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Diamonds to Ashes

The Milky Way

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a part of Diamonds to Ashes, by TemplarWarden.

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

302 readers have been here.

Setting

Our galaxy, filled with untold numbers of stars. Teeming with all types of life.
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The Milky Way is a part of Diamonds to Ashes.

12 Characters Here

Issac "Chem" McLyle [0] "Ha! Now THAT' "
Edward Kurek [0] "It's out there."
Kent Lockwood [0] Yeah, sure, you can out run me, but I can turn the grav projectors off.
Helios " James" Armata [0] "Peace wasn't an option."- "Outlaw Star"
[0]
Dr. Clyde Marsh [0] "For the Greater Good of Humanity."
Lyda Ritsin [0] "I don't know who I am or even what I am, all I know is that people are looking for me....people I belong with."
Trent Keller [0] "The miracle of intellegent life is highly overrated."

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Izzy quickly followed Nora’s lead, any alien’s they met were use to seeing her with weapons so would skirt around them but would do no more than that. Soon they were at the docking bay where the stranger’s ship was located but he pulled Nora over quietly explaining a quick plan. There was a guard inside and Izzy’s first thought was that could easily be solved but that was shot down by the man’s next comment and his glance which she glared hard back at him in return. Nora would find them a way in; it’s what she did best after all. Small, sneaky, would get in and out without some ignorant guard ever knowing.

No sooner had the thought crossed her mind was Nora already scampered up to the vents and explaining her plan. She also forced a promise from Izzy for her to behave which she merely replied with a “Feh.” Nora disappeared from sight, leaving Izzy to lean on a wall with a sigh looking over to Kane with a quiet glare. In one long stride she was next to him, looking him in the face. She growled softly in her throat as she looked him over seeming to contemplate what to ask, Nora had said no killing or fighting, nothing against interrogation. “Where do you come from? Why suddenly now appear for my Nora hm? You hurt her and I will cut you.” She emphasized her point by poking him in the chest then strode backwards to her original spot, crossing her arms over her chest her eerie stare never leaving him as she waited for answers.

It wasn’t long before the divide lifted and Nora appeared just as peppy as ever, giving instructions on how to reach the ship. “Hm, good job Nora. Too long though.” She joked, poking her friend in the forehead as she passed by her while lugging her bag over her shoulder. Two levels up, fourth exit on left and ship will be there, simple. Clambering up with the heavy bag wasn’t as simple as she thought it would have been but it was fairly easy going, a quick walk down with a few pauses to avoid workers then a left and they were directly in the bay the ship in front of them. Hm, there it was. Wasn’t what she expected but it was a ship to get them away.

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Kane followed Nora as she lead through more small, deserted routes into engineering levels, the sound of machinery reverberated through the deck plating. She described her plan as they cluster next to a small ventilation shaft distributing fresh air to the darker under decks of the station. Kane was surprised at the small gap she exposed. Most people wouldn't be able to squeeze through the shaft, let alone find their way around the many components the composed a station's climate control system. He was impressed, she certainly seemed confident that she would make it. With a comment to Izzy and a flash of a smile she was gone into the claustrophobic space. Kane was left alone with the uncertain Izzy. He was instantly worried, without Nora's leash the woman could act in any way and Kane would be mostly powerless to stop here. Thankfully, although it could be interpreted as a worse case. Izzy didn't break but instead she closed the gap between the two, invading the man's comfort zone threateningly. Kane found the woman both slightly intimidating and yet also slightly ridiculous, although neither showed on his face. Instead he became stoic, appear strong. It wouldn't do to show weakness to the unpredictable woman. He was slightly taller then her and this helped his cause as she continued to interrogate him. Her demands enforced by a strong poke to his ribs with a rather skeletal finger.
"I'm from mining station, similar to this place." He answered her first question truthfully, there was no reason to provide any false information. They were all on the same side, along he saw that the paranoid Izzy didn't see it that way. "As to why I'm here for her, I've already told you. She has information vital to the human race. I wouldn't want to hurt her, why would I?" He asked rhetorically. Izzy responded silently, moving back to her previous position and staring at Kane unflinchingly. Her eyes showed no sign of her opinion of his answers. Hope, salvation as always, convinced him she was at least considering his truthfulness.

The silence between the two carried for a while, although Izzy's stare never lifted. Kane felt the hair on his arms stand in the discomfort caught a hold. Soon, it was broken by Nora's return from a nearby doorway and she ushered them through with her light hearted comment. Kane was relieved when the skinny lady's attention turned away from him and to her friend. Kane followed up, third in the party. He congratulated the petite woman
"Thanks for getting us through this. Well done." With her guidance he led them to the dock 5B umbilical, entering the passageway through a side door for staff. A glance showed not a soul in sight and Kane swiftly led the couple towards the hull of the ship, noticing for the first time the view ports dotted along the side. Through the transparent material they would get their first look at the Artemis. Kane was slightly nervous at this point. The frigate a was clearly an alien design, human engineers did not construct ships in such organic lines. Luckily the two still followed him to the airlock, which he swiftly opened and beckoned them inside. Even the cautious Izzy keep with him.

The airlock opened into a small, rather bare chamber. Similar to the checkpoint on board Rysik, purposed for monitoring traffic into the craft. Kane turned to address the two after he sealed the hatch. "You two wait here. I need to get us away from here quickly. I'll be back once we're safely away." He said, apologetically, before rushing off towards the bridge. His pace was short of running as he transversed the causeway to the bridge. Once inside the command chamber he was once again in his element, confirming the reactivation code and bringing all systems online as he patched through to station control.
"Rysik control, this is V11234R requesting disengagement from docking bay 5B." The man tapped his fingers nervously against his thigh, awaiting a response. So much could go wrong, no doubt the escape of the two girls wouldn't have gone unnoticed. There was also the inconsistency that the checkpoint guard could report. He heaved a sigh of relief as the station control responded
"V11234R you are cleared to depart. Prepare to decouple." There was a shutter as the station's electromagnetic lock on the oliver green hull of the Artemis broke. The craft's own gravity projectors kept the crew correctly orientated and attached to the floor. Quickly Kane accessed the auto pilot and chartered a course to the edge of the system. Instantaneously the computer system followed the course at high speed as Kane turned to leave the bridge. He was withheld as a comm broke in
"V11234R, this is Rysik station. Please halt your course and return to dock. We believe you may be harboring stowaways." Kane cursed at those words and whipped back to the command consoles. Not responding but simply waiting, silencing the comm. He assumed that the aliens in charge would guess he intentionally transported the two women. He guessed correctly as he pulled up the rear cameras. Already the station was a distance shape. However, three other, smaller, shapes were closing. A fighter squadron. Kane smirked with humor. Even fighters wouldn't keep with his swift craft, they were relatively safe for the moment. He knew that the moment wouldn't last and set a rift to calculate. He picked the system randomly, he needed to review his next target later. For now he was focusing on removing himself from Rysik's jurisdiction. There was a beep from a panel is it informed him that the rift was prepared. Quickly, Kane accessed the ship's comm, advising his crew of three "Brace yourselves." His finger authorised the rift and the Artemis was temporarily removed from reality, shunted to another part of the universe. A swift check confirmed that all systems were in order. Allowing himself to pause in the respite before making his way back to the the airlock. As he entered the small chamber he asked, concerned
"Are you two alright?" He had no idea if the pair had ever rifted before, usually the experience is a little nausous first time around but otherwise no harm would be caused. Rysai was even more unsure and concerned of what the sudden transfer would've done to the already doubtful stability of the two.

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#, as written by Serly
Light momentarily flashed into being in a distant system, as a small vessel suddenly rifted into being. The paint on the hull was dulled, though it was unmistakably a human-made vessel, funded by the so-called government of the humans, which was by now, obsolete and dispersed.

The vessel in question was intended for long voyages such as this. Powerful engines insured that the ship could outrun anything it couldn't out gun. Shields protected the pilot from fire and radiation, not to mention the vacuum of space itself. It was large enough for a crew of three, although at the moment only one person was inside. It consisted of three rooms; The cockpit, a small living area, and the bedroom.

Outfitted with a fusion drive, it had enough energy to circle the Galaxy four times before having to refuel. A flat belly marked that it was meant to land on the ground, rather then be docked in space, meaning that it's armor was thick enough to survive repeated entries into unknown planets.

Instruments in the cockpit blinked into life, running lights turning on, a small radar dish rising from the 'top' of the ship. Pulses of radio waves flew around the system, bouncing back. Meanwhile, the lone pilot tapped away at a keyboard situated near the joystick, punching in calculations. There was a planet here. Several, in fact.

The first notable feature of the system was the most obvious; A large gas giant, about twice the size of Jupiter, more then likely a dormant star itself. More then likely it had moons circling it, but it was outside the 'butter zone' of the system; that is, the place where Earth had been relative to its own sun. That was one of the generally acknowledged needs for a habitable world; It had to have just the right amount of heat, the right amount of light, a stable atmosphere, water...

Edward sighed. He had been searching for an uninhabited Earth-like world for seven years. The Ulysses was heavily outdated. His family were all dead, killed when the ship they were in rifted into the middle of an asteroid.

That was the problem with going into unknown space; You didn't know what you would find. You didn't know if you would end up in clear space, in the middle of a planet, or maybe even rifting into a super-nova. It took years for light to reach habited systems, meaning that when you looked at the stars, you were looking into the past of a world.

His job was dangerous. It was to jump into these unknown systems, and find a new home for Humanity. It was a job passed down through the generations of his family. A duty they felt they needed to perform.

Perhaps they should have just settled, like the rest of the survivors. Gotten used to intergalactic life.

Become a leech on intergalactic society, more like it.

Without a home, humanity was scattered and dying, living off the good will and charity of others. And treated as second-class citizens. Humanity were intergalactic hobos, never getting a job, always accepting handouts, then wasting those handouts on more booze to drown away it's sorrows. Damn, I miss you, Dad.

Then, something interesting came up on the screen. A planet. In the right zone.

This wasn't as rare as you would think, though it was certainly exciting. With a gentle nudge, Ed pushed the throttle down, and slowly the ship started to move closer. Readings flashed onto the screens in front of him, and he grinned slightly. It was almost perfect. It was slightly farther away from the sun then Earth was, making it colder. It's tilt was less dramatic as Earths, meaning that seasons would be roughly equal all around. Lacked a moon, but that was alright. High oxygen content in the atmosphere, more then Earth, but again, survivable.

Telescope had a clear view of the world, now. He zoomed in, and stared at it. It was a dull, blueish-green... ocean. No land. All water. About twice the size of Earth.

And yet.. it was survivable. And there, at the equator, a small jet of land. He plotted a coarse into the ship's computer that would have him land. Then another ship rifted into the system.

With a flick, He turned on the comms. "This is the United Humanity Ship Ulysses, broadcasting on an open channel. Approaching vessel, be advised that this planet has been cl-... Has been colonized in the name of Humanity, and you are entering restricted airspace. Please state your business."

Okay, it wasn't colonized. But this had happened before, where they would find a good planet, only to have it be taken away in their moment of triumph. Now, he played the waiting game.

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Nora stood inside the bare room staring after Kane as he left. “Well then, that was rather uneventful. Did you get everything?” Turning in a circle to view the room they were left in, Nora directed her question to her friend. This was not exactly how she expected their day to go. Gather a few scraps, yes. Run into security, more than likely. Get hauled off then released, the usual. Leave everything behind and join a stranger onboard a ship… definitely not what she wrote on the agenda.

“Brace yourselves.”

Head cocked at Kane’s voice over the ship’s intercom, Nora turned her head to Izzy with a confused look. “Brace ourselves for what?” Yet no sooner had the words left her mouth, her question was answered; leaving her wide eyed and nauseous as she latched onto Izzy’s arm. “Are we dead?” Nora deadpanned before glancing up to see Kane walk in asking how they were. Deep breath in then out to calm herself and a thankfulness that she skipped eating food that day; Nora walked up to Kane and pointed a finger between the two of them. “Next time you say ‘Brace yourselves.’…. Say for what!” Ready to ask exactly how often they were supposed to go through that… terrible experience… her attention was caught by the open doorway behind him. Bingo.

Leaning around Kane to make sure it wasn’t just another closed room, Nora waltzed past him to explore where they were going to be staying now. No sense in putting it off and allowing her curiosity to build up; that could be dangerous after all. A door here, a turn there, and a few mumbled words at passing the same room twice; Nora perked up at a small scraping sound. Metal perhaps?

The soft sound leading the way, Nora found herself in what must have been the kitchen with a man sharpening a rather long knife with his back to her. Head cocked as she debated on if it was a good idea to stay or not, she figured if he was onboard then he must be alright; so with a smile, Nora walked up behind the man quietly before leaning over to get a better view of what he was doing. “That looks sharp.” she piped up, voice bright. “I’m Nora, you must be staying here to. Is it interesting here? Exactly where is here… I forgot to ask Kane the name of the ship, unless he told me and I forgot. That tends to happen, usually Izzy catches names better. Is that a voice… must be another crew member. Nice to meet you! See ya later!”

Waving good bye with a smile after her rattle of nonstop questions, Nora followed the second interesting sound of the day; an electronic laced voice. New halls greeting her, Nora was surprised by the room she was in; the cockpit perhaps? Ships weren’t exactly her forte’ of knowledge, but she’d learn soon enough. Glancing around the room she spotted the general area where the voice was coming from and wandered over with her hands clasped behind her back as she listened to the male voice saying something about restricted airspace and business.

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Izzy relaxed when Kane left the room, just her and Nora now as it should be. “Not sure if I got everything Nora but got enough.” She spoke in her odd shorthand speech as her eyes roamed the ship then darted around trying to pinpoint where Kane’s voice came from as he said brace yourselves.

A moment later, her eyes widened and her stomach clenched but she knew what had happened after thinking it over. She had rifted on the ship she lived on previously before, knew what it was but that was definitely..surprising. Nora latched onto her and with a brisk pat to her head Izzy monotoned. “Not dead, but you’ll get used to it.” Clearing her throat to remove any last threats of nausea her eyes turned back as Kane entered the room asking about their well-being. Nora surprised her as she made her thoughts about the rift known to him then promptly walked off, she couldn’t help but smirk as she casually followed, bag slung over her shoulders.

She was use to following Nora around on her little exploratory adventures just as Nora was use to doing the same for her but after the third time passing the same door she was becoming quite unsure of the girl’s sense of direction. “Nora? Sure you know where you’re going?” She cocked her head, then jerked it in the direction of noise as they followed the sounds to find a rather large man sharpening a knife. Immediately she stiffened at the sight but Nora barged in before she could have any say in the matter and attacked the stranger with questions. Hm, well as long as the man wasn’t attacking them right off the…now what was this? They were in a kitchen, a lot of nice things in a kitchen, shiny things, mechanical things, sharp things. Immediately she went to taking utensils and stuffing them in her bag, admiring the different wares that were in the room. Grant’s toolbox then caught her eye and she slinked over quietly to peek in, not even noticing when Nora left the room.

She reached forward towards the toolbox then yanked her hand back realizing she was alone in the room with Grant. Her eyes were wide as she stared at him like a child who had been caught in the act of a wrong doing.

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Grant was more than happy with his dull job, using the monotony to drown out any thoughts of what they were doing here or when they would be leaving. Then the unmistakable sound of the Captain returning, which did nothing to stop him from his work, along with new sounds, those of other people. This did manage to stop him for a moment as he strained his ears to gather as much about them as he could from just the sound but they were far too far away for his damaged ears to make out anything clearly. So he sat and waited, they'd be sure to run into each other soon enough. Then the ship took off with some haste, he might have added, they had just boarded. He hoped they weren't in any trouble, the last thing he needed was his ride being taken down by the law. He hated any officers of the law, it was just how he'd grown up. As far as he was concerned, their only duty was to stop honest miners making a quick fortune by heading into uncharted or dangerous territory. Or, ocassionally, in safe, known territory that just happened to fall in a questionable area of space. Yes, he'd lost more than one job to law enforcement. He grit his teeth and carried on sharpening as he thought back to these memories.

But the daydream was cut short by another warning that they were about to rift and he managed, this time, to grab his tool with enough force that he wouldn't drop it. The moment passed easily enough, he guessed you just got used to it pretty quickly, and he went back to work while keeping his ears peeled for sounds of someone approaching. And he didn't have to wait long, there was a voice, female, just behind him and he turned to look and listen, being greeted by a tiny woman with all the reserve of an excited puppy. She started talking almost faster than Grant could understand her and gave him absolutely no chance to respond, not that he was all too eager to jump in and give his own piece of converstaion, and so he simply sat and looked with mild curiosity at the newcomers, that included the one over Nora (As she'd dived in and identified herself)'s shoulder. He didn't know which seemed stranger: The tiny girl with the wild eyes or the taller friend of hers with an eye for anything shiny.

He tried keeping his gaze casual so he wouldn't be seen watching anyone with too much interest, what they wanted to do was their business. Although why they were doing it here was anyone guess. If it was down to Grant he would have suggested the same damn reason he was. He had no chance to challenge Nora with this suspicion however because she ran off to investigate something else. So he transferred his gaze over to the other without even trying to reply, she was gone far too quickly for him to say anything.

Like she'd just been struck by a spotlight the woman turned and stared with wide eye at him. He met her gaze for a second, two seconds, three, then spoke offhandedly, as though he were unsurprised by their presence here, while he stood and made his way over.

"It ain't no worry to me if you take what you already got but you jus' keep yer hands out of me box, y' hear?" It wasn't much of a question in his mind. The answer would either be 'yes' or there would be trouble. He dropped his knife back into the box, where it landed amongst the other tools with a clang, and flipped down the lid, never taking his eyes off the strange-looking woman. She was far from as short as the other half of the duo and far less active it seemed. She looked tired but she must have been reasonably awake to walk into a ship and make her first act to steal everything. He didn't think he'd ever met a theif with no depth perception before. But now that he was closer he could see that the dark circles beaneath her eyesockets were deceiving, there was a glimmer of defiance and fierceness in her green eye but he stayed to see no more, instead grabbing his toolbox and walking back to where he had been sat to finish his water and check the contents of his box once more.