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Peter "Ray" Davidson

"To Ganymede and Titan Yes sir, I've been around..."

0 · 612 views · located in F.S.S. Salient

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

Description

Peter "Ray" Davidson (code name Charlie – S210)

Image

Place of Birth: Sol System, Saturn sector, Titan, Shikoku "Great Britain", Milligan Colony. 70.191 S.C.S (Solar cycle Saturn) S.C.E: 2069.

Age: 24 (Earth years are used on Titan on the matter of age however a celebration of a Saturn year is considered to be a great event in a Titan's Life. Titans due to their accelerated aging during childhood are actually two years older then what they really are; this accelerated ageing is a side affect of the genetic alterations made on the children of the original colonies in order to compensate for the lack of gravity required for the growth of a human, this side affect was never corrected after the introduction of artificial gravity because of the complexity of such an operation and the already vast distribution of the alteration in the population)

Gender: Male

Citizenship: British Commonwealth of Titan (Member of the Titan Confederacy of Sovereign Nations, the Saturn System Alliance and the Federation)

Rank: Unit Commander 2nd Class (Current Command: Bucher Pete; Swing Class Gunship)

Personality

Personality: Ray is a puzzle to the observer; on the one hand he is upbeat, humoristic and friendly however on the other hand he can at times become unfocused and display a complete lack of concentration as if day dreaming in his own world.

Ray is a man who is run by his adrenalin, in many respects and while he is performing the two things he likes most; flying and playing music will display a burning passion which more often then not affects people around him and himself positively. In normal day to day affairs Ray still expresses this cheerfulness and positivity by a variety of jokes and his speech which retains many forms of slang from the Titan flight academy and the Titan officer's academy. At times especially after waking up and after shocking events Ray sometimes enters a state of daydreaming and will sometimes fail to notice some one is even talking to him however such extremes are rare.

Ray loves humor; especially Titan humor which is heavily influenced by the British humor due to its originally British settlers who influenced many other things in Titan culture. Ray likes to spend his free time partying and playing music as he did in the Titan flight academy and his school days.

Ray likes rookies unlike many other pilots who where involved in war, Ray is in many cases is a rookie's best friend. In the squadrons he has been assigned to including the "marine" force Ray has always been a moral booster until his nervous breakdown which changed his personality in a number of ways.

After his breakdown Ray's original joy and positivity seemed more forced then genuine feelings and has drifted into daydreaming more often then before however he is still the same man he was even if his experiences left him drained of some of his original passion and joy. Ray however never speaks of his experience during the civil war and on those rare occasions when the name of his former commander is mentioned can very rarely contain his hatred of the betrayer.


Likes: flying, performing music, gambling, befriending new people, explosions, parties, eating with company, helping rookies and space.

Additional: Ray has a lucky coin which he likes to play with when he is nervous or when he is waiting for something. The coin is a 1914 penny made a day before the First World War.

Equipment

Equipment; Ray has a number of traditional Titan suits both ceremonial which bare close resemblance to the Napoleonic era naval uniforms and the infamous operations suits due to them being used by some Saturn based insurgent forces along with the Titan Commonwealth military (due to the fact that many of the insurgent officers of the Saturn sector being educated in the commonwealth academies. Ray also posses a ceremonial Titan sword (inspired by the Japanese Katana) and a variety of other items. ((during the first years of the colony physical exercise was an important aspect of Titan's culture due to the planets low gravity and sword fighting was introduced as a way for Titans to test themselves, even after the installation of artificial gravity the sport is still considered to be Titan's second ranking sport after flying and is still a required lesson in Titan's many military academies. Ray also owns a trumpet and a few other musical instruments.


Ray's Gunship is of the old but reliable Swing class and posses a great variety of weapons in addition to the speed and durability a gunship needs when dropping troops into enemy territory.

The swing class gunship is still popular because of its ability to operate independently of its mother ship for significantly longer periods of time then any other gunship, its long and reliable record of service and its ability to function as a supporting command center for fighters.


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History

History: Ray was born on Titan; his family wasn't large and he along with his younger brother where the only children their parents had. His family was a first generation Titan family and was well respected in Titan society however not as wealthy as other equally respected families. The rest of the family outside his own direct family where mostly in the interplanetary trading market however his own family owned a tavern in the small Milligan colony and achieved some local fame for producing high quality home brewed beer which was quite a novelty in the highly industrialized Titan industry which has similarly industrial beers.

Like all Titans Ray had a fascination for flying (with proper breathing gear its possible to fly on Titan by simply attaching wings to a humans arms) however his fascination soon became far greater then the childish fascination most Titans overcome even if they never grew out of it. Like most such teenagers Ray joined the flight academy and studied there for most of his early teenaged years.

Ray was offered by the military inspector of the academy a position in the officer's academy for his advanced education and Ray wishing to have greater experiences of flight agreed.

During this time Ray started a band along with his friends in the flight academy many of which also joined the officer's academy; the band was at first a jazz band however it soon combined other styles of music and was very popular in both academies. In the band Ray initially was the lead trumpet player but also began singing in the band after the initial experimental stage of styles.

Ray like all who where educated in the free yet traditionally strict and regimental officers academy joined the federation military at the age of 17 as a midshipman, after the first two years of service was given his commission and began serving in small patrol ships in the Saturn system.

When he was 22 insurgences broke out in the Saturn system after the federation extended its control of internal affairs in the Saturn system and especially Titan due to insurgences in other sectors of federation space. This along with other factors led to the infamous officer's revolt which began a series of bloody conflicts which where dubbed by some the Titan civil war.

Many of the rebelling officers had been educated in the commonwealth officers academy due to the sense of independence they felt was threatened by the federations increasing control over the internal matters of Saturn however the exact reasons for the revolts are unknown. Ray participated in the early relatively small scale conflicts this soon changed. Shorty before the beginning of the "civil war" Ray was enjoying a reunion show with his fellow band mates; after the show and during a party in the house of one of the band's members and the then leader of the band the seven friends drifted into politics. Some stated their annoyance at the federation and all agreed that the federation had made the wrong choice by interfering with Titan's internal matters however the debate soon became heated when many in the band expressed their dismay at fighting people they should support, this was not the end of the matter and Ray was approached a number of times by the bands leader who was also Ray's commanding officer who indirectly and later bluntly asked him to join the rebellion. Ray didn't see any reason to rush to such actions but believed his friend was merely aggravated by the situation and dismissed his claims and passed him another beer.

A number of days later Ray and other pilots where sent by his friend the commander to conduct a training mission. At first all proceeded as a normal training mission however the force was soon surrounded by members of their own squadron; the commander and Ray's friend Tiberius explained to his now former squad mates that they had been judged as anti revolutionary forces and supporters of the oppressive federation rule and then ordered them to surrender.

The training squadron had little armaments due to the nature of their mission; most recognized the hopeless situation they where in including Ray and where ready to surrender however two chose to fight and soon a battle raged among the former brothers in arms. Most of the loyalists where destroyed due to their utter lack of armaments and only a few escaped when the spacecraft they where flying where damaged and presumed destroyed.

Ray's Heavy escort fighter (sub gunship) suffered none critical damage and proceeded to organize the survivors after the traitors departed, soon after a patrol found them and retrieved them from their wrecked fighters. Ray learned that a similar situation had occurred all over the Saturn system and was informed that most of his friends had been killed in battle when their commander gave away their base defense codes to insurgent forces.

For the next year Ray participated in a hard struggle against the insurgents until Federation reinforcements turned the fortunes of battle to the federation loyalists.
Ray didn't play a major role in the conflict but was celebrated as a war hero by the federation which needed to boost moral and did so by publishing (and sometimes exaggerating) the exploits of the fighter and gunship pilots upon which the outcome of the war depended.

During the last days of the conflict Ray witnessed the death of his last remaining friend and band mate and suffered a breakdown which removed him from active service; 4 months passed before Ray could recover and was then transferred back to the academy as a teacher. Ray was eventually returned to active service after his second request and assigned to the Salient. Tiberius the traitor was never reported dead and escaped with other insurgent forces after their last Saturn base was destroyed and Ray has not forgotten him or his betrayal.

So begins...

Peter "Ray" Davidson's Story

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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"I am walking backwards for Christmas across the methane sea…."

Ray sang softly as he made his way in the gigantic cruiser; it was the first ship of such size he was assigned to since most of his service in the Saturn system was done on moon bases, a verity of artificial bases and patrol carriers.
As Ray passed the same place for the third time he decided that enough was enough and stopped at a near by terminal.

"Hay Sam can you direct me to church?"

In the academy Sam was a nickname given to computer terminals and Ray was still in the habit of calling computers Sam now and then. In the academy the hall was known as the "Church" because of the tendency of the headmaster to preach to the students for hours about duty before he let them have their dinner.
The terminal began to click meaning it was processing the request before saying in the normal banker like voice

"Please restate the command"


Ray was in a funny mood and barley overcame his desire to play around with the terminal, he had only once seen a puter go nuts and that was when someone in the academy tried to teach a computer Irishman jokes which managed to break the poor computer's logic processors.

"Computer, show me the position of the hall room in screen section 1, my current location on screen section 2 and a line marking the path towards the hall room from my current location on the main screen detailing all necessary map data for a successful transit between the two points"

The computer did not respond vocally and merely executed the command; it was boring and colorless but Ray needed to hurry if he was to arrive to the hall in time.
He wasn't as far away as he expected and calculated the journey would take him a few minutes.
He saw a human being ahead and decided to make the area his port of call before proceeding to the hall; he approached the chap and preformed the federation salute along with the Titan mix which was a longer less "mechanic" version of the salute.

"I am Unit Commander Peter Ray Davidson … don't worry it's not as high up as it seems! It’s a gunship rank:
Because we pack quite a kick with our fire power, armor and our own military detachment we get nice important ranks to go along with our space beauties which basically give us a bit of independence from our mother ships and the ability to get a few fighters to do what we tell them to do. It's a new rank and so far it's only used by the Federation Saturn System independent fighter command but we get to keep the rank in the rest of the service. I apologize if I confused you, To whom do I have the pleasure of addressing? "

Ray offered his hand to the chap and suspected the man was a rookie due to his young age. Ray and others in the Titan academy where sent out to get field experience at a much younger age then other academies because of the already long period of training they got in flight academy and other similar academies. The Titan academy believed in field experience and allowed those who preformed well to gain their commissions and those who didn't to return to the academy.
Ray liked the chap as he did with nearly every new person he met and decided to make conversation. He then noticed the distinct navigator colors on the chap's uniform and smiled; he liked navigators because he knew from his own experiences that navigators rarely let you down even when everything else did.

"Managed to get lost too? I am in the same boat it seems. How about you navigate us out of this predicament? If at all possible before we get our skins turned inside out by the brass." The last few words where meant as a joke but Ray suspected they would not be so much of a joke if they didn't arrive at the hall within the next few minutes.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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Clyde snapped himself out of the flow of data as the pilot approached. He returned the federation salute and spoke to the man, relived he wouldn't be arriving alone.
"Clyde Summer. This is my first deployment so... I guess I'm a private," he said with a smile, shaking Ray's hand. "... Lost? Never. Navigators never get lost. Just... delayed... " Clyde trailed off into nothing. "Kind of the problem isn't it... Anyway. This way," he waved down the hall and started walking.

Clyde wasn't quite sure how well he liked Ray, having known him for about a minute and a half, but he was less sure about the other crew members. He decided that Ray would be harmless to him and kept the conversation going. "So. What did you do to get sent here? I don't know if you've noticed yet, but something about this mission is... off. Starting with the crew. You'll see when you get there if you haven't read their profiles yet."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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Ray wondered about this new acquaintance of his, Clyde seemed to be a very interesting person for some reason even if he was a bit distant Ray knew there was always something to someone but also knew that it wasn't really his business.

Me? Ray asked surprised at Clyde's question, Ray wondered about how he would answer the question and began to formulate ways in which he could evade lying but not tell the exact truth ether. Ray didn't mind talking about the nature of his mental wounds which he sustained during the conflict but one question would lead to another until one of them reached forbidden territory which Ray didn't like to talk about.

Ray decided to go with his normal answer to such questions; not answering the question and maintaining a seemingly joyful appearance. Ray suddenly stopped, maybe a part of the reason would appease him.

As they neared the hall Ray simply said not knowing if Clyde heard him or not with the growing noise from the hall.

"one straw too many"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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Clyde stopped a few steps later as the words sank in. "The straw that broke the camel's back you say?" He turned his head back to Ray and flashed him an evil smile. "You too?"


Clyde proceeded alone into the hall and took a look around at everyone inside. The Admiral sitting facing everyone. The marines in their bulky suits. The girl flashing him a wide smile. There's an interesting one...
He jumped over the back of the chair next to Jessica's and smiled back. "Hi. My name's Clyde."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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Jess' agressive grin only grows as Clyde doesnt hesitate to hop the row of seats and introduce himself. Thank god; she'd have someone to chat with during this briefing. As exciting as it was to be aboard a new ship starting a new mission, a formation was a formation; boredom was a given. Bright blue eyes that dont seem to blink stare straight through both Clyde and Ray, if the other has chosen to follow.

She extends a hand in introduction. If he takes it, her grasp is rough but brief.

"What's up, Clyde? Jessica. I also answer to 'Jess', 'rotten witch', and Hyena." Disengaging her hand from her offer of a shake, she gives an affectionate flick to the leather name patch of her jacket. Along with her rank and name, the telling callsign is emblazoned above a set of pilot's wings. Stick-jock. Worse; a fighter jock. And for the tripple threat? An -enlisted- fighter jock.

She gives an eye to the uniform of the others, kicking her chin in acknowledgement of fellow spacer Ray. By now they can surmise that the broad smile she wore was pretty much a permanent fixture; it'd softened to a casual smirk but never fully disappeared. She flings an elbow over the back of the chair she sits in, proping a boot up on the duffle of her belongings.

"Either of you served with this one yet?" She says, jerking a thumb up at the Admiral on the stage as he dismisses Eli to go round up stragglers.

"I mean, I've heared stories, but that's it. Guy's almost been in the service longer then my -parents- have been alive. Collected more chest candy then I knew they awarded..." The pilot turns that blue-eyed stare onto the distant figure of Aronimus; getting a feel for the officer she'd spend the next stretch of future serving under. Rumors had been decent, as far as she'd heared, but her accounts had never come from people who personally knew the man.

This was the man that was going to lead them into who-knew-what at the edge of god-knew-where. Hopefully he was going to be worth that kind of dedication.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Clyde Summer
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"Him? Nope never had him as my CO; he could not keep up with us in Independent fighter Command any way if he is as old as he seems. Admirals fancy their ships to be as XL as possible and ships like this aren’t much use in the Saturn system; too many little asteroid moon bases where torpedo bombers can sneak up on em and blow out a bit at a time. what about you? (he said to his fellow pilot)"

.
Ray looked at the old admiral; he had heard of the man's exploits but knowing how the federation press worked with the insurgency about didn't count on everything he had heard about him, it would be better to get his own opinion but for now he didn't have a particularly high one of the admiral like all admirals.

Ray didn't like admirals; admirals got small craft pilots killed and normally didn't understand the issues with fighter warfare. Admirals where a carry on form an older era when fleets seemed as the ultimate formation of power because of the habit of Earth's navy's to mass like that. Ray had heard the claim that had the Saturn sector command ship Alexander hadn't been destroyed in the first day of the war the loyalists would have lost it because the independent fighter command would have never been formed; Ray partly agreed with this because the nature of the war was one of fast strikes and ambushes and not of clumsy ships of the line showing off on the target sensors of a bomber and fast attack ships like a god damned red giant.

Oh well, Ray didn't know this admiral yet and decided he would give him a chance; not all of them where egotistic bastards.

Ray sat down near the two he had been chatting to and whistled for a few moments while the brass got some order in the room; he thought he saw an LC meaning CO and wondered if he should stop but decided to quietly whistle and removed his lucky coin from his pocket and began playing with it.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to General Assembly Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Jon

Jon had stood around in the Assembly Hall while most of the other soldiers grabbed their own seats, he didn't know if his suit was light enough to not break a chair. He shrugged and went to the second row,deliberately forming a bridge between the group on the first row and the young Engineer Allen in the third. Rather than popping open the visor he took off the helmet before addressing them. He arrived just when the first row had hit the end of their conversation on the Admiral.

"Admiral Weston, that old dog's won every award the Federation's got to give, hell he's gotten most of em twice or more," Jon figured he'd butt in on the end of the conversation as an ice breaker. "Haven't worked under him but my first Black Ops deployment involved boarding his ship to clear out some hostiles, by the time I got to the bridge to finish the rescue, the guy had done and rescued the crew for me. After that I had to do a ground mission and it was the cleanest outer atmosphere I ever had, nothing got through him." He looked up at the man he was talking about before finishing, I swear he's like a god of victory on the field."

"The name's Jon Dunaway by the way, but people tend to call me Papa Jon... so think I can sit here, suits damn heavy," that last bit he obviously addressed to Allen, Jon himself didn't feel any weight from the suit. With that in mind he hoped the guy could give him some insight," You're Allen right, from what I hear you're a real wiz kid and if i'm not mistaken you helped big this ship."

The setting changes from General Assembly Hall to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Clyde had done his reading a while back. It interested him to know who he would be working with. Reading profiles only told so much, however, and he had long ago resolved to meet the people behind the pages before he passed real judgments on them. "Not to steal anyone's thunder here, but you are mistaken. Allen didn't work on the Salient. That was James Grey. I suppose this is a decent time for introductions. Papa Jon, meet Hyena and Ray, seasoned pilots, you already know Allen it seems, and myself, the navigator fresh out of the Academy. I'm Clyde , nice to meet you."

Clyde looked up at the Admiral again, lost in his own musings already. "A god of victory on the field. Maybe you can enlighten us, Papa Jon. Do you know, by chance, what makes this mission so special?"

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to General Assembly Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Jess snorts and grimaces at Ray when he mentions torpedos and sneak attacks, "Oh, I know all about it. I was on the Defiance, buddy; I'm that Hyena."

The incident would've made its rounds quickly around the ward rooms and hangar decks; a Federation patrol ship sent after pirates into the asteroid belt with no immediate support, the subsequent ambush, and the outlaws' sucess in getting in a torpedo that eradicated the crew quarters and a full 1/3rd of her fighting crew - including most of her pilots who had still been scrambling out of their bunks. And then the mad-as-hell maintainer that'd jumped into a spare bird and gotten her 5 Ace kills as a goddamn 3rd class crewman. Opinions after that were mixed, wether or not she'd truly 'earned' her sudden promotion to what was essentially an Officer's rank, and wether or not they should've just given her an award instead of a cockpit. Damn dirty enlisted and all of that. Her attitude hardly helped endear her to the upper eschelons.

Jon makes his appearance behind them - it was hard to miss the approach of all that hardware. That toothy smile makes its reappearance, mischevous light clear in the pilot's eyes.

"Aaaw, hell; Bullet-sponges in the house. Holy crap, is there a guy in there or is it just Tank?? I dont even want to know about bathroom breaks.."

Discipline and tact; two things of which Hyena will never be accused of... But between the Space side and the Ground side, how could she NOT stir the familiar pot of rivalry? It was too easy when her target showed up wearing his own personal pillbox. Too bad her tongue is lightyears ahead of the thought to check that armor for rank.

"And he can wear all the medals he wants, good on him. I just want to know if he's going to be a hardass or what? This is going to be a looooong ride with a spit-and-polish Skipper, you know? Last thing I need is inspections every week, or dry port calls..." Oh, tragedy!

The setting changes from General Assembly Hall to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Jon screwed up his face while racking his brain," I don't know of anything of the top of my head... but with 2 crazy high-tech suits, a prototype ship, a new generation of AI, the Admiral and a crew of elite if potentially dangerous personnel there's a lot more to this than we'll ever know." He shrugged, something very hard to do due to the armor amplifying his body movements.

"In truth I doubt even Weston of the damn AI know what's going on, if anything I'd say we're flying blind but with this much heat something big is definitely going down. Sorry about getting you mixed up Allen, if you aren't the wiz kid you must be that Irish engineering ace. Having trouble matching faces to files, it's never been my strong suit, I'm more of a face-to-face type of guy."

Deciding he'd go for it Jon sat down, the chair gave a lot under his weight but held,"Nice chairs, eh? But in all seriousness, call it paranoia call it experience but my guts telling me that whatever we're dealing with won't be at all pretty. On the plus side it means that we'll be given more freedom of operation of a judgement call on the field, I might be able to test this baby's atmosphere insertion systems, can you believe it orbital personnel airdrop. The people in R&D are either crazy, or genius...probably both."

He looked at Jessica,"Best Bullet Sponge in the business and believe it or not bathroom breaks aren't that bad." He flashed a smile before he answered the last question, "No room for clothes in the suit sweetheart so man or tank is your call. I don't know about him being a hard ass but I've yet to have a CO that had the heart to enforce a dry port call."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Clyde sat back and listened to the others talk for a while. Maybe it was because he didn't feel like poking fun at the man wearing two tons of metal. Maybe he didn't have too many stories to tell, this being his first deployment. Maybe he was playing a video game. Who knows.

"I don't think it matters how hardass our CO is going to be. From what I'm seeing by just looking around, most of the crew aren't going to give a shit about orders. Maybe it's just this relaxed atmosphere talking, but I think I need to wish the Admiral good luck keeping a lid on this place."

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to General Assembly Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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The Admiral noticed the growing group in the center section; it was a variety of different personnel when compared to other sections which had been subdivided into different cliques of soldiers, technicians, pilots, engineers, etc. This group was different however; the large encased marine trying to sit down was Jon Dunaway. His bulky suit risked crushing one of the seats, or even a fellow crew member. Then there were two pilots, one of which was the woman with the constant grin, and other with dirty blond hair. Those were the main features that he could point out in order to tell them apart from other pilots. Then a younger lad who seemed to be a very quiet individual sitting on the edge entered the conversation that was started between the woman and a fellow crew mate who had dropped by. The crew mate was wearing full formal navigator’s uniform; a fellow whom the Admiral believed would be serving on the Bridge with him for the duration of the trip.

MacPhearson, Davidson, Ryker, and Summer were their listed names. They were all gathered together and talking with intense interest about a certain topic. The Admiral could only guess as to what post-pubescent subject they were discussing. Then he shifted his attention over to the number of crew members swelling the room to full capacity. Aronimus was interested in leaving port immediately, so he'd strike down the key details he wanted to address which included the rogue contained AIs. After all had been said and done, he would leave immediately for the Bridge. He had no time to look back and wait for the crews to disband and separate into their particular stations.

The setting changes from General Assembly Hall to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to General Assembly Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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"Oh, I know all about it. I was on the Defiance, buddy; I'm that Hyena."

Ray chuckled; he should have noticed who she was as she was the talk of fighter tactics for a number of years even in the Titan academy which admittedly had a mighty high opinion of itself.

"Great to meat you!, I should have realized it was you but things happened since I got the report about what you did out there. Bloody good job too, even my gunship would have been in for a real buggering in that situation; I might have missiles, canons, plasma, armor and my very own marine force in my locker but I could never take off in time or doge those bandits without a fighter playing mama and an interceptor playing papa for me."

Ray smiled; he liked meeting a fellow vet and wondered if they could have a test flight at some point. When some one talked about his own record Ray didn't mention his own; as far as he was concerned he was happy if people just saw him as a nobody and was lucky in that respect since the news coverage he had reported him under his old name "Peter Raymond Davidson; if people had a look at his files they would know the truth about him but the average Joe didn't see them and normally didn't make the 1+1 about his history.

Ray could not help but pass a remark however on the matter of torpedos:

"I saw the Alexander get reduced to Coffee powder; bloody freaking oversized fully manned, fully crewed behemoth of destruction which was the living and berthing spirit of Federation ass kicking in the Saturn system gone in twelve minutes along with its crew and its bogey busters in a swarm of Torpedo bombers and there wasn't a thing any one could do to stop them because the torpedo disruptors decided to take a day off and we where busy shooting down the missiles coming out of their Corvettes. At least now the federation knows that it should not hand out its disruptor codes to any Tom Dick or Harry with a shiny uniform and rank"

Ray became temporarily internally focused as he relieved the memory; he did not mean to bring it up but flash backs like that happened to him now and then. What he did not mention was that he knew exactly who gave away the codes and his own failure to stop him. Alexander was a mighty fine ship with nearly all the none local federation fleet in it or near it; it didn't matter where the rest of the ships where because they all got torched as the Alexander got ripped to shreds by debris and the torpedo's that missed the Alexander and hit them instead. This was the reason why a war that should have ended in a week of asteroid demolition by the Alexander's heavy guns became a year of dog fighting because the federation was not willing to risk another cruiser while the asteroid bases where still up and running not to mention the infamous Independence canon which sent the Napoleon panicked right back to its Mars port for a fix.

The federation later claimed that the conquerors class had a number of faults in its design but Ray knew that was just BS; while the anti fighter guns where not great that was true the real reason for the fiasco's was the way the admirals who where in charge of the operation handled their tactics and lousy security of information. It was another ploy by the federation to improve moral just like the act of calling the rebellion an act of insurgence when it was clearly much more then that at the time.

Ray noticed he had held his hand in the shape of a fist and bore the expression of some one who had just seen a ghost for at least a few seconds by now, he relaxed himself and forced a grin on his face and said cheerfully:

"Sorry I got carried away, sorry for spoiling the mood. Now I really must have a look around this ship, so much to see!"

Ray got up and pretended to inspect the hall, he felt awkward at his sudden loss of control and was reminded of how different he was now then he once was, even when fighting the rebels he at least had something to keep his mind off the fact that all his friends had ether died fighting for the federation or died fighting for the rebellion apart from the one on whom the entire responsibility for it all lay.

"Take it easy Ray; one day at a time" he told himself and felt a little better as he passed near by to a fella in a as heavy as Olympus piece of armor"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Clyde watched Ray walk away, and filed away that his past was traumatic enough to cause flashbacks. He didn't really care what Ray had done on his old ship. This was a new day, a new crew, and a new mission. He would make new mistakes this time. He would tell Ray later that there was no use dwelling in the past: it would only make him screw up in the present. In the mean time he watched the group grow larger even as it lost a member. The other Dunaway brother approached, smoking in sullen silence. Then the doctor turned to face the group.

Clyde didn't bother doing introductions this time- there were too many people that he really had no connections with. He let everyone introduce themselves. Again. "Hey. I'm Clyde. I drive the ship." He paused.

"Isn't this a merry group we have here? Who's missing? Nobody? It should be about time to head out. I for one am rather interested in hearing what such a famous Admiral has to say to us. And a little tired of waiting."

The setting changes from General Assembly Hall to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Jon looked to his brother and mouthed, nothing but elites, some active some on last ditch tours... this is fishy. He knew his brother could read lips and no reason to spoil the mood. It was then one of the medicals gave them her attention, "Hi I'm Faith. I'm the one that is going to be doing those awful unpleasant things call health checks to you people." She had a strong British accent, Jon would be lying if he didn't find it attractive he considered using some accents he'd had to perfect for undercover jobs and decided no.

"Great to hear Dr. Faith, if it's all right with you I'd like to get mine out of the way ASAP. Local chain of command pending I also have a file or two you may find interesting," he stated. "By the way name's Jon Dunaway,some people call me 'Papa Jon' call me whichever you prefer." He pointed at his brother, not letting the guy ignore the crowd.

"This guy's my brother Atomsk, might not be your uptight military man like myself but you won't find a more effective ground commander. Come on Atty introduce yourself."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Allen was a little out of it. He had heard his nae and a lot of people talking around him. When he snapped back into focus he saw a very large man in a very large suit. "Huh? Oh yea I am Allen. Sorry I was lost in some thought about how to improve the Med read out on the combat suits." When Allen too a look around at tall the people gathered he was a little curious as to why they had sat near him. But he didn't care anymore he was finally happy that someone was talking to him. He was used to being alone for long periods of time that this was almost new to him. "And yea I did a few things for the ship but not a whole lot." He said addressing Jon. "Plus one of my main goals is to get a new and improved Med system in these suits so we are better at seeing vital signs and wont lose any men." He took a look at Jons suit. 'High tech that is for sure.' he thought to himself he leaned forward "Good to meet you Clyde, I'm Allen, Oh and good to meet you to Faith." He stopped for a second "And Its nice to meet you Jon." Allen had so many things he wanted to talk about with the soldier even though he might not know what he is saying he though he would like the tachno babble about keeping him alive. He was excited when talking to these people and his accent was a little thicker than normal but hey he was Irish. Allen stood up and looked at all the people near him "Well I guess I should just say, Hello you all I am Allen, I'll be the one fixing things and checking the engines. And I hope that we can all be drinking buddies by the time this is over."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie
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Ray saw that their grandfather clock admiral was waiting dear old man that he was for every one to shut down, stay put and wait for rescue.

Ray flipped the coin one last time and took the time to look at the picture of the long dead king which was on the coin ,in one fast maneuver slipped the coin back into his pocket and jumped back into a near by seat which was in the area the group he had unofficially joined and sat just in the outskirts of its territory as marked by the area in which a few people did not take the hint and went on talking as if it was a high school lecture which in many respects it was one.

He heard the British voice and learned who he would be cursing and praying for depending on his situation on this journey; Titans no longer had the once British accents they had at one time and had now a very thick and heavy accent of many sources which could be understood by most people but was highly confusing to British people who could hear the British origin but could not get their minds on the extreme variations in the English Titans spoke unless they spent time around Titans for a few days. A British relative who visited Ray's family when Ray was 11 described this as expecting a sweetie and getting it but under a few layers of sand, spit and shit not to mention the sweetie itself is actually Japanese made.

Ray faced the doctor and grinned

"God bless! At least we have an old girl as our Doc! I would not want a shaky hand entertaining my body with some off jokes"


It was an old Titan joke made during the nation wars more then half a century ago when earth was still split by nationality and when Fighter's first developed proper armor which instead of killing the pilots buggered up their bodies which was admittedly a vast improvement but did see the introduction of many raw incompletely trained doctors to deal with the new influx of some what living bodies upon whom the joke was made on due to their chop chop medical philosophy.

"Sorry about that doc, can't help myself maybe you have a pill for that? I am unit commander Peter Ray Davidson or just Ray, I tried getting rid of the Peter part but its illegal for me to do so caz of the Titan naming laws or some other Tory thing and the UC rank isn't as high as it sounds actually"

Ray would have to discuss the naming of his rank with the captain or even the admiral; what was accepted in the Saturn local defense fleet wasn't widely known in the rest of the federation and explaining his rank every time was becoming tedious.

Upon hearing the engineer Ray did what was always done to rookies; teasing.

"If you flamingo up my engines I will strap you to a table and pour molten toffee into your throat.

He then jumped again to the near by seat thus getting quite a few threatening looks from a few people to sit down and stay put.

Ray froze for a few moments as if he was a chameleon evading a predator by taking upon itself the background and then silently sat down near to the engineering lad.

"Don't worry about it al, I am Ray and I fly the prettiest jazz packed hornet in this corner of the galaxy. If you ever find yourself working on her there is a Jukebox I had put in from my old heavy escort hidden in a large "supplies" locker i had extended to house the extra machine; brass dosn't know about it so keep mum. if you want to you can enter the pass key "King Kong" and push a button to enjoy some old fashion style rokenanrolling or some swing that will make the ship dance along with ya"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Jess grimaces again briefly. The Alexander had been a rough peice of work; a lot of people had lost friends aboard her and Jess was no different. Being a grease monkey on a hangar deck seemed a lot less safe when you really absorbed the fact that the hangar could be blown out from underneath you. She doesnt pry further when Ray - clearly disturbed by it - detatches himself from the group to collect his thoughts. Give the guy his space, but hopefully he wouldnt spend the whole trip brooding. Otherwise good ol' Hyena might have to get creative.

Two more join their erstwhile group, and she smiles broadly at Atomsk and Faith equal parts cheer and casual evaluation. If she's blinked even once, it was gone too fast to notice.

"Now we're talking. Couple of Marines, couple of pilots, a Nav, an Eng, and now the Doc.... Hell, find me the cook and we've collected the whole set." She still lounges lazily across her chair and most of the one next to it, boots up on her duffle and arm slung over the back of the chair to keep the whole group in her view.

"Call me Hyena. I'm pretty much the ultimate badass in anything with an engine." And yes, Jess does casually assume an arms-outstretched 'Lord of the Dance' pose momentarily, as if basking in the light of adoring fans. It was all in good fun, of course; she was mocking classic pilot ego as much as she was extolling her own virtues.

"A group like this is lighting up to be a pretty lively cruise, innit? Who's betting Aliens? Anyone? How about Space Zombies?" The lopsided, canine-exposing smile on her face remains in place as she makes the joke, but she'd hardly missed the little signs that had some of the others antsy. She'd be a piss-poor fighter if she missed the little tells, after all, and an experimental starcraft being loaded had been a red flag the size of a small moon.

At this stage in the game, however, all she could do was wait for the word of the Admiral, still standing stoicly up on the stage as he waiting for everyone to finish finding their seats...

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to General Assembly Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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#, as written by TKDJ
Some new faces. He got back to his favorite game. A man who seemed scattered. Book smart. Probably a genius. He'd tear him apart soon enough.

Another man who seemed to have a twinkle in his eye. A pilot but that's all he could tell.

He was moving on to another woman when his Brother forced him into an introduction. Jon knew how to get under his skin. He looked at the woman called Faith and held out his hand. "Atomsk if you would. My brother knows i hate Atty."

The setting changes from General Assembly Hall to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Ben Owens Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: James Grey Character Portrait: Gavin Merrickson Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Once the hall had filled, and Captain Colter being the last person to step in the auditorium, the Admiral finally began to speak. His voice over the speakers quickly quelled all digressing conversations and attention from the parts of the hall that were not present before soon faced the Admiral. It was resounding, firm, courteous, and resolute, aspects of an Admiral’s voice, specifically Aronimus’ voice. Yet there were subtle undertones which took on a different nature, one that was an overtly paternal voice, one with experience that was no less marked by the vicissitudes of life than any other person of his age.

“Welcome to the Salient, I am Admiral Aronimus Weston,” he paused and awaited the crew’s appropriate response which was a round of applause.

Then he continued.

“I will make this briefing…brief. First off, all of you who were assigned to this ship vary in past field experience, but that does not make you any more or less privileged than your fellow servicemen on board this ship for the duration of this mission.”

The Admiral then called upon Alice Chen and Atomsk Dunaway to platform. As he said this, their profile images and names appeared on the viewing screens, as if on cue, for all the hall to see.

“Lieutenant Commander Alice Chen is my second-in-command, should I be busy and unable to fulfill my duties then Commander Chen will address them for me under her own initiative. All ship crews, pilots, technicians, medical crews, and Science corps personnel will answer directly to her. As for Mr. Dunaway, he will be the Commander for all marines and security personnel; you will directly answer to him. These two will be my top subordinates for the duration of the mission lest some incident prevents either of them from fulfilling their duties.”

The Admiral then told the two officers to return to their seats.

Then he paused to regroup his thoughts, at this point he was at a juncture. He could tell them a truth, which would scare some to the point of requesting re-assignment, or he could leave the matter alone, believing the old saying “what you don’t know can’t hurt you.” However, he decided to err on the side of truth, simply because that was who he was.

“I will not lie to you. In this mission, like all missions, there is a chance that you will die. I address this to each individual on board, right here, right now, in this room. I must present to you then, a decision. You can choose to stay and complete the mission, or you can choose to re-assign yourself elsewhere. Should you elect the latter, we will gather your personal belongings and transport you back to the station via drop ship.”

He paused, awaiting reactions. Some began to look startled and scared. Others accepted the news as nothing new.

“For the rest of you, we are departing immediately, command crews head to the bridge. I trust you will be able to find directions for yourself. Marines please follow Captain Colter to the Barracks section of the ship and set up your belongings. After which command will revert fully to Commander Atomsk Dunaway for the remainder of the trip. Thank you all for coming to the briefing...so...promptly.” The last bit was a touch of sarcasm that Admiral amused himself with.

The Admiral left the platform immediately, heading through a smaller corridor that led directly to the bridge. He had said all that was needed to be said.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to General Assembly Hall

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Allen Ryker Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Faith Mackenzie Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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Without looking up at Thaddues, Jon states," You really should be using a system link instead of hacking into my system, if you disrupt AI functions while I try to move it'd shatter the limb after which the human body's own inadvertent pain spasms would be amplified resulting in the death of the suit operator. I believe that was the 5th precautionary statement we were given on these things."

Jon stood up, his left arm hanging funny, "Luckily you shut down the suits amplifiers before it did any more than a minor fracture and dislocated my shoulder, guess we can confirm the tech's suspicion on increasing cyber-ware and compliment them on the effectiveness of the quick patch medical system, barely feel a thing."

"Guys this is Thaddeus, spec ops infiltration and stealth. He may be the coldest SOB you'll ever meet but he's the best in his field. We served together once, we were pinned for 72 hours in a bunker with nothing but 4 sidearms, a sniper, two rifles and one old fashioned chainsaw...damn I miss that thing, but you shoulda seen the faces when we walked outta that." Knowing Thaddeus would address him at his own speed Jon turned to the other guys and continued talking.

"Don't suppose we can all head over to the med wing and get this patched up can we doc, and I may need help getting this thing off."

The setting changes from General Assembly Hall to The Milky Way Universe

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray knew he was going to love this admiral from this point on; short speeches and no lectures was a way by which a CO could become from an inconvenience to a godsend.

As everyone remembered they had the fleshy things called legs and decided to stand up and go have a sniff around the ship and get comfortable Ray could not help but be nervous by the admiral's clear lack of any kind of "voyage blessing" in his speech.

Ray wasn't really a religious man even if Titan law decreed that people had to go to church on Sunday as part of their civic duty. There where quite a few people who where religious on Titan including Ray's family but Ray never liked the idea so much.

Even so making a speech without a voyage blessing was a rotten start for a voyage and could be seen as a bad omen; Ray knew this was a load of nonsense and that any misfortune which occurred in the voyage was ether because of coincidence or the mental state of seeing every bit of misfortune as the omen coming true. Ray tried to dismiss his feeling but could not and hoped the admiral would make the appropriate blessing once the journey began.

Ray decided he would pay a visit to his beauty, many wondered why he called her butcher pete and addressed her as female; the reason for this was that butcher pete was the name of her type and registration in the swing class. As far as the brass where concerned the ship had no other official name apart from its designation and crew names didn't matter in the name list.

Ray still hadn't decided on a name for her and decided to think about one later, he journeyed into the depths of the ship still marveling at the workmanship and the fantastic artificial gravity the ship had; Titan's colonies never developed beyond 71% earth gravity because of the effect the rain had on the generators and also the conservative party which was very popular on Titan believed that to extend the gravity would be a breach of tradition.

And so Ray wasn't used to this kind of gravity and found it rather tedious especially since he had spent most of the past few years in a gunship with barley 20% earth gravity at best and asteroid bases and space stations with barley 30% earth gravity.

As Ray managed to get himself lost again in the vast corridors and halls the ship possessed he decided to make a guess and took a left turn. As he marched on he saw a small commotion ahead of him and decided to investigate; it seemed that two crew personal where investigating a badly dressed but good looking chick.

Ray decided he would enjoy himself a bit by meddling In affairs he had no business with and stepped into the setuation holding his hands behind his back and mimicking the "officers stance" which every CO showed off.

With a sharp voice designed to make people jump in surprise and by copying the average Titan policeman Ray said:

"Allo allo allo; what's happening here then?"

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Seeing another person arrive she blanched and saluted instinctively driving through her mind for her rank and details, "I'm Tiann Peyton Fighter Pilot 1st Class--- of um.... um... oh year of the SS Demeter... number... oh um..." think Tiaan think!, "36789." Phew.

The guy she guessed called Frank replied in sharp tone, "How did you get on board."

Tentatively she pulled out her pass, "This..."

Catching the eye of the third person she swore she saw a wink, great, not only was she being humiliated but now she was being sexualised, "I understand this isn't my uniform, but I promise my stuff is already on board, it was sent earlier on. If you could just get the Captain---."

"He's busy!"

Looking desperately around she at this moment wished the earth would open up.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray found the entire situation outrageously amusing and wondered to whom the room belonged to and secretly hoped it turned out to belong to miss china town the CO and thus expand the drama.
Ray however wasn't so cruel to show his amusement and decided to help his fellow pilot, he wanted at least one of his guardian angles to owe him a favor and not leave him to fend for himself as they went after targets in their never ending quest for glory.

"Hay Fred, what's up mate?" he said to the man called Frank and began his normal procedure of confusing people to oblivion until they gave up.

"Who are you? My name's Frank and this matter Is under my authority" said Frank who was as Ray saw it a very frank person.

Ray made himself look even more official and saluted back to the damsel in distress and then turned to Frank the frank and said with his "I outrank you so piss off before I piss on your career kind of tone"

"Well Frodo I am Unit Commander Peter Raymond Davidson stand too when talking to a superior!"

Frank took his time and looked at the crew manifesto and then with a grin of triumph said savagely

" I can't see your name on the list princess so explain yourself before I turn you in"

Ray snatched the data pad and looked down on his profile; since he changed his name his full name was further down on his profile and he assumed Frank the frank ignoramus didn't read it all.
Ray then marked that part of the profile and gave it back to him and presented himself as an even nastier figure; Ray assumed the man didn't know that unit commander wasn't actually a high rank but he wasn't about to tell him that.

"Well then general Franco I belleive you where about to do something?"

Frank the Frank ignoramus Kaputtus looked at the data pad and went into attention, his fellow womanizer who acted the part of long Jones parrot during the conversation also saluted and both seemed rather pale apart from some very red cheeks.

"Sorry sir I didn't know sir, we where just doin our job sir"

Ray looked at Frank the Frank ignoramus Kaputtus pussyfootus and broke into a smile; a cruel smile of seemingly sadistic pleasure.

"Yes you do have a job Mr. François, your job is to inspect the ship is that correct?"

"Yes… sir"

"Well then Francis go to it! if your job is inspection have you inspected our waste disposal drains yet?

'No… sir" he said now knowing where the conversation was going

Ray enjoying every moment came closer to him and smiled again

"Well the drains do not inspect themselves; go to it bullet!"

And with that Frank the Frank ignoramus Kaputtus pussyfootus Idiotus and his parrot ran off, Ray wondered how long it would take for them to realize that Ray had no authority over them and how would they react to that knowledge.
He then turned to the lassie and saluted again and said at last with his friendly natured voice barley containing his will to laugh out loud.

"I wonder how long it will take for them to figure out I had no authority to give them that order" Ray then laughed unable to contain his amusement any longer, after regaining himself he offered his hand and said still chuckling from the bizarre event.

"Sorry about that, I can't help it. The names Ray by the way and don't worry about them. They won't recall your name as they will be to busy cursing mine.
I can see you had a bit of fun before our mission so I suggest we get rid of the evidence in the room you used and get you in a presentable state of affairs"


Ray entered the room and took out a jar of coffee and took out a few cups and pressed the hot water option on the tap.

"How many do you think you need?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Watching all that happened in morbid curiosity she almost didn't hear him, but after he repeated she replied, "Oh um, four should be enough, I didn't drink too much, but did drink hard, if ya catch my drift. This is rather embarrassing I normally better prepared than this." grinning sheepishly she continued, "Thank you though for getting rid of them, I can defend myself, but in state I am right now, doubt could win any fight. I'm Tiaan by the way, you might have heard of my family Clarice Peyton, I'm his daughter, his progeny. I know it doesn't seem likely, but last night was kinda of distressing, I just couldn't go home.

Seeing him fling over a uniform she stripped out her dress and threw on uniform hurriedly, relaxing a little as the cotton and polyester touch her skin. Although the insignia was wrong, she was now officially part of the crew, which was great -- she hoped her fighter had made the transfer since much like ship's, she could never have another Blue Tit (Mercury Class Fighter Customized out the wazoo).

"I'm rather ashamed can't truly thank you in anyway. I've got nothing really to give and what items do have, are considered priceless." she breathed sadly, "I hope you understand." she doubted he would mind, despite her misgiving about him, first impressions could be a bitch and in this case, she looked likely wrong.

"You look familiar, I swear my Father has a photo with ya in it, it's him and his whole fighter crew." He really did look like the guy, but surely he would have retired by now.

"Clarice (Vulture) Peyton ring any bells?"

Of course her name from Demeter would need to change since new ship changed the whole dynamic, to be honest she never liked Birdy anyway.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Ben Owens Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: James Grey Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Ridley DeLovat Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway
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#, as written by TKDJ
He stood as he took the Admirals words very seriously. He thought he had made a decent impression. He also looked forward to talking again in the future. He disagreed with the arrogance though. He didn't believe he was arrogant. He simply didn't like rules. Or people undeserving of their ranks. He smirked when the Admiral brought up the insubordination and attempted court marshals. He loved the failed attempts at his post. To him it meant that the rules he broke weren't as important as the good he did.

As the Admiral turned to walk away Atomsk said a very respectful "Thank you. sir" with a slight bow, even though the Admiral had turned away. He was excited to talk again in the future. At this point he walked to a comm terminal close-by. He input a code that would give him the intercom for a minute. After he had control he stated a message for his portion of the crew. "Attention all military personnel. This is Commander Atomsk Dunaway Meet in Barracks 1 in 45 minutes. We will be performing a mission brief along with a few evaluations as well as forming our squads. Captain Eli Colter please meet me at Barracks 1 immediately for per-brief." He was aware of Captain Colter's position on the ship and wanted to size him up. He was sure they would be working together closely and wanted to start building a relationship fast. He began a brisk walk to the Barracks. He wanted to get as much talk time as he could.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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As Ray made the coffee and passed the first glass to Tiaan he decided to sit down near by.

"Don't worry about it, hell I am a Titan grad; we don't give a damn about earning shiny things." This wasn't exactly true but Ray liked to say it was and the academy needed all the support of its grads had to offer after losing so much prestige in the officers revolt.

"I heard about your name and even the name you just said but I am actually only 24; surprising isn't it? Well we Titans age faster then earthlings during our childhoods so my body is 26-8 years old while I am really 24. So I could not have flown with your old man and my parents are beer brewers so it was not my pa but plenty of my greater family has been flying the galaxy since it became profitable so the guy on the picture might be a distant relative."

Ray was about to keep the conversation going when Alice the CO came marching but Ray did not find It funny liked he believed he would. Ray was glad for Tiaan's sake the CO didn't explode but was a bit put off by the woman's puffed up approach to things and was of the impression that while the CO seemed to be taking the situation lightly she would remember all of this and use it if she stood to gain something for doing so.
Ray stood up to attention and tried to encourage Tiann to do the same and then saluted his Titan way that he knew would annoy the CO at least a bit.

"hello sir; I was just about to start cleaning up and hide all the evidence" Ray regretted sending frank away because he could use a clean up team but pilots had to help each other and he wasn't about to brake the most sacred of commandments.

Ray looked at Tiaan and wondered what he could do now? With the CO here the situation was no longer under his authority but he would at least try to keep under his influence.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Startled by the arrival of the other person she pushed away the sodden thing once known as her dress with her foot, trying to hide the fact she slept here. Slept through nearly everything. This really wasn't a good day. At least she wouldn't be called Birdy anymore, but to be honest she had found Birdy rather patronising as her Father had a real name, Vulture, a bird of prey, not some cheap insult. She had never fit in with those guys, in fact more than once she had fought them. Well she was off now and hoped this wouldn't go on her record, "If this is your room Miss--Sir---Madam---" feeling flustered she couldn't decide how to address the woman who was clearly above her rank, that's for sure.

"I understand how this looks." she took a long deep breath, "But, I promise this won't happen again. In fact I'd like to go see my Fighter arrived safely." as she spoke she tried to tidy her hair with her hand and fingers, making it less messy, but failing rather miserably."

Most people who saw Tiaan thought she looked cute, but also deeply sad inside, they could be right, but she also had a very upbeat demeanour and wasn't above a little fun. Although on the Demeter only chance she got with that was during Dock Leave, and even then it sucked to love someone and then leave them. So yesterday had seemed amazing, here was a girl coming on to her, so why the hell had she decided to scream.

God knows, still waiting for an answer she gave up on her hair growling annoyed and resumed saluting.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Alice Chen Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Tiaan Peyton

Calming a little she grinned; Tiaan had a beautiful lopsided smile, that spoke so much, but revealed little. Stephanie had joked she'd make a great politician, since everyone would believe her. Of course she had laughed it off, but after what she went through on Argus 50, she felt politicians got off lightly. It had been a routine mission on board the Demeter to collect minerals for transport, what happened though was one of crew members was on the make, and tried to sell them out to local smugglers, she had apparently been a great catch. This is what the record never told though, the reason Alfie didn't get taken in was because she persuaded him to commit suicide, it was easy, almost disturbing how simple it was, she got him to believe he was nothing and no one would miss him. He agreed and agreed and asked what should he do then, Tiaan had simply said this, "Walk out of the airlock and breath deeply."

That was terrifying to see him so solemn and yet so willing.

Fortunately it hadn't been put on record because her actions had scared the smugglers so much they fled. She didn't even have any powers, she just used his weakness to her advantage. No one believed her, and that mission was why she had begged, no pleaded for reassignment.

Eventually Captain Elias Riggs had given in and reassigned her, knowing she wasn't happy, but he was sorry to see her go, since outside of all the pilots she actually wasn't a red-shirt. Most pilots onboard Demeter didn't last a month, she had lasted 4 years.

"Thank you Lt Chen, your reputation precedes you. I heard of your actions on the colonies. Why I might not agree with how you handled it, your solution resulted in the least bloodshed. Glad someone had firm head on during that time."

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Alice flicked Tiaan a smile. The expression was fleeting and tight, like she was unaccustomed to displaying that sort of emotion in front of... anyone. Raised by officers and secrets, Alice had spent her entire life suppressing her emotions in the presence of others. 'Stop smiling and salute' had been a more common command in her home than 'it's bedtime, go to sleep.' No one could call her family normal, even without knowing the things she did - about herself, about her mother, even about her illustrious Admiral father, whose record shown even brighter and less tarnished than her own.

An impossible record.

"Thank you, Peyton," Alice murmured, nodding to herself. "The colonies were difficult. I would have preferred any number of other choices but, well... they'd all have gotten someone killed."

And the colonies had been a difficult decision. Vega and Andromeda colonies, both under serious threat by a group of earth-born rebels who believed mankind did not belong in space. Something Alice had found rather amusing, as the rebels themselves were conducting their war in open space... that had not mattered at the time, however. Pointing out hypocritical tendencies was not going to help her. Yes, it had been a very difficult choice to make.

A good thing she had discovered that secret gas pocket just beneath the surface. The one that Vega's governor had been keeping a secret, to be used for his own profit. Evacuate the area, set the gas pocket alight as the rebels approached. Their ships went down, their crew were taken prisoner. So far as Alice knew, there had been only one casualty - a rebel engineer who got too close to the core when the explosion hit them. A wonderful record, considering the situation. All because of that governor's secrets...

Alice shrugged slightly to herself, then glanced over at the coffee pot. "Four cups, you wanted?" she asked calmly. "Best to get drinking. We can't have you hung over on duty."

Every movement sharp, clean, trained for battle, Alice crossed to the cabinets and pulled out a mug. She set it under the machine and poured a mug, then passed it across to Tiaan. She offered one to Davidson, as well, before returning her attention to the pilot girl. Her lopsided smile intrigued Alice... as did the numerous torturous events in the pilot's past.

"And you," she murmured. "From a long and shining line. Just like myself. You were on board the Demeter, were you not?"

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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Turning away and sipping the cup thoughtfully she replied in a far away tone, "Yes..." what else could she say, so much had happened on board that ship very little was official record, true Argus 50 events had caused her to leave, but it wasn't the only thing. In fact it had actually been the final straw, but well maybe decades ago Demeter had been a fantastic vessel, state of art, but when she had lived in it. So many things happened. Part of the reason she had been called Birdy was her co-pilot Kelly, whom she had taken out on a routine mission to patrol the sector and scan for minerals. Unfortunately they has miscalculated oxygen levels and went too far, they managed to limp back, but Kelly's had never told her just how bad she was, she just kept saying, "We'll make it Birdy, we'll make it." sadly Kelly's died before any medical help could come back. Only later she had found out that Kelly's had a crush on her, but was too scared to say.

There were so many events that had happened, her time on Demeter had taught her one thing, she couldn't trust anyone for long periods of time. Maybe she was wrong, maybe it was just rules of the jungle there, but she was on board the Salient now a more modern vessel. Could she risk trusting anyone, or would they get hurt? When she had received confirmation of acceptance, she had looked over the logs and details of the flight. The thing that worried her at the time, was the flight path was locked under voice recognition and password. This suggested she had no idea what she was getting into, what else was new?

Turning back she grinned again sipping the cup carefully before answering, "But that's old news, no point living in the past eh?"

Not waiting for an answer, she downed the coffee before picking up her dress and taking another mug, still grinning.

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Tiaan Peyton

Giving her lopsided grin she replied, "It's very hush-hush but anything gotta be better than The Demeter. My Dad told me of the Great Warship the Gordian, it was once the gem of the entire fleet." She had no idea why she bringing this up, but well she was happy to be out the Demeter, but she was wondering if this was actually the proverbial frying pan, "He was stationed on it through most of his career, brought tears to his eyes when he heard they had scrapped it for pieces." Now she remembered why she mentioned it, "This ship had pieces of her inside it, in a way it's like the child of her." she smiled brightly winking, "Maybe I'm just a sentimental old fool, but I did look up schematics of this, and three great warships gave pieces to this. It mightn't be obvious, but everything about this ship suggests secrets, whispers of far away or battles once had. We're standing in history, while on brink of it."

Whatever that meant that was sure, taking another sip, she let her wander around, Alice seemed less official that her demenour would suggest, Ray just seemed like a card, someone who loved to play Jack-the-lad. Where she fit in? Was she the Albratross of this mission dooming everyone? The fact she liked both these people scared her. Gulping down too much she choked and coughed up a bit.

Blushing she apologized, "Sorry, drank down too fast."

If only.

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Ray had taken the time to call the boys down in clean up, they claimed they had finished their shift of the day but when Ray reminded them of the rooms occupant they got right on the job.

Ray didn't say much while they where all in the room; he didn't understand the Co's intentions and wanted to make sure this was not a trap of some kind. Ray had a long standing dislike of CO's ever since he got his wings and a trust problem ever since the war which was really rich coming from him since he himself was now a bloody unit commander which was near the air forces rank of wing commander.

As the conversation progressed Ray felt the chances of the CO pulling off a double game was low enough for him to take part in it once they got to the hanger.

Tiaan was fussing over her fighter which Ray identified as being a major character in fighter pilots; pilots like him who had to deal with the heavy escorts and gunships didn't establish as much of a bond with their machines because they had a tendency of surviving battles only to be scrapped because the damage they had suffered was too expensive to repair. In a fighter you ether survived with your fighter or got killed with your fighter as there was no fancy armor to protect you like on the heavy escorts and the gunships.

However Ray and other heavy pilots normally knew their machines far better then fighter pilots did; Ray knew exactly how much his gunship could take and what he could or could not do because Gunships and heavy escorts where not built for fast and furious combat styles but for what heavy pilots called "shield wall" formations which acted as the iron fist of an attack.

Heavy pilots where naturally defensive while fighter pilots where mentally offensive because all they had to defend themselves with was their weapons and their speed; all they could do was kill of be killed and thus developed a connection with their machines which while it could be irrational was normally deeper then that of other smaller craft ships.

"Fine fighter you have there, in Saturn we normally have the federation's junked fighters but our military command got fed up with the treatment so we started making our own like this beauty for example:

Ray turned to his gunship and opened the cat flip door

"She doesn’t look like much but she is the closest think to a fighter command ship; hell I have enough room on her to bring two of your lot aboard if I wanted too and still have room for at least half the marines."

The designee of the swing class had room for only one fighter originally but Ray and his unit redesigned their stock of the swing class to include an up section which could strap another fighter to it at the expense of the old fashion observation deck which every one in Ray's unit agreed had no useful purpose.

Ray turned to the two women as he stood on the ramp

"Well sir if you are ever sent on a long distanced raid from the ship to command the fighters; this will be the place you will be on. Any of you want to have a look?"

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Jessica had been over the Rapier with a fine-toothed comb and a critical eye already. You could take her out of maintainer uniform, but you werent going to take her out of maintainer mentality when you put her in front of a new hull. All things, of course, were impossible to know, but her old job had been electrical; so she'd learned a bit of everything. Enough to now know that the Chief had been right, and this solid bird was going to be as easy in the void as she was on the deck. She couldnt wait to take it out even just for CAP, let alone combat.

Sitting where the broad wings met the side of the huge engine cowling, she was sketching with a grease pencil the finishing touches of some tail art. A hyena head, of course, looking dead on with a psychotic, fang-baring grin; spotted mohawk of a mane only adding to the dishevled and assylum-worthy appearance. It'd be painted by morning, and Jess already sees something worthy of distracting her from waiting.

"About time!" The call is loud, of course, as she jumps off the wing and strides towards Ray and Tiaan. Hyena did nothing in a small way. "I was beginning to wonder if I was the only void-sucker aboard this crate!"

Sharp eyes scan Tiaan, then Blue in the distance, then Tiaan again, all the while wearing a carnivore's smile not far removed from the one now on her fighter's tail... "Heavy fighter, eh? Cool, didnt know who was going to claim that beast."

Noticing Ray, the smile broadens and she nods in recognition, "And about time you found the hangar. You get lost and manage to pick up chicks on the way? I can tell this cruise is going to be a party... Please tell me that was the XO that just ditched... You know what they say, man, bad luck to boff someone you work with.." And a sly wink breaks the laser-intensity stare. Innapropriate? Ever so slightly. Military humor, whaddaya gonna do?

"But serriously, you two seem to both have the Huge Fucker field covered, I guess I'll be the one knocking ticks off your slow asses." And she jerks a thumb back at the Rapier in its slot. With decent armor in its own right and those huge engines pushing out plenty of thrust, the quad guns hanging off its wings and its compliment of internal anti-fighter missles meant the venerable old Rapier still had plenty of teeth to play interceptor and superiority fighter.

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Tiaan Peyton

Back in her welcome area, she grinned her usual lop-sided way before answering the new person, "Blue Tit here could outgun your craft any day of the week sister. I customized her myself and she not got anything but the best. You can hardly tell she was a Mercury Class Fighter, hell do they even make those anymore?"

Feeling much safer she continued, "Also you, gunner boy, it's not the size of your craft darlin' but how you use it?" winking she grinned again. This was much better and she was happy to be out her craft now, just bantering and flinging bullshit, although that girl wasn't the first underestimate Blue Tit, many thought just because of the obvious design, that they could out fly her. Let's just say boys didn't like losing, much as it was Tiaan's experience in this matter. Whatever happened after this she could worry about it later, for now she was in her colour, her climate.

"Also sister, the name Peyton, you recognize the name you should? My Father was flying before you were out of nappies. My Grandfather was flying before you were twinkle in the milkman's eye."

Smirking she waited for an answer, feeling much more in her element and relaxing completely.

Drama could wait.

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And so it was that time again; pilot boasting.

Gunship pilots like Ray where normally not as boastful because they needed fighters to keep them safe from other fighters while the gunships did all the jobs a fighter could not do and a few things a fighter could do. The only real weaknesses of a gunship where: the sizes, the lack of maneuverability, take off time, inferior speed to fighters and the cost.

Ray jumped off the ramp but as he did so he pressed a button which extended a basket ball hoop from the Gunships interior and dropped a ball right into Ray's hands.
As he reached the ground he jumped up and issued a voice command to the ship to play hound dog as he stood up.

"I bet your fighters can't do that can they?" He said with a grin; gunships had so much spare room after you got rid of all the regulation crap no body needed.

He then tossed the ball back to the gunship's door and issued a voice command to close up the basketball set. The ship had belonged to his unit and was given to him since its last owners decision to retire early; they had both collaborated along with the rest of the unit and added a few things to spice up the shallow asteroid bases they where stationed in.

"Just don't leave me alone to go glory grabbing all the time, I might be able to hack and slash at anything and everything in my sights but I can't move my chunk of metal in a fighters speed. I am not complaining, at least if I get hit I have my armor.

You will do well to remember to keep my girl safe because if you ever get buggered out there I am the only angle who can get you out"

Ray sighed and moved to join the area the other two where standing at

"Pity I need to remove the basketball contraption, it just doesn’t work right with the rest of the ship"

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Jessica laughs at Tiaan, folding her arms in a 'challenge accepted' way.

"Your Grand-daddy could be Santa Claus and your Daddy can turn tricks on the corner for all it counts towards what -you- can do." Her grin gains an edge, "Hell, my -boots- have more deck time then you do, ring-knocker." The term was a derogatory one; a term mechanics applied to academy officers (they liked to wear their graduation rings) who beleived they were inherrently and genetically better then the ill-bred enlisted commoners.

Her eyes slide off of Tiaan to Ray as he demonstrates the advantages to extra room on a gunboat.

"A basketball hoop, really? Dammit, man, I thought you were about to unveil the kegerrator. Dont get my hopes up like that."

Chuckling, she spreads her hands out wide again, "And I said I'd be there, didnt I? No worries, I'll make sure no big, scary insurgeants scratch your paintjob just as long as you make sure to remember my hard work and dedication when we hit a planet with a bar."

She cocks her head to the side as the Salient's engines come to life in a deep, quiet thrum that sung through the ship and would become a constant background song for the next few months. There was no sensation of movement, of course, given the huge ship's artificial gravity. A quick, familiar thrill for Jessica as, again, she left the red Martian dirt behind. There was a whole lot of unknown ahead of them, and it all had the potential to be one badass adventure. She'd have to remember to talk to the Chief again, see if she could get her name on the flight schedual for an early patrol as soon as they hit open space.

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Tiaan Peyton

This was what it meant to be a fighter pilot, well if she wanted proof of how well she flew, time to bring up an event that wasn't declassified, "You probably remember a while ago a certain Merchant's Convoy went missing near Pluto, many figured it for lost. my old ship The Demeter was stationed nearby, this you probably heard as you did no doubt hear the Merchant Convoy's survived. Here's the classified bit, it took five fighter to defeat the pirates hijacking them, only one survived." she paused for dramatic moment before continuing, "Blue Tit survived and shot down the main ship by blowing up the fuselage. I survived as ya can see, but the four others got caught in the explosion or were shot down earlier on."

It wasn't proudest moment but proved she knew her flying and besides bragging wasn't really her forte. May as well be honest, turning towards Ray she grinned, "I'm a football girl dude -- also by football I mean European, not the pussified garbage America has."

It was often said she was way too blunt, but really she had to establish she wasn't no push-about, and that she had every right to pecking order as other.

"Although Jessie, I may have something you like, check under my fighter, trust me you don't see these on any fighter mostly, I got it for really as a last stand sorta device, proton cannon, manually controlled that can pack a powerful punch. Does that make you wet your panties." she winked, not in flirty way, more to be cheeky and to show she wasn't what she first appeared. Besides she was too confused to think about 'that' for now.

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Hyena laughs lightly at Tiaan and shakes her head, "Yeah, I saw it. But I figured you had a gunner seat. What are you going to do with a manual turret in a dogfight? Put her in park every time you want to pop off a shot?"

Waving a hand dismissively to gloss over the comment, the pilot changes the conversation, "Now that the obligatory dick-waving is out of the way, we've got an issue."

Beckoning Ray and Tiaan in conspiratorily, that meat-eating grin spreads from ear to ear, "We're set up for pretty much The most boring sunset cruise in the Federation. This boat's got more guns then God, and we're heading out to the fringes of Big Fuckin Empty. Any pirates or insurgents out -that- goddamn far arent going to have the balls to step up to this crate unless they've gone completely batshit. What this says to me, is that smart people came -prepared-. See, I used to turn wrenches, and I've already tapped some guys I served with in another squadron. They know some comm crewman, who know some engineers, who have a compartment a few decks down that -no one- uses. I was going to just use it as an oversized closet, but I'm thinking it could have a more... 'social' calling. The kind of social you cant have in a ship's lounge with Big Brother breathing down your neck. You still with me?"

Jesus Christ, not 24 hours on board and she's already tapped into the JO Underground, planning to pool the resources of various enterprising individuals. Jess was the type of individual to whom you could trade a bent paperclip and by the end of the month she'd trade you back a brand new car. Came with growing up on a merchant dock, and maybe with being just plain sneaky.

"We need one last hoorah out here, before that XO with the starched shirt buckles down, and before people forget what shore leave was like. Besides, I dont know you two tug drivers, I dont trust people I dont know, and I dont fly with people I dont trust. So just think of it as 'building unit cohesion and encouraging good morale'."

She snaps her fingers and adds, almost as an asside to herself, "I think we can talk to a couple of the Marines and maybe that Nav I met at the breifing, too, they seemed pretty chill, if they can keep their mouths shut around the brass..."

Looking back to her fellow space-jockies, Hyena shrugs, "Whadaya say? I know you've got some hidey-holes in those big-ass birds, dont tell me you cant contribute. I've got some smokes, some cards.. We'll add in some booze and I'll see if I can scrounge up a cook willing to slide a few of the Staff Officer prime meat rations... One of the spaceframers is already working on cutting a grill out of a hydraulic drum... Oh, man, this is -so- on."

If that smile got any wider, it would split her skull, and she was practically dancing in place. Listen closely enough, and you might actually hear all those clever little gears in her head whirring at speeds to make FTL jealous.

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Tiaan Peyton

On one hand Tiaan loved this idea, on the other she was trying not to make big show. Although way things were going she doubted it be possible to avoid now. Chipping in she replied, "I can distract Lt General easily enough, you guys handle the supplies. All in all this could be fun." Why, why, why was she volunteering herself in this case. It's not like she had even been on board for a day, but now she was thinking of distracting her superior and letting a party happen. This wasn't right, not even close to right. Although wh was she kidding, she loved parties, and anything that loosened the crew up was a major plus. Either way, she wouldn't directly be involved and at least Lt Chen wouldn't assume anything as it was her who begun this.

Now to get that dress washed and try survive one day. Despite everything this day might not be the worse one ever. Not to mention maybe she could have some fun by taking such risks. Nothing was ever given by playing things safe. Nope, not at all, if anything Tiaan hated being cautious, preferred being impulsive. The only time she ever kept complete was during flying, and that was only to concentrate.

Remembering something she added, "To make an omelette gotta crack a few eggs eh?"

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Reterec Smithy Character Portrait: Thaddeus Jackson Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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Commander Dunaway had given word for Marines to suit up and prepare for boarding action; he carefully laid down way points for security teams to patrol in the event that more pirates loomed on the horizon and were planning on boarding the Salient. At the same time, he prepared two strike teams to enter the two hostile frigates and neutralize any on board presence, either through capture or termination.

The first team would be led by his younger brother, Captain Dunaway, with Staff Sergeant Jackson, Corporal Reterec Smithy, Corporal Frank Grahams, and Private Quinn O’Neil. They would enter the first frigate that had been crippled since the onset of the battle due to the efforts of Tartarus Group.

The second team would be led by Eli, including Sergeant Major Carter, Corporal Adriana Stark, Lance Corporal Shane Weifert, and Private First Class Gary Reynolds. They were to board the second frigate that was disabled as a result of the Salient’s railgun blasts.

Once the teams were on board the vessels, hostiles were neutralized, they would gather any data still remaining, untouched by the destruction wrought forth by the Federation battlecruiser, and slip out of the ships. Considering the holes blown apart by the Salient, the marines would have to don spaceborne operation suits, equipped with oxygen tanks. Travel would be by gunship, but in the case of the two special operatives, they’d have to provide their own transport.

Eli and his squad reached the hangar and spotted the nearest gunship, being attended by her pilot. Peter “Ray” Davidson was inscribed on his tag as he turned to greet the team.

“Hmm, so is this going to be everyone sir? Seems like most of the room on my Swing class shall be used for naught,” Ray said cheerfully as he went into the cockpit and activated the egress hatches which flipped upward. The marines by now had equipped themselves with contained suits that were pressure sealed to prevent vacuum infiltration. As Eli stepped inside, he noted the large space, enough to carry maybe two more six man teams. The rest of the crew boarded after their squad leader and quickly took seats.

“Seems like it,” Eli checked the cartridge in his rifle while the tactical display inside his helmet began re-calibrating the auto-targeting systems.

“So, where are we headed for today?”

“Take us to that frigate Davidson,” Eli stepped into the cockpit and pointed his fore finger at the damaged frigate that rested amongst the two Altamus freighters. The three ships floated listlessly, being carried by the current of the vacuum if there was such a thing.

“Roger wilco, but ‘eh you can call me Ray instead sir,” the pilot said as he pressed his palm against a touch screen thereby closing the egress hatches, and linking him to the ship's systems. He donned his helmet after the egress hatches were sealed.

“I’ll have you there in two shakes,” the gunship began to lift vertically, being propelled by two ion thrusters. Once it reached a sufficient height, the thrusters turned a full 90 degrees, pointing to the rear. Then Ray activated the engines and the ship pushed forth and skimmed through the particle field in the hangar that blocked out vacuum.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is Captain Ray speaking, we’ll be facing a little turbulence due to the bandits, so you might want to buckle” Ray said this as he dodged a Federation fighter being pursued by a marauder.

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"Roge' that," Ray said on the communication link, as he slowly lifted his throttle to decrease his velocity as the Swing class approached the frigate. He noticed that the rest of the pirates had slipped from the scene, and was thoroughly surprised. Perhaps Tiaan and Hyena gave them a good show and a run for their money. He chuckled to himself about the thought.

"Alright ladies and gents, we're approaching the raider ship, going at 700 meters per second here. We’ll be slowing down once we reach within 200 meters of the ship’s hangar to allow for auto docking,” Ray paused.

“Command says that there are lifefo…eh hostiles on board, so you might want to get your weapons readied,”

“You heard the man, do a systems check,” Eli said as he turned to look at the others. His internal monitors overlaid the other marines in automatic sensors that detected whether they were friend or foe. As he looked down to his rifle, the data system emerged, stating that he had only used about 5% of the available oxygen, internal temperatures were at a comfortable 78 degrees Fahrenheit or 25.5 degrees Celsius, and his rifle was fully loaded with 80 bullets, and the capacitor to control spraying was off.

Eli always had the capacitor off despite the fact that it saved bullets by turning off spraying. However, Eli never had to rely on the capacitor because he was more than capable of using controlled bursts, but at times he realized that spraying fire helped as well.

The Marines began to check their weaponries a final time; they all looked very similar with the black visors and suits, very identical apart from the varying attachments each person carried on them. The dull hologram lights in the troop bay created small bands of light across their screens. The gunship began to reduce its velocity to prevent itself from streaking into the hangar.

“So…who here hasn’t been on a real mission before, raise your hands. I’m not gonna laugh,” Eli was attempting to break the ice as most Marines were the gung ho sort who didn’t joke often in the presence of COs. He, however, was interested into getting know the men and women under him, but he knew that there was a time for jokes and a time for urgency. At least he hoped that they would share a laugh to loosen everyone up before they met whatever hostiles were awaiting them.

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Carter actually raised his hand while he began looking over the heavy shotgun he had grasped. "I'm a desk Sergeant sir...A Quarter Master... But I'll give these pirates hell! I am a Marine after all!" He then looked back to the heavily modded 'Wraith Semi-Auto shotgun' in his hands, it was a private sector shotgun he had cleared for use aboard military ships. It fired higher velocity slugs than standard issue shotguns and had a faster fire rate at the cost of a higher chance to overheat if used incorrectly. He listened the breathing his mask for a second, his heart racing. As a Sergeant Major he had trained to board enemy vessels but had never actually done so. "Also... I specialized in explosive equipment when I was younger... I can probably defuse any bombs the pirates may have set to impede our process."

He knew that may be a useful skill on a mission like this so he decided to point it out, he had heard rumors that many insurgents and pirates would rig their ships with explosives when they knew they were dead in the water. Some kind of last ditch effort to kill as many Marines as they could while going out with a bang. And it had worked. However, Carter would do his best to prevent any deaths caused by door rigged mines or explosive packed crates. It was his job after all. He took one more deep breathe as they neared the crippled pirate ship, sweating slightly under the heavy suit. He was nervous but he would never show it since he was the second highest ranking member in their little boarding party and he knew if he cracked it would probably shatter some of the Marine's morale or make him a liability on his own, which he bluntly refused to be.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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As the Swing class gunship passed through the particle field, Ray flipped another switch to modify the angle of the thrusters, allowing for a vertical landing. He gave his scanners a look before activating the communication system.

“This is your Captain speaking, we’ve arrived in the belly of the beast, and eh oxygen levels are at all-time normal. The temperature outside is a fresh 74 degrees Fahrenheit, hope you packed sunglasses and a bathing suit,” he chuckled aloud for the entire troop bay.

The gunship slowly descended, and the landing struts unfurled from their compartments.

“I hope you enjoyed your flight, thank you for flyin’ with Davidson Galactic,” some chuckles came from Reynolds and Weifert as they heard this over the troop bay speakers.

Ray turned off the communique and turned to one of the overhead compartments, and grabbed a liquefied chocolate bar, one of a dozen that he kept in the storage. He peeled off the plastic wrap and squeezed the liquid food into his mouth, it was sweet and syrupy, flowing in between his tongue. He gave a satisfied sigh before standing up from his seat. He walked to the bay door that separated the cockpit from the troop bay and slapped his palm on the button, thus opening the door.He entered the cargo bay, still sipping his chocolate. His eyes floated from Marine to Marine, the only thing that set each of them apart were the identification tags located on the upper torso of their armor. Everyone was decked out and ready to go.

“Alright, the place looks clear, if you need Uncle Ray, just gimme a call. I’ll be in the cockpit of my baby. You know...just holdin' down the fort,” Ray re-entered the cockpit, propping his legs up on his control board as he reclined in his pilot's seat to enjoy his snack. Closing his eyes, he slipped his empty hand under his head.

He inched his left foot forward to push down the button that opened the egress hatches. The hatches that closed off the troop bay from the outside swung upwards, and Eli was the first to step out, his assault rifle in hand aimed down his line of sight, followed by Carter with his automatic shotgun covering Eli’s flank, then Corporal Stark, and finally by Weifert and Reynolds.

Everyone agreed that the hangar seemed devoid of hostiles, and they regrouped as Eli reported to Commander Dunaway through his helmet’s internal communicators. The system was linked to the whole squad, so everyone received the same chatter coming in and out.

“Sir, we’re in,”

“Excellent, see what you can find, but enter at your own peril. Dunaway out,” Atomsk was brief but to the point.

“Copy that sir,” Eli turned to the rest of his squad,

“Alright, Bravo team, everyone remember their call signs? Bravo 1,” Eli began, his voice slightly distorted by his helmet.

“Bravo 2,” Carter nodded.

“Bravo 3,” Stark glanced to her right, as if she detected another raider.

“Bravo 4,” Weifert prepped his IAR.

“Bravo 5,” Reynolds stood at attention.

“Alright, let’s move, I’ll take point, head to the Hangar exit, and keep visual contact,” Eli hunched forward slightly with his assault rifle nested between his neck, shoulder, and arms. He kept his forefinger on the trigger, ready for any bastard to pop out, so he could slug him. He led the squad forth to the hangar exit as the others followed in tow.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Atomsk Dunaway Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter Character Portrait: Ulric Kercheskoi
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Second Pirate Frigate

“We’ve got a situation, there’s an explosive device on this frigate. Bastards probably rigged it to make a huge blow, and if I’m right, the two freighters below will sustain heavy damage. ” Eli stood up as the hall was cleared of hostiles. The other members left their covers and examined the corpses to make sure they had fired their last round.

Commander Dunaway was on the other end of the line; he was coordinating the operations directly from the Barracks Command Center, where intel flooded in and out of the systems. The squad kept moving, after they had managed to break through the hold placed on them by the pirates.

“Proceed with evacuation plan,” Eli interrupted here the Commander here.

Time was of the essence.

“Sir, we got friendlies on board. Not registered as Federation personnel, but IFF isn’t hostile, advise,”

There was a pause on Dunaway’s end.

“Get them off of there,”

“Copy that. And the bomb?”

“I’ll relay a message to the two ships myself, Dunaway out.”

“Bravo Team out,” Eli turned to the rest of the team, with their guns readied, they turned to him, “You heard the man, we gotta’ get them off this ship,” Bravo team moved out.

“How are we gonna get to ‘em? Course you’d need a rifle, not a teleporter,” Reynolds injected simple jarhead humor at a time that lacked humor…of any kind.

*Help is on the way ETA -- 9mins -- flanking from aft.* The voice was slightly garbled, it was the same voice as before, male no doubt.

“Can we respond to that?” Eli asked, over the helmet comms.

“We should be able to, the system allows us to respond directly to previous transmissions.”This was the first time Adriana spoke since the briefing room where she quelled Sergeant Major Carter’s skepticism.

“Alright let me try…” Eli looked to his gauntlet interface, which activated upon sensing. The interface slid upwards from his left arm's gauntlet, displaying a cyan screen that glinted off his helmet's visor.

“Relay response,” he spoke through the interface, which would reply directly to the last point of incoming transmissions.

*Negative, rendezvous near Alpha Hangar.*

Then the Captain proceeded to change channels.

“Davidso…Uncle Ray, get the gunship ready, we’re getting off this frigate. ETA seven minutes, we’ve also got extra passengers, friendlies, hoping to hitch a ride.”

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Eli Colter
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"Lunar city 7 yur my idea of heaven, out of 10 you score 11"

Ray sang and then puffed on his pipe and sat facing the Data diving monitors, hacking wasn't something he ever saw himself taking up and he wasn't that good at it but being a graduate of the Titan Commonwealth flight academy meant you learned those things if you liked to or not, especially if you wanted to get the best tickets for a date or something of the like. For a pirate ship the systems protection grid was quite a nut unless one was able to hack the system from its main control and Ray was considering calling the mama ship for help, for now all he wanted to see was if any one was sneaking in towards him and how the strike team was holding up.

Suddenly the monitors went read and hard vibrations where registering all over his sensors, the stream of data was too much for him to see at once so Ray directed it towards the Paradox matrix bank in order to save the data for analysis by the AI.

This measure was hardly necessary seeing as the situation was quite clear; the frigate 's structural integrity was cheesing away and it was all too clear that at this rate every one, every thing and anything near by was going to become Alderaan space dust real fast and real soon.

Reaching for his communicator Ray attempted to contact the team; there was plenty of interference but Ray hoped that the captain would be able to catch the message.

"Sir I just figured you would want to know and you should really mark this one as important in your diary; this jolly frigate is going to rock us all Fourth of July style so I recommend you plan your time accordingly"

Another alarm went off; the dock was no place to be unless Ray didn't mind having his Gunship being melted down.
"Sir, I am afraid I am going to have to leave this dock; it's going to hell. I will wait for you in extraction point B by airlock R91, it's going to be a squeeze in there but it’s the closest I can get to you. See you there cap, I hope you make it."

Ray slowly activated his starboard thrusters and gently slid into space, muttering a few words of silent prayer to whatever or who ever was listening began the nerve raking task of flying near a street sized time bomb.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter Character Portrait: Ulric Kercheskoi
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Second Pirate Frigate

*Affirmative will meet...avoid port side, compartments closed due to structural damage.*

The response was slightly garbled, perhaps because the other end of the line was fraught with more disruptions than the interior fore sections of the bridge.

*We have debris striking the port hull, if you have someone who can take care of that it would be most welcome. Also loss of gravity throughout a majority of the aft compartments, will be trying to rectify that soon.*

"Sorry about that, but we haven't been doing house calls that much lately, just get yourself to the hangar on the double," Eli chuckled. The team slid quickly through the corridors, as the ship's plating started to peel off due to the pressure of vacuum.

*Sir, I am afraid I am going to have to leave this dock; it's going to hell. I will wait for you in extraction point B by airlock R91, it's going to be a squeeze in there but it’s the closest I can get to you. See you there cap, I hope you make it.*

"Alright, copy that Ray, Bravo 1 out." Eli turned a corner, with his assault rifle leading before him. The communique was linked to the entire squad, thus each one heard everyone else on the channel.

“Change of plans, rendezvous at airlock R91. If you know where it is then confirm, if not then give me your location,” Eli relayed the communique to the prisoners who had broken out of the brig.

"Which way is airlock R91?!" Reynolds started to panic.

"Get a grip man," Weifert hushed him.

"Based on the schematics...it should be this way," Eli stopped and allowed his suit's data systems to mark their destination.

The display poured forth from left wrist gauntlet. The projector protruded from its compartment, and at Eli's voice command, activated. It was a three dimensional display of the pirate frigate, with Bravo team marked off in five green figures that were clumped together. They were located on the lower level of the ship, with the designated airlock located a level above them, near the aft section of the ship, where gravity was weakening.

"Everyone, activate your pressure seals, there's a likely chance that we'll be swimming with the stars in a couple of moments," Eli pressed a key the transparent interface on his gauntlet, which activated the armor seals.

The latches on his armor's collar locked in place with his helmet, therefore shutting out all possible vacuums, as well as containing the recycled and circulated oxygen in suit. They moved forward, seeking an elevation pad to take them to the next level.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Eli Colter
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Ray could remember only too well the last time he had to fly like this; when his base was buggered by that what's his name rouge admiral.

Hardly any one was hurt in that attack, while the rouge admiral did give Ray and his squad a good whipping on a number of occasions Ray and his chaps and later on the rest of the independent force where able to learn, counter and copy his tactics. It was a simple matter of adopting old fashion refueling practices at both the outside of their asteroid stations and by special refueling units the Titan independent force recreated in the image of old air force planes. It was quite easy to claim that Ray and his squad the whisky runners waged a guerrilla war especially in the first days of the independent unit since the federation was reluctant to supply the Independent force. Since the last defeat where the Alexander was destroyed it seemed like the federation would loss and so all Titan forces where ordered to scatter to the asteroids which where a lot more common since a moon blew up in the 2030's and wage a war of attrition on the insurgents. In that regard the difference between the insurgents and the independent force was that the insurgents hated the federation period while the independent force just hated the taxes, federation command, the breach in autonomy, the corrupt politics, the boring federation anthem, the removal of Titan from the federation flag when the Titan forces demanded self command, the federation monopoly on trade regulations, the second or third rate equipment being sent to Titan while less deserving "rich kid" units around earth where given the best toys for no reason, the pre independent force limit of Titan military and industry…. The joke was that Titan stayed in the federation not because of the noble federation sacrifices and amazing victories which where being sold to the public in propaganda but because of the football, television and beer. During that year the Titan marauders where winning the mundial and many Titan commanders admitted later that it was a major factor in the decision not to demand total independence due to the fear of their team being disqualified. Ray chuckled; this was what happened when an armed force was made by Britisher officers and average Joe privates. The independent force did take the war very seriously but at times it was humor that was keeping them going, the real reason why Titan stayed in the federation was because the independent force hated the insurgents and was only pissed off at the federation.

Even if he the rouge admiral had delivered some pretty nasty blows to Ray and the rest of the rag tag Titan army the independent fighter force actually admired him; probably because during that time federation admirals where constantly getting them killed and it was in some ways the rouge admiral who was responsible for the creation of the independent force. It was ironic, the Titan forces actually rebelled against federation command and demanded independence of action and military control of all Titan forces and industry, after one skirmish with the federation fleet the federation agreed to the terms which where far better then what the insurgent groups where demanding and since this change eventually won the war the federation didn't court martial too many people after the conflict but it did cover up the independent force's rebellion and out of Saturn it even covered up its existence. All this had happened because of a nasty defeat at the hands of the rouge admiral and the Titan boys could only watch in envy as the wizard did his magic and the federation made its turd's.

Ray was now near the extraction point however his sensors where telling him a strange tale… there was something out there at the edge of his sensor range but he could not make out what it was. Ray didn't like it; if he docked at the extraction point now he would be easy meat for the grinder if this turned out to be a blitzkrieg pirate assault formation. Ray was familiar with the tactics and was afraid that the blip he registered on his sensors was ether a scouting party, a torpedo group, a decoy, mines or just some space rocks and debris.

Ray was not about to take any chances with this one and decided to call command, his communication devices where not functioning properly… strange he was supposed to be outside the frigates interference by now, was it possible that he was being jammed? Ray didn't like it at all he was supposed to be outside jamming range unless…

Ray grabbed his communicator and called in the captain:

"Sir I am close to the extraction point however I must report a reading on my sensors; it is in max range so I can't tell what it is but if it’s more pirates and they decided to swop down on us I do not know how long even this tough baby could hold them.

I tried to get command to send us some support but something is interfering with my communications… I can only think of two possibilities: 1) there is a jamming device on the frigate 2) something is very wrong with the Salient's computers. What are your orders?"


Ray reduced his speed and activated a number of his auto turrets, even if he would have to be a stationary target for a while those turrets could at least buy him some time… unless the pirates where planning to blow up the frigate as a trap.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter Character Portrait: Ulric Kercheskoi
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Second Pirate Frigate

"Name Ulric... and I read you,” the other end of the line was then clipped off by the sharp crackles of gunfire. The Captain knew that Ulric was being pressed from what he heard. The squad waited with their weapons drawn near the airlock. They were holding position, while awaiting Ray’s pick up.

"Engaged in combat with remaining contacts…receiving small arms fire," the transmission was cut off by the static closing as more gunfire could be heard.

"If you must then go…found a ship and we could use it to escape. Just make sure to inform your allies about us... Ulric out.” At once Eli was relieved at what was heard.

“That probably won’t be necessary, it’ll be pretty obvious once you leave the ship, Colter out,” with that the Captain cut off the transmission with a voice command, right as he received another call.

"Sir, I am close to the extraction point, however, I must report a reading on my sensors; it is in max range so I can't tell what it is but if it’s more pirates and they decided to swoop down on us I do not know how long even this tough baby could hold them. I tried to get command to send us some support but something is interfering with my communications… I can only think of two possibilities. One, there is a jamming device on the frigate, two, something is very wrong with the Salient's computers. What are your orders?"

“Did you just say ‘more pirates?’” Eli stopped for a moment, before returning a reply. “Just get us off this ship, and get us home quick. A side note, the two prisoners won’t be joining us, they found their own ride. Colter out.” Eli switched the transmission off and relaxed the grip on his weapon, he didn’t expect any pirates to find them here, and considering that the past couple of corridors and lifts seemed deserted. His HUD view was encompassed by a status display on the ship’s oxygen, which remained partially full.

This time Reynolds spoke up. “You think they’ll make it off?”

“Honestly…I don’t know,” Eli turned to Reynolds, who would not have seen the expression of uncertainty on his face as it was covered by the visor of his helmet.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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Clyde - Bridge

Clyde sat back in his chair at the front of the ship, staring out the specially reinforced glass at the planet beyond. Watching. Waiting.
He had heard the stowaway send off another signal. They were going to come. Soon.

His face had grown grim ever since he had detected the stowaway. This was foul luck for any journey. It was only the first day of the launch and already they had run into a fleet of pirates led by an infamous renegade. Should they even survive this encounter, what would be next? Smooth sailing? Clyde doubted it. If anything, it was going to get worse. The mission at hand was to go fight off an enemy that the local federation force could not stop. An enemy that the federation couldn't in good conscience admit existed. Insurgent cells only reached the public eye when they had grown to prodigious size. When teams like this one failed to nip them in the bud.

But there would be time enough to ponder that later, priority one was to survive.
What was he going to do to be most useful? Fly the ship? Great hulking monsters like the Salient weren't very mobile. He could try, but it would be no use against the army of fighters no doubt comprising most of the renegade army. Fighters were easier to steal than large star cruisers.

Hack the enemy computers? No... That would doubtless be ADAM's job. The Admiral had bumped his power up another .7 percent a short while ago anyway. ADAM would do it better than Clyde could.
Man the guns? Probably not. TAU would have that covered. He may not be a strong as ADAM, but his job was far smaller in scale.
Prepare for boarding? Clyde was an excellent marine. So excellent in fact, it would likely be a waste of his talents. And besides- with a fleet against one ship, they probably wouldn't bother boarding. It would most likely be a storm of missiles so large that if one were to weigh the ship and the missiles, the missiles would be the side that tipped the scale.
The job of navigator didn't suit Clyde. He knew it, and it angered him just a little bit that he had been sent to do it. He could do so much more, and piloting this hulk was a joke. He was better behind a fighter anyway. Command probably expected his job to be to watch. Watch Weston, and learn what a commander was and what he had to do. The fate of the battle was not to be his to decide.

Clyde gave up wondering, and began to power up the particle canon. Stark, the original user of the main canon, was a part of Bravo Team. She wouldn't be back for a while yet anyway.

While the gun was charging, Clyde looked back up into space and saw, at the edges of the planet, lights. A lot of small lights. Not stars, they moved far too quickly. It was the fighters. The vanguard of the fleet, coming around the planet to engage.

Clyde stood up and pointed at the spectacle. "Look."
It was one word, but a few heard it and followed his gaze. Each person became quiet as the stream of fighters kept coming. They wouldn't be here for a while yet, but the enemy was in sight. A hush fell over the bridge. Those who still had important work to do went about it, but all talking had ceased. The time of battle was near.

Adriana - Second Pirate Frigate

Adriana finished the second check of the seals on armor. She was ready to head into space, and just in time. Uncle Ray pulled his ship up beside the airlock. He gave a quick hail over the comm link, but it wasn't necessary. It was hard to miss when you were staring out the view port waiting for his arrival.

Bravo Team filed into the airlock, with one last sound off to check that everyone was present. Adriana stated "Bravo Three" at the appropriate time, and the air was sucked out of the compartment with a hiss almost inaudible through the pressure suits. The heavy doors opened into the vacuum of space, and Bravo Team crossed the short gap to Ray's gunship. They were safe.

The airlock of the gunship opened and admitted the team. They began to store their equipment as Ray pulled away from the frigate.
Captain Colter turned to Ray, and gave the last order. "Take us home, Ray."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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Ray didn't like waiting in exposed areas and was relived to here that he would not have to evacuate civilians in addition to the people he actually had a responsibility to. How many civilian ships did the Independent force abandon? Quite a few, it was simply not their job to guard federation shipping especially since very little of it was coming their way. Ray made the innovation of collecting some of the damaged ships left floating in space and rigged them up as Trojan Q ships: ships designed to appear like wrecks until the pray got close and then pact with explosives and a few additions to their engines would smash their way into their targets and detonate under the guidance of the Q program boys down in tech developed. In this way the insurgents lost most of their cruisers and the fighter shoot out began.

"Yes sir flying out of this wreck and happy to do so" said Ray to the captain however he was busy with the piloting of the gunship and didn't wait for a reply.

Ray activated his thrusters and cleared his way out of the ships space, while in combat Ray changed to a different setting depending on the type of combat which would allow him to speed up and maneuver as much as he wanted to a however while he was transporting a strike force and there where was no immediate danger he liked to take things safe.
Once safely away from the frigate he let off his sub engines and activated the navigation puter.

"Computer can you please calculate the best trajectory for the return journey?" asked ray; few people spoke to computers with the words please or thanks but Ray got into the habit.

"Processing… processing complete shall I activate the auto pilot?"

"No computer that will not be necessary, please display the information on screen" said Ray, if they where under threat of attack he wanted to have the controls in his hands.

Ray grinned and decided to cheer up the mood "Hello this is your captain speaking; we are nearing Salient city. The temperature outside is lovely for this time of the year; about minus 200 and something and the weather is gor… JESUS!" Ray screamed as alert after alert on his gunship began to screech; Ray had been worried about the sightings on his scanner and had put the ships sensors on yellow alert and programmed them to execute different alarms depending on the amount of blops that began moving. The system was on red alert and to make sure every one knew this the lighting of the gunship changed to a dark red. Ray liked seeing things for himself and put the scanner on screen;As he looked at the screen Ray was sure he lost a heart beat at that moment and wanted to make sure he was not imagining things.

"Sir, I am sorry about all these noisy alarms but can you come here please? There is something you should really have a look at"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: T.A.U Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Max Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: Jon Dunaway Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter
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Bridge of the F.S.S. Salient

The Admiral sat upright as he listened to T.A.U. speak. An idea from the new A.I., Aronimus was quite doubtful about it, but he listened to gauge whether or not it was at all ingenious as T.A.U. claimed it was.

"Tau, we only have knowledge that the ships are coming, but they haven't been spotted on our systems yet. Even then, you would need a direct link to their channels, I do not believe that the A.I. could enter the stream through our scanners. I don't see how hacking them would be possible." Aronimus didn't really enjoy pointing out the flaws, it would've aided their chances.

Then he paused to think. "Unless, it could enter their channels through a pirate ship," the Admiral shifted his view to the disabled frigates, then he turned quickly to the JG.

"Lieutenant Napier, can you patch me try and patch me through to the squad leader on board that ship?" the JG turned to face the Admiral, as Aronimus pointed to the lone frigate in the middle of space, floating along empty space. It was the first frigate decommissioned thanks to A.D.A.M., it had attempted to escape early on. The private security firm, Tartarus Group managed to inflict some damage with their light gunships, a feat that was nothing short of a miracle. After going blind, they chased the freighters, a path which crossed the Salient's own.

As a result, the encounter occurred, and the events would go down as the skirmish of Themos V if a historian dissected the databanks and recorded it in the archives, which would be followed by the ambush of Themos V.

"Patched through sir, you are speaking with Captain Dunaway," the name sounded familiar to Aronimus, who realized that he had sifted through his roster earlier today. He was the younger brother of the current operations Commander, and he was currently equipped with a new piece of personnel technology. The Admiral forgot about this over the course of events, he was only concerned about whether or not Captain Dunaway was still alive, seeing as how his lines of communication were down.

"Captain Dunaway, this is Admiral Weston, what is your status?"

Navigator Summer spoke. “Look.”

That single word heralded the beginning, as the bridge crew observed flickering luminosities on the edge of the gas planet. It was but a few glowing orbs, most likely the signal lights of small craft. Aronimus paid no attention, as he went typing away several keys on the haptic interface hovering directly in his line of sight.

“Is there a problem, ladies and gentlemen?” Aronimus tilted his head to catch a better view of the crew who were gazing at the hostile ships coming into view. “I suggest everyone return to their stations immediately and stop dawdling like academy recruits.”

There was a quiet calm that surrounded Aronimus, even as he spoke those words. He saw from the corner of his eye that the hostile fleet was establishing its presence in the field. Immediately several beeps alerted Aronimus of an incoming transmission.

This the Summerwind, Summerwind to Salient, we’re picking up a large number of unidentified vessels on our systems, are you reading this as well? Over.


------


Ray’s Swing Class Gunship

Eli turned to the cockpit hatch as Ray called for him; he had just stored his equipment in the overhead compartment, while the others strapped themselves in. He stepped through the small opening,

“What is it Ray?”

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Eli Colter
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Ray turned around nodding to Captain Colter and exchanged a quick salute, he guessed that his salute was clumsy and unorthodox, a result of the lack of officers to salute to during the majority of his career.

Ray then turned back to face the monitor and then extended the scanners reading to the larger viewing screen above him. Ray about to explain the scanner's readings to the Captain was left speechless once his eyes gazed at the frightful sight displayed on the screen; the approaching horde had increased exponentially in the seconds he had averted his eyes from the scanner to welcome and salute Captain Colter.

Ray made the sign of the cross; he was not a religious man by nature however in dire times when whisky was unavailable Ray resorted to the last bastion of hope:
The hope for an enjoyable afterlife

Ray turned to face the Captain, in the brief time he had known him Ray saw a jolly and capable chap. He didn't trust him but that was unfair since Ray trusted no one however he felt he could express his current thoughts on their predicament without shame.

"It Seems The Vandal terror has come to Rome Sir"

Ray changed the scanner setting and now marked the salient as blue and the pirates as red; the tiny dot of federation blue was clearly outnumbered however it seemed to Ray that the pirates did not posses a ship superior to the Salient however with numbers such as these they did not need to have any.

Ray remembered the Alexander and shivered in terror however not only at the memory of that massacre but also at the familiar positioning of the enemy fleet.

Could it truly be the dreaded Red admiral? That infamous rogue Admiral?

Ray at last found the strength to speak:

"Sir… I do not know our chances; I have been in desperate situations before and while I have never managed to escape the inevitability of defeat I have always been able to survive, regroup and fight another day. It's just that the last time I saw something like this it was a massacre… that last time it was…"

Ray closed his eyes, why was he so weak? Why was he so useless?! What had happened to the Titan Terror? What happened to his cold determination to bring death to his enemies and find the most impossible battlefield in which he may die sword In hand around countless enemy wrecks as his own ship disintegrated? What happened to the leader, the killer and the survivor he had once been?

He searched for two things in his soul; that cold and practical process of thought and the blood craze which aloud him to know no fear in the face of impossible odds. He found one of those two elements, the one most useful for this time.

Ray saw that he would soon be in range to dock with the Salient and let the ship's landing procedure take over control of the gunship.

He did not turn to the captain however he spoke with confidence and expressed no doubt or fear; only a clear and calculating tone.

"Sir, we should prepare ourselves for both torpedo attacks by high speed fighter bombers and missile strikes by Corvettes. They will use their frigates to block our escape and weaken our shields and their cruisers will ether stay behind to enjoy the show or disable us. It depends if their commander wants to drag our murder for the enjoyment of the crowd or whishes to destroy us immediately. Since this enemy bothered to bring such a fleet against us, one which is capable to destroy an entire federation Flotilla I imagine there is more to this engagement then the battle itself. What other reason is there to send so many ships against us? I will make a calculating guess; this may be a new pirate lord seeking to mark his rise to power with fireworks.
The only practical reason for such a fleet would be to capture the Salient"

Ray smiled, they could still win; after all they where not dead yet. This was the battle he had been waiting for; live or die, kill or be killed it was the adrenalin of facing such odds and facing them without fear that drove Ray onward to the next battle and the one after that. He had forgotten this for many years and if he survived this battle he may forget again however at least he once again had a purpose.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Elizabeth Waltz Character Portrait: Garrison "Blacksmith" Carter Character Portrait: Ulric Kercheskoi
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Bucher Pete

The light blue glow of the Bucher Pete’s holographic interface and control consoles shone on Ray and Eli as they watched the armada slowly come into view. The vanguard was led by loose fighter packs that would attack like hounds on a single prey such as the Salient, or Ray’s lone gunship for that matter. Fortunately, they were already within range of the Salient’s docking bays, so they were in the clear.

“Just get us home Ray,” Eli couldn’t say much more.

He would’ve told the pilot to calm down, but the sight of such an innumerable foe would make blood drain off the face of the inexperienced and the fresh out the academy recruits that were the majority of the crew on board the Salient. Most spoke of seeing action, others invoked titles that proclaimed their battle scars, but…they haven’t see a fleet such as this.

As for the Salient, it maintained many light weapon systems, most of which were concealed beneath panels that would unsheathe the cannons used to take out the hornets of light craft. Most personnel were relatively safe behind its thick neo-steel plating, the most durable and advanced alloy of its time on a ship such as the Salient.

The neo-steel was a new alloy that was only found on five ships in the known galaxy, one of which was the Salient, the other four were its sister ships, the Neptune Class Battlecruisers. The Salient, however, would be the first to see actual combat and square off with non-Federation ships.

“We’ll probably have to prepare for a Code Red,” Eli patted the pilot on his shoulder, before leaving the cockpit. He could only trust in the Admiral’s ability to steer them out of this, if such a fate existed.

As Eli returned to the troop bay, he pulled out his assault rifle from the overhead storage, and looked to the other Marines.

“Alright boys and girls, get your weapons ready.”

“What for?” Weifert asked.

“As our current situation stands, we’ve got a large force of pirates amassing against the Salient, and they’ll probably try to board the ship, so once we get off report to the Barracks to receive orders.”

Eli strapped himself into a seat and awaited the arrival. Then he received a message, from the survivors on board the pirate frigate.

"Colter…Ulric here, I have some bad news. There is an explosive on board and its primed... But you already knew that didn't you?" there was a pause.

"That was most likely the whole reason for evacuating the ship... but it won’t work. Even if you get off this ship the ensuing shock wave will rip everything within a thousand metes apart. "I can't stop the device but I can re-purpose it… There was a girl with me…Elizabeth; if I can't make it then she becomes priority. Ulric out." Eli’s mouth stood slightly agape, before he issued a reply.

“Colter here, don’t worry about the bomb just get the hell off the ship. Ulric? Ulric! Son of a bitch.” Eli swore as the communique died.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Elizabeth Waltz Character Portrait: Ulric Kercheskoi
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Ulric Kercheskoi
Second Pirate Frigate: Power Plant

Ulric was not about to let such an act go without challenge knowing all too well that when this device goes off it would be an affront against him. He mulled the information over in his mind as he tried to remember what it was about this whole thing that was so similar to him from another time.
His boots made heavy sounds that resounded with sheer echoing power due to the space within the corresponding shaft. But in time he found himself looking on the next door too the core system for the ship and it was in here that he didn't know what to expect, and as his hand felt the empty space at his back he knew what was next on his list to retrieve.

Taking a few breaths to steady himself he begins to cycle the locks on the door and readies his rifle, stepping in advancing toward the core was his only real concern. Ulric's eyes began to search from side to side and corner to corner as he moved doing his best to cover each vantage point that could be used against him. His sights where soon on a more pressing matter within a few moments as he stared directly at the device. Its casing was a lit diagram of tubing and diodes that displayed a circular dial of red dots, each dot slowly disappearing only to lead to the next dot in succession doing the same.
In the center of the dial was a rather blatant numerical readout with the numbers.. (8:34) counting backwards on the screen.

Laying his weapon on the console next to him Ulric sets to opening the casing and begins inspecting his new objective. Doing his best not to agitate the bomb with some slight poking and prodding, he thumbs through several fiber optic wires doing his best to catalog them in mind.

A single bead of sweat is rolling down his forehead and he is starting to be ever more grateful that the inside of the mask is fog proof. But this wears on him even after searching through several wires and capacitors his mind grows heavy with impending though and finally Ulric looses patience with spite in the back of his mind... "You can stop skulking.. I already know your there." His words are met with the sharp jab of something metallic being pressed against the back of his mask, this was most likely his own gun seeing as he was lax enough to leave it around like that.
The offender jabs him once more causing him to drop a section of wires and the bomb gives a slight warning before normalizing again. Standing Ulric takes a chance and locks his communicator on and slyly places his arms behind his head.

"I would guess that your Captain Matthus..." Ulric says as he turns to face his captor and is taken back when he realizes that the pirate is actually a woman. Little was left to question as his head tilted in a moment of bewilderment and only when he noticed the name Matthus set underneath her uniforms makeshift rockers did he get the idea.
The woman was quite a specimen to behold her frame was taught and well trained as she stood there defiant of Ulric's imposing figure looming over her as he stood. Her blonde hair was pulled tight into a bun in the back but the recent battle within and without the ship has caused it to split and fray in some sections. He deep emerald eyes threatened to piece straight through him as the scowl of her brow threatened to become permanent with its severity.

She threatens with the barrel of the weapon as she steps back twice and levels the sites in Ulric's direction... ~I don't know you... so that means you damn well don't know me..~ "No.." Ulric returns "I was expecting your father Bryten."

An expression of rage rips across the young woman's face as several small veins flare up across her lightly olive toned skin and she attempts to strike him with the butt of the rifle. Ulric is deftly able to grab the rifle along the body and pull it away from her and the girl swiftly pulls back with equal speed and pulls a smaller handgun on him. Ulric doesn't show much interest in her as he drops the rifles mag and cycles the last round out of the chamber.
~How DO You Know That Name!!!~ She screams at him in an act of tyranny using her position as a means to coax more out of Ulric. "I guess that makes you Angela.." Ulric says and this makes her eyes go wide and he see's a small opening within her form.
Not wasting a chance Ulric charges his left side into the girl using his hand to deflect the barrel of the gun and checking her midsection with his left arm with two rounds cooking off from the weapon. This sends her into the railing on the compartments walkway and Ulric squares off with her once more when she regains her composer, she quickly scrambles down and pulls a long blade from her boot.

Ulric just tilts his head and looks at her... "You can just go ahead and give that too me as well..." He jokes as he tosses the pistol over the railing and into the lower section of the core. ~Shut up~ She returns.
Ulric stood in direct conflict with her hoping that his open comm would catch as much as he was able to draw out from her.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Hangar

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Eli Colter Character Portrait: Ulric Kercheskoi
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“Colter…this is Ulric, we still have a bomb, but it’s safe to say that the ship is ours now…please advise."

Bravo team had detached from Ray’s gunship after they had successfully docked in the hangar. The hangar crews were quickly attending the craft’s engines, while Ray sat a bit awkwardly comfortable in his seat in the cockpit. Eli distanced himself from the others, who ran directly to the barracks; he stayed behind in the hangar though. At the present moment, there were only a few crews attending the hangar, it seemed as though word had not reached many ears about the impending battle. Perhaps the admiral was waiting for the pirates to make the first strike, thereby alerting the crews of the situation.

“What the hell? Ulric, did you diffuse the bomb or something?” Eli walked over to a private corner so that the crews wouldn’t over hear him.

He pressed a key on his gauntlet’s holographic interface. The haptic system quickly retracted the pressure seals, as they unlatched from the armor’s junctures. As the seals pulled away, a hiss of air followed as the contained oxygen slowly spread outward from the little openings in his suit. The latches on Eli’s collar pulled away from his helmet, allowing him to take it.

As he took his helmet off, it revealed his face, and his head covered by the black tactical beanie, which he wore most of the time. Rarely had anyone seen his hair, aside from higher up officers who demanded that officers at his level show some respect, whether it was in the field, or a court martial. However, he made it clear that his hair was a simple military grade buzz cut that didn’t warrant any interest. He looked, fairly different with the helmet off, others could tell now as they saw his face was barely dry. It was the synthetic hormone coursing through his veins and arteries that was the cause of this.

“That ship was damaged, you can’t pilot it, and even if you could, what could you do with it?”

The setting changes from Hangar to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray simply stayed on the gunship for a few moments, so many thoughts rushed in his mind combined with the emotions of a thousand memories of past battlefields. Ray did not know what to make of these events and at times it seemed as if he was living a dream.

Ray suddenly became self aware again; he left his dream land as suddenly as he had entered it and was left with the harsh reality of his situation.
Punching himself to his feet Ray rushed to outside the gunship and directly into the quartermasters office; the man in charged of the armaments and equipment on all the fighters, bombers and gunships the salient possessed.

Ray would not sit tight while the battle was waged overhead, he had to fight and if this meant life or death Ray was in one of his moods in which he could not care less about ether possibilities.

As he entered the room the quartermaster stood and saluted; Ray outranked him by a tiny margin and while most officers new to this kind of duty would not be so fast on their feet this case was different; Ray had caught the quartermaster and his assistant playing cards while on duty.

"Is there any thing I can do for you sir?" said the young quartermaster nervously; he was a young man barley out of his teens but most likely displayed an inborn talent which gave him such a high placed and rewarding occupation and Ray planed to handle the situation accordingly.

"I want twenty two sparrow missiles, four X3 torpedo's, my twin Zardos heavy cannons installed, a few tanks of Nano repair fluids you choose which brand, a number of sidekick proximity bombs, the codes for A level shields and whatever you think I should carry against odds of more then 20 to 1"

The quartermaster momentarily speechless soon remembered himself after a rough shake which reminded him who and what where pounding the ship at the moment. After this realization he and his assistant soon went to work; the quartermaster issuing orders to the robots and the assistant rushing to the hanger to direct them.

Fighters and bombers had a standard gear issue which normally suited them fine but gunships and especially the old swing class designed for multiple tasks could have thousands of possible set ups. While there was standard issue gear for the gunships pilots who served for long periods of time often developed their own tastes.

The quartermaster soon turned to Ray again and said

"well sir we are going to be kind of busy soon but you got your request in sooner rather then later so we should be finished in a few minutes… em can you please not mention us playing cards? It just seemed like a calming thing to do when faced with such odds..."

"sure" said Ray as he walked outside the room.

Ray returned to the gunship and saw that work was indeed in progress and then entered the gunship patching in to the comm. System.
Ray heard a few voices but one got his ear; Tiaan.

Ray realizing this was his chance to get into the action crossed into the conversation and added

"If a team of fighters is going out they are going to need some heavy armor; I can offer that heavy armor. This is Charlie S210* Ready, willing and able to launch Admiral!"

Ray then tuned into Tiaan's frequency and sent a cheery message to her:
"Race you to the action, or is your fighter not up to the contest?"

Ray wondered if this was his last battle... it would be a shame to be killed by pirates and Ray wondered if maybe he should have gotten himself killed back in the Titan wars. Ether way Ray smiled as he lit his pipe and looked for the correct record for his Jukebox... if he was going to die today at least he wanted to go down with some good old swing.

Ray now again seeing the massive forces he would have to face knew that if he could not win he had one more duty to preform...

Switching to the quartermaster office on his comm Ray smiled and proceeded to make this his quite possibly final request from the man.

"Hi matey one more thing,Can you also load me a Plz1660 supercharge generator? i feel that i need an extra kick to handle all this mass"

the quartermaster puzzled ask with a degree of cation

"Sir the 1660 isn't very reliable and can under some conditions..."

"I know all about that, but don't worry... i know what i am doing" cut in Ray

"if you say so sir, it will only take a few minutes... i guess that's the good thing about the 1660; its easy to put in but on the other hand... its a hell to get out."

Ray smiled, it sure was a hell to get out but... his usage of it on the Q ships didn't require such an effort. Ray now had all he needed; if he died today he would make sure to take as many pirate scum as possible with him.

(ooc *: code name, in character sheet

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to Bridge

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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The Admiral sat back and watched the destruction unfold, his fingers steepled before his face.

ADAM did his job well- Not a shot was missed. Not until the debris was so heavy that the canons would not reach the enemy did ADAM fail to wipe out a ship. But now there arose the problem... They could not shoot the enemy. It was a tough call. Deploy the fighters or not? To deploy the fighters would throw them into the most dangerous debris field they would be likely to face in their career. Only the best pilots would manage to get through it all unscathed, and then on top of that they would have to begin fighting the enemy in that field. But if he didn't deploy the fighters, the Salient's fighting capacity would be reduced to the main canon, which was the only armament on the ship that could plow through all of the debris and still do any decent kind of damage.

"ADAM, patch me through to the engineering department. I need to know the status on the main cannon." The requested window appeared before him, and to his mild surprise he saw a fully armed marine on the other end.

"Adriana Stark reporting. What do you need, Admiral?" Stark's reply was distorted by the suit, but it was clear now why a marine was down in that corner of the ship.

"A status on the particle canon."

Stark hesitated and looked back at the control panels. She turned back and spoke up a few seconds later. "It's... rattled from its previous use. I can have it ready to fire soon... hopefully. I'll let you know when we can attack."

"Thank you Corporal, that will be all." The admiral closed the com link and thought for a moment. There was no main armament... If he was to maintain the offensive in the battle, he would have to send out the pilots. Lucky for him, the pilots were confirming their readiness for combat at that very moment. Surprising, seeing as many of the pilots were drunk and unfit to operate heavy machinery.

Admiral Weston sent his voice through the intercom. "Those pilots able and willing to fly, you are clear to do so. You are to keep all enemy ships out of the debris field; it is to be our shield from the enemy."

He then looked towards the front of the bridge. "Navigator Summer, plot all the launching pilots paths through the debris so that they may patrol the field without crashing."

The navigator gave a quick "Yes sir," and began typing away at his terminal. "Opening hangar doors. Pilots Peyton, Davidson, Cooper, and Jones have confirmed launch. FTL drives at 10% charge. The enemy is not entering the debris field... They seem to be gathering near the Altamus vessels. Course plotting near--"

"The WHAT IS AT TEN PERCENT!?" Aronimus thundered from his chair.

The navigator stopped typing. "The Faster-Than-Light drives, sir." He looked back at the admiral, his confusion evident. "Were we not escaping?"

The setting changes from Bridge to The Milky Way Universe

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton

Grinning back at Ray she responded by flying down the run-way and out the hatch replying back, "You're on slow poke." Once she was out though, she realized it was no time to mess about, the ships on horizon beginning to batter down the ruined ship. She swung around leading her squadron, "Helens, Kyle, Oscar and Vent, we need to do something really risky."

There was a few murmurs over the com, "We need to make sure that ruined ship survives, think we can?"

Not hearing a answer, she prayed to whoever existed and patched into Ray's bomber, "This is really dangerous, but if we succeed you can likely save our comrades. I warn you now Ray, none of my squad including me are likely to survive."

Waiting she started the formation, "Helens fire heat-seeking missiles."

Weaving in and around the junk she let loose her missiles, "That's it guys, dodge and dive, make sure to keep the ships distracted."

It was hopeless, but if she could delay long enough, the team in danger could get out. This is what we needed, "FIRE!" she yelled letting loose her second stock, c'mon Blue Bird, let's teach them pirate's that we aren't just Federation girls, we're Federation bitches and you never never argue against a bitch.

Reversing her thrusters she made the signal for them to hide around the wreckage, "How much has everyone got left?"

"1 Salvo"

"3 Salvos, although my wing been hit."

"0, I'll guide back Oscar."

"3, let's do this."

"FIRE!"

The missiles hitting the ships weren't doing much damage, but if it made it possible for Ray to do the plan, then all be fine. We just need more time guys, "Where the hell is Hyena?!"

As in response a voice replied, "She's refusing to leave the bay, we think she's in shock."

"Shit, that's all we need. FIRE!"

Moving back, she checked the scanner, appears they were sending more fighter, "Ray I hope you're fucking hurrying!"

Manual aiming her cannon she fired at some of wreckage causing it to move towards one of the approaching ships, "NEVER MESS WITH FUCKING BIRDY!"

The wreckages collided with three fighters crushing them.

This was hardly the beginning, but this delay did seemed to have halted the weapons.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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"Well i guess its 1-0 to you... hmf" Chuckled Ray as he saw the trail left by the fighters launch boosters. Ray began to calibrate the gunship for take of as the rest of the Salients fighters and interceptors left for space; the Swing class was a reliable and powerful ship however its take off system along with its engines where obsolete in the face of the even changing fighter market. Ray soon noticed that his power level was inadequate to maintain his engines, his weapon system and the hazed shield at the same time and decided to reduce the shield to 10% since once in space Ray would not need to tax so much power into his engines and he would be able to handle his shields as a higher capacity. As his engines powered up for launch Ray cursed; fighters and interceptors did not need to direct so much power into the engines for launch because they had their launch boosters, the Swing class came from an age before the launch booster and there was no practical way to add one into the design.

Ray began the slow process of expanding engine power while avoiding any over heating and approached his launch position with care, back on the pirate frigate Ray did not need to waste so much time and effort on the launch because the Gunship had been modded for the fast and sleek infiltration duty. Now in full battle gear the Gunship slugged along the launch platform as the engines neared launch speed. By now the battle had started as the Salients fighters engaged the enemy, Ray switched to launch pattern B and within a few moments the carefully generated engine power roared the gunship into space. The Gunship was now finally in space, Ray hardy had the time to take a read out of the situation when Tiaan ordered him to hurry.

"Copy that Tiaan sorry about the delay, My sensors are reading 5 enemy squadrons now launching from a light carrier. Keep your sights on fighters allready spacing around us; i will take out the carriers" Pirate ship where mostly pieces of salvage and rarely true military grade material and thus most of the pirate fighters where housed on former civilian vessels converted into crude but speedy carriers.

"Computer Target and lock on enemy unit R3red" said Ray now opening his missile pods and releasing his two satellite weapon launchers .

"Target acquired and locked" said the dull voice of his computer

Ray activated his screen and switched to Command center display, the map was a rough chart of the current location of friendly and enemy units based on the data sent to the command center from each fighter. Other then the Salient and other gunships only Ray could give the fighters the information they needed or warn them of impending danger.
"Please brake from target R3red, now launching missiles" said Ray into his communicator

The missiles whom at first flew without any target in mind soon processed their target information and then adjusting their course towards the carrier. Enemy interceptors soon hurtled themselves at the missiles and tried to shoot them down before they reached the vulnerable carrier and its cargo of fighters ; the two satellite launchers soon detected this threat and released a number of mini mines which soon found the interceptors and detonated. The missiles now with a clear route to the carrier entered the final faze of the attack and soon smashed into the carrier targeting the most important areas on the ship.

Five great explosions rattled the carrier; three at the launch bay, one at the engines and the last in the area which Ray assumed was the command bridge of the ship. the carrier remained intact however all five launching squadrons vanished from Ray's sensors as the launch bay area collapsed, now retreating the carrier fired its remaining ammunition into space causing minor damage to the Salient's fighters before it left the area of battle with which Ray was concerned.

Ray smiled and flew towards Tiaan's fighter group hoping to get some protection against the pirate fighters.

Ray chuckled and said "mind if i hide here? i need time before i can pinpoint another target for my missiles"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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#, as written by Rulke
Tiaan Peyton - Blue Bird - Space

Waiting she noted that there were only three fighters left distracting, and one heavy gun ship. As she heard Ray, she replied with, "Glad you could join us." checking her console for the missles she had left, the computer flashed up two among other things. Smirking she glanced a nearly destroyed Pirate Ship just trying to get out of line of fire behind the stronger ones, relaying a message to Ray she yelled, "Beat this boyo!" locking on to the energy signature she fired both her missiles.

Releasing from the wings, they shot down, speeding towards the target, zipping around the wreckage, swerving the nearby wrecked ships, before one collided with a piece of wreckage, crossing her fingers Tiaan watched the console showing the trail, before the missiles finally hit the ship. Since it was already stumbling, it now appeared almost dead. Checking her life signs scanner, it appeared most were clustered away from the control panel, that was enough for now.

Examining the wreckage, she thanked whoever was guiding them for such an amazing admiral and crew. This should have been a bloodbath, but fortunately they were surviving, amazing to imagine, watching vast expanses of space, she noted the fleet of Pirate Ships was still huge, and it would be amazing to even survive much longer. It appeared the leader appeared to be unable to think.

Were they playing with them, she was interrupted by a crackle from intercom, "Oi, Tiaan don't kill 'em all let Hyena do some!"

Gasping in horror she saw the fighter and realized that Hyena was drunk, trying to raise the channel she yelled, "Get back Hyena, we're fine go sober up!"

"It's pirate's I can handle them blindfolded."

Realizing how fruitless this was she tried to raise admiral, "Hyena out here drunk, get her out of here, please."

Just as she got through, she saw Hyena was flying too close to the actual fleet, firing everything she could, "HYENA GET OUT OF THERE, QUICK!"

As she yelled through, something caught her eyes on the scanner, a ship had snuck up behind her, and was firing, performing an evasive manoeuvre, cork-screwing the Blue Bird, she checked her radar, but saw no sign of the fighter.

Looking from the glass, she saw Hyena was okay, fortunately she had reacted in time and had moved out of range of the cannons.

"Don't do that again." she yelled through the intercom, before firing two at the fighter chasing her and breathing a heavy sigh of relief.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Ray chuckled at first upon hearing Hyena's voice, they where a small unit as it was and to have another fighter among them would be quite helpful.

"Don't worry Hyena, there are plenty to go arou.."


As Tiaan's voice cracked into the system Ray realized what was going on and shuddered, turning around as fast as he could in an attempt to protect Hyena's fighter Ray attempted to fire his second magazine of missiles but knew that he would never turn in time.

Ray saw those last moments on his screen, he closed his eyes and shut the communication system down as Hyena lined up for the pirate fighter to take out.

Soon her signature on his sensors was gone, Ray sat their shocked… why was this affecting him like this? This was nothing new after all!

Suddenly his gunship rattled as a missile stuck his armor, opening his eyes and getting over his confusion Ray realized that two heavy fighters had targeted him.

"armor taking damage… shields unable to disperse enemy fire" said the monotone voice of the ships computer.

Ray smiled and increased the power of his new generator; with its power he could maintain all his systems at near full capacity... it was a pity that the generator had not reached the required power levels to help Hyena but that was life.


"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 4% and rising"

Ray opened the computer control area and dismissed all safety protocols, as long as the generator's hazard level stayed lower then 29% the chances of a meltdown where only 10-20% in the worst case scenario. If Ray wanted to fight at his full capacity he needed the generators power no matter if doing so may cost his life and the life of anyone in his gunships area.

Ray knew that his actions would be reported to the Salient and hoped no one would interfere with his plan… at least yet.

Turning around Ray activated his twin cannons and blasted the first heavy fighter to pieces; the heavy fighter stunned at the sudden increased maneuverability of the gunship had no time to doge the attack and was blasted to pieces after three seconds of concentrated fire.

He then suddenly saw Hyena's signature on his screen again... so she was not as dead as he supposed she was. Ray breathed a sigh of relief and opened the comm channel unable to stop himself from grinning like an idiot.

"Hell Hyena even my scanners gave up on you! glad to still have you with us!"

"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 6% and rising"

Ray cursed and switched off the come hoping Hyena had not heard that, while had had disabled the safety protocols he could not disable the warning system. The second heavy fighter realizing his inferior position against the gunship attempted to retreat however Ray fired his second missile salvo just in time to knock him out and eradicate a few other interceptors whom had come to the heavy fighters rescue.

Ray turned about and passed Tiaan's squad, Ray sent her one short message before increasing his speed in the direction of the enemy fleet.

"i guess i can't stay with you chaps, too much of a target and i would not want to attract flies for you would i?. Don't worry, i put on an extra generator on my systems so i should be fine... just get rid of any interceptors that come my way would you?"

Ray loaded his last but most deadly missile salvo and lined up to strike what he thought to be a pirate command ship.

Ray grinned "Say goodbye to your engines suckers!" and fired his missiles, the missiles flew true and began firing a variety of scrap designed to confuse the enemy's defensive systems. the first few missiles where destroyed by overwhelming defensive fire however quite a few where able to avoid the defenses and approach the enemy's engines. Once missile however was hit by the defensive lasers however it did not blow and instead turned towards the command bridge of the pirate vessel.

Ray raised his hazard shields to 50% to protect him from the effects of the blast, at last the true fighting would begin. The thought of direct battle made Ray happy however one comment was able to return Ray to the reality of his situation.

"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 9% and rising"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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Hyena was in the void, her venerable Rapier cutting a bloody swathe through the furball. Contrary to popular beleif, she was stone cold sober. Which probably made her laughing fits all the more disconcerting.

<Dont let me catch you! Dont let me catch you!>

She was taunting a pirate, dogging his tail in a deadly game of keep-away that twisted around debris and wrenched tight turns around other ships. The pirate attempted to use the gunships under her protection to his advantage - zipping under Tiaan and snapping his nose up to blast over Ray - only to have Hyena cut across the searing wake of the twos' engine pylons. Her shields warp and energy arcs spectacularly across the metal skin like some grim aurora, but the maneuver saves her time, and as the pirate is swooping back down from climbing Ray's back, his belly flashes across Hyena's nose. It's all she needs, and the quad cannons of the Rapier chew her quarry apart until he vanishes entirely in a shrapnel-filled fire that's snuffed out a breath later by the vacuum.

<Will you you overgrown Tug jockies hurry up and core that big bastard?> Her next taunt is reserved for the gunship pilots, pulling tightly back towards them and accelerating to intercept another wave, <Im going to run out of bullets before they run out of fighters at this rate!>

A missile loosed from her wing scatters the oncomming threat, the heat-seaker choosing an unlucky target to send spiraling out into the stars, ripping itself apart. Hyena pulls her nose up and to the right to select her next prey, only to have to disengage in a sickening roll as his wingman discourages her choice. She breaks off from the persuit to fire a heckling salvo of bullets in order to chase away another fighter who was attempting to sneak a lock on Tiaan.

<That's it. You two are on the hook for my drinks. For eternity. You know that, right?>

She grunts and turns on her side, flashing between their wings to nip at another pair of predatory pirates (say that three times fast) who think they can slip through her screen.

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson
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Ray chuckled as he saw his missiles hit the pirate battleship... the strike had not crippled the ship but it was just generally neat to see an explosion knowing that you where the one who made it happen. The battleship was still firing regularly and did not seem to be having any maneuverability problems so Ray's chuckle soon became a hiss of annoyance.

With the last of his missiles gone Ray discarded his launchers and opened up his secondary cannons... it was time to deal with the bastards the old fashion way.
Closing in on a newly launched squadron of pirate torpedo craft Ray accelerated his speed.

Ray opened up with his main cannons blasting the interceptors aside until he was in range with the torpedo craft. At this range any weapon would do however he could not understand why the torpedo craft where still on this course? did they have a death wish?

Suddenly two of the five torpedo craft opened their rear sections sending thousands of small miniature homing mines towards his Gunship... Ray knew he could not evade them from this range, Curses! what a fool he had been!

"power up to hazard shields 100%, locking all essential system's, repair probes standing by, blast shield activated, power down engines to drift speed, power down weapons" Ray had to get as many systems as possible offline or risk being crippled, he would also have to conserve energy for the hazard shield...

"God almighty!" exclaimed ray, with the generator still on the blast could trigger a melt down!

"powering down additional reactor" said Ray as he entered the reactor's code... nothing happened.

With only seconds to impact Ray did not have time for this "Computer deactivate additional reactor, deactivation code emergency"

as 6 precious seconds ticked by Ray saw no change in the reactor's status, what the hell was going on?!

"Computer deactivate the reactor!"

"deactivating primary reactor" said the computer to Ray's horror, why was the computer deactivating the primary reactor?! he had given him the codes for the secondary reactor!

Ray's vision darkened as the mines hit the Gunship, for a few seconds... or minutes he could not see or hear a thing as he lay stunned on his seat.

Ray opened his eyes, his vision was blurred and he had difficulty hearing anything; Ray had gotten himself pissed in academy many times and at his parents house many times more but those alcohol induced headaches where nothing compared to this!

Ray tried to stand up but he collapsed back to his seat, still drifting in and out of consciousness a minute or so passed before Ray could open his eyes properly.

Ray was confused, why was his vision so limited? Ray closed and then opened his right eye.. all was well there, as he tried the same with his left eye Ray could not feel any reaction.
Ray froze... he had lost his left eye and lord knew what else.

Ray stood up and began walking, just as his left eye had failed to respond so did his left leg and his left arm... Ray shredded but then chuckled; one way or another his flying career was over.

Ray began to feel just how badly his body had been damaged as he regained more of his senses... Ray did not know how he was even still alive but suspected the Hazard shield had protected him from the mines only to burn his left side body as the cooling systems shut down along wit the main generator... the computer must have realized what was happening and restarted the main generator just in time to save Ray from burning alive.

Stumbling around the gunship Ray used the command consul as a means of support, Ray activated the consul and waited; the system was designed to shut down in the event of a power surge but the sensors assuming any of them had no burned out should have been able to make out a damage report.

The report was a mess but from what Ray could tell only his number 3 cannon was still operational among his previously mighty assortment of weapons, the Hazard shields where gone as where most of the gunship's systems. Only the "middle school" engines where still operational; these engines where the ones used for battle and short distance travel however without his "highschool" engines for long distance travel and his preschool engines for landings and takeoff Ray could nether travel anywhere or dock with the salient.

"Computer what is the status on primary generator?" asked Ray happy to still have power

"primary generator not responding, emergency generator not responding, all power consumption switched to additional generator.

Ray turned white, so all the power had come from that generator?

"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 35% and rising" said the warning system as if hearing Ray's thoughts

Ray sank back to his seat... just what in the name of Titan was he supposed to do now?!

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Jessica "Hyena" MacPhearson Character Portrait: Tiaan Peyton
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When Ray had dropped off her scopes, Hyena had assumed the worst. There were just too many pirate fighters and not enough -her- to go around. It'd torn at her, because that wasnt just a hunk of metal she'd been flying cover for, it'd been someone that she'd stood on the deck with. The pressing threat of the situation had prevented it from settling fully, but when Tiaan calls out that she's going to fall out of the return formation to search, the reality slams into Hyena like a brick wall.

<On your wing.>

She responds without hesitation, keying up a countdown on her HUD to keep track of time. If the Salient jumped while they were still out here, they wouldnt last long against a fleet of pirates looking for revenge. Even if they shut down and played dead, even if those pirates skipped salvage and vanished, they would be millions of kilometers from any source of oxygen. But if they didnt try, it'd be Ray facing those fates.

The two flit through the debris field, and the numbers on her clock keep ticking down despite all willpower to the contrary. If she wanted to be a scout pilot she would be flying an Arrow. The Rapier just didnt have the sensor package to pick out one dead fighter hulk from another at any kind of range, leaving her to pick manually at a painfully slow pace. Tiaan makes the call. She'd found something. Pointing her nose at the activity, between Bluebird's size and the Rapier's overlarge engines, they could pull the other craft back into the hangar bay with minimal effort.

Only...

<Tiaan! Disengage! Engines are runaway!>

Hyena's fighter can advise her of -that- critical peice of information, at least, outlining Ray's bird with ominous red highlights. The size of the gunship promises that if they were caught in the imminent explosion, it'd be bad. Very bad. The shrapnel alone could hull her, and then she'd be just as dead. Some rescue this was turning out to be.

<Shit, Ray, you reading? Eject, man, we'll recover. Eject!>

Another few seconds off of her clock.

<Eject!>

Even at the distance she'd retreated, the erruption of fire and steel rocks the Rapier. Sensors scream, and light blinds her despite an automatic dampening of her canopy. Something metal screeches across her wing, sending her into a violent tumble. By the time she recovers, the fire has been suffocated by the vaccuum, and she can see no signs that Ray had ever gotten or heeded her desparate call.

Alarms are still shrieking in the background as she keys Tiaan, <... I've got nothing, Blue.>

Another alert chimes its two cents, her countdown. <We have to go, Blue. NOW. Or we're just as dead.>

Stubborn as pilots may be, they were all dependant upon a friendly deck to come home to. Already blasted in that direction, Hyena gooses her throttle and races back towards the Salient before her hangar doors can shutter for the jump. One of her engines gives sporradic bursts of protest, a 4-foot sliver of Ray's gunship imbeded in the scorched cowling. Cold dread and shock slowly warm in the face of a smoldering anger, and when she hits the comm again, her growl just makes her callsign all the more appropriate. Hunger and teeth.

<Next time these pricks cross our scopes, they die.>

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson
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"Warning, generator unstable, hazard level at 41% and rising"

"Hold it together ... hold it together..." whispered Ray, he smiled at the irony; his body was barley holding together and here he was making demands of his burning up gunship?

"Warning Engine's 2-3 are overheating... commencing emergency shut down"


"Oh no you don't! overwrite Emergency shut down!" Ray was now sweating, even the cooling systems where at braking point.

"Warning generator unstable, hazard level at 46% and rising"

"Direct all power to generator cooling systems! deactivate weapons systems, power down engines to drift speeds, deactivate all systems not marked B2a essential systems" Ray knew even such desperate measures would not even delay the meltdown but he had to do something.
Ray struggled to remain awake, his body wanted to sleep but Ray knew that if he let his eyes close he would never open them again... well at least that one eye he still had left.

"RED ALERT - Generator melt down in process ... commencing emergency shut down... ERROR... Generator not responding, Warning Sensors no longer functioning"

Ray cursed at first but then simply sighed and smiled weakly, he had been very lucky; the generator should have overheated at 36%-42%. By all accounts Ray had been luckier them most.... just not lucky enough.

"Activate comm-system" said Ray, maybe he could at least say goodbye to his new comrades if nothing else.

"Comm - system not responding"


Typical! just when he was about to finally meet his end he could not even order a pizza!

"RED ALERT - Containment field 2 overloaded... Generator melt down in 51 seconds"

So he could not even get another minute hay? Ray tried to move but found it too painful... what was he supposed to do with 51.. now 45 seconds of life before his end?

managing to drag himself across the bridge by using some of the wreckage as support Ray saw that his "secret" compartment was still fairly intact. Ray opened it and saw his music Box still healthy and ready to go... at least music had not failed him yet. Ray loaded a disk to the machine and sat down... 25 seconds to go or something like that but Ray chose to relax as the music began to play.

Ray wondered... was there really no way he could send a message to the Salient? of course! the Swingclass was an old design and it was equipped with the old radio based comm system. The newer models where added to the ship while still in trial however the old system still remained and every ship of the line such as the Salient could pick up event such primitive signals.

"RED ALERT - Containment field 3 overloaded... Generator melt down in 17 seconds"


17 seconds... not a lot of time so Ray decided to write only a brief message before sending it... Ray hoped the captain would appreciate it but decided to think about better things at these last few seconds of his life.

Just as the last few seconds ticked away the singer for the old forgotten song began to sing, Ray loved that voice and now faced with the same odds of those dark times finally understood why such songs meat so much.

"We'll meet again, don't where don't know when but I know we'll meet again some sunny day. keep smiling through
...
CRITICAL ALERT! GENERATOR MELT DOWN IMMINENT

Warning - engines overheating... fire detected in section 9

Warning - cooling systems not responding

Warning - interior shields offline

Warning - insufficient power... deactivating non critical systems "ERROR"

Warning - life support systems deactivating

Warning - multiple systems failure detected

No registered crew personal detected, Unit Commander Peter Davidson not responding... transferring control over to ship's computer

CRITICAL ALERT GENERATOR MELT DOWN... GENERATOR MELT Do... do...d


"carry on Fighting, carry on crying, carry on smiling but for heaven's sake carry on living" - Unit Commander Peter Ray Davidson, deceased.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Universe to F.S.S. Salient

Setting

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Character Portrait: Peter "Ray" Davidson Character Portrait: Adriana Stark Character Portrait: Clyde Summer Character Portrait: A.D.A.M
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Adriana

The area below decks where Adriana worked on the particle cannon was separated from the vacuum of space by a single layer of hull. Every little ping of an enemy shot echoed through the space. This is how Adriana knew the battle had ended: Everything grew silent but for her own breathing and her footsteps as she walked back and forth along the length of the ship checking for damage. She returned to the terminal.

"What's happening outside, ADAM?"

The blue face appeared, and his synthesized voice came across the speakers. "All fighting has ceased. The Salient is about to perform a slip-space jump, and there is no further purpose in the battle."

Adriana nodded and switched off the terminal. It was all over and the ship was still in working order. That was the good news. She was sure there would be bad, but nothing in particular that would be her inconvenience. At least, she hoped not.

Clyde

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Clyde steered the ship through the debris field, the ship canons blasting away obstruction. The enemy fleet cleared a path for the Salient's jump. They didn't want to be disintegrated by the jump any more than the Salients' crew did.

Clyde made the last minute checks- Was everything in working order? Not quite, but the ship would survive. Was everyone accounted for? A few fighter deaths, Thaddeus Jackson pronounced missing in action, everyone else returned. Except... Peter Davidson. Clyde took one look at his ship, drifting alone in space, and knew that it was not going to return.
There was a little blip on his screen. It was a text-only message, sent from an old radio. Sent from the dying ship.
Carry on Fighting, carry on crying, carry on smiling but for heaven's sake carry on living" - Unit Commander Peter Ray Davidson, deceased.

Clyde looked away as the ship exploded in a brilliant ball of energy, a small sun marking the death of a storied pilot.

What kind of launch was this? They had been in space hardly a day and already tragedy wracked the voyage. It did not bode well for the rest of the mission.

Clyde sighed and turned back to his terminal. The final stage of preparation for the the FTL jump came into affect automatically. The artificial gravity generator activated to its fullest potential, and froze everything on board the ship a split second before the jump occurred to protect it from the massive acceleration. Then the gravity shifted from null to a push opposite the acceleration, keeping everything from being crushed until the speed leveled out.

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