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541717 No. 541717 ID: a48f95

Part 1: http://tgchan.org/kusaba/questarch/res/499386.html
Expand all images
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No. 541718 ID: a48f95
File 137994672414.png - (133.23KB , 500x500 , 2_1.png )
541718

>"Think you could fly that one?"
"I keep telling 'ya, they're custom designs. I wont know if I can fly a ship until..."
Huh? Oh hey, you guys are back.
>"Untillll?"
"Hm? Oh uh, yeah. Well I wont know until I get in it! But if a ship is docked there should be someone who knows how to fly it nearby."
I hear someone walking up the ridge behind us. It's Sabara.
>"Kado, Jurek, watch is over. Get back to the village - we'll be going in in two hours."
>>
No. 541719 ID: a48f95
File 137994681081.png - (88.17KB , 500x500 , 2_2.png )
541719

It's been about two weeks since I've noticed you guys. I just... sorta stopped feeling you after the big alien ship thingy. Thought I actually sane for a while there.
We've spent these two weeks making preparations to attack the pirate base.

The most important thing we got done was getting the cannon from my ship working. It's on a little set of wheels and needs batteries to fire. The villagers have rechargeable batteries and their freighter wreck has a working charging station, but even with everything fully charged we get about three shots, maybe four if we're really lucky.

Dismantling the robot's body didn't give us anything useful, it just raised questions. The design and components are like nothing I've seen before.
We haven't been able to get much info on the layout of the base either. All we know is that there's two hidden entrances for people and the one for ships.

Everyone's gathered in the centre of town, the doctor's out at the front, going over the plan with everyone.

The gist of the plan is this: we have a small team, we sneak in, steal a ship, pick up the villagers on a hill nearby and get out. Unfortunately the sneaking in part could be difficult. We're relying on the base being relatively small, with few people and avoidable cameras. If either of these assumptions turn out to be false we'll either be pulling out or using the threat of the cannon to rush to the ships. Our options for entry are the door with a staircase and the one with a ladder; the big ship door probably won't be open for us.

The team going in will at least consist of Sabara, Zenith and me. Sabara and Zenith are considered the most combat ready of the Karit; none of the older Karit had combat training, and I'm needed to fly the ship. Plus I get a gun. We're considering taking others, but the more people with us the less likely we are to remain hidden.

If we just want strength there are a few Karit handy enough with various melee weapons to help up out.
Jurek is keen to go too, he's shown us that he can move pretty much silently, far better than any of us. But he hasn't got any formal training or combat experience.
>>
No. 541720 ID: a48f95
File 137994684949.png - (96.17KB , 500x500 , 2_3.png )
541720

I meet up with Zenith. We spend some time preparing, trying to decide what weapons to bring. In the end we stick with what is most familiar to us.
Sabara joins us.

>"Ok you two, the big day is here. You're both ready? Good. Still haven't decided who we're taking along, or which way we're going in. Either of you got any ideas?"
>>
No. 541730 ID: b632ba

go with the latter entrance, if they just stuck a latter there then it's probably not used as much and doesn't have as much security like cameras and stuff. As for who to bring... I do think you should bring Jurek just incase you need to split into groups that way you'll have at least 2 people for every pair.
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No. 541734 ID: 1cf691

Yeah the ladder sounds good since people will always take the path of least resistance, the staircase in this case.

And we have one shot at this so it's best to have more people with us. Definitely take Jurek with you and possibly 2 other Karit since 6 is the optimal group size.
>>
No. 541760 ID: 7bbaae

Two weeks, eh? Got to know people a bit better? Made any new friends? Done anything cool with the other salvaged parts?

Take Jurek, he can be a scout. I'm tempted to bring along another unskilled villager in case we need the extra muscle to like, move something heavy. As it stands you'll be the strongest present by far, and if there's anything that requires you to put away your gun for a bit, I'd like it to go as fast as possible. However, this isn't a guaranteed situation to happen, and having an unskilled villager around could expose you prematurely. It's a tradeoff.

I'm ok with the ladder. One issue with it is that if you're spotted while climbing down you'll be in a far worse tactical position but I kinda doubt that'll happen.
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No. 541988 ID: a48f95
File 138009027453.png - (77.43KB , 500x500 , 2_4.png )
541988

>Two weeks, eh? Got to know people a bit better? Made any new friends? Done anything cool with the other salvaged parts?
Well, I've been living with Jurek the whole time and we get along pretty well now. I've also hung out with Zenith and his friend Kale a lot. Sabara's warmed up a bit, but she's still very businesslike when talking to people. I've chatted to a lot of other members of the village, particularly at dinner, but haven't gotten to know anyone else particularly well.

Getting the gun working was what took up most of our time. I'm gonna go ahead and and say our standard battery to ship energy converter is a friggin' marvel of electronics, particularly considering we were working with scrap. Actually, I guess I've gotten to know Kara pretty well while working on it, but I rarely see her outside the workshop. Pretty much everything else salvaged from the ship is set aside for village improvements, most people see our chances of escaping to be pretty slim.

Oh, I also still don't know the Doctor's species or his real name, honestly it's a bit too embarrassing to ask anyone at this point.

"I'm thinking the ladder would make a good point of entry, and I think Jurek would be helpful."
>"I'm undecided about the entrance, but I do not think we would want more than four to explore the installation at once!"
>"Hmm, I agree with you about not wanting too many, and I agree with you Kado about Jurek being useful. I think we'll bring him, just uh, try to keep focused Kado."

Yeah ok I'm going to ignore whatever she just implied.


Jurek, Zenith, Sabara and I make our journey to the base. The rest of the village makes it's way to the pick up point.
>"This is the entrance?" Zenith asks.
>"It's not too well hidden is it? Doesn't even have a door." Says Jurek.
>Sabara responds "It's not visible above ground level, that's the important bit. You three ready?"

We all nod.

>"Ok, time to move in. Me first, then Kado, then Jurek, then Zenith. If it looks good we'll get the cannon down. Remember, be as quiet as possible from here out out."

She starts to descend the ladder.
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No. 541989 ID: a48f95
File 138009029663.png - (94.63KB , 500x500 , 2_5.png )
541989

I go in after her. I'd say the ladder is about 5 metres tall. Sabara is peering under a doorway at the bottom.

She whispers, just loud enough that I can hear.
>"The room through here has three exits, two have doors, the one to the left doesn't."

As she says this I notice the air vent behind me. It might be large enough to fit me, definitely the Karit.
>>
No. 541993 ID: d2995c

...Will the cannon even be able to fit in here?

Check to see whether you can get the vent open. If someone goes in they should keep an eye out for traps or flimsy sections if it isn't all carved directly out of stone.

Also, how much noise does you handgun make?
>>
No. 541996 ID: 7bbaae

Check to see how the vent is secured. If it's easily opened we could send someone small and quiet in there to get more info or find a route around stuff. Well, maybe not a route around stuff. You can't get the cannon through the vent.

For the room through that door, we gotta get an eyeful of what's through the open door in that room. After that, check the other doors immediately nearby.
>>
No. 542007 ID: b2d7ab

>Yeah ok I'm going to ignore whatever she just implied.
Kado it's okay to pretend that you haven't taken a fancy to Jurek, but Sabara is right. Now is not the time to be distracted by the cutie or his patootie.
Okay maybe just a quick peek while he's climbing down. After checking to see if you can get that vent open without making too much noise, of course.
>>
No. 542009 ID: 94c29c

>>542007
Instead you could boost Jurek, who I assume is the smallest, over to the vent.
Get him to at-least see where it leads before you all pile into the bloody thing.
Then if you're going to peek or whatever at-least Sabara won't be able to tell and throw more insinuations your way.
>>
No. 542021 ID: 001618

think it would be a bad idea to each take a differnt path
>>
No. 542185 ID: f9cf6a

Be cautious here. Don't assume whoever has this base is complacent about security. While there's no cameras or sensors so far, there could easily be a security camera watching the other side of that door, or an alarm switch on the door itself. After all, they've known about the freighter wreck survivors for years, so it'd be sensible they'd take some precautions in the case they found this base to make sure they can't just sneak in.

Hold moving through the outer door until you're sure there's no surprises just past it. Send Jurek in through the air vent first to try and check what's just on the other side of that door and in the room without a door. And make sure to carefully examine the air vent grille for alarm switches before removing it, as well as checking it after it's removed so you'll know if this mission is blown already.

Any of you bring a mirror-onna-stick or any other reflective item that could be used to discreetly check around corners that Jurek could use? You at least brought a flashlight or two this time, right?
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No. 542639 ID: a48f95
File 138054424278.png - (92.50KB , 500x500 , 2_6.png )
542639

>Jurek's patootie etc
Look, even if I wanted to take a look Zenith is also up there, and today ain't the day I wanna learn if he goes commando or not.
However I do check the vent. It's only blocked by a wire mesh, for keeping bugs out I guess, a firm push pops it out.

"Jurek, think you'd be able to move quietly in here?"
>"Let me see... Yeah probably! It'd be awkward to take my spear with me though."
>"Ok," Says Sabara "That sounds like a good idea. Drop your spear and don't go too far, but see if you can look into any nearby rooms and get some info for us."

Jurek nods. Zenith and I help him up into the vent.

>"While he's doing that we may as well get the gun down here, there should be enough space. We can use the ladder and the rope to winch it down."

We do that. Zenith and I at the top lowering it and Sabara guiding it while climbing down the ladder.
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No. 542640 ID: a48f95
File 138054426380.png - (100.01KB , 500x500 , 2_7.png )
542640

Jurek returns after a minute or two.

>"Okay, there's a vent into the next room just up here. It doesn't look like anything's in it, but obviously I can't see the roof. Up ahead there's a t-junction, the right path turns forward again and starts to make a steep incline. I didn't check out the left path but I think it does the same!
>"Anything else?" Sabara asks.
>"Yep! A bit closer and to the right there was another path. I ends in a vent looking into a bigger room. I couldn't see much through it, but it's got a bunch of tables and chairs. I could jusssttt see someone sitting down in there! I think they're facing away from the door, but I'm not really sure. I could reeeaally just see their legs."
>"Does it look like we could go through the vents?"
>"Maybe, but they've got thick metal grilles which might make noise when we knock them out."

We do have a bit of broken mirror, but it's not a thin enough chunk to use under the door - it'd have to be at least ajar to get a look at the room.
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No. 542644 ID: 001618

peek into the next room and see if you guys can see anything in there. I don't really want everyone going through the vents just because if someone finds you guys up there you can't really defend yourselves and if all of you are up there at once there is a good chance all of your weight could rip the vents from the ceiling which I'm sure would make a hell of a lot of noise... plus someone needs to move the gun around.
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No. 542647 ID: 7bbaae

>>542640
Alright so our options are to either all pile in the vents and risk making noise somewhere, or open the door a bit and risk being noticed by a security camera that's quite likely to be in the room ahead of us.

The left room sounds like a mess hall. He said it was on the right, though? Clear that up. Ask if the guy in the room was making any noise, or if he could hear any noise in general where he was. If the room was quiet, then it's quite likely that we can use the vents to ambush whoever's in there, and get some info about the complex from them. I kinda want to do that.
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No. 542682 ID: 7a843b

Ask Jurek how the grilles are held in place and if he could pop the one in the next room out quietly and hold it up so it doesn't clatter against the floor. He may need to borrow your multi-tool for this. (The one which you ought to have sensibly brought with you, right?)

If Jurek thinks he can get the grille out silently then hand him the mirror shard and send him to do that. Once he's got the grille out we need him to use the mirror to check the ceiling of the next room for cameras and the other side of the door for alarm triggers or anything like that.

However, if Jurek can't do that then you'll just have to take a gamble and open the door just enough to check beyond it with the mirror. But in this case give him one end of the rope and send him to the vent over the guy. If the guy moves when or right after the door is opened Jurek should tug the rope to let you know, as well as you tug the rope if the room is clear so he can move back.

Uh. Wish I'd thought to ask this earlier, but does that door open into the shaft or out from it? 'Cause if it opens in then it looks like with the cannon down here there isn't enough room to open it all the way, and that means the cannon can't get through the doorway.

Oh, and do the door hinges look rusty or have grit in them? The last thing you want right now is to open the door and have it groan or squeak.
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No. 542989 ID: a48f95
File 138089401459.png - (64.82KB , 500x500 , 2_8.png )
542989

>left or right room
I ask Jurek to clarify:
>"Oh, whoops, I meant left! The room without a door is the one I saw."
"Ok. How quiet was the room? And are you sure we couldn't get the vent open quietly?"
>"Um, Pretty quiet?" Jurek pauses, "It's sorta hard to tell in the vents. Like, sure it'd be possible to grab the vent with something and stop it hitting the floor, but then you'd need to get it on an angle so it could get back in the vent and uh... yeah. It's possible, but there's a good bit of room to mess up!"
>"Does the shaft have space for someone on either side of the vent? It may be easier with two." Asks Sabara.
>"Yep, should be enough space for any two of us."

Oh yeah, I should probably go over the stuff we've all got on us:
Kado: Spear Revolver 12 bullets (6 loaded already) Mirror shard Multitool (no power, so no welding/hacking etc) Medkit (from my ship) Sabara: Bow 20 wooden arrows Dagger Mirror shard Flashlight Spare bowstring Old Swiss Army Knife Zenith: 2x Knife Mirror Shard Flashlight Medkit (from freighter) Jurek: Spear Mirror Shard Medkit (from freighter)

I had to bring the revolver instead of the hybrid pistol 'cuz we need to save batteries for the cannon. Same reason why Sabara has the only flashlight.

>"So," says Sabara "Vents?"

Zenith shrugs.

>does that door open into the shaft or out from it?
The door down here should open into the room, not into the shaft - the cannon should be able to get through. The door looks mostly clean, though its hard to say if it'll make noise or not.

From the sounds of things getting to this mess hall type place using the vents is a valid option, but if we stuff up we'd be in a pretty bad spot.
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No. 543001 ID: 9ddf68

Don't like putting the whole team into a vent that could easily be taken out by lots of gun fire or a grenade. I say you put Sabara in the vents with Jurek since she has a bow which could take people out silently from a range while you and Zenith follow from the ground. The idea here is vent team scouts ahead and if possible takes out enemies from the vents while ground team sticks with the cannon and either take out enemies that vent team can't get or does something like make a slight noise to try and lure them into a spot where Sabara can take a shot. even if vent team can't take a shoot without alerting people they could still drop in a room behind the room where people are in and then you guys could hit them from both sides at once
>>
No. 543018 ID: 7bbaae

Spare bowstring? You could probably use that to grab the vent cover to keep it from dropping. Then the vents would be a safe procedure.
>>
No. 543022 ID: 7c69c1

Either Sabara or Kado in the vents with Jurek, they both have ranged weapons with which to back the other up.
It would be incredibly stupid to stick the gun & bow together.
>>543001
Stealth bow in the vents isn't really going to work, there's nowhere near enough room to draw the bow inside. If things get to a point where we need to use something from range within the vent we've made a mistake and the pistol is more viable.
It's a nice idea in theory but impractical, we shouldn't be using vents for anything but travel and scouting, not stealth kills.

Everyone has mirror shards, you could potentially use these to give signals to one another where the vents open up, develop some recognizable signals for their use.

Also what the heck is stopping us from travelling through the vents two at a time? We aren't bunched up then, geez.
>>
No. 543058 ID: 0b54f4

Ha ha ha, death from the vents. Ceiling Karit is watching you die.

Not sure it's actually feasible, though.
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No. 543283 ID: a48f95
File 138111939189.png - (96.46KB , 500x500 , 2_9.png )
543283

"Sabara, you wouldn't be able to fire your bow from inside the vent, would you?"
>"I doubt it," she says, looking up at the vent "I wouldn't even be able to hold it straight."

Ok, that means I'm going in the vents with Jurek.
Before we leave we all take the time to work out some basic signals we can use with our mirror shards. Just simple stuff like: 'come here', 'danger', 'we found something'.

Zenith trades his knives for our spears, seeing as we can't take them into the shaft, and Sabara gives us her spare bowstring.

Jurek and I head in, him in front of me. I have to travel a lot slower than Jurek due to my size, and rounding the corner is a big pain, but with time we manage to get to the vent without making noise. I see the figure Jurek was talking about, just a pair of legs sitting at a table.

Jurek wraps the string around two corners of the vent, and I push firmly down on it.

With a quiet *thock* the vent falls out of its socket. Jurek is able to stop it from falling more than a few centimetres, and with my help we get it back up and into the shaft.
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No. 543284 ID: a48f95
File 138111940991.png - (37.19KB , 500x500 , 2_10.png )
543284

I use my mirror shard to get a better look around the room. It's some kind of kitchen and eating area. No cameras and only one person, a Daro, eating some kind of rice dish.

Jurek could probably drop down to the floor without being noticed, but there's no way I could.

It's uh, probably worth telling you guys at this point that I'd prefer to avoid killing people.
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No. 543285 ID: 9ddf68

do we need to even get in here? if not lets move on if so then do you think that Jurek could knock the guy out with one of the chairs in this room... or that you could land on top of the guy and try to knock him out like that, or by landing on him and hitting him with the hilt of our knife to try and knock him out?
>>
No. 543290 ID: 7bbaae

>>543284
Well, if Jurek can drop down and verify if there's a camera or not in the room we were in front of before, we could just bypass this guy. Only if there's no camera, though. Uh, also, how are you gonna get out of the vent if you don't drop down?

How would we deal with him nonlethally though? Knock him out via blunt trauma, perhaps?
>>
No. 543292 ID: 7a843b

That's good to hear, Kado, 'cause we also prefer not to kill people unless we're all out of better options. Also, what's that thing on the table to the left of the daro?

I don't think there's any good way to subdue this daro without risking killing him or having it not work. And even if you managed to do so, bound, gagged and hid him there's a good chance his absence would be noticed soon after he doesn't return from his meal break. Then somebody would come looking for him and when they can't find him that'd be bad news for you.

I think the best course of action here is to wait for the daro to finish his meal and leave; He ought not to be very much longer since he's been eating since before Jurek spotted him. Make sure to hold the grille up against the frame until the daro is gone so it won't see that it's been taken out.

While the daro is finishing up his meal winkle yourself back to the grille over the adjacent room so you might be able to tell which door he goes trough when he leaves. Then once he's through one of them and safely out of earshot Jurek should drop into the canteen, recover Sabara's bowstring, then check the entry room with his mirror shard for cameras and alarms on the shaft door. Meanwhile you crawl back to the canteen vent and get the word from Jurek on what, if anything, is in the entry room. If it's clear then you can drop down yourself. But if there's a camera or something then we'll have to figure out what to do from there.
>>
No. 543300 ID: a48f95
File 138112891893.png - (49.52KB , 500x500 , 2_11.png )
543300

The thing on the table behind him looks like a radio, or some other kind of communication device.
>>
No. 543301 ID: 7c69c1

If there's nothing in the direction the guy at the table is facing then I think we can just ignore this room completely.
It's quite obviously just the cafeteria room what with the multiple table and fridge in the corner. The only things of note right now are whether you think it's worth Jurek jumping down and getting potentially stranded; if somebody walked in as he killed this guy there's essentially nowhere he could hide fast enough.
Is the black thing on the table some kind of radio? That would probably be the only thing to note of importance in this room; however, you're on a stealth mission, there's nothing you could do with it.

I think you should continue on through the vents for now, there's always a chance you may be able to see or do something Jurek could not.
>>
No. 543621 ID: d78393
File 138139665601.png - (37.47KB , 500x500 , 12.png )
543621

I don't trust either of us to knock him out properly. Sabara's talked about this; safely knocking someone out with blunt trauma is difficult even when you know what you're doing, and what you need to be doing varies depending on what species you're trying to knock out.

We wait. Juerk keeps watch, pressing the grille back against it's frame, while I move to watch the entry room.

After a short time the Daro finishes his meal, picks up the radio thingy and leaves. I see him go through the door opposite the canteen and to the right of the entrance. It looks like it opens into a stairwell.

Jurek drops down into the canteen, checking the entry room with his mirror. He indicates the room is clear, and moves to the entry door.
>>
No. 543622 ID: d78393
File 138139668666.png - (24.65KB , 500x500 , 13.png )
543622

I crawl back through the vents to meet up with everyone in the ladder shaft. Jurek's telling everyone what he saw

>"There aren't any security cameras here or in the canteen, and there didn't seem to be anything useful in the canteen. But look at the door opposite us! It looks like it's got some kind of security thingy on it."

He's right, it looks like it needs a keycard to unlock. We might be able to brute force our way through with the cannon, but I sorta doubt we'll be able to do that without anyone noticing. That leaves the stairwell to the right and the unexplored vent paths as potential silent options.
>>
No. 543628 ID: 23697b

Go explore the stairwell on the right with Zenith.
If all the other ways out are locked you will have to set up an ambush in the canteen for when someone with a keycard gets hungry and wanders down.
>>
No. 543657 ID: 7bbaae

>>543622
Let's explore both. Jurek in the vents again, and others looking around in the stairwell.
>>
No. 543703 ID: 7a843b

I'm thinking that the vent is the best option here. Often security doors like this can be opened from the other side without a keycard. If you can get one of you over there via the vents it'll be easy to pop open for the rest of you.

Send Jurek up into the vents, but follow in after him. He's going to need somebody to push him up the steep incline and since you're the tallest and strongest here you're the best choice for that job. Also bring the rope. There's chance that the vent is going to go up over a tall room, so you'll need it for Jurek to safely get to the floor.

Meanwhile have Sabara and Zenith check out the stairwell, but only so far as to determine how many levels it goes to, then return to the entry shaft.

Where's the hangar relative to your current position and how deep are you compared to it? 'Cause if you're close then that door is likely to it or a maintenance bay adjacent to it, and those steeply inclined vents lead up and over it.

Has Sabara said anything about possibly choking a target unconscious? Either by choke-hold or garrote? 'Cause I got the idea to fashion a noose from one end of that rope you used to lower the cannon. Cut it off and tie a hand hold on it and you'll have something that can be thrown over the head of an unsuspecting target and cinched tight around the neck before they can yell out. Keep the pressure on until they pass out, then loosen it so they don't die.
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No. 544108 ID: d78393
File 138167452944.png - (86.84KB , 500x500 , 2_14.png )
544108

"Sabara, how about you and Zenith check out the stairs? See how deep this place goes. Jurek and I can go deeper into the vents."
>"Should work. We'll have to leave the gun back with the ladder, so we'll all need to be quick. Meet up at the ladder when you're done."

>Where's the hangar relative to your current position and how deep are you compared to it?
I'd say we're deep enough that you'd be able to fit another room like this one above us, and still have a little bit more room before hitting the surface. The hanger should be in the direction of locked door, so yeah, the door probably opens into it and the vents probably lead to it.

When it comes to choking someone unconscious you hit similar issues as you do with whacking someone over the head. Different species can take different amounts of abuse. That being said, it'd be preferable to outright killing someone if it came to it.

Sabara and Zenith slowly make their way down the stairs while we get back in the vents, taking the rope with us.

Jurek does need a bit of a push to get up the slope, and I help him out.
>>
No. 544109 ID: d78393
File 138167460020.png - (54.71KB , 500x500 , 2_15.png )
544109

Jurek is able to pull me up with the rope. The shaft levels out. As suspected, it goes over the hanger.

Rather than having removable grilles this section just has the vents cut straight into the metal. We can see through, but it'd be messy to get through.

From what we can see, the hanger has the capacity for four docked ships, two at either side, and space for takeoff/landing in the middle. The bays have refueling and repair equipment set up, and it looks like the back of each bay opens into a corridor, probably for easy access. There's a door the wall facing where we came from, and a similar looking one opposite. They don't look like the security door we saw in the entrance room.

Someone's in there, grumbling to themselves. I don't get a good look at them, but I hear a little of what they say.
"-leave me to do everything. I haven't even eaten yet. Don't know why I even came here. "
He exits the hangar in the direction we came from.

At the end of the room the ventilation shaft has a big drop. It looks like there's more down there to explore, but getting down and up will be awkward and potentially noisy.
>>
No. 544111 ID: 9ddf68

think that one guy is heading back to the mess hall. Any chance he'd run into Sabara or Zenith if they come back up while he's there or is the stair well in a different room?
>>
No. 544117 ID: dd03f6

"I help him out" heh, nothing wrong helping him a little. I'm sure there was some visual motivation from the looks of it.
Right now I think you should both drop into this room, seems like there's plenty of places to hide in comparison to the last.
I'm assuming you can quietly exit the vents close the the red vehicle, if you work fast enough you can duck in the the opening with the red vehicle and avoid being seen.
After this you can scope out the room, if the guy comes back round I'm assuming you can easily avoid detection by hiding round the different sides of the red vehicle.
>>544111
If this is the case it provides a better opportunity for you to scout this room, if not and the guard continues rounds in this room you wait until he comes back round and attempt to knock him out as silently as possible. I'm just assuming a KO due to brunt force trauma with 2 people may be a little easier, I'm likely wrong though.
>>
No. 544147 ID: 6817a3

Busy hands are happy hands eh Kado?

This guy is planning on eating soon so now might be a good idea to set up an ambush in the mess hall.
Just wait for him to come on in then have all 4 of you dogpile on him so he can't move or yell.
Then you could find out more about the base by interrogating the mook.
>>
No. 544202 ID: 7a843b

Dangit. That guy is almost certainly heading to the canteen. If Sabara and Zenith haven't returned to the entrance shaft already then that guy could spot them coming back, either by taking a seat with a view out the doorway, or when he's walking to his seat from the kitchen.

You have to get back and check if Sabara and Zenith have already returned, and if not then to check where this guy is in the canteen. Then you can figure out what course of action to take based on that.

No room to turn around here or for Jurek to slip past you, so you're gonna have to shuffle backwards all the way to the T-junction and let him pass. Have him go to the vent over the canteen while you check the entrance shaft. If Sabara and Zenith aren't there then back up and head over to Jurek to find out what he saw.

What action you take is going to depend on whether the guy is where he can see out the canteen doorway, and if he can see the vent grate. If he's sitting where he can't see either then pop the grate out so you can get a better look at how far along he is on his meal and wait for Sabara and Zenith to return so you can plan to jump and dogpile him.

However if he's looking out the doorway but not at the grate then you're gonna have to deal with him before Sabara and Zenith return. Fashion a noose out of one end of the rope, give it to Jurek and have him drop into the canteen. He'll slip over to behind the guy, moving the guy's radio away if he can, throw the noose over the guy's head and cinch it down to keep him quiet. You'll drop out of the vent simultaneously, rush over to take the noose and pin the guy to the ground while Jurek ties him up.

Unfortunately if the guy can see out the door and see the vent your only option is to threaten him with your revolver. You'll have to slip back to the entrance shaft and move across the entrance room with your revolver up and aimed at where the guy is. You tell him to keep his finger off his radio and his yap shut and he'll live. Then Jurek can drop out of the vent, take the guy's radio and tie him up.

Oh, and did you see any obvious controls for the hangar doors in the hangar itself? Probably not, but it doesn't hurt to ask and make sure.
>>
No. 544496 ID: d78393
File 138202120864.png - (86.15KB , 500x500 , 2_16.png )
544496

Yeah it looks like this guy's heading back to the canteen. There is a risk Sabara and Zenith bump into him if they're on their way back, but hopefully they'll be careful.

It's hard to tell from up here, but the far doors have a control panel type thing next to them. Could open the doors, could just be air-con controls or something.

We can't get down to the hangar from here. I might be able to just punch a hole through this vent, but I highly doubt it, and it'd make a lot of noise.

I start to shuffle back along the vent, Jurek follows. When we get to the t-junction I tell him to go to the canteen vent and keep watch. I take the rope.

Sabara and Zenith are already back at the ladder by the time I get there.

>"Kado, I believe we just heard footsteps on the other side of this door!" Says Zenith
>"Yeah" Sabara adds "I saw their feet under the door. They've gone into the canteen.

Good, Jurek should have sight of him now. I tell the two what I saw and heard of him, assuming it's the same guy.

"We could try taking this guy hostage. Could get Jurek to sneak up and steal his radio, we could use the rope as a noose to threaten him. He doesn't seem too happy with the others here; he might be willing to give away information."

Sabara thinks for a moment.

>"Okay. Zenith, get your knife and give Kado back his spear, get into the vents and see if Jurek knows where in the room this guy is. If it looks like it's safe to approach, indicate to us. Me and Kado will move in, gun and bow at the ready. Tell Jurek, if it's safe, to drop into the room as soon as he can see us. If he can tell him to steal any weapons or communications the guy has on him before we make ourselves known."

Zenith gets into the vents. He disappears around the corner for a bit, then gets back and signals to us the plan's ready to go.

Sabara and I sneak out into the entry room. She uses her mirror to check the canteen and indicates that the guy's looking the other way.
>>
No. 544497 ID: d78393
File 138202127034.png - (102.23KB , 500x500 , 2_17.png )
544497

We move in. We raise our weapons and move very, very slowly towards the back of the room, where he seems to be making his meal. Now that I've got a good look at him I can tell you he's a Lahzaia. Nothing too relevant about the species comes to mind - only notable facts are their higher than average academic results and the fact that their homeworld is really weird.

Jurek drops down, barely making a sound. He moves towards the guy, carefully takes the radio out of his pocket, then backs up. No weapons are visible on him.

We move closer. When we're about three meters away from him he starts to turn his head.

I cock my gun.
"Don't move. Stop what you're doing and put your hands above your head"

He freezes and, after a moment, obeys.

>"Fuck."

I'm pretty sure any gun that actually needs to be cocked is some kind of ancient antique but hey, it's still intimidating.
>>
No. 544498 ID: d78393
File 138202130335.png - (62.69KB , 500x500 , 2_18.png )
544498

Zenith drops down and helps us tie his hands and legs. Sabara moves to watch the door.

We finally let him turn around and get a look at us.

>"Oh! You're from that village? Oh thank fuck. Uh I mean, that's not to say I won't do whatever you guys say, just - there's worse who could be pointing a gun at my head."

Huh, he still looks nervous but he seemed to calm down a bit on seeing us.

Now, time to decide what I'll be asking him...
>>
No. 544502 ID: 2f4b71

You've already cocked it, but does you gun have a nice clicky-noise-making safety catch? If so:
"They're from the village" <click> "I'm new in town".
>>
No. 544504 ID: 7bbaae

First off, ask who else he was expecting to see. Space police?
Second, confirm that he's part of the same faction in control of the station.
Third, ask just how hard it would be for you to escape this planet on one of their ships.
Fourth, ask if they're the ones that sent you that message to stay on the planet.
Fifth, ask what the fuck was up with that assassin robot that attacked you.
>>
No. 544505 ID: 9ddf68

what's worse out there?
>>
No. 544512 ID: c23ab0

There's worse?

This village has been stranded for *years* without *any* contact.

There is literally nothing here besides them.

At least nothing that could cock a gun, or speak in words.
>>
No. 544520 ID: 01531c

These guys knew about the village, and just, like, didn't care at all?

Just how busy are these pirates that they don't get bored enough to go hassle random nobodies?!
>>
No. 544629 ID: 7a843b

Better take this interrogation into the entrance shaft so as to not to risk being interrupted by anybody coming up for a bite to eat.

While you're leading the guy away tell everybody else to put the grate back in the canteen vent and clear away the half-made meal before following you. That way if any of his coworkers comes along they won't suspect something happened here.

It'll be too close quarters in the shaft for a gun so switch to holding a knife point to the small of the guy's back. Keep him pinned facing the wall and tell him to speak only in whispers.

Once Jurek returns ask him to turn out the guy's pockets. There ought to be at least a keycard for the security door but there could be something else as well.

As for questions, the first one to ask is the guy's name so you can properly address him. He'll be more cooperative if you use his name.

Next question is who - or what - would have been worse to be pointing a gun at his head than you. My bet is it's whoever he's working for, since they're the only other people on this dustball that could have guns.

Then ask how many people other than him are working in this base, how long he'd guess it'd be before they notice he's missing, and what they'll do at that point.

Now for the most important part: Tell him that you're looking to steal a ship from here to get yourself and the villagers off this rock and safely away, and that you need him to tell you everything he knows that'll help you do that. That includes what kind of locks are on the ship controls, if they have tracking beacons that can't be easily disabled, where the controls are for the hangar bay doors and if they're locked, what kind of response to expect from the orbital station, and so on.

And to help assure the accuracy of the guy's responses, say that he's going to be coming along for the ride. That way if anything does go wrong, he's going to be in it as much as the rest of you.
>>
No. 544844 ID: d78393
File 138236099780.png - (104.32KB , 500x500 , 2_19.png )
544844

"Who were you expecting to have a gun at your head?"
>"Um, you know - rival gangs or something? But mostly uh, you could say I'm not super trusting of my coworkers."

Interesting. I grab him, hand over his mouth, and take him to the ladder shaft. The others clean up our tracks in the canteen before joining us. The shaft isn't too big, I switch to one of Zenith's knives for threatening.

"Ok, more questions: who are you and what's your role in this place?"
>"Uh, well I'm Arlo. I'm meant to be the engineer who patches up any damage on ships that land here, but I also take care of refueling them, letting them in, stuff that."
"Who, specifically, are you guys? do you run the station in orbit of this planet?"
>"Hey, well, this place is run by Pyra Enterprises, they're a legit businesses on Canton V, where I'm from, but I guess the stuff they do out here is basically piracy..."
"Canton? You grew up in a pirate system?"
>"Uh, look if you wanna call it that, sure! The station's abandoned now, I think it was a Pyra base posing as a trade station, but they abandoned it when it got too risky. This underground thing was built instead."
"So, how many people are in here? What should I know about them?"
>"There should be four people in the base other than me, two guys who are always here and two pilots just staying for a bit. There's another engineer, a Daro. He barely does any work, but oh no, he's been here longer than me so he knows best, doesn't even know how to-"
"Alright, we get it." I cut him off "The others?"
>"Oh, well then there's the 'security' guy, another Daro. He's also an asshole. He's probably just here as someone higher up to tell us what to do. He's got his own ship, he just uses it to pick up supplies from passing ships. The pilots are some human guy and some silth chick. I don't know much about them, pilots never talk much."
"That's everyone?"
>"Should be."
"Good. Now tell us the layout of this place."
>"Uh, like, there's the room out there which connects to the canteen and hangar, on the other side of the hangar is the storage room and through there is the ladder up. Downstairs is mostly just people's rooms."
>"That's accurate" says Sabara "In our short time down there we just saw sleeping quarters. The first few rooms were empty, we heard noise from one further down and decided to back up."
I nod and turn back to Arlo
"Anything else down there?"
>"Well, there's a bathroom and the generator room. Everyone else should be down there by now, but honestly I don't fucking know when it comes to these people."
"Yeah yeah. Did your group shoot down a freighter 13 years ago?"
>"Man, I've only been working here for a year - how would I know?"
"Allright. Why ignore the karit village?"
>"Um, well, again I don't really know - haven't been here for long! But uh, seeing as this is meant to be a pretty secret place people probably dont wanna risk bringing attention to the planet."
"Do you know anything about a text message sent to a ship, a Darius CTX-5, about two weeks ago?"
>"...What?"
Well that answers that.
"Ok. Well Arlo - we want off of this planet, so we want a ship. Now, I think you're gonna want to tell us exactly how we can get one of the ships here into space. And you'll want to make sure you don't 'forget' anything - you'll be on that ship with us."
>"Wait, with you? Into empire space?"
"Yep, so c'mon, what do we need to know?""
>"Uh, cool, yeah. Well, each ship is fully fueled, I just topped 'em up, and the pilot's ships should be in good repair. I'll admit, I haven't really looked at Security's ship in a while. All of them need keys to get inside and to start up generators. I'd guess everyone keeps their keys with them, or in their room."
"So, say we wanted to take 30 more people with us?""
>"Oh man, well, the Silth's ship wouldn't work then. She's the one who just got here. I mean, I guess it could, but it wouldn't be close to comfortable. The human and security's ships would have more space, but they're not fast - security's doesn't even have weapons. There aren't anti air missiles or shit like that, should just be able to fly away."

Alright that is a lot of info. I could ask him more, but honestly this intimidation thing is getting really tiring and I feel a little bad about it.

So, we should just need to steal a key and pile on into a ship. Any issues with unfamiliar controls should be able to be cleared up by our new friend.
>>
No. 544849 ID: b1d089

Ask Arlo if he saw the Giant ship of Tuatha emergency broadcast, that's some crazy shit yo.

Now that the ice has been broken you can release Arlo and recruit him to the team!

Securing the ships is a top priority so get everyone and the cannon to the hangar and search the upper levels for people lazing about.
After we have secured the top levels we can figure out a way to smoke the people out from the downstairs quarters.
>>
No. 544866 ID: 7bbaae

>>544844
The silth's ship seems the obvious choice, because it can outrun the other two. Comfort is a secondary concern. I wonder if it would be cramped because it's full of boxes or something? Then we could just empty the ship before piling in. Let's roll the cannon down to the generator room and threaten them with it.

Hmm. According to that info, does the keycard-locked door lead to the hangar? He didn't mention where the stairs up were, either...
>>
No. 544873 ID: 9ddf68

I say grab the biggest ship and then just sabotage the other ships and lets get the hell out of here.

Oh and Kado it's good to hear you're not liking taking a hostage because if you were enjoying this plus with us voices in your head you might have had a problem.
>>
No. 544877 ID: eaa372

Secure Arlo and then search the bedrooms. We should focus on subduing the rest of base's crew so that we'll be able to select which ship to take.
>>
No. 544907 ID: d2995c

Ask what security systems and weapons the others have, and what kind of ships they are (possibly any you are familiar with or know how to drive yourself?)
>>
No. 545565 ID: 2e624b
File 138287727613.png - (98.24KB , 500x500 , 2_20.png )
545565

"What kind of weapons do these guys have?"
>"Not sure about the pilots. I remember 'em having sidearms I guess? Dunno. Security guy's got an auto-spreadgun thing. Shoots lotsa little pellets. I've seen him fire it - doesn't even made a dent on the walls. You never know damage it'd do to flesh though, ya know?"
"Hmm."

I think that's enough. I start to untie his legs.

"Reckon we'll go secure the hangar now?"

Sabara nods

>"Yep, we'll move single file. Arlo; this is Kado, Zenith, Jurek and I'm Sabara. You stay in the middle, and stay quiet."
>"Uhm, sure thing!"

She hands me his keycard, guess that means I'm at the front.

We carefully make our way there. Jurek's at the back wheeling the gun along. The keycard works and we're able to get into the hangar.

Like I thought, there's a corridor circling around the edges of the hangar for maintenance. Zenith splits off to check these while we check the hangar proper. Both are clear.

I take a look through the other hangar exit. It's the storeroom. It's full of packing crates and spare parts. To one side is a staircase leading up, presumably the other entrance to the base. No one in there.

"So, that means everyone's downstairs?"
>"Yeah. Should." Arlo says. Sabara is staying close to him. "Stairs are like, the only way down."

He looks over the three ships.

>"Sooo, which one are you guys gonna take?"

Uh, they're all looking at me. Guess I am the expert.

>"Okay look. That one? That belongs to the silth who just got in. Not a big one, but it's a fast one. It's just got the one weapon, but its a big fukkin cannon that runs through the under-armor of the ship."

What I can see of it's controls look strange, but not overly complicated.

>"This is security's. Just a shuttle with expanded storage. Big, ugly and slow - like it's pilot. No guns or anything."

I've seen ships like that before. It's controls should be pretty close to empire standards.

>"Aand this weird thing is the human's. Nice guns, a bit of storage space. Cockpit's kinda strange though."

Yep, this is a strange one. It looks like it'd be interesting to fly, don't know if it'd be good 'interesting' or bad yet.

>"Uhm, you wanna know where everyone is downstairs right? Right. There's a corridor with eight rooms, then the bathroom and reactor room are at the end. Well, my room's first on the left. Security's second on the left. The human is staying in the fourth on the right and I think the silth's in the fourth on the left, haven't actually been down there since he got in though."
"OK. Thanks."
>"Hey, don't thank me yet! Could be feeding you false information or whatever."

It's... a good point. Either way, time to decide on a ship.
>>
No. 545568 ID: dbbfc7

Im going to vote for security ship, space for everyone and the fact that you know you will be able to fly it are what matters.

Also since its flown from time to time to get supplies from orbit it might cause the least amount of suspicion if its spotted by the space station.

Can you locate some fuel or other flammable materials? I was thinking about setting a container on fire and throwing it down the stairs, then yell that anyone who doesn't come up the stairs with their hands in the air will get shot.
>>
No. 545572 ID: 2f4b71

Is there a door to the stairs? Because if everyone is down there, and the hanger is for repairing ships, then welding that door shut if going to buy you enough time to steal a ship and disable the others.
>>
No. 545581 ID: 9ddf68

I say go for the security brick just because it give's us the most room so we can get supplies on the ship as well as the village (hey you never know how long we'll be in space) and out of all of the ships it's the only one you know how to fly for sure.

As for the other two ships I say find a full canister or something and use it to jam the weapons on the other two ships. Just something that will ruin the guns should they fire upon you or anything else really.
>>
No. 545587 ID: 7bbaae

Pick the fastest ship that you can fit the village in. Comfort is, again, not as important as speed.
>>
No. 545589 ID: abffe3

I believe the security ship is our best bet as well.
Providing enough space to fit people in.
Shows no outward threat to other ships meaning less reason for others to attack you.
Although there's still the issue of the thing that shot you down but I don't think fire-power will help at all in this case.
>>
No. 546611 ID: 2e624b
File 138357205204.png - (80.03KB , 500x500 , 2_21.png )
546611

Ok, we'll go for security ship. Hopefully it'll mean less risk of getting noticed too, the room we need to search isn't too far into the corridor.

There is a door to the stairs, it'd be possible to weld it shut, but it'd be time consuming and noisy. Plus the welding stuff I see isn't designed to leave the hangar, you could probably get an extension cord or something but I dunno.

"Think you'd be able to sabotage the other ships?" I ask Arlo.
>"Yeah probably, could jam the guns, mess with the jets. Nothing permanent but stuff that'd slow 'em down."
"Good. Don't do it 'till we get back, could end up getting the keys to a different ship, but get ready to."

Sabara stays behind to keep an eye on Arlo and the gun. The rest of us make our way downstairs.

It's pretty quiet down here. Jurek and I peek into security's room, while Zenith keeps lookout further down the corridor.

Looks like he's asleep. I can spot what looks like the key, it's on the ground at the foot of his bed, just by the gun that's propped up against the wall.

Doesn't look like this guy's big on gun safety.
>>
No. 546615 ID: 1043b2

of the two of you who's sneakier? Because I believe that's the one who should grab the key.
>>
No. 546617 ID: abffe3

Both of you should sneak towards the bed.
Jurek grabs the key and you grab the gun, there's no way that Jurek can pick up that gun and use it effectively.
I assume you know how to operate it, at the very least you can use it to threaten him if he wakes?
Can you tell if the gun is loaded from your position? No point threatening him if he wakes and he knows it's not loaded.
>>
No. 546631 ID: 7bbaae

Jurek is our sneak. Have him sneak in there and sneak away with that key. Be ready to sprint in and use force on the human if Jurek gets in trouble.
>>
No. 546662 ID: eaa372

>>546617

Keep your gun at the ready when you grab his weapon. If we do any intimidation we'll do it with a weapon we know is loaded. Bear in mind he might be paranoid enough to keep a gun under his pillow.
>>
No. 547070 ID: 2e624b
File 138389839646.png - (33.74KB , 500x500 , 2_22.png )
547070

We sneak in.

Jurek moves to the foot of the bed. I stay back a bit, moving far slower.

He pockets the key. Moving onto the gun, he carefully picks it up - then hands it over to me. I'm just close enough.

The thing's surprisingly light. Weird design. There's a little slot at the back with a square cartridge in it, guess that means it's loaded?
>>
No. 547071 ID: 2e624b
File 138389843147.png - (58.90KB , 500x500 , 2_23.png )
547071

I hear some noise from outside. Could've been a door slamming. The security Daro starts moving in his bed, muttering something.

Suddenly Zenith's at the door, strongly indicating that we need to get out.
>>
No. 547072 ID: 7bbaae

Get moving, stay quiet at first but move progressively faster as you exit the room.
>>
No. 547074 ID: abffe3

>>547072
This.
There's not a lot you can do until you leave, and there's not a lot the Daro can do if he does wake up given you've taken his weapon.
Whatever alerted Zenith is a far more pressing concern right now
>>
No. 547096 ID: 9ddf68

well then it looks like it's time to skedaddle
>>
No. 549211 ID: 2e624b
File 138492037110.png - (88.37KB , 500x500 , 2_24.png )
549211

We run. Zenith's already at the staircase by the time we get out of the door.

>"HEY! Who are you? Stop!" A deep voice shouts out from down the corridor.
I don't take the time to look, but I assume it's the human pilot.

A beam of light flashes in the corner of my eye, and I hear a sharp crack - energy weapon fire. It looks like the shot hits Zenith on the shoulder, but he keeps running up and out of sight.

We sprint up the stairs after him. No more shots follow us.
>>
No. 549212 ID: 2e624b
File 138492041543.png - (58.68KB , 500x500 , 2_25.png )
549212

Zenith is catching his breath at the top. He isn't bleeding, one upside of getting hit by an energy weapon is the chance of instant cauterization, but his right arm isn't going to be useful for a while, and I imagine he's in a lot of pain.

Sabara and Arlo have run into the entrance room to meet us.

Sabara glances at Zenith, then us.

>"Damnit, what's going on down there?"
>"One of them shot at us!" Jurek says "They're probably on their way up, but I've got the key!"
>"Good. Zenith, can you get to the ship on your own?"
He nods
>"Ok. We need to keep 'em downstairs until we can get out of here."

We've got the cannon. It'll only have a few shots, and we don't know exactly how powerful it is. I've still got 12 bullets left for my revolver, plus whatever's in this scattergun thing.

"Arlo, quick: what exactly is in the boxes in the storeroom?"
>"Uh, like, there's food and fuel and parts and shit. They all come in the same boxes! The boxes are kind of heavy and hard to open but uh, there's a trolley in there to put them on."

Welding the door shut seems a bit more constructive now, but I'm still not sure it'll be fast enough.
>>
No. 549214 ID: 7bbaae

>>549212
Get the trolly, box in front of the door. While providing covering fire so the guy doesn't get up the stairs before a box is there.
>>
No. 549302 ID: abffe3

>>549214
I agree, go and get the trolley.
Oh, and give Zenith a re-assuring pat on his good shoulder as you make your way past.
I wouldn't advise cover fire unless absolutely necessary. There's the one guy and if he saw the three of you he knows at-least one of you is armed with a ranged weapon.
Just block the door and listen/watch for him; if he turns up shout a warning to him that he's outnumbered and that he should know you have a tactical advantage over him whether or not he believes that to be true.
One warning shot should suffice in this case.
>>
No. 549373 ID: ef1879

Okay, you ought to have at least a bit of time before any response from the lower floor. They're most likely gonna take a few minutes to get their shit together and throw together a plan before doing anything.

>>549302
I'm also on board with the box blocking plan. It's about the best one we have at the moment.

Right away tell Sabara, Jurek, and Arlo (he can still lift even with bound hands) to run to the storeroom, load up the heaviest, biggest box there that DOESN'T have fuel in it and wheel it over here to wedge in the doorway. Also tell them to open the hangar roof on the way there, just in case somebody down below gets the bright idea to cut the power to this level to keep us from stealing the ship. Oh, and get the ship key from Jurek as well.

Before Zenith leaves tell him to wait and ask him if he can stand to run outside, get the villagers attention and quickly bring them back down to the storeroom. That way we'll have enough manpower to lift the boxes and stack them up to block this doorway down. Also, have a few of them go to the top of the ladder shaft with directions to drop rocks and sand on anybody who tries to come up that isn't a friendly, just in case you have to fall back down here. You can land and pick them up before leaving this world.

While talking to Zenith check your medkit and his for anything like a one-shot injector loaded with a localized pain killer. If there is one then jab that into his injured shoulder. It'll do far more for him than any reassuring pat on the back right now.

Stick next to the stairwell door and watch down it with your mirror shard. If you see or hear anybody down there yell to them that if anybody tries coming up they're gonna get shot.

Next chance you get to speak with Arlo, ask him if there's any long-range comm gear on the level below, and if there is if there's anybody they could call on it that'd be trouble for y'all, ether sooner or later. 'Cause if there's a good chance there will be trouble before you reach the safety of Empire space you may have to drop the plan to fly outta here in a defenseless, slow-ass, double-wide cargo-box.
>>
No. 549775 ID: 2e624b
File 138538132376.png - (26.13KB , 500x500 , 2_26.png )
549775

Sabara ducks back into the hangar corridor for a moment. She returns wheeling the cannon in. I grab it and point it towards the staircase.

"Ok," I motion to Sabara, Jurek and Arlo "Can you guys load up some boxes and get them in here? We'll try and load up the door."
>"Might work" Sabara says "Lets move."
"Wait, while you're in there try and get the hangar door open too."
>"Yeah man I can do that, uh, but don't you want me do the sabotage thing to the other ships? We've got the key, right?" Asks Arlo
"Yeah, do that. But at least help the others pick up stuff, and try to avoid cases with fuel in them."

He nods. Sabara and Jurek are already on their way out the door, Arlo runs after them.

"Zenith, how are you doing?"
>"Well, I can't say I'm without pain. But, with the exception of this arm, I'm largely functional!"

I toss my medkit to him.

"There's an anesthetic in there, think you just spray it on. Should help."
>"Oh, thank you! I'll stay here until the door's blocked."

Getting more villagers in would be nice, but they're sitting pretty far away from either entrance, and don't have direct line of sight to them.

It's just me and Zenith watching the stairs for a bit. Someone, the human I think, peeks up the stairs at one point, but only for a fraction of a second before retreating.

I eventually hear some commotion to my left, presumably the boxes.

As I hear the door to the hangar hiss open my eyes catch movement in front of me.
>>
No. 549776 ID: 2e624b
File 138538134550.png - (37.03KB , 500x500 , 2_27.png )
549776

A round object is lobbed up from underneath the stairs.

Shit.
>>
No. 549777 ID: 2e624b
File 138538136801.png - (91.76KB , 500x500 , 2_28.png )
549777

It explodes with an ear-splitting bang and a bright flash of light.

A flash grenade. My ears are ringing and I can barely see.

I've still got my hands on the cannon.
>>
No. 549784 ID: dbbfc7

Fire the cannon then start pushing it towards the stairs. A couple hundred pounds of cannon rolling down the stairs should scare them off.
Let out a fearsome warcry while your at it.
>>
No. 549805 ID: 7bbaae

Fire at the spot he poked his head up before.
>>
No. 549806 ID: 53ba34

yeah, FIRE!. missing may be bad, but not shooting it at all would be worse.
>>
No. 549825 ID: abffe3

You just heard somebody to your left.
If it's the others coming back chances are they're staggering about from that flash grenade and their destination was the very doorway your aiming at!
DON'T SHOOT!
Hide behind the cannon whilst your senses clear.
>>
No. 549829 ID: 9ddf68

fire the cannon, if nothing else it will defiantly give whoever is coming up a reason to pause.
>>
No. 549923 ID: ef1879

Immediately fire. The shot ought to blow a chunk out of the stairwell wall, creating a cloud of dust and flying rubble that'll bounce around the stairwell. Make sure to hunker down behind the cannon before firing to lessen the risk being hit by any of it.

Unfortunately I suspect they figured you'd fire right away and they took cover right after lobbing that flash grenade, so they won't be harmed by the rubble. They'll also probably figure the cannon won't be ready to fire again immediately, so they're likely going to charge up immediately after you fire. So as soon as you do rush to the door to close it, firing scatter-shot wildly into the stairwell to keep them down there.

Now I got an idea that'll keep that door closed, just in case those crates can't be put in position fast enough to block it effectively before the enemy comes up. What you do is rush back to the cannon, turn it to face the wall where the door pocket is, make sure everybody is in cover, and fire. That'll either knock the wall back into the door pocket, wrecking the door track and blocking it from opening, or blow the pocket open, in which case something can be stuck inside to jam the door shut.

>>549825
The hangar door opened right as the flash grenade went off, so presumably Jurek and the others are still in or near the doorway, well clear of the cannon's line of fire. They should to be fine if Kado fires it.
>>
No. 554872 ID: 9a4738
File 138875925699.png - (74.96KB , 500x500 , 2_29.png )
554872

I pull the trigger, and feel the cannon kick back.

I then hunch down behind the cannon, trying to use the little cover it provides while I'm still deaf and blind. That leaves two, maybe three more shots with the cannon's batteries.

My vision starts to clear first. It looks like the cannon took a pretty big chunk out of the stairwell's wall. I don't think it hit anyone but it looks like it made them back off.

Zenith's nearby, between me and the hangar door. Looks like he fell over, but he's starting to pick himself back up.
>>
No. 554873 ID: 9a4738
File 138875928596.png - (44.26KB , 500x500 , 2_30.png )
554873

The others must've backed up into the hangar corridor, but it looks like the box trolley tipped over, blocking the doorway.

We should be able to climb it, but if the boxes are as heavy as Arlo says I doubt I'll be able to drag the cannon past.
>>
No. 554878 ID: 9b57d3

>>554873
Then make sure the enemy can't use it, either by firing some more, or by disabling it. I favor firing it. See if you can collapse the doorframe or something to completely block their path.
>>
No. 554879 ID: 9ddf68

use the cannon to blow it to hell then
>>
No. 554967 ID: 96b823

If there's a door at the top of the stairs run over and close it. That'll keep them from lobbing any more grenades they might have up here. They'll also be somewhat reluctant to come up and open it since whoever does may get shot by a cannon.

Help Zenith up and have him help you wheel the cannon just barely through the canteen doorway and to one side. That way whoever is on the trigger can be partially protected by the wall.

Put Zenith on the cannon, telling him to fire if he sees any movement from the stairs at all. If he can't hear you lean in, cup your hands over his ear and yell. Then get over to the security door and work with the others to clear the boxes enough so it can be closed.

Once the security door is clear send Zenith through and unload all the shots in the cannon into the stairwell doorframe. Then get through the security door. Close it and shove the boxes in the way to keep it closed. Also bust the keycard reader on the way in so it can't be unlocked from this side.
>>
No. 555696 ID: dbbfc7

Fire all the remaining shots with the cannon and then push it down the stairs.

After that its time to get off this forsaken planet.
>>
No. 557568 ID: 89c484
File 138978836144.png - (152.29KB , 500x500 , 2_31.png )
557568

I get up. While Zenith is still getting to his feet I run to the stairwell door to try sliding it shut. I don't see any sign of them on the staircase, but for all I know they could be hiding just out of sight. The door doesn't fully shut and I have to leave it slightly ajar. Still, should stop them from being able to throw anything up into this room.

I go to help Zenith up, but he's already on his feet.
"You alright? Think you can get into the hangar?"
>"Hm?" He looks over at the boxes in the doorway "Oh. Yes, certainly."
"Ok, you go through - I'll follow you in a sec."

He moves off. The others are up, and able to help him clamber over the boxes from the other side. I move back to the cannon.

I aim slightly above the doorframe and fire. I get two strong shots out and one weaker one before the batteries die.

The door's now warped and blocked by rubble. It's hard to say how long it'd take them to break through, but we've definitely bought some time. I roll the gun to the door and tip it over, adding to the rubble, before making my way back to the hangar corridor.
>>
No. 557569 ID: 89c484
File 138978837662.png - (86.80KB , 500x500 , 2_32.png )
557569

Everyone's up and, with the exception of Zenith, uninjured. Everyone's in the corridor that runs around the hangar, gathered around the door to the lobby.

>"So you just, blew up the door?"
"Yep."
She pauses for a moment.
>"I suppose if that stops them it stops them." She turns to the others "Everyone, get to moving these boxes and blocking this door instead"

The group gets to action. Sabara turns back to me.

>"This door is probably a better option anyway, it's on hinges and opens inwards. I'll help the rest, but you should get the ship ready - that's what we're buying time for in the first place."
"Yeah, I'll get right to that."

Actually, first, there's something on my mind.

"Hey, Arlo!"
Arlo looks up from the crate he was pushing.
>"Uh, yeah?"
"The other ships, did you sabotage them?"
>"Ah! Well I drained the fuel on the other ships, but haven't actually broken anything yet."
"Could you do that now then?"
>"Yeaah, It'll take a bit of time though."
"How much time?"
"I dunno. Like, I guess I can stop whenever and leave things half broken anyway. Doing that'd mean I couldn't help with this though. Or show you how all the different shit on the ship works."

I'm pretty confident in my ability to work out the ship for myself, but it's true that if he knew what he was doing he'd be able to speed up the startup procedures.
>>
No. 557575 ID: 0b54f4

Well, I guess have him break a few simple things, like, can't he just cut a few control cables or something? Just put a screwdriver through the space-carburetor.

Anyway, then have him come back and point out anything important.
>>
No. 557609 ID: 00e87f

braking the enemy ships would buy us time when we're trying to evacuate the town, I mean after this stunt I'm sure these guys will be pissed and I'm pretty sure they can easily find where we live and ruin or day. Just have him pull some wires, jam the ignition with something. If we don't have time to sabotage these things proper then we can at least do enough little things that it will take them a while to find them all. And he can teach us the how to use the new things on the ship as we get the hell out of here.
>>
No. 557717 ID: a87e3a

>>557575
Yeah I agree. Have him do a quick job, like yank out an ignition coil or something so the ship can't start, then come point out how the controls work.

Or heck you could have him give you a quick explanation of the controls (can't take more than like 20 seconds) then spend the rest of his time with the sabotage.
>>
No. 557893 ID: d0e0a2

It's vital that those other ships don't get off the ground before we've left this system. That's not only to prevent them from pursuing and firing on us, but to keep them from seeing which way we go and possibly radioing ahead for somebody to intercept us.

Send Arlo to sabotage the ships, with the suggestion that he do stuff that they could only fix with tools from the hangar bay that we can take with us. That way we can take the tools and leave them with no way to fix the ships. Something like welding the ships' entry doors shut then taking all the welding torches would be perfect, since it keeps them from getting at tools in the ships.

Before you board the ship ask Arlo if there's anything weird about the ship's controls that isn't obvious. It'd be good to know when to get his help so you don't waste time here.

Do you think once it's in the air you could use the ship we're taking to damage the other ships? Like, for example, smashing a corner of it through the cockpit window of another ship.

Also, when you take off leave somebody behind to close the hangar bay roof, then trash the controls. You'll land at the staircase entrance long enough to pick them up. That ought to keep those ships bottled up here awhile longer.
>>
No. 558807 ID: d61497
File 139031631012.png - (62.54KB , 500x500 , 2_33.png )
558807

"What if you just do a quick job while I get started, then you can come and tell me what I've done wrong."
>"Yeah I can get back to 'ya when I've at least done something, but for one of the ships I need to remove a <i>bunch</i> of maintenance plates to get to anything important, and the other's filled with redundancies! Seriously, the amount of legwork it'll take to disable a single system - I mean you'd think with the landing gears deployed you'd at least be able t-"
"Yeah, yeah I get it. How about you just give me a quick rundown of the cockpit at the start - then take the time you need to put the ships out of action."
>"Sure, I'll show you what I can."

We get to the ship, the key unlocks a door on the side of one of the cargo containers.

The ship's pretty spacious inside, the main body of the ship and the cargo containers connect together to form one big cargo hold. There should be enough space for every villager back here, it won't be comfortable but it shouldn't be dangerously cramped. There are shelves along the sides of the ship people could probably sit on too.
The bridge is pretty small for this style of ship, but that hardly matters when it only needs me in it.

I sit in the pilot's chair.

>"Ok dude, well you've got the panel up above you and the controls on the chair. I can go through those but I don't know shit about the computer system."
"That should be enough, the computer displays in Standard right?"
>"Standard? Oh you mean English right? Yeah 'course it does."

Yeahhhh modern Galactic Standard is actually really different from ancient human English and it annoys me so much when people call Standard English.
Whatever he's from a pirate planet I guess they can call it what they want.

He goes through the controls. It's all pretty normal, but seeing as it's mostly unlabeled his help speeds things up a lot.

"I should be good from here. Before you go, think we'd be able to make what we do to their ships harder to reverse by taking the tools with us?"
>"Uh, well most of the tools I'd be using are part of my own set - the other guy would have 'em in his. I'll try doing something with the welder, should be able to steal that."

He leaves to go do that, while I try and get the engines started up. It involves a lot of waiting around for things to warm up, so I use that time to work out the ship computer and do the maths I need to do to get us going in the right direction when we're off planet.
>>
No. 558808 ID: d61497
File 139031633231.png - (67.42KB , 500x500 , 2_34.png )
558808

It takes time, but it looks like the ship's finally ready to go. I'd like to take the time to test things a bit, but it doesn't look like I'll be getting that luxury.

I hear a bang, Sabara Jurek and Zenith run into the hangar, away from the barricaded door and towards this ship. Arlo's running for the welder, presumably to take it onboard the ship.

I'm not sure how serious the situation is, but if we need to take off I'll need the hangar roof open. The controls are over on the opposite side of the hangar to the lobby door and I'm not sure how well people will be able to hear me through this glass.
>>
No. 558812 ID: 9ddf68

run out the back of the ship then and shout at however is closest to open the hanger doors, if we're really cutting it close we can just hover the ship over and pick whoever does that job up and then take off like a bat out of hell towards the village.
>>
No. 558833 ID: a87e3a

>>558808
Point at the hanger doors!
>>
No. 558854 ID: 87e6c2

Pound on the glass with your fist. When you get someone's attention, point to the hangar doors with one hand and the controls with the other.
>>
No. 559091 ID: 17ac98

try to see if pointing at the controls and the roof works. if not, get out of the ship to tell them. if there is no time to reach the controls before they start shooting, get prepared to fly the ship through the roof.
>>
No. 559158 ID: d0e0a2

Jump to your feet and bang on the glass with one hand and jab towards the roof with the other hand while yelling "open roof" at the top of your lungs. That'll get their attention, or at least get them to look up and realize the roof needs to be opened.

Once somebody is heading for the controls, pull the ship out to provide cover for them from any hostiles in the lobby.
>>
No. 561060 ID: d0f0fc
File 139165370939.png - (91.74KB , 500x500 , 2_35.png )
561060

I get up and bang on the glass, pointing at the room's control panel and shouting that the roof needs to be opened.

Jurek and Arlo both notice. Arlo moves first, dropping what he was doing to run for the panel. Jurek starts to run for it, but seeing Arlo he joins the rest in running for the ship.

The pirates start to shoot through the door. It looks like they haven't been able to get all the way through the barricade, and are just taking pot-shots through the gaps they have - they're not very accurate.

Arlo gets the door opening and turns back, but is hit by a laser blast!
>>
No. 561061 ID: d0f0fc
File 139165375080.png - (70.40KB , 500x500 , 2_36.png )
561061

The others are all in the ship and I start to taxi out into the middle of the hangar - the small arms fire should be easily blocked by the ship armor.

Luckily it doesn't look like the shot affected Arlo much, as he's able to run back to the ship

Once he's in I close the doors and call out to him.
"Hey! If you're allright come in here and tell me if I'm doing anything stupid."
>"Uh, yeah sure."
He steps in, gripping the doorway.
>"Let's get moving!"

I take off vertically. The ship handles a bit differently than what I was expecting and we go up a bit too fast, but I manage to steady out and avoid hitting anything.

"Well I don't feel safe but yeah man I think you've got everything worked out."

Oh come on this is a flying brick what did he expect. I take us over to the hill the villagers are waiting on.
>>
No. 561062 ID: d0f0fc
File 139165380480.png - (68.14KB , 500x500 , 2_37.png )
561062

We land. The others all help the villagers get in and find space to grab onto something. They seem worried about Zentih's injuries and Arlo's presence, but Sabara hurries them in.

It's not long before we're ready to go. There hasn't been any visible activity back at the base yet. I hover, set the rear thrusters to full and go.
>>
No. 561063 ID: d0f0fc
File 139165383588.png - (76.77KB , 500x500 , 2_38.png )
561063

The ship doesn't behave very well it atmosphere, I need to constantly make adjustments to avoid rolling. I hope I've picked a shallow enough incline for everyone in the back, but I don't have time to check.

After a bit of time the atmosphere thins to nothing. We're in space. If I've aligned the ship right I should just have to keep the thrusters on and wait 'till we're out of the planet's gravitational pull enough to warp.

I'm pretty confident the ship radar should be able to pick up any trailing ships.
>>
No. 561064 ID: d0f0fc
File 139165387339.png - (91.83KB , 500x500 , 2_39.png )
561064

The door opens, Jurek walks in.

"Hey, everyone's be- oh. Wow."

Whatever he was going to say was dropped as soon as he saw the view.

Arlo steps in after him.
>"I think what he was gonna say is that everyone's fine back there. It's been a smoother ride than I was expecting!"
"Good to hear."
>"Yeah, yeah. Um. There's something I wanna ask."
"Yeah?"
>"Uh, am I like, still your prisoner or something? I mean what do I do when we're on an empire planet do I need a visa or citizenship or am I going to jail or what?"
"Uh-"

Before I can answer I notice something on the radar. There's another ship that's just warped into the system, very far away. It doesn't look like it's going anywhere near the planet. The only info I have on it is position and velocity. It might be in this ship's radio range but I'm not sure.
>>
No. 561067 ID: a87e3a

>>561064
Sun's about to come into view. I presume the glass is shielded from cosmic radiation and other dangerous starry emanations? Or do you need to activate a blast shield?

If we can just warp to a safe destination I don't see any reason to radio the mystery ship. As for Arlo, ask him how much jailtime he thinks he'd face if we turned him over. I'm not sure we can get him a visa, but we might be able to cut him a deal or just plain let him have the ship after we get to safe harbor.
>>
No. 561069 ID: 9ddf68

I don't know, is he a wanted? I mean if no one really knows who he is we can always just say we picked him up in space.

And as for the ship, is there any reason to call it? If you have a good reason then go ahead but if we don't need too I say lets just get the hell out of here and warp to a nearby plant... and avoid the pirate sectors, we've had enough fun for one day.
>>
No. 561070 ID: d2995c

How long will it take until we are able to warp, and how long do warp preparations take? I can't think of anyone non-hostile who would be out here.

About citizenship, there is also the issue of the villagers who were born on the shipwreck planet. Is there a legal procedure for that sort of thing?
>>
No. 561114 ID: 77ce99

Yeah, as far as Arlo goes, I mean, like, has he actually done anything particularly heinous? Seems like he mainly just wound up in the wrong place. Also, I'm slightly fond of him, though I guess that's probably not a good reason for evading the law....
>>
No. 561125 ID: 66a186

I'm feeling paranoid. just warp.
>>
No. 561179 ID: d0e0a2

I'm wary of that ship. I can't think of any reason for one to warp into this system unless they had something to do with the Pyra Enterprises base here. And yet, it's not going near this planet... Hm...

I'd like to contact that ship, but not until the last minute before we leave. Prep for a warp out and keep an eye on that ship to try and figure what it is or at least how big it is, then open a text-only channel. Ask what brings it to this backwater system.

As for Arlo; Now that we're off that dustball he's not our prisoner. Once we touchdown in Empire space he's free to go and do whatever. Honestly, if we had the cash we'd buy him a one-way ticket back to Canton V for the trouble we've put him through.

Unfortunately we don't know what the Empire authorities will do to him. As someone from Canton V or someone who was working for Pyra Enterprises he may be facing prison or something. The Guide probably has a section on Empire law covering that Arlo could check on the way.

>>561070
As children of Empire citizens born on an unclaimed world I presume they'd be able to get citizenship once their parents are ID'd. The Guide might have a similar shipwreck situation we could look up for how the Empire handled it.
>>
No. 562300 ID: ce566c
File 139226629278.png - (65.41KB , 500x500 , 2_40.png )
562300

I won't do anything about the other ship yet, not until we're just about ready to warp.
I'm not sure how long setting up for warp will take when we're far enough away, but the only ship I've been on where it took more than a minute was a giant freighter.

I turn back to Arlo.
"Well yeah, you're not a prisoner anymore. I think you've proven we can trust you, and I'm sure you'll be able to get citizenship if you want."
>"Ok cool. Good. You sure about the citizenship thing? Like, I don't hate Canton V but if you wanna get offworld your only option is doing the kind of shit I've been stuck with. But Pyria Enterprises are a pirate group to the empire right? Aren't I gonna get in trouble for working with them or something?"
"Doesn't everyone in Canton work for them technically?"
>"No? Kind of?"
"Well whatever, I'm pretty sure you're fine as long as you haven't done anything illegal to the empire. But waiting for the authorities to check that might not be fun. Actually..."
I fish the guide out of my pocket and hand it to him.
"There should be stuff in here about immigrating from non empire space, check it out."
>"Oh cool one of these things. Sweet, I'll take a look."

>citizenship of children born on the planet
I'm sure there is some legal process for them, but I don't know it.

"Hey, Jurek."
It takes him a moment to realize he's being addressed.
>"Oh! Hi, yes?"
"You might wanna take a look at the guide when Arlo's done with it, I don't know much about how the government will deal with you guys not being missing anymore."
>"Aah. That would probably be good to know yeah! I'll get Sabara and the doctor to look at it."
He follows Arlo into the back of the ship.

It takes a while, but we eventually get into a position where we can warp. Still can't see any activity on the planet and the other ship hasn't changed course.

I open a text channel to the other ship and try sending a basic request for ship information.

I get the automated response, but the only info it gives me is that the ship's owned by some engineering firm I've never heard of and a reminder that cargo hold scanning is punishable offense in many systems.

They respond on the text channel:
--HEY, WEIRD SHIP YOU HAVE THERE. WHAT BRINGS YOU TO THIS PART OF SPACE? --DON'T FREAK OUT ABOUT OUR WEAPONS, WE'RE OUT HERE FOR TESTING

This ship's scanners still can't give me any real detail, so I've got no clue what weapons they're talking about.
>>
No. 562301 ID: a87e3a

>>562300
Hmmm... maybe you can get a job by chatting with these guys. Tell them you're just shipping a village off-planet to settle somewhere else. It fits with what they would pick up in a scan, and it's true aside from the fact that you're also running away from pirates. Tell them your scanners aren't good enough to see their weapons, but ask what they're gonna shoot at- asteroids?

Then maybe ask about their firm, since you haven't heard of it before. You know, hold a normal conversation about space stuff, I'm sure you can manage that.

If the pirates manage to get to their ship before they fly off, you could maybe bring up the fact that said ship is a pirate vessel and they probably won't have trouble with the law if they shoot it down. Oh also warn them that the orbital station probably has pirates in it too.
>>
No. 562306 ID: d2995c

>Tell them you're just shipping a village off-planet to settle somewhere else.
This seems like a good explanation. I am not sure about looking for a job from them though (at least before getting more information). Is it just me or is it kind of dubious to wander around sketchy systems with a bunch of weapons to allegedly test?
>>
No. 562344 ID: afc0e6

okay cool. bye.

warp.
>>
No. 562351 ID: 9ddf68

"we're leaving" [warp]

look I know you're curious about the ship but I don't want to risk getting shot down again when we just got of the planet we crashed on, and this time they're are more people then just you so that's even more reason to not risk it. just warp to civilized space and we can deal with thing there. Do try and remember the company name though, we can always look it up later, assuming it isn't a dummy name used by the pirates in the space station to try and get pass law enforcement ships.
>>
No. 562392 ID: d0e0a2

Their immediate response is to try and reassure you not to freak out about their weapons? Yeah, that's suspicious as all get out. I'd bet good money that auto-ident response is fake and they're actually pirates.

This ship is defenseless, so we can't take any chances here. Don't even take the time to respond to them. Just warp out.
>>
No. 564007 ID: ce566c
File 139316521462.png - (57.87KB , 500x500 , 2_41.png )
564007

While I'm curious about these guys, we are completely defenceless. It's probably safest to avoid any kind of contact until we reach empire space.

I tell everyone to brace themselves and we warp out of the system.

It's only three warps to get back home. Luckily for us, the journey is uneventful. If the pirates were able to get the other ships up and running they weren't able to guess where we warped to.

'Only three warps' does take the better part of a day in this ship however. A lot of time is spent in warp, and even more is spent repositioning for the next one. There's a lot of conversation in the back throughout the trip, but I never really join in. I don't really want to leave the pilot's seat for too long - the autopilot's off (I not sure if the ship even has one) and I need to keep adjusting our course.
>>
No. 564008 ID: ce566c
File 139316523434.png - (77.44KB , 500x500 , 2_42.png )
564008

Eventually we arrive in Bell. It's not long before the ship alerts me of an incoming audio channel. I open it.

>"This is the Bell System police force, please explain why you are flying an unregistered spaceship of unknown design in empire space. Failure to respond will be taken as a sign of hostility."
"This is a stolen pirate vessel. We are a group previously stranded on planet Treya and this ship is our method of escape. Our plan is to dock at Belonia."
There's a long pause before they reply.
>"Proceed to Belonia and contact docking control there, use the temporary vessel ID BSPF-S023. Consider yourself under close surveillance."
The channel closes.

As suspicious as the police are of us, I feel relieved to be back in empire space.

After a while I'm in range for docking control. Using the ID number I've been given I contact them. I'm given a route for landing on the orbital ring.

The closer I get to the ring the more stressful flying this thing gets. This is a landing procedure I'm used to doing all the time - it should never be this hard to stay on course!

Regardless, I'm able to bring the ship down in a landing bay.
>>
No. 564009 ID: ce566c
File 139316525464.png - (89.41KB , 500x500 , 2_43.png )
564009

The ship's contacted shortly after touching down.
>"Ground control here. Cops are asking the pilot and only the pilot to disembark. They'll have someone down in a bit to sort things out."

Ok, fair enough. As I get up, Sabara enters the bridge.

>"Before you go out there, I think we should all put our weapons somewhere - so they don't think we're hostile."
"Uh, yeah sure. We can just dump them in here."

It's a good idea I guess. Everyone else seems pretty worried about the police. I guess they're not as used to their paranoia as I am.

I leave the ship without anything in my pockets. After a bit of waiting an officer enters the bay and approaches me.

>"You're the pilot of this ship? I'm going to need your name and licence number if you have one."
I tell him. My physical licence is long gone, but by now I've got my number memorized.
>"Ok, now: how 'bout you tell me the story of how you and your friends in there managed to get stuck out there."

Hmm, I have no idea where to start...

Hell, what should I actually leave in?
I mean for starters I think the big, mysterious ship that should currently be the galaxy's number one mystery is the ship that shot me down, that's probably a big deal. There's you guys, who I still haven't told anyone about. There's The weird, vaguely intimidating message on my crashed ship and the weird, vaguely terrifying space monster that was also on my crashed ship. Finally there's that robot that attacked us, which we still know nothing about.
>>
No. 564012 ID: 0b54f4

Well, seems like for this first round, you don't need too many details, unless you think there's something they NEED to know about, like that ship that shot you. Stick mainly to "shot down, planet with some survivors, hijacked a pirate ship XD, warped here." Right now we'd kinda like to start getting people off that ship, right? I mean, I guess they've been there all day already, but still. Also, you're kinda just standing there; seems like you could sit down before telling a half-hour story. When that HAPPENS, THEN I guess we tell the mostly-unabridged-with-a-few-exceptions story.
>>
No. 564013 ID: 9e49a8

you don't need to tell 'em your life story, man. just the parts that are actually believable. you were on a ship, it got shot down, you landed on a planet, met some fellow stranded people, snuck into a local pirate base, hijacked their ship, rescued all the spacebolds and brought them here. that's more than sensational enough to make the local news right there.

feel free to mention your strong suspicions of foulplay in regard to your ship's crashing. ix-nay on the muggling-say. and definitely leave out the voooooiiiiicesssss you hear talking in your heeeeeeeaaaaaaaad.
>>
No. 564014 ID: eb10ea

Stick to telling what the others can corroborate. That means no mentions of voices in your head or unseen creatures, at least right now.
>>
No. 564015 ID: 9ddf68

just say you we're do a delivery and were attacked, you managed to get away but your old ship was scraped and you were forced to make an emergency landing on whatever that planet was called. There you might some others that apparently crashed on the planet via a space freighter (can't remember the name of it) and they helped you back on your feet. Shortly after they told you about a pirate base nearby that had some ship you could use to escape the planet but until you showed up they didn't have the gear to try to attack them or anyone to fly any of the ships. You and some others did a small raid, got one of the ships (gesture toward the ship) and sabotaged the rest to avoid pursuit. We then picked up everyone in town and got the hell out of there. 3 days later we're here.

Feel free to add or leave out anything as you see fit and DON'T mention us. We can talk about head voices after we don't have a metaphorical gun pointed at us.
>>
No. 564031 ID: d315b1

>>564009
You were shot down, presumably by the pirates, over [system]. You met up with a group of survivors from another ship that had been shot down some years prior. Using weapons salvaged from the wrecks, you and several villagers raided the pirate facility, where you encountered a cooperative tech who helped by disabling their combat vessels. After a brief shootout, you were able to successfully run off with the cargo ship. Somebody showed up and sent you a message on the way out, but you were afraid it was more hostiles so you just got the fuck out of there.

Don't mention the big ship, don't mention the creature in the wreck and for the love of god don't mention us. Make sure you do ID Arlo as the guy who helped you.
>>
No. 564039 ID: a87e3a

>>564009
Tell them everything except about the voices in your head. Telling people you're hearing voices is usually a bad idea. Unless they ask specifically if you're hearing voices? Then they might know why you're hearing us and you can spill the beans about that.

I'm interested in that ship who was "testing weapons", maybe you should ask if they recognize the engineering firm.
>>
No. 564163 ID: d0e0a2

Don't say anything about us. You have no way to show we exist so it'd just make you sound crazy and kick your credibility to the curb. Perhaps later on you can seek out a doctor or scientist to tell about us, then get a brain scan or whatever to maybe find out how we're getting into your head. But for now keep your mouth shut.

Keep in mind that the police are almost certainly going to interview everyone else that came along, so whatever you say ought to be at least roughly in line with what they saw or heard. Otherwise the cops might get suspicious and give you extra, unwanted, attention. That means you'll be sharing almost everything that happened, but I can't think that'd be a problem since what happened was merely implausible, not illegal, right?

May as well start at the beginning, with the giant glowing ship shooting and crippling your ship about... What was it? Four weeks ago? He'll probably be incredulous about you surviving an encounter with that ship but that's fine. Doesn't really matter to the following events where the damage to your ship came from. Just keep going on to drifting near Treya, making a crash landing, and continue on from there.

Near the end don't forget to mention that ship that warped into the system, ostensibly for "weapons testing," right before you warped out. That ship was suspicious as hell. The police might want to pull the sensor data from the ship for that.

I hope you thought to pack the black box recorder and the data storage from your crashed ship in with the stuff the villagers brought along, because right now it'd be good corroborating evidence for your story.

The injuries to Zenith and Arlo will also provide a bit of backing for your story as well. They might do with medical treatment, but if they've been healing fine and not getting worse it can wait.

Hey, did you have insurance on your old ship? If you did then filing a claim right after you're done here should be a high priority. A payout from that would go a long way towards getting a new ship and back to flying again.

>>564008
Why were you having trouble keeping the ship on course, anyway? Was it handling strangely? Were the unfamiliar controls getting in the way?
>>
No. 568979 ID: 5cafdb
File 139652601828.png - (64.86KB , 500x500 , 2_44.png )
568979

"Okay, well, I was flying a new Darius CTX-5, from here to Tuatha. I had upgrade parts ordered there and I was flying the cheap route there. At the time I didn't know what happened, but something hit me and I was left drifting, heavily damaged and without much control. I assumed I was hit by pirates and my memory was hazy due to injury. Uh, I don't know what's happened since but, you know that big unknown ship that blew up Tuatha's moon?"
>"Sure do, we still don't know much about it."
“Yeah, well I received an emergency broadcast message about that and, well, I can’t be certain - but I pretty sure that was the ship that hit me."

The officer looks surprised.

>"...If that's the case we may need to press you for more details later. Continue for now."

I go on to tell him the rest: crashing, spending time with the villagers and then escaping. I don't mention any details about the first time we explored my ship, or anything about you guys. I do mention the robot though.

He messes with his tablet thing for a while before responding.

>"Everything seems to line up as far as our records are concerned. The others will take a bit of time, their ship reportedly fell apart in deep space, and the non-Galactic will need citizenship before he goes planetside. You however, are free to go - though not off-planet. There's a clinic down the hall if you need medical support, otherwise get down on the ground and get to your home building. Report in at the building's station and they'll take you from there. We'll be in contact with you soon about returning confiscated property."
"Will I be able to see the others?"
>"Unfortunately their temporary quarters will likely be in a non-civilian area, so probably not. We can keep you up to date about them if you'd like."
"Uh, yeah, that'd be good."

Soon other officers arrive and the others are able to leave the ship. I say my goodbyes, although everyone is pretty quickly caught up in the proceedings. Arlo shakes my hand and Jurek gives me a quick hug before I leave.
>>
No. 568980 ID: 5cafdb
File 139652604955.png - (124.59KB , 500x500 , 2_45.png )
568980

So I make my way back home. I take a train around the ring and a space elevator down to the planet. It's a familiar trip for me, it almost feels like I'm just on my normal commute.

The elevator is always a bit of an adrenaline rush, I wouldn't recommend looking out if you have a fear of heights. But dang the view is amazing. I usually enjoy it, but the contrast from the barren desert I’ve been seeing for the last, what, month? It feels like more. It’s crazy.

Belonia is almost entirely wilderness. Most people live either in the huge buildings spread around the equator or up in the ring, leaving the majority of the planet untouched. Doubly impressive considering this system is a major hub for shipbuilding.

>Why were you having trouble keeping the ship on course?
The thing's a hunk of junk. One or more of the fine control components was probably miscalibrated, it was hard to get a good feel for where the thing was gonna go when I was docking.

The elevator leads directly to my building. I head down to the police station, spend some time sorting things out there and eventually make my way to my apartment - floor 106.
>>
No. 568982 ID: 5cafdb
File 139652618492.png - (88.13KB , 500x500 , 2_46.png )
568982

The next two weeks are a blur. Sorting out things with my landlord, wrangling with insurance companies and getting all the news I can on the mysterious ship.

The ship has supposedly been sighted around the galaxy, even being caught on camera a couple of times, but it never stays for more than a few moments before warping again and hasn't attacked anything since Tuatha.

Debris from Tuatha's moon has apparently caused significant property damage on the planet, but there was enough warning that very few people were hurt.

I’ve had difficulty getting in contact with the company holding my ship parts, they were probably in the area affected, and it looks like it’ll be some time until I’ll be getting an insurance payout on the ship itself.

One morning I’m sleeping in, but I’m woken up by the ringing of my doorbell.

>”You two sure this is the right place?”
>”This is the address we got, so unless he’s moved…”


I hop out of bed and open the door. It’s Arlo, Sabara and Jurek!

“Oh, hi!"
>”Hey,” Arlo says “We’re all proper citizens now, so we thought we’d like, come around and say hi and stuff.”
>”Yeah! Arlo managed to get cleared really quickly so he did the same citizenship stuff as us!” Says Jurek.
“Oh yeah? Good! How was all that stuff?”
>”Filling out forms and waiting about. I uh, didn’t realise how long it’s been since I’ve had to write anything until I saw my own handwriting!”
“Hah, and how was the trip here, where are you staying?”
Sabara speaks up
>”The trip here was good. The public transport here’s very efficient. However Jurek didn’t seem to handle it so well.”
>”Hey!”
Arlo winces,
>”Yeahhhh I’m gonna have to side with the little guy on this one: space elevators are already freaky sci-fi bullshit but givng them windows?”

The four of us continue chatting at the doorway for a while. Eventually I remember my manners and invite them inside, though the apartment’s pretty cramped. Turns out the group have been given communal housing in a building relatively close to mine.

>”There was another reason we came to see you.” Sabara says, “You may have gotten the message already but we were told to tell you that you need to visit the police station soon. Someone has a message for you about that ship you saw, sounded like they were from the military.”

I guessss I should go get that done, but I’m still a bit dozy after just waking up.

Also it’s practically almost lunchtime.
>>
No. 568984 ID: 903f1e

stick it to the man by having lunch with your buddies instead.
>>
No. 568993 ID: d6e000

Take them out for lunch.
Handle police on the way back.
>>
No. 569012 ID: 2c6ff1

>>568982
Get ye brunch.
>>
No. 569025 ID: d0e0a2

The military person can wait. Take your buds out to lunch and catch up on what's been happening with them and what their plans are. Maybe head someplace a little nicer than usual as a bit of celebration for them getting citizenship. Then all of you swing by the police station so you can share what the message was right away.

Though, do check your mail and messages before heading out, just in case it something that can't wait.
>>
No. 569164 ID: 9ddf68

it's been a few weeks since you've seen these guys, grab some grub and catch up, we can hit the police on the way back. Also where's Zenith? Don't know why but I kinda thought he'd be here as well.
>>
No. 570808 ID: a717e8
File 139756468482.png - (83.29KB , 500x500 , 2_47.png )
570808

"That sounds important I guess, but right now I think it's time for lunch. You guys want to get something to eat? There's a food court thing a few floors down from here."
Arlo responds first,
>"Um, like I'd be keen to but I don't think any of us have money on us. We're still being fed and housed by the government."
"I could pay for everyone."
>"Oh, you sure that's ok?" Jurek says.
"Yeahh It's fiiine."

Honestly I probably shouldn't. Things are gonna be pretty bad money-wise until I get my insurance back on the ship - but whatever I wanna be nice.

We head downstairs to the food court. Though it's not the first time they've been in a big public place since they landed on the planet, it is the first time they've had so much choice for what they can eat. It takes Jurek and Sabara a bit of time to decide on what they want. Arlo on the other hand has his meal picked out pretty much instantly.
>"Look I'm not kidding when I say that I friggin kept a list of all the food I realized I couldn't get back in the base. A real one, on paper and everything."

Eventually we all have our food, a table and are chatting away. Jurek and Sabara seem to get along a bit better than I expected them to. She does seem a bit less serious now that we're all safe. Arlo doesn't seem quite as comfortable as the other two, but he seems to be doing well enough.

"Oh yeah, did you guys hear anything about the freighter you were originally on?"
>"Yeah we have!" Jurek responds "Uh, there's something I don't think I ever properly told you about. I uh, kinda wanted to see if you freaked out when you saw them, but you never ended up going on a trip to the crash site! The ship had a bunch of creatures on it, they're pretty scary looking, and really fast! - but mostly harmless. They ended up breeding and infesting the crash site.""
Sabara continues:
>"A few of our parents generation; the ones that were already adults when the crash happened, were biological researchers. The creatures didn't resemble anything they knew of, so we think they were biologically engineered from the ground up, which is illegal. The police currently think WX-Shipping lied about the crash because they didn't want the wreckage to be found."

It's weird to think WX would be involved with stuff like that. They seemed like a pretty reliable group from the times I've worked with them. Though I suppose things can change a lot in 15 years.
>>
No. 570809 ID: a717e8
File 139756472532.png - (52.62KB , 500x500 , 2_48.png )
570809

Once we've all finished I finally head down to the police station. The others join me.

It takes the guy at the desk a bit to confirm I am who I say I am, and then even more time wrestling with the computer system to bring up the message on a terminal, but eventually I'm able to hear it.

>"This is Grand-Detective William Keys. I'm currently in charge of GA Investigative Task-force 3, leading the investigation into the unidentified megaship. If possible I'd like to interview you in person about your reported sighting of the ship. I'm currently on Tuatha. I can supply tickets here and back for you and anyone else you want to bring along, within reason. Give your response to an officer and they should have you ready to travel in a day or two."
>>
No. 570817 ID: d6e000

Is this guy legit? Can we trust him?
>>
No. 570857 ID: e9e331

might as well not like we can really do anything until the insurance kicks in. Also ask if anyone of the three with you would like to come or not. Probably be boring but hey never hurts to ask.
>>
No. 570986 ID: f635f7

field trip! take anyone who wants to come with. don't ask them, though, or they might come just out of being too polite to refuse.

PS: is there a monetary reward for this?
>>
No. 573804 ID: 3e92f4
File 139970121948.png - (87.43KB , 500x500 , 2_49.png )
573804

It's a legit, official message. There's no mention of a reward. I like the idea of a free round trip to Tuatha but...

I get the attention of the dude behind the desk:
"Hey, you able to check if I'm allowed to leave the planet yet?"
>"Sure, let's see... Ah, good timing! As of an hour ago you've got full freedom. It also says that your confiscated property is on it's way to being delivered back to you. You want to organize a reply to that thing now?"
"Uh, gimme a bit."

Well I'm good to go, but I feel like I miiiiight know some people who'd want to join me.

I turn back to the rest
"So, anyone else want to-"
>"Yep!" Jurek says, cutting me off "I mean, if that's ok."
>"Yeah I'd be keen too. I like, need to look into getting proper accreditation for working on ships and stuff and that's a place I can do it."
"Sabara?"
>"Thanks, but I'll pass. Right now I want to focus on starting life here with the rest. Speaking of which, they were expecting us back a while ago. We'd better get moving."
>"Wow really?" Jurek checks the station's wall clock "Haha we've been out way longer than I realized, we should go right now. Seeya!"
Arlo seems just as surprised at the time
>"Damn, yeah seeya later dude."
>"Good luck on your trip. Oh, most will probably feel the same way I do, but do you want me to ask anyone else to join you?"
"Um, yeah sure put out the offer out to everyone. Seeya."

With that they head off, hurrying to get to the building's train station.

I spend the rest of the day back in my apartment lazing about. Late in the evening I get a package from the building's delivery system. It's my confiscated stuff.

Well, some of it. I got my two pistols back, none of the ammo or batteries - but they're not exactly expensive, my galactic encyclopedia, the hard drives I salvaged from my ship computer, something? and even my ship's black box.
A message came with it that mentions that the gun I picked up back at the base isn't a legal civilian weapon, so it couldn't be given back, and the ship we flew in on fails enough safety standards that it'll have to be scrapped. There's also an apology, apparently they looked through some of my hard drives thinking they were for the ships flight computer rather than its personal one. I don't exactly have anything 'personal' on there, but I guess it's nice that they apologized?

Later that night I get a message from the karit, presumably written by Sabara, that says nobody else wanted to leave with me. Apparently a few were tempted, especially Zenith! But everyone wants a bit of time to adapt to modern life.

I send a reply to the local police station, saying that I'm good to go as soon as possible and that I'll be bringing two others with me.

I spend the rest of the night thinking about how "Grand Detective" is a really silly title.
>>
No. 573805 ID: 3e92f4
File 139970124180.png - (99.60KB , 500x500 , 2_50.png )
573805

Two days later Jurek, Arlo and me are up on the ring waiting for our flight. Since we're traveling publicly I can't bring any weapons or anything, so I've just got my guide, a phone and some changes of clothes.

>"Uuugh does space travel always have this much waiting about?" Arlo grumbles.
"When you don't have your own ship it does."
>"Ughhhh."
Jurek's keeping himself occupied by looking up stuff on the guide, but yeah I forgot how bad waiting around for space transport delays can be. Also maybe I got us here too early too.

Eventually our ship is ready for boarding. These things move through systems pretty slowly, but they get through warp pretty fast and the route just uses beacon warps, so it's not a particularly long flight. About 4 hours in the end. Still, we got a nice cabin to sit in, and the views in the systems we passed through were good enough to keep Jurek and Arlo entertained.

I only really pay attention to the outside as we make our final approach to Tuatha. The lack the moon is freaking me out, but otherwise the planet looks pretty much the same as I remember it.

The ship enters the atmosphere to land at a large spaceport.
>>
No. 573806 ID: 3e92f4
File 139970127039.png - (157.40KB , 500x500 , 2_51.png )
573806

On the ground everything looks normal. Well as normal as a planet sized city will ever look. I feel like we should do some sightseeing but, you know how sometimes sitting around and resting all day just makes you more tired? Yeah we all have that. Plus it's already nighttime on the part of the planet where our hotel is.

We disembark and a bunch of more boring stuff happens. Like picking up our bags and getting to our hotel and getting lost and whatever. I'm supposed to get a message at the hotel telling me when I can meet the military detective guy, it still hasn't come through. None of us have been particularly talkative for the whole trip up 'till now, but eventually we find ourselves killing time at the hotel bar.


"What? You've never had alcohol? C'monn, pretty much every civilization of every race in the galaxy made some form of alcoholic drink!"
>"Hey - it's probably a good thing we weren't stuck there long enough for it to get to that point! But uh, unless my parents spiked my drinks when I was a baby, never!"
>"Mannnn I'll get you a drink of... like, something! What can you karit people drink anyways?"

I'm still nursing my first drink. Arlo's only on his second but apparently he's a lightweight.

I feel like maybe I should be responsible and that peer pressure is bad. Also anything we get here is coming out of my pocket.
Buuut then also this trip has been really boring so far and it doesn't look like we've got anything else to do for the rest of the night...
>>
No. 573808 ID: 9ddf68

Ask Jurek what type of food he likes. Sweet, bitter, what? It will help us pin point what type of drink he should start with. And if all else fails just have him start out with a sweet fruity mix drink and work from there.
>>
No. 573809 ID: c170fd

>>573806
Compromise. Get a little bit drunk.
>>
No. 573855 ID: 3e4b6e

Peer pressure is the spice of life.
>>
No. 573889 ID: ccd544

>>573806
dude, you have to check out his species on *alien wikipedia* first to you don't get him the wrong kind of alcohol, or a fancy drink with some flavoring that's actually toxic.

You are now aware that Jurek has lived his whole life without the Internet.
>>
No. 574214 ID: 166ec0

>I got my two pistols back, none of the ammo or batteries - but they're not exactly expensive, my galactic encyclopedia, the hard drives I salvaged from my ship computer, something? and even my ship's black box.

what's the something?

>I don't exactly have anything 'personal' on there, but I guess it's nice that they apologized?

maybe there is something personal in it? lots of shenanigans happened while you were stranded, so you should re-check the drives just in case. the black box too, actually. you know, when you have the opportunity.

for now, ask the bartend for a lightweight spacebold booze.
>>
No. 575072 ID: aa2e6a
File 140055610577.png - (108.69KB , 500x500 , 2_52.png )
575072

the ", something?" in Kado's package from the police is an error on my end whoops. There was nothing more of note in there.

>Maybe there was something on the hard drive.
I guess? I'll look through it when I have the opportunity but it was mostly just like, movies and logs and whatever. Normal stuff.

Well Jurek seems keen to try something, so I try to work out something he'd like. It also has to be something that wont make a karit sick or dead too.

"You know what kind of drinks you'd be able to have?"
>"Um, If you told me their ingredients probably."

I wouldn't know that sort of stuff. I'd just look it up but the internet connection on my phone isn't working properly and the Galactic Encyclopaedia has a disappointingly small section on alcohol.

>You are now aware that Jurek has lived his whole life without the Internet.
“Jurek! you poor thing!”
>”Uhh, what?”
“You’ve gone through life without access to the internet haven't you?”
>"Hah, yeah. I mean I've used it a bit back on Belonia now but yep."
"And Arlo! What about you?"
>"What? Yeahhh man we had the 'net. It was fuckin' slow and expensive but we had it. I think like, some empire company was doing a shady deal with our planet or something."

Well that's neat. Oh, yeah actually the bartenders should know what kind of drink Jurek can have. Karit are a pretty common race in this part of the galaxy.

Jurek apparently prefers bitter tastes, so with that in mind I ask the bartender for a recommendation. It's a drink I'm a fan of, so I get one for both of us. He takes a tentative sip, then quickly starts drinking in earnest.

"I take it you like it?"
>"Haha yeah, it's really nice!"

So we have more. Arlo only has one more before retreating to the bathroom, eventually heading back up to our hotel room to rest. A few more drinks in and Jurek's going fine.

"...and that's how the internet still works from planet to planet!"
>"Kado I didn't understand any of that!"
"Whatever! It's cool that is the important thing to remember."
>"I think this stuff is affecting you more than me! Or can you not notice yourself being drunk? I don't know how this is supposed to work!"

Yeah no I'm definitely in the process of moving from 'tipsy' to 'drunk'. We've had the same amount but Jurek seems less affected. This is embarrassing karit are not supposed to have better alcohol tolerance than Silth.

Before I can think of something witty to reply with the bartender interrupts us.
>"You have a call asking for your room number, do you want to take it here?"
"Oh, yeah sure."

The bartender puts a little desk phone thingy in front of me. The call comes through.

>"This is Kado?"
"Yep. We're just in the hotel's bar right now."
>"Ahh good you arrived. I was worried the hotel would put us on opposite sides of the planet, but they've given you one that's close enough for our meeting. Actually you've given me an idea, why not meet at a bar? Official military buildings aren't the nicest places to have a chat. I'd prefer the added discretion too."
"Uhh, a bar sounds good yeah!""
>"Excellent. I've got a place in mind, not too far away from you. I'll get a message to you with directions. Do bring your companions with you, if they're willing. Nothing to do with the investigation but I've personal interest in your experiences stuck on that planet. Now we need a time... hmm.. aha! It would be early in the night tomorrow, does that suit you?"
"Um yeah thats fine."
>"Good, I'll keep you no longer. Talk to you then."

He ends the call.

"So Jurek, do you wanna join us or?"
>"Yeah why not. He sounds interesting!"

Cool. It's not long before we head back up to the room ourselves. Could've stayed up longer, but if we're going out tomorrow it's probably best to call it a night here.

The room has separate bedrooms for all of us and a small living area. It's pretty nice and probably didn't come cheap. I say goodnight to Jurek, Arlo is presumably already asleep, and head to bed.
>>
No. 575073 ID: aa2e6a
File 140055614315.png - (108.50KB , 500x500 , 2_53.png )
575073

When I wake up the next morning I find Arlo eating breakfast, still half asleep in the living area.

>"Morning dude, we're allowed to take the stuff in the fridge right?"
"Think so yeah. I'm meeting with the detective tonight, he's invited you and Jurek along too."
>"Oh? Yeah sure I'll go."

Jurek eventually wakes as well and we all get ready and leave.

There's a note for us at the front desk, direction's to the bar the detective wanted to meet at. They're marked on a tourist map of the area. It's pretty dumb and not to scale, but we still haven't decided what we're going to do to kill time so it might be useful.

There's a huge shopping complex nearby, a zoo, a big movie theatre. I'm sure this map misses out on a lot, it covers a pretty huge area with multiple levels of buildings. but it's probably good enough.

We could head over to the industrial district, it'd be a long trip but if I want to visit the offices of the company I bought ship parts from I could do it there. There are also tours that show off the damage caused by the moon fragments, the idea of making it a tourist thing kind of weirds me out though.

Arlo wants to try and organize his qualifications stuff at some point, but he's not sure where to do it.
>>
No. 575076 ID: 9ddf68

well for qualification stuff I guess some kind of government building but I'm not sure. We could just ask the detective guy at the bar and just fill it out on the ride home tho so there is that.

As for where to go I'm tempted between the interstitial sector and the movie theater simply because we really don't have the cash to waste on a shopping spree so might as well go for something cheap and takes a lot of time (movie theater) or something that shouldn't take any cash from you wallet at all.
>>
No. 575485 ID: 21d0a5

Head to the industrial district and get something done.
Besides movies are best when watched with friends at home on your giant future space screen.
>>
No. 575499 ID: 2bfcdf

>>575073
Let's go to the zoo! You seem to want to save money so going to the shopping mall would just involve 100% window shopping.
>>
No. 576733 ID: ca64a4
File 140163959028.png - (126.64KB , 500x500 , 2_54.png )
576733

We're all interested, and it's relatively cheap, so we decide to go to the zoo.

The tourist map is a pretty gross simplification, the rail route there takes a lot of getting on and off and going up and down lifts. There's plenty of other lines too, but the map only seems to show stuff near the top level of the city.

The zoo itself is a bit closer to the ground, spanning the middle floors of a particularly large building. We get our tickets and head in. Moving from the lobby into the main room of the place feels just like stepping outside back on Belonia. It's crazy how convincing artificial environments like this can be, especially considering that outside you can barely even see sunlight this far down.

There's a lot to see! There are many planets with life that have been explored, so there's plenty of animals here I've never even heard of.

Jurek gets right into it, he did say some older karit were biologists and it seems they shared some of their passion with him. He recognizes more than me and spends ages pouring over every sign or information terminal in the place. Arlo doesn't seem that interested in learning anything about the animals, but is complacent just to watch. I'm pretty similar in that regard.

>"Whoa, hey Kado! Y'know how all the different planets everything here comes from would have slightly different gravity and stuff?"
"Yeah."
>"Well apparently every enclosure here has its own gravity generator to make up for it!"
"Dang really? They wouldn't be able to make it too precise, or go for less than this planet's normal gravity, but I guess that makes sense."
>"Yeah! Oh, actually it says here they use upside-down generators to lessen the gravity."
"Oh."

Yeah ok between that and the not-outside outdoors this place is starting to weird me out a bit. Thinking about it I'm surprised I don't see the upside-down gravity generator trick more often, but I guess you don't really see them outside of spaceships much in the first place.

We spend a good few hours at the zoo, eating lunch there. Eventually we've seen all we can manage for one day and head back to the hotel.

After a short rest I feel like checking out the industrial district. Arlo and Jurek don't seem particularly interested, but tag along anyway. 'District' is a bit of a deceptive term, most other planets would call something of its size a country. It's a large area that's less focused on impossibly tall skyscrapers and more on impossibly large factories.

I try to find the offices or a warehouse company I got my ship stuff from, but don't have much luck. Honestly I wasn't trying too hard, I mostly made the trip to kill time, and the trip itself took longer than expected
>>
No. 576734 ID: ca64a4
File 140163963665.png - (71.14KB , 500x500 , 2_55.png )
576734

That night the three of us head to the bar. It's a bit tricky to find, being pretty much the first place we've gone that isn't a direct route from a train station, but we find our way there.

It's a pretty nice place, not too dingy not too classy. If I were somewhere less dense I'd say I could see why the detective picked it out, but on a planet like Tuatha I'm sure there's at least two more places just like it in the same building, let alone the surrounding area. Whatever, can't say it's a bad choice.

A daro sitting at the back sees us enter, gets up and approaches us.

>"Kado? I'm William Keys, good to meet you all."
We shake hands.
"Uh, hey. Glad to make it."
>"Excellent. Well let's all take a seat and get started."

We all sit down and order a round of drinks. Keys is paying so that's great.

He starts by asking us about our time stranded on the planet. It's stuff we've all gone through plenty of times by now. Actually I guess I haven't heard much of Arlo's time on the base before we got there and I probably should've been paying more attention just now but oh well. Jurek and I stick with not mentioning the monster from my ship, for now at least. Jurek and Arlo seem kind of intimidated by the guy, but I manage to find myself mostly at ease talking to him.

>"Ahh this has all been very interesting, thanks for going through it. I'm sure you're bored of telling your story to people from the government by now but the official reports tend to be a bit dry in comparison. Which reminds me, let me just look it up..."
He messes around with his phone for a bit.
>"Tch, as I thought. Looks like your little robot attack has been passed of as a pirate attempt at taking the village out. Now, Arlo is it? Would you say that anyone on your homeplanet would have access to a robot like that?"
>"Uh, no sir! Like, I guess I wouldn't really know, but it doesn't sound like the sort of thing we'd have."
"Mmm, and based on your descriptions it doesn't sound like a pirate knockoff design anyway. Much more advanced. But as interesting as that mystery is that's not what I should be focusing on! Now Kado, I'd like you to go through your encounter with the unidentified ship."

Oh man I probably should've tried to go through what I remembered beforehand or something.

"Well, It's still a really vague memory. I couldn't say for certain that it was the same ship, or that my mind isn't just playing tricks on me. It feels right though."
>"Well, try to go through what you do remember as carefully as possible."
"Ok, uh well I think was busy preparing for warp and stuff when it happened. Yeah, I'd just checked the warp target when something caught my eye. It was there. That big, glowing, blue brick. I mean it was only a second, I never really got a sense of how big it was or how it got there. I don't think it displayed on scanners at all, I would've noticed it there first. Anyway, I saw a flash, felt a huge force hit my ship and then must've passed out. The feeling of the ship getting hit is the last thing I can remember."

>"Good, that all sounds about right. I-"
He looks like he's about to say something else, then glances at Jurek and Arlo.
>"Actually, there's something I'd like to ask you in private, could we go out back for a moment?"
"Oh, yeah ok."

We head out back into a service corridor, leaving Jurek and Arlo with their drinks.
>"I should've thought of this before inviting your friends along, this isn't really the sort of thing to ask with company around. Now, this is a bit of an odd question, but since you were attacked have you noticed anything... strange going on? Anything you haven't mentioned, such as... voices in your head?"

UHHH.
>>
No. 576746 ID: 9ddf68

...wwwhhhhhhyyy?
>>
No. 576764 ID: e3aff6

What?
>>
No. 576770 ID: 2bfcdf

>>576734
Whoa, I think he knows what we are! Tell him about us and ask what the explanation is.

Since he seems to have a deeper understanding of what's going on you might want to consider telling him about the "monster" in the engine room too. We weren't telling him about this stuff because it would make you look crazy, right?
>>
No. 577116 ID: 7e4b54

NO WE ARE NOT HERE GO AWAY MISTER POLICEMAN SHOO SHOO

Yeah but honestly I don't see a problem with telling a government official that you might be suffering from a mild form of psychosis that will ground you forever.
>>
No. 577168 ID: 761017

Gather more information. Keep confirmation vague.
>"Like what, third thoughts, fourth thoughts? I've always practiced that, but do you mean actual voices? Have other people encountered the ship and survived? What happened to them?"

Context: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiffany_Aching#Powers_and_abilities
>Second Thoughts, which are defined as 'the thoughts you think about the way you think'. Whilst other witches are said to have this trait as well, Tiffany also recognizes some of her thoughts as Third Thoughts, (the thoughts you think about the way you think about the way you think,) and Fourth Thoughts, (the thoughts you think about the way you think about the way you think about the way you think.) All these thoughts sometimes cause Tiffany to walk into door frames.
>>
No. 579283 ID: ca64a4
File 140315696265.png - (78.00KB , 500x500 , 2_56.png )
579283

"Why do you ask?"
>"A hunch."
"You mean like, uh, third or fourth thoughts?"
>"What? I'm talking about actual voices. People talking to you nobody else can see? Hmm?"
"I- look, sorry I just don't see how this is relevant."
>"You know you're not the only one who saw the ship before it showed up here? There are others who seem to be in a similar state..."
"Well, uh..."
>"Don't worry, I'm not going to get you barred from flying or anything like that. Quite the opposite actually. When you regained consciousness on your ship it was about... a week until they showed up, right? Now please, tell me about them."

Well shit he knows a lot. I guess I may as well.

"Yeah, you're right it was a week. Um, there isn't much to say really. They sort of try to help me with stuff. Like when I'm not sure what to do. I can't always hear them but I can usually tell they're there."
>"Interesting... you wouldn't describe them as, well, 'creepy whispers'?"
"Nooot really. They sound... uh... normal I guess. I mean now that I think about it I can't really say exactly how they sound now. Just... normal? What about those other people?"
>"Yes, the others. I've spoken to one more person in your situation and I'm currently tracking down more. He were also travelling alone, got hit, woke up and later found mysterious voices talking to them. However the voices seemed to intimidate them. I can't say if this means the voices the two of you are experiencing are different or if they simply had a different reaction - I wasn't able to get much information out of them."
"Why's that?"
>"He ran off. I'll show you, lets continue inside."

He heads back into the bar and back to our table, I follow. He grabs some paper and a disk out of his bag and puts it on the table.

>"Here is the man we were just talking about. I was able to partially interview him in a call but he ended early, and has since left empire space. There are few places he's believed to be, all relevant information is in this document here."

Jurek and Arlo kind of have no idea what's going on.

"Ok that's interesting but why are you telling us? Isn't this kind of thing confidential?"
>"Well Kado, I'm telling you because I want you to find him."
"What? You're military, surely there are people in the military who can do that? I don't even have a ship!""
>"Yes well, I'm afraid this line of investigation doesn't have the greatest support from my colleagues. They consider it a wild goose chase, but you and I know that isn't true. If I'm seen wasting resources on it there's a good chance I'll be replaced as head of investigation. No, I need someone outside the system to do this for me, and given that you're in a similar situation to him I think you're an apt choice."
"If it's a sensitive operation this makes even less sense! Why would you put so much trust in someone you just met?"
>"Kado, you sell yourself short! Lets see... You've been a professional pilot for three and a half years, starting at a younger than average age. Since the start you've received glowing recommendations from almost everyone you've worked for. Within just a year freight companies started trusting you to be the only pilot on-board their ships. You were able to get a disabled ship online and escape from pirates while being personally attacked by assault bots. You've placed extremely well in dogfight competitions despite never having outside experience flying the ships used. You've been consistently reliable in all deliveries or transport you've done solo. The list goes on. I can't tell if you're humble or just oblivious, but you have a very, very good reputation. Honestly, though it's convenient for me, it's very abnormal that someone like you hasn't pursued a military career."

Ok well now he's starting to sound like my parents.

>"Look: Here's the information on him. Your task would be to find him and set up an interview between him and me, in person or otherwise. I'll provide you with a ship - my old yacht. A military M8778, with expanded living quarters but with weapon replacements and limiters to keep it civilian legal. If you succeed the ship's yours. So what do you say?"

I get military naming conventions mixed up a bit but if it's what I think it is the M8778 is a pretty dang nice ship, normally impossible to buy.
>>
No. 579285 ID: 24dc7a

I don't know about you, but I am curious to learn more about the whole ship-causing-voices thing.

So what are planning to offer that guy for his cooperation, and what are there plans if he refuses?
>>
No. 579286 ID: ac14c0

>>579283
This sounds like a low risk mission with a hell of a bonus, might lead to answers about what happened to you, and adventuuuuuure!
>>
No. 579301 ID: 9ddf68

>>579283
you know you could have gotten away with not hearing voices if you just acted like he insulted you. I mean 9 out of 10 times when someone ask if you're hearing voices they mean in a insult saying they think you're crazy. Just pointing that out incase you ever need to use it.

Now on to some of the things this guy said.
>You've been a professional pilot for three years
yes, a freight pilot, not a military one
>placed extremely well in dogfight competitions despite never having outside experience flying the ships used
Yes well the difference between a dogfight competition and an actual dog fight is as different as a paintball fight is an actual firefight. One someone just get covered in washable paint the other someone leaves in a body bag, one is fun, the other is full of mind numbing fear.
>Your task would be to find him and set up an interview between him and me, in person or otherwise.
and he'll lesion to us because...? and if you think he'll be easier to track down because of the voices or that will make him more sympathetic to us know that each person gets they're own voices and they don't jump between people. That and you said that this guy was scared of his voices, what's to stop him from thinking that the US voices are there to make his life worse then the HIS voices already are. Even if we find the guy this could really well because of US or really really badly.

But yeah we'll take the job. Insurance hasn't kicked up the money they owe yet and some answers would be nice. Just letting him know this crap because no matter how you look at this he's sending a civilian to do military work. If this blows up it's in his hands.

Oh and since he's been dick enough to bring this in front of your friends who you haven't told anything about us, you might as well tell them about us... just make sure no one else is eavesdropping because just because someone knows about us doesn't mean we don't want everyone to know. As I'm sure if the masses know you heard voices you'd still have a bitch of a time getting a job after that bit of news got out.
>>
No. 579337 ID: e73b69

Go for it
>>
No. 579465 ID: eaa372

Go for it but ask him if there's any internal politics that may increase the risk of the job. It would be nice to know if we just have to look out for mystery assailants or additional threats from people "on our side".
>>
No. 580272 ID: ca64a4
File 140350736727.png - (57.37KB , 500x500 , 2_57.png )
580272

"I need to know if there's any risk you're not telling me about. You're kind of rewarding me really well for a simple job that might not even end up useful for you."
>"I think you underestimate how hard he will be to track down! That being said, I can't say with certainty there will be no outside threats. Pirates are, of course, a concern outside of empire space and, while it will give you an advantage if something does happen, my ship will likely make you more of a target. I can't imagine any internal conflict I'm dealing with will lead to danger for you. Otherwise, well, we're dealing with an unknown outside threat - something unpredictable could always happen."
"Hmm... Ok I'll do it."
>"Fantastic. Here's the key to the ship and directions to the spaceport It's docked at. You'll find that there is a single star system we know for certain he's been in, I'd recommend starting the search there. Feel free to start whenever you want, though I would prefer it to be sooner rather than later."

He adds a key and a map to the pile on the table.

>"And now I had better get going. Best of luck to you all."

He leaves. Jurek and Arlo are still look as confused as ever.

>"So uh," Arlo says "first thing's first: can we come with you? I mean I'm just assuming Jurek will wanna come but I really wanna see that ship in action. Plus it'd be cool to see what other non-empire planets are like."
"Uh, yeah sure. I was probably gonna ask you anyway. Jurek?"
>"Yeah I'm definitely interested!"
>"Ok great. Now uh, that leaves the more important question: what the fuck was all of that about? What's so special about this dude and what's it got to do with you? Like, if it's something private whatever but if it isn't?"

Yeahhh now is probably the time for an explanation of some kind.
>>
No. 580281 ID: 2fd516

>>580272
Well... I'm not so sure you should tell them you're hearing voices, even if you have evidence that you're not crazy. Better to say that this guy got his ship shot up too and the both of you are experiencing additional symptoms that you'd rather not go into. He got freaked out by the symptoms and ran off. You're gonna track him down and maybe see if you can calm him down enough to talk to the detective about it.
>>
No. 580396 ID: 9ddf68

half truths then.

Say how that one ship that blow that moon to hell was the same ship that attacked you before you crashed on there planet. That same ship also attacked this guy and the detective wants us to find him so he can see if he can't get any useful information off the guy.

The reason I took the job is because he paid me and seeing as how I'm jobless right now and without a ship that was good motivation, I was going crazy sitting at home all day, and I also want answers about that ship.

If they keep pushing tell them you'll tell them about us (don't say voice just hint at us) when you're not in public. I mean if we're going to tell people you hear voices might as well NOT do it in public in the middle of the day.
>>
No. 580403 ID: ccd544

arlek and Juro were there for the entire conversation, they heard everything

Anything they want to know can be discussed after some Celebratory Drinks while you check out the ships specs online to explain what makes the M8778 such a badass rare ship!
>>
No. 583358 ID: d5995a
File 140481712575.png - (75.48KB , 500x500 , 2_58.png )
583358

"Well, basically the big ship that blew up the moon and hit me also hit this guy. It sounds like he passed out, had temporary amnesia and everything else exactly the same way I did. Well I guess he didn't crash land, though I didn't ask. The dude might have more info on the ship, but something's freaked him out."
>"Yeahh ok."

They don't seem entirely convinced, but Arlo leaves it at that.

"So uh, more drinks?"

We get more drinks! Though I have to pay now that the detective's left.

>"So what's this ship look like anyway?" Jurek says.
"Um, if its the one I'm thinking of It's kind of hard to describe! You'll have to wait 'till tomorrow."
>"Can't you look it up on your phone or something?"

Oh yeah I can totally do that. I look up images of the M8260.

>"Ahhh that looks cool!"

Arlo leans over to take a look.

>"Ooh nice. Oh dude, like, he said he replaced the physical weapons with civvie ones, but the other stuff just used a limiter right?"
"Yeah. That'd cover engine power and scanners I guess."
>"Limiters are fucking easy to remove! Unless it's done in a way that's super different to what I've seen I'd be able to do it!"
"It would be kind of illegal though!"
>"Nottttt if we weren't in empire space! I mean, the dudes who told me this kind of were actual criminals to the empire but apparently as long as you don't do the modification in empire space and re-activate the limiter when you go back you haven't done anything illegal! Maybe like, check first though."

I've got to admit its a tempting idea.

We don't stay much longer before heading back to the hotel.
>>
No. 583359 ID: d5995a
File 140481723377.png - (48.35KB , 500x500 , 2_59.png )
583359

The next day I'm the last to wake up - Jurek and Arlo are already digging into breakfast.

"Morning. So, when do you guys want to head off? You still have stuff to organize don't you Arlo?"
>"Yeahhh but I can't really be bothered doing it now. I'm good to go whenever."
>"I'd say the sooner the better!" chips in Jurek.

I can't really think of anything I need to get done myself. We could probably leave today.

Well actually, I guess we might want to get weapons for ourselves if we're leaving empire space. We could could go back to Bell and pick up my guns, but it's in the opposite direction of the system we need to get to. It'd probably double the time to get there. Buying stuff here would be the fastest option.

Unfortunately after looking some things up it seems like Tuatha isn't a great planet for getting personal weapons, with a bunch of restrictions placed on retailers.

If I put aside money to should spend on rent, food and other important stuff I’ve got about 1200 creds of spending money.

The prices would vary depending on quality but roughly:
100C-300C would get me a ballistic pistol. 200C-400C would get me an energy pistol.
Ballistics tend to be more powerful for the price, but they do need ammo. Hybrid energy/ballistic pistols are a bit of a rarity, I'd have to do a good bit of hunting to find one here.
I could also get melee weapons. They'd be much better than the crude things the villagers used to have. 20C-100C for something with a vibroblade, 60-200C for something with a chargeblade. Both can cut better than a regular old piece of metal can. Chargeblades, tipped with plasma energy, cut better but if they manage to lose power they're usually blunter than vibroblades.

Still undecided on when we're going to leave, we take a trip to find the spaceport the ship's at. It looks pretty damn nice, and I'm able to confirm with the staff there that I do in fact have permission to take it.

I really want to think about buying stuff for the ship, seeing as that's something Tuatha's is great for, buuuut I probably shouldn't modify it until it's actually mine.
>>
No. 583386 ID: 2fd516

>>583359
Well, you'll eventually return to Bell someday and it wouldn't do to have redundant weaponry. Grab an energy pistol and a vibroblade.

Are there any options for armor? Personal shields maybe?
>>
No. 583416 ID: 9ddf68

so you just getting weapons for yourself for the whole party? I'd say a energy weapon just because we don't need to worry about ammo and a vibroblade so we don't have to worry about a charge.
>>
No. 583587 ID: 761017

>>583359
Buy Armor First!
Modular body armor with masks, just in case have to tromp through a jungle or storm or neurotoxin trap, and modular means you can prep light. SWAT style wall-shields are also a must, portable cover is powerful stuff!
Buy Grenades Second!
They are the universal combat cheat, and turn a bad situation into a survivable situation!
Buy Comms Equipment Third! it is a fact of life that you will end up goinf out of range of normal comm equipment, or be stuck in a subterranean cave that blocks normal signals, or be in a danger zone where normal communications EMF become great big "shoot me" targets. In a tight spot, coordination matters!

You guys only need cheap guns, maybe one big gun to go between you, but only one of you has any real skill handling firearms, the other two are more likely to miss their shots even on full-auto!
>>
No. 583588 ID: 761017

>>583359
>it's in the opposite direction of the system we need to get to

You are a delivery driver, you work int he delivery business, you are exposed to other delivery businesses and transportation services! Call one of your business contacts for a good courier service to deliver your stuff from Bell to Tuatha!

I know how the business world works, I work in production for a sign business and I deal with a lot of various suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, delivery services, printing services, maintenance services, qualification certification services, courier services, etc. It's all stuff you learn because it impacts your job or is part of your product or is one of your client's clients.
>>
No. 583625 ID: d5995a
File 140500218039.png - (71.17KB , 500x500 , 2_60.png )
583625

>Call one of your business contacts for a good courier service to deliver your stuff from Bell to Tuatha!
Not a bad idea, but they'd have to get the weapons from inside my apartment first. Giving someone access from offplanet is a pretty huge pain, and I’m not too keen on letting just anyone look through my stuff. Plus I doubt I’d be able to get it done for a reasonable price.

After some shopping around I grab an energy pistol and two vibroblades, a dagger and a short spear, for 302C all up. It’s all technically for myself, but it’ll give Jurek and Arlo options if we get into trouble.

Decent bodyarmor is expensive when it’s priced well, which it sure isn’t here. Getting a set just for myself would blow the rest of my budget. Instead I get three personal shields for 108C. They’re pretty weak little things, they’ll only slow down bullets and other physical attacks, though they should be able to take a couple of energy shots before needing to recharge.

It’t not long before we check out of the hotel and prepare for take off.

The interior of the ship is more cramped than it looks. The main compartment is only built for one person. Arlo and Jurek have to sit in the extra living quarters, attached to the bottom. It’s technically made for 8 people, with two bunk beds on each side, though I doubt it’d be comfortable with that many.
>>
No. 583626 ID: d5995a
File 140500221139.png - (145.30KB , 500x500 , 2_61.png )
583626

Soon the ship is moved to the dock’s runway and we fly off. I’m quickly impressed with how the ship feels to fly, it’s usually pretty obvious spaceships aren’t really designed to be efficient when in an atmosphere, but this manages to fly like a plane, even with its unwieldy shape.

Once in space things are even better. Everything behaves exactly as I’d expect, but faster and more precise than I’m used to. A lot of ships have a feature where pitch, roll and yaw happen at a constant speed - with the ship computer looking at your input and firing bursts on the rotation thrusters accordingly, rather than having to manually accelerate and decelerate. I think this is the first time I’ll be leaving that feature on.

Eventually I work out how to get audio transmitting between the two compartments.

“Hey guys, can you hear me down there?”
A voice sounding like Jurek responds
>”Whoa Kado, hey!”
“Comfortable?”
He laughs
>”Yeah! It’s actually pretty nice down here!”
“Where’s Arlo?”
>”Yeah I’m here!”
>”He’s kind of busy staring at the engines, you get a really neat view of them from the rear window.”
“Hah. Well remember you can climb up into this part of the ship whenever you want, the only spot without enough room is the cockpit.”
>>
No. 583627 ID: d5995a
File 140500224430.png - (69.63KB , 500x500 , 2_62.png )
583627

The system is one gate and a bunch of local jumps away. The ship is able to get there in just a few hours.

The system has a few places the dude could be hiding. The main planet is mostly water, with a few grassy landmasses. It’s houses a small, independent settlement. Supposedly they dislike the empire, but they aren’t hostile.

Another recommended spot is a station orbiting a gas giant. It’s another independent settlement but this one’s pretty seedy, known to be a common stopover spot for pirates.

There’s tiny a planet that’s uninhabited, but has a breathable atmosphere and huge cave system. A seemingly perfect spot to hide, but little is known about its wildlife.

Finally there’s a particularly dense spot in the system’s asteroid belt that could probably conceal any size of ship or station, it doesn’t look like anyone’s ever officially investigated it before though.
>>
No. 583639 ID: 2fd516

>>583627
Okay, if he's in the cave systems we'd never find him without knowing where to look. If he's in the first settlement it won't be hard to find him at all. Second settlement we'll probably have to bribe somebody. There might be someone else entirely in the asteroids so let's not go there unless we find out he's hiding there.

Let's check the first settlement first. Just ask around, show his picture to people, ask if anyone's seen him. Claim you have a message to deliver.
>>
No. 583692 ID: 9ddf68

fuck it, lets start off in the easier spots and see if we can't pick up any information on where the guy could really be and then go to the more pain in the ass spots when we either got something or run out of place to look elsewhere. So lets start off with the settlement, hell we might even be able to make some money on the side if we're short on cash there.
>>
No. 584818 ID: 0e4c7c
File 140583765882.png - (73.39KB , 500x500 , 2_63.png )
584818

I set the ship up for an orbit around the inhabited planet. The planets in this system don't have any given names, at least not anything recognized by the empire. Their designation is just that of the system and a number, given in order of how close the planet is to it's star. This planet's SR092341-2.

Once in orbit I can see that the settlement has a landing control channel. I hail it and request permission to land.

>"Greetings M8260. I'm afraid you 'aint gonna be able to land that ship here with us. Uh, do feel free to visit if you get on the ground but you'll have to find somewhere open enough outside the settlement bounds."

That's unfortunate, though I guess an Empire military ship might make a bad impression on people anyway. The settlement's on the coast, and I can spot a big enough beach nearby to land on. I'd say it's about a 15 minute walk away from the nearest building.

"Hey guys, I'm gonna bring us down. You two probably wanna strap in."
>"Yeah ok!"
>"Yeah sure."

One quirk of ships designed for combat is that their gravity generators don't tend to counter the forces experienced inside the cabin as much as on other ships. Most combat pilots like to be able to 'feel' the movements their ship makes. This means you can't get away with as much stupid stuff in atmospheric flight without hurting people onboard.

I enter the atmosphere smoothly, approach the beach from the opposite direction of the settlement and do a vertical landing there.

When the engines die out I climb down to the living quarters.
>>
No. 584819 ID: 0e4c7c
File 140583771221.png - (66.13KB , 500x500 , 2_64.png )
584819

>"Hey man, we good to go?"
Arlo looks like he was already about to climb up and get to the airlock.

"Yeah just a sec, you two should take these."

I hand them a shield generator and knife each.

>"Ooh neat! So you just need to press this to make it vibrate right?"
"Yeah, you don't need to but it'll cut better if you do."

Jurek seems to be pretty into the vibroknife. Alro not so much.

>"Uh, yeaaahhh I should probably mention that I don't really know how to like... fight properly or anything."
"Well, I don't really expect us to get into combat here anyway. But it's better to have something over nothing right? Anyway, we should get whatever info we can before deciding where to look."

I search for the planet in the Galactic Encyclopaedia. It's got a small entry, but it's still better than I'd expect for somewhere outside the empire.

"Ok, the place is pretty dang small, probably has a bit over 1000 residents. It sounds like they don't like the empire government, but don't mind it's citizens and do a decent amount of trade. They even promote a bit of tourism, apparently the other beaches around here are amazing, and the town has two small hotels."
>"Yo, what about bars?" Arlo asks "Bars are totally the traditional place to gather info right?"
"Yep, there's a little 'Bars and Restaurants' guide in here. It's about a year out of date but it looks like there's a good 4 or so pubs scattered around."

The place also has a town hall, a small spaceport, a market and so forth.

Oh, I should probably mention that the dude we're looking for flew away in his own ship, but I don't have any info on what kind of ship it was. I do have photos of him though.
>>
No. 584820 ID: ef7fd2

>>584819
"A weapon you dont know how to use belongs to your enemy."
that said, it's a knife, so I'm not too worried. Just slash n stab.
>hotels
check these. With any luck, we'll be able to finagle our way to the guest list, and see if our man is in there. If they are though, expect an alias. Any way we have to check if people exist or not, like with internet or something?
>>
No. 584823 ID: 9ddf68

how long ago did this guy run off again? Think you could look around the shipyard and see if anyone has come here within the time? Then we can hit the bars... and maybe see if you can't pick up a local job (and I mean something pilot related but still within this system) so we can make some cash and have a good cover story to why we're here snooping around.
>>
No. 584828 ID: 2fd516

>>584819
We should take some time to give Arlo some basic self-defense lessons later.

We can try the pubs first I guess, but we can't stick around to drink. Market's a good option too. He's gotta do his shopping somewhere. Hmm, maybe even the spaceport, if his ship isn't Empire make. That was why we couldn't land here right?
>>
No. 584856 ID: e4747a
File 140586708674.png - (77.18KB , 500x500 , 2_65.png )
584856

After a bit of discussion we decide to start at the spaceport.

The walk along the shore feels like a shorter trip than it is. It's very scenic, I can certainly see the appeal of tourism here.

>"Hey, do either of you know how to surf?" Arlo asks, breaking the silence.
"Nah, I don't spend much time off the job away from Belonia, and it hasn't really got nice beaches or anything."
>"Desert planet."
>"Lamee. I'd say I could teach you but it's been like, forever. I'm probably terrible by now."
>"So uh, Canton V was it? Did that have beaches like this?"
>"Yeah it had beaches. Nothin' as nice as this but they were allright. Used to visit 'em a lot before I got roped into pirate bullshit."

We soon come across a paved track and follow until we hit the town outskirts. The place looks nice. The town's largely made up of a sprawl of small houses built on a ground road network. There are a lot of prefab buildings but they seem to be being overtaken by much more homely looking brick structures. We see plenty of people on our way to the town centre outside chatting to each other. Few give the three strangers emerging from the wilderness a second glance, I guess they're pretty used to offworld visitors.

Most of the towns businesses seem to be on a long straight road leading from the town center all the way to the coast.

A Karit woman sitting outside what looks like a cafe of some sort sees us, and approaches with a friendly smile.
>"Hi there. You three look a bit lost, need directions?"
"Hi, thanks! We're looking for the spaceport at the moment."
>"Aahh, had to land on the beach did you? Careful, I've heard offworlders complain about the tide leaving seaweed all over their ships. You'll find the spaceport just a ways down there."

She points down a street leading inland.

>"It'll be hard to miss when you get there, it's the most metallic building around."
"Ah, thanks."
>"Thank you!"
>"Yeah thanks."
>"No problem. If you want to repay me eat lunch at my shop here! Anyway, good luck with whatever your business may be!"

>Any way we have to check if people exist or not, like with internet or something?
Nothing I know of. I don't think there's any big public database of Galactic citizens. Even if there was, not everyone staying here is necessarily a Galactic citizen anyway. Plus I doubt I've got internet access out here anyway. Actually...

As we walk down the road I check my phone. Well, it isn't hooked up to the Internet but it looks like this place does have its own mobile network.
"Hey Arlo, do you have a phone or anything?"
>"Welll I did but I've kind of lost it in a certain underground base. Didn't really get a chance to grab my shit remember?"
"Oh, yeah whoops."

Soon we see the spaceport entrance.
It's a bigish building. It's got a few landing pads on top, all occupied bar one, and a control tower. I guess the interior is mostly ship storage.
>>
No. 584857 ID: e4747a
File 140586713249.png - (66.23KB , 500x500 , 2_66.png )
584857

The entrance leads to a small lobby, one Riekling sits behind the desk.

>"Hi, can I help you? Oh, were you the dudes on the military ship that just landed?"
"Uh, yeah. Assuming we're talking about the same military ship."
>"The M8? Yeah I was the one in the tower when you hailed. Sorry I couldn't let you guys land here, there might've actually been space but we don't really have much data on that ship here. Anyway yeah, what brings you here?"

>Then we can hit the bars... and maybe see if you can't pick up a local job (and I mean something pilot related but still within this system) so we can make some cash and have a good cover story to why we're here snooping around.
The bars should be a good place too, but spaceports tend to have organized listings.

"I'm actually thinking of taking a job or two while I'm in the system, got anything?"
>"Uhh maybe! I don't actually have the listings right now, the papers go to the town hall in the morning to get updated, but if you come back this afternoon I might be able to get you something? Actually, It'd probably help us both if you could give me some proper info on your ship first."
"Sure."

I've got the official specs in a file on my phone. After some dicking around with cables we manage to get it copied into the spaceport's systems.

>how long ago did this guy run off again?
About 12 days ago.

"There we go. So anyway, you guys get much traffic out here? It looks like you've got a decent amount of ship storage."
>"Well most of the ships here never leave orbit, people just want to get to other continents for logging. We usually have a trader or two stop by every few days though, and we get bursts of tourists now and then."
"What about now?"
>"Yeah there's been a few. A couple of people staying here now, and a few recent ones that didn't stay for long."

I can't really think of a way to get more info with smalltalk. I need some kind of plan, I'm not sure how this guy will react if he realizes I'm trying to hunt someone down.

If I plan to ask around at the hotels I'll work out my approach there as well.
>>
No. 584918 ID: 9ddf68

ask about some of the more resent ships ones that have come in. If he ask why say part of the reason you're out here in the first place is because your cousin is getting hitch and say that the guy we're looking for is meant to be the best man. Your cousin is old fashioned and believes wedding invites have to be handed out in person but since you're the only one in your family that has a ship he managed to guilt you into finding the guy. At least your cousin had the decency to pay you for this.

How's that sound? Believable? Oh and if he ask why you're trying to take jobs out here if you're just looking for this one guy just say since you're out here you might as well be making some money, you got to eat as well.
>>
No. 584941 ID: 2fd516

>>584857
Ask about new residents. How's immigration going?
>>
No. 585742 ID: 7df15a
File 140629803044.png - (64.03KB , 500x500 , 2_67.png )
585742

"What about people staying here for good, that happen often?"
>"Nahh we don't usually have offworlders taking up residence. I wouldn't know the details but there's a bunch of immigration rule stuff."
"Oh yeah? Sorry I'm asking so many questions, my cousin wants me to try tracking down a friend of his while I'm out here. So uh, I guess could you tell me anything about the recent ships that came in?"

I try to sound a bit disinterested, as though finding the guy is an obligation I don't care much about.

>"Ahh ok, so you reckon' he might've come here recently?"
"Apparently he was headed in this direction, so maybe yeah."
>"Travelling alone?"
"Yeah, at least I think so."
>"Hm, well there are two different smaller ships I remember landing recently. They both left pretty quickly, can't have stayed more than a night. One was a fancy yellow speeder, the other was a standard grey brick. Both looked like they were heading away from the sun when they left."
"Huh. Oh, actually, I could show you his photo?"
>"Try me, I probably couldn't tie him to the ship here but I might've seen him around."

One of those ships might be his, but unfortunately we haven't got any specific information on what he'd be flying.
I bring up one of photos of him I was given on my phone.

"He goes by 'Beck' usually."
>"Oh, a Nebol? Dunno if it was him but I think I saw one in town recently? We don't have any actually living here y'see."
"Cool, well yeah maybe it was him. I should probably head off and stop bugging you now."
>"Heh, it's no problem. Remember to come back later for the joblist!"
"Will do."

We head back out to the street.

>"Nice!" Jurek says. "Where should we head now?"

It's just hitting mid-day here, sooo...

"Lunch?"
>>
No. 585744 ID: 7df15a
File 140629815917.png - (81.79KB , 500x500 , 2_68.png )
585744

We eat back at the Karit woman's cafe, then spend a few hours wandering around the town, chatting with people and bringing up our search when appropriate. It looks like someone with at least a similar appearance was in town a few days ago, but nobody we've talked to spoke to him directly.

We check out the hotels too, under the guise of inquiring about prices. 8C per head a night at one and 10C at the other, not bad! Unfortunately at both as soon when I mention I'm searching for someone they immediately tell us that they can't give us any information about other customers.

Mid afternoon we decide to start hitting the pubs, starting with one in the town square. We find ourselves a table near a window. I head up to the bar to get a round of drinks, but before I can order anything a figure sitting at the bar speaks.

>"Offworlder, yes you. I hear you're searching for someone. I might be able to help you with that."

They haven't turned to face me, I can't make out any of their features.

"Uh, yeah I am, any help would be great."
>"Help I might, but do tell me something first: why are you really looking for this... 'Beck'? Please, be honest."
>>
No. 585745 ID: d6e000

Because I have brain problems
>>
No. 585746 ID: 9ddf68

long story short, we've both seen something that left us with something else. Was hoping he might know something to spill a little more light onto the whole situation.
>>
No. 585751 ID: 2fd516

>>585744
It's because you were sent by someone who wants to interview him about a strange experience you both had. The details are personal.

Ooooor we could give even less detail and just say you were sent by someone who wants to interview him.
>>
No. 586431 ID: 7e4b54

>>585744
Is this going to be total cliché and you're going to turn out to be Beck. Because I'd be totally down with that.
>>
No. 587318 ID: 44bcb7
File 140687575707.png - (67.57KB , 500x500 , 2_69.png )
587318

For a few moments I'm silent. Nobody else in here is close enough to us to hear us.

"He and I have... had a similar experience. Someone I know wants to interview him about it, and I'd like to talk to him about it as well.
>"You... ah, I see."

They turn to me, their features still obscured by their hood

>"That is all I need to know. I cannot say this with full certainty, but I believe you will be able to find this man on the planet closest to this system's star. He is most likely to be in a place of high elevation in the southern hemisphere."

Before I can say anything they stand up.

>"I need to go now. Good luck on your search."

And they're gone, briskly walking out of the door. I get drinks and head back to the table.

"Looks like I might have a lead."
>"Yes!" Jurek shouts "I mean, sorry. I win!"
"Uh,"
>"It was the hooded person right? Arlo bet that he was just a creepy old dude you were stuck talking to, but I said he was a mysterious stranger giving you information!"
"Yep, right on the money there."

Money they don't have in order to bet with.

>"Bullllshit." Arlo grumbles.
"Well it might be, they didn't give me any reason as to why they'd know anything. But we'll see."

I fill them in on the details of what the figure said.
>>
No. 587319 ID: 44bcb7
File 140687579254.png - (69.87KB , 500x500 , 2_70.png )
587319

After a short while I realize it's probably late enough for there to be jobs at the spaceport. We head on over there, having only gone to the first bar so far.

The Riekling from before is still there. He greets us and shows us the job list, written down on paper.

>"There's a few things that'd suit your ship. Some locals want to be ferried to a spot on the other side of the planet. They've already got the way back organized so you don't need to worry about that. They'll pay 150C all up. It'd be a bit cramped for them, even if the other two don't come with you. But hey, that's their problem isn't it? They want to leave tomorrow morning at the earliest."

Getting to the other side of this planet would take less than an hour, this is pretty easy stuff.

>"Something more exciting is this. An unidentified object is orbiting us apparently! It's probably just an asteroid, but we've had pirates try to deploy spy satellite in the past. Check it out and if it's something suspicious blow it up. The town will pay you 200C, more if you end up getting in any combat because of it."
>"Finally someone needs a package delivered to the space station. The one orbiting dash four, the gas giant. No info about what you're shipping, but it'll pay 350C if you make it there within... well it'd be 10 hours from now I guess. 150C otherwise."

Nothing special, but not too bad for jobs that don't leave the system. It's always hard to predict how long I'll feel like sleeping for on different planets with different hours in a day, but I'd say if we went back to the ship to sleep soon we'd lose at least 6 hours. It'd be leaving things pretty tight for the package job, but it might be doable.
>>
No. 587321 ID: 9ddf68

eh might as well do all three if we can. I mean drop off the package first, sleep, come back to see what's orbiting the planet, then pick up that group the next day (they said tomorrow at the earliest, if you want to take a nap after the second job and send them off in the late afternoon I won't stop you). And the whole time whenever you three find yourselves with some free time look for more clues, cause one shifty mother fucker in a hood is not a valid source of information in my back, in fact that's more in the "signs you're about to be jumped" book.
>>
No. 587323 ID: 2fd516

>>587318
Wow. He knew what you were talking about? I think we're going to want to ask Beck who that was.

>>587319
Blow up the satellite? We don't have any weapons that can do that... do we?
The package job is easier than you think. Set the ship on autopilot then take a nap if you're tired. Heck, you can make the autopilot take a bit of extra time so that you get a full night's rest and wake up right as you arrive at the destination. It has an autopilot, right? Well, if not... actually, it's a bit out of the way. Do you want to burn 8 hours to get that 350? I guess we're not on a time limit or anything.

The ferry job is tomorrow morning at the earliest... What if we did the package delivery then came back to do the ferry job? Get paid twice!
>>
No. 587335 ID: d6e000

Take the ferry job and pocket the quick cash.
Then handle your quest at large.
>>
No. 590928 ID: c83e80
File 140886360713.png - (179.75KB , 500x500 , 2_71.png )
590928

"How late will the guys wanting transport be able to go?"
>”They said they weren’t fussed, but I wouldn’t give it more than a few days before someone else able to give them a lift comes along.”
“Can we get the package now?”
>”Yeah sure, we’ve got it here. You want me to get it ready for loading now? I can do that while you move your ship.”
“Uh, yeah. Yeah we’ll do that now!”

He stands up from his desk and heads back into the main building of the spaceport. We leave and start the walk back to the beach.

>”So we’re going to do the delivery right now?” asks Jurek.
“Yeah. I’m thinking you guys should be able to sleep on the way there. I should be able to nap a bit too.”
>”What, while flying?”
“Yeahhh it should be fine. I usually wouldn’t in the middle of a system but the autopilot should be able to handle it, and it can wake me up if something serious is happening.”

Back at the ship, we board and fly it over to the spaceport, landing on one of the pads on the roof.

The Riekling wheels out a light blue box. With a bit of effort we get it into the living quarters. He gives paper with instructions on how and where to deliver it.

>"Well, it looks like you're good to go. Remember, you're not supposed to open it! Good luck."

I take the ship into orbit and set up a path for the autopilot to follow.

>Blow up the satellite? We don't have any weapons that can do that... do we?
Well the ship still has weapons. Nothing good, but your average sattelite isn't really made to withstand a hit from anything. Hell, even if we can't blow it up we could probably just ram it out of orbit and let it burn up.

We'll do that when we back though, for now I'm gonna try to get some sleep.
>>
No. 590929 ID: c83e80
File 140886371232.png - (112.79KB , 500x500 , 2_72.png )
590929

The journey is uneventful and takes about three and a half hours. I don't get much sleep, but I think the other two slept for most of it.

We reach the station. It's... not the most professional looking place I've ever seen. It's huge, but it kind of looks like a big ball of scrap.

>"Whoa!" I hear Arlo through the intercom, "Yo Kado! You see that big reddish freighter docked over to the right?"

It takes me a second to spot. It's actually pretty small for a freighter, and looks like it's been through a lot. The outer hull is a patchwork of reinforcement and replaced parts.

"Yeah I see it."
>"Cool, I recognise it from my home planet! Reckon it belongs to a group a few people I know work for."
"Huh, how legit is this group?"
>”Man, who knows? I mean, even the people I worked for were considered like, mostly legit. But you've seen how bad they really were. Back home nobody ever gave a shit about what you did in other systems."
"Aha. So, you wanna say hi while we're there?"
>"Oh, eeh, I dunno. Are we planning to hang around for that long anyway?”

That's a good question. We need to go to a specific indoor dock to do the delivery. After delivering this we've still got the other two jobs to do, but those can wait for a day or two.

We could try to get more information here, what we have is pretty suspicious. I dunno what kinds of services and shops there are here. Given that it’s a pirate hangout there’s probably plenty of less-than-legal stuff. Other than scoping out ship upgrades for when we finish our mission I can’t really think of anything we’d want to look at though!

I am pretty dang tired too.
>>
No. 590933 ID: 2fd516

>>590929
Your ship is pretty flashy so I'm a little worried about it. The dock security is good, right?
You're right that there isn't much we'd want here except ship upgrades... but what about the environment of that planet we have a lead on? Do you guys need dust masks or whatever?

I say maybe ask around about the planet we have a lead on, maybe get some maps, but don't let anyone know you're looking for someone. Keep in mind you're not exactly in friendly territory here so if they think you're bounty hunters you could get attacked or thrown out.

Oh, you could spend the night here, I guess, but it being a seedy place I'm a little worried about how safe that is. Depends on how good the sleeping arrangements here are.
>>
No. 590937 ID: 9ddf68

I'd say drop off the package first and get payed, then head back to your ship and sleep. See if Arlo can't pick anything up about the guy we're looking for while he's catching up with old friends and give him a direct line to the ship should he need help. Also Jurek can either stay on the ship and make sure no one tries to steal it while you drop off the package and sleep, or go with Arlo to make sure he doesn't do anything stupid/get into trouble.
>>
No. 590967 ID: 01745f

I think we should avoid the people Arlo knew before; they seem likely to consider him a traitor or something if they remember him at all.
>>
No. 591087 ID: 761017

Get in, drop off the package, ask around for deals for explosives.

You still need some grenades to round out your equipment!
>>
No. 591091 ID: 761017

If you are that tired, take a nap on the ship while you are docked or something.

Make sure to tint the cockpit windows!
>>
No. 594537 ID: c83e80
File 141099977436.png - (113.97KB , 500x500 , 2_73.png )
594537

Based on the directions I was given I guide the ship to an enclosed docking bay. I request permission to land.

>"You're the one delivering that package right? Come on in and get the package ready, someone will be with you in a bit with a trolley for it. They'll show you to the client too."

We land, and begin the difficult process of getting the package out of the ship. The place looks relatively well maintained and secure. It should be near impossible to break into this ship anyway. Soon after we get the package out on the floor of the docking bay a human enters with the trolley.

After loading it on and locking up the ship they guide us deeper into the station. Even when walking through plain corridors, it's obvious the place is a mess of different parts built at different times. Most noticeably the level of artificial gravity changes as you move between different areas.

Eventually we're lead into a small room. A handful of people of various races are waiting about inside, all wearing red on them somewhere as some kind of uniform. A Nebol woman looks up as we enter.

>"Oh, the package already?"

She stands up and meets us at the door. She looks almost as tired as me.

>"Damn, I don't know if I'm sad I have to pay you extra or happy I can get off this dump sooner. Good job, let me transfer those credits."
"Thanks."
>"Mhm. Ok transfer's done. You don't look like an idiot so I'm assuming you didn't tamper with it, if you did mess with it uh, speak up now or forever hold your peace. By 'hold your peace' I mean I'll find out, hunt you down and uh, kill you or something."
"We've barely touched it, right guys?"

Alro and Jurek nod.

>"Yeah cool. Good. Well I need to talk shit over with my people soo... seeya!."

She ushers us out and shuts the door behind us. Our human guide walks off without saying anything.

>"Mann," Arlo says "they seem much chiller than the pirate groups I've seen."
"You reckon they're pirates?"
>"I dunno, that or bounty hunters."

We start walking back to the ship.

>"So, what are we doing now?" Jurek asks.
"Well, I'm planning on taking a nap back at the ship. Alro, you wanna find those people you know?"
>"I'm not even sure if they'll be around but... yeah I may as well."
"You sure they won't have any problem with you ditching your group?"
>"Ehh, they work for different people so I don't see why they'd give a shit."
"What about you Jurek? I mean, this place seems pretty rough-"
>"I dunno! Did you want to get any shopping done while we're here? I think we went past a market on the way here"

>Do you guys need dust masks or whatever?
Yeah that’s not a bad idea actually. I tend to assume that if a planet is listed as having a breathable atmosphere I’m able to just walk around with just my normal clothes on, but that’s not always true.

Maybe I could use supplies yeah. Not sure how far I'd trust it, but you could probably find some pretty cheap survival gear here, maybe some more detailed map data on the planet too.

Do I want Jurek to try finding that stuff now though?
>>
No. 594539 ID: 9ddf68

eh, I say give him a list of things to get, some money to pay for it, and throw in a little extra so he can buy some things he wants to get. He's not a kid so might as well strap him with some responsibility, plus he does have that knife we gave him just incase. What you need is sleep before you crash while doing something important.
>>
No. 594544 ID: 2fd516

Sending a small guy alone into a seedy market sounds like a good way to get him mugged. We did buy him a weapon and some protection but I expect muggers around here to either do the stickup as a group or with extra-intimidating weaponry, or take victims by surprise. He doesn't have combat experience or familiarity with various gun types, either...

In other words don't do your shopping here. Not unless it's not as seedy as all that. If you can find out if people get mugged in here very often, that'll set my mind at ease.

If it's safe then sure why not.
>>
No. 602048 ID: 635118

>>594539
>>594544
I wouldn't trust survival supplies from here as far as I could throw them, but a place this seedy must have the good shit as far as weaponry and possibly ship mods go.
Send Jurek, but also have Arlo go with him while you go back to the ship and rest. A market's as good a place to find pirates hawking stolen goods as any, so it's at least a place to start.
>>
No. 609953 ID: 528f86
File 141802238928.png - (99.27KB , 500x500 , 2_74.png )
609953

...

>"Kado? Uh, did you hear me?"

What?

Oh, zoned out for a bit there, they've been waiting on my response for a while. Guess I am pretty tired.

"Uh, yeah! Actually how about you two go shopping together? We could use survival stuff and maps of the planet."
>"Yeah sure," says Arlo "we'll check out the market on the way to where I'm going."
"Great, well yeah see if you two can find some decent looking haz masks, or anything else that you think would be good to have."

I hand Jurek my credit chip.

"Try not to spend over 200 creds I guess."
>"Sure! We'll head off now, you get some rest!"

And that's what I do! The main compartment of the ship does have a bed, but I decide to nap in the pilot's seat. Before dozing off I try looking up this place in the encyclopedia. There isn't much info, but it sounds like mugging is pretty uncommon - the place has plenty of hidden cameras and what authority there is here is pretty tough on theft within the station.




Some time later I'm woken by noise outside.

>"wakeee uppp kadoo"

Oh yeah whoops guess they have no way of getting onboard. I wave and open the doors for them.

We meet down in the living compartment.

>"Hey Kado. Uh, maybe we should get going. I found the guys I know but they didn't talk long, seemed kind of distracted and said I should get out of here"
>"Yeah," Jurek adds "after they saw him they started freaking out? We got the stuff you asked for though! 110 credits for three masks and a drive of map data, it looks pretty detailed! Oh, and we also grabbed some warm clothes!"
>>
No. 609954 ID: 687279

>>609953
Alright we better jet, then. Take the warning Arlo's friends gave seriously. I'm guessing news got out of his (sortof)betrayal and he got the BLACK SPOT.
>>
No. 609961 ID: 7e78d1

>>609953
Yeeeah...
Might be time to get the fuck outta dodge then.

Get back up to the pilot's compartment and let's head back into space, then we can look at the map data and all the other stuff they bought.
...Did we ever tell them what size clothes we wear?
>>
No. 609971 ID: 687279

Wait hang on make sure to do a sweep of the outside of the ship first to make sure nobody put something on it.
>>
No. 609983 ID: 9ddf68

alright then let's get the hell out of here, we still have one more job to do anyways. Shame we could see if we could find any leads on that one guy here though, seems like mister creepy cloak guy still is our only lead. damn Anyways The only question I have to ask here is that is the reason we're running going to come back and bite us in the ass or is this going to be one of those rare occasions where if we leave it alone it will leave us alone?
>>
No. 610044 ID: 8f01e8

>>609971
Sweep takes too long, and if you don't know the ship very well yet you wouldn't know what's supposed to be where anyway. Just check the mass (any bomb worth worrying about would probably be at least half a kilogram, unless it's some microminiaturized antimatter thing), maybe fast-forward through the external camera logs to see if anybody got closer than they should have while you were out.
>>
No. 610057 ID: e6b622

>>609953
Run a systems diagnostic.
It should catch any irregularities on the hull because they would interfere with the shields, right?

What kind of buying power do credits even have? 110 credits for... what they bought, sounds very expensive. Or did they just get ripped off?
>>
No. 611060 ID: 528f86
File 141844957699.png - (51.62KB , 500x500 , 2_75.png )
611060

"So what, do you think people are hunting for you or something?"
>"Man, I dunno. I doubt it. We spotted them leaving where thought I'd find 'em: closest bar to where they were docked. They looked pretty stressed out before they saw us though."
"So something else is about to go down?"
>"Dunno, but that seems more likely than a manhunt for me, they work for different people anyway."

Well, I guess leaving is the safest option.

I get the ship to start running some tests, using feedback from the shields to determine if anything's been done to the exterior of the ship. While those run I contact docking control. They're slow to respond, but that isn't really unusual for a place like this and we get our permission to take off. The tests finish without picking up anything suspicious and we leave.

>110 credits for... what they bought, sounds very expensive. Or did they just get ripped off?
Assuming the masks actually work properly it seems about right. Haz masks can filter out pretty much any gasses you want to avoid breathing, and it looks like these can be hooked up to an oxygen tank too.

>...Did we ever tell them what size clothes we wear?
"Hey guys" I call out over the intercom.
>"Yeah?" Jurek replies
"How do you know those warm clothes you got even fit me?"
>"We just got the biggest size they had! They were only a few credits all up anyway."

Fair enough I suppose.



After a while the audio feed to the living compartment turns on and I hear Arlo's voice.
>"Uhh, I think we might have a problem."
"Yeah?"
>"Yeah like, I'm probably just seeing things but - you know how we've got a back window out here right?"
"Yep."
>"Well, I'm looking out there and there's just this... spot behind us that doesn't look right."
"...You mean like there's a-"
>"Cloaked ship? I've never actually seen one in person but uh... that's what jumps to mind."
"Can Jurek see it?"
>"Jurek?"
>"I can see something yeah! It's like the stars just... aren't quite holding still!"

I can't see what they're talking about on the ship's cameras, but it sounds like a subtle enough effect that they wouldn't be able to pick them up.

Cloaking devices do exist but they're pretty rare - not just because they're expensive but because they're pretty useless! Cloaks produce too much energy - making a ship that's invisible on radar and to the naked eye should be impossible. Don't see anything on the radar though.

We've already passed the asteroid belt at this point. All I know of in the direction we're travelling is the colonised planet, where I was planning to head to, and closer to the sun is the the planet we've been told we can find Beck on.
>>
No. 611061 ID: 687279

>>611060
Damn, and we have no weapons. I suppose if they wanted to shoot they'd have done so by now... get close enough to the colonized planet that if they try to shoot you they'll get in trouble from the SPACECOPS, and then hail them to find out what they want.
>>
No. 611064 ID: 311774

>>611060
Oh dear.
What if it's the ship that hit you before? That weird unknown craft thing? That seems like the kinda thing that would have both cloaking and radar avoidance things...
>>
No. 611065 ID: 9ddf68

man what is it with you and running into ships that shouldn't exist? I mean first you nearly get shot to hell by a ship that could blow up an moon and now you being followed by an actual cloaked ship. Anyways maybe you should try to loss them, I mean if the are following you I doubt it's anything friendly otherwise they wouldn't be hiding, and hey maybe well get lucky and they're not actually following us but are on some other kind of mission that just happens to be alone the same path we are... yeah I don't buy that for a second but it's a nice thought.

Also side note, maybe working cloak ships have existed for a while is't just that nobody has seen them before because of obvious reasons.
>>
No. 611090 ID: 01745f

Well, I guess we hope there is more than one group of aliens with advanced tech running around, because if this is the same ones who shot us before things are about to go downhill fast.
>>
No. 611107 ID: 8f01e8

Spray some gray water from the life support tanks in the general direction of the alleged cloaked ship.
>>
No. 616177 ID: 528f86
File 141976068512.png - (68.84KB , 500x500 , 2_79.png )
616177

We do have weapons, they're just not particularly good. I don't like their chances against tech that shouldn't exist.

"Ok guys, I can't see it from up here so you'll need to keep an eye on it. I'm gonna keep going steady until we're close to the planet - if they don't know we've seen them they'll hopefully keep on doing nothing."

I keep flying like I normally would. The other two remain pretty sure they can see it. Sometimes it appears to drift away from us, and every now and then they lose sight of it entirely, but it always comes back.


Two or so tense hours later and we can see the planet. It's a tiny, independent settlement so I doubt they have much law enforcement presence in space - but this ship does handle abnormally well in an atmosphere. If things go south I might be able to use that to my advantage.

I pull into a close orbit, as though I'm finding a spot to land. The ship still seems to be on our tail.

>Spray some gray water from the life support tanks in the general direction of the alleged cloaked ship.
That... might work. Modern ships keep a pretty limited amount of waste water around: almost all H2O content is extracted and recycled, only leaving a bit of stuff behind to be disposed of. Pretty gross if you think about it!

"I'm gonna try something. Is the ship directly behind us?"
>"Uh, I think so? Arlo? Yep, as far as we can tell it's dead centre behind the main engines!"
"Strap in then, we might end up doing some acrobatics."

I give them a few moments, then take action.

The socket for waste disposal is on the belly of our ship. I put it into a downwards spin, jettisoning when the mystery ship should be below us and then turning to face it.

There's not much, but it hits. The grime is lightly splattered across the shape of a ship, close to us.

It holds course for a few moments, as if we still don't know it's there, but suddenly jerks it's nose upwards and starts to climb.

It looks like it's trying to escape orbit. Not sure I can do any real damage but I'm still in a position to fire on it.
>>
No. 616178 ID: 9ddf68

...think you could hit that things engines? I mean if we can't shoot it down could we cripple it? Kinda a hesitant to actually attack the thing but at the same time we seem to be attracting all kinds of weird ass mother fuckers since we popped into your head and I really question why they're bothering us so much. mostly just hopping to cripple the ship and get some answers but eh, call me negative but I'm sure it will come back to bit us in the ass at some point... then again so could letting this thing run away.

Either way if you don't think you can take out the engines then don't bother, just get to your next job before they come back and lets hope we can lose them between now and when they come back. Also is there any way you know of that we can use to trace this ship for bugs? I mean we could have been marked when we were on the space station by someone, we could have been marked by that cop that gave you this job, or maybe even the people that tried to shoot you down. Even if there are no bugs on the ship I'd still feel better if we can confirm that the ship is clean.
>>
No. 616250 ID: 82c018

I vote for not firing on it; there are probably more where it came from and I don't think there has been anything particularly vital for it to see.
>>
No. 616262 ID: 311774

Don't fire on it.
Even if you do manage to take it out, there still remains the fact that you fired on a ship otherwise unprovoked. That might be difficult to explain, "I shot him because he was acting creepy!"
>>
No. 616320 ID: 687279

>>616177
Try talking to it NOW.
>>
No. 616438 ID: 8f01e8

The unreclaimable sludge probably has metallic particulates in it, which should be a lot easier to detect than hull material optimized for stealth. Crank your active sensors up to full power and try to get a target lock. Also, move to pursue, and politely request that they identify themselves over some public comm channel.

If you do fire on them, start with some beam weapon and set it for wide aperture. Try to hit the entire surface of the cloaked ship at once with just enough heat to ruin the active camo.

You've got two obvious possibilities here: either the stealth tech is some Precursor thing so advanced that the users may as well be gods (in which case the 'bucketful of scum' trick probably wouldn't have worked), or it's some secret project on the cutting edge of new developments but otherwise part of the same tech base as the rest of galactic society, in which case it's likely to be overspecialized and excruciatingly expensive to maintain and repair.

Since this seems to be the latter, just scare 'em with the prospect of being properly discovered, and maybe force them to retreat to the secret-hideout maintenance hangar.
>>
No. 616757 ID: 9c72e6
File 141994028116.png - (137.37KB , 500x500 , 2_77.png )
616757

I'm hesitant to fire. They're very suspicious and mysterious, but they haven't done anything wrong. I still only have a vague idea of where the front of their ship is anyway - I can't really target my shots.

I start to tail it. I can barely see it on radar, but I'm able to keep up with what I see easily.

I've got nothing to directly hail, so I try putting out a short range, public message:

"Unknown stealth ship, this is the M8260 you've been tailing. We'd like-"

Before I can finish the ship dives and quickly decelerates, descending closer to the planet. I guess it heard.

I keep following. When we hit the upper atmosphere of the planet it's suddenly clear what they're trying to do. In only a few moments the air friction causes the sludge to burn up. I can barely make out the shimmer of the ship pulling back up, but before I can react it's gone.

"Damn! I've lost it."
>"Shit!" It's Arlo "you can't see it?"
"Nope, can you guys?"
>"Uhh... nup."

Well that's that. I pull back up into a proper orbit.

>Could the ship be bugged?
Well, we've already checked for anything abnormal attached to the outer hull of the ship, and the ship has equipment that should alert us if any signal is coming from inside the ship. But if the ship itself is already set up to give away our position... Well I've got no way to tell if that's the case at the moment. You'd have to hack into the ship computer to see if it's sending anything it shouldn't be, which I don't really have the know-how to do. We could try to get a nearby ship to listen in for anything we're sending out, but this ship has the potential to send secure messages standard equipment can't pick up.

I guess it's time we decide what we're doing next. I've still got two jobs I can do on this planet. I've got the ferry job, which will pay 150C, which should be easy but will eat up a lot of time. I've also got the job to shoot down the unknown satellite - 200C and it should be quick and easy, but I guess there's the potential for it to get messy.

I've got 1138C of spending money right now.

We've got enough information to start searching for the guy we're looking for though - assuming what we've been given is correct.
>>
No. 616808 ID: 687279

>>616757
Pew pew satellite.
>>
No. 616838 ID: 9ddf68

satellite sounds good, just make sure to keep your eye's open. That ship might have flown away or it simply is just keeping it's distance now and still watching us.
>>
No. 617619 ID: 311774

>>616838
What this guy said.
Let's go shoot down that satellite, but have Arlo and Jurek keep on the lookout for that stealth ship. They know what to look for, right?
>>
No. 618489 ID: 01c67a

actually, try to get someone to mod those limiters to be switched on or off with the press of a button.
>>
No. 622744 ID: 171e20
File 142251378821.png - (88.33KB , 500x500 , 2_78.png )
622744

We'll go check out that satellite. I get back into a proper orbit and line us up.

It takes us a while to spot it. Even when we are, relatively speaking, right next to it we have get within a few hundred metres of it before we can see it.

It's a tiny thing. Hard to say what it's there for, but it doesn't seem to be sending out any transmissions.

If I had to guess I'd say it's spying on communication from the planet and storing it away to access later. Or maybe it sends it somewhere periodically.

I kind of want to take it on board and investigate, but that's kind of impractical with this ship. It's not what I'm being paid to do anyway, I shoot the satellite down.
>>
No. 622746 ID: 171e20
File 142251386567.png - (55.05KB , 500x500 , 2_79.png )
622746

Time to get my payment. I head down planetside and land, luckily the shipyard has space for us this time. We disembark.

"Okay guys, I'm heading to the town hall. You guys gonna come with or do you want to wander?"

>"Pub?" Arlo says "I'm thinkin' pub. Jurek?"
>"Uhh yeah ok!"

We part ways and I head to the town hall. A karit woman is at the front desk, she looks up at me as I enter.

"Hey, I'm here about the satellite job?"
>"Ah, I heard that got taken care of! Give me your card and I'll sort out your payment."
I hand it over to her.
>"This machine's pretty old, the transfer will take a bit."
"Ahh, no problem."

There's nowhere to sit, I'm going to have to stay at the desk and make small-talk.

"So, you got any idea what that satellite was? We just shot it down, didn't really investigate."
>"Not really! They've popping up every now and then recently. We think someone's spying on us, but with the equipment those things have it can't be anything too serious."
"Ahh yeah? Oh, that reminds me. Bit of a weird question but - what should I call this place? Maps just refer to it by the planet designation."
She laughs
>"That's actually the subject to some debate! Some people want to fly under the empire's radar as much as possible, some want to promote tourism more. Personally I'm gunning for calling ourselves Sunnyside."

She looks like she's about to say more, but then notices something on her desk.

>"Aha, its done. Here you go and thank you for your service! Oh wait, are you the same person that took that package delivery job?"
"Uhh yeah? To the station?"
>"Yep. Sounds like you came back at the right time. We got word a bit earlier that some kind of battle started in space around the station. The inside's on lockdown and everything!"

Dang, guess that's what Arlo's friends were freaking out about.

"Oh and you also offered to do that ferry job? That offer was unfortunately cancelled. Sorry!"

Well I guess that's 150c I'm not getting anymore. Now what should I do?
>>
No. 622747 ID: d958ad

>>622746
Head to the planet or moon or whatever that we think the guy is on, once the pub visit is done with.

Oh, and you may as well report that stealthed ship.
>>
No. 622750 ID: 311774

>>622746
Nothing else to do now, is there?
We gotta get on tracking down that dude with the bad voices. They're giving us a bad name.
To the moon, after we wrangle our two burgeoning alcoholics away from their booze.
>>
No. 622774 ID: 9ddf68

well we got some spending money so I guess we can look around to see if there's anything we can buy and want to buy. Other then that...(sigh) I guess see if that info the cloaked guy gave us is legit and not some sort of trap.
>>
No. 623448 ID: d958ad

Oh wait, I forgot, what about sleep?
>>
No. 640137 ID: d65b16
File 143152353802.png - (107.19KB , 500x500 , 2_80.png )
640137

I wander around town for a bit. Eventually I find Arlo and Jurek in the pub we visited the other day, chatting with some locals.

I sit to join them, but hardly pay attention to the conversation - I'm feeling pretty tired.

Really, really tired actually. I mention that we should probably head off, and soon we're making our way back to the ship for some rest.

After walking for a bit I realize Jurek's been trying to ask me something. I can't hear him.

All I can hear is...
>>
No. 640138 ID: d65b16
File 143152356469.png - (85.21KB , 500x500 , 2_81.png )
640138

is...
>>
No. 640139 ID: d65b16
File 143152359739.png - (55.62KB , 500x500 , 2_82.png )
640139

An alarm.
>>
No. 640140 ID: d65b16
File 143152364721.png - (79.57KB , 500x500 , 2_83.png )
640140

The ship's alarm, telling me we've lost shields, and some other stuff.

Uh, shit.

We're in space. I see a brown orb above us - the planet we were going to check out. We seem to be in a distant orbit.

If shields are down it either means we've taken serious damage or were hit very recently. The only damage the ship computer is picking up is external. Minor problems across the hull and some damage to the right main thruster. It might still work fine but it's been shut off automatically.

The comms between here and the compartment the other two are in don't seem to be working. Radar isn't picking up anything nearby.
>>
No. 640173 ID: 9ddf68

great, we sleep walk now. Quick, make sure you're not under attack. Check your radar to make sure there are no other ships trying to gun you down then once we get the all clear we can explore our ship and try and figure out what happened.
>>
No. 640256 ID: 8403a7

>>640140
It's the cloaked ship again, probably. Take evasive action, and try to find the cloaked ship by eyesight.
>>
No. 640320 ID: 8f01e8

Is there some sort of distress beacon that depends on positive action rather than activating automatically?

Call up a more detailed display of shield status and/or move it to a more prominent part of your screens, so you can watch how quickly it's coming back online, if at all.

Dial the micrometeorite-avoidance algorithms up to maximum paranoia, that should help against kinetic weapons. Setting the ship to tumble might provide a marginal defense against energy weapons, by preventing them from focusing on a specific part of the hull for long. Random-walk evasion helps for almost everything... until you randomly stumble into a minefield.
>>
No. 640449 ID: 311774

>>640140
Uh, what?
Pinch yourself and slap yourself. Wake up! How'd you go from walking around to here? Did you sleep pilot yourself out or something?
If we've gotten hit hard enough to damage one of the engines then whatever it is that's firing on us must mean business.

Does the ship have any kind of automatic evasive maneuvering? Engage that - we're in no state to be dodging anything ourselves or doing anything but getting the hell out of here.
>>
No. 640810 ID: d65b16
File 143175727369.png - (23.04KB , 500x500 , 2_84.png )
640810

I try to snap out of it - wake up, but I seem to be as awake as I'm going to get. I've got no recollection of how we got here and no real sense of how much time has passed: sorta like being under anesthesia rather than natural sleep.

It's pretty uncommon for shields to give out entirely without any major damage getting through first. It's odd, but not impossible. I bring up more info on them. Shields are one of those things that take a lot more power to start up than to keep running, and at the moment we just don't have enough. If my maths is right it'll take about 15 minutes to generate enough just sitting here. Using the thrusters can generate a lot of extra energy though, if I were to keep them going it'd probably halve the time needed.

There is a distress beacon I can activate, but I'm hesitant. We're out of alliance space and there's no guarantee that those who notice it have good intentions.

It would make sense if we were hit by the invisible ship from before. I spin the ship around, trying to look for any sign of it. I don't notice anything nearby, but an invisible object wouldn't really be easy to spot.

There isn't any kind of automatic dodging I can get the ship doing. Dangers like micrometeorites are usually handled by the shields. I can get the autopilot to repeat a given set of movements though, it'll even keep trying to get to it's destination while it repeats the movements. I quickly set up some rolls and tumbles to use if we're under fire. If I've set it up right it'll start the rolls if it detects a hit on the hull.

There's no sign of any threat yet though. I'm worried about the others, but checking on them would take me away from the cockpit. I could get the autopilot to take us towards or away from the planet, if nothing else it'd help get our shields back faster.
>>
No. 640812 ID: 9ddf68

can't you use the ships intercom to yell at them from the cockpit?
>>
No. 640816 ID: 311774

>>640810
Can you try and reboot comms? Or did they get permanently knocked out?
...Hell, can't you open the door between you and the other room and just shout at them instead? Even if they're in the bed area they should still be able to hear you if you yell loud enough.

Also, let's not go towards the planet. We're too damaged right now to do much of anything - especially if a goddamn thruster was taken out. Can we even escape the atmosphere with only one thruster?
>>
No. 640833 ID: d65b16
File 143176464411.png - (4.56KB , 500x500 , 2_85.png )
640833

Uhh just to clarify: comms are down completely yeah. They're in an expanded compartment that runs on a slightly different system to the rest of the ship. The hatch to get down is way at the back, away from where I am in the cockpit!
>>
No. 640835 ID: 9ddf68

do a few laps to keep the engines warm and to build up shield charge. Really want to make sure our crew are on board before we leave. While you're doing laps put a few more evasive maneuvers into the computer just incase the ship is attacked and again to help build those shields up.
>>
No. 640836 ID: 311774

>>640833
Damn.

Well, they're at least together, right? I'm assuming there was nothing on the ship that could have come loose and injured them, so they should be fine. Stay in the cockpit and fly back to the planet you came from. We need to repair.

Also uh, as an aside, since they're spending so much time together now while you do pilot things and since you can't hear anything they're doing you should totally institute some no-boning rules. Just as a general thing.

And maybe pick up some handheld local communicators in case things go south again like this.
>>
No. 640975 ID: 6e1eb1

>>640810
Away from the planet. I suspect the thing that wiped your shields was some sort of defense mechanism. If your shields come back at all, and nothing shoots at you further, go back and check on your buddies. But do so with your weapon ready.

...is it possible you weren't asleep, but instead had your memories wiped?
>>
No. 641630 ID: 5d9114
File 143211334467.png - (52.07KB , 500x500 , 2_86.png )
641630

I power up the thrusters, well, one big thruster plus all the smaller ones. Our orbital speed slowly increases, taking our path further and further away from the planet. I also start adding more evasive maneuvers, just simple movement patterns, cycling the ship between them as I go. They wont be all that effective against any decent opponent, but I guess it's better than nothing if I leave the cockpit.

The maneuvers and acceleration do seem to have an effect on our power levels, it looks like it'll only take about 8 minutes now. Could be faster with the second main thruster, but I wont risk it.

>Can we even escape the atmosphere with only one thruster?
I'm preeeetty sure this ship could, it's got those blue stabilization thrusters on the wings which let it... uh... I mean I really haven't wrapped my head around how they work; kind of obscure tech! But they mean it has less problems in atmosphere than most ships.

>...is it possible you weren't asleep, but instead had your memories wiped?
Yeaaahhh this sounds like a good theory. It doesn't feel quite the same as before, but hey both this and that led to me waking up drifting in a damaged ship.

>Also uh, as an aside, since they're spending so much time together now while you do pilot things and since you can't hear anything they're doing you should totally institute some no-boning rules. Just as a general thing.
Ok hey now I mean firstly why would I even care I mean you know they can do what they want they uh... I mean Arlo hasn't even indicated he likes dudes though uh... I guess he hasn't indicated anything as far as that stuff goes...
I'm going to stop thinking about this.

5 minutes pass without incident, but suddenly I notice something. It was only for an instant, but something appeared on radar.

I bring up the logs. It looks like something was detected close to the planet, only for about half a second. All it could tell was that it was a physical object moving at slightly less than the speed of a stable orbit at its altitude. It may have been decelerating, but it's hard to say with so little data.
>>
No. 641632 ID: e114bc

>>641630
...oh shit. We made the wrong choice. What if you were hit and mindwiped in order to get you out of the way, so they could go after the guy you're here to meet! Hell, if that's the cloaked ship, then that explains its behavior before. They were following you to try to get you to lead them to the other guy.

Go after the blip.
>>
No. 641649 ID: 9ddf68

ok if you got mind wiped I'm seriously going to have to suggest searching your ship just to make sure whoever erased your mind still isn't on the damn thing. Last thing we need is to have crazy son of a bitch jump into the cockpit and try to mind fry you again.
>>
No. 641678 ID: 311774

>>641632
As big a proponent I was for "getting the hell out of here," that sounds worryingly true...
We shouldn't go after the blip, but we should try and sneak in beneath it. Does radar penetrate the atmosphere from space? If we head in the atmosphere, would anything in orbit be able to detect us?
>>
No. 650282 ID: 1ccdfc
File 143505901457.png - (86.17KB , 500x500 , 2_87.png )
650282

I decide it's time to check on Jurek and Arlo. Before I head down I quickly search all the other rooms of the ship. There isn't much in the main hull of the ship: a tiny storage room, bedroom, toilet, airlock. The main corridor ends in an engine access panel. Our stuff in the storage room wasn't tied down, so it's a bit of a mess, but otherwise everything is as we left it.

I open the hatch to the lower compartment. They're both slumped over separate beds. I rush to check on them, almost falling flat on my face as I come down the ladder. They seem fine, just unconscious.

Time to wake them up. I start with Jurek, rocking him by the shoulder.

>"K-kado? ugh." He sits up and looks around. "What happened? Where are we? I don't think I remember."
"I don't either. Last thing I remember we were walking back from that pub in the settlement."
>"Oh yeah! When we got back here you pretty much went straight for the cockpit and fell asleep in the pilot's seat. We stayed up for a bit longer I guess but went to sleep down here."
"And you're just waking up now?"
>"Ye- no. No yeah I think I remember now. I woke up and we'd already taken off, I woke up Arlo and we tried talking to you over the communicator. You don't remember talking to us?"
"Nope."
>"Geez. Well uh, you responded. I don't remember exactly what you said, 'It's fine don't worry' or something like that. But then you, or something else I guess, shut off the communicator and locked the hatch between here and the rest of the ship."
"Shit, sorry. I don't remember doing that either. It was unlocked when I came down here."
>"Yeahh it was pretty freaky. We didn't have much time to work out what was going on though, just a minute or two later something hit the ship. I remember the lights flickered and then..." he shrugs "you're here waking me up."
>>
No. 650283 ID: 1ccdfc
File 143505905574.png - (52.43KB , 500x500 , 2_88.png )
650283

I wake Arlo up too. He has the same story as Jurek. I explain to both of them what's happened since I woke up, the state of the ship and the possibility of another ship on the radar.

"So, it might be dangerous but I think we should head down to the planet. I'm worried whoever those blips on the radar are want our guy too."
Jurek nods. Kado, on the other hand, slowly sakes his head.

>"Kado, don't. I mean, maybe. Just... I dunno dude."

He stands up and starts pacing around.

>"Just... I don't know what we're doing here yaknow? I'm not really sure why I'm tagging along in the first place. Had nothing better to do I guess, and I owe you. But now what, we're gonna try landing on a planet that probably has invisible ships on it that'll try to kill us? Right after something has fucked with our heads? I mean damn, don't get me wrong, it sounds exciting and all, but why? This ship is nice but the alliance guy didn't really tell us much about why he needs to talk to this dude so badly. So a scary alien ship knocked him out, what's he gonna be able to say that you or anyone else haven't already said?"

I still haven't told either of them about you guys.
>>
No. 650310 ID: 9ddf68

ask him if he remembers that big ass ship that shot you down onto the planet you all met on? when it shot your old ship to hell it did something to you. Tried to ignore it at first and just live with it but when we got back the alliance guy seemed to know about it and apparently the guy we're looking for has the same problem I do. So I'm here because of 1 part fear of being blackmailed, 1 part worried that if figured it out how long until other people start piecing it together and what will they do, and a lot of parts of just trying to figure what the hell did happen to me.

Sorry but I didn't think we'd be flying into something like this otherwise I wouldn't have asked you to come along but if people are going to such lengths just to find this guy I want to know why. Because it might be me they're after next.
>>
No. 650316 ID: eac8be

>>650310
This. The others can walk away from this when things get crazy and that is understandable, but you can't without it following you.
>>
No. 650360 ID: e114bc

You obviously can't just run from these troubles. This is our only chance to find out what's going on and maybe put a stop to it.
>>
No. 650950 ID: 311774

>>650310
The ship was invisible, remember? They couldn't have seen it from the surface and I doubt they had sophisticated enough equipment to detect it either.

But there's no way out of explaining to him what's going on, so the least we can do is try to be vague as possible. Or try and write it off as some kind of medical thing, lose him with terminology.
>>
No. 657485 ID: 70930c
File 143755335292.png - (72.92KB , 500x500 , 2_89.png )
657485

I sit down.

"Okay, so: when that uh, 'big scary ship' knocked me out it seems like it... changed something about my body. I dunno, it's kind of hard to describe! This guy, Beck, he's got the same thing - or something very similar. Apparently the rest of the alliance don't think much of it, but Keys thinks it's significant."

It isn't the whole truth, but its not a lie.

"Things are starting to look a lot more dangerous than I expected, I don't know as much about what's going on as I'd like. But uh, there's one or more ships with tech I've never seen before that look like they're trying to keep us away from Beck. Yeah that's scary, but it also makes its seem like Beck really is important in all this. Plus, it kind of feels like we'd be abandoning him if we just ran off now."

Arlo frowns.

>"I... Yeah you're right, we probably should try and help the guy. As long as you reckon we can get out if we need to, so we're not flying into a deathtrap."

That's a good point.

"Well, engine's damaged, but this thing should still fly great in atmosphere. Even if we took a direct hit first, once we knew we were getting shot at I think we'd be able to evade anything in the atmosphere. Though I guess I'm assuming they can't just... magically knock us out again?"

>"Yeahhh. That's kind of a big worry!"

"The cockpit can get some rudimentary readings on my vitals, I thiiink I can set up the autopilot to escape the atmosphere and run if the computer thinks I've lost consciousness."

>"Yeah... Yeah check if you can do that. I think that'd give us just enough security."

I head back to the cockpit and confirm that I can actually program in that behavior. We move back towards the planet.
>>
No. 657486 ID: 70930c
File 143755340241.png - (101.14KB , 500x500 , 2_90.png )
657486

We're getting close. At this point the shields are back up.

We've been given the tip to search for him at higher elevations in the southern hemisphere. We can do that by flying over high or low.

Flying high makes it easier for us to be picked up on radar. We'd definitely be seen from something in space and, even assuming we were dealing with tech I was familiar with, they'd be able to see us from the ground before we'd see them. We'd pretty much be out of visual range though, and we'll be able to scan a bigger area for signs of life.

Low will make us hard to see from space, and we'd have to be a lot closer to be in radar range for something on the ground. The activity scan will be higher resolution over a smaller area. Usually wouldn't make much of a difference but it might help seeing as we're searching for just one guy?

We'd be able to travel at about the same speed either way, but the lower we are the more time it'd take to escape the atmosphere if we wanted to run.

We're still far enough out to change plans entirely I guess.
>>
No. 657495 ID: e114bc

>>657486
Fly in low. The way I figure it, if this guy's got some defenses, it'd be better if he could get a visual on your ship once you get within radar range. Then he'd know you're not the enemy.
>>
No. 657497 ID: 9ddf68

go low, I mean if the guy is here he's looking over his shoulder so to speak so best not to announce to anyone looking that we're here.

Also we don't know the range of the mind scrambler so just hanging out in the open could just fuck us over since we'd be a giant target up there.
>>
No. 657558 ID: dc07a2

votin for low
>>
No. 657560 ID: 311774

>>657486
Go low. We're not too damaged that evasive maneuvers would be difficult to engage, are we?
>>
No. 657948 ID: 70930c
File 143783347856.png - (276.55KB , 500x500 , 2_91.png )
657948

We enter the atmosphere and get down low. Nothing's spotted us yet, or at least if they have they haven't done anything about it.

>We're not too damaged that evasive maneuvers would be difficult to engage, are we?
We're not too damaged, but a lot of the automatic maneuvers wont really work during atmospheric flight, I have to be the one flying to get away with anything complex.

What native life there is on this planet is mostly underground, so is Beck apparently.

I pick a path over the taller mountain ranges in the southern hemisphere and fly it, running the ship's search for life-signs.

The search uses a whole bunch of different indicators to find life: heat, gasses in the air, electromagnetic waves and other stuff. By default it's great for finding civilization, but since everything's underground and we're just looking for one guy I've bumped up the sensitivity a ton. The thing only gives a rough idea at best, with the sensitivity up a lot of what it's displaying is gonna be just noise.

The sites with a bunch of smaller readings close together could indicate a small collection of machinery, such as a spaceship and some camping equipment. Could also just indicate a big nest of animals, certain kinds of fauna. Who knows.
Larger readings could either indicate some geological phenomenon or a huge creature.

Site #1 is right near a large crater, It's got a bunch of nearby cave entrances which are all pretty big. The site itself is pretty big though, if our guy's there a lot of other stuff is too.
Site #2 has a slightly looser collection of readings than the rest and no immediately obvious cave entrances nearby.
Site #3 has good looking readings, but again no obvious entrances that a ship could easily fit through.
Site #4 is right in the middle of a bunch of larger readings. Hard to say what that means but it's weird! There's at least one large hole in the surface.

We're near #4 at the moment.
We could land and search some of the locations, but who knows how long we'd have to spend spelunking.
We could also hover super low and try and get better readings on the sites. That would still take some time though, and might not even narrow things down.
>>
No. 657955 ID: 99cfa8

>>657948
> uses a whole bunch of different indicators...
I don't suppose there's some way you could get the display to differentiate between them? Cause the compiled display may be great for default but right now we're gonna be a lot more interested in the tech indicators than anything else. Heck at this point the life indicators are just red herrings.
>>
No. 657995 ID: e114bc

>>657948
A camp would probably not have a lot of wildlife near it, because he's been hunting. That eliminates 1.
A camp would also be relatively dense, so that eliminates 2. No cave entrance on top of that.
I feel as though if there was a cave entrance he hid his ship in it would be camouflaged.

Let's check out 3. Hover over it and see if you can get any readings on hidden entrances.
>>
No. 658000 ID: 9ddf68

don't trust 4, so head towards the next number on the list, 3.
>>
No. 658042 ID: 311774

Let's head to 3.
>>
No. 661461 ID: 70930c
File 143920637980.png - (97.72KB , 500x500 , 2_92.png )
661461

>Change the sensor to just display mechanical indicators
I dooon't think I can do that. I'll be honest, although I generally pride myself on being someone knows exactly how any given thing in a spaceship works, or at least anything that isn't classified military tech, I've got no clue what's up with life sensors. I think the process is as specific as it can get, and if it isn't I don't know how to improve it.

>I feel as though if there was a cave entrance he hid his ship in it would be camouflaged.
On another planet I'd agree, but the surface of this one is pretty dang barren. He couldn't exactly cover it with foliage, and any high tech solution would've shown up brighter than anything else on the life scan.

We fly over to Site #3 to check it out. After a low flyby we can only spot one cave entrance anywhere near big enough for a small ship to fit through. Not big enough for ours though. I land, partially obscured from the sky, up against a cliff.

I leave the cockpit and head down to the living quarters, asking if the other two want to join. They do.

We rug up and put on our haz masks before we leave. We all have our personal shield units on us, Jurek and Arlo have vibroknives, I've got my energy pistol and a dagger.

We climb up to the airlock and head outside.

We probably didn't really need the masks, but if we're spelunking its better to be safe than sorry I guess. It is a good thing we grabbed these clothes though, it's pretty chilly on the surface and I doubt it gets any better underground.

We explore the cave. We follow one main path that stays pretty wide throughout, there are some other paths off to the side, but they're probably not worth exploring until we find the ship.

As we get deeper I would expect to see signs of the ship moving through a tight space, bumping into stuff, it's thrusters burnings stuff, but I don't see any of that. I mention this to the others.

>"Yeah I'm not seeing any tracks either." Jurek says "I mean, I could just be missing them, but I do see other tracks from small animals and stuff! I think if he is here he at least hasn't gone back outside of foot."

It's not looking great. But just as I'm about to ask if we should turn around and head back, I spot something.

"Hey!" I whisper, "Look, there's an animal over there."

A quadruped of some kind lies on the floor in front of us. Arlo and I hold still, but Jurek creeps closer.

>"Oh! You two don't worry about being quiet, It's dead."

He bends down and gets a closer look at the corpse.

>"Blood's still fresh. Looks like it was done in by two stab wounds, could've been from a spear or something. Rest of it seems intact though! Which is weird, It looks like a herbivore, I doubt it was killed in self defense, but it doesn't look like it was killed for food either."

>"Whoa guys, you hear that?"

Arlo whips around, raising his weapon. I do hear something, a feint stomping.

Jurek puts his ear on the ground.

>"Yeahhh, something big."

The sound is coming from deeper in the cavern, if we don't want to explore any deeper we could just leave and avoid it.
>>
No. 661462 ID: e114bc

>>661461
Not killed for self defense or food, that leaves a territorial beast or something set to kill anything that moves. Like a trap or a robot. If it was the guy we're looking for, he'd have taken the kill for food, right? Another alternative is something that killed it for practice.

I don't think we should go any further. There's no real indication this is the right spot, and there is indication there is a dangerous *something* in here.

Head right over to #2, since it's right there. Though actually now I'm wondering if the stuff near #1 is other people looking for the guy.
>>
No. 661465 ID: 9ddf68

we'll chalk this place up under "we'll look again if we don't find anything". For now head back to your ship and we can move over to site 2 since it's pretty close.
>>
No. 661468 ID: 4f556f

>>661462
>>661465
Seconding this, yeah.
It's super suspicious, but it's too risky to warrant further investigation unless we've exhausted all other leads.

As a bit of far fetched speculation, it could be that it's a form of appeasement to whatever beast is in there by the guy we're hunting down. He has voices in his head like us, so we can't know for certain if he's of sound mind anymore.
>>
No. 661633 ID: 227a05

Those injuries don't look like they were made by a spear to me. They look like they were made by something with gigantic fangs.
>>
No. 661683 ID: 70930c
File 143929375250.png - (86.07KB , 500x500 , 2_93.png )
661683

"Hey Jurek, reckon those 'spear wounds' might have actually been caused by big, scary fangs instead?"
>"I'm uh, starting to lean towards that yeah!"
"Yep lets get out of here."

We back out of the cave. Whatever was making the noise doesn't follow us.

We re-enter the ship and fly towards site #2. Still no sign of other ships in the air, but that doesn't necessarily mean nothing's there.

I fly low, again searching for cave entrances. But after snaking about the area for a while we can't spot anything wider than a meter or two.

The longer we stay in the air the more chance we have of being spotted, and the more time we take in general the higher the chance that they find Beck before us, if that is what they're trying to do I guess. So we could hang around and search more thoroughly, the terrain is pretty rough, we could've missed something or there may be an entrance further out. However, maybe it'd better to ditch #2 for now and check out #1 or #4.
>>
No. 661713 ID: 9ddf68

nah, you probably get into site 2 from site 1 or 3 or something if these tunnels connect. let's zip down to 1 and we can loop up to 4 if we don't see anything there.
>>
No. 661717 ID: e114bc

Check out 1 next.

Ugh won't it be annoying if the very last one that we can check turns out to be it?
>>
No. 661721 ID: 4f556f

Site one it is then.
>>
No. 661978 ID: 70930c
File 143945287795.png - (57.18KB , 500x500 , 2_94.png )
661978

Yeah #2 probably isn't worth the time right now, we head to #1.

We search the the north-east side of the crater. There are a lot of cave entrances, and a bunch that could potentially fit a ship. Most however seem pretty unlikely, if the ship was small enough to fit I couldn't imagine it getting very far in.

One entrance seems pretty good though, we decide to check it out. The tunnel looks big enough, though our ship can only just get into the entrance.

We disembark and explore. Like the cave at site #3 there are a couple of routes, but only one is wide enough for a ship.
>>
No. 661979 ID: 70930c
File 143945308535.png - (55.68KB , 500x500 , 2_95.png )
661979

Suddenly we hear a cry from much deeper in the cave.
>"HEY! SILTH, KARIT, LAHZIA!"

We freeze.

>"YEAH I CAN SEE YOU. NOT ONE MORE STEP OR I'LL BLAST YOU!"

Aha, there it is. A small energy turret is hidden in a nook to our left. It's mostly buried in dirt, but I can spot a cord running from it leading deeper into the cave.

The thing's tiny. It'd be pretty irresponsible but I feel like, with my shield up, I'd be able to just run up to it and kick it over before it could do any real harm.

>"TELL ME WHY YOU'RE HERE WITH WEAPONS, THEN LEAVE!"

Arlo points at the turret
>"You uh, mean through the mic on that thing right?"

...no response.

>"Geez, gonna yell at him Arlo?"

I guess so.

"uh, WE'RE HERE SEARCHING FOR BECK, WE BELIEVE HE IS IN DANGER!"

...

>"WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

Oh for fuck's sake. This is probably our guy, but how am I supposed to get face to face with him without freaking him out?
>>
No. 661981 ID: e114bc

>>661979
Put your weapon down. Try yelling again. If it doesn't work, uhhh... I guess we don't have anything to write with, but... maybe you can play charades? Make a talking motion with your hand, then point at your head?
>>
No. 662002 ID: 9ddf68

look at the camera or at least where you think it is and give it your best WTF face. Because really what the fuck. "Don't come closer or I'll shoot and tell me why you're here, what I can't hear you, you're to far away."

(Sigh) Give the gun to Arlo since with him being an ex-pirate I'm sure he has a better idea on how to us your gun compared to Jurek who lived in a border line tribal community for most of his life. Walk towards the camera with your hands in the air and have the other two stay back. If we're lucky we can actually get close enough to talk to the guy. If not we go back to your "run really fast towards the mini turret and kick it over while your shield takes the blows" plan.
>>
No. 662213 ID: 4f556f

>>661981
>>662002
This is the best course of action. Diplomacy, with an out if diplomacy fails.
>>
No. 662257 ID: 70930c
File 143954316804.png - (66.98KB , 500x500 , 2_96.png )
662257

I shoot the turret an annoyed look.

"Arlo here, take my gun."
>"Uhhh okay."
"I'm gonna try talking, but you two should stay here"

I kneel down in front of the turret.

"NO GUN" I yell, pointing towards my hands "I WILL GO ALONE TO TALK TO YOU. THEY WILL STAY BACK, UNDERSTAND?"

I talk with my hands a lot, trying to get my point across..

>"YES? BUT WAIT NO GO AWAY!"

I glance behind me, Jurek and Arlo have backed up to outside of the turrets line of sight.

"LOOK, I'M LIKE YOU."

I mime talking with my hand and point at my head. Kinda hope the other two don't pay too much attention to that.

"WE WANT TO HELP, IT LOOKS LIKE THERE ARE OTHERS SEARCHING FOR YOU!"

>"...JUST YOU THEN! DON'T TRY ANYTHING - I'M ARMED!"

I nod at the turret, stand up and slowly start walking out of its sight, deeper into the cave.

"Okay guys see you in a bit I guess. Uh, if something happens you can probably just run past this turret or shoot it by the way. You've got shields."

>"Yeahh it looks kind of pathetic, good luck man." Arlo says

>"Yeah good luck!" adds Jurek.
>>
No. 662258 ID: 70930c
File 143954321142.png - (90.29KB , 500x500 , 2_97.png )
662258

I follow the main tunnel. The turret's cord runs the whole way.

Eventually the path opens up into a cavern.

>"Alright stop! What do you want!?"

And here's Beck, looks just like the picture. He seems to be using this cavern as his campsite. His ship's here, a small one-man thing, with a bunch of cords leading from it to various survival equipment.
He's pointing a gun at me and, much like the turret, it looks pretty pathetic. He must've either been short on cash or on a planet with strict weapons laws when he got this stuff.

"Okay hi, I-"

>"No, wait! F-first you tell me; how did you find me?"

Oh uh, that's kinnnnnd of complicated. I'm not sure exactly what I should tell him.
>>
No. 662259 ID: 4f556f

>>662258
Well, we can tell him that much, can't we?
A cloaked stranger told us in a bar and disappeared. Now ask him why he's here and hiding out, and hiding from who?
>>
No. 662261 ID: e114bc

>>662258
Tell him that a mutual friend of yours named William Keys told you he knew you were somewhere in this system. So you just got some supplies and checked the best planet to hide on.

Ask him what his voices are like.
>>
No. 662272 ID: 9ddf68

>"No, wait! F-first you tell me; how did you find me?"
Scanner. Also a tip from a guy named William Keys, who also seemed to know about your... uh, condition. And that I had it as well.
>>
No. 662887 ID: a107fd

There's only so many caves on this planet big enough to hide a ship, and which have heat signatures inside. We were pretty much going around checking them all. One of them had some monster.
>>
No. 662905 ID: 70930c
File 143971530472.png - (49.49KB , 500x500 , 2_98.png )
662905

"Allright. I was asked by William Keys to find you, you saw the alien ship right? Got voices in your head?"

He nods.

"Me too. Except, no offence, I don't seem to be freaked out by them as much as you do. Keys thinks there's something different in what they did to us, just wants to talk to you and find out what. Not even face to face, we can just do it by video."
>"Hah! Fucking Empire... well I suppose if it's just him..."

He trails off, thinking to himself for a bit.

>"Well, that covers the why, what about the how?"
"Life scan, gave us a pretty good idea of where you are. Oh but the bigger picture yeah: Keys knew you were in this system, or at least had travelled through it. We looked and asked around for a while, eventually got a tip off you were on this planet in a cave and a rough idea of where. Then we saw-"
>"A tip off!? From who?"
"Uh, well if we had any other leads I probably would've dismissed it but, this guy wearing a cloak approached me at a bar and-"
>"What?, shitshitshit. Covering his face? They said... or wait maybe that means it's good..."
"Uh"
>"The voices! You say you say they're different from mine, what do they tell you? When do you get them?"
"Uhh, they kind of just give me advice I guess? Suggest things. They don't seem to know anything more than I do. And they're there like, all the time I think?"
>"And you do what they say?"
"I mean, I guess. We kinda have a back-and-forth goin' on"
>"Yeah but, could you even ignore them if you wanted to?"
"Uh, I don't really-"
>"Because mine, they... they don't come that often but, when they do they just tell me what to do and it's... hard not to do what they say."
"What do they want?"
>"I uh,"

He notices he's still pointing his gun at me and lowers it.

>"Uh sorry. I don't really know what they want, they just tell me really specific things. Buy a ship, get in, fly in this direction. They're trying to lead me somewhere I guess but... so far I've resisted. OH!"
"What?"

He points behind me and to my right.
>>
No. 662906 ID: 70930c
File 143971537456.png - (46.63KB , 500x500 , 2_99.png )
662906

There's a monitor on the ground with a blinking light attached. It's showing the feed from the turret.

>"Your friends just ran past! I don't know if the thing hit them but it looked like they were-"

A robot steps into view, gun raised.

>"...running from something."

That... that looks like the robot that attacked me back on Treya.

>"KADO!" I hear Jurek call out, I can start to hear their running footsteps.

"Beck tell me right now, do you have any better weapons? Is there another way out of this cave?"
>"Uh no and... sort of! I mean there's probably heaps of paths but I know of one that leads back to the same entrance but uh, it's a long way and it goes pretty deep and we might get lost and there's monsters and uh, uh."

Okay well he's freaking out now. His energy pistol isn't gonna do much against this robot, and I have doubts about my own too. Jurek and Arlo's vibro-blades could probably mess it up, but that involves getting in melee range of something with a giant cannon on its arm.

There isn't much cover in here, just Beck's ship. There are three exits, the big one Jurek and Arlo are about to come through and two smaller ones. Presumably only. one of the small ones is part of the path Beck mentioned.
>>
No. 662910 ID: 4f556f

>>662906
Does the ship have guns on it? Can you get it up and facing towards one of the exits in preparation to blast the robot?
>>
No. 662911 ID: e114bc

>>662906
Weapons on the ship? Catch the robot in the engines? Ram the robot with the ship? Set the ship to explode? Should probably avoid explosions in the cave, don't want to cause a cave in. Or fly past it with the ship- oh wait your ship is blocking the main entrance to the cave.

If you can't utilize the ship before the robot gets here you're gonna have to use this ship for cover. It's decent cover, I expect. Or hey, everyone else could keep the robot pinned (if it even bothers to react to incoming fire) while you get the ship going.

I'm thinking this was a set up. You were meant to find this guy, then the robot was supposed to show up and kill both of you at once. Two birds with one stone. At least that implies that the enemy has a reason to conserve the robots and not just throw them at us. Still, we did the right thing. We needed to find this guy regardless. We might have been able to prevent this by shooting down the cloaked ship but I still don't know how legal that would have been.
>>
No. 662912 ID: 9ddf68

can't you just hop in the ship and run the fucker over? I mean from what I remember those things are kinda slow and you do have some time to build up to ramming speed to smear that thing across the cave walls, and like you said the cave is just big enough to fit the ship mean the robot shouldn't be able to dodge it.
>>
No. 662973 ID: a107fd

See if you can hit it's weapon or sensors with the energy turret. Probably won't get a kill, but softening it up gives you more options.
>>
No. 663508 ID: 99cfa8

>>662906
My best suggestion is to get all together, cut the robot off by causing a cave in with your guns (they're strong enough for that right?) and then sneak out the back way. This may have issues though, do whatever seems right to you.

... we're going to have to test that whole obedience thing, but later, when it's safe.
>>
No. 663541 ID: 227a05

If there are any noticeable curves or the like in the passage you could set up a little vibro-blade ambush with the limited sight-lines. Other than that, I dunno how you could beat it, therefor I suggest running if you can't find a good spot for it.
>>
No. 663822 ID: 70930c
File 143996519665.png - (92.79KB , 500x500 , 2_100.png )
663822

"No guns on your ship?"
>"N-no it-"
"Still good, gimme the keys."
>"Wha- wait a se-"
"Now"

He pats around his pockets for a moment for a moment, then hands me the access card.

>"What are you going to-"
"Just pull the plugs from the ship and get ready to run."

I run over to the ship. Beck follows after a moment. Engines in the wings, door at the back. It's got a tiny back room, and a cockpit you have to lie down in.

I'm unfamiliar with the ship itself, but the controls are pretty standard. I can at least make it go and, importantly, adjust power usage.

Even though the ship is small I don't think I'd be able to fly it at any decent speed through the cave. Plus I'm not sure everyone could even fit in.

Kado and Jurek run into sight. I wave to the side at them, they seem to get my message and move to the side of the entrance, out of the way. Beck, presumably done with the cords, runs in the same direction. I pull the ship up, hovering over the ground.

The robot rounds the corner. I start overloading power to to engines, for a burst of speed when I accelerate. I'm gonna ram it.

I could go early, with less power, and just try to pin it or I could wait till the last moment, try and build up enough speed to properly take it out.
>>
No. 663825 ID: e114bc

>>663822
Pinning it works fine. Remember, you're going to have to exit the craft afterwards. Ram too hard and you could cause a cavein or damage the ship or yourself. If its cannon arm is pinned then we can vibroblade it down. If not, it will probably react by blowing itself up.
>>
No. 663826 ID: 4f556f

>>663822
Pinning it would be the best option for our own safety, so seconding this.
>>
No. 663830 ID: 77f772

Pin it, then get out on the side without a gun and finish it off with a knife you brought. Just grab one from one of the guys.
>>
No. 665515 ID: 70930c
File 144083095981.png - (106.25KB , 500x500 , 2_101.png )
665515

I only let it take a step or two before I hit the power. The ship blasts forward down the tunnel, the robot doesn't have time to react before we collide. It's knocked back and, now partially under the ship, it's pushed along as I fly nose first into the wall.

The collision hurts. I'm strapped in, so I don't get flung into the glass, but I get slammed around a bit.

The robot fires wildly. It looks like its trying to point it at me through the glass, but it's arm is pinned. It can pretty much only hit the ceiling.
>>
No. 665516 ID: 70930c
File 144083100941.png - (82.15KB , 500x500 , 2_102.png )
665516

I peel myself away from the cockpit and get out the back. Oww my chest hurts.

The three of them were cautiously approaching the crash, but on seeing me Jurek rushes forward.

>"Kado! You alright?"
"Yep, fine, just bruised. You reckon you can finish the robot off with your knife?"

He moves to look at it.

>"Pfff, easy. Where should I hit it?"
"Oh uh, well the one before seemed to have it's main stuff in the chest, but it had a bomb in there too remember? Just enough to fry the insides though. It probably cant do much without its head so maybe just go for that.

He nods, carefully moves up to it and decapitates it. It stops shooting for a moment and then, well it's kind of hard to work out what it's trying to do, but it seems to be stuck in a repeating series of actions. It's probably trying to stand up, but given it cant really move it's really just wiggling.

"Okay awesome, thanks"
I look over at the other two.
Cmon, lets get moving. Beck, there anything you need from the ship?"

Beck seems to take a few moments to process what I'm asking.

>"Oh, n-no, I've got my bag here. I uh, guess I don't really have any choice about going with you now."
"Oh, well i mean, the ship should still work - but we don't really want to let the robot move. Look, there's who knows how many more robots after you, and there's one or more invisible ships out there. And I mean proper, 'should actually be impossible' cloaking. You're probably safer with us than you would be on your own. Now lets go quick."

I start to move. Arlo and Jurek follow and, after a moments hesitation, Beck too.

>"Oh hey yeah, Kado take this back."
Arlo says, handing me back my pistol
>"I'm not much of a marksman anyway!"
>>
No. 665517 ID: 70930c
File 144083104647.png - (80.27KB , 500x500 , 2_103.png )
665517

We arrive back at the cave entrance. The drop pod from the robot landed here. It's blocking the entrance a bit but I should still be able to squeeze past. Other than the pod there's nothing out of place, no sign anyone else is here.

"Alright, all aboard I guess."
>"So," Beck says "where exactly are we going?"
"Well, I haven't really thought that far ahead. For now I just want to get away from this planet, try to make sure we're not being followed. We can call Keys when it's safe and then... I dunno."
>"Okay um, shit. But are you sure you can get away from them? How are we gonna do it if we can't even see them?"

That's a pretty good question. For starters I'm not sure how I wanna get off the planet. If they're right above us already just jetting straight up to orbit would probably be a bad idea. I could try to put some distance between us in the atmosphere first, make things harder for them. But it'd waste time, if they were in orbit already it'd just give them a better chance to prepare and intercept us.

And what if they do chase us, should I shoot at them? Obviously I would if they were shooting at us too, but so far they haven't been outright hostile.
Although I guess they probably are the ones who sent a killer robot after us.
>>
No. 665520 ID: e707e9

>>665517
Can they detect when something leaves the atmosphere? Like, if we departed on the opposite side of the planet would they know we left?
>>
No. 665522 ID: e114bc

>>665517
Oh hey I wonder if we can take the robot apart- its limbs at least- and sell the parts to someone or get someone to analyze it to figure out who made it. Well, it's a bit late for that now I suppose, I wouldn't tell you to go walking back to where it is now. Thinking about it a bit, we'd get just as many answers out of dissecting the drop pod.

Well, it found us even though we went low, although that could be because we took so long to find Beck.

...if you analyze the impact of the drop pod can you tell how far up it was dropped from? The crater doesn't look that big this time around, I don't think it was dropped from orbit. Chances are they're still monitoring the area to see if the robot comes back out too, so they're probably not in orbit now. That means you can probably spend some time in atmosphere to lose them.

If they DO wind up following you again, go ahead and shoot. I would suggest doing so mainly to disable their cloaking so you can see what their ship looks like.
>>
No. 665523 ID: 70930c
File 144083356767.png - (23.60KB , 500x500 , 2_104.png )
665523

>Can they detect when something leaves the atmosphere? Like, if we departed on the opposite side of the planet would they know we left?

Yeah it depends on where they are. If they're also in the atmosphere they shouldn't be able to tell what we're doing if we're far enough away that they wouldn't have line of sight to us. If they're in orbit already though they'll probably be able to see us.

This of course all assumes they don't have crazy advanced radar tech that can ignore all current physical limitations. Not something we can really rely on!
>>
No. 665529 ID: 9ddf68

well if they dropped the robot here then they probably have their eye's on this place already unless they dropped a robot off at all the places we checked/were going to check. But I'm sure they have a way of keeping track of the robots and with the crippled one back there I feel that we should just get the hell out of the area. Stay low like you were when we were looking for Beck and then once you feel like you're far enough away fly up into space. this place is in an asteroid field right? I think I recall you saying something about asteroid fields being in this sector. If they're along the way and we can't go invisible then we can at least make it a bitch for them to get line of sight on us. Also planet hop a little. Try to skim near inhabit worlds as whoever this guys are they do seem to be trying to stay away from heavily populated worlds. I mean they sent a robot after you on a planet run by pirates who barely ever leave there space station and a bunch of stranded tribals and they sent another robot after Beck when he was on a uninhabited asteroid. So they at seem to at least be trying to avoid getting noticed... At least without that fuck all huge ship of theirs.
>>
No. 666013 ID: f784b5

>>665529
That works.

Also while we are here, could we cut the robot's gun arm off to take with us? That seems like something the government types would want to get a look at.
>>
No. 671228 ID: 9a3ecb
File 144281132465.png - (80.33KB , 500x500 , 2_105.png )
671228

"We'll make a break for the asteroid belt. They might be able to chase us undetected but we've got our best chances of losing them in there. If we manage to see them I'll try and hit them, hopefully slow them down."

Beck doesn't look any less freaked out, but he raises no complaints with this plan.

>Too late to take parts of the robot to study?
Yeah it's probably not worth going back for it now. The alliance has the wreckage of the old one to study anyway.

>If you analyze the impact of the drop pod can you tell how far up it was dropped from?
Yeah, it looks like it hit the ground with significantly less force than the one back on Treya - it's mostly in one piece. So it seems unlikely it was dropped all the way from orbit, though it could always have used something to slow it's descent - we can't get a look at what it had underneath.

We board the ship, Beck in the living quarters with the other two. I start the engines, hover, and start to plan a line out through the crater.

"Alright guys, you all good down there?"
>"Yep!" Jurek says.
"Good, things are probably gonna get rough."

And with that I take off. We clear the crater quickly, and continue to move fast and low over the terrain.

The others can't see anyone tailing us. Not really sure if it'd be easier or harder to see one of the cloaked ships in atmosphere though.

Even in this thing I can't go super fast at low altitudes. It takes three or so hours to get roughly halfway around the planet. I pull up and start ascending to orbit, then out into space.

"Any sign of 'em you guys?" I ask through the intercom.
>"Nothing yet," Arlo replies "but 'yanno, hard to see and everything."

Only when we're nearing the edge of the planet's sphere of influence does the radar pick something up. Two moving objects show up, close to the planet's atmosphere, before disappearing again. Just like the one I saw before we landed. I reckon it could be them. It'd make sense if their cloaks couldn't mask rapidly entering or exiting the atmosphere.

It's not really anything to go on though, so I keep on course. But eventually Arlo shouts over the intercom:

>Kado! We think we can see them behind us!"
"Are they directly behind us?"
>"Uhh, wait they're getting closer I think."
>"Yeah," Jurek adds "they've moved closer and um, are almost right behind now."
"Just tell me when."

A few moments pass.

>"Now!"

Without changing our velocity I spin the ship around, firing wildly backwards. A few shots seem to land. I don't really get much time to look though because I keep spinning, now firing the engines. This modifies our trajectory enough to, for a very short time, lose them.

The ship radar is now picking up a multitude of small, unidentified objects, moving together in two distinct groups.

Some time passes. They still haven't fired at us, and they still look like they're following us, but at a much greater distance.

It'll be a while before we reach the asteroid belt. At this point I can still divert our course and get to SR092341-2, the independent settlement, much faster. Or we could just engage. Even with these shitty weapons, sustained fire should be able to do something more than surface damage.
>>
No. 671233 ID: 4780ef

>>671228
>The ship radar is now picking up a multitude of small, unidentified objects, moving together in two distinct groups.

Think those small things could be more of those killer robot things? if so bring them to the planet could just wipe it of the map completely and if we fight all it would take is one of those things to get on board and it wouldn't even need to fire it's gun, the cold vacuum of space would do all the work for it.

I say run for the belt and only engage if they get close again.
>>
No. 671280 ID: a107fd

How tightly coordinated are the groups? Is it possible radar is picking up pockmarks you put in the stealth layer with that shooting?
>>
No. 671288 ID: fede3c

>>671280
Yes, keep an eye on how tight the groups are clustered.

Should tell us if we damaged some sort of surface coating, the potential size of what ships we hit, and also if the blips are actually missiles.
>>
No. 676779 ID: b3c18a
File 144499367322.png - (127.19KB , 500x500 , 2_106.png )
676779

The groups of objects are pretty tight together, and, within the two groups, their relative position to each other never changes. Seems like some of the damage we've done has punched holes in their cloak.

Based on how far apart the objects get, I'd say the ships would have to be at least as big as ours. Hard to put an upper limit on how big they could be, but given the little we could see with the naked eye and how close the two are flying to each other, I doubt it could be much larger than twice our size.

"Guys, I can sort of see the enemy on radar now. Looks like there's two of them. Gonna try to get to the asteroid belt and lose them there."

I keep and eye on the radar as we fly. Every now and then they start to pull closer to us, before they get too close for comfort I change course slightly. It seems like they're a bit more sluggish than us, losing quite a bit of ground on us as they readjust.

Things continue this way for a long time, until we approach the asteroid belt. As I start to slow to a safer speed the two ships alter course and pick up speed.

They seem to be moving away from us, passing over the belt and away from the sun.

Regardless, I pick my way through the belt and halt when I've found a spot where we're fully surrounded by asteroids.

"Well um, it looks like they've given up on us."
>"What, why?" Kado asks
"No idea."
>"We should," Jurek says "Wait for a while before we move out, we're sort of safe here right? See if they're just coming back with reinforcements or something. Uh, maybe?"
"Yeah no I agree. We'll wait it out."
>>
No. 676780 ID: b3c18a
File 144499371149.png - (94.82KB , 500x500 , 2_107.png )
676780

And so we wait. About half an hour passes with no sign of the enemy.

"Beck, do you wanna come up here and try calling Keys?"
>"Uh, what, now? Won't that give away our location?"
"Not really, unless they control the relay. Although hey, unknown alien tech and all that."
>"...yeah okay."

He climbs up out of the living quarters and makes his way up to cockpit, standing behind me. I start setting up the call to Keys.

"Oh yeah so, I didn't really mention it before but I haven't exactly... specifically told the other two about the voices."
>"Oh, uh, yeah that makes sense. Oh! I haven't told them if that's what you're worried about"
"Good. I mean, It's not a big deal I guess but..."
>"Yeah, I mean some people... they- oh!"

Before he can finish the call connects and the video feed pops up. It looks like Keys has answered from home. He stares blankly at the camera.

"Ah, William, It's Kado. We've found Beck and he-"

As the transmission delay catches up realization dawns on his face.

>"Kado? Are you still piloting my vessel?"

He turns and starts to mess with something slightly off-screen.

"Um, yeah. Look, we've been chased by-"
>"In that case I must order you to jump to the nearest Empire system immediately. When you arrive contact local law enforcement and-"

The call suddenly cuts out. I share a glance with Beck, and open the intercom.

>"Uh guys, Keys was acting kinda weird-"

Suddenly the call flickers back to life, showing us a worried William Keys.

>"Okay good we should be secure for a little bit now. Where are you calling from?"
"Uh, the asteroid belt in SR092341, what's goi-"
>"That might buy you some time. You need to get out of that system this instant, they'll have your position down. And yes you're about to ask who. Us, The Empire. Nobody will tell me a thing but some higher up has issued an urgent order for your arrest or elimination. So unless you've done something heinous since we last spoke..."
"Oh... damn, wow. Okay."
>"Yep. Something rotten's happening here and I'm trying to work it out. I'd say go deeper into independent space. The warrant is top secret; you should be safe even from allied governments, though the closer you are to Empire surveillance... I'm sorry, I feel somewhat responsible for landing you all in this position. It is good that you found Beck, even though I don't have time to chat with him, I believe they were after him as well. And now I've really got to go. Good luck.

He ends the call before I have a chance to respond.

>"Oh no. No no no. What are we going to do?"

Beck is starting to hyperventilate.

>"Yeah uh, that's a good question Kado." Arlo adds over the intercom.

Shit, yeah okay let's work something out. Looking at the radar I can see a fleet of ships approaching the belt. If not for the warning I wouldn't think much of them, they're all pretty far away. Looking at the history, they were traveling in a different direction when they entered radar range, but at some point all altered their course to head towards us. Aaand yep, it's when I made the call to Keys.

To jump out of the system we need to get much further away from the system's star. They might know where we are now, but staying in the asteroid belt should keep us hard to spot as we move. Though we wont be able to move very fast. Hell, even in clear space we're not gonna be able to outrun Empire fighters given our engine damage.

I am... really not that sure what we can do to get away.
>>
No. 676792 ID: 0ed6e9

stick to the asteroids, as at least that will by you time, get to the point within the asteroids that get's you the furthest away from the systems star. Have anyone with engineering skills look at the damn engine while you do this. The moment you see a opportunity to get the hell out of here do so.

So what do you know about non-Empire space and how far away are your from it not counting this system?
>>
No. 676793 ID: 7990f0

If they are all on one side of the belt you can fly outside of the belt on the opposite side so that the belt is between them and you but you are able to go along the outside of the belt faster than you would be able to inside it. Then go along the length of the belt in the direction it is thicker.
>>
No. 676844 ID: 5ad4a7

>>676793
Yes. We need to try to evade their radar while moving away from them, and blocking it by the asteroid belt one way or another is our best bet.

If we can get out of radar range entirely we can just make a beeline for the edge of the system and jump out.
>>
No. 680309 ID: de5ef9
File 144627682778.png - (94.31KB , 500x500 , 2_108.png )
680309

This system's non-empire, but its pretty close to empire space. I've never really done much other than pass through non-empire systems before now though.

I head back out to the inner edge of the belt, they're coming from the outer side so this should keep us of their radar. I move as fast as I can, circling around the belt. It seems to be working, they're still heading towards my old location. But soon they get close enough to the asteroid belt that we can't see them either.

Eventually we hit the point where the asteroid belt starts to widen considerably. Occasionally the radar picks up signs of other ships from within this part of the belt. It'd make sense if this area was a popular spot for people wanting to, well, do exactly the same thing we want; avoid the authorities.

Unfortunately I have to slow down, the wider area makes it a bit harder to plot a safe course while staying close enough to the denser part of the belt.

We're almost at the very widest point of the belt before I see any sign of the fleet again. They emerge out the inner side of the belt. Shit, they're way closer than I would've expected. There's only a handful of smaller ships, possibly a scouting party.

I veer into the field. They've probably already spotted us, but might not have enough info to tell us apart from anyone else in the belt. Speaking of which, I'm starting to see bigger clusters of activity within the belt. It might make us harder to detect if we try to blend in with the others here, though the fact that they're here means they're probably up to no good. At best, smugglers, but a lot of them are probably pirates.
>>
No. 680310 ID: 5ad4a7

Lead the fleet into the pirates. Then you'll have an opening to gate out.
>>
No. 680312 ID: 0ed6e9

move along the edge of the pirate cluster, close enough so the felt could easily mistake you as on of the pirates but far enough away that the pirates shouldn't be able to easily spot you. If we're lucky the fleet will miss you completely but if they do head your way the pirates or most likely going to scatter if they can or fight if they can't run, This would also work greatly for us as we could easily escape in the confusion. Really the only real risk is the pirates since if they decide to push us out of the cluster not only would that draw the fleet's attention but it would also slow us down. Still I feel it's worth the risk.
>>
No. 682673 ID: de5ef9
File 144705624959.png - (170.29KB , 500x500 , 2_109.png )
682673

I head towards the cluster of what I'm assuming are pirates. I intend to get close enough to confuse the empire ships, but avoid crossing paths with any pirates. I'm making a lot of guesses based on changes in velocity here, but it looks like the scouts are moving to follow us.

Deeper in the belt, I start to see signs of a large group of various ships, all flying in different directions. Hopefully I'll be able to get lost amongst all their signals and head off in a different direction.

Soon I'm close enough to get proper radar readings on some of the ships and goddamnit they're alliance ships. Not all of them, just some. It looks like they're fighting with whoever was here first. Pirates or whatever. I guess some of the fleet must've sped around the belt like I did, but on the other side. As far as I can it's mostly scout ships again, none of the heavyweights.

Okay well shit it's time to move. I think they spotted us, one tries to break away in our direction, but is caught up in the fight again. I head down, away from both the fight and the scouts tailing us.
>>
No. 682674 ID: de5ef9
File 144705628271.png - (251.15KB , 500x500 , 2_110.png )
682674

We're able to gain some ground, but a few ships are able to break away from the fight and chase. We can outmaneuver them, but even if we were undamaged these scout ships would be faster than us.

As they get close enough to attack I start to dodge and weave around the asteroids. Maneuvering eats up all my attention, I don't know how long I keep it up for, and don't pay any attention to what the others are saying over the intercom.

Eventually we're hit, I lose control and we're hit even more. It looks like we're gonna have to make a stand and fight.

Then one of the ships explodes, so uh, maybe not.

>"They're being shot out of nowhere!" Jurek exclaims over the intercom.

He's right. The other ships are doing a better job at not exploding with one hit, but they're being assaulted from... at least three different invisible ships I think?

This is... good I think? What the heck is going on.
>>
No. 682675 ID: 5ad4a7

>>682674
I don't understand what's happening. The invisible ships following you are... friendly!? Then who keeps sending assassin robots? Are they launched from out of system or warped in or something ridiculous like that? Or do they have to kill you with the robot for a specific reason?

Well, shoot back at anyone that's still shooting at you, then make your way out of the asteroids. It sucks that our ship took damage but at least we got confirmation that the cloaked ships aren't trying to directly kill us.

Since the scouts will be dead we'll have a head start on trying to get away. Maybe we can just make a break for it now? The cloaked ships may be able to keep you safe again. I doubt they'll be quite as effective now since the Imperials are alerted to their presence, but still.
>>
No. 682677 ID: 0ed6e9

>>682674
...I have no fucking idea what to think right now. Maybe they want you alive because of reasons? Hell there's a lot we don't know right now but right now we need to get out of here before our ship craps out or the invisible ships turn on us. Could just as easily be that the invisible ships are trying to capture you as it is that they're saving you ass.
>>
No. 682687 ID: a107fd

At least three invisible ships, possibly conflicting factions AMONG invisible ships, possibly some who want to help you, possibly some who want to kill you but only in ways that would allow them to rip some info out of your brain afterward.

Figure it out later. For now, shoot back at whoever's shooting you, then resume fleeing.
>>
No. 684087 ID: b03d92
File 144757947019.png - (93.14KB , 500x500 , 2_111.png )
684087

Well whatever is going on it is time to get out of here. I retreat, away from both this fight and the bigger fight with the pirates.

The alliance ships are too busy to chase us. They're fighting a losing battle with the invisible ships. They attempt to retreat, in the opposite direction to us, but I can see them get taken out one by one, until eventually we're too far away to observe.

"You guys alright down there?"
>"Yep, think we got out of that okay." Arlo responds. "Like, the ladder fell off of one of the beds and hit me, but that's the worst of it."

Soon the belt starts to thin out again. At least from our from our point of view, there don't seem to be any ships in our way.

But, suddenly, the ship receives a local call. It's a video call, but only the audio seems to be getting through:

>"M8260, as I am sure you're aware; you are crippled and weakened. Entirely unfit for combat I'm sure."

Shit. A ship emerges from behind a nearby asteroid. A large cruiser. It's a mess of custom parts and scrapwork. Extra compartments, a small fighter bay, huge secondary engines. I can't even recognize the base model.

>"And now you may also be aware that a very large and interesting collection of weapon systems have targeted you, hopefully clearing up any doubts you had about that last part. Unless I suppose your sensors are too, in which case - just take our word for it."
>>
No. 684088 ID: b03d92
File 144757950850.png - (81.44KB , 500x500 , 2_112.png )
684088

The video starts to work. The captain of the cruiser is a... familiar looking nebol.

>"I am Lydia Gold, known to some as the Pirate Queen." She chuckles, "A flattering, if completely misleading, title. As long as you follow my instructions your safety is guaranteed! Slow your ship and cut power to engines. Your vessel is now in our possession, and you..."
>>
No. 684089 ID: b03d92
File 144757957418.png - (74.68KB , 500x500 , 2_113.png )
684089

She turns to face the camera, her expression changes.

>"...aaaaarree that guy who did the delivery for us! Hahaa wowwwwww okayyyyy, oops. This is uh, kind of embarrassing! The dramatic vibe's totally gone now. I'm not just being racist right, you are uh... what was the name, Kado?"

Yeeep she's the person we delivered that weird box to a while back.

"Uh, well-"

>"Yeah no you're totally the same guy, I'm sure now. Haha oh man, that would've been really embarrassing! But umm yeah, even though we just paid you for work, making it kinda weird, still gonna rob you. Annd take you prisoner. Not for long though! It's uh, not that bad. I promise? Sooo yeah, surrender please! I would feel like a huge dick if I had to blow you up, It'd be bad for everyone."

Surrendering miiight be our only option.

She does seem to be misjudging just how much maneuverability our ship still has, buuut she sure wasn't lying about their firepower. And who knows what kind of stuff they've got hiding in that fighter bay.

I might be able to evade but... in our state even a disabling shot would cause a lot of damage. And probably injury. Or uh, worse. I'm not sure I'd want to gamble on the invisible ships helping us out again.
>>
No. 684091 ID: 5ad4a7

>>684089
There's a second benefit to surrendering. Her ship is much more able to defend itself from the alliance, and I'm guessing she has a way to escape altogether.

We'll just have to endure this. It's better than getting caught by the Alliance, and after you're free again you can go back to doing jobs or investigating the weirdness surrounding the voices and stuff. Err... I'm assuming you have enough money to get a ship again so that you can work?

Wait, I have a better idea. Why not tell her you are protected by a fleet of invisible ships, and if she opens fire on you, she will likely be destroyed? I mean, she saw that fighting back there, right? She can see you're no longer being chased, at least. Make a deal. She gets you out of the system, and you'll pay her back. Like, say, everything you can spare except the ship. Or, if she can exchange your ship for a ship of lesser value that you can still fit everyone in, she can profit that way too.
>>
No. 684100 ID: a107fd

How about instead of surrendering, we sign on with your pirate fleet? As you already noticed, I've got a pretty nice ship to bring to the party, and intel on some other ones with stealth tech that looks like it ought to be thermodynamically impossible.

Also, recent communications from my previous employer have left me doubting whether there's anyone left out there who my crew and I could be safely ransomed back to, so if that's your plan, we'd be between a rock and a hard place, forced to either run until we can escape the system or fight back until you kill us. Down that road, nobody wins.
>>
No. 684136 ID: 4e78b4

Ask why she's after you and what she meant that you wouldn't be a prisoner for long. I mean that could mean she's just going to hand you off to the guys we just ran away from, the invisible people, or is planning to simple shoot us after grabbing our ship. Could also be that they're going to use us as a hostage to escapee the two people chasing us and then plans to let you go but don't say that part less you give her ideas.
>>
No. 684184 ID: b50be8

Fuck prisoners we're joining up, free protection and we can bring them in on the conspiracy.
>>
No. 684219 ID: 8f84ee

So uh, not sure if this is relevant, but she just introduced herself as the pirate queen. I'm pretty sure if you guys escape she's gonna lose a HELL of a lot of face with whatever organization's here, so it's possible that she doesn't really want to screw you over she just wants to keep her reputation?

You could say you'll surrender peacefully, but maybe ask her to go easy on the robbing, if the government is after you this stuff may literally be all you have. ...maybe put in juuuust a little guilt for the fact that she'd be literally taking back the money she paid to you, you haven't even used any yet.
>>
No. 684838 ID: 83bc29
File 144793628290.png - (105.75KB , 500x500 , 2_114.png )
684838

"Not blowing us up is a good start, but say I wanna do something captured. What if I was to work for you instead? I'm a good pilot, a really good pilot. Anyone else wouldn't still be flying after what we've been through. Some repairs, some less than legal mods and my skills would make this ship a real powerhouse."

>"Hah! Well I mean yeah of course your ship is good, why do you think I'm trying to steal it from you? Though you're not wrong, you showed some skill back before.
She chuckles
>"Buuut I'm not sure why you think you're in a position to bargain. Like c'mon, I'm offering you a great deal here! On top of it being the only option that won't probably get you killed."

"Well, I'm not really sure you've given us enough credit here, and I'm not really sure your deal is all that great. Who do you work for? You say we wont be prisoners for long but-

>"-Ohhhh my god I'm not going to kill you or anything calm down, I- UGH. Once again you're ruining a dramatic speech, but I guess I can explain how stuff works now. If you're on my ship you're either doing work, and eating nice food, or in a cell, and eating crap food. There is a third, hidden role where you're in my bed buuut,"
She sighs.
>"See this is where I was gonna peer over all of you in person and then go 'nahhhh'. It would've made you feel insecure, it would've been funny, I would've enjoyed myself. But now you've gone and ruined it. Anyway, we'll let you keep all your stuff and credits, unless you're like super-rich, and just take the ship. We don't work for anyone, but we always need more people to help out and keep this old thing running. If you do good work you'll be free to go if you choose next time we're at a peaceful settlement. If you choose to stay a prisoner we miiight keep you around for a bit longer, buuut who has time to be vindictive nowadays?"

I don't get the impression she's lying, but given who she is she's probably not a bad actor.

"Okay. Well you act like you've been tailing us for a while, so you saw the scuffle we got into with those alliance ships right?"

>"It's why we're having this lovely chat right now."

"Good, well then you probably noticed our invisible friends."

She smirks, incredulous.

>"Yeahh them. Aaand by 'friends' you mean?"

"Well you know, allies? You fire on us, you're gonna get a lot worse in return."

>"Pfff, I mean hey nice try, good thinking on your feet, but that fight there was just a coincidence."

"You think? We've been travelling with them for a while now."

>"Pah, well lets see. Where were you... about five hours ago?

Err I've kind of lost track time with everything that's been going on, I check the ship's logs.

"Uh, should've just left SR092341-1 around then."

This catches her by surprise.

>"Huh, okay then. Verrry interesting. Okay, well first up; don't say the whole freakin' code of a planet out loud. C'mon, learn the local names of things if you're gonna talk about them."

"What is it's local name?"

>"I don't know! I don't give a rat's ass about some uninhabited rock. See? You could've just made something up and sounded cool, missed opportunity! But anyway, secondly; I don't believe you. Not entirely at least, but now I think I've got something to be even more interesting to offer you... Why do you think I was in this belt to spot you in the first place?"

"Well, it seems to be a pretty popular hideout for pirates."

>"True, true, but not why I was here. I was here for research. Learning what I could about a certain set of tiny, barely observable disturbances and signals. Tracking something so very difficult to observe."
>>
No. 684839 ID: 83bc29
File 144793632201.png - (111.77KB , 500x500 , 2_115.png )
684839

>"I was here, because someday soon I'm gonna take out one of those 'allied ships' of yours."

"Really."

>"Yes, really. Well, ideally I'm gonna capture one. You're connected to those guys, but they're not actually your friends, and you've got no way of tracking them. Right?"

Based on her expression I've just given something away in mine.

>"Yeep. Whaddaya say you come here and join in on the fun? Your crew will all decide individually of course, but I think you've got something pretty good to bring to the table. We are gonna have to leave here without your ship either way though, you're too damaged to follow us at a decent pace. It'll be well hidden and stuff, one in a million chance the alliance will actually find it."
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No. 684860 ID: 146c4d

That actually sounds fairly similar to what we were suggesting, but don't point that out since it seems to matter to her that the deal be her idea and not yours. Accept.
>>
No. 684901 ID: a22f87

ah fuck it go with it. Just find somewhere on your body to hide a weapon that won't be easily found in a pat down or at least won't be seen by a casual glance. Just because we're agreeing doesn't mean she isn't lying... Buuuuut she is right that we're not really in a position to bargain.
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No. 684917 ID: 5ad4a7

>>684839
This is a good deal, but why is she leaving the ship behind now? I thought she wanted to steal it?

It also explains why the pirates were so cagey when you were at the station. The invisible ships followed you there, and they noticed, and wanted to capture one.
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No. 684970 ID: 05d1ef

>>684917
Apparently, because it's too busted up to follow at her kustom ship's speed and doesn't fit in its fighter bay.
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No. 684982 ID: 83bc29
File 144800907383.png - (101.17KB , 500x500 , 2_116.png )
684982

"Wait, you're here to steal our ship but you're not even gonna take it with you?"

>"Well, obviously we'll come back for it. Just need to wait until this system has cooled off."

"...Think I'll be taking you up on your offer then."

>"Good!"

"I really should tell my crew what's going on though."

>"Heh, go ahead. We'll be docking shortly."

I mute the call and unmute the ship intercom.

"Sooo, you guys heard any of that?"

>"Yeah we could hear the whole thing." Arlo responds, "They don't seem too bad!"

"What about the other two, what do you think?"

Jurek speaks first

>"Uh, yeah? I guess so!"

>"Yeah we... don't really have a choice I guess."

Beck doesn't seem so keen,

The ship shudders as the larger ship clamps on to ours. I unmute the call.

>"Aannd now we're docked!"

The bridge around her erupts in a flurry of activity.

>"Kado, others; welcome onboard the Titania."
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No. 684983 ID: 5ad4a7

>>684982
Adventuuuuuure!
>>
No. 684986 ID: 439fd3

We should probably stick close to Arlo since he probably knows how these guys work what with him being an ex pirate and all.
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