"I'll keep it short," The doctor says flipping his clipboard shut, sadly, "I don't think there's any one in this colony, much less on this world that can help you. This suite," He taps the medichine next to him, a little yellowed and worn but well worn, "Is good, but it doesn't have the supplies. I would gladly order some but-""But, it'd cost an arm and a leg, and, the pirates or warlords would probably hit the cargo ship before it reached planetside," You finish for Doctor Tabin. He nods sadly."I'm very sorry." "I see," You say. It's a little sad to hear, but you've lived a good, long life. 67 years is nothing to sneeze at. Most of your friends had died long before you, at far younger ages. You can't feel any upset at the doctor's powerlessness. This was a rustic colony, to say the least. An abandoned project struggling to feed itself. You'd just come in since you were going deaf in one ear, and he'd noticed the swelling in the skull, and grey flakes coming off of the skin. You scratch at it, wince, bring your hand back. Little twisted bits of skin gone hard. You're on Saronic, far away from home. You landed here twenty years ago, getting away from the dissolution of the Throne systems, and the civil war that tore the Immortal Empire apart. But that was twenty years ago. You had a life here."How long do I have?" You step off of the table, get to shaky knees. The doctor helps to steady you up. Young man, a good man. "Ah, well," He shrugs, "It seems to be some kind of cancer- though, er, not a regular one. Otherwise the machine would have taken care of it-""Do you have an estimate?" You chide him. He seemed so skittish about death, the boy. He deflates."Three? Maybe, four months?" He shakes his head, "I'm so sorry.""You already said that," You chuckle, patting him on the shoulder, "Don't worry. The dead hold no grudges.""Look, what I said earlier about the generator, you don't have to worry about it, I can-"
"You took a look at my head, least I can do is take a look at your generator," You grab your coat from the hook, and leave the doctor's office, "Tomorrow, okay? I gotta help out Hatfen with her project tonight."He doesn't reply. You try to give a reassuring smile to him, before turning away. You shut the door behind you, pull on a respirator and step out of the airlock in to the snow.It was nice here, a garden world seeded by the seed ships generations ago. Even had seasons close to Earth's. In a few hundred years, the atmospheric mix would make the respirators unnecessary. It was winter here, a pretty season. Saronic is world with a population of ten thousand people on it, the vast majority of the population are clustered around the little space port that was the first structure on this planet. It was meant to be a manor world, a noble's retreat. It was too small, too undeveloped for much else. Everyone here knew most everybody else, there was no such thing as strangers, and everyone pulled together to help out.You made your way as a handyman. You knew machines, could fix them. You weren't the best engineer, but you worked hard and cheap and could cobble together fixes for most anything built on world. It's a long way back to your cabin- you managed to get one for yourself beyond the edge of the woods. You have to pass by the space port to get there. The townsfolk turn at your passage to wave, to ask how you do, if you need anything. You don't. You say, truthfully, all you could use right now is some peace and quiet- but you'll be back with them soon enough. They huddle under coats, under ponchos, wave big poofy gloves that are too large, and stagger underneath great beetle eyed gasmasks. The usual sights of town. Except for one person that catches your eye.
A slim pair of nose plugs is all he has. A fine, stark, modern vac suit, fitted leather gloves, shaved scalp, and a pair of large, brown eyes that settle on you. You don't remember him, but the sight was familiar. A hunter. Somebody from the throne worlds. He looks away, but you know you've already been made.The suited man turns, walks to Arden's bar. Arden was a good man- you had done work on his bionic arm once. He owed you a favor or two. You supposed that twenty years was more than enough time to be hunted down. You wonder who it was- a former Companion? A warlord, seeking to find a prized warrior? Just some tech hunter? Or someone seeking to deliver long overdue justice?Hatfen's is just around the corner. She was waiting for you. Expected your help with her project of hers. >Go to Hatfen's. Don't give in to your fear.>Follow the man in to Arden's. Get this over with.>Go home. Your armor is at home. Don't underestimate him.>Other.
>>27910557>Go to Hatfen's. Don't give in to your fear.
>>27910557>>Go to Hatfen's. Don't give in to your fear.
He was in the bar You didn't know for sure that he was hunting you. You can't just assume these things any more. It's been twenty years. No one could care about you any more.You turn through the snow, walk to Hatfen's, warding off the chill.A few smart raps at the door with your knuckle."Coming!" She takes the steps two at a time. Even with only one ear, you can hear her galloping up the stairs to the air lock controls. You hear a slight whine as the camera in the door starts up. You smile up at it. "You came!" You hear it tinny, through the speaker next to the lock, "Hang on, give me a moment-"It disengages, moves to the side, lets you in. You step in, stomping off the snow and dust from outside. She hardly waits for the air balance to even out before she has the door open on the other side. She's smiling up at you. She's young- seventeen, you think with some surprise. You had seen her grow up as a child, had known her parents- they'd been the ones to set you up with a cabin, back when you first made landfall. She'd grown, but perhaps a bit too much. She'd gotten a little unsightly fat, but you couldn't blame her. Her parents had died, month before last. Not that she betrayed any sign of depression when she came out, which was rarer and rarer these days. You'd have to deal with that."Thank you, thank you so much, I'm really sorry, I just don't know how to make this damn thing work!" She blushes immediately, at your hard look. You'd told her to stop swearing. Oh well, you'll let it slide this time. "It's okay, it's okay, I had some spare time," You step past her, make for the basement, "So, water purifier conked out again?""Again! I swear, I bet creepy Ben next door is making this happen somehow- he knows I hate asking him for water!" "Hmm, unless creepy Ben is some kind of ghost," You pass through to her basement- sure enough, ozone was in the air. Electrical fault this time? "I don't think you can blame this on him. Nah, it's just an old X2k."
The water purifier was about the size of a brick, and giving off heat enough to make you sweat in the cramped basement. She hadn't powered it down. Honestly, this girl."Hit the breaker for me, Hatfen?" "Oh? Oh, oh yeah, sorry," She goes to the power box, and looks paralyzed at the switches, "Blue one." You shake your head. Good at math, but didn't know to turn off something if it wasn't working. You hope you don't have to make any replacements. Finally, the thing makes a low whine as it shuts down. "I, I'm sorry, I just-" "Never you mind," You give an idle wave behind you, "Go upstairs, grab a towel. This might be a bit messy.""Okay!" She rushes off. You pop open the panel on the side, and ignore the gushing steam. You could leave it to cool off, but the sight in town spooked you. You didn't want Hatfen dragged in to this.Sure enough, just a clog. You switch out the filters and it's running right as rain again. You have the panel shut before Hatfen returns bearing a towel. "It's fixed?" She sounds surprised. "Yes, but I wouldn't start it up again so soon. Give it a bit to cool down," You wipe your hands, grey staining the white of the towel, "Just a filter. I tell you to change them every time.""Oh- I'm sorry, I keep forgetting to.""Well don't forget any more. I won't be around forever, you know."She looks away, pouts at that. It's no fun to lecture kids, but if they think of you as a->Grandmother>Grandfather-you suppose you'll have to. "Y'know, Doctor Tabin called, he said-"You don't hear anything else she says. You only have one ear, and you focus it on the whine. A vehicle. Two rotors. Flying. VTOL, if you had to guess. No VTOLs on this colony, just Bradford's skimmer, and he was in warmer climes this season. Hatfen can't hear it yet. It must be distant. >Focus on Hatfen. Stop assuming the worst.>Excuse yourself. It's probably the stranger.>Hatfen's father had an old gun. Go get it from his hiding place.>Other.
>>27910938>>Grandfather>Excuse yourself. It's probably the stranger.
>>27910938>Excuse yourself. It's probably the stranger.>Grandmother
>>27910990>>27911018Grandpaw going to meet and greet.
>>27910938>Grandpa>Excuse yourselfWe aren't afraid of vengeance anymore, we're on our last legs anyway. Might as well get it over with.
"I'm sorry dear," You cock your head. The damn deafness was getting to you, "But I fear I have to get going.""Get going?" She shakes her head, "Hang on, hang on, you can't just leave, Doctor Tabin said-"You walk past her, ascend the stairs. You turn your head- the engine was getting louder. You had to leave her out of this, "I promised to meet with someone earlier.""Who? Listen, let's leave it alone- my parents left me enough money that I was going to put an order on the medichine, and I w-""Save your money," You pull on your respirator, dial open the airlock, "Good bye, Hatfen.""What? What are you talking about?" You glance back. She looks baffled. She'll be fine. You step through the airlock, shutting it behind you.The speakers squawk as she asks questions. Questions you can't answer at the moment. You step through the airlock, jimmy open the entry panel, access the computer inside it. You set it on an hour long reboot loop, to make sure she can't come outside and interrupt you.You look up. You can see the blinking lights of it- an Extol military craft, about a kilometer out. You have to blink a few times to bring your eyes up to speed to zoom in on it. You snort. It carried enough missiles on it to wipe out the city. You'd made them paranoid. It probably had sight of you- maybe they got the old call and response tags from the Senatorial archive? You never did crack those things. They were wormed too deep in the bones. Maybe a bundle of microscopic machines were chattering with it right now, telling it where you were.Your armor is at home. You buried it deep. Didn't want to ever dig it up again. Maybe you should. You've got perhaps ten minutes. Enough time, if you got in close band range with your gear to get it active again. One last ride might be nice.>Stay right where you are. No reason to make them nervous.>Go out of the city, away from home. Let them meet you at least far away from all of your old friends.>Home. Fight.
>>27911230>Go out of the city, away from home. Let them meet you at least far away from all of your old friends.
>>27911230>>Go out of the city, away from home. Let them meet you at least far away from all of your old friends.
>>27911230>Go out of the city, away from home. Let them meet you at least far away from all of your old friends.I'm done fighting, and if they want a piece, let's keep the collateral to a minimum.
This old war horse has had enough for one life. Let's die a dignified, quiet death.
>Sorry about that, got called away by a friend. You catch the VTOL's eye. It was a new design- made in the last fifteen years. But, you figure they still knew enough to be afraid of the old call signs. You don't call out with lips and lungs, but hit the radio you had in your head. Zulu. Zulu. Zulu. The old challenges. It was a new craft- had some thing like the old meson guns you used in the Companion days. You'd heard about it from Ben. Real military nerd that child. You never told him you were a veteran, but he never ceased babbling about all the new whizbang military weapons and adroit feints going on in the Throne systems. You hope the kid never comes face to face with it.You walk slow, head for the edge of town. You hear Hatfen pounding on the airlock, shouting in confusion. You contemplate for a moment trying to hack the comms, make sure she can't get word out- but what's the point? Probably by the end of this night, they'll all know who you were. What you did. It's a long walk. You try to track the noise of the Extol's craft, as you get out of the way of the asphalt and concrete. You pass by the maples planted by colonists, leave behind the grasslands, Earth plants giving way to native flora. No fauna on the world though. Old Senatorial decree, ever since the Opis incident. It was strange to see sparrows roosting in gnarled plants, pink skin dripping and twitching at every touch. The Extol closes. It could have blown you to bits three, four times by now, but it maintains the kilometer range. They think you're threatening even outside of the armor. You laugh behind the respirator. Waiting for reinforcements maybe? Sure enough, when you hit kilometer ten outside of town, you hear the second set of rotors whine, then a third, and a fourth. They scream in now, hard, coming in force from the town behind you.The dark and snow around you grows bright as their spot lights pin you down.
"This is the Extol Justice Department," It barks in seven different languages overlaying each other, "Lay down flat on the ground, hands behind your head, or we will open fire."You turn, look up. Four VTOLs, each orbiting each other slowly, engines revving. Ready to rabbit at the sight of a step against them. All this fear, for one little old man. All manner of missiles and ray guns directed at your balding head. "I say again, this is the Extol Justice Department. Lay down flat on the ground, hands behind your head. This is your final warning," Seven voices politely shout at you. They'll take you in. Put you on trial. Play out every moment that you acted against the good of humanity, in the name of the Senate and the Satraps. They'd kill you quick and clean, and broadcast the recording for the benefit of the galaxy. It was long overdue.You avoided the fall of Ramnes. You didn't stand and die with all the remaining Companions. You ran, took your armor with you, and all those old secrets of that old empire. You ran and hid. Tried to live your life clean. Yet, somehow, it coming to a head like this was quite a relief. >Lay down.>Stand.>Run.>Other.
>>27911921We're away from everything we care and love, right?Then we cross our arms, saying "Make me."Valhalla awaits, brother.
>>27911921Four months left to live, to die a slow, humiliating death, or a quick, clean kill on national TV?...Ah, fuck it. We're dead men either ay. Might as well make a show of it.>Stand.
>>27911921Laugh in the face of death. That bastard always had really terrible jokes.
You shall bow to no man but your master. Writing.
>>27911921Run.Get the armor.Ride the lightning.
You look around at the circle. They're aiming the spotlights at you, trying to blind you. Your eyes weren't blinded by the very stars themselves. What could they do.You stand. Cross your arms. Your only regret is that you won't be able to fix Doctor Tabin's generator tomorrow. "I, I say again-" Is repeated in seven uncertain tongues. You thought that that last one was their last warning? You hear them now, barking at each other in old Senatorial. Your ear picks up half the conversation."He's not laying down.""Did we not bring enough men? I knew we shouldn't have followed, this is a trap!" "You told him that was the last warning!""He just-""Enough talk. Fire."A high electric whine courses through the air. Your body stiffens, pumps adrenaline. Old instincts die hard. They launch missiles first- the VTOLs coasting back, getting out of range. They could have done this beyond the horizon. Should have done this when you went for a morning walk. Impatient. Twenty eight fuzzy logic MIRV WP warheads fly towards you, ETA 3.4 seconds. Your personal ECM suite kicks in to action- in the space of a second, four of them think you're somewhere in the sky, and rocket up, searching for your ghost in the stratosphere. A half second after that, seven of them detect unacceptable collateral damage around your position, and turn themselves off. A picosecond later, one suffers a general protection fault- not your fault, factory failure. Two of them go down to Senatorial overrides layered in your subconscious, and self destruct in midair, catching a third in the blast radius. Ten more miscalculate the fuel necessary to reach past you, rocketing past. Three hit. One bursts a meter in front of you. The second guides itself right above you, to burst down. The third strikes you directly, before exploding.
>>27912038These fatalistic depressed fucks in here, not getting the armor and just wanting to die pointlessly without a fight.
It hurts. It always hurt. The designs that they made for you required the pain. Even the immortals had memento mori. You feel your skin peel off from the heat of the firestorm, feel the fat bubble and slide off of you, lose your breath as your lungs collapse, and your bones twist about as you're set flying like a broken toy.You also feel your buffers brace. You feel that existential horror as your existence is stripped away, backed up across six titanium tooth sized pellets across your body, held to alloyed bones by abstract, non linear carbon braces. You feel your eyes sheathe shut, spikes sent across the whole of a skull designed more as a car than a human face- your jaw and flesh disintegrating, but the most important parts holding. Not the jelly that might have once been a brain, but the combat mechanics, the sensor suite, the ECM, braced and saved by the strange mechanics of dead alien design.Your ragged, ruined flesh slips off of a machine of war that lands in a crouch, steaming and burning. A piece of bubbling incendiary that could melt compounded steel sticks to your cheek- you bat it off.You stand again. They can't see you through the smoke, steam, and fire. You're in agony. You can no longer hear out of your left ear. Your left eye's vision is dimming, no matter how many times you blink, it still won't focus. You've probably lost another month of life. Four VTOLs. Backing away to the horizon. You focus, tune in."-Say again, we can not recover him-""We get him? We get him?""-we need to bring SOMETHING back-""-swear to god, he'll pay for what he did-"You feel something slimy sprout out of your neck, wriggle and crack. New jaw. New lips. New skin. The Senate always wanted their finest monsters to look their best. Without their armor, a Companion could destroy an army. With it, a planet.>Stand. Wait for them to realize their mistake.>Approach. >Run. They think you're dead. You can start again.>Leap at them. You will not go gently.>Other.
>>27912334Approach.Slowly and deliberately.
>>27912334>ApproachUse our implants to broadcast at the Extols "You shouldn't have done that." as we walk forward purposefully. If the missile that deactivated itself is around, pick that up and toss it idly with one hand.
>>27912369Any of the seven*
>>27912369Agreed, lets see if a VTOL can play Catch.
You feel ridiculous walking forward naked. It's cold. The ground is hot beneath your feet. You're surrounded by expended munitions, missiles sticking out of the frozen ground like tomb stones. You grab one, as you walk forward- it's the length and width of your arm, but you snatch it like it were a twig. Your flesh is getting pudgy as you grow older, you're losing your hair. You're not sure why- did the designers intend this? Or was it a limitation of their creation? No Companion had died of old age. You would hate to be the first."You shouldn't have done that," You broadcast in to their radio, in seven languages. Immediately, all communications between them stop, except for a curt, 'Switch channel.'They immediately start shouting at one another on the next channel. You filter out the shouts of drawback, and cross blaming, and focus on the commander's words."He is not, I repeat not down, we need immediate orbital intervention here, coords going through tac screen.""That's illegal captain, and you know it-""I don't care! Somebody fucked up intel here! We are not having another Opis incident, to Hell with 'recovery'!"Orbital bombardment? Maybe that would do the trick, you idly wonder. Shame it has to be this close to the town though. Ten kilometers might be enough for most planetside engagements, but orbital munitions almost always had a great deal of collateral damage.It's a shame they couldn't kill you.Well that's in the past now. You walk out of the fire and smoke, missile bouncing in hand. The four VTOLs are backing away, uncertain. Extol. Young new republic. Claimed to be the proper heirs and protectors of democracy, to bring peace to these lands. Ruled by a gang of idealists, that made punishing the misdeeds of the old order one of their greatest priorities. You hope their actual military is better than their justice department.>Talk them down.>Chuck a missile at one of them.>Surrender.>Run, draw the orbital fire.>Other.
>>27912533>Talk them down.If they decline...>Chuck a missile at one of them.>Run, draw the orbital fire.
>>27912533Talk them down. They can't win, and an orbital bombardment near a civilian population like that is just going to cement their failure with shame.
>>27912549This, but run into town. We can't get far enough away fast enough for orbital munitions to not hit the town, so we might as well go back to grab our armor and avenge the inhabitants.
Well this escalated quickly.
>>27912533>Talk them downIf that doesn't work>Run to fetch armourFor the same reasoning as >>27912623
They were young and foolish. You admired the intent, and really, they were following the proper escalation. Still, you had grown attached to this town in your time here. You tune in, testing the heft of the missile. No fuel. You could throw it far enough. You'd have to hit an engine to down it- the warhead was dead. You supposed you could rearm it, but its fuel was inert. To make this work would require- you'll think about it later."Extol Justice Department," Your words are borne on electronic winds to their ears."Damn it, swit-""Don't bother. I'll keep following.""Turn off the radios soldiers, we'll-""What, use semaphore? Drop it. Young man, I heard what you said earlier. Belay that bombardment.""Why?" He sounds genuinely angry, "Why should I? After what you did, after everything- death is the least that you deserve.""The town doesn't deserve it," You eye the VTOLs. They were scattering, pilots taking the initiative to draw back. One stayed over the town. That would be where the captain was, you figured."How do we know? They didn't report you for years. Twenty years, you've been the last missing Companion. No one thought to ask anything in those twenty years? Did you intimidate them in to silence? Or did they just decide to be ignorant every time the wanted posters came through here?""I don't know. I've been lucky, I guess.""Well, your luck runs out. You'll finally pay for what you did. If it's not me, it'll be somebody else. You may wish it, but the galaxy won't forget the blood on your hands. My life means nothing, if I can see you get what's coming to you."You couldn't blame him. You'd thought the same thing his age. >"Fine. I surrender. Take me in.">"I'm dying you know. I've got maybe three months to live. What difference does three months make?">"What about your men? Do they feel the same way?">"I'll live. I'll live, and all Extol will have is the embarrassment of being just like the Senate was. Do you really want that?">Other.
the whole "im a old man half deaf man with three months to live kido. sure ill go quietly with you" lets see where this heads...maybe just sure ill go quetly with you.. i am curious. and i spose they did ask nicely before trying to cleave and smite
>>27912743>"I'll live. I'll live, and all Extol will have is the embarrassment of being just like the Senate was. Do you really want that?"
>>27912743>>27912782I'll second that. I've developed a distinct distaste for this cunty commander dude.
>>27912743>"What about your men? Do they feel the same way?"and>"I'll live. I'll live, and all Extol will have is the embarrassment of being just like the Senate was. Do you really want that?"with a bit of>"I'm dying you know. I've got maybe three months to live. What difference does three months make?"
"Don't be an idiot. You don't know if it'll kill me, and all you'll have is an ash pile where a colony used to be-""Don't you DARE hide behind them!" He's shouting now, furious, "Remember? Remember when the first of your kind fell, on Bardiya? 'Kill every man and woman between the ages of fourteen and sixty eight.' That was near four million people you slaughtered, not counting all those that starved that you left behind! Whose order was that? Who gave that order?"You don't answer immediately. You remember Bardiya. You shake your head."That was-""What's ten thousand compared to that?""Ten thousand living. Even if you do this, I'll live. I'll live, and all Extol will have is the embarrassment of being just like the Senate was. Do you really want that?"The VTOLs are buzzing away. Out of missile range. Slipping beyond the horizon. Except for the commander's, hovering over the town."I want justice. That's all."You're very tired. The headache in the side of your head is getting worse. They checked on you monthly, back in the days serving the Senate. You have a terrible sense of deja vu. One of your missions took over Opis- you bet Manzikert made his last stand there. Manzikert loved Opis. You were fighting Satrap Teredal. He had a fleet of ten thousand ships around that world. Lush, vast. Humongous cities, immaculately planned to handle waste and heat dispersal. A fool's errand. They were never populated. Manzikert loved demolishing that place. All those pretty sandstone spires, reduced to powder. You remember-You shake your head. You're definitely losing it. Guess those tune ups were important."The ends justify the means was a popular refrain in the old days too, young man.""Stop calling me that. I'm punching in your tag. You have half an hour. Get as far away from this colony as you can, if you truly care for them. Your human shield won't work."He cuts the line. The VTOL turns.>Throw missile.>Run.>Go for your armor.>Say goodbyes.>Other.
>>27912966Say audios, and go grab that sweet, sweet armor.
>>27912966>Say goodbyes.>Go for your armor.>Run.
>>27912966Armor, most definitely. I've already got a quipy one-liner for when we take down that captain's VTOL.
>>27910496A creative start. OP. Nicely done
SAY GOODBYE, GET GEAR TIME TO ADVENTURE (time). hobo in space, fight all the good battles.. we hate crime right? lets go fight crime.. inals
>>27912966>Take the armor.>Make a glorious final stand.
Back to the armor. Writing.
This is pretty good OP, keep going.
>a quest thread that's actually interesting for once
You drop the missile, run. The fires blaze behind you as you sprint, you cover good ground- and then the adrenaline starts to wear off, and all of a sudden, you're merely human again. Stumbling through the snow, you fall flat on your face. You force yourself to stand, gasping in agony. Your head, your head is splitting open. But you couldn't wait. You had to get to the armor.You had buried the thing. You didn't want to ever need it again. Or perhaps you just didn't want to be found. You run for the hill, in the forest of elms your house lay, that Hatfen's father made for you. He had done well- the air lock had been the biggest problem, but they salvaged an old ship to let you live there. It was the least they could do for you- you had saved him and his blushing bride's life after all. Quite on accident. You feel a stitch in your side, feel shriveled in the cold, and start limping at an old pain. It doesn't make sense, you think. In battle, you were the same as ever, acting on mechanics and steel and unnatural constructions. And yet, outside of it, you are still mortal. A fat, naked old man, gasping for air in an atmosphere unsuitable for human breathing, shivering in the cold. Some sick joke. 'Memento mori.' You stumble up the hill, the last of the adrenaline fading, your lungs screaming. The trail is iced over, and you curse yourself for your sloth. You should have salted it, but it never seemed much problem. But as you toes and fingers go numb, the greatest desire in the world you have is for their to be less ice. Your cabin. You slam in to the door, shivering, pound at the keypad. You feel like you're choking in the air, but know it isn't true. You know an ordinary person would have passed out by now. Some god awful organ was filtering it, processing it. Or maybe you had air stored for such an emergency? Or maybe you didn't need to breath, and were running off battery life? You missed not having to think about these things.
The door finally slides open. You spare a look to the corner of your eye. Sixteen minutes. Sixteen minutes? Seventeen now. Can't think. You pound against the far door, gasping for precious air to come flooding in. You realize how much you missed the battle. You felt young again.You shake your head, stumble through. Cold soup on the stove. A biography, more a confession half written on the desk. A collection of tags, from allies that fell in battle. Your father's pistol. The medals in the box. Your glasses, that Doctor Tabin kept telling you to wear. He hated seeing you squint all the time.You lean against a chair, panting. Laugh. How did nobody find you before? You'd gone so soft.You can tell already. You've got connection to the armor. Anusiya. You can feel it- it's just a machine. But it feels like a tiger pacing its cage, waiting for the word. Loathe as you are to admit, once more you are->-a Zhayedan, orbital fighter and shock trooper. To you fell the task to lead the charge, to do the impossible, to cross the gaps between ships in the blink of an eye and hollow them out with fusion arrays and plasma torches. Speed, strength, and resilience defined you, as you sought to get in as close as possible and hold the line.>-a Mangenik, heavy weapons, mobile artillery capable of destroying continents and laying cities to waste. Limited mobility, but compensated with long ranged firepower, capable of destroying cruisers and cities in a single volley. >-a Charkh, reconnaissance and terror missions, highly mobile, stealth armor typically deployed for missions requiring a subtle touch, or to make examples of the enemies of the Senate. 'Light' weapons, meaning it is not designed to take down starships with equipment. One wearing this can go invisible and operate indefinitely without need of support or rest.>-a Daena. Designed to strike at the human mind directly through hacking and psychological overrides. The most despised and feared of the Companions.
>>27913304Charkh, get Big Boss up on their asses.
-a Zhayedanomg soo much that
>>27913304I'll vote Daena, might be cool.
Hard choice between it and Zhayedan, but I'm gonna vote for Charkh.
>>27913304>Details on these are vague, so lemme just give a quick tl;dr summary.>Zhayeden are meant to be quick and hard generalists focused on mobility. Can actually go off planet and zip around in space if necessary.>Mangenik carry the most firepower. An artillery brigade in a suit. Weapons are very power hungry though, and as of such don't have any extra normal speed like the others. They're still as fast as a tank going top speed, but they can't fly or jump around like some kind of inhuman flea. They can however, shoot down a capital ship in orbit from the ground.>Charkh are stealthy and quiet, but more importantly maintain themselves. You don't need to worry about resting with a Charkh. They might not have the speed of Zhayeden, the power of Mangenik, or the weird shit of Daena, but they are rugged and quiet. You could live in this suit.>Daena. Daena are bad news. They're designed to hit people in vectors they're not used to- with electronic warfare, nanite swarms, even fucking with their minds directly through audio or visual. Typically a more patient game with them, deploying outside of visual range, and causing terrible things to happen. They don't act as quick ass the Mangenik, but they can be just as lethal, if given time, and they can be hard to pinpoint. They are despised for a reason.>Few ground rules.>Armor (Ignoring the Charkh) will need time offline to recover. You can't operate them 24/7, especially in moments of extreme action. This doesn't mean you have to get out of them- you can wear them and walk around. But you'll be a typical human otherwise in the armor. If they get damaged (Again, ignoring the Charkh) they will have to be repaired. With some exceptions, all weapons draw off of the Armor, so you don't have to worry about ammo, just letting the armor cool down and keeping it maintained. >Anyway, I'll give it another ten minutes, see if this info dump changes anyone's minds.
>>27913378it did,>>27913348is me and I change to Daenaalso it's time for bed, hope daena wins when I get up
>>27913358>>27913378My vote remains for Charkh, although Mangenik is tempting now. Still, let's MGS this shit.
Zhayeden. Let's get up to space and tear that ship down.
>>27913378Well, I think I can speak for everyone when I say no to the Mangenik. I'll swap to voting for the Zhayeden. I am>>27913347
you know what any of those is pritty cool
>>27913378Charkh, ain't nuthin' like slitting throats and breaking limbs.
>>27913378As an old man, we should probably take the suit that's self-sufficient. We're probably not too great at stuff outside of it. Thus, Charkh.
>>27913453But I want to be Char.
>>27913453Yeah, that's a good point.
If we go Charkh, how the FUCK do we get off world or stop the orbital bombardment?Zhayeden.
>>27913466We can just hijack a spesship or something for that.
>>27913502How did these guys plan on getting offworld?We just hitch a ride on that. Then kill everyone onboard. Then take our new ship and become an intergalactic murderhobo.
>>27913502Space ships gotta come here some time, right?
JUST GIMMIE THE SUIT......Zhar or Char.but seriously op. we will argue on this line for hours
I vote Charkh.
Charkh. The knife in the dark. The saboteur. The unseen death. Not every war was finished with a great charge, glorious artillery, or nightmarish atrocity. Some wars began and ended with a quick slash in the dark. You and your kind waged the quiet war, the necessary war. Let the others take the glory. While they're looking at them, you can get good angle to eliminate them. You had to learn to adapt in the Companions in this role. How you learned your handiwork.The connection is made. Your Anusiya waits for the word. Eighteen minutes passed. Twelve minutes left. The Charkh could ditch the signal, if you got hooked in- but that Senatorial tag would still be stuck on you. That captain held a grudge that wouldn't fade easy.You give the word. It's quiet, but you can feel the satisfaction in the feedback from the machine. It pulls aside the floor boards, creeps up, head swinging left and right like a living person, crouched low, that blunt, opaque brick of a head stretching this way and that, like it was hunting.It's shining. How unlike it. Like it was on dress parade- the bright purple shoulders, identifying it as the first of the Companions, the rest shining silver. Immaculate armor. It always looked ugly to you. All hard curves, a boxy head, the unnatural eye watering shimmer of its protective field. The thing turns to you. Catches sight of you, and stands tall, only slightly taller than you. Not impressive armor- if you ignored the black and threatening muzzles of the weapons hanging off of it, the plasma emitters on the back of the wrist sparking, the black box in the belly ready to assemble the rail rifle.It was a dishonorable thing. It leaked it in its very posture, hunched over, waiting.It splits open, waiting for you to enter.You stride inside, and it's like coming home all over again. You feel alive again, for the first time in a long time.>Evacuate the town.>Hide. Orbital bombardment will hurt.>Pursue VTOLs.>Run.>Other.
>>27913726Great, I feel this was the best possible choice. >Pursue VTOLs.Solve the problem at its source.
>>27913726Run away from the town like we were going to do.
>>27913726Run if we can clear the town of the bombardment radius. Once we are clear, cloak.Otherwise evacuate the town and run in the opposite direction to at least get the people clear.
>Current Status>Fully Operational. >Armor 100%. >Shield 100%. >Current Objective:>None. >Current Armaments:>Marduk Class Anti Armor Rifle: Awaiting Assembly.>Plasma Emitters: Ready.>KM Magnet Grapple Line: Ready.>Anti per-You dismiss the constant notifications in irritation. You know what you have- you could take down the VTOLs easily enough- Hell, you could hop on board with the magnet grapple. It's all coming back to you now. You flex your fingers, and steel and alloy immediately respond at the speed of thought. It's your skin. At a thought, the dress uniform look is gone, reactive camouflage active, bending and adapting to your environment.You can reach speed enough to catch up to the VTOLs. They probably are returning to formation, and doubtlessly are trying to return to the ship.To think you had wanted to die earlier. To think you were tired. What a joke. Why had you denied this earlier? You step forward to the airlock, reaching out and pulling the screaming steel aside like it were the page of a book. You're a Companion, invested by the empire with powers to rival gods- Yeah. The armor was kicking in alright. You get a grip. You're an old man hiding from his past. You wanted to die when those missiles hit, didn't you? >Contact south, 67km. Speed 158km/h, bearing SSW.Didn't matter. Think later.You slam the door shut behind you, step back in to the snow. Your armor settles on a dirty white. You sprint after it, and you're no longer a pitiful, heaving, gasping wreck. You bound across the frozen snow, moving fast. If it goes directly away, picks up speed, you couldn't gain on it- you're no Zhayeden.Nine minutes until the deadline. You push as hard as you can. You're about twenty kilometers away from town when you get it in grapple range. Town's still in trouble if you stay here.>Run further. Town comes first.>Hit the thing with a grapple, board it.>Shoot it out of the air. Catch their attention.>Other.
>>27913925Boarding action, go go go!
>>27913925Why board it? Can we use it to help propel us further away? We are already going really quick as is
>>27913925>Hit the thing with a grapple, board it.Board it in the most subtle way possible, ride the bitch as far as we can.
>>27913967Definitely.>>27913979You're Charkh. Of course you can do it quiet.Writing.
You leap off a rock, get the VTOL in your sight. Long shot. Very long shot. You're quick, but not as quick as the VTOL. Time to use that to your advantage.There's a noise that sounds very slightly like the pop of a wine bottle, then the disc goes flying. If one had the proper goggles, one could see the slight sizzle and distortion of the fine focused potential field between you and the fist sized disc, going just under the speed of sound, homing in on the VTOL. It attaches, lights flicker, and then you're yanked from the snow, sailing after the VTOL. You pick up the radio chatter as you come after it. "Sky eye, you find that tag again? Is it moving?"A few seconds delay."Breaker two, uh, I think it might be heading to your area- it's started getting fuzzy.""Fuzzy?"Another delay."Yeah, yeah- you're still in the blast radius. Pick up speed and get out of there, breaker two. You don't have much longer here.""We're still in the area? What are you dropping, sky eye?"Delay."Well. Let's be frank here, after Opis, we're dropping everything. If he can take a full barrage of WP breaker two, we're not taking any risks.""Roger sky eye, you got a plan to get us fuel after we run out?"He doesn't wait for the response. Hanging off of the bottom of the VTOL, you note it's picking up speed. You hear a disgusted sigh from the pilot, and the noise of a radio slammed down."And now we got radio silence! These pricks.""It IS a Companion.""Yeah yeah yeah. Captain Killcrazy hates them.""You don't know if he's listening.""I don't know if the Companion is listening either! For fuck's sake, he looked like an old man, and then-""Chill, chill. Orbital bombardment will take care of him.""IF we get out of the area. There's not even any coordination here. Do we know where the others are?""No clue. Just ride until we see sunset behind us.""Roger that."
By your AI's estimates, you're hitting 312km/h. You spare a glance back at the town. Six minutes. You'll be out of range by then. You hunker against the hull, bring your armor's cloak up. You're invisible in every spectrum."Uh, breaker 2? This is sky eye. Charlie is keeping pace with you."Radio silence breaks."Sky eye, are you fucking shitting me?""Not in the least.""We're not picking up a single thing over here! There's nothing on IR!""Yeah, Senate tag disagrees, breaker two.""Wait, wait, wait, you're going to-""Calm down breaker two.""You're going to fucking nuke us, and you're telling us to stay calm?" "Breaker two, I need you to inspect the craft, tell me your weight, did you notice any turbulence?""I'm fucking pushing this thing to its top speed, of course things are turbulent! And weight? What are you talking about weight?""Breaker 2-""Oh fuck you guys, cancel the order, your system's fucked up.""No, it didn't. We got his profile. Charkh. He probably went for his armor. If you had put him down outside of his armor like you were supposed to-""Don't fucking blame me! He's not fucking human!" Not everyone shared the captain's passion for the missionFive minutes until the orbital bombardment drops. Four minutes at this rate until the town's out of the blast radius. There might be fallout though, depending on the munitions 'Sky Eye' might use.>Hack the VTOL. Push it as far and as fast as it can go. >Hijack the VTOL directly. Don't have to deal with struggling pilots that way.>Stay quiet. Listen.>Other.
>>27914154>hack the VTOL. Push it as far and as fast as it can go.PUSH IT TO THE LIMITWALK ALONG THE RAZOR'S EDGE,DON'T LOOK DOWN YOU'LL END UP DEAD
>>27914154>>Hack the VTOL. Push it as far and as fast as it can go.
You work your way down to the nose, as the VTOL starts turning- your magnetic tether holds, and you're not whipped off by the G-forces."Where are you going?""I'm going to find Captain Donnel. I'm not dying alone.""We have no idea where he is!""Breaker two, you took an oath," Sky eye's talking over the radio again, "Don't go back on it. You swore to serve Extol, even at the cost of your life.""To Hell with you! I'm a cop!"You stop just behind the nose mounted auto cannon. You take a quick swipe with your cutter, just enough to make a hole. You put your hand to it, activate your cables mounted on the wrist. They work in like worms, creeping in, trying to find a port to subvert. Working backwards from the weapons system was going to be roundabout to say the least, but this way you could keep it subtle."The man is a mass murderer. He's been in hiding, but we have to face facts. He's been set off again. What do you think he'll do?""I do care about him!""You should. He'll come hunting back for the rest of us, Extol can't afford this, not when General Horace is on our borders.""Then why send us here in the first place? Let sleeping dogs lie!""That's above your pay grade."There was a link. Autopilot would react to autocannon fire, compensate. You tweak it, make it a bit more flexible"You're disobeying direct orders.""I'm not suicid- wait, the VTOL's accelerating, changing course.""It's not responding. He hijacked us!" "Bail out, bail out!"A staccato of bangs, and then the VTOL shakes as pilot and gunner go rocketing out, chutes activating around crash pods-Hm. They should have disabled the autopilot. Rookies. At least there's no interference now The VTOL's accelerating, starting to shake- that open canopy is making it a lot more unstable. Three minutes until bombardment.>Finish the pilot and gunner. They would have done the same to you.>Afterburners. You have to move!>Keep flying, but do everything you can to keep the VTOL from crashing.>Other.
If we stay where we are, Cap'n Crunch will nuke the VTOL. And we'll be dead.If we hijack the VTOL, that'll confirm that we're on it. AND give the Captain more reason to just nuke it. We're dead.If we hack it, the Captain will have to put up with the guys inside going "DON'T KILL US". Sapping his will. We'll also be going faster, and in a direction of our choosing.>Hack
>>27914404Keep flying, but fast fast fast.Useless killing the pilots, they're going to be within the blast radius anyhow.Get some altitude if the orbital bombardment is a kinetic slug hitting the ground or something similar. If it's an air-burst, well eh.
>>27914404>>Afterburners. You have to move!and maybe get us some altitude, that way we can recover if things go pear shaped
>>27914425>>27914424Afterburners and altitude...It's 5:43AM. Bleh. I'm sleepy. I think I'll call it a night here. To be picked up later.
>>27914485looking forward to it, you planning this on being a one shot or continuing a while? if so,when do you think you'll run it next?
>>27914499Eh, I'm thinking it's a one shot. If the thread's dead when I get back though, I'll make a new thread to round this out. It's a fairly quick plot as it is. As much as I'm fond of my shitty space opera I have in my head, I don't think it's robust enough for a long quest- I suck at technobabble too much to be able to keep it going. All you need to know is-You're a Companion, which was the elite guard of the last regime and kind of a big deal.Your character might be a war criminal.The galaxy is in strife.Anyway- things to be resolved next thread probably.
>>27914550cool, see you then
>>27914550looks like you are also a super human known as a companion.willing to bomb an entire planet just to kill you.I say we try to avoid civillion cassualties at ALL cost. and first things first, find out why they are still chasing old relics. and PERMANENTLY stop any shit or corruption before our long due time just a few months from now.As far as I knew we've killed and seen death for much to long and grown to old to drag things one.Let's make a definite change in the current status quo of the galaxy to stop having it in such a shit condition.
>>27914550Awesome quest OP. Hope to see you in your next thread.
>>27914764this is Epic
>>27912326What a shame.But really.
>>27914485you still going to continue this shit or will we see you 1 month form now when we've all forgotten about it.
Rolled 99>>27917964Friendly bump for glorious OP
>>27914763White Knight detectedCaptcha: nstigram youGo back to instagram, you.
>>27914550Don't let being bad at technobabble stop you. It certainly didn't stop the writers of Mass Effect. If your setting is good (and so far your setting is really, really good) then people will gloss over it.Also, I need some ideas for a SciFi setting and you're putting good ones out so I want more.By the way, your writing style is extremely good and easy to read.
>be old man>cool stealth suit>use our charisma and shit to get bitches>we be sam fisherI'll be following this quest.
>>27914764Yeah same here, loving the backstory and your writing style OP.
Hm. I don't think I'll be able to continue tonight. I might have caught a ban.
>>27921871I may not be an expert, but it doesn't look like that he's banned. Is there something I am missing?
>>27922336You're not wrong. I was posting anonymously. I don't use tripcodes outside of the thread where it's relevant. I got a few of my posts deleted and a mute which is usually the precursor to a ban. But it hasn't dropped yet. So, maybe it's a false alarm. Anyway, I'll be able to devote my full attention back in three hours. Sorry for the delay. Thanks for keeping up the thread at any rate.
>>27922446No problem, thanks for sharing your innovative, creative, richly detailed world with us.
>>27922593...I can't tell if you're being genuine or not when you use that many adjectives. And really, it's not that detailed. Or innovative. Or creative.
>>27922593>richly detailedBut we know hardly anything about it.OP, infodump when?
>>27922650Nobody likes a debby downer. it's not up to you to decide if it's good o not the anonymous horde of people decide if it is so.And also the loud minority, and as such shut fuck up and accept that it is indeed fucking detailed and the like you little bitch.So is this narrative going to go on or you gonna back out.
>>27922659Yeah, I'd love to hear more about the past regime we worked for. What happened to the Emperor? Why did we flee cowardly instead of standing with the rest of the Companions?
So is this still a one shot or will it turn into a series? Because I think either would be good.
>>27922650It's sincere. It doesn't seem to be that detailed yet, but I was under the impression that was because we'd only gotten a glimpse of a backwater world with a low-priority law-enforcement task force after us...and that the greater world was quite interesting (been a long time since I've heard of a cyborg with a tracking implant in them that they couldn't get out).Your handling of the Companions has been quite creative. Most people don't have the balls (and skill) to write man-sized entities/characters with the power to level cities or take down capital ships, but you did and you've handled it well enough that no one has yet shouted "Ur soo Mury=Sewwww!" And you know how popular it is to call things Mary-Sue here.As for creativity, you've got a fallen empire that could apparently create demigod-soldiers, a new regime that based its influence on hunting down remnants of that fallen empire (although they don't seem to be as competent as those demigod-soldiers)...and who knows what else?In sum, 10/10 would like to see more.
You don't have time to worry about the integrity of the VTOL. You push it as fast as it can go. Even if it isn't a Zhayeden, it can still go faster than you running on foot. The thing rattles and bucks, an unaerodynamic brick breaking 400km/h, going dead away from the settlement. Three minutes left. You can only hope it's enough time. Extol tried to have a reputation as a moral successor to the old empire. You hope that they listened to their own propaganda. You pull up the VTOL, and it breaks the cloud cover. You might be having problems with your eye right now, but your armor's sensor suite is still operating just as well as it used to. You focus on a few false stars glimmering above your position. The suite pings the object, helpfully informs you an old Dromon Class ship, dubbed 'Geryon' by the Senatorial records (Whatever its name might have been now was considered beneath your armor's notice) was 340 kilometers out, maintaining orbit. A Dromon barely qualified as a destroyer. Not too intimidating, were it not for your armor helpfully pointing out that it detected the presence of proscribed category 3 weapons. No antimatter at least. It demanded permission for a sensor drone to deploy to better assess the threat level.They were hardly equipped for bombardment, unless Extol drastically modified the rig. Mostly cutting beams, as you recalled, meant to counter the old Hyskos drone and pod swarms. Designed to be quick, and never far from the Teispes that they protected. A minute left. The armor informs you that the enemy's weapons are charging up. You're far enough away now that, so long as they don't nuke you, the town will be fine. You're a different story. The VTOL starts to sputter. Too high for it. >Just maintain the course. What else is there to do?>Evasive action. There's three other VTOLs out there. >Open communications channels. Can you think of anything to say?>Other.
>>27925387>Evasive action. There's three other VTOLs out there. Lets try to evade the nuking and reach the other VTOLs.
>>27925387>>27925387>Evasive action. There's three other VTOLs out there.
>>27925387>>Evasive action. There's three other VTOLs out there.
>>27925387>Evasive action.Come down on our altitude a bit so we can juke and such better. What's the recharge time on their weapons that can reach us at this range?>Open Comm. channels"Well, who's the one who cares enough about morality to try and save the colony here?"
Thirty seconds left.There's not much that you can do to 'evade' orbital bombardment. Your greatest hope is to not be noticed, or to be somewhere protected enough that you don't get hurt. But you do know of a mountain range that should be close. Some cover is better than none.A flick of the mental wrist, and your hijacked VTOL goes spinning in free fall, the engines cut out. It tumbles hard, and in your sight ground, and cloud replace each other in an epileptic frenzy as it spins out of control. You stand, letting your shoes keep up the magnetic hold as you look about. Mount Cartorus. Largest formation on this rock of a planet. Just two kilometers away. You give the mental order, and the VTOL screams towards it, shaking itself to pieces. You'll have to run from here on out.Twenty seconds, the right engine pops half off, a substandard rivet disintegrating and shaking out. Your hijacked craft starts spinning again as the red hot turbine judders and shakes. Just as you go for it, you feel a terrible groan beneath your feet, and note your earlier incision has widened. Extol had lax standards. Fifteen seconds, the right engine tears itself free, flies off in to the distance. A ravine splits underneath your feet, and some cables fly free, frantically banging on the VTOL. This will hurt. Five seconds, a false dawn appears behind you as your ruined VTOL slams in to the summit of Cartorus, sending it and you flying end over end. You remove your cables from the VTOL, and push back in to the snow and rock, hugging it close.Just as the deadline is up, your armor heaves your the broken bag of flesh and shards of bone that was your body up and over the edge and dives down to the base of the mountain. Behind you, fire rains from the sky. The blast wave hits you even behind the mountain, and Cartorus cracks and shakes. Your armor helpfully informs you as you're hurtling down the edge of the cliff that this will hurt.
It feels like an eternity every time you feel yourself 'die'. Except of course, you don't actually die. Just, that previous consciousness that was held in the brain helpfully regrown by your implants expired, and a back up from one of the studs across your skeleton is dredged up to be imprinted on it.Eternity ends. You blink behind your helmet. Your visor filters the snow covering it. The AI chides you- six seconds asleep.It advises not leaving the suit for at least three hours. It has detected an abnormality within you that it can not correct. You try to move your fingers, but fire lances back up your arm. Memento mori. You rely on your armor instead. Your armor's arms get legs and arms beneath you, staggering upright. Your visor automatically adjusts for the sun, and that surprises you. You turn, look at Mount Cartorus Where there was once a peak, proud and upright, now there's a gaping hole, a pile of rubble- you weren't being buried in snow. It was ash. Molten rock dribbles from the mountain like an open wound, and you can see the fork where the Dromon's weapons cut through it. Maybe if you held still, that would have killed you. You feel your metatarsals snapping back into place, and hunch over in pain. "-Tag's still active, I repeat, tag's still active."Your armor has been busy. Tapped in to a broadband transmission."I told you to throw everything.""We damn near did. We'll have to stay in orbit a month to reco-""Shut up. Okay. We're going back to the starport, and pulling out. We'll have to come back here-""What, you're just going to leave him here?"There's silence on the line."Radio silence. We talk in person. Meet at rendezvous."It clicks off. Your armor goes through the transmissions, but aside from Henry's Radio Hour, nothing else. >Deploy sensor drones. Find the VTOLs. Will have to stay put for a moment.>Run for the star port, now.>Go on the defensive. Prepare a killing zone for when they inevitably come after you again.>Other.
>>27926229>>Deploy sensor drones. Find the VTOLs. Will have to stay put for a moment.
Rolled 50>>27926229>>Run for the star port, now.
>>27926229>>Run for the star port, now.
>>27926229>Deploy the sensor drones. Find the VTOLS.We could hack/hijack a freighter at our local starport, or we could sell a VTOL (or 3) and get some cash to pay for an operation to get the cancer removed and/or our Senate tag removed THEN hack/hijack a freighter from our friendly local starport.
Drones away. Writing.
You start up the crumbling mountain, splashing through rubble, melted snow, mud, and melted rock. You give the go ahead for your armor to deploy the drones. Five, beetle sized pieces of your armor detach, and buzz away. They're slow, but they're thorough and won't be noticed. Your hud comes up with five real time feeds of what they see.You ascend to the broken peak, and wait. You do note one drone buzzing with interest around a pilot, walking through the wastes, hacking around his emergency mask. The gunner is behind him, laying very still in a chute being dragged along. He's far from any shelter, and his clothes aren't nearly adequate enough for the winter. They aren't your concern at the moment. You leave one drone to orbit those two, and the other four maintain their search.It takes an hour looking through four sets of electronic eyes, but one of the drones notices a VTOL. It's landed about two kilometers outside of the star port. All three VTOLs are there, along with what seems to be a shuttle. Sixteen men huddled in a rough circle, their crisp uniforms, fancy gasmasks and shining badges not helping the cold. You see a man in a peaked officer's cap, a red, angry scar at his temple, and a long coat in the center, yelling with agitation. Your drone comes close, trying to pick up audio but halts, pinging up a warning. EM field? Captain was prepared.In theory, your drone could survive it- it was shielded. But you play it safe, leave the drone floating. You can't read their lips behind the masks, and the drones didn't have laser mics, so you could only watch, and try to clue in on the context.Tired looking enlisted. A raging officer. He goes to the shuttle, starts passing out weapons. Incendiaries. Anti personnel.They're going for the star port. >Lucky you. They'll be distracted, it'll let you steal the shuttle.>You can't let your unwitting hosts get hurt.>That'll distract them, give you more time to prepare for when they come at you.>Other.
>>27926887>>You can't let your unwitting hosts get hurt.
Rolled 18>>27926887>You can't let your unwitting hosts get hurt.
>>27926887>>You can't let your unwitting hosts get hurt.They are innocent.
>>27926933>>27926939>>27926943Indeed. Leave a drone near them and try to go to the pilot+gunner combo, and send a distress signal from them to try and draw off the forces from the starport. If we have to kill those two, so be it but we'd rather not.
Protect the innocent! Writing.
Whatever we did in the past, it doesn't justify them killing innocent. That doesn't mean that we won't do everything in our power to destroy anyone that goes after us.They should know better than to awaken the sleeping dog.Actually, that brings up an interesting theory. Extol may be experiencing a lot of social instability and may need to capture us to display their power and reassure their people.
>>27927199>Capture>Orbital bombardmentOne of their main issues, apparently, was holding those responsible for atrocities under the Old Empire...responsible. I think it's mostly just legitimizing that platform (and also eliminating extremely dangerous potential origin points for sedition).
This is a pain in the ass. You leap down off off the peak, hitting the valley floor. You get your other drones on the unit as a few final arguments between the captain and his men get resolved. The captain and soldiers approach the star port, gunners and pilots clamber back in their VTOLs to provide cover. You need to get all drones on all elements of this unit- a few men with military equipment could easily cow the town, especially after they saw an orbital bombardment just go down.You grab all the drones, send them speeding to coordinate outside of the town- then stop. The pilot and gunner. You sprint for them. You hear him before you reach him, yammering to his comrade around his respirator."You're going to be fine, Jason, just fine, don't you worry about a fucking thing, you just need to hold on okay, just a few burns, that's all, you stay with me here, alright? They wouldn't leave us out here, COULDN'T leave us out here, I owe Alex a thousand, he wouldn't leave me to die without rubbing it in and making me pay interest-"You leap, propelled by synthetic muscle to land in front of him. The dampeners and active camo do the trick- he doesn't notice the slight puff of snow. He continues to mumble in a frenzy as he drags along the gunner with him. He doesn't notice you walk to his friend's side. The man is at the edge of death. Half of his face looks like a charcoal bricquet, curled blackened skin cracked with weeping red blood. The respirator in his teeth is halfway out. Keeping pace with the pilot dragging him along, you push it in by reflex, paste it at the edge with some memory adhesive dispensed from your fingers, before going down, grabbing the distress transponder hanging off of his chest. You turn it. Smashed practically in two. Useless. >Cannibalize some parts from your own suit to repair it and get it working again.>Uncloak. Interrogate these two. Try to find anything that can help.>Take them hostage. Broadcast this fact.>Your move.
>>27927199It makes sense. From what I getting from the story the companions where the equivalent of the "bogey man". The V's were the vanguard and feared no enemy and chased them with a vengeance through land or space. The Artie's capable of leveling entire cities to dust and if a ship was ever unlucky to get close to a planet they would be destroyed before even coming planet side.Us we are the embodiment of shadow. Capable of cutting any enemy down with surgical precision.And finally those mind fucker guys. They are basically nightmare fuel that even their own brothers feared them. I wouldn't be surprised if just one of these guys was capable of making an entire crew of a destroyer class vessel commit suicide to escape from the "nightmares"
>>27927294>>Uncloak. Interrogate these two. Try to find anything that can help.
>>27927294Interrogation is useless because they are lackeys, and if we take them hostage the commander will most likely attempt to shoot his own men to try and kill us. So.... >Cannibalize some parts from your own suit to repair it and get it working again.
Rolled 10>>27927294>>Uncloak. Interrogate these two. Try to find anything that can help.
>>27927235If we wanted to do anything, we would have done so a while ago. They already got six out of the seven companions.That small fleet they sent against us seem really baddly prepared for dealing with us. That would be a sign of bad organisation or desperation.>>27927315Now I want a quest set in the prime time for these guys. A soldier empowered with ancient alien technology wielding the power of a demigod.>>27927294>>Uncloak. Interrogate these two. Try to find anything that can help.
>Sorry about that delay- I've gotta get going for about thirty minutes. Will be back soon. Confident I can wrap things up tonight.
>>27927581bump for justice then
>>27927581But it's not night Hero. It's 6 o'clock in the morning. I haven't slept and it's partially your fault.
>>27927625Blaming others for your decisions? You don't deserve to sleep the sleep of the just.
>>27927625Shit man. Go to sleep. You can find this thread on foolz. Thank you for the sponsorship though.Anyway, interrogating. Writing.
You drop the radio. It clacks on the snow, and immediately, the pilot turns around, a pistol in his hand. You drop the cloak. He empties the magazine in to you. Good spirit. Good aim too, he'd spent his time on the range. The bullets shatter on your armor, go spinning off in fragments, red hot. You turn slightly, make sure none of the ricochets hit him or his gunner. Click. Click. Click. He empties the magazine, goes patting down his pockets- in his alarm, the respirator falls from his lips, and he starts coughing. You walk to him as he scrambles back, still holding on to the lines of the parachute his gunner was held by. Leaving no man behind, while admirable, was hardly the right thing to do in this situation."Good shots," He crawls a way, cold numbed fingers fishing another magazine out of his pocket. You bend down, grab the respirator and throw it to him, "But you should probably save your ammo."He curses you out again, snatches his respirator up, and breathes deep through the filtration. Taking advantage of his unaching lungs, he advises you to go fuck yourself, and raises his pistol to fire again.You're too close to guarantee no damage to him or his friend, so you dash forward- a bullet goes glancing off the side of your helmet before you've got the pistol in your grip, bending it out of his fingers. You hear some snap, and he screams letting go of it, his index finger twisting the wrong way. You crush the service pistol in your fist, and throw it over your shoulder.Young people. "Enough," You probably sound ominous. You dismiss the armor's tracking of his sweat, pupil dilation, nervous ticks. You don't need the feedback to know the man was scared. What was he? Twenty? "I have questions.""Fuck you! I'm glad you're gonna die here," He continues to scoot back, continues to hold on to his friend's parachute, "Just shoot me now, I swore an oath!"That's not what he was saying in the cockpit earlier.>Appease.>Forthright.>Threaten.>Other
>>27928246>Forthright.I'm 67 and dieing of cancer, I don't have time for this bullshit.
>>27928246>>Forthright.Get off my planet
To the point. Writing.
>Captive Found.>Tag Access Secured.>Name: Philon 'Phil' Zosimos. >Native Rank: 'Sergeant 2nd Class'>Proper Equivalent: Magistrate's Servant>Allegiance: 'Extol Republic'. Unrecognized Authority. Secessionist.>Recommended Course of Action Based on Scenario:>Black: Execution>Gray: Execution>Red: Cripple, Mark for Execution>Blue: Cripple for Magistrate Judgement>Orange: Blinding>White: Detainment>Current Scenario Assessment: Gray.>Attempting to Contact Leadership Elements for Permission...>Attempting to Contact Leadership Elements for Permission...Your armor butts in again. You do your best to ignore the insistent pleas for execution. "Sergeant Zosimos, am I right?" He looks up at you, astonished around the rebreather."How-""Let's cut to the chase. He's dying," You point at his friend on the parachute, "And will not live without medical attention. Right now, your Captain Donnel is talking about burning down the only element of civilization on the planet- barring you being lucky and found here in the frozen north by one of our fair weather vacationers. I can help you, but only if you help me.""You think I'm stupid?" He continues to crawl away, necessitating you to walk after him, "I know your kind. I know what you think of 'traitors.' You're going to kill us either way. I'm not going to give you the satisfaction-" He shuts up when your faceless visor leans in hard."What I WOULD be doing right now if I wanted you to talk quickly is peeling your friend like a scab in front of your eyes until you talked. Or running a cable through your eye in to your head, and making you jump like a puppet. I am being polite. But I only have three months to live, so these moments are increasingly precious to me," You lean back, "Not that I'm going to be torturing you. If you don't talk, I'm leaving. You have all of my sympathy, but there's more lives than yours on the line."Sergeant Zosimos looks askance. "Well? Do you want me to start counting?"
He looks down at your reminder, shakes his head."Fine. What do you want to know?""What did you come at me with?""We've got two hundred personnel, fifty of which are ground pounders. We had an old, uh, neutron hoozit- they were going to clap you in that. Four VTOLs, you already met those. And, uh, the 'Over There,' which is in orbit.""'Over There'?""It, well, we're kind of third string guys here.""Why? I'm a Companion," You're not exactly offended, but it baffles you, "Why not bring a proper military? Hit me when I least expected it instead of...All this?""Well, two things. First, Captain Donnel just dug up your tag through a FIA inquest, and wanted permission to go. No big surprise, but Extol is kind of busy, and kind of four gates away from being anywhere near your ass. No one wanted to poke the sleeping bear.""Second?""Second- well, the tag pointed out something. That you were dying," Zosimos shrugs at that in the snow, looks away, "So, why bother hunting you out?""But Donnel did.""Yeah," Zosimos wipes his nose. He looks a little concerned about this next part, but plunges on, "A lotta people hate you, chief. Donnel included. He was a kid on Bardiya, y'know. There was a bit of an uproar when that happened. President said they 'lost track of you,'" Sergeant Zosimos looks up at you, and you can see a little glint of that hate in his eyes, "But, we're up to our eyes in problems, dealing with trying to put down Moff's band, and the Hardels'. Maybe if you weren't dying, things could wait- but you're not. You can get it, can't you? You can get why no one wants that. Nobody that's responsible for that much hurt, that much suffering should be able to walk away, and die easy of old age." The captain had been at Bardiya. It made a bit more sense now. You're about twenty minutes away, full sprint from the town.Do you need to know anything else?>Kill them and go.>Go.>Go, drag him and his friend along. You will be slowed down.>Other.
>>27928963>>Go, drag him and his friend along. You will be slowed down.
>>27928963>Go, drag him and his friend along. You will be slowed down.Time is of the essence here, but we told him that we were going to help him.
>>27928963Fix their beacon, then>go.
>>27928963hmm... would only taking his friend slow us down as much? maybe let someone at town know he's out there when we get there?
>>27928963Time's already up for us. The best we can do - is the best we can manage. Bring them.
>>27929096>>27929063Well, could we use our radio to broadcast their location before going back into stealth?
>>27928963>>Go.they're lives ain't worth the town they came here to burn
Playing hero. Dragging them both along.
>>27929171We were always a hero. They decided that we weren't one anymore.
>>27928963>Go, drag him and his friend along.One good turn for another.
>>27929063Second this. We don't have time to save them, but other people do and will if we fix the beacon.
>>27929183Do we still think like that? We're we the dutiful soldier, bringing order to a chaotic galaxy by upholding the Emperor's will? Or the faces begin to haunt us?Maybe that is why we left and hid instead of dying during the last stand with our compatriots. No, we're no hero. Just an old man trying to forget his past, unfortunately it seems life has other plans.
"That's all?""Yeah," Sergeant Zosimos shivers, wrapping his hands around himself, "Congratulations. Not really an epic final stand, is it? Just a man who can't let his trauma lay in the past, and a bunch of idiots who followed him."You've heard enough. You glance at the town, take a look at the drone feeds- the VTOLs were orbiting the town, but Captain Donnel and his men were laying in wait outside of it. You send a drone to do a quick skim through with IR- nobody on the streets. Good. You tune in to Henry's Radio Hour, and offer a hand to the sergeant."You'll freeze out here. Come on."The armor was never really designed for passengers. But, you stop suppressing the heat from your Adar generator, start it venting over yourself. You set your arms to keep steady, countering every bump from your jog, and get moving. You must look a little ridiculous, an injured man in your arms, and another sitting on your shoulders, hanging on to your head with cannibalized parachute straps. You won't get tired though, unlike them. And the heat dispersal would keep them warm. At this rate, it'll take forty minutes to get there- your top speed is halved. Not really due to weight, but more out of consideration for a normal human's physiology. As it is, you feel frustrated going so slowly. The four drones orbiting the town show the same sleepy hamlet you're used to, ignoring the VTOLs in a lazy orbit around the town. They had to be bored. What were they waiting for? Watching Captain Donnel's face didn't help much either. Him and his men were waiting at the edge of town, waiting in a cluster at the edge of the street, just watching. He was at Bardiya? He had that certain bent to the brows that the Bardiyans had- or were you imagining that? He was watching the town like a hawk. Waiting for something, behind those hard eyes. Maybe he had a conversation going on underneath via cyberware?
>>27929230The defeatists are back!>>27929063This if possible, and drag only his friend back.If we can't fix their beacon, drag them both along. Drop them off sufficiently outside of town that they won't be able to influence the battle though.
Then he nods, says something, and the six move in to the streets. He raises a hand, points. You turn the drone. He's pointing at Hatfen's.The group cluster by the door in a classic stack. One man slips out a cutting torch, and they start to get to work on the door. Captain Donnel looks, cast an eye out in the sky. He's shouting something behind the mask but your drone is too high to register anything comprehensible. All of a sudden, you wish for nothing more than to throw these two pieces of dead weight to the side and hurry back. Which, really, is probably what Captain Donnel is hoping for. A hostage is only useful alive. But he had a town full of hostages.The man in your arms is on the edge of death. You already took him away from his ramshackle stretcher. The man on your back could survive maybe long enough while you were gone, but the man in your hands almost definitely not. You feel a great deal of frustration. You were a soldier. You could kill every last one of these people with barely any issue- destroying the starship was merely a problem of reaching it. Yet, distance was still a tyrant.>Get drone in hearing range, EM field be damned.>Leave drone out of range. You'll need it later.And>Full speed. Arrive in twenty minutes. Probably kill the injured man.>Maintain speed. Keep these two alive. Forty minutes.>Other.
>>27929509>>Leave drone out of range. You'll need it later.>Maintain speed. Keep these two alive. Forty minutes.
>>27929509>Leave drone out of range. You'll need it later.>Full speed. Arrive in twenty minutes. Probably kill the injured man.he came here to knowing he was going to die and trying to help is only going to get innocent people, our friends hurt
>>27929509>>Get drone in hearing range, EM field be damned.>Maintain speed. Keep these two alive. Forty minutes.
>>27929509>Get drone in hearing range.>Maintain speed.Two hostages are better than one, and let's see what the captain has to say.
>Leave drone out of range. You'll need it later.>>Maintain speed. Keep these two alive. Forty minutes.Let's be honest here- it's too late to switch horses midstream. Let's focus on saving who we can.
>>27929509>Leave drone out of range. You'll need it laterSend the drone into a the hab-unit of someone with a gun if possible and try to get it to lead them out to the soldiers.>Maintain speed
sigh...the captain does not give a shit about his men, he's made that clear, and keeping them alive is just going to hurt the town and our friends more the longer we take...
Damnit, we'll risk killing the man. He's someone who tried to kill us and the only family we've known for years is in danger. Get our priorities in order.>Full speed.>Leave the drone out of range.
>>27929509>Get drone in hearing range, EM field be damned.we need to more info, and we've got 3 others>Full speed. Arrive in twenty minutes. Probably kill the injured man.gotta go fast
THIS IS WHY WE SHOULD HAVE GONE ZHAYEDENFOR MAX GOES FAST
>>27929509much as I hate it,>>27929604is right.>Full speed.>Get drone in hearing range.our armor has auto-repair, right? does that include replacing the drones of they're lost?
>>27929583>the captain does not give a shit about his men, he's made that clear, and keeping them alive is just going to hurt the town and our friends more the longer we take...Yeah, but the men serving under him do care.We could hope for someone to be a Friend of the Commissaar. Y'know, and offer him some friendly fire.
>>27929666This guy has it right, the Captain's men aren't steadfastly loyal. They're already questioning his decisions/authority. We can play on that.
Maintaining speed, and maintaining drone range.>>27929664Yes. It'd take a bit of active work on your part, but you can replace them easily.Writing.
i still find it hilarious that they came out here at the captain's insistence to KILL a DYING man, we should point this out to them when we get there
>>27929698Indeed, that might be the straw that breaks the camel's back for their loyalty.
>>27929718Man, those nightmare projections would come in real handy now...
>>27929790I was always in favor of that one, though this one came in at a close second.
You maintain the range. Keep the drone out of the trap. He hasn't seen it- he'd have better luck noticing an ant at this distance. The drone drifts on the cold air, keeping a steady eye.Your armor does a fantastic job of not betraying how you feel. It maintains that same, mechanical, plodding pace forward. Really, you're actually going quite a decent clip really. But not nearly fast enough.Hatfen's airlock is breached. The soldiers go within- the drone switches to IR. She was upstairs, hiding in a dresser. She feels the loss of air, goes staggering out. The soldiers are sweeping very professionally- well, you guess they're officers of the peace actually. This is what they're meant for, they're not actually warriors. They kick open the door to her room, grab her. She kicks. One swings something sparking in to her neck. She goes limp. Bag and mask placed over her head. She's dragged out. Captain Donnel continues to shout at the sky. You've got three angles of him raving. As soon as he sees Hatfen, he jerks his head. They go to the next house, dragging her along.Breach. Ben and his parents. Next house. Breach. Henry. Next house. Breach. Doctor Tabin. Five in total, one for each, not including Captain Donnel. Hatfen's out. The others are conscious- lead around with guns to the back, and bags over their heads. Lead to the starport. Then one of your drones picks up something on the radio.
"Fenned."One of the VTOLs banks right, heads for in city, making for the star port. It hovers, and you pick up a loudspeaker announcing and requesting immediate evacuation of the premises. Six minutes later, it launches a burst from its underslung chaingun, and something bursts in the starport. A bright flash of light, and the VTOL jerks back. Captain Donnel, his men, and their hostages approach without pause."Kalto."Another burst of fire from the VTOL."Anared. Chertel. Trod."Each word, another burst of fire. You fly a drone over. The shuttles off world- and in one man's case, a small Sojourner class interstellar ship. All burning ruins on the pad."Do you remember any of those names?" Captain Donnel is speaking over the radio. He sounds manic, "I do. I remember them, crying out to me every night. I'll make you remember them. I swear to God I will."The radio cuts out again.In theory, if you wanted to escape this world, that would leave Donnel's shuttle. But that seemed too obvious. In all probability, that was what Donnel had planned. But as you saw him and his troop along with their captives march in to the port, you get the feeling that Donnel knew you couldn't resist. It left a bitter taste in your mouth. Another thirty minutes, and town and the smoke are in sight. Your drones had run the feed back to you, showed Donnel arranging the soldiers behind the hostages. He had some inventive measures as well- spilling grease in a circle around his men, establishing some smoke lines, tight banding the EM fields at the entrance, all these security precautions to see you coming.Which wouldn't work.But, invisible or not, there were five guns at the backs of the heads of five hostages. The moment you acted, you were sure that Donnel would kill them.>Approach openly with Donnel's men.>Approach openly, leave Donnel's men.>Approach in stealth with Donnel's men.>Approach in stealth without Donnel's men.>Take the shuttle.>Hijack a VTOL.>Other.
>>27929890>>Approach in stealth with Donnel's men.
>Approach openly, leave Donnel's men.Time to meet him face to face.
>>27929890>Approach in stealth without Donnel's men.Preferably leaving them tied to a tree somewhere or something along those lines.
>>27929890Examine Donnel's men. Are they really willing to play executioner? They're police, not black-ops.
>>27929890>Approach in stealth without Donnel's men.
>>27929940They're skittish and afraid. They keep looking around. But fear can prove quite a lubricant to a man's moral compass. At the moment, they're jumpy. Very jumpy. It's a toss up whether or not they'll kill the hostages. If they get spooked, they could just as easily rabbit as pull the trigger.
>>27929955Hm.Well, let's just cut to the chase then. Acting openly, ironically, might well be the thing that saves lives here.>Approach openly with Donnel's men.
...That's a three way tie then. I'll give it another two minutes, then 1d3.
Going in honest with friends. Writing.
You press on."Man, your armor is like wearing clothes fresh out of the dryer, you know that?" Sergeant Zosimos seems in a good mood, "I mean, I never thought I'd be saying this to a mass murdering sociopath, but you're kind of a cool guy, you know that?"You belatedly realize that Sergeant Zosimos can't see the fires in the dark like you can. "Right. Captain Donnel has taken the best doctor in town hostage. The only one with a working medichine at any rate. If you want to help your friend," You nod to the injured man in your arms, "I'll need your help.""Hostage?" Sergeant Zosimos sounds aghast, "Wait, wait, how the fuck do you know? If there was anything going on on the radio, I'd have heard it.""I've got drones watching him right now.""Shit, well, leave me the fuck out of this then-""No. I saved your lives from a long, cold death from exposure. In return, I need you to help save the lives of my friends.""Why don't I just hop off?""Because you think I'm a mass murdering sociopath?" That last part might have been more the irritation talking, but it has the desired effect. The Sergeant stays on for the ride.Town is quiet. To be expected, it's the middle of the night. Street lights remain on, but the eye is drawn to the motes and embers wafting up from the center of town, to the sparks on five doors on five houses at the periphery. You slow down from your jog, approach cautiously. Your drones helpfully inform you of VTOLs in the area- ranging and swinging above you. One detects you on approach- not like you're trying to hide. Radio picks up."Uh, Captain, we, we've spotted him, he's holding on to-""Radio silence."That's the end of the exchange. The VTOL hovers over you. You hear Zosimos on your back, murmuring, "Please don't shoot, please don't shoot, please don't shoot."It drifts off, over towards the star port. You guess they're waiting for you.
The star port is meant to run 24/7- not that you ever get anyone here, but still the founders of the port (Xerco, if you remember right) had set it up to be mostly automated to take care of wage costs. The fact that most of the automation through conspiracy of elements and vandals had decayed and no longer worked hardly mattered since Xerco was dissolved and gone years back. As of such, there was a skeleton staff- you're guessing they evacuated as soon as shuttles started popping on the main landing pad. Still, some things ran. The gate would slide aside automatically upon detecting legal residents, or those with important enough badges. Phillip (Not the Phil on your back, the Phillip from town) had set up an automated message for people going through, "Welcome home!" if a person was going out in to town, or "The stars are your destiny!" if you were going in to the port. Corny kid that. Probably cowering at home right now. The gate slides to the side, and you walk out on to the burning pad. Captain Donnel is standing at front, hands clasped in front of him. The five hostages kneeling on the ground, bags over their heads, guns at their backs. Three VTOLs float above.Your armor helpfully gives three plans for killing everyone present. No accommodations are made for hostages- the Companions were taught never to hesitate. Even if the whole of the Senate were to be held captive in front of an enemy, the Immortal Empire demanded victory above all.Your fingers twitch, holding the injured man. The soldiers behind Captain Donnel seem worried at the sight. Advantage to you. Captain Donnel on the other hand doesn't seem to care. He steps forward, leaving his hands at his side, and starts speaking."I'm surprised. Didn't think you actually cared.""This man needs medical attention. You're holding on to a doctor," You do your absolute best to remain calm."Thirty seven imperial years, forty two Bardiyan. That's how long justice has been waiting, Companion."
"Then leave it between us," You hold up the injured man, "Let the people go. Let him treat your man. We can settle between us.""Do you think I'm an idiot?" Captain Donnel shakes his head, "I know they're the only reason I'm alive right now. I know, that right now? This is how you live with yourself. All those years ago, all those lives you've taken- you think, you think that just because these people live in ignorance of what you've done, that that makes it okay?" Captain Donnel laughs, shaking his head, "I'll never forget that day. You were all so angry- you thought us celebrating that we'd killed one of your number? We were terrified. We knew that you would be angry. We just didn't know how angry," Captain Donnel clenches his fists, breathes out. His voice was getting shaky. When he breathes in again, his voice is clarion clear."Step out of your armor. You have one minute. At the end of that minute, one of these people will die," He waves to the hostages, "Every minute you don't follow my commands, another will die. And if you act against me in any way, sure, you'll kill me. But at least you'll have an ATOM of a notion of what you did to us," Captain Donnel looks manic, his eyes staring at yours, "This was a long time coming. You're the one that made me do this."Captain Donnel is unhinged. The men behind him look uncertain. They're afraid of you though, that you can be sure. >Use a drone. Cause a distraction. Take advantage of that if possible.>"Let's talk this over..." Come up with dialogue to convince him otherwise.>"You're not the only one with hostages, Captain Donnel. Do your men really want to watch their comrades die for your pride?" Threaten your own hostages.>Lay down Jason. Step out of the armor.>Other.
>>27930418>>Use a drone. Cause a distraction. Take advantage of that if possible.
>>27930418>OtherAppeal to Donnel's men. Do they really want to die a useless death on a backwoods planet for the sake of one man's petty revenge? If they take Donnel into custody and leave the planet, they will all leave with their lives. Otherwise, well, there's no need to spell it out.
>>27930443probably mention the whole "Could have waited 3 months for me to die, but you just had to come charging in and getting people killed." bit.
>>27930418All the things I may have done, I've never laid the lives of my men and that of innocents on the table just for a chance at settling a personal score.
Okay. Appealing to Donnel's men.
>>27930461This. That part's important if you're going to convince the men that they're risking their lives for the sake of their crazed, vengeful captain.I mean, why face down a killing machine if it'll go away soon enough on its own?
>Aaand there it goes again.>Sorry to leave it off here for now folks, but real life just intervened. I'll wrap this up, but it'll take a while. Just want to let you know to expect a colossal delay.
>>27930836no worries, we'll try to keep the thread alive
>>27930836will probably be asleep, unfortunately.
>>27930874excellent, the quality of our decision making should skyrocket
>>27930884I agree with this statement.
>>27930841Same here, I think that this plan has a real chance of succeeding.
>>27930836this is pretty amazing
This guy will probably kill the hostages even if we comply. He's trying to hurt us, thats all. He doesn't care about just killing us at this point, we'd have died on our own. Execution would have been a clean death as well.This goes beyond that. 5 Names he recited to us, and 5 hostages taken out.
>>27931177thats why we have to get to his men, we make them hesitate and choose to not kill the hostages and we can kill the captain
>>27931202Then we kill them, capture their ship and then disappear again.Maybe a more advanced world has a cure for our cancer...
>>27930418>"Let's talk this over..." Come up with dialogue to convince him otherwise.Do you really want to be like me Captain? Really is this how you avenge your people's deaths. With the butchering of innocents. Don't damn yourself the way I have.
>>27931405he is a crazed vengeance driven pshycopath he ain't gonna listen to reason, try to convince the men make a distraction.Do we have some device that disables weapons. via long range. use the drones to disable the weapons. and then take further action.We have 5 of them you know and 5 gaurds.either convince the gaurd I don't think that will happen since they are too scared. and scared people do stupid shit and only listen to what they trust. which is the command structure and just listen to your boss to tell you waht to do.So take out the weapons with your drones if possible or if we can't, make sure the guns aren't pointed at the hostages. then zap them unconscious. and try lure the other 45 men away from the scene as they panic. and stealthy either incapacitate the other 45 man and the 3 vtol (after you kill/incapacitate the captain). if you can't incapacitate them then kill them.
>>27930443>>27930461Seconding, maybe call out Donnel on the hypocrisy of how he's throwing innocents into the fray. It won't affect him, but it may get his men off his side.
>Blargh. Three hours later, 5:47AM. Sorry about the delay folks. Just a bit longer...You don't look at Donnel. You glance past him, to the men. They're shivering cold, endless miles from home, staring at a nightmare of steel from an era before their time. They look young. Perhaps a few of them were born after the empire's fall. "Why are you doing this?" You make sure to drop the voice modulator for this. You let all sixty seven years of your age come through."You know why, Bardiya-" "I wasn't talking to you," You speak over Captain Donnel, and the men glance up. You bend down carefully, set the injured man on the ground, "Sergeant, take care of your man. Captain, currently I'm speaking to your men.""I am their commanding officer, if you have anything to say, say it to me, and you're running out of time. I'll ask one more time, step out of your armor-""Do you think it'd make a difference? You tried earlier, when I was outside of the armor. Didn't work then. Besides, I'm dying as it is. I've had three months to live," You chuckle, "You've come an awful long way to deny an old man three months.""I seek only to deny a gentle end for a mass murderer. Justice deferred is justice denied," Donnel hisses. The men behind him don't share his zealotry, "I guarantee, you keep this up, you will regret this! There's five lives here. Now, step out of your armor."You look past him, to the eyes of the men holding the guns, "In, or out of the armor, there is only one guarantee. If any of those five are hurt, then I will kill whoever did it."The men holding the rifles try to keep steady. You mean every word. "You would kill us anyway. Abrams. Start with the girl."The silence is deafening. In that quiet, uninterrupted by gunshot, you see Donnel's face still. The hard fury in his eyes slacken. He shuts them. He knows at that moment he's lost. He looks back, and speaks a quiet plea."Abrams?"
"I..." One of the men finds his voice. He looks up, "You won't kill us if we don't touch them, right?""Abrams, damn it, Abrams-" Donnel rounds on him. He sounds genuinely hurt."Not a hair on your head," You mean those words too."He's a COMPANION, damn it," Captain Donnel steps forward, equal parts pleading and angry- he reaches for something at his side, but the guns rise up, face him as his men back away. He stumbles back. His shoulders slacken. A stiff breeze could knock him over."Abrams?" He asks."Not our business, not our war," He jerks his head to the others, "Get them up. Get them over to him."The fellow officers, with some reluctance reach down, dragging the hostages up to their feet. You hear muffled confusion within the bag. Abrams keeps his gun trained on Captain Donnel as the hostages file your way."You don't understand, he, he has killed so many," Donnel is all but begging. "I don't care," Abrams lowers the rifle, looks to you, "We're not with him. Have at him.""You don't care? You don't care?" Donnel starts forward, freezes as Abrams reshoulders the rifle in warning, "You're standing in front of one of the foremost murderers the galaxy has every known, and you think only of YOURSELF?" Captain Donnel shakes his head, "I thought you a man of honor Abrams.""Fuck's sake Donnel, we couldn't scratch him with a missile barrage out of the armor," Abrams shakes his head, "It's like trying to arrest a flood," Abrams glances up to you, "Evening, sir."For some reason, Abrams visible grin at the corners of the mask doesn't strike you as particularly wholesome. He carefully walks around you, keeping you in his sight. You hear Doctor Tarbin asking in a fury what's going on, what the meaning of all this is, but the men know their role at this point. None of them want to witness what you'll do to Captain Donnel. It doesn't sit right by you, frankly. They did the smart thing. Not the brave thing, but the smart thing.
"Welcome home!" Sings the gate as it shuts behind you. Leaving you and Captain Donnel alone.He stares at you miserably, hunched over."You didn't have a gun to shoot them yourself?" You ask bluntly. Captain Donnel shakes his head."I didn't want to shoot my men," He reaches to his side, languidly grabs unbuckles the holster, pulls out the pistol. A pearl handled Magistrate's 'Sever' class plasma pistol. An execution worthy offense back in the old days for him to carry that. He was probably one of the first rebellion then, to be afforded that honor.Not that it would hurt you in the armor. Maybe if you were out of it, and he had enough time... But, that was unlikely. He stares at it, then glances at you."Is it painful, at least?""What?""The disease killing you.""Not particularly," You raise a hand, wave it at the side of your head, "It, it took my hearing on the left side. Must be related to the old enhancements going haywire- or they designed me with a built in lifespan maybe. It's just a pressure mounting on the side of my skull. If I lay on it, it aches and I get nauseous. Can't sleep on that side any more," You give an apologetic shrug. The armor somewhat dilutes the intent. You notice the VTOLs pulling back now. Now it's just the two of you lit by the flames here. He's maybe 40? Not a young man. But a person that could have a substantial amount of life left in him, were he not to die here. He's looking bitter at you."That's it then? A headache?""Partial deafness too. And the left eye doesn't focus," Your reassurances don't help as he shakes his head, livid. "After what I've seen, after what you've done- you'll just go in your sleep. My brother, my mother, my father, my sisters- and you walk away for forty years, with a headache," He shakes his head, "There is no justice."He raises the pistol, points it at you. And waits.>Kill him.>Walk away.>Step out of the armor.>Other.
>Hm. Took too long. Timezone shenanigans. And I'm very tired. I'm going to bed. If this thread is still around, we'll wrap this up in the next two posts basically. I'm going to bed. It's way too late for me, and it's showing. Night.
>>27932415>OtherSomething along the lines of being given a second chance, offer him the same.
>>27932415>Step out of the armor.
>>27932456>>27932450>Orrrrrr there are still people. I'll stay up.
>>27932465Yuss! It's like 9:30 for me, so it's gonna be a long day for me. But totally worth it.
>>27932415>OtherWhat do you know of justice? I was justice once. I was victory. I was the best. I am a dog whose masters died. Leave.
>>27932415>OtherDisarm him and walk away. We are old like fuck and just want to live in peace for the last few days we have. If he starts to get furious tell him, we were a soldier once. Soldiers are given orders, they do not question. He should know that too, if his man complied earlier he'd done the same mistake as we did. Kill innocent people. Also this: >>27932518
>>27932584Absolutely what this guy said.Damn you Captcha why don't you give me real letters
>>27932603>>27932584Nope. They decided to prod the old, dying hound. Now they'll see why you shouldn't touch the relics of the old days if they decide to lie and let lie.
>>27932518Nice nice.It captures some of the old fire we had, if tempered with age, regret and wisdom.
>>27932415Other, ask him what the point of this is. You were a soldier following orders. No you were just a man made monster biteing at what ever its master pointed at. This old war hound is dying shortly, no need to wake him up to kill again. Let this old dog dy in peace.
>>27932415"Yes there is. I die, shortly. This town isn't turned to so much slag and ash. Your man gets to get fixed by the doctor you didn't introduce to a bullet. You can go home, breathe out, and tell yourself you outlived a monster that was, in the end, just a man dying from a headache. It's not much, but it's there. Take it or leave it, I guess it's all we get. I'm just a dog whoose masters are long dead, and I'll join 'em soon. Get off my planet."
"What do you know of justice? I was justice once. I was victory. I was the best. I am a dog whose masters died. Leave."He holds the pistol steady. He had courage, if nothing else. Courage from madness or a thick head, you couldn't be sure. You hadn't had to kill anyone tonight. You didn't want to start with him. He shakes his head. "You can't hide behind orders. You had a mind and a soul. That was why you fled Ramnes. You're not like Triar, looking to start your own empire. You weren't like the Sacred band, who sought blood. I had thought you had guilt enough. But that's clearly not true. Why didn't you stand with your brothers and sisters then?""Those reasons are mine, and mine alone. Let me die in peace. This planet is none of your concern."He contemplates you. Glances beyond the gate, out further, to the men that sold him out. Perhaps they would kill him to protect themselves from court martial. Maybe he would just have the misfortune of coming back in shame. There were some gears working in Captain Donnel's mind. He lowers the pistol, walks to you. You're unafraid. In your armor, you had nothing to fear from him, even if he had such a fine weapon. You didn't know much about Donnel. You didn't know about Bardiya. He stands a bare three inches from you, looking up at your unbending visage.
"I put everything on the line for this you know. You're not the only one dying. If I go back empty handed..." He shakes his head, eyes looking distant, before coming back to the present, looking at you, "I wanted to see the missing Companion the world agreed to forget. But you know what? I won't be the last. There's a reason that they didn't want to touch your tag. They're content to wait until you die to scrape you out of that suit, and use it for themselves. When you're on your death bed, every last petty satrap and successor kingdom from here to Sol will darken the skies of this world to fight over your coffin," He raps your chest plate. You suppress the suit's attempt to electrocute him."So you thought you could get a jump, and grab my gear first through...Guilt?" You have to admit, you hadn't thought about that next part. Anusiya armor was still extremely valuable, even if only Companions (so far to your knowledge) could pilot them. Captain Donnel shakes his head."No, I meant every word of it. You deserve to be dragged out in public, put on trial, and given a live execution," Captain Donnel takes off his hat, scrapes the pistol along it to wipe off the snow, "So that the world can rest easy that your crimes were finally punished. That, and frankly, I was hoping to spit in a god's eye tonight."He sets down the hat carefully, looks up at you, "I'll have to make do with staining his boots."He thrusts the plasma pistol underneath his chin, and pulls the trigger. A superheated mist of blood washes over you, and a headless body collapses at your feet. Not much you could do about that. You glance at the drones. They captured the footage, audio and visual from four different angles. No one could blame you. You never lifted a finger against him.
It's snowing on Saronic. A nice night. You were once a member of a war machine that held the galaxy in a grip of iron and terror. In your flesh and blood, you only ape the human form. The machine you wear could make and destroy empires. But right now, you feel very old, and very tired. Your armor performs regular maintenance, discharging enough heat to wipe any last trace of Captain Donnel from its surface. >End.
>>27933113That was awesome. Good work Hero! This was one of the first of these stories I've actually read through, and it was totally worth it.10/10 would read again.
>>27933113cool quest. Thanks for the ride.
>>27933113Nice work OP, very interesting tale and world.Although he was a dick, I did feel a bit for Donnel at the end there. He lost everything at a young age at our hand, yet years later when he finally has the chance for vengeance, it is snatched from him cruelly.Hell, it wasn't even due to us, talking his men down just reduced the body count. He could have never really hurt us, we're just too god-like. His quest for vengeance was doomed from the start, its unfortunate that once he realized this, he only had one course of action left.Anyway, regular series OP? Do we get to live out our last few months?
>>27933113AwesomeMy only regret is that it couldn't be a serie. You made a pretty good setting here, just detailed enough to be interesting without being heavy and problematic.
>>27933142>>27933160I mayyyyyy continue it sometime in the future, if you guys would be interested. Since you got the cool suit of armor and didn't really have much chance to show off with it. You still have two months life left after all.But I wanted to encapsulate it here since I did imagine it as a one shot first. So, here's a good stopping point. ...Still don't have a protagonist name. Jesus CHRIST it's 8 in the morning I need to sleep. Should've slept a lot earlier. Good night.
>>2793311312.5/10 Good quest OP. You thinking of continuing it?
>>27933183Heck, I could whip up the notes and pass 'em off if anybody wanted to take a stab at this.
>>27933207Make a pastebin of them or something.
>>27933207I'd like to see them too, would be nice how to properly organize sth like this.I liked the quest a lot 10/10, was a very nice ride>>27933182And this is why you don't seek revenge. It is hollow, empty, even if fulfilled. Hate if you have to, but don't let the hate guide you.
You know, there is one offhand remark that I found interesting, the one about the how valuable is the armor. What if a new upstart kingdom actually attempted to reverse engineer the companion from lefttover technology and actually half succeeded? That could be a quest in itself.
>>27933113It was really good. Thank you for running it.
Great quest OP, one of the few I've actually been properly interested in.Setting and writing were both excellent. 10/10 would play again.
>>27933113That was excellent OP. Truly excellent. I would love to see this become a regular thing, but even if it doesn't it was a great ride.
>>27933207I'd like to help make a setting of this, actually. And a quest, but not where you play a Companion, rather part of one of the Empire's many squabbling inheritor states.
Someone needs to archive this, set the record of a truly excellent quest in stone.I would but I have no idea how ;_;
I'm telling you guys, we can totally be the charismatic spy we set ourselves for.>>27933369You should probably leave.
>>27933369It's already archived
>>27933207fuck that was good. i stayed up for it. it is almost 9am here. thank you
>>27933261I see three ways on how this could work:>Your idea as a you are part of an experiment to test a new set of super armor reverse engineered from the companions old armor. Of course this is all top secret and if anyone. ANYONE. found out about this outside the empire you would be in a shit ton of trouble.> Second. We continue this quest as our unwanted hero as the Veteran who just is an old, tired man who just wants to be left alone until he dies. > Finally we play as a companion of the Triar who is trying to make a NEW AND IMPROVED EMPIRE. Or as the Sacred Band who is on a single road of vengeance for a long forgotten blood price.
It is a shame that a sneaky build was chosen instead of offensive one. If we were designed for stealth and subversion, I'd like to see what something designed for direct war was capable of.
>>27934052I don't know dude, I think using espionage and scare tactics to get our way is pretty cool.
>>27934052I think all options are pretty nice but I would have prefered the one specialized in psychic warfare.
>>27934079Oh yeah, it was cool. But I'd like also see how playing the soldier designed to take on entire space fleets and armies all by himself would have turned out.>>27934127To be honest that was the least one I wanted to see chosen.Also, I liked how in the first updates it was completely unclear what exactly we were. I thought that we used to be a part of some elite forces but nothing even near to what we got. I think many people got the same notion and why many of the earlier suggestions were so 'defeatist'. If we knew immediately what kind of a powerful force we were then i suspect we would have acted much more differently.
>>27934295I kinda like the way it was done now. The superhero terror soldier creature that's tired of war and death and just wants to live out his last days in bumfuck nowhere, in peace and quiet. Very Clint Eastwood kind of character.
>>27934329I had a slightly different take on the old vetern. I saw him more as an old warhound disillusioned with the "justice" of the senate. Because of the terrors that he had seen and so now he simply lives in peace to bury his past and leave it to fade away as it should.I saw this mostly when we confronted the Captain of the force, he talked about justice. To me it sounded more like revenge.
Also, we need an archive. we had one earlier, but we need to get the whole story.
>>27934598Just upload it again and it will refresh the one submitted earlier.
>>27933184Thank you for the enthralling read. If you decide to continue exploring your world than I would suggest more of a prequel quest. You have a lot of pivotal points in the story's timeline. You could visit the last tribulations of other Companions, or visit the events in this protagonist's past. Once again, great job!
>>27934615Unfortunately I do not know how to do it.
>>27934921Someone already did, it's fine.http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive/27910496/
>>27933207Thanks for the read OP, hope ypu will run another someday.
>>27933207I actually like it you can continue with this quest and let it be like a timed one or do a knew one during this war or as an experiment of it like some one said.
Post power armor pics if you got 'em.