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Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011





Echo 4 / Hardjack
As your primary remote member withdraws from the Drume mercs under the cover of stealth and makes for the closest clear airlock you can find, you focus for a moment on Hardjack's patient. A Terpsid, by the scans, a relatively gracile and low-G adapted species with no significant level of radiation resistance. Or, as Kamula K would probably call it, krumped backward under a dropship. Still...For all that you elected not to allow the Terpsid spacer to bleed out in a corridor, you're not Regal. You've spent far too long as neutral tissue injected into a series of conduits to be long on sentiment.

You let out a small, entirely unnecessary buzz from Hardjack's vox, followed by two consonant tones and three rapid clicks.
"Salutations,” you interject, aborting Hardjack's script, “remote operator D4487 speaking. Due to high care volume, this unit will depart in 20 ticks. We can set you up with the pharmaceutical option of your choice, but we're going to need details for our file. By the scans, this gravity is putting intense stress on your hearts, and powerful stimulants would make failure almost unavoidable. Fifteen ticks.”

The Terpsid attempts to shake their head to clear it, but it lolls in mid-shake under the increased weight of the helmet. “K-krumping…Sevastos,” she slurs. “Knocked me d-down when the…grav shifted. Gon’…take…ship...babies.”

“Babies,” you inquire, clicking a few more times just for effect. “I'm afraid you've lost me?”

“M’on my mating flight,” the spacer struggles. “M-my eggs, bound for C-Cato…psilia. On my ship. Got to…get—“ she suddenly attempts once more to struggle upright, grabbing at Hardjack. The Terpsid’s gauntlets gain no purchase on the drone’s smooth shell, but manage to seize one of its probes. Hardjack’s servos whine as it attempts to pull free, but the instrument ultimately snaps under the strain, sending the spacer collapsing heavily back to the deck. She groans helplessly, as Hardjack’s medical sensors light up with an alarming a litany of new tears, strains, and fractures.

“Stop,” you demand imperiously. “That was an expensive exostat, and you’re killing yourself.” You pause for a moment, cultivating an artificial hesitation more for her benefit than your own. “Which ship is yours,” you inquire. “If it leaves the module, our...specialists can scan for it.”

“S-scin-te-lab-ra,” the Terpsid pushes out in an agonized crawl. “T-Trionis th-three. Euchlore reg-regi—Hng!”

“Just a moment, please,” you appeal, inserting another syringe into her medlock. “This is a cocktail of anti-inflammatories, tranquilizers, and stimulants. It will probably kill you if we don’t get you to a medical facility, but to be honest, it’s probably the least of your concerns at the moment.” Even as the words leave Hardjack’s vox, you are simultaneously speaking to Tone Tonez on Breaker’s bridge.

“Scan for a Trionis III light yacht bearing a Euchlore registry. Transponder ID Scintelabra. It may be exiting the docking structure.”

“I does it,” affirms Tone. “No yachts moves from—Waits. Vessels Scintelabra in transit now.”

“Can you project its orbital plot?”

“Negs,” the pilot replies. “It…it goes not for orbits. It goes to…loadings dock of Resources Commissions.”

Interesting.

“We found your ship,” you inform the Terpsid. “It appears your thieves are going to use it to offload their take from the Resource Vault.”

“They c-c-can’t,” she chatters, beak clacking audibly as the potent drugs wash through her fragile system. “Stop them! I’ll…I can pay!”

1. Those ARE the magic words, but you're on a timeframe.
A. Leave her to her own devices. This will theoretically take no time.
B. Take her to the medbay on Breaker. This will take a moderate amount of time.
C. Take her to the nearest functional medical facility. This will potentially take the longest of the options.

2. Do you direct Tone to take any specific action regarding the stolen vessel?






Kamula K

You ignore the pounding in your head.
The flashing alerts in your HUD.
The white-hot sear behind one eye.
The stitch in your side.
The grinding in your joint actuators.
The mournful whine of overtaxed servos.
That melted polymer smell.
The wet rattle in your pulmo-rig.
The acidic burn in your throat.
The molten fist squeezing your heart.
That intractable feeling of dread.
How grife-damned tired you are.

You ignore it; this isn’t the first time you've been in a vessel under uncompensated acceleration with no radiation shields. First time it's been a krumping rogue moon, admittedly.

Your force yourself to review the facts on the ground.
General, unannounced power loss to this specific hab-module, with no activation of backups. No EM pulse, no noticeable blast, no sign of a jamming network.
Some leaky puddle of sleeb-spit is running a transmission disruptor; you’d bet your second-best left arm on it. A drokk-crude, but effective bit of tech; you served with a sapper who could build one out of a comm transceiver, the carton from a drop-ration, and an insubordinate remark. It’s a starkly analog bit of sabotage; two ticks up from just kicking out the plug, but entirely unexpected for its simplicity.



You traced the conduit decals back to the hab’s distribution substations, and finally settled on the one with the suspicious device wired to it, being guarded by the shifty Sevasto clutching a pulser like it’s his umbilical. Call it a hunch. The saboteur’s partner seems more together, and that ravager-kit carbine he’s slinging could put out eighteen bolts in the time it would take you to close to blade range. Call it six, if you can get the drop on them, which questionable under this acceleration. Six shots is more than enough to get lucky, especially if you wipe out and break a hip.
The Red Rigele maintenance technician lying on the deck in a pile of spilled himself suggests they’re not interested in talking, which suits you just fine at the moment. Sevasto are long-winded enough when you’re not on a clock.
You could pop the both of them with your lancejet; you normally like penetrators for pressure suits, but they’re on that substation like it owes them money. Better not miss. Incendiaries will turn a couple of methane-huffers like these inside out, but the penetration isn’t what you’d like; seems like either way, you’d be shooting surgically.
The flechette burster would be a good middle plot; the shaky sleeb isn’t going to get a shot off before you open up, and you like your chances of puncturing both suits with one round. The carbine might manage to pop off a few shots, but your chances are a fair sight better than rushing with the blade.

3. Choices, choices.
D. Rush with your thermablade. Risky, but final.
E. Use the lancejet, loaded with penetrators. Requires more vector plotting than you’re entirely comfortable with under the circumstances.
F. Use the lancejet, loaded with incendiaries. Requires precision to guarantee penetration, but being able to retain surprise could make a difference.
G. Use the flechette burster. Less risky than the blade, less demanding than the lancejet. Which isn’t to say without risk or demand.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

dont be mean to me
May 2, 2007

I'm interplanetary, bitch
Let's go to Mars




BG

"Treat it like it has a family aboard, because it does."

HBar
Sep 13, 2007

I LOVE THEM APPLES





dont be mean to me posted:

BG

"Treat it like it has a family aboard, because it does."

All of this. Momma terpsid, her babies, and Kamula better all be stayin' alive like the BGs.

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



dont be mean to me posted:

BG

"Treat it like it has a family aboard, because it does. If it turns out it's loving us on this sob story, we bill overtime for the whole thing if the captain decides not to set it all on fire."

Italic emphasis mine.

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010

Shamanistic Tendencies


B + "Treat it like it has a family aboard, because it does. If it turns out it's loving us on this sob story, we bill overtime for the whole thing if the captain decides not to set it all on fire."
F
smoke em if you got em

I like how these guys have a certain doofyness to them, even when they're stealing ten billion or shooting hapless space amoebas

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


SniperWoreConverse posted:

also how do you sleebs call yourselves goons? V disappointed that nobody posted anything like this:



Space goatse best goatse

1H, 3F

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011





Echo 4 / Hardjack

“We won’t let them get away,” you assure the injured Terpsid. “But for now, we need to get you to medbay. You shouldn’t be standing, let alone walking, but this chassis can’t carry you, so I’m going to need you to get up. The drugs should assist you, at least temporarily.” You extend Hardjack’s sturdiest probe and hover close.

Heaving and wracked with sobbing whimpers, the Terpsid grasps the extended probe and the edge of Hardjack’s bulwark, and struggles from the ground with the creaking, agonizing slowness of a tree falling in reverse. You position Hardjack to help her along, which is to say you allow her to lay  her upper body overtop of Hardjack’s bulwark and stagger along as the drone does most of the work of locomotion. Soon, but after a subjective eternity, the labored drone and the critically wounded Terpsid drag out of Breaker’s docking tube into the exquisite lightness of standard gravity. She unseals her helmet and retracts her soiled faceplate before you can even finish telling her it’s safe to do so, and proceeds to retch, violently and bloodily.

“Come on,” you urge gently, electing in a moment of self-interested largesse to continue communicating through Hardjack rather than risk alarming  her with your holographic presence, “we didn’t drag you all this way for you to collapse and bleed out in the cargo bay.”

You hear a pulsing musical whine from inside her opened suit, and recognize it as labored breathing forced over the Terpsid’s gills. She does not, or cannot, reply, merely looks at you with photophores flashing in distress and probosces slick with blood. She move to trudge onward, but instead seems to go entirely boneless, sliding off the smooth surface of Hardjack’s bulwark and collapsing to the deck.

Even as  you summon aid, a dark, massive presence looms into existence over the two of you, the towering, elongated figure of one of Warclade Kros's Khaldeans effortlessly scooping the fallen Terpsid into her powerful forelimbs and whisking her away to the medbay, silent save for claws ticking upon the deckplates.

You begin to thank the cladist for her timely aid, but suddenly, you are forced to divert all your attention back to your recon member. Cruising along the surface of the moon outside the module, you are closing on the entry point of the Sevasto saboteurs when all the exterior lights suddenly flash on, and a bank of auto-turrets, previously rendered inactive by the power disruption, stir to terrible life! Once more, you are forced to push the drone's predictive-evasive capabilities to the limit, this time to avoid being lanced through by a sentry's high-powered laser.





Kamula K

Twisting your wrist just so, you attempt to deploy Rochelle, your trusty flechette burster. The actuator sticks halfway, forcing you to slap the heel of your other hand against your forearm plating before the weapon will fully extend. Silently thanking Grife-who-ignores that you didn't wait until you were waist-deep in the drokk to attempt to bring her out, you charge up Rochelle's magnetic capacitor with a barely perceptible whine, and with a grunt far too close to an old man getting out of bed for your liking, you storm the corridor.

You thunder down the corridor, your cermet-plated feet strident as they crash into the deckplates under the force of the moon's acceleration. Your HUD lights up with insistent warnings of the stress on your leg struts, and the exchange rate of your pulmo-rig redlines.

The carabinier is alert, and quick on the draw. Even as you charge, he is opening up with his weapon, packets of searing plasma toasting your exposed skin as they scream narrowly past.

You plant your foot, ankle servos grinding, and raise your arm to encompass the Sevastos in the deadly plane of Rochelle's firing arc. The burster's internal laser grid shaves off sublimely thin slivers of dense osmium cermet and magnetically accelerates them along a flat, choke-adjustable arc into a withering spray of tiny, ultra-dense knives.



The purple-suited Sevasto never even manages to level his pistol before the flechettes tear the belly out of his suit. Pressurized gas and ruptured anatomy spurl out of the breach in a furious cloud, and the delicate flesh of his head bursts like an force-fed scrab from the terrible internal pressures, painting the inside of his visor with brightly-colored gore.

The carabinier fares little better, his superior-armored suit still punctured in numerous places, the vitals beneath lethally perforated. Gas screams from the breaches, and a bulge of his own body is extruded through a tiny hole in his dome, but the Sevasto is already dead. The pressure suit clamps down on his weapon in its owner's death throes, and the carbine walks up wildly, discharging plasma bolts in an unpredictable, deadly scatter.

You don't dive for cover so much as your embattled ankle servos finally give out, spilling you to the ground in a fall you almost manage to turn into a halfway graceful roll. You grunt as the deckplates slam into you like a runaway cargo hauler, feeling a white-hot flash as your shoulder hardware briefly separates from its mounting. The pulse carbine, with the intensity cranked all the way up, quickly exhausts its lethal payload, and the weapon goes quiet as the mangled pressure suit finally windmills to the deck as pressure equalizes.
Assured your opponents aren't going anywhere, you take stock of your condition. A spike of pain and throbbing nausea emanates from somewhere deep in your chest, and you feel the icy trickle of a fluid leak somewhere around the small of your back. You try to glance at the indicator bar of your HUD, but your vision refuses to focus on the elements, your field of view oscillating in and out in a disorienting fisheye when you try. All you see is a band of brightly-flashing smears of angry color, which, if your honest, is what your life feels like most of the time.
Spitting blood in disdain for your body's rapidly compounding failings, you force yourself to your feet, bad ankle and the opposite knee now whining audibly at every flex. You make the particular twist to hide Rochelle back in her housing, but her quick release struts simply click, loudly and repeatedly, until you stop. Quickly, you decide to take care of the Transmission Disruptor, while you still possess such luxuries as walking and seeing.

A quick look at the device, and you dismiss the notion of the Sevasto saboteurs as mad bombers or ruthless terrorists. The Disruptor is an exceptionally basic model, built with off-the-shelf consumer electronics, and turning it off proves as simple as flipping a switch.

If only what follows were so simple.
The module around you groans and sighs like a living creature, and you hear great machinery toggles crashing open in the depths of the moon. You enjoy a single blissful moment as air circulation resumes and the oppressive crush of acceleration instantly vanishes, followed by a crippling wave of pain and nausea as blood and assorted other substances flood back into tissues previously starved by the stresses of hypergrav. You cough uncontrollably, painting the tasteful, if now flechette-riddled, veneer of the substation alcove with suspiciously dark ejecta as your head whirls and throbs and what remains of your rib cage threatens to tear out of your body. Your comms are a riot of crewmembers talking over one another, but you can barely focus enough to listen.

“--engaging on the surface, but I can't get through these laser emplacements.”
“--with all these damned Sevastos, and I can't keep this hatch sealed forever!”
"--assigned hostile status pending stand-down order from Interlocutor-Commander."
“--vessels powerings up, preparings of takesoff!”
“--safe, but neither of us are in any condition to fight at the moment...”
“WHERE IS REGAL?”


"Just..." you rasp in exhausted fury, teeth clenched, "tell me. How many more. Of these mater-slotting meth-sucks. I have to krumping perforate. Before I can have a kip."

SELECT A POV CHARACTER FOR THE NEXT SEQUENCE.

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001

Buncha slack-jawed faggots around here

Holy poo poo you changed your name to Bee Bonk


also Vare

And we really need to give Kam some stopgap care until we can overhaul his rear end.

Hexenritter fucked around with this message at Nov 27, 2017 around 21:35

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



I kinda want to see what Midas is up to, if only to keep an eye on the crusty old prick.

Also Holy poo poo K needs a full body makeover, internal as well as external.

HBar
Sep 13, 2007

I LOVE THEM APPLES





Blasphemaster posted:

I kinda want to see what Midas is up to, if only to keep an eye on the crusty old prick.
Agreed. What would Midas be up to right now? I have no idea and want to find out.

Hexenritter posted:

Holy poo poo you changed your name to Bee Bonk
Is this a reference to something?

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011



HBar posted:

Is this a reference to something?

People were shortening big bag of nacho cheese to bbonc on the Discord, and it mutated to Bee Bonk.

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010

Shamanistic Tendencies


Voulge imo

Not Alex
Oct 9, 2012


Midas

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011





Poole Midas

You gasp in hoarse relief as the imaginary cargo container pressing down on you suddenly vanishes. The full body pins-and-needles that follow are less welcome. You groan in discomfort and writhe against the gel matrix of your makeshift crash couch, who groans back, apparently none-too-pleased. Voulge flexes their membrane, and you find yourself rolling off the Rigele and onto the deck in an undignified heap.

“My agreement to shield you from injury did not comprise burrowing,” they ripple, rising to an upright configuration in an undulating wave that you find not unpleasant, despite your discomfort.

“You did say we should get to know each other better,” you retort, rolling your shoulders and rubbing down your arms, “and I’ve definitely got a much more comprehensive awareness of…well, more to less your entire surface area, at this point.”

“We said no such thing,” Voulge rebuts with cool lack of affect, but you’ve learned that particular dilation of her vacuoles that indicates they’re torqued. That, and as much as Voulge values precision, putting words in their speaking membrane never fails to stir their plasm.

“I suppose said is an ambitious way to phrase it. Lets say there was a strong implication.”

“There are strong implications that you are suffering from a degenerative brain disorder,” Voulge notes, “but we are polite enough to keep such observations to ourselves. Kindly do likewise.”



“Well,” you huff in affected affront, “if we’re done being rude, we should—“ You wince as your comm implant suddenly blasts your auditory nerve with a jumbled riot of noise. “Slot-me-strangewise,” you howl, immediately disabling the link with a double click of your eustachian tube. Looking to Voulge, you see the Rigele’s membrane appears fuzzy, the cilia vibrating in alarm.

“Communication buffer dumping all at once,” Voulge explains. “unusual for the signal carrier not to filter it, unless…”

You tap your auricular mound gently, assuring yourself of no damage; a purely psychological measure, given that your implant bypasses your anatomical ear entirely in favor of a direct neural linkage.
“While I’d normally be quite game, I have the notion that events are likely entirely too time-sensitive for a round of recreational mind-reading. Shall we skip to the bit where you explain things to your lessers?”

Voulge fails to deflate under your nettling, instead drawing their pulser and scanning the docking bay with their glossy crimson gaze.
“Power transmission was temporarily bypassed. The station is under attack by saboteurs,” they remark by way of explanation, approaching the loading ramp of the nearest docked vessel, “and while you were…”

“Locked in your embrace,” you offer helpfully.

“…Huddled against our body like an infant,” they correct, “whimpering, also like an infant. Had we mammary ducts, we can only assume you would also have been—“

“Thank you,” you interrupt quickly, stepping gingerly to join the Rigele with legs still leaden and throbbing with fluid retention. “Your acute accuracy is, as always, greatly appreciated. Care to inform my infant mind why we’re stepping to this freighter in particular?”

“Were you to enable your comms implant, you could join in the discussion,” Voulge comments archly. “As it happens, we are in a position to be of assistance. A team of Sevasto thieves are attempting to divest the Resource Bureau of its more valuable commodities, utilizing a stolen vessel. Breaker-of-Chains is prepared to prevent their escape to orbit, but there are apparently hostages involved, limiting her applicable force. Even aiming to disable, there are risks deemed unacceptable by…ah, a new client, apparently.”

“I’m not following,” you admit, a severe understatement if there ever were one. “How does that involve…” Suddenly, the tumblers begin to fall into place. “Oh, for…Please tell me you’re not suggesting we steal this ship to stop that stolen ship from leaving dock.”

“We can easily obstruct the Sevasto’s egress from the docking structure with this container ship,” Voulge insists, sweeping their pulser over the interior of the vessel. “We thought of seeking out our black market contacts in whatever duct they’ve scurried into and acquiring their aid, but time is of the essence, and this ship’s loading ramp is open.” They glance back at you, a motion that, due to a quirk of Rigele biology unsettling to some beings less cosmopolitan than yourself, actually involves no turning whatsoever.
“We suppose you had a better idea?”

A. “Your first impulse, my partially-amorphous beauty, was correct. We dig those black marketeers out of whatever crash webbing they've sheltered in, and buy, cajole, or otherwise acquire their assistance.

B. “By which time the thieves may be gone,” Voulge insists. “Commandeering this vessel is the appropriate course.”

Dog Kisser
Mar 30, 2005

But People have fears that beasts do not. Questions, too.


B! Commandeer away!

Grognan
Jan 23, 2007

Money And Power Through Homicide!



B lol at Midas being han solo.

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001

Buncha slack-jawed faggots around here

Voulge is awesome
B

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


B YOLO

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


They gonna gently caress, aint they? 'Adventure beneath an Alien Sea [of deviant art slime monster fan fic]'

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001

Buncha slack-jawed faggots around here

Outrail posted:

They gonna gently caress, aint they? 'Adventure beneath an Alien Sea [of deviant art slime monster fan fic]'

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



Hexenritter posted:

Voulge is awesome
B

Seconded.

HBar
Sep 13, 2007

I LOVE THEM APPLES





B. They should get a room, and I can only assume this freighter has many rooms.

Helical Nightmares
Apr 30, 2009


B

Grognan
Jan 23, 2007

Money And Power Through Homicide!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qnrM9jQayf8

voting this for Kamula K's theme. or just the thread theme idk, it ain't grungy enough

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010

Shamanistic Tendencies


I had a dream where dinosaurs were still around, probably because of this thread. There were some that were pretty smart. In the early 1800s you could be made for life joining up with a whaling outfit in the arctic, because both whales and Norwegian-style dinosaurs were incredibly valuable. I killed a bear and ate its liver with the crew. Got some good dino parts too, but almost died

yeah, B

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011





Poole Midas

This doesn’t rank too highly on your list of good ideas, but Voulge seems fairly intent, and you’ve never known Voulge to go off half-charged when it comes to risky operations. Better to let them take the lead, even know you know full well that Regal’s going to find a way to blame you if it goes wrong. The straps of that particular burden, after all, have worn deep, familiar grooves. The solitary way you raised the kid, even if she’s not an obligate-social Jurani, is considered unhealthy for very real reasons, and that’s before you add the little wrinkle of inoculating her into a life of crime. The Kid’s doing well for herself, especially compared to the juves of all the other Sans-Creche deviants you know. None of those warp-brained qwags command their own exotech gunship, for starters.

“Degenerate neural capacity on your own time, Midas,” Voulge interjects, snapping you out of your reverie. Sweeping their pulser across the darkened bay one last time, they holster their weapon with a nod, and begin to interact with the access panel for the forward compartments.

“Ah, my age,” you reply, nodding genially. “By all means, replot that hoary route another time or two. Though you’ll note that I refrain from comment when your grammatical numbers start to slip.”

“What are you prattling on about,” Voulge snaps, as a flash of red and dissonant tone issue from the panel. “Supporting your dotage is perilously low on our list of objectives at the moment.”

“Don’t think I haven’t heard the I and my slipping in from time to time,” you continue, stepping up behind Voulge and turning toward the open ramp to cover the Rigele as she works. “Is this the longest you’ve ever been away from other Rigele?”

“Just because you are cursed to wander the cosmos as a lonely organism,” they scoff, “do not project your own insecurities onto us.” Red flash. Beep-beep. “We have never been more actualized as a colony, if you must pry.”

“Oh, you know I must,” you nettle, glad your facing prevents Voulge from seeing the grin creasing your features. “Have you tried shortening the resistor bundle on the DCA?”

“That’s the first thing I did, you insufferable—“

“See,” you observe, in an admittedly insufferable fashion, “there’s that pesky I again. I think I’m a bad influence.”

“Would you rather vex us,” Voulge replies sharply, after a brief but telling pause, “or watch that ramp so we don’t wind up ventilated?”

“I’m actually a fair multitasker,” you observe, but dial up the intensity on your pulser so that Voulge can hear the faint whine. Voulge descends into silence, and you elect not to push them any further. Soon enough, the panel spits out a garbled acknowledgment of Voulge’s nonexistent credentials, and the forward hatch slides open.

“We’re moving,” they snap, and you quickly follow the Rigele into the corridor. Guide lights hum to life along the base of the bulkheads, but otherwise the passage is still and calm, and notably clean for a long-haul job like this one. You pass by a number of hatches bearing nameplates, all devoid of crudely scrawled jokes, nicknames, or personal effects. As you consider mentioning your growing unease to Voulge, you see them stalking forward, bypassing the crew quarters and headed directly for the bridge. You haven’t been involved in a shipjacking in many a rota, but ignoring compartments that could hold threats still strikes you as uncharacteristically reckless for Voulge. You mention as much, casually as you may.

“Time is a limited commodity,” Voulge replies tersely. “The locks on this vessel are taking longer to bypass than expected. Any crew still on board will likely be strapped into their acceleration couches, still under the lingering effects of sedation. We have a very narrow window if we hope to take her without resistance.”

“I’m not still alive because I ignored things like tramp freighters with unusually tight discipline and uncharacteristically good locks,” you insist. “If we leave poten—“

“Then where was the sentry,” Voulge interrupts, running probing digits along the edges of the bridge door’s security panel. “Go check the other compartments, then, while we secure the bridge.”

A. You don’t want someone coming up behind you while you jack their ship. Do as Voulge suggests; go make sure the other compartments are clear.
B. Timeframe or not, this just isn’t smart, and Voulge would normally be the first one to tell you that. Insist that the two of you secure the other compartments before accessing the bridge.
C. Voulge seems intent on their course, and the last thing you want to do is split up. Stay with Voulge.
D. Suggest that you tackle the bridge, while Voulge secures the other compartments.

Volmarias
Dec 31, 2002


C, the Freightliner is automated.

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



Volmarias posted:

C, the Freightliner is automated.

Isn't it possible that there are sentry bots somewhere then?

Not Alex
Oct 9, 2012


Yea that actually seems worse. Trip the wrong circuit and the whole thing just vents. Seems like an easy security method on a ship with no organic greeblies.

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



In that case C. OVERRIDE EVERYTHING ASAP.

SniperWoreConverse
Mar 20, 2010

Shamanistic Tendencies


A, who knows what we might find. It could be something positive even

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011





The abandoned interior of the freighter reminds you of a pirate hauler you boarded on your last mission with the Interdiction Bureau, before that whole...unpleasantness with your family. That one had been automated, slaved to the helm of the lead cruiser, and packed to the gills with captured refugees bound for the slave markets of the Slough. Refugees, and hundreds of ruthlessly-rigged traps. There was something of a difference of opinion between you and your CO about the comparative priorities of seizing the vessel, and recovering the prisoners in fewer than 47 pieces. You stepped off that hauler with the undying animus of your superior, a sliver of cermet shrapnel lodged in your left thigh, and two juvenile Troödons with nowhere else to go. This vessel is far cleaner than the pirate tub; the lack of the stench of waste and terror is a major divergence, but you feel the same sort of tension, like a knife-edge resting on the back of your neck.

Despite your severe misgivings, you stay put and school yourself to vigilance, while every creak and groan of the freighter’s hull populates your mind with phantom adversaries. You watch the sealed crew compartments, eyes narrowed intently, fingers tapping out an anxious tattoo on the nacreplex handle of your pulser. You keep your wit on a leash and let Voulge work in silence as you keep your watch; never let it be said that Poole Midas doesn’t know how to keep quiet when it counts. Fortunately for your mission and your mental state, Voulge seems to have picked up the trick for this particular vessel’s security infrastructure, and the bypass of the bridge hatch proceeds with greater efficiency than the previous; finally, the hatch begins its unsealing procedure.

Voulge steps back, slipping pulser from holster as the component segments of the hatch rotate in alternating directions, a new set of security bolts releasing at the terminus of each spin. You hear the ship breathe with the telltale sounds and vibrations of pressurization; that makes the odds of any crew on the bridge vanishingly small, but it lends credence to your suspicion that navigation of this freighter might be automated. You turn, positioning yourself to keep an eye to aft while covering the bridge with your weapon. Neither you nor Voulge say a word; the situation says all that needs to be said. Finally, with one last metallic clangor, the hatch completes its unsealing, receding in many segments into its frame and leaving the gangway clear.



Beyond the darkened portal, banks of indicators and displays begin to fade into life. Recycled air pours from the opening, cold, stale, and laden with a faint tinge of electronics. A cool line of unbroken guide light flows from the hatch into the center of a tiny bridge, to a single interface station surrounded by dozens of terminals. The swell of illumination reveals a slight, almost skeletal figure standing motionless at the station; your pulser is halfway raised before you make it for a synthetic. An unspecialized Juranoid chassis with no visible tool or weapon mounts; it looks like a universal menial model. For a fleeting moment, you think the synth is dormant, but then the smooth, domelike head rotates 180 degrees to face you with a cold trinocular gaze. You feel a shiver, not entirely due to the sudden influx of chill air.

A moment passes in silence, a moment you know is a small eternity to a synth.


A. Even if it’s not a security model, you can’t give it a chance to enact any security protocols. Shoot first.

B. If it’s a menial, it is obligated to be subordinate to crew, so act like you belong. Ask for a status report and relieve it of the helm.

C. As B, but leverage your bag of tricks rather than your improvisational skills. Assume control of the bridge using your VoxDom Articulator.

D. Though chances are slim, it could be a free synthorg. Speak to it as a person..

E. Just wait. Don't react in haste, and let it make the first move.

Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



B

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001

Buncha slack-jawed faggots around here

B

HBar
Sep 13, 2007

I LOVE THEM APPLES





Leaning towards C. How exactly does our articulator work? Are there known defenses against it?

Bee Bonk
Feb 19, 2011



HBar posted:

How exactly does our articulator work? Are there known defenses against it?

It's hacked slaver tech originally used to verbally actuate thrall yokes; yours modulates your voice with subsonic patterns that spoof the command tones used to control servile synths, like this one appears to be.

If it's a free synthorg, it won't work, nor will it override a priority 0 directive.

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001

Buncha slack-jawed faggots around here

I did almost vote "do nothing" because the mental image of just standing there staring blankly at the synth and scratching our collective arse until it enters "uh wtf are you doing" query mode was entertaining to me at the time for all of five seconds.

Outrail
Jan 4, 2009

www.sapphicrobotica.com


B, if it turns out to be a free synthorg continue to treat it like a menial

Hexenritter
May 20, 2001

Buncha slack-jawed faggots around here

Outrail posted:

B, if it turns out to be a free synthorg continue to treat it like a menial

+1 "grifing thing must be on the fritz. ARE YOUR VOX RECEPTORS BROKEN? HELLO?"

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Blasphemaster
Jul 10, 2008



"Kid's always going on about hacking stuff left and right. I can hack too! I'm not a dried up husk just yet!!! LOVE ME!!!!!"

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