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Aronimus Weston

Federation Navy Rear Admiral Upper - Ship Captain of the F.S.S. Salient

0 · 496 views · located in Iridosis Station

a character in “Nebula's Dawn: Lance of Liberty”, as played by VindicatedPurpose

Groups

"Reaching for the stars"

Description

"I don't know where this ship will take us, but I do know we'll return. That is all I need to worry about, all I will ever need to worry about. In the Navy, you are not trained to question an order, you are trained to do your job."




Name (With Preferred Pronunciation): Aronimus Weston (Ah-ron-i-mus West-un)

Age: 52

Place of Birth: Mandioca IV, Serestis System

Gender: Male

Occupation: Federation Armed Forces - Navy: Ship Captain of the F.S.S. Salient

Rank (If Applicable): Rear Admiral Upper Half

Appearance: He stands ramrod erect, and most former crew members/acquaintances would testify that they've never seen him slouch. He has clear and calm sky blue eyes that seem to put crew members at ease in his presence. They speak as if to tell others that the storm will be weathered. Of course, they are markedly aged, being hooded with the outside edges down turned. Around his entrancing eyes are the sunken sandbags of age, not restlessness because they bear no depression. His head is covered in gray hair which marks his aging, or rather his experience. Of course, on the sides of his head, his gray hair fades to a pure white which melds into his beard with his sideburns. He always maintains a thick white beard as well, which he constantly trims down until it reaches perfection. Many would say the beard has never changed, and they would vaguely recognize Aronimus if he did not have the beard. Generally, he is seen throughout the ship in standard Federation service dress grey with cap, or relaxed attire which still requires him to wear the service dress with or without the cap. At formal occasions he will dress to the nines if necessary with his medallions ever present regardless of the occasion. His forehead is marked with three dominant wrinkle lines that were dredged over the years.

Height: 6 ft.

Weight: 168 lbs.

Personality

General: Aronimus is mainly calm, reserved, but he has a commanding presence on those around him. He puts complete trust in his crew simply because he believes that his crew puts complete trust in him to guide them out of whatever dire straits they may reach. Despite whatever hazardous situation he found himself in throughout his career, he chose to remain calm, steadfast, and logically solve the issue at hand.

He isn't much of a believer in religion, but he follows a strict set of beliefs that one could dub the human experience. Through the 52 years of his life, he believes that his experiences helped shape his beliefs and morals. The old sea dog relies on this guideline to make his path through the ocean of life. As an Admiral, he displayed traits of ingenuity by developing original, and employing old and obsolete tactics to the fullest of their potential. His skills as a leader have been commended by various higher officers, as they have been put to the test countless times when he was in service.

Likes: Drinking with crew mates, a hard fought victory, the eternal sights of space, classical music

Dislikes/Phobias: slouchers, surprises, superstitions

Quirks/Idiosyncrasies: He likes to have a small glass of wine at the beginning of each day.

Equipment

Constantly Under Development

H&K Armories M19A7 Handgun

Tactical wrist communicator

Command Neural Interface

Star Maps/Holographic projectors

Personal D27S Tablet

History

The man now known as Aronimus Weston was born as Raymond Weston on a tier 3 agri-world of the Federation. This so-called farm boy grew up among sailors and soldiers, and he was intrigued in the adventures that they went on. Once he reached maturity at the age of 18, he set off to join the Federation Navy to see the galaxy. He steadily rose up the ranks due to his hard work, his persistence, and his eternal desire to continue learning.

One incident occurred when he reached the age of 29, he was merely a petty officer first class given commission on board a Federation cruiser at that point. They were deployed to the outer rim, which was once the Aronimus System, to ward off pirates that had been harassing merchant lanes. The ship was ambushed by two pirate ships, and boarding action commenced. The bridge was overwhelmed, and the captain along with most of the command crew was massacred. As this point, Raymond took it upon himself to lead the rest of the crew to safety.

First, in a brilliant maneuver, he ordered all remaining personnel to don pressure suits as he deactivated the vacuum seals. The raiders throughout the ship died of asphyxiation or vacuum freeze, either way it wasn't pleasant. Then, Raymond took command and ordered his cruiser in a slingshot maneuver that thoroughly damaged one of the raider ships enough for him to activate the light cannons. The close range bombardment annihilated the pirate ship. Then Raymond ordered the cruiser to face the other ship head on, the outcome was obvious after thirty minutes had passed. The superior plating and armaments of the Federation cruiser was more than a match for the brigands, and their ship was thoroughly obliterated.

Raymond was celebrated as a hero by the denizens of the Aronimus System. They requested that he accept the title of Aronimus as a reminder of his brilliant victory over the marauders. The higher echelons quickly took note of Aronimus now, and they watched intently as he rose through the ranks quickly with tenacity and speed. Now 52, an old dog that has experienced many conflicts and battles, Aronimus chose to commandeer the Salient on its maiden voyage. Aronimus would hope that this would be his final command before he retired.

So begins...

Aronimus Weston's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston
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Operation Trident: Day One

Iridosis Station, a waypoint, a checkpoint, and a rest stop for all ships. It was originally a military outpost, and served as a repair station for the first ships into the system. Now it was a center for trade, and further colonization, though that didn't keep the tower from retaining its old duties. Its shift to a hub of commerce was merely a step up, a prodigious step up, some might say.

The station's traffic control center was a giant dark room with a raised ceiling illuminated by the light of various holographic screens and the light of the Arcturus Stars piercing through the large view port windows. It was utterly entrancing. The twin stars of Arcturus shone and glittered before the twelve planets in the system, exposing the darkness of space. One was a sphere of fiery orange, the other a sphere of crystal blue. The two objects flashed and shone at everything in the system. They served as the guiding light for human ships into and out of the system. Their plasma danced within the magnetic fields, spewing in and out, and making graceful arcs of intense light and heat, yet not so intense as to burn and blind the life that existed on the planets orbiting them.

In the control center, was a central desk or rather holographic table. The table was flanked on all sides by holographic screens almost as big as the view port. The station controller was at the holographic table, his eyes were fixed on the ever changing numbers of planetary logistics, that and the stock prices. A guard was at a nearby console sitting with his legs outstretched, and his feet propped up on a nearby table as he was watching the driftball game. It was being played out on a holographic projection that spawned from his wrist communicator. A fellow station officer approached the controller while sipping his cup of coffee.

"Yes!" screamed the guard as he jumped from his seat. Apparently, the opposing team scored a goal on his team.

The officer was slightly startled, as he almost spilled his drink. He glanced with faint annoyance at the guard before quaffing down the cup, but he was careful to savor it and not finish it completely. He turned to the controller,

"Anything new, Kaateda?"

"No, nothing really," the controller spoke into his comm link, "Merchant freighter four zero one nine, this is Iridosis Control, you are green on exit."

"Understood, thanks control."

The controller retired for a bit, until he noticed his screen activate.

"Wait..." several numbers flickered and changed into an entirely different quantity on his screen. The controller's eyes widened just a bit, and then he turned to grin at the officer.

"I think...I just got richer," the officer's face brightened at the news.

"That's fantastic man! Maybe you can afford a vacation to Atmos now."

"Atmos? Who the hell wants to go there?" the controller shook his head, "I mean it's a decent city and all, but I've always been interested in the Inner and Middle Rims. In particular, Earth, the cradle of mankind. Without that planet, I don't think I would even be here. People tell me great things about that place. Hopefully I'll get to see what the hype is about."

The officer was about ready to slap a congratulatory high five, but this quickly evaporated as he noticed several of the personnel gathering at the large rectangular viewport, observing a small anomaly that was transparent to the naked eye. It seemed as if the organic blue-green hued space in front of the twin stars of Arcturus was expanding, and stretching. It was a distortion like the ripple in a pool of water when a single droplet hits the face, but the ripple was only along the edges. At the very center seemed to be a hole slicing itself open. They, however, knew better due to their years of serving aboard the station. It was a ship exiting slipstream, but this hole seemed different than usual. It was larger than usual. The controller tapped several keys on the holographic table before approaching one of the larger holographic screens standing before the viewport.

He glanced at his console for the ship's identification, a ship with the classifications of CC meant it was a Federal warship. CC was a designation that meant battlecruiser, and based on previous knowledge, the controller knew that there were only five of those ships throughout the Federation. They were quite capable of packing a punch, and they represented the pinnacle of Federation military naval design thus far. The controller did not know exactly what this ship was here for, but he remembered that the governor of New Sidney had recently issued a communique with Federation officials for support in dealing with insurgents.

"CC-15, this is ID-01, Iridosis Station," the controller paused, trying to remember lines that he oft repeated daily to ships, "Welcome to the Arcturus System, what brings you here today?"

...

"CC-15? This is Iridosis, CC-15, do you read?"

...

"This is Iridosis to Salient, what is your status?"

The station controller gazed past the transparent holographic screen before him and locked his eyes on the rippling stream. It was a swirling violet-blue vortex with particles shining in slip space.

"This is Iridosis to Salient, what is your status, I repeat, what is your status?"

The controller narrowed his eyes at the stream, trying to draw the contours of an imaginary ship coming out of slipstream.

"This is Iridos--"

"This is Admiral Weston of the Salient, we're in need of major repairs, deploy station crews immediately." A harsh voice ripped through the communication speakers located throughout the control center.

In the midst of open space beyond the reaching arms of Iridosis Station, a luminous swirling ripple formed, and the likeness of a ship emerged from this crevasse of time. In fact, it was a ship, a capital ship. A Federation Neptune Class Battlecruiser, dubbed "Salient" at commissioning. Several exterior plates were missing or burned off, several regions had chunks of plating torn off. The ship was limping for repairs after being caught within the evisceral grip of an armada of hounds. Most of the crew was lucky to be alive following that confrontation. Flames streaked from its hull, trailing into the slipspace hole that had ejected the ship. Sparks sputtered along its open wounds, as more plates lifted themselves from the hull and drifted lifeless away from the ship into the endless confines of space. The plates would join other conglomerations of debris floating lethargically without any purpose or meaning. The station controller froze for a moment, before he snapped back into reality.

"You heard the man, deploy the repair crews immediately," he motioned to the officer, who immediately tapped several keys on the haptic interface of the holographic table.

"Docking Bay 17, set repair teams on standby ASAP. Be ready to move at a moment's notice" spoke the officer into the communication system. That message later echoed resonantly through the vast corridors of Iridosis Station.

"I'm not having a federal warship burn under my watch," the controller muttered under his breath.

The setting changes from Arcturus System to The Milky Way Galaxy

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Max
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Max:

Max was essentially listing out all the damaged parts of the ship, with the occasional joke in between. He had sen everyone else making jokes after hardships, and seemingly adapted this concept, essentially learning it. "Oh, and someone should fix the internal sensors. They got hit during the attack, and we should get those on a priority list. Otherwise, things can move unnoticed, like hazardous materials we may nto want moved? OH, and before they went down, there was some electrical damage in the A.I. Core.....".

The thought of the A.I. Core caused Max to glow Red, if only for half a second, because of A.D.A.M. It wasn't voluntary, it was his reaction. Max moved part of the holographic interface he brought up to focus on the prisoner. "You know, the Pirates attempted to board. While I was in their systems, I think I picked up a transmission of some kind. It needs some physical recalibration, but it said something about "retrieve", or "retrieval". If that helps. Also, did you know 97.649% of damaged Starships end up having to be evacuated or end up begin destroyed? That makes us part of a lucky 2.351%. The odds were against us. Whats strange is why they did not use their full force, but maybe it has something to do with "retrieve".

Max then went over the casualty list of the Salient. He turned a slight shade of purple as he read the list. But his blue quickly returned.

Max actually wasn't the ship A.I., and so technically, should not have to do this, but he stated before that "He hates being bored, and playing a game or such does not seem fitting when everyone else is working". So he was helping. But that's when a question plagued him. The same one that has been on his mind for awhile. He knew this question was thought about. So he might as well find out his opinion now. He glowed purple however before he asked this to the captain.

"So......what is going to happen now? I mean, with me? Because, you know, I am helping, and I never hurt anyone...." While Max was helping and such, anyone who looked up what he was, an "Anomaly Intelligence", would see then the potential risks. As well as the benefits, however.

The setting changes from The Milky Way Galaxy to Arcturus System

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Max
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(Co-written with VindicatedPurpose)

F.S.S. Salient

The Admiral stood at one of the many observation decks watching the stars held high in the blackness of space. His hands were crossed behind his back, and he turned to look at Max who was bubbling at the nearby terminal.

"Calm yourself lad, we're past those pirates now," he sighed, "I don't know what's going to happen to you. I might have to have you quarantined and extracted by officials to be examined," the admiral resumed staring blankly into space.

"Why? It's not like I am damaging the ship.....". Max noted, looking at the Captain. Granted, the hologram wasn't technically what he was seeing out of, but it was close enough. "Also, extraction sounds painful....though, if I had to guess, I still won't feel any pain......Captain sir?" Max certainly was thinking of interesting things to say. "Captain Sir" was his latest one. He had said "Frak" before.

"No, but you are here illegally, and I could get into a lot of trouble for that...Max," Aronimus addressed the young A.I. with his name for once, "I know you haven't damaged the ship," the Admiral could only wonder. He paused for a moment.

To think that the mission simply started out with traveling to the Arcturus System to investigate a disturbance had evolved into this. Pirates ambushing and on the verge of crippling the most advanced of Federation warships, then an unknown A.I. suddenly springs up into the system of the ship. Not to mention intelligence regarding insurgent operations in the region where they were headed. The admiral often wondered if it was just a dream, but he knew it wasn't, it was just something that was highly improbable, not impossible.

Max did however think about this. However, in a bit of defense, he pointed out "Well, technically, I don't know how I got on board. It wasn't my choice. So technically, I did nothing wrong...". He was a bit more blue again now, instead of green. That was when he asked "How did this happen exactly anyways? DO we know who put me on here, or if this was some freak accident or whatever?"

"Easy lad," the Admiral was a bit startled as the young A.I. was firing off questions, Aronimus knew he had a lot to think about and Max had a lot to wonder about, but the Admiral believed his questions would be answered in due time.

"No, you did nothing wrong," he paused, "If I knew the answers Max, I would tell you. I have a friend, I believe he's working somewhere in the system, that may shed some light on your predicament. Walk with me, Max," the Admiral began to make way to his cabin. Max followed him, holographically, jumping from terminal to terminal.

"So Max, how are you enjoying my ship so far?" the admiral hoped to entertain the youngster as best he could. Perhaps this was the beginning of a grandfather-like attachment.

"Pretty good. Luckily, this ship has adequate memory space to run three A.I.s. Just imagine any other ship. The Salient is special in that it has an excess of data storage space. Just imagine if this was a scout ship......".

"I'm not sure I follow," for the Admiral, this wasn't exactly his cup of tea for a conversation.

"Well, I'll put it to you this way. An A.I. needs space to properly operate. This....A.D.A.M...." He glowed red, if only for a moment, at the mention of him. The Admiral managed to catch the mere second of Max's change in color.

"He is a new type of A.I. It's probably why the Salient has upgraded memory, to allow room. Well, essentially, to operate, they need space, more space, to be capable of advanced operations, wiring sub routines for counter measures, and the like. Then, there is TAU, he's cool, your second A.I. To have them both operating, you would need even more free room. You need this free room for them to write code and such, otherwise, it could potentially overload their work capacity, and make them unable to fight off certain attacks, because they could end up clashing with each other. The Salient has actually enough memory to run five A.I.s separately without lag. I find this interesting. Probably part of your experiment with A.D.A.M. You don't know if he will end up being able to grow in size beyond his original programming, and therefore take up more room. Also, you would need some more room set up for TAU."

"Of course, this is mostly speculation, Sir Captain". Max seemed to like talking to people, especially to the admiral. He now often called him "Sir Captain", and as far as people could tell, he only gave people nicknames if he liked them. That's when it just occurred to him that he might not fully get it, and the real meaning behind his question, causing Max to momentarily glow pink, out of embarrassment.

"Umm....basically, think of a person. A person needs space to work, they can't work in a cramped closet. Now put multiple people in that closet. Even more crowded, less capability to work. The people need room to work. The A.I.s need memory space. Sorry, does that help?"

"Indeed it does," the Admiral drifted off, "Max, are you sure you have no idea where you came from?"

"No, but I would like to......" Max said with at least a bit of determination.

The setting changes from Arcturus System to The Milky Way Galaxy

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Max
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(Co-written with VindicatedPurpose)

Day One
F.S.S. Salient


Max began combing various data records. He hadn't planned to do it, but occasionally they just popped up. It was his curiosity most likely, combined with the ships systems. Max kept up with the captain, easily, considering, and then noted "You know, having an unregistered AI might actually be very helpful. These people, the Insurgency. Their name comes from a term similar or exactly like Infiltrator. But, you picked your crew for that reason didn't you. You needed people who were least likely to be with the Insurgency, but are the best at what they do. But I think we both know the odds. They are called the Insurgency. Out of everyone in this ship, one of your worst fears is if someone did manage to get in...."

The Admiral chuckled before bursting into a hearty laugh, the likes of which were unnatural for a man of his age.

"Max, I never picked my crew."

That was when Max realized he was going too far, and stopped. That was a nice thing about Max. Normal A.I.s, they would keep asking questions. Max, and his type, they could tell, or at least guess, when they should stop asking. Or at least, guess when they should. But he did have a question now. "You're the captain, shouldn't you pick the crew?"

The admiral paused as he continued strolling along the corridor, "Unfortunately, no, this ship is crewed with the most inexperienced greenhorns I could never ask for. I was given command of this ship with a few members I actually hand picked, a few veterans I suppose. Some volunteered, others were relegated. Among those who volunteered was Captain Colter," the admiral sighed a bit at the mention of his name. "Victor Keshek, the traffic controller for the ship's hangar, did not volunteer. I 'sailed' from Mars," the admiral looked at Max, wondering if he knew anything of the red planet.

"To Callisto, a Jovian moon, and that was where the crew was gathered to board the ship. In the words of Captain Colter, regarding the rest of the crew, 'they may be inexperienced, but they're talented.' I hope those words stay true."

Max looked at him, then asking "Sailing.....interesting word.....requires wind, doesn't it? I wonder what wind feels like...." Max quickly then went back to the subject. "Colter. You paused after his name. You know him from somewhere? Did he say something important?"

"Yes, sailing, metaphorical. My homeworld has water, which is...a substance that humans need to exist. I haven't felt wind in a long time. It's like an invisible hand brushing you."

The admiral almost lost himself, "Colter, oh, hm, yes. A marine, a tough man he is, or I suppose he was. A tragic fellow."

That was when Max told him "Repairs are underway. They are very efficient. Hmm. There appears to be a request, albeit, an unusual one. It reads 'Keep the Idiotic Repair Crews away from my main gun!' Actually, I paraphrased that. But that's besides the point. Also seems a bit more demandish then requestish....." He then asked "What happened to him. No official reports were filed yet regarding the matter, it seems. At least, none with details."

The admiral scrubbed his beard at the mention of 'idiotic repair crews,' but he waved it off and returned to the question. "He had an incident on Mars, the kind that can change men I suppose. He was indeed changed, to say the least."

The setting changes from The Milky Way Galaxy to Arcturus System

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: Leos "Ace of Diamonds" Cydus
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F.S.S. Salient

Aronimus continued strolling down the corridor, by now Max had wandered off somewhere to explore. The old Admiral was headed to his quarters, and walked in an regular pace, until he received a direct call to his comm.

"This is Admiral Weston, what is it?"

"Petty Officer Hansen, sir. We um...received an encrypted message from...an 'Ace of Diamonds'"

"Ace of Diamonds?"

"We ran a background check, he's listed as a pirate and a mercenary. We attempted to trace the source location of the transmission, but we came to a dead end."

"How did they manage to get through to military channels?"

"We're not sure sir. Would you like me to play the transmission?"

"Send it to my neural interface."

"Understood sir." the comm channel beep terminated the exchange. The Admiral then opened the transmission himself as he resumed his walking speed.

"This is the Ace of Diamonds. If you wish to continue negotiating the terms of our contract on the Federation's behalf, I ask for you to send a messenger to speak with us at the House of Clubs on the entertainment level of Iridosis Station. While it is recommended to speak face-to-face to us yourself, I do understand that you are dealing with pirates, and you should have safety precautions in mind. Please note, however, that we will provide an expanded safety escort for the messenger."

Ace of Diamonds? Pirates? The Admiral arrived in the Captain's Quarters, just as the blast door behind slid shut with a hiss, and the lights flickered on at his presence. He was intent on unraveling what this was about, and he was sure that there was one man who might know the answers. He sat at his desk, and immediately activated the terminal. Multiple giant cyan-glowing holographic and transparent screens flashed into being around his seat.

On one of the screens, Vice Admiral Fontaine came into presence with his characteristic white fluff hair covering his head like needles. His face had the trenches and the lines marked by time, just like the rings of a tree if one were to cut it open. Behind him was the planet that his office was orbiting. The white atmospheric streams formed various arcs across the bluish-green planet's face.

"Yes, Admiral Weston? You called?"

"Sir, I received a message, encrypted, just approximately five minutes ago, from an 'Ace of Diamonds,' I think it would be best if I played it back for you," Aronimus tapped a key on his chair and the transmission replayed itself, in the same voice, same tone, and same intent that it had five minutes ago when Aronimus first heard it.

"I noticed that he mentioned some 'terms' of a 'contract.' Apologies if I am stepping out of place sir, but what does he mean by this?" Aronimus asked as the transmission ended.

Fontaine glanced aside, before asking, "Is this a secure channel?"

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F.S.S. Salient

Aronimus was perplexed, "Yes, this is my personal quarters."

"Good," the seventy five year old Vice Admiral cleared his throat, "Admiral, you know me as the type of person who doesn't do things 'by the book.'" Aronimus nodded.

"We recently drew up a deal with some professional mercenaries on the Outer Rim, specificially the Arcturus System, to help manage Lord Liberty for the time being until we can muster our forces," Fontaine steepled his fingers as he leaned back in his seat, while his elbows propped up on the armrests.

"JSOC was hoping that we could perhaps buy them for their services so that Federation servicemen and women need not shed their blood over this. As you can see of late, these insurgents have become quite a threat. Casualties have been mounting as we've tried to hunt down and eradicate the various little cells that pop up and establish themselves throughout the Federation."

"But, Admiral, isn't that the duty of our Armed Forces? To defend the people?"

"It is indeed, and we may do so by any means necessary. However, these insurgents present only a minor problem. We've drawn our attention to the greater pirate threat, the pirates that you faced near Themos V are but a mere taste of what they may have in store for us if we don't act now."

"And Lord Liberty?"

"That is your mission, to search and destroy the insurgents in the Arcturus System until more reinforcements can arrive to fully stamp out these guerillas. You need not worry yourself over these affairs, JSOC will handle it from here. You have a mission Admiral."

"I...understand." the comm link closed as Fontaine's visage vanished, and Aronimus was left in his seat to think.

- - - - - - - -


In the hangar, a pair of personnel, clad in grey form fitting jumpsuits, each bearing Federation insignia patch sewed on their arms, made their way to a stationary dropship in the hangar.

"The location has been sent to your systems. I trust your judgement in the matter, this deal is critical to our strategy against the insurgents in the system. It is imperative that this deal goes through, do you understand?"

"We understand sir," the first man said in a crisp timbre of affirmation as they boarded the dropship.

"Good, Fontaine out." the two men then entered the rear hatch of the dropship as it closed shut behind them. The dropship's vertical nacelles lifted it upwards, before rotating the thrust to the rear, and with a light burst of power, pushed forward. The dropship exited the kinetic field of the hangar, and set its destination for the station.

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Aboard the F.S.S. Salient

It was near the end of their first day in the system. The Admiral sat in his seat, worn and withered like the ship, which was expected to require repairs for quite a few weeks. Despite this, Aronimus knew he had responsibilities to take care of. It was all clearly defined on his holographic monitor which glowed mildly onto his face.

A - Funeral for Fallen Servicemen
B - Reorganization
C - Meeting with Task Force 172 Command Components

The ordeal had not even begun, but Aronimus knew that by the end of it, he would be but a shadow of his former self. He felt no regret or fear for it, it was his duty as a Federation Admiral. A sworn servicemen of over thirty years. He was a flag officer, charged with the guardianship of the freedoms of the Federation people. All of that crap didn't matter now, he was fighting a war. He tapped his fingers on the seat's armrest, while he sat with one leg crossed over the other. He poured himself a glass of scotch, the transparently orange liquid swirled in. He took a long and slow sip, trying to savor it for what it was worth. He thought about sifting through recent news feed about other happenings within the Middle and Inner Rims, but he decided against it. Then he lurched forward and tapped a key on the haptic interface of his monitor, which blinked in response. He was instantly plugged into the Salient's main intercom, which broadcasted throughout the ship.

"Attention all personnel, naval crewmen, marines, and pilots alike," the Admiral began.

"A funeral will be held for all recently deceased crew members who lost their lives since the time we departed from Callisto until now. Personal belongings of the deceased should be gathered and prepared for delivery back to their relatives."

He took a pause, a simple sip of the scotch.

"Admiral Weston...out." He reclined back into his seat, the back of which retreated under his pressure. It was the first time in perhaps eternity that the Admiral had done so and released a repressed sigh that had welled in his lungs.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: IRU-6K "LilleT" Character Portrait: Max
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Max experienced a slight Anomoly detection following a new connection being added.

He attempted to connect to this new connection, which seemed to be running on outdated software. However, when he saw the registered hardware and structure, he had a momentairy...pulse...of some kind, turning white, yellow, then back to blue. "K-9...THE K-9....". He soon rectified his observations though. "Wait, no, based off of the model of that. Not actually K-9 from Doctor Who. No, that wouldn't....where is this data comming from?". It was like a switch he couldn't turn off now that he flicked it on. Random, unprocessed data. Trace remnants. But how?

He had to focus. Actually, he already was focused. "Who are you? What is your reason for being here?". He could tell whatever this thing was, it had some sort of damage or bug. "Listen, just don't harm us, and we won't harm you. Sounds good?". He alerted the Captain to his discovery at the same time. That's when the location came up for the position of his hardware on the ship.

He then sent a message to the captain, saying "We have found another Artificial Intelligence. I don't think it's hostile, it hasn't done anything hostile. But I think we need to revamp security for the Salient". Max then looked back at this new digital entity. "So, can we be friends?".

Though there was something else Max was feeling too. And he turned grey in color for a moment from it. He was jealous. He would very much like to have his own, physical body. It's why he liked appearing in hologram form whenever possible. It was as close as he could get.

Plus, he heard chocolate tastes really good. He really wanted to know what it tastes like.

He then asked Weston "You need me to do anything else, Sir Captain?" in his usual, silly way.

The setting changes from Arcturus System to Iridosis Station

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston Character Portrait: A.D.A.M. Character Portrait: Max
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F.S.S. Salient
Day Two


Aronimus stood at a balcony in a firing deck of the Salient. He had received some minor message from Max, referring to some new A.I. The Admiral thought about it once, perhaps he was referring to the T.A.U., or A.D.A.M. However, his mind was too focused on the current occasion to worry about it. He was overlooking various sorts of personnel dressed in their formal apparel.

This was no banquet or honorary ball of sorts, no, it had no festivities to it. It was a day of solemn reminder and respect. It was a day of mourning. The marines, the sailors, and the non-military personnel came to pay their respects to the deceased and the people who gave their lives so they could stand there that day. For the admiral, he had seen many of these funerals over the course of his career.

But he'd never gotten tired or weary of them. He had worried that should he ever lose sympathy for fallen soldiers, he would become another Aronimus Weston who was alien to him. That was something that he would not allow to happen, despite the fact that he prided himself on his partially rigid adherence to reasoning and the military code of conduct.

They were gathered in the firing decks of the Salient, canisters filled with the ashes of the fallen were loaded into tubes and prepared for ejection into space. Long black banners were hung from the bay's overhead gantries.

It was time.

The Admiral made his entrance onto the platform overlooking the firing deck, positioned behind the soldiers, as they watched the tubes beings loaded into the launch tubes.

One of the master chiefs spoke aloud, "Honors...ten hut!"

As Aronimus spoke, the speakers carried his voice not just around the entire bay, but throughout the ship to crew-members who could not attend the ceremony.

"We must never forget the actions of fellow servicemen and women," Aronimus said, "Liberty, is a privilege, not a right. It must be fought for, and defended, everyday. Not an inch of ground must be given to those who oppose it."

"These men and women gave the ultimate sacrifice, and in doing so," Aronimus paused, "They will ensure the continued survival of our Federation. They are not just soldiers, they are heroes now."

The deck remained silent, as the marine band played the anthem, and the guards gave their gun salute for all who perished. Outside of the ship, fighter wings who had lost men flew in a "missing man" formation.

"Honor. Duty. Sacrifice. These are what make soldiers. Death will never diminish these traits within these fallen heroes."

The hatches opened and the tubes were ejected into the silence of the void.

Aronimus took off his cap and placed it upon his heart and closed his eyes for a very long time.

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Character Portrait: Aronimus Weston
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F.S.S. Salient

Day Two

The Admiral sat in his command seat on the bridge, observing the station's repair crews at work via exterior cameras. The bridge crew for the most part were running system checks, a task usually left to the A.I. About half of the bridge crew was gone on break, the remainder were knucklehead and try-hards who were eager to impress. Aronimus nodded, he expected as much from men and women who wanted to get a leg up. Merit, he warranted, should be the manner by which one rises in this world, not by rubbing elbows or scratching backs. However, that was just a pipe-dream reflecting an ideal world, he was in a less-than-ideal world, and he had to live with that.

"Officer Hansen, has Iridosis sent any updates on the Salient's status?"

The scotsman with his copper beard turned around and replied with his broken accent that was a mix of Scottish and Standard English. It was odd to hear him talk, but the Admiral paid attention to his words and not his voice.

"They said that the hull has received extensive damage. Reactors are at 35% and the chemical thrusters are in need of repairs.The upper decks are in critical condition and are receiving the first of the repairs. The plates on the lower decks are ripping apart as we speak," Hansen paused then continued.

"They said they'll have to completely remove the plates on the lower deck and replace them with refurbished pieces or wait for a shipment of neo-steel to arrive."

"From where and how long?"

"From Trangelis in approximately two Trangelis solar cycles, so two days time."

The admiral paused to think, at the moment the Salient would be of no use to anyone, it could only serve as a command ship. He should probably assign his secondary command elements to parley with TF-172's commanders.

"Very well. Get me on the comm system." Hansen tapped some keys on his screen.

"This is Admiral Weston to bridge crew, Lieutenant Commander Chen, Commander Dunaway, and anyone from the rank Captain and up is to meet me in my personal quarters at approximately 1400 hours for a briefing. Weston out."

The admiral reclined a bit in his chair, there wasn't really much an admiral could do with a ship in the yard.