crack apart, like fire opening fresh charcoal. Swirling patterns of orange heat carved themselves into his flesh like an open wound.

“Please… argh.”

The detective dropped to his knees praying for the pain to stop, frantically hoping to pass out so he could just be done with it. The darkness was relentless, continuing to surge forth until it covered the last of his fingertips. Only then did the pain begin to subside, leaving Ollie to collapse to the ground, gasping for air, drenched in sweat. It was all too much for the man as he curled into a ball, the texture of the floor pulling at his 5 o’clock shadow, plucking one hair out at a time. He didn’t care, he just wanted to go home or better yet, die.

Around him, the world had gone quiet, save for the slow creak of a door, coming from somewhere deeper in the building. As the door latched back into place, slow, uneven thuds rolled forth.

“Margaret, why did you call them?! WHY?!!”

The voice cut through the air like a knife, it was filled with so much sorrow, so much anger and pain. It sent a shiver down Ollie’s spine, raising the hair on the back of his neck, snapping the detective out of his child like trance.

“H-Hello?” he wheezed, his voice still broken from the pain.

“You know I didn’t mean to hit you! It’s just… you make me so angry sometimes!” The voice let out a loud scream as if it was in pain.

The detective struggled to his feet, his arm limply hanging by his side. There was something else, it sounded as if the stranger's voice was somehow garbled, like he was trying to talk with a mouthful of something. Wiping the sweat and snot from his face, Ollie trudged forward, maneuvering around the closest vine, careful to avoid the sludge.

“Margaret?!” The voice repeated.

“My… my name is Ollie, please... sir, I need you to tell me what is going on.” His inner cop was returning.

There was no reply this time, only more shuffling could be heard far off towards the back of the room. Ollie continued to make his way forward, squeezing his way between the collapsed cubicles and destroyed office equipment.

“Sir are you sti-” Ollie stopped, choking on the dryness of his voice.

His legs started to feel like noodles as the memory of the pain lingered in his mind. It was as if the world was trying to sap what little energy he had left.

“Are you still there?” He managed to get out.

A black silhouette stumbled into view, plodding down one of the aisles towards the detective.

“I didn’t mean to do it, I didn’t mean to! She. Just. Wouldn’t. Shut Up!”

Ollie’s stomach turned, his gut rumbling with warning. Something was definitely off, apart from the sludge covered vines. The detective looked down, he still had his pistol tucked snugly in his shoulder holster, his right arm was useless but he still was a decent shot with his left. Careful not to make any sudden movements, Ollie slowly removed the pin holding the leather strap in place and, somewhat awkwardly, removed his 9mm.

“Sir, I am a police offer, I can help you but you need to tell me what is going on, and please, keep your distance.”

The figure continued forward at the same slow pace without a reply. As it came closer, light coming in from the torn out wall began to reveal the man. Ollie almost screamed, exiting the shadows was what could only be described as a creature of some sort, covered in a series of deep blue crystal formations and clusters. Tatters of a pinstriped suit loosely hung to his body as the crystal clusters jutting out from his skin had torn through the material. Each formation was spaced anywhere from 5 to 10 centimetres apart but they were all over his body, with the largest formations coming out from his stomach and left eye.

The look on his face was one of emptiness as the rest of his features were being crushed by the sheer size of the crystals, distorting them in an unnatural way. His skin glistened with a sickening pale green, as the Things veins pulsed visibly.

“Margaret?!” he screamed, his one good eye rolling around and stopping on the detective.

Ollie’s mouth was stunned, slowly he began to peddle backwards. The creature lurched forwards, still stumbling but at a quicker rate.

“I-I didn’t mean to hit her!” He screamed continuously.

“Sir! Please stop! Or I will shoot!” the detective shouted, his mouth obeying him once again.

The creature said nothing, making no effort to change course. Ollie turned and darted back, maneuvering his way to the spot where he woke up. The thing followed, its pace and stature straightening slightly in an effort to catch the man.

Ollie reached the wall, there weren’t any doors or single offices on this side of the room, there was nowhere to hide.

“Sir, I’m giving you one final warning! One step closer and I will fire!”

“WHY DID YOU CALL THEM!” It wailed.

That was it, he couldn’t do any more than that, Ollie opened fire hitting the creature several times in the chest. It stumbled backwards, its torso rocking back and forth, while it’s arm remained at its side. The detective stayed his ground, the gun still aimed at the thing, panting heavily as adrenaline began to surge through his system.

““MARGARET!!!!”

The creature charged forwards, arms extended and teeth gnashing. Ollie unloaded blindly but the thing closed the gap, grabbing the detective and pinning him to the wall. Dropping the gun, Ollie used his remaining good arm to hold the creature back as it latched onto the detective, its crystals brightening as it hugged the man. Ollie struggled, trying to use the wall as leverage to push forward but it was useless, the thing was much stronger than it looked and the brighter its crystals began to glow, the weaker the man felt.

Ollie palmed the creature's face desperately but it fought its way loose and bit down on Ollie’s middle finger, hard enough to draw blood. The detective roared in pain and his right arm began to tingle, radiating with a faint heat. Slowly his blackened hand began to curl into a fist.

The creature pulled Ollie in tighter, its crystals now lighting up part of the room. The detective's vision began to shudder as blood rushed to his head, he’d lost most of the feeling in his legs. But the sensation in his right arm grew stronger.

Punch.

The word came from nowhere, as if it was artificially inserted to his brain from the outside. Summoning his remaining strength, Ollie pushed the creature's head as far away as he could with his left hand. His blackened arm sprang to life, bringing around his fist and punching the thing square in the jaw.

The creature flew across the room, like it had been hit with the force of a car, crashing through cubicles. Ollie fell to the ground, propping himself up on his elbows and knees, coughing and spluttering. A milder burning sensation, similar in nature to the one from earlier, returned as he watched the blackness move a few millimetres up his arm.

“Maagraa!”

Somehow that thing was still alive.

Ollie looked up to see it climbing to the top of the heap, it’s jaw barely hanging on by it’s left tendon, swinging in the breeze. It’s tongue swung back and forth, the saliva dripping uninhibited down onto the floor. Despite all this it still tried to speak in a garbled cry.

Ollie looked back to the floor seeing his gun. The creature lurched forward again, stumbling its way at a decent pace towards him. Without much thought, the detective reached out grabbing the gun with his blackened arm. Immediately the darkness began to spread across the gun, with the 9mm shifting in shape, the barrel getting longer and wider. It turned a deep black with the same swirling orange patterns cracking open, emitting a mild warmth.

“What the fuck?” Ollie muttered to himself before the creature moaned again.

The detective pushed himself to his knees, extending his arm with gun in hand. He fired twice at the thing, hitting it in the chest. The bullets exploded like paintballs on impact with a magma like substance oozing out, melting flesh and bone as it dripped down the creatures torso. It wailed in pain and dropped to its knees. It reached out with both arms towards the detective, gasping for air. Ollie stood, forcefully controlling his breathing, and took final aim at the creature's head. With a slow breath out, he squeezed the trigger.

The Thing's remaining good eye exploded in a burst of scolding orange before dropping to the floor, dead. Ollie could feel what was becoming a familiar shot of pain coming from his arm, the blackness moving up again, ever so slightly towards his elbow. He dropped the gun onto the floor, stepping back and watching the pistol return to its usual 9mm look. The detective raised his arm twisting it over and over as he looked upon it. It had become as responsive as ever, emitting a warm glow.

Slowly, he shuffled over to the gaping hole in the wall, leaning out as far as he could. The rest of the city was in just as bad shape, vines of every shape and size grew from the ground, twisting their way through buildings, strangling the life from them. Huge cracks were carved into the roads, filled with pools of black sludge as dark colours hung above them, pulsing in unison. High above, strange neon symbols danced across the pitch black sky as lightning cut jagged lines over them. Surely this must be hell, there was nothing here except the feeling of dread.

Ollie fell back into the office, stumbling towards where he left his gun. He picked up the 9mm, losing himself in a stare. An image of himself jamming the barrel up under his chin flashed across his mind. Whatever this game was, he didn’t want to play. He took one last look over to the body of the creature, he just wanted to go home, he just wanted…

Wait, what was that?

There was something bulging from the creature's pocket, something square and definitely not a crystal formation. Ollie dropped his arm, which had begun to creep up, instead moving his head down as if changing its position would help him make out whatever it was. The detective stepped forward cautiously, awkwardly returning the gun to its holster. Squatting down he reached into the things pocket.

A wallet?

He pulled it out and flipped it open. There in the see-through sleeve was a drivers license with the words ‘New Atlantis Driving Permit’ printed along the top.

“No, it couldn’t be, I couldn’t be…”

Flashing images interrupted the flow of his thoughts, a woman, young, impossibly beautiful, hovering above him. She was talking, what was she saying?

"You desire the truth, don't you?" even the memory of her voice melted his heart.

“I can give you power...”

No, wait.

“Your soul is too valuable..”

Impossible.

“New Atlantis.”

It can’t be.

“I'll be watching you carefully."

Ollie whipped around as if she was there in the room. He ran over to a desk, tearing through a draw and picking up a stapler. ‘PROPERTY OF NEW ATLANTIS GAZETTE’ was labelled onto its side. Tossing it away he grabbed a stack of paper, the header of the letter read the same. Finally he had solved the mystery, this was New Atlantis, at least what was left of it.

John!

His brother was here somewhere, maybe this is why he had been brought here, a chance at redemption, a chance to save him.

The door creaked from across the far side of the room, more shuffling could be heard echoing from the stairwell. A lot more of those things were on their way. Ollie looked down at his arm, the warmth coming from the cracks began to rise and the glow grew brighter. Shifting his gaze towards his gun, he gritted his teeth.

“Whatever it takes John, I’m coming.”
Old Enemies, New Partners: II



Starring: @Andreyich, @Auz, @DrRtron, @KaiserElectric and @Lucky


Tak moved through the corridors of the Weiro at a steady pace, following the scent of the natural born as it wormed its way from deep inside the ship. The krogan was careful not to run or brandish any weapons, wary of the Geth voice he had spoken to earlier, as a shipwide alert would mean Tak would lose the advantage of surprise. His council had warned him that the Urdnot clan would send an assassin with the intention of stopping their political maneuver. Even though the krogan did not care for such games, he’d be damned if he’d let a natural born claim his skull plate.

It didn’t take Tak long to realise that the stench of the genetically inferior was coming from the engine room.

Sabotage.

The cowardly would-be-killer wasn’t even going to give him the dignity of facing off with honour. Turning the final corner, Tak crept up towards one of the many entrances to the ship’s core, hugging the wall as he did so. The noise of machinery was too loud for the krogan to make out anything that was going on inside, he would have to risk peeking around the corner. Grabbing the stock of his shotgun, and opening the door, Tak leaned out slightly.

Urd was still at work at the console, muttering to himself about ‘Osino’ and ‘thieving pyjacks’ and ‘untrusting captains’.

“Can’t believe they hired another engineer. Ridiculous. I’m the only one they need! Ship’s not even close to perfect. Typical human. As long as it can function it's perfect. Explains why the turians were able to smack them so easily. And what even is a drell? Frog people? Why does she have those cuts on her neck? Are they all little thieves?”

He stopped as he heard the door open again behind him. Great. Another introduction. Probably a third engineer they didn’t tell me about. With a sigh, he turned around and froze as he saw the face of a tank-born staring back at him. Hundreds of images from the war flooded his mind and he felt a deep-set familiar rage begin to fill him. He fought it down, barely. He wasn’t going to be ruled by his blood rage, and besides he had been warned by Eustace about the Tank-bred. The human had made him agree to not murder the abomination on sight, if he wanted to seize his destiny aboard the Weiro. With difficulty, Urd shoved down his murderous rage and adrenaline that had shot through his system at seeing his long time foe. Things would have to be different, as much as he despised the idea.

Tak cursed himself for allowing the door to open with too much noise. He had lost his advantage. No matter, at least now he could give the natural born an honourable death, looking into the eyes of his enemy.

“ASSASSIN!” Tak shouted as he entered engineering, Spike Thrower first.

“Wha-” Urd began to snarl. This Tank-bred was insane, as they usually were.

Then he noticed the shotgun.

Urd’s instincts were fortunately sharper than his mind, and as he began to fully recognize what was about to happen he had already pulled up a biotic barrier around him. The first spike slammed to a stop inches from his face, straining against the barrier.. Of course. Of course the abomination was going to try to kill him. He knew he shouldn’t have trusted C-Sec’s word. They were monsters with no control.

He couldn’t let the fight be here, too much of the equipment was needed to run the Weiro. But he wasn’t going to lay down and die either.

“OSINO, RUZAD, GO FIND EUSTACE!” He roared as biotic energy surged around him, gathering like a raging river blocked by a dam. His vision narrowed in on his hated enemy and with an explosion of blue energy he charged straight towards the tank-bred, slamming into Tak and throwing both of them into the wall behind the tank-bred. With a snarl, Urd brought his head forward in an attempt at a head butt.

An obnoxiously loud, piercing klaxon alarm blares out once the Krogan and tank-bred collide. Vital machinery powers down from a hum to silence. It is almost as if the Weiro itself is responding to the two.

“Takaror Corr. Urdnot Shephurd. Cease and desist before the Captain is notified and disciplinary action is taken.” The Geth is concise with its wording.

Battlemaster. Tak thought as the barrier lit up, covering the natural born. The other Krogan had screamed something unintelligible before closing the gap and launching a vicious hand to hand. The headbutt landed with a heavy crack, loud enough to drown out the words of the machine as alarms blared around them. Tak laughed at the pain, headbutts between krogan were basically a formal greeting at this point. The tank bred unleashed the monster from within, allowing his biotics to flare up, coating him in the same deep blue. He prepared to perform a charge to get them back into the centre of the room, hoping to throw the natural born off balance.

Oh no you don’t. Urd’s biotics surged around him as he built his own charge again. They were going to stay right here.

A biotic shockwave rippled throughout the bay as both charges released at the same time. Anything not nailed down was flung across the room as the two krogan gripped each other in an intense series of locks, Ruzad beeping in panic as it was thrown out of the engineering bay door on its way to obey Urd’s command. The other unfortunate thing not nailed down was of course Osino Kael.

Having retreated back into the engine room to collect her things from the upper deck, the Drell was immediately flung backwards by the shockwave, saving herself from being slammed into a wall by grabbing onto an overhanging rail and swinging up and around it.

Well that’s wonderful, Osino thought. the only thing better to have near the fragile equipment than a Krogan? Two Krogan. Keeping her eyes on the ensuing destruction, she activated her communicator with her other hand with a trill ringing sound. “Plisken, when you’re finished with the upload do me a solid and get Eustace down here before the engine falls off,” she shouted over the din.

“What? Hrrm, is the ship that bad?” came a gravely electronic voice from the other end.

“No, the Krogans are having a bit of a workplace dispute,” Osino explained. “I’ll see what I can do, but best case scenario is that the CO gets here before I need to get peeled off the walls.”

“Huh, can’t say that’d do much for the scenery. Plisken out.”

“Always the comedian,” Osino said, stalking along the top of the room as the Krogan dueled one another.

Urd grunted in pain as Tak’s clawed fist cracked across his jaw, throwing him to the ground. His vision swam as one thought burned in his mind. Not. Like. This. A second later he was on his feet again, drawing his hammer as he did so. Electricity crackled across the head as it was activated and with another roar he swung it at the Tank-Bred’s head.

Two alarms sound off in the engine room again, the volume nearly deafening this time. Meanwhile the Geth has already communicated to Eustace and Captain Sosa’Numos of the ongoing fight with the following message to them privately: ”Engineer Urdnot Shephurd and Shock Trooper Takaror Corr have engaged in an unsanctioned fight within the engine department. Immediate intervention required.”

In a second attempt at de-escalating the fight, Seraph follows the alarms with its robotic tone. “This fight and events leading up to have been recorded. Disengage immediately to receive your punishments accordingly.”

“Now why didn’t I think of that?” Osino commented as she dug around in one of the conduits to put her idea into place.

Tak ducked the incoming hammer, the electricity sparking across his plates as it grazed by. A direct hit from a weapon of that calibre would shatter through any biotic barrier. The tank bred ducked and weaved avoiding the precise swings of Urd. The natural born had done this dance many times over, distracting his enemy with the head of the hammer, putting the other krogan on the defence. Urd established an obvious pattern of swings allowing Tak to fall into a rhythm before feinting a blow and bringing up the handle uppercutting the abomination.

Tak stumbled backwards, narrowly avoiding a follow up death blow, he hocked up a gob of bright orange blood, spitting it out before re-engaging.

It was only by now the Eustace had come, sliding around a corner. Where the hell was the Drell in all this? Didn't matter right now. "A tenth of your next paychecks are being deducted. Every second you continue this another tenth will be taken." The man announced, drawing either Carnifex pistol from his armpit holsters calmly. "As well, a record of who damaged what will be produced, these elements likewise deducted from your balance." He continued, loading the pistols with armour piercing munitions. Eustace flicked the safety on either weapon meaningfully. "If you do not stop I'll smear the walls with your fucking brains." he said, knowing Krogan responded well to shows of force.

Urd blocked a strike from the Tank-Bred, stumbling back. The monster had more power behind his blows than expected. Eustace’s arrival made him take his eyes off of his opponent. “Tell that to him, not me! I was-” Letting himself get distracted was a mistake as Tak extended his reach, his claws just stopping short of a soft spot on Urd’s neck. The tank-bred could feel the anger ooze off the human, it was enough to take his threat seriously.

“This coward is an Urdnot assassin. With your permission, human, I will end his life.”

Urd gritted his teeth at the insult, but kept his hammer down. Eustace was going to handle it.

Eustace sighed wearily. This was exactly why he didn’t get right to work. These little scenes always happened in these diverse teams. How the hell was he supposed to bring people who were only months ago perhaps on different sides of the same battles?

“No, Mr. Corr, you will not.” Eustace explained, the calming of Tak prompting the man to holster one of his pistols. “The person before you is Urdnot Shephurd, he is one of the Engineers aboard the vessel. You should have been acquainted with this fact by now, and I am thoroughly disappointed. Furthermore, there is no title as ‘human’ aboard this vessel. Either refer to me as Sir or Yeoman appending Dar Adal if the situation demands it to specify which Sir you are speaking of. Fucking awful. You will be getting sent a disciplinary document later. You understand? Good, get out of my sight. Doubt you’ll get much sympathy from the Captain so I suggest you hurry before you get this talk a second time. Wait, no. I want you to formally apologize to Mr. Urdnot here first.”

Was this true? How could the council's information be wrong? More games, more betrayals, Tak was filled with anger but none of it was for anyone in the room. He would have his day but here and now, he was in the wrong.

“If what you say is true, Sir, then grant me no mercy in your punishment. And to the Urdnot clan.” The tank born turned to face Urd. “I have dishonoured our chance to fight on equal terms. Should we do battle again, I will declare my intentions beforehand.”

Urd inclined his head in a begrudging nod. At least the Tank-bred had some knowledge of honor.

“You will not battle again!” Eustace roared before Urd could reply, veins on his face looking as if they were about to burst. “Get out! Get out!” The man said, waving Tak out of the room with his pistol.

“As you wish, Sir.”

“What was he fucking thinking.” the man muttered, holstering his other firearm. “You alright?” he asked of Urd, hoping rather likely in vain that in the hours since the encounter with Osino Urd had learned to be reasonable, if at least out of desire to be the bigger (and thus better) man. “Where’s the Drell, Osino?”

Urd touched a hand to his neck and looked at the orange on it. The Tank-born had just broken the surface of the skin. “I’ll be fine. He won’t get so lucky next time. I asked Os to find you when the fight broke out. I don’t know where she is now.”

He watched the tank-bred leave the room with simmering hatred. Then he turned to face Eustace. “I warned you. I warned all of you! And you all assured me my concerns were for nothing.” He rubbed his bloodied fingers together and held it out to Eustace. “Nothing. That must feel a lot different to humans than to Krogans.” He reattached his hammer to the back of his armor and turned back to the console in disgust. “Don’t turn your back on him. You can’t trust the Tank-Bred. Any more than you can trust a rabid Varren!”

“Is there anyone on the ship you DO trust?” The human and the Krogan looked up at Osino standing on one of the conduits, a thick bundle of wires draped over one shoulder.

“Several. You’re not one of them, as evidenced by you hiding instead of helping like I asked!” Urd snapped, craning his head to look up at her.

“I WAS helping,” she insisted, taking off the bundle of wires. “I sent Plisken to go find the Yo-Man here and was about to intervene. By the way, I’m not super familiar with Quarian electromagnetic shielding tech, would magnetizing the walls interfere with the ship functions at all?” She effortlessly directed the question to Eustace like there hadn’t been a bloody knockout battle in the engine room a moment ago.

“I-You. Hmm. I guess that counts.” Urd grumbled under his breath, attempting to look over the scans Ruzad had gotten for him with his hearts still pounding with adrenaline and fear.

At this point, Eustace rubbed his eyes wearily. Truth was the day had started rather recently for him but he was already feeling like he had enough. “Urd, Takaror is a crewmate of this vessel. Following this misunderstanding I expect the same respect to be given to him as anyone else. Please don’t say anything, it won’t turn out well. Osino, come with me for a moment.” the man said, motioning with his fingers for the Drell to follow.

“Coming down,” Osino declared, vaulting off the conduit once again and dropping to the ground with an acrobatic flourish, tossing her uniform jacket on in one fluid motion.

“Urd, clean this up.” he commanded, walking away and hoping very dearly that the Drell would follow as he pulled up his omni-tool to start writing a report of the incident. She did indeed follow, but not before holding back to grab the first aid kit off the wall, tossing it over to Urd with a friendly casual salute before rushing after the yeoman.

Urd caught the first aid kit and gave a grunt of thanks, muttering to himself as he and Ruzad set about putting the engineering bay back together. “Don’t know why I’m cleaning up, I’m not the stupid tube that caused the mess ridiculous…”

After the two passed some distance Eustace turned a corner closing his omni-tool having just about finished his report. With that he turned to the Drell, pursing his lips momentarily before shaking his head. “Do you know why you were contracted as Chief Engineer? Give it a moment.

Osino tilted her head slightly. “Because...I demonstrated the appropriate skills, sir?”

Eustace inhaled and then in a single go emptied the contents of his lungs through his nose in a single long exhalation. “Please, do elaborate. Or, perhaps let me do so: why do you think you were selected to be Urd’s leader? No, don’t answer that, today’s not been a good day for me and I think I might not like the answer.” he said, scratching a sideburn.

“It's great you can do foppish tricks flinging bits of the Engines about. Oh my yes they’d be appreciated, particularly in the entertainment sector. But your job on the ship is to maintain the Engines and when it came to doing just that you were playing amongst the machinery while Krogan were incurring many credits in damage.”

“I wasn’t just playing around, I was-”

As a Chief Engineer,” he continued, speaking forcefully over the drell, “You’re not a ‘better’ Engineer, you are an Engineer that leads the other Engineer. Maybe what happened was out of spite for me. Maybe it was out of spite for Urd. But I don’t give a pyjak’s ass about why I need the what and I need the what to be results. Today is our first day, we can forget about all the bad that happened if it doesn’t continue. But I need someone I can trust to make sure everything down here is perfect, do you hear? Urd, Tak, either of them can turn me into a wet blob of red. They didn’t. If what we read about you is right they wouldn’t have with you either. Don’t fail your references.” Eustace finished, for now unloading the armour piercing munitions from his pistols to replace them with standard clips. “Can I trust you that this is the first and last time something of this sort happens? That you will be the reliable and diligent worker your file says you are? This can easily result in promotion or… well, the inverse. A Chief Engineer that’s not being a Chief can just be an Engineer.”

Osino had....quite a lot to think about and say in regards to that. But for the sake of this mission, she responded with a muted nod and a “Of course, sir.”

Eustace noticed that the words belied thoughts, but if they weren’t uttered then at least there was some progress in his opinion. “Good. For the moment magnetizing the walls would be a violation of the ship’s safety protocols. But this can be rectified down the line. Now go tell Urd how you think it was so heroic how he defended himself and the ship, but that it's a good thing you were glad you could stop it from escalating because Tak is to be a good comrade. Dismissed.”

Eustace knew the words said today wouldn’t be taken very happily, but that wasn’t the point. It would be better for him to be judged as an ass and a nuisance than someone that let his crew tear itself apart. No, not his crew he reminded himself. They were good people - or so he was told - but he absolved himself of yet more dead on his conscience and the events of today seemed to say it was a good precaution. He tried to smile at Osino, but he knew having to so indiscriminately put his foot down had killed his chance at amiable relations with the Drell and the duo of Krogan already. Perhaps it was for the better.

Eustace went back to his office, calling out over his shoulder: “If the Captain comes, tell her it was nothing, it’s all sorted. For the sake of all of us I think it's perhaps best she not know a pair of Krogan nearly ruined a relic of her people.”
Introductions: III



Starring: @Auz, @Lucky and @Lauder



It had been two days since his meeting with the newly formed krogan council and even though Tak had gotten his way, he still seethed in anger. They had taken to the position of authority too quickly, adapting and utilising the underhanded tactics of their former masters. The promise of a great and honourable clan was falling by the wayside, leaving Tak to think selfishly.

Stuck in a state of internal thought, the krogan had entered the ship unaware of any who were already inside. He had taken the encounter with his brethren so personally that he hadn’t slept in all that time, leaving him determined to find a room.

Next to the armoury.
He thought to himself.

It didn’t take long, the ship wasn’t exactly a maze and the signage was clear enough. Tak found and entered a room that was basically next door to their future arms cache, not even bothering to look around. He just dropped his bag on the ground allowing some of the books inside to spill out. There was more to bring in but he just wanted a moment to try and relax.

“Takaror Corr,” a Geth voice speaks out as it registered the Krogan’s presence. “Welcome to the W-178. This domicile has been vacant and open for claiming. We are allowing a first-come first-serve basis. Would you like to claim this room?”

Tak’s right arm instinctively reached behind his lower back, gripping the stock of his Spike Thrower. Nothing in the air had changed, he could feel no other being in the room and there was something about the way it spoke that was off.

“Reveal yourself voice.”

“My name is Seraph. I am a pilot for the W-178, a Geth uploaded into its internal systems. We are, effectively, crewmates.” There is a pause as if its attention seems to be elsewhere momentarily. “Physically, I am nothing more than software but I will be inhabiting a Prime platform for field use. Or if you mean where my voice is projecting from, check the back right corner ceiling for the speaker.”

Machine. The image of a flashlight looking head flew by in Tak’s mind. He was yet to face such a foe in battle and although the tank had taught him about their creation by the quarians, there was no feeling for the krogan to latch on to. Tak released the end of his gun, relaxing his stance and straightening up.

“This room is mine, is there anything you require of me?”

“Negative, Takaror. I will mark this room as claimed for you. The Captain is not expected for another hour. Is there anything I can do to help you settle in?”

The Krogan gave a final look around the room, still not quite sure how it was that it was speaking but making a mental note to research the Geth in more depth later. Using his foot, he slid his bag along the floor, removing his weapons and lying down.

“No.”

“Understood,” the Geth is gone as quickly as it appeared, leaving the Krogan to its silence.



The floor of the Weiro was cold and uninviting, obviously it wasn’t a place made to take a nap but considering Tak’s size there was no point even trying to sleep on the bed that had been left in the room. Not that it mattered too much, the krogan had slept in worse places and it was never where he slept that was the issue, it was his dreams that bothered him.

In his nightmares, picture after picture was thrown at him, assaulting Tak’s mind with gruesome images of war and death. It was a remnant from his time spent learning in the tank, a parting gift from their old leader Fortack, meant to drive him to crush the rebels' supposed enemies. A barbaric tactic that worked all too well as even though the giant krogan slept, he could feel the void inside begin to call out to him.

There was an abrupt change, a momentary pause in the assault before pictures of quarians began to appear. Old images of polonium rounds puncturing their suits in splashes of vivid greens, others of their masks being removed in toxic atmospheres while they violently choked to death and finally, pictures of their old, decrepit ships being torn asunder. Tak could resist the call of the void no longer, shooting up off the ground violently to a seated position and reaching for his Spike Thrower.

Adrenaline boiled his blood as he hopped up onto his feet, scanning around his room, not even realising where he was. Something in the air had changed, a new smell hung above the crusty scent of the ship, something sterile, yet stale at the same time. As it drew near, Tak realised what it was, why his dream had changed. It was a quarian.

There was a knock at the door. Tak took a set of deep breaths in and out, laying down the oversized shotgun, composing himself before moving towards the door and opening it.

In front him stood the substantially smaller figure of a quarian, looking down at her Omni-Tool for the moment. Then, she realized that the krogan was standing in front of her, she looked up and silently gazed at the tank-bred krogan up and down for a moment before she cleared her throat. Her form was fitted nicely with her suit of red, yellow, and black, with the only contrast of her appearance being that of the purple visor. She tucked her arms behind her back as she greeted the krogan happily, “Hello! Takaror Corr, I presume? I am Sosa’Numos nar Suram and I am your captain.”

Her form hopped up and down a few times before she spoke a tad absentmindedly, “Keelah, they did not tell me the krogan were this big.”

Captain? She was so… tiny and her voice was almost innocent in nature. Tak’s eyes darted momentarily to his hand, he could easily wrap it around her helmet two times over. Somewhere deep inside he felt the void rumble as the image of the helmetless quarian reappeared in his mind. Crush.

The krogan took half a step back, balling up his claws into a fist. This was his body, it would do as he commanded.

“Is there anything you require of me?”

Sosa’Numos thought to herself for a brief moment before speaking once more, “No, I just felt the need to meet my crew. After all, we are going to be stuck on this ship.”

The quarian shifted her weight to the side as she looked at Tak, noting how he balled his hands into fists on the off chance that quickly became relevant. She had no weapon on her, at least none that Tak could see on her form. Sosa’Numos continued to stare at him for a moment before asking, “Why don’t you tell me a little bit about yourself?”

“I am here to kill our enemies.”

The krogan replied without missing a beat, only pausing after catching a quick glimpse of himself in the reflection of Sosa’s visor.

“There may be more I am capable of but what that is, I do not know.”

“Surely, you must have a hobby?” the Captain asked, inquisitively stepping forward a singular stride as she stared at him. Her head tilted to the side as she once more looked him over, almost noting each of his features before she stepped back to her original place as she realized that she was invading his space.

“Is there anything you like to do with your free time?” She asked.

This was a strange line of questioning, even during his time in C-sec the other aliens had strayed from Tak’s presence almost as soon as he entered a room. Perhaps this was a quarian tactic, a feint designed to test her subordinates, he had noticed the Captain take a step towards him. Sosa’Numos and her kind were known for exploiting a weakness in the Geth to initiate a war during the Reaper conflict. Tak subtly widened his stance just in case.

“I submitted to a full evaluation with your superiors. My council presented an additional report on my combat experience. I assure you, I have no such weaknesses.”

“Weakness?” Sosa’Numos echoed, tilting her head to the side a bit as she was legitimately confused by such a statement and so she stood there silently for a moment. The quarian brought her arms to her side and her posture shifted into one far more proper and professional as her head straightened itself. She stared down the krogan in silence for a moment as the moments passed, though that aura of innocence seemed to fade away quickly. It seemed that whatever false personality that Sosa’Numos had, disappeared.

“Then you only know to fight, to kill?” She asked, her once bubbly voice shifted to one of an emotionless tone.

The krogan almost smiled as the true nature of his Captain came out. The sudden shift in personality reminded him of the cunning character of Fortack, leaving Tak relieved at the similarity. At least now he understood.

“It is all I have been used for.”

“And I can trust that you will do as commanded by me?” Sosa’Numos inquired.

“Yes, but choose foes worthy of death, I wish to kill with honour.” There was no inflection or change in his voice, whether the captain knew it or not, this was a warning.

“I have read your file, I do not intend on making that mistake, Mister Corr,” the quarian answered, no movement on her except for the subtle rise and lowering of her chest as she breathed. The captain allowed for another moment of silence to pass before she spoke once more in that same emotionless tone, asking, “Now, do you have any questions or requests of me?”

“Avoid war with this ship. It is old, lightly armoured and ill equipped for battle.”

Tak turned, picking up his Spike Thrower and returning it to its rightful place on the back of his armour. Retreating further back into his new abode he paused for a brief moment.

“Tak, this is what you may call me.”

The krogan deemed her honesty worthy of knowing something personal. Time would tell if the quarian would be a worthwhile leader but this was a good start.

“Very well, Tak. I look forward to seeing if you live up to your reports. Be ready for our first assignment,” Sosa’Numos stated before she turned away and walked down the hallway, arms folded behind her back. Quickly, her posture returned to that as when she had greeted Tak, returning to how the other crew knew her to be.

The giant space reptile shut the door behind the captain, bending down to pick up his bags and books. Once all neatly packed on shelves he would go to collect the rest of his training equipment, which was nothing more than an assortment of bars and weights. Though before he could do so, his senses began to stir once again. A familiar scent mixed with the heat of rage and aggression wafted through the vents causing Tak’s hearts to beat rapidly. His bones began to ache as the voids call rose like the opening number of a symphony.

There was a natural born on board.
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