[UW] Cold, cold Heart. [Allevard 1.3, Jek 1.3, Bai 1.4]

edited February 2016 in Uncharted Worlds
You make your way back to the bridge, the Duchess walking quietly beside you. You are about halfway when she speaks.


"Let me apologize, again, Captain, for all the trouble I and mine have caused you." She says quietly.


  • imageI look to her out of the corner of my eye, and dismiss the thought with a subtle shake of my head. "Your retinue was just doing it's job with the information they had on hand, and Her Highness' bruised ego will heal quickly, I'm sure — the gesture is appreciated, though. Believe it or not, I've had much worse passengers — though perhaps not under such trying circumstances..." I take a few more steps before adding, "When we arrive at Agliesse-2b, you'll have the opportunity, naturally, to commandeer a shuttle back to Mayaran Prime, should you choose not to continue on with us — not that you and yours wouldn't be welcome to continue on..."
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    "I will consider it most carefully. I am certainly interested in a further opportunities to observe you and your fine crew handling your ship. You keep your head, even when dealing the the relentless opera of my class. It is an admirable and attractive quality, Captain, one not in great supply."

    She pauses, her hand brushing your sleeve.

    "I hope that when these crises have resolved that you will permit me an opportunity to personally express my gratitude to you."

  • imageThat stops me dead in my tracks. The words surprise me more than anything — It's been a long time since anyone's made me an offer of that sort, let alone someone of any stature. I'm dubious. "That ... Uh, won't be necessary, your grace. I'm simply doing my job."
  • edited January 2016
    She stops along with you, turns towards you, closes the gap until she is six inches away. There is a hint of heat and hunger in her dark eyes as she languidly scans your face.


    "Please Captain." She says. Voice husky... her usual distant and majestic demeanor somehow dissolving into something close, earthy and sensual. She brings her hand up, a feather touch tracing down the chest of your uniform. Her eyes follow it... almost bashful."It would please me." She smiles, looking at you again with that midnight gaze. "And I am confident it would please you as well."
  • imageMy face glows bright red as my mind works away at the proposal. Like I said, I spent a lot of alone time out in space before I took this job – and this job is often times more prudish than being all on your own out there. People in the outer reaches are more "touchy-feely" than my current noble entourage... This is all to say I'm overwhelmed by the proposal. Enough so that my mouth starts moving three times before any words even dare come out...

    "W-well, uh... Your Grace... That is, uh, I'm flattered..." And confused that you think this is an appropriate time to proposition me, seeing as we've been threatened with a boarding by the Mayaran military. Am I even attracted to the Duchess? I'll admit she's several cuts above the type of women I'm used to being with — but she lacks a certain whimsical appeal that X...

    For fuck's sake ... How conceited and naive have I become to believe Princess Xuan is even remotely in my league? I pause, and look the Duchess over again. She is attractive, but now my mind is elsewhere. I'm comparing her to someone else – someone well above my station – and I'm realizing it's not exactly a favorable comparison... I need to stall.

    Damn it — I need to get the Winter's Heart off out backs. "Perhaps, we could... We could discuss the prospect over a... Over a meal?" I avert my gaze, embarrassed, "forgive me. My mind is on getting us through this — one thing at a time." I straighten my back, and clear my throat – though my face is still red as a beet – "We should be touching down on Agliesse-2b in no time, but should you choose to continue on with us, I would be honored if you would join me for dinner in the captain's mess at your earliest convenience."

    ... Maybe I can convince someone to run interference for me...

    What the hell does the Duchess even want with me?
  • She laughs quickly, amused, slightly nervous. The smile actually makes it to her eyes.


    "Rei, Captain," she says."When we are alone, please call me Rei. And..." she raises an eyebrow, smirks, though her eyes seem wistful. Her hand flattens out over your heart a moment feeling the beat, and she glances down before pulling it away. "you're right. I suppose we should at least have dinner first."

    She steps backward and turns toward the hatch again sighing with a hint of weariness, her usual public persona settling in once again, the warm grounded presence withdraws. It feels as if you're watching her put on armor.

    "Let us resolve the issue of this bothersome ship then, shall we?"
  • edited January 2016
    imageWell, Rei, if it was possible for me to blush any harder, you've somehow achieved that. I soften as she rests her hand on my chest — the warmth of her touch slipping past the defenses of the thermal layers under my uniform. My eyes wander to her hand for the briefest of moments, before I force myself to look back up at her eyes. If this is a ploy, then I am certainly playing the part of the fool...

    I smile, and nod. "Of course," I say, before looking around cautiously for anyone else, and softly adding, "Rei." Then I continue along the path to the bridge.
  • edited January 2016


    You emerge onto the bridge, Rei… Her Grace the Duchess following close behind you.

    “Captain on the bridge!” Qing calls out. Everyone looks and you can see eyes widen a little bit at seeing the Duchess up here.

    Rajani herself has rejoined the bridge and is standing at the command table. She straightens on seeing your guest and bows to her as is proper, then turns to you.

    “Our onboard issues are nearly resolved, Sai, thanks to Mr. Bezier and Mixter Archebelloch. Engineering is cleaning up and making minor repairs. Life support is returning to normal as we speak and external communications have been restored. Winter’s Heart is still on intercept vector but we have recieved no further communications.”

  • imageI wave a hand to put everyone back at ease as I make my way to the command table. "Good," I answer, when she's filled me in, "Her Grace is here to tie off that last string for us. Maintain present course and speed for Agliesse-2b, and open a comm to the Winter's Heart..." Then, to Rei with a polite nod, "the comm is yours, your grace."

    I take a place next to Rajani, crossing my arms and waiting for Rei to call off her military. I lean in close to Rajani, and whisper, "that was close..."
  • edited January 2016

    Rajani nods her agreement and turns around to observe the other bridge stations but she still speaks.


    "I withdraw my professional objections to Mr. Bezier" She says quietly. "I may not like the man, but he is very comptent. Peshkov is good but Bezier... I think if he planted that thing we'd all be dead." She shakes her head. "With skills like that, Captain... I'm I don't buy the 'consultant' thing. If he is, he's working very cheaply."

    The Duchess nods to you, Captain, her eyes lingering a moment before shifting to the holo. And speaking in an authoritative voice.


    "Winter's Heart this is Duchess Soyinka Rei, I am transmitting my authentication." She holds a large crystalline ring up to the console's scanner, a blue shimmer rolls over her hand. "I command you to cease harassing this vessel and return to your duties, Captain. Identify yourself and acknowledge."

    There is a long moment of static.


    "Captain! They aren't Mayar...

    "Your Grace," The cold voice booms over the comm. "I am Commander Taru of the Council of Free Suns. Your communications are being suppressed and we are superior in both speed and armament. You and your ship are either my prisoner, or my target. You have three minutes to decide."
  • imageFuck... Spoke too soon. I pull up a status report of the ship, paying particular attention to the status of my shuttle. I look to Rajani, "If the shuttles are no longer compromised, then we should have the VIPs evacuated..."

    I pull open a comm to Jek, "Mr. Bezier, you're needed on the bridge, immediately."
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    "Aye Aye, Captain King. I can leave the situation here. En route."

  • Allevard,

    The shuttles seem to be ready to go. The device no longer has control of any system, it appears Jek was as good as his word.


    "Yes, Sai. Do you think we can hold them off long enough?"

    The duchess interrupts.


    "This is Taru, Captain, One of the Emperor's best before its betrayal. It will shoot any shuttle out of the sky. We should fight."
  • imageI let out a long huff as I consider the Dutchess' advice, my eyes closed and brow furrowed in deep concentration. We aren't a military vessel – though we are, of course, armed – and even though I question the validity of this Commander Taru's claims, it would appear I have no choice but to gamble with the lives of my crew...

    I exchange a meaningful glance with Rei, hoping she knows what she's asking, before nodding. "I would advise you prepare for possible evacuation, your grace..."

    Without hesitating, I turn to Rajani, and add, "deploy hardpoints." I hope the crew's been keeping up with their simulations... "let's blow them out of the sky."
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    The bridge door makes its usual chuff as I enter the bridge. I give a little satisfied nod up to Raji with a half smile. Oh crap, the Duchess is here. I straighten a bit and wipe the goof off my face. I readjust my kit from where it's slung over my shoulder.

    "Captain," I say.
  • imageI'm busy entering codes for hardpoint deployment when Jek enters, but I wrap it up quickly, and look up to him. "Mr. Bezier, good work on the explosives... I don't suppose you're also good with ship-to-ship combat?"
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    I raise my eyebrows, surprised. "The Blessings has boarding capabilities? Must've missed that part of the tour. What's the situation?" I drop my kit. Gonna need both hands for this.
  • imageBoarding capabilities? "Uh, no... Your dossier mentioned you served on a military vessel. The Winter's Heart has decided that we're either to surrender ourselves and our ship to their custody, or die... I need someone capable to man our defenses as we attempt to outrun them to Agliesse-2b."
  • edited February 2016

    I move like I catch myself in the error. "My mistake, Captain. I misunderstood. Yes, I've worked on a few military vessels. How aggressively are we defending?" I crack my knuckles, one hand at a time, ready to scoop my kit back up on my way aft.

    "What do we know about the Heart?" Are there scans I can see? I look at Raji, to see if she's watching me.
  • imageI'm normally a very calm person, but I don't like playing twenty questions in the middle of a violent threat. I speak with a terseness that serves to highlight the urgency of the situation. "We're not equipped to do any harm to them with our current armament... We know they want us, dead or alive, and the longer we don't have a manned defense station, the closer they'll be to us when we finally open up the throttle." I pause, hoping he got the hint. "Set your comm to priority one, and we'll keep you in the loop."
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    I twist the comm dial and turn to run to the gunnery station without a word. I'm in no mood to deal with him and we've got no time for a pissing match. The run will bleed off emotions and lend a clarity to my mind. An empty mind is sometimes best for combat. It helps you forget.
  • imageGood. Maybe now we can lose these pests. "Mr. Bezier, please let us know the moment you're ready." I open up a ship-wide comm, and announce, "this is your captain speaking. We are currently being pursued by Commander Taru of the Council of Free Suns. We've been instructed to surrender, or die. As in accordance with TXR policy, we will be engaging self-defense measures to ensure the safety of our crew, and all of our passengers. We will be continuing our current course to Agliesse-2b, in hopes we can petition the Mayaran military for support. Please proceed to your appointed crash couches in preparation for a high-g burn."

    I turn off the comm, and look to Rei, "your grace, it would likely be best if you stayed on the bridge to talk to your military in the event we can overcome their jamming. Please come with me to the crash couches..."
  • edited February 2016
    Rei nods in agreement and follows after you. The other bridge crew scramble to reconfigure. How does the bridge change in these conditions, Captain? How high a burn are you thinking of?

    Bai, you emerge onto the bridge in this scramble.

    Jek, you reach the gunnery station nestled above the crew area. What does it look like?
  • edited February 2016
    imageThe majority of stations on the bridge come equipped with high-g crash couches, so the only difference from normal is that people are strapping themselves in, and the more sensitive crewmates are taking motion-sickness meds. There is a great deal of preparation required, though: locking down loose objects to make sure they don't become projectiles when we slow down, touching base with all crewmates to make sure the ship is ready — it's an orderly frenzy. TXR regulations prohibit us from sustaining g-forces high enough to induce loss of consciousness for any passengers without high-g training on board, but our space-suits function as g-suits as well, so we have some play...

    Let me put it this way: we won't be using any drugs to keep the bridge crew conscious during some retina-detaching maneuver — besides, I need Mr. Bezier conscious to keep us alive.

    The lights dim, and green lights come on throughout the ship — a friendly little reminder, green for g-force, that if you aren't strapped in, you might pass out, and crack your skull open on a table. I'm busy strapping the Dutchess into an observer couch, when Bai comes in. I tighten the last strap on the Dutchess' couch, and catch her eye for just a moment. I can't help but be amused at all this, and in a moment of weakness I smile, and shake my head. "Sit tight, your grace."

    I turn to take in the situation of the bridge before strapping myself in, and that's when I notice... "Lady Bai? We're preparing for evasive maneuvers... You'd best get strapped into a crash couch, quickly!"
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    “Of course, Captain. Right away.” I move to an available crash couch and strap myself in with an efficiency and familiar ease that one does not expect from someone of my age and station. Indeed, the good captain has scarcely finished attending to the Duchess by the time I’m done–though if I’m not mistaken, he does seem to take a bit longer than strictly necessary where she is concerned. He would hardly be the first man in my experience to allocate assistance to Rei far in excess of her need.

    “Captain, I would not presume to instruct you on the relative merits of our vessels. However, I have a passing acquaintance with Commander Taru, and perhaps I can be of assistance. I believe that it considers all of us expendable, but I suspect that this is less true of the technology aboard this ship–just a moment.” My eyes lose focus momentarily as I shift to my ’plant comms.

    “Commander Taru, authorization unchanged. Check assertion: strategic objective is control of Mayaran system. Check assertion: technology aboard ship designated ‘The Thousand Blessings’ is vital to strategic objective. Validate inference: destruction of ‘The Thousand Blessings’ is counter to strategic objective. In other words, Taru, capture of certain humans aboard is useful but non-critical. Capture of technology aboard, however, is critical.” The corner of my mouth twitches upward slightly. I don’t have to talk to it like a human–it produces the same chain of assertions and inferences in either case. I’m just savoring the moment. “Analyze historical expression: ‘pyrrhic victory’.”

  • imageI'm intrigued... Enough that I stop what I'm doing, and approach the lady Bai for a more private conversation. I don't imagine you can navigate the political minefield that is Emperor Aso's court without knowing how to talk people down from starting a potential war... "on the contrary, my lady. Speak freely... What would you suggest?"
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    I'm running hard down the corridor to the gunnery station, gotta waste no time. My feet are pounding on the textured plastic floor, my fists pumping back and forth. I'm breathing deep and hard, controlling it. The universal icon for weapons access is in front of the hatch and I slap my hand on the scanner so it lets me in. The door slides quickly and soundlessly apart, and I dive into the zerogee tube, conserving momentum and using the handholds to pull myself into the bubble that is the gunner's turret. The brilliant blackness of space is arranged around the chair, expectant as an empty theatre. Incidental sound falls flat in here so the speakers can work better. I hand-over-hand my way to the center.

    The gyros on the chair are fluid and responsive, moving like oiled mercury in nothingness. "Nothing but the best for TXR, right?" I mutter to myself as I strap in. I half expect to have to pull the plastic off the console, but the controls have been used before, but the scent of the air still has a hint of something like stale plastic. I test the limits of the firing arcs just to get a feel for the thing and light up the circuits. I thumb my comm into staying open. "Bézier ready in fire control one," I report.

    Just like riding a hoverbike, I think as I mock-target a few random stars.
  • edited February 2016

    Rei watches you strap her in, obviously not in ideal garb for such. She nods in a dignified manner when you speak, but there is a spark of humor in her eyes... and she seems not unaware of you tying her down.

    Just as you speak with Bai, The cold voice comes through the speaker again.

    "Thousand Blessings Your decision interval is concluded. Surrender now and prepare for boarding or be forcibly disabled with significant probability of crewman death and vessel destruction. Respond."



    "Assertion is incorrect. Technology on vessel designated Thousand Blessings is highly desirable but not essential to objective. Capture or Death of Soyinka Rei, Duchess, is critical parameter for transfer of system control to Lord Kaluga and the Council. If you can facilitate capture, do so. If you cannot, I advise abandonment of vessel in the event of destruction.

    Xuan... you come barreling into the bridge about now. Rieva on your heels, shouting for you. Rajani and the other bridge crew take in your uniform and your now wigless head in amazement. Allevard is near where Auntie Bai has strapped herself in. You see the Duchess close by as well and you hear Taru's voice on the comm. Reiva pulls up short when she sees the company.
  • edited February 2016

    “Commander Taru: stand by. Negotiating surrender. Evaluating possibility of maximal success on all mission parameters.”

    “Pardon me,” I say, my eyes returning focus to the captain. “I had hoped that capture of the ship itself was Taru’s top priority and that we could use the threat of its destruction as leverage.” I turn a bit pale in spite of myself as I glance toward Rei. I draw myself upright against the restraints. “That is not the case. The ship, the passengers–all of it–all expendable. Taru’s single critical success criterion is the capture or…death…of Duchess Soyinko. The Council believes this will give them control of the Mayaran system.”

    “If you have any tricks up your sleeve, Captain, now would be an excellent time to use them. If we cannot get away, I can buy you a bit of time by surrendering myself and the Duchess. Taru assigns more value to her capture than her death. Once the Duchess is no longer aboard, it changes the equation. The ship remains a target, but its destruction and the deaths of those aboard no longer accomplish any objectives. ”

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    "Captain--" I call out, barreling towards Allevard, "the Winter's Blessing is not ..." I trail off as I take in the scene. It seems the news traveled quicker than I did. I pause, breathe another moment, then lean in towards Allevard's ear with altogether undignified closeness.

    "Is now a good time to let you know that the ship was outfitted with a Rebellion stealth unit that should take us completely off their scans?"
  • edited February 2016
    imageI bite my lip, and deliberate over the information Bai just dumped onto my lap... I've learned not to ask too many questions about how Bai knows the things she knows, but this is uncanny. Thankfully I don't need to think too long before Xuan comes running into the bridge, announcing something about the Winter's Blessing, and I spin around to see what all the commotion is about.

    I stand next to Bai, dumbfounded for a moment, before I motion for Xuan to come closer. "A what, now?"
  • image
    I wince. His face looks just like Akio when I told him about breaking that 23rd century Rinomuni kaleidoscope.

    "A stealth unit? It's in engineering. I have the cypher. If you want to use it?" I speak low, my eyes flitting from Bai to the Duchess to Rieva. Anyway but Allevard's expression.
  • edited February 2016
    imageI furrow my brow, very concerned at the fact that rebellion tech has been sitting on my ship, without my knowledge for who knows how long... What else is hiding in the shadows, unbeknownst to me. I sigh, but nod. "We'll have to have a conversation about this later, once your stealth unit has saved our lives... In the mean time, let's just consider it one of the Thousand Blessings." I look around for a free console, "can you control it from here, or does it need a manual key in?"
  • edited February 2016
    I step tentatively in front of the terminal Allevard indicates, pull up a command screen. I type in the initiating language as I'd been instructed, and after the expected error code, I use my wrist unit to key in the cypher.

    The UI that fills the console screen is unlike the Thousand Blessings' usual design, few frills for lay-user, and is much more suited to someone with a technical background. "The cypher runs on a loop, so I have to stay close by," I say, beckoning Allevard towards the screen, making space between my body and the console for him to tackle the input settings.
  • imageI make my way next to Xuan, and watch as she works the console. This is embarrassing. I give her a sidelong glance when she makes room for me to work the console, but it takes me a moment to realize what she's doing... "Oh, right. Sorry." I step up to the console, and start studying the screen. It's a very rudimentary UI, not unlike the one I was used to on my old ship. Some of my old habits come right back to me as I start navigating the man files.

    "This brings me back," I mutter, mostly to Xuan – there's a reason I'm leading people now, rather than mucking around with subsystems, and I'm pretty sure it's because I know how to use this primitive shit. "Alright. let's do this..."
  • edited February 2016
    Some kind of tinny alarm goes off.

    "They've launched EMP phase missiles, Captain! Three marks approaching. Five minutes to impact!. Hostile vessel has increased acceleration to 6 gees."

    Phase missiles. More alien tech. They have a phasing engine... kind of a very limited jump drive. It's just enough to drill to the edge of the nearest layer of jump space, while its conventional engine accelerating the device to covering a light second in about 5 to 10 minutes.

    And an EMP warhead... something like experiencing a solar flare at very close range.

    "Sai, we've had a series of escape pods deploy!

    Roll to face adversity to activate the stealth device, captain. +mettle.

  • edited February 2016
    imageSon of a bitch! I push through the subsystems, hoping we'll have enough time to change course before they get broadside to broadside... Those people, whoever are on the escape pods, aren't likely to survive without us here — but they've made their choice, and now I have to do my job, and protect everyone onboard this ship.

    "Mister Bezier, fire at will! Rajani, I need a report on who authorized those escape pods, and who's on them immediately! Mixter Archebelloch, prepare for possible EMP!"
  • OOC: Roll+Mettle to hide our ship.
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 1, 6. Total: 9)
  • edited February 2016
    "Oh dear," I say. "Is it giving you trouble?" I lean over Allevard's shoulder, looking at the string of code while still keeping my wrist near the console input so that I don't interrupt the cypher loop. The end result is that I'm just shy of embracing him.
  • image
    Hmm, that's odd, those power inputs are totally not TXR-spec. I trace the routing and notice a relatively huge power signature that's cutely... hidden... amongst some non-essential subsystems. If it's what I think it is, it looks like it could use a nudge.

  • [OOC, remotely Get Involved via network. Roll+Mettle.]
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 1, 5. Total: 8)
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    "Copy, Captain," I say even as I'm locking targets and working the fire control. I've fired before I'm done speaking. Phase EMP could be nasty. Here's hoping Mxr. Archebelloch's jewel has some sharp facets.

  • [OOC: Point defense. Roll+Mettle.]
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 5. Total: 13)
  • imageI'm about to hit the console in frustration when the system seems to come alive. I hesitate, my hand hovering over the screen for a moment before falling back to my side. "Uh, no... No problem." I look back to Xuan, and smile triumphantly. How does one stay so flawless as she does? I catch a hint of her perfume, and my heartbeat slows...

    Wait... Where am I? Shit.

    I nod, and put a hand on her shoulder appreciatively as I slip back to the helm... "Let's get a move on people! Everyone who's not strapped into a crash couch, do so immediately! We're getting underway! Miss Alchea, please start a ship-wide countdown to hard burn in 20!"
  • edited February 2016

    Nerve wracking, no doubt, to let the missiles get close enough for clean hits, but you judge it right and one after another they explode before the stealth device makes the ship invisible to sensors.


    Alchea flips the 1MC comm. Everyone on the ship hears her announce, "Attention all hands. Secure for immediate hard burn in 20...19..."

    "Sai. Code authorization for escape pod release is an executive TXR code. It's assigned to.... Robynne Archebelloch? Three id transponders are no longer aboard... all crewman. Patil, Green and Ekim, Sai.",


    The whole bridge looks at Rieva who is holding her pistol in the direction of you, Xuan and Rajani, Captain.


    "Surrender the ship! Now! Are you trying to get Xuan killed?"

  • edited February 2016
    Time seems to slow down when you have a gun pointed in your direction, even when you probably aren't the target of it.

    It's a twist and release to remove my wrist transponder; I press it into Allevard's hand so that it will keep maintaining the cipher loop. Then I'm swanning towards Rieva, eyes locked on hers, palm upraised, until my fingers are pressed against the muzzle of the gun.

    "Stand down, love," I say, voice low. I have pinprick focus -- just me and Rieva -- everyone else might as well not be there.
  • edited February 2016
    imageI look to Alchea the moment Xuan starts talking to the Dutchess' security perso... Wait, Love? ... Hmm...

    This needs to be diffused, now. I follow through with my glance to Alchea, and nod — she should know to send out a crew-wide message reading "shooter on the bridge". The crew aren't military, but they've got some training in detaining people — hopefully a few people will come running and help us lock this down.

    You can't expect to fly into uncharted space, and not need to defend yourself. Heck, I've been boarded a half dozen times... You always hope the first one will be your last.

    I take a step forward, and speak in a calm voice. "Listen to Her Royal Highness — think about what you're doing, here."
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    "I have thought! MONTHS of thought! YEARS!" She yells, at you Allevard.

    She jerks the pistol away from your hand as she yells, Xuan, and shifts to aim past you, she looks at you her eyes big and desperate, shifting her weight from one foot to the other. "This is for us, Xuan. This is our chance. To be free. To be together. Just as we dreamed. You refuse for what? Your dear sweet aunt? The one who turned us in?"

    Alchea nodded, Allevard, but it will be at least a minute or two before anyone gets here.
  • imageI shake my head, "This is clearly for you. Put the gun down, and surrender yourself to our custody, or you'll be detained by force." My hands are loose at my side, my right hand never wandering too far from my pistol's holster...
  • edited February 2016
    It was Rieva who trained me in hand-to-hand combat. Ostensibly to stop an assassination if she were unable to stop the assailant. She was better than me, of course, but she was distraught, and aiming a gun. And I knew that her left leg was weaker than her right, an old knee injury.

    I smash my foot into her knee to distract her and make my hand into a hammer, striking out at the back of Rieva's wrist. At best. At worst, point the pistol away from the others.
  • edited February 2016

    Facing adversity with Physical.

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 5, 6. Total: 12)
  • She taught you well, and somehow, even now, she wasn't expecting you to attack her. The distraction works like a charm. You drive the foot to her knee which makes a snapping noise like a large bundle of rubber bands breaking at onces, at the same time your hand strikes her wrist.

    The gun drops to the deck and goes sliding away, one of the still unsecured bridge crew going after it and Rieva collapses to the deck with a pained scream, hitting hard enough to knock the wind out of her.

    The bridge door opens revealing Kohaku with her sword drawn and two of the ship's crew bearing pistols.

    "Captain, they've launched another salvo. Four groups. ETA six minutes. They're trying to scattershot and catch us, Sai.
  • edited February 2016
    imageI wouldn't say it's a shock to see Xuan take the young lady down, but it certainly is unexpected. I look to my deckhands, and nod, "this young lady is under arrest, pending charges. I want her confined to quarters, and watched at all times. Understood? Nobody in or out without my express permission." I look back to the Duchess, "I trust you take no issue with that, given she just tried to kill you?"

    I'm about to go help Xuan when Alchea announces another incoming salvo, it becomes clear to me this position is no longer tenable. We need to move... I make my way back to the helm, and start pulling up dialogs... "Prepare to take evasive action," I announce to the crew, "Mister Bezier — we have more incoming. If it looks like one might connect you have clearance to open fire... Miss Alchea, spool up the jump drives in preparation for an emergency jump." Let's hope it doesn't come to that, though... I'd rather touch down in this system, under the protection of the Mayarans.
  • edited February 2016

    I look away from Rieva and nod to Kohaku when she arrives. "Assign one of my guard to her cell. And have someone fetch me my sword."

    I return myself to the console operating the stealth unit and re-secure my transponder. The confrontation plays itself out through my head as I sit there, and when I recall Allevard's words, a small smile makes its way onto my face.

    I use my wrist transponder's virtual keyboard to send him a short message. For your reference, if we survive this, I am your Imperial Highness, good Captain.
  • imageI catch Xuan's message out of the corner of my eye, and blush. I hash out a quick response as I wait for the controls to free up.

    Forgive me, your Imperial Highness, but you've also mistaken my title — my name is mud. I'll see to I don't make the mistake again.

    Now to focus on getting us clear of these missiles.
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    "Six minutes? That's practically forever. They all might connect." I say under my breath, bringing up readings and trajectories. On the comm, I instead say, "Six minutes, birds free and tight, copy." I study the readings on the four missile groups to draw up the right information to feed into fire control.
  • image"Think you can hit one of the outliers, Mister Bezier? Throw them off our trail?"

  • "I know I can, Captain. I'm running firing solutions right now for the best option." Why's he gotta meddle? He must want people to think he's all hands-on and caring.

    Whoa, shit- how much munition does the Blessings have? This is supposed to be a diplomatic mission!
  • [OOC: Assessment, roll+Mettle.]
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 4, 2. Total: 8)
  • Jek,

    These are point defense guns after all. They don't have any serious offensive capability against another starship. Certainly not a destroyer.

    If you hit the middle group at just the right time, you'll disable three of the four, it's an extreme range shot, but if you don't hit it then, you'll only be able to hit two at most.

    Even if you're successful the last one will have to be handled by flight or sheilds.

    Allevard and Xuan,

    The Duchess nods agreement but her eyes are dark with anger.


    "I welcome the opportunity to question her before she dies." She says icily.

    Kohaku and your crew take Rieva from the bridge, the two ratings taking Rieva's arms over their shoulders, supporting her. She doesn't look up. Kohaku's face, too, is impassive except for a twitch that she only gets when she's really upset. She follows after.


    "Jump core standing by, Sai"

  • [jek]

    Damn it! I keep forgetting this ship's a flying brochure. I'll have to have words with Robynne about upgrades. Er, Mxr. Archebelloch. "I've got a firing solution now, Captain. Stand by."

    It's elegant, really. But I have to keep the backup shots in mind in case there's a new hiccup.

    I press the red button.
  • [OOC: Point defense. Roll+Mettle.]
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 6, 4. Total: 12)
  • There are times you just know the shot is good. This is one of those times. You can feel the whole thing slide into place like destiny. A brilliant flash in the dark, followed by two more immediately.

    The last group... that's up to Allevard.
  • imageI look over my shoulder to the Duchess, "You'll get your wish when we turn her over to your military." Now let's get the fuck out of here...
  • OOC: Maneuvering the ship to avoid those extra missiles. (roll+mettle)
    (Rolled: 2d6+2. Rolls: 1, 2. Total: 5)
  • edited February 2016
    Allevard grunts or swears, I'm not sure what, exactly, but I pull down our visuals and anti-targeting sensors onto my console and everything looks bad. The non-native stealth UI is still up and it looks like Allevard partially queued up the correct sequence. I'm still bursting with unused adrenaline from subduing Rieva. I don't even ask, I just initiate the warm-up sequence.

    My Rebel contact had suggested that the stealth unit operated on two parameters, both a visual distortion that mimics the star field around the ship and also a sensor baffling array that slingshots scans in a parabola so that they pick up only what's on the other side of us.

    So maybe, if I understand this right, the missiles will suddenly find their targeting software missing a target? I just have to time it right so that Taru doesn't wise up and take over their controls manually.

    I don't entirely understand the science. I wait, watching the sensor array. When the time comes, I simply push the button, cross my fingers and hope.
  • go ahead and roll mettle, Xuan
  • edited February 2016

    Rolling to help with Mettle.

    (Rolled: 2d6+1. Rolls: 2, 4. Total: 7)
  • You get it mostly right and between your activation of the secondary stealth protocol and Allevard's piloting you escape the last missile. If the cryptic warning messages spilling across the UI for the device are any indication, though, it will need some kind of recalibration if not repair once the ship has time to take a collective breath.


    "Hostile ship changing course, Sai.. It's headed away."
  • edited February 2016

    I'd put my feet up and light one, but I'm in zerogee on a spaceship. Not such a good idea. I'll hook my hands behind my head, and contentedly watch the ship leave.

    Birds are still hot, though. You never know.
  • imageI breathe a sigh of relief, and input some commands to have the ship resume it's course for Agliesse-2b. I pull open a comm, "excellent shooting Mr. Bezier. Seems we all owe you our hides doubly so today." I stand from the helm, and resume my position at the main console. "Thank you Miss Alchea. Prepare to resume course — let's not linger."

    I'm not stupid... Any helmsman worth his skin knows we should have been hit by that last salvo — but the radar showed those missiles deflecting at the last minute. Xuan's stealth unit is what got us away today... I pull up a private comm, and send her a short message...

    It seems that talk we need to have later should take on a different tone... One of appreciation, perhaps.

    I look over to her, and offer an appreciative nod, and a smile.
  • edited February 2016

    The text from the Captain's message flits across my retina. I catch Allevard's eye instinctively but turn away to busy myself at the console, taking note of the error codes so that perhaps Robynne or Jek can figure it out later. After my heart has started beating more sedately, I reply, Perhaps.
  • edited March 2016
    I watch the silent exchange between Xuan and the Captain. Between Xuan's use of rebel tech and my knowing Taru to an extent for which afternoon tea can not quite account, I'm afraid we have just outed ourselves in spectacular fashion.

    This...unpleasantness...with Lord Kaluga will certainly complicate recruiting Rei and her son to join the rebellion--if indeed there is still a rebellion worth joining.

    It has been many years since I have been without a plan. You might think that I would find this distressing. On the contrary, I believe the last time I was this excited, I might have been Xuan's age. I lay back in my crash couch, a small smile playing on my lips.
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