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And the Stars Revolted

Milky Way Galaxy

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a part of And the Stars Revolted, by The Adversary.

None

The Adversary holds sovereignty over Milky Way Galaxy, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

259 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for And the Stars Revolted
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Minimap

Milky Way Galaxy is a part of And the Stars Revolted.

6 Characters Here

Adamma Ignatyeva [4] "Got this theory going on that I just wasn't born to die."
Dr. Clarey Ayala and Viki [2] The perfect pair
Hian lau Shi [1] "It makes no difference who we are. This net has been cast over all of us."
Maya Himayati [1] "Three packs a day keeps lots of things away."
Collette [0] "Have you ever heard the phrase 'follow your doctor's orders'? Yeah, it wasn't a suggestion. Shut up and do what I say."
"Tin-Man" [0] "Lay down your arms. Exit the building. Or you will be executed."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Hian lau Shi Character Portrait: Adamma Ignatyeva
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Days kicked off fast on Dahl's Cradle. In fact, they never really ended. The sun rising over the planet's western hemisphere signalled a massive changing of shifts. One both sides of the world the day and night crews traded places to keep the machine ever running. Shuttles and ships landing, docking, loading and leaving. Merchant freighters exiting their jumps just twenty miles from the moon, bearing whatever the Cradle didn't manufacture itself. Shipments of refined ores, minerals and rock coming down to the factories from the asteroid belt facilities. Wings of mining pilots returning home, their ships refueled and dispatched with new crews. The Earth Scraper Breaking Orbit keeping in line with the planet's night cycle, slicing silently through the darkness. And despite all the here-to-there goings on nothing really changed. Corporate worlds like this tended to be little more than a bustling monotony. The company was in control, and to pay for your right to live on their planet you did your job to support their business. Almost every single occupation was connected in some way to the Van Zandt Group or one of its partners. That was just the way things were.

Hian had been busy supervising the assembly of individual ship components. Sections of the hull, engine and frame surgically pieced together before being lifted up into orbit where they'd find their places in the shape of a new vessel. He would have preferred being on one of the teams fabricating the parts at least, or to be up where the final product came together. Either way, it was all a good respite from his real job. Sometimes he'd get lucky and need to fill in for someone or take over if something went wrong, but the company trained good workers, and the automated systems were reliable. Hian didn't understand why humans were so distrusting of their unmanned equipment. He actually found himself complaining, for once. He didn't like managing, he was a hands-on kind of man. He wasn't about to be a child about it, though.

His replacement came in, and he clocked out. He did like the night shift, because it meant he was free to move about in the morning. Grabbing a ride on a maglev, he just watched the skyline. The glowing sun in the distance, wreathed with white light. Huge, white manmade spires climbing upward and surrounded by high altitude traffic. Shortly after disembarking, aiming for his room at a nearby housing complex, everything changed. A siren went off, people started milling about nervously. Just as the PA kicked on a sonic boom blasted through the air. Everything else seemed to be drowned out as hundreds of citizens watched in dumbstruck horror a fireball roaring down through the sky. Its impact was even louder, echoing across the city like thunder. Hian launched forward, weaving through the confused and frightened crowd toward the crash site.

**Minutes Before**

"Jump drive at critical, recommend aborting and issuing SOS."

"I'm really not gonna," Adamma growled through clenched teeth, wracking her mind for possibilities. She brought up a holo-schematic of the ship, breaches highlighted by glowing orange across the port side, and one large blot on the belly. The skiff was laboring, right now largely held together by the space-time envelope wrapped around the craft. And not even the jump drive was faring well. Once it gave, the ship was going with it. The instant she dropped out of warp she'd need to act fast depending on where that was. Technical readings were pouring out left and right, and the damned computer wouldn't shut up! There wasn't much she could do other than try and keep the drive going, or at the very least overriding its automatic shut down protocols for a bit longer.

The problem was that eventually it would just stop listening. They all had a point where nothing short of outright hacking the system itself would stop it from powering off. Only a suicidal moron would do that, because a jump drive hitting critical has about the same destructive potential as a ten megaton bomb. Adamma found herself eyeing the display vehemently, quietly hissing, "Come on, come on..." Her hands were as tied as they could get, and this thing just wasn't willing to bend in the slightest. And then it actually did happen. There was a chirrup from the console, and she was unceremoniously dumped back into normal space. Roughly forty miles from a planet and heading closer fast. "Oh," her eyes went wide and jaw slack, and after that brief second's delay she flew into overdrive, starting by trying to veer the ship away from the planet.

"Forward propulsion is offline," the computer informed her coolly.

"Yes, I'm fucking getting that! Now, unless you've got something useful for me: Be! Quiet!" She roared furiously, fingers flying across the interface. She tried redirecting power to the rear engines, hoping she could maybe angle the ship away. That didn't work, because they sputtered out seconds later. Unfortunately they'd actually kicked in briefly, so she was now spinning toward the planet at an alarming rate. She rubbed at her eyes with her palms, trying to take deep breaths, but just wound up kicking the console a couple of times in outrage. "Okay, okay! Uh.. calculate trajectory, where are we going?" The display shifted to an image of a city, right on the border of a body of water. A large one. An ocean, actually. With renewed vigor she tried the thrusters, hoping at least to avoid a populated area. Her spirits began to soar when the estimate started to slide closer and closer to the shore.

"Recommend evacuating as soon as possible," the computer stated.

Adamma sneered, "Oh, you don't say." She locked the thrusters and leapt from her seat, racing to the locker where she'd stowed her gear. She decided against making an inane comment about the computer going down with the ship. It wasn't sentient, anyway. Already wearing the body of her environment suit, she snatched the helmet, wrap and her guns. Very quickly she checked her neural interface. It was still there, she thought with an abrupt nod before racing to the escape pod. Small ship, one pod. Small pod. She crammed herself inside and hit the launch key. The door slammed shut, and she felt the pod shifting while the magnetic locks began to disengage and the computer calculated the best possible place and time to launch her. She kept her eyes open, staring intensely at the ceiling and counting down with each breath until- finally- the pod was seemingly sucked out of its recess in the starboard side of the ship.

The weight of the inertia was nothing compared to the jolt of hitting atmo. An outer shell of ceramic was burned away during descent, sparing the titanium plating beneath from most of the considerable heat. A screen informed her as each leg of the trip down was reached. Another shudder when the upper panels deployed, slowing her velocity considerably to prevent death upon impact. Finally, fifty metres above the water the rockets at the base of the pod fired up, and seconds after contact was made a set of emergency buoys inflated. The pod rocketed back to the surface, and after a brief scan made by the onboard systems, the door opened. Adamma pulled herself up, peering over the lip of the door and watched as the flaming wreck of her skiff went down into the ocean miles away. She slipped back down into the pod, pressing a hand to her forehead and squeezing her eyes hut. "God, I've gotta get some sleep soon," she groaned.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Clarey Ayala and Viki Character Portrait: Adamma Ignatyeva
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Rocking back and forth on her feet, Dr. Clarey Ayala glared at any passersby that glanced in her direction. Her A.I. companion Viki lay sprawled in a chair next to her, eyes staring into space and muttering nonsense in a low voice. They'd been like that for the past half hour, and it was starting to draw unnecessary attention.

Cascara Seca, one of her favorite seaside bars, seemed like a good place to spend some down time on that day. It was bright and sunny outside, with a nice breeze blowing in from the shore, making for a pleasant and relaxing day out. However, they'd scarcely been there ten minutes before Viki caught wind of something and retreated into the virtual world. Clarey considered plugging her terminal into the android and riding shotgun to her feed, but decided to respect her partner's privacy.

Xavier, the bartender, approached their table cautiously and held out the drinks Clarey had ordered. She accepted them with a tight smile indicating her dangerous lack of patience for any tomfoolery. The man had tried to hit on her several times in the past, and the last time he'd approached, she pulled her gun on him. People trying to get close to her or get into her life made her anxious. She didn't like that.

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15:56:01 >USER:Halconeer73 joined chat!<
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15:56:12 [Halconeer73] >SiberGoddess? You in chat?<
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15:56:13 [SiberGoddess] >What's up, Hal?<
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15:56:42 [Halconeer73] >I just got wind of something big. You might want to steer clear of the ocean for a bit, okay?<
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15:56:49 >USER:Halconeer73 initiated file transfer! {389f39DCI298_3hhY.txt}<
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15:56:50 [SiberGoddess] >You're a doll, Hal. I'll keep my eyes open and my feet dry.<
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15:57:02 >USER: SiberGoddess has left chat!<
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Viki zipped down a virtual highway, peeking into packets and files around her idly as she scanned for any reflections of the data she'd gotten off her contact. The file he'd sent her contained an SOS issued by some ship in hyperspace inbound to Dahl's Cradle and fast. At most, she'd only have maybe five minutes before impact to clear the splash zone. At ETC minus three minutes, she jacked out of the ethernet and calmly sat up in her seat.

Her creator whirled around to face her, startled by her movement. Viki looked her in the eye as she stood, jerking her head towards the door and quickly making a beeline to it. Behind her, Clarey spluttered protests, but hastily joined her side.

"There's a ship on a crash trajectory headed this way.I suggest we climb the old church steeple so we can get a good view," piped Viki, as if it were some kind of show and not an incredibly dangerous event. Clarey stopped in her tracks a moment, not completely comprehending.

"There's a what?!" Viki heard her yell from behind, but the A.I. simply smiled and broke into a run.
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An incoherent noise of frustration escaped Clarey's mouth as her partner casually informed her of impending danger and then proceeded to head towards it. She matched Viki's pace, vaulting obstacles as she neared the edge of the marketplace. Taking a flying leap, Clarey scrambled up a wall and onto the roof of a nearby store, trying to keep track of her compulsive companion.

Chasing Viki over rooftops and up apartment buildings, Clarey kept glancing at the sky in fear that the ship would just drop straight on top of them. Finally, they reached the old, decrepit church building and scaled it. Clarey doubled over, trying to catch her breath.

"How do you know there's a ship going to crash, and how do you know it won't crash here?" She fell back into a seated position and followed Viki's darting gaze out over the ocean.

"I don't..." whispered the A.I. excitedly, a broad smile plastered on her beautiful damned face.
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Like a child spotting a celebrity, Viki leaned forward and pointed to the sky, bouncing up and down slightly.

"There it is!" she shouted. Her eyes zoomed in to the breach in atmosphere, noting the launch of an escape pod as the ship plummeted down to the ocean.

"C'mon, Clarey! Let's go meet the survivor!" She hopped down from the spire into a rolling landing, then made a beeline to the beach. Halfway there, she cheered as the ship slammed into the ocean, sending up a huge plume of water leaping into the sky.

Clarey finally joined her on the beach five minutes later, huffing and puffing. Viki gestured towards the wreck, indicating a small black dot out in the middle of the bay.

"There's the escape pod. It'll drift to shore in 9 minutes 54 seconds, accounting for the disturbance of the ship crashlanding into the bay. We should be the welcome party!"

Viki paced back and forth near the zone she projected the pod would wash up in.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Adamma Ignatyeva Character Portrait: Maya Himayati
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Busywork, that's what life had been about for the past few years. Sort these files. Run that program. Check some numbers. Sort some more files. Watch a progress bar. All this could be done by an automated, mindless program but loyal employees with no position needed to be placed somewhere and given something to do. The only thing that changed from day to day was the specific characters found in the files and the location of the spider that always froze up whenever someone entered the room. Well that and the occasional meeting but attendance had been altered to observation after a dozen or so interruptions, meaning that they became just as mindless as the deskwork.

That was where Maya found herself this morning, in her small office looking around to find where the spider might be today. The computer screen she was supposed to be looking after was busily running automated programs and performing each and every task she herself was supposed to be doing. Since her employers were likely very aware of the installation of foreign software on their network, she assumed they really didn't care whether she herself was doing the busywork or not, so long as she was still employed at the Van Zandt Group there were no complaints from those above her. After a few minutes she found the little bastard hidden within one of the many crevices of her seat and, satisfied by her hard work, sat back in her chair likely startling her officemate and let her mind wander. First she went through any emails she had gotten, then checked the recent news, then browsed for clothes and furniture, then possible vacation spots. She had cleared her starved mailbox, read every headline and decided they weren't interesting enough to pursue further, picked out a new jacket and a new chair for her apartment, and selected a number of candidates for her next break from work. It was a productive day so far.

She had concluded her extranet wandering after about fifteen minutes and rose from her seat, itching to leave the room to give the spider the opportunity to move. She pulled open one of her many identical drawers and withdrew three of her many paper-wrapped cigarettes from it. She let the automated programs enthusiastically sort through her busywork as she left her office and made her way down several hallways to the door that led to the outdoor patio. Since the morning shift had just barely gotten started, she was alone on her break, and took up residence on a seat that had a good view of the sea you usually couldn't get so far from the beach. She bit down on the paper-wrapped tobacco and flicked her thumb open to light it as the sound of something breaking through the atmo resounded. She watched as a ball of fire hurled itself down into the water as her cigarette went deprived of the vital ventilation that it needed to keep lit.

As a few employees energetically emerged onto the patio to try and put a visual to the sound they'd just heard, Maya stood and went over to the ledge to watch as hundreds of foamy circles indicated the crash site. She wondered how much damage would be done to the beach from such an impact as she noticed a distortion in the waves likely caused by something much smaller, probably a piece of whatever had just fallen from the sky. She relit her cigarette and took an inhumanly long breath amongst the clutter of her coworkers talking amongst themselves. When she finally released the smoke that had built up inside of her, a dark cloud emerged from her mouth and drifted across the sky toward the result of some idiot's failed attempt at piloting.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Dr. Clarey Ayala and Viki Character Portrait: Adamma Ignatyeva
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Insofar as she could tell, Adamma wasn't very far from shore. It was hard to move in the small space inside the pod, but she did manage to clip her helmet to her belt, as well as her guns with some difficulty. It involved a lot of twisting, turning and double checking to make sure neither weapon's safety was disengaged. She tentatively connected to the planet's extranet servers, namely just to find out where she was. "Dahl's Cradle?" She groaned despondently. That was way off track from where she should be. On the other hand, being off course could be beneficial. Then again when was any attempt at giving the all-seeing eye a slip actually successful? She'd probably be reattained in just a couple of hours if she were lucky. And then, she was already all over the planet's feeds. That dropped her estimate down to minutes. Plenty of video, and lots of commotion among the planet's security forces. Sitting in her dinky little bucket wasn't going to help at all. She was already hearing chatter about emergency craft behing sent her way. "Son of a bitch," she growled. Pulling herself up, she planted a foot on the edge of the door before launching herself out of the pod and into the water.

Not the best decision in the world. Her suit was watertight and resistant, but that didn't mean it wore like a cape made out of feathers. She had to fight particularly hard to keep herself up, and each time she threw out an arm it felt like she was hauling herself up a steep cliff face. She didn't so much care about her "form", she'd never been a professional swimmer or anything. She probably looked like a flailing fish or something. It really must have shown once she hit land, water running down her suit and staining the sand as she tromped out of the shallows. She looked around, trying to work her mind and think of something. She really had to disappear, and fast. She'd never been the stealthiest, but this was a new kind of spectacle. Barreling down onto a populated planet in a space ship. She spied two women nearby and rolled her eyes, assuming they'd probably come down to get a better look at the disaster. "Oh, just what I need," she sighed, shaking her arms as she started up the beach.