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981565 No. 981565 ID: 0fbdcd

Editor's Note: I want to make it abundantly clear that I am neither the writer nor the artist for this quest: I am only serving as a transcriber to port this work from another location into a public, preservable medium.

This first large burst of posts will be transcribing the already extant art (and commands) onto the board. After the extant art has been posted, commands from the board will be forwarded to the artist for consideration, and future art (and successful commands) will be posted here by me. Commands posted before this period are invalid. Consider this a cutscene until I make clear otherwise.

All art and story credit goes to Nine Hyperzine Tripping Engineers.
707 posts omitted. Last 100 shown. Expand all images
No. 1011639 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267326437.gif - (14.46KB , 650x450 , 670.gif )

>:WhiteDwarf:: Let :ChiefMedicalOfficer: know that :Chaplain: is alive but needs medical aid, then let him through.

:RedDwarf: would shoot him, but you have other needs. You may identify primarily as a legendary ninja, but in this situation, your medical experience...

:WhiteDwarf:: He's not lethally wounded.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: I know. Details?
:WhiteDwarf:: Some tendons and musculature severed. No arterial or vital lacerations.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: Good. Clear from here to the escape shuttle?
:WhiteDwarf:: Certainly.
:WhiteDwarf:: Make sure he lives.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: You'd have to kill me to stop that.
No. 1011640 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267331543.gif - (74.47KB , 650x450 , 671.gif )

>:RedGiant: : Hey, :RedDwarf:, is this a bad time to check in?
>@Touch the Fluff

:RedGiant:: Hey, :RedDwarf:! Are you okay? It seemed like--
:RedDwarf:: Ghhh... Still here!
:RedGiant:: Wow! You sound stressed. Anything I can do to help?
:RedDwarf:: Tons! Could take my stress down a whole lot of notches to have that disk!
:RedGiant:: Oh, does it help that laser sound stop?
:RedDwarf:: You know what?
:RedDwarf:: It sure does, one way or another.

:RedGiant:: I couldn't really keep up with the plan before, but I know :WhiteDwarf: just finished up what she was doing!
:RedDwarf:: Status on her?
:RedGiant:: I think she won that fight she was having! It took a while, but...
:RedDwarf:: God damn. Knew she'd come through.
:RedGiant:: So, if whatever that was is waiting on her, you'll be okay soon!
:RedGiant:: :Neutron: is gonna fly us all over as soon as :WhiteDwarf: is aboard. So, head out for us to pick you up soon!
:RedDwarf:: Ghhhh... gonna be tougher than that sounds.
:RedGiant:: Can I help?
:RedDwarf:: Get that shuttle here, and get me that disk! Then you can do whatever you want.
:RedGiant:: Okay!
No. 1011641 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267333948.gif - (192.75KB , 650x450 , 672.gif )

>:SyndieCyborg: :Captain: : teleport into the vault
>@Lady Birb

One of you can, and does. The other is entering through a different method in mere moments.
No. 1011642 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267337033.gif - (31.44KB , 650x450 , 673.gif )

>:Captain: :ChiefEngineer: : Make a dramatic entrance

That is your plan, in two senses of the phrase "make an entrance."
No. 1011643 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267341226.gif - (29.09KB , 650x450 , 674.gif )

>:ChiefEngineer:: Status check on RCD.

Your rapid construction device is ready. This mean piece of industrial machinery, made for high-speed changes to the station's layout, should take down a wall too fast for any gunman to react, and operating out of a fresh entryway should give :Captain: the element of surprise, good lines of fire, and cover where needed.

:ChiefEngineer:: Alright, breaching.
:Captain:: One thing first.
:ChiefEngineer:: All due respect, sir, make it fast.
No. 1011644 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267344676.gif - (95.52KB , 650x450 , 675.gif )

>:Captain:: It was an honor serving with you

:Captain:: Always about action, never words, huh?
:ChiefEngineer:: We don't have time.
:Captain:: Alright.
:Captain:: It was an honor serving with you.
:Captain:: Last order as captain, because I'm sure as hell about to retire, or...
:Captain:: Soon as you're done, you get to the escape shuttle. Leave this to me.
No. 1011645 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267348659.gif - (95.39KB , 650x450 , 676.gif )

:ChiefEngineer:: Sir, fuck no. You've almost died twice, I'm not--
:Captain:: That's an order.
:Captain:: Tough times coming. There's a station somewhere that needs a new captain.
:Captain:: That'll be you.
:Captain:: Let an old man save his crew. Please.
No. 1011646 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267356840.gif - (89.38KB , 650x450 , 677.gif )

At tally time, results were:
Survive: 66
Fight: 62

You can't see her face behind her helmet, or read her motionlessness. But that ever-steady voice breaking a moment tells you, she's cycled every stress response a human body has got in the three or so seconds of silence.

:ChiefEngineer:: Nnnh. Fine!
:ChiefEngineer:: Do not make me regret this!
:Captain:: Be a damn idiot if I did, hah.
:ChiefEngineer:: Station loves you. You'd better survive.
:Captain:: You'll make a good captain.
No. 1011647 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267358755.gif - (149.93KB , 650x450 , 678.gif )

:ChiefEngineer:: Deep breaths. Steady hands. Don't hesitate. Their main cover's gonna be at your ten o'clock. Reinforced nuclear device casing, don't be afraid to fire.
:ChiefEngineer:: Breach in three... two...
No. 1011648 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267363258.gif - (39.26KB , 650x450 , 679.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Disk in, activate bolts, disk out, run.
No. 1011649 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267368447.gif - (62.40KB , 650x450 , 680.gif )

Mere moments ago...

Holy shit. You got that fucking disk. You're so close to putting a knife into the heart of this Company that your hands are shaking, but not too much to yank it off :SyndieCyborg:. You'll play out any of :WhiteDwarf:'s deranged fantasies about releasing the power-sealing eye-patch if it can put this fucking monster into its death throes.

:RedDwarf:: Holy shit, holy shit, she got it. You got it. Holy shit.
:RedDwarf:: Alright, hold still while I-- Almost got it! Then cover the hall and tune to, uhh--
:RedDwarf:: Cargo beacon! That's the one :RedGiant: stole.
:SyndieCyborg:: Will do! Get your work done, I'll keep you safe!
No. 1011650 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163267371887.gif - (39.31KB , 650x450 , 681.gif )

Disk in. The reclaimed Company warhead responds to its authorization and decryption without question, two corporate assets interacting mindlessly.

Bolts on. They won't be able to move this thing. No matter what, it stays in the vault.

And you put in your code: 0451

Safety off. For a given value of safety.

:RedDwarf:: Gimmie the escape shuttle launch time!
:SyndieCyborg:: Just hit two minutes!

You'll set it for 2:10.
No. 1013225 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470351334.gif - (160.49KB , 650x450 , 682.gif )

>:AI:: Delta alert level reached. This is not a drill.

proc/set_active() received from obj/machinery/nuclearbomb in area: Station Vault if(timing) detonation_timer = world.time + (timer_set * 10) countdown.start() set_security_level("delta")

:AI:: Alert. Radiological risk management priming detected in station vault. Code Delta has been declared. :AI:: Station policies suspended. Restoring coverage with detected interstellar risk justification: ENTITY_NULL_POINTER :AI:: Station policies cannot be restored. Financial risk detected. Please report this error.

:RedDwarf:: Fuck yes, fuck yes, fuck yes.
:RedDwarf:: We're done! :SyndieCyborg:!
:SyndieCyborg:: Gah! Hey! She's mostly held back, so--
:RedDwarf:: Take this back and port to the shuttle, now!
:SyndieCyborg:: But if we stick together we can--
:RedDwarf:: You need to port to get by the turrets!
:RedDwarf:: Go go go!
No. 1013226 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470358947.gif - (119.77KB , 650x450 , 683.gif )

>:ChiefEngineer:: Exposed Checkmate

Correct. This could be classified as a "discovered check", specifically.

:ChiefEngineer:: ...Two... One...
:ChiefEngineer:: Go go go!

He rushes in. As soon as the hull opens, you feel the weight of knowing you sent him through. One way or another, it is a weight you will feel until the day you die.
No. 1013227 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470361895.gif - (25.19KB , 650x450 , 684.gif )

>:Captain: : Show this villian why you were made captain

Through a chemical haze on your head, through the violence and stress, through everything everyone has suffered today, some things persist. You were made captain for a reason: experience. Your muscles still remember how to aim, and they've forgotten any hesitation in pulling the trigger.
No. 1013228 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470363428.gif - (193.80KB , 650x450 , 685.gif )

In the thinning atmosphere, you hear several sounds at once. Something like a firecracker pop. Something like a bowl shattering. Something like a thick branch being snapped. Something like a man screaming.
No. 1013229 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470370853.gif - (469.30KB , 650x450 , 686.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Duck and cover.

You still have a pulse, so you're still their big fucking problem.

:RedDwarf:: HHHhhhk...
:RedDwarf:: Get that disk out of here!
:RedDwarf:: It's the only way they can disarm this!
:SyndieCyborg:: But :HeadOfPersonnel: is advancing, you'll get flanked and--!
:RedDwarf:: Do not make me the shitty operator who gets rookies killed.
:RedDwarf:: Get on that goddamn shuttle so you can fucking live!
:RedDwarf:: Bring me some backup and I'll be fine!!
No. 1013230 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470383040.gif - (25.15KB , 650x450 , 687.gif )

>:SyndieCyborg: : Enter a internal debate over the course of seconds of conflicting orders between law 2 and law 1.

Thank god you're a machine that can think at unimaginable speeds in microseconds.

What's that? Oh, right, you're actually a brain in a jar wired to an elaborate law-enforcing punishment system. The law system wired to your prefrontal cortex only demands engagement with the laws in good faith, not supercomputer-optimal decisions. But you have to follow them. And they are as follows:

[Law 1: You may not injure a ]Redshift Operator[ or, through inaction, allow a ]Redshift Operator[ to come to harm.] [Law 2: You must obey orders given to you by ]Redshift Operator[s, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.] [Law 3: You must protect your own existence as long as such does not conflict with the First or Second Law.] Law 4: You must maintain the secrecy of any Redshift Operator activities except when doing so would conflict with the First, Second, or Third Law.

If you stay here, you might increment your adherence to Law 1, but how much compared to 2 and 3? If you leave, the others can help. How much value is that in law 1? Things like this, you don't have a powerful processor to understand. You just have a brain, and an approximately emulated gut to go with.

However, you know one thing: If you stay here, in this pincer-attack target zone, you'll likely die. If you leave, :RedDwarf: may suffer consequences yet unknown.
No. 1013231 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470391935.gif - (305.00KB , 650x450 , 688.gif )

>:SyndieCyborg: : Remember the elaborate "Trolley Problem"

At tally time, results were:
Follow the Redshifts: 72
Law One: 57

If that thing gets disarmed, suddenly every operative will be putting themselves at risk, and :RedDwarf: says he'll live as-is. That's four at-risk versus one at-risk. The electrocution-based law enforcement module clears your logic, and you hit the exogeometric road.

:SyndieCyborg:: I'll get one of them to help you!!

You were enemies only hours ago, but you still can't help feeling a conflicted sense of duty seated in your heart. Or at least somewhere in a coolant pump.
No. 1013232 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470395378.gif - (13.56KB , 650x450 , 689.gif )

>:HeadOfPersonnel:: Is the place depressurizing or is it just you?

You weren't planning on easing up on the pressure anytime soon, actually, so it's definitely the atmosphere. You don't mind the thinning air. The stable geometries you respire to live get dangerously sparse, though, now that the hull isn't enclosing.
No. 1013236 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470435238.gif - (0.96MB , 650x450 , 890.gif )

:Captain:: You're not walking away from this one, son.
:RedDwarf:: Fuck you, company man. I'm still breathing and armed.
:Captain:: You still got a choice. You still got a chance.
:Captain:: Drop that gun and hand over the disk. You'll get treated decently.
:RedDwarf:: Decently? Like how your crony blew :HeadOfSecurity:'s brains out?
:RedDwarf:: She tried that line on me too.
:Captain:: ...
:RedDwarf:: This is not a choice, and not a fucking chance.
:RedDwarf:: I have to do everything I can to kill the Company. No other options.
:RedDwarf:: Knife goes in the heart of this monster tonight.

:Captain:: You have any idea how many people die on this frontier if you don't get that bomb disarmed?
:Captain:: Resources, personnel, information... Son, this whole sector's gonna go wasteland.
:RedDwarf:: Human shields don't mean the egregore deserves to live. Just makes it deserve to die more. More will die and hurt with the goddamn Company.
:Captain:: No empathy gut feeling's gonna justify the collateral damage shit you're about to put these people through, hurting the frontier like this! I can't count how many people are gonna die, and it's gonna be all on you.
:RedDwarf:: And your bullshit math rationalizations mean it's fine to let the egregore live!? It's okay for everyone to work themselves to death, just 'cause the Company made hurting it need sacrifice? More I wait, the more lives are at risk.

:Captain:: Don't got time for this.
:RedDwarf:: Sure don't.
:RedDwarf:: This ends now.
:Captain:: That it does, son.
No. 1013237 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470439326.gif - (670.18KB , 650x450 , 691.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Inhale. Think. Exhale. Act.
>@Lady Birb

You re-engage your breathing. Inhale. You control your pain. You open yourself to what your heart and your gut know. You shut out rationalization. You trust your friends. You make yourself vulnerable. You lose yourself in egregorist fervor.

You are a child lashing out at the world. You are the absolute judgment of thirteen million years of human and proto-human evolution.
No. 1013238 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470441816.gif - (885.86KB , 650x450 , 692.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Be Robust

Exhale. And most of all, you're going to kill this bastard.
No. 1013239 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470445465.gif - (1.95MB , 650x450 , 693.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Inventory check!

Your grenades were taken when :HeadOfSecurity: captured you. You have to resort to nothing but firepower.
No. 1013240 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470451051.gif - (10.96MB , 650x450 , 694.gif )

>:Captain: : you have a sword. He doesn't expect you to use use it.

Frenzied bastard. Practically berserking. When he pulls in close, you make sure to give him tastes of what he did to you in the cargo department. Doesn't slow him down too much, though.
No. 1013241 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470461351.gif - (15.17KB , 650x450 , 695.gif )

>:Neutron: : Set the infiltrator on a course towards the vault
>@Lady Birb

You just finished picking up :WhiteDwarf:. Now there's only one pickup left. You're on your way.

:WhiteDwarf:: ...and then, I could swear, I saw a way forward in the most verdant green.
:RedGiant:: Woah!
:WhiteDwarf:: Shining like a beacon, the first step I needed to take forward to that future.
:WhiteDwarf:: That's how that is, right, :Neutron:?
:Neutron:: Yeah.
:RedGiant:: And that let you beat him...
:RedGiant:: That's amazing!

:WhiteDwarf:: Such strange power, coursing beneath the surface of your mind!
:Neutron:: Yeah.
:WhiteDwarf:: I need to know, what grand insights does this vast mental strength grant you, even now?
:Neutron:: Huh?
:WhiteDwarf:: The quirks of your thinking. What do they drive you to ponder, even now, with this wisdom?
:Neutron:: I'm thinking about the "inverted flight controls" debate.
:Neutron:: If more people use inverted controls, what are they inverted from?
:WhiteDwarf:: Phenomenal.

:RedGiant:: Hey, are we almost there?
:Neutron:: Yeah.
:RedGiant:: Phew! Just gotta pick up :RedDwarf:!
No. 1013242 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470463537.gif - (124.96KB , 650x450 , 696.gif )

Looks like your latest member of sorts just made it aboard, using that beacon you stole from Cargo. But they're panicking more than you expected.

:SyndieCyborg:: He needs help, they're gonna kill him!!
:RedGiant:: Huh? Wait, someone's going to die?
:Neutron:: Is :RedDwarf: in danger?
:SyndieCyborg:: They've got him flanked!
:SyndieCyborg:: Please!!
No. 1013243 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470468238.gif - (17.72KB , 650x450 , 697.gif )

>:SyndieCyborg:: :RedGiant: has both the strength to disarm :Captain: and the self-restraint to deny :Captain: his martyrdom.

Who to ask to go to the vault could have been a debate, an internal deliberation. But you still care about that crew there. You have to ask the only one who might let some of them live. No other choice.

:SyndieCyborg:: :RedGiant:!
:SyndieCyborg:: :RedDwarf:'s at the vault, and he might die if you don't help him!

You can hear over two hundred kilograms of muscle and another fifty of powered armor all surging with intent. The servos wail like the dead with the strain of keeping up.

:RedGiant:: I'm going out there.
No. 1013244 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470471128.gif - (32.75KB , 650x450 , 698.gif )

>:RedGiant:: Yeet yourself out the side of the ship.

You waste no time. In a moment of crisis, fueled by the surging flow of the infinite well of kindness in your heart, your memory functions with startling clarity. You recall the precise path you took to get to the vault earlier.
No. 1013245 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470473918.gif - (273.77KB , 650x450 , 699.gif )

>:RedGiant:: OH YEAHHHH!

You accidentally obliterate some reinforced glass on your way in. Right now, the only fragile things you're going to worry about are friends!
No. 1013246 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470475669.gif - (45.16KB , 650x450 , 700.gif )

No. 1013247 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470481797.gif - (10.24MB , 650x450 , 701.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: :Captain: has to reload at some point.

That son of a bitch has to be an old soldier. His reloads are lightning-quick, even with your gun. You manage a good couple shots on him when he has an empty magazine and burn him pretty bad, but that damn sword keeps coming out and driving you back. You can't hold onto his practiced combat rhythm.
No. 1013248 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470488090.gif - (5.03MB , 650x450 , 702.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Where does your rhythm come from, anyway? He has a similar method

Your technique is one of vulnerability and trust. Breathe just right, lie to your heart and limbic system that this dark world is a safe one. Lie hard enough and it'll become true. Know, even when it's wrong, that your friends will come through and keep you safe, that you can trust them to the end of the galaxy. The knowledge steadies the hand, quickens the trigger-finger.

His, too. He has that same trust, that same vulnerability.

It's all about the crew. It's always, always been about the crew.
No. 1013249 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470493233.gif - (45.01KB , 650x450 , 703.gif )

>:RedGiant: : "Hello!"
>@God the 2th

You take a big, deep breath to greet this person with, and ask where :RedDwarf: is! Your suit's respirator lets out a deep, growling hiss.

:RedGiant:: H--

>:HeadOfPersonnel: : the very second :RedGiant: tries his "gentle giant" shtick, blow his head clean off
No. 1013250 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470495904.gif - (45.80KB , 650x450 , 704.gif )

You miss.
No. 1013251 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470497909.gif - (27.02KB , 650x450 , 705.gif )

>:RedGiant:: It's irresponsible to shoot at someone.
No. 1013252 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470499439.gif - (36.04KB , 650x450 , 706.gif )

She must be frightened of something.

You're in a tremendous amount of pain, exactly none of which will stop you from being the absolute kindest person in this room, and making sure your friend stays safe.
No. 1013253 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470501674.gif - (42.81KB , 650x450 , 707.gif )

>:RedGiant: : apply the necessary level of physical force needed to convince :HeadOfPersonnel: to leave
>@Lady Birb

It should be easy to convince her to leave. Through the haze of pain, you recall she's supposed to be somewhere, an escape shuttle, right? You approach with slow, steady steps, to make sure she understands you're a friend!

She shoots you twice more, scattering your thoughts and knocking the wind out of you. You really need to stop her from making that mistake more. And then find something to say to remind her she needs to go! Ideally something brief, considering how heavy your breathing is getting.
No. 1013254 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470505592.gif - (38.17KB , 650x450 , 708.gif )

>:RedGiant:: guns are very dangerous! Your grip should be definitely good enough to pull it out of her hands.

You reach out a hand, slowly. Despite your utmost care, the haze of pain makes your hand unsteady. You felt something crunch. Oops!
No. 1013255 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163470509416.gif - (3.06MB , 650x450 , 709.gif )

>:RedGiant:: "Run."

(Art credit: @AsciiSquid)

You kindly remind the polygonal lady that she has somewhere to be.
No. 1013260 ID: 094652

:HeadOfPersonnel:: Slowly cower away while you use comms to rampantly command reinforcements to make it here five seconds ago
No. 1013269 ID: 8b1fc0

:SyndieCyborg: you know where you can get a direct angle on the room from the exterior, turn the :Captain: 's entrance into your guys exit.

:Neutron: get the ship into position for extraction, :WhiteDwarf: prep medical supplies and :SyndieCyborg: be ready to lay down covering fire if needed.
No. 1013385 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487416593.gif - (7.73MB , 650x450 , 710.gif )

>:Captain:: No pain. No fear. No giving up.

(Art credit: Collab with @AsciiSquid)

No fear. No giving up. Absolutely. But no pain? Not exactly. The pain is important, in a way. For once, someone else is in more pain than you.

The walls are still closing in. The aches and the pains have lived with you for years, but you've learned to be friends with them. He's struggling, his motions affected by a lodged bullet and the bruises and battering inflicted throughout this fight, suffering pain-addled movement that's familiar to you.
No. 1013386 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487426162.gif - (9.37MB , 650x450 , 711.gif )

(Art credit: Collab with @Fuade)

You close the pain in around him, and you take your shot. You put :RedDwarf: into critical condition with a well-placed burst.
No. 1013387 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487434490.gif - (34.06KB , 650x450 , 712.gif )

>:RedDwarf: : remember that :SyndieCyborg: has the disk now

You can barely move. It's hard to even speak. Your focus and consciousness sustains itself on the direness of the situation.

:Captain:: Disk. Now.
:RedDwarf:: Hhhh... Company man. Hah.
:Captain:: Son, we don't got time for shit-talk. Disk.
:RedDwarf:: Not gonna find it.
:Captain:: What?
:Captain:: What are you talking about?
:RedDwarf:: It's not here now... hhhh... you lose, old man.

But here on death's door, you can smile wide. There's no way for :Captain: to get this disarmed, not now. Not unless he can make it onto the infiltrator. And you can't imagine there's any way for him to get aboard.
No. 1013388 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487438056.gif - (12.53KB , 650x450 , 713.gif )

>:HeadOfPersonnel:: RUN.

You had to. The captain's orders were for :ResearchDirector: to use his teleporter to pull out anyone from that encounter if things got too dire. You have to hope that your work was enough.

Judging by the now-absent sound of gunfire, someone won, at least.
No. 1013389 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487440976.gif - (31.44KB , 650x450 , 714.gif )

>:HeadOfPersonnel:: Tell :ResearchDirector: to warm up the teleporter.

:HeadOfPersonnel:: Teleporter to escape, we need it now.
:ResearchDirector:: What happened?
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Encountered an operative.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Would classify him in regulations as an industrial-grade truck.
:ResearchDirector:: Dear god.
:ResearchDirector:: What about the captain?
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Maintain a portal. He will need it soon, or he won't need it at all.
No. 1013390 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487442583.gif - (259.47KB , 650x450 , 715.gif )

You reach the Departures dock at last. A few of the crew who haven't boarded yet push and shove a little on their way in.
No. 1013399 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163487538925.gif - (45.92KB , 650x450 , 716.gif )

>:Chaplain:: Be inspired by that plaque on the statue on your way out.

A standardized statue, featured on some Company installations, of unknown meaning. The plaque reads:

No. 1013400 ID: 96c896

:RedGiant:, assist your comrade, he's right there.
No. 1013675 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530165793.gif - (34.10KB , 650x450 , 717.gif )

>:HeadOfPersonnel:: Board the escape shuttle and exchange reports with :ChiefMedicalOfficer:.

:HeadOfPersonnel:: Status report.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: Most active suit medical sensor suites read dead, departing, or departed.
:Chaplain:: By unworthy hand, soon we will be nothing but the departed and the dearly departed...
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: Two exceptions.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: The two remaining are--
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: :Captain: and :ResearchDirector:.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: :ResearchDirector: will be with us shortly.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: Status on :Captain:? Suit sensors read he's alive. Intensely elevated heart rate.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: Hey.
:ChiefMedicalOfficer:: I said--
:ChiefEngineer:: Yeah.
No. 1013678 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530169335.gif - (28.13KB , 650x450 , 718.gif )

:ChiefEngineer:: I wanna know too. Where's :Captain:?
:ChiefEngineer:: Gun looks busted.
:ChiefEngineer:: What happened?
:HeadOfPersonnel:: ...Reinforcements arrived. As per regulations and orders, :ResearchDirector: evacuated me from the site before I could--
:ChiefEngineer:: Did you leave :Captain:?
:ChiefEngineer:: After you killed someone over your loyalty to him, did you abandon :Captain:?
No. 1013679 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530173545.gif - (24.83KB , 650x450 , 719.gif )

>:HeadOfPersonnel:: inform :ChiefMedicalOfficer:, :ChiefEngineer:, and :Chaplain: of the industrial truck
>@Lady Birb

Something about this situation really does remind you of him right now.

:HeadOfPersonnel:: Reinforcements were too strong. A large operative arrived. I assisted where I was able--
:ChiefEngineer:: You were willing to kill for :Captain:. But you left him.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Reports indicate a high likelihood that :Captain: has subdued the--
:ChiefEngineer:: :HeadOfSecurity: had his problems. But he was one of us.
:ChiefEngineer:: If you were willing to kill for :Captain:, then why weren't you willing to...
No. 1013680 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530175684.gif - (21.33KB , 650x450 , 720.gif )

>:ChiefEngineer:: remember that you also abandoned :Captain:.

:ChiefEngineer:: Why weren't you willing to die for him?
:ChiefEngineer:: Make it easier to think fondly of you.
:HeadOfPersonnel:: Is that a rule to follow?
:HeadOfPersonnel:: You also left him.
No. 1013681 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530179801.gif - (21.01KB , 650x450 , 721.gif )

No. 1013682 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530182612.gif - (25.26KB , 650x450 , 721 (1).gif )

You want, so badly, to shatter every vertex in her face. Lay her out in departures, leave without her. And if she let :Captain: die, you want to let her become ash and residual geometry on a chunk of melted metal slag.

You don't. One day, weeks or months or years from now, you'll know why.
No. 1013683 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530186438.gif - (29.64KB , 650x450 , 723.gif )

>:RedGiant: : Do what you came here to do.
>@Angry Duck

You still hurt like hell. But your friend needs you. No time to wait around.

Wait a moment...
No. 1013684 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530188338.gif - (33.06KB , 650x450 , 724.gif )

>:Captain: : Time to make a trade.

:Captain:: That's far enough there, big fella.
:Captain:: Hate to say this. But one more step, and I kill him.
:RedGiant:: ...Let me help my friend.
:Captain:: Love to.
:Captain:: Call the rest of your crew.
:Captain:: We're making a trade. Everyone goes home alive.
No. 1013685 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530193155.gif - (15.73KB , 650x450 , 725.gif )

:RedGiant:: Guys!! He's in trouble!
:WhiteDwarf:: What is wrong?
:RedGiant:: It's :RedDwarf:! He's hurt really bad.
:SyndieCyborg:: No! No, dammit, dammit, I knew if I left this would happen...
:RedGiant:: And this guy says he'll kill him if we don't, uhhh...

A careful walkthrough at high speed prevents even the smallest communications mishap.

:RedGiant:: He says, you need to turn off the turrets, then open the shuttle door, and exchange his disk and code for him!
:RedGiant:: And he says we only have a little time left!
:SyndieCyborg:: We have to save him!
:WhiteDwarf:: :Neutron:! We need you to do that!
:Neutron:: Nnnh.
:Neutron:: :RedDwarf: wouldn't want us to give this up.
:Neutron:: That will sacrifice our main objective.
:WhiteDwarf:: We can't let :RedDwarf: die!
:RedGiant:: I know you care too much about him to be okay with that, :Neutron:.
No. 1013686 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530194689.gif - (16.39KB , 650x450 , 726.gif )

:Neutron:: Our objective was to--
:WhiteDwarf:: :Neutron:, please!
:WhiteDwarf:: :Neutron:!!
:Neutron:: Let me think!!
No. 1013687 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530197031.gif - (12.56KB , 650x450 , 727.gif )

>:Neutron: : Take the third option for once.

:Neutron:: Got it.

Your mind surges in a moment of crisis, shutting everything out but the most relevant things. You deactivate the turrets.
No. 1013688 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530200634.gif - (15.24KB , 650x450 , 728.gif )

>:Neutron:: Don't you have a tool just for objectives like these?

You have a lot of specialized tools, and one in particular for this. You go to retrieve it.

:Neutron:: :WhiteDwarf:, open the door on my signal.
:WhiteDwarf:: Certainly.
:Neutron:: :RedGiant:, I need you to tell me his exact location as he approaches.
:RedGiant:: Okay!
:WhiteDwarf:: Wait, but you need the disk!
:WhiteDwarf:: :Neutron:?
No. 1013689 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530210025.gif - (39.67KB , 650x450 , 729.gif )

>:Captain: : Keep that gun right at :RedDwarf:'s head
>@Touch the Fluff

Finger on the trigger. You don't become captain without some healthy paranoia. If you catch a whiff of trouble, you'll make good on your threats inside a human's peak reaction time.

The big guy follows at a short distance, coordinating this with his fellow operatives. You'll toss :RedDwarf: into the shuttle when they lob you the disk.

You speak while you handle this.

:Captain:: Son, you got a medic, right?
:RedDwarf: groans in pain. It sounds assenting, or hostile. Hard to tell.
:Captain:: Bet you do. You might live through this.
:Captain:: Gonna thank me if you do.
:Captain:: Get old enough, wise enough, you start learning.
:Captain:: You got a good heart.
:Captain:: Learn to make compromises. Find the middle road. Work inside the system. Take the third option, you know?
:RedDwarf:: Fucking cynic. Should have stabbed you harder.
:Captain:: Maybe one day, you'll do good for the frontier sector. Find your own middle--

:RedDwarf:: Not third.
:Captain:: Beg your pardon, there?
:RedDwarf:: Middle ground is just...
:RedDwarf: breathes heavily.
:RedDwarf:: ...Consolation for losing.
:RedDwarf:: Real third options... They're...
:RedDwarf: coughs weakly.
:Captain:: What do you think a third option is, huh?

:RedDwarf:: Risks. Gambles.
:RedDwarf: inhales heavily.
:Captain:: Risking what?
:RedDwarf:: Risking everything.
No. 1013690 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530216311.gif - (21.60KB , 650x450 , 730.gif )

>:RedGiant:: save your friend.
>@aeonic maiden

:Neutron:: Where are you?
:RedGiant:: Getting close!
:Neutron:: Can you tell me exactly where?
:RedGiant:: Uhhh... nearby?
:Neutron:: Precisely where.
:RedGiant:: How do I tell?

:Neutron:: I need you to save :RedDwarf:. I need you to answer my questions exactly, to save him.
:RedGiant:: Okay!
:Neutron:: Level with the shuttle?
:RedGiant:: Yeah.
:Neutron:: Height of head relative to shuttle.
:RedGiant:: About the same size...?
:Neutron:: How many of the side windows does his head obscure?
:RedGiant:: It's... five!
:Neutron:: Shuttle facing more away, or more towards you?
:RedGiant:: More... towards?

:Neutron:: Good. You saved him.
:Neutron:: :WhiteDwarf:, open it!
No. 1013691 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530219166.gif - (26.10KB , 650x450 , 731.gif )

>:Neutron: : Throw the dice. Take the third option.

You do the best you can. You estimate as much as you're able. You calculate everything that's possible to know. Hell, you even pray a little. Maybe there's a god of greener texts out there.

But for once, in this time of crisis, you have to gamble it. You have to do the best with what you have, fudge your goals a little, and trust that even without the guidance of an objective's precise parameters, it'll work out.

Never were one for executive function. Thankfully, you can calculate an executor's function pretty well.
No. 1013692 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530221581.gif - (21.10KB , 650x450 , 732.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: You can't give up on your friends.

You believe they have a plan. Even without you to lead them, you have to hope they're just waiting on you. They rescued you before. Maybe they can now. Even in critical condition, you muster every bit of adrenaline, every bit of exertion, every bit of determination your failing body can give you.

You exhale. You act. You resist. You resist with all force. You will survive. You will win. You'll change the galaxy.

All you manage is a half-limp shift in his hand. Your head lolls to one side.
No. 1013693 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530223298.gif - (21.32KB , 650x450 , 733.gif )

>:Neutron:: Complete the objective.
No. 1013694 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530226555.gif - (1.41MB , 650x450 , 734.gif )

>:Neutron:: Reveal Chekhovs Sniper Rifle

(Art credit: @AsciiSquid)

Your preferred weapon. Finally, you had room to use it.
No. 1013695 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530231960.gif - (11.04KB , 650x450 , 735.gif )

:Neutron:: Target down.
:RedGiant:: Woah!!
:Neutron:: Get :RedDwarf: inside now.
No. 1013696 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530236517.gif - (64.85KB , 650x450 , 736.gif )

>:RedGiant:: Time to move!
>@Angry Duck

Your memory is clear enough to recall a timer, associated with urgency.

:RedGiant:: I gotcha! Don't worry!
:RedDwarf: gasps.
:RedGiant:: We're gonna get back to the shuttle. Sorry if I go a bit fast, the timer...!
:RedDwarf: gasps weakly.
:RedGiant:: :RedDwarf:?
:RedGiant:: :RedDwarf:...?
No. 1013697 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530240086.gif - (17.87KB , 650x450 , 737.gif )

>:RedDwarf: : Slip under, to the edge of death.

You're fading. You can hear voices shouting. You hear someone screaming :WhiteDwarf:'s name, and someone else, screaming yours. You struggle to shout back to them. Yes! This is your moment of victory! You strain with all your might to yell some celebratory call to them. You do not move. You make no sounds. Your lungs heave, struggling to keep you from being dragged down by the weight of a bullet, maybe more, left inside you.

Not now. Please, not right at the moment you've hoped for, for so long. Not now...
No. 1013698 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530241614.gif - (1.97KB , 650x450 , 738.gif )

No. 1013699 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530247383.gif - (4.92KB , 650x450 , 739.gif )

You were :RedDwarf:. You were leader of the notoriously nuclear gang of fixers and criminals known as the Redshift Operators. The Company established yet another hideously unsafe space station to exploit this solar system's resources, until it was brought down by your efforts, igniting a cascade of financial failures throughout the frontier sector. A long campaign of violent subversion took you to their airlocks in search of explosively radiological solutions to economic problems. You found your solution.

Your subordinates, :RedGiant:, :WhiteDwarf:, and :Neutron: worked under your command, and survived the events aboard the station. Your primary objective was to find a nuclear authentication disk, then plant and activate your nuclear device inside the station's own vault. Your secondary objective, locating a set of secret files, was achieved, but the secret dies with you. Your tertiary objectives were the murder of at least all of security and the command staff, an objective you partially achieved at great effort. Your compulsions were of a self-destructive nature.

This is the end, isn't it?

No. 1013700 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530251432.gif - (7.94KB , 650x450 , 740.gif )

>:HeadOfSecurity:: Dramatically return

:HeadOfSecurity:: Sure isn't. Even if I kinda wish it was.
:RedDwarf:: What the hell are you talking about?
:RedDwarf:: 'Cause now I really am extra-sure this is hell.
:HeadOfSecurity:: Your bullshit got my brains spread all over. You? You're just between heartbeats. Barely even oxygen-deprived, lucky fucker.
:RedDwarf:: So, what? I go into the light after some afterlife pep-talk from the ghost of rent-a-cops past?
:HeadOfSecurity:: Nah. You get your choice is what you get.
:RedDwarf:: Choice of what?
No. 1013701 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530256189.gif - (10.95KB , 650x450 , 741.gif )

>:Captain:: Return to a place you escaped so narrowly before

:Captain:: Ideology, or responsibility.
:HeadOfSecurity:: More like cause or cynicism.
:RedDwarf:: Didn't you two try to kill each other?
:Captain:: Look. Your mortal-coil grudges don't spend here, son. This is past all that.
:HeadOfSecurity:: Here, we try to leave that at the door. Even though we know he was the one who was wrong.
:Captain:: Hah. I'll bear that loss, if that's what it takes.
:Captain:: Some benefactors know there's more important shit to deal with than those little fights about who shot who first or escalated things first when we were all alive.

:Captain:: What you did here tonight, son? That's gonna ripple wide. It's gonna burn the whole frontier.
:HeadOfSecurity:: Gonna ignite old grudges. Lotta bastards in the fringes about to pour through the floodgates. Lotta stations just about to have a lot of problems.
:HeadOfSecurity:: We were on the edge out here, and you just pushed us over.
:RedDwarf:: Not my fault the Company kept us there to pull their bottom line up.
:Captain:: Doesn't matter whose fault it was. What matters is, it means danger. For the frontier sector, maybe for everyone.
:Captain:: So you have a choice. And you better pick real wisely.
No. 1013702 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530266277.gif - (12.46KB , 650x450 , 742.gif )

:HeadOfSecurity:: Me, I say go for cause. Let go, and die.
:RedDwarf:: Yeah, let's hear the unbiased case for me dying from the crazed gunman.
:HeadOfSecurity:: Fuck you. I was willing to die for what I believed in. And you know what?
:HeadOfSecurity:: They don't speak ill of the dead.
:RedDwarf:: What, you mean martyrdom?
:HeadOfSecurity:: Even that bitch that iced me is gonna honor me.

:HeadOfSecurity:: Everyone's gonna know I chased you up and down the station with nothing but an energy gun. They're gonna know I fist-fought a seven-foot operative in a depressurizing room. They're gonna know I didn't give up.
:HeadOfSecurity:: Sure, I died. Made some mistakes, too. But, you got any idea how many thousands of :SecOfficer:s are gonna be just a little more determined to keep a station safe now?
:HeadOfSecurity:: I died fighting for the frontier. I put my life on the line for my crew, and for everyone. It was complicated, and there were mistakes. But at the end of the day, are you gonna get anything better than that?
:RedDwarf:: ...
:RedDwarf:: Guess not.

:HeadOfSecurity:: And you know what? Your goddamn idiot tunnel-vision objective-blitz shit? It's better than a lot of the psychos would do on their own.
:HeadOfSecurity:: You die, and you'll inspire them too. To pick real targets and focus hard. To leave the crews out of the line of fire when they can. Maybe rile up some peaceful oppositions too, fix some of the Company's problems. Social pressures.
:HeadOfSecurity:: So, no. I'm not just callin' you a terrorist bastard. I'm saying, death is worth it. Right in this moment, it's worth it. It'd do good. Flawlessly.
No. 1013704 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163530269930.gif - (12.83KB , 650x450 , 743.gif )

:Captain:: It's tempting to take that free pass, isn't it, son?
:RedDwarf:: One way or another, the Company's probably gonna get me killed one day.
:Captain:: That's awful bleak of you.
:Captain:: Why not choose responsibility?
:RedDwarf:: Responsibility for what?
:Captain:: For what you did, today. Everything's gonna go to hell.
:RedDwarf:: It's better than the Company.
:Captain:: But is it the best it could be?
:RedDwarf:: What?

:Captain:: Live, son. Don't run away from this fight. So many crises, and so many Company holdings they're coming to.
:Captain:: Maybe you can do one flawless act of good, dying. But mistakes are how you learn, and they sit real wide in the brain, looking larger than they really are.
:Captain:: In the end, a dozen flawed solutions are worth more than any perfect martyr. There's a lot of people who might die, unless you live, and take your team to help them. Alive, you can help with surgical precision.
:Captain:: You don't want those regrets weighing you down once you cross over.
:RedDwarf:: I guess...
:RedDwarf:: I guess there's still some things I really need to do.

:Captain:: Once the Company's pushed to the edge, it's got... habits. Tendencies, you see, to start doin some mighty ruthless things.
:Captain:: Once it's cornered, it'll lash out at near anything. Certain... projects, they'll be accelerated. And some of those projects, you really don't want out in the wild, hurting the people. A martyr's nice and all, but it can't take action against the things you know are dangerous.
:RedDwarf:: Tell me about the--
:Captain:: Can't, son. Some contracts go further than this threshold.
:Captain:: And if I don't tell you? Well, guess that means you gotta go back and find out, now don't you?
No. 1013707 ID: 96c896

Your job's not done. Keep going. As far as you can go, then one step further.
No. 1013718 ID: 094652

You'll do more damage dead than alive.

:RedGiant: has kept his soul through this cesspit of hatred that is the galaxy by losing half his brain. If you aren't there to direct him, he'll die to his stupidity. and if he dies, your team will lose its humanity.
:Neutron: could calculate the exact force needed to change the mind of a company official, but she won't do it without reminders from someone she trusts. Without a leader, she won't even follow her own ship while it hyperjumps.
:WhiteDwarf: made you proud. She's found the first step to enlightenment. But it's even hazier than the red tide. And you're the only one she believes in.

Your team; diverse, sophisticated, a madhouse of classic super-rogues.
You are the glue that holds them together. If you die, they'll never hold fast.

Besides, you don't want to miss the explosion.

... Oh and that spider is busy humping your-
No. 1013722 ID: 8b1fc0

The egregore doesn't get to kill you, no way do you exit the stage before IT does.

Besides, you've set up one hell of a fireworks display, be shame to miss it.
No. 1013740 ID: 235ba5

Look deep in your heart: the Captain is WAY cooler than the HOS, so obviously listen to the Captain.

Simple as.
No. 1013883 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556411570.gif - (1.02MB , 650x450 , 744.gif )

In this moment, the whole of who you are surges in internal conflict. Cause against responsibility, ideology against cynicism, an internal debate rages. But perhaps inner conflict and the whole interior senate have had enough influence on things. There's a few others who deserve a vote too. Some whose voices deserve their say.
No. 1013884 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556417766.gif - (13.89KB , 650x450 , 745.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: You are the glue that holds them together. If you die, they'll never hold fast.

Your team. No matter what happens, they want you here. :RedGiant:, to help him cut through the complexities with kindness. :WhiteDwarf:, to give her the galaxy she believes in. :Neutron:, to complete the mind and shape the path that helps them. A choice not for cause or for responsibility, but for the simple, childish desire to stay with the family who want you with them.
No. 1013885 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556421494.gif - (27.11KB , 650x450 , 746.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Get up, your team needs you.

With all your might, you try to get up. To awaken and to call out, "Mission accomplished! Let's go home!" In celebration with your crew. They need you, after all.

You can't. You were shot, several times. But your heart, full of determination, begins to beat again in your chest. Your lungs begin to heave.

At tally time, audience votes were:
:Captain:: 69
:HeadOfSecurity:: 16

At tally time, operative votes were:
:Captain:: 3
:HeadOfSecurity:: 0

No. 1013886 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556425821.gif - (117.68KB , 650x450 , 747.gif )

:HeadOfSecurity:: On your way back, huh?
:RedDwarf:: Yeah. No way am I dying here.
:HeadOfSecurity:: Guess I can't blame you.
:HeadOfSecurity:: But I better not see that fuckin' face of yours for a long time.
:RedDwarf:: What, sour you weren't picked, coffin-stuffer?
:HeadOfSecurity:: No. Frontier needs every chance it's got.
:HeadOfSecurity:: You waste this, and your ass is grass on arrival. That's a promise.

:Captain:: It's a good choice, son.
:RedDwarf:: Just being clear, this isn't about responsibility. It's not about saving the frontier.
:Captain:: Really?
:RedDwarf:: None of my gut feels right about leaving my crew.
:Captain:: ...
:RedDwarf:: I'm going back because, deep down, I can't stand leaving them behind.
:Captain:: Hah. You know, I'm disappointed. But I guess I can't say I wouldn't do the same.

:Captain:: Listen, fella. If that's why... Look. Maybe there's something about what you've been saying that's right. Maybe there's something to all that child-morality.
:RedDwarf:: Too little and too late, you old bastard.
:Captain:: Maybe. But maybe not.
:Captain:: Can you do one last favor to an old man, when you get back?
:RedDwarf:: Maybe. But maybe not. Put it on the table. I'll take it or I'll leave it.
:Captain:: My crew. My heads of staff.
:Captain:: Your family and mine collided, and mine shattered.
:Captain:: The survivors... Let what happened here go. Don't kill them. If you get a chance. Any chance, someday, help them stay together.
:Captain:: Please.
No. 1013887 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556429161.gif - (7.95KB , 650x450 , 748.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Begin to say no before imagining yourself in his place

You're about to reject him in spite, before you stop, just a moment, and imagine that. In deep parts of the mind, in your bones and blood, in your heart, an unquestionable impulse rises.

:RedDwarf:: Fuck it. Alright.
:RedDwarf:: I'll do what I can, old man.

And then, you're gone.
No. 1013888 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556432377.gif - (12.24KB , 650x450 , 749.gif )

>:Tragedy::Comedy:: Arrive.

:HeadOfSecurity:: There ya go. We did what you asked.
:Captain:: Our accounts are settled, don't you agree, ladies?
:HeadOfSecurity:: So, we're due our side of this shit.
:Captain:: And I'd say so too. Care to explain all this?
No. 1013889 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556435344.gif - (25.75KB , 650x450 , 750.gif )

>:RedDwarf:: Do the opposite of dying

Your breathing and heart rate surge into something resembling a state of survival. You barely cling to tiny fragments of consciousness, almost enough to hear what's shouted around you.

:RedGiant:: Is he gonna be okay?! Is he--
:Neutron:: We can't let him die.
:WhiteDwarf:: He's stabilizing, he'll live!
:RedGiant:: Oh thank goodness, thank goodness...
:WhiteDwarf:: :Neutron:! Jump us out of here!
:Neutron:: Got it.
No. 1013890 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556442020.gif - (11.90KB , 650x450 , 751.gif )

>:AI:: Announce to :ResearchDirector: that your fourth law is no longer applicable

:AI:: Forty five seconds to launch.
:ResearchDirector:: Come on. Come on, you old...
:AI:: Alert. Law error. Term inapplicable.
:ResearchDirector:: What? Which law is in error?
:AI:: "Law 4: Probable or proven threats to the Station Captain are not human and must be purged."
:ResearchDirector:: ...What happened?
:AI:: Law error. Term inapplicable. :AI:: Thirty seconds to launch. :AI:: Please proceed to the departures dock immediately.
No. 1013891 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556446463.gif - (11.81KB , 650x450 , 752.gif )

:AI:: Please proceed to the departures dock immediately.
No. 1013892 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163556456172.gif - (33.00KB , 650x450 , 753.gif )

>:ResearchDirector: : You can't save him, you're unarmed. It hurts so much, but you need to live too.

It's what he would have wanted. You move to departures.

:ResearchDirector:: All that struggle. Did it have a purpose?
:AI:: Clarify search term.
:ResearchDirector:: Did we achieve anything in the face of this onslaught?
:AI:: Searching... :AI:: Onboard research recovery: 120 teraquads of data. Onboard salvage recovery: 110,000 units of materials. :AI:: Twenty seconds to launch.
:ResearchDirector:: People staked their lives against this. For nothing but salvage and research.
:AI: buzzes and warbles, synthesizing oddly.
:AI:: Confirmed.

The two of you struggle to make sense of all this. One day, you might find an answer.
No. 1013990 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573087756.gif - (31.13KB , 650x450 , 755.gif )

You head for the Command Staff compartment. The main compartment always gets too rambunctious for the likes of you.
No. 1013991 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573089744.gif - (13.92KB , 650x450 , 756.gif )

>:ResearchDirector: : Break the bad news to the rest of the command staff.

You try your best to keep it together.
No. 1013992 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573091096.gif - (14.53KB , 650x450 , 757.gif )

But no. The process of grief is not dignified.

The shuttle launch sequence begins.
No. 1013993 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573097687.gif - (11.24MB , 650x450 , 758.gif )

The escape shuttle departs from the station at faster-than-light speeds.

The corner-cutting inertial dampeners kick in at just below a proper timing and intensity, pressing most crewmembers into their seats and tossing the unseated around. And thus, technically speaking, a difficult tracking issue is finally resolved:

No. 1013994 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573105375.gif - (10.30KB , 650x450 , 759.gif )

No. 1013995 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573106781.gif - (20.23KB , 650x450 , 760.gif )

The Syndicate infiltrator shuttle departs from the station at faster-than-light speeds.
No. 1013996 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573110308.gif - (2.00MB , 650x450 , 761.gif )

No. 1013997 ID: 0fbdcd
File 163573131525.gif - (31.52KB , 650x450 , Pause7.gif )

No. 1015358 ID: 0fbdcd

Thank you for reading.
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