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1 yr ago
Current It's too late. Always has been. Always will be.
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Life is just death in drag.
3 yrs ago
He has no friends, but he gets a lot of mail. I'll bet he spent a little time in jail.
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jesse i have no money for fuckijg bills and steam sales
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OK I snuck a quick post in there.

Smiling and bowing to the junior officer receiving them, Sindermann returned to within the stormbird, and soon emerged from it again, flanked by titans. Pounding down the landing ramp after him were the tank-like ceramic-armored figures of Astartes Legionnaires, each one seven feet tall or close to it. Four marched out, one after another, bolters slung and helms carried ceremoniously under their arms. The last of the four to emerge, Malgohurst, limped rather than marched proudly, and leaned on the golden standard of the Warmaster like a walking staff.

The four Astartes made ranks in front of the landing ramp, and awaited the Warmaster. Then, he emerged. Like a moving mountain of metal and black ceramic plate, Horus Lupercal emerged in his panoply of war, the Serpent's Scales. He carried no weapons, not even his famed Talon of Horus, but was arrayed in heavy terminator plate armor all the same. He stomped out, proportionately larger to his Astartes warriors as they were to baseline humans, with Abadddon trailing behind him, seeming so much like his Primarch's miniature double.

They marched silently through the corridors, following the lead of the attending officer. Loken caught sight of a few more officers scattered in the landing bay and halls, and noticed their similarity to one another. Far too close to be familial or ethno-genetic. "Look. Clones." He said, low enough that only the men next to him could hear. Horus grunted in acknowledgement. Advanced genetic manipulation was a technology that Horus was more than familiar with.

They eventually reached their destination, Horus shuffling sideways to fit his armored bulk through the door, and stood at their end of the conference hall, not bothering to test their weight against the clearly insufficient seating.

"I hope I did not keep you waiting overly long. I am Warmaster Horus Lupercal." He gestured with an armored hand to his company, "These are my Mournival, my most trusted military advisors."

Picard smiled and greeted O'Neill, returning his handshake warmly, "General, a pleasure to make your acquaintance. I am Captain Jean-Luc Picard, of the Federation starship Enterprise." Even if it was not their own Earth these people were from, it was still a relief to have fellow Earthlings as part of the delegation. "These are my associates: my first officer, Commander William Riker, and ship's counselor Deanna Troi."

Will stepped forward to shake hands. "I'm glad you appreciate the uniforms." He gave them an infectious grin. "They're a proud part of our heritage. Starfleet officers have worn these colors for nearly three-hundred years."

"I think you would cut a striking figure in one, General." Troi added, teasingly.
OK so just figure the Enterprise crew landed and are waiting wherever they got shuffled to.

Horus and company are showing up hours after everybody else because they were so far away.

"They're both very anxious, perhaps even suspicious, but neither is deceiving you." The ship's empathic Counselor, Deanna Troi, said to Picard. "They genuinely wish to cooperate."

Picard rose from his chair and tugged down his blouse, saying, "That's a perfectly good place to start. Number One, Mister Data, Counselor, you're with me."

Data rose from his seat and said, "Captain, with your permission, I would like to stay behind on the Enterprise to conduct a series of experiments. I am concerned about the possibility that the physical laws of this universe may not correlate exactly to our own, and therefore may interfere with our more advanced technology, such as the transporter and warp engine."

Picard nodded. "Permission granted. Mister Worf, prepare a shuttle."

From the launch bay closest to the command section of the Vengeful Spirit, three quarters of a kilometer below it, the stormbird transport ship Rapture departed the vessel, turning subtly, flying in a wide arc toward the Exodus. It was a vessel painted pitch-black, with gold accoutrements as well as bearing Horus' personal heraldry, his burning red Eye. Two more craft like it, Ragnarok and Kali Yuga stayed docked aboard the flagship.

Horus looked out through the portcullis of the cockpit out into open space, and the planet below them as it slowly grew closer and occluded more of their view. He wanted to get a good look at the world that might be the final resting place for his sons, if he did not act prudently. He directed the navigator to show him a magnified occulus feed of the Exodus and its escort. The cruisers were fine vessels, and he admired the simplicity of their design; they clearly were of ease for this civilization to mass produce, as Coruscant's orbit was thick with them. Despite the elegance of their design, a ship of this size the Vengeful Spirit would blow to smithereens with a single direct hit. For that matter, he left a standing order aboard the Vengeful Spirit to do just that to any ship that attempted to leave Coruscant's atmosphere.

It would be hours yet before they arrived. Their distant posture did have its drawbacks. He turned away from the cockpit and rejoined his Sons within the ship's hold. Horus' Mournival were no more than ten paces from him at all times. Abbadon, his choleric First Captain, stood close at his flank, combi-bolter held at attention. At his other flank was his equerry, Malgohust, arrayed in his life-support modified armor, leaning heavily on Horus' golden standard. Close at hand were phlegmatic Loken, polishing his silver-green helmet, melancholic "Little" Horus sharpening his knife, and sanguine Torgaddon pestering him. Also loaded into the hold were two squads of veteran Legionnaires, five members of the Justaerin terminator squad (to match Abaddon, arrayed in his black terminator armor) and a slumbering dreadnought. Horus had no intention to show most of this to his hosts, but kept them on hand in case a demonstration was necessary. And if for any particular reason things happened to turn sour, they were backup.

After their long flight, Rapture arrived to dock in the landing bay of the Exodus. At first it did not seem that the craft would fit in the bay, but its wings folded upward, narrowing its profile, and it slid in. The bay was secure, and therefore narrow, and the nose of the craft nearly touched the other end by the time the stern passed through the force field. A landing ramp on the side lowered, and a single human man descended. His clothing was simple, off-white, and inoffensively shapeless, with a draping hooded cloak. Underneath was an old man, with short, white hair, and lively, captivating eyes.

He stepped down to greet whatever officer remained to receive them, "My name is Kyril Sindermann, I am Iterator Primus. I speak, and listen, for the Primarch. He is within, and ready to be received. But I must ask on his behalf, that he be permitted an armed guard in his presence, and this bay, as well as all halls on his path to be cleared of nonessential personnel. He is an Imperial regent, and of great importance to our species, as well as a friend to me."
@Sep Wrt shields it was going to be a question of whether the Enterprise crew could beam over or not. They'll take a shuttle.
Couple questions. Does the Exodus have its shields up? Should I write my characters arriving in a landing bay of some kind and end it there, or should I proceed along to wherever the characters will be conferring?
@Zyx I understand, I just thought it was worth pointing out that those four ships are only two players. Until things shift around again I'll only be interacting with Sep and myself.
<Snipped quote by Sep>

>I'll get a post up after a while. Sending the Endeavor over to Mandalore seems to be the better choice since things are a tad crowded over at Coruscant.

There's literally only me and the GM at Coruscant right now.
@Sep I actually keyed the text colors to hex codes for the uniform colors that I hunted down.

Anyway yeah I can bump up the contrast, I will get to it tomorrow when my own eyes are less tired.

The communications adepts arrayed along banks of screens and cogitator consoles worked furiously, some typing rapidly with cybernetic fingers, others jacked directly into the Vengeful Spirit by neuro-link. All of them worked to spread the Warmaster's message in as many dialects and frequencies as they knew. They left their secure frequencies dead, not wishing the Replicator threat to intercept their secure channels so soon. Horus could not be sure what level of electronic warfare the machine-race was capable of while they were still planetside, but an unknown threat demanded caution.

A master of signal near the dais of Horus' throne approached the Warmaster, and saluted him in greeting. "My Lord-Primarch," said the Astartes soldier, arrayed in naval fatigues rather than ceramite plate, "We are being hailed. I am patching you through."

Horus resumed his place on his command throne to receive the message. An admiral, Killian, had answered their hail with suspicion. Another holographic display flicked to life, showing his ship and its escorts closing on the Vengeful Spirit's position. Horus began to bark orders to nearby attendants, who scurried off to carry out his orders. He was preparing to open a communications link with the Exodus, complete with video feed.

The feed went live, and Horus prepared his greeting. He sat attentively at his throne, grasping the armrests carved into the shapes of snarling wolves. In the backdrop behind him, the Eye of Horus loomed, burning orange-red. With no baseline humans anywhere visible for a point of comparison, Horus' tremendous bulk was belied, and across the video feed he seemed like nothing more than a muscular, bull-necked man.

"I am named Horus Lupercal. I am Warmaster of the Imperium of Man, and Primarch of the Sixteenth Astartes Legion. I am in this system to clean up your mess. Replicators are eating this world alive from the inside out, you will need all of the help you can get."

"Another hail." The master of signal barked, and immediately patched it through to Horus.

This was a much different figure, General O'Neil, of the Prometheus, which the holo-display identified and showed sailing toward them. The Vengeful Spirit was beginning to collect hangers-on like an orbit of planets about a star. Horus commanded for another broadcast to be prepared, this time directed at these newcomers.

"General, I am Warmaster Horus Lupercal, I command the Vengeful Spirit. I am most interested in any intelligence you have on the Replicator threat. Please allow me to extend an invitation to come aboard and join my war council."

"Bring us in at one-quarter impulse." Captain Picard commanded the helm, and the Enterprise-D sailed smoothly toward the mustering fleet.

The Captain watched the bridge view-screen warily, his brow furrowed, gripping the arms of his captain's chair. He saw the planet below them, a veritable ecumenopolis, and the hundreds, maybe thousands of ships circling around it like buzzing flies. He wondered if the planet they had been transported across universes and dimensions to save was already dead and did not know it. Unseen, thousands of miles below them, Replicators ate away at the world, consuming and growing like a cancer. This was a worst-case scenario in his mind, like the most fevered nightmares he had suffered after his capture by the Borg. Even if this world could not be saved, he would have to try.

"Mister Data, are our sensors capable of identifying Replicator activity from orbit?" The easiest way to cure a cancer? Cut it out.

"No, sir." Data replied succinctly, and turned around from the ops console to speak to the Captain directly, "The electronic interference radiating from this planet is too dense to identify individual signatures. If we could isolate the Replicators' energy signal, or identify a material present in their construction that is not present terrestrially, it may be possible."

"Thank you, Mister Data." Picard mulled over this information. It was not outside the range of possibility, but they were lacking vital intelligence. What they needed was a subject to study, dead or alive. The idea of bringing technology-assimilating machines aboard the Enterprise was daunting, but they had managed to keep Borg subject captive before.

The tactical console chirped, and Lieutenant Worf said, "Captain, we are being hailed. Multiple ships, each has a different energy signature and identity protocols."

Picard shared a look with Commander Riker. Both men seemed exasperated by the chaos of their current situation. Picard answered, "Put the hails onscreen, Mister Worf. We'll answer them as they come in."

The first hails were audio only. Foremost was from the Vengeful Spirit, which Worf identified as the staggeringly-massive ship looming in high orbit about the planet. It was larger even than a Borg vessel, and looked like a skyscraper set adrift in the heavens. They didn't have the linkup that their leader, the "Warmaster," was requesting, and answered them with a standardized greeting. Picard did not like the sound of that title, Warmaster, it spoke of a culture very much at odds with the Federation's own.

The next one was from a USAF General. "U-S-A-F?" Worf voiced his confusion.

"United States Air Force, a 20th century Earth military organization." Data answered, in his usual helpful, informative tone. "Historical data suggests that the organization was destroyed at some point during World War III. Though I do not have any record of interstellar spacecraft being constructed under that identifier."

"Different universes, Data." Picard said. "A different Earth, with a history totally different to ours." He looked to Worf, "Hail them." Picard straightened his uniform blouse, preparing for video communication, and once the frequency was open he said, "General O'Neil, this is Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Federation starship Enterprise. We read you and are ready to engage. Any information you would care to share with us regarding our mutual problem would be greatly appreciated."
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