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[Starshield] SM: Into the Unknown: Safe

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  • octoberstudios
    GU SS Fierce Light Galactic Union Prison Transport Ship En Route to Mnemen VI Off the shoulder of the Dra Keshi Q-Dex Trek, duck! shouted Scar. Corbett
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 2 10:10 AM
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      GU SS Fierce Light
      Galactic Union Prison Transport Ship
      En Route to Mnemen VI
      Off the shoulder of the Dra'Keshi Q-Dex



      "Trek, duck!" shouted Scar. Corbett didn't need to be told twice. Hitting the deck he fired at the line of Nightwalkers coming at them before he sensed the quick movements above him. With a deft snap of his hand the Drak warrior standing over him slapped Tartare's own pistol shot aside before knocking the Vestis out cold with a single strike to the head. The Omnet Agent drop senselessly next to him on the floor. 

      Covering his with his own body Trek turned and watched to his horror as the possessed body of the Argonaut Nightwalker, a creature controlled by the Necromancer know only as Thirteen, swung its plasm canon their way and fired. 

      Corbett closed his eyes. 

      His stomach lurched as if the floor below had suddenly dropped plunging him in a zero gravity free fall. He braced himself wondering if this was what death was like. Time expanded, then as soon as the sensation had begun it ceased and once more he felt solid ground beneath him.

      Slowly the journalism student squeezed an eye. They were ... 

      Above him the Dra'keshi warrior who had saved him on more than one occasion snarled in pain before collapsing to the deck of a room - a different room and place from where they were before.

      *Teleportation,* said a voice in the back of his mind. 

      Nodding to himself he rose to his feet in time to see that both Vestis Tartare, Sergeant Esparr and his men were with him as well. Moving towards the fallen Dra'keshi he was brushed aside by what looked to be four crystalline humanoid constructs. each one lifted the injured Drak and rushed him where Trek hoped would be a Sick Bay.

      *Goddess,* he thought to himself. The Dra'keshi's back was riddled with plasma burns. He had taken Thirteen's barrage with his own body while they were 'ported out of there. The man was willing to sacrifice himself ...  for strangers. Next to him Tartare groggily rose to his feet. 

      "Who ... the hell ... hit me?" asked the Vestis. He looked at Trek, then Esparr. 

      "By the nine, feels like I've been hit by a planet ..."

      Corbett touched his shoulder and hooked his chin towards a nearby wall.

       

      On a small monitor to one side of the chamber an image of prince Dylen appeared and stated in an official tone.  

      "I would like to meet with the top 3 persons of authority among the survivors within my ready room in 5 minutes.  These Betas will escort you..."  As the last was spoken a door panel slid open and a group of 6 identical crystalline beings stood ready to lead the indicated personnel.

      The Vestis brushed off his tunic as he opened his mouth and rolled his swollen jaw. 

      "RIght. Esparr, Trek, you're with me."

       

      As the three ranking survivors were ushered down a long hall by the Betas Corbett took in their surroundings. The ship was impressive, and a small part of him wondered if he could do a story on the jump in Dra'Keshi technology, but the larger part of him doubted the danger they were in was far from over. 

      Seconds later the trio entered an impressive looking ward room. Sitting behind a majestic desk was Prince Dylen himself. Corbett began to lower his head as his arms came together in an Archaen salutation when he heard another voice to his side.

      "Corey!"

      The voice was familiar, one that jumped his heart into a higher gear. Looking over he saw the one person he never expected to see again. 

      "Cynthia!"

      Rushing over he took her hands as he grinned - laughed in undisguised jubilation.

      "Ishtar ... what are you doing here?"

      The Dreamer arched her eyebrows in a Dreamer's smile as she glanced over towards the Prince. Trek felt his blood draw cold. 

      "Goddess, my manners!" 

      Turning back towards the Dra'keshi Prince the Archaen crossed his arms in a tight fisted 'X' and dropped to one knee. 

      "Your Highness, forgive my rudeness. I ... I am in Corbett Trek of the August Empire of Archaen. I am in your debt ...  and at your service."

      Rising the journalist kept his head bowed. 

      "Knock it off, Trek. You act like you've never met a Prince before," said Tartare in a gruff voice. "But I suppose since thanks are being give, you have my as well ... er ... your Highness."

      With that the Omnet Vestis crossed his arms over his chest as he turned to the Centurion at his side. 

      "This Sergeant Esparr. Now ... what's the situation ... ?

      Suddenly, the entire vessel lightly shook. Outside in the vacuum of space the SS Fierce Light self-destructed.

      ____________________________

      OOC: Sorry for the delay on this. No excusses, just couldn't get to it until now.  


    • Stellar StarElven
      Dylen supressed a smirk at the exchange between his science officer and the recently rescued Corbett Trek. Even despite his effort however, the corners of his
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 3 12:31 PM
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        Dylen supressed a smirk at the exchange between his science officer and the recently rescued Corbett Trek.  Even despite his effort however, the corners of his lips twitched ever so slightly in an effort to display his amusement.  The Dra'Keshi captain was not the least surprised to learn that a Trek was among the survivors as that family name was rather reknown among Drak kind.
         
        The prince braced one palm against the smooth console table before him as the Crys shuddered ever so slightly from the shock waves of the prison ship's destruction.  Lifting the same hand he gestured smoothly for all present to be seated within the comfortable liquid crystal chairs arrayed around the table.
         
        "I wish to know the circumstances and events which led up to the destruction of..."  Dylen tapped a data image within the crystal table's surface and continued.  "...the SS Fierce Light, so as to better answer any and all questions which are directed to me regarding the incident."  The young prince began.  "However, first please tell me this.  Was it one of you who I sent my Commander to bring back alive?  If so I wish to hear from that individual first and foremost."
         
        ***
         
        Several decks below in a mostly deserted section of the Drak battleship, a solitary rescuee paused within one corridor junction which unfortunately for him looked exactly like every other one that he had passed through for the past few minutes.  He had become seperated from the escort group leading them to temporary quarters when a troop of short crystal men had rushed by carrying an obviously badly injured Dra'Keshi.
         
        His eyes caught sight of something on the surface of the crystalline walls and he sighed with relief as he realized it was a layout map of the entire deck with touch interface for directions and an AI response button for vocalized questions.  Reaching up to press the AI button, the rescued crewman did not notice a door slide open behind him and a muscular, claw-scarred arm yanked him backward into the room as the door slid silently closed again.
         
        ***
         
        Long range sensors had located no detectable life signs in the several minutes since the destruct explosion had abated.  The stand in junior officer at the science station relayed that information in data form onto the Captain's ready room table as was standard procedure.


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      • octoberstudios
        Crysallis 2 Dra Keshi flagship Prince Dylen s Ready Room It took Cory a concerted effort not to look back to Cynthia as a thousand questions flooded his mind.
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 7 6:06 AM
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          Crysallis 2
          Dra'Keshi flagship
          Prince Dylen's Ready Room



          It took Cory a concerted effort not to look back to Cynthia as a
          thousand questions flooded his mind. What was she doing here? Last he
          saw her he thought she was on her way to ...

          He didn't want to think about it, but it seemed the House of Penn had
          managed to steer her clear of the troubles she was in. Hell, he
          thought, he wouldn't be surprised that she was given an Imperial
          pardon, or ...

          This time he did look at her with a wondrous expression.

          Had she been exiled from the Empire? The Prince was talking now
          forcing Trek to turn back.

          "I wish to know the circumstances and events which led up to the
          destruction of..." Dylen tapped a data image within the crystal
          table's surface and continued. "...the SS Fierce Light, so as to
          better answer any and all questions which are directed to me
          regarding the incident." The young prince began. "However, first
          please tell me this. Was it one of you who I sent my Commander to
          bring back alive? If so I wish to hear from that individual first and
          foremost."

          Tartare cleared his throat and stepped forward.

          "That would be me, your Highness. I'm Vestis Forzar Tartare."

          The Omnet agent stared at the monitor and the expanding debris field
          of what was once the SS. Fierce Light.

          "By the Nine ... where do I start?" groaned the Vestis. Wiping a hand
          down his face the reporter took a deep breath and turned back to the
          people in the room.

          "What I'm about to tell you I once thought was best kept a secret --
          still do in fact, but
          too many good people have died to protect that knowledge. In
          truth ... I was on my way
          to broadcast what we had discovered as a galactic wide newscast."

          He looked down.

          "It was to be the crowning achievement of my career before my
          retirement."

          Glancing up he studied the monitor with a plaintive expression.

          "I'm afraid that won't happen now."

          Taking a cleansing breath he continued.

          "Six galactic standard months ago an artifact was discovered on a pre-
          industrial world within the confines of a Lesser Empire called the
          Blinding Glance. It's a small Q-Dex centered by double blue stars.
          The artifact was smuggled out by a rogue group of United Anarchist
          Collective agents. That's how the Omnet became involved."

          "Honor-Tartare," began Cynthia. "What was this artifact that was
          discovered?"

          The Vestis studied the Dreamer as if she seemed familiar.

          "And you are ... ? Because you're sure as hell aren't Dra'Keshi?"
          said the Vestis in a
          suspicious tone as he looked into the Dreamer's gas-fire blue eyes.

          "Dr. Cynthia Crafton. I am Prince Dylen's Science Officer."

          "Doctor?" piped up Trek. "Cynthia ... I hadn't realized you had
          finished your studies," said the young journalist with a jubilant tone.

          "Congratulaaaaa ... aaaand we can talk about this later. Yeah,
          sorry," he finished as he noticed the stern glances from Prince Dylen
          and Tartare.

          "Thank you," said the Vestis. "The artifact has gone by many names,
          Dr. Crafton - The Stone
          of Vall, Tosh's Horn, and its latest incarnation ... the Ebonn Blade."

          "Latest incarnation?" asked Cynthia.

          "Yes," replied the Vestis with a soft nod.

          "There has been evidence of the artifact's existence in the history
          of numerous cultures
          and civilizations."

          The Prince held up a hand.

          "Wait. You make it sound like this artifact can ... "

          "Change forms?" finished the Vestis with arched eyebrows. "That's
          because it can.
          I know this sounds crazy but I think the artifact does so because ...
          it's trying to get
          somewhere. To do that it takes on the form that appeals to the user
          it seeks?"

          "Vestis Tartare your words seem to suggest that this artifact is ...
          alive,
          if not sentient," said Dr. Crafton.

          Tartare gave the Dreamer a fervent look.

          "May the gods help us, but I think it is."

          A tense silence filled the room.

          "Alive or not, what kind of force were you dealing with Vestis
          Tartare?" asked the Prince.
          "What exactly does this artifact do?"

          Tartare crossed his arms over his chest.

          "I think it's a key, your highness. Like I said, in it's latest
          incarnation it was called the Ebonn Blade, but its formal name is
          Ebonn, the Realm Cleaver. It's purported that the artifact can
          open a rift ... a portal to another dimension."

          The Prince tilted his head. "A portal to where?"

          Tartare shrugged again.

          "Who can say? Heaven, hell ... what you call the after life. What
          matters is the
          possessor has the ability to pull things through."

          "What kinds of ... things?" asked Cynthia.

          The agent's look was deadly serious.

          "Deceased love ones, doctor. Type V Demons, Hell, maybe even gods
          themselves.
          Whether it's true of not doesn't matter, what does are the desires of
          those who wish
          to have it," finished the Vestis with a clinched fist.

          "Is that what happened on the Fierce Light?" inquired the Prince.
          "Was the ship destroyed
          because of this artifact?"

          "Ultimately ... yes, but like I said our story starts months ago ... "

          Turning the Vestis looked at Trek.

          " ... oddly enough with young Mr. Trek here."

          The line of the Archaen's mouth pulled tight."

          "Yeah ... I, ah ... kind of stole the Ebonn blade myself," confessed
          the grad student.

          "Cory?" said the Dreamer in a tone that was nearly emotional.

          "It's not what you think," replied the Archaen as he shook his head.
          "Months ago I was able
          to infiltrate the UAC ship as part of a story I was writing for the
          Archaen News.Net
          It was freelance piece, but I wanted something unprecedented ... you
          know
          something big."

          "Yer luck yeh weren't skinned alive, kid" said Esparr. "If those
          thugs had found out who
          you really were ... "

          "It was worth the risk," said Cory.

          "How did you manage to get aboard?" asked Cynthia.

          "I was the ship's cook."

          The occupants of the room shared skeptical looks.

          "What? I can cook!" half shouted Trek with wounded pride. The young
          Archaen placed his
          fist on his hips. "Seriously."

          "All right, we believe you, Cory," said Tartare. "Go on."

          Nodding, Cory did.

          "All right, about a week ago while on the Black Dragon ... the UAC
          ship, I finally learned
          what they had stolen from the Blinding Glance, but more I found that
          they were to deliver
          the Ebonn Blade to the man who hired them to steal it ... Thirteen."

          "Thirteen?" asked Dylen.

          "In truth ... on one knows him name," said Tartare "Only that he's a
          Necromancer of the Thirteenth level, and one of the most dangerous
          beings I've ever met."

          "Well, he's dead now," said Trek, " and that's all that matters."

          All eyes strayed to the room's view monitor and the burning remnants
          of the Fierce Light.

          "Anyway, I managed to sabotage the Dragon's primary systems, grab the
          Blade and make
          my escape in a shuttle craft. I had traveled a full day at FTL when
          they found me."

          "I guess that's where I come in," said Tartare. "I had been
          traveling with a maniple of
          Vestis on an Omnet Centurion ship in pursuit of the Black Dragon.
          When Trek disabled their
          cloak we locked on a pursuit course. The chase lead to a small
          planetoid where
          Trek managed to hide the shuttle on the surface. That's when we hit
          them. We disable
          the Dragon and captured the crew. When we transported to the surface
          to fine Trek ...
          that's when Thirteen hit us."

          Tartare paused to gather his thoughts.

          "I've faced everything from suicidal Ghoiites to mad Demi-elementals.
          I would
          have traded either of them than face the thing that came at us that
          day. I ...
          we hit Thirteen with everything we had - spells, energy weapons ...
          mind attacks.
          Of my five colleagues ... I was the only one to survive, but we
          managed to defeat
          him."

          "How?" asked Cynthia.

          "We placed him a Tanta-void, a stasis exist between life and death.
          It was the only
          way to capture him. Gods, I think that was the worse day of my
          life ..." said the Vestis with a terse expression. With a heavy
          breath he continued.

          "In time a prison transport ship was call in to gather the Dragon's
          crew and Thirteen.
          We rescued Trek and recovered the Ebonn Blade. In truth I thought it
          was the end
          of our story."

          "It wasn't," Cory said with his own heavy tone. "We were only a few
          days out from
          Mnemen VI when someone flooded the Light's environmental system with
          Varon
          gas killing nearly everyone on board. But worse, the void field
          Thirteen was placed
          in was nullified, allowing him to escape. That's when all hell broke
          loose."

          "And where your Highness and his crew came in," added the Vestis.

          "Sir, If I may ... " began Sergeant Esparr. "This begs the one
          question we haven't answered," said the Centurion."

          "Aye ... " said Tartare. "Who sabotaged the Fierce Light and helped
          Thirteen escape?"

          "Worse, sir," added Trek. "Did they escape ... and managed to get on
          board with the other
          survivors?"

          _______________________


          OOC: Special thanks to Stellar for his suggestions and proofs
        • Stellar StarElven
          The survivor began making his way toward the engineering section of the Crysallis 2, as if guided by some unseen force alone. He ducked quickly into a side
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 7 7:59 AM
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            The "survivor" began making his way toward the engineering section of the Crysallis 2, as if guided by some unseen force alone.  He ducked quickly into a side passage as a pair of small crystal humanoids approached, chittering in some odd form of communication that he could not begin to understand.  Growing impatient by leaps and bounds as he was forced to take cover to avoid detection several more times as a second and third pair of the creatures were sighted.  Each of them seemingly speaking an endless barrage of chatter which registered as nothing more than meaningless noise to the "survivor".
             
            ***
             
            Prince Dylen's eyes widened ever so slightly at Trek's suggestion and his usually upturned lips made a decided turn downward to become even and straight for a tense moment.  Pressing an icon withing the table's virtual display, the captain ordered a full scan of the wreckage and surrounding area.  When a moment later the response came back and after a long moment of reading over the data scrolling across his data screen, Dylen nodded with resolve and keyed the bridge comm.
             
            "Science, locate the nearest Omnet outpost or vessel and relay coordinates to navigation.  Navigation, set course for the coordinates as soon as you receive them and make maximum speed.  And Security...  Set alert status 1 aboard ship.  This is not a drill.  That is all."
             
            Closing the comm. and pausing a moment before continuing, Dylen explained to those present who might not be familiar with Dra'Keshi procedures.
             
            "I cannot endanger civilian lives in this, so we will offload all the survivors while scanning them with tech, magic, and psychic probes to try and determine if any of them are not who or what they appear to be.  Once I am satisfied that all non-combatants are safely away, including either of you if you desire to depart there.  Should you remain you will be considered as "volunteers" and you must sign a waiver releasing the Dra'Keshi empire of any responsibility in case of your becoming injured or deceased...  Status 1 is a medium alert level, Status 0 being normal operation, 2 being red, and 3 being critical.  Status 1 is used when a serious threat is possible, but not yet verified.  Status 2 is..."
             
            The comm beeped suddenly and unlike previous times during the meeting, the standby science officer spoke aloud through the comm. rather than sending a text or data message silently to the VR surface.  "Captain...Prince, err Sir!  We have detected an anomaly, it seems to have latched or tethered itself to the Crysallis by some as yet unknown force or power and is matching our exact speed and heading.  The object is egg-shaped, approx 3 meters long and 2 meters wide.  At present it has been maintaining position directly behind the arc of our rear shields..."
             
            Dylen paused a moment before responding.  "Understood.  Maintain current course and speed, attempt an internal scan, and report the results to my VR...  Excellent work by the way, you were right to interrupt with that, and please...simply use Captain when we are off-empire...  Dylen out."
             
            Looking to those present in his ready room, Dylen sighed softly and continued.  "Well, either that is this Ebonn artifact, or we have something else to deal with also.  I have the betas running security sweeps of all decks and they are keeping constant comm. open status with our AI, so if any of them go silent we will have a pinpoint on any potential risk aboard ship."
             
            Pausing a moment as if hesitant to speak more candidly, Dylen seemed to resolve himself and offered in a somewhat confiding manner.  "This is not exactly how I hoped my first mission commanding our flagship would go...  See I was hoping for something more saucer shaped..."  Dylen grinned lightheartedly while mimicing the indicated shape with his hands and chuckling softly to break the thick tension and silence which had settled within the room.
             
            "Is there anything else that any of you can think of which might be relevant or useful to this present situation, anything at all you wish to add.... or retract, Dylen concluded while looking sharply toward the Vestis."


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          • Stellar StarElven
            Before any further response might be offered, the entire room lurched to one side and the lights dimmed briefly. A feeling a vertigo swept through the vessel
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 30 10:49 AM
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              Before any further response might be offered, the entire room lurched to one side and the lights dimmed briefly.  A feeling a vertigo swept through the vessel as the artificial gravity was briefly interrupted and then restored.
               
              Dropping back into his seat somewhat roughly, Dylen slammed the comm button.  "Report!"
               
              "Captain.  I was unable to get any reading on the internal scan of the object, in fact when I tried some type of feedback wave knocked out all our sensors and several other systems were also briefly disrupted.  The betas are working to repair the sensors, but for the moment we are blind..."  The nervous voice of the stand-in science officer responded over the comm. and then fell silent to await further instructions.
               
              Patching in the comm. for the navigation station on the bridge, Dylen ordered all stop and to maintain shields at maximum.
               
              Turning his gaze to those present in the ready room, the Dra'Keshi prince spoke plainly.  "As I see it we have a few options, none of which seems particularly pleasant.  I can send a squad of Draks out to try and tow that object away from us and hope that we can break whatever tether it has to us.  We could proceed on course to the nearest outpost, but with that thing on us it would most certainly get on station and that would likely be very bad.  We could try blasting it, but not knowing it's internal structure, I have no idea what our weapons would do to it or us...  There is also the distinct possibility that we have an unfriendly on board who could do any manner of damage until he can be discovered and appropriately confined or dealt with.  At present trying to tow the thing away seems to me the best of our options, but if I am missing any ideas, please feel welcome to offer them..."


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