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  1. #1

    [SIM] Test Adventure

    Establishing new HoloSIM process...
    Established.

    Holo Mod: Lucienn

    HoloSIM Participants:
    - Divine Cerinian (as Rachel Stewart)
    - EfilOne (as UNKNOWN)
    - Isaiah Evanson (as UNKNOWN)
    - Lexic Meise (as UNKNOWN)
    - Nova Ferris (as Jade Foster)

    Syncing with Universal Cartographics database...
    Generating objects...
    Establishing tactile feedback...
    ERROR. FAILURE IN PAIN MODULATION UNIT LINE 4726.
    PAIN DAMPENING DISABLED.
    Establishing connection with participant's nervous system...
    Success.
    Synthesizing suitably deep narrative voice...

    Begin Simulation.

  2. #2
    Harmless
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    Thursday, 16th June, 3301 6:17am Universal Galactic Time
    LHS 6128 - Napier Base


    The lights flickered - not out of neglect, but from extended use. The crowds moving between quiet, family-run stores were a strange mix of dirty workers coming off of work and suit-clad managerial types. One thing they all had in common, however, was a red face and a sweat-drenched brow. The air conditioning was running fine to keep the heat out, but everyone was either coming off of a hard shift or heading to one.

    Napier Base was a small planetary outpost established just a jump or two away from Nanomam, set up to serve the needs of the miners and factory workers operating the machinery in the area. While Zero-G was a welcome environment for most of the asteroid miners, the system lacked a Coriolis and the earth-and-a-half gravity was preferable to those with a background in trucking and surface mining. A few surface extractors dotted the distant, barren hills but these were in place just to determine the viability of surface extraction in such a cold system. The gas giants held the real bounty in their rings, but the rich 'roids' were few enough that strip mining wasn't viable for the bigger corporations. LHS 6128 was a system only for the keen-eyed miner capable of making out choice pickings in a sea of rocks and pebbles.

    It wasn't exactly quiet here in the bazaar, but everyone only seemed to mind their own business. Mining was a hard enough life without worrying about looking up every new visitor, and most everyone had a ship to be in within a few hours for their next shift. The perfect place to meet to discuss business with the kind of person who interviewed not once, but twice for a mission. An oddity amongst the usual mission board types that just desperately needed anyone for their task. No, this woman was like the miners here - keen-eyed and of careful choice.

    She had placed a bulletin board mission out in Nanomam, a densely populated system, for a task - an unusual one, that stated that no details would be provided unless you made the final cut. Oddly, the people she interviewed didn't seem like the kind that usually responded to the stuff of mission boards. Could it be that she had found a way to send out the bulletin to only some interested parties? It didn't seem like such a thing would be possible, but you had only been in space a short time now, and Nanomam wasn't exactly home. You worked hard to get where you were, but others would still call you wet behind the ears. Harmless, even.

    Now it was just you and four others, sitting in front of her at a small cafe table. The drink smelled strong and tasted even stronger, but that's not what mattered. What was really important was the task that you would be taking on - your first real voyage out into the unknown.

  3. #3
    E.D.R.P.G Mir's Avatar
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    The woman sat upright, her hands folded before her and around a mug of sweet smelling herbal infusions. A spoon lay beside the mug. Finally, she glanced at each one at the table before nodding at the general centre of the table. The cafe's noises seemed strangely distant and maybe it was the chosing of the booth they sat in that caused this strange effect. Quite the opposite, the woman's voice was remarkably clear and present as she took to addressing the group of freelancers that had assembled here:

    “Welcome and thank you for making it here. I assume you came a long way and that you eagerly await what this opportunity is all about. Before I continue let me emphasize that the screening and the additional tests I put you through were for your and my protection. As you will see and doubtlessly expect this will not be about escorting a celebrity or transporting some boom state economical data. You will understand I had to eliminate certain risks.” She briefly looked around the cafe before addressing them again: “May I consider everyone of you on board now.” This was no question. It was a statement.

    “Fine. I represent a client looking for a team of contractors acting as a team, travelling to a specific location, there to inspect a variety of stellar bodies and locate and retrieve a piece of ship hardware. For this he will allot the sum of 1.5 million credits, due in individual shares upon the intact and untampered return of said hardware.”

    She leaned back a little, took the spoon and started stirring in her tea. Without so much as looking at them she said: “You may now ask a number of questions related to the proceedings of this mission, not to the amount you will receive as payment.”

    They had a look at each other, some to look around what the others made of this situation, some to read in the others’ faces and minds about what they thought about the mission. After some moments, one of them started with some routine questions and later others of the group joined. What was laid out between the woman and the contractors was a bold plan that clearly diverted from retrieving the odd piece of stolen business plans or the ‘acquisition’ of some rebel leader’s revolutionary plans.

    After they had finished the woman finally summed up their accord:

    “Very well. You will assemble a number of capable ships according to your own designs and compositions. You will then travel to a predetermined number of interstellar bodies of what you may call a dark system. The location will be somewhere between the systems of Kubau and Chongquan. You will not find it on any map but that should not worry you. Travelling there should take you some 20 hours at system frameshift speed. Upon arrival you will try to locate any number of sublight signals and investigate. One of them will most likely be a bulk cruiser, presumably dead in space; quite literally. You may want to consider spreading your skills across multiple ships to save time. You should also prep for boarding actions, nonetheless. Your target is the ship’s blackbox, located in an isolated computer mainframe room right below the bridge and accessible via a maintenance crawlway to the bridge's rear.”

    She then looked at each of them rather intently: “Returning the blackbox intact and not tampered with is paramount. Returning without the blackbox will forfeit your payment. Returning it and have me find out that you chose to ignore my concerns will make you eligible for a final gratitude withinin 24 hours standard time.” The way she said ‘final’ made the others quite uneasy.

    “However,” she quickly added, “my sources show a 73.7% efficiency of your personalities, your attitude and your skill set for this mission; and your - and I quote - ‘history of doing things’, although I do not know what that means.” Ever so slightly the hint of a smile.

    The woman then produced a small black cylinder with a small light diode at one of the tips. Every once in a while, it flickered green.

    “Speaking about efficiency: This is your flight assistant, an autonomous routine that interfaces with your mapping software. Once activated it will plot a course to your mission target and display the remaining time. You better set an alarm clock, otherwise you will miss it and presumably need to call the Fuel Rats, which will jeopardize the mission of course. The assistant will also inject onboard functions for a specific number of prototype ships’ equipment I will provide you with. Disposable fuel canisters and limpets mostly to ease your task. Once you remove the assistant it will delete itself from any of your ships' firm- and software permanently. Running any preflight checks with your ship should give you proof.”

    She had a final look around, while laying her spoon to the side: “You will receive said equipment at the loading docks. Foreman Brent Saffold is your address. You may consider naming a speaker as he hates chitchatting with groups, being the gruff mining man he is so you best get it over with. He will see to your ship or ships and he will also take the blackbox into custody upon your return. Any questions?”

    After 1.27 seconds she added: “Good. Good luck out there, the drinks are on me."
    "You have my thanks... and my credits."

  4. #4
    Harmless Isaiah Evanson's Avatar
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    Quantrill leaned forward, folding his hands in front of him on the table. He peered around at the others, gauging their dispositions, trying to figure out if anyone else was as curious as he was about the exact nature of their mission.

    It wasn't like he was new to this -- secrecy and discretion were, after all, things he was well accustomed to. His years spent as a dirteater -- a mildly-derogatory term for guerrilla fighters -- taught him plenty. Perhaps that was the reason this woman had picked him to settle in with this lot.

    It also taught him that intel was a precious commodity, and the more they had of it, the better off they were.

    Quantrill's eyes narrowed as he caught the gaze of the woman. He inhaled deeply, then spoke: "Alright, if nobody else has the fortitude to, I'll go ahead and ask -- what are the chances we're gonna run into resistance when we get to this bulk cruiser of yours?"

  5. #5
    Salomé's Shadow
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    "Good. Good luck out there, the drinks are on me."

    Jade didn't like Mir. Her body language, the way she spoke. You do not want us to know what's up. The memories of her escape were still fresh, fresh enough to make her want to just get up and leave. But she couldn't, not without the credits.
    Trying not to look too suspicious Jade tried to get a better look at her new partners, trying to figure out if she could trust them.

    One of them was doing the same, his eyes scanning one person after the other. Well hello there. The man looked like he was in his 50s, maybe even early 60s. He had a though look, especially the eyes. "Alright, if nobody else has the fortitude to, I'll go ahead and ask -- what are the chances we're gonna run into resistance when we get to this bulk cruiser of yours?"

    Jade straightened. Seems like it's not just you who doesn't like this. She knew she needed allies in this new life, and she was pretty sure that Mir wouldn't be her friend.

    "He is right. All we got from you so far is threats, empty words and some promised paycheck." Jade kept her voice low, but firm. "You want us to not care about that little box. Fine. But a deal always involves two parties. You give us the intel we need, a third of the credits up-front and a feeling of not being stabbed in the back. In return, we won't care. Sounds reasonable, doesn't it?"

    Jade leaned forward, pushing back her seat a bit. She had no intention of making it easy for Mir to kill her.

  6. #6
    E.D.R.P.G Mir's Avatar
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    The woman appeared to remain stiff and motionless, despite the pair of skeptical questions she had just received. However, a subtle glint in her eyes revealed the faintest of head movements.

    "You have questions. Good; as you should. However, I've already afforded you five minutes and 23 seconds more than I originally allotted. If this mission is to be a success, you'll need to make a choice, and make it quickly. If I didn't think you'd have the ability to succeed, I would not even be talking to you right now."

    As she finished this sentence, she stood up calmly, and pressed her thumb against a contact on the small black cylinder, causing a light to blink at such a deep violet it threatened to slip out of the visible spectrum. She placed it flat on the table. A dull hum of voices began to pick up down the canteen, slowly building in volume.

    "The data contained within this beacon will erase itself within 24 hours. That gives you precisely 4 hours to be underway to the Dark System. Saffold can answer some of your questions, but do not waste time in getting there and asking them. You still have modules to have installed on your ship."

    With that, she stepped into the moving mass of what appeared to be the mining crews of several large ships, likely just docked up at 6:30am for the morning shift-switch. The rancid smell of heavy work filled the air, and the woman seemed to be no more; only the flickering green light on the beacon cylinder left as a reminder of the offer that was made to the group.

    OOC

    If you wish to try to pursue Mir, I'll need a Perception check from each character; if one or more of you succeed, you can point out her direction to the others. Otherwise, feel free to craft your own actions, or follow her instructions to contact Saffold in the docks.

  7. #7
    CoR Sword
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    Rachel sat and listened to the exchange quietly, the mission making her somewhat uneasy. It was a sharp deviation from what she had come to expect from her time in the Federal Navy, but she couldn't exactly walk away, not after bumping into Myra again.

    For a brief moment her mind wandered back to that reunion, as the woman stopped speaking.
    It had been years since Myra and her had parted ways, and only a few months after Rachel received her wings from the Pilots Federation, when Myra called out to her in that seedy bar in lhs 28. Any excitement Rachel had felt was stunted by Myra's cryptic instructions, and hasty departure. Puzzled at the time, Rachel had traveled to the system Myra had mentioned, and followed the lead that brought her here. Snapping back to attention, she observed the additional exchange between the man to her left that their prospective buyer.

    "Alright, if nobody else has the fortitude to, I'll go ahead and ask -- what are the chances we're gonna run into resistance when we get to this bulk cruiser of yours?"
    A wise question. She thought to herself, becoming mildly surprised when the woman retorted and left in the manner she did.
    After looking around for a moment she spoke up.
    "Well, I'm in. I owe it to someone to make sure this gets done."

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