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Author Topic: Ride Across The River IC  (Read 16402 times)

Gargulec

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Ride Across The River IC
« on: September 22, 2011, 07:58 »

You still could not get used to the fact that the FTL drive just hummed when engaged, instead of roaring as it used to before Mai installed her latest upgrades. Still, it did make your life much more comfortable - though the the attempts to go to sleep still failed. So, having nothing better to do (unless you really wanted to watch that asari flick Mai was so ecstatic about) you just replayed the message from your current employer.

'Three weeks ago, my idiot's brother daughter was kidnapped by a band of ascended thugs who apparently believed that they could use her to blackmail me. As if I'd care for some asari.'

After hearing those words, you did not even have to look at the holo to see the face of the turian businessman before your eyes. He sounded just so palvean. Besides, you knew his voice and face from before. Trak Na'Qun was his name, and he was... well, an owner of a small, but well-prospering company and one of the most vocal nationalists out there in the Hierarchy.

'But of course I must not allow them to go unpunished for their arrogance. And thankfully, that so called 'mercenaries' proved to be as sloppy as my brother's security, and we have managed to track them down to a system in Terminus Systems. I want you' his tone was visibly used to giving orders 'to go there, find them, and kill them all. Every single of them is to get a bullet to the head, no matter if they are women, children or children with women. No one dares to mess with me. Especially not some thugs from Omega. And quite frankly, I want nothing more. If that asari girl lives, all the better, but their deaths come first. Of course, I will pay you extra for her being alive. But you will have to deliver her to me personally, because she has to learn a few things before I even start considering her a member of my family again. And you have my permission to do whatever you want with her as long as you get her to me alive and not crippled. I have no use for cripples. Ah, and it goes without mentioning that if any details of this mission ever make their way to the extranet, you both are facing a certain death. I will not allow myself to be disgraced!'

The message ended with that cheerful note. Enclosed, there were coordinates of a star system in Terminus, a file on that asari kidnapee and an another one on the mercenaries responsible. And, of course, information on the payment. One hundred and fifty thousands credits plus twenty five thousand extra for the girl being rescued alive and delivered to the given location.

'He is a kind of dick, is not he?'

You turned around to see Mai standing in the doorway, yawning and flexing her blue-skinned limbs. She had it good, she had no problems sleeping with a FTL on.
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2011, 11:08 »

Seren Vorrech wasn't particularly bothered by sleep problems - his past military service had conditioned him to just catch any sleep where possible, and make do otherwise. He wore a standard and unremarkable military jumpsuit, lacking rank and service distinctions - no point in drawing extra attention on this job.

"Just your average high officer, making up a lack of distinctions by shouting and acting harsh. Just have to learn to nod, keep quiet, and don't look smarter than he thinks himself to be," Seren replied, switching off the recording. "How much longer until we reach the site?" he asked, bringing up the file on the planet in question, scanning it for possible groups that might complicate matters. Gangs, mercenary companies, pirates, Krogans... best to limit the number of involved parties. Less chance of major media attention. He also checked the file on the target gang - paying attention to any ties to other groups his employer might have dug up, possible funds and assets, numbers...

Spirits, but he missed having someone else to do recon and planning. Well, that's the life of a freelancer...
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12. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head.

Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2011, 12:14 »

'An hour. Hour and a half, tops' she shrugged, sitting herself on a nearby crate. She was wearing cargo pants and a loose, thick, pale-green blouse, a garb dangerously modest by asari standards of tight, form-fitting body-gloves.

The information in the enclosed files was staggeringly extensive, covering everything up to almost exact coordinates of your target's base, to the point it became quite dubious that your employer could have gathered it on his own. A good information broker seemed much more likely.

You destination was an entirely unassuming star system in Ismar Frontier - an aged sun with a single planet, and a rocky chunk barely big enough to be called such, mined dry around two centuries ago. And while the cluster itself saw some interest from Blue Sun and Omega's entrepreneurs, the chances of running into them here ran pretty close to nil.

The band itself was thankfully not affiliated with any of the big mercenary bands trio, instead being just another rag-tag bunch of humans, batarians and other scum led by a young krogan calling himself "Ghazkul", counting between ten and fifteen heads. They seemed to specialize in mid-profile kidnappings, having conducted three of them before, growing bolder with each - Na'Qun being easily the most influential of their targets, using the funds gained that way to arm themselves to the teeth and claim an abandoned mining outpost for their base of operation - an outpost you were about to storm, by the way. Fortunately, it would also seem that they have suffered serious casualties in a run in with a Blood Pack not long ago, having to replace almost the half of their ranks with green recruits fresh out of Omega's gutter.

'So, anything of interest here?' Mai asked seeing you finish the reading. 'Anything to make the job more interesting for you?'
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 12:37 by Gargulec »
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2011, 12:41 »

"Spirits, I hope not. Last thing I need is for this contract to turn interesting," the Turian quickly replied with a shake of his head. "Think you could do a flyover of this site here when we arrive?" he asked, indicating the name of the mining outpost in the mission briefing. "Wouldn't hurt to have a look at the terrain... maybe I can lure some of them out into the open or something," he muttered to himself. The more thugs he could take out in the open, the less he'd have to worry about when attacking the outpost itself. That cheapskate Na'Qun couldn't even spare money for a second gun... Sweeping a structure - any structure - without someone to watch his back just raised all sorts of alarm flags in his mind.
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Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2011, 13:49 »

'I guess' she shrugged again. 'Though chances are that we are going to get spotted, but maybe if luring them out is what you really want, it is not such a bad idea after all. And if the look at the terrain is all you want, then rejoice, for I will be finally able to put that new scanner suite to some use. If it up to specs, then you should get a perfectly accurate scan of the entire area's topography and maybe even their exact postions, and that would help, would not it be?'

Ever since she bought that scanners (which took almost the entirety of your previous payment), Mai was itching to test them out.
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2011, 15:11 »

"Try not to be too obvious about it. Unless you put guns in on this crate while I wasn't looking, we don't want to attract their full attention. This job's all kinds of messed up without adding a hot drop on top of it all," Seren replied, then got up with a sigh. Something about the mission just had "deathtrap" written all over it.

"I'm going to check my gear and suit up. Let me know if anything comes up."
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12. A soft answer turneth away wrath. Once wrath is looking the other way, shoot it in the head.

Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2011, 04:17 »

1 hour later

The ship jerked, the quiet buzz of the FTL engine changing to the much loader roar of the main thruster. Mai flicked a switch on the console, opening the shutters, revealing the system in all its non-existent glory to your eyes. The target planet gleamed in the distance, looking even more unremarkably than on the image provided by your contractor - just a grey chunk of rock, battered by the eons of bombardment by space's detritus, as evidenced by the countless craters dotting its surface.

'And here we are' sighed your asari pilot, starting to guide the ship down towards the planet. 'So you wanted that flyover, yes?'

Not really expecting you to confirm, she started the quick descent.

'Coordinates' she ordered calmly, and the ship's VI instantly displayed the location of your target. Mia nodded, and adjusted the course slightly. 'Hey, we should be in range now, could you give those sensors a test?' she asked, not looking at you, just concentrated on the piloting. 'There should be a console there somewhere' she added, pointing at a newly installed screen in cockpit's corner.

From up here, you could see much more detail of the planet's surface... apparently, there quite heavy mining operation going down there some time ago, for strewn among the craters, you could see a lot of remnants after them - mostly the husks of miners habitats and other hardware that was simply not worth reclaiming after the planet was mined dry.
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #7 on: September 25, 2011, 06:55 »

"Well, let's see what we can see," Seren muttered to himself, seating himself in front of the sensor controls and setting to work. Times like this, he was quite thankful for the range of skills he'd picked up during his military career, and that operating remote sensors was one of them. Between that, his skills of observation, and the natural paranoia of a frontline soldier, he hoped to find any difficulties his employer's agents had missed, preferably before he ran into them in person.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)
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Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #8 on: September 25, 2011, 07:29 »

The scanners proved to be a bit more complicated that you were used to work with, and it took you a longer moment to figure out how to process all information gathered by them. But the results were... impressive. A holograph of the entire base and its surroundings displayed itself on the screen.

The interior was mapped only sketchily: you gathered enough information to determine that the base was a two-level building, placed below the surface of a sizeable if flattened by age crater's bottom, with only a single entrance above the ground level. The area immediately around it was mostly featureless, with gentle slopes of the crater being almost perfectly smooth, with only a few paths carved into them. Apart from that, there were two places of interest immediately noticeable: a rectangular spot of evened ground mid-slope with a small shuttle landed on it - so, a landing pad and also a small, though quite high building on the crater's edge, about five hundred meters from the base's entrance - most likely an old communication array.

Interestingly, a few pieces of what should be scrap moved in a regular pattern - so probably, the mercenaries decided to bolster their defences with a few security mecha, making them patrol the perimeter around the base. There were four of them in total moving, though it would not be impossible for the mercs to have more than that, just tucked away inside of the base.
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #9 on: September 26, 2011, 14:17 »

"Think you can put us down someplace out of sight of the mining outpost? I'd rather not put them more on alert than necessary..." Seren asked, leaning back from the sensor console briefly to call out to the pilot, before leaning in again to continue studying the information, formulating plans.

"Order of priority, silence long-range comms, neutralize motor pool, effect hostage retrieval, cleanup," the Turian muttered to himself, propping up his chin with one hand while working the sensor console with the other. "Check outbuilding first, proceed to shuttle pad... hmm, need predicted patrol routes for junkers," he went on, tracing out the lines of patrol and copying them to his omni tool. After some thought he also downloaded the building schematics and made a note to add the list of gang members before disembarking. It'd serve as a useful checklist. He also made a note to load the HEAP rounds into the launcher first. For the 'mechs... and the Krogan.
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Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2011, 12:47 »

'I guess' the asari muttered thoughtfully, manipulating something with ship's control. The vessel jerked again, beginning a much more rapid descent towards the surface. She turned her head for a moment, appraising the holographic display of the terrain. 'It's kind of flat, though' she added, steadying the course. The eezo core kicked in, soothing the already minor g-forces. All in all, it was a really pleasant compared to a planets with a real gravity. The asari flexed, stifled a yawn and spared the map another look, this time studying it far more thoroughly.

'Yep, absolutely flat' she said, zooming the map a little. 'Oh' she spotted something, and zoomed again. 'There is this crater about two klicks from the target, deep enough to hide the ship in. And looking at the energy output of their base, it is unlikely that they have any good scanners running, so chances are that they will not ever realize we have landed there. Though you'd have to do a little walking. Else, it is all flat and if they have anyone in that comm tower, we will get spotted. And I'd rather avoid that. So?' she asked, but apparently was not even waiting for an answer, starting to plot the course for the crater already.

« Last Edit: September 27, 2011, 14:50 by Gargulec »
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2011, 14:57 »

"Unless you like the thought of a boarding party, I suggest going for the crater site. I'll worry about any watchers from the tower if and when the matter comes up," Seren replied from the armoury. Poly-carapace hardsuits took a while to put on, after all. Once he had the basic suit on, he fitted the breather mask to the inside of his helmet and put it on, connecting it up to the rest of the suit. That done, he retrieved his weapons from storage - the assault rifle, pistol... and grenade launcher, along with a small satchel of ammunition. All in working order...

"If you can, try to listen in on any base comms. Otherwise I'll be maintaining radio silence unless things go awry," the Turian told Mai, stepping back into the freighter's cockpit.
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Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2011, 09:57 »

She chewed her lip. 'I guess that I should be able to tap into their comms... maybe' she said. 'They do not look like a sort that would invest in decent encryption, right?'

She let the question hand unanswered, returning to steering.

Few minutes later

The planet looked even more unassuming up close - just a desert of grey dust as far as an eye could see. It kind of looked like the footage from that moon of human homeworld you caught a glimpse of some time ago on the extranet, only without the importance and military bases. You hoped, at least. The distant sun shone on the edge of the horizon - you came in just in time for the pretty sunrise.

Mai put the ship down gently. She was a good pilot, at least as far as the basic manoeuvres go. How would she fare in combat enviroment... you could not say. Thankfully.

Looking drowsy as always, she yawned, closing her eyes.

'I've uploaded the map to your suit' she muttered, her fingers dancing on of the many flickering consoles in the cockpit, apparently fine-tuning the sensors and monitoring suites. 'Anything more I should know?'
« Last Edit: September 29, 2011, 13:59 by Gargulec »
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.

Xander Morhaime

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 17:45 »

"I would suggest locking down the ship and powering down what isn't necessary to keep a low profile. On the off chance the landing site is discovered, I suggest relocating. At any rate, try to keep the ship in one operational piece until my return," the Turian replied. "I've provided you with my comms encryption keys for this mission, if there's anything I need to get across."

That done, he made for the airlock. At least there should be a basic atmosphere present... he was in for a long walk. On the bright side, the dust he'd pick up on the way would make for good makeshift camouflage for the outpost approach.

He'd worry about plotting a route later - first he had to get out of the crater. That alone should get his suit nice and dusty for the road ahead.
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Gargulec

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Re: Ride Across The River IC
« Reply #14 on: October 01, 2011, 14:19 »

She nodded, opening the airlock for you, releasing you to... a mostly bland interior of the crater. The doors to the ship closed behind you as you descended from the ramp. The gravity here, much to your surprise, was higher than you would expect it to be, only slightly lower than on an average Palavean-sized world, and the dust beneath your feet was quite solid too, enough to make it quite stable as you climbed from the crater's interior.

It took you few minutes to reach the edge of it, and then a few more to plot a path towards your target. The long part was actually walking there: though still, two kilometers were hardly a great distance. Half an hour later, you were close enough to see the comm tower in the distance, two hundred meters from your position.

There was a bit of garbage strewn around here, and you yourself were hiding inside of a one - a wrecked mining vehicle stripped of all useful parts, but still with enough hull to keep you from being spotted by those in the tower: if they were watching, of course.
« Last Edit: October 01, 2011, 14:48 by Gargulec »
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And greater honour is well due to them
when they foresee (and many of them foresee)
that in the end Ephialtes will appear,
that after all the Persian shall break through.
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