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@Dealdric@Xandrya@BKburke@Banana@Azereiah@Silver Carrot@Dark Light@Tickout@baranica@Simple Unicycle

Grayson, sitting next to Amy, gave her a little nudge in the side and whispered "Good one"

Stryker went around the room and addressed everyone who spoke in order, starting with Lexi.
"Whatever that thing is, keep it on a short leash" he began, then quickly added "In fact, if it eats it's prey entirely, don't use it. We need their armor for the next stage of the plan. As for the 'holes in ship' situation, go nuts. The ship needs to completely disappear."

Turning to Tibulus, Stryker took a breath and began again
"Like Rento said, there won't be any children anywhere near this ship, so that's not a concern Tibulus. There won't be any civilians for that matter either Taleste. That said, and this is for you as well Tobi, there could be anywhere from fifty to a hundred pirates aboard that ship, the attack squad is gonna need all hands on deck. It's just myself and Carver heading to meet the pirate."

Carver stepped in to answer Rento's questions.
"No special properties on the armor itself, it's just your standard medium-to-heavy-plating. The real prize is the group's insignia. They carve it into the core of the plating itself with a special brand of arc-plasma cutter that's hard to come by. Impossible to properly replicate on the short time frame we have. As for weapons, they could truly be using anything at all."

"We've got a plan of attack drawn up, it's pretty simple but all the same Kira'll brief you on the way. She's got command of this mission. If there's no more questions, then let's move out. Dismissed"

As the Revenant crew made their way back to their own ship, the Maelstrom crew headed off to get their gear and made their way across the interconnected airlocks to join the others. Stryker, Kira and Carver stood at the threshold between the two ships.
"Alright, she's all yours, try and bring it back in one piece ok?" Stryker said as he shook Kira's hand and quickly stepped out of the way, leaving the couple their privacy for a goodbye.
"Alright babe, kick the shit out of those pirates. See you soon" Carver said as he embraced his wife.
"Not if I see you first" she said before moving in for a kiss. They broke off and went their separate ways.

Kira turned on her comms as soon as she entered the ship, even though most of her crew and the Revenant's were still clustered around the crew deck.
"Alright, short and sweet folks. Pilots, I'm sending the coordinates up now. When we get close, we'll get a few people to man the guns. Force our way through their airlock, if not we make one of our own by blowing a hole in the side of the thing and moving in for a heavy seal. We'll review battle formations when we're getting close, now let's get to it!"

@Hawlin@t2wave
Stryker and Carver made their way back to Serros Station and after docking, began to pick their way through the crowds towards the agreed-upon meeting point with Lucas Vanderos, a human who led a fairly respectable group (by pirate standards). In the short discussion teh captains had been able to have, they both agreed that a human would be the most likely candidate to agree to a partnership with the Alliance. In fact, Carver had already reached out in the days prior and secured a tentative agreement.
"Here he is" Carver said as he entered the small shack-like structure they were meeting at.
"Hello Carver" he struck out a hand "Lucas Vanderos"
"Stryker" he replied as he took the handshake "How much do you know"
"Oh, pretty much everything. This one filled me in good."
"And?"
"Oh, I'm fine with all of this. Sol's been asking for it for a long time now, finally gonna get what's coming to him. So you've got yourself a deal... there's one thing though. I want you to take a couple of my people, Kaeci and Harriet. They'll represent my interests, keep me informed on how things are going. I've already called em, should be along shortly."
"If it'll get this deal done, I accept" Stryker said.
@Hawlin Already said it in the PM, but might as well make it official, Welcome aboard!

To everyone else: IC-moving-ahead post coming tomorrow after work (this post is being written before bed on Wednesday) as well as that section in my last IC post about mission intel that I completely forgot about!
@t2wave Oh really? Well, why don't you do up a cs and pm it to me? See what we can do to fit you in under the wire.
@Hawlin I'm sure we could find room for you! Write up a CS and send it my way!
Phase one was a rousing success, to say the least.

As the 'fight' escalated and more members of both crews got involved, more and more attention was drawn to the spectacle. With every eye in the place on the brawl, no one could have possibly noticed the recon team slip away, ditto for when they returned shortly after, right around the time Stryker, Carver and a few others stepped in to break up the fight before Sol's guards did. The captains engaged in a mutual apology in full view of everyone. The crowd began to disperse and Carver took his crew and headed out. Stryker held for a few minutes, making a point of slipping the bartender a few extra credit chips and apologizing for the disruption. When enough time had passed, Stryker gathered the crew and headed out for the ship, which took off from its berth shortly after.

The two crews were to rendezvous somewhere safe to make a plan of attack using all of the data they had compiled. Since Sol had ears everywhere on Serros Station, the only safe place was in the nearby asteroid belt. From his place in the cockpit, Stryker noticed a small ship streaking towards them between the massive rock clusters. The Maelstrom was designed for stealth first, so the thing barely showed up on the Revenant's radar sensors. It soared past the Revenant, clearly leading the way to the intended RV point. The two ships took refuge in a crater on one of the largest asteroids and linked up their airlocks. Despite being the much smaller vessel, the Maelstrom had the larger (and more comfortable) meeting room, so the Revenant crew made their way through the airlock bridge and Carver led them to the meeting room.



"Alright Stryker" Carver said "you're the guest, so how about you start with what we discussed at Sol's?"
"Yeah, alright" Stryker reached out and fired up a cluster of images on the holo-table, a profile-shot of Sol took precedence and enlarged as it slowly rotated around the table "As we've established, the target Ne'ero Sol is a dangerous opponent. Former general in the Federation army, left because of his extremist beliefs, which is saying something considering what the Federation has done in the past. He took Serros through sheer force of will. His people are exceptionally trained, and to even get to him, we'll likely have to take out his lieutenants. One of them some of you may have noticed at the bar" An image of the massive Havarn bodyguard took precedence over the holo-table, with three more popping up as Stryker spoke their names "Kovitar Qresh. The other three we've identified as former members of an elite Federation unit that was once headed by Sol, so seems like he's keepin' it in the family. Wrenti K'arr, Vendra Nekten, and Mavarros Sylva, who's also the chief commander of his fleet. Carver, I'm sick of talking, tell them about the fleet."

The other captain jumped right in "Sol and the other 4 major pirate groups that operate out of Serros each command a fleet, perhaps armada is the better word? Anywy, they've each got anywhere between a dozen to thirty ships under their sway. Naturally Sol is the one who has thirty, and it's headed by a flagship that frankly, scares the shit out of me."
A hologram of the ship filled the space above the table, with other much smaller vessels beside it for scale.
"As you can see, the thing's a fucking dreadnought. Definitely has nuclear capability too, all vessels of it's class normally do. That thing's gonna be an issue eventually, but that's not anything to worry about now."

"So on to phase two of the plan" Stryker said "As you all know, this mission isn't just about deposing Sol, it's about establishing a new top dog on Serros, one who'll work for us and further Alliance interests in the region. Carver and I are gonna take the Maelstrom with a small team and head back to the station to reach out to the guy we decide is the best fit for the job. The rest of you, and I do mean all of you, will be taking the Revenant out a little ways. The Alliance cover story has us posited as a pirate crew, so you're gonna pirate some pirates, in particular, you're gonna be hitting a reaver ship allied to one of the other major factions who call Serros home. Standard boarding policy, slot everyone aboard, no survivors. The point of the attack is to acquire a few samples of this group's battle armor, so aim for their heads, ok? We're gonna need it for the next part of the plan."

"Any concerns? Questions? Voice them now."
@1Hawkeyes

Trip went next, breaking into a sprint then throwing himself across the gap. He stumbled a little as he landed, but caught himself and straightened up, his blood pumping in his ears, adrenaline already sky-high.

"That wasn't too bad" he muttered, mostly to himself. A thought hit his head and he whipped around to face Ally.

"You made sure they know the right way to throw a punch right? Can't have our first night end with half the team nursing broken hands."
Seems like a pretty unanimous vote for the ayes. I'm gonna have to ask for a little patience because I won't likely be online tomorrow. I gotta work late and barring a sudden change of plans, I'm supposed to be going out with a few friends immediately after work. Well, I say 'go out' but what I mean is sit in a shed with friends and spend a few hours arguing over which rookie defenseman is gonna fill the gap on the Leafs 3rd pairing.... I'm pretty sure only Xandrya will get that joke, unless there's some other hockey fans in here I don't know about.... and now I'm rambling... This is what I get like when I post tired. So anyway, check in Sunday evening for the start of phase 2! (and sorry about the delay)

It's late and I'm tired, so I'm just gonna tag whoever responded today @Banana@Azereiah@Xandrya@Simple Unicycle@Dealdric
@Dark Light@Xandrya@Azereiah@Tickout@BKburke@baranica@Simple Unicycle@Banana@Silver Carrot@Dealdric

So I've been sort of rethinking this whole 'phase 1' segment with the bar fight and the intel gathering. Spoiler alert below



I don't know, we got some use out of the bar scene, but the real good stuff is in literally every other part of this job, so I'm gonna put it to a vote: Anyone up for skipping ahead to phase 2? If there's a majority of yes votes, I'll bump things along in my next post!

While I'm tagging you all in this, I might as well drop these here. I might have done it already, but here's some short biographies for the Maelstrom team, minus Ace and Raisin obviously. Get to know these folks who we'll be spendin' some time with!


@Xandrya@1Hawkeyes@Whiskey Business@ineffable@DragonofTheWest@DreadPirate (OOC: If you guys are still willing to continue, it's time to get things back on track. If not, please let me know you are dropping out)

The guys quickly sorted out the rooming situation. Jason wasn't exactly particular about who he'd be sharing a room with, and the others seemed to have a similar mindset. With that out of the way, Jason began to socialize with his new classmates and got to know them a little. Before too long, it was about time to gather for supper, but no one had come to collect them. The dorm cabins were wired with a PA system just for occasions like this. It rang to life and Dan's voice came out.

"Sorry about the lack of notice everyone, but I'm going to have to cancel the communal meal. Something came up that requires my immediate attention. This really sucks, I wanted to get us all together to mark the opening of the academy, but unfortunately it'll have to wait for another night. The kitchen staff will be coming along the dorms shortly to drop off some food and to stock up the cupboards. If there's anything in particular you want that they don't have, any dietary restrictions, anything at all like that, please let them know. First classes are at 8 A.M. tomorrow, so don't stay up too late kids!"

The night proceeded on rather quietly, the kitchen staff came and went, the group ate together, eventually Jason drifted out to the spacious back porch, there was plenty of comfortable seating and a fire pit at each cabin's rear. There was also a well-lit, in-ground pool, with a pair of hot tubs, one at either end. A few students from the other groups were taking an evening dip, while others were sitting around fires of their own.

'This is gonna be alright' Jason decided.

-------

7 A.M. came all too quick. A short alarm roused Jason and his roommates. Blue group's first lesson was going to be with Alex in the main training center, and Jason had a firm idea of what was on the docket...
@Dealdric

"All in due time Lexi. Just relax for now" Stryker muttered into the comms, Grayson was starting to stagger across the room. It was about to begin.

---------

There was one thing that Daniel Grayson exceeded at outside of killing. And that was drinking, or at the very least, being able to put out the appearance that he was an extremely sloppy drunk. Over the last 20 minutes or so, he'd ordered drink after drink of the strongest stuff he could spot with a familiar label. His tolerance was pretty high, but even professionals have a limit. He decided to get things going and got himself into character, looking up and down the line of the bar's counter like a wild animal, he pushed away and begin to wobble down the line, over-exaggerating his impairment. Marcus saw him coming and took a step back from the bar right on cue, so the duo collided and went sprawling to the floor.

"Fuckyoudoin ya fuckin' tosser?" Grayson slurred, just loud enough to catch the attention of a few bystanders. He pushed himself back to his feet "You fuckin' blind mate? Don't you see me walkin here?"
"I see a drunken fuck who's barely standing" Marcus snapped back, again loud enough to catch attention.
"Fuck you!" Grayson spat in a drawling slur as he brought a fist back and swung for Marcus's face. The distraction was now in full swing.

-----------

"And the game is afoot" Carver said, opening up the comms line "Recon team, green light. Additional fighters, get ready to jump in. We don't have long people so let's do this fast!"

@Dark Light@Xandrya@Azereiah@Tickout@BKburke@baranica@Simple Unicycle@Banana@Silver Carrot
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