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3 days ago
Current Well yes, he sure learned that lesson.
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3 days ago
Or walk a little to close to a transformer. There was a guy in my schools electrical engineering department who lost a finger to a wedding ring.
3 days ago
If you are an electrical engineer you have the chance to lose the ring and the pinky at the same time.
3 days ago
You know you're a bit of medieval history wonk when you adjust the date of your RP to ensure you have both the Avignon Papacy and the War of Breton Succession.
2 likes
3 days ago
@Lord Wraith That is the ticket :P
1 like

Bio

Early 30's. I know just enough about everything to be dangerous.

Most Recent Posts

“I see,” Junebug said as Taya breathlessly reported her encounter with Neil. The Mercenary captain’s face betrayed no emotion that the younger woman could read. Taya waited breathlessly for some further reaction or comment but Junebug merely continued to walk down the hallway. Several Terran crewmen were moving in the other direction with brisk urgency. Taya side stepped out of the way as they rushed passed.

“Is that all you have to say?” Taya demanded, clearly irritated by the lack of response from Sayeeda. The captain stopped and turned to face the woman.

“What do you want me to say Taya?” she asked, her voice cold and clinical as a galcier.

“Well anything would be a start,” she replied in exassperation.

“It is down time, he is free to have dinner with whomever he likes. Is it ideal that he is cozying up to a Terran Millitary Inteligence operater?” She shrugged her shoulders. Perhaps Neil was trying to get information, perhaps Woods was, perhaps they were just legitmately having dinner. You couldn’t control everything in the field and you would drown if you tried. Sayeeda turned and strode off towards the hanger bay.

“Weren’t you going to get some food?” Taya called after her.

“Not hungry,” Sayeeda called without looking back.

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

*Bing* *Bing* *Bing*

“All hands prepare for extraction,” an automated voice declared over the public address system. Junebug looked down at the chrono display on her wrist unit. They were about an hour ahead of what the computer had projected but such variations in space and time were hardly uncommon. Carefully Sayeeda lowered the weights she had been lifting setting the bar down on the rest and sitting up. A moment later the color seemed to drain out of the universe and it hung for a second in a monocrome so sharp and pure it seemed to sear her eyes. Then the color was back and the November Sky was back in the real universe.

Sayeeda felt as though the air changed its taste and that the world seemed a little more vibrant. The Terrans claimed they had shielding that protected against the effects of long term immerstion in the RIP but the psychological effects could not be completely mitigated. The RIP wasn’t part of the universe in anyway human biology expected to experience it. Sayeeda stood up and headed for the shower to wash up before reporting to York. She hadn’t seen much of Neil or Taya in the last two days. She had been busy training herself on a number of Terran weapons she wasn’t familiar with. She had also started a side project of sneaking Terran equipment onto the Highlander during the night shifts. Disguising weapons and munitions in more mundane supplies wasn’t difficult. The Marine guards seemed to be fairly relaxed and the few times she had been challenged a vague mention of York’s name had been enough to quell their questions. The arsenal aboard the Highlander had been steadily depleted over their various adventures, and Junebug figured the Terrans owed them about forty million credits in compensation for the aestimobium.

Junebug let the water run down over her body, sluicing away the sweat of her hour long workout with jets of lukewarm fluid. She was just reaching for the control when the ship lurched sideways with a violence that pitched the mercenary into the wall. Claxons exploded to life and there was another massive boom that seemed to shake reality.

“Alert Red, General Quaters!” the PA directed calmly. Sayeeda climbed out of the shower, pulling on her combat pants without bothering to dry off. Thrusting one arm through her t-shirt she stepped into the hall. Her hand rested on her pistol, though more for comfort than any expectation of actual need.

“Cykali to York,” she said but received only the ping of an engaged signal. On a military circuit a higher ranking officers transmission would squelch a lower one, so York was clearly busy with whatever crisis was befalling them. The ship shuddered a second time and this time Junebug felt a tingle of static electricity prickle her skin.

“Unit,” Junebug said, queing the transmission to Neil and the others.

“No idea what is going on, stand by.” A gravely voice came back immediately.

“November Sky has exited jump, the Chalcedon cruisers Eastern Star and Sycantha have engaged the November Sky with mass driver fire.” How Sven knew that Sayeeda had no idea.

“Say again? Are you saying we are involved in a fleet engagment?”
If your going to demand people approach RPs a certain way then you are absolutely going to foreclose options.

As for not socializing, go write a novel if you are so allergic to personal interaction.

Group RPs are much more unreliable than 1x1s but even there you need to buy into other peoples visions or incorporate those visions into your own, that is the nature of collaboration. Even so about 70 percent of my RPs die in the planning stage because it becomes obvious that we are interested in different things.

Don't be too prescriptive in you interest checks. Its a turn off to feel like your partner already has everything nailed down and you are just along for the ride.

Finally with regards to RPs dying due to half hearted posting, active communication can help but some days or weeks people arent feeling it and its work just to get a reply of any kind up. That has to be accepted if you want to write with people long term.

I don't use the discord and I still have 3 or 4 rps which have been satisfying over the long term and my interests are fairly niche. Kiss the frogs.
@POOHEAD189 I think that really is the appropriate choice.
@POOHEAD189 A Dwarfcistador? A conquistadwarf? I'm conflicted.
Snowflakes drifted down over the artificial hillock at the end of the training hall. York, or Woods took a very literal approach to training for cold weather. The entire hall was blanketed with snow, packed down to ice where the Marines were still forced to conduct their daily PT. Perversley they seemed to blame the crew of the Higlander for this development despite the fact it was clear they had been shanghaied into the whole endeavor.

“Now remember, squeeze dont pull, breathe in, breathe out, breath halfway in…” The submachine gun in Taya’s hand chattered six or seven round burst. The target a holographic soldier about fifty meters away flew appart in a cloud of pixels. A wireframe of the same man appeared a few meters infront of them. Red glowing marks indicated where two rounds had struck, one in the shoulder and one in the right hip. A third glowing dot appeared over the man's head, indicating a near miss.

“Control the length of your burst,” Junebug said encouragingly, “the recoil is lifting the muzzle and making the shots go high.” Both women were laying on their chests on the hill. They were dressed in identical Terran issue combat gear, full body suits with ceramic armor plates protecting vital systems. Neither woman was wearing a helmet although they had been available, instead Junebug had insisted on simple shooters goggles to protect their eyes from the biting wind that was being pumped into the training hall.

“How do you do that,” Taya asked in exasperation, having received the same advise in various forms for the better part of an hour.

“YOu only ever tell me to breath, squeeze and control the burst.” Sayeeda chuckled and picked up her own submachine gun and checked the load. The weapons were made to simulate plasma weapons though, for the sake of the ship, they actually fired ceramic training rounds.

“Well when you start doing those things, I’ll give you more advice,” Junebug said with a grin.

“Dynamic pattern, randomize,” Junebug said and worked the slide to charge the weapon. A soldier appeared down range and she fired a three round burst. He was replaced by another and another at differing ranges and positions. Junebug continued to fire in two or three round bursts until the weapon ran dry. The figures materialized in the scoring zone, each with a two or three centimeter grouping in their center of mass, save for one which had appeared prone and sported two red dots on his forhead.

“Again.” This time Taya managed a three round burst and scored two hits one low in the groin and the other in the sternum.

“How often do I need to do this?” Taya asked as she slipped another magazine into the weapon.

“Every chance you get, I try to do something everyday,” Junebug replied, reaching over to make a minute adjustment to the younger womans grip.

“Don’t you get tired of it?” she asked putting down two more holographic opponents with middling accuracy.

“My old CO once told me that no matter how good you are, the man who will kill you is out there and he is probably training.” Taya shook her head.

“That's a little morbid,” she said, reaching for another magazine. Junebug placed a hand on her wrist.

“That's enough for today,” she said standing up and brushing the snow from her armor. The internal temperature regulators kept her warm but her face was starting to get frost bitten. Taya duplicated the gesture, making sure the gun was on safe before slinging it over her shoulder.

“Back again tomorrow?” Taya supposed. Junebug smiled broadly.

“Now you are getting it.”

Twenty minutes later they were out of their borrowed armor and drinking hot coffee as they head towards the gymnasium where the ships computer had pinged Neil. They passed crewmen at work at a variety of stations, some of them smiled or called greetings to Taya. The cross training she was getting bought her into closer contact with the regular crew than Neil or Junebug enjoyed. Suddenly Taya vered left where Junebug had expected her to go right. Frowning she opened her mouth to correct the youg woman but Taya merely guestured urgently. Junebug followed her down an unfamiliar access way that was devoid of crewmen.

“I’ve disconnected the surveillance feeds in this corridor,” Taya said quickly as her captain joined her. Junebug nodded indicating she had heard the statement but not amplifying it.

“I was going over the Highlander now that we are getting close and I checked on some of the Terran mods,” she went on glancing around furtively.

“I found a remote kill switch in the thrust drive controller,” Taya said urgently. Junebug frowned. The Terrans had installed some significant upgrades in the last few weeks, mostly to the sensor suites and the communications gear, bringing it up to fleet standards so that the freigheter could keep in touch with the November Sky with encrypted comms.

“What did you do?” Junebug asked her face stoic. Taya shrugged her shoulders.
“I pulled one of the leads and left it there, and I asked Lonny to run some diagnostics on the down low, but where there is one….”

“There are bound to be more,” Sayeeda finished. It was logical that the Terrans would install some safeguards against them making a run for it before they fulfilled their end of the deal but the idea of the Highlander being filled with remote access hardware didn’t fill her with confidence.

“Have you told Neil yet?” Junebug asked. Taya shook her head.

“No time, I only learned how to disconnect things here because of the surveillance tech lessons they have been giving me.”

“Let him know as soon as you can, but don’t do anything obvious about it, maybe he and Loney can come up with a way to scrub the ship in a hurry.” They emerged back into a familiar corridor and they both fell silent. They should be arriving within the next few days, and it seemed there was alot they still needed to do.

---

“I guess you will just have to promise to take it easy on me,” Woods said, rolling her eyes.

Without preamble Woods lashed out driving a palm into the top of Neil sternum and sending the pilot sprawling backwards. She was stripped down to gym shorts and a brown pt shirt that was already clinging to her. The tattoos on her arms shifted and rippled beneath her lean taught muscles as she sprang forward cat like, sweeping Neil’s legs out from under him with a well placed kick. Neil fell flat on his back and Woods pounced but he rolled aside before she could land on top of him. He shoved her sideways and used the momentum to spring back to his feet. Woods tucked into a roll and came up like a cobra arms spread in an unfamiliar fighting stance.

“Not bad,” Woods conceded in a mildly amused tone.

“Thank you for noticing,” Neil replied feinting to the right before aiming a round house blow at the Terran Commandos midsection. Woods pivoted with the punch robbing it of most of its force before driving her elbow into Neils chest sending him stagger back once more. She grinned, her expression wolfish and not to dissimilar to how Junebug looked right before she was about to kill someone.

There were a half dozen other soldiers in the gymnasium, some were lifting weights but most had stopped to watch the sparring match. Woods was relaxed her shoulders slightly slouched, looking almost feline in her graceful movement.

“So I had a question to ask you,” she said. Neil leaped forward driving a fist at her. She swatted the blow aside with her forearm and lashed out with a kick but Neil, anticipating the move danced backwards and grabbed her ankle, twisting and throwing Woods of balance. She went down and he dived after her landing on top of the soldier and pinning her to the floor. There was a round of applause from the onlookers. As the soldiers began calling encouragement and placing bets.

“What question?” he asked, raising a cocky eyebrow. She hit him hard in the kidney driving the air from his lungs as she rolled atop of him. A thin sheen of sweat running over her pale skin.

“Are you and Cykali together or what?”
@POOHEAD189
Incompetent in that you are looking for partners?@Inkarnate
Woods seemed a little uncomfortable for a moment and then manipulated her controllers. A video from a small electronic drone showed the same strange architecture from a higher angle. The drone closed quickly and a second feed from a ground based camera appeared showing what seemed to be the same vehicle as it approached the edge of the city. With a startling suddeness the drone picture went blank and the ground based feed showed the little vehicle suddenly exploding in a puff of smoke.

"We haven't been able to get any tech into site beta," she said, a red ring appeared around the site, marking the barrier.

"Biologicals haven't fared any better, we are working on the assumption that Pretty Boy's alien ink will get us through the barrier." She nodded at Taya.

"Best case we get a small window we can carry our tech through. Although I think we probably would be better off using our own people..." she trailed off and York rolled his eyes. Clearly it was an old argument between the two of them. Woods was too much of a professional to rehash it now.

"You will be coordinating tech support on the other side of the shield. We have to assume that comm nets and tech is going to need to be put together on the other side. We will be sending a tactical team in with you. My team. We are going to get in, get what intel we can and try to find someway to bring down the shield so that we can start properly studying the site. If you guys can do that for us, then its mission accomplished."

Sayeeda crossed her legs, looking at the logistics of the operation. It was clear that the Terrans weren't telling them everything. It seemed like they could just take Neil along and leave the rest of them ship side. Why was York so keen to get them all down on this mission?

"Well, we are still a month out, we are just going to cruise in the mean time?" she asked. Woods smiled as though she had been offered the most handsome man in the universe for the night.

"Of course not captain, that means we have a whole month to train up."
Calliope walked unsteadily off the gangplank, ignoring the leers and catcalls she recieved from the various dockside layabouts. It wasn’t entirely prudent to leave the ship completely uncrewed but in a port like Stormcrest it was unlikely that the ship would be outright stolen. Rigging her for sail alone would take an hour, which was longer than she planned to leave her. There were spells she might use to secure the Weather Witch but after two and a half days with no more sleep than the vagrant wind had allowed she hardly trusted herself to attempt to light a candle with magic, much less set up a ward.

The lower reaches of Stormcrest were wooden tenements, a maze of ship chandlers, bars, brothels and pawn shops. Sailors of dozens of nationalities and several races milled about haggling and drinking. Here and there a pistol cracked and swords clashed but it was the natural high spirits of a nautical town rather than any serious trouble. The town rose gradual towards the blue hills. Naturally the houses and shops became more substantail the higher one got. The better quality houses were made from baked red brick with slate rooves. It was just possible to see the ramparts of the Crimsion Fortress from down here, banners flapping in the breeze and the glint of its great dwarven guns. Unlike Calaverde Stormcrest enjoyed a far greater hinterland so its millitary might had to be greater. In the fertile lands beyond the port were dozens of plantations, producing sugar cane, coffee, indigo as well as oats and barley for the population. A network of dirt roads connected the port to the plantations, bringing crops to the sea and manufactured goods out to the farms.

Makus had only just completed his discussion with the dockmaster as she strode past without a word vanishing into the crowd. She might have notionally granted command to the man but she certainly didn’t consider herself to be under his command. Most of all she wanted to get some sleep and then study the Codex. There had been no time during the voyage and her skin all but prickled with the desire to dig into its pages. There would be time, but first she had to make a stop.

The pawn shop was most of the way up the hill. It was well appointed, racks of swords and fine clothing were positioned around the outside. Smaller cabinets filled with navigational instruments, charts, arcane devices and spell books were carefully sealed with expensive glass paneling. Arcane illumination from crystal globes bathed the store with a glimmering radiance. Behind a small counter was a fussy man with a neat black coat, powdered wig and a pair of spectacles. He looked up as Calliope entered, measuring her worth with a practiced eye. A woman in fine clothing, but rumpled and dirty, concealing her face with a hood. A widow whose husband had left her less than she needed to keep up appearances perhaps. A weathly merchant who had made bad investments. The fellow all but licked his lips.

“Can I help you madam?” he asked in a prissy voice. Calliope made a show of being hesitant moving forward only reluctantly.

“I… I don’t know if I have come to the right place,” she stammered with faux concern.

“Infact perhaps it is best I go…”

“No! No,” the pawnbroker said with just a note of panic at the thought of such a juicy mark slipping from his grasp.

“I’m sure whatever you require I can be of some assistance,” the oily man said. Calliope smiled within her hood and hesitantly reached into the satchel she had bought with her from Calaverde. She hadn’t troubled to share with Markus the fact that she had escaped with a small fortune. It wasn’t properly any of his concern afterall, as an avowed pirate he might just as soon slit her throat if he knew what she had. Carefully she withdrew a small intricately carved sapphire from her pouch.

“My husband… well the detail aren’t important surely,” she said, her face quavering. The pawn brokers eyes opened wide.

“I can hold onto it for you madam,” he said smoothly, “until you get on your feet.”

When Calliope found Markus she was dressed in a new white silk shirt with a gray leather vest corseted around her waist. Her legs were sheathed in a fine trousers of soft doeskin tucked into black leather boots. A new rapier hung on her belt and a tricorne hat sat upon her head. Several arcane texts were tucked into her pouch, chosen to help her with her study of the Codex. She strode into the bar where the pirate sat, pulled a purse of coin from her tunic and tossed it onto the table. I clinked weightily and several gold sovereigns spilled out onto the table top.

“Start up money, to find a crew and proper artillery,” she said airly before taking a seat across from him.

“You may consider your half a loan,” she declared waving one of the barwenches towards them and calling for ale and hot stew.
bump
Rene endured the questions without immediate response. He didn’t blame Solae for not liking the current plan. There were alot of things that could go wrong, starting with the very real risk of drowning while they tried to cross the straight. He sat down on an upturned packing crate and tore open one of the simple single use medical packs that they had liberated from the plantation back on New Concrdia. He wiped off his shoulder with some gauze only to watch the blood well up from the cut almost immediately. It didn’t hurt exactly it was just an ache that was a little more intense than the general ache his body had developed. Swimming in storm tossed seas was a pretty high energy activity and even in top fighting condition he couldn’t expect to come away scott free. There was a small container of spray sealant, about the size of a pen, which he picked up and primed. Wiping the blood away once more he triggered the sealant which hissed out in a greyish mist, spraying his shoulder with a combination of antiseptic and a bio-synthetic glue which dried almost instantly to the consistency of latex. It wasn’t quite clear but it was translucent enough that you could see through it without difficulty.

“Thank you,” he said smiling at Solae as set a cup of coffee down by his uninjured side.

“I think it should probably be stitched,” he said after a moments consideration and fished the surgical stapler from their hoard of medical supplies. He turned the stapler butt first and handed it to Solae who looked deeply uncertain.

“Just hold it over the wound and press that toggle on the side,” he encouraged. The stapler cast a dozen horizontal laser beams in a grid pattern over the wound. A moment later the beams narrowed into short discrete targets as the program recognized the wound and calculated the necessary size and shape of the sutchers needed.

“Press it down where the…” But Solae had already grapsed the idea and pressed the stapler down so that the dispenser lined up with the first target light, it gave a warning click and then a snick snack sound as it delivered the first staple. Rene felt the tug in his flesh but the topical analgesic in the spray seal stopped him from feeling any real pain.

“See? We will have you certified as a combat medic in no time.” It took Solae only another minute or two to place the seven stitches the computer deemed necessary. When she was done Rene applied another blast of spray sealant to cover the sutures up. When she was done he took her hands and kissed them, turning them over and kissing her palms as well in the fashion of noble lovers.

“Solae, I wish I had more answers for you,” he said at last, returning to her original questions. He wanted very badly to tell her that everything would be alright and that he had a plan for every eventuality. He wanted her to know that he wouldn’t let anything happen to her and that she was perfectly safe. Lying wasn’t something he particularly enjoyed and he wasn’t about to start lying to Solae just to make her feel a little better. Besides, he thought ruefully, as a diplomat she could probably have seen right through him.

“The truth is I don’t know. There is no way for us to know what conditions are like in San Roayo. We won’t know until we get there and see for ourselves.” He had a few vague notions about putting fuel on a ship and bringing it close enough that they could run lines to the Bonaventure, that shouldn’t be a problem on a world built on maritime agriculture. Stealing the fuel didn’t bother him in the abstract, he was afterall, the ranking member of the Imperial Military on this world and it was technically within his jurisdiction to requisition supplies a time of war, but as Solae pointed out using a little currency might smooth things over and avoid worse problems. It might equally make sense to take the Bonaventure to the fueling depot directly, even though that meant waiting till the Caldrea dried out enough for them to break the landing gear free.

“Fuel and inform... information,” he said musingly stumbling over the words, his mind felt a little hazy from hours of work in the enevating rain. How long had it been since he had slept? There wasn’t time now so he settled for gulping down the coffee, hoping that the caffeine would clear his mind. The tide would be going out for the next several hours. The retreating water would beach the barge again and he needed to use that window to get their makeshift engine aboard, then wait for the incoming tide to refloat her. High tide would be the best time to risk the reefs, giving them the maximum amount of clearance. He tried to keep the timeline straight in his mind. Once he got the engine aboard he could snatch an hour or two of rest.

“We have got to get access to that uplink and find out what is going on.” His father had always said that in any crisis the first thing to do was think, and the second was to act. The Marines had a similar theory assess, orient, act. Repeat until either the crisis was over or you were dead.

“Are you going to take me to my papa?” a small voice asked from the hatchway. Rene looked up in shock to find Dramaris, wrapped in the sheets of her bed peeking from around the corner. The IV was still in her arm though it had disconnected when she had got up. Rene realised belated that he had forgot to activate the alarms that would have warned him of just such an action.
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