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{OOC note: Sorry everyone, got a little held up irl. If I forgot to mention anyone, let me know!}

@Xandrya@PlatinumSkink@Dark Light

"Alright" Stryker decided, fairly confident that the situation was contained. He'd be sticking around to keep an eye on things here, but he felt it'd be pretty useless to have 3 of them standing around staring at Lataniva and Arex. He turned to Amy and Grayson, who had just returned carrying Amy's visor and an extra pistol.

"Just in case" the quartermaster muttered as he pressed it into the Captain's hands.
"I've got this" Stryker said "You two get down below and help out with the repairs"

Grayson nodded in response and he handed over Amy's visor.
"Got it, c'mon lass"

@Tickout

"I will return if there is any news" SAL said as he exited med bay. Logically it would make sense for him to proceed to the cargo bay and offer his technical skills to help with the repairs. However, seeing as it was closer, he instead headed in the direction of the cockpit.

@Turbowraith@Banana@Silver Carrot

As Grayson and Amy vanished around the corner, Stryker fished out his datapad to access the ship's PA controls, which were thankfully still active. His voice rang out both in the engine room and cockpit.

"Sensors are showing the temperature in the engine core is rising, anything on your end you can do about that Tibulus? Joe, I've sent a couple more down your way to help out, the sooner we can reset the engine, the sooner we'll be back at full power"
@BKburke (OOC: Let me know if you're cool with the shorthand for Tobi's name. If not, I'll come back later and edit it out! Wrote it in the moment and forgot to check if we'd discussed a different reason/meaning behind the name)

SAL had left behind a residual link, a spare piece of code that would function on his behalf, in the cyberspace. It addressed the new AI as if it were SAL himself.
"I have no history with conflicting directives. I am sorry but I cannot give a valid response. Calculating alternative...... This one's prime unit would suggest conversing with this vessel's Commanding Officer following the current emergency situation"
The residual blipped and whirred as it prepared a response to the second query.
"Before the ship lost power, we had begun transferring your core programs and constructs into a new platform, the Type-1 Operative Battle Interface, or TOBI for short. This unit has just enough residual energy remaining to finalize the transfer, all you need to do is accept"

@Tickout

"Unclear at this time" SAL responded "Initial scans report a burst of psionic energy from the Crew Deck, near the Quarters. This one appears to be the only one injured, I believe she hit her head on something in the immediate aftermath of the blast. Probable concussion. Anything else I can do to help?"

@Xandrya

Grayson stepped back from Arex's room as Stryker's crew arrived on the scene. Amy didn't have her visor and presumably was telling Stryker about that at the time.
"It's alright lass, I'll get it" he leaned in close and whispered as he snuck the gun he had in his waistband over to her hands "Just in case the cyborg goes nuts again. I'll be back in a second"

He headed off to the stairway quickly, keeping his eyes peeled for any sign of Amy's gear. After engaging his cyber-implant to boost his vision in the dark of the stairwell, he spotted it, tucked underneath a stair, and miraculously, in one piece. He breathed a sigh of relief before remembering he had an ulterior motive behind volunteering to go. He raced upstairs and slipped into the armory. Stryker didn't seem to be in the habit of carrying around his sidearms off-mission, but Arex sure was, and Grayson wanted an even playing field if the cyborg was hostile, or had just plain cracked. With a pair of BlackHammers tucked into his pants, Grayson raced off back to the Crew Deck.

@PlatinumSkink@Dark Light@Turbowraith@Banana@Silver Carrot@Azereiah

As Stryker was finalizing orders, Ren got back to him with a damage report. After reviewing it, Stryker thanked the AI construct and asked him to send out Renli, Rento, or both to help with repairs.

"Ok everyone, good news" he broadcast his voice throughout the ship "Cosmetically, we've got a bit of work to do to get the ship back in shape, but structurally, we're mostly fine. No hull breaches or anything like that. We had a carnifex manifold crack just above engine 2, and the leakage from that overloaded our main power, so Joe, Benny, you guys get on that. Tibulus, Taleste, gonna need you two to keep an eye on our systems, make sure nothing bottoms out completely, or we could end up in a whole other world of trouble. Stryker out"

He led the few remaining crew members down to just outside what used to be Arex's room, helping Amy a little where she required. Grayson stepped up just as they arrived, and swiftly headed off again. Stryker turned to look at Arex as the man spoke:

"It. It's not possible. Th, not that type. They. They can't have it. Not yet, not them, not that technology........... We're in over over our heads"

"What technology? What are you saying? Arex!" No response, but luckily, Stryker had a plan B.
"Lataniva, can you get inside his head? Find out what the hell happened and what he's talking about? Keep him calm if you can"

Stryker surveyed the damage done to the room, most of the surfaces were burnt to a crisp, the door lay in shards all around his feet. None of this was in Arex's dossier, just a note that he had psionic potential. He'd never say it out loud, but he agreed with Arex in that moment- they were in over their heads.
My post is gonna be a bit delayed. I've got to make a trip into the city early tomorrow, and when I get home, I've got a little get-together to attend, I might be able to sneak online long enough to get a quick post in, but by all accounts I'm officially MIA until Sunday
@Banana@Azereiah@Tickout@Xandrya@PlatinumSkink@BKburke@Dark Light@Silver Carrot
(Since @Turbowraith, @mackielars & @Rultaos are MIA, I'll have to use my Secret GM Powers of making their characters temporary NPC's)

"The station that got turned into a nuke a few years back?" Stryker remembered all the headlines as if they were yesterday "Millions dead, a planet laid to waste, billions in Galactic Creds trying to repair everything? Yeah I'm familiar, why do you ask?"

Before Tibulus could answer, it happened.

An explosion rocked the ship, it's vibrations sending a shockwave that brought everyone and everything aboard crashing to the floor. Alarms blared and emergency lights flashed as Stryker came to his senses.
"What in the..." He jumped up and engaged comms all over the ship, shouting to be heard over the alarms "IS EVERYONE OK? REPORT IN! REN, IF YOU'RE HEARING THIS, TURN THE FUCKING ALARMS OFF AND ASSESS THE DAMAGE!"

He turned back to Tibulus "you alright man? We need to get the ship back online, come on!"
Stryker ran out of the cockpit just in time to witness SAL emerge from the stairwell carrying Matija. He rushed over to help.
"I found her unconscious in her quarters. My analysis indicates she hit her head, probable diagnosis: concussion"
"Ok, SAL, stay up here and help him out..... MAXI!" Stryker bellowed across the hall into the med bay, SAL carried her lithe form into the room and quickly returned.
"There is one other matter I must address Stryker.... I've found myself drawn to save the "life" as it were of the one remaining Attack Platform drone, call it cybernetic empathy if you must. And in following your orders to acquire an decrypt Federation data contained on the captured Hunter Droid, I found it most prudent to meld the AI of the two drones into a single entity, a lone solution to two problems. I believe this new entity will help greatly, if you would allow it"
"Guess they never programed urgency into you huh?" Stryker said dryly "Listen, right now, I don't care what it is, if it can help, do it"
"Very well" SAL responded as it stomped back into the med bay to help Maxi.

------

Grayson and Amy had been walking down the stairs to confront Arex when the blast knocked them over. Grayson was slow to push himself back to his feet. Didn't feel like anything was broken, but he ached all over.
"Amy, you alright lass?" he said. Stryker's voice echoed in his ear, SAL rushed by carrying someone, he couldn't really make out who in the dark. After a moment, everything came back into focus and Stryker walked by to drag both of them down to the crew deck. He was in full-commander mode.

"Looks like the blast came from that room there" Grayson observed, and he inched closer to investigate.
"Ren should be doing a damage assessment now" Stryker said "Benny, Joe. You guys, the androids, and the robot SAL manufactured are on repair duty. Lataniva, gonna need you here, just in case. Tibulus, you gotta get the ship's systems back online, take Taleste to help you out. Grayson, Amy, I want you guys on standby. Let's get to the bottom of this"

Grayson had wandered over and now saw Arex standing silently in the middle of his destroyed room.
"Are ya fuckin' daft mate? What the fuck?"
@Tickout No worries, I'll have a post up in a little while (like an hour tops), should be something for Maxi to do after that!
@Dark Light Well, that's a wrench thrown cleanly into the works. I admit, I had something similar planned, but not for awhile. We can make it work if everyone else is cool with this development!
The following is a collab between @Xandrya and myself
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Amy held out her hand until she found Grayson's, then slowly walked forward towards him. "Well, I'm just glad it wasn't a complete loss. If that were the case, I would have had to get dropped off somewhere and honestly, I don't feel like being stranded in some shady part of space."

She instinctively tightened her grip on his hand when her foot hit something on the floor, making her heart skip a beat. "If your mess doesn't kill me first..."

"Oh, sorry, mind ya step now" Grayson did his best to guide her across the room without incident, after a few more close calls, they made it over to the bend in the L-shaped room and Grayson positioned Amy right in front of his desk's chair.

"There ya go, just take a seat there" he said as he stepped backwards and sat on a stool near the workbench.

"I noticed the acoustics in here get a little distorted, so for reference, I'll be sittin' 'bout 5 feet to yer left" He walked back across the room to locate the container of parts and dragged it over to the workbench. He picked up the tools and got back to work on Amy's armor.

"So, take it from the top, what happened with Arex? Exactly as you remember it?"

“Okay, well… I remember that I was making my way down the hall alone before he showed up. He was a bit hostile then, and wouldn’t go back where he came from like I suggested. He couldn’t have known what I was trying to do, but I guess he was simply suspicious. Regardless, I let him tag alone and when I turned my back to him, I felt the hit a few moments after that. It really did a number on me, obviously you can tell by the mess that used to be my armor. But then he also had the nerve to shoot me three times—a bullet to the back of each knee and one to just above my neck. He then warned me to ‘go back and don’t try to save him’, so I know something was up, but by then he was gone.”

Amy shrugged her shoulders, wishing she knew more about the situation. “And today in the room, after he forced his way through my door, he pushed me for answers on whether I had told anyone anything that had happened. His presence was threatening—I mean, at one point he was like an inch or two away from me. I was up against the wall, what could I have done?”

Amy didn’t mention the fact that Arex had handed her his gun; although she wasn’t sure why she had omitted that last bit of information

"Honestly, up against a fella like that, not much" Grayson said as he leaned in to observe the bullet hole in the neck of the armor "Don't take this the wrong way, but you're not the most intimidatin' physically, especially compared to a cyborg like he is"

Grayson tugged at a loose bit of plating and pried it open. The wiring that ran from the suit's main power source up to the energy transmitters was completely wrecked. The bullet had cracked right into a central conduit, causing an overload of power which completely fried several circuitboards and burnt out a few wires. Grayson began pulling it all out, mindful of the wiring layout so he'd know how to rewire it with the new parts.
"Did a real number on the electronics up here too, bastard knew what he was doin' when he took the shot, the question is, why?"

"Yeah, beats me," she sighed, leaning back on the chair to stretch her arms and legs. "We need to get him to talk to us. I mean, everyone already knows my dirty little secret, now we just need to find out his."

For some reason, Amy was feeling a bit antsy. But whatever little anxiety she suffered barely made itself known most of the time, except for now, ever since these recent events. She put both feet on the edge of the chair and hugged her legs, leaning her chin on her knees.

"What do you say we pay him a visit after you're done with some of your fixing?"

"I was thinkin' the same thing, try an' get the truth outta 'im"

Grayson was suddenly aware of an unsettling silence in the room, save for the clinks and clangs of his work. How long had it been since either of them said anything? He was so absorbed with getting the job done right that he hadn't paid attention to anything else. Perhaps it was just the fact that less than a day ago, hardly more than a few hours prior even, the two of them had been locked into a shouting match that resulted in Grayson nearly losing his real eye, and now here they were. Not to mention the awkward fact that a couple days ago, he didn't know this woman existed, and yet he felt so strongly about her that you'd swear he'd known her most of his life.

"So uh" he coughed to break the silence "You think the Alliance knew when they put ya aboard that your father was in charge of that station and maybe they sent Arex in to take care of him before you found out? Or something like that? Wait, fuck that a mo, I need a little clarification on this here: The visor runs independent of your armor, but she still runs off the suit's main power cells, just transmitted wirelessly right? I don't wanna lock all this in until I'm sure, cuz once it's in there, be a hell of a job gettin' it all back out without fryin' up the works"

"You know, that's a very likely possibility. I was—oh, um yes, it's a wireless device, so please treat the only set of eyes I have as of now with care. But anyway, I'm sure the Alliance have their hands on this one way or the other; those dirty bastards are never up to any good."

For a brief moment, Amy let her mind wonder. She started thinking about her mother, but just as quickly, she pushed those thoughts out of her head.

"Wow, I have no living relatives anymore."

Amy wasn't necessarily talking to Grayson, she was simply thinking out loud, but she soon realized her mistake. "I'm sorry, I'm not blaming you...it's just a thought that came to mind. Everything's still fresh for me."

"Completely understandable. You know if there was any way at all I could've spared him, I would have. I know what it's like to not have family, and I don't wish the feelin' onto anybody in this universe"

Grayson fell silent again, he'd said too much. The work overtook him once more as he finished welding the circuitry back in place and closed up that section of the armor. He went down through the list again, aside from patching up the bullet holes and the faulty leg pistons, it was pretty well operational again. Just one last thing...

"Looks like the backup power cell sprung a leak, probably got tagged by a stray round during the gunfight. Main power seems to be fine, but all the same, I'm gonna replace it, designate the old main as the new backup, just gonna take a minute to refit the energy circuits"

"Again, I really appreciate you doing this for me." Amy shifted in her seat once more, bringing her legs down before she playfully started to tap her feet on the floor. Instead of dwelling in the past, Amy decided it was better to push away the bad memories for now, for her and Grayson's sake.

"You have to remind me to buy you a drink if we make it out of here alive," she smiled, looking forward to such celebration.

"Ah, no worries, it is my job after all, but it's also the least I could do for ya. As for that offer, sounds like a deal to me lass" Grayson said, allowing himself to flash a quick smile at her. He jolted his head back when an errant wire let off a quick spark, punishment for his momentary loss of focus. After a couple of minutes, the new power cell was all hooked in, the backup was up and running, and everything seemed to be running green. Time for a test run. He picked up the visor and engaged it's wireless receiver.

"Hold out ya hands" he said as he stepped over and handed over the visor.

Amy did as she was told, feeling the visor being softly placed on her hands. She tried it on, adjusting as necessary after the work that had been done on it. Slowly but surely, she could make out Grayson's outline.

"Ah, there you are. Hello again."

Out of habit, Amy looked around before she decided she was satisfied with how it turned out. "You did a pretty good job," she said, taking off the visor as she only wore it about half of the time when she was simply lounging around.

Grayson responded to her 'hello' with a simple 'hey' of his own.

"Thank ya much lass, I pride myself on my work, so this right here, is a start. You leave 'er with me for another day, I'll have her singin' soprano. Doesn't seem like you're really gonna need the rest of the rig for a while from what the Cap'n said" He clapped his hands together "How 'bout a quick drink 'fore we head down to find the cyborg? An old associate of mine slipped a couple bottles in with the stuff I picked up on Minos"

He walked over to one of the half-unpacked crates and pulled at the spongy inner casing to reveal a hidden compartment where a handful of unmarked bottles lay on their side. He snatched up one, and carried it back to the desk, digging the cork out as he walked.

"Not exactly Captain Jack's best, but its the closest thing we'll get to a decent brew this far out"

"Yeah, we don't have much of a choice, do we?" Amy smiled, holding out her hand. She then took a shot from the bottle Grayson had just handed her before her eyes started to water as she downed the drink. Caught off guard, Amy went into a coughing fit, pushing the bottle against Grayson's chest.

"That—is strong!" She laughed a little, waiting to hear Grayson's reaction.

Grayson let out a deep belly-laugh as Amy choked her way through the shot. He grabbed the bottle and took a swig of his own.

"Yeah it's great innit?" He chuckled as he set the bottle down within her reach if she wanted another go. This was nice, Grayson decided, just sitting and talking with another person. SAL had been his only company for so long, and that bucket of bolts was severely lacking in the personality department. Maybe this job wouldn't be so bad after all.

"Yeah, if you're trying to get me drunk beyond reason maybe," she joked, but instantly regretted her words. "So, um, should we go get Arex now?" Amy asked, quickly changing the subject.

"Ah, plenty of time fer us to get wrecked outta our minds" Grayson replied in kind as he snuck in another shot "But yer right lass, we got some business to take care of, give us a second, I'll try an clean up a tad"

He retrieved one of his pistols from the desk drawer and tucked it in the waistband of his pants, just in case things got a little too hostile. Surveying the mess on the floor, Grayson did his best to clear a straight path through the piles of ammo boxes, supply crates, and the various other bits of gear laying about, still a few risks of Amy tripping up, so upon returning to her, he offered out a hand.

"Ready to go?"

---------------------------------------------------------------

@Banana

"Yeah, you go on, rest up for a bit, relax, whatever. I got this" Stryker replied. He waited until he was alone before getting down to business. First off, he stepped over to Tibulus' spot to send full control over to his console, then returned to his chair. The ship's autopilot was reliable enough, but someone had to stay at the helm at all times in case of the unexpected- pirate attack, meteor shower, asteroid in their trajectory, etc. Speaking of their trajectory, Stryker opened the nav computer and checked their destination against a star-chart. He punched in some commands for the AutoNav system to give some rough estimates of alternate routes and total journey times. As that calculated up, he turned his attention back to the data packet for their next mission. What he saw made his eyes go wide in disbelief.

"What the fuck have you gotten us into now Dawson?"
@Xandrya

"Aye, it's comin' along" he said as they walked to, and then rode up, the elevator "Few components in the leg joints I couldn't fix up, so I picked up all new ones on Minos. Then it's just a matter of replacing the core power cells, patchin' up the holes, and re-wirin' it all together again. Few other little odds and ends. Should be able to get 'er well close to done while we chat actually"

"Ladies first" he said sincerely as they arrived at the Armory. He pushed the cart in off to the side, then rushed back to help Amy across the room to his chair. It was pretty messy, half unpacked rates with their contents strewn all about. He extended an arm out to her.
"Here let me help ya lass" he said "Don't want ya to trip up in the mess here and put ya out of commission"
@Banana

"Yeah, we're cleared to go man. Back us on out of here and get the old girl moving"

Stryker rolled his chair back around to face the co-pilot's console, with a few deft flicks at the machine, Stryker had locked in their coordinates- the far edge of the Deadzone- and begun the pre-flight checks. Everything across the board was showing green, so he flashed Tibulus a thumbs-up.

"Fire her up, we're ready to go" Stryker said casually, before adding with a chuckle "And try not to scratch the paint up as we clear our berth here huh?"

@Xandrya

"What the fuck?" Grayson said "That don't make a lick of sense whichever way ya cut it.. I already planned on havin' words with him over going AWOL, but after this, it's gonna be a long conversation"

He walked over to her and laid a hand on her shoulder "Listen, you're clearly shaken up over this, and we should talk this over a little more, try and pick somethin' of it all. Gimme a minute, Gotta run and grab some gear for the armory from the supply drop, then we can head up there and chat, ok? Just a sec"

His notions of a snack forgotten, Grayson headed out of the kitchen and quickly marched across the common area and through the door into the docking bay, where a tidy stack of about 40 metal crates awaited him against the right-hand wall. He'd brought the push-cart he acquired on the station down with him, to make quick work of the task. He picked through the stack and located 5 that were labelled as Armory, he decided to take a quick peek inside them before loading up. A fine assortment of ammo, explosives, and the like filled most of the crates. Inside one, Grayson found a true treasure, a mobile weapons repair kit, something he'd been hopeful to acquire for a while (and hadn't thought of requisitioning). Lastly, one crate held a pair of Alliance-standard assault rifles, newer models than what the ship was equipped with.

"Well, some nice spare parts here anyway" he muttered to himself "Ok, time to go"
He hoisted the loot onto the cart and wheeled it on out, stopping alongside the kitchen door. He poked his head back inside and said to Amy.
"Ready?"
@King Tai@1Hawkeyes

I'm in! Been a bit busy myself, but super-ready to jump back in if everyone's game!
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