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Miranda Peters

Hey, call me Ronin

0 · 365 views · located in Bridge

a character in “Nebula's Dawn: F.S.S. Salient”, as played by Smokescreen



Name: Miranda “Ronin” Peters
Age: 22
Height: 5’9
Weight: 126lbs
Eyes: Green
Hair: Blonde
Position on Ship: Gunship Pilot

Biography: She was unhappy with her home life, her father worked all the time and her mother grew lonely and turned to alcohol to cope. An angry child turned into an angst-filled teen and soon she realised there was nothing for her at home and if she was to ever be happy she would have to discover it herself. Though Miranda was born on Earth she ran away at 16 to Mars and found her self in Rust City. In the city she was not one to shy away from danger and back then she had hoped something would end her life, if only to stop the pain.
She found a place with an unaffiliated security firm that ran escorts for corporate freighters operating from deep space facilities. First she was simply working in the hanger wiping down surfaces and fighting off unwanted sexual advances. Then she worked in the armoury, kitchens, office and finally she went back to the hanger but this time as a pilot trainee. She was 18, though she said she was 23.

Flying gave her a sense of freedom, a place where she felt her emotional problems could not reach her. Miranda excelled, even getting assigned to Tartarus Group an exceptional squadron that were offered the most lucrative of missions. She has flown with them since and is a key member in the five-man team with the call sign Ronin; a nod to her being a parent-less child, a warrior without a master.

Personality: Miranda is a free spirit, her troubles on Earth a pale memory. She is quick to anger and infatuation, prone to vices like drinking and smoking mostly possessing a general air of spontaneity. Miranda is likeable with a “one-of-the-guys” attitude. She dislikes protocol, animals, babies and the elderly. She enjoys flying, shooting stuff, drinking, spending money and music.

So begins...

Miranda Peters's Story

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Character Portrait: Miranda Peters
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The area between Mars and Jupiter was a mix of man-made debris and a couple of million asteroids interspersed with industrial traffic. It was common to see no other ships but the particular convoy one was assigned to; today was different. Five fast ships seemed to come out of no where and met the two large Monroe class super freighters, vessels that were over a kilometre long and could carry 500,000 tons of cargo. One of the small ships flew past the two freighters and disappeared ahead of the group.

Alta-corp vessels, this is Tartarus group one of my people is going to scout ahead but we'll remain to watch those big flanks of yours.

Freighter Summerwind to lead escort, roger that. we want to express our gratitude for what you guys are doing. Our internal security turned the assignment down, so we're lucky to have you.

The freighter group was hauling Duillium ore to Mars from asteroid mining facilities on Circe 2344, a 2.3km rock manned by the Altamus Corporation; a dangerous expedition that was plagued by pirates wanting to turn any cargo into black-market profits. The entire journey was one hundred and seventy three million kilometres, the bulk of that distance was covered by a capital sized ship escort. However in the last two hundred thousand kilometres most capital ships broke contact to provide security for the operation back at the asteroid leaving the lumbering freighters to be protected by smaller, more manoeuvrable vessels; this was the time when those looking for a score would attack. When several companies began loosing cargo and ships to increasingly bolder pirates, a common practice was to hire outside security firms if the threat was great enough. Hauling almost a million tons of Duillium, an ore employed for the fabrication of everything from augmenting hull plating to internal circuitry, the cargo was worth trillions on the open market. Instead of the out-dated corvettes that comprised most of the Altamus security fleet, five Savannah class gunships made the last leg leg of the journey , there to make the pirates jobs that much harder.

Ronin do you think they know how much Alta-Corp is paying us?

Miranda Peters, call sign 'Ronin' smiled as her comm crackled to life, since her squadron were veterans when it came to escort duty they kept radio chatter pretty casual sometimes having entire conversations over the air. "Likely not Sabre, no one wanted the job but if shit goes down, it will be soon."

Yea cause Duillium is poison to carry, pirate magnets - but our girls can chew up any pirate crate like a paper condom at a whore house. Cronos said. Ronin smiled at the man's poor analogy but it was apt, the gunships they flew were armed with eight 26.4 mm assault cannons and a 1000 kg anti-ship missile; more than a match for any pirate harassment vessel.

Why don't you guys focus on flying and not talking bullshit? another voice came in loud through the channel shutting up the chatter. Summerwind this is Tartarus Group Lead, call sign Dervish. We're hoping for a easy go, we'll see you get there safe.

The voice of Cronos came through Miranda's speakers. Why is boss man so uptight, I wish he wouldn’t make promises like that. She smiled. "That's his job, ours is to clear the path. How many runs is this now fifteen, twenty? We got this. Sabre isn't this your last with us?"

A soft voice clicked through the general comm. Yes I forgot to tell everyone Larissa is throwing a party for the baby so when we get to Rust City you guys are coming to drink and the wife can see the company her husband keeps.

Sabre does she know you're a filthy mercenary? Cronos said, making everyone laugh.

Mercs get paid to kill we’re paid to maintain safety; a little nobler I think. Just for that no beer for -

Can we bring people because Amy would love to jaw-jack about baby shit. Dervish interrupted. You know Ronin ain’t gonna be talking girl shop that’s for sure. When you gonna get fella and settle down? He laughed.

Miranda frowned. She hated babies, she found them the worst STD. "A hot day on Neptune, dad."

I hear they are working on terraforming tech now, maybe it will be beach weather soon enough. Sabre said. They might terraform Neptune but no man can terraform Ronin's heart.

She was greeted with three different voices laughing at her expense, the assholes. "Funny stuff there, you're a poetic motherf-"

How copy, Tartarus Group How copy? Where the fuck are you guys!?

Miranda was assaulted by the familiar voice of Mustang, screaming on the comm. "This is Ronin, we copy what-"

I've had jammed comms for the last six thousand clicks, I got two big contacts on my screen on intercept course, no IFF.

Mustang this is Dervish, could be another security detail running silent; what's your ETA?

Miranda waited for the woman to answer but only static greeted her. "Mustang do you copy?" no response was voiced.

Ronin get on my six, Sabre, Cronos cover the fat ladies - expect the worst.

Moving to cover Dervish, Miranda primed her guns; eight chains of ammunition loaded into the Kaffe Assault Cannons as the weapon system cycled to 'ready' status. Dervish was flying beneath her in what they called a 'leap-frog' formation the two other gunships crossed each other's paths tipping their wings before taking flanking positions on the freighters. "Don't be cute you two, keep your eyes open." She said over the comm. Her screen flickered and two red contacts appeared, she saw one almost immediately heading for the two freighters, it was much bigger than the common pirate vessel; a multi-gun frigate half the length of the freighter and armoured for tangles with capital ships. Her guns would be like a soft rain to the plate armour and with a total of only four missiles between the squadron, they would have to make tough shots directed at critical areas protected by guns designed to prevent that very thing.

Tartarus Group, this will be a big fight, they want those ships and won't fire if there was a chance to damage the cargo. Use that; cover each other one of you take a shot with a missile, then switch roles. Be lucky, Dervish out.

The plan Dervish had was noble. For two ships that size, normal procedure would be several squadrons of missile cruisers and fighters not four ships that double as bunks and laundry storage. Sabre took the first shot, it went wide and hit solidly at the thickest part of the hull doing nothing but superficial damage. He banked sharply and made a run on the command tower, full burst with all eight barrels. Cronos fired, hitting part of a reactor manifold that began venting fuel.

On me Ronin, let's finish her off. Take point.

Miranda flew evasively making the frigate work to try and hit her. Dervish flew under the wounded ship then suddenly popped up along her port side and fired his missile, hitting two metres to left of Cronos' shot. A soundless, blinding explosion turned the back half of the frigate into a mangled bird's nest of protosteel and bulkheads. She blinked to clear the white halo that blurred her peripheral vision and saw what remained of Sabre's vessel listing with the rest of debris. Two streaks came across her bow, 205 mm rounds fired from the other frigate. "You guys get on my ass we're taking the fight to this other bastard."

Roger that. Dervish said.

Guys I wa- all -p in th-t -plosion. -lectrical sys- -ot. -ocking on freighter. lo-ing -ower. -onos out.

What the fuck? Didn't copy Cronos, say again.

She frowned. "Dervish, I think he said his electrical system is fried from that reactor explosion and he's docking with a freighter." With only one missile left, it was now her primary job to fuck that ship's day all up. "Same as before, you cover me now. I'm going to shit in those pirate's porridge."

Copy that Ronin

With the roles reversed, Dervish did all he could to distract the guns from Ronin's approach. Flying more reckless and taking chances he normally would not have but this shot was the game changer. It was not about a successful mission, some gold star that would go next to his name in some corporate file it was about principle; these fucks took Sabre so damn the consequences. Two shots hit in rapid succession like hammer blows. The first spun his ship, causing it to flip end over end and making the man loose conscience for a millisecond at the increase of g-forces on his brain. The final shot from one of the 50 mm auto-cannons sent fragments into his ammunition magazine and split his ship like a lip in a bar fight; killing Dervish instantly and sending his ship careening into the gunner's bridge of the frigate. Ronin watched in horror as the scene developed but with the gunner's bridge gone the main guns would remain silent and only the fore and aft batteries of auto-cannons would cause her trouble. She lined her shot up at the main bridge and got a malfunction klaxon when she pulled the release. "Shit!" Miranda said, opting to simply pepper the bridge with her guns with little effect. The woman was out of ideas but then her long range sensors picked up a Federation signature. "Federation Vessel, this is Altamus Cooperation escort detail 973 requesting assistance. Moving to your location, possible hostile contact." Likely if she took off towards the Federation ship the Frigate would not follow, after all they simply wanted cargo. So to protect the freighters she really had to poke the bear.

Miranda typed in a code to deactivate the guidance and automatic release system to her missile, She set ordnance detonation from 'impact' to 'proximity', flew over the frigate and manually let her missile go allowing it to float in the path of the larger ship like a mine, it exploding when the bastard got within eight metres of it. Ronin sold her aggression making another pass with her guns as the mine blew up taking out the frigate's sensor array. At least the pirates would be blind past five hundred metres. She throttled up, sending her reactor to the red-line and hustled for the Federation ship; bad guy in tow. Ronin hoped they were a combat vessel and not some science ship full of nerds.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Hyena hadnt gotten more then a few steps away from Marcus and Faith when the eriee, attention-grabbing tones of the General Quarters alarm sounded. When it's followed very closely by the call to Scramble, it's no drill. The pilot pivots on a boot and disappears down the coridoors back towards the hangar.

Dodging people in the hangar with a practiced ease, Hyena doesnt seem to even touch the rungs of the ladder into her own cockpit and jams the waiting helmet onto her head. Her hands had done their dance a thousand times across the console, leaving her to respond freely over the radio as the engines are primed, the weapons readied, and the lifesupport checked.

"Lima Charlie, Peyton. Damn good timing, isnt it? I'll be ready for the drinks by the time we get back." She laughs.

With a deep, frame-jolting pop, she releases her craft from its bracket, and the fighter with its grinning hyena tail art slides foreward with the hangar doors and the void beyond on its nose. The hangar was cold - they always were - but it was nothing compared to space. As the Rapier breaks the magnetic containment field that kept the atmosphere and vacuum safely separate, crystals of ice form for a half-second on any available condensation that peppers her hull, and the metal sings a short, faint song as it reacts to the change in pressure and temperature. But seals hold and cold hydraulics still function, and Hyena clears the shelter of the Salient and leaves its lights in her wake.

"Tuck in behind me and enjoy the view; I'll get you to the party in once peice."

Lighter, faster, and meaner, the fighter positions itself to be escort for Peyton's heavier-armed and heavier-hulled craft, but Hyena doesnt go easy on the throttle. If that frigate got within firing range of Miranda before support showed up, there wouldnt be much of a rescue. Speaking of, in case no one in the bridge had thought to do so, Hyena switches her radio to civilian frequencies to make contact. Wouldnt do to have the civilian fighter shoot at its saviors.

"Altamus Escort, this is Rapier 338 off the Salient. Inbound to you, two count. Check fire." Well wasnt that professional and courteous? The picture of military efficiency and - "Attacking vessel, you are to bend over, spread 'em, and smile real perdy-like." Cue facepalm.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Miranda Peters
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The frigate was constantly firing at Ronin with its small guns. With the sensors gone the gunners had to rely on visual cues and she was making that difficult with her slippery flying. Her ship was taking a beating though, not from guns but from running her engine like every single wrench-turner told her not to. There was a shuddering metallic groan that made her electronics flicker and a smell like ozone seeping into her cockpit. In a perfect scenario the frigate would fuck off and she would simply throttle down, fixing the problem; this was not a perfect scenario. Ronin this is Cronos on Summerwind, you good? She scoffed. "Fuck no I'm not good, it's good you're ok. You guys should dump cargo and FTL while the gettings good." The main reason freighters needed escorts coming back was they couldn't operate their faster than light engines without rendering the Duillium inert. You're on drugs loss of cargo is not an option. We got a Federation IFF on screen, is that where you are heading?

"I got eyes on her expensive ass, keep channel clear Cronos, Ronin out." At least she saw the Federation ship now, she was betting the frigate was focusing on her and trying to blow her apart when it should be looking at the government death machine it would soon face. Altamus Escort, this is Rapier 338 off the Salient. Inbound to you, two count. Check fire. A welcomed voice from her comm. "Copy 338. Alta-Corp 973, you got Ronin. Don't have to worry about friendly fire, I'm at 10% ammo on my cannons and if I fire 'em up my whole power-plant will go." The company was great though it's a shame Miranda was gimping to the big kid to punch out her bully. The woman's arrogance was dangerous but she wasn't so prideful as to just bite the pillow why these pirates dry fucked her. "I'll keep clear, 338. Ronin out."

Another shudder went through her ship and she saw seven warning lights all flashing red. More contacts appeared on her screen but that had to be a malfunction, she whacked the screen and they went away; so did the frigate and the Federation ship. Fuck. Tartarus Group Ronin, Tartarus Group Ronin, this is the Salient, what is your status? Good thing her radio hadn't conked out. "Copy Salient, status is I'm falling apart at the seams. I’ve got a crippled pirate frigate 300 metres on my six. It’s got no eyes or main guns but still fucking my world up with small fire. Easy score for you, kid's party getting rained out for me. I'm running 30% past safe on my engine but don't want to slow until this ass-hole is scrapped. I'll need to dock with you Salient, I can’t make it back to Mars. How copy?" Miranda hoped there was a place she could look over her ship and they were not sticklers for rules; all 'No unauthorized non-federation crafts in their bays.' That would suck.

She saw more hostile ships appear like carrion birds to pick the sweetmeat from the bones of the freighters, guess her radar wasn't messed up. "Salient, 973. Do you have contacts on your screen or are these false positives? If we got inbound I need clearance to land in one of your bays double quick. Ronin out." She would make it; Miranda was so close to the Salient she could almost smell the shitty cafeteria food.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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Copy Salient, status is I'm falling apart at the seams. I’ve got a crippled pirate frigate 300 metres on my six. It’s got no eyes or main guns but still fucking my world up with small fire. Easy score for you, kid's party getting rained out for me. I'm running 30% past safe on my engine but don't want to slow until this ass-hole is scrapped. I'll need to dock with you Salient, I can’t make it back to Mars. How copy?

The frigates were running blind, and one was crippled, that was good for Aronimus, he could pick them off without relying on the particle cannon. The cannon wasn't even authorized, seeing as how the original mission was to investigate the Arcturus System. Engineers had approached Aronimus on the day he departed from Rust City saying that the weapon was a prototype and should be used as a last resort, a fact that did not sit well with an Admiral who was used to firing the main cannon.

Now, he had to worry about two other problems, the gunship and the swarm of smaller raider vessels that were chewing apart the freighters. The raiders have been proven to be undaunted in the face of federal naval power, they would charge at the larger Federation ships out of blind fury rather than sound strategy. Even then, the only sound strategy that was ever applied by the marauders was when they were on the prowl. As for the gunship, she was running on one leg, and still had a long way to go.

"Sir, if she wants to dock, she'll have to throttle down or do a spin around," petty officer Hansen stated with distress.

"That will be a negative Mr. Hansen, at the rate she's going she'll be blown to pieces by the pirates before she gets within meters of us," as the Admiral said this, the scanners began to mark several fighters departing from the Salient.

"Let her in, we'll cut the hostiles off with our fighters," Aronimus folded his arms behind him, analyzing the situation. Normally by now, A.D.A.M. would have flashed into presence signaling alternative plans, but he was busy elsewhere. The Admiral thought this would be fine, considering he needed to flex his strategic muscles every now and then.

Roger that, Ronin. Aye, yeh're clear for docking, try not to damage any ships on yeh way in, the Scotsman's terse voice was laced with comicality.

Salient, 973. Do you have contacts on your screen or are these false positives? If we got inbound I need clearance to land in one of your bays double quick. Ronin out.

She was right on the dot about that, and five were tailing her at higher speeds.

Ronin, this is Salient. There is an affirmative on contacts, you've got five hostiles on your tail, turn off communications systems and anything extra to save power.

That was the most Hansen could do to advise her, being a fighter pilot once, he knew comm systems and scanners took a significant amount of energy away from the pool that was reserved for a light craft's propulsion systems.

"Mr. Summer, activate the rail guns, and target the crippled frigate," as Aronimus said this, the limping frigate began to detach from its hunt and attempt to escape. This was unusual even to Aronimus, who was an experienced veteran, for he had never witnessed a pirate attempting to escape.

"Fire the cannon."

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: Sheldon A. Willmont Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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ADAM was shocked when the AI TAU ghosted the unknown AI away from him, it was not a scenario he had anticipated. While he was pondering all the potentials, variables and implications of such an event the alarms went off. He started observing the situation and after an overly long analysis began preparing firing solutions and scenarios, covering literally everything short of an FTL or Hyperdrive leap to be used as an engagement mechanism. His overly extensive calculations took him awhile, especially because he linked them in sequence to adapt per the scenario, he hated redoing his math.

When Aronimus ordered the cannon on the escaping vessel, he altered the trajectory a bit before uploading his firing sequence, even accounting for the particle cannon. According to his scanners the altered shot had killed all inhabitants of the vessel without damaging the ship, granted scanners only showed life in the cockpit...regardless everything else was perfectly salvageable.

"My apologies admiral, it would seem that the emotion of surprise and shock were more severe than I had anticipated. As you can see I've prepared adaptive firing sequences and tactics and locked them in, you may peruse them at your leisure but all in all there's nothing more for the bridge to do here. However we may want some birds out as soon as possible, as shown in the data their presence on the field within within the next 5 minutes increases the odds of success to 87.63 percent. A strike team drop onto the vessel to counter any potential boarding parties is also recommended but it will have to be done on the fly." His hologram shrugged, "The use of the suit testers would be most effective, according to past records those 2 should be enough of a stall to get the ship into safe distance for a full sweep. As for the ship I kept you from destroying a retrieval team should be able to bring back enough gear for us to track their signals and allow total destruction on the local base."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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"No worries, Ronin, we'll delouse your six."

It isnt a half a breath after that the Salient's salvo errupts over the fighters' heads and off the side of the pirate hulk. No doubt even the glancing impact would cause the frigate to list in space, since anyone at the helm was now paste. Hyena whistles, impressed.

"Jesus ... And give you a haircut to boot.. We're apparently a full-service sort. Make for the hangar and tell 'em Hyena sent you; you'll get the best seat in the house."

By this point, she would be shooting past Miranda's beleagured ship, dipping its wings in a friendly waggle. With the first threat neutralized by the big guns, she lays into the throttle. As medium-sized fighters go, the Rapier's oversized engines pushed it with enough power to act, in this case, as an admirable interceptor. Hyena points her nose towards the distant freighters that continue to be herded and picked at by the pirate reinforcements, knowing full well she would arrive well before Peyton's support or the Salient's fight-ending firepower. But if she waited, then the pirates would inflict that much more damage and be that much closer to winning their prize. Sending the faster fighters in first was a standard procedure anyway, right?

She crosses the distance after a few terse moments of all-encompasing silence, until the contacts ahead begin to tickle the edges of her effective range. Unconciously, a toothy grin twists her face, and the bloody smile is a far cry from the friendly expressions she showed aboard ship. With a squeeze of the trigger, she sends the first opening rounds flying over the backs of the freighters. Too far out to accurately anticipate the small pirates, the shots were only meant to distract. It was a warning and a challenge; ignore her at their peril, because their free ride had just ended.

A handful would probably detatch to deal with the Federation interloper, and Hyena sails straight at them. With four foreward-facing guns dedicated to dogfighting and a slim profile that didnt lend itself well to making a target, it's a short burst before one of the charging patchwork fighters goes out in a ball of smothered flame and shrapnel.

The formation breaks at close range, and the conflict evolves into a tight ball of flashing engines and searing firepower. From a distance, it could be called beautiful if you could ignore the death happening inside it. Hyena uses herself as bait; breaking from the dogfight when she can to dart towards the pirates that are still targeting the freighters. Her charge would force them to disengage, potentially even choosing to chase her, instead. The advantage to being a single fighter is that the space around her becomes very crowded, very quickly. Less disciplined pirates must dedicate more time to avoiding a collision than accurate targeting of the nimble Rapier, even if that means she, herself, spends more time dodging then killing.

"Oh Peyton?" Hyena's voice is cheerful, if a little gutteral as the strain of her maneuvers compresses her lungs, "Be a dear and put on a little gas?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Miranda Peters
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Miranda wasn’t happy about being unable to properly execute a counter-attack. She wanted to turn everyone shooting at her to bloody scrap metal, but the rage the woman had needed to be pushed way down deep so her mind was clear. Two tones emitted from the fuel reservoir noting she had less than five percent remaining. She needed a safe place to set down and just like the voice of angel came her go-ahead.

Roger that, Ronin. Aye, yeh're clear for docking, try not to damage any ships on yeh way in

She laughed. "Acknowledged comm, Alta-Corp 973 coming to roost. I'll try not to scratch your paint. Ronin out."

The main problem was getting there with so many problems stacked against her. Her engines were about two hundred degrees from turning into a white-hot lump of unserviceable metal, her fuel was getting so low it wouldn't even drown a kitten and to add to mechanical bullshit, assholes were shooting at her.

Ronin, this is Salient. There is an affirmative on contacts, you've got five hostiles on your tail, turn off communications systems and anything extra to save power.

"Oh, just perfect." She said aloud, if Miranda had more fuel she could afford to fly a bit more fancy, though her Savannah class gunship was not a juke-and-jive sort of vessel. The craft was designed to go hard and fast without remorse leaving the enemy hating life, broken like an admiral's daughter after a fleet party. It was capable of stopping quick and then changing direction, avoiding interceptors once maybe twice before the limited repertoire ran its course. However by then one of your other wingmates killed the fucker. Miranda needed help.

No worries, Ronin, we'll delouse your six. Jesus ... And give you a haircut to boot. We're apparently a full-service sort. Make for the hangar and tell 'em Hyena sent you; you'll get the best seat in the house.

The Salient was a beast. Miranda at least picked a winner, always nice having a capital ship in your corner; takes the uncertainty out space combat. "Copy that Hyena, heading for the bay now, maybe I’ll get a wax while I’m there, it’s been a while. Out." It was already getting crowded with a mass of federation fighters coming to meet the pirates and Ronin was stuck in the middle. Seeing several fighters wiz by her tilting wings was comforting as least she was covered. Miranda took her comm-array and internal climate control off-line sending the power to manoeuvring thrusters. Throttling down to seventy-five percent her powerplant made a series of rapid clunks; metallic parts seizing and scraping in protest.

The hanger bay was large and accommodating, like a luxury state room on a pleasure yacht, not like the cramped cargo hold she usually landed in. Sure the regulations of the Federation were stupid and most of the fleet were pricks but they did have nice digs. Cutting her main engines, she coasted into the bay. She found an empty space; manoeuvring thrusters popping and whishing angling her into the slot before Miranda deployed her landing struts.

Ronin shut down her ship and opened her canopy. She was unclear as to what to do now. As a guest here she probably couldn't just wander the ship without someone getting butt-hurt. Miranda took off her helmet and shook out her blonde hair that was in dire need of washing. She hopped down from her craft and patted its side. Several people in coveralls were gathered around a radio listening to chatter coming from the squadrons of fighters on their sortie. One looked at her and frowned. "You the security vessel?" She nodded. "Someone will take a look at your craft after all our ships are back and inspected, they are the priority."

Miranda nodded again. "Thanks." She mumbled. A woman by the looks of her a higher up maybe XO came up and introduced herself. "Hi, Miranda Peters, people call me Ronin. Lieutenant Commander huh? That mean you're the person I talk to for the debrief. I know how you military types love debriefings. I gotta say thanks for the assist."

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Hangar


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Miranda Peters
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Miranda smiled at the woman. "Ah well traditionally the Savannah class gunship does have a crew of three. But my group uses them as a more all-around type of craft; fighter, bomber, vacation home. There is Just me; the rear compartment where the navigator and gunner usually sit is being occupied by my laundry and a hammock, probably about a dozen liquor bottles." She laughed and ran her fingers through her hair. "We're not really one for rules, just about flying tough and watching each-other's asses."

The woman wondered how many times she would tell her story, hopefully only once. There was an explosion once at a bar and instead of ducking out she stayed and told five different Federation officers what happened. "As soon as all this is done you guys can interview, uh I mean debrief me any time." Frowning she snapped her fingers. "Oh man, you'd probably be one to tell. Look the Alta-Corp vessels, um, if you can't get a hold of them that's my bad. We tell them to stay off the comm because they have those broadband suckers that anybody can pick up. Pirates hear them coming and it's just a question of waiting till they show up."

She scoffed. "I mean that's how they ran stuff until we started leading them home. You gotta get a hold of my boy Cronos on the Summerwind. Send a general hail, then say the key phrase "Salvo fire, wins wars." he'll open the line and there you go." Miranda hoped Cronos was still there on the bridge, he likely was as the crew of both freighters were new to combat scenarios. The issue of replacing the escort was on her mind, the fat ladies still needed dates to the ball and a couple broken gunships would not cut it. "Look, Commander those two freighters still need to make it back to Mars and I'm not sure what you guys are working on out here but if the Federation could take the time to send an encrypted message to one of our other squadrons for replacement that would be decent of you."

Ronin was pressing her luck; she was talking Federation charity and asking for favours to boot. Well it probably wasn't a surprise, after all mercenaries weren't known for their manners.

The setting changes from Hangar to Bridge


Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Miranda Peters Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway
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"Lieutenant Commander Chen to Admiral Weston," the Admiral picked up the incoming call on a separate channel.

"Miss Peters has requested that we send a general hail out for Cronos aboard the Summerwind. Code words 'salvo fire, wins wars.' She has also asked that we send an encrypted message to one of the other transport squadrons for a replacement escort for the freighters. I am bringing Miss Peters to guest quarters now. She was the only one on board."

"I see," Aronimus paused before continuing.

"Do as you see fit Ms. Chen, Weston out," Aronimus turned to petty officer Hansen who was still celebrating with fellow personnel.

"Mr. Hansen relay this code on a secure link to the Summerwind, it's a hail for Cronos. 'Salvo fire, wins wars.'"

"Aye, Captain..." the Scotsman typed the words in. Hansen hadn't really served aboard a real ship before, but he was one of the few that were quickly getting to used to the ship. He could tell that the ship was getting used to him and his accent. He waited for several seconds as the system began to check for the authentication.

"Yeh're clear sir," Hansen reported as the tone for authentication rung from the system.

The Admiral nodded at Hansen and asked him to relay an encrypted transmission to the headquarters of Tartarus Group. Although Aronimus would've gotten word to Command for confirmation, perhaps they would have a different opinion as to who should escort the ships back to their departure location. He'd need to question those aboard the two vessels.

He activated another channel, one for Commander Dunaway.

"Commander Dunaway, cancel the follow up, we've got a clear channel to the Altamus vessels.

"I understand sir," the channel closed, Aronimus resumed his link with the corporate freighters.

Altamus vessel Summerwind, Summerwind, this is the Salient, what is your status? I repeat, what is your status?