A VOLCANIC MEETING
(GALACTIC EMPIRE X TERRAN RAIDERS X DUMMY SQUAD)
As the Scout Troopers began to get closer to the droids, they suddenly see three other armored soldiers coming from the opposite side of the canyon. Falon squints to make out the armored men, only to recognize that they weren't one of them. He can also hear them warn both the droids and to them from a distance, requesting their identification and that they were under the territory of the 'Terran Dominion'."Blast..."
he sighs as he lowers his blaster, "Looks like we weren't the only ones interested in the commotion.""I'll get em'"
Hunter raises his carbine almost as if he's going to fire, only for the barrel of his gun to be shoved down by his partner's hand rapidly."No! Hold your fire!"
Falon hisses as he looks at Hunter dead in the eyes, "Do you want to get yourself killed?! We don't know what these guys can do. Let's be professional about this and not stir up any trouble."
It was just then when the other armored men began repeating their warning. Hunter obliges Falon's request with a nod and lowers his weapon. The former slowly raises his left hand up to identify themselves as not a threat."Don't shoot, we're friendly."
he calls out to the Terran Marines, "We're from another faction that just so happened to be scouting here. We mean nobody here harm."
The CPU was rather surprised by the sudden appearance of two more armored humanoids who had, it appeared, made use of camouflage to sneak up on them. This was rather rare where it came from to make use of camouflage as it was bad for business. When someone uses your products to take control of an area you want their defeated adversaries to know what company had manufactured the victors army, thus convincing them to buy it too for their next endeavor. The manufacturer of the scouting party, with their use of bright blue on the armor of it’s units and it’s emblem clearly printed on their shoulder pads, clearly understood this marketing strategy.
The CPU was rather pleased that everybody’s first reaction had not been to start a firefight and so stopped its 7 Dummies where they were, as instructed by the Raynor's Raiders’ soldier, which ended up being about halfway between the node and the basin’s walls. After a few moments it remembered to make the Diplomacy Dummy stop waving as well.”relieved: It is good to see there is someone on this anomalous station that is willing to talk. I am the CEO of Dummy Tech and it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. ”
The CPU was rather perturbed that it could find no mention of this Terran Dominion on the databanks of the Tradstar it’s node was linked to. The fact that something that could speak english(and therefore presumably had some interaction with humanity) had slipped by humanities obsessive archiving of everything struck it as rather odd.
Harold kept his aim steady, focusing on the one who had identified himself as the CEO of some company called Dummy Tech while the Ghost, unseen due to his cloak, kep his rifle on the pair of armored humans. "Alright, both parties have stopped, but the armored pair avoided the question. What's your thoughts?"
Silence initially greeted the marine while the Ghost debated on how to approach the situation. On the one hand, neither of these groups was wearing anything that was remotely familiar to the group, marking them as obvious potential hostiles. But on the other hand, no one had shot at them yet, so he didn't want to anger the Commander by just opening fire on the pair. Finally, he sent a response to the designated spokesman."Wave the bots over, but ask the two men for who they're with again. If we're going to end up fighting with their faction later, at least we'll know who we're killing ahead of time."
Transmitting an affirmative, Harold carefully stepped over the sandbags and pointed at the group of bots before turning his loud speakers on again."Alright, mister CEO, you and yours have permission to approach. Any sign of hostility, however, will be met with lethal force,"
he then pointed at the two men and continued speaking, "But you two need to ID yourselves or vacat the area now. Some of my boys have itchy trigger fingers and are awefully bored."
The Scout Troopers paused as soon as the Terrans pointed at the two. Ah of course they wanted to know where they were from. It would be easy to identify themselves as part of the "Galactic Imperial Empire", but judging by these guys, they may take their whole "Empire" thing a little too hostile anyways. Hunter slightly turns his head at Falon for orders."We can't just tell them we are part of the Empire...'"
he suggests nervously while whispering, "What if they take us too~""We won't."
Falon replies quickly, "Just follow with what I have in mind...
With that said, he replies to the Marine's question."We're from the Galactic Republic."
Falon replies with a confident tone, "We're scout troopers."
He points behind him in the direction they came."We've just parked our speeders outside the basin wall. We're only scouting out the land, nothing more.... we just so happened to be attracted by the 'Dummies'."
Hunter nods in confirmation with Falon's explanation.”Your terms are acceptable.”
The Dummy squad then resumed their approach, The CPU lowering the volume on the speakers in preparation. What became abundantly clear as it got closer was that the rather featureless basin it had misjudged the scale of the Raiders, as it’s robots had to look up at the bulkily armored warriors. Getting a better look at the symbols on them wasn’t helping it’s data search, nor was the fact that the Galactic Republic the scout troopers belonged to wasn’t showing up either.
The talking Dummy joined the marines down near the node, while the escorts stayed a little way back, their weapons held nonthreatening at their sides. Having exhausted readily available and affordable data archives the CPU decided to simply air it’s confusion in an attempt to gather data which it could use/sell. ”I don't mean offence, but I have not heard of either of your groups before, nor can I find any reference to them in the readily available data I have from the Tradestar I was operating out of befor I was sent here. This strikes me as odd, particular how a ‘galactic republic’ could be missed. It would help to know what species are you both and from where in space you originate?”
Harold narrows his eyes at the scouts and radios the Ghost. "Thoughts?"
Once more there's no immediate response from the Ghost, and the two Scouts fell a tingle down their spines as the Ghost probes their minds lightly. The sensation is faint and gone almost immediately as he pulls his mind from theirs."They're lying about who they're with, but only out of fear of misinterpretation. Let 'em over."
Sighing, the marine waves them over and the Ghost disembarks from his sniper perch, reaching the camp's edge where the Dummy CEO and two Scouts were being kept. As he approached, his helmet opened up at the face to reveal a young man, no older than 25, with blonde hair and azure colored eyes. His gaze is even and behind it lays a coldness that only a hardened war veteran normally has. His arrival is timed well with the Dummy's question and a rather quizzical look from Sergeant Harold, who's faceplate remains down, like all his marines."That's likely because your humans never have met us and, for their sake, never will. Our exact place of origin is not something we're at liberty to share. And we're Terran, or human, just born away from Earth is all. Now who are you and what are you doing here?"
The Scout Troopers seemed confused at this whole 'being from Earth'. Afterall, their galaxy doesn't have such a planet called Earth, yet these people are human, just like them. Falon looks at the young ghost-trooper through his helmet before unhinging his faceplate and revealing a slightly older man, perhaps in his early thirties, with deep brown eyes and a scar on his left cheek, which comes from under his eye to near the mouth. His hair cannot be seen due to the black jumpsuit covering his head, only revealing the front face from the lips to the middle of his forehead. He has a very grizzled look to him, showing that he's been through some reasonable shit, even as a measly scout. He looks to Hunter and jerks his head up, signalling him to open his face plate. Hunter does this, revealing a younger tanned individual, perhaps in his early 20s, who also happened to be blonde, yet had green eyes instead of blue. He looks way more innocent compared to Falon, due to him being a newish recruit. Falon continues eying the ghost straight in the eyes."Like I said,"
he states, showing no fear as he looks at him, "We are from the Galactic Republic. We've arrived here after a hyperspace malfunction warped us to this universe, yet recently found a way to get back to our own galaxy. We too also have an origin point that we cannot reveal under the Chancellor's orders."
He pauses as he points back to the basin again."Our speeder bikes are parked over the edge of the basin."
he repeats again, "We were tasked in surveying the nearby land. We found this volcano, scaled up it, and found these droids. We had no idea we were coming into your territory but regardless we mean no trouble. I assume you have trust issues... can't say I blame you really, but if we were hostile we would've shot you on site or ran to our bikes to call for back up. Yet we stayed here. Don't worry though, we'll be out of here once we figure out what's going on in this basin. I suggest we don't get into bad contact with one another in the meantime. Do I make myself clear, sir?"
The CPU was not unsurprised to find Human faces under the helmets, the human body was a somewhat standard template for clones these days, but what they spoke of was confusing. The Terrans might have been some long lost human sleeper colony ship, but basicly everything the scout said was utterly bemusing. It also felt a little left out as it had no helmet to dramaticly remove, so instead the blank faced Dummy simply stood awkwardly between the two humans, utterly expressionless.”This... Universe?”
The CPU decided it was perhaps best to soldier on with what it had originally come here to do, namely establish peaceful, mutually beneficial diplomatic relations, something which the two sets of armored humans seemed to be doing their best to avoid with their somewhat antagonistic tones and militaristic demeanor. Part of the CPU's consciousness was cornering onto the fact that these pupets where acting more animated than was to be expected, but took this to mean that perhaps they where being remotly piloted by multipul people. The concept of sentients actually fighting wars was archaic and foreign to its experiences. ”What I am here on the Array for is to research it’s tecnology. For example, whatever powers that.”
The Dummy points at the Array ”Could bring me great wealth back”
the CPU paused in its typing and searched for the right words, then simply adopted the Scout’s terminology ”in my galaxy” ”What I am doing here specifically is scouting, with the intention of finding amicable groups like yourselfs with which to engage in mutually beneficial relations. Namely, I wish to establish some clearly defined regions of territory and clear lines of communication between us so that events like this whole blundering in unannounced into what you consider yours situation does not happen again. Also to facilitate trade, either with you or with other groups beyond your land.”
The Ghost's gaze hardened when the scout ended his sentence the way he did, and his let hand tightened slightly around the grip of his C20A Canister Rifle. "Just remember that good First Contact isn't my concern, and ensuring the safety of these men is."
He then turned to listen to the robot, frowning when it mentions wanting to research it's technology for taking back to it's own universe. While the Opertive knew that Stetmann, the Raiders' head scientist, found the nodes fascinating, he had no desire to risk letting the Zerg, even if they did have some kind of peace treaty in place, getting their claws on it and using it to consume the whole of the Koprulu Sector.
Allowing the bot to finish, he glances at Harold, who very subtlely shakes his head against the notion of trade, he goes into his own monologue of sorts. "Trade is of no interest to us. Commander Raynor knows the tech we field and trusts it completely, as do we. We also have no desire to hand off any of our tech to anyone. Communication is likely to also be a no go, at least for the time being due to various security reasons, but I will inform you we've got patrols all across the desert on the other side of the river, along with various outposts. So just skirt that side of the river, and I imagine you'll be left alone. I'll formalize the arrangement with the Commander on our next check in. As for others beyond us, you're the first groups we've seen since the original battle upon our initial arrival."
Falon's face still stood still and unmoving after hearing that reason. Again, he couldn't blame him for that either. He's seen many of his fellow comrades and friends die back in his galaxy... Where the empire is fighting the Rebeliion. One of his long time friends from military school got blown up by a terrorist mine on Jedha as they were patroling the city. Debris shot out everywhere from every direction, yet from the rubble did only Falon survive. His friend had perished, with debris stuck in his chest, with evern a leg being missing. It was a brutal sight to behold. He also had another friend that was shot during a skirmish on Lothal just a few years prior, and a bunch of his friends and fellow colleagues were vaporized during the destruction of the Death Star over the gas giant Yavin and it's moon Yavin 4. There were probably others who perished in battles abroad, but he either never heard of them or wasn't necessarily close. Regardless, he knew how it felt to loose good men. He was no commander, but he definitely knew the feeling all right.
The droid began to explain his situation here as wanting to trade and research for technology, as well as scouting. He also had valid points in avoiding situations like this in not happening again. Overall, he was a nice droid. Looks like the Terrans didn't agree to this trading deal, but allowed them to have territory on the otherside of the river as long as they didn't cross their boarders. Furthermore, they also explained that they were the first groups since the original battle upon their arrival. The Scout Troopers hadn't heard about this battle, mostly because the Empire was still in deep space during the first week. Regardless, it seemed surprising to see that they've been here rather recently, or so it's highly presumed. Falon simply nods his head."Likewise."
he replies to the ghost, "We'll be sure to keep that in mind."
He then looks over to the bot."I'm interested at what you offer, CEO."
he says curiously, "The Republic may have an interest in what you are selling."
If the CPU could frown it would have, getting almost anything out of this the terran was proving frustratingly difficult, displaying a high level of insularism and paranoia. It wondered what had burned them in the past to leave them like this. Space was certainly full of strange and hostile dangers, perhaps they came from a region infested with threats like space amoebas or other hostile lifeforms. The formerly earth based humans from which were part of the Orion Spur Amalgam, from which the CPU itself had emerged, had been rather fortunate in that their immediate contact with alien life had at worst only resulted in a rather unappealing nickname from a fuingoid species that means something along the lines of "How is this thing even relevant?", with undertones of indifference and confusion. It was only after the invention of the TradStar and subsequent corparate domination of locla polatics brought humanity to importance within the Amalgam that more hostile entities had been encountered. Perhaps if the humans that had accidentaly made it had immediately encountered something like The Xenophobic Silicone Alliance then their outlook would be similar to these Terrans.
At least it knew now that the desert across the river was not a viable place to look for customers. It took a few moments to reroute it’s scouting parties up to the central ocean in order to skirt past the desert region entirely, in order to check out areas further north instead. ”I appreciate what information and assistance you have given me. I shall restrict my operations to outside your desert regions across the river. If you are not willing to engage in long range communication I shall leave these units nearby incase your commander wishes to speak during your check-in”
The dummy then turned its attention to the Scout and retrieved small tablet from it’s hip which operated similarly to a 21st century design only it’s casing was garish orange and it could be operated without skin contact, a vital trait when you're using robots or meat puppets wearing gloves to operate it. The tablet display a shopping catalog as well as a list of services (as shown in the 0-th post and the faction sheet). The Diplomacy Dummy offered this to the closest scout trooper.”excellent. I offer a number of goods and services that might interest your group. Might I ask where, generally, you consider your operational area? I assume further west? I am operating out of the lightly forested and desert areas just to the west of here”
If the others were not giving exact locations of it’s headquarters it did not feel like it needed to either.
As the scout and the Dummy begin to speak, the Ghost opens his mouth to ask them to leave. But before he can say anything, the sound of a trio of Hercules dropships coming in can be heard approaching and his helmet seals shut as he once more turns his attention to the two groups. "I appreciate your lack of hostility, but I must ask you to vacat the area if your business here is concluded. We've got an outpost perimeter to set up and you're just going to be in the way."
With that, he about-faces and heads back towards the lab equipment around the Node, looking for the man who was in charge of the eggheads while Harold turned back to the two groups."Right, well, he's the CO here, so I'll reinforce what he said. Appreciate not trying to kill us, yada, yada, yada, get going. You know where to avoid and where we don't care. Hope something doesn't eat you."
He then turns and starts barking orders to the other marines and the marauders as the Hellbats begin making rounds along the perimeter again, the former two splitting into two groups, one starting to clear the sandbags away and the other, which was where all but two of the marauders were, also making rounds along the perimeter once more, with one potentially glaring at the two groups without moving, meaning he was to make sure they left.
Before Falon had the chance to speak towards the dummy, he hears reinforcements came to the Terran's relief which would already force them to leave. With a light nod, almost without anything else to say, he lowers his face mask begins walking out of the area and heads back to the bikes. However while he left, Hunter stayed behind for only a bit to fill in the dummy on some much needed information."We're uh... by the riverlands to the northwest."
he whispers to them, "Literally connected to the savannah and the light woods. It's not too far of a hike but I suggest you stay a bit by the savannah. We'll take a look at them there."
With that, Hunter begins catching up with Falon as they head to their bikes. They slowly disappeared behind the basin and began hopping on the speeder bikes."Well those Marines were fun to deal with..."
he replies as he grips the handle bars, "You think it would've mattered if we said we were an Empire instead of the Republic? I mean what if the dummies~" "It doesn't matter.
replies Falon as he revs up the engine, "The dummies will have to wait. Let's just report this back to the officer and take it from there."
Hunter agrees as the two began zooming down the mountain and back to base.
The CPU sighed internally at the Terran's continued abrasiveness and then also took its leave. It sent it’s 7 Dummy squad back up the sides of the basin to join the main force, and then sent them all back down to the craft. Instead of returning home however it instead sent the group only a short way away into the nearby woods, where they quickly dug a small hidden observation outpost to watch for whether it’s new neighbors decided to come further west.