[IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

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[IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Jag on Wed Oct 05, 2011 11:02 am

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Member for 7 years

Michael "Rick" Warren.
Empty Space progressing to Cargo Bay Slums, EDF Atlas.

Drifting in the comforting star strewn vacuum that was open space, time was simply the distance between one happening and another; there was no need for daylight or darkness, as such concepts hinged upon having a sun to orbit, and the small craft had none. Inside, there was darkness where darkness was needed, and light where light was required; no more, no less.

In the small chamber that served as a berth to the ship’s only living occupant, the lights were off, and only the soft glow from a distant star penetrated the murky darkness. Strange shadows, warped by the thick protoglass porthole and the deceptive speed at which the ship was travelling, wrapped around the hard bunk’s sleeping occupant, making his face out to be a strange, fluid thing as he slept.

The Interloper, intent on its silent pursuit of the far larger Atlas had been hanging unobserved in space for the last several days as automated (and yet sentient) technology ticked through a number of covert observation protocols; gathering the relevant information for a smooth insertion. However, such things were beyond the interests of the true ‘interloper’, who was far more interested in catching up on lost sleep than receiving his pre-transfer briefing, a fact that was highlighted by his continued slumber, despite the shrill wailing of his bedside alarm.

After several unchecked minutes of electronic howling, the wail became a near deafening klaxon call, accompanied by the strobing flash of warning lights; clearly, whoever was in control of the systems wanted the bed’s occupant to rise with all due hast. Sadly, Rick was less than happy with this prospect, and after a guttural groan and an angry fisting of his forehead he simply moved to remedy the situation by reforming sans eyes and ears. Peace restored, he was more than content to resume his previous activity: sleeping like the dead.

However, such things were not to be, as was proven by the arrival of the ship’s automated system and Rick’s unimpressed GUARD some scant moments later. Unaffected by the cacophony of light and sound and unimpressed with his charge’s disinclination to rise, he simply stepped through the door, deactivated the alarms and scooped his recumbent ‘master’ up in mismatched mechanical arms. Receiving little more than a whine of displeasure in return, Jason neatly shut down the alarms with a brush of biosteel on steel and stepped into the small hygiene facility attached to the berth.

Activating the water outlet in the same manner as he had rendered the alarms and lights mute, Jason spared little more than a second to observe the torrent of freezing water filling the sleek metal tub before dumping Rick bodily into the deluge. Neatly avoiding the upsurge of water, he turned about, vanishing back into the corridor before his charge had the chance to do anything more than shriek in horrified indignation.


Once (rudely) awakened (he was not forgiving Jason in a hurry, mission or no mission) and dried (Jason would be lucky if Rick put him back together in the right order next time servicing rolled around), Rick made his way to the cockpit of his small craft, settling into the co-pilot’s seat with a grunt of extreme annoyance (Jason, if he were a man, would be a dead man).

“Thanks for that; I needed a bath. I think not! What the hell was that for!” As much as he had intended to adopt a persona of dignified aggravation, Rick had never been one for holding his tongue out of role, and the lingering traces of frigid wetness in his newly reformed ears simply screamed for vocal retribution. So, rather than sitting stiffly in his seat and waiting for his briefing like the icily disapproving officers of old, he leaned aggressively over the mid-console, glowering hotly at his robotic pilot, who, for all the world, seemed totally oblivious to his charge’s ire.


The GUARD turned a fraction, the single functioning optic that remained in his mutilated headpiece fixed on the viewscreen and the image of the Atlas that it displayed, and fixed Rick with a blank, glass-eyed stare.

“I apologise. Please clarify. What is this ‘that’ that you speak of?” Jason replied in what Rick liked to call his ‘does not compute, bitch’ voice, causing the shapeshifter to grumble in annoyance. There was no way he could win this argument, of that he was certain, not when Jason was pulling out the big guns so early in the game. However, he was a sly and calculating creature (or so he told himself) and as such he was better prepared to dish out revenge than a simulated life form; Rick fully intended to put Jason’s head on backwards and leave him walking into things for a few weeks next time repairs were needed. That would teach the GUARD for throwing Rick into the Icy Waters of Death when he was trying to sleep...

“Once you have finished plotting feeble revenge stratagems, could you possibly spare a mote of your most valued time to receive a mission briefing, your holiness? I am, of course, aware that your safety and security during insertion into an alien species comes very much second to your scheming, but perhaps you could humour a damaged drone and become informed?”

Jason didn’t even need to sound sarcastic... as much as he was infuriated, Rick was also a little in awe of his companion’s ability to convey so much scorn with so little emotion. If he hadn’t heard derivatives of the exact same speech several hundred times before, he might actually have been hurt (or at least cowed) by his GUARD’s words, as it was, however, he simply grinned.

“Yeah, whatever; I’m all ears.” Just to be obnoxious, Rick sprouted twenty or so extra ears and turned each and every one in Jason’s direction (that’ll teach him), wiggling them obscenely in a (pointless) attempt to distract the droid as he began to recount the mission briefing.

After closely observing the Atlas for several days, Jason has been able to collate a reasonable portfolio of data, and although limited by the necessity of stealth, his information was relatively sound. He recounted in a smooth monotone what he had managed to learn of the ship’s crew compliment and mission (limited) and the status of the humanoid life forms currently residing in a makeshift settlement within the ship itself (more detailed), while Rick pretended to pay no attention and in fact greedily absorbed all that there was to say.

When Rick finally moved towards the transport dock, Jason’s mechanical voice trilled from the speakers to follow him. “Remember, these people have little knowledge of alien life, and although adaptive, they are easily startled. My sensors are currently mapping a fission of distress through the target population, which although ideal for your mission could easily prove dangerous; be aware of your surroundings at all times, especially in the early stages of integration.”

Rick waved an airy hand, knowing that Jason was tracking him with the remote monitoring systems. “Yeah, I get it; blend in with the locals, don’t get found, don’t get killed, don’t get burned as a witch. Oh, and don’t cock up so bad that you have to plough in and get me. Am I right?”

“You are both obnoxious and intolerable in the mornings...”

“Flatterer.” Diligently, Rick moulded himself into human form before pulling on the outfit set aside for him (truly hideous), completing the ensemble with an itchy (utterly repulsive) woollen hat. “...or not.”

“I assume that you have found your disguise.”

“You assume right.” Rick crossed his arms indignantly, glowering at the nearest camera in disgust. “Must I wear this revolting hat?”

“You must, and do not for one moment think that you can get away without pinna despite the covering fabric. Humans are disturbingly aware when it comes to physical discrepancies; be certain not to change your appearance at all once you arrive, no matter how tempting it becomes. You will be discovered and it will be a complete disaster.”

Snorting, Rick checked his ears, picked up his bag, and stepped into the transport zone. “I know you’ll come and rescue me if I get lynched by the Ear Inspection Committee, or whatever it is they call themselves down there.”

“Be that as it may, your holiness, I would far rather remain here and observe your interactions. So please, I beg of you: behave.”

“Thanks for the vote of confidence there, Jason...”

“My response rationale is derived from statistics, as such-”

“Yeah, whatever!” Rick cut off what was sure to be another long and humorous rant, eager now to get going; as much as he enjoyed banter with Jason, there was a whole world to explore down there. So many people, so many emotions, so much life... “I’ll behave, okay.”

Jason’s longsuffering sigh was a product of the system database, and as such highly convincing. “Do try not to start a riot down there.”

Rick smirked as the transport activated, a look that faded from his face as he phased quietly into existence aboard the Atlas and got his first real look at the ‘slums’ that he would be inhabiting for the foreseeable future.

“...think it’s a bit late for that...” he murmured, eyes alight with the tide of raw humanity that washed back and forth within the artificial container; a sham city reconstructed within the metallic confines of a ship’s belly (beautiful).

It would have been so very easy to allow himself to become distracted by the thrill of this new existence, this human drive that spilled out of every frightened person around him, but Rick had a task to do and infiltration came first (he could sit back and enjoy the experience once he was safely established). With that in mind, he touched the arm of a nearby refugee, eyes huge and alarmed as he attempted to get the person’s attention.

“What’s going on? I don’t understand.” he asked, fear slipping under his words as he flicked his gaze this way and that, the very picture of worried confusion. As he spoke, the name ‘Doctor Bernadette Adams’ slotted neatly into his memory as someone who seemed to be in control.
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Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Imehal on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:54 pm

Doctor Bernadette 'Bernie' Phillipa Adams
EDF Atlas - Cargo Bay Slums

Bernadette would be the first to admit that she was terrible with remembering faces (and this could be especially forgiven with the amount of people she had met over the course of the last few days), though once Delilah Medina had been introduced by name, she tried not to look too astonished at the change in attire of the military doctor. For names she could recall with ease, being in a career where you were frequently approached with names and corresponding ailments rather than faces on a regular basis.

The frantic bustle around the two was largely ignored on the surface by the civilian doctor, who had quickly become accustomed to drowning out the collective noise and focusing on individuals as and when they required her personal attention. That being said, Bernadette did not miss Delilah's disapproval at the state of affairs in the slums of EDF Atlas. What did the woman expect? They had been given somewhere that was undoubtedly unfit for short-term human habitation, let alone months on end. It had been a relief that someone was finally willing to speak to the people and perhaps, if they were all very lucky, get them into a state that could be managed alongside the chaos that was their lives for the foreseeable future.

That relief swiftly faded as the woman walked away from her without so much as... anything really. No place for this supposed forum and certainly no consideration for the fact that everyone and their child would be trying to get Bernadette's attention during this gathering process. Hazel eyes watched the military doctor seemingly disappear into the crowds, but despite attempting to look like a civilian, the way that Delilah walked was as much out of place in the slums as the impromptu population in a cargo bay. That made her smile faintly, yet another weapon to beat down the fear that threatened to panic her like all the other civilians, snatched out of their comfortable lives by no more than a cruel twist of fate.

Every time it rose up within her, Bernadette dove into another task to distract her focus completely and at this current moment, that appeared to be gathering a decent selection of the gathered refugees for a 'forum' of sorts, though what good it would do was limited at best. Most of these people had been hoping for the fleet to protect them from the attack and once it was done, be on their merry way again. Thankfully, not everyone was so unprepared for things to go awry (or at least, and thus, were now afraid, confused and angry at the unavoidable status of their lives) and it was those like-minded people that Bernadette had only half an hour to gather them to an as yet undisclosed location, that was presumably away from the chaos of the civilian slums.

No matter how long it took, Bernadette was determined to do what had been asked right, though she questioned the usefulness of a forum of barely a dozen people when it was the collective slums that needed reassurance and calming, not just one or two anxious fellows. A few names came into her head immediately; a fellow doctor at the clinic, parents of sick children and even some ex-military who were facing the hardships of this new lifestyle with commendable hardiness. However, their names in her head numbered scarcely more than six. More would be required, but where from, especially in such a short time period? When not treating patients in the makeshift clinic, she had dedicated herself to trying to calm those who were anxious about the battle outside and loved ones left behind. Many were too fretful to even think of commenting on the living conditions they were suffering in the cargo bay of Atlas.

I imagine that'll get addressed now that everyone is stuck here for the time being.

Practical by nature and choice, Bernadette methodically worked her way through the panicking crowds to those she knew would be a constructive addition, directing patients towards the clinic and any superfluous worriers she outright ignored. This was not the time to be coddling them, not that she thought that any time was good for protecting people from the truth of things. On that point, she respected Captain Ramirez's message. Then again, its execution had been abysmal, as was her solution to the situation at large as far as Bernadette was concerned. A nice, organised little soiree was not going to fix anything but it was something.

It was as she turned a corner that left her just within eyeshot of the makeshift clinic that Bernadette glimpsed Harriet Perkin and for the first time in a few hours at least, let her oh-so-serious expression slip in favour of relief as she strode over to the woman determinedly. There was little point trying to attain her attention through shouting, given that even the loudest bellow was lost amongst the clamour at the moment.


'What is going on?'

It was a question that Harriet Perkin, nurse and semi-successful peace keeper, had heard so often these past few days that it washed over her heard but unheeded at first, half-dead on her feet with exhaustion. However, the touch on her arm was more than enough to guide her eyes towards the evidently distressed refugee and she tried to muster a hopeful smile. “Well,” she started, forlorn for a moment before finding her courage again.”

She gestured towards even the nearest, panicking refugee to make her point adamantly clear, but unlike the objective doctor who had been made unofficial go-to person for the slums, Harriet possessed enough empathy to not want to frighten the fellow.

“As far as I can tell...” and that's not very far, considering how little any of us know about spaceships and inter-galactic teleportation... “we're a lot further than home than most of us would like and no one down here is sure what's going to happen next. That's something that the military have decided isn't for us to know just yet...”

“... Nurse Perkin!” Bernadette's clipped tone broke through the explanation, and the woman who possessed it looked decidedly unhappy with both people and world in general but had either the restraint or kindness of heart not to let it affect her behaviour overtly. “We've finally got someone from the crew who is willing to at least try and explain what is going on to some of us down here. I'm not convinced it'll do that much good but if we have the facts, we can set about spreading them at the very least. Go to the clinic and wait for me there. A crowd of people trying to get through this would just be foolhardy to even attempt.”

Already aiming to turn away from the duo and continue her search for more subjects for the forum, the doctor found herself halted by a hand to the forearm. “Do you think...” Her blue eyes, searching and thoughtful, turned back towards Rick. “If you want answers, come with me.”

It was probably the best offer that the young man was going to get, given circumstances, especially considering that Bernadette had only nodded briefly to the unfamiliar man before tugging her arm free and making her way over to the north-east corner of the slums. If she recalled correctly, there was a man over there who might not have let panic completely overwhelm him at the prospect of months in this very daunting reality.
Gasmask: Alright. Either your CD is corrupted, which'd explain the crashing and odd stuffs.
Imehal: Or?
Gasmask: Your windows really, really, really hates icewind dale.
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Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Gasmask on Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:09 am

Karas System, Prototype 'Thailian'/Human Ship
Seven hours and two months ago.

"I don't care about the repercussions, Martin, I don't like them and I think this is the best way to end this situation." said the tallest of a group of marines in the cafeteria, guns slung over his shoulder and helmet over his face.

"But we're not done here, Ivan! I c-can't let you do this! I c-can't stand for t-thi-"

The Marine held a hand to the lone human scientists face to cut him off. "I don't care, they blew up Triton and I'll be repaying the favor."

"Damn you, Ivan."

A few minutes later.

Subject 3 whipped around in his sleep, all four eyes fluttering open as he awoke to the sound of gunshots and being roughly shaken and the being known as Martin S being the culprit to the latter.

"Come on, get up, they're here to kill you all!"

"We are, we are." muttered Subject 3 as he got up, exposing his roughly alien body as he crossed to the other side and rubbed the side of its neck in a tired manner.

"Alright, I've unlocked the engineering suit, they're uhm... already killed your colleagues by now, you have one chance to get out of here, I'm sorry for all of this, I have to get out of here." Subject 3 made a grab at Martin but missed as the fellow scientist scrambled out of the room in a fashion reserved for panicked people, Subject 3 grumbled under its breath in an alien dialect as it rubbed its head again, this hour was going to be hard Subject 3 thought to himself as he peeked outside the room, keeping two eyes on left and two eyes on the right as it took the opportunity of Martin's panicked run to get to corridor leading to the engineering suits room.

Karas System, Prototype 'Thailian'/Human Ship

The rumbling of escaping pods with parts of the ship detaching from the spaceship caused the still body of an executed alien bounce from its location and hit a wall, splattering viscous purple liquid over a wall. The stiff armored body of Subject 3 in the engineering suit floated by, a makeshift electrical cord being used to tether him to a nearby console, it was glad that the suit came with a helmet otherwise his plan would never have worked in the first place.

First however the alien had to have thought of a way of getting off the ship.

Subject 3 was of course not an idiot much like Ivan the human, the power drain of sending a constant SOS signal would drain the energy from the ship dry, the only possible 'safe' way of sending out a help signal was for it to activate upon the ships contact with other beings, which of course it did activate with a simple text message, Subject 3 figured that there was a 90% chance its discovery was by humans so it was in English.

"Help We."
Last edited by Gasmask on Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Tiko says:
I still wanna punch him in the face
Mid says: Gas 1, Mid 0.
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Human. Binominal nomenclature: Homo sapiens. One of the most tenacious species originating from the Orion-Cygnus Arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. Being of the family Hominidae, they were large, tailless quadrupedal primates that tended to exist in familial groups within a larger society. Rick had studied them tirelessly upon discovering them bordering his teaching ground, and almost at once he had been entranced.

An arrogant race, they reached out into the stars, as if by seeing them they owned the great gas giants of old and all the many bodies that orbited them, just as they had laid claim to every last scrap of their home planet. Some would have found them an ugly race, but to Rick they were the most fascinating thing in the universe. Their diversity was minimal; they varied little in terms of shape, size and colour when compared to the universe at large, and as such they posed a challenge to interlopers such as himself. Simply differentiating between genders was a difficult task for the uneducated, and Rick prided himself in being able to tell that the human he had made contact with was a female of the species.

She seemed non-threatening, but distracted; the young woman whose name Rick did not know paid him only a limited amount of attention, which was ideal. In the early stages of insertion, he couldn’t risk being picked out as a stranger, and the more people he could get to spare him a passing glance the better at first. When asked, they could identify him as someone they had seen, but in their distraction they would be hard pressed to say when exactly they had seen him, or where he had come from.

She spoke of the military, and uttered his most hated phrase: need to know. Rick struggled to keep the expression of disgust from his face. It was hardly a unique trait of humanity (he was familiar with the methodology of the thing already), but to find that his muse of the moment possessed such a trait was still a blow. Across the universe at large, more wars had been fought over information than anything else.

“Information isn’t property; everybody deserves to know the truth when that truth applies to their wellbeing,” was his quiet reply, eyes burning with the first flashes of temper from under the edge of his hat.

So, they reached out as if to own the stars, but still coveted information as a weapon to be used against their own species? Humanity, it seemed, could be as cruel as his research had suggested. It may have repelled others, to have the very basest research on a species confirmed, but Rick only became more entranced with these people, who were so large and yet so small, so adventurous and yet blindfolded; truly, they were incredible to have come so very far while still constricted by their own limiting factors.

Rick would have said more, but the arrival of another female curtailed his speech in a manner that was at first annoying, but soon turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Rick had been in place for less than ten minutes, and starting a heated debate so early was a sure way to bring about disaster. Insulting the military when situated in the bowels of a military ship was suicide, even for someone like Rick; Jason would have been having script errors had the connection between them been established.

“Thank you, Nurse Perkin, for trying to help me.” Rick didn’t know if it was her name or a title, but it was a start; he almost felt sad to be leaving the woman behind, but she was too dangerous to talk to so early in the game. He couldn’t risk giving himself away and as such turned from her to catch a hold of Bernadette, who he had already earmarked as useful.

He was rewarded well for his gamble, and smiled widely upon being given a chance to learn more. It didn’t matter that she pulled away as rapidly as he had reached for her; Rick had been given an opening into the situation, and he was more than willing to put in some effort to secure that position. He followed her diligently as she picked her way towards some unknown destination.

“I’m still trying to get to grips with what’s happening here; it’s all a bit of a shock. Well, it probably is for you too... I don’t imagine you expected us all to be stuck down here when you started this thing, so thank you, for trying to help us.”

Rick trailed along after Bernadette, swallowing his eager grin as interesting scene after interesting scene played out around him. Humanity was dank, rank and wonderful; already, he was contemplating extending his mission in the hopes of learning more of their culture. He would never stay, the universe was too vast to limit himself in such a fashion, but there was no denying that he was tempted to vegetate among them for a while.

However, there were more important things to be doing than plotting his latest foray into idleness; namely completing his insertion and getting someone of influence on side to assist him should he run into difficulty later. Bernadette should do nicely, he decided.

“My name is Rick, by the way. I guess there hasn’t really been any time for proper introductions; given the chaos... we’re all a bit muddled about.” He smiled some more, enjoying the stretch of his face, and jogged a little to catch up and walk beside her. Hopefully, his studies into human expression and emotional display would pass muster with an expert of the species.

“It’s nice to meet you, I guess. I hope we can be friends. I know everyone’s a bit- well,” he gestured to the noise and the chaos around them. “Unsettled at the moment, but communication goes a long way to making things better, don’t you think?”

It was a theory he bought into, certainly, but Rick just hoped that these people didn’t communicate too well. Of all the things that could be his future undoing, effective communication between the natives was the very fastest way to pick out an interloper.
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Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Korrye on Thu Oct 13, 2011 8:05 pm

Lieutenant Commander Delilah Medina M.D.
EDF Atlas Slums

Misunderstandings occurred at all times. It was a fact of life. The human mind would economize on information, taking it what it felt it needed to reassure the images and identities it placed on people and situations. As Dr. Medina moved to establish the forum, few people seemed to realize it would take place in the slums. Only once had a formal orientation and assembly been held in the cargo bay. Once upon a time they’d had to stock the ship, and as such a person had stood on a high balcony directing a young crew with the aid of personnel charged with coordinating cargo. She knew the holdings were more than outfitted with a reliable auto system, it was only a microphone that needed to be found for herself, along with a few others. Connecting them to the system was a matter of flicking a switch and connecting the wireless networks. The ship communicated with any technological device. It took little time for the crew to muster up some old devices and sync them. Medina was at once flanked by two younger crew members, one male, one female, handing her a mic before turning to set up the others on stands closer to the front of the holdings. A projector had been found as well, turned on and aiming directly at Delilah and where she was standing by the main doors she’d come out of out. The image of her face was soon ten feet tall on the far wall, clear as day and in no need of a screen as it was already white and pristine.

The population seemed to act quickly. Medina had long since lost track of Bernadette in the crowd. She hoped the woman had understood what she’d meant when she’d said that the people would be demographic representatives, asking questions of her that many people of their respective groups wanted answered.

She brushed her lips over the microphone and tested the system, hearing immediately her breath through the same speakers that had earlier broadcast their captain’s message. “Hello,” she started. At once people seemed confused. The crowd grew louder and large numbers seemed to spin in place in search of the source of her voice.

“Good evening, my name is Delilah Medina. Shortly we will be starting a question and answer period. Please note that I will be speaking toward the far right of the cargo hold, closest to the bay doors. Please remain calm and orderly, leaving room for two aisles. Please follow the directions of our crew to organize us all so that this run smoothly.”

Exhaling she turned the microphone off, running a hand through her hair and searching for the doctor to emerge with their peers. She couldn’t permit the people to be hounded. The microphones for them were still behind held by the two techs, the stands offside should they be needed. If they were left to the aisles all hell and chaos would break loose. Should a riot ensue, however, the crowds could and would be locked down in the cargo hold. Hence her desire to ensure the discussion remained in the hold and nowhere else.
Last edited by Korrye on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Imehal on Wed Oct 19, 2011 2:52 pm

OOC: This post was written with the assistance of AugmentationAudit.

Doctor Bernadette 'Bernie' Phillipa Adams
EDF Atlas - Cargo Bay Slums

“Can you promise that all our questions will be answered at this forum of yours, Miss Adams?”

“No, Mr O’Brien but…”

Senator O’Brien, Miss Adams.”

The effort it was taking to calm some of these people down enough so that they would even listen to reason once the initial idea had been put across was taking its toll upon Bernadette, who was currently rubbing a hand over her eyes. Do not snap. It will not help, as much as it would make you feel better.

“Senator, if you would just stop talking for one moment and listen, you’d understand…”

“All I understand is that it’s taken them days to pull their fingers out of their own arses long enough to do something about the situation down here and I can tell you, I am not happy that all we’re getting is a forum to discuss everything that is wrong right now.”

It was becoming increasingly difficult to keep a calm tone, when she quite rapidly getting worked up by the gentleman who had taken upon himself to be quite vocal on what he thought, even if it would do no one any good in the form of angry ranting. Though the idea of Delilah Medina having to face-off with this volatile individual brought a vague smile to her face. Let the military see how angry these people were; how much they just wanted information that had been denied to them for days now, left in the metal belly wondering about their fate.

They were walking side-by-side at a rapid pace as the argument went on, the doctor’s eyes flickering to the man who had seen fit to follow her footsteps since she had directed Nurse Perkins back towards the clinic to wait for her.

“…Don’t you go acting all indignant when you’re being left in the dark for once Senator. After all, didn’t politicians write the book on limiting knowledge to the populous?”

And there came yet another reason for Bernadette to wish herself any place but here right now. One man who understood military workings and could perhaps rationalise them to those who were gathered in the slums and another who knew how to wheedle answers and more importantly, ask the right questions – it had seemed such a good idea ten minutes ago…

“Gentlemen, if you would please shut up until we get to the forum! All this bickering, and it is that Senator and don’t try and pretend that you’re actually doing anyone any good acting like this,” Bernadette interjected, her voice raised for the first time since clinic that morning. Oh how she longed for that chaos now; simpler times, “will get us no answers and only prove to them that we are incapable of coping in a crisis.”

“Now Miss Adams…” Jonathan, an elderly man who had dedicated his life to military service, looked appalled that she thought that.

Bernadette’s response was to stare him down, frowning openly now. “They are equally as unprepared as us for this and we must do all we can to prove that we are just as willing to adapt and help wherever we can, rather than seem like helpless civilians. Agreed?”

Both men quieted, but still looked disgruntled. Good, let them be annoyed. We will need that fire to get everyone the answers we want and need from those upstairs. Just when it looked like the politician was about to further the debate and truly earn the ire Bernadette was going to turn his way, Doctor Medina’s voice echoed throughout the hall, allowing Bernadette the opportunity to learn about the place for the forum as soon as everyone else.

“That woman has no clue…” Bernadette muttered, watching as the crowds around them seemed to solidify and meander across to where had been indicated, making it easier for the doctor to turn towards the clinic to collect all those who she originally directed there to wait for her. It was then that she thought she heard someone addressing her, tilting her gaze just a few steps behind to notice that the man who had been following her attempting to establish conversation again. This time, it sounded like an introduction and although she was far beyond the point of being friendly with anyone, rude Bernadette was not.

Thus, with a sigh and nod towards Rick, she introduced herself.. “Bernadette, though I’m sure you know that by now, having been following me for a good half an hour as I’ve been collecting people.” Her tone and body language did not seem to give much away of her current mood, despite having being quite agitated only moments before towards those she was gathering. “You are an optimist indeed if you expect one forum to settle this chaos.”

Rick blinked, jolted suddenly back to reality by Bernadette’s attention. He had assumed, foolishly perhaps, that she wasn’t going to reply (she was quite right, it had been a good half an hour (assuming half an hour was a very long time; he actually had no idea)), and as such he had allowed himself to become thoroughly distracted by the vast presence of humanity around him. It was forgivable, given the sheer, overwhelming sense of unsettled anger and fear -a mass of live on the edge of revolt- but he kicked himself for losing track of the conversation. Was it possible that she’d been speaking to him all along, and he hadn’t been attentive enough to hear her?

“Uh, I like to think I’m an optimist, yeah.” Jason would have been spewing monotonous venom at him, had the GUARD been able to hear; it had taken him years and an unholy amount of dedication to get Rick out of the habit of repeating what other people said rather than speaking for himself, only to have the maddening habit spring back up with the smallest amount of prompting.

However, Jason was still enjoying the radio silence (Rick hadn't had a free moment to breathe, let alone establish a connection) and going back over what had been said helped Rick clue himself back in to what he’d missed while daydreaming.

“I believe I just said that,” Bernadette reaffirmed with bemusement, trying desperately to ignore the fresh, but mercifully quiet, debate that had sparked to her left between the two elderly men once more. “Harriet asked for you to come and attend the forum, didn’t she? What do you do, not that it matters as long as you have a decent head on your shoulders and have sensible questions to ask the woman in-charge of the meeting. You do have those, don’t you?”

"Sensible-? Oh, yeah, I’ve got questions I want to ask, and I’d like to think that I’m not quite as, ah... loud, as some of my counterparts when it comes to getting my point across.”

In the privacy of his (still rather cobwebby, why did these people have to be so interesting?!) mind, Rick was having a mad dash panic to remember what he was supposed to be. Jason had told him right before leaving the ship, so really there was no excuse to have forgotten, but when faced with two older humans having a small verbal war with one another, it was decidedly hard to concentrate on his cover story. Clearly, this was something they needed to address in future.

He flashed her a smile, hoping that the expression would smooth out any rough edges in his cover story. “I do a bit of everything, really; not very useful, I know, but I’m still working on where I want to be in life. I’m good with computers, though, really good, and I speak a good few languages. I get by, doing this and that.”

It wasn’t exactly a lie, though Rick was pretty certain Jason was going to be popping sprockets when he found out that Rick had pretty much forgotten all of the important information gone over in the pre-mission briefing. Rick blamed the water in his ears.

“Any languages in particular?” In any other situation Bernadette would have been hesitant to accept so hedging an answer as acceptable, but these circumstances were not normal and one had to assume that there were many people here and not all of them professionals. Her expression only shifted to thoughtful at his smile and words, rather than making her any more trusting of this stranger. “Because I can wager that not everyone in these slums speaks Terran, as helpful as that would be.”

‘Oh, great, it looks like she thinks I’m crazy... or totally rubbish... does she think I’m crazy? Or totally rubbish? Or BOTH?!’ Rick had actually gotten as far as opening his mouth to ask before he realised that actually, it would probably confirm her worst fears if he suddenly disengaged his brain-mouth filter.

‘Come on, Rick, think intelligent.’ “Um.” He really, really needed to stop making that horrible little space-filling sound, even if it did drive Jason wonderfully up the wall. “Pretty much anything you can think of, actually. I’ve done some work in translation before, but it was dead boring. Computing is a little more interesting, but numbers are dry; I prefer something that keeps me directly involved with people.”

Getting a link set up with Jason was becoming a matter of dire importance; Rick had a horrible feeling that he was digging himself into some form of hole, and he didn’t actually have a metaphorical ladder on him.

Bernadette set him with a gaze that was impressively dead-pan considering the absolute bewilderment that she felt upon being faced with a person who did not seem to have any logical consistency from one moment to the next, turning her eyes away from him briefly to nod towards Doctor Keller, who had just spied them approaching from his perch on a bench outside the currently closed clinic.

“Then, can I suggest that you perform a different task than going up on stage and posing questions to the doctor who is staging the forum?” In all honesty, she was a little on edge about letting him go up there and speak for the populous, given that he did not seem capable of stringing a sentence together without effort. “Stay with me, I’ll get you a microphone and you can provide translation - I think most of these people were travelling from a planet that predominantly speaks Spanish as well as English - so that the forum’s purpose isn’t entirely wasted on them?”

Pro-activity made Bernadette smile briefly, impressed that some luck had been bestowed upon her after many days of being woefully in the dark when it came to information about their situation.

“Sure, I can translate to Spanish for you.” 'Damnit! She most definitely thinks I’m mentally stunted! Jason, where are you when I need you?!' “And, uh,” Goddamnit! He really needed to stop making these pointless little noises, was this what it meant to be human?! ...because if that was the case, Rick was rapidly going off of the idea! “I can translate for anyone who doesn’t happen to speak English or Spanish too, if they need it.”

’Think intelligent, think intelligent, think intelligent!’

He sighed, trying not to be eaten by his own fluctuating emotions. “There are a lot of people here, and it’s their future we’re talking about. They all need to be able to understand what’s going on. They all need a chance to say what they need to say...”

If he could really speak that many languages... “Thanks. That might actually be more use at the clinic to me though. It’s a bit of a pain trying to figure out what’s wrong with a person when the only words we seem to understand from one another are ‘hello’ ‘goodbye’ and ‘good day’,” Bernadette replied with a wry smile, a little caught off-guard by what he said next. “I agree. We have to do all we can to make sure that everyone’s voices are heard tonight.”

This time when Bernadette nodded to him in farewell, it was slower - more respectful. “Don’t run off Rick.” And then she broke away from her most recently gathered group towards the few that she had left to pick up from the clinic. Amongst their number was a doctor and nurse from the clinic that she had worked alongside for days now and had chosen them for their familiarity with the people rather than anything else. All the medical professionals that were volunteering in the slums did not have time to be doing anything extra... well at least, not all of them.

As she guided all those she had collected towards the designated place at the far side of the slums, Bernadette felt an impeding sense of dread, surveying the crowds that were gathering, not allowing for two aisles like the good doctor had wanted, but at least parting in front of the group that now numbered nine that was making for where Delilah waited patiently. There were a number of military personnel surrounding the impromptu platform for the forum; significantly higher that the presence that had been in the slums prior to the military doctor’s arrival to try and explain the situation.

“Please, wait here for a moment,” she advised those she had gathered, crossing the distance between Delilah and herself, trying not to look concerned at the murmuring crowds behind her. No matter how this went, she realised that from this moment on, as her image was splayed across the wall, anonymity would never be an option on this ship again within the slums. “Doctor Medina, your civilian representatives.”

Then she introduced them one by one through hand gestures and delivery of names. From left to right: Senator James O’Brien; Jonathan Holland, military veteran; Jessica Thornton, mother to two, both of whom were escorted to a different ship in the fleet; Doctor William Keller; Nurse Harriet Perkins; Keith Evans, father of two and rightly concerned for his children’s upbringing and Leanne Taylor, a teenager who has been separated for her parents. “These are those I feel that represent those in the slums most accurately and can ask the questions that are most relevant to giving these people peace of mind.”

The doctor looked behind her at the crowd, which was still gathering even as they spoke, everyone waiting in equal parts anxious and hopeful for answers that would perhaps end what might become their living nightmare. It was with that thought in mind that Bernadette turned her gaze back upon Delilah Medina, suddenly quite determined. “It might be best if you start with what you know, even if that means going over what was said on the tannoy again. I think just hearing someone in front of them say it might help make it seem a bit less surreal. Help them understand that this is long-term, but don’t be a sensationalist or they will just panic and rightly so.”

Despite her cautionary words, or perhaps because of them, Bernadette slowly began to allow herself to accept that this was a situation that would not go away overnight. This was their life now, for the foreseeable future and as much as she lamented the way they had been treated so far- those who she was trying to keep calm and orderly, even if just for her own sanity – Bernadette realised that if anything was going to get done, everyone needed to at least try and get along.
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Member for 7 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Korrye on Sat Oct 22, 2011 10:15 pm

Lieutenant Commander Delilah Medina M.D.
EDF Atlas Slums

When Bernadette appeared it looked as if the crowd parted like water while she directed a group of nine behind her. The people were varied in age and gender, an interesting selection no doubt. Medina swallowed and stepped down the platform for a moment, meeting the civilian doctor and once again finding herself staring down at the women to meet her gaze. Medina kept her posture rigid out of habit but she tried to allow herself to calm down, to relinquish the tension in her neck and shoulders. The situation as stressful, without a doubt, and stress always seemed to manifest itself physically for Medina.

“Doctor Medina, your civilian representatives,” Bernadette motioned, going through their individual names. Medina nodded in each one of their directions, extending her hand for a basic hand shake upon each of their introductions. She had in front of her a politician, a military veteran, a mother, a father, a teenager, and two doctors. They were all interesting people with a variety of different concerns. Delilah immediately felt the pressure of the situation rise. If this went badly she would more than likely be reprimanded. If riots broke out she would be the one responsible for placing the ship in a compromising position of expending supplies on people they weren’t meant for.

James O’Brien, Jonathan Holland, Jessica Thornton, Doctor William Keller, Nurse Harriet Perkins, Keith Evans, and Leanne Taylor. The names she fought to commit to memory. She knew it was essential to remain personable. Hence her desire to deal with the situation her way, out of uniform for the first time since she’d gone to the academy. Today she needed to make use of her bedside manner, the one that wasn’t so harsh and commanding. While she commanded respect from her staff, she knew it was essential to be humane. That she knew she needed to amplify when dealing with these people. “It’s a pleasure to meet you all, believe me. Even with these circumstances,” she responded before finding that Bernadette was once again instructing her.

Admittedly it was difficult for Medina to swallow and hold herself at bay as the short civilian doctor took to telling her how to go about addressing the crowd. Delilah licked her lips and nodded, exhaling deeply to calm her racing heart. She knew that if she were any form of animated character at that moment she would undoubtedly be portrayed with a vein popping out of her forehead. It wasn’t so much that she was conceited when it came to her rank and saw herself as above the woman (though in a way she did, ranks were bred into them after all in the military) but that she had been given the right to handle this situation her way by the captain. Taking in any form of authority other than her direct supervisors was difficult but she handled it much better than normal.

“It might be best if you start with what you know, even if that means going over what was said on the tannoy again. I think just hearing someone in front of them say it might help make it seem a bit less surreal. Help them understand that this is long-term, but don’t be a sensationalist or they will just panic and rightly so.”

“I understand,” she replied and smiled despite her annoyance at receiving instructions. She hit it entirely, knowing that she had to. “Please join in on the question queue as well, Doctor.”

Stepping back onto the platform Delilah once again ran a hand through her hair. The long wavy brown locks lay on her shoulders, in front of her ears. Her cheeks were flushed as she was growing hotter as she grew nervous. When she stood on the platform a hush seemed to fall over the large crowd. The screens returned to showing her face and she turned to nod to the techs to hand out the microphones to the people Bernadette had selected. Swallowing Delilah turned the microphone in her hands back on, immediately scanning the crowd and the just over a thousand pairs of eyes now tuned to her every expression. It was at that exact moment that she knew why she’d never gone into public speaking or military politics. Being the figurehead of any organization was a death sentence, whether by trampling or mental breakdown.

“Hello again,” she started, choosing to stand firmly toward the front of the platform though casually so and again, not as rigid as was typical military posture. “Again, to reiterate, my name is Delilah Medina. Captain Elena Ramirez has asked that I speak to all of you and become a link between you and the Captain of our ship. I’m currently the acting chief medical officer of our primary medical bay. In the past two weeks you encountered my staff in the process of mass immunizations and health protocols. I assure you that your needs are important to us and that’s why I’m here,” she paused, taking in a deep breath before she began to speak again. She began to pace, slowly, working to connect and look people in the eye in sections of the crowd. “The captain spoke to all of us earlier on the communications link, to yourselves and the crew, as to the status of our situation. She was truthful of the situation and revealed it to all of us. As a crew member I too was unaware of our position. In the Melchior system our general fleet was contacted by EDF command and was told to cover a civilian ship retreat and then to regroup. Us specifically however, the EDF Atlas, were told to proceed through the Melchoir jumpgate into the Karas system after which they would destroy the gate to ensure that no on would follow. We successfully followed orders after receiving your population, and the gate behind us was then destroyed as ordered. This means that we are currently in the Melchoir system and that we were the only ship to make it through the gate. We have been instructed to provide tactical assistance and protection to the colony here in Melchoir while waiting for reinforcements to regroup and jump here through another set of gates. Unfortunately this means that we are acting in and of ourselves for the moment on our last received set of orders.”

Delilah paused, finding that that the crowd seemed to grow rowdy at such simple reiterated news. They began to talk, but before they could become louder than she could talk over, she strengthened her voice and continued. “I am here telling you that even we as crew members did not know the truth of our circumstances. As such we are actively working to reorganize ourselves to see to the needs of every person on this ship, including yourselves and your needs. This forum has been set up with representatives of different demographics who will be able to ask me as many questions as they see fit. I will come here and speak to you for as many days as is necessary. I am now assigned to overseeing that your needs, your health, your accommodations, are well looked after and that your concerns and fears are forwarded to the Captain herself. Without further ado I invite the first of our queue onto the stage here with me, Senator James O’Brien. You have the floor, senator,” she said, nodding her head and waiting for the man to approach her, stepping back to the far end of the stage and licking her lips again. Her heart was beating so fastly that she could hear it in her ears and yet her voice did not shake, nor did her hands.
Last edited by Korrye on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Member for 8 years

Michael "Rick" Warren.
EDF Atlas- Cargo Bay Slums.

‘I set myself up to be unremarkable and they FORGET about me! Wear a hat, he says, or your hair will draw too much attention, don’t be too outspoken right away or I’ll end up having to come in an extract you. Fat chance of THAT, Jason, given that they can’t seem to remember my presence for more than three seconds.’

Eyes narrowed in an expression that came strangely naturally to his human face, Rick surveyed the backs of Bernadette’s little group of followers, feeling more than a little put out at being sidelined when he had worked so hard to get a leg into the proceedings. Clearly, his disguise was working far too well if any and all humans he encountered forgot about him the second they looked away. Then again... was it normal for humans to do that? He’d have to remember to ask Jason about that one when he got the chance.

With that thought in mind, Rick burrowed a hand into the side pocket of his bag and pulled out a small silver case. Discretely, he extracted a tiny, flesh-coloured bud from inside and pushed it into his ear. The faint bleep as it activated made him smile; at least his communications devices seemed to work around human technology. Rick would have risked testing it further and attempting to attract Jason’s attention by speaking, but even with his currently low opinion on human attention spans he doubted talking to himself would instil confidence in the local populous.

Not that the people who were actually in charge of that task were doing a particularly spectacular job, come to think of it. Rick looked from Bernadette to Delilah with a faint frown, wondering if the hostility between them could be any more obvious. Clearly, there was some sort of command issue occurring, and if their body language was anything to go by, neither seemed happy in the company of the other.

‘Perhaps the female of the species is territorial...?’ he mused to himself, trying to mentally recall the many texts he had perused on the subject of humanity. There was certainly something about female interaction in groups that he’d read, but sadly the information refused to come to mind, likely due to his need for concentration in the current situation.

Bossy Boots (his new name for Delilah) had ignored him as well, which was flattering (‘See, Jason, where your insistence on disguise gets us? Ignored!’), and seemed to be intent on getting the meeting underway. Apparently that meant shaking the hands of everybody who wasn’t Rick, and greeting them politely. But, given that she ploughed on without any interest in the fact that the majority of the population didn’t speak English, he was beginning to realise that maybe it wasn’t a specific jab aimed at him.

‘It’s possible she’s just incompetent... what was she supposed to be again?’

Chief Medical Officer? Rick blinked, wondering if he heard that right. He, at least, could understand English (unlike a good half of the befuddled looking crowd), but Delilah’s words threw that into doubt. Surely there were more important tasks for the ship’s head doctor to be applying herself to?

‘...perhaps they don’t have tactical officers or anyone that actually specialises in public relations... shame, she’s not really very good at it.’

Uncertain, Rick shot at glance at Stressed and Snappy (the name easily supplanting Bernadette in his mental rambling), to see if she was as bemused as he was. She had said that these people didn’t all speak English, and asked him along, after all, and surely if she knew, then Bossy Boots would too. Unless their dislike for one another had caused this lapse in communication, which was actually beginning to look quite likely.

“Here, your Holiness, is a prime example why public speaking in the ill-prepared is an exercise in fatality. The lesson here: do not open your mouth unless you have actually thought about the words that are produced by it, thus preventing hole-digging of the very worst kind. If I am right in the assumption that the female in question is speaking to a crowd, might I suggest retreating to a more secure location before you come to harm?”

Rick grinned as Jason’s voice issued into his ear, the GUARD sounding as monotonously expressive as ever, though he decided to completely ignore the advice given before Jason had even finished speaking. Being shown the cold shoulder by these people was hardly going to put Rick off, and he had meant what he had said earlier to Bernadette; these people needed to be able to understand what was being said to them (even if it was utterly dire and likely to spark a revolt), and the idea that they were being addressed in a language they hadn’t a hope of understanding nettled Rick in a way he was sure Jason would be secretly proud of.

With that in mind, he stepped forwards, totally sidestepping Bernadette and going in for the kill with Delilah. Fearlessly, he made his way towards her, raising his voice to be heard by those surrounding them also.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but surely the point of this discussion was to include the local population,” he stated, ignoring Jason’s buzzing groan in his ear. “I’m not sure how long you’ve spent down here, or how much research you’ve actually done into the people you’re trying to speak to, but your colleague over there-” Rick pointed at Bernadette. “-asked me to come over and assist you, because the vast majority of the people you’re addressing don’t speak any form of English.”

It was an effort to stop there, and not add something about some of the things she had brought up in her speech, but for once Rick chose to listen to Jason’s frantic warnings. Perhaps he was overstepping the mark, perhaps he hadn’t overstepped it enough, but either way he was not about to let this situation go without trying to help.
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Member for 6 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Korrye on Sun Oct 23, 2011 10:56 pm

Lieutenant Commander Delilah Medina M.D.
EDF Atlas Slums

The lieutenant commander became quickly attuned to the fact that the senator was not the man stepping forward. Instead a civilian broke through, stepping up onto the platform much to her bewilderment. Behind her the marines shifted forward toward the platform, tense and offset by the circumstances. Immediately the officer’s thumb flicked the switch on the microphone. The projectors turned off in response. The crowd immediately grew restless, grunting and speaking in loud tones. Delilah surveyed the crowd before stepping forward toward the man. “Excuse me, identify yourself,” she stated, not at all liking that this man felt he could invite himself onto the platform, to add to the chaos of their scenario.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but surely the point of this discussion was to include the local population,” he stated. “Yes, it is,” Delilah replied, her eyebrow furrowed in confusion. She turned to look over her shoulder at a pair of marines, slowly moving for their weapons. She flicked her hand in their direction informing them to stand down at the moment. “I’m not sure how long you’ve spent down here, or how much research you’ve actually done into the people you’re trying to speak to, but your colleague over there-” Rick pointed at Bernadette. “-asked me to come over and assist you, because the vast majority of the people you’re addressing don’t speak any form of English.”

“Do you think of me as inept?” she asked, her voice snapping giving her stress. Immediately she regretted the remark, licking her lips and reassessing her words. Delilah turned her head to the side and exhaled deeply before returning eye contact with the man. She stepped forward and closer to them, presenting herself as the imposing woman that she could be, her eyes staring down at him like daggers. “You Sir, by stepping on this platform, are throwing this very room into chaos. Bernadette was not told to find a translator and I can assure you that I am more than fluent in the variety of languages spoken by this crowd. Now if you could please, step down before we have a riot on our hands, Sir, that would be best or I will be forced to have you removed.”
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Member for 8 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Imehal on Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:36 am

Doctor Bernadette 'Bernie' Phillipa Adams
EDF Atlas - Cargo Bay Slums

The crowd’s reaction to the informative but entirely unhelpful reiteration of the facts that Captain Elena Ramirez had enlightened them to not an hour ago made Bernadette immediately regret what she had assessed to be sound advice to the military doctor who had been charged with heading this close-to-sham of an organisation attempt. For all the dissent in the crowd though, there were a number of people who seemed to actually be listening anxiously instead of trying to heckle the woman off-platform with their voices alone. They were barely more than a few minutes into the forum and Bernadette forced herself to try and relax, shifting her gaze to what she could only pray looked vaguely reassuring to those she had collected to speak in front of this nearly-mob.

Then, just when she thought things could not get any worse Rick met her eye. Confused at his bemusement, it took her too long to realise what he was doing, barely in motion to get from the back of the queue in time as the would-be translator confronted Delilah Medina in front of the whole of the slums. No. No. Frigging heck.

And he’d just landed her in the thick of it, pointing at her as the cause for his intrusion. Bernadette decided to use this as her cue, stepping towards the two and noting the shutting down of the projector with a discontented sigh. Could this get any worse? Really? Apparently, as Delilah Medina sought to assume that she knew the crowd’s demographic divisions better than someone who had spent days down here with them. She’s angry. Don’t blame her.

It was a mantra that repeated itself over and over as Bernadette stopped beside them, shooting Rick a ‘why, really?’ glance before smiling thinly at the medical officer herself. “Doctor Medina, I asked Rick to speak alongside you in this forum so that there was not a delay in communication to those who might not possess a full and proper grasp of the English language. But with everything else going on…” And now she shot the irked and temporarily forgotten man a look of wry apology, “I forgot to tell you and I’m sorry. I took initiative and should have passed along the information. It’s not his fault.”

Her brown eyes flickered out towards the senator, who had quickly gone from confused at the turn of events to indignant. “Senator O’Brien, if you could just wait a few moments more with your questions whilst we get everything back online please?”

Disgruntled but apparently conceding that his shouting would only antagonise a crowd that was already vastly discontented, the aging man nodded. But he did not look pleased. No one did right now, from the military guards to the audience of this shambles so far. “Doctor, if we could just get Rick a microphone and allow for pauses for translation, we can get this over and done with and deal with the real and more important task of doing something about getting this place into some form of decent quarters for us all down here.”

Her plea was earnest, mostly because Bernadette felt directly responsible for causing this disruption to proceedings.
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Member for 7 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Korrye on Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:32 pm

Lieutenant Commander Delilah Medina MD
EDF Atlas Slums

Fucking hell. This woman was out to ruin her life. Why?

Delilah was fuming. The woman was inches away from backing down from the platform and tossing an eloquent fuck you to the crowd. There was an immense desire within her to scream at the people in front of her to suck up their problems. They were alive. They were in shelter. They were fed. Those who were sick would be looked after once provisions had been set aside from their supplies. It all required patience. Which this crowd didn’t have. And neither did the woman who seemed to have taken it upon herself to make Delilah into a fool. The humiliation of the scenario was not lost on her. But she was a professional and while she threatened Rick she knew she would not back down.

“Doctor Medina, I asked Rick to speak alongside you in this forum so that there was not a delay in communication to those who might not possess a full and proper grasp of the English language. But with everything else going on…” she reasoned, a sorry attempt at an apology. “I forgot to tell you and I’m sorry. I took initiative and should have passed along the information. It’s not his fault.”

“Sorry doesn’t cut it in this situation Doctor,” Delilah scoffed, stepping across the platform to push them closer to the stairs.

“Senator O’Brien, if you could just wait a few moments more with your questions whilst we get everything back online please?” Bernadette asked, to which the old man seemed annoyed. Delilah eyed the crowd, nodding her marines who were growing anxious, unsure of just what they should do. Riot protocol had been drilled into them all, of course. But once one had an angry mob on their hands, it was always difficult to manage.

“Doctor, if we could just get Rick a microphone and allow for pauses for translation, we can get this over and done with and deal with the real and more important task of doing something about getting this place into some form of decent quarters for us all down here,” Bernadette instructed her, once again feeling that it was in her right to run the proceedings. “He will not stand here as a translator doctor. You were out of line. That’s the end of it,” she bluntly responded, turning to the techs standing offside. Kneeling on the edge of the stage she spoke to them in an instructive and enunciated tone. “Page Lieutenant Everett Sharpe from the medical bay. Instruct him to coordinate subtitles into the projection system in Spanish, English and French. Then, if you must, page communications. I need a linguist since my own understanding of the languages has been deemed unfit.”

As the cadet rushed off for the doors Delilah rose to stand, glaring at the two people who in her mind wanted this to go off the rails. They wanted an excuse to make a fool of them all which only led Delilah to further believe Staff Sergeant Lively’s suspicion that they were rioters in origin. Inhaling deeply she tilted her head to the side. “I need the two of you to back off this stage immediately. Doctor, do not think the worst of me or my ability to address these people. By estimating my ability to be that of a two year old you're only making this situation worse.”

Facing the group she exhaled, her face dropping its tension as she did so. Medina turned the microphone back which in turn triggered the projection system once again. Exhaling deeply she pinched the bridge of her nose before weakly smiling.

“I apologize for the delay. Je m'excuse pour le retard. Me disculpo por la demora.” She spoke clearly, the languages rolling off her tongue in native frequency. It was no common amongst ranks to be unilingual and the perks of being raised in a mixed household had led her to be fluent in many. The academy had also instructed them in languages, so many that sometimes it was hard to stay on top of them all. The most important one stuck out. For Delilah this translated to a working knowledge of Latin based languages along with others, the foreign ones like Thalian, to ensure an understanding of enemies.

“We’re currently working on a subtitle system to ensure that all of you are capable of understanding what is being said. Nous travaillons actuellement sur un système de sous-titres afin de s'assurer que chacun d'entre vous sont capables de comprendre ce qui est dit. En estos momentos estamos trabajando en un sistema de subtítulos para asegurarse de que todos ustedes son capaces de entender lo que se dice.”

Delilah knew that having Rick stand there, a civilian of unknown origin, was against protocol. She could ensure herself, yes, that what he was saying was accurate but she didn’t want to risk him twisting her words in such a temperamental situation. Additionally she had no idea if he was even fluent in a way that would ensure the depth of what she was saying would be brought across. As such there was no option in her mind for him to stand there and address the crowd.

As she stood there and waited, an excited techie returned toting the same lieutenant who had fashioned the Morse Code system for the alien in the medical bay. Handling a tablet, once again, he made quick work of the projection system, tapping into the wiring along the far wall and typing in rapid instructions and algorithms. A third person arrived, a well presented and in uniform linguist from the communications center in the bridge. Delilah recognized her from her earlier visit to the captain. At this rate she had half of major staff and personnel working under her and for this project. She’d be smacked for it later but what had to be done had to be done.

“Sharpe, are we set?” she asked gently. The officer sprang her a thumbs up as he whispered to the linguist. As Delilah reproached the crowd she ensured to scan it, looking for the eye contact of many again. Half of the people were talking amongst themselves, some looked angry, others afraid.

“Without further ado, Senator. Let us begin,” she announced through the system. Within thirty seconds the projection screen flashed her words in black, red and blue, in English, Spanish and French. She prayed Bernadette’s needs with satiated for the time being.
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Member for 8 years

Michael "Rick" Warren.
EDF Atlas - Cargo Bay Slums.

As angry as the woman looked, Rick did not regret stepping forwards to challenge her. Jason could say what he liked about rules, regulations and protocols, respecting authority and keeping his head down, but once Rick had made up his mind, he wasn’t easily swayed. Jason was his guardian, his parent, his brother and his friend; the one who tried to teach him right from wrong and develop him into the so-called ‘better person’, and for once in his life Rick felt as if he was beginning to understand. This wasn’t about what he’d been told or what he thought he should do; this was about what he felt and what he wanted.

‘I wonder if this is what it feels like to be human?’ he wondered with a thrill as he fought to contain the sudden inferno of feeling where there had once been little more than a spark. In every cell, Rick knew that he was capable of feeling, he loved Jason, he was excited by humanity and new information, but this was nothing like the passive feelings of before.

Heady and deep and wrong; this was anger, offence and self-righteous indignation at it’s ardent finest. Rick had never felt more alive than he did in that first moment of realisation that this was what it was to match himself against another. Perhaps it was the characteristic of his human flesh, perhaps it was his own latent emotionality coming to the surface, but whatever it was, Rick had no intention of wasting his new found experience.

Emotions all around were running high, which only added to Rick’s pumping mood; Delilah scoffed some affronted reply to Bernadette (which was likely deserved on some level), the guardians in their uniforms looked unsettled and the crowd buzzed with undertones of anger and fear. It was like a drug, like magic and music and sin wrapped into some great crescendo of emotion, and Rick basked in it.

As such, he allowed himself to be nudged backwards with only the smallest amount of affront, turning sharp eyes on Delilah as she attempted to shepherd him towards the edge of the stage. “Excuse me,” he murmured, his voice soft and perfectly controlled; the utter foil of the tangle of life that he was feeling. “But could you not push me please.”

“Rick… Rick, what has happened?” Jason almost sounded concerned. Rick ignored him.

He watched as Delilah turned away again, speaking to a group of others who appeared to be subordinates of some sort. He paid her only a limited amount of attention for a moment, turning his burning gaze towards Bernadette. “Might I ask why you brought me here?” he whispered, mindful to be aware of Delilah’s continued distraction as she spoke to the techs.

“You didn’t introduce me, and this woman seems to take offence at my being here.” Rick was almost detached, his logic far more sound than it had been earlier now that there was none of the excitable uncertainty left in him. It felt good to deny himself what his body was demanding, to remain passive when all his flesh desired was to scream and shout and fight.

His head snapped around when Delilah concluded her conversation with the techs and came to glare at himself and Bernadette, asking them to leave and expressing her displeasure to the doctor.

‘I wonder if this is how she feels? I wonder if this is why she snaps and snarls?’ Rick mused to himself, staring at Delilah for a moment but not backing away until she had turned. She wanted him to leave? He would willingly do so, but he had no intention of going far, not when this situation bled so much raw feeling into his veins. He was tempted to allow his body its desires; to raise his voice, to clench his fists, to display his displeasure to her as he allowed his emotions to vent, but a secret, selfish part of him demanded that he covet them. The anger was his; he would not give it to her so readily.

Quietly, Rick slipped away from the stage, coming to stand where he could both watch and hear Delilah’s interactions with those around her. He listened to her words, her smooth translation, and wondered once again why Bernadette had asked him to follow her when this woman so clearly spoke the languages required.

‘She must be old, to know so many tongues so well.’

As Delilah began to speak in earnest, Rick fell back just a little further, allowing himself to be swallowed by the buzzing crowd. He watched her, her screens, her translations, and smiled with the beginnings of a strange temptation itching at the back of his mind.
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Member for 6 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Jag on Tue Jan 03, 2012 9:52 pm

Combat Air Patrol (CAP)
Karas System
Aiden “Roamer” Morrow & Mackenzie “Blades” Hawkins

“Break right!”

Countless hours of flight simulator and live cockpit training turned the once-technical and complicated process of piloting zero-G fighter into instinct for Mackenzie Hawkins. As the detached craft in front of her began to power itself directly into her path, the young officer threw the force of her body into the pedals and stick of the Angel, causing the graceful craft to dive down and narrow avoid being clipped by the non-reflective hull of the thing.

“Shit, that was close,” she breathed into the open comlink, affording herself the most fleeting of moments to thank creation that she was still flying before turning her attention to the sudden influx of warnings sounding in the cockpit around her.

“Roamer? Roamer, you out there?”

“Little…busy…” The words cut across the comm traffic and the warning signals flooding both cockpits as the senior pilot. Twisting the Angel around until he caught a full glimpse of exactly what this strange ship was sending out as a greeting party for the two pilots.

The detachments weren’t fighters, at least not in the since of any design that he’d seen deployed by the Earth Defense Force, the Thalians they’d encountered so far, or any of the private defense firms testing designs for a potential colonial market. True to the roots of atmospheric aerial combat honed and perfected for centuries prior to the military excursion and human expansion into space, EDF fighters were general fixed-wing crafts with forward propulsion. Atmosphere or space be damned, they were still fighter jets.

The crafts facing the pilots now were three-dimensional octagons, similar to the traffic “stop signs” used in the old United States if one viewed the craft from directly above. The things were small – barely large enough for one person to fit inside and that was only if you disregarded what the thing would need for propulsion. They seemed to lack any sort of main engine but instead used a equally-distributed system of small propulsion jets to turn and move into any position. In short, they could turn in almost any direction in a very short time, but the trade-off was that lateral movement and actually covering any ground was a slow and laborious process.

Just a Roamer reached down to hold open the transmission channel, the last detail of the strange crafts revealed themselves. The rest of the ports the non-reflective surface weren’t propulsion jets, but instead barrels beginning to protrude from the surface. Before Roamer could engage the propulsion jets of his Angel, the crafts sudden began to spin in circles, gaining speed as they suddenly began to fire some sort of energy weapon from all barrels pointed away from their main ship.

Unlike his wingman, Aiden Morrow had never put much stock in the since of something greater than the world that he could see with his eyes and touch with his hands. His service with the EDF had shown him amazing sights and some of the greatest spectacles humanity had been given privilege to witness, but in the end all of them could be explained by something, by someone.

In the same sense, the fact that his fighter was somehow out of the effective range of the energy blasts firing in rapid succession from the small crafts was probably something that could be scientifically quantified. To the man, however, the fact that he hadn’t been a few meters closer and completely destroyed was just enough to get him thinking about all the sermons he’d skipped.

“Holy shit,” he said, all too aware of the irony. “Blades? Blades, tell me you’re clear,” he spoke with a regretted sense of worry for the pilot.

“Relax, dad,” the voice sounded in his ears as his proximity sensor suddenly noted the other Angel pulling beside him into a still view of the ships. “Beautiful, aren’t they?”

A few seconds after firing their weapons, the small crafts slowly withdrew, sliding back into the places from which they had left the larger ship.

“A completely automated self-defense system. Short range, but still damn effective at repelling boarders,” she mused. It was clear that she hadn’t been rattled quite as much as her wing commander.

“Well, I’ve had enough of the pretty lights show for one day and I’d sure as hell like to know that if I start crying for help there’s going to be someone other than you to tend to my wounds,” Morrow said, imputing the course corrections to lead them back to the Atlas.”

“What?” Mackenzie said with a laugh. “You’d be surprised. I get compliments all the time on my bedside manner.”

“I’ll bet you do,” Morrow said with a smirk as they ignited burners and started home.
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Member for 7 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Jag on Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:57 am

Chat Session with NotAFlyingToy & Jag

Lt. Cmdr. Aiden “Roamer” Morrow
Lt. Mackenzie “Blades” Hawkins
Chief Jason “Digger” Mieczyslawa
EDF Atlas, Flight Deck

The growing sight of the Atlas before him was a welcome sight. Aiden Morrow found it strange, but the old bird was the image that formed when he closed his eyes and thought of home. The more that they were stranded away from the world and half the crew seemed to be replacements and transfers from “bigger” and “better” ships, the more fiercely protective he became of the majestically-aging old lady.

Atlas, this is Angel Wing One requesting priority landing. Open the barn door, the wild horses are a’comin’ home,” he transmitted, rocking the wings of his craft to confirm visual approach for both the traffic controller and the pilot flying on his wing.

“I’m still having trouble with my instrument panel,” he said with passing concern. “Maybe we weren’t totally out of range of those energy blasts. That’ll be a fun conversation,” the pilot chuckled.

“There’s no way that your deck chief can be half as bad as the one back on Endeavor,” she said, absent-mindedly broadcasting on an open channel as she fell into a trail and follow position. “And yeah, proximity sensors are shot. Switched off the warnings. Looks like we’re doing this one by hand.”

Meanwhile, down within the nest of steel and chrome that made up the inner walls of the Atlas, Jason "Diggers" Mieczyslwa was sipping a cup of black sludge and pretending it was coffee, his safety reflector looped haphazardly around his neck as he watched the two pilots' approach on the small screen, tucked away between a burn mark on the hull and a long gash in the metal tubing that hung beneath it.

He sipped at the sludge some more, his eyebrows arched.

"Boss, two on approach." One of his guys gave him a passing tap on the shoulder, a gesture that Diggers merely nodded to, putting the cup on the terminal, his hand lingering on the cup to make sure it didn't fall as soon as he turned away.

"Alright, boys!" He called, hoarse bark rising above the low din of the crew as they took up positions. "Two flyboys on their way home. Let's make sure that the blankets are warm for 'em."

He nodded to two technicians as he grabbed heavy gloves from his belt, slipping them on. "Count it off, Darren. Open the barn doors."

Luckily for everyone involved, combat landings were not the order of the day. From the day that they’d addressed the subject and ran their first simulations back on Triton Station, pilots were told that more birds and flight jockeys were lost to combat landings than enemy fire.

“Roamer, on final,” Morrow spoke, having already killed his main propulsion and instead using small course corrections to “float” the fighter down toward one of the large painted rectangles on the floor of the deck. As soon as his speed was reduced and his bird was in position, Morrow would be putting his fighter and his life in the hands of the deck team to activate the large electromagnets that would pull him to a stop and down to the ground so that the system of cables and towing wenches built into the deck would ferry the grounded Angel as necessary.

“That’s a good trap. Roamer, signing off,” he said, beginning the series of checks before he could clear his hatch and kiss the sweet oil-stained deck of the old girl.

“Right behind you,” Hawkins said as she eased up much faster than her fellow pilot and made a few more course corrections. Few would deny that he raw talent exceeded almost any pilot to ever drive an Angel, but she was still edgy and let her emotions control too much. Of course, Blades would never admit to a stick jockey or grease monkey either one that she had always been terrified of landings, screaming silent prayers until her feet touched the deck.

Another touchdown, another safe flight, another trip home. The girl clutches the beads in her hand before shoving it down into the leg pocket of her flight suit.

As soon as the clear order came down, the deck would fill with the usual crew and the sealed-up hull of the Atlas would be a full family once again, all of her babies safe in their nest.

The crew moved admirably, like a well oiled machine. The snaking cables clasped the fighter, moving it along its track with smoothness and ease. Because of high maintenance on little pleasures, like motorized step ladders, the crew wheeled orange giants, reminiscent of fire escapes of old into position so the pilots could clamber out of their cockpits with ease.

Digger was in front of Roamer's bird as the pneumatic hiss of the electromagnet signalled the craft's touchdown, a single bleated horn telling all hands that the bird was now safe to handle.

Digger lifted a weighted hand, his finger movements sluggish in the thick gloves. His prosthetic leg dug into his kneecap slightly, reminding him yet again that repairs were going to have to be made in order to achieve comfort again.

But, onto more pressing matters.

"Roamer," Diggers called, once enough time had passed for the pilot to have begun his dismount of his Angel. "my favourite flyboy. What did you manage to break on my beautiful Stephanie this time?"

Recycled air pumped through the closed atmosphere of the Angel, recycled air pumped the ventilation ducts of the Atlas – Aiden Morrow knew that there was absolutely no difference between the two, but the sickly-sweet smell of the dancing aromas on the flight deck always hit him like a warm welcome home any time he climbed out of the cockpit. If those smells were the home-cooked meal celebrating the return of the prodigal son, the ship’s deck chief was usually the father who’s approval Roamer could never win waiting with a lecture.

“Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot that your name is stenciled in on the side,” he said, tossing his flight helmet down to one of the techs as he gripped the railing of the steps. “Yeah, it’s right here under – oh wait,” he said in sarcastic shock, “that’s my name.”

The good-natured (most of the time) banter on the flight deck was something that could make or break a crew. And, whether they knew it or not, almost everyone in the unspoken rivalry between pilots and deck crew gauged it all by the levels between the deck chief and the wing Commander.

“And for the last time, her name is not Stephanie!”

The flight deck of the Atlas couldn’t have been more different than her home deck on the Endeavor. No automatic rigging system, no motorized platforms – none of the creature comforts with which the young pilot had cut her combat teeth. It was like stepping back into the past.

Though she’d never admit it, she loved it.

“If you boys want to whip ‘em out right now , I think I’ve got a distance finder in my crash kit. We can settle this one once and for all,” the twenty-four-year-old transfer pilot said, loosening the tight ponytail on her short hair and shaking loose as she approached the two men, one of whom she’d yet to meet thanks to the hellish rotations caused by the strange conditions and transfer orders shuffling personnel like rats.

Diggers guffawed, the sound decidedly ugly, cracking like a whip in the harsh lighting of the nest. In truth, he often missed Morrow's flippant remarks and heated debates regarding what the hunk of metal they both felt so much affection towards when the Wing Commander was out on scouting missions. The silent worry that the commander - and the bird that kept him from the vaccuum of space - wouldn't return almost made him think about easing up on the guy when he landed.


"I see," he drawled, letting the vowels stretch to fill the space between them. "So you putting those meaty paws all over her controls gives you more of a right to her than the poor fool who has to patch her back up after you go and break her." His eyes were all a-twinkle, icily regarding the other man from the deck, his head elevated to meet the other man's stare.

"And I noticed that you didn't answer the question, Commander. Guess I'll be surprised, then? You know that I hate-"

At the sudden interruption of a tradition that seemed set in stone, a routine that was almost as vital to the crew's entertainment as the meager vids shipped from back home (in some cases moreso), Digger was forced to wheel around and acknowledge the new recruit, striding towards them like she had bigger boots to fill.

Silence stretched between him and the newcomer, before he crossed his arms over his chest and glanced at her, from head to toe. "Ain't no maximum distance going to be large enough to fit my displeasure, ma'am, if I find out you broke Marissa, too."

Another member of the deck crew handed reach out, handing Morrow a datapad for his post-flight checklist. Second nature took over as the pilot made a few marks and then signed the bottom of the form before handing it back. He wasn’t about the miss the show between these two.

A newly-promoted Wing Commander and filling shoes that he hadn’t asked to wear was something that Aiden tried like hell to keep to himself. He knew that Ramirez was aware unless she’d miraculously forgot his pleas for her to choose another officer. Lucy knew, of course. He’d never been able to hide anything from his Echo Company bunkmate and comrade. He wondered if Digger had a clue.

“Chief, Lt. Mackenzie Hawkins, previously of the Endeavor. Blades, I give you the mother hen of the grease monkeys,” he jabbed before turning his attention to the bird. For all his smirking remarks, he wanted the first look at what effect the energy weapons might have had.

Tucking her helmet beneath her arm and immediately sizing up the deck chief, she started to realize that the men calling the shots of the flight decks were every bit as different as the capital ships to which she’d been assigned.

“You’re no Master Chief Billick. Then again, you’re half his age and half his gut, too,” she remarked. No extension of the hand. “If were we on my ship, Chief, I’d probably already have tacked you down for not rendering proper address to an officer.”

“Also, someone would have already started the recovery of Marissa’s gun camera so we can start telling everyone all the fun ghost stories we’ve got to tell now,” she said with a daring stare and smirk that seemed to dance on the line between a challenge and a tease.

"That's Mister Mother Hen to you, Morrow,"

Digger's mouth twitched, and he thumbed his nose towards the new transfer. One of his gloves absently scratched at the top of his thigh, right where the prosthetic began and the flesh ended. Out of the corner of his eye, he followed the telltale signs of energy damage along Stephanie's hull, under her carriage. His professional guess was that the instruments were fried; either minimally or catastrophically; it would remain to be seen.

Still, it wasn't a hard fix. He had the parts lying around the deck, and he could harvest one of the last Serving bots down at the Mess hall for the copper and wiring he'd need. Stephanie would fly again, fully operational, as was his job description. With this thought firm in his mind, he raised his eyebrows at the newcomer.

"Dearie," he drawled, hoarseness of his voice catching on the 'e' of the word. "So long as your ghost stories don't involve enemy gunfire and Marissa's hull, we're gon' get along just fine.

"And I'm sorry about the lack of a gut; I've tried to put on some weight, but some people," he hiked his thumb at the Commander, examining the bird "Like to make a man work harder n' he should to keep their asses from fryin'. I'm wonderin' if you're cut from the same cloth."

The back-and-forth banter was quickly becoming lost on the senior of the two pilots as the thrill of a mission and returning safely quickly gave way to a curiosity and concern for the nature of what they’d encountered out there. Crouching down and tilting his head to the side to run his eyes down the length of the Angel’s hull, his hand smoothed over what looked like a very light energy burn. Not enough to cause structural damage, but clearly enough to have caused the problems he’d noticed on landing.

“Chief,” he spoke flatly, eyes never leaving the ship, “This was probably at a distance of around 300 meters or so, small-ship stand-off fire. Never seen anything like it.”

“You wouldn’t be the first one to wonder what’s going on with my cloth since I –“ the pilot’s words were cut off as Aiden summoned Digger over to the bird. Seeing the effect first hand, she was terrified to think of what the blind spots on her own fighter looked like. She’d been much closer. Hell, she’d almost collided with one of the things.

“Since when does thermal scarring muck up guidance systems?”

At the sound of the man's voice, Digger knew that the joking time was over. Immediately, he made his way towards the Wing Commander, opting to bend with his hands on his knees, a pen light seemingly materializing from his toolbelt to his grip. He clicked it on, shining it along the surface of the burn, watching it alter the consistency of the hull, light reflecting off of its surface in strange forms and patterns, telling him that this wasn't any normal kind of energy.

"Looks like significant scarring for 300 meters. Anything unusual happen to the ship after impact?" He ignored the junior pilot's words for now, preferring to hear it from the man it happened to. First-hand accounts were always more trustworthy.

“Hard to tell what was new and what’s the same hell we’ve had since jumping into this system.” He knew that he didn’t have to spell out the rest for Digger, but Blades was another story.

“We don’t have a full automated repair system aboard, so damn near half the Wing is banged up one way or another from the scrap at Melchoir. Couple that with the fact that almost all the birds we picked up as transfers before gatejumping to Karas still need refitting for our launch system and every pilot this side of the home systems is suffering from exhaustion and early signs of combat dementia and I can’t stand to tell what’s hitting us from the outside and what we’re doing to ourselves.”

A harmless but effective slam of the officer’s forearm into the side of the Angel’s hull preceding a curse and his pacing off to the side of the deck. The pressures of command, or something like that.

“I think I liked it better at the Academy when I was flying against him,” Mackenzie said as she leaned in to Digger. “At least then it was easy to tell what he was getting mad about.” There was a semblance of solemn concern hidden somewhere in her words as well.

“We didn’t have any warning out there, Chief. There’s another ship out there. Don’t know how long it’s been floating dead in the water out there, but it’s supposed to be one of ours, looks like nothing I’ve ever seen, and does this if we get close to it.”

Digger watched the man go, letting the slap on Stephanie's hull go for the fact that he was under duress. He took it as a sign that yes, occasionally, he was capable of being a nice guy. "He ain't kidding, you know." He said, softly. He began to get on his knees, his pant-leg making a renegade break for his prosthetic knee as he did so, revealing a flash of metal. Rolling onto his back, he slid across the floor, until he was underneath the Angel, examining it more closely.

"Never seen fatigue in pilots as I have in this venture. I've fixed a lot of birds in my time, Miss, but this place's a keg waiting to blow. I'm gonna have to start thinkin' about scrapping stuff seriously, soon. And you can never get a damn good cup of coffee."

The story she told sent a chill to his bone as he put the penlight in his mouth, unscrewing and opening an access panel underneath the ship, one of three around its expansive hull. With a soft curse, he examined the cables and wires that hung from the inner workings of the bird, shifting through contents for some time, muttering things under his breath. When he emerged about a minute later, he sat up, wiping his hands on his pants.

"Fixable," was all he said, tugging off one glove with his teeth. "Dead in the water, you said? Could be an automatic firing system; some sort of defense against intruders. Though I've never seen anythin' out here worth defendin'."

Without fanfare, he reached towards her with his naked palm. "I'm Jason, by the way. Jason Diggers."

Sharp eyes trained to spot irregularities in the darkness of space jumped between the two men for a moment. One hell of a dynamic aboard this ship, she was quickly learning.

“Oh,” she breathed, reaching down and wiping off her own hand before meeting his. Considering that they were both tucked beneath the frame of the ship, it wasn’t like there was much of a reason to stand on protocol. That and, despite her earlier bluff, the young woman’s service record was already pepper with official marks for failing to render proper honors and follow procedure at times.

“Blades…err…Lt. Hawkins…Mackenzie…Mack…Blades…Whatever,” she said with a breaking laugh as their hands met for a moment before she turned to run her hand on the underside of the ship. “Stephanie, huh? Well,” she brushed off her legs and came to stand again.

“You can call ‘em anything you want so long as I’ve got a hot ride under my ass when the glory hounds come barkin’. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Chief, I have a lot of very unpleasant reports to make and then, if I’m lucky, steal some rack time when no one’s looking,’ She flashed a smile before heading over to Morrow.

The moment alone was enough to clear his head for the time being. It wasn’t perfect, but Captain Ramirez’s trust in him could be wasted this early. Staying on the deck and complaining about how they should have expected something like this wasn’t going to help, either. Delegation of authority. He wasn’t going to serve anyone a lick of good by kicking around the deck and barking orders at Digger and his crew.

“C’mon, we need to see the XO,” he said after whispered words from Blades. Turning and nodding to Digger, Morrow reached for the ladder leading up to the secondary causeway leading from the deck and started forming the words of his report in his head.
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Member for 7 years

Private First Class Corban Thrace
EDF Atlas- C.I.C

Corban Thrace along with many of the other Marine grunts were somewhat on edge after the events ground side coupled with the excitement aboard the Atlas. Despite his desire to be apart of the recon force, Bravo had been designated as a reinforcement and extraction squad should things deteriorate planet side. With the loss of comms Bravo was unable to do its duty and instead was marshaled to help secure vital systems including the C.I.C, Med Bay and officers quarters during the confusion of the false alarm ship fires. Corban was new to the Atlas. Transferred aboard just before making the trip to Melchoir as did many of the ships newer personnel. Corban had yet to settle in with his new squad mates and mostly remained quite to avoid being asked about Akuze. Due to the big mans stoic and at times icy demeanor the other members of Bravo were quickly beginning to view him as hard, cold, callous and even a bit of an asshole. It wasn't that Thrace didn't care. He just found it easier to distance himself from the others. It felt safer. At the moment he was standing guard in front of the C.I.C awaiting his relieve. Beside him was Corporal Damon Baird. A good marine with something of an acidic wit that was as much of an acquired taste as a kick to the groin. Baird was about a head shorter than Corban with bright blonde hair and a seemingly permanent smirk. Baird cleared his throat breaking the crushing silence between the two men much to Corban's dismay.

"So uhh...How bout that Intel Officer eh? What her name? Caspian?"

Corban just sighed in his helmet without a word. Apparently the blatant sign of disinterest went unheeded.

"I mean I'm not usually into those stuck up nerdy broads but-"

"Baird... Shut up."

Corban said flatly not moving from his vigil by the door. Damon was much more relaxed as he shifted casually in place only taking the time to straighten up when someone would walk by.

"Easy big guy I was just trying to make conversation. I mean frak you've barely said two words since you got thrown in with us."


"Aaand we don't know shit about ya man. Well... short of what was in your file."

Corban slowly turned his head to look at the smaller man beside him. Baird swallowed hard and chuckled lightly.

"No offense bro."

"I ain't your bro."

Corban replied. Baird just shrugged.

"Yeah well... fair enough. Point is big guy, we're not all dicks..."

Baird paused and the two men exchanged glances. Baird smirked and corrected himself.

"Well I am."

Corban let out a light chuckle which brought out a smile on Damons face.

"So you do smile... You are smiling right? Tough to tell with the helmet and all. Why do you where that thing all the time anyway?"

Corban shrugged.

"I like it."

Just then Gorman and Byrne turned the corner with rifles in hand to relieve Corban and Baird.

"Yeah well you know what I like? The relief squad. Bout time ladies. Thrace and I were about to start braiding each others hair out of boredom."

Baird said sarcastically as he greeted the two marines.

"There's still time hot shot."

Byrne said as she playfully punched his arm and took his spot. Baird shook his head and threw his hands up in surrender.

"Sorry babe, can't. Us manly men got a date with a bottle of something that'll make even your rugged exterior look worth the risk of something itchy."


She replied with a laugh. Gorman took Corbans place with a nod and Thrace began to walk off not following Baird when he was halted by the Corporals voice.

"Hey man, you coming?"

Corban paused with a sigh. All he wanted to do was head to barracks and seclude himself. Maybe work out, clean his rifle. Find some peace in solitude.


He mumbled under his breath before turning around to Baird.

"Lead the way."
I should go.
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Bromander Shepard
Member for 4 years

Michael "Rick" Warren and Jason.
Extract from personal logs dated some two solar years pre-Atlas infiltration.

Log Entry 88579-92.
User: Sct-Mchl.
Position: Scrap Station Delta-6.
Days since infiltration: 87.
Location: Personal quarters.
Status: Uncertain.

Jason, I think I discovered a new emotion today. I wish I could talk to you about it; tell you what it feels like. I don’t like not knowing where you are, even though I know you’re coming back for me. It’s only been a few days, and already I’m not sure what I’m doing, which is stupid. I’ve been here for ages, and it’s not like I’ve physically needed you for a while, but it was nice knowing you were there. Knowing you’re not- I don’t like it, Jason.

I think that’s where the emotion is coming from. It’s not one that I’ve felt before; it’s not one I like. It started this morning and I’ve not been able to get rid of it, nothing seems to help. I know it’s not safe for you to have the ship anywhere near here while such a high-level schooner is docked, but I still wish you’d risked it. I don’t like being cut off like this. The crew aren’t even dangerous, just advanced. They all seem more interested in picking up unusual space junk than sniffing out my presence here.

I hope they’ll be gone soon.

Log Entry 88579-97.
User: Sct-Mchl.
Position: Scrap Station Delta-6.
Days since infiltration: 88.
Location: Mess hall.
Status: Uncomfortable.

Jason, I want you to come back now please. I know the schooner hasn’t gone yet, but the aliens are clearly harmless despite their technology. The new emotion hasn’t gone away yet, and I don’t know what to do; it’s not a good feeling. It’s there from when I wake up and it doesn’t let up during the day. It gets worse when I have nothing to do, and it makes everything seem less interesting.

I’m not sure how to describe this feeling to you. It’s- it’s the feeling that something isn’t right. It’s a bad feeling, a heavy feeling. How I felt when my storybook projector broke. That’s how it feels, but different and worse. Nothing’s been broken, Jason, so I don’t know what to do. When you got me another one, the feeling went away, but how can I get you to get me a new something when I don’t know what that something is? It’s not even the same feeling. It’s useless.

Log Entry 88579-102.
Position: Scrap Station Delta-6.
Days since infiltration: 92.
Location: Personal quarters.
Status: Ill.

I don’t feel well. The feeling isn’t getting better. It’s getting worse and I can’t get rid of it. I thought about asking someone, maybe the doctor here, but without you here I- what if it’s the wrong thing to do? I don’t know what to choose and you’re not here to help me. I don’t know how the people here cope with this feeling, how they make it go away, and if I ask someone about it without checking with you- I don’t know. I don’t know, Jason, and I don’t like it.

It’s making more new feelings, and I don’t like them at all. They feel like ‘worried’ and they feel like ‘sick’ and they feel like- the something’s broken emotion. You’d call it upset, I know I’m upset, but I want to know the proper words, I want to know how to make it go away. You always know how to make it go away, Jason.

What am I supposed to do when you’re not here to help me?

Log Entry 1058724-94.
User: 01001010 00110001.
Vessel status-
Temporal Orientation: Daylight rotation suspended as per Protocol D6; Scout absent from vessel.
Physical Orientation: 6x498x9983648. Rotation: 67%. Geostationary orbit of Item 644D8.
Physical Condition: Life support- elective inactive. Temporal regulation- elective inactive. Shield function- positive, 100%. Systems- 100%; 37% standby active; 63% elective inactive. Cloak- 100%. Deflector array- 98%. Transmitter array- elective inactive.
Sensor readings: 0.6%. Maintenance of status outside of potentially dangerous unknown vessel sensor range- positive. Low-band monitoring of Scout status- active. Audio-visual monitoring- inactive.
Transmissions: Baseline Scout status reports positive. Active real-time communication terminated due to unknown vessel threat. Ship-to-Scout communication terminated due to unknown vessel threat. Scout-to-Ship (active) communication terminated due to unknown vessel threat. Scout-to-ship (passive) communication active: personal status communication received; triplicate encryption; underfrequency transmission.

GUARD status-
Power Level: 44% (22 cycles remaining).
Physical Condition: 72% (baseline).
Physical Orientation: Communication Station C8.

Scout Status-
Form: Bipedal proto-humanoid life form 81-TT6.
Physical Orientation: Refuge management co-orbital station D-6.
Physical Condition: Undamaged. Pathologically sound.
Emotional Condition: Poor.

It has been in excess of twelve temporal rotations since active communication with Michael has been possible, and I confess myself uneasy at this separation. My personal status, though never optimal, is acceptable given current parameters. I will not require winding in the immediate future and I profess myself confident that I will be capable of retrieving Michael long before the situation becomes critical. The unknown vessel that initially triggered the current separation remains docked to the refuge management station on which Michael is dwelling, but has shown no hostile intent nor signs that they have discovered our presence in this sector.

However, I am finding this situation increasingly negative. Michael, though initially elated at our enforced separation is beginning to show signs of severe distress, and I am deeply concerned for his welfare at the current time. It appears that, some six days post-separation he began to exhibit signs of uncertainty at his situation, manifesting in the form of negative emotional response. At the aforementioned time communication was completely inactive, and as such the discovery of the negative emotional manifestation initially went unnoticed.

Though the schooner of questionable intent and ability remains docked, I risked a dampened sensor sweep of the area at the beginning of the ship’s cycle, and as a result procured the last several entries of Michael’s personal log. The aforementioned is the cause of my concern.

As mentioned earlier in this report, the unsettled nature of Michael’s condition is apparent in the narrative, and has progressed to the extent that I am now contemplating removing him from this infiltration on the grounds of protecting his emotional safety. In such a situation, the risk if Michael coming to harm as a result of his own dysregulation is profound, increasing the probability of discovery to an unacceptable level; there is no doubt at this point that something needs to be done.

The use of remote transportation technology in this situation has a high probability of alerting the schooner of questionable intent to not only Michael’s presence, but my own, and as such must be ruled out. Retrieving him remotely is an impossibility, but as is leaving him in his current predicament for any great stretch of time. My every instinct tells me to retrieve him with all due haste, and my protocols are in agreement; something will have to be done before the end of his cycle.

Required Action: Devise suitable extraction strategy to retrieve Scout from potentially hostile situation.

Log Entry 88687-1.
User: Sct-Mchl.
Position: Home.
Days since infiltration return:1.
Location: Bridge.
Status: Not bad.

He came and got me, even though the ship he didn’t like was still there. I thought he wasn’t coming, but he came. I don’t know how he knew I needed to get out of there, but then again I never do; when I need him, he just sort of turns up and fixes everything, even when I don’t realise that something needs fixing.

I discovered a new emotion when he arrived. It might have been a part of the ones I was feeling before, I haven’t asked yet, but it came in this great big rush when I realised it was him. He’d come to make everything okay again. It made making proper memories hard, this emotion, so I can’t really say all that much about it, but it made me want to cry. I think I did cry, a bit, when I had turned back into a shape that physically could. It’s hard to think it all through, even though it was only a little while ago.

I feel better, but still not right. I don’t want to go back to my room, even though he told me I probably should. He said I was tired, and I think I am, but I don’t want to leave at the moment. He’s sitting in his chair right now, doing whatever it is he does when he’s on the bridge in his body, and for some reason I can’t leave. He’d probably come with me to my room if I asked him to. He’d probably come if I didn’t ask him to, but I’d actually rather just stay here.

Log Entry 1058820-3.
User: 01001010 00110001.
GUARD status-
Power Level: 99% (49.5 cycles remaining).
Physical Condition: 72% (baseline).
Physical Orientation: Bridge, helm control.

Scout Status-
Form: Bipedal neutral configuration.
Physical Orientation: Bridge, co-pilot position.
Physical Condition: Undamaged. Pathologically sound.
Emotional Condition: Regulating.

As mentioned the previous entry to this database, Michael was retrieved without detection from the schooner of questionable intent, however, it has now become apparent that his condition had perhaps become a little more precarious than initially assumed. The previously detailed retrieval is accurate; however, I am concerned that what at first appeared to be a stress reaction to emotional overload is perhaps indicative of some deeper trauma. Michael’s disinclination to be separated from my presence is unsettling.

And yet- I find myself oddly satisfied with this development. My protocol dictates that I should allow no harm to come to Michael, and yet, there are so many definitions of harm. Rationality is a concept that I have only been familiar with for a short period, and perhaps it is something I am growing into alongside Michael, thus making my position as a teacher somewhat precarious. I am conflicted; my programming states that the condition in which I retrieved Michael is a thing of increasing negativity, and yet rationally I am proud. In fact, I could not be more pleased, even in the face of his distress.

Never before has Michael shown such a depth of emotion, so much so that he is still affected by the remnants almost a full cycle since resolution began. My initial predictions that he would recover almost at once upon my returning him to his natural habitat and routine were erroneous to the extreme, but I cannot find it within myself to resent this, as Michael actually appears to be processing his feelings. I had not expected such a breakthrough in his learning, and certainly not in regards to myself; loneliness in groups was an experience that I thought beyond his understanding, and yet he has shown quite a remarkable capacity for that very thing.

I do not wish to cause him distress, my very purpose is to prevent such occurrences, but in this case I believe that his unhappiness is beneficial. In light of the fact that previously Michael has shown only shallow attachment to others, including myself, I believe that the violence of his rejection to the loss of my presence is telling. His growth has the potential to be astounding, and I believe that this is the first step towards full emotional capacity.

Required Action: To provide emotional stability and comfort, while encouraging further development of the Scout.
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Member for 6 years

Private First Class Corban Thrace
EDF Atlas- Crew barracks

After several shots and a beers Baird had managed to get Corban to loosen up. The big mans helmet was laying on the table beside several empty glasses and a broken bottle.

"... I mean frak If I was that ugly I woulda ate my gun. Hell this little freak looked like, like this guy."

Baird said throwing a thumb at the man sitting behind him at the next table over. Corban took another shot before noticing the man behind Baird stand up and turn to glare down at Baird.

"You talking about me runt?"

The man said. The guy was a pilot by the look of his uniform. Just a tad shorter than Corban but big enough to dwarf Baird. Corban eyed him from his seat ready to drop this guy if he tried anything. Baird just causally turned around in his seat to look up at the big pilot.

"Easy fly boy, don't get your panties in a knot. I was just making a joke beef tits. Ya know a joke? Like that thing in your pants."

The pilot gripped Baird up by the shirt collar and lifted him out of his seat.

"I'm gunna bash your face in smart ass."

He growled. Baird just chuckled.

"Oh you're such a charmer. I bet you say that to all the girls."

The pilot cocked a fist back but as soon as Thrace stood out of his chair the pilot looked like he rethought his decision.

"Try it and you'll be picking up your teeth with a broom."

Corban warned. The pilot eyed him up before shoving Baird aside and stepping up to get in his face.

"Hey... Hey... I know you. You're Thrace right? Corban Thrace. Yeah I've heard about you. Your the ass hole that got your squad killed right? Your squad and both your brothers?"

Corban's fists clenched as the rage began to consume him. He could almost feel the heat radiating off his body as he imagined crushing the life from this pilots body. The pilot chuckled before continuing.

"Guess it's not so bad if ya think about it. Thanks to you there aren't anymore members of your piss pot family getting anymore EDF men killed."

The pilot barely got the last word out before Corban's hands shot out and grabbed his shirt collar before he pulled him forward and he smashed his forehead into the mans face, breaking his nose. The pilot stumbled back with a face pouring blood. Three more pilots stood up at the sight of the big marine attacking their fellow pilot. Baird chuckled and grabbed a bottle off the table beside him.

"Shiny, a tussle!"

He turned and turned to face the other pilots.

"Well ladies? We gunna scrap or ya gunna line up to get my autograph?"
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Bromander Shepard
Member for 4 years

Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby NotAFlyingToy on Sun Jan 08, 2012 6:57 pm

Chief Jason “Diggers” Miecyzslawa.
EDF Atlas, Flight Deck

In the midst of the darkened flight deck, no illumination but the consistent sparking of a torch in the night, Jason Miecyzslawa was hard at work on his babies. The portable music player he had dragged with him, a model that was nearly fifteen years old and sported burn marks, duct tape, and indents, threw heavy rock music that was equally out of date around the large area, the cranky deck chief’s soldering gun hissing and spitting almost in time to the music. In the dark space, his boots began tapping against the floor, making clomping sounds to the heavy riffs whining out from tiny speakers.

Music had always helped him relax and focus, in equal measures, so it was almost as necessary a tool as his own physical equipment. Because of the hardship and time spent thrown together in the deep space, behind enemy lines, the crew had learned to trust each other implicitly, both for sanity’s sake and for practical reasons. Digger trusted his guys to know their positions, and they in turn trusted him to be able to fix every problem that came their way. It was an unbalanced relationship, but Digger had a gift with machines and mechanics, a gift that hadn’t taken long to come to the surface and make itself known around the Atlas. Now, along with the regular and demanding repairs of equipment and fliers, Digger found himself walking the halls where needed, fixing a heater here and an electronic gurney there.

He did everything he could, worked himself dead, and passed out without dreaming. It was the only way to stay sane, nowadays.

With a groan, he slipped out from underneath the Angel on the maintenance roller, an official name that hadn’t made it past the airlock. On the flight deck, they were simply known as skateboards. Sitting up, he flipped the protective shielding that covered his face and neck, now dotted with solder and copper strands, to wipe at tired eyes and stare into space for a few minutes, allowing the music and thumping to fill the cracks within his brain.

A woman standing at the bottom of the entrance ramp as he boarded the Atlas, nothing but three sets of clothes, toiletries, and his standard uniform in a duffel bag hanging off of his right arm. His set of legs, various equipment, and staff manifests were already on board, packed into trunks and set inside his bunk. He took the time to look back at her, a reassuring smile on his face. He was leaving her, with nothing, with no one.

He wasn’t concerned.

“I’ll never leave you, Jason.”

Sure you won’t.

With a sigh, he sat up, stretching skyward and listening to his back pop and crack under the motion. When he released himself from the strain, he felt ten years younger, as he always did after solving a few problems. With a flick of his wrist, he grabbed up his personal recorder and began to speak, walking around the Angel as he did so.

“Stephanie took a plasma bolt from an unknown source, scorching the undercarriage with expected damage output, but nothing external was knocked around too badly. However, the instrument panel wasn’t working correctly according to our dear Commander Morrow, so I popped her open and rifled through her innards. Most of the automatic circuitry was fried, and her lock-on mechanism wasn’t fully responding, so I had to completely replace the wiring in several areas. The lock-on is still giving me trouble, so I’m hoping to have that completely worked out tomorrow, around 0800, before Morrow is sent out again.” He paused, the recorder halfway to his lips, shaking his head slightly. How much longer could the man hold out? The strain was slowly ebbing at him, sucking his life force away. Even the banter they shared, always a highlight to his day, seemed off as of late, and the outburst after the two men had discovered the damage to Stephanie was merely the tip of the ice burg.

Something had to give.

He shook his head violently, dislodging the thought. The Commander was one of the few people he saw on a regular basis, and he didn’t wish to see him snap. He needed to hold it together. For all of their sake.

“Now, Marissa, on the other hand, is a completely different ballgame. I don’t know what the good lieutenant did that was any different than what the good Commander did, but Marissa seemed a little worse for wear. The entire motherboard under the hood, the one that controls all instrumentals, is completely fried. I replaced it with one I had from Noelle, rest her soul, but I have my doubts as to whether or not she’ll be truly flightworthy. I’ll need to see Hawkins sometime tomorrow, to take her for a flight to stretch her wings, so to speak. Iron out any kinks. But Marissa’s always been a bit more delicate than Stephanie. Steph’s a tough old bird, for sure. Still, I’ll have to make a note of getting both pilots down here to take flight.”

He leaned his forehead against Marissa’s cool metal, imagining her shivering, terrified of going back outside where she could be hurt again. With a calloused hand, he stroked her serial markings, to reassure the poor girl. The metal under his hand warmed quickly. “Easy, girl,” he whispered, smiling.

He turned away from his baby, moving back towards the center of the room, the recorder still hanging near his lips. “All in all, not a bad day. No deaths, and two moderately banged up birds. We’ve certainly earned a break, haven’t we, little man in the recorder?”

He clicked the off switch, and scrubbed his hands with his face, tossing the recorder into a leather pocket at his belt. With a rush, he remembered the last time he was recording dialogue, in his quarters, staring into a camera while stuttering and stumbling through an apology, Amanda’s face on the other screen. She looked so broken, so tired, so angry with him and his being so far away. He remembered feeling heartbroken that he couldn’t tell her what she wanted to hear, and feeling even worse when she gave him the bad news.

You said you’d never leave me.

You left me, Jason. You left me.

A bitter chuckle escaped him, and he moved out of the flight deck, yanking the chord for his music station out of the wall as he did so. The rock and roll, so prevalent in the dark and huge room, cut short in the midst of a drum solo. He hit the few lights left on as he exited, bone-tired, to his bunk.

He’d probably stare at the ceiling until he passed out, a ritual that was becoming more and more frequent.

I’ll never leave you, Jason.

I’ll never leave…
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Re: [IC] Echo Legacy: Burdens of Honor

Postby Hadespwr on Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:57 pm

Midshipman Dennis Heldane

A tickling bead of sweat slowly crept down the nose of the intently focused technician as his eyes remained steadily locked on the work before him. With an MUT in one hand and a solder clamp in the other, the tech anxiously licked his lips as he ever so cautiously brought the freshly stripped copper wire endings closer to the PCB terminal he intended to fuse. The wires made gentle contact with the terminal and with graceful flow the MUT maneuvered around the other circuits to get the best angle of approach on the point of contact. It was a very delicate operation, the system was powered up (or 'hot' as techs called it) and if that iron got too close to something it wasn't supposed to the arc would short out the--

The ET's hand twitched, and a fizzling crack issued from the PCB as a small geyser of acrid, white smoke plumed into the face of the tech as electricity arced between the wire and the MUT which then jumped to a resistor nestled way too close to the terminal.

"D-d-d-DAM-" Dennis managed to bite his tongue to hold back his stuttering obscenity. Not like it would have mattered had he actually cursed at the top of his lungs. The CIC was a calm and professional place yet Dennis's consistent, and often involuntary, outbursts had gone unheeded for some time now within the cool confines of the brain of the vessel. Dennis wasn't sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing; any captain who runs a tight ship--which Ramirez certainly did--would discipline such breach of protocol readily, and she had done so for Dennis in the past. Now it was almost like his vulgarity was treated like standard operating procedure amongst the bridge crew. Actually the more Dennis thought about it the worse the implications were; it was like being treated like some non-housebroken pet.

After glancing around to see if anyone had taken notice of his slip up Dennis wiped his nose with a forefinger and turned his attention back to his task. He uttered a silent curse as he evaluated the damage. The stricken resistor was scorched black and one of its own terminals had been repelled away from the PCB from the shock, its wiring snapped like much-too-taught fishing line. That was the second resistor Dennis had busted today, in this very room, on this very board! He was sure that Chief Wisetale would give him all hell for that...provided he even bothered to read Dennis's logs anyway which the tech was uncertain of. Despite the plethora of ranks, ratings and occupational specialties reflected in the DC and maintenance staff of the Atlas, amongst the tech specialists there were only two categories: the 'nukes'; the 'A' certified nuclear technicians and engineers who inhabited the reactor and engine rooms; and the 'pukes' the 'C' class technicians who inhabited...everywhere. Well, no self-respecting 'C' class technician, such as Dennis himself, would call themselves a 'puke' (they referred to themselves as 'techs') but that was simply the title thrust upon them by the nukes who had passed nuke school and viewed themselves as superior to the others. The nukes were universally the bosses of the other techs and they made sure every other tech on the ship knew the appropriate technophilic pecking order. That pecking order also meant that the documentation, logs and reports of the non-nukes were in a much lower priority slot than the nukes themselves. Unless the tech really screwed something up then a nuke would make sure a 'puke' knew why he or she was called such.

Heaving a sigh, Dennis set down his tools then cracked his knuckles and cranked his neck a bit. Unlike his legs and lips, the twitch in his hand was not due to his disorder, but pure fatigue and stress. There was a lot of work to be done on the Atlas's electrical systems regardless of what the ship had been through. Like every human who inhabited the giant, flying, metal cigar the Atlas had her own needs; as she protected the crew, so they would need to protect her. The Atlas had a soul, more soul than any of the intra-system cutters Dennis had served on in his career, and that soul had a way of telling the crew when it needed attending to.

And right now, that soul was very, very angry. So angry in fact that Atlas had tried to kill them all not just but a couple days ago.

Now there was a wondrous mess of things to clean up after that fiasco; the electronics had been acting up ever since the system overload that led to all the fire alarms going haywire and every tech on the Atlas was pulling double shift to get the ship's systems back to ready status. The LADAR(LAser Detection And Ranging) suite was one such trouble spot, and it was the one billeted to Dennis. A lot of the transistors had blown during the power surges the ship experienced when the Atlas computer network went psycho, trying to boost the strength of the sensors by pumping extra power to the system. Now the techs had to rebuild a lot of the RCB's piece by piece including the control board Dennis was currently working on. He'd been struggling with it for hours on end and now finally at the tail end of the work a simple, god damned slip of the wrist had almost set him back half that work time. He hit the master power switch for the system, stopping the juice. Tearing off a piece of solder tape from his harness, Dennis used the solder clamps to crudely wrap the wire endings of the resistor and fused it with his MUT.

"CIC, block A, going hot, repeat, going hot." Dennis garbled into his comm bead informing all the techs not to touch any block A wiring lest they be fried to a crisp. After hearing "all clear" Dennis punched the master power again. Clamping the copper wires again and adjusting his MUT, Dennis repositioned the hot wire. The solder couldn't be done cold because this particular soldering technique required current running through both contact surfaces in order to properly seal and Dennis mentally cursed whoever came up with that idea. Focusing with extreme intensity Dennis again maneuvered the MUT into position and this time, everything went according to plan. The satisfying sizzle of metal ablating to metal greeted his ears. Dennis leaned back from the board with a relief-filled sigh; finally this billet was done. He conducted some diagnostic checks with his MUT and the control interface of the LADAR to see that everything was in working order. Seeing nothing amiss, Dennis updated the system and his personal log, packed the RCB back into it's holding tray and slid said tray into the shelf, all while making sure no loose wires got caught in the shelf rollers.

Dennis checked the next task on his billet, his last task for the day before he could get some well deserved (or at least much needed) rest. Adjusting his glasses ever so slightly for better focus he read the log and cursed under his breath. The lower deck airlocks were still tweaking out and the control system needed some repairs to resolve this issue. Dennis hated going down there, there were a lot of civvies running around on the lower decks. No matter how many times the crew informed the civvies to stay out of the maintenance ducts there was always a group of ignorant kids or some lost soul who wandered into those areas. On several occasions since the captain's announcement Dennis had been harassed by the civvies. Some of them just honestly wanted information, but many more were just venting on the first uniform they saw. Screw that! Dennis didn't have a very good idea of what was going on himself! That knowledge was restricted to the o-gangers (officers) in charge around here.

Well, it was restricted until the captain made it clear to everybody on board the ship that they would be a long way from home for a very long time. That didn't really matter much to Dennis, it's not like he had a home to go back to. Hell, it's not like he had a home at all. After all his time here he still walked the halls staring at his feet, too afraid of the scornful glances he received from his 'fellow' crewmen and officers. They saw a reputation and not a man, something that Dennis was still trying to rebuild and he was beginning to wonder if it was futile. The XO had told him long ago that they were all soldiers, they were all part of the same brotherhood and the captain had recently reinforced this notion with her ship-wide speech. It was a brotherhood Dennis desperately wanted to be a part of, but always was on the outside looking in. He was trying harder than anyone to cast off the title of outcast and actually be one with this community, the "family" of Atlas that did not exist on the patrol cutters.

And he had been trying in vain to join that family for five, fucking, years.
"There comes a time in the affairs of men when he must prepare to defend not only his home alone but the tenets of faith and humanity upon which his church, his government, his very civilization are founded."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1941
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