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The Voyages of the Penelope and the Yydryl

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posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 06:17 PM
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Callan made her way down to Jackson's station it was a few decks below in the auxiliary engineering station near the coolant pumps. The door leading to the section was sealed by the computer apparently there was some sort of leak. Callan and her team donned their re-breathers then used the manual override they proceeded to enter the contaminated section. She found the environmental controls and had that section cleared of the lethal levels of gas.

They began their search and in a matter of seconds she found Jackson dead, He was asphyxiated by the leaking gas.

She quickly carried out the Chiefs last directive and vented the excess heat through the waste dump valve. She thumbed the comm.

All good here Chief. Ummm... Jackson is dead Chief, he was apparently overwhelmed by a gas leak. It looks like he saw what was happening and attempted to correct the problem on his own but... didn't make it.

The Chief was at his station monitoring the ships systems as her voice came over the comm. He hung his head for a few seconds then replied. Roger that! Call for a medical team, we'll have to deal with that later. I want you to stay on station down there and report to me if there are any changes. Out! The Ship continued to shutter violently.

Meanwhile the Penelope continued her ferocious exchange with the two battleships. Blow upon blow they hurled at each other as the titanic exchange between the vessels continued unabated outside.

Horn was back in Engineering at his station. Looking over at the Chief he yelled. We have a few of the conduits in section 9 B-3 they appear to be over heating.

The Chief looked back without saying a word.

I know, I know vent them! Horn said as he turned back to his console.

Ensign Kim's voice came across from the other side of Engineering
I'm reading a drop in the plasma flow to the primary weapons station again.

The Chief looked at his station monitors, the Ships systems were all let up and flashing like some damned grotesque Christmas tree. Orders and counter orders flew back and forth. The Chief was up and about again going from station to station.

He hardly noticed the Marine until he yelled into his ear above all the ruckus going on...

“Commander can I speak to you in the passageway? It’s urgent sir.”

The Chief nodded and was a bit surprised about having a Marine in his section. He waved to him to meet him out in the corridor, he would only be a few moments. This must not be good, we must have been boarded. He thought to himself. But wasn't sure.

He quickly went to his station and reached beneath his desk. There, way in the back was an old metal box he pulled it out and sat on his desktop. He opened it and grabbed a few things. The doors to engineering opened. The Marine was startled to find himself staring down the barrel of an old WW-II relic! It was a Thompson Sub Machine gun. He recognized it from a museum trip.

Dont worry Son the Chief said. It was my great, great, grandfathers. He carried it in some battle he fought in called Tarawa or something like that anyway, The Chief looked at the Marine and asked.

Have we been boarded?

[edit on 1-7-2009 by SLAYER69]




posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 08:22 PM
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Charles surprised the engineering chief had a weapon asked him.

"Boarded? I'd call it a total takeover."

"I've heard that the security chief has killed sedated prisoners. The Captain is having us..." The ship is rocked by an explosion "...he's having us fire on our own ships."

"Something is obviously not right here."

"Even if we "win" this fight do you have any idea how many people are going to die?"

"We've got to get the Captain to stand down. Can you help us?"


Meanwhile...

Studious heard the guard around him doubling...wait...tripling. Their anxious pacing and chattering gave away their size to be a small mob. The "Colonel" began to become concerned that they had been discovered.

U: "You've failed again, haven't you? You never were able to save them all could you?"

Studious bangs on the door and then falls to the floor.

The doors open and one of the guards stands over him. Not wanting to get too close. He turns to call for a doctor when Studious jumps up and takes his sidearm. The security guard twirls surprised to find that the crazy "Colonel" is aiming the gun at himself.

The security guards raise their weapons.

Studious: "Genius point more guns at me! If I really cared would I be aiming at myself!"

Confused Security: "What are you doing?"

Studious: "Well this is the way I see it, you can either let me walk outta here, or you can kill me."

One of the guards tries to approach him.

Studious backs away saying "I forced you into a predicament. I'm not threatening you. But you can't stop me with non-lethal force because I'd shoot myself. So you'll either let me go or kill me. Which is it?"

Scared Security: "Better you than me, if we let you go Neno will kill us. He even said to shoot Marines that try to free you."

Studious: "Luckily for me this was just a distraction."

The security guards realize they are surrounded by a large group of Marines.

Studious: "Thank you Lieutenant."

They move out of earshot of the others.

Lt. Jones: "How did you know we were coming?"

Studious: "I didn't. I figured these guys wouldn't have the guts to kill someone who wasn't a threat to them. Apparently Neno's got these guys so scared they'd do anything just to save themselves from him."

Lt. Jones: "What would you have us do sir?"

Studious: "Stand down."

Lt. Jones: "Sir?"

Studious: "You heard him Neno told them to fire on us. I don't want to see the Marines and Security staff in a firefight for control of the ship."

Lt. Jones: "Then how are we going to stop them?"

Studious: "We just need to get away from the other ships."

Lt. Jones: "What?"

Studious: "We need to hyperspace away. Slayer can do it. We just need to get out of this Godforsaken place."

[edit on 1-7-2009 by Studious]



posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 09:23 PM
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"Something is obviously not right here."

"Even if we "win" this fight do you have any idea how many people are going to die?"

"We've got to get the Captain to stand down. Can you help us?"

Well I....

Right then the Penelope was bucked wildly by a tremendous explosion. The armor had failed it was penetrated by a torpedo that ripped through the hull and drove itself deep in her starboard side then detonated shredding everything in it's blast radius.

The Chief picked himself up off of the floor and ran back into engineering followed by the Marine and yelled report?

We have massive power fluctuation through out the ship. The ships computers stuttered for a few seconds as the power fought to stay engaged.
Horn yelled out.

Where did we get hit?

Kim yelled out a reply.
Our starboard side it penetrated deep and exploded down near the brig. We have lost all sensors, communications and we are reading massive power fluctuations down there. I'm not getting any casualty reports which means it was a bad hit.

The chief quickly went to his station and brought up the ships schematic it looked bad. He gritted his teeth, he knew the death toll would be high. He turned to the Marine and said. If I were you I would get back down there and see if there were any survivors.

Good luck Marine...

I want main and reserve power for weapons, engines and life support in that order of priority see to it Horn. I need fire support and damage control teams to be down there yesterday.



posted on Jul, 1 2009 @ 10:22 PM
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Asher's mind was a vortex of data, whirling to its designated gun or launcher and carrying out its deadly purpose with resolve.

Salvo after salvo pounded into one of the two remaining Erebus Class battleships, but it was holding steady. With a thought, Asher redirected the Mag-Rails to fire on its port side propulsion systems.

The Mag-Rails fired a simultaneous salvo at the battleship's port engine, shredding it like so much tin foil. The battleship's orbit around the Penelope began to decay, quickly dragging it within range of Asher's plasma lances.

Like three bolts of constant lightning, a trio of plasma lances began carving up the Erebus class battleship. A roving beam grazed the reactor core of the enemy vessel, causing it to begin emitting energy in a tight cone. As one, the three lances converged on the now confirmed location of the ship's reactor cluster.

With a bright blue incandescence, the battleship was consumed as its reactor went critical. A linear shock wave ripped the ship in half before burning it in place.

As the detonation raked the Penelope, systems began to spike critical all across the board. Suddenly, the remaining Mag-Rail batteries lost all power, falling silent as the last Erebus battleship continued its relentless assault.

Asher opened up a desperate broadcast to the entire engineering section:

[Slayer! I've lost power to the Mag-Rails and I'm all out of Luminals. I need power to the guns or we're all going to die in about sixty seconds! We can't run now, a wormhole will rip this ship apart. We're in it for the long haul so I need those guns!]





[edit on 1-7-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 01:43 AM
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Chief we have a massive power fluctuation in our primary weapons systems. The Chief ran over to the weapons main terminal. It was running erratically and slowly loosing power. He quickly went to a nearby terminal and punched in a few commands. He transferred power from life support systems on the damaged decks. There was a massive surge as the power relays started working way beyond recommended specs.

We are picking up an increase in temp, we don't know how much longer they'll hold Chief. Horn warned.

The magnetic couplers started to seize from the stress of continuous firing. They were heavily built units but not designed for this type of action. The main magnetic restricters seized from over heating it began a cascade failure it was only a matter of seconds before.

When without warning the power terminals blew. Sparks flew and smoke began to fill the dept. Horn and Kim both ran to the nearest fire extinguishers. As they fought the fire that had broken out, the Chief ran over to the engine control station He thumbed the Comm.

Callan I need you to transfer power from the engines to weapons on my mark. He brought up the override subsystem and quickly wrote a small sub routine and utilized the ships engines to support the weapons platforms.

The comm crackled.
Slayer! I've lost power to the Mag-Rails and I'm all out of Luminals. I need power to the guns or we're all going to die in about sixty seconds! We can't run now, a wormhole will rip this ship apart. We're in it for the long haul so I need those guns!

The Chief hearing the desperation and stress in his voice quickly thumbed the comm.



Asher we'll have them up sooner than that Out.
The Chief typed in another command.

Damn it, 46 Damn! He said out loud.

He began the emergency over ride procedure and began closing all the emergency fire doors and bulkheads. He closed off sections near and around the seized weapons power units. He then told the computer to flood the enclosed areas with freon.

He turned to Horn at his station.

Horn hows the temp now?

It's falling rapidly Chief.

Good within a few seconds the units were cool enough to try it again. He thumbed the comm.

Callan Now.

She immediately transfered the needed power from the engines to the seized weapons systems. The extra power jolted the units back to life similar to a cardiac defibrillator. They were back in business.

He thumbed the Comm
Asher you're good to go.

Kim walked over to the Chief and asked. 46?

Yeah 46! That's how many crewmen were caught in those sections when I made the call to flood them with 100% freon. God Help me

[edit on 2-7-2009 by SLAYER69]



posted on Jul, 2 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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“I can’t wait to get out of this inferno of a jungle.” Cim says under her breath.

She turns and looks to see where Silo is, “Silo, where the blast are you?” Cim is definitely of a bad humor, which is not her usual demeanor.

Hearing the sound of a rushing river close by, Cim panics and runs toward the sound
all the while shouting. “Silo, Silo, Silo!", Cim is frantic and gets to close to the river bank, the sides cave and she falls into the river and is taken downstream by the powerful current.






[edit on 2-7-2009 by cindymars]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 04:12 AM
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“You can’t be hungry again!" Cim scowled and shook her head as I sheepishly I nodded yes.
“Sometimes I think you’ve got a worm” Cim grumbled and quelled my smile with her tight lipped expression.

Cim tossed me her backpack indicating with a wave of her hand permission to check it for food before removing her canteen from it's belt loop and taking a long pull of water.
My canteen had given up the last of it’s contents hours ago but the river was close and Cim carried water purifying pills. I’d fill my canteen later, right now all I wanted now was something to stop the terrible gnawing in my stomach.

Dropping to the ground I rummaged around inside Cim's provision pack for anything edible she might have missed the last time I asked for food. My own food was gone long ago, something about the jungle made me ravenous, whereas the stress and physical labor seemed to put Cim off food completely.

“Find anything” Cim asked watching me from the corner of her eye.
“Yeah,” My search revealed a plastic pack of crackers crumbling at the corners and thickly smeared with peanut butter. It wasn’t pretzels but I wasn’t about to complain. I was already worried Cim was giving up her food for me, but in her mood I wasn’t about to make pains about it.

As if confirming my suspicion I offered Cim a share of the crackers but she waved them away.
Without giving her a chance to change her mind I quickly unwrapped our last pack of food and gobbling a huge square in one bite. Immediately the food went dry in my mouth and I felt not a little embarrassed and more than a little ashamed.

Seeing the look on my face the corner of Cim’s mouth twitched but stopped short of breaking into a grin.
“Don’t worry hun I’ll eat later, you go ahead and finish up and rest for a few then we’ll get going, I want out of here before dark.” Leaving me to my makeshift meal Cim rest her back against a tree mumbled something about getting me checked when we got back to Ship and closed her eyes.

Stuffing the last of the crackers in my mouth I opened my canteen and turned it bottoms-up over my upraised mouth.
Nothing.
I shook the canteen and tried to stick out my tongue but it stuck like glue to the roof of my mouth.
I tried out a swear and choked, my canteen didn’t give up so much as a drop of water.
I needed water.
Looking over where Cim lounged against the tree with her back towards me I decided against asking for help.
Cim had hacked down half the Amazon in our search for specimens and was exhausted - even if she didn’t want to admit it herself.
I'd let her rest, get water myself and be to the river and back before she even knew I was gone.

Finding a small game trail struck through the undergrowth I tiptoed out of sight then took off like a rabbit down the long path to the river.
A few feet from the edge I dropped my gear, fell to my knees and sprawling out as flat on my belly I slithered forward to the waters edge, taking no chance on falling in.
Reaching out over the rolling river I allowed the lip of my canteen to dip under the water watching it burp bubbles as it filled quickly.

Returning to where I’d dropped the gear I stuffed my hand into Cim’s backpack searching blindly for water pills. Instead my fingers brushed the envelope Cim had shown me earlier.
All thoughts of thirst left me. I worked my tongue thoughtfully at the peanut butter still stuck to the roof of my mouth and pulled the envelope out for a better look.



On closer inspection the paper wasn’t dirty as I’d first thought, but covered with lines and markings.
It wasn’t an envelope at all but a small map folded up around the picture of the portal Cim was looking for.

“Siloooo” Cim’s shout coming from back up the trail startled me from my snooping.
I stuffed the envelope-map back into the backpack and tried to call out but a muffled “Arphhh” and cracker dust was all that spewed from my mouth when I tried to answer.

“Silooo, where are you?” Cim’s voice was growing closer, I could hear the panic in her voice.

Pounding myself on the chest I tried to swallow the gob of peanut butter but it was a no go.

“Shhbiiiiimm obbber hereeebbb” I tried again, eyeing the canteen but I didn’t dare, Cim had warned me of the horrors of taking so much as a sip of dirty jungle water.

In a flash I found the water pills, popped two into the water, closed the canteen and shook it vigorously.

“Silooooo” The call came from nearly right on top of me.

Cim barreled through the undergrowth as I raised my canteen to my lips and gave a strangled cry.

Stopping dead in her tracks before trampling over the top of me Cim’s eyes widened, her hands flailed out in opposite directions then began to windmill as the bank beneath her feet gave out and she went tumbling silently into the turbulent water.

I watched helplessly as Cim fought to keep from being pulled under the ragging torrent until her head slipped under the foaming surface and completely disappeared.

[edit on 3-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:08 PM
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Petra’s’ birds made fast shallow strafing runs on the Black NI battleship designated target Yankee. The ships shields prevented most of the 337s firepower from penetrating and causing any damage but the 36 small agile fighters kept the defensive batteries occupied and their attention away from the dash tens.
Stilts team of 18 heavy attack craft made tight spirals around the black ships defensive shields. Their linked rail guns fired heavy bursts of circular patterns into the surface of the defensive field. The disruptions in the field allowed well timed volleys through the shields that made slow but steady progress in their efforts to disable the ships defenses.
Each run on the target area added damage to the armored nodes that created the field.
Badgers 337s followed a counter rotating pattern staying in tandem with Wally’s’ six heavy attack craft and their loads of bunker busting munitions.
Flight five flew an outer attack pattern keeping to the rear of the enemy ship and holding a covering position for the rest of the wing.


Badger heard a shrill scream on the open wing frequency that was cut off as a fighter to his left turned into a bright flash of plasma. The enemy battleships’ close defensive batteries continued to claim victims as the heavy attack wings strafed and fired missiles into the ships defensive arrays.

“Badger to Stilts, sitrep.”

“Five down two out. “returned Stilts.

“Wally?” Badger said.

“One out.” said Wally.

“Keep working the shields, we’ve got to get to the big guns.” said Badger.

Across thousands of meters of vacuum the second enemy ship traded great bolts of energy, kinetic mass projectiles and missiles with the Penelope sending bright flashes of light, plasma and shockwaves through space. The Penelope maneuvered in a circular motion putting the second battleship between it and the third. This served to shield Penelope from the third ships fire and allowed the Penelope to fully engage the second ship. In an effort to bring her guns to bear on Penelope the third ship maneuvered through the debris field of the first. This gave the fighters and attack ships new obstacles but served as interference and cover for the fighters.

The attack craft continued penetrate the enemy ships defenses.

Badger checked the estimated shield status on the enemy ship after dodging a large piece of debris. The attack ships had destroyed three of the seven shield arrays on the enemy ship and were progressing faster as the field was weakened.

“Enemy fighters!” Badger heard somebody declare over the open channel.
A flight of stealth fighters had uncloaked to the rear of the third enemy battleship. They had the drop on Badgers wing and had the advantage. They attacked in formation firing on Stilts heavy attack craft. Badger searched his scope and found the new threat just in time to see four of his attack ships go from green to yellow one went red.

“Petra, where are you?” Badger called on the open channel.

“We’re on it.” Petra returned. “There’s a lot of them.”

“Flight five, reinforce Alpha.” said Badger.

“Five, Rodger.” came a quick reply.

The 337s joined battle with the enemy stealth fighters and the area around the third enemy ship was turned into complete chaos.

Badger saw an Ishtar moving in on one of his heavies firing into the heavy armor.
Badger banked hard left, grunting as the g-forces forced him deep into his seat.

“Barb, hard right!” He said on the air.

The heavy fighter banked hard to the right taking a few light hits off of its armor as it crossed the enemy line of fire. The enemy ship banked right to follow and allowed Badger a line for a cannon shot. The enemy ship turned into a ball of sparks and debris.

Badger took a second enemy ship head on and took a snap shot but missed. The two fighters passed each other within a few meters. Badger banked hard left and rejoined covering position over the heavy group who was still working the enemy battleships shield generators by punching holes in the field and firing at the field nodes. The enemy ship was down to three shield nodes.

Petra’s’ squadron was taking losses as was flight five. They had lost 12 of the 337 fighters already but were giving better than they were getting. The surprise assault on the enemy formation by flight five had taken out four enemy fighters immediately. The ensuing moments had seen another 13 enemy losses. Once they were uncloaked the enemy fighters were no better than 337s and it simply came down to skill and luck.

Badger saw another green fighter indicator on his command screen go red.
Petra’s’ wingman, Frog, was gone.
Badger wanted to get into the dogfight but his flight was covering the heavies and the battleship came first.

“How we doing Nora?”

“Two to go. We just took out number five.” returned stilts.

“Rodger. Keep on em.”

Badger saw a bright blue flashing light on his comm. Channel. It was coded priority on the Marine designated frequency. Badger toggled the switch and responded.
“Badger. Go.”

A voice that badger did not recognize spoke quickly but clearly. “Sir, urgent message from Colonel Studious. The Captain has lost his mind and attacked friendly ships. He has committed treason and lied to the crew. You have to help stop it before it goes any further.”

Badger, continued flying and firing at the enemy. He didn’t respond.

The voice continued. “Sir, Commander Badger! Did you hear me Sir? We’re firing on friendlies! You have to stop it.”

Badger was slammed to the side as his ship lurched from a nearby explosion. He glanced back up in time to see a missile cross his field of view and impact one of the engines on a dash ten. The engine disintegrated and left an empty pylon trailing sparks. The ship veered sharply to the side and away from the main attack force. Badger lost sight of the wounded ship.

Badger toggled the switch again and said,” They don’t seem friendly to me.”

He closed the connection and focused on the job at hand.
As he made his latest of dozens of turns around the enemy ship, Badger could see the second enemy ship crippled and burning. Great explosions rocked the hull. To the right of the ship he could see Penelope. The second crippled ships trajectory was clearing the space between the Penelope and the final battleship.

“Where are we Nora?” Badger called.
“Two to go.” said Stilts.
“Too long.” said Badger.
“We’re running low on bricks and my birds are out of missiles.” returned Stilts.
Wally cut in, “We’ve got the gravediggers.”
“Not until we get the field down.” Said Badger. “Keep at it.”

Having cleared the wreckage of her sister ship and getting a clear line of sight on the Penelope the enemy battleship began to fire its main forward batteries. Penelope returned fire as well.

Badger saw a dash ten in Nora’s group get vaporized by a shot from the Penelope. The ship was simply gone.
Great explosions rocked the nearby fighters, friend and foe alike. An even dozen ships were destroyed in the initial barrage.

“Clear and regroup!” called Badger.

He saw the enemy fighters do the same. They had no safe place between the big boys and headed away from the embattled warship to regroup.

As they tallied their losses and reformed the heavies, Petra’s squadron and flight five continued to battle the Ishtar fighters. They had lost quite a few fighters but Badger was relieved to see that the enemy had suffered more than double the losses that his wing had.

The heavy attack craft had reformed and were on a long looping trajectory that would take them to within striking distance of the rear of the enemy battleship but avoid any more stray shots from the Penelope. The two huge ships pounded away at each others shields with massive amounts of firepower. Suddenly a luminal struck low on the battleships bow exploding on impact.

“Their shields are down.” said Badger.
“So are the Penelope’s.” Stilts called back.
“Wally.” said Badger, “Do something bad.”

Badger heard the normally talkative Wally double click his comms to acknowledge the order. His five remaining birds with their load of bunker busting gravedigger missiles banked sharply and lined up on the rear of the enemy battleship. Badgers flight followed as well as Stilts heavies, providing cover. Petra’s’ ships converged on the same area as the enemy fighters picked out Wally’s birds and flew to intercept.

The Penelope had stopped firing altogether. Her guns were silent and the remaining battleship was headed directly for her firing as it advanced. .

“Make it quick Wally or we might not have a ride home.” said Badger.

Badger heard another double click of acknowledgement.

The remaining enemy fighters dove into Wally’s formation of attack aircraft as they lined up for the shots on the ships main drive engines. Stilts attack craft pulled up and fired their rail guns on widest spread, expending their remaining ammunition in a last ditch effort to protect Wally and his groups load of missiles. Badgers three remaining 377s engaged the enemy fighters head on as Petra’s’ squadron and flight Five attacked as well.

The ensuing clash was brutal and deadly.

A few seconds later two attack ships emerged from the melee undamaged. Wally and his wingman launched eight deep penetrating bunker buster missiles towards the main drive engines of the battleship. They peeled off and headed away from the enemy ship.

Wally called over the open channel, “Eight on the way. Clear zone.”

Badger reiterated the order, “Clear zone! Clear zone!” the fighters all scattered like a starburst.

Badger checked his scopes and looked back at the battleship. She continued to advance and fire. Penelope was not moving.





[edit on 4-7-2009 by badgerprints]

[edit on 4-7-2009 by badgerprints]



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 01:21 PM
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The Penelope was taking a pounding.

As badger watched, the bunker busters reached their targets. Each missile struck the rear of the ship at the engines and after some very small flashes disappeared. The ship continued towards the Penelope unabated. At first glance the missiles had not affected the battleship.
Then, Badger saw it. A bright flash appeared on one side of the enemy ship. It was followed by others, soon there were multiple explosions at the rear of the ship and her engines went dark. Her guns went dead. The ship shuddered and bucked under the force of multiple internal detonations. Badger saw a streak of green light come from the bottom center of the battleship and realized it was the ships main reactor core. It had been jettisoned to save the ship. Small flashes and streaks of light began to leave the ship from all angles. They were escape pods. The ship was being abandoned.

Badger checked his screen. The remaining enemy fighters had cloaked. Hopefully they wouldn’t be back.

Badger called on the open wing frequency. “Re form and consolidate



posted on Jul, 3 2009 @ 02:23 PM
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Suddenly, the power returned to the weaponry systems, and not a moment too soon. The last remaining Erebus class battleship was closing quickly, probably in an attempt to carve up the Penelope with its plasma lances.

Within moments, Asher was reformatting everything he had into a new firing solution. It had to end quickly or everyone was about to be space debris.

Before he could get a shot off, the battle did indeed end, but from an unexpected source. Badger's fighter squadrons raked the stern of the battleship with a flight of penetrator missiles which must have miraculously grazed the reactor cluster judging by how quickly the battleship jettisoned the volatile mass.

The enemy began launching escape pods in an attempt to flee the disaster.

Asher checked the telemetry to confirm that Badger's squadrons were either in a position to evade a fusion explosion or withstand it. Every last fighter checked out green, an amazing feat considering the odds. Asher made a mental note to complement Badger when the situation allowed.

Suddenly, Asher targeted the free floating reactor core with a full rack of Mag-Rail turrets and fired.

The detonation was tremendous, as fusion reactions always are. The escape pods and derelict Erebus class battleship were consumed by the blast and once the light faded, all that was left was a molten hunk of slag.

Many of the friendly fighters had lost shield integrity during the blast, but had held strong. Several were intact, but dead in the water. The rest had made it out unscathed.

The precious few Ishtar class scout ships that Badger's squadrons hadn't killed yet scattered like a school of startled fish, reactivating their cloaking systems as they bugged out.

Asher ran a quick check of the Penelope's systems:

Shielding - OFFLINE [Array unresponsive]
Gunnery - ONLINE
Propulsion - ONLINE AT 12%
Life Support - ONLINE IN 103 OF 127 COMPARTMENTS

The Penelope had begun to gently roll to starboard as the hull breaches continued to vent atmosphere.

On the bridge, Asher's image appeared beside the Captain.

"Sir, all hostiles are eliminated or routed. Looks like our shield generator array is a pile of slag and propulsion is barely responding at all. Twenty-four compartments were breaching during the fighting and subsequently sealed. The computer is still compiling a casualties list. Looks like the percentage losses are going to end up in the upper teens.

"The good news is that NI won't be getting the memo about their lost battleships for quite some time. Several of the Ishtar class scout ships got away, and they are equipped with wormhole generators, but they are incredibly slow in hyperspace. Probably take them two months to get back to Sol.

"In any case, standing by for your orders, Sir. Not like I have much choice anyway."





[edit on 3-7-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]



posted on Jul, 4 2009 @ 12:13 AM
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Badger called on the open wing frequency. “Re form and consolidate. Badgers wing reformed a safe distance from the stricken battleship. Its superstructure was burning in multiple locations and its engines and weapons were offline. The reactor core had been safely dumped and evacuation procedures were ongoing as the ship continued to eject escape pods.

Badger feared the full situation report on the wing would severe. They had lost many ships and people. A good portion of the remaining birds were damaged and would need considerable repairs. Several of the wing members required medical attention and a few were in shock over the events of the battle.
As the wing moved out of the battle area and prepared to form up, Badger listened to the radio traffic. He would give them a few moments to collect themselves and then send most of them to cover the Penelope which had been severely damaged in the battle. The operable dash tens would scan the debris field searching for Penelope’s damaged fighters and dead pilots who could be retrieved.
He figured it would take a while but they could round up the escape pods from the battleships and search for any of their survivors as well. If they were consolidated in a central location near the Penelope then a few dash tens could keep them in place with inertial fields and guard them. There were hundreds, if not thousands of people out there who needed help.
Badger toggled his ship to bridge comms, preparing to give a sitrep to the Penelope when his ship was hit by a massive shockwave. His comms went down and his electrical system went dark. He'd lost shields and his instrumentation was inoperable. His ship tumbled in a slow roll and drifted.
In badgers cockpit screen he could see the Penelope and his fighters, some of them drifting like he was. Where the last battleship and debris field had been was a huge cloud of light and vapor. It was slowly dissipating leaving behind a few dozen spinning blobs of glowing molten metal. Where thousands of survivors had been was nothing. Badgers disabled fighters and his dead pilots had been vaporized along with the rest.
It didn't make sense. The battleships frame had been beyond saving but had been intact. It would have burned out and lifeless but only after a long period of multiple fires and explosions through out the ship. Most of the crew of the battleship would have been able to escape and be rescued. They had ejected the reactor and ordnance.

Badger got a sinking sick feeling in the pit of his stomach.

The reactor.

Someone on the Penelope had targeted the reactor and killed thousands needlessly. Badger couldn’t believe it. He sat stunned in his disabled fighter watching his breath condense in front of him. The inside of his canopy began to fog up and became opaque. Badger didn’t try to clear the canopy. He didn’t want to see any more. He sat in the silent cockpit of his fighter not doing anything. As the implications of this horrible act sunk in he wondered if he'd been wrong to trust Luder after all.






[edit on 4-7-2009 by badgerprints]



posted on Jul, 4 2009 @ 03:00 AM
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Luder sat in stunned silence, his mouth agape. It had happened again and this time it was a blatant disregard for human life, not mind control, not an accident, not an equipment malfunction. Asher's form appeared in front of his station reporting for further orders. Luder barely heard his words. He rose from the station and motioned for Asher to return to his corporeal form until further notice.

Luder turned and faced Neno.

"I want Studious off this ship. Now. Cite the reason as blatant mutiny and disregard for human life in combat. I don't care how you do it or where you send him. Get him off this ship immediately. If I see him again I will shoot him myself." Luder walked into his conference room.

Damage control parties assemble recovery vehicles for our fighters that are still hanging out there.

What was he going to do? He cleared some debris from the seats near the main table and picked up one of the seats which had fallen during the battle. He sat down in it and took a deep breath, staring out into the void where only moments ago Asher had wiped out thousands of people at a mere thought. Now he was permanently wired into the Penelope's main weapons systems and God only knew what else. There was no way to justify this at all to anyone this time. Too many people had seen what took place. Sure, the NI ships attacked and were clearly in the wrong, but interstellar law gave leeway to disable other space vessels only to stop their capability to fight. Not slaughter people fleeing in escape pods.

How many families were just killled?

How many husbands, daughters, wives, sons? This was too much. Luder thought long and hard about the hand he'd been dealt coming into this assignment.

A mutinous Colonel in charge of nearly 2000 marines who may or may not still be loyal to him.

A half-machine who had an apparent thirst for blood and destruction.

Luder had been able to justify most of Seeker's actions until now.

He clasped his hands in front of him and stared at the wall. It had to end and soon. He sifted through some of the debris on the table and found the intra-ship communications line. It was still active.

"Medical bay, this is the Captain, I want the Chief medical officer in my conference room as soon as possible."

After that, he punched up engineering.

"Slayer, this is the Captain. How long until we can make a jump?"



posted on Jul, 4 2009 @ 03:29 AM
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The look on Cim’s face as she fell backwards into the water would haunt my nightmares forever.

With a scream on my lips I lurched towards the spot she'd fallen into the foaming current but came to an involuntary halt before I even reached the waters edge. With a jolt to my nervous system Ships necklace effectively dropped me to my knees before I made to plunge over the bank. I knew going in after her might kill me but at the moment I saw Cim’s head disappear under the surface of the water I didn’t care.
Ship did.

Scrambling to my feet I crashed through the jungle growth and raced along the river’s edge screaming for help, screaming for the Creator to intervene, screaming for Cim.
Jungle foliage slashed at my face, a low hanging vine jarred against my antenna so brutally it rendered them useless to lay limply against my skull.

Rounding a stand of palms hugging the river where I’d last seen Cim float out of sight the ground flattened to a sandy bank curving around a slower swirling eddy.
Scrambling down to the lip of the darkly moving pool I got as close to the water as I could, screamed Cim’s name again, and plunged my hand into the water.

My conscious exploded into so many millions and more parts of the live molecules, the instantaneous onslaught screamed across my brain blinding me of all thought. My threshold of reason began to loosen and dilute into the waters it’s collective conscious luring me to plunge in as a whole, diffusing the very last fringes of my one self leaving me barely clinging to my sanity.
My mind was drowning, becoming one with the water, but my search there revealed nothing of Cim’s essence, she was not in the water,
Cim was gone.
Helping me regain my senses Ship’s necklace vibrated and hummed before unleashing a jolt of electricity that sent me rolling back breaking contact with the water. Up on my knees I scrambled up the bank and resumed racing along side the churning river’s edge continuing my frantic search for any sign of my friend.

Exhausted and broken my body sagged, my feet began to falter.
I’d no idea how long I’d been looking, running the river, but everywhere my skin was exposed to the thrash of the jungle foliage I was bleeding and torn.
I couldn’t go on, I couldn’t breath without my breath snagging and coming in great draughts, my heart beating wildly, fighting a loosing battle to free itself from the cage of pain wracking my body...

“Cim...” Her name came out a hoarse whisper. I reached out to cling to a hanging vine before I slipped lower towards the jungle floor. The world around me began to go gray but I shook off the faint and pulled myself back up off weakening knees to continue tripping and lurching always forward following the river.

Three things hit me at once.
First, I couldn’t go on.
Second, the river had led me directly to the portal Cim’d been searching for.
Third, I could feel a presence of another being but it wasn’t Cim.



“Hey you, Stop!” A deep male voice panting and out of breath caught up to me from behind.

“Help me, please, help...” I squeaked out and spun around to face the voice.
He reached me in a long stride and took me by the shoulders to steady me.
“Tell me what happened” His demand was harsh but gentle at once.
“Cim, ” I repeated, “My friend, she...she fell in.“ Looking up into dark eyes filled with compassion and worry I began crying anew.
Throwing myself against him he enfolding me in his protective warmth as great wracking sobs tore through my body. My voice muffled against his chest I told him all there was to say.
“She’s gone...” The last word came out so painfully I choked and held on to him even closer. The dark man-smell of him, the feel of him holding me close spoke to me body and soul, I was no longer alone and against my will I gave in completely to terror.

Pulling me along with him to the waters edge I felt the muscles in his chest tighten, his thigh muscles begin to quiver.
“Your friend, fell into THAT?” His voice aghast he pointed at the rolling river with his chin, unwilling to let me go.
Nodding a response against his chest I pleaded, “Please, save her. She went under the water and...didn’t come out.“
Extricating himself from my arms the man threw off his jacket, kicked off his boots but before turning to plunge into the river he turned to me again.

“You. Stay here.” His words were harsh and commanding, his hands gripped my upper arms in a crushing hold.
“Don’t you move, you hear me?” Giving me a shake he looked in my eyes, his own flashing in urgency.
“Do you hear me?” He queried again roughly.
When I didn’t reply he did the most unexpected thing I could have ever imagined.

Dipping his head he brought his mouth across mine in a brutal kiss.
Before I could respond his lips turned warm and probing, teasing my mouth open to allow his tongue to invade and slay mine as the kiss deepened.
My arms following a motion as timeless as life itself wrapped behind his neck pulling him closer, taking him in.
Moaning deep in his throat the man forced me to arms length breaking our passion.
“Oh gawd, you unman me. Just stay here, I’ll go find your friend.“ He ground out as if in pain, stopped, and froze.

I watched against my will as his face contorting in confusion and held my breath against what instinct told me what would happen next.
My heart shatter unto death as his gaze turned from passion to confusion, then fear and finally to disgust as his eyes darted from my eyes to my antenna and back again.

Dropping his hands from my shoulders like he'd been burned his arms shot out behind him as he tripped backwards and began to stutter.
“But you’re... You’re not human... You’re a...”

“You’re a gigantic pain in the arse!” A harsh voice finished for him as the mans words bit off, his eyes widened in shock then rolled skyward, his body crumpling to the ground.

Cim soaking wet, her hair plastered to her face and clutching a tree branch materialized in front of me where the man had just stood, her eyes blazing across his unconscious body with barely contained fury.
Cim stepped over the fallen man, I backpedaled and nearly fell, my eyes blinking madly at the sight of her.

“If you’re all through playing patty-cake can we GO NOW! She screamed out the last word her voice echoing out over the river and back again.

Throwing myself into her outstretched arms my sobs verging on hysteria.
I felt Cim’s grip tighten around me as the heady swirling of an oncoming teleportation filtered through my bruised senses.

The next thing I knew we were back on Ship.


[edit on 4-7-2009 by silo13]



posted on Jul, 4 2009 @ 05:00 AM
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The Penelope was rocked by another massive blast.

Studious: “Lt. what was that?”

Lt. Jones: “Not sure sir, let me contact some Marines near a console…..or even a window.”

Lt. Jones radioed several Marines before he accepted the answer. His face became pale and he didn’t speak.

Studious: “Well Lt.?”

Lt Jones: “The battle is over sir.”

Studious: “Losses?”

Lt. Jones: “All three ships destroyed. One of them was destroyed as she jettisoned escape pods. They were destroyed in the explosion.”

Studious clutches his heart and whispers “Dear God.....escape pods?"

Then holding his head he asks "What the hell is wrong with these people!!!!

Lt. Jones: “Sir, should we take the ship?”

Studious: “For what purpose? As you said the battle is over. We wouldn’t be fighting to save lives anymore. We’d just be fighting for revenge.”

Lt. Jones: “Then what are we going to do sir?”

Studious: “If there is a truth commission, an inquiry, or even if some guy asks you on the street....Tell them what happened here.”

Lt. Jones: “But what about you sir?”

Studious: “Well the battle is over. The killing has stopped, but If I remain here more lives may be lost.....I must leave.”

Lt. Jones: “But sir if they killed them out there, they’ll certainly kill you! You'll be totally exposed. They could kill you in an instant!”

Studious: “I know and if they do, you must do what I said before. Get the word out about what happened here. Don’t let them intimidate you. You know the truth!”

Lt. Jones: “But what if they kill me, sir?”

Studious: “Make sure everyone on this ship knows." Now whispering he ads "I also want you and Charles to make copies of the ships records and hide them.”



A Marine interrupts them…

Marine: “Colonel, I was expecting to see some fireworks today.”

Studious: “Well they’re not gonna come from me.”



He then radio’s Charles “Get over to hallway Cash-3y-k”

The “Colonel” walks out of sickbay with Lt. Jones and as they reach the hallway Charles arrives.

Studious: “Goodbye Jones, Goodbye Charles, good Marines you are. For your help, much gratitude and respect, I have.”

The two Marines look at each other slightly confused.

When they look back Studious has his cane with him again.

The tired old “Colonel” walks into the escape pod, leaning on his cane heavily. The door to the pod closes and he launches into space...

[edit on 4-7-2009 by Studious]



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 04:51 AM
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The explosion of the enemy ship's ejected reactor core was momentarily brighter than the sun, then faded away to blackness, leaving dazzle spots in nenothtu's eyes. "Hmmf. THAT was pretty, while it lasted" he said to no one in particular, and dismissed the destruction just that quick. Darting his eyes in circles to attempt to see around the dazzles, he noted that nothing was left of the enemy force but ionized gas.

The Captain appeared momentarily stunned and sickened, like he'd eaten a bad ham sandwich. His mouth hung open momentarily , but neno couldn't determine if it was in surprise, or preparatory to ejecting bile. Suddenly Captain Luder snapped out of it when Asher's hologram sizzled into view. There was a short exchange nenothtu didn't catch, then the captain turned to him and spoke.


Originally posted by mf_luder

"I want Studious off this ship. Now. Cite the reason as blatant mutiny and disregard for human life in combat. I don't care how you do it or where you send him. Get him off this ship immediately. If I see him again I will shoot him myself."



Then Luder walked into his conference room, without another word to anyone. Nenothtu left the bridge heading for sick bay, and picked up a security detail on the way.

Just before he got to sickbay, the detail nearly ran into Lieutenant Jones and Charles coming out of a side hallway that led to an escape pod bay.

"YOU TWO! FREEZE RIGHT THERE! You gentlemen are hereby under arrest for conspiracy to commit mutiny. " They looked at one another, but said nothing. The Marines around them shifted their weapons, but didn't bring them to bear.

One of them spoke. "Lieutenant Commander, Col Studious ..."

Nenothtu cut him off. "Studious is neither Colonel Studious NOR your boss. I don't CARE what he said."

"No si.. uh, Chief. I was just going to say he's gone."

"GONE? What do you mean Studious is GONE? Where'd he go?" Neno started to reach for his comm unit to send out an alert.

"He's out of your reach, not on Penelope anymore, GONE." The Marine appeared to be on the edge of defiance.

Neno stepped up to the Marine, until their their faces were just inches apart. "Son, you'd better start getting clear, and you'd better do it quick" His voice was little more than a low animal growl "or I'm gonna make your life SO unpleasant, science fiction writers couldn't even conceive of it. You get a concept of who the boss is here, RIGHT NOW, and explain yourself."

The Marine blanched slightly, but didn't back down. he shifted his eyes to nenothtu's hairline, drew a breath, and replied. "Studious bailed out in an escape pod, SIR!", flinging the "SIR" like a curse.

Nenothtu bit down at that, but rather than going off on the marine, he asked another question, dropping the level of his voice even further. "How did he do that? How did he get out of the sick bay, and into an escape pod?"

"We escorted him from the sick bay to the escape pod, SIR!" His eyes cutting downward to meet nenothtu's eyes, and blazing defiance.

That was a mistake. Neno's entire head turned purplish, and gave every appearance of being in imminent danger of exploding. He still didn't raise his voice. "That's TWO, Marine. You wanna go for three? Be VERY sure before you answer" he bit out between clenched teeth.

There was a moment of silence , then the Marine broke eye contact before speaking. "No S... Chief." was all he said.

Nenothtu stepped back and said "Every Marine in Studious' escort clear your weapons and stack them." The Marines hesitated "RIGHT NOW, DAMMIT! That WASN'T a request!" The Marines did as ordered, and when they were finished Stacking their weapons against the wall, neno turned to the security team. "You and you" he pointed out two of them "get those weapons to the armory. The rest of you escort these prisoners to the brig. They are under arrest for willfully disobeying the orders of a lawfully constituted superior, aiding and abetting the escape of a prisoner, and anything else I can think to throw on them. I'm damned if I'll have any insubordination on my watch."

One of the security team spoke up. "There isn't any brig, boss."

"There WHAT? Of course we have a brig!" Nenothtu replied.

"Torpedo took it out, and I mean took it OUT, boss. Nothin' but a hole full of space there now." was the response.

Nenothtu chewed the inside of his cheek for a second, digesting that. "Alright. Confine them to quarters for the duration. No comms of any sort in their quarters beyond the comm at the door, for communication with their guards, minimum of two guards per door, at all times.. No computer, no vidscreens, nothing beyond personal effects. Their quarters are prison cells now, until further notice. Nothing physical or electronic in or out without standard brig search procedures. Scramble the door locks to security delta-four-two-mike standard. They don't own those rooms any more, I do." Then he spun on his heel and headed for sickbay.

Rounding the corner, he noted that the guards there turned pale at his approach. "HOW DID STUDIOUS GET OUT OF SICK BAY?" He raged.

The nearest guard stuttered out "B.. Boss, he.. uh..."

"Don't answer that, you slack maggot. It was rhetorical. I KNOW how he got out. YOU failed to apprehend an escapee!"

"B.. Boss, there wa.. was Marines that.."

"I DON"T CARE WHAT THERE WAS!" neno continued in a fine rage, purplish-red face and all. "You failed in your job, yet somehow you're still standing here under your own power, upright and all! NO marks, no wounds, NO emergency backup call, no sign that you resisted at all! Hell, I don't even see a bead of sweat! I oughtta kill you where you stand!"

The guards shrank back as he let that settle in.

"Tell ya what I'm gonna do." neno continued finally. "I'm going to graciously allow you to place yourselves under arrest. You are to confine yourselves to your quarters until further notice. If, during that time, I see you OUT of those quarters, I will VAPORIZE you without hesitation. UNDERSTOOD?"

The guards milled around and looked at one another, then all nodded.

Nenothtu immediately spoke "Why the hell are you STILL here then? GO!"

They scurried off while they still could.

As soon as they were gone, nenothtu appeared to deflate somewhat. Studious was off the ship as ordered, but he was not at all satisfied with the performance of his security staff and Marines in the matter. The end result was the same, but his boys had failed him, badly.

That meant he had failed his boys, badly. He sighed as if the spirit were leaving him.

"Kids these days" he grumbled. " I see some serious re-training in THEIR futures!" he told the walls, then headed off to round up a cup of coffee.

It was going to be a long shift for nenothtu.



[edit on 2009/7/7 by nenothtu]



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 08:47 AM
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Badger sat at his desk going through the lists of the wounded and dead. Stilts sat across from him with a handheld computer going over numbers and making recommendations for assignments.

They had lost 22 pilots and 7 weapons officers. Twelve more pilots were wounded and in sick bay. Another dozen were out of sick bay but on light duty.

There had been no recovery operation to speak of because nearly everything had been vaporized in the explosion when the final battleships reactor had been targeted and destroyed by Penelope.

The number of active fighters on Penelope was down to 48. Fifteen were being refitted and repaired. Until Penelope got to a friendly berth and was resupplied, the wing would be under strength.

Most of the wing was busy or in medical. There was some grumbling amongst the ranks and resentment towards Badger that he had the wing pulling normal hours. He was allowing a few hours of rest for the able bodied and then put them all back onto patrol duties and regular schedules again. The wounded that were able to work would be given light duties. Badger knew that they needed to keep busy and occupied right after a loss of people like this or many of them would slip into depression or withdraw from their teammates. It was for the best even though nobody felt that way right now.

“What do we do about more pilots?” asked Stilts.” Even with only 48 birds we’re short.”

“Yeah, I know. I’m hoping we go hit a base or port soon.” answered Badger.

“What’s the Captain say?”

“I don’t know he’s still busy. The ship’s pretty beat up. Slayers got the crew working on it.”

“When will that be done?”

“I don’t know. He’s got a lot on his plate right now. I don’t see how he’s getting anything done at all with what he’s been through. Poor guy, I can’t believe he had to make a decision like that.”

“You mean the halon?” said Stilts.

Badger looked at stilts and back down at his desk. Slayer had lost over forty people when he made the decision to flood the burning area with fire suppressant gas. He had extinguished the fires and saved the ship but had asphyxiated many of his own crew.

Stilts said”I heard a rumor that it wasn’t necessary. Some people think he shouldn’t have done it. They say it was to bring the weapons online and defend against the last ship but it was already taken out.”

Badger took a sip of his coffee. “I hope you set the record straight for them.”

“Yeah, I told them anybody caught spreading that opinion would be cleaning your toilet for a month.”

“Good. He‘s got enough to worry about without that crap floating around.”

Stilts didn’t respond.

Badger looked up at her. “What?”

She pursed her lips and said, almost in a whisper, “I think they might be right.”

Badger sighed and rubbed his forehead, “Nora. Not now.”

She leaned forward, “It’s true. We took out that monstrosity of a ship. Slayer killed his own people so Luder could have his dammned weapons back. For what? So the Captains pet cyborg could kill a lot of people in escape pods? This is wrong and you know it.”

Badger got up and went to the office door. He glanced around and then closed it.
He walked back to the desk and sat down looking at Stilts.

“Nora, that’s not how it happened.”

“Yes it is. I checked the logs! I checked the timelines. He didn’t have to do it. We got the job done Badger. They didn’t need the weapons.”

“He didn’t know that. There was only a few seconds between disabling the third ship and extinguishing the fires. We didn’t expect the gravediggers to work anyway it was a shot in the dark. How could he have known when that happened?”

“The cyborg did.”

“You don’t know that.

Stilts said “Well who just kills their own people to take out a damned ship that we shouldn’t have been fighting in the first place?”

“We don’t know that either.”

“Well what the hell do you know?” she snapped.

“I know that it’s not Slayers fault. He did what he had to do.” Badger said.

Stilts put her computer on the desk and sat forward in her chair. “Oh, so you’re going to defend what they did now? We lost a lot of people in a useless battle. I lost friends. You lost friends. You sent them in there to fight a capital ship. The blood is on your hands too you son of a bitch. We’re lucky that we’re not all dead and you aren’t going to do anything?”

“Nora, that’s not fair.”

Stilts got to her feet and leaned over the desk. She said at the top of her voice. “William B. Chase don’t you dare! Don’t you even try to use that word with me. Fair? Fair! You’re the last person in this whole twisted universe to tell me what’s fair. Remember who you’re talking to mister. I think that insignia on your collar has gone to your head. You’d better hold on to it though. It’s worth 30 pieces of silver now.”

Badger sat quietly looking back at Stilts. She glared.

“Well, nothing to say?” she asked. “Aren’t you going to pull rank? Put me in my place? Tell me to keep my mouth shut? Make more excuses like you always do?”

Badger sighed, “Go get some sleep Nora. You look tired.”

“Yeah, that’s what I thought.” She said. “Hide from the truth, pretend it didn’t happen, do whatever’s easiest for you. Typical Badger, just like always.”

“Coward.” She said over her shoulder as she left the room. “I hope your dead friends haunt you till you go to hell.”

Stilts slammed the door as she stormed out.

Badger leaned back in his chair and stared at his desk for a few minutes.

There was a quiet knock at the door.

Badger sat up in his chair and said”Come in.”

The door opened and Wally stuck his head in. “Bad time?”

“No, come on in.”

“You sure?”

“Yeah. Why?”

Wally shrugged. “Dunno, just thought you might need a few more minutes after that ass chewin you just got.”

“You heard?”

“Yeah.” said Wally “She’s pretty upset. She didn’t even insult me when she went by.”

Badger got a fresh cup of coffee and put it down in front of Wally. Wally reached into his pocket and produced a battered old flask. He poured a generous amount in his cup and did the same for Badgers.

They sipped the coffee for a few minutes in without talking.

Badger broke the silence. “You hear what she said about Slayer?”

“Yup.”

“You believe it?”

“Nope.”

“I don’t think he could possibly have done anything different.”

Wally shrugged. “No, I don’t either. Ole Slayer did the right thing.”

“Well, I don’t know what’s gotten into Nora. She should know better.” said Badger.

“You want to know?” said Wally.

“Do I want to know what?” returned Badger.

“Do you want to know what her problem is?”

“Do I have to?” asked Badger.

Wally put down his cup and looked at Badger “You remember Harrison?”

“Yes, of course. He got killed today. How could I not remember?”

“He got killed covering you, while you were covering me.”

“What’s that got to do with anything?” asked Badger.

“You really don’t know?”

“Know what?” said Badger.

Wally downed the last of his coffee in one gulp and stood up. He looked at Badger again and hesitated.

“What?” said Badger.

“Harrison and Nora were engaged. They were getting married next month.”

Wally put the cup down on the desk and left.


[edit on 7-7-2009 by badgerprints]



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 12:19 PM
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"Slayer, this is the Captain. How long until we can make a jump?"
The Chief walked over to the wall unit and thumbed the comm.

Captain we are knee deep in debris, we've just started picking up the pieces. I'm not exactly sure what the engines status is at the moment... I'll have to get back to you on that Out.

The Chief walked over to one of the few consoles still working and brought up the ships systems that were still functioning. Surprisingly the engines appeared to be in good condition. Penelope's weapons and defensive systems were a whole other ball game.

Here you go Chief.
Horn handed him a data pad with an in depth report on the major damage the ship had sustained during the fight. They had a single major hull breach which was contained behind sealed bulkheads. The Chief looked at the data. He sat down at his desk wiped the grease and sweat from his forehead with the back of his uniforms shirt sleeve.

Then thumbed the comm.

Kim hows the work going down there?

The fuel tanks are in good shape Chief. We should have pressure enough to bring the standard drive systems back online in a few minutes.

Very good Kim you've earned your weeks pay

The Chief checked other functions. The Main Computer was slowly coming back online as some of his repair crews reran cut lines and replaced burned out boards. The minor repairs went quickly but it would take a good amount of time and effort to repair that hull breach.

The Bucky skin which the hull armor was covered in was an advanced Top secret Nanotechnology development. The Chief was not sure if they had what it would take to make those types of repairs out here in deep space.

The Chief knew that unless they were able to repair that breach they would not be able to make a jump the best they could do at the moment was standard flank speed.

Ensign Callan's voice crackled over the comm.

OK Chief we have the engines back on line we are ready to engage.

Acknowledging her report the Chief thumbed the comm.

Captain this is the Chief report as follows...

We have standard drive up and running, They did not take any serious damage during the battle. We cannot... repeat... cannot jump anytime soon.

That hull breach needs to be addressed. I say at least 3 to 4 days. The stress on that section would be tremendous we would most likely fly apart if we attempt a jump at this time. The best we can do until further repairs are made is standard sub light flank speed.

My recommendation is as follows...

We should park Penelope in a quiet location and let us lick our wounds. Out


The Chief was handed a data pad. He looked down at it. Sighed looked at the young crewmen and thanked her. The Chief turned and walked out into the smoky debris filled corridor sparks still flew from various panels around him. The doors closed behind him.

It was the casualty list.



posted on Jul, 7 2009 @ 07:03 PM
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Unbeknownst to Slayer, Asher was reviewing the same casualties list.

Streams of data fell through his consciousness like rain. One aspect of his segmented mind was focused on the list, and would remain so for the rest of his life.

Yet another mental segment was reviewing the current and recent video feed from within the Penelope.

All of it. At once.

Asher watched the video of the former Colonel Studious vacating the Penelope in an escape pod. With a quick check of the scanners, Asher confirmed that Studious had ejected the pod and was nearing the edge of scanner range. He decided to let him go without harassment. Hopefully, he would cause no further harm.

Asher watched Slayer as he fought to return the bruised and battered Penelope back to wormhole-readiness.

Asher watched Nenothtu try to bring some kind of order to the fractured command structure of the onboard Marine and Security contingents.

Asher watched Badger try to fight off sleep and guilt in his office after his subordinate "Wally" had stepped out.

Asher watched Captain Luder as he stood in his briefing room, staring out the reinforced window at the void, lost in thought.



Then there was a segment of Asher's enhanced mental capacity that was contemplating his own place in this turmoil.

It was so difficult for most to see the logic in what he had done. He was heartless, soulless cyborg to them. They couldn't see the results of his last action any more than a novice chess player can see all the eventual possibilities of the bishop they just moved.

In his current state, with a mind limited only by mere bandwidth and imagination, he had looked at every possible move, calculated the best path to a checkmate and took it.

Asher wondered if he had ever really been human at all. Perhaps he had been cursed to a life that was half man, half machine. All that he had ever done was bring pain to those around him. For a time, he had believed himself to be a human, but that was never the case.

He had never been a man, and never would be.

Silent and alone, Asher retreated back into his virtual tomb.

[edit on 7-7-2009 by SeekerOfAUTMN]



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 12:36 AM
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The acting chief medical officer radioed back and told Luder she'd be unable to meet with him due to the influx of casualties in the bay. Luder understood and told her he'd be down to see her in person later on that day.

He headed back out into the command center and walked up to one of the situation displays. The small world they were in orbit of had two moon nearby, in a near synchronous orbit with each other. About 1.3 AU away, a large asteroid field dominated part of the solar system and from what was remaining of the scanners, it seemed there were odd levels of ionization there and other sensor-masking radiation features.

Slayer's voice came from the comm station near the science console:

Captain this is the Chief report as follows...

We have standard drive up and running, They did not take any serious damage during the battle. We cannot... repeat... cannot jump anytime soon.

That hull breach needs to be addressed. I say at least 3 to 4 days. The stress on that section would be tremendous we would most likely fly apart if we attempt a jump at this time. The best we can do until further repairs are made is standard sub light flank speed.

My recommendation is as follows...

We should park Penelope in a quiet location and let us lick our wounds. Out


Luder turned to the navigation station.

"Bring us about and make for that asteroid field." The officers there complied and the viewscreen changed as the Penelope swung about. The trip between the planet and the asteroid field took around fifteen minutes and once inside, the Penelope was surrounded by a milky, purplish haze littered with giant rocks moving in a slow, lazy pattern of an orbit around the star. The Penelope came alongside a particularly large rock and halted.

Rig for silent running. Kill all external lighting, all hull-level rooms and corridors with windows need to be dark. Bring all primary systems to minimum power output and kill the main scanners. We are going to make ourselves invisible here until we can jump back to Sol. Luder out.


[edit on 8-7-2009 by mf_luder]



posted on Jul, 8 2009 @ 12:52 PM
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Nenothtu sat in his quarters at his antiquated desk, musing on the events of the recent past, searching for a handle on the chaos that filled the wake of the recent actions. He had finished the letters to the families of the six security crewmen killed when the brig had gone up in smoke. The two NI agents who had been killed in custody in that same event had no traceable family listed in their records, and so never existed. Now they never would.

He took a sip of coffee, sat back, and sighed. It really hadn't been all that unpredictable. He should have seen it coming. In the chaos of the aftermath of Studious' erratic actions, resulting in his bust, followed so closely by the total war waged on the NI force thrown against them, loyalties of the Marines were bound to have been divided. Neno hadn't had time to restructure or solidify command of the Marines. They were essentially headless at that point, and so a large number of them naturally gravitated back to their last known command structure, through Studious. Compounding that had been the fact that NI had appeared out of nowhere and thrown down the gauntlet. The resulting complete destruction of the NI vessels and personnel, and near destruction of Penelope, had left questions in their minds that there simply hadn't been time to address, with a fight for life going on. As far as they were concerned, Penelope had just annihilated several thousand "friendlies". Neno snorted. What kind of "friendly" promised to kill you and all of yours? But of course no one not on the bridge, and certainly not the average Marine, had been aware of that particular exchange.

The problem was, the Marines didn't need to THINK, they just needed to DO. Thinking was his job, so that he could tell them what to do. There really hadn't been time for him to develop confidence in the Marines that he was ABLE to think and assess situations to their benefit. So they had fallen back on a "known" rather than follow a relative unknown. Now they were in limbo, with no leadership whatsoever. That was neno's next job. Provide that leadership, in no uncertain terms. But preparatory to that, he'd have to instill confidence in them. Abject fear of him just wasn't going to work in this particular situation. They had to have REASONS. They DESERVED reasons. Otherwise, they just wouldn't ever have the confidence to follow his lead. The only was to do that would be to brief them on the events leading up to the fray. ALL of them. 2000-odd marines had to be given a crash course in following the leader, or more properly WHICH leader to follow. And WHY to follow him. Chain of command they understood, but the new route of that chain had to be impressed on them. He'd have to go to Luder first, to get authorization to use the ship's record to brief the Marines on the ALL of the events which had transpired, not just what they saw. That was HIS chain of command.

The security teams presented another problem altogether. They had simply failed in their duty. That weighed heavily on nenothtu as well, since it was his responsibility to insure they didn't fail. From what he gathered, it wasn't that they hadn't known what to do, it was more in the nature of just not doing it. Remediation, rather than education, was the solution to that problem. He just hadn't determined what sort of remediation was called for yet. It probably had to start with himself, since that particular failure led directly to his door. It was his responsibility to see that hadn't happened. If they failed, it was because of a failure on his own part. He just wasn't sure how to grasp those particular horns yet.

Neno took another sip of coffee and heaved a sigh. Best get on it. He opened a comm link.

"Lieutenant Commander nenothtu to Captain Luder. Sir, I need to request a short conference with you at your convenience, regarding authorization to use Ships Records to brief the Marines on recent events. I'll explain my reasoning more fully at the conference. Nenothtu out."



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