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[IC] Exigency - "Explosions... my only weakness... how... did you... know?"

EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
edited June 2009 in Critical Failures
exigencylogo2pu9.png

Political intrigue in a universe of weird technology weirder people and stompy robots making things explode in a politically intriguing manner

Also known as Exigency: The Obligatory Semi-Colon Subtitle

Experimental D20 Thread
Exigency OOC Thread


It's the far future- but not necessarily ours. Humanity has gone through the expected selection of wars and disasters to the extent that we can’t even remember exactly what happened.

As far as the people of the setting were concerned, there were Ancient times- when we spoke weird languages, used spears, and lived on a bunch of planets blissfully unaware of everyone else’s existence- and then the Common Era, when they all discovered phasedrives and began bumping into each other in the stars.

Then they learned about the Schism.

It became apparent that we’d all met before, all our worlds and cultures, but that something had put an end to the sprawling human empire- a prolonged event the peoples of the Common Era just called the Schism.

Pre-Schism humanity had been ridiculously technological, and even their dilapidated remnants put Common Era devices to shame.

And as if that wasn’t enough, mankind began finding Uclasion relics. Artefacts, millions of years old, which were blatantly the inspiration behind our pre-Schism findings. The Uclasions had been around 27-million years ago and then had all abruptly died or left the galaxy- so they couldn’t have been all that advanced, surely, if they’d let themselves go extinct.

But the mother of all relics was Ucelsia: the artifical, 3000-mile-diameter spacecraft the Uclasions had once called home. It was found by the Domarian Trade Organisation: and a few short years later the DTO had become the Domarian Legion and the sole superpower of Alpha Sector- that tiny shred of the galaxy that mankind had the nerve to refer to as “the galaxy”.

That’s because the Domarian Legion had found Maintonon: an ancient Uclasion Supercomputer determined to make his mark.

Maintonon obsessively plans and directs and prepares- because he predicted that it will happen again. There’s just one little problem: even he can’t remember what caused the original Schism…


Starring the conveniently competent passengers of a failing ship approaching an isolated world:

Ryadic as Cutter Greevus (Colonial Hardass)

Grid System as Terrence Oregon (Corporate Operative)

tastydonuts as Dustin Marvough (Corporate Spokesperson)

Zetetic Elench as Alliah Seddine (Disillusioned Ex-Council Analyst)

Egos as Cyril Mannoreth (SHARD Resource Allocation Agent)

AJAlkaline40 as Stephen Dawker (Corporate Neuroscientist)


The game is narrative-led and rules-light: this means no movement grid. It also means you're allowed to be more creative in combat and encounters, and it also means I'll be [strike]screwing around with the players[/strike] equally creative :)

Rolls will be made through Invisible Castle, but I reserve the right to make rolls myself if there's an unforseen delay and I require checks from absent players to continue. Either spoiler them in your IC posts, or put them up for viewing in the OOC, but make sure you make it apparent what you're checking for and which attributes/specialities are being tested.

As always... want to discuss turning on your teammates? Plan to use your psychic talents to get them to beat themselves to death with their own arm? Not sure what kind of DC that'd require? PM me!

For player reference: Current Party Aspects/Encounter Powers, List of Aspects/Encounter Powers

Edcrab on
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Posts

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    The Opening that's not much better than just meeting in a Damnable Tavern


    The Halaisi had just failed her phaseshift. The more technically-minded passengers realised the drive had stalled on hearing a noise like a stuttering thunderstorm, and for the rest of them the unfortunate sensation of briefly having your innards in another dimension was incredibly distinctive.

    The cabin crew apologised profusely while one of the older passengers threw up noisily: apparently there’d been an “unavoidable cascade discharge feedback loop” which was corp-speak for “critical system failure, please don’t sue us”.

    Everyone was relieved to see the light-dappled bulk of a well populated civilised planet out of the portside windows, but the fact remained that they were stranded in space, thousands of light-years from their various destinations- no doubt with hours of waiting for a repair crew or a replacement phasecraft ahead of them.

    “Please check your screens for further information,” a stewardess announced dismissively, before retreating back to the flight deck to panic with the rest of her fellows. It was always easier to blame the intranet for misinformation rather than trying to pass it down yourself.

    Everyone checked their personal computers or the tiny units built into the tables. After a long-winded automated apology from Spacer Sue, the barely dressed saccharine mascot of Phaseleap Transit International, the display reverted to a text block with monotone narration:

    Enthiliun
    [en-till-he-un]

    Category II Colonial World. Independent.

    Capital:

    Enthilore
    [en-till-or]

    Status:

    Unknown.

    Last interplanetary contact:

    …exact circumstances unknown. Last confirmed encounter: 27 months previously- Kerenth commodity delivery ship.

    Ownership:

    Disputed.

    Status:

    Unknown. Crisis situation not declared. Records suggest <error. >ERROR]>!

    Scanning for further inf

    inf


    Cancelled.



    There was silence, and then a different voice kicked in. The voice was female, and sounded how a tour ship operator would sound if she’d been given the right to shoot rowdy customers on a whim: pleasant, but a little manic, with a threatening undertone that was hard to place.


    "This craft is now under control of the Enthilore Foundation.

    Please note that a curfew is currently in operation.

    Welcome to Enthiliun. Please report to your nearest civic officer on alighting."


    Spoiler:

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  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2008
    This is not what I had in mind...

    Terrence can only shake his head. All he had wanted was a short vacation. His last contract sorted itself out very neatly with minimal fuss and he had been looking forward to enjoying his time between jobs. A little bit of relaxation on a beach somewhere.

    Lesson learned: Don't hitch rides on tramp freighters

    The acrid smell of vomit worms its way up Terrence's nostrils and he grimaces. He looks again at the error message displayed on the screen in front of him. Some good it is. Enthiliun. The name is unfamiliar, but then so is his own homeworld's.

    Maybe it has nice beaches...

    Still, there are more pressing issues to deal with, like the man hyperventilating in the next seat. He looks like some corporate new blood, young and inexperienced. Probably freaking out over missing his first day of orientation or something trivial like that.

    "Hey." Terrence taps the kid on the shoulder. The kid starts and looks at Terrence as if he were a decidedly stompy robot. "Everything is going to be fine."

    "W-what?" The kid seems to stop and consider his situation. He lets out a soft moan, "Oh nooooo."

    Terrence bites his lip. "It's going to be fine."

    Hopefully the suggestion will take.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Mr Overreaction's save: 5

    Either the kid was weak willed or very psi-susceptible, or Terrence had exercised a little more mental force than he'd intended. His empathic efforts have such a calming effect that the youngster assumes an expression of utter tranquillity and slowly lapses into sleep.

    Well, at least snoring was a lot less harmful than an encroaching panic attack.

    The elderly lady who had been vomitting moments earlier looks at Terrence and the kid with intense curiosity, and then shrugs her shoulders and turns away.
    Spoiler:

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    As the voice faded away, Dustin turned his attention back to his seatmate, whose eyes were wild with fear. The two were sitting in the first class area. The scent of jasmine was in the air, masking another less pleasant smell coming from the aft compartment.

    "You see that? That's Domarian tech at its finest!" Dustin said with a sneer as his seatmate blinked at the display. The man was scared, and his grip on his armrests only tightened more.

    "So, now as I was saying. The reprocessors we're currently deploying will allow small colonies to recycle nearly anything into a consumable protein shake. Waste not, want not and all, you see?"

    He nodded slightly.

    "Look here." With a sudden gesture Dustin extracts small rectangular object from an inner pocket. His seatmate lets out a panicky gasp and the passenger immediately across the aisle nearly bolts from his seat. The lighting reflects dully off of the object's piano black surface. Dustin waits for him to calm down before he instructs the device to project a graph the space in front of them.

    "Fancy, `innit? But it's not for sale." Dustin smiles, then continues. "Take a look at this graph. These are the waste refresh cycles of our competitors. This..." a bright red line appears, dwarfing the others. "is the Reproc's. Graphs never lie my friend."

    While he works his magic on his seatmate, Dustin accesses his implant. Gibson implants are top-of-the-line, and peculiarities of his job require his wetware be updated at all times. He initiated a self-diagnostic to assess the root cause of the information access failure. The results would come shortly as the Gibson attempted to figure out what went wrong with his attempt to get more info.

    The rather one-sided convershiation continued for a bit, before Dustin's seatmate finally spoke up. "But... wait... the use of nano-machines to restructure organics is... illegal!"

    "That's only in some systems, not all systems." It was company policy to avoid questions about legality. "But enough shop-talk, what do you think is going on, hm?"
    Spoiler:

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    "Um, probably just a... feedback loop. Like the announcer said." The man shifted further away from Dustin and tried to avoid eye contact. It was obvious he was feeling nervous- and it was also obvious he didn't know very much about space travel.

    Dustin's Gibson produced a very intriguing report: there was evidence of an outside signal jamming the intranet locally. It wouldn't be very hard to scramble the software of a small-scale commercial craft, but the use of such technology against civillians was banned.

    In some systems. Hah...

    "This isn't actually a Domarian craft, you know," a voice interjected.

    There was an elderly man peering at Dustin from over an expensive laptop.

    "The basic chassis is Legion-standard, but the propulsion unit and phasedrive are contracted from outside," he continued. "A systems failure is quite possible."

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  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Enthiliun... the hell are we?

    Cutter, unphased by the malfunction in the the phaseshift attempt, notices that others didn't fare so well. The occasional waft of vomit brushes against his senses, but he takes no notice. Too focused in thought to find some knowledge in his head about this planet he is about to land on.

    Unable to think of anything, he gives up and taps the guy sitting to his right on the shoulder.

    The middle-aged man gasps for air, still a bit overwhelmed from the failed phaseshift attempt, looks up at the hulking figure next to him and, with a bit of a worried look in his face, asks, "Can I help you?" The man takes immediate notice of Cutters pitch black right eye and eye patched left.

    "Have you heard of this... Enthiliun?" asks Cutter, in a rough voice. "I've never heard of this planet before, and am wondering if we are on course."

    The man shakes his head at Cutter and goes back to resting his head on the palms of his hands to compose himself a bit more.

    Standing up he looks around for anyone that may be a bit more helpful than this man was. He quickly notices a man and a child, who suddenly passes out. Surveying the man, Cutter walks over to him.

    The man quickly takes notice of Cutter and looks up at him. "Do you know anything of this Enthiliun? I like to be prepared. And not being familiar with this planet makes me think we're off course."

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Dustin looks over at the old man, noting the model of the laptop. He suppresses the reflex to query his implant to get information about him, or maybe even a detailed history on the craft. If there were powers at work that could jam his Gibson's first request, they could probably just as easily take note of a simple corporate spokesman pulling detailed personal and equipment records, if not stop him from doing that as well.

    This left him in an awkward situation. He could bash the Domarian chassis or the "outside contract". But what if the other parts were from Duality? A little red herring would have to lead the way.

    Tilting his head slightly Dustin replies: "I see. And how exactly would you know something like that? hm?"
    Spoiler:

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence blinks once at the sight of the cyclops standing over him.

    "Good lord, you're big aren't you? Sorry. Wow. Anyway, no, I've never heard of this place. I hope it has some nice beaches. That's all I really want now, is a place to enjoy some seaside relaxation. So what if it isn't where I had planned, right? What about you? Do you have somewhere to be? Big guy like you probably has important things to do. I think that guy," Terrence jerks his thumb over his shoulder, "had an important meeting, but he'll be okay. I'm Terrence, by the by."

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Dustin:

    The old man stood up. "Because I'm a Vigilante hired to keep this flight safe. And I can't help noticing that you're packing heat, and some rather impressive equipment. Care to explain yourself?"

    Dustin realised the guy was what the colonial types sometimes called a "space marshall"- a sort of guardsman posted onboard ships by whichever corporations could afford them: sometimes blatantly, sometimes disguised as a civillian.

    He was quite broad for his age, and Dustin was prepared to bet that he had some form of low-level bionic implants. He also had a Pierren-Gillese X375 photon pistol, which he was currently pointing at Dustin's head. That was a weapon Dustin knew to respect, and not just because Duality supplied PG with a lot of their components.

    The man sat next to Dustin made a squeaking noise and hid behind the chair, but he tried to do this nonchalantly.

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  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cyril occupies the right side of the seventh row of seating on this vessel. Oddly both seats next to him unoccupied. Before the announcement was made one of his seat-mates had to make a sudden run to the rest room and has remained there ever since. The other seat was never occupied.


    Cyrils eyes remain transfixed on the main entry point of the vessel. He seems to be remaining calm eating a bag of snacks; one morsel at a time as he watches and waits.

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    "Ah." Dustin says rather slowly, the smile on his face remaining unchanged despite the gun being pointed at him. "That... That's a nice gun you have there."

    The integrated HUD in Dustin's kicked eye kicked in automatically, feeding him a variety of information that would have been useful if there was a lot more space to work with. He could try to take the marshal out, but this wasn't the time or place to show his true colors. With a thought, his Gibson began to assist him in conveying a fear that he was all too familiar with inspiring in others.

    "Easy there, Marshall. Lets not be hasty, ne?" Dustin placed his palms on the armrest of the chair in a non threatening manner, a bead of sweat trickling down his forehead. He resisted the urge to throw a quip about how great a job he did in keeping the ship safe.

    "I..." his voice began to break and grow shaky. "I'm a high-ranking spokesperson for Duality Corporation. I travel with a considerable knowledge of proprietary information relating to our company's interests... Would they really send me out here, alone and unarmed in a 'verse that needs men like you to board these little crafts, hm? Giving us these is cheaper than hiring a full time bodyguard. I have the legal right to carry all of this!" Somewhere deep down in Dustin's subconscious there was a white hot ball of anger and indignation.

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Dustin

    "I'm not exactly going to take your word on that." The marshall pulled back his weapon's recharge slider with his thumb, and the gun made a sinister humming sound. "Just give me the goddamn pistol!" he demanded loudly.

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  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    "Good lord, you're big aren't you? Sorry. Wow. Anyway, no, I've never heard of this place..." Cutter hears the man say. Hearing what needed to be heard, Cutter hears some raised voices come from the first class cabin and stops paying attention to the man. Cutter starts to go towards the front of the ship when he hears, "I'm Terrence, by the way." "Cutter," he responds without missing a step in his stride.

    He makes his way to the first class entrance and looks in and immediately notices a man with a pistol pointed at another man. Cutter makes his way over to the man with the gun and says in a gruff and firm voice, "Sit." The man with the gun looks up at the towering figure, "I am a marshall, I will take no such orders."

    "I said sit," Cutter responds in an even firmer voice. He crosses his arms across his chest so that his massive muscles are shown.

    The marshall hesitantly sits and without thinking about it puts his gun away. He doesn't stop looking Cutter in the face.

    "Good.." Cutter begins but trails off as he notices the mans laptop sitting next to him. "Can you get information on this planet we are about to land on with that?" He asks pointing to the laptop.
    Spoiler:

    steam_sig.png
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Cutter, Dustin

    The marshal looked from Dustin to Cutter and deflated somewhat. Regardless of what he made of Dustin's claim to be a supercorp's operative, he wasn't prepared to tangle with a man who looked solid enough to take a direct hit from the average war mech. He set the photon pistol on the seat beside him and glowered at all and sundry.

    "I don't need the laptop to talk about Enthiliun," he mumbled. "It's Enthiliun. It's a dull marsh planet with one huge city on the main continent. There's nothing to know."

    He looked at the two men again. "Who the hell are you people, anyway? Mercs? Enforcers? One of those Vigil teams?"

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Dustin fought back the slight feeling of nausea as the Gibson rebalanced his adrenaline levels. He didn't need its help to convey his next emotion - anger. Though he was mostly mad at himself for letting some rent-a-marshall manage to pull a gun on him, and because the situation demanded that he do nothing about it.

    "Merc? Enforcer? Vigil Team?" his voice picked up a bit, his disgust bubbling over. "Do I look like one of those to you?"

    Leaning forward in his chair, he continued on. "You know what I am? I'm screwed, that's what. I had a multi-billion credit deal going that I was obligated to sign, physically. You know why I had to sign it physically? Because the system didn't attach validity to digitally signed contracts. So here I am on my merry, ne... And my Domarian craft breaks down and is stuck out here under the control of the 'Enthilore Foundation' while my deal and my bonus are no doubt going to be acquired by somebody else, you see?"

    Dustin thought about the strange truth of it all. He wasn't sent out to 'facilitate' in a deal, or 'protect' Duality IP in the only way he knew how. It was a genuine deal that he'd set up while performing the official listed duties in his job description. The Gibson kicked in automatically, and Dustin seemed to relax slightly, before letting out another outburst, which was slightly bizarre.

    "And Imogen is NOT a pistol, she's my portable privacy device and data dissemination assistant."

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cyril sighs and begins to shift anxiously in his seat. Approximately 5 minutes after eating his last peanut- Cyril rises from his seat and walks down the aisle to begin knocking on the crew's cabin door.

    In oddly calm voice he asks

    "Hi. Terribly sorry to interrupt whatever it is you all are doing-especially if its a raunchy last moment type of thing. But if not too much trouble I was wondering if I could speak to the Captain."

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cutter looks the marshall up and down, " Merc, enforcer... call me what you'd like." Dropping his arms to his sides, he then turns around to go back to his seat, not getting half way, he pauses and looks back to the marshall. "Thanks for the info," he says as he sees another man walking up to the crew's cabin. Paying it no attention, he turns and continues back to his seat.

    Dull marsh planet, eh? Doesn't sound too bad, but unexpected stops are never welcome. Guess I'll just have to make the best of it.

    Taking his seat, he closes his eye.

    Nothing to do now but wait.

    steam_sig.png
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Cyril

    "Please return to your seat, sir," responded a muffled voice. "We've, uh, got the situation under control..."

    Despite this claim, it was obvious that the ship was inexorably drifting closer to the planet Enthiliun.

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  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2008
    "Pleasure to meet--" Terrence starts to say, but Cutter is already gone. Something seems to be happening closer to the cockpit, and Terrence leans into the aisle ofr a better look. As soon as he sees the gun he ducks back behind his seat. Oh balls. You have got to be kidding me.

    Fortunately, no shooting starts, thanks, no doubt, to the timely intervention of the big guy. The one guy sounds plenty indignant about the whole situation. He could probably use some relaxation too.

    Out of the corner of his eye he notices movement at the front of the cabin. Somebody is trying to talk to the crew. He hears a muffled reply but can't make it out. The cockpit door stays closed; the crew isn't coming out, that much is obvious.

    What are they afraid of? More importantly, is there something I should be afraid of? He decides to investigate further. He walks up to the man at the door and taps him on the shoulder. "Excuse me. What're you up to here? Did the crew tell you anything?"

  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    After Cutter heads to the back, Dustin settles down. Placing his elbows on his armrest he steeples his hands, and lowers his head. He takes in deep breaths through his nose, and exhales slowly through his mouth. Relaxing exercises, the kind of thing a corporate stiff would do when presented with a suddenly stressing situation.

    The one-eyed brute left as quickly as he came. No doubt the Marshall knew the ship's manifest, and with a bloke like that on board no wonder he was so skittish. A pistol? Fortunately the brute came along, because while he was sure he may have been able to plug the Marshal, explaining why he just shot an deputized officer of the law to their gracious host didn't seem like a sound plan. Plus the legal fees would come out of his pay.

    He put the thought aside as another coacher waltzed up to the front cabin. Was he going to... oi. The coacher banged on the door, the outcome obvious. A few seconds later, yet another coacher showed up. It was just one of those trips.

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence, Cyril

    "Sir, are you still there? Please return to your seat!"

    Now it was a different voice from behind the door, and it didn't take an empath to recognise their stress and agitation.

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  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Something is very clearly wrong. Not just in the obvious, "our-ship-is-broken" sense either.

    "No." Terrence says. "I'm not going anywhere until I have some answers."

    An idea begins to form in his head. He takes a quick, careful sweep of the cabin. Any security cameras could make things a bit more interesting.
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence

    Terrence detected a single, low-resolution microcamera in the housing of a light fixture in the ceiling's centre. There might be more, but if so, they eluded him for the moment. But would such a cheap craft even need anything more?

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  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Conveying mutual annoyance, Cyril smiles knowingly at Terrence.

    Talking to the voice in the cabin

    "Obviously we are being pulled in to the atmosphere and against that technology I'm not sure what you can do... so, what is your plan just to hide while they come in and ravage us ?"

    He nods his head side to side

    "Perfectly legitimate if thats the case, but you could be honest with us."

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Cyril

    "Pretty much," mumbles one of the voices.

    "Shhh!" hisses another.

    "Would all passengers please return to their seats," said a fresh, far more confident crew member over the ship's speakers. "The situation is under control."


    "Crazy troublemaking spacers," the marshal mutters under his breath.

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  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    "Would all passengers please return to their seats," said a fresh, far more confident crew member over the ship's speakers. "The situation is under control."

    With this announcement Cutter opens his eye and looks around to see what's going on. He notices in the first class cabin two men standing at the door to the cockpit.

    Letting out a sigh, he stands up and makes his way over to the two men.

    He looks to Terrence, the talkative man he met earlier, and asks, "What's goin' on?"

    steam_sig.png
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cyril leans his head close to the door and essentially yells out "Thank you very much." -with his intonation making it obvious he is referring to the first voice that spoke earlier.

    He leans back against the door and turns to Terrence. "Obviously they aren't coming out..." he trails "And I don't think there is many point getting in there...". Cyril turns to Terrence and Cutter

    "Unless one of you happens to be an expert hacker capable of remotely disabling whatever mechanism is pulling our ship in."

    Cyril backs away from the door and it seems as though he starts to scan the remaining passengers looking for anyone who may have the credentials.

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • Grid SystemGrid System Registered User
    edited March 2008
    "I have a better idea. Cutter, do you see that camera up there? I need you to go stand between it and the marshal over there. You," Terrence points at Cyril, "stay here with me. Strength in numbers, right?"

    It's time to bluff. The tensions are high in the cockpit. All he needs to do is push one person a bit further and the fragile situation will crumble. Hopefully that'll get people out of the door. He concentrates before beginning to speak softly, just loud enough that someone right on the other side of the door can hear.

    "Now listen here, I've spoken to your man on the outside. We all know that the feedback loop or whatever was no accident. What you don't know is that one of the people in the cockpit is a plant. Your man wouldn't tell me who though. You need to get out of there now, before he attacks you and takes control of the ship!"
    Spoiler:

  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence, Cyril, Cutter
    Spoiler:

    For a moment, nothing happens.

    Then the trio can just begin to make out a conversation from behind the door.


    Eventually the voices are raised to the point that the words are coherent:

    “You’ve only been with us a few months. If you ask me that’s real suspicious-”

    “What the hell are you talking about, you stupid boy-”


    Until finally, they’re screaming at each other:

    “You’re a plant! You’ve always been on my back, I knew you were trying to make me fail-”

    “Bullshit, she’s the plant, never heard of a stewardess who gets phase sick-”

    “Open the goddamn door!”

    “Don’t you even think about-”

    “I’m getting out of here before you show your true colours!”

    “What does that even mean?”


    Before the door was fully open, a dishevelled youth in a uniform squeezes through the gap and stumbles past, managing to trip over his own feet and ending up face-down between Cutter’s boots.

    The group are left facing the flushed crew in their tiny cabin: three orderlies, and a man and a woman who are presumably the pilot and co-pilot.

    “Whose idea was it to freak out the boy?” The woman asked, casting red-rimmed eyes over the trio. She was still seated and appeared to be the only crew member who was still calm and collected: hers was the voice that had been broadcast over the speaker system in an attempt to make the passengers return to their seats. “You must have fed him some real rubbish to make him react like that,” she continued.

    The boy in question- blatantly a lowly trainee of some description- gets to his feet, and then falls over again when he gets a good look at Cutter.

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  • RyadicRyadic Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    "These two," Cutter begins gesturing to Cyril and Terrance, "were up here knocking on the door. I assume to get some answers. I too would like some answers."

    He looks down at the trainee, whose face looks very flushed, and extends a hand to help him up. Without looking up, he says, "So they will ask their questions again, and you will answer."

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  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cyril opens up his coat and briefly pulls out an identification card clearly associating him with SHARD. He doesn't hand it to any of the crew but tries to make it clear that he isn't merely a concerned crew member.


    He places the id back in his shirt pocket and says

    " If that means anything here.... But I'm guessing you people are aware that someone who hails from my neck of the woods may have some insight if you are having... technical difficulties."

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Alliah looks up from pretending to read the table display. Was that a SHARD card that got pulled just now?

    How lucky she has a seat so near the cockpit.

    Alliah shoves her volumes into her bag and makes her way to the front of the phasecraft.

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  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence, Cyril, Cutter, Alliah

    Cutter's request (and bulk) certainly makes an impact- the orderlies take a step back and try to look as unthreatening and as co-operative as possible, one of them going as far as hiding in a storage sconce. The pilot, however, doesn't bat an eyelid- until she spies Cyril's identification card.

    The co-pilot opens his mouth to speak, but the pilot elbows him with such force that his swivel chair ends up facing the opposite side of the cockpit.

    "You want to know what's going on?" The pilot rolls her eyes. "Well, we don't have the foggiest idea. I thought it was a tractor beam, but I've never seen one powerful enough to pull in an orbiting ship from a planet's surface, and I certainly don't have any idea why this Enthilore Foundation has any interest in us."

    "As I was about to say," the co-pilot interjected quickly, before she could get another word (or elbow) in, "the ship is being remotely controlled. What's odd is that the tractor beam seems to be fighting the autopilot- and yes," he continued stubbornly, matching his fellow pilot's venomous stare- "I say it's a tractor beam."

    "I don't see why this Foundation would use a tractor beam to resist their own remote control."

    "Who says it's them?" the co-pilot snapped back, as dramatically as he could manage.

    The pilot was about to respond, but then she sees Alliah approach and she settles for an irritated grunt instead. "Another one? What, has SHARD sent an entire squad? We purchased that Vigil contract specifically to avoid people like you causing trouble..."

    "I wish that hag would shut up already," the long-forgotten marshal muttered from his seat.

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  • tastydonutstastydonuts Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Listening to the commotion in the cockpit, I say to the Marshal in a sarcastic undertone.

    "And you were worried about me?"

    “I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”
    ― Bill Cosby
  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    Cyril leans back against the cockpit entrance, his arms crossed. He turns to the co-pilot



    "So why the Enthilore Foundation transmission? You think we're dealing with raiders or something of that sort who are working under the guise of this being a politically motivated abduction?"

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Alliah cuts in.

    "You know, the co-pilot here is right. If the tractor's fighting the autopilot, that means there's two different groups involved. That voice we heard, was that a broadcast or was it preprogrammed?"

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  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence, Cyril, Cutter, Alliah

    "It sounded human to me," said the co-pilot, obviously delighted that someone agreed with his prognosis.

    "But that doesn't stop it being pre-recorded," the pilot added. She pointed at Cyril. "I think that man might be on to something. It might just be a sophisticated program, some kind of front for-"

    The Halaisi lurched, and a few of the older passengers nearly fell out of their seats. They clearly weren't going to have a positive impression of the travel firm if they ever got out of this.

    "I figured out where that tractor beam is coming from." The co-pilot swallowed. "There's another ship approaching us, and they're trying to dock..."


    He was interrupted by a louder, more urgent broadcast over the speakers.

    "This is the Enthilore Foundation.

    Please do not be alarmed, we are finding it difficult to direct your craft to one of our facilities.

    Please remain calm while we attempt t... discover the.... ue prior to... lighting ... find your nearest .... cer in order t... ins... regard... ...."




    The broadcast petered out, fading in favour of a harsher, lower-quality transmission with a lot of background noise.

    "To the civillian craft: maintain your position.

    We'll be paying you a visit, and you don't want to make us grouchy.

    Have all your possessions ready for collection and we'll go easy on you.

    Maybe."

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  • Zetetic ElenchZetetic Elench Registered User
    edited March 2008
    "How sweet. They're fighting over us."

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  • EgosEgos God Hand Registered User regular
    edited March 2008
    "Raiders really should learn to be more eloquent; when civilians have the illusion they will stay alive if they will comply , they usually will -- otherwise.."


    Cyril says quietly to himself "Or maybe they enjoy the struggle..."

    He turns to the pilot and copilot and urgently asks

    "Are there any glass bottles or alcoholic beverages on board this craft? We can hand them out to the passengers, and if they are willing to use them against our attackers - it might serve enough of a diversion while our more capable members do there thing."

    Cyril glances over at Cutter and the marshal.

    XBL: Invisible Man PSN: Indrik
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User
    edited March 2008
    Terrence, Cyril, Cutter, Alliah

    The pilot sniffed at the suggestion. "I'm not sure I approve of giving them bottles as improvised arms."

    "At least a good drink will calm their nerves." The co-pilot grinned.

    "Actually we're a little short on alcohol," the head stewardess mentioned, pulling one of her co-workers out of the storage sconce he was huddling in. "Except for that bottle of 400-Year Gilded Lake that we reserved for Mr Dawker."

    "Oh yeah- that guy's a doctor or something, right? He'd be helpful. Hah, if anyone does cut themselves, he could patch them up-"

    "First of all," the pilot snapped, "I believe the man is actually a neuroscientist. Secondly, if we are going to be boarded, I'd want the civillians stowed away safely in the maintenance unit: it's well reinforced. The rest of you SHARD puppets- or whoever you work for- can feel free to risk your lives."

    "I can't help feeling you're all oddly calm about this," she continued. "Although as far as I can tell our passengers are either too stupid to care or too deaf to notice. I know you're in there somewhere marshal," she shouted through the door, "so get over here and earn your keep."

    "If there are raiders coming," the marshal said to no one in particular, "I hope to god they shoot her first. Ladies and gentlemen-" this part was more audible- "I can appreciate that you have questions- but please follow me to the rear of the ship. Thank you."

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